History and Timelines

History:

Methods of Counting: As opposed to describing an age based on technology (stone/Bronze/Iron), the primary ages are counted based on their magical development.

The Mystic Age: Early magic, shamans, mystics, and other more “primitive” views of magic. Divine power is more common and wizards do not exist in this age. Most magic users are intermediaries between the natural forces. Formal study of magical energies does not occur. Historical Parallels: North American Tribes, Celts, Mayans, Polynesian and Maori Tribes.

The Arcane Age: The first scholars and the study of magic have begun. This age comes with particular technological developments as well, including writing, currency, and formal religions. The emergence of formal cults begins. Arcane magic becomes more formalized and wizards and formal clerics start to emerge. Society’s complexity is reflected in their pursuit of magical power. Several fields of schools of magic emerge including alteration and enchantment. Historical Parallels: Ancient Egypt, Persia, Pre-Imperial China, Sukhothai Kingdom of Thailand, Babylon

The Ivory Age: Society has developed to the point where simply blowing up anyone who disagrees with you has come and gone. Formal schools of learning have opened alongside formal religions. This age comes in concert with the development of philosophy, theology, and the beginnings of scientific inquiry. In almost every case, a society that has come to this age begins to characterize itself less by tribal identity and more by ideological notions similar to cultural unity, religion, language, and other forms of civic/economic policy as opposed to simple kings or warlords. Historical Parallels: The Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, The Abbasid Caliphate, Imperial China, The Mogul Empire.

Note – Dwarves and Elves have their own calendars and counting systems. The Dwarves count by Dynasty with their First Thane’s ascension as year 0. The Elves count by age believing in circular time when all things will return to the 1st age after the 3rd age is done. (The 3rd age is the worst and the current age according to the Elven count. The 1st age will return when the God Eldarian returns to destroy the world.

The River Cities
The first records of civilizations in the region were found in the area that is now known as Ithica. They called themselves the People of the River, or Rubicari. It is believed that these people came migrated south around the mountains, settling into the fertile peninsula. Much like the present day these cities were a collection of warrior kings that fought each other over food, land, and slaves. Things began to change when King Roadran – The Great Law Giver, set down the first law code alongside schools that taught a very early form of the Ithican language thus becoming the earliest known civilization that made the transition from Mystic to Ivory Age.

The People of the Stone
What is believed to have occurred at a similar time as the reign of King Roadran, several tribes came migrated from the Burj wastelands to the lands opposite The Green Sea. What is believed to have happened is a long drought forced the thriving (but illiterate) tribes to cross the waste in search of fertile lands. While not completely without merit, legends speak about fierce battles with goblin tribes in the great wilderness on the edge of the wastelands. The battles were short but brutal as the People of the Stone brought weapons of Bronze with them against the rock wielding goblins. After defeating these tribes, the People of the Stone began to settle along the dust coast (then called the fertile coast). Floods of people still came and eventually settled all the way to The God’s Well. These migrations of people then went into a series of conflicts over control over these new lands. While the tales call these conflicts wars and recite stories of great warriors and fierce battles, the truth is that this rarely went beyond tribal raids and clan feuds.

The Kingdom of Ith
After a time the River cities began to make alliances and record their histories and genealogies. The cities began to become formal kingdoms. Soon the War of 3 River Kings came to a blow, where the biggest cities fought for control of the whole region. The great city Ith was the victor, unifying all of the cities into one single kingdom with one language, and one ruling dynasty. The civilization then became a unified force and expanded north and across the sea. Many of the cultural advantages that the old River Cities had developed then spread across the region most notably the written alphabet of Ithish script.

The Erosion
When the Kingdom of Ith landed on the shores south of the Dragon’s Teeth, they encountered the Great Stone Cities. Trade was plentiful, but quickly turned into war as the Ith Kingdom become greedy, believing themselves unstoppable and on a quest of civilizing the rest of the world. What followed is one of the most brutal wars ever fought in recorded history. Most of the old cities were destroyed and the people were rounded up and killed. Most of the survivors either fled north to join their sister cities, or back to the Wastelands. The kingdom of Ith then set up colonies in the ruins of the old cities of Stone and introduced written language to the region. Many of the cultures that survived the horrors inflicted upon them have never forgotten. Even today there are still tales told of the pogroms. This had two side effects. Both relate to the role of slavery in society. Many societies vowed to abandon slavery, starting with the survivors of the enslaved and eventually reaching the shores of Ith itself. And Ironically societies became more aggressive and warlike, brutally, plunging their civilizations into centuries long periods of decline from which they have yet to recover.

