Before Age Of Wonders I campaign:
The following excerpt is taken from the 'Book of Wonders' and recounts the history of the Valley of Wonders up through the beginning of the original Age of Wonders game. All years are given in "LIR" or Lord Inioch's Reign.
- 0 LIR: Inioch is crowned Emperor of the Elven Kingdom and his father retires to Evermore. He is the undisputed supreme monarch over the Blessed Continent. From the Verdant Court in the Valley of Wonders, Inioch's will is law.
- 800 LIR: A new race called the High Men appear before the Verdant Court. Inioch hides the official communications between the Verdant Court and the High Men, keeping their requests to himself. Instead, Inioch forms a political coalition among all the races of reason to promote peace with the new comers, assigning many scholars to lead the effort. They are called the Keepers. The Keepers grossly ill-informed of High Men intentions, satiate the strange newcomers with their intentions of peace.
- 801 LIR: The High Men leave to work in their 'garden.'
- 870 LIR: Inioch announces his wife's pregnancy. The Verdant Kingdom rejoices for the duration of the pregnancy.
- 878 LIR: After 8 years of pregnancy, Inioch's wife gives birth to Meandor, but the celebrations are cut short. Inioch's first wife, Eleanor, dies in childbirth. Her body is taken to Evermore. The celebration of the new heir's birth is overshadowed by the obligation to mourn the loss of the Elven Queen.
- 898 LIR: The minimal period of mourning expires, and Inioch marries Elwyn the following day. Meandor, still only a child, resents Elwyn and finds the haste of their marriage an insult to his mother.
- 961 LIR: Inioch announces that Queen Elwyn is pregnant. Inioch justifies the new child's conception by claiming the child will replace his first wife among the Elven population. Factions led by Meandor in the Verdant Court refuse to celebrate the child's coming.
- 962 LIR: Vessels appear on the horizon, and inhabitants of the Blood Isles issue complaints about the migration of an uncouth race called Humans. After overwhelming many of these islands, the first Human explorers continue on to the Blessed Continent, following after the retreating ships.
- 964 LIR: The first Humans refuges reach the shores of the Valley of Wonders. The Keepers welcome the Humans and convince Inioch to grant them the Grey River Basin in which they form a small colony. Inioch instructs the Dwarven Sentinels to open the Valley passageways to all.
- 965 LIR: The Human colonies experience hardships at the hands of Goblin and Orcs raiders, and the Verdant Court remains reluctant to show aid. Rumors abound among the Court that perhaps some of the cause of this hardship is Court induced. The Humans turn to more dangerous allies, seeking help from the oppression of their kind.
- 969 LIR: Queen Elwyn gives birth to a baby girl. Other races clamor about the influx of Human population, as comfort and ease of life become scarcer. Inioch's political enemies view the new child as evidence that there will soon be no room for both the growing Elven population and the ever-burgeoning humanity. The Keepers back Inioch, who claims the fact that the child is female is proof that she was meant to replace his dead wife. To acknowledge that replacement, he names the child Julia--the name of his first wife (and Meandor's mother). Meandor is less than pleased. Celebrations honoring Julia end abruptly with the news that Human factions have discovered evidence suggesting that factions within Verdant Court have funded and organized the plagues and persecution against Human colonies.
- 970 LIR: FALL OF INIOCH'S COURT. The Humans declare war upon the Verdant Kingdom, and together with their allies, they strike against many of the Kingdom's most precious holdings, including Inioch's Court. Meandor allies with a secret faction of Elven rebels known as Dark Elves. After a twisted scheme of political intrigue, the Verdant Court falls to a force of Humans. Inioch is slain. The palace is razed. Clutching her newborn child in her arms, Queen Elwyn flees the Verdant Court with the help of the Keepers.
Meandor is gravely wounded and mistaken for dead. The slaughter is so great that the Humans pile the bodies in the ruined central court and refuse to settle near it, leaving the center to stink in the wind. Not understanding Elven physiology, Meandor's gravely wounded body is thrown into the heap of dead to rot. After many weeks, with the aid of an unknown force, he escapes the press of the dead and joins with the Dark Elves. The Keepers manage to hold the Humans back temporarily and establish a non-aggression pact.
- 971 LIR: The Humans claim the Valley of Wonders as their own. Any race refusing to accept Human sovereignty is to be driven from the Valley. The Keepers negotiate a brief time for migration. Queen Elwyn gathers the Elves pleading with them to leave the Valley and go elsewhere, but many stubbornly refuse. Many Elves want to stay and fight, desiring vengeance and demanding that she lead them in the struggle to reclaim the Valley. After many debates, she takes Julia and leaves.
