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This article discusses the Principality of Kharolis, not to be confused with the nation of Kharolis that existed prior to the Cataclysm.

South of the forest of Wayreth, there is a small region known as Kharolis. This land is home to many small towns and communities that are mostly independent of each other. Much to the confusion of historians, post-Cataclysm Kharolis was not the same land as pre-cataclysm Kharolis. They are indeed two different and distinct nations that have been confused over time. Although the names were similar, the regions were not. The pre-cataclysmic land of current Kharolis was called the Principality of Kharolis and was a province of the Empire of Ergoth. The current region of the Plains of Dust further to the east was originally named Kharolis and was a sovereign nation. Many historians were completely puzzled when they compared maps of the different time periods because it appeared as though the land of Kharolis moved over a hundred miles west after the disaster. This history details the story of the westernmost region that today is known as Kharolis.

Age of Dreams

For many years this region was known as the Harrowsky Hill Country. It was a wild region that acted as the borderlands to the large merchant nation of Kharolis (Kharland) in the east. Home to bandits, sovereign warlords, nomadic tribes, and coastal pirates, the land had proven to be a difficult region to conquer much less maintain. It did however prove to be a successful buffer between the ever expanding Ergothian Empire and the nation of Kharolis.

For years, the nation of Kharolis and the Ergothian Empire had been at odds. Originally starting as a trade and territory dispute, the situation had escalated to a full war by 2421 PC. The war lasted for ten long bloody years, crippling both nations. Unable to withstand the constant Tarsian raids on the Ergothian coastlines, the emperor mustered a massive military force to travel south and finally put an end to the war. The Ergothian forces crushed the Tarsian army and brought the great city of Tarsis to its knees. The capital city of Tarsis agreed to end the war and surrendered on the terms of paying large reparations in gold and a reduction in the size of its navy fleet. The nation was able to keep its sovereignty however the Ergothians made it clear that they would continuously maintain a presence on their borders to ensure Ergothian dominance. Ergoth claimed all of Kharolis’ borderlands west of the Kharolis bay and south of the mountains. This region became a new province that was soon dubbed the Principality of Kharolis.

Although the Tarsians had surrendered, Ergoth never felt that they would be able to truly let their guard down. Because of this, the great imperial fortress of Six-Dunes was built to maintain the Ergothians' hold on the land and to ensure that the Tarsians would never again wage war on the Empire. For many years, the lord marshals of the region ruled from Six-Dunes and were able to subjugate the land under an iron fist. Eventually the capital was moved to the new city of Alsip along the Bay of Ergoth. This city had a small port and it made the region more accessible to Ergoth proper. In time the settlements of Pensdale, Valens, Swiftwater, and Than-Khal sprang up along the countryside as more and more settlers cultivated the land. The massive fortresses of Vash and Waw were built to maintain the central region while also ensuring protection from the Dwarves in the North.

In 2128 PC - 2073 PC, the Principality of Kharolis was one of the primary fighting grounds for the War of the Mountain. Disputes with the dwarves over borders and mining rights eventually led the Empire of Ergoth and Thorbardin into a long drawn out war. Most of the Ergothian mining was done in the northern city of Klanath however the dwarves also raided the Principality of Kharolis in the south. With attacks focusing from the dwarven fortress of Mann, these raids were carried out to establish the dwarven borders and to keep Ergothian reinforcements from arriving from the south. With the destruction of Klanath and the signing of the Swordsheath Scroll, the war came to an end. The elven nation of Qualinesti was created as a buffer between northern Thorbardin and Ergoth proper and the dwarves stopped raiding the Principality of Kharolis in the south.

After the war, a peaceful era ensued. The fortress of Windkeep was constructed around this time. This was not due to war, but more because of dangerous creatures roaming the land in the north near Wayreth. Overall, the Principality of Kharolis was situated in an isolated region that kept it away from most of Ansalon’s disputes. This peace maintained itself up until the Cataclysm.

