Patria has seen several races come from other worlds – usually in mass migrations and there are few if any native races left on Patria. It is believed that six legged reptilians were the first races and perhaps even the only truly native races. Dragons of all types represent the original native sentient race. Races that derived from that stock – like ‘lizardfolk’ and kobolds – have lost two of their limbs either through natural selection or magical alteration as four limbed races and life became more common. What is known for certainty is that humans, elves, halflings (Kareena) and gnomes (Chergari) were imported from other worlds. The good dragons brought the elves to Patria so far in the past that even the immortal elves have only the vaguest of memories of the event. The elves in turn imported the Chergari and the Kareena before they imported the humans as part of their plan to find allies against the prophesied horde of goblinkind (which depending on the source were imported by evil dragons before or after the good dragons imported the elves).
Each race on Patria has its own history. What is below is history from the human perspective. It is told by Quintus Claudius Iberious Scipio – a historian from the city of Bostra, the capital of the largest human kingdom – The Republic of Nova Magna Mater.
The bulk of the history of Patria is rumors and legends passed down. So much knowledge was lost in disaster of the Great Plague and the Horde Wars that it is impossible to separate fact from fiction from wishful thinking. It was said the Elves claimed that draconic races – some extremely advanced – preceded them and that Dragons themselves are the last remnants of these races. What is known is that fragments of fragments of several extremely ancient reptilian societies are discovered from time to time. What happened to these civilizations and their peoples has been lost to time.
The Immortal Elves came to Patria so long ago that not even they really remember a time before Patria or how long they have been on Patria. As immortals their view of time and history is fundamentally so different and so alien that even reducing events to a chronology never made much impression on them – maybe as immortals they lived outside of time itself. A few and ambiguous fragments suggest that there was a great war between good and evil draconic races and that either the elves were brought to Patria to help fight for good and the evil forces responded by creating humanoid monsters or the evil draconic races created humanoid monsters and the good draconic races responded by bringing the elves from their place of origin. Perhaps the desolation on the western half of the continent is the product of the war between the draconic races.
Some point in the mists of time the dwarven deity Moradin created the Dwarven Crown and crafted a race for its own reasons. The dwarves remained aloof from any squabbles of other races for what they called 40 dragon ages – “a dragon age” is translation of a Dwarven phrase that means an extremely long time. 40 of them stagger the mind. For reasons either unknown to them or carefully hidden from outsiders, thousands of years before the humans came to Patria, the dwarves abandoned their birth place and took up new homes in the Nixnidus Mountains.
The origins of the Kareena and the Chergari are muddled and each independent group seems to have their own version of what happened and why – what little is consistent is that the elves came to them and offered them a new home in trade for services to be rendered – much the same bargain the elves offered our ancestors.
From what could be pieced together from several different sources, it seems that about 15,000 years ago – maybe longer for it is hard to say with immortal elves and their strange sense of time – the greatest diviner among the elves had a vision of destruction. The days of the immortal elves were to end in a tidal wave of goblinoids and other foul creatures. The vision was so horrific that it killed the diviner before he could interpret it. The elves began debating what to do about this prophesy. Could it be avoided, was it a fate sealed, would actions taken to avoid it only guarantee its coming? In the end the elves decided to find allies to help them against this coming horde. They went searching beyond Patria for new allies. It was this search that led them to Terra Prime, the elves took several tribes of humans – mostly people that would have died in disasters or surplus population looking to find new homelands. About 1,000 years ago the elves brought these tribes of humans to Patria and settled them in the south west corner of the main landmass. Humans being humans immediately started causing trouble by fighting among themselves.
While the different allied races/new settlers grew in strength and numbers, the elves continued to debate alternatives. Eventually the elves split into two groups. One that viewed the coming horde as a vast forest fire – a natural event that couldn’t be avoided and one had to get out of the way or be destroyed and that the diviner had foresaw Elvin arrogance creating their own destruction. This minority argued for the creation of a new Elvin homeland in some undiscovered land – maybe even going to one of the hundreds of worlds they had explored in seeking allies. The other group believed that if the goblinoids races could be destroyed then they could never form a horde in the first place. This majority argued for the creation of some magical plague that would decimate and even kill off the goblinoids menace once and for all.
The minority argued that the slaughter of entire races – even ones irredeemably evil as goblins and orcs was so foul that the gods could never forgive it. Such an act would make elves worse than goblins in the first place. Failing to win the day, these elves removed themselves to lands undisclosed and remain there. It is rumored that one day they will return – when it comes time to drive the Horde from their lands.
The majority then approached the dwarves to seek their aid in creating this plague. After decades of persuasion, the dwarves eventually agreed to help. Soon a plague unlike any before was burning through the lands of the goblinoids. The magi and priests of the humanoids combated the plague as best they could and began working to change it. Using unwilling sacrifices by the hundreds of thousands, they worked a transmutation of the plague into something that would not affect their people but would affect those who viewed them as enemies.