- 973 LIR: Tired of Keeper efforts to stall the evacuation of Elven settlements from the Valley of Wonders, the Humans turn to their swords to force the migration of all others therein. The Elves are scattered, fleeing in
every direction, as they become the primary targets of Human aggression. The Dwarves, at great expense, try to close the mountain passes to the Humans, allowing the Elves time to escape. Only a few Human armies make it through to pursue the fleeing Elves. From the Pass of Grief, a mass of Humans overwhelm the Elves, chasing them to the Toll Rock Wood. The Humans trap the desperate fleeing Elves and all that cannot escape via boats are slaughtered.
- 974 LIR: Silvanus is founded as a bastion of Elf power. Unlike Queen Elwyn, they refuse to retreat further at the press of Humans. They raise an army and destroy any Humans responsible for the slaughter of Toll Rock Wood, and drive all Humans back to the Valley of Wonders. In the coming centuries, only the Elves of Silvanus consistently succeed in resisting Human expansion.
- 975 LIR: The Dwarven Sentinels break and fall back to settlements nearby. The Humans begin building massive fortresses and continue to hold the Valley, as more Humans arrive by sea.
- 977 LIR: The Dark Elves crown Meandor the rightful monarch, in Inioch's place, over the Valley of Wonders. Few races acknowledge the act, and a majority of races back Queen Elwyn, while others simply refuse to accept any ruler.
- 983 LIR: The Dwarves, wearied by a decade of holding the Humans within the boundaries of the Valley of Wonders, begin to see their efforts are in vain. With little support from the other races, they are forced to conside their own survival. They decide to expand their underground cities, centering upon
Deepmir. They begin massive feats of construction and excavation.
- 985 LIR: After a short period of being ignored, Meandor forms the Cult of Storms, dedicated to the destruction of humanity. The Cult adopts tactics similar to the Keepers', but with the intent of destruction, rather than preserving peace and serenity. Meandor attempts to flatter the Elves of Silvanus into
joining with him, but the Elves refuse to have any part of his plots, and Meandor's plans for retaking the Valley are largely ignored
- 987 LIR: Human strongholds within the Valley of Wonders are so established and impregnable that the Humans increase their colonization into the Valley at an unprecedented speed. Fleet upon fleet of travelers arrive. The Valley continues to fill with Humans, and they eye the surrounding lands with hunger. The Cult tries to excite the nations to action against the Humans, citing their rapid expansion as the doom of all others. But too many races have been beaten by previous engagements against the Humans to really do much more than nod and sigh.
- 989 LIR: After repeated defeats at the hands of the Humans, the Cult of Storms suffers numerous desertions and many bloody outbreaks of civil strife. The Cult eventually gains control over most of the evil races, but not without suffering many setbacks and losing many of its more powerful Leaders to sedition
- 993 LIR: The Cult's attacks of terror against the Humans result in Humans attacking the fair Elves, mistaking them for their attackers. Keeper negotiations with Humans crumble as a result, for Humans do not believe the Keepers and Cult to be separate organizations. To prove to the Humans that they are different, the Keepers realize they can no longer ignore the actions of the Cult. In the Keepers war
against the Cult, Elf and Dark Elf clash in a terrible conflict.
- 994 LIR: Humans begin to conquer the lands surrounding the Valley of Wonders. Each race braces for inexorable Human expansion, while eyeing each other's holdings with the hope of gaining some advantage.
- 999 LIR: The Halflings donate the Isle of Aldor to the Elves and draw most of their people into the United Cities. After nearly thirty years of wandering and fleeing, Queen Elwyn and her refugees found a new Court. She is proclaimed rightful ruler over the Elves. The Elves of Aldor accept her as ruler, and the Halflings back her appointment with unprecedented enthusiasm.
- 1000 LIR: REIGN OF CHAOS. A number of key alliances crumble. The races divide and gather to themselves, seeking to exert as much influence as possible. The Keepers' only shelter is found within Elwyn's court and among the Halflings. Many of the evil races view the disintegration of harmony upon the surface as an opportunity to attack. Thus, a new millennium starts for the broken kingdoms. Aptly, the following years become known as the "Reign of Chaos."
Meandor claims that he should be the rightful heir supreme, as by Elven custom the
rightful heir is traditionally named in the 1000th year of a king's rule. Yet it is unprecedented that an Elven King die before the end of his rule (as Inioch has), and most Elves fear Meandor--even those few who follow him fear the outward changes in his appearance and the company he keeps. Following Elven tradition, he would have to marry Elwyn, and Elwyn will have nothing to do with him. Many Elves look to Julia as a true heir to the Verdant Throne.