The Rise of King Lothar
The kingdom of Ith expanded north alongside the mountains finding a highly primitive culture which posed little resistance to the Kingdom of Ith. While the Erosion was occurring and more and more resources were dedicated to the East, the Northern provinces were neglected. Lawlessness and collapse of society was inevitable. Within the last few years of the collapse, legends about the need for a great king similar to the Great King Ith (now dead for nearly 200 years). Lothar rose from the ranks of the Kingdom’s legions and proceeded to wage a war to push the neglectful governors and the brigands out. In a twist of fate, as an attempt to slander this new group, the Southern lords named these new people after a combination of the Ith word for mountain goat (Erac) and the local word for people (Alani), which has become the modern word Aleriaci (Roughly translated to Wild People of the Mountain). From that time to the present day the Aleriaci people wear the original insult of a name with pride. Lothar was never defeated in battle, even after driving the Kingdom out and having to face local rivals.

The Wise Kingdom and The Kingdom of Glass
After the Erosion, hundreds of settlers moved from the Kingdom of Ith to exploit the vast resources in the area. Not long after, Ith began to constrict internally. The reign of King Cersan II, was particularly brutal. The intellectual elite, including mages, scholars, and philosophers moved into the colonies to escape the oppression. After a generation, the few hundred prospectors and laborers became a migration of Ith’s intellectual class. As Ith continued to decline into the reign of King Orseno IV, the colony at the in the old stone cities, began to view themselves as separate. With the wars raging in the north with the Sons of Lothar, Ith was unable to prevent the secession. The former servants to the King of Ith, based their nation on logic, wisdom, and pursuit of scholarly work. The Wise Kingdom was founded. Naval skirmishes were plentiful, but ultimately a stalemate that worked to the benefit of the Wise King.

At the same time as the decline of Ith, the northern settlers from the people of the Stone whom were not allowed into the fertile lands had settled onto new lands north. While far from as fertile as the southern forests and rivers, the Dhal badlands are rich in mineral resources such as gold, iron, and glass. Great merchants rose to power as the managers of this new found wealth, eventually needing consolidated military power to defeat the local manscorpion tribes that were native to the region. Thus was born the Kingdom of Glass, or so it was named by the Ithish scholars for their fondness for stained glass and glasswork as a decorative art form.

The Unwise Wars
After the founding of the new kingdoms in the east, war was quickly inevitable. Vast mineral resources to the north provided too tempting of a target for expansion. On 4 separate occasions, in half as many generations the Wise Kings tried to invade the Kingdom of Glass for its abundance of natural resources, only the first was marginally successful. Each time the local merchant guilds, the Dhai Kings and their armies were able to outmaneuver the Wise Kings, and their proved to be their magical equals. After the fourth invasion failed in complete disaster, the Dhai (Glass) King had proven that they were a nation that would stand the test of time.

Summerset
While the Wise Kings, Ithkin, and Sons of Lothar slaughtered each other in an age of bloodshed, Elven colony ships from the far off Homeland reached the shores of The Broken Islands. Hundreds of ships bearing people, crops, materials, and wisdom that was unknown to local scholars began to settle on the largest island then called Theldic. The Elves were cautious but assertive in their colonization. Massive navies from nearly 3 kingdoms were pervasive in the Green Sea. The Elven magistrates knew that they could claim the islands without a fight, but no more. Trade began. While farther away from other nations it was the Glass Kings was the most grateful and active in these new arrangements for the resources and mercenaries gave the elves not only allies, but also a welcoming invitation to their new home.

Shakti Arrives at Seome
While thousands left the Burj in the early years, nearly as many stayed behind. Years passed and after a time the seasons became more kind. What the people of the Great River Kal say is that the decade of drought ended and the rivers flowed again. By the time the 1st Unwise War was occurring, the Kalahari had regained much of their lost strength. Silver was discovered in the outlying regions as well as iron, replacing the bronze tools that the people of the stone had used in generations past. Beating back several enemies including the desert raiders to the north and pirates from far off lands further east, the Kalahari had entered a golden age. A trade mission was sent to find the long lost survivors of their brethren. None had known that the erosion had taken the majority of them. What they found instead were a people that had wealth, magic, and a desire for the multitudes of spices, foods, and goods from their homeland. Shakti Devica Punishka set out with 20 ships bound for Seome. Despite the fact that her ships made several more stops in cities all along the Dragon Coast and even making contact with the Kingdom of Ith, that first tour de force of trade forever burned a memory of the southern lands being a place of wealth, mystery, and luxury.

The Fall of Ith
Within a 30 year period, the Kingdom of Ith suffered from some of its lowest and highest point in its history. Having been in decline for nearly a century at that point and the Sons of Lothar having gained more and more strength, it was only a matter of time before the fighting between the two nations ended in defeat. Ithal was sacked by King Kaspar the Conqueror and what was possibly the most cultural powerhouse of the known world was plundered. The shock of this event was felt even as far as the Wise Kingdom and the Kalahar. Hundreds of the intellectual elites, including many of the nation’s magic users and clerics fled the oncoming invasion. For nearly 10 years, Kaspar and his armies remained in the Golden peninsula. Apocryphal accounts of the invasion describe mass slaughters and other acts of barbarism. The truth is far from that. Many of the lower classes lives were unchanged during the intertie of the invasion. The real damage of the invasion was the loss of writings and history during the fires that swept through Ithal and other smaller cities.

