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I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I thought I would post descriptions of two of the peoples mentioned in the expanded timeline - enjoy!

Darokinian Peoples

by Geoff Gander

Inlashar: The Inlashar arose when a displaced Ethengari clan migrated into what is now northern Darokin in 780 BC, swiftly conquering the indigenous Neathar tribes. Within a century the two groups had merged, producing a somewhat stocky people with cream-coloured skin, and dark hair and eyes (with a slight epicanthic fold). For centuries, the Inlashar struck fear into orcish hearts in the north, and at their height (c. 500 BC) they controlled all the land between what is now Ardelphia and the gap between Alfheim and the Broken Lands. During that time, other human cultures flourished on the Streel Plain; although they occasionally suffered raids from the Inlashar. Their power ebbed and flowed over the following centuries, but they never regained their early prominence as other realms rose to prominence, and the orcs grew more organised. By 100 BC, successive orcish invasions had all but broken the might of the Inlashar, and only a scattering of them remained in the hills east of Corunglain – the remainder having fled south to Eraedan lands.

The Inlashar staged a bit of a revival in AC 672, following the collapse of the monarchy. A northern duke, claiming descent from one of the Inlashar houses and taking advantage of the chaos, declared his Duchy of Callair independent. The realm was short-lived, as the neighbouring humanoids of the Orclands also took advantage of the power vacuum. By AC 702 the realm had been laid to waste, with the capital of Tolann falling the following year. Most of the survivors trickled to Corunglain, where they remain to this day; although a handful of hill-folk still cling to their ancestral lands.

Molharraners: The Molharraners are descended from a band of Eraedan clans who migrated westwards over the Streel River, settling in the region around modern Elstrich. There, they mixed with local tribes who had long since fled the collapse of Taymor, producing a people of slighter build, with generally pale skin and dark hair (brown and black are most common), with green or grey eyes predominant. Their rise to prominence began with the founding of Elsharram (Elstrich) in 600 BC, but the name had changed to Elstarath (thanks to the admixture of new dialects as the realm grew) by the time the kingdom began to coalesce in 530 BC. The kingdom was proclaimed in 320 BC, reaching its height soon afterwards. However, the appearance of Calor, the rise of the dark realm of Meruvar, and the faltering of Inlashar soon exposed Molharran to pressures on all fronts. By 166 BC, the kingdom had been reduced to Elstarath and the surrounding hills and valleys, and when the last king died without issue soon afterwards, the realm had effectively fallen.

The Molharraners remained a distinct people over the following centuries; although they never managed to unite again under a common banner. After the fall of the Darokinian kingdom, most of the Molharraners lived in the Duchy of Darokin or the Barony of Nethlinn – many of the latter group were slaughtered by Duke Rudgard of Irum during his despoiling of that realm in AC 791. Today, those of pure Molharraner stock can be found in the hilly country south and west of Elstrich, as well as in the town itself; although they are no longer in the majority there.

Eraedans: The Eraedans, a mixture of indigenous Neathar tribes and the survivors of several fallen Doulakki city-states, arose in 700 BC, following the decline of orcish might on the Streel Plain. They quickly carved out a domain for themselves between the Streel River and the Canolbarth Forest. The Eraedans grew in strength as the Inlashar rose to prominence in the north, and several clans migrated across the Streel to found what would become Molharran. By 600 BC, the Eraedans has founded a number of permanent settlements, some of which would become cities, such as Favaro and Comaelle. Despite these advances, the Eraedans remained largely disunited. This made them relatively easy prey for the orcish hordes led by Calor, who held dominion over them for several decades until his death in 205 BC. The centuries following that time were a period of internal squabbling and minor expansions, until the Eastwind Clan, led by Ansel, rose to prominence and forged an alliance with other clans to drive the orcs out of the Streel Valley once and for all. From those actions, the Kingdom of Darokin was founded, with Eraedans comprising the bulk of the population. They remained the largest single ethnic group for centuries – even after the collapse of the Darokinian kingdom – and would remain so until the influx of migrants from Thyatis, Ylaruam, and Glantri.

In terms of appearance, the Eraedans were of average height and build, with moderate skin tone and brown hair and eyes being most common. Due to their prominence and early wanderings, the Eraedans ranged far and wide throughout the lands of what would become Darokin, and mixed with many of the peoples they encountered. As such, they can be considered the “root stock” of most Darokinians. Nevertheless, significant concentrations of “pure” Eraedans can be found in the region they originally inhabited – particularly between Favaro and the Alfheim border – as well as around Crowlerd. Roughly one-third of Favaroans possess the classic Eraedan traits, as well.

Meruvari: The Meruvari are descended from western Eraedan (Molharraner) colonists who settled the lands between what would become southern Molharran and Athenos circa 530 BC – much of this territory lay in the Malpheggi Swamp. The region remained sparsely settled for decades, and the inhabitants had little contact with outsiders until the founding of Athenos in 500 BC by a mixture of Doulakki and Eraedans, after which there was sporadic fighting. The locals were left to their own devices after the lord of Elstarath withdrew his claim to the area in the face of pressure from Inlashar ten years later. A loose kingdom – the Lordship of Meruvar – coalesced around a succession of powerful lords over the following decades, but in truth the realm remained little more than a loose coalition of fortified villages in the wilderness.

Molharran sought to bring the region back under its control during the middle of the third century BC, but this campaign faltered soon after its inception as the treacherous terrain and remoteness of the strongholds proved to be too much for the Molharraners. Meruvar was soon forgotten by its neighbours as Calor waged his brutal campaign across the Streel Plain, and likely would have remained a backwater were it not for the arrival of an exiled priestess from Athenos in 190 BC, who soon corrupted the nation and its lord. Under her guidance, Meruvar became an organised realm, united in the worship of the Outer Beings, and soon began attacking its neighbours. A coalition staged an invasion soon afterwards, and at the urging of priests from numerous faiths literally wiped Meruvar from the map.

After the fall of their realm, the surviving Meruvari withdrew to their own communities, and remained in that isolated state for centuries. A significant number migrated to Athenos, and many were among the founders of Port Tenobar. Following the collapse of the Kingdom of Darokin, the Meruvari were concentrated in the Duchies of Malpheggi and Darokin, and their homeland bore the brunt of the most intense fighting between the two nations. Nevertheless, the Meruvari survived, and remained a distinct people due to their isolation and reclusive nature.

Those of “pure” Meruvari stock are of slighter build than average, and several inches shorter (thanks to their Molharraner ancestry), but intermittent contact with the Doulakki of Athenos produced slightly darker skin tones – ranging from dusky pink to almost olive – with brown eyes and curly hair (thanks to some Doulakki strains) being common. Those Meruvari from the northern Malpheggi Swamp are closest to the Molharraners in appearance, and are essentially indistinguishable from them – many such people are mistaken for Elstrichers, and thus avoid the problems of their cousins. Though the evils of Meruvar have been forgotten, folktales convey the emotional tone of the time. As such, subtle prejudices exist in Darokinian society against those from the old lands of Meruvar – those of recognisably Meruvari stock are often considered untrustworthy.