Detailed Timeline of the Age of Strife

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Years 1 through 24: The Dark Years

As the High King breathed his last, the once continuous World shattered into many pieces, some large and some small, all isolated from each other. Great realms were dismembered, with neighboring provinces (or even halves of a single province) now separated by great gulfs of Void: warring kingdoms were separated forever, or ancient enemies found themselves crammed together on a narrow island of stone that was all that remained of their world. Travel and communication between fragments was initially impossible: few knew the cause or even the extent of the Turning, and many fragments thought that they were the only survivors of the end of the World.

On the heels of the Turning came a host of other calamities. In many places great cities stood shorn of the vast farmlands needed to feed them, and trade could supply scarce necessities. Famine and plague ravaged the fragments of Aerynth, and bitter wars quickly broke out for the control of precious resources, keeping ancient rivalries alive or even pitting folk against their own kin. Some turned to raiding, pillaging their neighbors to survive, while other communities transformed into fortresses, fending off the evils of the World with stout gates and thick walls. In some lands ancient hatreds were forgotten in the name of survival, while in others, formerly peaceful folk degenerated into savagery and ignorance. Worst of all, the All-Father himself had fallen silent, and has not been seen or heard since the Turning.

Just as in the early years of the Age of Days, the souls of any who were killed quickly manifested themselves as Undead. In the wake of the Turning the Unholy Legions are more numerous and destructive than ever before. Entire towns are devoured by hordes of ravening Zombies. Beasts of Chaos, awakened by the tumult of the ground, rose and stalked the land again, destroying everything in their path.

- Years 1 through 24: The Dark Years
All dates are designated Shadow Year (SY).

1 SY

At Kierhaven, the Champions try to pull Shadowbane from the World Tree, but fail.

Cambruin's body is finally burned. Zeristan takes the ashes of the High King and hides them in a secret tomb. Sir Malorn manages to end up with possession of Cambruin's crown.

The Champions and the remnants of Cambruin's army try to return home, but find their way barred by the Void. Many begin questing for a way to leave their fragment and get word back to the rest of the World, while others renounce their knighthood and start carving out petty kingdoms of their own.

At the city of Mellissar, Cambruin's capital, both King Cambruin and Queen Bronwyn are absent at the Turning. Sir Adelard, one of Cambruin's Champions, takes control of the city and proclaims himself Steward of the High Throne. His able leadership averts disaster.

The first Shades are born, much to the horror of their parents.

2 SY

Guided by visions, Malorn the Just takes control of the secluded Cathedral at Cair Haldoran and sequesters himself there with several Prelates and a Bishop, Meldrin of Sorwenfells. Working in secret, they compose the Book of Swords.

3 SY

Large numbers of Dwarves move into the remnants of the Lands of men, seeking news of their kin and any information they can uncover about the nature of the Turning.

5 SY

Malorn and his followers emerge from hiding, and the Order of the Cleansing Flame is born.

Malorn's faithful win back the favor of the Archons, and manage to send visions and messages to pious Prelates on other fragments, the first communication at all between fragments of Aerynth.

Malorn's gospel appeals to the frightened Human masses, and converts join his new religion in droves.

7 SY

Malorn and his followers capture Sir Sesherin, who they proclaim to be the Traitor. They hold him and torture the Aelfborn Knight for his crimes.

Malorn proclaims a Grand Inquisition against the mis-born, and his followers on many fragments begin persecuting both Aelfborn and Shades.

9 SY

Bishops, Archbishops, and Cardinals of the Holy Church at last regain contact with the Archons. The clergy of the Holy Church regain their miraculous powers, although their abilities are diminished.

The depredations of the Unholy Legion reach their peak. Finally, Prelate Cambrell Nash uncovers ancient Church documents in the archives of the Cathedral at Wanford, and the Undead Hunter discipline is reborn. Divine messages quickly carry the secrets to far-flung fragments, and in many places Undead Hunters are able to halt the growing shadow.

20 SY

The Magi of the Arcane Conclave formally recognize Warlockry as a new branch of magic.

24 SY

The Druids emerge from seclusion, journeying to the surviving cities on every fragment. They reveal that they have devised a partial solution to the plague of Undead that threaten to overwhelm the World: Trees of Life, stone trees somehow linked to the petrified World Tree, that serve as anchors for the souls of the dead, drawing them back to the World and clothing them in new flesh.

Soon, each great surviving city hosts a Tree of Life, and other factions regularly vie for the right to acquire one of their own.

The advent of the Trees of Life slows the explosive growth of the Unholy Legion, but does not halt it.

The Old Faiths gain new strength as the only Church wanes, and for the first time Druids and Rangers take open custody of certain lands and towns.

51 SY

The Aracoix first appear on Aerynth, entering several fragments through Runegates.

