Abridged History of the 10th Age
A Timeline of Arunë
– Reynarius di Llun
The First Age
There are those who would tell you that all was dark in the First Age, but I have always wondered, how did the Giants and their kin see? The reason, of course, is because other works are ill-researched and only I, Reynarius di Llun, can bring you the truth of the matter. Whatever the other so-called sages say, in the First Age the World Tree came to full maturity. Before that, the world DID exist, but nothing could live ON it, because Valingas (the Heavens) and the Nine Hells were all separate places.
In the northmost regions of the North, if the stars are obscured by the clouds, there is still light. Not like the dim light that comes through in the lower regions of the world–this light comes from the WORLD TREE ITSELF. Asca-Irminsul, as it is named, GLOWS. Its leaves and branches shed a powerful light so that when all was supposedly dark, it wasn’t! It was lit by the illuminations of the world tree.
I have explored the gigantine ruins, the Wyrmish ruins, and the Trollish ruins where few others would dare! Orvius Wildspell went with me on occasion, but he never gets the stories right. So, you should know that only I am fit to relate the chronology of the First, unknown, Age. In the BEGINNING, Dragons crawled from the feet of Irminsul and flew all about the north. Trolls came from beyond the dark heavens, worshipping Mother Night. Giants emerged from the deep places of the earth and started building their huge structures. And the Gods fought. These godlings had all sprung from the Well of Life, which in its maturity, the World Tree supported. I’m of the opinion that the Well is not only the First and Purest water–or maybe not the First and Purest at all! It is said that the World Tree gives life, so I believe that the Well is actually intermixed with the Sap of the Tree.
If you’ve read a lot of the elf-histories, they can start to seem very Lumiä-centric. This is because their first encounters with violence were at the hands of his servants, and elves are a long-lived people who do not forgive or forget easily. However, as a man of Dorlan, I hope to give you a history without some of the scholarly biases of the elven peoples.
The Sun and the Moon were created by the Gods, admittedly in an attempt to counteract Lumiä’s creation of the stars which served him as eyes throughout the dark sky. With the Sun and the Moon firmly affixed on their courses, the First Age came to an end.
The Second Age
In the Second Age, the Gods created all of the people who we classify as “demi-humans.” Elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes, all sprang from various love affairs of the gods. Elves and dwarves were quite literally made, while halflings and gnomes were the love-children of Leesha Roseheart. It might help to explain the attitude of the elves and dwarves if you knew what they were made from–the elves sprang from the blood of the god Anunë mixed with the tears of Seniä which he then anointed a silver brooch with; from that brooch they sort of sprang forth. That’s why some of them have a strange silvery sheen to their skin.
Dwarves, on the other hand, were carved out of the hard granite of the mountains. They have iron and diamonds for bones, and were made by Eri Earthfather to impress Helden Stonemother, which they did. Of course, Eri then went on to have an affair with Leesha Roseheart, but that was all sorted out millenia ago.
Of paramount importance was the arrival of MY folk, who we can only assume had been living beyond the southern rim of the world since the darkness of the First Age. Zeshimites migrated northward during the Second Age; particularly a light-skinned under-caste of scholars, who in the North have become known as the First Men. Having escaped the tyranny of the immortal sorcerer-king Zesh, they taught the elves and the gnomes the secrets of magic.
Hamish Letterfriend would have you believe that the sun and moon were made in the SECOND Age rather than the First, but this is clearly ill-researched balderdash as the Pillar of Miles bears sun and moon epigrams on its surface, and everyone knows that it was constructed by the First Men right after their exodus from Zesh.
The First Men built the settlement of Miles after arriving, and crafted the Pillar in the likeness of the World Tree the elves described. Legend says that the first city of Miles was built all of red stone (which the Zeshimites call Bloodstone) like the Pillar. They chatted with elves a great deal, and taught them written language and magic. Folks say that since the Mileans never met the dwarves during this age, that is why dwarves never learned the true magic of the South.
The Youngest Races came following the construction of Miles. Most scholars will tell you that the huge population of races (gnolls, orcs, goblins, and on and on) were the fault of Lumiä attacking Valingas for the Water of Life. That’s nonsense! It doesn’t hold water, pardon the pun. Lumiä was already a god, so getting his grubby hands on the Water of Life doesn’t even make any sense. What REALLY happened was the Youngest Races were created from the Water by the Dragons of Balance! You never hear about THEM from your scholar-friends, do you?
That’s because most people believe they don’t exist! But they do. I’ve been to temples of the Dragons, and spoken to Wyrmish priests. Wyrm-legends are older than man-legends, and usually more correct!
