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Note: the following was transcribed from a lecture given by the honorary Bilgin Felderan, archivist and historian of the college of Ment, 22nd day of Holding, CY 19.
The history of the races vary, depending on who is asked. It is claimed by the minotaurs that the kingdom of Reckan was founded by the leader of an expedition from their homeland, far across the sea, several centuries ago. What is known for sure, though, is that the various tribes united (mostly) from several settlements, towns, and small cities and became the wealthy kingdom that it is today.
Earliest human history indicates that humans have been on the land from time immemorial. Living on the plains, mostly along the western coast, the humans gradually built their towns and villages further inland.
At the same time, the humanoids came up from their caves in the mountains and foothills, partially driven to explore, and partially driven by their ongoing conflicts with the dwarven armies, and each other. What follows is merely an outline of what is known of the time of first and second age, as they are reckoned in the human lands. Some details have been added from other sources, even some legends of the orcs and hobgoblins, as best we know.
All dates are given as FA for first age, or CY for common year, also known as the second age to the Julan peoples. The elves and dwarves both have their own calendars. Year 0 First age is Year -597CY.
Year 0 FA (-597 CY) The first written records are started by the order of Kiana. The title of high priestess is first bestowed by Kiana herself, according to the legends.
-575 CY – First recorded contact with the elven folk of the Tirnost. It did not go well for the Julani. In their caution and mistrust, one of the explorers threw a spear towards the one elf he saw. Unfortunately, he did not see the others in the elven party, and all but a few were slain by the elves, who were master archers, even then.
-572 CY – The Julani people, mostly wanderers and nomadic, reach a tentative, uneasy peace the Tirnost, and are allowed in the borders of the woods, but only along the outer edges.
-571 CY (Estimated) – A huge volcanic eruption takes place, creating most of what is now the famous Highreach plateau. Many of the Julani tribes living in the area are wiped out. This triggers many of the tribes in the area to adopt human sacrifice to prevent further eruptions. The clans of Highreach continue to worship Utsendar, but now practice ritual sacrifice as part of their religion.
-550 CY – As the Julani settlements move further inland along the Thruldor river, they came into contact with the humanoids from the foothills, who were even more brutish at the time. What followed was hundreds of years of near constant bloodshed.
-545 CY – Even as the Julani river tribes struggled with the humanoids, further exploration, mostly following the southern coast, brought some Julani in contact with Liones, who lived a very similar existence. Early tribes were wary, and skirmishes were frequent, but never widespread. There was no concerted effort on either side to really drive the other out.
-542 CY – Some brave Julani land, using small canoe like outriggers, on the islands that were to be known as Kelbian. Many stay, as the fishing is plentiful, and there is game and fertile land.
-517 CY – A significant raiding party of dwarves comes down into the foothills, near the northern edge of the swamps. They assume the humans they encounter are simply another kind of humanoid, and slaughter most of the tribes along the Mormarsh river. The dwarves have already discovered the secret of large scale metal working, and the Julani are no match for the superior weapons and armor of the dwarf clans.
-516 CY – The dwarf clans get a rude surprise from the Tirnost while exploring the northern reaches of the trees. The dwarves inflict minimal casualties on the elves, who, ironically, mistake them for humanoids. This begins the 300 year war. All of the races in the southern interior reaches are in near constant conflict during this time. Widespread as it is, the conflict does not reach the coasts, and none of the participants have the will, or the skill, to do more than harass their neighbors.
-503 CY Julani nomads, moving up the coast, are surprised to discover existing tribes of other humans, darker skinned, with a lighter build, already living in the area. These new tribes are relatively open to the newcomers, and introduce them to the horse.
-352 CY – After hundreds of years, the Tirnost elven folk, and the Julani of the foothills, reach a truce. They work together to capture a dwarven war party and spend several months trying to learn each others language, and convince the dwarves that they want peace as well. About 6 months later, in the late winter of -941, all three reach an armistice.
-351 CY – The dwarven clans release the many Julani prisoners. With their release, they bring much knowledge, although very rough and imperfect, of dwarven metalworking, and the idea of larger settlements. Relative peace reigns, although the humanoids are in a constant state of territorial skirmishing, it is as much with each other, as it is with the Julani, Tirnost, Delthene, as the dwarves call themselves.
-260 CY – The city of Belhall is founded.
-237 CY – In the dead of winter, just days before the celebration of the new year, the Wyrmwar begins. No one knows why they came, or what they were after, but many hundreds of dragons ravaged the lands. Entire villages were lost, with barely any rubble to indicate what might have been. Large swathes of the Tirnost forest were burning wastelands. Even the dwarves were not immune as deep dragons; long, sinewy, and flightless, emerged from the deep to lay waste with no seeming purpose. For six months, until almost the midsummer, all the peoples were subject to attacks, many were carried off, presumably eaten, while many were simply slaughtered where they were. Then, like they came, the dragons mostly disappeared. In the entire six months, stories were told of the occasional dragon that was brought down by a swarm of arrows, or a lucky spear shot, but only one or two of these tales were ever confirmed by an actual body.
