Tuatharah is the cradle of civilization in all of Terra. It is where man originated in the first age; it is where the dangers of magic were discovered, and where The Primus Brothers fought to determine the future of men at The Battle of Tel Atoll.
The First Age
Most of what scholars have gleaned about the first age is little more than myth and hearsay. All that is known for sure is that it is home of the Primus brothers, and widely considered to be the birthplace of humanity. Little else can be said without a Bard leaning in to “colorize” the tale.
The Second Age
The Second age is more widely accounted for. Documents concerning a bill from an inn near present-day Brindol dates the earliest habitations around 300:2 (the request—and vehement refusal—of the innkeep’s wife to ‘warm his bed’ suggests perhaps around Mid- to Endfallows, though debate rages amongst historians). The earliest solid date from Tuatharah is from a bill of sale in the town of Bywatch in 402:2, making it the oldest town on the continent.
Although a large amount of magical experimentation was going on, the people of Tuatharah remained largely skeptical of magic, due in part to its alleged desolation of the northeast section of the continent (although samples brought back from the area prove able to grow crops, albiet with a slightly higher than average coarseness). This refusal to dabble heavily in magic caused the continent to remain largely human-centric. When the orcs were created in 700:2, the existing towns came together to formulate a defense plan in case of large-scale invasion. The plans were never put to use, but this meeting was the first time that the Council of the Vale ever met. It would not meet again until the Savage Insurrection, in an attempt to muster arms against the northern orcs that would never come.
The Third Age
The Third Age was considered a golden age for adventurers. Dungeons were being discovered, magic was at its peak, and the cities were a bustling nexus of every race and creed. Brindol, Spiredown, and Elidem served as the largest cities, but dozens dotted the landscape, each with something unique to offer.
The end of the third age was actually brought about in Elidem. This age ends in 4666:3, when a group of the brightest minds (Known colloquially as the Elidem Eleven) meet in Elidem, a southwestern Tuatharan city known as the crossroads of magical research by all races. This group consists of members of all races and schools of magic (even one orc). Their plan is to eschew the concept of imposing will, and instead control the fabric of reality itself. The result is disastrous; nearly a quarter of Tuathara is seemingly vaporized. The resulting natural disaster brings a brutal end to the Golden Age of Terra as tens of thousands of Tuatharans die in the resulting blast. The resulting mountain range (known as the Spires) divides the broken continent into its new regions: the battered but standing South, and the new Shadowlands of the North, where the dark magic that escaped the experiment corrupted what it did not kill.
The Fourth Age
The current age of Tuatharah
The fourth age is similar to the third in many aspects, but the unbridled optimism is replaced with one of skepticism. The Spectacular End of the Third Age reignites the hatred of magic in some communities. Despite the controversy surrounding it, the exploration of magic continues. Taking pieces of the failed experiment of Ellidem, Ulfred Astra, son of Alfred Astra, manages to sift through the fabric of magic. In doing so, he makes contact with other planes. His attempts to hide this breakthrough fail when a host of Djinn from the elemental plane of fire visit the Deserts of Perlima. The current ruler, Ashod d’Ashod, graciously welcomes the Djinn to Perlima as honored guests in his own home. The resulting alliance opens the doors to visitation of further planes of existence.
In Tuathara specifically, the Shadowlands become a day to day fear for many people. It is home to things far fouler than orcs or goblins. Shadows, dark magic, and monstrous creatures who change shape before their victim’s eyes are all commonly reported near the border. Spiredown, which now lay at the entrance of the Shadowlands, had not been touched by the explosion itself. However, 6 weeks afterwards (to the day), dark clouds, flashing lights, and howls were seen and hear from miles around, all centered on Spiredown. The next day, the town had been emptied, with no trace of fighting or death. Search parties were sent into the Shadowlands, but only one returned. The two survivors had hollow gazes and refused to talk about what they saw. One survivor hung himself three days after returning; the other died a week after that, during one of his fitful sleeps. After this, no one else was sent to the Shadowlands. No one else was willing to go, either.
Cultural Phenomena of Tuathara
The loose collection of cities have little in the way of an organized system of punishment, but for the worst of crimes, the perpetrator is exiled from every town in all of Tuatharah. To brand the person, they are cursed in an elaborate ritual that permanently turns every hair on them black. Furthermore, no dye can change its color, nor can a razor cut it. These outcasts pass the curse on to all their descendants, all of whom are known as “Ravens”.
Because of this unique punishment, it is seen as bad luck to have black (or even dark) hair. Those who can afford to dye or shave do so; most carry around a light dye powder or small razor to prove that they are not afflicted.
Tuatharah in the Third Age is seen as something of an adventurer’s paradise; due to its history, there are no end of ruins to be explored. And due to its lax government, there is little power to stop them.
Tuatharah is divided into two ‘countries’, for lack of a better term. In the far northwest of the continent lies the country called Ruroku, an isolated and exotic land that seldom allows outsiders. The rest of the continent is called Carnth Sarcun. This name is rarely used, however. Most of the country’s denizen’s simply elect to refer to the whole continent, rather than its specific names.