History

Herein lies a telling of the events across the Havislands, with current state descriptions elsewhere. For the most part, this area has been home to hominid civilizations for a really long time – meaning over 5000 years from the first emergence of cultivation of crops and groupings of hide structures to the current day, which has a technology level comparable to ~1100 CE Britain. Steel is good. Architecture, stone work and masonry are good. There are castles and towers that are a few hundred years old, and some dungeons that are a thousand years old from prior, now gone, civilizations. Art and culture is legit. There is no gunpowder, however. The older races (elves and dwarves) have had a civilization that is almost 2000 years more mature than the human ones. 

The center of Elven civilization is Argiliath, and that is the longest continuously populated place in the known world, and also the context of written history.  As a result, dates are commonly noted in AR - Argiliath Reckoning.

Year AR 
??Begining of the Barakis-Elven strife
0Founding of Argiliath
1000Elves band together and defeat the Barakites
1500Dwarves are first seen in Calardith, emerging from Galdurang
 First War of Elves and Goblins
 Havis peoples wiin their freedom from the weakened elves
 Second War of Elves and Goblins
4000Withdrawl and sundering of the elves
2148Dwarven Trade Kingdom founded
3920Dwarven Trade Kingdom dissolved, Great Sequester of the Dwarves begins
3500Goblinkin cover the Calardith region
3500Havis peoples form a kingdom, push back the goblinkin
3950Bonegate blight begins
4175Founding of Ahros
4250Bonegate falls and the blight retreats
 Golden Age of Ahros
 Decay of Ahros begins
4350Founding of the kingdom of Valrorim
4452Present day, this Gazette is completed

Pre-history

Barakus and the Barakite Rule

The first peoples known to inhabit the area are long gone. Only the ruins of their cities, temples, and barrow sites remain. The rise of the elven empire almost 4000 years ago pushed them into decline and they disappeared from the lands long before the Havis peoples arrived. Many of the “dungeons” of this land are in fact old Barakite sites that are either haunted or inhabited by monsters. The Barakites were tall and noble looking people, with fair skin, light hair and eyes, at least according to the frescos and mosaics that survived in their ruins.

Other pre-history

The Yuan-ti history of greed, calculated demand for power, and subsequent corruption into the modern Yuan-ti forms overlapped the Barakites, and they were the Yuan-ti's main antagonists.  After the Barakites defeated them, they retreated from the world and are folk tales for most now.

Elven Empire 

The first wave of elven conquest started from Argiliath, but eventually spanned all across Calardith Bay.  The founding of Argiliath is steeped in mystery, but it does set the beginning of the AR timeline.  Argiliath existed for almost a millennium before elves saw fit to conquer their neighbors.  Given their gifts of magic and advanced civilization, they defeated and basically exterminated the Barakites.  According to Elven lore, the Barakites were savage cannibals and forced the elves into war.  That's not the same story told by their own archeological remains.

Withdrawl and Sundering

Eventually, the elven empire fell into complacency and, after suffering losses in battles over the course of 2 Goblin Wars, the peculiar long-life-slow-birthrate aspects of the elves drove them to retreat from territory as humans and goblinkin began to migrate into the area and build their own kingdoms. This "Great Withdrawl" triggered the Sundering of the Dark Elves from Fair Elves.  The Dark Elves were determined to stay and fight for mastery of the surface, but they were far fewer in number than their fairer kin.  The Fair Elves banished the Dark, and they retreated themselves to a subterranean realm beneath the southern end of the Spine of Ahros.  It is unknown what role, if any, they played in the Bonegate Blight.  By the end of the Second Goblin War in 4000AR, the elves both fair and dark had largely retreated from the Great Forest, save for a few clans of wood elves chose to stay behind, and defend the Forest from human incursion. High and Wood Elves are now concentrated in the current boundaries of Argiliath. They are reclusive and suspicious of visitors of all stripes. The elven empire fell over 1000 years ago by everyone else's reckoning, but it is still strong and vital, even if only bounded in Argiliath and in their cultural memory, which fuels their arrogant disregard for others.

