Before humans and other species showed up, there were only three intelligent species living in Lath: the wood elves, the mythrin, and the dracony. Wood elves were the most prolific of the three and lived just about everywhere. Mostly they were farmers, though in the south the spent more time hunting than farming. The mythrin were mostly hunters and gatherers, though they did do a lot of trading with the wood elves. Unlike the wood elves, the mythrin moved around a lot in small family groups usually ranging in size from 5 to 25 people. Though a bit standoffish, the mythrin did live in relative peace with the wood elves. The dracony were an entirely different story. These large reptiles ate just about anything, including wood elves and mythrin. None of these people had any sort of written language, so little is known about anything that was happening before humans arrived.
The only indication that there was ever someone else on Lath besides the wood elves, mythrin, and dracony comes from ruins found along the southern side of the Rioko Mountains. From what scholars can tell, it was a very large civilization that experienced a rather sudden collapse. Unfortunately, these ruins are the sole source of information. Neither the wood elves nor the mythrin knew anything about the inhabitants and scholars can only speculate on what happened.
About 370 years before the Kithryn books start, the first humans washed up on the shores of Lath. This group of travelers were on a ship bound for Lyrashia that was caught in a massive storm, blown way off course, and ended up crashing on the reefs of eastern Lath. The people that survived and swam to shore were taken in by the wood elves. Many of these people integrated well, marrying and have families with the wood elves. Those that didn’t mostly died at the hands of dracony.
14 years later, another boat that had lost had it’s ability to steer also found it’s way to Lath. On board was Alexander Darcoth, a scholar known for his patience and and good nature. While the boat was being repaired, he interviewed the natives with the help of the previous humans that arrived, and he began documenting all the life on the eastern part of Lath. When his boat was fixed, he, along with a handful of the original survivors, traveled back to “the main land” Lyraisha and Darcoth published his writings. Several years later, he returned to record more information that he also later published. To date, in Lath, his book is still seen as the leading authority on life before humans.
About 30 years later, Lyraisha was conquered by a brutal man and went through a huge drought, killing millions. Some people managed to flee the fighting and went to Lath. Mistakenly thinking that the people that showed up would leave once the fighting in Lyraisha stopped, the woodelves and mythrin welcomed them in.
One of those they welcomed in was a deposed prince named Zeeven Lathes. When he looked over the land, he saw it as “untamed” and in need of a King. He then set about conquering it, which turned out to be pretty easy. With the exception of the dracony, no one really cared if declared himself king so long as he didn’t interfere with their lives. At that point, Lathes was too busy traveling around “conquering” the place to really interfere with anyone’s lives, so no one stopped him.
When the fighting in Lyraisha did end 21 years later, the people that had settled in Lath decided not to leave. Lathes, who’d finished getting people to agree that he was king a decade before, was busy setting up the legal system of Lath. At first, some resisted. When he was done, he named the country after himself, hence the name Lath, and split it into many different territories controlled by the trusted generals of his army. These people in turn named their territories (or provinces as they would later be known) after themselves.
At this point in time, most people lived and mingled pretty freely with each other. The only exception was the dracony. They saw these new species as a threat. The dracony did try to elicit help from the wood elves and mythrin, but the wood elves and mythrin didn’t see the new comers as a threat. When the dracony started rebelling and wiping out whole towns, the king placed a bounty on their heads. The dracony soon found out the new comers were considerably more technologically advanced than them and were pushed to the edge of extinction. After years o fighting, the dracony agreed to a truce that gave them most of the wester territories in exchange for all of the east and south.
At the age of 56, the king died without an heir. After a brief morning period, the generals all started declaring that they were the next in line for the throne. Many individuals stepped forward, claiming to be illegitimate children of the king, but none were ever found to actually be related to him and many were assassinated by those looking for power. In the end, huge wars broke out between the generals, who were now all calling themselves princes.
There was a brief respite in the fighting when the dracony noticed the chaos and tried to take advantage of it. They launched one last round of attacks. For a few months, everyone forgot their fighting and concentrated on wiping out the dracony once and for all. The last of the dracony died 304 years before the start of the Kithryn books.
This is where Lath’s history gets really complicated and turns into a lot of he said/she said. According to the humans, the wood elves and mythrin panicked when they saw what happened to the dracony and plotted to kill all the princes. The princes had to protect themselves, they said, so they slaughtered wood elves in mass. They mythrin, who could easily pass as humans, were harder to weed out than the distinctive wood elves. After many failed attempts at pinpointing the mythrin in crowd, a group of mages finally came up with a way to control the mythrin. They developed a series of stones, each one attuned to a specific group of mythrin, that when crushed, would kill all of that type of mythrin. They then gave the stones to the princes, who ordered the mythrin to be their servants and personal guards. The mythrin refused and fought back, which resulted in two stones being destroyed and two groups dropping dead on the spot. The others soon complied and have done as ordered since.
The wood elves and mythrin insist none of this took place and the princes made it up just so they could enslave the mythrin and steal the land the wood elves were living on. Though they did fight back, it was only after the humans started it. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but since history is written by the victors, the human account is the one in the history books.
Things settled down after that. There has never been another king since no one can agree on who it should be. Every prince has his territory and passes it on to his descendants. The mythrin have been serving the princes for 296 years and their culture has shifted into one of quiet servitude. Wood elves have largely been confined to small parcels of land and forbidden to travel without special written permission. They are also not allowed to travel without wearing something that marks the tribe they are originally from. Everyone else is largely free to move about so long as they don’t make trouble. There is a balance of power between the provinces for the most part, though there are forces trying to undermine it.