The History of the Peoples and Lands of Thernicus

Timeline of Events

The first humans to step foot upon the continent's soil were the Elorans and Highlanders, who came from the north. The Elorans settled in a river valley that they called the Loren River Valley, while the Highlanders settled farther south along the banks of the Ice and Wyst Rivers. The Eloran communities soon grew, and the two inhabited areas became known as Eloran, and Baldor, with the latter the larger.

The Highlander folk, by choosing to settle along the Ice and Wyst Rivers in west-central Thernicus, chose an area excellent for farming, and soon this area became one of the most prosperous. Most of the area they settled became Aeri, which would soon become one of the largest and most powerful empires ever seen, while the rest of the area would become the smaller countries of Arnar, Hral and Jarkil.

From the south, out of the old Aldarian Empire, came the Aldars and some Highlanders, fleeing a great plague that had stricken their nation. The Aldars came across the Great Isthmus, across what is now Umbricht and Corsairrs. The Black Death wiped out entire populations of villages and towns in the Aldarian Empire, forcing them to flee. Also affected was the ancient Highlander nation of Antioch. The Aldars eventually established a new homeland in southwest Thernicus, creating the realms of Ardrack and Carellon, as well as southern Jarkil, while the Highlanders moved farther north to join their brethren.

The final migrations involved a nomadic, warlike race, the Malthorians. The Malthorians actually consist of three tribes, the Ctarins, Umbrites and Yrandians. The fierce Malthorian Tribes moved west, thrusting aside all of those who got in their way. Most of the Yrandian Malthorians still inhabit the steppes, which bear their name. Some of the Yrandians, however, moved farther south to the base of the Great Isthmus, naming the area the Corsairrs, and are now better known as a great naval power. The Ctarin Malthorians settled on the southeast coast, naming the area Ctarin, after themselves. The Umbrites, however, moved farther west, into the Aldar held lands, namely eastern Carellon. The problems began when in 211 C.Y., the Umbrites began attacking Aldars in eastern Carellon, as they both laid claim to these lands. In fact, the Umbrites claimed all of the land east of the Southern Mountains. This started the Aldar-Umbrite War, in 211 C.Y.

The Aldar-Umbrite War lasted for 32 years, and mainly consisted of skirmishes along the border, but in 240 C.Y., the Umbrites launched a massive invasion into eastern Carellon, which eventually determined the outcome of the war. The human and humanoid troops were too much for Carellon to handle, and in 242 C.Y., Carellon admitted defeat, ceding all of her land east of the Southern Mountains to Umbricht.

During the war, Umbricht had humanoid allies, namely hobgoblins and orcs. Umbricht became the first nation to use such alliance with these creatures, and the Umbrites have made widespread use of their allies since. They plundered into Carellon during the war, raping, looting and burning everything they found.

Many of the Aldars and Highlanders that had settled in the areas affected by the war, began migrating to the north, across the Amduscias Pass, in order to escape the war. These fleeing races mixed together settling in what are now the nations of Haven, Jesril, Narvaria and Wessex. The major result of the Aldar-Umbrite War was the fact that Umbricht established itself as a force to deal with, and Carellon lost half of her lands. All eyes began to watch the forces of the Black Kingdom.

Over the next one-hundred years, things were tense along the Carellon-Umbricht border areas, especially in the passes through the Southern Mountains. Many of the fleeing refugees and their Lords came through the passes, settling just north of the Great Mountains, founding Haven, which was also began to have problems with the orcs allied with Umbricht.

Meanwhile, the Elin Isles, just to the south of Carellon, had long been claimed by the Aldar nation, but they had made no effort to establish any colonies or strongholds on the islands, only sending an expedition to explore the island group, and establishing a small garrison on the islands. In 258 C.Y., a large group of Umbrites landed on the islands, intent on establishing settlements. Their black warships landed on the beaches, and their soldiers and humanoid troops quickly established control of the island. The already panicky Aldars of Carellon gave up all claims to the islands, fearing another war. The nation of Narelg was founded soon after. Initially a vassal of Umbricht, the Narelgians broke away, their Devil Worshipping ways causing rifts back with the rulers of Umbricht, who follow Set and allow no others.

