A History of the Eastern Nations
Year -700 (approximate) The dragons establish the Zvezdeln Empire established along the eastern coastline as a draconic experiment in nation-building, giving rise to the dragonborn via magical experiments and interbreeding with the local humans.
Year -300 (approximate): Eladrin contact with the elven homelands inspires many elves to develop a more intellectual, inquisitive, and magic-oriented bent. Over the next fifty years they declaim the monarchy and traditional elven society to be antiquated, gathering at the western end of their home forests and to build an Eladrin-inspired cultural center. The traditional elven monarchy protests but the dispute never comes to blows, and the two cultures continue to work together.
Year -300 (approximate): Many dragon monarchs of Zvezdeln killed in a series of uprisings. The remainder wreak terrible vengeance on their coastal empire and leave for more hospitable climes, or to do whatever dragons are wont to do. Civilization continues with less disruption at the extremes of the empire (far north, far south) but the temperate coastal areas are in ruins.
Year -100 (approximate): More colonists arrive and found Irvaun, just north of Cantrean. By this time the southern remnants of the empire have started to organize into what will become the Odlund Thaneholds.
The Parting: A tremendous storm sweeps the whole of the Eastern coast for weeks on end, leaving no part of the coast untouched. Most ships are destroyed. No further ships arrive from Birkan on the eastern shores. Ships attempting to travel back to Birkan either turn back, reporting terrible storms, or never return. Most calendar dates set this as year 0.
Year 30: The Garravezo monarchy of Cantrean, now known as Cantelaño begins a significant military buildup. More ominously, it gradually begins popularizing the practice of making arcane bargains with devils for its royals, nobles, and soldiery, creating the progenitors of the tieflings. Other nations arm their borders.
Year 50: The Garravezo monarchy of Cantelaño attempts to expand into Eladrin lands. Eladrin inform them that as far as they’re concerned their old treaty with the draconic Zvezdeln Empire still holds, and that expansion will be met with force.
Year 51: Cantelaño ignores the Eladrins’ warning, begins settlement inside the sparsely-populated Eladrin lands of Iseth Demar. The Eladrin launch magical attacks which wipe out the new settlements. Cantelaño mobilizes their extensive army and marches on Iseth Demar. After only a few weeks on campaign nearly their entire military as well as most of the royal family is wiped out by devastating magical assaults and forces of magical constructs, as Eladrin arcane might proves significantly more potent than the Garravezo’s devilish backing.
Year 55: Eladrin raise the magical barrier known as the Warding around their claimed lands. This barrier will prove impenetrable for the next three centuries.
Year 90: Cantelaño monarchy falls during a massive uprising; first Republic of Cantelaño takes its place.
Year 120: First Republic of Cantelaño falls; monarchy returns to power. The nation will swing back and forth between monarchial and populist governments for the next hundred and fifty years.
Year 170: Invention of the printing press in Cantelaño. Literacy rapidly grows among the population, followed rapidly by suppression of the printing press, civil unrest, and the overthrow of the monarchy again.
Year 202: Last recorded contact with any Eladrin takes place in Ethen Masia.
Year 255: Irvaun invades Cantelaño during a time of great civil unrest. Charismatic warleader Stefano Alvarez manages to hold them off and eventually seizes the reins of the country as Dictator, reviving an old tradition of the Zvezdeln Empire.
Year 263: High Magister Pindar, the most powerful wizard in Irvaun and perhaps the known world, declares publicly that the Eladrin Warding has lost power and can be broken. In full view of the many lesser wizards, nobles, and common folk who come to watch, Pindar attempts to breach the Warding with a spectacular display of magic and is equally spectacularly incinerated.
Year 280: Dictator Alvarez of Cantelaño launches a campaign against the Odlund Thaneholds to ‘reclaim the southern lands for the Empire’. He’s met by an army led by the Bela Hernsdottr, who is quickly declared High-Reeve. After a gruelling six-month campaign, Dictator Alvarez returns in defeat.
