Engelain is the name given to the continent upon which our story takes place. It is bordered to the north, west and south by great bodies of water, and to the east by a wooded land-bridge which connects the continent to the rest of the world, though the isolationist nature of the elves which live there has lead to little contact between continents.
Humans are by far the most populous species on the continent, though most of the land area is under the ownership of the centaurs, whose Great Plains take up the entire centre of the continent and geographically splits the north from the south and east from the west. Other species also native to Engelain are: gnomes, satyrs, fairies, pixies, sprites, nymphs, hags, leprechauns, brownies, tree spirits. Mermaids, sirens and kelpies are known to visit the shores of Engelain.
Engelain as a continent is roughly ovular, being vastly expansive from east to west but relatively easy to travel from north to south, (if one were to ignore the inhabitants you would come across.) The far north is heavily mountainous, with a long mountain chain existing in the central north known as the Eyr Mounts, home to the birdmen. East of these mountains is a vast, hilly area where the ogres dwell, between the base of the mountains and the shadows of the trees of the elven woods.
Most of the centre of Engelain is taken up by the Great Plains, a wild grassland overruled by the one thousand and one centaur herds. Previously, this land has been inhabited by men, and to this day sports many ruins from throughout the millennia, though currently the only civilization which the centaurs permit to grow upon the Great Plains is that of the satyrs.
The rest of Engelain is split up into:
Western Engelain- which is where the thirteen Free Kingdoms of Engelain exist, but also the countless tribes and petty kingdoms that have sprung up over the millennia, but have never had the same might as the children of the Tyrannian Empire. North of the Free Kingdoms is also where the gnomes build their own civilizations.
Southern Engelain- mainly the country of Tywrought, which is founded on a significant chunk of land which shoots off of the bottom of Engelain, and the surrounding states which the Tyrannian Empire has formed, pushing into the Great Plains.
Eastern Engelain- more south-eastern, for Eastern Engelain is a landmass which stretches south and east away from the mainland, and upon which the Seven States sit. Although lush and picturesque, Eastern Engelain is prone to droughts and failing crops, and has never reached the same levels as its counterpart landmasses.
The most common age for the earth is given at twelve-thousand years. The recording of history begins with Tyrrus entering onto Engelain, purportedly first arriving in what is now known as Messia, and walking the entire stretch of Tywrought until arriving into Eastern Engelain. With the help of giants, dwarves and humans, Tyrrus built the megacity paradise of Annwyfn, which is oft suggested to have stretched the entirety of Eastern Engelain, though scholars like to think a more modest size of a small country was instead achieved.
Not too long after the birth of Soahc the Deceiver, a war was waged between father and son, which saw Annwyfn destroyed, the giants and dwarves extinct, and marked the point where gods left Engelain to its own devices.
Sometime between the fall of Annwyfn and before the formation of the empires known to the annals of history today, the avians of the Eyr Mounts began the mass enslavement of the dwarven people, utilising them as forced labour in the tunnels beneath their mountain homes, forging over countless centuries the geothermal vents which power the technology of the birdmen today. When this great work was complete, the dwarves were unceremoniously exiled from the mountains, forced to become a vagrant and wandering people.
Humanity meanwhile experienced a mass exodus from Eastern Engelain after the fall of Annwyfn. Either the art of record-keeping was lost for some time, or, as is most likely, the records of this after-period were mostly eradicated by one warring empire or another, hoping to gain supremacy in Engelain. When documents begin to become substantive once again, five millennia ago, it is from the perspective of many petty kingdoms which surrounded two great empires which spanned what is these days referred to as the Great Plains. The Empire of the East was much older than the Empire of the West, but both were feared by those surrounding cultures, who associated their armies with demons and the undead- a clear sign of their ferocity and deadliness.
When these two empires inevitably obliterated themselves, and their own documentations put to the torch to wipe them from existence, the next rising star was that of the Casurillion Empire. Its capital of Cassul was founded in Western Engelain, and stretched into the western parts of the Great Plains, and was for many centuries the greatest superpower on the continent. However, its capital city suffered a well-publicized and oft-theorized massacre, wherein its entire inhabitants all fell in a single night. This triggered a collapse of the Empire, which was aided in no small part by the advancement of the centaur tribes into the west, claiming the Great Plains of themselves as the last Empire of the Plains fell to in-fighting.
It was then the Tyrannian Empire which would fill this hole. Based in Holy Messia and marching out of Tywrought with godly purpose, the Tyrannian Empire swept across Engelain- seizing the Seven States in the east and founding colonies in the West. They pushed north into the Great Plains, and in their great wars are accredited with the eradication of the onocentaurs, and of many birdmen subspecies besides. It was this conquest which lead the last of the birdmen to flee north to the Eyr Mounts, and leave the Great Plains under the absolute dominion of the centaurs.
It was said that you could walk from the Elven Forests to the Last Shore without ever leaving the Empire, and even held outposts on places such as Haydrea, an isle northwest of Engelain. However, like most great empires, the Tyrannian Empire eventually found itself overstretched. In the west, a man named Dwail Shadowfoot declared himself High King, and together with local lords and treacherous Empirical officers, managed to free Western Engelain from the grips of the Empire. The Free Kingdoms of Engelain were declared, (then seventeen, though now whittled down to thirteen,) and only when the Empire has launched subsequent conquests has a new High King been declared- Tywrought has never since held sway in the west.
Two hundred years after this event, the hero Arran lead a similar rebellion in Eastern Engelain, allowing the Seven States to break free of Tyrannian rule. Arran had mustered many forces to his aid, more-so than simply humans, and he was such an inspiring leader that it is said his army is one of the greatest that Engelain has ever seen. Regardless, Arran was either killed or banished by Soahc the Deceiver, and his army crumbled in on itself before it had the chance of completing its goal of sacking Messia.
Since this point, little has changed in history. After many fruitless attempts at recovering the Empire, Tywrought has finally come to a resting state, though recently the cogs of war have begun to turn again. In the Free Kingdoms, the country of Trigonia began conquering neighbouring realms, becoming Quadrillia and then Quintellia, which many believed would become a new superpower in the west. However, an alliance of the other Free Kingdoms saw to the end of Quintellia, which quickly collapsed back into its three constituent countries, never to reform again.