The strongest tribe of the Highlanders, the Aerians, settled in the fertile lands around the Ice and Wyst Rivers, and over a period of about fifty years, the Kingdom of Aeri (Later the Empire of Aeri) was formed, in Highlander Year 1865, or C.Y. 268. Soon thereafter, the Kingdom of Aeri, through an effective line of Kings (Later Emperors) and nobility, as well as with a strong army, began to grow in power, embarking on conquests to gain new areas under her sphere of control. Within a span of forty years (C.Y. 268-308) the banner of the Emperor began to hold sway over the majority of Western Thernicus. This was in part due to a lack of either a strong resistance, or weakly structured and organized nations. At the time, most of the other nations of humans were basically petty kingdoms, whose rulers controlled old tribal regions. Generally their influence did not extend much further than that. It became easy for a strong, centralized nation to wage war on small and ineffective kingdoms.

Needless to say, the various nations under the Emperor did not appreciate what was happening to them. However, the subjugated realms could not rise above their own tribal and clan feuds to present any sort of resistance movement. This was one way that the Emperor was able to maintain control. The Imperial Throne used these conflicts to pit the nobles against each other, preventing them from uniting with a common purpose. For two centuries Western Thernicus was held under the command of the Emperor in Aeri-Mar, but things began to change when the last ruler of the House of Cryoran died in C.Y. 492. The House of Rykorr ascended to the Imperial Throne of Aeri in the same year. Under Emperor Desrich, the first of the Rykorr monarchs, the borders of Aeri began to shrink, and her power began to wane. Many of the petty lords and nobles had begun to realize that their squabbles were hurting them, while providing power to the Emperor. Secretly, many of them made treaties and put aside clan and tribal differences, to work on cooperation.

Other problems were beginning to affect the Empire, as the Yrandian nomads began to work their way farther to the west, looting and pillaging small settlements as they went. Finally, to the distress of the people of Haven, the nomads neared Myst Lake, too close to the border, and Havenís ruler pleaded for the Emperorís administration in Aeri to do something about the situation. Border skirmishes were inevitable, although Prince Drasnik of Haven did not want to enter a war, as Haven was too weak to do so. As such, Emperor Desrich sent a large concentration of Imperial Troops to Haven, to curb the threat. However, the troops he took, he removed from the Aerian garrisons in Baldor and Eloran. This was the first in a chain of events that would result in many of Aeri's vassal states gaining freedom.

In 504 C.Y, the ruling house of Aeri, the house of Rykorr, become embroiled in an internal feud, some speculate that it was a power struggle among various members of the ruling house, but none can say for sure what actually transpired. Adding to the turmoil within the Aerian government was that later in 504 C.Y., Baldor declared herself and Eloran independent from Aeri. The Knights of the Swan, led by Sir Arthur Wyndmere, ousted the remaining leaders, and rallied to defeat the Imperial Aerian garrisons in Therosen, at the Battle of Hymor Bridge. All Desrich could do was to watch, as he was powerless to stop it.

The summer of 504 C.Y. arrived, and Emperor Desrich was in a precarious spot, both domestically and in the provinces. Baldor and Eloran were newly independent states again, garrisoned by the Knights of the Swan and loyal men-at-arms. Soon, Wessex was next to follow, mainly because Wessex was to far to the east for Aerian troops to halt the rebellion. Another problem was the border skirmishes with the Yrandian nomads were frequent, taxing the strength of Desrich's troops in Haven, as they were fighting every day. Some within Desrich's family cited that he was growing senile for allowing the vassal states independence without much of a fight. The end result was, that after 14 turmoil filled years on the throne, Desrich was assassinated, and by whom none know, although it is rumored that the Nighthawks, a notorious Assassinís Guild headquartered and financed in Narelg had a hand in it.

Narelg had been a prime suspect in the assassination, but it couldn't be proven. Ever since Narelg had been united as a political state, the influence of evil had been present. Long before the events of 504 C.Y., it was well known that Narelg, Ctarin and Umbricht were thoroughly evil, worshipping demons, devils and other gods of evil. As far back as 50 C.Y., evil humans began to ascend to the thrones of these nations, allying themselves with humanoids and other evil forces.

So it was, that in 504 C.Y., Desrich was succeeded by his son, Emperor Devril, who would be known as the Just. Already news of dissension among the nobles of Aeri was being heard across the land, because of Devril, whom they considered weak, had taken the throne. Most of the royal family and the ruling houses of the empire were concerned about the loss of the provinces, mainly because they would lose the sources of their income. Many of them owned plantations and merchant houses that operated in the various provinces, and in some cases, members of the royal family had exclusive trade rights in the most lucrative of ventures.

