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History of the Shaar

For ages, the Shaar was considered little more than a backwater. The coast housed a few sparsely populated fishing villages, but further inland was wide open savanna and untamed forest. It wasn’t until about 300 DR, when the Dawn Way was built across the Elsir Vale, that the first tenuous grips of civilization made their way into the Shaar.

Though the origins and fate of the dwarves that built the Way are lost to history, the Restilor Empire that succeeded them left a prominent footprint in the area. For almost 400 years, the Shaar grew and prospered under the protection of Restilor. Small hamlets and border outposts sprung into towns, then full fledged cities. The fishing villages along the coast of Haranshire became great trading hubs and outlets for the Way. The capital city of Rhest was a bustling center of commerce and culture.

The Shaar’s success was not fated to last, however. As civilization grew, it began to encroach on the other populations of the Shaar: orcs, goblins, dragons, and other more vile creatures. These groups were pushed farther and farther away from the plains and eventually were forced to settle in the mountainous regions of the Shaar, such as the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. These groups, though disorganized at first, began raiding nearby farms and villages. Restilor counterattacks met with only limited success, and the drain on the Empire was substantial. By 1282 DR, the Restilor Empire had collapsed under the strain of constant attacks and internal strife. Rhest was sacked, and the Dawn Way became too dangerous for trade. The coastal cities walled themselves off, becoming paranoid city states and havens for piracy. Those towns that survived fared poorly as well, with their survival dependent from year to year on their harvest.

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