Bad Case of Harpies
Twenty years ago, the realm of Eliphor was plunged into civil war when its regent, Grand Duke Piotr, lay claim to the throne after the direct heirs had died under questionable circumstances. After the Duke was exonerated of all charges, he gained the support of the barons of the realm and was proclaimed Emperor Piotr I. In choosing Gamron, another distant member of the royal family, as the next Grand Duke, Piotr began to fill the power vacuum, and began consolidating power by beginning with increasing the military strength at the borders.
This is the version of history in common memory.
What most people care to remember of the recent past, before the Civil War, is that the last 2 centuries have been a silver age of peace. The only event of note was the Quest against the Dragon, an episode of about five years that occurred roughly ten years prior to the Civil War.
During this time, Piotr and Gamron, experienced and capable commanders within the Imperial Elite Legions, led a force of over fifty of the best Legionnaires to hunt and kill the vicious red dragon that ravaged the Empire. Piotr, Gamron, and a small number returned, but they accomplished their goal. Having received a royal dispensation to retire as heroes, they went their separate ways.
The human deities are formally Greco-Roman, though outside of the Capitol, religion is a more personal matter and many personal deities flourish. Standard non-human deities are available since the other races have been able to work with the humans.
The Capitol is in a temperate climate. Since your characters are Imperials, you can pick from Savannah, temperate, dense forest, or mediterranean. The empire has some alpine regions at its very borders.