It was 750 years ago that some of these populations began to coalesce into cities. , Human, Dwarven, Elf and even Gnome and Halfling. The chiefs soon crowned themselves kings and set about alternating between building city improvements and waging wars on their neighbors. Rarely could a city fully conquer a neighbor, and never for more than a generation.
Two unrelated events changed this 150 years ago. First, on the island nation of Miraset, a new religious movement took hold: The Temple of the Five and One, which united disparate gods, pantheons, and philosophies into a comprehensive codified religion. This movement swept across the human kingdoms but drew fierce opposition from non-human communities as it reduced their gods to mere avatars of the Human gods or even myths. This had the dual effect of uniting some of the human communities and dividing humans from non-humans across. Shortly after the foundation of the temple, the King of Miraset died heirless and the second High Cleric of Miraset stepped into the power vacuum – beginning the reign of the Kingpriest of Miraset.
At the same time, another island nation, Kitir, under the warchief Remen Casilar and his Seven Generals began not just to win wars, but seize the cities of the West. Over the next 25 years they conquered and assimilated the human cities of the west into a new united entity.
With the nine human cities of the west united, Remen began to mobilize his forces near the Western Mountains. Long nervous of the ambitious human, the normally fractious Dwarven Thanes belatedly put aside their feuding and began to assemble their united armies. The Seven Generals won several costly victories, although rumors have long persisted of a Dwarven betrayal paving their way. A peace was negotiated with the dwarves retaining autonomy in return for trade and mining considerations for the Kitir. The dwarves presented Remen with a platinum crown encrusted with sapphires – which Remen used to christen his conquests the Kitiran Empire and himself Emperor Remen Casilar I.
Reman next struck out across the Pallum Swamps to the east – stopping only briefly to conquer the Sondag cities in his path. Remen (along with many of his troops) fell ill in the swamps, and his crown passed to his son, Kastav I. Awaiting the Kitir outside of the Pallum Swamps however was an alliance of three free cities of the Mogote – Szellum, Attaya, and Fiumek, and a contingent of elves, their endless feuds and even racial enmity put aside.
Despite the chaos Kastav and the Kitir rallied and held their ground, though Kastav died during the battle – his brother Septimus I taking his bloody sword and crown. Each army stared the other down across the fields.
During this lull Dreosan, Kingpriest of Miraset, arrived on the field to negotiate peace between the two forces. The arrival of Dreosan accomplished one feat immediately – the Elves quit the field rather than cede any authority or legitimacy to the Human pantheon. This left the Triple Alliance weakened and unable to threaten with force the Kitiran armies before them. The ensuing treaty allowed the Empire to retreat back to western Kettos, to keep half of their gains in the Marshes, and taxation of trade over their newly built causeways.
In return, the Triple Alliance gained guarantees of independence as well as hefty reparations from the Empire – cementing the cities as the dominant power in the east, a power that would ultimately be undermined by perpetual infighting among the three. Finally it cemented the legitimacy of the Kingpriest as a ruler, and the Temple of the Five and the One as the dominant religion among the human cities. Following the treaty, Temples of the Five and the One would be built in all Human cities (though shrines to non-Pantheon Gods would persist in the West, and full temples to non-Pantheon Gods in the East). Miraset would take on the role of preserver of peace, see a massive spike in trade routed through their city. This combined with the Temple made Miraset into one of the Jewels of Kettos, and the Kingpriest the second most powerful Human – next to the Emperor at Kitir. Septimus devoted to rest of his reign to solidifying the Empire and building infrastructure and public works.