Recent History of Sethara
No one is sure when time was first being recorded, but the assumption is that it is when the first races of elves, dwarves, halflings and gnomes came to settle Sethara. The current year is 1948 CY (common year). Some of the other less common races use different calendars, but all are aware of the common year format.
Around the year 950, it was said that the gods walked the earth, and did battle with the infernal and abyssal lords. This is supposedly why the Blasted Lands are a sterile wasteland, incapable of growing anything other than scrub.
Around 1100 CY, before the lands were divided into provinces and kingdoms, many of the more powerful warlords did battle with each other and many lives were lost in their conflicts. Sometimes, the struggles were over resources and land, other times over real or imagined insults, and sometimes just out of pure blood lust. The first chieftains soon became kings and lords, and territories started to take shape.
Many of the humans, being mostly nomadic, eventually started to form towns and cities, away from the lands of the dwarves and elves. Ship building and exploring became industries for the humans. The dwarves stayed within their mountains, searching for valuable gems and ores, and the elves remained secluded and philosophical within their forest homes. The human’s decision to settle made them a hearty and prosperous race.
Trade between the races became commonplace, and they all were sharing in their wealth and good fortune. The orcs, who have long been a people living on the northern tundras, decided that it was time for them to expand, and take the warmer lands to the south by force. Though they had adapted well to the steppes, developing agriculture in a very inhospitable place, and hunting and fishing abundantly, they had grown very arrogant and stubborn. In the year 1584, their chieftain, Grobnekk the First, began a campaign against the southern territories, which lasted for 20 years.
The orcs were able to secure most of the northern half of the continent, and large portions of the east, but they had underestimated the humans, dwarves, elves and halflings who saw their lives and properties threatened. The races banded together, and formed massive armies, and toward the end of Grobnekk’s campaign, battled the orcs back to the north. The farthest portion of the eastern coast, the Blashyrk Marches, remained with the orcs who had conquered it. Rumor has it that the orcs were blessed by their god Blashyrk at the time, and that the god himself built a citadel in the heart of the marches, vowing to destroy any who threaten him or his people living there. To this day, even though the marches reside within a temperate climate, snow and freezing ice fall there all year long, as if it is affected by divine magic, and lending some credence to the rumor.
After the Great Orc War, all of the major races had lived in relative peace and tranquility. Borders shifted here and there, and sometimes, one province would declare war on another, but the battles would be contained within their own borders, and nothing near that scale has taken place since.
In 1772 CY, in the province of Yvara, a military commander of great skill came to power and challenged the governing rule of Ostian the Bold within the province. The commander, known only as Zankar, fractured Ostian’s standing army, and made a failed attempt at displacing Ostian of his seat. The province was left in a very weakened state, and Zankar and his followers retreated to the southwestern portion of Yvara, and established what is called the Hold of Zankar. Yvara, being spread thin and injured at the time, offered little resistance, and the desert legions of Haman welcomed Zankar as a neighbor to his east. The blood of Zankar’s progeny still hold rule over the region, and perhaps have the most militaristic and fortified province in the whole of Sethara. Not long after Zankar’s claim to the southwest, Castle Grimhawk and Castle Tharm were fortified and strengthened, so as to help thwart Zankar should he or any of his heirs decide to make another attempt at taking Yvara.
In 1817 CY, Haman, leader of the nomadic desert people, discovered a ruined underground city that lay beneath the springs near his home. He took a contingent of his finest warriors, and set off to explore the ruins. After being gone for a week, he returned to the surface with his warriors, and brought with them some ancient treasures of great worth. He told his people there was plenty more where that came from, and then returned to exploit his good fortune some more. After a month’s time had passed, Haman’s son, Razal, went looking for his father in the catacombs. Only one warrior that had accompanied Razal returned, and brought a message to the desert dwellers. The message was to never return to the catacombs, or the wrath of Haman’s ghost will haunt you until the end of days. The passages leading into the underground city were then sealed off, and the city was renamed Haman’s Fall. No one has dared to venture to the underground city since, though many have boasted that they would like to try.