Dwarven Reign 

Dwarves first emerged from the North Skywall Mountains, founding Galdurang, about 1500AR, and they build a mighty kingdom on the western side of the bay, controlling all from the Barren Steppes to present-day Bardsgate from 2000AR to 3950AR.  Their own kingdom traded with the Elves, but grudgingly.  In addition to their holdings on the mainland, a clan of dwarves colonized the northern tip of Duroth, east of Aerinska.  That branch was wiped out, and their halls are said to be haunted by their kin in Galdurang.  Their dominance of Ahros came to an end with the Great Sequester in the face of the Bonegate Blight, beginning in 3920AR.  Dwarves are now concentrated in the halls of Galdurang, but can be found around the north trading or plying their skills. There was a brief period where the Elven Withdrawl created a power vacuum that the Havis didn't immediately fulfill, and the Dwarves of Galdurang enjoyed a position of great prestige. This was short-lived as the Havis peoples rose to power.

The Goblin Times 

After the elves retreated, most of the land was overrun by various goblinkin tribes vying for control of the overall region. While some refer to this time as the Goblin Empire, that suggests a lot more organization that there was. There was general control of territory, but it was not centrally controlled.  But a few groups did organize to found the Hrachek Cantons and Rakat in the foothills of the South Skywall Mtns.

Kingdom of Havis (Duchy of Havis to present)

The Havis were the first wave of post-Elven humans to arrive in the region. They arrived in the south and moved north around the peninsula. They settled the Havis areas, built their keeps, and beat-back the last vestiges of the earlier Goblin warlords. They came as barbarians, and conquered the land, and then settled it, and developed culture from the influence of the Elves, since Havis was close to Argiliath, and the Elves used the Havis as a buffer against the goblinkin that continued to harry the straits. The remains of the Havis folk are based around their old capital city, and are slowly intermarrying with the Valrorim to the north.

The Havisfolk are typically shorter, stockier, with darker hair and features. Some have oddly bright green eyes, however.

The Bonegate Blight (3950AR - 4250AR)

The Bonegate Blight was a period of darkness and peril that spanned nearly 300 years. A fell power, some think a portal to the Shadowfell, broke the rules of the planes, because in a short span, Fiends began to pour forth from a rift in the hills on the north side of the Spine of Ahros, seemingly led by a powerful Warlock named Uruvan Piletor. Uruvan built a tower of black stone above the rift, and seemed to have many fiends at his command. His fiendish army swarmed across the land of Ahros. The dwarves of Galdurang barred their gates. While the fiends could not breach it, they still found other ways in and caused much harm and discord in Galdurang. As the fiends moved out, the peoples of the eastern end of the peninsula banded together, ultimately forming the kingdom of Ahros. But at this time, Ahros was little more than a few barons and their determined men-at-arms. But they rallied, and met the forces of Uruvan at Rull. They were crushed. The survivors fell back, and were pursued for days. This first defeat signaled the beginning of a blighted, dark time as Uruvan’s control covered most the the Peninsula, and crept to other corners as well. Eventually, a large alliance of humans, elves, and dwarves got behind the armies, and a few heroes penetrated Bonegate itself to defeat Uruvan. The alliance then sacked the tower and, with mighty magics, closed the rift to Shadowfell. What followed was the golden age of Ahros.

Kingdom of Ahros 

The Ahros came to the region from the east, landing first to found Durrow. They swept up the peninsula, claiming land as they went, founding small baronies. The majority of them settled on the peninsula that bears their name today, settling Castorhage as their seat.

Fortified by their hard-won success over Bonegate, the capable and warlike Ahros built an empire that covered most of the peninsula, claiming the land as far as Bard's Gate. The Havis remained an ethnic identity, but were fully vassal to Ahros.  The golden age of Ahros was a time of peace and prosperity, in which trade prospered and justice prevailed.  Over time, however, a creeping darkness settled in the royal family, perhaps from interbreeding, perhaps a lingering shadow of Bonegate.  Ultimately, the royal family degraded into tyranny, and their capital - Castorhage - decayed into depravity and sinister machinations.  Their grip on the outlying provinces weakened, and that allowed the Valrorim the chance to rise up.

The Ahros are typically tall, slim, and darker haired, with hawk-like features and brown eyes, sometimes so light as to seem yellow.

Kingdom of Valrorim 

The Valrorim were barbarians that rose out of the north, overthrew their Ahros masters, and formed their own kingdom. It is not clear what ethnic stock the Valrorim are, but it’s believed that they are distantly related to the archaic Barakites. The Valrorim are tall, broad, and frequently have red hair and blue eyes.

This article was updated on July 11, 2022