A Brief History of Modern Umbranthal

From The Kingdom by Dorarsigit Forgeriver

I sit to compose this history on the 11th of Donnar in the 937th year of Savsor. The winter nights are long and lend themselves to quiet reflection and composition. I hope this summation will serve you well. While the scope of this work shall focus principally upon the Alhberg Kingdom, it’s history, formation, and the modern era, it is, I believe, best to ensure the readers possess a common framework for understanding our modern age and the prevailing political structures.

Perhaps it is best to begin before our age. Our bards tell stories of Vindsavsor – the age of warming winds and retreating ice – that foretold the coming of our current age. It’s often said that the sight of a squirrel gathering nuts in the northern city of Hammsen marked the day Vindsavsor gave way to Savsor. While this story is charming, and perhaps has some glimmer of fact, we trace the modern calendar to the reign of Gikirk who united the Dwarven tribes as the Alhberg Kingdom. Gikirk commissioned his sages to study the legends and the stars to understand the movement of time. It is in honor of his most wise mage Darian Runefell that our Darian Calendar gets its name. 

To be sure, there are myths of the time before Vindsavsor – Aptirsavsor – that say Umbranthal was a field of ice, and in those days the peoples of the land scavenged for such meager food as could be found. Alas the time of Aptirsavsor is lost to history, and as such should be excluded from our current study.

Runefell set year One of Savsor as the year in which Gikrik forged the agreement among the many tribes bringing about the Alhberg Kingdom we know today. As the other people’s of the known lands of Umbranthal – the continent we now know as Ulottava – had yet to have the foresight to band together under such agreements the Darian Calendar has come to be universally accepted across all of Ulottuva

In the generations since our Kingdom was formed we have watched as other major powers have come to the fore across Ulottuva. 

To our south, across the Vorfin Mountians lies the Commonwealth, often refered to as the Central Imperium by those of us wise enough to see their crass imperialism for what it is. The current political power of the Imperium is invested in the Praetors: Forbertus, Avin, Otgivan, Ingund, and Aega, humans all. Alas, like so many humans, they take a remarkably short sight view of the impact of their actions on the whole of Umbranthal. While this is disappointing, the consensus among both our scholars and the Elven sages of Faljar is that the brief time humans live must place a psychological limit on their understanding. More’s the pity. Yet the Imperium is to be well regarded for their industry and exploration. While we Alhbergs have enjoyed the bounties of our region and used our time for great invention and storytelling we have never elected to venture far from home. It was only with the Imperium’s discovery of Clausthal in 810 Savsor that we even came to know there was another land, with its own peoples and ways, so close at hand. I shall speak more of this in time.

South of the Imperium lies the Politeia of Faljar, and it’s Elven dominated city-states. With their refined magical schools and fine architects the Elven mages undoubtedly provided much of the early knowledge that enabled the growth of the Imperium. However, much as we, they have found the political forces of the Imperium encroaching on their territories – most notably the disputed region of Habrok. While there is a tenuous peace there now, it is only some two centuries in the past that war between the humans and elves did much damage to that beautiful land over claims to its mineral riches.

This of course brings us to the relatively recent discovery of Clausthal. Explorers from the Imperium set forth looking to see if there were islands they might mine for minerals and gems. These explorers sent back word that some 30 days beyond their western shores lay an uncharted land. This of course prompted expeditions by both the Elves and our own explorers.

By best reckoning, after little more than a century of exploration, Clausthal is estimated to be roughly fifteen percent the size of Ulottuva. To my shame, I know little of the native tribes and clans of Clausthal. The knowledge – if I can even claim such a word applies – I have gained comes from the accounts of travelers, explorers who have spent but a brief time on the shores of Clausthal themselves. It is home to many peoples – including tribes of monstrous races that bear striking resemblance to, but seem to have little in common with, the beasts we civilized people still contend with from time to time across Ulottuva. 

I can say with certainty that at the present most of the continent remains an unexplored wildland. Small cities have developed along the coasts, with each of the Ulottuvian powers exerting influence over the larger of the port cities. The smaller coastal cities, villages, and hamlets are reported to be more independent, having sprung forth as a means of trade, exploration, and communication, as such the relative political affiliations with these colonists and their mother lands seems to be negligible.On balance the native populations seem to welcome the growth of trade and relations with the representatives of the Imperium, the Polietia, and our own Kingdom and a comfortable peace seems to be endure. Of course there is worry in our court that this new land will become contested in the way that Habrok once was because of the reaching hands of the Imperium.