How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
For some people the Last War is hopefully the “last” war ever to ravage Khorvaire. For some people, it just happens to be the “last” war that occured, and the next is soon to come. Either way, the Last War, stretching from 894 YK until the peace of 996 YK, has made Khorvaire what is today.
The Five SiblingsDuring the reign of Galifar, Khorvaire was known as the Five Nations.
- Breland included what today is known as Droaam, the Shadow Marches, and Zilargo. It was reknown for its industry, agriculture, and forward-thinking politics, but it was reluctant to engage other nations.
- Aundair included the Eldeen Reaches and land now occupied by Thrane (notably Thaliost). It was known for its high arcane acumen and plentiful agricultural harvest, but was sharply divided culturally and economically.
- Thrane was a fairly different shape, oriented in the east by Scions Sound, and in the west by the shore of Silver Lake. Always known for its strong connection the Church of the Silver Flame and fertile lands, the country lacked a wide military tradition or geographic barriers on its borders.
- Karrnath included the Mror Holds, half of the Talenta Plains and the Lhazaar Principalities. It was known for disciplined laborers and militias, as well as famous strategists from the Rekkenmark Academy, but it lacked sustainable food stores.
- And Cyre, soon to be known as the Mournland, included Valenar, Darguun, Q’Barra, and the southern half of the Talenta Plains. It was cultural and diplomatic center of Galifar, with a healthy industrial sector, but it lacked military numbers, and was seen as presumptuous (a reflection on their princess).
As the system had been established originally with Galifar, the Five Nations were ruled by the scions of the Wynarn line, and their father ruled as king over the entire continent. King Jarot sat in Thronehold, Princess Mishann ruled Cyre, Prince Thalin ruled Thrane, Prince Wrogar ruled Aundair, Prince Kaius I ruled Karrnath, and Princess Wroan ruled Breland.
When Jarot came to the end of his life in 894 YK, the consensus was that, although Mishann was the oldest and therefore eligible, Thalin would named regent and hold the real power. But Jarot held to the rules of succession and named Mishann queen of Galifar before he died. This also meant that Mishann’s children would become prince-governors of the five nations, displacing her four siblings. Wrogar stood by her, but the other three siblings quickly joined forces to refute her claim to leadership.
- 894 YK – The Last War Begins
- 896 YK – The Establishment of the Order of the Emerald Claw
- 897 YK – Kaius I Allies Karrnath with the Blood of Vol
- 910 YK – Kaius II Comes to Power in Karrnath
- 914 YK – The Mror Holds Declare Independence
- 914 YK – The Theocracy of Thrane Established
- 918 YK – The Destruction of Sharn’s Glass Tower
- 928 YK – The Kingdom of Q’barra is Founded
- 956 YK – Valaes Tairn Mercenaries Establish the Kingdom of Valenar
- 958 YK – The Eldeen Reaches Gain Independence from Aundair
- 961 YK – King Boranel Ascends the Throne of Breland
- 962 YK – Zilargo Allies With Breland
- 965 YK – The Birth of the Warforged
- 969 YK – The Lhesh Haruuc Establishes the Kingdom of Darguun
- 972 YK – The Shadow Schism and the Birth of House Thuranni
- 976 YK – The Order of the Emerald Claw is Outlawed in Karrnath
- 980 YK – Queen Aurala ir’Wynarn’s Reign over Aundair Begins
- 986 YK – Droaam Becomes Independent of Breland
- 987 YK – Breland Abandons Droaam
- 990 YK – The First Elemental Airships Enter Service for House Lyrander
- 991 YK – King Kaius III Comes of Age in Karrnath
- 993 YK – The Voice of the Silver Flame Chooses Jaela Daran as the New Keeper
- 994 YK – The Day of Mourning
- 996 YK – The Signing of the Treaty of Thronehold and the End of the Last War
- When Jarot died, he told Mishann that she would succeed him, and made her brother, Wrogar, pledge to support her. The princess quickly gathered her retinue and left Cyre for Thronehold. But the other three siblings had very specific objections. Kaius I still dreamed of Karrnathi-lead Khorvaire, Thalin claimed holy visions compelled him to take the throne to spread the faith of the Silver Flame, and Wroann wanted to take the transition as an opportunity to spread democratic values throughout the continent. They placed armed guards at the gate of Thronehold, and Mishann, unarmed, returned to Metrol, where she declared herself Queen of Galifar. The three objectors quickly declared themselves kings and queens of their respective nations, and assembled military forces.
