Curse of Strahd/ Lost in the Dark Lake
History of Valecia
Era of Origins
In the beginning of Valecia’s history, Dwarves have always settled in the mountains of the Midwest, now known as the Great Forge, and the elves in the forests encompassing the western coast, known as Lithanan, before the land broke apart and Lithanan constituted of the coastal forest and two large islands. The times after the war of the Gods and the Terror of T’onen’s reign was known as the Era of Origins.
Before the Great Separation of Lithanan from the rest of Valecia, the humanoid races of the continent were more primitive than they are now. Humans were a barbaric race living mainly in the plains east of the Great Forge. The Dwarves lived mainly in the caves and caverns of the Great Forge, but they were the quickest to modernize as they began to develop cities above ground in the mountains, sometime in the middle of the Era of Origins. It was this development that sparked hostilities with the elves whose forests bordered the Great Forge. Such development led to what the elves called “a desecration of the elfish homeland” It was around this time the dwarves discovered a new race that lived within the deepest caverns of the Great Forge. They were the world’s first gnomes/Halflings. These gnomelings as the dwarves called them, adapted to the dwarf way of life. Curious about everything and eager to learn the gnomelings adapted to dwarf society and their technologies quite well. But as years came and went the problems between Dwarves and Elves escalated. Border disputes over the mountains that cut through northern and southern Lithanan led to a meeting between the leaders/founders of each nation. No one really knows what happened at that meeting, mainly because there were no survivors. War was then declared between the two kingdoms, the elves blaming the dwarves for the death of their King and vice versa. Also by this time a percentage of gnomelings had bred with dwarves. This new half-race were known as Halflings and when all-out war erupted the Halflings did not want to have any part of it. So at that time, the Halflings convinced their gnome brethren to travel with them up the Daggerborn River to where they may start a new colony. Though some gnomes stayed in the Great Forge, the gnomes and Halflings traveled an arduous journey up the Daggeborn River beyond the East Iocan Channel and finally settled on the northern Archipelago, calling their settlement Port Hope. Also, the Hill Dwarves of the Great Forge also decided to expand, as the Dwarves ruled through a caste system, Hill dwarves were and the lower level of these castes and found it hard to be successful and flourish. The Hill Dwarves then expanded not only throughout Valecia but sailed to other continents as merchants, fisherman, or explorers, becoming avid and skilled sailors and enjoying the ability to control their own future. It was at this time that the Era of Origins ended and the Expansion age had begun.
The Expansion Age
The Expansion Age started and it was dubbed this because not only had the Gnomes, Halflings, and Hill Dwarves, spread out to the very seas, but the human tribes to the east were expanding and creating their own communities and villages, mainly moving to the south and into the hills of the mid-east. The biggest of these colonies became the city known as Trisdain, named after the family that cleared the area, now known as the Dark lake of Kurayam, of the evil beasts that inhabited it. That event allowed for the founding of many towns and farmland until the family finally settled in the southwest. These events allowed for the founding of the great cities of Bariss and Heaven’s Breath. As years went by and commerce between the three cities boomed, it was decided that a kingdom should be formed but also based on democracy. The king would rule, but many of the people’s needs would be addressed through an Imperial Congress. The kingdom spanned all the settlements between Bariss and Trisdain with Heaven’s Breath being the capitol seeing that it was in the center of the kingdom and a flourishing city. The kingdom became known as Baridain, and it became such a power on Valecia that it created commerce between Lithanan and the Great Forge, although remaining neutral in the Foresthaven War (The name given to the war between elves and Dwarves). Also, in the south, humans settled at the base of a waterfall that they called Diamond Falls. This settlement would, in years to come, be known as Wind’s Crossing. Unfortunately, back in the East the original human tribes fought amongst themselves, vying for land and power. One tribe, sick of the fighting fled to the White Plains to the north of the Baridain's border beyond the hills. Unlike the forces of Trisdain, this group of humans had a much harder time dealing with the vile monsters and creatures that dwelled in this snowy region. This part of Valecia would soon become the most dangerous part of the continent for many years. Meanwhile the Foresthaven War raged on, mainly in the smaller mountains and the forest of the borders between the two nations. The war was mainly fought using guerilla tactics but when open battle was waged Elven wizards and dwarven clerics were used greatly. The dwarves even kept their prisoners in a detention camp in which they kept the captured elves in the last gnome settlement in the Great Forge. The elves had no such camps but that was of course because they never took prisoners. But then one day something dark and mystical happened. In the dark recesses of the Great Forge, in the elven detention camp, demons burst from the fires of the deepest caverns. They killed dwarf, elf, and gnome alike, but not all were killed. The voice of an evil Shetoni rang out and with her evil spell and power turned the skins of the remaining elves, dwarves, and gnomes, black, and twisted their minds to serve her will. She then used her magic to send those new dark races to recesses of the underdark stretching underneath the mountains and grounds throughout the Great Forge, Bariss, and the cold human settlement in the north. After seeing the aftermath of this massacre, the dwarven clerics offered peace to the elves. The elves agreed that far too much blood had been spilled over the years. Peace had finally broken out. The age of Expansion was over and the Era of Peace, dubbed by the Three Kingdoms of Valecia, had begun.