The Third Age
The earliest parts of this age are lost because of bad record-preserving practices. I blame the scholars of the First Empire! Elvish tradition (obsessed with Lumiä as always) tells of the Imprisoning War where Lumiä was chained in the north beneath some old elvish capital.
During this time, which was so long ago all evidence of it has been erased by the passage of wind and rain over the land (save the Pillar), the First Empire controlled a good deal of the North. Whatever its trials and travails were we don’t know until the very end of the Age in which the First Empire collapsed with the death of the first Emperor who’s name we know, Malleor, who was slain on the field in a fight against Fire Giants.
The Fourth Age
The Second Empire was founded at what is now modern-day Bataille in IV. 119. Everything we know about the First Empire is from the Second’s writings on its fall. I believe (as do many other Dorlish academics) that the death of Emperor Malleor is the same battle against Fire Giants in which the Greensward was discovered, revealing halflings to the world. This argument actually holds water quite well, considering the old Fire Giant empire of Falinol was located nearby to the Greensward.
Various political intrigues went on between the little kingdoms of the Fourth Age; the Second Empire didn’t have the same sway that the First did, though it did leave linguistic markers (for example, Dorlish is closely related to High Varan!) which means that it had some influence even in places it didn’t control any longer. The events of the Fourth Age and the succession of Emperors is obscure and unimportant, information used only by scholars who want to make themselves look important!
The Fifth Age
The Second Empire fell in the Fifth Age when the Greenwood Elves turned on the Mileans after what ancient historians refer to as the Dwarf-letter Scandal in which a letter was intercepted from Bataille to Harnholme by the elves, stating eternal friendship between men and dwarves. The elves considered it to be some manner of insult, probably a secret plot concocted by Lumiä (there’s that name AGAIN) and so turned on the Empire and her dwarven allies.
The Sixth Age
The records of the Sixth Age in the North are very slim, so what I’ve been able to gather is particularly relevant to the South. During the Sixth Age, Zesh was sent into throws of civil war while Khewedi rose to prominence. The Zeshimites were driven out of their northern holdings while the Khewedi captured lands as far north as Túlarmë or Highstone.
There does seem to be some mention of the first wars between the Forest Giants of Rootwood and the Stone Giants of Umbrinol, but I wasn’t allowed to stay in the Forest-giant cities for long, and the Stone Giants lobbed boulders at me when I approached, so this event will have to remain a mystery!
The Seventh Age
There are some good histories of the Seventh Age, but since they are mostly elvish they focus on the elvish events of that period. Most striking are the two following: Túlarmë repelled Khewedi from its territory and, in VII. 669 the War of the Moon exploded across all elvish nations, calling many friendships into question and tearing apart elvish politics.
These major events overshadow small things like the birth of new kingdoms from the Avarine ruins. The city of Miles became the seat of a new dynasty (the Ellarians) who brought most of the area now known as the Hearthland under their sway. Meanwhile, in the north, Dorlan was being proto-formed on the shores of the Moonholme Sea. Yes, the roots of my nation go back even that far! The first wizard-regents of Dorlan arose during the War of the Moon, playing the elves off of one another and gaining the support of the Princes of Sidabrìnä.
Also, not to leave those massive creatures out of it, giants came down from the far north during this time and began harassing the farther flung dwarven colonies. These giant-tribes would eventually settle and become the nation of Umbrinol after the War of Resurrection.
The Eighth Age
Everyone knows about the Eighth Age, mostly for one major reason: the War of Resurrection. During the Eighth Age Lumiä truly resurfaced once again to make a reprisal on the stage of the world. He was defeated, as everyone knows, by the Hero Ozymandre. What folks are slightly less aware of is that this defeat was only made possible by one of his sorcerer-generals: Tharos. His betrayal at the last moment allowed Ozymandre and his allies to enter the city of Miles (to which Lumiä had laid siege and captured) in order to contest wills with the Godling.
Lumiä was defeated, and the shock of the misuse of the Pillar of Miles is said to have caused the seismic disruptions that sank most of the dwarvish homeland of Harnholme beneath the Trade Sea, which expanded northwards until it swallowed most of the greenlands between the Vales and the sea.
The Ninth Age
The rise of Old Thyrnesse (known as the Third Empire of Miles) as well as the final incorporations of Dorlish heartlands mark the end of the Plague Years, which followed the defeat of Lumiä. It is rumored that the Bleeding Plague came about due to the disturbance of an old servant-tomb enslaved to the Necromantic General Tharos. Legend says that with the dark Necromancer’s urging, the Plague enwrapped the world.
However, it is interesting to note that this plague ended the elvish renaissance and began in elvish lands. The elves suffered worst from this devastating illness, so it leaves many questions unanswered.
The Tenth Age
Our modern time, the Tenth Age must take up a huge book all of its own.