Meandor declares that, due to their reluctance to crown him, the fair surface Elves have committed high treason and vows to see them all punished. This, of course, does not win many converts to his side. And still, the threat of Human expansion increases.
Human settlers in the area of Castle Gulch establish a trade compact with the savage race called Lizardmen. Never before has such a lucrative and cooperative deal been forged with the reptilian race, and the world looks on in envy.
- 1001 LIR: With the Elves weakened and the order of protection crumbled, Orcs pour from their caves beneath the Toadstool Vale, seeing the latest chaos as an opportunity for easy plunder and a chance to establish themselves as 'chief bullies' in a world of weaklings.
- 1013 LIR: The remaining surface Dwarves leave for Deepmir. Rumors abound the Dwarves plan to abandon their mines, and intend to collapse their lucrative excavations in favor of the security offered by Deepmir. Though the rumors are false, the mines of Moridian became a battlefield. Dark Elves and Orcs slaughter each other by the thousands fighting over the rich area on the far periphery of the Dwarven realm.
- 1020 LIR: After the official period of mourning ends, Meandor strikes against his former subjects, the fair Elves. He begins a reign of terror and vows to destroy all those who will not join him in his quest to rule the Valley and destroy humanity. The Heartwood Forest is badly scarred by a most terrible skirmish. Meander sets loose hordes of Orcs and Goblins who set fire to the sacred forest. Thousands of acres are destroyed and the fires continue smoldering for years.
- 1023 LIR: After many losses and migrations, the Dwarves are more numerous in Deepmir than in any other place on the land.
- 1025 LIR: Julia joins the Keepers, and begins her training among them. She is celebrated as the youngest Elf to join their order. She is sharp, and beautiful. All who behold her view her as the one true heiress to Inioch's reign. Meandor's many attempts to assassinate her fail.
- 1048 LIR: After the most severe winter ever recorded, the Humans make a new enemy: The Frostlings, who took the unusually strong winter to be a sign by which they should conquer.
- 1080 LIR: The Azrac Empire pushes against the influx of new races into its Southern territories. Under the guise of a 'Ritual War of Racial Purification,' refugee races find themselves trapped between a mass of Human invaders and the sacrosanct empire of the Azracs.
- 1082 LIR: After purifying their boundaries, the Azracs turn their attention to capturing key treasures in the North and begin a great campaign to take control of the Blessed Continent.
- 1084 LIR: Azracs fight for control of the Reedfin Canal.
- 1087 LIR: The Humans expand their influence, pushing the Azracs from the southern and eastern sides of the Valley. After a great battle, they capture the Ashen Steppe.
- 1090 LIR: Human explorers established a fortress in Barondir Bay. They clash in a bloody contest with the Azracs, Lizardmen and Frostlings who all lay a claim to the land.
- 1096 LIR: After many successful attempts to secure new lands, the Azracs launch their most concerted effort ever to conquer the lush lands held nearest the Valley of Wonders. The Keepers see the invasion as a chance to establish strong order and take back some of their rightful lands. In addition, they hope to show forth their peaceful intentions toward the Humans--the most established race in the region. The Cult of Storms moves in to sabotage any efforts for peace.
- 1098 LIR: The Keeper Alliance manages to push the Azracs from the richest portions of the Northern Kingdom. The Azracs, who know defeat is imminent, steal the Horn of the Dead and threaten to blow it, should aggressors seek vengeance, or attempt to take advantage of their weakened state and capture their ancient holdings. The Horn is a ancient artifact with the power to call forth the living dead.
- 1101 LIR: Melenis, a powerful Stormlord wizard and favorite wife of Meandor, sneaks past the Azracian defenses and blows the Horn. The Azracs are blamed, though they deny the deed and do not know themselves it was Melenis.
- 1102 LIR: The Undead sweep over the lands.
- 1111 LIR: Halflings and Goblins fight over an obscure area of mountain lands. All races of the Northern Kingdom prepare for the waves of death, which are surging toward even the most peaceful lands.
- 1115 LIR: The Dark Elves refuse to join the alliance against the Undead. Though generally silent during the invasion, which occurs mostly on the sunlit surface, they do manage to take a few surface possessions, including a fertile area near Durlag.
- 1122 LIR: Many Humans are seduced by the power of the Undead. Death cults and necromancers run rampant, spreading the false doctrines of death. The fair races of the world suffer greatly.