Soon the transmuted plague was carried into elven lands by raiders and in a matter of less than a decade almost 9 in 10 elves were dead. The plague slowly spread to the dwarves and from them to the humans and other demi-humans on the far side of the Nixnidus Mountains. The plague had a similar result among the dwarves – about 9 in 10 of their race fell to the plague. It is believed among many today that the Kareena and the Chergari were the carriers. This is because both races that traded heavily with the dwarves and the elves. Today, in punishment, the Kareena are either slaves or outcasts in human lands and the Chergari wander about the lands – often being met with fear and scorn. The Kareena and Chergari both suffered greatly losing about half of their people. The plague had a slightly different affect on the humans. While 4 in 10 of the normal humans died, 9 in 10 of those who could wield magic died – including priests.
Even with the catastrophic effects of the plague, the elves were able to hold the Horde back for over a century before their last city was destroyed. It took the Horde about fifty years to reduce the Dwarven strongholds. Whereas the Horde only attacked one elven city at a time, it invested all major Dwarven strongholds at the same time – preventing each stronghold from sending aid to the others. It is asserted that this change in tactics was because of the arrival of Asadon.
While the plague was ravaging the civilized races, the humanoid magi and priests raised a demon leader called Asadon. When the Horde began its assault on the elves it was little more than a random collection of war bands rarely following a coherent plan or strategy. Asadon rallied other lesser demons and allied all the humanoid races for a great horde bent on revenge. By giving the humanoids a coherent vision and plan, The Horde was able to put an end to Elven resistance after almost a century of protracted fighting and success based only on sheer numbers.
It was late in the siege of the Dwarven strongholds that the plague reached human lands. The plague itself burned through human lands in a few years and reappeared only in very rare occasions. At the time, the humans were united into a single empire with regional differences in cultures. The united empire was maintained by both an unbeatable army and a deification of a line of emperors’ running back to the first human arrivals. The plague wiped out the entire provable line of human emperors. With the army ravaged and the symbol of their unity destroyed, humans began fighting among themselves as regional and cultural leaders seized control and established their own smaller kingdoms. While most would be emperors tried to grab the whole, the few really successful contenders seized smaller chunks and sought to establish some form of order amid the chaos. It was during this chaos that the first elements of the Horde appeared in human lands.
At first the fighting was local and easily handled but each year the attacks got larger and better organized. By the tenth year the attacks were large enough and organized enough that the various human rulers started to recognize the need for more organized resistance. As typical of humans, their squabbled over who would lead the combined forces and each argued for the primacy of their region as the center for resistance to the Horde. It was into this disorder that the Paladin Nestor appeared. No one is really certain from where he came; the sources suggest a number of different birth places. What is known is that he made a name for himself in the lands now called Ara Pacis or North Caius in small raids and his ability to unite different local lords into a coherent fighting force. Still it took the appearance of Asadon himself leading a vast army in the lands of Darcia that forced the various human armies to unite into a single army. Gathering what forces he could, Nestor met the main Horde army in the foothills in western Darcia. The army was built around a core of paladins from most human faiths and what volunteers could be raised. In a series of bloody battles, Nestor’s army slowed the Horde and gave the various human leaders the time to bring their armies to the Shield Wall. The Shield Wall is a network of canyons and rocky lands that lie between the Nixnindus and the Hordehold Mountains that lies to the north of Nova Magus Mater.
Over the next month, the Horde and the combined human army fought in canyons and choke points where the superior numbers of the Horde counted for little against the superior fighting skills of the humans who had honed those skills during their factional fighting over the prior fifteen years. On the thirty third day of fighting, Asadon’s personal guard surrounded Nestor’s core army. As the forces clashed, Nestor sought out Asadon for personal combat. As the two clashed, their respective forces paused and withdrew to give the combatants room. The fight has been described in many sources with extreme graphic descriptions that can only be considered fanciful. All sources agree that the fight ended with Nestor removing Asadon’s head and the Horde breaking under a rush of energized human warriors. Following the death of Asadon, the Horde began breaking apart but generally being driven back to the Nixnidus Mountains.
It was as the last large segment of the Horde was being driven out of Darcia and back into the Nixnidus Mountains that an arrow found Nestor’s armpit as he raised his sword to direct reinforcements to a particular area of the fight. The arrow must have been cursed with particular infernal magic for the wound resisted all healing efforts. Nestor died a week later.
Lacking an immediate threat and a symbol around which to rally because Nestor had no heirs, the human lords again started squabbling among themselves. Exhausted by the fighting most human tribes retreated to their homelands and turned to smaller disputes. For the last four hundred years we humans have been content to squabble among ourselves and nations have mostly solidified – for now.