January 21, 2012

A History Lesson

Hubert Robert totally played D&D
I've sketched out a rudimentary timeline for my campaign, it's really just a frame for quick estimation of the age of whatever fallen-down piece of masonry the party is murdering through. What little history the people of Ig remember and bother to hand down is little more than tall tale and myth.
~10,000 years before the Scourge of Katoun Belmora, the empire of the elves, is a world power. They build walls of glass that hold back the primeval night and live in long eons of wonder and delight. The humans and dwarves who live outside the empire's gates scrabble to survive in the darkness beyond. Humans develop stone age tools, while the dwarves soon become masters of the forge deep in the mountains. The Scourge of Belmora comes when the gaze of the elves pierce the sky and unleash a plague of monstrous locusts that scourge the empire from the land. Humanity remembers this only as a age of dreams and terror before the mastery of fire. The dwarves weather the fall of Belmora by closing off their mountain fastness from the outside world.

~7,500 years before the Scourge of Katoun The dwarves open the gates of Mak, their underground empire. In the 500 years since they cut themselves off from the outside world their kingdom has grown vast indeed, having hollowed out one great peak in the Dark Mountains. Facing a lack of living space within the mountain, and finding Ig more pleasant than they left it, they quickly form settlements across Ig. They soon come into contact with tribes of agrarian humans. Trade between the two gets off to a rocky start, but the dwarven mercantile families soon form partnerships with many tribes to supply the empire with the food it needs.

~5,500 years before the Scourge of Katoun The dwarves of Mak delve too deep into the roots of the Dark Mountains, unleashing a horde of creeping, monstrous insects. These horrors devour Mak from the inside out, and without its heart the rest of the empire soon crumbles. These are hard times, the winters turn cold and the monstrous insects pour down into greater Ig, causing devastation to most of the dwarven settlements of the plains. Humanity, in its decentralized tribal units, escapes the worst depredations, although most of the urbanized population living among the dwarves is annihilated with the fall of Mak.

~3,500 years before the Scourge of Katoun Human civilization progresses during an era of plentiful harvest. The empire of Katoun begins to coalesce around the port of Holdfast. Beneficent rulers are able to quickly expand the empire as small kingdoms and freeholds flock to the banner in pursuit of easy trade. The Knights of Katoun push the borders of the empire to the uttermost corners of Ig, laying low monstrous insects and pushing fell beasts out of the civilized lands.

The Scourge of Katoun In a bid to discover the shape of the world, Katoun sends a fleet of ships to the south. They are never heard from again, but within 50 years monstrous insects begin to move north across the ocean. The Dark Mountains, long quiet, vomit forth a new horde of insect horrors that lay waste to Ig. Caught between two primal forces the villages and towns turn on one another, blaming each other for the encroaching doom. A long dark age begins.

~900 years after the Scourge of Katoun The campaign begins.
I'm intentionally riffing off the Four Ages of Man from Ovid and the Fall of Rome. 900 years after the collapse of empire seemed like a time when the civilization would be just beginning to creep back into the world. Whatever petty kingdoms the warlords that had sprang up out of the remains of Katoun collapsed leaving space for dominion for the players if they accrue enough wealth and power.

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