- 1127 LIR: Races crowd into the largest walled cities at even greater rates for protection. As a result of over crowding, pestilence breaks out among the people. Huge populations die. The Undead grow stronger. Even without invading armies of dead, whole cities of living creatures are replaced by the walking dead. Most crops are destroyed by pestilence as well. The Azrac Empire trades with the Blessed Continent for obscene profits, thus bolstering the Azrac's sagging defenses and economy. Though never that significant in the battle against the Undead, they do manage to hold their own and continue to profit from heavy trading throughout the next decade.
- 1145 LIR: Undead continue to take Alliance holdings. The Humans pull back to their strongholds closest to the Valley of Wonders, and cease their expansions, but they too begin to lose footage against the Undead onslaught.
- 1146 LIR: After a year in which the Valley teetered on the brink of oblivion, the High Men arrive in glory and power. Within a month, they stop the Undead advance. Together with the Alliance and the Humans, the High Men begin to win battles.
- 1148 LIR: After another harsh winter, the Frostlings begin to move into more central regions, as the Undead begin to scatter from High Men attacks. Many remote areas are washed with the chaos of battle, giving the Frostlings the perfect opportunity to claim large tracts of abandoned territory.
- 1149 LIR: The Undead are driven back to retreat into the shadows.
- 1151 LIR: The High Men clear the Undead from the Northgale Islands and inform the Frostlings that they might come and resettle the area. Hearing the news, three rival Stormlords rush off to claim the land "for the Cult," but all are slaughtered by a force of Undead still hidden in the isles.
- 1152 LIR: The High Men disappear again, leaving their holdings empty. Only a few potent High Men remain to guard certain nodes of destructive potential. Most races scramble to snatch up their holdings and build upon them. This results in another conflict.
- 1054 LIR: An order of dragons, tired of the bickering races, convince the Humans to experiment with weapons of mass destruction. Trusting the dragons beyond sense, the foolhardy Humans, eager to gain greater power over the other four factions, turn their major holdings in Gelder Province into a crater of smoldering stone and the Dragons move in to occupy the territory.
- 1159 LIR: With the High Men mostly gone, the Undead try to revisit their destruction upon the land, but the alliance is too strong, and after half a century of fighting, the Undead are simply too weak. The Undead change their plan of attack to one far more subtle--they start to work upon Meandor's mind.
- 1163 LIR: After many defeats, the Undead leader Igor attempts to obtain more troops by orchestrating a war between rival Dwarf and Orc factions by luring them both to his stronghold with false tales of riches and power. Hi plan backfires when he gets caught himself between the warring races and is destroyed.
- 1164 LIR: The Cult agrees to a number of non-aggression treaties with the Undead. Necromancers begin to hold influence among the Cult of Storms.
- 1172 LIR: High Men are spotted among certain Human settlements, but nothing comes of Keeper attempts to forge alliances. Dark Elves and Orcs battle Dwarves and Elves for control over Thinreed Lake.
- 1175 LIR: Elves on the Isle of Aldor start a campaign to eradicate the local pirate trade in the region.
- 1194 LIR: Meandor allies with the Goblins and begins scheming.
- 1197 LIR: A record-long drought ensues and famine consumes the land for the next four years. Some races raid other races for food. The Halflings become quite rich from a trade compact with the Frostlings, whose normally frozen land blossoms in the scorching heat of the drought. The Azracs, on the other hand, are forced to eat many of their stores, and their plans for another organized invasion of the Blessed Continent are scrapped.
- 1203 LIR: Frostling and Halfling relations chill. After five years of prosperity and cooperation among the Halflings and Frostlings, the deterioration of diplomacy causes a number of conflicts between the two races. Orc hordes move against Honeyvale Falls and Halfling citizens start to disappear. By treaty, the Frostlings are required to repel the invaders before they could enter the vale. The Frostlings accuse Halfling militias of driving the Orc raiders back toward Frostling possessions just beyond the vale. The Orcs, pleased to annihilate either race, set off a war between the three races.
- 1204 LIR: After a decisive victory against the Goblins, driving the grunting race back to their caves and out of all surface holdings, Julia is promoted to lead the Keepers.
- 1206 LIR: The 'Decade of Silence' begins. (The next ten years are a time of uncertain peace, and no serious battles are fought during this time period. But instead of enjoying prosperity, there is a vast expansion in arms, as though a war is inevitable.).
- 1216 LIR: The Star appears over the Valley of Wonders. Meandor is seen creeping about the central Court Ruins, sifting through the bones of the dead. An agent for the Cult of Storms assassinates Queen Elwyn. The Silence ends. Julia and her choosen hero leads her Keepers forth to reclaim the Valley of Wonders.
