The History of Humankind
In the world of Ryyah, humans have existed alongside Elves, Dwarfs and Orc kind since the end of the Age of Darkness. Before that time, they were unknown to the Elves and why they began appearing after the long stretch of Darkness is a mystery to the Elven Scholars. Before the Elves discovered that humans could be used for their purposes, they referred to all humans as barbarians, a term which has remained in use in modern times, although there is a distinction in human type now. The nomadic humans are a warrior type, who wander the world of Ryyah as hunters and gatherers. The settlers, a smaller and more sophisticated race, had more of a tendency to band together and build small, thriving communities. It was this type that the Elves found easiest to organize into kingdoms and manipulate for their needs.
Humans of the settler type developed the beginnings of a civilization with the help of the Elves and were used as warriors and soldiers in the Twilight Wars. Most Elves viewed humankind as inferior creatures because of their propensity for violence and chaos against each other. Much of their history revolves around warfare and violence of some type, leading the Elves to believe that humans could not be fully civilized.
During the early years of the Twilight Wars, the high Elven forces were outnumbered by the Shadow Elven Empire. The high Elves were losing many of the early battles due to the Shadow Elves’ use of human warriors, known as Veal’mearion Mace men. These men could carry into battle giant stone or iron maces that could destroy an enemy’s shield in one single blow. High Elves had never encountered such a devastating force and were forced to consider other methods of combating this ferocious enemy. The solution that they came up with was to unite the tribesmen of the southern Kshearry Plains settlements, forming a cohesive force that evened the odds and eventually helped push the Shadow Elven Empire back into the western continent of Ryyah.
Within the world of Ryyah, there are only two accepted human kingdoms - the Kingdom of Veal’Mearia, which is secretly controlled by the Shadow Elves, and the Gorrenddo Republic, which is currently controlled by the high Elves. This group is allowed to self-govern themselves to a degree.
History of the Gorrenddo Republic
The Gorrenddo Republic was founded in the Twilight Age. After the Twilight Wars had ended, the high Elven people decided to create a buffer state of humans to guard the lower border between the Shadow Elven Empire and the Kshearry Plains. They sent a group of Elves, led by the Southern high Elven general, General Gorren. General Gorren, of the house of Torsenvile - an Elven house known for producing great governors and generals - was assigned the impossible task of creating a human kingdom from the scattered tribes that lived in that part of the southern Kshearry Plains. General Gorren founded the human city of Gorrenddo, which he named it after himself, and in the early days of the republic he used this location as a base of operations to begin civilizing the primitive humans that lived in that part of the world.
The early days were unsettled and troublesome, as the humans were of different tribes that would normally be at war against each other if not for the recent war that had brought them all together under the banner of the high Elves. General Gorren began teaching them the Elven concept of managing a government as a Republic, where each individual tribe would be represented by elected representatives for certain amount of time, until elections were held again. This form of government was slow to catch on, but when it did the city of Gorrenddo became a beacon of hope for all civilized humans and the Eastern continent of Ryyah. After General Gorren completed his task, he returned home to the southern high Elven kingdom in honor, and lived there for the remainder of his life until he died in the early First Dawn Era.
History of the Kingdom of Veal’Mearia
Veal’mearia is a kingdom that lies north of the Shadow Elven Empire. The kingdom is made up of human barbarians who grow, on average, to a height of 6’5” to 7’ tall. These giants of the human race revere the sacred animal, the great “Veal’mearion grizzly”, for which the culture is named. The bear, when standing on its hind legs, can tower up to ten feet tall and has powerful claws that can kill a man with one blow. The grizzly is the dominant predator in that part of the world and any warrior who succeeds in killing one these great creatures gains great renown and honor amongst his people. These warriors are held in high esteem by the war chieftains and are often granted special favors, such as better housing, multiple wives and the seat of honor at the grand feast. Within the Veal’mearion people’s language, the word “Veal’mear” roughly translates to mean “people of the bear”, although the word has multiple meanings and there is no exact translation.
The people are a warrior race, reknowned for their use of giant maces in combat to subdue and overpower their enemies. They were discovered by the Shadow Elves and thought to be very useful as shock troops in the Twilight Wars. The kingdom had its beginnings when the opportunistic Shadow Elves backed one of their warring chieftains for leadership and helped him to subdue the other Veal’Mearion tribes. The kingdom has changed leadership several times throughout its history because within the Veal’Mearion culture, only the strongest lead and any tribesmen can challenge for the leadership by engaging in Mortal Combat to the death. The victor of the battle must be accepted by the witnesses and offered the title of Warlord for the entire Veal’Mearion people. Once a leader has been accepted, he takes the seat of power in the great tribal city of Corragal, which is the ancestral city of all the Veal’Mearion people. The Shadow Elves helped to build this city and have an embassy there to this day.
The Shadow Elves consider the kingdom of Veal’Mearia to be a slave state, but because of the Veal’Mearion people’s warrior pride, the Shadow Elves do not disillusion them of their supposed sovereignty. Instead, the Shadow Elves manipulate the power structure through the tribesmen and it is generally known, even by the Veal’Mearion barbarians, that whoever the Shadow Elves back for leadership will always succeed. For this reason, the Veal’Mearion war chieftains always seek the aid and the backing of the Shadow Elves. This chaotic system of government has been in place since the Twilight Age and continues today.