Breland, our Breland,
Land of freedom and bravery,
Forever will the Bear and Crown
Stand upon this land we love.
Breland, our Breland,
Realm of gold and wonders,
Always will we sing of thee
Across this land we love…
— “The Song of Breland,” Breland’s national anthem
Distance allowed Breland to develop in ways that were distinctly different from the other human nations. While each of the human settlements that eventually became the Five Nations took root in the rich land surrounding the Scions Sound, the ancestors of the Brelish nation felt confined along the shore of the Brey River. The original settlement, built near where Aruldusk stands today, was quickly abandoned and its people moved south, following the river until they found a site that pleased them.
The original nation of Wroat grew up around what is today the town of Vathirond. The frontier nation did not stop there, however, and soon those within the settlement who wanted more open space and more freedom continued to move south and west. It was about 2,400 years ago that Breggor Firstking led most of the pre-Brelish settlers to fertile fields where the Howling and Dagger Rivers converged and officially established the kingdom of Wroat. Earlier, when the humans of the Lhazaar expeditions had landed on Khorvaire’s eastern shores and migrated inland, one of Lhazaar’s most powerful lieutenants, Malleon, struck out to map the southern shores of the new land. With four mighty warships and more than a thousand warriors, Malleon explored the coast of southern Khorvaire. Along the way, Malleon earned the name “the Reaver” as he plundered the settlements of goblins, gnomes, and lizardfolk he discovered. Then, about twenty-five years after Lhazaar first led them to this new continent, Malleon sailed into the Hilt of the Dagger River.
When Malleon first set eyes upon the ancient goblin city on the bluff, a city that would eventually grow to become the greatest in the land, he knew that his days as an explorer and pirate had come to an end. Malleon and his loyal warriors conquered and enslaved the goblins and erected a fortress atop their ancient ruins. What was once Duur’shaarat and would one day be Sharn now belonged to Malleon. He named the place Shaarat.
For six hundred years, Malleon, his warriors, and their descendants built Shaarat into a powerful and wealthy city on the bluff overlooking the Hilt. By this point, Breggor Firstking had established the kingdom of Wroat some 500 miles north along the Dagger River. It was inevitable that the two settlements would come into conflict. Breggor wanted Shaarat for his own, but Malleon’s descendants refused to yield. The siege of Shaarat lasted for almost a year before Breggor ordered his wizards to destroy the place. Shaarat fell, but Breggor claimed the ruins and renamed the city Sharn. Over the next eight hundred years, the towers rose and the city grew, becoming the second jewel in the nation of Wroat’s crown.
The glory of Sharn was lost during the last days of the War of the Mark, when the remnants of the aberrant dragonmarked forces took refuge in the City of Towers. Rather than fall before the onslaught of the armies of the pure dragonmarked houses, the leaders of the aberrant mark forces destroyed themselves and their followers in a display of arcane power that left Sharn in ruins. The city remained abandoned for more than five hundred years. It was Galifar I, king of the newly united kingdom of the same name, who came to the City of Tower’s rescue. In 35 YK, Galifar ordered that Sharn be rebuilt so that it could serve as the southern bastion of his kingdom. It took more than five years to make a portion of the city habitable, then another fifty years for the towers to rise over the ruins, but by 150 YK, Sharn was well on its way to becoming the largest and most powerful city not only in Breland but in the entire kingdom.
Meanwhile, the rest of the nation grew and prospered. It maintained ties with the other nations, and when it became part of Galifar’s united kingdom, it served as a valued and powerful realm within the larger empire. But the distances between Breland’s capital and the seats of power of the other Five Nations allowed for new ideas and attitudes to develop. No matter how prosperous and large Breland became, it was always seen as “the frontier” by the other nations. And on this frontier, new ideas such as personal freedom, inalienable rights, and individual thinking thrived.
Today, Breland stands as a benign constitutional monarchy that combines a system of heredity and nobility with an elected parliament (The parliament existed prior to the creation of the independent kingdom of Breland at the start of the Last War, during which time it helped the
Galifaran governor-prince administer this portion of the realm. Queen Wroann established it as a true legal force in 895 YK, shortly after the start of the Last War). Of course, some feel that the monarchy should be supplanted and replaced by an elected leader, but King Boranel remains firmly in command. Still, no other nation enjoys such power, such diversity, and such freedom for the majority of its citizens. The opportunities are endless, and the wealth of ideas that flow from the Brelish cities to the countryside is truly amazing.
Breland weathered the storm of the Last War amazingly well. The size of the nation, the strength and determination of its people, and its abundance of resources gave it the ability to carry on when others fell back, to choose its own course and not be dependent on allies of convenience. Breland did earn friends over those years, and ties between Breland and Zilargo remain strong now that the war has ended.
The central and southern regions of the nation saw little if any direct conflict over the century of battle, but no one in Breland made it through without losing a friend or loved one to the war effort. While the farms north of Wroat and Galethspyre never suffered the indignity of invasion, it was the sons and daughters of the farmers who went off to fight for Brelish honor and glory. They fought at the borderlands, repelling invaders, and they fought across the borders, taking the battle to whatever nation was considered an enemy that season.
Today, the borderlands of Breland remain strong and on the alert, even as reconstruction takes place to repair the ravages of battle. In the west, the fortress of Orcbone and Shadowlock Keep watch for any incursions from Droaam. Drum Keep, in the north, watches the Eldeen border, where so many on both sides fell in some of the worst battles of the Last War. Sword Keep and Brey Crossing protect the borders with Aundair and Thrane, while Sterngate keeps an eye on the passes into Darguun. Perhaps the most active post in the current day is Kennrun, where knights and warriors must constantly deal with threats emerging from the dead-gray mist surrounding the Mournland.
Breland is a progressive nation that welcomes all who come in peace with open arms and the promise of honest wages for honest work. Its progressive nature, however, provides a home for those who wish to engage in less than honest work, especially in the larger cities. The nation works hard to maintain the Treaty of Thronehold, for King Boranel believes that peace is a better road to travel than war. King Boranel is well and truly loved by the majority of the Brelish people. Unfortunately, Boranel’s age is beginning to show, and none of his surviving heirs have demonstrated even a modicum of his intelligence and charisma. Many believe that Breland’s strength relies on Boranel’s leadership, and many of his enemies beyond the borders of the nation cannot wait for him to fall. Will the hope of many who covet the Brelish countryside come to pass? When King Boranel falls, so falls Breland? Only time will tell.