A Brief History Of Human Civilizations
By Einhard the Sage
While it's difficult to glean much in the way of useful information from the often exaggerated records of ancient human kings, their sagas combined with dwarven and elven records and the oral traditions of halflings can give us a fairly sensible idea of the major events that have shaped human history.
For much of our existence, humans tended to live an isolated tribal existence, warring with one another at times but more often attempting to survive against goblin and orc hordes, to say nothing of the occasional band of hungry giants, or worse. Each nation had their own gods, and each tribe their own particular legends and heroes and customs. Sometimes a tribe would grow large and powerful and do more than simply survive, but it never seemed to last more than a few decades.
A great change occurred when a tribe of Hellenes, the northern coastal people, made an alliance with one of the mountain kingdoms of the dwarves, approximately 1000 years ago. These Hellenes aided the dwarves in subduing their ancient foes, and received great knowledge of metal and stone in return. With this new power at their hands, they swiftly conquered and united the tribes.
At nearly the same time, though I cannot say for sure whether before or after, a high elf king fell in love with a Mizraim chief's daughter, a romance unheard of in its time. Yet the chief was cunning enough to ask for a dowry that would change his people's destiny forever: knowledge of the arcane. Just as the Hellenes did, this Mizraim chief raised his tribe above all others, though it would be son, Takhamen, who would succeed in forging the first Mizraim empire.
In the north, this renaissance quickly led to the Gothic Wars, where over the next few decades the Hellenes successfully conquered the Goth peoples of the forests and plains, while also successfully pushing back the savage Nords to the farthest reaches of the frozen north, where they could pester only themselves and whatever horrors dwelled there. It's believed the Celts were completely assimilated, though I have it on good authority that to this day there exist a few islands where they dwell, untouched by Hellen culture. Over the next few centuries Goth culture was transformed by their Hellen rulers, so that even centuries after when Goth kings rose up to slay their masters we still worship the same gods.
Having never ventured to their lands, I cannot speak with the same authority about the peoples of the south, but it is known that the Mizraim conquered much of the Suds, though they likewise rose up in time, and the ancient kingdom of Sudania remains to this day. Whether other nations also live in those lands I cannot say with certainty.
Having been displaced to their old borders by their former subjects, it was around 600 years ago that the Hellenes and Mizraim saw one another as their next frontier. Of course by now their own united kingdoms had fractured: some making war with their own or the other nation, others engaging in trade, at least one merging into a new nation. Throughout this, some Mizraim ventured as far as Goth lands, though it is known that the Hellenes never fared so well against Sudania. A long period of minor wars (primarily among nobility) and interaction swept humanity: one significant result of this is the Common tongue, which even other races speak to this day.
This period of growth and prosperity was shattered two centuries ago in the Great Uprising. While at the time it was only known that an alliance of orcs and goblins had taken place, it is now common knowledge among scholars that this alliance was brokered in the shadows by darker forces. What they are is less certain: some say elves from the underworld, while I personally suspect scheming giants. While humans, united with other civilized races, were ultimately able to defeat these vile foes, the cost was catostrophic: as many as 3/5 of the population had been either slain or fled entirely. Most famous among those who left is Prince Offa of the Goth Kingdom of Duoce, who despite his honor was forced to flee by his elder brother the King, so that their royal line could continue. Eventually Offa founded the Duchy of Fourche on a largely unexplored and mysterious western continent. Both the Kingdom and Duchy continue to this day.