By now, the Aldar states were also making plans for an open revolt, and on the day of Devril's coronation, they demanded independence from Aeri. Various revolutionary groups had been formed, and were ready to take action, to free their people.

On his coronation day, Emperor Devril met with the governors of Ardrack, Carellon and Jarkil, to hear the complaints and to decide upon a course of action. After hours of debate and deliberation, Emperor Devril granted all states complete freedom if they so desired, and offered alliances and treaties with the nations for economic and defense purposes. All accepted save Haven. Prince Drasnik decided that since Haven was small, and just staring, they would remain in as a dependency until 554 C.Y. Also accomplished was a meeting between King Theodosia of Baldor, Count Resn II of Eloran and Emperor Devril, which forged an alliance between the nations that still stands as strong today as it did then. Later, in the winter of 504 C.Y., the first garrison of the Knights of the Watch to ever defend Aerian soil were stationed at Aeri-mar. The Knights of the Watch were a splinter group of the Knights of the Swan, and were pledged to protect the Royalty and Nobility of Aeri.

The other dramatic event of the year occured within the ranks of the Knights of the Swan. Several members decided to form another order, dedicated to law and justice under the gods Nareal, Athena, Reygar and Anubis. They chose Obar, the capitol of Hral, as their headquarters, and built Crynar Castle in a spot overlooking the harbor. The Knights of the Shield required that all members who wish to join, must not only meet the requirements of Paladin Hood, but must also undergo some clerical training as well. They are a semi-monastatic order. There is no hostility among the two orders, and they occasionally serve in joint activities, promoting the causes of good.

These events were the straws that broke the camel's back so to speak, for the Aerian nobility was furious with Devril. Dissension was ripe in the air of the House of Rykorr, as the greedy nobles were not pleased at all with the current chain of events. Most wanted peace through a demonstration of might, which would be carried out by the Aerian army. Devril's plan was totally the opposite in their eyes. By this time these nobles were in league with agents from Narelg and Umbricht. In 505 C.Y., not even after a year on the throne, Emperor Devril the Just met the same fate as his father, assassination. His son and wife escaped, but this time the assassin did not, he was an Umbrite, a member of Nighthawks, a famous group of assassins from Narelg. Priests of Anubis spoke with the assassinís corpse and deduced the names of many of the members of the royal family, and other nobles, who had paid the assassin. Wilfrick, a cousin of the Emperor and a longtime adventurer, quickly asserted control and was proclaimed King. Wilfrick had no illusions about an empire at this point. He placed one of his friends, Geoffrey Du Layne, as the Duke of Ilysban, the most influential of the nationís holdings, and with his friendís support began arresting those responsible for his cousinís assassination. Wilfrick also just happened to be the cousin of both King Theodosia of Baldor, as well as Count Resn of Eloran.

At the same time, Umbrite and Narelgian troops, along with their humanoid allies, swarmed through Amduscias Pass, overwhelming the Knights and their small garrison in charge of securing and defending the pass. The invading armies turned towards Haven. Yrandian and Ctarin troops moved westward along the Sylvan River. Also, The Knights of the Watch had been on alert, and were already mobilized, along with the Elven Armies of Arthredium and Dawn, and the armies of Hral and Arnar.

Thus the Great War began, which would ignite most of Northern Thernicus. Many historians would agree that it was a long time coming. In fact, it was waiting, ready to happen, there was just a spark needed to set it off, and the second assassination of an Aerian Emperor in a row provided it.

At the same time the Umbrites and Narelgians cleared the Amduscias Pass, they were met by approximately 850 Knights of the Swan and Knights of the Watch, along with their men-at-arms, a force totaling over 6,700; plus 11,000 Havenite troops, and 1,500 Elven archers from Dawn. They did all they could to halt the invading army, but had to fall back on the 5th of Vernas, 505 C.Y., because the invaders numbered over 100,000 strong. The 1st Battle of Amduscias Pass is legendary, just because the Allies were able to slow down the advance of the Malthorians. It is also monumental, because it was the first battle the newly established Knights of the Shield participated in. Known for their devotion to law and justice, they managed to muster 300 knights, and 2,000 men-at-arms to aid in the fighting.

Also in 505 C.Y., the rest of the allied forces, the armies of Arnar, Hral, Eloran, Baldor, Dawn, and Wessex, engaged the advancing Ctariise and Yrandians in a series of minor engagements.

