The 5 Kingdoms
The First Era
Recorded history began with the founding of three great empires: Dwarven Hrimdall in the north, which still exists today; Elven Tréverin, which covered much of the same territory as Aerithea and Narivia; and Elven Shivras, which would eventually become the Kingdom of Kthariss during the latter half of the Second Era. While there is extensive archaeological and magigraphical evidence for civilization before this time, no written records survive, and the oral traditions describing events which took place in this time are myths rather than factual accounts. Such tales are covered in a later chapter, The Age of Myth.
The dawn of the First Era was blessed with widespread peace between the intelligent races — though the Gods were newly absent from the world, their sublime influence lingered. Incredible advances in magic and technology were made, long-standing kingdoms were founded, and all the nations of the land were prosperous. It was in this time that the great Dwarven cities of Fremm and Hrundar were first built, and the Elven city of Trevelos. The Orcish hero Thrag united the warring tribes of the Hirshland under one banner, and the Gnomish scientist Ixirix put forth his since-proven theory of The Planes.
This golden age came to an end in the year 1E 229, when Thrag died without leaving an heir. A bitter power struggle occurred between Drid, his nephew, and Darmak, his closest disciple, which ended with Drid taking power after slaying Darmak in a duel. Under his leadership, the Orcs began to expand their territory, raiding villages in southern Shivras. In response, the Shivran Queen Lorevin rallied an army to drive out the invading Orcs, and ordered the construction of The South Wall, which still stands and has been extended many times since.
Around the same time, political turmoil and a famine in Tréverin sparked a civil war, which went on for nearly 200 years before being ended by the Ardin Treaty. Though order was restored, one of the great nations of old had fallen in less than one Elven lifetime.
In 1E 580, the red dragon Mokal attacked Fremm, destroying the city and killing many of its inhabitants. Mokal then went on a rampage through the south of the continent, beginning a reign of terror which lasted for 80 years, until he was wounded by the Elven knight Tristea and retreated to his lair in Mount Karn. Many of the city-states that would later become part of The 5 Kingdoms were founded in the aftermath of the first Mokal crisis, including Virenna, Windrun, and Fairwood. Fremm was rebuilt and greatly fortified.
With Mokal temporarily defeated, peace reigned once more. From 1E 663 to 978, no wars were declared between the great nations, and trade flourished. The city of Northwatch was constructed in Hrimdall, and the Dwarves began expeditions into the Northern Ocean using metal ships. Despite this prosperity,