Ghidovia was founded by humans, but was made a regional power by the Arcva court Rafil. Their initial rise was followed by territorial expansions that encompass modern Ghidovia. Ultimately, a civil war led to the expulsion of many members of the court who would later found Arcellus.
Before the 100th year of the Arcva's arrival on Altus, humans from southern Vasta were becoming culturally related. The discovery of plentiful, easy to access copper nodes upon the exposed face of Kryus Peak caused a high frequency of immobile tribes to begin to compete for land. The demand for copper was so high that these tribes soon ran out of land to mine, and began to war with each other for control of the copper.
A Court of Arcva heard of the quarrel and made their way to the mouth of the Royal River and ascended towards Kryus Peak. As they went, tribes flocked to fight alongside the magical beings in return for promises of protection. The Ghido-speaking tribes who resisted were forced to stop fighting by the wizards of the court - their new Arcva overlords. The leader of the Arcva was named Fomros Rafil. Fomros was a legendary wizard whose magic made short work of opposition. The defeated tribes were enslaved and forced to work the copper mines. A collection of wooden structures was erected around the mines. This city, the first city on Altus, was named Ghidovia.
Roughly 100 years later some time around the year 200, Zarodossa appeared in Ghidovia. She flared her wings and commanded the reigning monarch, Gorn Rafil II, that he was to be her lieutenant in future battles against her enemies – the title known as Zarod. This coronation was done on the 48th of Zaroken, now celebrated around the world as “Coronation Day.”
Conquest of Donaughen
Tribes living in the Donaughen Forest were friendly to Ghidovia, but not particularly keen on being enslaved. Muat Rafil I, son of Gorn Rafil I, sought to expand the lands of Ghidovia to these people. Ashanzu from Vasta occasionally raided the tribes – and to stop them, reasoned Muat, the tribes must be united as one. He assembled a force of wizards – four archmages whose magical abilities allowed them to call helstorms, summon blasts of fire as large as buildings, and conjure unseen forces to shatter armies. Beneath these wizards was a following of loyal human soldiers sworn to the Zarod of Ghidovia.
During the years between about 240 and 250, Muat's wizards and soldiers put down all resistance from the Donaughen tribes, and made the chiefs swear fealty. They were forcibly re-settled into villages along the Ghidovia River, Lumber Tribute, and Wheat Tribute. The Zarodom of Ghidovia was now a powerful collection of villages supporting the city of Ghidovia itself.
Retu Civil War
Ghidovia was approaching the height of its power. Its people had developed agriculture, its smiths could forge copper weapons and tools, and its merchants sailed from the port of Pizors (Now Vastasuesmin Bankamana) to trade with distant Cella and Saeva. Zarod Ezakuan Rafil I was at the end of his reign which began in the year 445. It was 487, and he requested of his eldest daughter, Retu, that he be laid to rest in the salt flats to the north that now carry his name.
Retu carried out her father's wishes, and her brother Dondorius ruled while she was away. Retu returned to find that the army supported her claim as next Zarod over her younger brother, Dondorius. Dondorius' followers clashed with Retu's, but were ultimately defeated in the Battle of Commessia Lake. Retu banished her brother, and crowned herself Zarodess. Retu declared that since Zarodossa was a woman who ruled Ghidovia through the Zarod, all Zarods of Ghidovia must also be women.
Daughter of Retu I, Zaodo I, became Zarodess after her mother's passing in 630. Zaodo aimed to expand Ghidovia to encompass the holy Akatu Lake – a dead sea whose salts would be valuable in the south. At the same time, she sought to further subdue the Ashanzu whose raids were growing in severity since her mother's death.
The conquest of 635 was successful, and the Ashanzu of Vasta either swore loyalty to Zaodo or moved further north or west. From then on, Ghidovia's borders would remain rigid, and their Zarodesses would defend the old traditions, rituals, and practices that began hundreds of years ago. This would include the rejection of bronze weapons in favour of copper ones, the ignoring of new magical techniques discovered elsewhere in favour of ancient tomes, and the refusal to build structures out of stone.