Campaign of the Month: November 2007
Varis: The Broken Land
Humans, for as long as history can remember, have lived in many different places. No one can remember how humans came to be and each culture has its own particular creation story. Since the humans of Varis come from many different lands the immediate past is most important for Humans, many do not even know the name of their ancestor’s homelands before they reached Varis.
In fact, the human settlers were almost all pirates at first, having found safe harbor to bring their families and their slaves. The towns and villages quickly blossomed and more travellers settled the land. They soon learned they weren’t the first to reach the shores of Varis as the Ilthar investigate their growing settlements and send envoys.
Known human-inhabitated lands
- Egas: a cold and wintery land far to the north. Its exact location has long been lost but references to it are found in many sources.
- Varis: Besides the Umber Sea area humans live as slaves in Garvelloch and it is almost certain at least some barbarian tribes in the Highlands have survived the cataclysm and orcish domination. It is unknown if humans still survive in areas under Daemar control.
Human History on Varis
0-10 A.S. – Human sailors land along the coast of Umber Bay and establish camps and settlements. This period of time is known as the Settling. The elves of Varis, who call themselves the Ilthar, send envoys to the humans to learn of their presence and their culture.
10-24 A.S. – The humans have established themselves well in the lands around Umber Bay, dozens of villages have sprung up and some areas are becoming heavily populated. They bring with them slaves, including a race of long-enslaved humanoids called Catfolk by humans. The elves begin trying to teach interested humans and even slave-races wood lore, they preach the values of freedom for all creatures and the abolition of slavery in addition to lectures on how to maintain the earth. These elf-taught men and women become the first known druids of their races and go out to spread the teachings of the elves amongst their peers.
Unfortunately these druids have little effect on the social policy of the settlers; the worst of human nature always seems to prevail.
25 A.S. – Elven envoys begin leaving the human lands and the humans are warned that the elven race is split in how to handle human disrespect for other sentient beings and the land itself. They warn humans to leave or risk being exterminated by their kin. The humans begin fortifying their homes and villages and prepare themselves for what is to come.
26-34 A.S. – War rages between the humans and the faction of the elves who call themselves Daemar. The battles are vicious with many falling on both sides but the Daemar have greater numbers and great reptilian beasts along with a mastery of nature magic and one by one the fortresses and towns of the Humans fall.
35 A.S. – The Great Accord – After years of conflict the Ilthar finally intercede on humankind’s behalf. The Daemar were on the brink of victory when, In the first and last meeting of its kind, the Ilthar broker peace between their Daemar brothers and their human charges. The Daemar vow not to attack the humans so long as they meet their requirements. The humans are told under no uncertain terms they must abolish slavery and never again erect permanent settlements in the Vashar. The humans agree and the continent settles into a tense peace.
100 A.S. – The remaining human nations have recovered from the war and begin warring amongst themselves. The war with the Daemar shattered the early unity of the human settlers; many who fled to the Highlands embraced barbarism.
105 A.S. – The various lowland kingdoms are united under the rule of the Cumbrian Empire, forged into a single nation by Emperor Gael. The conquered nations tithe a large portion of their taxes to Cumbria. The Highlander raids on the Empire increase in frequency as dissenters against the crown move north into the Highlands.
259 A.S. – After being mishandled by Emperor Gael’s descendants the Cumbrian Empire crumbles into three nations and several large anarchic regions. The last Emperor, Valzis, is exiled after a successful coup attempt by Gregor McDanth.
270-271 A.S. – A great orcish horde advances on Bretyn, disasters strike Cumbria and Arran. Arran begins a Mage Tax and makes it unlawful to be an unregistered wizard. A Red Moon appears seemingly at random in the early months of 271 A.S. and each moon brings with it a new curse. Several days after the third and final moon, the Cataclysm strikes.