The Glory of Mhandelore
History of Windaria
As Darigo and Anadera were driven back by the forces of Oanis, they called on the powers of the creatures of the lands of Windaria. Eve had a beautiful land called the Angor Oasis with powerful monoliths that drew on the power of nature to protect the lands. There she planned to help defend the lands from her father’s rage. Anadera went to Zatori, where a temple stood devoted to her, and called all the great sorcerers and men of magic that remained to fight for a free Odao. Her most trusted spell weaver was Raloron Longstar, who was programmed with the secrets of vast libraries and secrets. Of all of Anadera’s people, he was the goddess’s most trusted friend.
Darigo and his giants erected a stronghold within a small town called Nealon which had beautiful but powerful walls. The town drew the attention of all the great warriors and wealthy lords from all the lands of Windaria to create an army to protect the free nations from invasion. Darigo appointed the rank of commander to a dwarf named Hathgar Ironbeard and shared all his most guarded secrets to his family. The god helped them to build the secret halls of Khaz Mingor and its vast labyrinth of caverns. Teaching them from a tome of ancient engineering, they erected an iron palace into the side of a mountain in the Barrier Range to guard against intrusion in the beloved dwarven kingdom.
Anadera discovered in the northern reaches that a magical city had appeared which she recognized immediately. Though its walls were different and its towers were strange to her the city’s magical aura was unmistakable; Ambergrove. The fabled celestial city only appeared when a realm had developed enough legitimacy to draw the city to its dimension. She warned all the lands that they must defend themselves for their actions would determine if their realm would still continue to exist.
When Oanis finally amassed enough creatures in the south to threaten Windaria he made easy work of the southern region. He destroyed the Angor Oracles which protected the south and continued to grow an army. This bought Darigo and Anadera time to plan. Before the Iron Palace was raised its secrets were taken to Khaz Mingor where they would be safe from invasion. Hathgar stayed behind and fought beside his lord Darigo, building a fighting fortress in Nealon that he and three of his brothers used to defend Nealon. Zatori was utterly destroyed but before it was Anadera had the library burned to the ground, hiding many forgotten secrets from Oanis. Raloron was sent to find Ambergrove and when he did the city disappeared, not to return for thousands of years.
THE RISE OF BEL
The nation of Bel was informally established in 250 AR by Belius, a slave from Mandalore who led a revolt from his oppressors and escaped with his fellow workers away from the desert, heading for the fertile lands to the north.
For 3 years the small group of nomads endured a rough life in the central plains, having only a few dozen strong warriors able to protect against monstrous creatures, but they would pick up many other people in their exodus. Upon nearing the Valiar the elves saw fit to aid them in establishing a community on the Elandrel River due to their common foes, the goblin tribes whose lands they’ve passed through. Years of prosperity followed and with the passing of Belius the elders dubbed their fledgling town Bel, in honor of their heroic leader.
The lands were plentiful, with huge grain fields and abundant livestock, thanks to the hard working people. The town was overseen by a council of various family elders who would occasionally bicker over governing and the direction the city should be taking. In the year 385 AR a descendant of Belius and captain of the town guard, Radeus, saw an opportunity to lead his people to greatness and seized power from the council. His loyal militia and the townsfolk followed him due to his strength, charisma, and promises of wealth, thus beginning the autocracy that would rule Bel for years to come. With humans from miles around flocking to the area, Bel City grew and fortified itself until few monsters could challenge it.
In 526 the military presence of Bel was growing and exploration became necessary as the ruling family saw fit the need to expand, establishing an outpost in a village to the east which would become the town of Mae. Less than a decade later great riches of iron and gold would be discovered in the Barrier Mountains.
Crafter Hold would quickly come into being in 610 as a great industrious city, building weaponry for the Bel Army and fine jewelry for the wealthy, supplied by the mining camps of Ironbottom and the logging village of Prim.
The mighty Emperor Lucius became driven on conquering and set sights on Nealon, a rich and peaceful democratic city state known for fine textiles such as silk, renowned art, and advanced learning and technology. The invasion began in 674 and would last nearly to the turn of the century with the vast armies of Bel eventually defeating the Mandalorian guard Nealon employed. It was a somewhat hollow victory since the war was so brutal that most of the city was decimated in the process, leaving little of the riches and strength of Nealon for Lucius to enjoy. What would follow was a long period of development of rebuilding that would reestablish Nealon as a center for knowledge, now within the Empire of Bel.