The Death of King Roth, and the Ithican Empire
Kaspar the Conqueror died a legend in the eyes of the Aleraci. His nephew Roth the Unready had a massive shadow that he could not overcome. Rivals internal to the Aleraci and the old Ithican elites in exile saw an opportunity to take power. With enemies on all sides Roth the Unready lived up to his namesake, and was assassinated by his own sister. Not long after the Aleraci hosts returned to the other side of the river.

A majority of the knowledge that Ith has gained in its long years as the cultural powerhouse, were lost. The Exile had unexpected benefits. Contact with the Elves and the advancements made by the schools opened by the Wise Kings preserved a majority of the knowledge as well as discovered several new sciences, technologies, and magical advances. This was the Dawn of the Ivory Age for several realms at once.

The first was the city of Paloma, that began to use its wealth and power to make deals with other cities and unifying against the Aleraci invaders. Once the great city of Ith was captured and rebuilt, Alphonse Macano declared himself emperor. With the backing of new wizards and the power of the Golden Church, the Empire grew quickly, within 3 years of the Imperial declaration all of the old Kingdom was behind the new Emperor. A few years later, the Empire had captured over half of Alerac. A few years after that, the Empire had sent ships across the sea to bring the Wise Kings to heel. By the time of his death, Emperor Macano I, had conquered more of the world than anyone else previous in known history.

The Coming of the Elves
While not an unknown, elves were an extremely rare sight. What was unknown to the people of the Green Sea, is that scout ships had been looking for a suitable place for a new colony for nearly a century. By the time of the fall of Ith, a large settlement was set on the Broken Islands. Dinas yr Ynys {city of the Island}(Dee – Nas Year Niece) was the first of the major cities built and the center for all colonization efforts by the Elves as they continued to flow from the homelands.

While their coming had no military consequences, their forever changed the world none the less. Hundreds of new ships were now flowing through the Green Sea. New technologies and knowledge became accessible. Most importantly it gave the fleeing scholars of Ith a place to go into exile. The Elven corsairs were happy to provide sanctuary in return for knowledge of the realm that they had just come to, and did so for nearly 80 years. A whole generation of people grew and studied with the Elves, helping them establish trade routes, learn the local languages, and understand the various threats there in. In return the exiles of Ith gained much in terms of knowledge and ideologies. The later Empire would not have been possible without the aid of the elves.

The Late Empire
Ith had changed dramatically since the days of the old Kingdom. Now called Ithica (or Great Ith), as result from an aristocracy that had as much experience with the elven language as their own, they expanded their influence far and wide. Macano I’s reign was long and prosperous, however far from without stain. Thousands died in the invasions of Alerac and the Wise Kingdom. By the time of Domenico II, most of the known world is firmly under the control of the empire. The Glass Kingdom was under great pressure to maintain a peaceful coexistence with the Empire. However, the empire was coming under tremendous stress to maintain its size. Corruption became rampant and more and more often merchant lords and provincial generals would act for their own interests.

Another side effect was the damage with the relationship with the Elves of El’Enatha. Emperors and a vast majority of the noble classes ceased sending their children to study with the elves. The Empire began to focus more on internal politics and less on cultural/political development. This coincided with increased consolidation of power in the emperor. Trade failures were inevitable.

The Centurion War
Not long after its centennial, the Empire was beginning to suffer from the constant political tension from various noble, mercantile and foreign forces. Several factions began to desire less of a role for non-ithicans within the Empire. These factions severed tied with the Elves, imposed harsher dominance of the Aleriaci and Sophinian territories, and diminished trade with the Mougl. Many who had been making their fortunes from this trade protested to the Emperor as well as envoys from El’Enatha. In a move that has since be marked as the turning point between the Golden Age of the Empire and the beginning of the fall, Emperor Sergio I and Last was assassinated along with several merchant nobles and the entire Elven delegation, after pledging to make amends with El’Enatha. Emperor Aldo claimed the throne in a coup that sent massive shock waves across the empire. Armies had to be recalled to the Golden Peninsula to quell the political uprisings and secure the hold on the capital cities. Nearly days after both Sonfinia and Alerac went into rebellion. Within 4 years all Imperial forces had been removed from the old Wise Kingdom. Alerac was forced to fight for another 20 years until the infighting among the Imperials was so great that they could no longer send armies to counter the uprisings.

