I. The Arrival

In the year 0 A.A. (After Arrival), many dragonships full of wild and warlike humans landed on the coast of Forostar, the northern land. They were on the run because of a terrible war against an insect-like race which had devastated their homeland. They took their families and all of their possesions with them and sought a new land to settle. When all had arrived, they burned the dragonships to destroy the only way back, so that everyone would stand together, whatever dangers the new land would bring. Finally they built the city of Arborea (named after a gigantic oak which grows in the heart of the town) near the coast at the bay of Ar-Samrach and started to harvest wood from the surrounding forests.

II. The Elves

The arrival of the humans caused great agitation among the elves who lived in the southern forests of Forostar. Some of the elves had the opinion that it would have been better to drive the humans back into the ocean while they were still too weak to resist the united army of the elves. But others thought that it was the duty of the elves to help poor and weak beings, and that the humans should be supported. These elves soon reached a majority, and representatives of humans and elves met in the capital of all elves: Eal-Deliah, the most beautiful town which had ever existed. But when the humans saw the wealth of Eal-Deliah, evil thougths came into their minds, and they became greedy and envious. They declared war upon the nation of the elves.

III. The War

After this, a long and bloody war began. At first the elves were victorious because of their superior tactical abilities and weapons, but the humans learned from their enemies, and more and more battles were won by the humans. To support their troops, the humans built the Western Road, which still leads to a now abandoned mine. Next to the mine, the humans built farms and cut trees to clear land for their pastures. The elves had to leave their traditional homeland and were driven back into the northern forests. Eal-Deliah was plundered and completely destroyed by bloodthirsty warriors. As the elves had to retreat more and more, they called upon their friends, the small people called halflings, for assistance. The halflings did what they do best to support the elves. They stole everything they could get from the humans and shadowed the humans whereever they could. As these little fellows were so sneaky, it took a very long time until the humans discovered the first halfling. This wasn’t enough to repel the humans, but with their food and raw materials disappearing, the humans had trouble equipping and supplying their soldiers. It didn’t take long before the tide of the war turned against them. Desperate for metals to replace their weapons and farm implements, the humans drove their tunnels deeper and deeper into the mountains. The dwarves, who lived deep in the mountains apart from the other races, were disturbed by the constant sound of falling hammers and picks. As they saw what the humans did to their beloved mountains, they became angry, and ordered the humans to leave. In their need, the humans ignored the warning of the dwarves. Never known for their patience, the dwarves soon attacked the humans and drove them away from the mountains. The ruins of a castle on the Western Road still show the signs of one of these battles. Fighting now against three other races, the humans had to retreat into their capital, Arborea. Whole districts of Forostar were devastated and death was a regular visitor. The humans paid a high price for their greed and treachery. There was no family which didn’t mourn the death of a child or a relative. The land was empty and barren, there were too few people to farm the fields, and famine walked the land. When the young king of Arborea died in the battle of Bragach Ealadar without leaving an heir for the throne, the humans were nearly broken. But it would soon become much worse….

IV. The New Enemy

The insect-like race the humans had fled from was not content with their conquest of the human homeland. They followed the humans to Forostar to complete their work of destruction. However, it was not the humans they found first, but the elves. From the majestic walls of Arborea the humans saw with horror how the insects slaughtered the elves. Knowing they were too weak to stand against the insect-like race if the elves fell, the new leader of the humans, Grimont, started an assault to rescue the elves. Standing together, the humans and elves were strong enough to defeat the insects. Faced with this common danger, the humans, elves, and halflings signed an armistice. However, the humans now needed the resources from the Western Road more then ever, and they returned to the mines and the farms they had been driven away from by the dwarves. The dwarves, infuriated by this new intrusion of the humans, sent a party of sixty dwarves to Arborea to punish the humans. These warriors never arrived. On the way, the party was ambushed by fifteen insect-warriors. A quarter of the party had already been slaughtered, when two hundred human soldiers arrived to support the dwarves. Together they beat back the insects. The surviving dwarves, somewhat grateful for their rescue, returned to the mountains and reported this incident to their king. Seeing the danger, King Trommin ceased the war against the humans. To protect the small settlement of the humans and their own mountains, the dwarves built the massive stronghold which overlooks the western road, high above the ruins of the human castle, in less than two weeks. Now that the four races had a new enemy, their leaders met on the fields of Arborea and signed a peace treaty. They began to unite their forces to drive the insects away from Forostar, but the soldiers of all four races had been exhausted by the constant battles, and the insects became stronger and stronger.

V. The Turning

One day an old human mage remembered an ancient ritual he read about in one of the oldest books of mankind. Knowing that he would need at least eight other mages, he called for assistance. Soon some followed his call. This group of powerful mages, four humans, four elves and one halfling, met on a small clearing in the northern forest to perform this ritual. About five hundred human volunteers, male and female, joined them. These five hundred brave warriors became the first tshahark, magically manipulated humans with yet unknown powers. They now had saurian features, which gave them great strength and protection, but their tails and scales made them look very strange. Soon the tshaharks started what they had been created for and left a terrible trail of blood wherever they met the insects. Watching them fight, it did not look as if they even knew the word ‘mercy’. The humans, elves and halflings were frightened by the cruelty they saw, but on the other hand they were relieved as the tshaharks brought the hoped for victory in this war. However, it also spread the battlefields that the insects, no longer the superior force, now hid in the forests, where it was hard to track them. During this period troops often drove deep into the southern forest, where they sometimes found the corpses of insects and catlike creatures. Soon the rumour of another race deep in the southern forest sped across Forostar. But no one ever found proof of this other than the corpses. The war took another sixty years until the insects were driven from Forostar, but the catpeople were never found.

VI. The Aftermath

Now that the war was over, voices were raised that the tshaharks weren’t necessary anymore and that the magic that had been cast on them over the years should be ended. Remembering the cruelty the tshaharks had shown, the mages that kept the mana flowing stopped their ritual at once. But to their surprise, nothing happened. The descendants of the first tshaharks no longer needed magic to retain this form. They had become a new race. Now that it was impossible to get rid of the tshaharks, gratitude turned into hate and fear. Wherever the tshaharks lived, they faced rejection. Soon the tshaharks congregated in the mountains of Giat where they met the dwarves. The dwarves, knowing the fate of the tshaharks, gave them a place of refuge in their mines. Being thankful for this, the tshaharks helped the dwarves in their fight against the dragons that also inhabited the mountains and after two years, it looked as if they had killed all of them. Word of this refuge spread, and more and more tshaharks arrived in the mountains. Soon the mines grew too small to hold them all, and the dwarves searched for a new place where the tshaharks could live. They remembered the castle they had built, and the tshaharks moved to this new home. Many of them were weary of fighting now, and the only thing they wanted to do was to sleep. Sleep for weeks. Deep under the castle the dwarves built large caverns with beds for all the tired ones. There, they lay down and one of the rare mages amongst the tshaharks casted a spell that made them sleep for weeks. But some parts of the caverns which were very hidden, were forgotten and no one ever woke the tshaharks sleeping there. So there they still sleep, though from time to time, a single tshahark wakes up and returns to life again.

VII. The New Age

After the tshaharks had left into the mountains, the life in Forostar soon became more or less normal again. Each side learned from the other and today all the races profit from the trading. But none of them were able to forget what had happened in the past….