The Nation of Enamar, a powerful and growing country of magic, saw Bel’s expansion and rumors of a preemptive strike on both uneasy sides became more common. The young King of Bel, Calicious, began fortifying its southeast borders and when tension was at its peak, launched an attack which would be driven back all too easily, as if the wizard rulers of Enamar knew it was coming. Their counterattack would be widespread and terrible, with sorcery and ruin delivered on the lands of Bel, but this would prove to be their downfall as they were worn too thin by their tactics of striking deep in the empire. When the wizards of Enamar finally subdued to Calicious he was hailed as their greatest hero, having stopped the harsh punishment they’d suffered at the hands and claws of man and beast from Enamar.
In 798 AR Calicious, the last Emperor of Bel, having no heirs and growing old, would use his influence and favor to pass rulership of Bel over to the Belian Senate, a move that would shock the empire. He prepared well and made sure that the transition to a Republic would be strong and lasting.
What would follow was a great period of wealth and expansion, with the people, or rather the aristocracy who represented the people, growing in power and influence. Political bonds would be made with the dwarves of Forgekeep, who helped supply Bel with the means to make their power known to the rest of the world. Conquest would be easy as Bel stretched westward, with the halfling town of Midelton surrendering without a fight (or a care) and little resistance towards the northwest, many even welcoming the safety and prosperity of the empire.
By the year 1000 the Republic of Bel had reached the sea when a new leader in the northwest, Volk von Dragoon, rallied the barbarians and sailors of Rondor against the occupation of Bel and began the Decades War which would eventually drive the empire back from the coast some 50 years later.
With their lands far and wide, conquest seemed more difficult for Bel as the governing of a large empire was monumental in task, so ended the expansion of Bel. The Republic would continue to grow in wealth and power as trade and political alliance with the gray elves of Valien and the dwarven kings of Forgekeep became stronger.
Now, with the great republic firmly settled as the center of power in Windaria, rumors are beginning to surface of Bel’s desire for the coastlands and their ability to take them. While the people of the empire deny this and talk of continued peace, their great military becomes restless.
THE SETTLEMENT OF FREEMONT
Freemont came about by people who were considered undesirable in the Republic of Bel. With the establishment of the new government after the passing of King Calicious, the Belian Senate sought to bring strict and complex law to their empire. Rogues and miscreants were no longer tolerated and lone spellcasters were suppressed to ensure no individuals could have enough power to disrupt the political power of the senators and aristocrats.
Many would flee imprisonment and execution by traveling into the Valiar Forest, but they found they were not welcome there either by the elves. Legend of a utopian paradise beyond the North Barrier Mountains arose among the criminals (calling themselves refugees) and they continued through the elven lands, causing small amounts of trouble the entire way.
Tired and unmotivated, a group of wizards settled within a northern portion of the forest the elves showed little interest in and, with the help of rangers and scouts, built a village named Freemont.
Over the years more scoundrels and rogues would call Freemont their home. With no upper class to exploit and weary from their travels, they would calm and build on the somewhat serene town, making it into a paradise of their own. Trade would be established between the Har and even with the elves of Valien, who had given up their distaste for the intruders who seemed to be less troublesome and with nowhere else to go, weren’t leaving.
THE FORMATION OF HAR MINYAR
The lands to the northwest are called Rondor, home to hearty sailors and passionate barbarians. For centuries these simple folk have carved a living out of the cold and rough lands overlooking the northern Narwian Sea. Few major cities had ever been built, but Brumheimr could be considered a decent sized town by the standards of the rest of the world, but small villages dotted the coastline around Rondor Bay.
The brumen of Rondor had one thing going for them, the sea. In the northern seas life is abundant and harvested en masse, with great netting ships sailing the waters, bringing back bountiful catches to the families waiting at home.
While there was an abundance of fighting and arguments within the clans and villages of the north, very little government ever came to be. Tribal priests and strong warriors ruled their own areas and the great goddess Oleria watched over all. Little would change for these people for a thousand years until the soldiers of Bel marched on their lands.