At this point the campaign scenarios began for the original Age of Wonders game. Several centuries would pass until the storyline for AoW II: The Wizard Throne begins.
Someone competent enough will write time line from beginning of AoW I campaign to end of AoW: SM campaign.
Shadow Magic Recap:
After the war of the Wizard Kings, the restoration of the Circle of Evermore was supposed to bring back peace and balance of the elemental forces. But the magical cataclysm caught the attention of a greater evil. From the void, demonic shadows gathered. They struck Evermore first. Merlin and the Circle are caught unprepared and were marooned in limbo, called the Shadow World.
Meanwhile, a Human Emperor called Phobius established rule over the Blessed Continent. People, frightened of all things magical, flocked to his side. Feeding the paranoia, Phobius set out to root out practitioners of magic. In this magical vacuum, the Shadow Demons gathered their strength and began devouring souls.
Faced with a common threat, rival siblings Meandor and Julia of the ancient Elven House Inioch put aside their conflicts. Together with the human wizard called Merlin and his otherworldly Syron allies; they drove the shadow demons back and defeated Phobius. The world returned to peace. This happened in the year 382 of Queen Julia’s Rule.
Now follow the key the events that have transpired between that time and the start of the Age of Wonders 3 campaign.
QJR 384 – Shadow Flight: The Syrons and Archons follow the retreating Shadow Demons beyond the Shadow Gate.
QJR 385 – The Decade of Peace – Most Wizards find their realms decimated from the Shadow War. They gather their remaining forces and repair their lands. Meandor (the Wizard of Death and High King of Dark Elves) and Julia (the Wizard of Life and High Queen of the Wood Elves) rule what remains of the surrendered Phobian empire in peace. Merlin is sceptical about the new times and wishes to be forgotten by most, but makes an exception for Julia.
QJR 387 – Having seen the fall and redemption of her brother Meandor, Julia seeks a way to heal the conflicted natures of all elves and to restore them to the state they were in when her mother, Queen Elwyn, was young. Julia’s duties as queen require her to abandon her search, however. Merlin vows to continue to search for the means of mending the Dark and Wood Elves together, knowing the peace it would bring would make Julia happy.
QJR 387 – Delegations of Human representatives petition Julia for power to seek their own sovereignty. Queen Julia is sympathetic, but after the reign of Phobius Meandor does not trust the Human race. Because the two rule together, she respects his wishes and sides with her brother, denying their petition.
QJR 390 – The Syron and Archons return from the Shadow Realm, pleading for help from the world’s greatest heroes. They claim to have found other worlds falling prey to the Shadows. Meandor is sick of the constant squawking of human complaints and proclaims his intent to leave the world of Athla to exterminate the forces of Shadow. Heeding his call, Wizards and Heroes follow Meandor’s lead as rumors spread of whole worlds full of riches to be discovered. Merlin also leaves to investigate these claims. Meandor leaves three of his most trusted servants, a Triumvirate of dark elf leaders, to rule in his place. They are named Saridas, Werlac and Hester.
Queen Julia also remains behind to care for her people and rule the world of Athla.
QJR 391 – With Meandor gone, a deluge of requests inundate the courts. It becomes clear to Julia that most Elves, due to their immortal nature, are unfamiliar with the immediate nature of humans and their needs for quick resolution of things an Elf might find tiresome or unimportant. She attempts to teach the Triumvirate of Dark Elves about the nature of humans, but Werlac is uninterested, Hester hostile to any advice, only Saridas listens intently.
QJR 394 – After four years of constant petitioning from representatives of all the races remaining in Athla, Queen Julia gathers her closest advisors to address their requests. With the help of Saridas, Julia formulates a plan to allow the other races the rights and powers to rule themselves. She drafts the original charter for what will become known as The Commonwealth.
(YC – First Year of the Commonwealth – Founder’s Day is a holiday held on the day the Council of Kings finished drafting the Commonwealth’s Laws of Governance. Most sages agree this year marked the start of the Third Age of Wonders.
1 YC (395 QJR) – The Council of Kings – Julia gathers the remaining rulers of the land to the Valley of Wonders. She presents the Charter of Principles, and asks the rulers present to accept it as their law. A number of rulers refuse to relinquish the way they rule their people. Among them various Orc, Draconian and Goblin clans, the Tigrans, a group of Dark Elves led by Hester, and all the Frostling Kings. They withdraw from the Council of Kings. The remaining kings, wizards and heroes agree to abdicate their power to the people, opting to form the first Ruling Synod to establish common rights and laws that enforce equality for all their subjects. They name their new government: The Commonwealth. Stronghelm City is officially declared to be the capital. The Commonwealth is a law-based society, without preference to race, creeds or birth right. Its citizens agree to resolve their differences using courts, rather than violence.