Initial contacts between the Bird Men and the Children of the World are extremely hostile: the bitter conflicts that follow are all remembered as the War of Talons.

During the war, various Magi become aware of the potential powers of the Runegates.

54 SY

The Aracoix are finally defeated. The War of Talons ends.

Angillar the Blue and other Wizards unlock the secrets of the Runegates.

Physical contact between the sundered fragments of Aerynth becomes possible for the first time since the Turning.

55 SY

Queen Bronwyn finally returns to the Alvaetia fragment and journeys to Cambruin's capital of Mellissar. She demands that Steward Adelard open the Throne room so that she can be crowned High Queen, but Sir Adelard refuses.

Sir Eric Essengal, called Eric the Drake, also journeys to Mellissar from Kierhaven with many of Cambruin's former Champions. They argue with Bronwyn and the Steward over who should sit on Cambruin's empty throne, and finally open hostility erupts. Eric attempts to sack Mellissar, but Zeristan the Wise intervenes.

56 SY

Sir Eric and many other Champions withdraw to their shattered homelands to rebuild their strength. They adopt the title of Dark Knights, and soon are known as the War Lords. They quickly begin battling with each other for control of the pieces of the High Kingdom.

Sir Mardiock Wyrmslayer returns to Kierhaven, and meets with Sir Adelard. They devise a new order of Knighthood, hoping to keep Cambruin's Code alive. Adelard keeps his post as Steward, while Mardiock leaves on quest, seeking word of Cambruin's heir or return.

57 SY

The first Tournament of the Sword is held near the ruins of Kierhaven, where Knights, Warriors, and other pilgrims vie for a chance to draw Shadowbane from the World Tree.

58 SY

Several great Elflords and Elvish Magi from scattered fragments meet near the ruins of the Elvish metropolis of Diveryand. They send out a call to wandering groups of Elves, and start to plot the rebirth of the Deathless Empire.

62 SY

Nestor the 38th, Patriarch of the Holy Church of the All-Father, convenes a great Synod in the Holy City of Dalgoth. For the first time since the Turning, the Archbishops of the surviving fragments of Aerynth are able to meet and speak face to face.

Sir Malorn the Just is in attendance, and proclaims his new paradigm of divine law to the assembly.

The Patriarch and Cardinals rebuke Malorn, and proclaim the Book of Swords a heretical text. Malorn leaves the meeting, outraged. Many Prelates follow, and soon join the ranks of Malorn's Confessors.

63 SY

Malorn returns to the city of Cair Haldoran on the fragment of Kierhaven and declares it the High City, holy headquarters for the Temple of the Cleansing Flame.

Malorn drafts and ratifies the Articles of Faith, and the schism between the Temple and the Holy Church becomes official.

The Temple of the Cleansing Flame quickly organizes an administrative hierarchy, and adopts a rigid set of canonical laws.

66 SY

Sir Malorn is canonized by the Council of Pontifices of the Temple of the Cleansing Flame, becoming Saint Malorn.

69 SY

Drangellikor, a powerful Flame Drake, awakens on the Kierhaven fragment and ravages it. The beast is driven back from Cair Haldoran by St. Malorn and his Templars, and finally takes up residence among the ruins of Kierhaven. The beast slays all who attempt to draw near the World Tree. The Tournaments of the Sword end.

85 SY

Rumors circulate of an Aelfborn Ranger who has taken the title of The Briar King and founded a new realm composed entirely of Aelfborn. Many Half Breeds leaves their homes to seek this new kingdom. Few return.

90 SY

The Burned Prophet first appears in the Burning Lands, moving from Virakt to Virakt and telling Irekei leaders that the time for the Final Blood War has come.

92 SY

Rumors of kidnappings and bizarre ritual murders spread through several large cities. The Brotherhood of the Shroud, a mysterious Shade death cult, is thought to be responsible.

94 SY

Hagen Hraudingsson, a powerful Northman Storm Lord rumored to be the son of a God, returns from a long quest into the northern glaciers bearing Tharsir the Stormer, an ancient hammer wielded by Herogar, first thane of all Northmen.

Many Barbarians and Thanes flock to Hagen's banner, and the cunning Northmen begins working to claim the title Thane of Thanes. Many believe the Barbarian will lead the Northmen on another great invasion of the southlanders.

96 SY

A lone Wyrmslayer returns from the Ruins of Kierhaven to report that the ruins and the Drake are gone, and a vast pit lies where the World Tree once stood. Shadowbane's whereabouts are unknown.

St. Malorn sends a large contingent of Templars and Confessors to stand guard and keep vigil over the former site of the World Tree.

97 SY

The Present. Five generations have passed since the Turning, and trouble looms on every front.


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