Return of Xoriat
Distance allowed Breland to develop in ways that were distinctly different from the other human nations. While each of the human settlements that eventually became the Five Nations took root in the rich land surrounding the Scions Sound, the ancestors of the Brelish nation felt confined along the shore of the Brey River. The original settlement, built near where Aruldusk stands today, was quickly abandoned and its people moved south, following the river until they found a site that pleased them. The original nation of Wroat grew up around what is today Vathirond.
The frontier nation didn’t stop there, however,and soon those within the settlement who wanted more open space and more freedom continued to move south and west. It was about 2,400 years ago that Breggor Firstking led most of the pre-Brelish settlers to fertile fields where the Howling and Dagger Rivers converged and established the nation of Wroat.
Meanwhile, as the humans of the Lhazaar expeditions landed on Khorvaire’s eastern shores and migrated inland, one of Lhazaar’s most powerful lieutenant’s struck out to map the southern shores of the new land. With four mighty warships and more than a thousand warriors, Malleon explored the coast of southern Khorvaire. Along the way, Malleon earned the name “the Reaver” as he plundered the settlements of goblins, gnomes, and lizardfolk he discovered. Then, about twenty-five years after Lhazaar first led them to this new continent, Malleon sailed into the Hilt of the Dagger River.
When Malleon first set eyes upon the ancient city on the bluff, a city that would eventually grow to become the greatest in the land, he knew that his days as an explorer and pirate had come to an end. Malleon and his loyal warriors conquered and enslaved the goblins and erected a fortress atop their ancient ruins. What was once Duur’shaarat and would one day be Sharn now belonged to Malleon. He named the place Shaarat.
For six hundred years, Malleon, his warriors, and their descendants built Shaarat into a powerful and wealthy city on the bluff overlooking the Hilt. By this point, Breggor Firstking had established the nation of Wroat some 500 miles north along the Dagger River. It was inevitable that the two settlements would come into conflict. Breggor wanted Shaarat for his own, but Malleon’s descendants refused to yield. The siege of Shaarat lasted for almost a year before Breggor ordered his wizards to destroy the place. Shaarat fell, but Breggor claimed the ruins and renamed the city Sharn. Over the next eight hundred years, the towers rose and the city grew, becoming the second jewel in the nation of Wroat’s crown.
The glory of Sharn was lost during the last days of the War of the Mark, when the remnants of the aberrant mark forces took refuge in the City of Towers. Rather than fall before the onslaught of the armies of the pure dragonmarked houses, the leaders of the
aberrant mark forces destroyed themselves and their followers in a display of arcane power that left Sharn in ruins. The city remained abandoned for more than five hundred years.
It was Galifar I, king of the newly united kingdom, who came to the City of Tower’s rescue. In 35 YK, Galifar ordered Sharn to be rebuilt so that it could serve as the southern bastion of his kingdom. It took more than five years to make a portion of the city habitable, thenanother fifty years for the towers to rise over the ruins, but by 150 YK, Sharn was well on its way to becoming the largest and most powerful city not only in Breland but in the entire kingdom.
Meanwhile, the rest of the nation grew and prospered. It maintained ties with the other nations, and when it became part of Galifar’s united kingdom, it served as a valued and powerful realm within the larger country. But the distances between Breland’s capital and the seats of power of the other Five Nations allowed for new ideas and attitudes to develop. No matter how prosperous and large Breland became, it was always seen as “the frontier” by the other nations. And on this frontier, new ideas such as personal freedom, inalienable rights, and individual thinking thrived.
Today, Breland stands as a benign monarchy that combines a system of heredity and nobility with an elected parliament. (The parliament existed prior to the creation of the independent kingdom of Breland, during which time it helped the governor-prince administer this portion of the realm. Wroann established it as a true legal force in 895 YK, shortly after the start of the Last War.) Of course, some feel that the monarchy should be supplanted and replaced by an elected leader, but King Boranel remains firmly in command. Still, no other nation enjoys such power, such diversity, and such freedom for the majority of its citizens. The opportunities are endless, and the wealth of ideas that flow from the cities to the countryside is truly amazing.
Bartis Lonn, a wheelwright from Galethspyre, shares his thoughts about foreigners, and his opinions reflect those of Breland’s popular majority:
“Magic is all well and good, and Breland has as much arcane might as anyone, but the Aundairians drink up magic the way they drink their fancy wine—quickly and to excess. They fought well during the war, but we could have beaten them.”
“This is the greatest country in the world. We have the greatest king, the strongest army, the largest cities, the most land. We’re all about freedom and hope and honor, and while we’re extremely humble, we also know that we’re the best in all the land.”
“King Boranel has extended the hand of friendship to these poor souls, so who am I to disagree with the king. Still, you have to wonder what they’re doing out there. They even named their settlement New Cyre. Is that sad or what? And a little disturbing, if you ask me. This is Breland, after all, not Cyre reborn.”
“We’re trying to live in peace with the goblin nation, but I’d like to see some evidence that those savages are doing the same. I hear that their leader isn’t as in control of the place as he made out to be during the Treaty of Thronehold meetings.”
“Monsters of all kinds live to the west. Nation? Not likely. Savages, that’s what they are. King Boranel once met their champion in single battle. Did you know that? Beat that ogre to within an inch of its life and then let it go. His heart’s too big sometimes. Too big.”
“We fought the Reachers more than once during the war, and both sides remember the pain and suffering those battles caused. Still, trade with the Reachers is good, and I love it when Eldeen fruits reach the market near my home.”
“We didn’t fight the Karrns very often, but when we did we gave as good as we got. That’s a powerful and scary bunch living up there in the cold. Makes them hard and formidable. And more than a little cranky. And what’s all this talk about using undead to fight for you? Creepy. Still, I’d rather trade with them and drink with them than fight
“Pirates every one of them. They even tried to take Sharn by sea once. Or was that Karrnath? When a Lhazaar ship appears in the harbor, though, you hold onto your purse with one hand and your sword with the other and hope they’ve come to trade not plunder.”
“A land of true friends to crown and country. The gnomes have done right by us over the years, and I think we’ve done right by them.”