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The History of Ierendi and Minrothad part Iby Simone Neri from Threshold Magazine issue 3
Part One: from the Great Rain of Fire to the Middle Centuries
by Simone Neri (Zendrolion)
The Ages Beyond Memory
Thousands of years ago, the island nations of Ierendi and Minrothad didn’t even exist; they were not islands at all, but emerged lands, part of the southeasternmost coast of the continent of Brun. Before the Great Rain of Fire, however, the whole area sat inside the Arctic Polar Circle1: it was a cold, barren and inhospitable land, devoid of any true settlement or civilization, and only occasionally crossed by the sparse Beastmen survivors of the Blackmoorian crusades, by Oltec or Azcan pioneers coming from the south, or by the very rare explorer from Blackmoor itself. Frost giants and dragons from further north made short forays into this area from time to time.
The Great Rain of Fire changed all this, pushing the Known World from the arctic latitude into the temperate one. Northern glaciers began to melt, giving birth to ponds and rivers, and the country where the later archipelagos of Ierendi and Minrothad would later be found was slowly carpeted with forests and vegetation.
The Taymoran Age
After the cataclysm, the coast of southeastern Brun continued to be rather sparsely settled. Its most numerous dwellers were the lizardmen – perhaps fled from the fall of one of their ancient realms further north2 – and groups of copper-skinned humans called Oteino, whose origin is uncertain; they might have been the descendants of the late Azcans, migrated in the Sea of Dread area starting from BC 2800, after their homeland further west had been ravaged by the cataclysm and by the final war against their long-time rivals, the Oltecs, or they could even be the descendants of a much older Oltec migration predating the Great Rain of Fire. Whatever the Oteino’s origin, in this age they carried on (or had reverted to) a mostly simple and primitive lifestyle3.
Increasingly numerous was instead a second human race of Neathar stock, the Eokai. Centuries before the Great Rain of Fire, those humans lived in the Serpent Peninsula; from there, perhaps pushed away by other peoples or by overpopulation, starting after BC 3500 they had slowly migrated on board their boats to the northern coast of Davania and to the islands and archipelagos of what would be later called the Sea of Dread. By BC 2500, many tribes of those humans had also settled on the southeastern coast of Brun, in lands alongside those of the Oteino and the lizardmen. They were a peaceful people of gatherers and fishermen, friendly with outsiders.
A third human people started to migrate in the Sea of Dread area from the southeastern reagions of the Jungle Coast, the Pearl Islands, and Cestia from BC 3000 on. They were the Mawa, a branch of a much older people of Oltec or mixed Oltec-Tanagoro stock who had lived in the myriad islands of Sea of Steam centuries before the Great Rain of Fire. Their language had strong similarities with the tongue of some Rakasta breeds (such as the Harimau-Belang Sherkastas, and the Cloud Pardastas), which could hint to an ancestral relation between those peoples in Skothar4. At BC 2500 the Mawa had already settled many islands of the southern Sea of Dread, and continued their expansion northward, establishing settlements on the southern coasts of Brun already in BC 2000.
The Migrations of the Taymora and the Elves
In BC 2500, a fourth human people came in southeastern Brun from the north, crossing modern Darokin. They were the Taymora, a Neathar-descended people who had originated in central Brun, and who now settled in the coastal lands of southeastern Brun5. The Taymora warred against and traded with the indigenous Eokai, Oteino, and lizardmen, managing to carve a land for themselves where they built an agricultural civilization of bronze-age city-states. In a short while, the Taymora became the most powerful culture of this area, absorbing or influencing the native ones. Nevertheless, little is known today about the Taymora, and what knowledge has been gathered about them comes from the ruins of their settlements, buried in the Ierendi and Minrothad islands, or hidden under the waves of the Sea of Dread.
