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First Men cut down czardrzewo trees and burned them, leading to a war

The First Men were the culture of humans who first set foot on Westeros. The influence of the First Men is still felt in Westeros, most strongly in Północ.

History

Arrival in Westeros

Around 12,000 years before Aegon's Landing, during the Dawn Age, the First Men came to Westeros from the eastern continent by crossing the land bridge called the Arm of Dorne. The First Men crossed the Arm under the leadership of the so-called "First King". The First Men supposedly found the Tron z Morskiego Kamienia upon the shores of Stara Wyk when they first came to the Żelazne Wyspy. [1] It was the First Men who named those who sing the song of the earth "children".

War with the Children of the Forest

The men came with bronze swords and great leathern shields, riding horses. As the men settled in the new land, carving out holdfasts and farms, they chopped down the carved czardrzewos that were sacred to the Dzieci Lasu's gods and burned them. This provoked a war between the children and the First Men. [2] Though the children had powerful magic, and, according to the old songs, used dark magic[2] to shatter the Arm of Dorne into an island chain, the First Men were larger, stronger, and more technologically advanced.

Whenever the First Men warred upon the children they cut down the trees as they believed (quite correctly) that the greenseers could see through the eyes of the weirwoods. [3]

Fosa Cailin was raised roughly 10,000 years ago, by the the First Men. It appears as if at some point the children were able to take possession of at least Fosa Cailin's Children's Tower. According to myth, the children attempted to use Fosa Cailin to hold back the flood of invading First Men by calling upon their nameless gods from the Children's Tower to send down the "hammer of the waters" to break the lands of Westeros in two by shattering Przesmyk and completely separating the Północ from the South, in the same manner they shattered the Arm of Dorne centuries earlier. However, the children failed in the attempt and only succeeded in flooding the Przesmyk, creating bogs and swamps.

However, the cataclysm proved the strength of their power and may have proved instrumental in bringing the First Men to agree to the peace terms that ended hostilities between the two races.

The Pact

The war went in the First Men's favour until the two sides reached a peace agreement, called the Pact, on the Isle of Faces. The First Men gave dominion over the forests to the children and promised not to cut down any more weirwood trees. In return, they received claim to the rest of the Westeros. [2]

Four Thousand Years of Friendship

The Pact began 4,000 years of friendship and peace between the two peoples. The years that followed the forging of the Pact is known as the Era Herosów. The First Men set aside their religion to worship the children's nature gods. Like the children they would carve faces into the weirwoods. The children of the forest taught them to use [[Kruk|s to communicate over long distances, but in those days the birds would speak the words, and the greenseers of the children could change their skins and speak through the birds. [4]

When the Inni began to invade from the far north of Westeros, the First Men and the children joined forces in the War for the Dawn. A legendary hero, called the last hero, is said to have led the coalition against the Inni. The Inni were driven back, and the Nocna Straż was created to keep them at bay. The First Men are also the ones responsible for building the Mur,[5] which still stands to this day.

Invasion of the Andals

Around 6,000 years before Aegon's Landing, the Andalowies began their invasion of Westeros. For several hundred years the First Men and the Andals fought for control of the continent. Eventually, the Andals conquered the southern half of the continent, while the Kings of Winter stopped all Andal incursions through the Przesmyk at Fosa Cailin.

Culture

Language

The First Men spoke the Old Tongue, a harsh, clanging language that is still spoken by some Dzicy and the Olbrzymy. Names originating from the Old Tongue tend to be short, simple, and descriptive.

Runes

The First Men wrote with runes, which they carved on rocks and into metal, but the meanings behind most runes became lost in time. [6]

Armour and Weaponry

The First Men wielded bronze swords and large, leather shields. [7] They rode horses into battle.

Laws

The First Men obeyed the laws of hospitality. Hosts were expected to serve guests bread and salt upon arrival, and guests received protection once they had eaten. Disputes were often handled by paying a blood price, even for crimes such as murder. If a man was to be executed for his crimes, the man delivering the sentence was expected to wield the killing blade himself, a tradition carried on by Ród Starków. [8]

Burial grounds

The First Men interred their dead in barrows. There are barrows everywhere in the Północ, such as Great Barrow. When Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon go riding they view wide plains of flatness which are here and there relieved by long, low hummocks - the barrows of the First Men. [9]

Religion

After the Pact the First Men set aside their previous religion to worship the children's nature gods.[7] Like the children they would carve faces into the czardrzewo trees. The Lady of the Waves was a goddess of old worshipped by First Men who lived on the Trzy Siostry islands, as was the god the Lord of the Skies. Sacred storms were the result of the Lady of the Waves mating with the Lord of the Skies. [10] Worship of the Lady of the Waves and the Lord of the Skies ended with the arrival of the Andalowies and the Wiara w Siedmiu.[10]

Legacy

While much of their culture was lost over the millennia, the people of the Północ retained the spirit of the First Men and many carry the blood of the First Men in their veins, including those of Ród Starków. Even below Przesmyk there are peoples that still carry the much of the blood of the First Men, such as those at Szczypcowy Przylądek.

The First Men are still included in the title of the sovereign of Westeros. For example, Tommen Baratheon is referred to as King of the First Men in his title.

Za Murem the Thenn consider themselves the last of the First Men. [11]

Places associated with the First Men

References and Notes

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