War of the Dawn
In 2288, the Champions of the Dawn sailed into Drakkengarde with the goal of reclaiming the former dwarven kingdom of Belsimar from the giants, ogres, trolls, and orcs who now dwelt there. By 2291 they had succeeded in driving off the monsters, though their elven wizard, Orodeth, perished in the final battle. Having reclaimed the land, they declared their intention to found a new kingdom, including the cities of Northeron and Drakkengarde, and honored their fallen comrade by naming their new kingdom after her.
Unfortunately, three of remaining four heroes proved incapable of sharing power and quickly fell into bickering and in-fighting; within a year, they had descended into all-out war. Each constructed a separate keep within the heart of their new kingdom from which they could command armies against each other. The air genasi fighter Meerain built Feathergale Spire, the dwarven monk Borak Forgefist built the Sacred Stone Monastery, and the human druid Keldan built Scarlet Moon Hall.
The halfling Lindon Underbough, as a paladin of Yondalla, built Rivergarde Keep to help ensure the safety of the merchants and travelers on the river while attempting to act as a mediator between his other three comrades. Unfortunately, he met with little success and often found himself caught in the middle of battles between the others; Keldan in particular seemed to dislike what he saw as Lindon's "meddling." Then, in 2299, a flash flood struck Rivergarde Keep. The fortress suffered extensive damage, and Lindon himself was swept from the ramparts into the river; his body was never recovered, and he was presumed to have drowned. Borak and Meerain each blamed Keldan for the flood, and the fighting sharply increased in both frequency and intensity; now that one of the four had died, it was clear that the remaining three would not stop until the other two had perished as well.
In 2307, Borak and a contingent of monks left the Sacred Stone Monastery. It is unknown what the purpose of his journey was, as less than a day out they were set upon by Meerain's gryphon riders, who slaughtered them to a man; all of the corpses, including Borak's, were simply left to rot where they fell. With Borak's death, Meerain and Keldan were forced to focus entirely on each other; both went on the defensive, and the war largely stalemated for the next nine years, with neither gaining any substantial ground against the other. Finally, in 2318, both adventurers led their armies against each other in a mighty battle that each believed would win the war for himself. The battle raged for hours, until someone - it is not clear who was responsible, though most suspect Keldan - conjured a mighty whirlwind to scour the battlefield of his foes. Unfortunately, the whirlwind proved stronger than expected and soon raged out of control. When the magical storm finally abated, the two armies had been virtually obliterated with both Meerain and Keldan numbered among the dead. With their masters dead, the remaining soldiers abandoned the keeps and settled in the nearby farming communities.
With all four members of the Champions of the Dawn dead, the Mercantile Alliance - formed by the nobles and merchants of Northeron and Drakkengarde to maintain trade during the war - immediately assumed control of the region. This was not an unpopular move, as they promised peace, stability, and prosperity in a region that had so long been dominated by what many saw as a pointless war - a sentiment that has not diminished in the centuries since.