250 years ago, the Brauter fled their ancestral homeland of Brautenheim and travelled far across the Sea of Dice to the land of Istalia. Records are conflicting as to the reason for the exodus, with some reports that Brautenheim had been drained of all its natural resources and could no longer support their numbers, and others that a wave of darkness and foul demons had driven the Brauter from their homes. Some stories claim that only some of the Brauter braved the journey, and there is a kingdom across the sea waiting for their brothers and sisters to return. Other accounts insist that this is merely the first wave of invaders, and that more will follow, it is just a question of when. The only consistent fact is that the Brauter journeyed in the thousands: an entire race put to sea in the largest armada of ships ever assembled. Many died on the journey, and hundreds of boats were sunk by treacherous winds and perilous waters. Hundreds more ships landed on Istalia, however, and the continent was wholly unprepared for their arrival.
The fleet first landed at Newport, in what is now the province of Metria. They encountered scant resistance, and began to establish settlements and expand their domain aggressively. The indigenous peoples of Istalia were divided by the plethora of races and spread into disparate warring kingdoms. These were conquered one by one by the seemingly unstoppable march of the Brauter, hungry for territory.
The indigenous races found unity through adversity, and the first recorded inter-species alliance was forged in the face of annihilation by the foreign invaders. Elves and Ogres fought shoulder to shoulder in the War of Ages. Eventually, a truce was called, and 170 years ago the Ages Accords were signed, giving the Brauter broad dominion over Istalia. Once they had conquered the natives, of course, the Brauter began to fight each other for control of this brand new continent with equal severity in The Eternal War that would last the next hundred and fifty years.
No-one is quite certain why the Brauter fled Brautenheim, but of all the many expeditions that have been sent off into the Sea of Dice, none have returned…