Chara, Fall of the Republic
Chara’s doom, in spite of what anyone expected, did not begin with the Kuvaldi or even with its fractious outer provinces. It began, instead, with a lull in the Elven civil war.
After 200 years to recover, Chara had a strong military and a sturdy economy once more. Neither would survive decades of raids by Green Tower warbands or earth-shaking assaults by the dark sorcery of the Bone Tower. Precisely why the elves grew hostile towards Chara remains unclear; the two Towers responsible for the assaults remain distant and do not communicate with the nations of the bay. They did, however, prove that humanity stood no chance against elves in a battle on land, as a few hundred Green Tower warriors could disrupt and decimate whole armies of humans, even with magical support.
The ‘on land’ part of elven superiority proved to be the key, as distant administrators and warlords in the wealthy frontier province of Remera banded together to construct a powerful navy and began to challenge elven raiders before they even hit land. This finally put an end to the elven raids, though attempts to raid the Bone Tower in retribution proved horrifyingly ill-advised. Sadly, it also meant the end of the Republic’s dominance.
The Remeran warlords, flush with success and in command of large armies, declared the Republic of Remera independent of Chara, and declared war against the Charans. Early battles were vicious; Remerans still loyal to Chara and Charans grown fond of the northern lands switched sides and in-fighting amongst the armies was common, but after only a year the clear winner was the Remeran faction. The Remeran armies regrouped, and marched south, intent on claiming Chara as their own.
The Charans responded with what even their enemies had to agree was a politically brilliant maneuver: They declared Sobrin to be a sovereign, independent nation, leaving the marching Remeran army in the middle of suddenly hostile territory. The clans of Sobrin had long since become wealthy families, but had lost little of their warlike nature, and the Remeran army received a nasty surprise when they tried to continue marching after being ordered to leave. The battles that followed settled Sobrin as a military power strong enough to threaten Remera and Chara both, and also led to the monarchy that rules Sobrin still; the general who led the Sobrin armies against Remera became King in the years that followed, and his clan the royal family.
While Chara had only declared the province of Sobrin – little larger than the original forests and hills they had conquered so long ago- to be independent, the armies of the King marched westwards, claiming a wide swath of land between the First Republic and the New Republic. Wiser than either republic expected, the King chose to respect the border with the Kuvaldi, and so Sobrin alone has remained untroubled by the western barbarians in the centuries since; while Chara and Remera left their western borders for a time, eventual efforts to expand once more brought both of them into conflict with the demon-worshiping tribes.
In the aftermath, the three nations settled in and began expanding their economic and military might. For the first time in a millennium, expeditions tested the dangers beyond the Walls of the Veshadiin, and returned with some technology before the elves redoubled their safeguarding efforts. Chara, left with little else to focus on, began expanding its power in the islands outside the Elven archipelago, and the fortresses raised on those islands remain the most secure holds of humanity against their hostile, sorcerous neighbors. They also began to invest in exploration in the Kallai desert, which proved, rather quickly, to be a mistake.
Mikash, long a place for the unwanted (or those wanted by the law and no one else), was suddenly a place of interest. When the first expeditions turned up items and sites of magical interest, Charan mages (and some Remerans as well) rushed to fill administrative posts, and when the first temples of the Strangers were uncovered, unusual events began to occur. When the mage administrators rose up and barred the port of Mikash to Charan tax collectors, the senate of Chara accepted the loss of another colony without any further action. A few attempts to strangle Mikash’s food supply led the mages to develop surprisingly productive desert plants, ensuring the new nation would survive, and the ever-growing magical power of the nation made it increasingly wealthy and influential.
Chara remains a powerful nation, and it is the unquestioned cultural leader of the entire bay, producing works of literature and sculpture that are reproduced and envied by others, and even the elves have been known to trade for their artwork. Nonetheless, they have fallen far from their original glory, and many wish to reclaim it yet.