Aelland is a land of harsh climes and an even harsher history. In a time long ago the land was ruled by an ancient kingdom of Elves and Dwarves.
For many years the two races lived in relative harmony as two separate kingdoms. The Ael lived above the ground and ruled over the forests and plains. This combination of Elves and Gnomes protected the land above. The Dverger, Dwarves and subterranean Gnomes, ruled the tunnels and mines below the land commonly called Aelland.
The kingdoms developed grand structures, the likes the world before had never seen above ground, and below ground great contraptions and machinations existed of equal greatness.
The two kingdoms were united in their defense of a greater evil, of which had a name at one time, but was forgotten as time wore on. As the memory faded of the evil, the two races began to forget why they were allied. Eventually several skirmishes broke out, and both sides pointed to each other for blame. This was the beginning of the Aellic Wars.
The Aellic Wars happened on the year of 506 H. C. (human cycle). During these wars both races committed horrible attrocities, destroying many of the ancient relics that made the two ancient nations great. Worse yet, nearly every elder with any knowledge of ancient lore was slaughtered.
The war ended in HC 570, both sides were exhausted, and neither could truly remember why they began the wars. The Dverger had great tomes that described the atrocities of the Ael in great detail, but even they couldn’t definitively state who began the war or even what it was about. Just as the restructuring began, the conquerors came.
HC 575: The Conquerers, a blended army of Humans, Half-Orcs and Halfllings raided Aelland, destroying whatever was left of civilization, and any ancient relics that remained were either destroyed or hidden away to be forgotten.
It is believed that if the Humans had invaded prior to the Aellic Wars, their primitive weapon wielding hordes would have been easily repelled. Crippled as they were though the Ael and the Dverger couldn’t muster enough resistance to turn back the invaders. Those who would kneel under the yolk of slavery were permitted to live, those who would not were made bloody examples of.
The Conquerors built their capitol on the ruins of the Ael’s capitol and named it Stone Gaard. They followed this format with many cities, building them on top of the ruins of the old cities. The new constructions were a far cry from the towering spires that once occupied the grounds there.
With the slaves brought new knowledges. The Conquerors began building weapons out of steel instead of iron. They learned new construction techniques from the Ael and metalworking from the Dverger. The slaves taught what they knew to their new masters, however the lore of the artificers was lost in the wars.
The slaves managed to keep much of their cultural identity intact despite the shackles of slavery. The new masters only cared that their slaves completed the work they were given, and in most cases weren’t overly cruel.
As time progressed, the slaves became more integrated into society. The Dwarves toiled in the mines below the earth and on the blacksmith’s hearths as they were more stout and capable of manual labor. The Elves were found to be more skilled on more social and dexterous activities, and often served as advisers to their Human masters. Eventually Elves climbed to barely sub citizen status, some Elves even had cross bred with Humans when they had fallen in love with their masters. The Dwarves, with their harder work, felt under privileged and resented the Elves. To this day Dwarves in Aelland use the Human word ‘elf’ in their language to represent an egregious insult for weaklings.
HC 981- This year is called the year of the Bard. The epic of Ganu tells the story in fuller detail, but the abridged version covers the tale like so: Ganu was a Half-elf born to a Human mother. Since he could speak the elders of his small village noticed that he had an enchanting voice. They sent him to the Bard’s College in Noki where he quickly surpassed all of his classmates and whizzed through his journeyman training.
The Grand Tyrant Cornelius IV heard of Ganu and demanded that he come to Stone Gaard to perform. Loathe to defy the Grand Tyrant, Ganu prepared to respond to the summons. The headmaster of the college provided Ganu with the a harp specially made for the event called the King’s Harp.
Ganu travelled to the grand ballroom of Stone Gaard and began to sing a dark battle melody of the days of old for the Grand Tyrant. Grand Tyrant Cornelius IV was so enthralled he demanded another song. Ganu continued into a song of love between two lovers that ended in tragedy when they fell to their deaths on a chance slip. Ganu then seamlessly changed to a lullaby so powerful that the whole room fell asleep. Ganu then slit the throat of Cornelius IV and declared himself king.
His first act as king was to order all the enslaved people to slaughter the remaining sleepers. In one fell strike he managed to destroy the nobility of Aelland with the exception of the Archmage Antidious, who mysteriously chose not to show up at the event.
The next act of King Ganu was to declare publicly that all slaves were now free provided they peaceably followed the laws of the land and would swear fealty to him. The armies of Aelland were full of slave legions as well as citizen levvies and so he had established a militia to defend his new kingdom. Although there were a few minor skirmishes, the king repelled them skillfully and diplomatically, eventually turning foes into friends. Those who didn’t agree with the changes fled with the Archmage Antidious to his stronghold in Darafour.
King Ganu changed the name of Stone Gaard to Harper Hall as a permanent symbol of his victory over the slavers. The city stands as a symbol now of the blending of the races with Ganu sitting on the throne ruling over the kingdoms.
To Current: Forty years has passed and the kingdom has prospered. Many of the enslaved races have returned to their ancestral homes in hopes of rebuilding what was lost, but in the time it has been vacated, many of their homes have become inhabited by dangerous monsters, or are crumbling due to lack of maintenance.
A sense of unity is with the people as they have a common enemy now, the forces of Darafour are building, constantly applying pressure to the borderlands. Minor skirmishes still occur between towns at times due to border disputes, but the law of Thing is extremely effective at curbing these events.