- Mishann planned to meet Wrogar and his forces at Thronehold, but was blocked by Thrane naval forces, so she retreated to the southwest to meet up with the Aundair rangers. Outnumbered, the Aundair and Cyran forces retreated after a short battle, chased by newly arrived Karrnathi forces. Months later, Mishann offered a compromise of splitting Galifar into two or three pieces, but Kaius goaded his fellow objectors to keep the offense up.
- Brelish, Thrane, and Karrnathi, forces laid siege to the Cyran port of Eston in late 895 YK, but Cannith defenses kept them at bay long enough to begin quarreling, and the first two nations abandoned the attack, while Kaius had to retreat in response to massive food shortages. He defended his borders from Cyran raids with the help of the new Order of the Emerald Claw. To claim an offensive position, Karrnathi troops crossed the White Arch Bridge and occupied Thaliost, but food shortages continued, and the army retreated.
- At this point, the Karrnathi government took up close ties with the Blood of Vol, and their fortunes improved until a plague struck in the east. Taking out a third of the military, the plague allowed the Aundair navy to occupy Scions Sound and the enemy armies to occupy large chunks of Karrnath. As a dire last resort, in 898 YK, Kaius authorized the widepread use of undead soldiers to drive back the invaders. Unfortunately, the move also ruined diplomatic relations with two other nations.
- After a campaign of aggression, Karrnath was struck with a second plague, and fought to slow occupation. Kaius joined Thalin for a second siege of Eston in 903 YK, but the plague, the Cannith fortifications, and Aundair ranger forces stopped the siege again. After the siege, Brelish forces cross the Seawall Mountains, invaded Cyre, but were slowed by a isolatiing winter, withdrawing in 908. After Mishann’s assassination by the Emerald Claw, new King Brusst began overtures for an alliance with Breland against Thrane.
- In 909, aerial battles and troops became more common, and Kaius II succeeded his dead father. Thrane aggressively occupied Brelish land, although they were allies on paper. Breland struck back, joining Cyre at the Lurching Tower. After months of loss and gain, the Thranes took the tower in 911. Breland responded with the deployment of new floating fortresses. King Brusst was soon after assassinated just like his mother, and invaders pushed at both ends of Cyre. Karrnathi troops disengaged when Aundair pushed east into their land again, and meanwhile, the Mror Holds declared themselves independent in 914, feigning military alliance with Karrnath while war profiteering.
- Thalin died in 914, and Flame zealots pushed the Diet of Cardinals to take over the government, and in a year, Thrane became an inquisition state, ejecting and executing foreigners and suspected “non-believers.” The Silver Legion and Pure Legion raised thousands of faithful but untrained conscripts. In 919, over 40,000 Thrane troops crossed the Brey River, and Brelish inaction and confusion amongst goblin mercenaries gave the Pure Legion a bloody victory.
- Wroann died in 919, causing Brelish engagement to shrink back even further, and Wrogar died in 920, severing a crucial tie to the Eldeen Reaches. The large Thrane armies tried to take back land from Aundair, but their lack of supplies and experience help perpetuate a stalemate. Brelish King Kason tried to hire a demon mercenary army, but the announcement of his death at their claws drove the Thrane army into a frenzy over demonic alliances. In 924, they crossed the Greenhaunt Forests, occupying much of Northern Breland. Amidst crop failures, Breland pushed the Thrane back to a stalemate.
- In 926, a Thrane spy revealed an Aundair offensive into their west bank. Taking advantage of troops withdrawn from the east, Thrane attacked and occupied Thaliost. Aundair retaliated with a purge of Silver Flame followers, and later that year, took more western Thrane land, but Thaliost stayed occupied, revolts squashed by the Diet of Cardinals. Meanwhile, in 928, a fire split the White Arch Bridge, on which no reconstruction has been attempted, and thousands of conscentious objectors left Cyre to found Q’Barra.
- The new Brelish King Boranex held back Thrane offensives, but occupied lands saw atrocities and fored conversions. Finally elements of the Church started to pull back extremist policies, apologizing to the Brelish and signing an armistice in 930. Meanwhile, King Connos of Cyre attempted to occupy the Talenta Plains to establish commerce with the Holds and Lhazaar princes, but the halfling tribes beat back the invasion. Stretched thin, Cyre left Metrol open to a massive and savage assault by the Karrnathi army (40,00 troops total), who almost destroyed the town. Connos used the defeat to drum up diplomatic support, and Breland and Thrane cut their alliance with Karrnath.
- As revenge for the Sack of Metrol, Cyre troops occupied northern Karrnath after the Karrnathis suffered another food shortage and the assassination of their highest general (for a planned coup d’etat). The Karrnathi military delayed the Cyran and Aundair invaders until the winter of 930, and the five years afterwards were mostly quiet, as all forces rebuilt. Kaius II retook some Talenta land by holding chieftains hostage, and a new Brelish floating fortress cleared northern Breland of occupying troops.
