Exploring Úr’Dan: Brief History of the Northern Migration

I’ve spent the last several installments of this series talking about the various peoples who inhabit Úr’Dan. Now I think it’s time to start giving bits of the history of this subcontinent.

When I say bits, I mean just that. It is important to me that the history, the cultures, and the peoples of this world are revealed through my stories. The world building aspect of this story is exactly why I started writing it.

Before I knew who Aston and Jaed were, I had the beginnings of a world where they could come to life. The history of this world is just as crucial as the stories that are nestled within.

A Brief History of Úr’Dan

As I wrote in the very first post in this series, there is not a strong written heritage in Úr’Dan. While the trade city of Driftport was founded about 1,000 years before the events of WoEM,  the written word has largely only been used in trade.

Thus, the history of Úr’Dan is largely an oral tradition.  Each group of people in Úr’Dan may focus on entirely different events as part of their cultural heritage.

This makes the telling of any all-encompassing history of Úr’Dan near impossible. The best we can do to view wider historical patterns across the subcontinent is to lean on the record-keepers of Driftport.

Harvests of Driftport

As the trade hub of Úr’Dan, Driftport relies on the annual harvest. As the autumn harvests from across Úr’Dan flow down the rivers, Driftport swells in population to the tens of thousands.

Each harvest, however, may be impacted by various events around the region: war, drought, flooding, invasions, migrations. So just, as each trading season in Driftport is marked with a festival, such as the 998th Harvest of Driftport, some are also named for famous (or infamous) events that impacted that year’s trading season.

The No Rain Harvest; the Meager Harvest; the Dry Harvest; the Harvest of Hunger

These four consecutive harvests marred by extremely dry winters — when rainstorms buffet the eastern coast of Úr’Dan — were compounded by another event that would change the region forever.

The Northern Migration began in the midst of the 915th Harvest of Driftport, commonly known as the Meager Harvest. Over the next several years, waves of migrants traversed the Altpass to the north and settled in northern Úr’Dan. Numbering in the tens of thousands, these Firelanders, as they became known (or pejoratively as Redskaels), were blamed for much of the famine and war that racked several generations of Úr’Daní.

A single cause of this great movement of peoples has not been found, but the Firelanders’ own stories tell of a homeland far to the north destroyed. They then spent at thirty years traveling across the waste known as the Firelands to come to Úr’Dan.

History Shaping the Present

Eigthy-three years after the Meager Harvest, two adolescents in Everfeld, a remote region of northern Úr’Dan, come to terms with the most recent war with the Firelanders.

The Second Redskael War ended five years prior to the events of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, but Aston and Jaed, among many other Feldings, wrestle with the violence which destroyed their homes and families as children.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I enjoyed this. I think I’ll come up with other bits of history to review in upcoming posts.

Steve D

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