A Brief History of Harn

Millennia ago there were the Earthmasters, or Ancients, who ruled the world. Some say they were the children of the gods. Their every need and whim was fulfilled through magic. For some reason, they disappeared, but a few of their artifacts and buildings remain.

Then the elves and the dwarves arrived on Hârn, fleeing an unknown evil in their homelands. For thousands of years they ruled Hârn. But then men came. During this period, the Henge Culture appeared in southeast Hârn, building circles of stone monoliths. Most of the barbarian myths say that the tribe came to Hârn from somewhere else. At first, the elves and dwarves ruled over the newly arrived immigrants, but as their numbers increased, the elves relinquished control of Hârn and retreated to the Shava Forest. No one really knows why they did this. The elves said that it was no longer the time of the Elder, but now the time of the men. To the dwarves, this was betrayal.

This was followed by further migrations of men. Kingdoms rose and fell.

Founding of Melderyn

In the year 0TR, Erebir Pendragon unified the five kingdoms of Melderyn and founded a new state. Depending on who you talk to, Melderyn was built on the foundations of enlightenment, or of sorcery. In any case, Melderyn remained aloof from the rest of Hârn for centuries.

Lothrim the Foulspawner

Lothrim, a powerful mage, decided to build an empire that would rule all of Hârn. So he imported (some say created) a race and army of Gargun. Soon, all of southern Hârn, except for the elvish kingdom of Evael, was under Lothrim’s control. Lothrim was obsessed with the Ancients and their artifacts. Most believe he was insane. In the end, his vision exceeded his grasp, and he cravenly attacked and pillaged a dwarvish city. His defeat at the hands of the dwarves was not long in coming. This occurred at the battle of Sirion.

The Corani Empire

In the wake of Lothrim’s fall, several states rose and fell in the west. Out of this came the Corani empire, which subjugated many barbarian tribes. Eventually, most of western Hârn was under one rule. But decadence began to rot at the underbelly of the empire, and when the evil Balshan Jihad began during the Red Death, Coronan was not long in falling. Many folk, tired of the Corani tyranny, welcomed this. The region was ruled by the subsequent Theocracy of Tekhos for many decades.

The Seven Kingdoms

Six states in the east gradually arose after the defeat of Lothrim. These, with Melderyn, comprised the seven kingdoms. But the emerging Gargun threat forced many barbarian tribes into conflict with the new states. In the aftermath of numerous minor wars, three kingdoms emerged, Kaldor, Chybisa and Elorinar. Kaldor and Chybisa were at siege with the barbarians, but Elorinar was on the verge of defeat, when its king swore fealty to the island kingdom of Melderyn in return for aid. The barbarian tide was turned.

Eastern Hârn

Fleeing the Theocracy of Tekhos, many inhabitants of the City Aleath fled east in a fleet of ships. They were granted a charter to found the city of Thay. At the beginning of the fifth century, Chybisa had to swear fealty to Melderyn in order to survive barbarian raiders. But in a succession crisis, Chybisa seceded from the island realm, and became independent once more.

More recently, Kaldor got involved in the Salt War with Tharda, then with Chybisa, which they won. Chybisa once more sought the aid of Melderyn in exchange for fealty. With help, Chybisa raised an army and won back their lands, only to renounce their agreement with Melderyn. It is said that King Chunal of Melderyn only laughed when he heard the news.

The kingdom of Orbaal attacked the Melderyn city of Thay, and laid waste to much of the countryside. They were never able to enter the city though, and tried again a few years later. Unfortunately, their fleet of a hundred dragonships were dashed upon the rocks of Cape Renda during a freak storm, which some claim was raised by the mystics of Melderyn.

Western Hârn

When the Theocracy of Tekhos began its rule in western Hârn, the people realized that they had exchanged one oppressive dictatorship for another. But with the eventual assassination of the Theocrat Horahnam, the theocracy was reduced to shambles in months.

Out of this emerged the kingdoms of Kanday and Tharda. The kingdom of Rethem, the last holdout of the Theocracy, was conquered by Arlun the Barbarian. More recently, Rethem underwent numerous revolts, and got entangled with Kanday in Ezar’s war. The armies engaged repeatedly, to little effect. After an assassination attempt in 694TR, Kanday was in a state of holy outrage, and Rethem quickly sought terms.

But then Kanday got involved in a war with Tharda in 712TR over a misunderstanding over border provinces. Kanday ended up losing control of a few areas.

Current Situation

In the west, the border between Kanday and Rethem has been subject to numerous skirmishes between their respective religious fighting orders. Neither kingdom trusts Tharda with its radical government system. They are waiting for the republic’s internal decadence to defeat Tharda from within.

In the east, the king of Kaldor is on his deathbed with no heir. A succession crisis is imminent. The hand of Melderyn rests lightly upon its mainland fiefs. They could at any time claim their rights to Chybisa. But Chybisa is also claimed by Kaldor. Both are trying to avoid all out war over the tiny kingdom.

In the north, Orbaal has settled down to petty squabbling among its kings and lords. The occasional raid upon a coastal settlement is still to be feared. And of course, between these pockets of civilization are the barbarian tribes. And all fear the possibility of the Gargun united under a new conqueror

A Brief History of Harn

Leriel Brandon