There were many conflicts in the Elder Days between kingdoms, usually competition over land or resources, or personal feuds between nobility. But the first true conflict which left a profound impact on Laria was the brief Midland War, ending in a terrible event known as the Harrowing of the Midlands. The Midlands are the temperate land west of the Nahl Mountains, while the Southlands are the lush, warm lands in the southwest where the first kingdoms arose. In the centuries after the Midlands had been settled by migrants from the south, there occurred the usual small-scale conflicts between kingdoms until a single warlord-king named Rhodan, repeatedly victorious in battle, united the whole of the Midlands under his rule. He was warlike but just, maintaining order with an iron fist but not mistreating his people. Many loved him. However he was a proud man, and in his dealings with the southern kingdoms he was perceived as arrogant and stubborn. Relations between the Midlands and the southern kingdoms slowly deteriorated.
As the years passed, Rhodan’s military brilliance saved the Midlands time and time again as various threats surfaced. Midlands was the frontier of Larian expansion, for the lands beyond it were unpeopled, inhabited by flourishing tribes of goblins, gnolls, and other lesser creatures which presented a grave threat. For a time Midland was seen as the protector of the south. Rhodan gained the respect and love of his people, and became almost mythicized by the Midlanders. However as Rhodan aged and his hair became white, he became increasingly proud and prone to anger. The already tense relations with his southern neighbors began to turn to hostility, and he invoked the rage of the southern nobility.
Due to the unshakeable faith and trust that the Midlanders had for their leader, Rhodan was able to go to war against the southern kingdoms. It was a foolish and overconfident decision, but despite Rhodan’s army being utterly outnumbered by the forces of multiple southern kingdoms, his superior tactics enabled him to inflict heavy damage and last far longer than they should have, before being swept away. Once Rhodan’s armies were defeated, nothing stood in the way of the vengeful southern armies from enact ruthless vengeance on Midland, in what became known as the Harrowing of Midland. Every city and town in Midland was raised, and countless people killed. Even the citizens of the Southlands, hearing of this at home, were appalled at such cruelty.
In the present day, Midland still has not completed recovered from this blow, and still lacks any major cities. The people of Midland today are independent and proud, feeling that they don’t need the protection of a large city or kingdom. The region also creates some of the finest swordsmen in Laria. To Midlanders, Rhodan’s name is both revered and contentious, having brought both protection and ruin to the realm in the past. But by most he is a beloved patron saint, and many invoke his name to ask for protection. The people of Midland view their land as a separate state from the Southlands, although they have no formal organization. Rhodan’s Grave is on the top of a mountain that looks over Midland from the east, an imposing stone statue of a large bearded man in full armor with his sword held high, surrounded by yellow mountain flowers in the spring and summer.