Two millennia ago the Vast was Vastar, the orcish land. These were the breeding grounds of the goblin hordes that would spill eastward and cross the Dragon Reach in ramshackle boats to raid the elves. The orcs were overthrown by invading dwarves, who established the Realm of the Glimmering Swords. It was during this time that the first humans came to the Vast, including the mage Maskyr.
The rule of the dwarves occured against a backdrop of constant war with the orcs, such that there were only forty years of true peace for the Realm of the Glimmering Swords. The dwarves were overrun by the orcs, and they escaped extinction only through the aid of human and elven allies. The remaining dwarves left the region to the newly arriving humans and retreated to the east, to the south, and to isolated and hidden communities within the Vast.
The most successful of the humans were the adventurers whose hunger was sated by gold and whose thirst was slaked by great deeds. This was the Time of the Glorious Fools, and there are those who will argue that it is still that age, as adventurers still rule the cities of Calaunt and Ravens Bluff. The orcs today are contained, if not conquered, and trade has grown up in the lands of the Vast. However, for many individuals with adventuring blood, it is still a wilderness in which one may prove one's worth.