-214 CY – The Tirnost teach the first Julani the secrets of arcane magic.
-203 CY – The aarakocra are first seen outside the mountains. Although the Delthene have known of them, they make contact with the Julani, and the Tirnost for the first time.
-190 CY – The Julani people of Highreach begin raiding to the south. Their blood sacrifice has taken a toll, and they are now in need of slaves and sacrifices from further and further afield.
-144 CY – After almost 50 years of the Highreach tribes moving further and further south, the Julani of the plains flock together under the banner of one High Priest of Kiaktat, by name of Lash, and cross the Thruldar river with a large force, all footmen, but with metal chain far superior to what the tribes of Highreach possess. Lash’s forces reached to the plateau of Highreach before the remaining tribes surrendered. The practice of blood sacrifice was banned, but Lash and his forces withdrew, allowing the tribes to retain their sovereignty.
-142 CY – Lash, upon returning to the south, is named King, and the lands around Belhall are known as the Kingdom of Orlash.
-138 CY The first minotaur tradeships, small, slow, and primitive by modern standards, begin plying the west coast trade routes. The initial contact with the minos was surprisingly peaceful, considering the difference in their outlook and general nature. The minos bartered some fish and strange food for textiles in one of the villages, and they have been bartering and trading ever since.
-125 CY Lightcrest Castle is founded. The desert peoples have been trading with the Delthene for years, and have learned stonecraft, metalworking, and other things, in exchange for gold and raw materials. Lightcrest gets its name from the light colored granite that is the primary structure. It glows like a beacon at sunrise and sunset.
-95 CY – Ment is founded by a group of elven and human wizards. Initially just a small school in the middle of a fishing village, it quickly becomes known far and wide for the arcane skills of those who live and study there.
-61 CY – Highreach Keep is established. Built on the edge of the plateau, it overlooks the single winding road that leads up the side of the mountain. Highreach is governed by a council, selected from the old priesthood of Utsendar.
-48 CY – With the help of the minotaurs, the tribes along the southern coast re-establish regular trade with the islands. The Julani of the plains form a loose confederacy. They name their new territory Cerilia. Although it is more of a plutocracy, ruled by wealthy merchant families, and the titles are passed on by a combination of inheritance and internal politics. The ruling council does elect a sovereign, which is a lifetime appointment.
-40 CY – The desert nomads agree to ally with the Dunar Family, rulers of Lightcrest, and the kingdom of Dunath is founded.
-38 CY – A delegation of halflings and gnomes from the western foothills of the desert come to Lightcrest. They have gifts of fine food and trinkets, and ask the Dunar family for protection from the humanoids in exchange for being annexed into the kingdom. Shreve is officially part of the kingdom, although the Dunar family has, to this day, only collected minimal taxes, and allows the residents near complete autonomy.
-29 CY – The minotaur island is officially united under the banner of Mithlan Reckar. Little is known outside of the means of selection, but it is rumored that the minotaur clans all had a yearlong contest amongst the most prolific merchants, and the victor was awarded title of King. The title has been hereditary ever since.
-13 CY – Lythan Fellstaff, high mage of the elven court at Ment, is assassinated. The group claiming responsibility, the Kal-Turak, claims that it acts on orders from Cerilia, and they, and the Kingdom, are going to purify the land of non-humans, or at least bring them all under human rule.
The elves of the Tirnost react to the killing by expelling all humans from within the borders of their forest home. They include a fair bit of buffer as part of their expulsion, and several dozen humans are killed in the skirmishes that follow. Cerilia denies any involvement, but many acts of sabotage are carried out in the major cities through the next 6 months, prompting a kingdom wide declaration of martial law, and expelling or imprisoning of nearly every elf in the kingdom. This state of affairs lasts for nearly 7 years, with each kingdom attempting to make peace with the Tirnost and Cerilia, with no luck. Cerilia maintains its innocence, and most other kingdoms carry on business with them. Ment is locked down, with the arcane masters taking very few new students, and the elves withdraw entirely from the college.
-7 CY – The high priestess of Kiana, in Orlash, is assassinated. Again, a group calling itself Kal-Turak claims responsibility, in this case, because Orlash is on reasonably friendly terms with the elves, and are continually trying to barter peace.
-6 CY – The Cerilian spy network captures an assassin, just outside of Ment, who is linked to the previous murders in Ment and Orlash. This is widely publicized through the two southern kingdoms, with the hopes that word will reach the Tirnost. A new High Priestess is appointed in Orlash.
-4 CY – After years of work, Orlash and Cerilia determine the true origin of both the Ment and Orlash assassinations – The Brotherhood of Miska, a guild of assassins that is rumored to control the politics of Highreach. Once this information is leaked out, the Tirnost declare amnesty with Cerilia and Orlash. Most people are leery of entering the Tirnost territory, though, and relations remain distant for quite some time.
-2 CY – A disastrous fire occurs in the town of Highreach. Hundreds are killed, and at least a few of the ruling council are killed in the flames. Although the circumstances seem quite suspicious, to this day, no group, or government has taken any responsibility, and the people and government of Highreach insist that it is an act of sabotage.