Year 281: Hernsdottr, now a hero in the Thaneholds, refuses to step down as High Reeve, claiming that the Thaneholds are still under threat from Cantelaño and the Orcish Nations.
Year 283: Dictator Alvarez is in killed in a coup. Cantelaño descends into unrest again.
Year 285: High-Reeve Hernsdottr and the Thanehold army throws back a massive invasion by the Orcish war-leader Issak, silencing the dissenters which had called for her to stand down as High-Reeve. This effectively establishes Bela Hernsdottr’s family as the hereditary military leaders of the Thaneholds.
Year 295: Dwarven alchemists moving from the Mountain Halls leak the secret of ‘phlogisitic earth’or ‘phlog’, which is used to make smokepowder, to Irvaun and Cantelaño. The Dwarven Senate declares the dwarves in question to be exiled oathbreakers, but the leak sparks an arms race which makes the fortune of a number of expatriate dwarf families. The exiles laugh all the way to the bank, and the secrets of smokepowder and firearms spread across the eastern nations within ten years.
Year 320: Dragonborn High Count Korsch of Zvezdeln dies of old age. The Elector Counts gather and elect dragonborn Count Bechtholdt as the new High Count, but human Count Stanescu receives nearly a quarter of the votes. Bechtholdt is almost immediately assassinated by Stanescu’s supporters. While the attempted coup is violently put down and Stanescu publicly executed, it becomes clear that the dragonborn are in danger of losing their control over the High Count’s seat.
Year 357: Over the course of a few days, the Eladrin Warding fades and vanishes, leaving only the tall stone pylons which once supported it. Intrepid explorers are not slow to begin exploration.
Year 358: The first reports from the Eladrin lands report grand but abandoned ruins, vast wilderness, and bizarre magical beasts. A few settlers begin independently moving west, and the first ruin-diving adventurers begin to turn up Eladrin magics both potent and petty (and also die in large numbers, as it appears the Eladrin were not fond of intruders.)
Year 360: The Irvaun town of First Step is founded a mile inside the old Warding. Other nations are quick to follow expanding towards the mountains. The first settlement caravans begin to travel across the old Eladrin lands in earnest to found new towns.
Year 364: A Cantelaño military expedition which had retrieved a powerful artifact from an Eladrin citadel is attacked by unknown forces. The artifact is later discovered in the hands of the Irvaun government. Tensions rise among all the eastern nations and military units are mobilized. Elven emissaries from the Deep Forest request ambassadors from the eastern nations to meet to discuss the issues arising from the end of the Warding.
Year 365: Emissaries from each eastern nation meet in Ethen Fosdhal. After nearly six months of negotiation, the meeting gives rise to what are commonly known as the Elven Accords. This agreement prohibits direct government control of Eladrin magic retrieval teams, and sets up the Demar Oversight Council to oversee the process and negotiate the settlement of the newly-opened lands. Naturally this just turns the problem into more politicking, private adventuring companies, and underhanded maneuvering, but war is prevented.
Year 373: After an Overseer investigation, the Demar Council concludes that a clandestine military force from Zvezdeln, unauthorized by the Oversight Council, retrieved a number of artifacts from Eladrin ruins in the northeast of Demar. Despite strenuous protests from the Elector Counts, the Demar Council hands down some extremely harsh punishments; several adventurers are executed and the High Count makes several political concessions in order to avoid having to imprison several of his close advisors on threat of war. It becomes evident that the Demar Council’s edicts have teeth, and over the next few years the trade in legitimate ruin-delving licenses becomes brisk.
Year 385: The Zephyrs are founded as an express message and parcel service traveling routes across all of Demar. They quickly become part of the rapidly-growing body of romantic tales about the frontier, along with wandering swordsmen, quick-drawing gunslingers, and bandit sorcerers. Bards and other tale-tellers find that tales of the frontier are the most popular stories and songs they can sing in the populous eastern cities, and newsprinting services begin to include lurid reports from the frontier in their pages.
Year 389: The present year.