- Starting in 936, Cyran troops besieged the southern Karrnathi countryside around Korth, but were driven back in 940. Meanwhile, a new Keeper of the Silver Flame started to moderate policy (opposed by a young Cardinal Krozen). In 937, House Cannith produced a set of clockwork steeds for the Thrane cavalry, which inspired Cyre to fund the development of construct soldier that would eventually become the warforged. As Cyran troops left, Aundair attempted a siege of Korth as well, but short supplies and the succession of a new prince complicated matters.
- In 942 YK, two massive forces gathered in the Talenta Plains; 15,000 Cyrans and 20,000 Karrnathi (living and undead). Halfling scouts found a magical Cyran trap, and the Karrnathi military was able to advance, but the Cyrans held them off despite inferior numbers. Unfortunately, Connos died in battle, and Cyre was left with the manic-depressive Dannel as their queen. In 944 YK, Aundair capture the Thrane city of Lathleer in a seemingly bloodless coup.
- In 948, Cyrans and Thran troops fought over central Khorvaire, until halfling mercenaries pushed back the Thrane forces (on their own initative), and then promptly left. The three nations in the region fought over the area, but no significant gains were made. The city of Vathirond, central in the region, even declared neutrality to avoid being destroyed. The Battle of the Crying Fields in 955 is one of the most famous of the war, where a young Darro’s leadership of 13,000 Aundair troops to hold off 23,000 Thrane. The fields now erupt with ghostly re-enactments on a regular basis, teeming with the thousands of souls who lost their life in that battle.
- In 955, a Thrane Cardinal named Yesik began to speak out against the war, creating a tumultuous internal debate. The ensuing invasions rallied the Thrane public behind the war once again, and Yesik went into exile, advocating peace. Later that year, in response to extensive bandit activity and negligence from the Aundair crown, the Wardens of the Wood swept the Eldeen Reaches clean of crime and sabotage, creating a climate of tension between west and east Aundair. Valenar came into being the next year (956), with little resistance from the Cyran crown. Inspired, the Reaches announced their independence in 958 under the leadership of the great living tree, Oalian.
- King Aarott attempted to retake the Reaches in 959, but was driven back by the more experienced and terrain-saavy natives of the Reaches (Aarott died there in 961). They also drove back an invading force from the south of Brelish forces. In 960, Kaius II died, and his son, Jaron, promised a more aggressive military stance for Karrnath. A dying King Boranex ordered the mining town of Cragwar retaken, and the massive assault on Aundair forces took his two older sons, leaving Boranel to inherit the throne.
- Jaron ordered the siege of the Thrane city of Shadukar, and after the ruthless troops ran short on supplies, they burned the city to the ground as they left. The loss drove the Diet of Cardinals to sign a truce with Breland. Meanwhile, the autonomous land of Zilargo announced their alliance with Breland in 962, insuring protection from Boranel but also subtly declaring independence. Also, 965 was the year that Thrane and Karrnath traded blows, Thrane ships besieged Korth, and Karrnathi troops invaded Thaliost.
- 965 marked the widespread use of warforged troops and titans, beginning in Cyre. By the end of the war, over a hundred thousand had been produced, and almost 30,000 survived. Meanwhile, Cyran negligence to its southwest allowed Lhesh Haruuc to declare Darguun a sovereign nation. Brelish nobles convinced Boranel to invade the new rebel nation, but poor planning lead to a massacre at the Battle of Marguul Pass, trapping an entire mobile fortress and killing 8,500 Brelish soldiers (including Boranel’s son). Boranel cleaned house and returned to traditional Brelish reluctance.
- In 971, the Cyran army, heavily aided by warforged, spent two years breaking through Korth’s defenses, only to be held back at the gates of the royal palace, and then driven away by an army of undead lead by Princess Moranna, Jaron’s sister. The king had died during the defense, as well as his eldest son, but the Princess acted as Regent for the infant prince, Kaius III. Meanwhile, a Aundair invasion stalled in Thrane.
- Following heated exchanges between Karrnath and Thrane, a small Thrane contingent firebombed Rekkenmark, bringing a political backlash, even from Keeper Tagor himself, who used the incident to remove hard-liners. Also in 975, Aundair’s military reclamation attempt retreated from the Eldeen Reaches, ending hopes for a whole Aundair. Finally, 976 brought the end of Karrnath’s endorsement of the Emerald Claw, which Moranna banned, jailing and excuting hundreds of officers and knights.