Elf travelers and colonists coming from the Serpent Peninsula began arriving in Taymoran lands around BC 22506. They established friendly relations with the humans, who employed them as mercenary troops in exchange for territory. Centuries later (BC 2100), a larger group of elves who had split from Ilsundal’s migration toward the Sylvan Realm, came to the Taymoran lands; they were mostly divided among two clans: the Verdiers (wood and fair elves) and the Meditors (water elves)7. The Taymora allowed them to settle in the forests north and east of their city-states, in the areas now occupied by modern Karameikos and Minrothad: the water elves mostly settled in the southern area, near the sea coast, while the wood and fair elves moved to the forests in the north.
Another race of elves came in the area shortly after the migration of the Verdier and Meditor clans: they were the aquatic elves, or Aquarendi as they called themselves8. These sea elves had grieved for many centuries after the Great Rain of Fire, because they thought that their land brethren had wholly perished in the cataclysm. They were overjoyed when they discovered that some clans of land elves had survived, and migrated to the sea region surrounding the southeastern coast of Brun to live side by side with them, but mostly kept their presence secret from other land dwellers.
In the following decades, Taymora’s power expanded, and some of their cities grew rich and powerful. They pushed their influence far beyond their borders, successfully waging war against the giants still lurking north of their realms, and against the resurgence of lizardman power in modern Ylaruam9. They traded with most other cultures of the Known World, and also with the humans belonging to the Eokai, Oteino, and Mawa cultures who lived in the islands of the sea to the south, in the myriad small isles and atolls scattered around what would become the Sea of Dread.
The Taymoran Civil War
However, evil and corruption were soon to take their toll on the flourishing Taymoran culture10. Before BC 2000 some cities of the Taymora began worshipping the powers of Entropy, and parts of the country slowly became dark places whose rulers were devoted to gruesome bloody and necromantic practices. Undead creatures, such as nosferatu and vampires, made their appearance at this time in Taymora, as well as the first recorded lycanthropic bloodlines, likely created by Taymoran experiments. The Taymora were also responsible for the breeding of a servant race of albino humans, whose descendants still survive to this day11.
At last (BC 2000), a great civil war between followers of rival entropic Immortals ravaged the country, while at the same time a long period of seismic instability hit the southern Known World, which was shocked by recurrent earthquakes over the course of the next three centuries12. Many people perished, and many cities were destroyed by the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, or by the civil war itself. Gradually, many Taymora began to migrate northward hoping to find shelter in the forested country at the foothills of the mountains13.
The Time of Cataclysms
By BC 1750, a series of earthquakes had broken some parts of the Taymoran lands off the coast of the Known World and had plunged many regions beneath the sea. Indigenous lizardmen, Mawa, Eokai, and Oteino, most of whom had slowly retreated into the wilderness when the Taymoran civil war had begun, were quite untouched by the cataclysms. The Taymora, instead, were heavily hit by the war and the earthquakes: many vestiges of their civilization had already been destroyed by BC 1750, and the last remnants of the southern Taymoran cities and lands disappeared under the waves in the devastating volcanic explosion of BC 1720, when the dome of the Kikianu Caldera, a huge island the size of the modern Five Shires, collapsed over its subterrean magma chamber, and was thus plunged under the sea, leaving only three rugged islands to testify its existence (the modern Alcove, Aloysius, and Utter islands in the Ierendi archipelago), as well as a single volcanic cone at their center (Mount Kala on today’s Honor Island)14. This terrible event was recorded by all Known World cultures of that time, when huge waves battered the coasts and the sky was darkened with ashes for months. The seismic instability which climaxed with the Kikianu Caldera event finally gave the southern coast of the Known World the appearance it has today, with the creation of the modern archipelagos of Ierendi and Minrothad.
