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After having completed the map of my homebrew setting, I have now gone about getting more of the minutia worked out, so that it feels more "alive." One of the major things I have done is placed it in an existing game world: Mystara. To the east of the original D&D Known World, there is a continent named Bellisaria, which I am replacing with Mithgarthr. I just completed a brief history of my land, and have woven its timeline in with the GAZ series time lines, so that my addition flows in seamlessly with the rest of Mystara, and leads up to where my party currently is in my campaign.
History of Mithgarthrby Odinist
This is the land’s history as known to the peoples of Mithgarthr.
Around 500 BC, the Traldar people were in the middle of a Dark Age. Though most stayed in their homeland in hopes that their “Golden Age” would come, some ventured out into the world, looking for greener pastures.
In this time of migration, a group of Traldar led by Wilhelm Karak landed on the south-western shores of Mithgarthr in 475 BC.
Heading eastward and discovering The Great Alfenwald, Karak’s expedition soon met the native elves, who, though suspicious of the humans, guided them out of the Alfenwald and pointed them towards the eastern shores where they could establish a new home.
The land was perfect for the settlers. The soil was rich, the coastal climate warm, breezy, and inviting, and the small mountain range (now known as the “Tralaburgs”) separating the eastern coast from the larger inland helped protect the land from the more monstrous wilderness in the west.
Soon, the city of Karak was founded, and quickly grew prosperous, having established trade with the nearby and friendly dwarves of Barak Tur. It wasn’t long before Wilhelm was named king by his people. He established a kind, fair rule over his new, growing kingdom named Karak.
By 450 BC, Elkin, Teller’s Cove, Riverton, and Middenheim had been established. By 400 BC, Middenheim had grown almost as large as the royal city, and was starting to become a hub of sea-based trading between Alphatia and Thyatis.
The settlers, now known as Karakians, prospered. They established more settlements throughout their lands, and kept open and friendly relations with the native dwarves, elves, and halflings. It seemed that they had found utopia – a land of relative peace, year-long summer, rich soil, and plentiful game. Life continued on peacefully for the next 900 years.
Early in the fifth century AC, the northmen from the Noslo and Kalslo islands started carrying out sea-based raids. For the most part, they struck along the coasts of Ylaruam to their south, and Norwold to their north. However, there were some who ventured further abroad, and it wasn’t long before they landed on the northwestern coast of Mithgarthr.
Finding the land bountiful, and much more hospitable than the cold north, the northmen started to establish settlements along the coast, slowly pushing their way inland.
By around 425 AC, the northmen had discovered the mountain pass leading into modern day Thunder Rift, and they established the first human settlement there which would later become Melinir.
In 430 AC, Drekijum (“Dragonhome”) was established on the southern shore of Dragon Lake. The town and the lake were both named after the fact that the surrounding mountains are infested with dragons.
In 447 AC, a northman by the name of Ulfrath Vikersson saved Drekijum by slaying a powerful red dragon who threatened the town. The men of Drekijum and the surrounding settlements quickly elected Ulfrath their king, and swore their allegiance to him.
In 460 AC, Ulfrath headed an expedition to explore further east. The northmen had found the eastern pass between the northern mountains (now called “Drekibergs” by the northmen) and the southern mountains (“Suderbergs”).
They sailed south from the pass, and when they landed they founded the town of Jarski. From there, they headed southeast, and discovered the town of Riverton.
Surprised at finding a human settlement, Ulfrath raided the town. Some townsfolk were able to escape and rush word to Karak about the invasion. When Ulfrath’s forces came to Mountain Pass Road, they were met head-on by Karak’s army, who made quick work of the invaders.
Karak’s officers captured Ulfrath, and brought him as a prisoner before King Tiber von Vill. Tiber showed Ulfrath mercy, and instead of holding him as a prisoner, soon started treating him as a political emissary.
The two grew a bond of mutual respect, and within a month had come to an amicable agreement about their kingdoms. The land to the west of the Drekibergs and Suderbergs would be known as The Northern Kingdom, while The Kingdom of Karak would remain as it had been for the last thousand years.
In 461 AC, a treaty known as the Mithgarthr Charter was drawn up as an official agreement between the two kingdoms. It was this document that gave Mithgarthr its name.
