Abridged History of the 10th Age
News of Arunë
LATE SWORDING, 506
The orcish pretender lies slain upon the field, murdered in his attack on the mining town of Nainon. The Schoolman Hydrophis and his followers defended the town against a massive assault which came upon the second of Swording. Nainon was attacked by slaves, driven by orcish whip. Surrounded by hundreds of orcs, the defenders of Nainon retreated to the town center. There, the warrior Caesar de Cassel and the Ironbreaker sarjent Sieur Lucanus of Miles, made a desperate last stand, surrounding the orcish king and his Companions and cutting him down. When it seemed they would nevertheless be overrun by the thousand-strong orcish force, Sieur Thetis Tullius of Miles arrived with the army of the new Duke.
Camrose Anarjent, Grand Strategos, has been named Duke of Auruxol and has shown his loyalty to the dwarven cause by campaigning in the mountains against the orcs. The power of Akelthoz the Dwarfslayer has been broken.
Several days later, attending to other circumstances near Nainon, the Schoolman, along with the aid of the dwarf Einar of the Strekdei, entered the sealed Tholhar minehead to purge it of its infestations. Deep beneath the earth the Ironbreakers encountered not only the dead, returned to life by fell magic and driven with a burning and greedy desire for the flesh of those who were still quickened with life, but also their master—the night troll called Calak of the Deep. Lord of a race of ancient monsters, born before the sun itself, the creature Calak was destroyed by fire and blade.
So now come the Ironbreakers, victorious, back to Hammerval.
Swords and Sorcery
The world, the place the elves call Arunë, is old. Older than the imagination of most of the learned sages from every race. All know that it’s creation can be traced back to the First Age and that nine Ages intervene between then and now. How long that time is, none can truly say. Accurate records become useless before the period known as the Bleeding Plague that came at the beginning of the Ninth Age. Scholarly reports were destroyed en masse as libraries and private collections were turned over to the madness and chaos of the Plague.
The Bleeding Plague
On both sides of the Trade Sea, at the end of the Eighth Age, a great renaissance of Elven culture and civilization was underway. It was at the height of this renaissance (called the Elithä in the language of the northern elves) that the Bleeding Plague struck.
Ruinous to the Elven cultures, and highly contagious amongst that long-lived people, many cities and large states were depopulated by the Plague. Soon enough, it spread to the other demi-human races and to men. It was most virulent amongst the Elves where it originated, however. This led many cities (left adrift as their larger governments crumbled around them) to bar their gates and let no newcomers in. Magical wards were erected to obscure the surrounding countryside. The last living Elves entered a long period of seclusion.
When the ravages of the Bleeding Plague finally died down and the Elves re-emerged, it was to a changed world. Mass hysteria and violence had wiped away many old regimes, and it took the inhabitants of Arunë decades to establish working social organizations.
The Ninth Age
After the Bleeding Plague, historians began the recording of the Ninth Age. This was an age of rebirth, of slow resurgence after the shattering events of the disease had run their course. Chief amongst the changes of this Age was the arrival of a powerful Planes-walking wizard named Crisby who had returned from a long jaunt away from this world. When he returned, he brought with him news that Ozmiandre Griswald, the hero of the Eigth Age, was dead.
However, as part of his efforts to rebuild the world, Crisby founded the Grand Conclave of Wizards in the north. This brought together many disparate magical traditions, unspoken and unwritten since the Third Age. In so doing, he formalized many of the relationships of powerful wizards that had threatened the existence and peaceful living of various communities. Notable for it’s refusal to join the Conclave was the old kingdom of Teral which was eventually destroyed by a magical war during the Tenth Age.
Other institutions were founded and maintained as well, but most did not last into the Tenth Age. Crisby’s Grand Conclave did.
The Tenth Age
The modern age of the world, marked by the death of the last true-royal Thyrnessian monarch with bloodline traceable back to the Milenean kingdoms of the Third Age. It has been five hundred years since the passage of the Tenth Age, and since then many things have changed. Teral has fallen, the Dominions of Ishtria have conquered many of their neighbors, and at long last adventuring has been reborn in the minds of the common people, leading farmer’s sons and daughters to take up swords and hunt for treasure in the depths of ancient ruins.