The land of Cerilia
Cerilia is a troubled land. A chaotic patchwork of nations, cultures, and religions is scattered throughout the land. Wars and feuds are common; even peaceful lands must vigilantly defend their borders against expansive neighbors and the plots of awnsheghlien. There can be no lasting peace until the Bloodlines stand united and end their eternal conflict.
Yet even though the history of Cerilia is a tragic one, there are glorious moments too. Strong kingdoms and rich cities stand from the Sea of Storms to the golden waters of the Dragonsea. It would be the labor of a lifetime to create an exhaustive list of Cerilia's divided realms, its towns and villages, and every dark forest or vine-covered ruin.
In the Royal Observatory of old Anuire, cartographers traditionally divided Cerilia into five regions: Anuire, Rjurik, Brechtur, Khinasi, and Vosgaard. Each was named after the principal people who dwelled there. Of course, over the years the boundaries of kingdoms shift and fail. In many places, the lands have fallen wild, or been claimed by one of the awnsheghlien.
A brief history of Cerilia
When you understand how history molded the peoples of Cerilia, you will better understand the way it is today. Humans were not always the dominant race of Cerilia. The true natives are the elves and dwarves, the keepers of the forests and the guardians of the mountains. For centuries, they lived peacefully alongside each other, because each had its own enemies to fend off – the humanoids.
Gnolls, goblins, and orogs swarmed through Cerilia. Creatures of night and darkness, these humanoids lived where the elves and dwarves shunned. Yet they constantly raided, traveling through the dwarven mountains and the elven forests to take treasure and lay siege to the humanoid encampments. Matters continued in this vein for hundreds, even thousands of years.
Then came the humans. Five tribes, the Andu, the Brecht, the Masetian, the Rjuven, and the Vos, fleeing from the domination of decadent empires and the wrath of an evil god, crossed a land-bridge into Cerilia from the southern continent of Aduria, and began making new homes. A sixth tribe, the Basarji, joined them from the lands beyond the Dragon Sea.
The Cerilian wilderness was thus touched by the hand of man, and would never be the same again. Cerilia's dwarves, concentrating on holding back the orog forces, had little time or inclination to investigate or negotiate with the humans. The invaders, likewise busy, had more important things to do than to brave the mountain passes the dwarves called home. The two races eventually developed an unspoken agreement with the other, namely, that humans were welcome in the mountains as long as they caused no trouble and would somehow contribute to society.
The elves, on the other hand, were competing with the humans for the most beautiful land in Cerilia. At first, the elves thought they could live in mutual enjoyment of the forest, and this arrangement worked for a time. The presence of the humans drew the attention of the humanoids that constantly raided through the forest. Despite the ferocity of the humanoids, the humans proved to be resourceful enough to stand fast, and eventually the humanoids were beaten back. Not long after such battles became commonplace, humans began looking to elven lands as places for expansion.
The elves were fiercely resistant to this, for they had fought long and hard to keep their lands. When the humans began to force the elves from their ancestral homes, the elven leaders began the Gheallie Sidhe, or Hunt of the Elves. Elven knights roamed the lands held by the elves, slaying any humans they found trespassing in their borders. Woodcutters and peasants gathering firewood were slain as brutally as the warriors that would-be kings sent to conquer the elven realms. It was all-out war between the two races.
Still, the elves were pushed back year after year because of an element they had never seen before – priestly magic. The elves could call upon the forces inherent in wood and water, field and air, but had never worshiped deities and thus couldn't understand this new source of power. The human priests were the deciding force against the elven expertise in magic and combat; the gods favored humans to such an extent that the elves found themselves practically powerless.
The fair folk conceded the plains, the hills, and the coasts to the upstart humans, and withdrew to the sanctity of their forests, concentrating their efforts on destroying any human foolish enough to venture there. The only ones who did were those seeking elven knowledge or seeking revenge on the elves for their atrocities. Only rarely did either kind ever return from the woods.
- See Also: History of Cerilia