In around 980 AR the Belian Empire had begun its conquest of the coasts from the port town of Gris and up along much of the bay into Rondor. Gris was a port city on it’s own but with loose ties to the Nation of Falloran, and King Sen’el of would not aid them for fear of drawing Bel’s attention to Port Killian and Telgar, so it quickly fell to the empire’s forces. As the legion made its way northward the people of Rondor put up a good fight but couldn’t contend with the advanced Bel armies.
The slow but sure advancement of Bel continued for years until the emergence of the Imrryrian Volk von Dragoon, who had been wandering among the brumen as a prophet of new gods. Volk saw the aftermath of Bel’s occupation as villages burned and people starved, for the empire had no interest in anything but the sea. He called great heroes from unknown lands to him and protected the people of Rondor in his newly built city of Northgate.
Once all the barbarians and warrior priests of Rondor were brought together he took them, along with his highly skilled, intelligent, and powerful Minya, out from the great walled city and stuck back at Bel’s legions. The Minya were a very powerful and mysterious people, whose mystery were only exceeded by their power, and could not be defeated in battle. The people were encouraged and rallied behind Volk von Dragoon as they fought off Bel’s greatest soldiers, but they were vastly outnumbered and the war lasted for decades.
Finally, after fifty years of slowly pushing Bel back from the sea, the invaders relented and returned to their empire. The people of Gris saw Rondor and Volk as their saviors and pledged service to him, and many of the warrior priests of old Rondor remained in the area to build Ragehold, a great stronghold to defend against possible future oppression.
By 1079 AR the rest of the land soon fell together as a great nation with the building of another fortified city closer to Bel called Southgate and the establishing of the borders around the new dominion of Har Minyar, which is said to roughly mean “Home of the Brave” in some old forgotten language known to Volk’s people.
Volk von Dragoon would continue to rule over Har Minyar as its king at the insistence of the people, and would sire six sons and eight daughters of pure Imrryrian blood with his queen, Asteria, but this wonderful time would not last. On the eve of the New Year in 8900 AR Volk would disappear with no reason or word of his departure. Though Asteria seems to not mind his children are distraught and confused, as are the people of the Har.
The heroic Minya have disbanded and gone their separate ways, many traveling into the Valiar to live with the elves and others wandering off to lands far and near.
Now the rulership of Har Minyar is in turmoil as Queen Asteria has begun to retreat emotionally within herself, often sitting stone-faced on her throne for hours on end. The heirs to the throne begin to bicker amongst themselves about what should be the ultimate fate of the monarchy such as continued rule of Imrryrian blood, and if so, then which one? The warrior priests of Ragehold want to turn Har Minyar into a theocracy while some of the old Rondor villages consider self-governance among their individual tribes.
THE VENTURE BROS
In 826 AR the people living around Orpheus Bay lived a troubled life trying to fish the seas despite the threat of attack by monstrous serpents and creatures of the deep. Small villages dotted the coast but no major town or country had ever been established.
A generous scholar and adventurer of many talents, even some wizardry, arrived from the north with his two sons and led the people in creating a safe haven. Jonas Venture Sr. would help to build the town of Jonas and use his knowledge and talents to suppress the ocean’s menaces. In time the city would grow and its powerful fleet of ships kept the seas safe.
The eldest son, Jonas Venture Jr. was an intelligent and inventive young man who helped run the city and gave a great deal to make it a better place. But the younger son, Thaddeus Venture, was spoiled by his father’s wealth and accomplishments. Although he was always treated well, Thaddeus had it in his mind that people didn’t take him seriously and thought of him as a failure. He would constantly try to belittle his brother by grandstanding and seem to always fail in the end.
Jonas Sr. had foreseen his own coming death at the claws of a random dragon while hunting near the Brock Mountains. He told his sons of this and made clear his intent to pass the mantle of leadership of Jonas along to his first son, Jonas Jr. Thaddeus was outraged and swore he would one day become greater than both his brother and father, leaving to create his own city which he would name Venture.
While both Jonas Jr. and Thaddeus are now long dead, the animosity remains with their descendants and peoples of each city.