2 YC – 200 YC – An Era of Common Glory: An unprecedented era of peace and prosperity ensues for the Commonwealth. During this time, the borders of the Empire expand beyond any other empire ever known in the world of Athla—even beyond that of the Elves prior to humanity’s arrival.
10 YC – 33 YC – A Long Courtship – With their responsibilities as rulers diminished both Julia and Saridas begin a courtship. Saridas, who has been smitten with the Elven Queen for years, pursues her favor. Julia seeks to mend her relations with the Dark Elves, in the same sense she did with her brother Meandor. During a season of peace, and with Merlin and Meandor gone, Julia makes many efforts to meet with the Dark Elves in general, and Saridas in particular. One night, while walking beneath the trees and moonlight, he discovers her truest desire to heal the physical division between the Dark Elves and Wood Elves, so that they are one people again.
33 YC – An aged Merlin returns from the Shadow Realm. He claims to have been away for 1500 years, though he has been gone from Athla for less than 50. He tells of many realms, fragments of kingdoms, and portals found in the Shadow World, where even the passage of time is not the same as it is on the Blessed Continent. Most of the Wizards that entered the labyrinthine realm have disappeared behind this endless realm of smoke and mirrors. His words are used by demagogues to create fear and hysteria. A movement springs into action demanding the Shadowgates throughout the world be closed. After much debate, the Shadowgate at Sunbirth Citadel, which is considered a remote wasteland, is designated to be the only Shadowgate to remain operational within the Commonwealth.
35 YC – The Noble Exodus – After years of work establishing the Commonwealth, nostalgic (and often bankrupt) noble houses grow tired of the idea of equality and seek the old ways of ruling. They form a small, but mostly unpopular, movement to take their power back. After a quick and mostly nonviolent conflict they are given the option to leave Athla altogether through the Shadowgate or remain in Athla, stripped of their noble titles.
37 YC – Sunbirth City – Merlin is appointed guardian to the last Shadowgate in Sunbirth Citadel. He invites Julia to join him in the study of the weird phenomena in the region. Her affinity with nature and life magic lead them to a deeper understanding of the nature of Mana and its regenerative properties in the very world of Athla.
39 YC – Julia leaves Sunbirth City and Merlin to care for her people. Merlin realizes that Julia’s heart is with the plight of her people, and putting aside any potential rivalry secretly decides to help Saridas achieve Julia’s dream. He disappears for years at a time, distracted by his newfound quest, leaving the people to freely create massive wealth with very little oversight. All other shadow gates are now destroyed, and many of the people far from the last Gate start to forget the pain of the past.
66 YC – The Frostling Kings, tired of being pushed to the fringe of the fairest lands, attempt to break the Commonwealth’s hold. After two years of war, the Frostlings are driven out of Brisska and far into the north. All subsequent diplomatic overtures are met with disastrous results. They refuse all contact with the Commonwealth, barricading themselves in a land of permanent ice and snow. From this time on, none of the people known as Frostlings hold any lands of significance within the Commonwealth.
94 YC – What remains of the Tigran Race abandons the Continent of Kesh, and their desert holdings. There is no explanation for this migration, and their cities lay alone as great stone ruins to be swallowed by the constantly shifting desert sands.
99 – YC – As Wizards explore realms beyond the Shadow Gates, Commonwealth explores finding rich new lands on Athla itself. A call is made for colonists to fill the newly established colonies far across the seas and in unspoiled distant lands.
100 YC – The Last Shadowgate opens, this time from the inside. A delegation of Archons request assistance from Wizards and noble warriors to join them in what they call “The War Without End”. They wish to speak with Merlin, but he is gone. Merlin has been missing for a decade now, and even his apprentices don’t know where he is. Few in the land join the Archons. They warn the Commonwealth Synod that they are becoming complacent, and if they do not remain vigilant they will bring great calamities upon Athla. After they leave, the Archons are declared false prophets and dissidents by some of the wealthy and influential Sunbirth nobles. Queen Julia withdraws from the Synod, freeing up her seat to a new member.
117 YC – Saridas travels to Evermore seeking lore to help realize Julia’s dream of healing the Elven people.
125 YC – Because of their impatient and ambitious nature, a majority of the Commonwealth officials are now Humans, with Dwarves making up most of the rest. Draconians are tolerated less and less, and some taverns don’t allow them inside.
