Shards of Ar'dalan
Why do ______ hate ______ ?
This page hopes to explain the subtle nuances of the Shards of Ar’dalan campaign, and why certain NPCs behave the way they do. By providing various dates and references to the timeline, this page should give you an easy reference for character motivations, either to reinforce or reinterpret the narrative as you choose.
Humans are a short-lived race compared to the many other magical denizens of Ar’dalan. And while they have existed alongside other races since the Age of Awakening, they have a relatively short memory of events. While their earliest encounters with other races are lost to their own scholars, the Elves always seem poised to offer perfect accounts of all wrong-doings.
While the earliest encounters with Humans have been shaky with Elves, several monarchs have had made the attempt at peaceful cohabitation of the continent. These moments of peace with the Elves culminated, to Humans, into the War of Sanguine Letters, sparked by the fall of House Anhelleth. A war lasting three generations, it bred a hostility in Humans that hasn’t abated in many parts of the Three Thrones.
With Humans as the victor of the War of Sanguine Letters, they sought to find peace (however tenuous) with their neighbors. During a time of political uncertainty, the newly crowned Rha’mad Deikar had his vision, and began petitioning his House of Lords for funding his Holy War. The end result of his campaign being the formation of what would become the Third Throne; recognized much later into the reign of his successor. While politically unpopular at its inception, its prophetic outcome emboldened the humans of their claim, further agitating the races of the continent.
As it stands, all major trade between the Three Thrones and the Elven Kingdoms until further dialogues with their neighbors are resolved. This policy however is undermined by the Kingdom of Uj’teva and the Dwarven Holds who see no point in joining that economic loss while their own disputes are still to be resolved.
These all form the major contention that permeates the modern Azemoran political landscape, whereby Elves reject the divine right of Humans and Humans distrust the narratives of Elves.
The antagonisms of Dwarves and Humans is tenuous at best, and cautious to provoke the other. Neither are naive to the other’s capability but often their visions of justice clash; usually quite literally. Dwarven Lords hold the law of mineral rights above all others, just as the Elven Kingdoms enjoy their air rights, and this has been the basis of conflicts with the “Right of the Mountains” of the Three Thrones.
While Humans have certainly been kept content at a generous 2 mile leeway, their inability to patrol the Underdark of Azemora effectively has left them exposed. There are often conflicts with pirates shipping massive amounts of ore from the northern and southern shores of the Three Thrones. While it’s known to be the Uj’tevan and Dwarven people, their governments disavow their direct involvement. This has earned an “arm’s-length” worth of trust between them.
Gnomes and Halfings
In all fairness the antagonisms of Humans and those they’ve unwittingly incorporated into their holds has left them feeling a bereft caretaker. The Feywoods were once the furthest uncharted woods until Rhamad’s vision that sparked the Holy War. It wasn’t until the very end of these campaigns, and the city of Fahrunefell began in earnest reconstruction that Petal Harbor was founded by Halflings.
Often they are known to clash over Rights of the Fey, which was formally recognized in the third era with the Declaration of the Fey.