While the Eokai, Oteino, Mawa, and the lizardmen survived in some of the eastern islands (the modern Ierendi archipelago), elves were also spared by the catastrophe, but they were now separated by the newly-created sea. The Meditor water elf clan was stranded alone on one of the recently-formed islands south of the new coastline (the one later called Alfeisle, in Minrothad), while their wood and fair elf brethren had survived on the new coast of the continent to the north. Fearing further seismic activity in their land, and willing to reunite with the water elves, in BC 1720 the Verdier wood elf clan, also at the urging of the Aquarendi15 – who had been hit hardly by the catastrophe in their underwater homeland – obeyed the omens sent by their Immortals and crossed the dangerous seawaters, migrating to Alfeisle as well. The rest of the Verdier fair elves, instead, preferred to continue living in their mainland forests, in relative tranquillity; they were the ancestors of the Vyalia clan of Karameikos and Thyatis.
It was after this fearsome age of cataclysms had ravaged the southeastern corner of Brun that the elves of Alfeisle started to call the sea which extended around their newly-created island the “Sea of Dread” and the archipelago west and north-west of Alfeisle the “Isles of Dread”16. In fact, even if no seismic event of the proportions of the Kikianu Caldera’s explosion ever happened again, seismic activity in the form of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of varying strength continue to fill the lives of the peoples who lived in the islands of this region with fear and anguish.
As if the aftereffects of the volcanic and seismic activity in the southern Known World were not enough, another catastrophic event happened in the north: in BC 1700 a local elven clan of the region later known as the Highlands tinkered with a buried Blackmoorian device, causing its explosion with devastating effects – a whole mountain range was destroyed, creating the Broken Lands, and debris and dust lifted by the explosion darkened the skies for years, plunging the Known World into another brief ice age.
It was also around this time, after the worst volcanic activity had ended, that another underwater race, that of the merrow, discovered the newly submerged lands of southeastern Brun17. Finding the region of their liking – bright, mostly shallow waters heated by the underwater volcanic activity and bountiful with sea plants and animals – they migrated here from the seas around the Thanegioth archipelago, and called this area the Sunlit Sea. The merrow didn’t kept their existence secret from land dwellers as the Aquarendi had done; also, unlike them, they chose not to pursue a settled lifestyle, but led a semi-nomadic existence based on the movements of the great shoals of fishes, and on the resources they gathered from the kelp forests.
The Birth of the Makai Culture
In BC 1700, at the worst peak of the seismic activity, the modern Ierendi and Minrothad archipelagos had seen most of their settlements wiped out by the catastrophes and their aftereffects. Only a scattering of Taymoran survivors inhabited the eastern islands, among which Alfeisle alone saw a relevant water and wood elven population; in the western islands, besides a very few surviving Taymora, there still dwelt the sparse remnants of the more ancient cultures of the Eokai, Oteino, Mawa, and the lizardmen, and a very small population of human albinos – the surviving descendants of the Taymoran servant race – lived on Utter island.
The more numerous Mawa, however, in the turn of a century, became the prevailing culture of the western islands, gradually absorbing the few surviving Taymora, the fair-skinned Eokai, and the copper-skinned Oteino. This was also due to the steady immigration of Mawa peoples from the overpopulated islands of the Sea of Dread in the newly formed and available islands of the modern Ierendi and Minrothad regions18. Intermarriage between the Mawa on one side and the Eokai and the Oteino on the other, and cultural predominance of the Mawa over the other two peoples, gave birth to the Makai people around BC 1600, a mixed-heritage people who preserved most traits of the Mawa culture but whose customs were heavily influenced by the Eokai and Oteino. The Makai endure to this day and represent the main culture of the Ierendi islands19. In the following centuries, the Makai built villages and lived a primitive lifestyle based on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and gathering. From time to time they clashed against the lizardmen tribes, while they preferred to leave the albino humans alone on their island.
The Makai continued to live peacefully and flourish on their islands for the next centuries, troubled only from time to time by clashes against the lizardmen and – starting from BC 1300 – by the raids of Traldar galleys which swiftly hit the islands’ coasts to plunder booty and capture slaves. With time, the Traldars even established a handful of colonies and pirate dens on the modern Ierendi and Minrothad archipelagos, fighting against the Makai who dwelt on the coasts, but also helping to bring them even more in contact with the outside world. As today, Traldar remains – even if overlapped by later cultures’ ruins – have been found on Trader’s and Open Isle in Minrothad, and on Safari and Fletcher islands in Ierendi20.