131 YC – Meandor’s Return: Meandor opens the last Shadowgate from the inside. He refuses to talk with anyone, barricading himself in a wizard tower. He seeks counsel of Julia and Merlin. The Commonwealth’s Ruling Synod demands to be included and is ignored.
132 YC – Last Exodus – A rampant rumor spreads throughout the land about a new power that has been discovered in the Shadow Realm. This power is vast and untapped. Many of the remaining Wizard Kings in the land set their global enchantments to protect their holdings and then gather their forces. They converge on Sunbirth Citadel and travel into the Shadow Realm to lay claim to this new great power.
135 YC – Merlin returns from the Shadowgate. He goes to meet with Meandor. When Julia arrives, Meandor unexpectedly fields a massive army, marching on Sunbirth City. Julia returns to her kingdom, and begins to stockpile supplies. All year long she demands tributes of any form, to be gathered and stored. Julia empties her treasuries. Merlin is seen in Evermore, reclaiming the Wizard’s Throne. Saridas leaves Evermore after a stranger helped him to find what he was looking for.
136 YC – The Cataclysm: The armies of Meandor sack Sunbirth City. Strangely they do not kill anyone who retreats, allowing them to leave in peace and take what they can. He clears the land around the city, and then drives his forces into the Last Shadowgate. Julia invites the refugees to her realm, where there are supplies for their subsistence. Before the Ruling Synod can react to Meandor’s treachery, Merlin destroys the Wizard’s Circle in Evermore. He channels the power of the destruction through his Wizard’s Tower in the Sunbirth Citadel: in a huge cataclysm the last Shadowgate is destroyed. The Shadow Realm is sealed off from the world of Athla. Merlin’s ritual to destroy the last Shadowgate destroys the power of all Wizard Kings remaining in the Athla. No longer able to enrich their domains with their enchantments or control the prosperity of the lands they control, natural calamities destroy many cities and regions.
137 YC – The Great Dearth – With the Wizard Kings losing their power, a great famine covers the lands of the Blessed Continent. Crops fail. The rains refuse to fall. The whole land suffers. Julia and her Elves save many lives by carefully rationing supplies that they stockpiled.
140 YC – Hunted and despised, Merlin seeks asylum with Julia, but the people, demand he be delivered to the Ruling Synod for execution as a traitor. Julia, in an effort to appease the outraged people, orders Merlin’s execution.
141 YC – Saridas returns from his voyages. He discovers Julia in a weakened state, no longer a wizard of life. He attempts to teach Julia the ways of rudimentary sorcery, but her heart is not in it. She has no more interest in the arts she once knew. They remind her of all she lost. Desperate to seek counsel, he enlists the aid of a group of druids. They remind Julia of the ways of the natural world. She is naturally gifted and dedicates herself to healing her lands.
142 YC – Voices in the Ruling Synod of the Commonwealth accuse Julia, and by extension all Elves, of knowingly allowing the sacking of Sunbirth City and profiting from the refugees, even though Julia shares her supplies for free.
143 YC – A young Lord, Victor Degrance, organizes the homeless nobles and merchants from ruined Sunbirth Citadel and raises a small army. He starts raiding the Elven lands of the Eastern Commonwealth. Instead of hording his wealth, he feeds his followers. He blames Julia and all Elves for the starvation in the land, using the stores of the elves as evidence that they have means while the rest of the empire starves. He notes that the Elves hold the richest lands in the realm, ignoring their counterargument that Elves are natural stewards of their ancient homelands. Victor convinces the Commonwealth Synod to parcel out lands traditionally held by Elves since the beginning of known history to non-Elves. This is an enormous insult to most elves driven from their ancient homelands.
146 YC – Slain and beaten, driven and betrayed, the Elves gather in the West, and choose Saridas and Julia as protectors.
148 YC – Saridas proclaims the ancient and unconquered Elven homeland, Sylvanus, a safe haven for Elves. He refuses to give up the Elven lands held in the East. Masses gather in these ancient woods. Saridas and Julia begin collecting the powers and resources required to perform a powerful magical ceremony. Rumors about their motives spread throughout the Commonwealth, accelerating the intolerance and hatred against Elves in the Commonwealth.
150 YC – The Mending – Julia and Saridas unite in a ceremony that heals the rift between all Dark and Wood Elves present, restoring the ancient race of Elves: the High Elves. They reinstate the Elven Court in protest to the Commonwealth, which demands the Elves surrender their lands for the benefit of all the other people in the land. Saridas declares the western portion of the Commonwealth to henceforth be Elven Court territory. The High Elves appoint their own local lords and elect their own ruling body. Then, ignoring their objections, they elevate Saridas and Julia to be their King and Queen.
