"The empire long united must divide, long divided must unite; this is how it has always been." ― Luo Guanzhong, Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Ages are some vaguely defined time periods of the history of The World. The end of the Age of Might and start of the Age if Iron will differ from region to region.
Age of MistEdit
This is prehistory with no record of what occurred in this era.
The Age of Mist is named thusly for the foggy nature of the history. Not much is known of the age of mist, not even its true length. The world was born, gods roamed the earth as men, magic was plentiful and supposedly 1000 years came and went without a word of it being recorded. What is known is that a great number of magical artifacts were created (by man or by god), and the age ended with the first great Ogre War.
Age of HeroesEdit
This was the age of City States & Legendary Heroes, before the rise of Empires.
The first great Ogre War came out of naivety of the peoples of Solum. Ogres had been a problem, but nobody thought they would, or even could, band together. The results were devastating to the people of Solum. Eventually the civilized races of the world banded together, stopping the onslaught. Great heroes were forged in the war, heroes that inspired others, fought for their beliefs, and died in glory. Civilizations started crafting states of law, started working together to build great things. In a time before empires, the dominate forces in the world were bands of heroes that roamed the lands bringing their sense of justice and right wherever they went. Ogres invaded again, more heroes rose from seemingly nowhere, and the age ended with the first great alliance that formed the Ferrin Empire.
Age of MightEdit
This is the age where empires rose and unified the former disparate factions of humanity.
In Ancient Bravo, the Age of Might was the era of the Western and Eastern Empires.
In Caldonia this was the era when Humanity arrived on the island and founded their kingdom, pushing back the Caldonian Elf Territory. The Human Kingdom grew, cutting down the great ancient forests of the Elves.
The Ferrin Empire did not live to see its 200th birthday, but it set the precedent that law comes first and all people, save kings and high priests, are subject to it. Great magics that once wandered free were chained and focused. Kingdoms were erected and destroyed without pause, giving the Age of Might the nickname, “The Age of War”. Wizards worked in tandem to forge powerful weapons and relics. Fueled by a desire for expansion, for growth, for conquest, humans spread across the land, forever cementing themselves as the most populous race. The products of the age were the great cities of the world, mighty magic items that could only be made with the combined forces of magic, and the crossing of the great desert creating a band of civilization that sweeps from shore to shore of the continent.
From around 1100 Before Age of Iron to 0 Age of Iron in Solum.
Age of IronEdit
This Age is about the fall of Empires and the rise of Kingdoms. For the Arcadian Isles, this age begins following the Breaking of Arcadia.
The Breaking of Arcadia created a canyon that split the elf lands and the vodan empire in half. New Kingdoms rose and seized the lands of these former power. The elves managing to hold on to half their forest, but Vodan ultimately falling to Drekis and Mistrya. The creation of the Cape of Rohana also allowed the people of Akuba to give up their nomadic lifestyle and also form a kingdom. Arcadia was now mostly ruled by 5 major kingdoms plus the elf lands and the free cities.
Things grew stagnant over time. The god of chaos, Malkis, set events in motion to disrupt the kingdoms. The Demon Invasion of Eridon caused Eridon to fall and the balance between kingdoms shifted dramatically and soon Kingdoms were at war with one-another. The result of this war is likely to see the end of the Age of Iron in Arcadia and it is currently unknown what the future holds.
The Breaking of Arcadia, known locally as "When the storms came and the mountains rose", brought an end to the 2 empires humanity of Bravo. The land became a humid jungle filled with dangerous predators, broken up with mountain ranges with even more dangerous beats there. The races that didn't adapt, perished in the changes. Escape from the island became impossible to the appearances of The Kraken in the sea. The Elves refused to adapt to the changes, and instead tried to tame the land as it had been before the changes. Humanity fought to survive and over generations lost much knowledge and technology. The Dwarves dug deep into the new mountains and made new homes for their people.
The Breaking of Arcadia saw the lands of Caldonia frozen and the human population all slain. The gods changed the animals and people of Caldonia in order to survive in the new climate. The Scrag of Caldonia retreated from the forests and into the mountains, leaving the lands to go wild with the new animals and Gnolls & Kobolds. The Gnolls and Kobolds carved out their territories in this new Caldonia and fought against nature to survive. The land was considered cursed by the gods, as well as inhospitable by humanity of Arcadia and for most of the age no humans dared venture to Caldonia.