Yet in BC 1300 the Sea of Dread was crossed by another migrating people, the halflings. This race had left the Brasol region in Davania some centuries before, moving through the Adakkian Sound region and crossing the Izondian Deep to reach Thanegia Island, and the southern end of the Serpent Peninsula. They had settled there in BC 1500, but unfavorable environment and climate, along with unrest among natives, persuaded them to move on to search for another land. Their flotilla passed through the western islands of the archipelago, stopping briefly in Elegy Island; then they landed on the mainland at Cape Faerdinel in BC 1300. A couple of halfling clans decided to settle on Elegy Island and northern Ierendi Island alongside the local Makai tribes, and those islands saw the growth of a relevant halfling population in the following centuries.21
In the meantime, the water and wood elves on Alfeisle kept to themselves on their island, practicing a variety of crafts based on the island’s local products, shielding themselves from outside eyes thanks to the water elves’ weather magic. Around the island, the Aquarendi continued to live under the waves, as friendly as ever toward their land cousins. In fact, the very existence of Alfeisle and of the Aquarendi was unknown to the islands’ and mainland’s humans of this age.
The Nithian Age
Soon, however, even the Traldar would have succumbed to a much more powerful outside force. Toward the end of the second millennium BC, the Nithian Empire turned its greedy eyes toward the southern Known World, the area where the Ptahr-al-Dar expedition had headed to some centuries before22.
Nithians were attracted to the eastern islands by their natural resources; in BC 1100, under the leadership of the hero-adventurer Minroth, the Nithians quickly took possession of most of the islands of the modern Minrothad archipelago, easily overcoming what little resistance the indigenous (Taymora-descended) population and the Traldar colonies tried to put up. They founded the city of Horonak23 (on the site of the modern Harbortown) on the largest of these islands, and named the whole archipelago Colony Islands in their tongue.
Minroth was a prophet as well as a warrior and wise leader; he taught his followers a philosophy of hope, self-reliance, and hard work needed to climb to happiness and greatness. Actually, “Minroth” was the last reincarnation of a Nithian hero who was on the way of completing his Path of the Polymath under the patronage of Immortal Maat; after having led the Nithians here and having seen them prosper, he left them suddenly in order to bring his quest for Immortality to a successful end24. The people of the Colony Islands began to worship him as an Immortal prophet who one day will return to bring eternal happiness to his followers; the cult quickly spread and became known as Minrothism.
Following Minroth’s departure – about fifty years or so after the founding of Horonak – the Colony Islands saw a steady immigration of Nithians from the continental area of their empire: settlements were built, trade with the motherland increased, and the islanders’ trade network within the empire grew – as did the shares they derived from it. Their prosperity was further helped by the destruction of rival coastal Traldar cities after BC 1000, due to the Great Beastmen Invasion.
The Conquest of the Makai Isles
Around BC 1000, the Nithians began to look at the archipelago which lay west of the Colony Islands as the next target of their expansionism. The peaceful local population, the Makai, represented an attractive source of slaves, and some of the islands were also rich in deposits of precious metals. Nithian armies easily subdued the coastal communities of the Makai, and absorbed the handful of Traldar settlements which existed in the region, claiming dominion over this archipelago also25. The halfling clans of Elegy and northern Ierendi islands shared the fate of the Makai natives, and were easily subdued and enslaved by the Nithian conquerors; their kin in Llora (modern Five Shires), under the dominion of the orcs, did not represent a safe haven for them, so they had no other choice but submitting to the Nithians.