151 YC – Julia announces that she is with child and steps away from ruling to focus on the start of her family.
153 YC – Rumors start to spread about the old Archon cities, long since void of the divine beings. Remote and almost forgotten, their dwellings are said to be haunted.
154 YC – Rise of an Emperor: After a near complete recovery and unprecedented prosperity thanks to stripping lands traditionally held by elves, the Commonwealth declares King Saridas, Queen Julia and their High Elven Court enemies of the Commonwealth. Among the Humans, the hysteria is at an all-time high. They fear the Elves are plotting to kill them all—as was a tenant of the Dark Elves at one time, and now these new Elves could be Dark Elves in disguise. Victor uses the uncertainty to consolidate his power.
155 YC – Victor convinces a majority of the Ruling Synod that an executive body is necessary to manage the powers of the Commonwealth—much like the ancient Wizard Kings of old. He proposes that he be elevated to Emperor in the case that there is a threat made against the Commonwealth. This would be a temporary position that would only exist for as long as the Commonwealth were in true danger. The Synod sanctions the creation of the station of this Emperor In War, and despite the Elves’ objections to it, the majority of the Commonwealth enthusiastically endorses Victor to serve in this position.
155 YC – 225 YC – The Uneasy Peace: The Elven Court and Commonwealth remain at odds. The Commonwealth position is that the Elven Court constists of rebels who have declared independence and who should give up their holdings since they belong to the Commonwealth. The Elven Court says they simply withdrew from the Commonwealth since it abused its power to steal their lands from them and that they should be left alone. Minor skirmishes happen from time to time, but there are also a lot of high-level talks, usually held at the Council of Origins in the Valley of Wonders. A solution is never reached.
157 YC – A new form of religion becomes popular in the Commonwealth. Demand for strange Shrines that empower their followers with enchantments outstrip the new sect’s ability to build them. Many Shrines are idols of the disappeared Wizard Kings.
158 YC – Prince Thannis is born.
161 YC – Though no official announcement has been made, rumors in the court are confirmed that Julia is pregnant with a second child.
168 YC – After another typical Elven pregnancy of 8 years, Julia gives birth to her second child, a beautiful High Elf daughter she names Sundren.
172 YC – Emperor Victor conceives a child. He names him Leonus.
173 YC – Heartwood Halfling Massacre – The Halflings within known realms in both Elven Court and Commonwealth inexplicably disappear after this great atrocity.
175 YC – The Dwarves of Rockwall form a trading alliance with the Elven Court, claiming neutrality in the political turmoil faced by the Elves. They are the first race to form such an alliance—having already strong trading ties to the Commowealth.
196 YC – Leonus has his first military success against a ravaging band of Orcs. He uses technology and machines to secure his victory. He is proclaimed hero and defender of the realm. An Academy is established to further develop mechanical powers.
200 YC – Edward is born to a lesser noble family. His father has fought with Leonus and they have been distant friends since. His mother was schooled in the ways of mathematics and philosophy. They are both devoted to the Empire and believe in its ideals.
201 YC – Victor dies, and his son Leonus takes his place as Emperor In War.
204 YC – Ships from the outer Colonies of the Commonwealth appear on the horizon. They share tales of rebellion. Colonies are falling.
205 YC – In reaction to the trouble with the colonies, and after a long fruitless struggle of reconciliation with the High Elves, the last remaining political opposition to Leonus gives in. The Ruling Synod abdicates its power to Leonus, declaring him to be Emperor Eternal. High Priest Voraditius crowns him in a lavish coronation ceremony. Emperor Leonus consolidates his hold on the last remaining noble houses in the Commonwealth. He sends envoys and powerful ships to take back the lost colonies on the outer edges of the Commonwealth.
215 YC – With the success and unprecedented security provided to the Commonwealth Empire thanks to their illustrious Emperor, Voraditius dismantles the Cathedral to the Allfather and proposes a whole new theology, proclaiming Leonus a living god, a Savior of the free people. The people once worshipped the dead heroes of their past, so why not a living hero—one in the flesh? Emperor Leonus declares it is his divine duty to reign in the High Elf separatists and bring them soundly back under the care of the Commonwealth.
224 YC – Order has been restored to most of the outer colonies of the Commonwealth. With tributes flowing into the Capital, the Emperor turns his attention back to the High Elf separatists, demanding they give up their lands immediately. Opposite to the trend, Brisska declares its independence.
225 YC – Start of the Campaign: the Commonwealth calls for talks with the Elven Court in a last attempt to avert all out war.
Can someone write what happened in AoW III (and its DLCs) campaigns here?