- Following Tagor’s attempts at moderation, Cardinal Krozen and other hard-liners used public anger to push an offensive over the Brey River into Breland, breaking the armistice. Boranel lead troops, heavily aided by warforged, to a victory pushing the Thrane back past the Lurching Tower. Warforged earned a special regard in Brelish society from that point on. 978 was a year of allied entanglement. Keeper Tagor encouraged a Thrane-Cyre alliance to attack Karrnath, but before a deal was settled, hard-line Thrane troops crossed into Breland. Cyre did nothing to aid its new partner, because of long-standing peace with the Brelish. Thrane broke off relations, and Cyran troops attack Arythawn Keep in southeast Thrane, leading to a massacre by warforged troops.
- Queen Aurala was crowned the new monarch of Aundair in 980, and spent the next five years making sure her nation had the time and resources to rebuild. Her overtures to Valenar elves and Lhazaar pirates strained diplomacy, but allowed new mages to be trained and defenses reinforced. Breland also worked in these new halls of power, establishing a secret alliance with Darguun after a key victory against the goblins. 983 saw the most dramatic and mysterious of the campaigns of the Last War. 100,000 Thrane troops marched under the command of extraplanar generals called the “Messengers,” occupying most of northern Cyre. The Messengers gathered a series of relics and documents, claiming they had holy significance. Later the next year, they ordered the forces back to Thrane and the generals disappeared.
- 986 was an important year in Brelish history. The Daughters of Sora Kell claimed indpendence for Droaam, and Boranel signed an emancipation for warforged into law, conditional on Brelish military service (drawing many foreign warforged). Meanwhile, a Breland-Darguun allied army retook northern Breland from Thrane. A year later, the Battle of Cairn hill (including over 80,000 troops) was fought over the land. Although outnumbered, the Thrane forces used goblin greed to create gaps in the Brelish line. The Thrane took heavy casualties, but the Brelish retreated, breaking ties with the gobins. Breland had more troubles that year when the last human settlers were escorted east of the Graywall Mountains and Boranel gave way to the Sisters’ forces. House Tharashk quickly stepped in to establish a mercenary network for the new abundance of free non-humans.
- Across the continent, High Prince Rygar declared the Lhazaar Principalities an independent entity, organizing the pirate fleets against invaders. In 988, Breland broke ties with Cyre to hire more Valenar mercenaries, undermining Queen Dannel. In response, she recgonized Darguun and began hiring vast amounts of goblin mercenaries. To counter, Boranel made peace with Thrane, stirring some discussion about a return to monarchy for Thrane, but nothing definitive came of it. 989 marked the first working airship prototype, and the last ten years of the war saw a small but significant amount in the service of armies.
- Regent Moranna fell out of favor in 991 after two disastrous invasion attempts; a naval strike with Lhazaar pirates on Sharn, and an undead assault on the Mror Holds after House Kundarak refused to extend her credit. A newly adult Kaius III stepped in, paying off the dwarves and marrying an Aerenal princess. In 992, Thrane began accepting warforged troops, excluding them from Flame worship. Shortly after, Tagor passed and was replaced by the young Jaela Daran. Jaela attempted to broker peace with Queen Dannel, but the old monarch planned an invasion of eastern Thrane (aborted later) and stubbornly held to her claim of the throne of Galifar.
- Dannel ordered an invasion of Karrnath in 994, targeting Atur, which ruined the ancient city. Declaring victory, the troops made their way back to Cyre, chased by angry Karrnathi troops. While that battle raged in the north, a joint Brelish-Thrane force of 30,000 marched into the southwest of Cyre, only to be slowed by Cyran troops with a home advantage. Then, on Aryth 11, the sky filled with gray and Cyre was ripped apart by unknown magical forces, becoming the Mournland. Hundreds of thousands died in the Mourning, and tens more were died as refugees were turned away or slaughtered by distrustful neighbors.
- Boranel began discussions of a permanent peace, driven by the grief of losing his daughter in the Mourning. Jaela quickly joined, aided by the weakening of the military wing of the Diet. Most people suspected that Aurala hoped to dominate peace talks, and unexpectedly, Kaius III joined in, even proposing the recognition of the new independent nations, including the Mror Holds. An anti-peace contigent was revealed after a massacre, and the talks became more popular. Boranel used his political capital to expand warforged emancipation and exclude Droaam from the talks, and Kaius’ support engendered enough goodwill to win him aid in the midst of a famine in Karrnath. Aurala attempted to reclaim Thaliost, but no other nation would support her. The Treaty was signed in 998, and the war was over.