Era of Peace
Indeed, peace had broken out and trade, commerce and technology had boomed. Although, all of Valecia was not without hostilities. The barbarian tribes to the eastern plains and forests still battled for supremacy. Not only that, but the goblinoid races from the north started to come down into these plans and into the hills of Northern Baridain. Also in Northern Baridain, a famous group of adventurers, led by Jonathan Longsword, Denethar Strong, Marcus Quickfoot, and the necromancer Kayus Darkdeath tamed dark caverns of an undead horde found in the underdark below Northern Baridain Mountains. Unfortunately only Denethar and Marcus came out of those mountains. It is still not known what happened to Kayus and Jonathan but Denethar and Marcus went on to lead long healthy lives, Denethar opening an inn in Bariss and Marcus heading a school of magic which Kayus had founded months before. Other than this and the tribal issues in the east, Valecia was in peace. This relative peace lasted for about two centuries. At this time an evil man had slowly taken control of the human colonies to the North. He eventually made his kingdom official by constructing a huge stone wall by raising the underground dwarven settlement creating a chain of mountains that spanned the southern boarders of his country calling it Devil’s Gate. This man would call his kingdom Solas Ghal but the rest of Valecia would come to call it the Infernal Empire. This future tyrant attempted to get into the good graces of the leaders of the three great kingdoms of Valecia by constructing large pyramids similar to one he had built in his own country as a symbol of unity, but shortly after the second pyramid was built, the tyrant led a secret attack in which the evil races of the underdark worked together to destroy Heaven’s Breath and it’s territories by destroying the proper areas of the Great Forge to let the Daggerborn River through and flood miles upon miles of land except for a small part of Heaven’s Breath in which Krysm Darksight, Kayus Darkdeath’s former master and rumored to be Valecia’s first vampire, protected with his dark magic. Baridain was cut in half and therefore destroyed. Bariss and Trisdain remained crippled but remained their own kingdoms, separated once more blocking off Trisdain from the North leaving Bariss to fend for themselves. This brought on, what is known as the Chaos Era.
Naturally, without the combined efforts of Baridain to keep the peace between Elves and Dwarves, a second Foresthaven War broke out as both sides flimsily used the Heaven’s Breath travesty to accuse the other of collusion with Solas Ghal. The tyrant of Solas Ghal then let loose his armies upon Valecia. His wrath was felt for years, conquering the entire Northern half a Valecia from coast to coast, bordering the Great Forge and the Cedorian Highlands. This was, until a famous cleric, Arthur Kayin Macbeth, unified the dwarven and elven nations with the help of Krysm Darksight, Jonas Firestarter (one of Valecia’s great mages) Thorak the Great (an eastern Tribesman) and Ansalis Penalis Strong (of the great Denethar). They waged a great war in which Arthur and his friends freed Valecia from the tyranny of Solas Ghal and took the kingdom for his own, vowing to purify the land and keep the peace. He would also change the name of the country from Solas Ghal which meant in the northern tongue, “the Moonlight” to Solas Brae which roughly translates to “The Dawn of the sun”.
Thus would begin the Reconstruction age for Valecia. Though the continent rebuilt from its brief era of chaos, it was far from peaceful. Dwarves and elves still carried an age old hatred. The human tribes in the east began to battle for land again, and the people of Bariss and Trisdan were still separated by the dark lake of Kurayam which no living being crossed or risk losing their ship if not their lives.