History of Goertha
The history of Goertha is in the keeping of the Hierophants, who distribute the knowledge as they see fit. Here is a general overview of the history, by major period:
Introduction of Man — The Gur-Docherlan
When Mankind was first brought to Madoria, the land was inhabited by fearsome monsters and beastmen. A confrontation took place between the god Fendor and Cromirlonian King Eimragh. This erupted into the Gur-Docherlan — the Great War between the Gods of Mankind and the Cromirlonians. Malladun and his allies defeated Eimragh, and chained him in the deepest pit of Temorgor — the Goerthan hell.
The Cliffs of Trochanin (Tereckaning)
Suron-Dur, first Tassotarn of Malladun, performed a great many deeds. His first was to lead the Aristings down Angerny Eldon, across Loch-Saglis and down the treacherous Cliffs of Trochanin. The trail was so hazardous that half the Aristings refused to complete the journey.
Half of the people who did follow Suron-Dur down the Cliffs of Trochanin died in the attempt. Those who survived were the strong Aristing tribes that founded Angorlon.
The Great Drought and Big Flood — Quest of Tir-Cadrun
Angorlon enjoyed centuries of peace and tranquility. Malladun watched for a time, then grew bored. He locked up the clouds and fell asleep.
The resulting drought hardly affected Angorlon the first year. The second year their stores were exhausted and thousands of people starved. So the king of Angorlon searched the realm for a hero to travel to Malladun's hall Welgonell and wake the god. The hero he found was Tir-Cadrun.
Tir-Cadrun had to die to get to Welgonell and beg Malladun to let the clouds rain again. The resulting storms flooded all of Goertha. Tir-Cadrun was returned to the world of the living only to find Angorlon destroyed.
Centuries elapsed before civilization returned to Goertha. During the Darkness, beastmen tribes returned to establish dominion and frightful monsters roamed the wasted landscape.
There were survivors of the Big Flood — Saers and Langs from the edges of Goertha who had fled before the waters took their homes. The Drue Lords were Saerish heroes who led their tribes out of Somberwood and back to their homeland. Battles raged for centuries between the tribes of beastmen and the kingdoms of the Drue Lords.
A large body of myth comes from this period, including the stories revolving around Crohelm, Tralloth, and Troella of Fearthlond, and of Pella and Magundurn. Romach invented his sacred writing symbols to record such tales.
The Verentian Empire
About 400 years ago, the Verentians came. They already had a powerful kingdom that had risen from the ashes of the Maletrian Empire. The smallish kingdoms of Goertha, such as Halribia and Saerlon, who squabbled constantly with each other, were no match for the might of Verentis. These westerners brought civilization to Goertha, and introduced such things as a system of writing free of the secrecy surrounding Romang and a common calendar.
The Verentians held their highest god to be Maladun (Malhduen), who was obviously the same god Malladun (Maladhn) that the Goerthans honored. The Verentians initially assumed that the barbarians of Goertha had acquired knowledge of the deity via trade.
Not quite two hundred years later, the Verentian Empire found it could not manage its eastern holdings. A major factor in this was the (re-)discovery that Mankind had originally come from Angerny Eldon (actually only the Aristings), and that Goertha had religious significance. To appease Maladun — in case the god had taken offense at the trouncing of his people — the Verentian king Buriant II constructed a magnificent temple on the Isle of Mirsach and allowed the Grand Pontiff (Saer. Tassotarn) of Maladun to hold court there.
In a few generations the Grand Pontiff's power gave him control of Eastern Verentis. Thus was founded the Sacred Realm of Pallon. The priests of Malladun believed that, like Tir-Cadrun, Angorlon had risen from the dead.
Pallon controlled the majority of Goertha and was the personal dominion of the Grand Pontiff, who derived his authority from Malladun, chief of the Goerthan gods. Ranking beneath him were the various pontifices, prelates, and hierophants. The story is rather complex, but basically the Pontifex-Duke Drunhar and the Circle betrayed the Grand Pontiff Modrun VI and started a civil war. The last major battle involving Pallon was the Siege of Mirsach, where the forces of the Circle met the armies of Modrun (led by Grand Master Hueor) in the fields on the mainland just south of Mirsach. Hueor was slain and Modrun's armies routed, but Mirsach, under the guidance of Duke Surgorn, survived. The city was not without casualties. Modrun, an old man, died in bed when he heard his forces were defeated. The statue of Malladun was toppled and the claim made that the god himself was destroyed by his enemies. Now the Saerlins are divided into four realms: Worlorn, Tredaen, Cro-Carlon, and Galfmor. (Galfmor includes Merglan.)
Worlorn is ruled by Surgorn, who has taken the title of King. Surgorn also has great influence over Mirsach, although ostensibly that city is free and independent. Tredaen is ruled by Prince Durn the Black, a former bandit lord who threw in his support for Modrun and was thus rewarded by Surgorn with legally recognized lands. Cro-Carlon is a backwater, which claimed its independence when no one seemed to notice (or even care) that a break in the chain of rule left its lord dangling. Galfmor is ruled by King Drunhar.
The Siege of Mirsach occured about one score years ago. There have been border skirmishes between Galfmor and Worlorn ever since. Originally Worlorn's borders were quite close to Mirsach, but slowly Galfmor gained the lands to cut them off. Surgorn attempted a major incursion about seven years ago, but only regained possession of Caella and the Plain of Sacred Footpaths.