Thus, the year of 505 C.Y. ended with the war in a veritable deadlock. Only one major battle had been fought, the Battle of Talla, being won by the Narelgians and Umbrites, forcing the Havenites and the Knights of the Watch stationed in Haven, under the command of Sir Jerril de Lavrey, to retreat into Aeri. These troops were later reinforced by the Aerian army, Knights of the Watch and the remaining Knights of the Shield, which had mobilized late in 505 C.Y.

506 C.Y. dawned as year full of war. By now, Jarkil and Dorumbria had joined the fray. The Dwarves of Dorumbria sent three regiments of dwarven footmen to each of the Elven capitals, as well as sending a whole army to the Ivory Forest, where an army of Ctariise and Yrandians had advanced, Ilsyban being their primary target, the Elven capitols secondary targets. The Battle of the Ivory Forest lasted from Vernas until Suneven of 506 C.Y., with the Elves and Dwarves, under the command of Duke Rylon Churnst of Arthredium eventually ousting the enemy army from the forest region in a series of strategic victories. Once the elves had secured their borders, they withdrew from the fighting, securing themselves away safely within their borders, allowing the rest of the world to slug it out.

The only other event of importance during the first year of the war, 506 C.Y. was the first battle of Saie-Rilgar. The Narelgian and Umbrite forces, under General Valgrek Black-Tooth, a fearsome Half Orc Warrior, surrounded the city, located in western Haven, laying seige to it. The defenders held out for two months, but finally succumbed to defeat losing the city in a brave fight, that was costly in lives. The city was to play a larger role in the war later.

Eventually, 506 C.Y. closed out, with neither side gaining the upper hand. As 507 C.Y. dawned, the war seemed to drag on forever in a stalemate. Battle lines shifted very infrequently, and the gains made were usually small. In a sense, they were moral victories more than anything else. Early in 507 C.Y., the Baldorian and Hralian armies met the Yrandian and Ctariise armies upon Corwall Field, along the banks of the Sylvan River, in eastern Haven. The Battle of Corwall Field was a huge victory for the allies, as the Yrandians and Ctariise armies were shattered in defeat, retreating before the advancing Knights. The disorganized and chaotic horsemen and nomads were no match for a strong army that relied heavily on plate armored knights.

On the 21st of Sunpeak, 507 C.Y., another Umbrite army, led by General Ratchikar, landed upon the shores of Aeri via the Gulf of Silan, intent on taking Aeri-Mar. The leaders of the Allied Armies had not figured on this, counting on the strength of Baldor's navy to prevent this, but the navy was having trouble with Corsairrian raiders. For two days, the enemy army was encamped around the city, planning the seige. The Umbrite troop strength numbered 40,000, while the defenders of the city 6,500, plus 2,000 Knights and men-at-arms. The key to the battle would eventually be a combined detachment of some 3,000 Knights of the Watch and the Cross, along with their men-at-arms, who were already on the way to reinforce the cities defenses. On the 29th of Sunpeak, the additional reinforcements arrived in the midst of a pitched battle for the gates of the city, one the defenders of the city were losing badly, one where casualties were high. Sir Geoffrey Lycand, commander of the reinforcing Knights ordered a charge, entering the fray, which caused massive and widespread confusion among the Umbrite forces. The Umbrite lines were split open long enough for the defenders to rally, but Sir Geoffrey was killed in the charge. He remains one of the greatest heroes of the war. The Umbrites were then pushed back to Saie-Rilgar in a series of battles lasting two weeks, where the first Narelgian and Umbrite armies had been stationed since taking Haven. As winter approached, all of the Malthorian armies were encamped here, stuck inside the walls of the city, with the allied armies camped outside.

Around the 1st of Harvest, 507 C.Y., while the major battles of the war were being fought upon Aerian and Havenite soil, the Battle of Tringly took place in Arthredium. It was the first time an invading army had set foot on the second of the Elven homelands. The commander of the city's defenses was Duke Rylon Churnst, hero of the Ivory Forest Campaigns in 506 C.Y. Defending the city were the majority of the Dawn and Arthredium forces, along with three regiments of dwarven footmen, and a squad of Wessex's calvary. The Yrandian and Ctariise forces charged the Wessex and dwarven positions, and even though outnumbered, the positions were held long enough for the Wessexian calvary to make their own charge. On the 4th of Harvest, the allies shattered the Ctariise and Yrandian forces utterly, whatever survivors there were retreated quickly to Saie-Rilgar. Again, with their lands secured, the Elves retreated behind their borders, figuring that this was nothing more than a minor annoyance. The dwarves and Wessex forces head southward to join the main army.

