Brief History timeline
- The races emerge and develop a civilization of staggering sophistication and magical prowess. Jealous and fearful, the gods open the gates of hell and the abyss, and a cataclysm destroys the civilization.
- A great dark age descends, demons walk the earth, people pray for death which will not come. Eventually the races repent and the gods remove the cataclysms
- The Annazians, a desert dwelling people from the far south, succeed in creating a new global empire, connected by magic scrying mirrors. This Empire lasts for millenia.
18 centuries prior to game time (1st Year of the Shattering)
- After centuries of infighting, decadence, and corrupt rule, the Southern Annazian Empire (the second global empire of Orias (the world)) collapses. The last emperor, Sage Batai, converts to worship of The Founder.
- After a twenty five year long survey of the Empire, Batai decides that the only way to create a better world is to dissolve the Empire and allow things to rebuild on individual, local levels. The Empire is divided up and the pieces granted to local leaders, bridges are (literally) burned down, and the great scrying mirrors supporting long-distance communication are shattered.
- Batai gathers the empire’s arch mages and commands them to devise and cast the spell which would come to be known as the Fog of Ages – over the next thousand years, the races gradually forget technology, magic, and other elements that had supported the cultural level of the Empire.
8 centuries prior (1000 Year of the Shattering)
- Aside from a few tiny hold outs that the spell’s effects have passed over, the world has been reduced to an extremely primitive level, barely rising to the level of agricultural feudalism.
7 Centuries prior (1100 Year of the Shattering)
- The power the spell finally fades, and regions gradually began to increase in levels of technological, magical, and social sophistication
400 centuries prior (1400 Year of the Shattering / The Glorious Reign of Empress Chagay Year 1)
- Chagay, a recent and elderly widow of a minor noble in the Kupti region (a temperate region some distance south of the Spreythornes), spurns the advances of a suitor by stabbing him in the eye with a knife
- As such things often go, this is not well taken by the suitor’s family, and the region erupts into war
- Chagay eliminates the suitor’s household, but not satisfied continues her conquest eastward to the sea
- Through the womanly weapons of sex, diplomacy, brilliant tactics, and shocking brutality, Chagay reunites the entire Nimmensea region of the Annazian empire, including the northernmost region that includes the Spreythornes and Daerthylion’s Hurt
- Chagay adopts many of the trappings (as can be recovered from now mostly-forgotten history) of the Annazian empire, including titling herself Empress
375 years ago (The Glorious Reign of Empress Chagay Year 25)
- Empress Chagay grants the Spreythorne Islands and Daerthylion’s Hurt to the Waicotte family – a non-noble clan that had provided her invaluable support during her campaign.
- The Waicottes were considered too common to fit in well at court and too cunning to be granted lands close to home. The grant of the Spreythorne region was a grand compromise – the region was huge and rich, and if well managed could provide a substantial fortune. As a sweetener to the deal, Chagay threw in enough high borne wives so that within a generation or two, no one could question the Waicotte’s blood.
- The Waicottes were surely aware that the grant intentionally placed them far enough away so they could not cause trouble, and the limited trade routes would ensure taxes were properly paid. However, to a clan of formerly landless warriors the grant was like winning the lottery. If their pride was wounded, they could easily remind themselves that their newfound acreage greatly surpassed that of even the highest borne southern lords.
*375-50 years ago (Chagay’s Reign 25-350)
- The Waicottes subdue the Hurt, build castles, establish trade, and all that other stuff a fairly stable clan of royal rulers does during a long period of political stability
250 years ago (Chagay’s Reign 150)
- A group of fur and wool traders on the isle of Spreyheath, known as the Spreyheath Bears, build a small port on the ruins of an ancient city, naming it Shadewater (because the geography ensured the port area never got direct sunlight).
- Over the next two centuries, the city grows to a population of about 15,000 and the Bears become quite wealthy
41 years ago
- Sensing weakness in the Waicotte ruler Duke Ealhmund, The Spreyheath Bears stop paying their taxes
40 years ago
- Symund Rarder, the lord of the Caford region of the Hurt, is visited by Gourga, an orcish cleric of Grinak (The Guardian) who preaches to him of the importance of freedom. Symund is later visited by visions telling him that the peoples of the Hurt should be free from outside rulership. Trusting his visions, and assuming Duke Ealhmund will be busy first recapturing Shadewater, Symund denounces his lordship and declares the Hurt a free land. Assisted by Druids of Elandril, Gourga’s religious awakening spreads, and most of the other noble families in the Hurt declare independence.
- The peoples of the Hurt calculated wrong – Ealhmund decides that he should quell Gourga’s rebellion before dealing with the Spreyheath Bears, and invades the Hurt.
40-37 years ago
- The Walcotte Invasion / Gourga’s Rebellion (depending on the side). Despite being outnumbered, geography allows the people of the Hurt to put up a stubborn resistance, especially since the winters forced breaks in Ealhmund’s campaign.
- After two years, an increasingly frustrated Ealhmund sends word to the Nimmensea empire requesting assistance. In response, Empress Chagay (still living and ruling by unknown magical designs) sends The Scarred Lions, a division of hardened hobgoblin mercenaries led by Zuumutu the Chainmaster, a powerful cleric of The Overlord. Zuumutu’s tactics are so cruel Ealhmund begins to regret his decision to request help, but they are effective. Parents are crucified or roasted alive, children are buried to their necks and left for dead. Most of the able bodied, though, are enslaved and worked to death as sacrifices for the glory of The Overlord. Many of these are turned into undead to serve as cannon fodder. Over 80% of the population of the Hurt is wiped out in a few short months.
- Gourga manages to convince Uthug the Lookout – king of the largest local orc tribes – to assist. Uthug is far from friends with the races of the Hurt, but recognizes the threat of a region ruled by worshippers of The Overlord poses, and joins the battle. Simultaneously, the dwarves of Gili’s Delve recognize the same danger (and the political risk of doing nothing while the local orc tribes act), and attack from the northern mountains.
- Zuumutu’s army is met on its way to Caford by Gourga’s troops, and quickly falls back, making a last stand at Cawold’s Bridge. Gourga slays Zuumutu but is mortally wounded by Zuumutu’s spells. The Overlord’s power prevents his wounds from being healed by divine magic. The Guardian physically incarnates, and ascends into the heavens with the still-living Gourga. Of the 30 warships that carried The Scarred Lions north, only 4 are necessary to take those who escaped southward.