Age of Despair

After the Cataclysm, Principality of Kharolis underwent many changes. The southern part of the land quickly started to freeze killing off most of the agriculture. To make matters worse, a large migration of ogres and goblins moved into the area also seeking survival due to the effects of the disaster. They swiftly invaded the southernmost settlements forcing the inhabitants to flee northward. The Ergothian lords sought help from Ergoth proper however they soon discovered that their great empire had been devastated and had mostly collapsed. The former Ergothian lands were now nothing more than a group of separated islands. Unable to control the land, violence erupted towards the Ergothian lords. Years of resentment towards their brutal rule led many of the people to revolt against their lords. Many of the lords decided to travel northward to the former Northern Hundred province where it was rumored that many of the Ergothian lords were gathering. Others chose to stay thus stepping down from their ruling positions and swearing off their Ergothian linage.

After the downfall of the Ergothian lordships, the settlements in the province became restructured. Most of the settlements became independent of each other in rule however some still kept ties and alliances to help in the overall defense of the land. The region became known simply as Kharolis as the inhabitants dropped the provincial part of their name. The true merchant nation of Kharolis that was once in the east simply ceased to exist. That former eastern nation became known as the Plains of Dust with its ancient capital of Tarsis controlling only a fraction of the lands that had once surrounded it.

By the mid Age of Despair all of the human inhabitants of the region had migrated and resettled in the northern part of the former Ergothian province. The former southern lands now belonged in their entirety to the dark creatures that had overtaken the region. Despite the constant attacks from their southern neighbors, the humans had been able to keep a defensible position at the ruined fortresses of Vash and Waw thus marking a new southern border.

By 350 PC, the region of Kharolis found itself overwhelmed with Silvanesti refugees fleeing from the east. The elves told of great horrors that had overtaken their homeland forcing them west. More and more elves arrived in Kharolis in huge numbers seeking water passage to the west. Within only a year the entire continent became engulfed in the War of the Lance. Takhisis’ dragons from legend filled the skies and attacked settlements throughout the land. The settlements of Kharolis were forced to hold out against aerial attacks from Red and White dragon patrols while at the same time battling the ogres and thanoi in the south. Their southern neighbors had suddenly renewed their raids after rallying in service of their dark queen Takhisis. Throughout all of this turmoil the folk of Kharolis endured. After hearing of the fall of Tarsis, the folk of Kharolis began to prepare themselves for an expected invasion. Settlements that had not communicated in decades found themselves allied in a common cause. Luckily the invasion never came. The dark armies collapsed by 353 PC. Although some remnants of the Dragonarmies still controlled some of the southern lands, they were not in any position to expand into Kharolis.

For a brief period of thirty years following the war, the region of Kharolis prospered. The dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin in the north finally reopened its gates and trade was established with the settlements of Kharolis. Further to the east, the lords of Tarsis rebuilt their city and began to accept Kharolish and Dwarven tradesmen. Between these three lands, the entire region saw a resurgence in trade that has not been seen since before the cataclysm.

Age of Mortals

Unfortunately this prosperity was not to last. War once again raged across the land as Ansalon entered into the Age of Mortals. With the coming of the great dragon Beryllinthranox and the Dark Knights, the land from northern Qualinesti to the entire region of Kharolis became enslaved. The Dark Knights quickly overran the region’s border and took control of all the settlements. All resistance was quickly crushed and the land fell beneath the iron grip of the dragon overlord and her minions. The great dragon summoned powerful magic and reshaped the land to her liking. The northern forests expanded southward into Kharolis and soon covered the land. Settlements that were once in open plains found themselves in the midst of a major forest. Farmlands and lesser towns were abandoned because the land was too densely forested to farm. Travelers would often remark at the oddity of seeing entire settlements that had been abandoned after having massive trees sprout through streets and buildings.

In present day Kharolis, after nearly thirty years of occupation, the great dragon overlord Beryllinthranox has been finally defeated by forces in northern Qualinesti. Although now without their dragon overlord, the Dark Knights continue to administer the land. The Dark Knights are still very powerful however without the Dragon Overlord’s guidance; many believe that the Knights are starting to lose their way. Pockets of resistance fighters have begun to appear in most of the settlements. Rumors of minor revolts have spread throughout the land thus encouraging more to oppose the repressive regime. At current time the resistance fighters are too disorganized to attempt an overthrow of the Dark Knights, however they are definitely gaining power. To many Kharolish people, it is believed that freedom from tyranny is only a short time away.

References

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