"Frightened peasants quake under the rule of a hundred local despots. Terror soars aloft on membraneous wings by night and sifts the carrion in lonely churchyards... Black-clad priests trek from valley to valley, but the peasants are always torn between faith and fear. Spend a few days in any of the mountain villages and you will see a funeral procession wending a path down through the narrow streets - old men whose lined faces show the scars of many losses, grim youths with jaws set in sullen defiance, veiled women sending up a shrieking lament, and wailing children who have yet to learn the injustice into which they have been born."
This is the sort of thing I'm talking about.
I love Dragon Warriors.