Halruaa was settled centuries ago by wizards fleeing the Phaerimm in what was to become the Anauroch desert. The first wizards came in unique flying ships invented by the Netheril, and found a beautiful and rich country settled only by shepherds and large herds of aurochs and wild rothe. It was here that the wizards decided to make a stand, should the Phaerimm follow. The Phaerimm never did, but Halruaa has had to defend itself from attacks by all of its neighbors since then.
Over the centuries Dambrath has attacked and raided Halruaa’s ports and borders multiple times. Once, led by a magic resistant barbarian, the Dambraii occupied all of the country south of Lake Halruaa. They were defeated in battle by the great archmage Mycontil, who slew their barbarian leader. Forty-thousand Dambraii attacked, and were stopped by 500 Halruans. More than 200 Halruan wizards, including Mycontil, died in the battle.
The last attack upon Halruaa was less than 100 years ago, through the Telath Pass by the power hungry king of Lapaliiya. He had allied with bandits from the wastes, though this time the Halruans were able to field a larger force, including fighting men as well as wizards in their skyships. The attackers were easily routed.
Halruaa also suffered through a civil war about five centuries ago, when a number of mages advocated beginning new experiments in magic, ones which even the Netherese didn’t approve of. The renegades were driven from the region, but went on to found the land of Thay, or so it is said in Halruaa.
Since then, Halruaa has been at peace (they have had no declared wars), though it still suffers raids from Dambraii pirates, bandits of the wastes, savages from the Mhair Jungles, and any other pirate, raider, or hungry wizard who thinks that magic and wealth grow on trees in Halruaa.
This constant raiding has made the Halruans very defensive, warlike and traditional. The people say that since wizards have always led them, wizards always will.