Around the same time in which the Nithians were conquering the Makai isles and the local Traldar and halfling populations, the mainland Traldar kingdoms (in modern Karameikos) were being ravaged by a huge gnoll invasion.26 A whole city of the southern Traldar kingdoms, under order of local King Milen, was evacuated and set sail to flee from the its doomed homeland; their fleet entered the waters around the southern archipelagos and split, landing half in Safari Island and half in Utter Island, hoping to find shelter among the local Makai who were in the process of being subdued by the Nithian Empire27. But they had no will to become subjects of the Nithians, who had conquered their kinsmen in the Colony Islands and were ruling them harshly. The Nithians, on the other hand, were not willing to allow the Traldar refugees to hamper their conquest of the Makai islands, mostly out of fear of an alliance between the Traldar and the native Makai, which would have threatened their newly-won conquest. So the Nithians at first confronted the refugees, making clear they could live in the islands only if they accepted being split among the various islands and settling according to what the empire felt was better; then, after the Traldar’s opposition and some quarrels, the Nithians turned to force and attacked the Traldar that had landed on Safari Island, capturing many of them, and readying to launch another assault on those who landed on Utter Island. Understanding that they could not win this fight, and having to chose between enslavement and flight, the Traldar refugees chose the latter and sailed past the archipelagos south of their homeland, where the Nithians didn’t follow them; afterwards they would have reached the northern coasts of Davania, becoming the ancestors of the Milenians.
Exploitation of the islands’ population and resources was harsher here than in the Colony Islands; the Nithians pushed inland to get control of the metal deposits, thus coming into conflict against the primitive lizardmen tribes who inhabited the interior. At first these clashes were sporadic and limited to some areas; however, the Nithian penetration stirred up fiercer lizardman resistance, which threatened the very stability of Nithian rule on the islands and risked sucking more money from the empire than the conquest was worth. Thus, the Nithians contented themselves with the control of the coastal areas and surroundings, and with the exploitation of Makai labor28.
The Islands During the Decline of the Empire
When the Nithian Empire slowly began to slide into decline around BC 800, with most resources devoted to military campaigns, luxuries, and construction programs than to trade and infrastructures, the flourishing Colony Islands settlements seized an even greater control over trade routes which linked the motherland to the southern archipelagos, soon becoming the main trading power of the northern Sea of Dread.
Things changed after BC 700, when the leadership of the Nithian Empire turned to the worship of Entropy. The whole eastern part of the empire – the one which included Thothia and other Isle of Dawn colonies – broke away from the empire, starting a civil war that would have gone on until the empire’s very end two centuries later; also, civil unrest began to plague the continental areas of the empire, and an increasing amount of money and resources was needed to enlist mercenary armies.
The pharaohs at the beginning of this age thus attempted once more to put their hands over the western islands’ mineral resources; in order to put the lizardmen resistance down, starting from BC 650 they brought to the islands cheap slave armies made up of scores of goblins captured elsewhere29. A brutal and bloody war of skirmishes and ambushes began; at first the lizardmen held off against these renewed Nithian attempt to wrest control of their lands from them, but soon they had to face an enemy more terrible than the Nithians, and one they could not withstand. Unbeknownst to the Nithians, some domesticated animal species they had recently introduced to the islands (or perhaps even the goblins themselves) carried a tiny skin parasite; this nearly invisible vermin was harmless to humans, but transmitted a devastatingly lethal disease to lizardmen. The reptilian population of the islands was thus quickly weakened by the disease and decimated in the turn of a century and a half or so, allowing the Nithian goblins to dispose easily of the survivors.
