Ancient History

According to tribal lore, the ancestors of the Aethani Elves came to Darejh thousands of generations ago, before the younger gods of the humans had risen in power and mankind came into the world. The Elves appeared from the west, fleeing the cataclysmic disaster which created the Great Pale along the western boundary. It is said that this disaster was brought on by a war between the gods and ripped the world asunder as fire rained down from the heavens. The Aethani scattered across the interior of Darejh and continued their nomadic way of life, following the migration patterns of various wild animal herds. Great warriors, the tribes often fought against each other for material and immaterial reasons. It was not until the humans began to appear that a semblance of unity was required.

The first of the humans to arrive were fleeing drought, famine, and wars that were devastating the southern continent of Aren Dọael. Most settled on the peninsula of Sheinar, establishing fishing hamlets and small villages isolated from the north by a range of treacherous mountains. As increasing waves of immigrants began to appear on the shores, the Aren Dọaeli began to venture beyond the mountains into the steppes of central Darejh. They began to form farming villages in the fertile plains of the interior. Due to the expansiveness of the continent, contact with the Aethani was limited to the times when their migration patterns brought them close to the human settlements. Some of the villages and hamlets grew into small townships, but there were too few and too scattered to form any semblance of unity. Each of the settlements maintained their own rules and traditions brought with them from Aren Dọael.

A second wave of humans came from the west. Traveling across the Great Pale, they arrived in Darejh following the same paths paved by the Aethani generations ago. Unlike the peaceful Aren Dọaelis, these newcomers were a militant people and they came for the fabled riches of the eastern lands. Their arrival into Darejh heralded an age of violence and bloodshed between the humans and the Aethani. Some of the Aren Dọaeli united with the Aethani in the battles that followed and after decades of warfare, the invaders managed to establish dominion along the eastern boundary of the Great Pale. A few, having lost the will to fight and establishing homes in Darejh, remained behind. It was during these wars that the Aethani clans first united into seven tribes.

As generations passed, the wars were forgotten along with the peoples’ ancestry. As the Aethani continued their way of life, the humans forgot their ancestral homelands and the enmities of the past. Their settlements began to grow into cities and the first of the principalities emerged.

Pre-Dhomestic Era

From the small settlements a score of principalities and dominions arose governed by warlords and princes. Benevolent duchies shared borders with tyrannical kingdoms. Battles again became common fair as leaders fought to increase their lands and power. Borders shifted as frequently as allegiances; however, for the average man, there was little change in their way of life. Except when conscripted to fight in the armies of their liege lords, the people ignored the politics that swirled around them.

Over the years, two dominions arose that surpassed the others in influence and power, the Regency of Dọbrai in central Darejh and the Kingdom of Morghein in the northwest. Controlling the fertile Green Triangle region of central Darejh, the Regency of Dọbrai was an economic and military powerhouse. From the capital city of Dọbe, nestled between the crook of the River Iesadhe and the Sọjourdhe River, the regency was governed by a council of sorcerers known as the High Lords of Dọbrai. The only nation to be governed by mages, the study of magic reached its zenith under the High Lords and it was rumored they had learned to harness the weather itself. Very little was forbidden and many claimed that the Dọbrai spell weavers had created and summoned numerous creatures that were released into the Centaur Wood.

To the north, the Kingdom of Morghein was led by its namesake, Morghein. Lacking the fertility of the Green Triangle region, the Kingdom’s strength rested on the lumber harvested from the Centaur Wood in its heartland and tribute garnered from neighbors. Fielding a large cavalry of self styled knights, only the spell weavers of Dọbrai were a match for its military.

As King Morghein and the High Lords vied for ascendancy, weaker neighbors were forced to make allegiances or be ground to dust between the two enemies. It took another decade of futile warfare for the two nations to realize the stalemate would not be broken. Meeting on the Plains of Haerad, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the War of Ascendance, King Morghein and the High Lords signed the Treaty of Haerad.

For decades, the humans and the Aethani had contested over resources; however, internal troubles had kept each race from focusing its military might on the other and such engagements amounted to little more than skirmishes and raids. With the emergence of the Morghein Dọbrai hegemony, the humans felt they could deal with the Aethani tribes of the northwest. With united forces, the two lands began a campaign of genocide against the Aethani. The war began in the northwest, but it was hoped that the southern and eastern dominions would join the Morghein Dọbrai forces against the Aethani.

Facing their possible extinction, it became obvious to many Aethani that they needed to unite in order to survive. Erundaic, Chief of the Golam, the largest of the Aethani tribes, united his people under his banner and become the first War Chief of the Aethani. After a series of victories against the principalities of Dọbrai and Morghein, he proved to the humans that the Aethani were not primitives who could be easily swept aside.

As a stalemate emerged, the southern dominions remained on the sidelines, rather than enter a seemingly un-winnable war. Erundaic’s son, Ergarai, became the second War Chief. Under his leadership, the Aethani took the offensive. With a force of nearly 20,000 men and women, Ergarai attacked and razed the capital of Morghein. Morghein the Second was forced to seek refuge in Dọbe. For good or ill, the Aethani did not consolidate their gains and Morghein returned two years later. When Ergarai was killed in a raid against Dọbe, his son, Ergardaic, became the third War Chief and maintained the stalemate with the hegemony.

After nine years of warfare, the people of Dọbrai became tired of losing their sons to the spears of the Aethani and civil disturbances became a common sight in the streets of the capital city as more saw the futility of an unnecessary war. And, as the unrest increased, the campaign against the Aethani became unmanageable and the forces of Dọbrai retreated into their strongholds. Without the support of the High Lords, King Morghein the Second was forced to end the war. An aging man, he also turned the throne over to his eldest son, Morghein III. Any plans for conquering the Aethani and the rest of the continent vanished.

Having lasted through war, the Aethani nation could not survive the peace. Erundaic II was to be the last to rule over a united nation. A war of succession broke out among his descendants when he died and the nation reverted to its tribes.


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