The two human kingdoms, along with the demihumans, enjoyed peace for the next couple of decades.
In 485 AC, a Karakian named Boroneth Aelness, a powerful mage, started making a name for his self. By 490 he had started amassing a cult of rabidly loyal followers, who began to worship him as a god.
In 493 AC the Northmen witnessed an amazing phenomenon. On the first day of Flaurmont, a giant blue flash of light exploded upwards into the sky, coming from the lands north beyond the Drekibergs, which had remained, for the most part, unexplored. Before the end of the month, a large team of men from both human kingdoms, along with elves and dwarves, set out on an expedition to explore the northernmost lands of Mithgarthr.
Meanwhile, wary of whatever evil Boroneth could be bring about, the elves sealed off the border of the Alfenwald. But out of concern for their human and dwarf friends, they established an outpost in a small forest close to the capitol of Karak, naming it Alfheim. The troops that the elves would provide to support their allies would be stationed in Alfheim, while the rest of the elven kingdom would remain safe in the Alfenwald.
In 495 AC, a small group of survivors from the northern expedition landed in Jarski, barely alive, and bringing with them tales of a horrible, twisted and unnaturally frozen wasteland. They told tales of beasts unlike anything any of them had ever seen, who swiftly rained death upon the expedition.
In 496 AC, a small band of adventurers – Geller McRath, Gurri Bloodbeard, and Swiftmoon Treerunner – led an attack on one of Boroneth Aelness’ outposts, discovering his plan to amass an army of beasts, called Svartalfen, that he had created using dark magic to combine orcs and elves.
The Great War started on the 13th of Yarthmont, in the year 500 AC. Boroneth’s forces descended upon the lands of Karak, coming in ships from the frozen north. Boroneth was over confident, and did not expect the combined forces of the Karakians, the Northmen, the elves, and the dwarves to be waiting on him. The evil hordes of Svartalfen never made it any further inland than Eagle River.
On the 5th of Klarmont, roughly three weeks after the onslaught began, Boroneth appeared on the battlefield. Furious that Mithgarthr hadn’t been conquered in a flash as he expected, he decided to take the fight into his own hands. By sunset on the third day, Boroneth had fallen.
It was shortly after Boroneth fell that the heroes of the battle – Nathanial Firebringer, Pickles, and Wilhelm Murderface, warriors from the kingdom of Karak, and Skwisgaar Skwigelf and Toki Wartooth, warriors from the Northern Kingdoms – ascended into immortality. Within 100 years, they were worshipped as gods throughout Mithgarthr.
The celebration and revelry that followed over the next few years provided enough distraction that Boroneth’s cult was able to successfully tie up their loose ends and sink into the shadows, without the good peoples realizing they hadn’t been eradicated. Once they went into hiding, they remained silently waiting for the next five centuries.
By 520 AC, the elves had started to withdraw from the lives of the other races. Even though they were happy that a common evil had been stopped, they realized that Boroneth was human, and had the humans never settled this land, this would have never had to happen. Although they kept a small presence in Alfheim, they became increasingly reclusive. By 650 AC, contact between the elves and the other races was almost unheard of, and most who ventured into either Alfheim or the Alfenwald were never heard from again.
The dwarves and halflings, however, continued growing their relationships between the human kingdoms, which in part helped Middenheim become a major trade hub known throughout most of Mystara.
The times following The Great War lulled back to the peaceful ways the land knew before Boroneth, and five centuries passed before Mithgarthr was threatened again.
In the year 1,000 AC, on the eighth day of Klarmont – exactly 500 years after Boroneth fell – his cult made their first strike in ages on the town of Teller’s Cove, north of the Royal City of Karak. A band of adventurers from Teller’s Cove set out on a mission to find and destroy artifacts called Rakentors that supposedly contain fragments of Boroneth’s soul.
On the 18th of Fyrmont, 1,000 AC, the town of Logerton is destroyed by Svartalven.
On the 23rd of Fyrmont, 1,000 AC, the band of heroes that set out to destroy Boroneth’s soul makes the discovery that they had been releasing it. Boroneth Aelness is once again unleashed upon Mithgarthr, but must regain his power before he attempts to conquer the land.