In those same centuries, the Nithians began to take halfling slaves from Elegy and Ierendi islands to bring them into other provinces of their empire. The halflings represented an ideal labor force for working in the deep mines of the Hardanger Mountains, so many were transplanted there; that area, in fact, had suffered from a shortage of local Northman slaves, many of which had been transferred by the Nithians in a recently-established colony on the northern coast of Davania. This process completely erased the halfling population from these two islands, and nothing was left of the Hins there. If this was not enough, the Nithians also started to barter halfling slaves for weapon and tools with the orcs which ruled Shaerdon (modern Five Shires) in the 8th and 7th centuries BC.30
At the other end of the chain, in the Colony Islands, the spread of Minrothism and the locals’ pivotal role in the empire’s trading network spared the islands from the introduction of the Entropy-worshipping cults which were imposed in most other regions of the Nithian Empire. In fact, as civil unrest and decline in the Nithian Empire increased, Nithian control over outlying areas like the southern archipelagos waned; this allowed the Colony Islands to assume greater freedom from the motherland, trading both with the pharaoh and his enemies at the same time, also seeing as an unexpected boon the northward migration of the Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians – who reached southeastern Brun from Davania in BC 600 – which further weakened Nithian control over the area and diminished even more the possibility of a resurgence of Nithian power.
The End of the Nithian Domain
In the western islands, the Nithian garrisons left without support from the mainland had an increasingly hard time in keeping the goblin and Makai slaves under control. Nevertheless, the lizardmen’s doom was by then sealed because of the disease the Nithians had brought to the islands. In BC 500, as a last act of vengeance against the ones who had exterminated their own people, the lizardmen shamans performed unearthly magical rituals, invoking the power of their ancestors and deities, and unleashed a final spell of horrible power over the Nithians: Makai legends tell that the settlements of their masters were completely wiped away in a single night by the power of the lizardmen’s spell. By BC 500, both the Nithians’ and the lizardmen’s presence were thus almost erased from the islands; the lizardmen only survived as small primitive clans on Roister Island and in some shallow water areas, far away from the humans.
BC 500 also saw the end of the Nithian Empire as a whole; the Nithian civilization was erased from the surface world by the Immortals it had angered. The lizardmen’s vengeance over them in the western islands was perhaps part of the Immortals’ plan to cancel the Nithian civilization from the Outer World. The Nithians of the Colony Islands, however, were spared by the Immortals because they had never succumbed to the worship of Entropy. The memory of their Nithian past erased from their minds by the Immortals, they began to call themselves “Minrothians” and forgot ever being a colony of the Nithian Empire; they only recalled that the Nithian Empire had been a trading partner of theirs in the north, which now was no more.
The Islands’ Middle Centuries
The disappearance of the Nithian Empire had quite different consequences on the two halves of the island chain which included the modern Ierendi and Minrothad archipelagos, which developed along widely diverging lines in the five centuries before the crowning of the first Thyatian Emperor.
The Goblin Wars in the Makai Isles
In the western islands, after the destruction of Nithian presence, the Makai were free and went back to their everyday life, mostly forgetting having been dominated by the Nithians. However, the Nithians had left in the islands a legacy that had not disappeared with them: the goblin slaves. Deprived of their Nithian masters and of their lizardmen enemies as well, scattered among various islands, the goblins ran amock and began a long series of intermittent tribal wars against the Makai, which were the cause of the demographic stagnation of the islands in the following centuries (BC 500-AC 0). At the end of this age, the goblins had been almost wholly exterminated – only a few tribes survived in some of the uninhabited islands (like Honor Island), and in secluded mountainous and barren areas of other islands31.
Long decades of war favored the unification of a number of Makai tribes under powerful or prestigious war chiefs, who began exerting a certain degree of control over some areas of the islands which fell under their authority. Short-lived Makai kingdoms were born in the latter half of this age; their rulers also started to fight among themselves for the dominance over the islands as the goblin threat gradually waned. Thus were born the first kingdoms encompassing a whole island or a number of them, the most famous and powerful of which was established in BC 178 by King Kapena Kekoa, who managed to achieve control over the whole eastern three-quarters of Ierendi Island; his successor were able to extend their control over Fletcher Island and parts of Safari Island, conquering lesser chiefdoms and settling the wilderness there. Another lesser Makai kingdom of this age was that of Kauhona, who controlled the western side of Ierendi Island and Elegy Island32.
