The Laughing Hound Chronicles
Five generations ago, a massive war between three kingdom has come to a near-catastrophic end. As a result, nearly all of civilization has been wiped out. The wilderness has returned full force, reconquering the surface of the world from all but the most stalwart of city-states. In an effort to ease their population troubles, the new governments have now put forth The Grand Challenge: stalwart adventurers are encouraged to gear up, step out, and grab the untamed realms by the hojos, ending the years-long reign of highway robbers, savage tribes, and, of course, big scary monsters who like the taste of hero with a lemon twist.
You reside in the village of Three Corners, so named because of its location: as part of a peace agreement, the town is at the intersection of the three former nations. Old hatreds still linger, the few highways left are infested with brigands and barbarians, and there are rumblings of a new war on the horizon.
Not that everything is all doom and gloom. In fact, you are encouraged to take it lightly. I mean, currently your only job is to kill monsters and take their stuff. Eventually, you may just end up in the pantheon of great heroes of legend. How hard can that be?
The sound of a very large and very hungry creature roars in the distance
On second thought, you might want to loosen your jerkin and kiss your ass goodbye.