As spring 508 C.Y. approached, the Malthorian Armies had been firmly entrenched in Saie-Rilgar. The allies had been content to lay siege, knowing that time would be on their side. Atrocities within the city were too numerous to mention. The occupying forces were savage in their treatment of the city residents that survived the takeover. Spring brought a thaw, and the allies began to close in after the snow started to melt, during the third week of Mars. Then, in a surprise move, King Arturias of Hral ordered a retreat to a position just east of the city. What the Malthorians didn't know was that another army, led by Lady Rhalina Shefanbow and Sir Niall Anthony Morgan, was coming up from the south, having come the long way around from Carellon.

The Malthorians, figuring on the allies to have removed to a position farther south, moved out of Saie-Rilgar to engage them. The horsemen and nomads were fierce warriors, but they were not huge on tactics. To them, this was a sign of weakness. They figured the allies had lost the will to fight after a protracted siege. They were very wrong. They neared the junction of the Ilrd and Zier Rivers, there they were trapped. Faced with the Hral, Baldor, Eloran and Arnarian footmen in front, and the Knights and Demi-Human archers and foot behind, and the encroaching army from behind, there was no escape. The Malthorians and their humanoid allies fought desperately, and were slaughtered, although many escaped, fleeing back into Umbricht, Ctarin and the Steppes.

Thus the Great War ended with the allied victory at Saie-Rilgar, ensuring peace, if only for awhile. The elves retreated to their forests, content to let man solve his own problems. Humans rarely venture into Arthredium or Dawn, and only for trade purposes. The elves trust few humans. The humans returned the mistrust equally, believing the elves to be unconcerned with events that could hold bearings on all of the races of the world, not just man. The dwarves retreated to their mountain halls. Life went back to normal.

A Brief History of the Fey and their Struggles

The Brother Slayer Wars were a dark time in the history of the fey. At the sundering of the world, there were 4 elven nations: Iluvidrial, Luthari, As'anath and Dru'Krilith. Iluvidrial and As'anath were in the north, Luthari occupied the extreme southern portion of Thernicus, and Dru'Krilith occupied the central portions of the continent. Dru'Krilth and Luthari were predominately Dark Fey realms. Luthari still is to this day, however the borders of Luthari are much smaller than they were. As'anath still survives to this day, as Dawn and Arthredium.

For a time, the nations prospered in peace and tranquility, trading amongst themselves and with the dwarven and gnomish nations and clans. The Fey concerned themselves with magic, the arts and philosophy. Rarely did they concern themselves with events outside their realms. A vast network of Portals connected the various Fey realms and cities together, making it easy for travel to various parts of the world. In time, the Seldarine left the world and traveled to Arvandor, to watch over their mortal charges from a distance, and the removed themselves from the daily affairs of their people.

One did not however. Lloth. She had stayed behind, and tried to usurp the rulership of Luthari through her priestesses. Her sect was thrown out, and she stewed for revenge. King Drethelgoth of Dru'Krilith was upset at the abandonment of his people by the Seldarine. Impatient and rash, unusual traits for a ruler of the Fey, his words angered the Seldarine and they withdrew their priests and favors from his realm. It did not go unnoticed. Things began to whisper in Drethelgoth's ears at night, haunting his sleep. He did not know, but it was Azhrei. Visions filled his dreams, and Drethelgoth became a thrall to Azhrei, worshipping the foul King of the Undead in return for power. In time, Dru'Krilith became a decadent realm, and was shunned by those around her. The Dwarves and Gnomes refused to have anything to do with the Fey realm. The followers of Lloth were welcomed by Drethelgoth, as she was as decadent as his master.

The other Fey realms discovered what was occuring, and furious, sent emissaries to the Court of Drethelgoth. They were slain on sight, igniting the Brother Slayer Wars. Drethelgoth's Dark Fey were no match for the other Fey and their Seldarine Allies. The Drow as they were now called were forced into the Underdark to survive. Lloth usurped leadership of the Dark Fey, while Drethelgoth was to continue to serve Azhrei even in death. His body was never found, but it is rumoured to be in a great tomb. He is said to be rather fiendish in appearance, with the torso of a black snake, a gift from his god. For her failure, his Queen, Eveneesra, was bound in undeath to Drethelgoth to serve him as he sees fit. It is said that when an elf with the blood of the humans and both ruling houses of Dawn and Arthredium, plus the blood of the Dark Fey, weds a human, Drethelgoth will return to wreak vengeance upon