During those centuries the western islands and their Makai inhabitants were largely ignored by other cultures of the Known World. The Hin were slowly rebuilding themselves after the centuries of orcish tyranny, while the Traladarans were in the middle of their Dark Age; moreover, the birth of local Makai kingdoms made possible attempts at conquest much more difficult and costly, and ended up descouraging them altogether. Occasionally, Hin sailors, Minrothian or Traladaran traders, or Thyatian pirates visited the islands, but their presence was temporary at best. There were indeed a few exhiles or refugees, fleeing their homeland for a variety of causes, who were allowed to settled among the Makai, but their number was negligible.
Toward the end of those centuries, the name “Ierendi” – which was the Makai word that indicated the largest island of the archipelago – became widespread as the name of the whole island chain, which became known as the “Ierendi Islands”.
The Colony Islands between Thyatis and Alphatia
In the eastern islands, things went along differently. The trade power of the Minrothians began to decline due to the disappearance of their major trading partner, the Nithian Empire. They continued indeed to trade rare woods and handcrafts with other peoples of the southern Known World, but their profits never reached again the peaks of the late times of the Nithian age.
The Thyatian Piracy and the Alphatian Conquest
More importantly, the rise of the Thyatians in the east turned to represent a serious halt to the Minrothians’ sea trade. At first devoted to expand and colonize the continental lands where they had landed around BC 600, the three Thyatian tribes became more aggressive after BC 500, when they were fully in control of their lands. Their rulers began to sponsor piracy, which after BC 400 became so widespread in this area of the Sea of Dread that all the peoples who lived off its coasts – from the Atruaghin to the inhabitants of the western Isle of Dawn – began to fear the ruthlessness of Thyatian corsairs. Many coastal peoples paid the Thyatians a tribute to avoid being targeted by their pirates, and the Minrothians were one of them. Thus, outward expansion of Minrothian trade and settlement was halted.
But neither could the Thyatian pirates go unmatched. When their raids began to put the Alphatian trade routes in the east in serious danger, and when the latter discovered that the Thyatian mountains were rich in unexploited gold and silver, the Alphatian Empire made its first moves to conquer the Thyatian peoples. The Thyatians opposed a fierce resistance against the Alphatian armies, but eventually were conquered between BC 192 and BC 190. Alphatian conquest of the Thyatians was seen as a boon by other peoples of the Sea of Dread – they feared the distant power of the mighty Alphatian Empire, but were more than happy that its expansion had brought an end to the ever present threat of Thyatian piracy.
The Rise of the Minrothians’ Trade Power
Thus the Minrothians managed to establish peaceful relations with the Alphatians and signed a series of agreements with them in order to keep the seas free from piracy through joint operations. The most important of them was the agreement of BC 180, through which the Alphatians entrusted the Minrothians with the duty to keep the sea routes from the Western Sea of Dawn to the Sea of Dread free from pirates, while giving them possession of the island of Terentias and allowing them to extend their trading network to the Alphatian-dominated Isle of Dawn33.
Thanks to these developments, the Minrothians again expanded their trading network, which for the first time began to regularly touch the settlements of the western coast of the Isle of Dawn, with rarer forays into the Alatian islands and Ochalea. The old capital city of the Colony Islands, Horonak – now called Harbortown by the Minrothians – again became a wealthy center of trade in this corner of Brun.
This renewed prosperity was behind the Minrothians’ new drive for expansion; settlements were built on the lesser islands of the chain, that is Open and North islands, as well as on the newly-acquired Terentias. Blackrock, Fortress, and Fire islands were instead too impervious and barren to be of any interest for the Minrothians. The last two centuries before AC 0 were indeed a time of demographic growth for them.
Alfeisle’s Isolation and the Establishment of Undersea
Meanwhile, in Alfeisle the elves were keeping to themselves, shrouded by their magic, and distantly watching the development of the world around their island. Among the water elves the first opinions against continued isolationism were heard