While there was always an Emperor sitting on the throne in Ithal, they never had full control of the Golden Peninsula for long. After several more coups, the political alliances began to settle along the rivers running east to west. The Northern cities of Ithal Rem, and Paloma held the conservative political influence while the liberal old guard sought allies in the Southern cities of Thalini, Valnic, and Paci. These alliances themselves held for only a generation as backstabbing became expected. The Northern cities eventually overcame the southern resistance, but left each of the new nobles remaining to fight over who would be the new “Emperor”.

By the end of the Centurion War, a hundred years had passed, thousands lie dead, and the Empire was gone. The nobles whom had dedicated so much of their efforts to gaining political power realized that the systems that they fighting for were no longer in existence. Whole cities had been burned down and much of the supposed glory of the Empire was gone.

The Great Council
The Empire’s invasion of The Wise Kingdom was devastating. The king himself was killed along with most of the ruling dynasty. Every major city was sacked and the fleet was reduced to a fraction of its former strength. When the Centurion War broke out, the former ruling dynasty was able to ally with several displaced factions including the new merchant’s guild, frontiersmen, and former imperials. The alliance held throughout the rebellion. After the imperial army was finally forced back across the Green Sea, thoughts then turned to what to do next. While the former Wise King’s dynasty was still there it did not possess the political strength to reclaim their former power.

New ideas centered on the enlightenment of the mind and an emphasis on scholarly excellence came from the Elven influence via the Empire and a previous history of wise councilors to the King, and as a result a new political system was founded. Rather than collecting power in one person, power was distributed among a number of elected persons in a new meritocracy. Critics within the Empire thought that civil war was inevitable, however the Great and Minor Councils have proven to be the most stable and advanced political body in the known world. As of now Sofinia is still in a golden age of trade, art, music, culture, and knowledge. While the Universities of Ithica have longer legacies, the colleges of Sophinia produce more wizards and magical practitioners than ever before. The Minor Councils similarly have provided avenues of social mobility for lower and middle classes that were previously unknown to the world.

The God’s Well Conquests
While wars raged in the south, to the north, two separate events occurring within a generation of each other have brought attention to a region of the world previously regarded as an empty place on the map. Explores from the Kingdom of Glass had made contact with the Vast Empire nearly a full century before the Founding of the Ithican Empire, but trade was extremely difficult due to the cold and lack of stable routes that could be traversed. The whole of the north was filled with large swaths of land owned by mountain clans, Orcs, and other non-human races that had yet to form major cities. When the Vast Empire finally sent an expeditionary force to seek potential allies and trade routes, they found instead a whole region that was ripe for expansion. Colonization efforts were swift and brutal. The Streltsy Legion marched in force along the river routes and within 2 years had won every battle, defeated all tribal force amassed against them, and begun bringing settlers from the Vast Empire. Even now however the territory is just that, a territory of the Vast Empire and not an official province.

Not Long after the Founding of Yathergrade, and the taming of much of the north, another invasion brought yet another new player into the Green Sea region. The Thane of Dumac has been arguably the most difficult nation to deal with since the Children of Stone came across the wastes. The dwarves have conquered, subjugated, and begun extracting everything they possibly can from the Dumaci region. Skirmishes with Yatheria have happened often, but neither side has gained an advantage. Much of the problem has come from the lack of information about the Thane. They spoke a strange new language, don’t trade with anyone but their immediate neighbors, and seldom allow foreigners into the underground cities. An embassy is open from the Czar of Yatheria, but that is the only formal political contact that they have. With control of the only major land bridge between the east and west sides of the Green Sea, significant amounts of land trade routes with between Yatheria, Qudar, and Aleric all must pay tolls to the Thane.

Present Day
While there are no wars being fought at the moment, tensions remain high. To the north in the God’s Well, the Thane’s stranglehold on the trade routes is increasing tension with the Yatherians. The Itchican city states have been feuding with each other for decades with no end in sight as increasing settlers from Kumel swell the ranks of the forgotten cities in the west of the the Golden Pinnisula. Trade goods from the south have increased the standard of living of most of the cities in the Greenlands. The elves have begun to become more and more distant from their homeland, building tension between the older and younger generations of elves. The Aleraci continue to feud over land and political power, with the unspoken goal of one day turning south to conquer the divided city states. Intrigues and subterfuge is first line of defense for Ithica against a second invasion. Similar battles of coin and spies run inside the council halls of Sofinia, threatening to undermine all of the progress build after the Unwise Wars.

Unbeknownst to all are the other treats brewing. Monsters and other horrors have begun to move past the edges of the maps. Demon cults are more side spread than ever before. Secret societies of necromancers have become more and more frequent among the members of the higher societies including the Great Council and The Academy of Ith. The Burned Men are losing their war against the monsters that plague the borders of Qudar, and it is only a matter of time before they fail without significant aid.

History and Timelines

Age of Annihilation jackoehler51