Humans were some of the primary inhabitants of Alagaësia.
The human race was not native to Alagaësia: along with the elves, Urgals, and Ra'zac, humans came from some unknown continent across the Western Sea in ages past. The first twenty humans landed in what later became Surda: however, according to Orik Thrifksson, these humans merely came to visit. It is held among the dwarves that "the humans had completely forgotten us by [the time they returned in 7203 A.C.], except for vague stories about hairy-men-of-the-mountains that preyed upon children in the night." In the preface of Heslant the Monk's Domia Abr Wyrda, it is said that these humans who visited in 5596 A.C. exchanged gifts with the dwarves, then left.
In the year 7203 A.C., King Palancar docked not far from the elven city of Teirm with a fleet of ships carrying his people. He and his subjects, collectively known as the Broddrings, had sailed northeast from some unknown coast, fleeing, it was believed, the natural predators of humankind: the Lethrblaka, and their offspring, the Ra'zac. They are held to have intended to colonize Surda, but just as they were about to reach land, an unexpected storm blew them back out into the open sea. When the Broddrings had regained sight of land, they found themselves faced with the Spine. Palancar, however, sailed onward, along the way establishing a settlement that would become the town of Kuasta someday. When the humans landed near Teirm, the Riders and the elves showed their physical and magical might, then explained which land belonged to which race, then offered them whatever land they wanted, as long as it was unclaimed. Palancar, intimidated, agreed.
The Broddrings roamed the continent of Alagaësia for many years, until they reached what became known as Palancar Valley. After vanquishing the local Urgals and founding what became the town of Therinsford, Palancar built the Broddring Kingdom. However, in an attempt to expand his borders, Palancar made war upon the elves. According to Heslant the Monk and another author, Eddison, Palancar was likely in the early stages of dementia and thus believed that he could conquer Alagaësia's most powerful nation. However, others like Oromis suspect that Palancar's motives were to move his now-nation of followers further inland to avoid the threat of any Lethrblaka and Ra'zac that could pursued their prey across the sea. Three times his warriors faced the elves: three times the elves destroyed them.
Afterwards, the Broddring aristocrats signed a peace treaty with the elves without their king's knowledge or consent. Palancar was then banished from his throne and his family was forced to back down from the offices of authority within the Broddring political system. To ensure that Palancar would not attack anyone else in Alagaësia again, the Riders built the tower of Edoc'sil (now Ristvak'baen) to watch over the valley with Palancar, his family and his closest followers. However, Palancar was soon murdered by a son and "thereafter, family politics consisted of betrayal, murder … But his descendants never left the valley, and the blood of kings still runs through Therinsford and Carvahall." (Lifaen, Eldest) The royal line of Palancar's clan thus branched out through Therinsford and Carvahall and Palancar's blood still runs through the blood of some, including that of Eragon Shadeslayer, Murtagh Morzansson, Roran Stronghammer, Selena and Garrow. The Surdan Royal Family also claim that they can trace their ancestry to Palancar, thus making them (albeit distant) relations of some the commoners of Palancar Valley: Eragon and his family amongst them. After the Palancar Crisis humans were permitted to become Dragon Riders by Anurin (an unpopular decision among many elves) and the elves permitted humans to take their abandoned city of Ilirea.
During the fateful Dragon War, the Broddring Kingdom was effectively dissolved and the Broddring Empire was formed in its stead by Galbatorix. The Broddring Empire then became one of the (if not the) the most powerful empires in history: however, the Broddring Kingdom still technically existed during the Rider War, though, according to Oromis, "it is little more than a name on royal decrees."
The human culture was agrarian: most humans were farmers and peasants, as well as their technology was fairly primitive. Different regions had different customs and traditions. Some areas, such as Kuasta, were so isolated by the Spine that their inhabitants were considered somewhat odd by people from more urban areas. All humans seemed to have believed in some sort of fate or divine influence: most were superstitious. Several possessed magical or psychic powers: some were wizards or witches, others became Dragon Riders.
Traveling merchants were the primary source of news for many villages, as most people never traveled very far from their birthplace in their lifetime. Villages like Carvahall held annual fairs when traders came. Besides being something of a holiday, a fair was an opportunity for the villagers to sell their local wares and purchase items from distant lands.
Humans made up the vast majority of the citizens within the Broddring Empire. Some served in the army, but most were simply common peasants. Other humans were members of the Varden and citizens and warriors of Surda.
Monarchy was the most prominent form of human government. There were several monarchies throughout the history of Alagaësia.
List of Human monarchs
- Palancar (deposed)
- Thanebrand the Ring-giver
- Thedric (eventually: monarchs in between are unknown)
- Angrenost (eventually: monarchs in between are unknown, deposed during Dragon War)
- Galbatorix (though "officially" king of the Broddring Kingdom, he expanded his territory to create the Broddring Empire)
- Larkin (King of Surda; succeeded by Orrin)
- Orrin (The present King of Surda)
- Nasuada (The present High Queen of the new Broddring Kingdom)
The Broddring Kingdom
The Broddring Kingdom was the original nation of men in Alagaësia (see above). It was an ally to the Dragon Riders and to the other peaceful non-human races (the elves and the dwarves). The kingdom was overthrown by Galbatorix during the Dragon War, though it technically still existed under his rule.
The Broddring Empire
The Broddring Empire was the most powerful government in Alagaësia. Though King Galbatorix called his reign "The Golden Age of Mankind", many humans suffered under his rule, especially those who lived in outlying villages that were subject to Urgal attacks. The empire's failure to protect its citizens in many cases caused a good deal of unrest and sympathy for the independent spirit embraced by the Varden and the nation of Surda.
At the end of the Dragon War, a small group of humans in the south, led by the House of Langfeld, gained independence and began the nation of Surda. During the Rider War and since it ended, it was ruled by King Orrin.
Known Surdan leaders
The Varden were a rebel organization trying to overthrow the Broddring Empire. It was started by Brom Holcombsson.
Known Leaders of the Varden
- Eragon, the first of a new generation of Dragon Riders, first human to become Head of the Riders, given elvish qualities
- Brom, father and mentor to Eragon, founder of the Varden
- Galbatorix, the King of Alagaësia after the Fall
- Morzan, the first and last of the Forsworn
- Murtagh, Morzan's son and Eragon's half-brother
- Ajihad, leader of the Varden
- Palancar, founder of a kingdom in Palancar Valley
- Roran, led Carvahall across the Broddring Empire and killed almost 200 men in one battle. (Eragon's cousin)
- Nasuada, daughter of Ajihad and instigator of the invasion of the Broddring Empire
- Selena, Morzan's wife, Brom's lover, Murtagh and Eragon's mother and the once 'Black Hand' of Morzan.