Ethos was likely created after the Breaking of Arcadia, and is an unfinished landmass, still under construction by the gods. It has almost no history as of yet.
As wise rules came to power the wars slowed, ending in the Treaty of Ferrus, and beginning the Age of Iron. Named after a human wizard of the black robes who is said to have appeared in each of the great kingdoms all at once who brokered the peace, the treaty put an end to the fires of destruction that ruled the last 900 years. Ironically, wizards were blamed for the destruction caused during last age, and magic suffered. The 7 great towers constructed during the age of might became the centers of magic as distrust of Arcane Magic grew. People born with the gift were discouraged from exploring it. Mages accepted fewer and fewer apprentices. Ignorant people who saw no difference between arcane and divine magic harassed, attacked and killed clerics as well. Divine Magic, which was already uncommon grew rare as people looked less to the gods for help and more to their fellow man. Near the end of the Age of Iron a powerful cleric named Oris brought the goddess Voraci into the world. War raged for decades with no rest. Near to a century after the Vale War started, it ended abruptly.
Age of ProsperityEdit
This age hasn't been explored in any of the Arcadia Isles.
Vowing to never let Voraci or any other force overwhelm the Solum again, the free people (elves, humans, dwarves, halflings and gnomes) of Solum created a network of alliances to preserve the peace. The people thrived. Populations boomed for all but the elves as peace ruled for more than a quarter millenia.
As generations of humans came and went, the lessons from the Vale War were slowly forgotten. Empires that had expanded to swallow their neighbors found themselves with only big fish left in the pond. Tensions rose. The elven population was only just starting its recovery, with most elves alive remembering the horrors of the Vale War first hand. They pleaded with the humans. They begged. They turned to the dwarves for help. Elf and Dwarf together sent envoys to the great powers in the Solum in hopes humanity would see the path they were on. Wise kings and emperors listened, but not all men are wise, and after 300 years of peace, war broke out again.
The war was small and lasted for only a few months and when it ended, it was with dignity and surprisingly few civilian casualties, other kings and nobles took interest. Bit by bit small conflicts popped up. Alliances were selectively broken or allowed to expire. Elves and Dwarves stuck together, cautioning humanity against their greed, but with no enemy to fight and nobody to remember the suffering of the Vale War, humanity wouldn’t be slowed. Wise kings eventually die and brash new leaders took their places.
The ensuing war was terrible. It lasted only 3 short years, but the destruction was on a whole new scale. Any evidence of how the war began was lost, but the treachery of elves and dwarves was burned into human memory. Solum was divided into 7 great human empires before the war, which formed three great alliances. A last alliance of dwarves and elves covered the continent and was used to great skill.
The first year of the war saw humanity decimated. Great empires created great wizards who rained fires down on cities from hundreds of miles away. People died in great numbers; one in ten did not make it to see the second year.
The second year was worse. Dragons who had formerly made alliances with various empires denounced the slaughter and refused to help. Emperors who were great only in name began to demand the heads of dragons. Armies clashed. Dragons rebelled. Cities crumbled. Divine Magic fought Arcane Magic. Elves and Dwarves refused to honor ancient alliances and instead joined the war on a 5th side in the third year.
The third year of the war was the worst. So terrible was the damage that few records survived. By the end of the war, fully 2/3rds of humanity lay dead. Elves and Dwarves sacked the cities of man for all they were worth. Dragons, metallic and chromatic alike, laid claim to lands once ruled by mighty empires.
Age of StrifeEdit
This age hasn't been explored in any of the Arcadian Isles.
Age of Strife. The war never ended, it just stopped when all the armies were depleted, when the leaders were dead, and when there was nobody left to kill. Humanity hangs by a thread. Without great empires to hold the darkness at bay, beasts and monsters of legend have returned. Soldiers who returned only to find their village gone took to crime or starved. Arcane Magic is universally despised. Wizards are killed on sight when possible. Divine magic is rare and treated as a resource. Clerics gifted with magic from their gods are fought over by kings and bandits alike. Travelers are distrusted, life is precious, and a man is only as good as his word. Thieves are hung. Liars have their tongues cut out. Murderers are put to the wheel. Law exists, but often there’s no money or manpower to enforce them. Injustices are great and many. The strong rule in this world where might makes right.