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Blackmoor History - Post Cataclysm

by John Calvin

It should be stated that this is currently a work in progress, and may be subject to change at any time. Many periods below are sparsely detailed (I just haven't gotten to them yet), and as yet, I have still not coordinated these efforts with other members of the Blackmoor Project, so nothing below is "sacred". I would greatly appreciate any criticism that any of you have to offer on the timeline in general, and also if you could point out any blatant errors or conflicts with some of your other favourite timelines. [I make no promises about fixing those errors or conflicts...;-), but it would still be nice to know about them.]

3000 BC - The Great Rain of Fire. The civilisation of Blackmoor is violently destroyed, along with a major portion of the planet Mystara. The planets' axis is shifted, plunging areas that were temperate, beneath polar ice. Plant and animal species disappear in vast quantities.

The cataclysm catches the immortals off guard, and they rush to place species and civilisations into the Hollow World in order to preserve them. A small group of immortals argue that any remnants of Blackmoor should be destroyed so that this sort of catastrophe will never happen again. Another group argues that the Blackmoorians should be preserved in the Hollow World without their technology, or with altered technology. Several entropics use this time of chaos to wreak havoc upon Mystara, destroying at will.

A small group of survivors commandeer the radiance vessel, Albatross. They manage to navigate their way across the chaos to one of the now revealed polar openings. They save as many refugees as they can along the way (groups of humans, dwarves, and Emerondians). Several of the rescue attempts almost cost the crew of the Albatross their lives as they nearly escape immortal "cleansing" efforts. [Note: It is unclear as to whether these "cleansing" attempts are efforts to move Blackmoorian culture to the Hollow World, or to eradicate it fully. From the point of view of the Albatross, the immortals were simply "removing" their civilisation from the planet.]

Upon reaching the polar opening, the Albatross' engines fail and the ship crashes. The crew finds themselves in a magic free environment. Thanks to the quick thinking of the cyborg pilots, the Albatross is able to regain power long enough to manoeuvre into a cavern and seal off the entrance with its beam weapons. Fearing what they have seen the immortals do on the surface of the planet, the pilots took a chance that this magic free area would protect them. They were right. When the immortals seal up the old polar openings and create new ones, they also seal up the Albatross and her crew.

2999 BC - The past year is hard for the survivors of the Albatross. They must depend on their failing technomancy to provide them with warmth, food, and air. The cyborg pilots and other technically trained refugees labour endlessly to try and adapt their technology to their new magic free environment. Life is especially hard for the cyborgs who find their own implants are as unstable as the devices aboard the Albatross. Life for the other refugees is depressing. They live in complete darkness on the bare minimum of supplies (and sometimes less than that), and many must cope with the loss of loved ones who vanished on the surface.

2996 BC - Fully a quarter of the refugees have perished from starvation. Many others have taken their own lives. Although passages exist leading out of the cavern, none will dare to venture out for fear of being found by the immortals. The Albatross' failing systems are being strained to their limits. The radiance generator goes on and offline without warning, causing equipment failure throughout the community. Efforts to transform the technology into something useable are stepped up.

2993 BC - The cyborgs and technicians make a breakthrough. They are able to stabilise the radiance reactor for short periods of time. Great care must be taken however because without the technomantic monitoring devices there is a possibility that the reactor will overheat and cause a meltdown.

2992 BC - Serving as a makeshift radiance reactor, the Albatross's engines light the refugee's cavern for the first time. The lights are only kept on for 12 hours, but they fill the populace with a renewed sense of hope. Lights are turned on for short periods throughout the year as the now, purely technological, radiance reactor is tested and refined.

2984 BC - Albatross' radiance reactor is kept on continually except for its scheduled maintenance periods. Expanding hydroponics fields and other life support systems become top priority. Thanks to the new lighting system in the cavern some citizens now notice that the strange metallic walls seem to be deteriorating.

2979 BC - Technicians that spent most of their time working on refitting the reactor now shift their time to a new problem. The deterioration of the ore making up this cavern is now quite apparent. Many fear that without its protection the immortals will find their colony and destroy it. Studies show that the areas of deterioration are cantered around the areas of highest population. Resources are spread thin, and a general panic spreads through the population.

2974 BC - Yet another problem plagues the Blackmoorian refugees. Many of them become sick, with strange lesions forming on their bodies. Stillbirths increase, as do those children born with severe deformities.

2970 BC - Those studying the World Shield ore determine that the presence of life is what causes its deterioration. Some of the scientists propose that the deteriorating metal be remove (to prevent its spread) and then that the cavern be insulated with other materials, such as soil or steel coverings. The problem is that no one wants to risk leaving the cavern for fear of revealing themselves to the immortals.

Several expeditions are put together to map the boundaries of the protective ore. Using their old magical devices, the refugees are able to determine where the World Shield ore stops and where more conventional mineral deposits start.

The strange rotting plague spreads, infecting more and more of the refugees. Some fear that the immortals have found them and are exacting revenge.

2968 BC - One of the cyborgs is able to modify an old technicians suit to move about under its own power. The cyborg is able to interface into its systems so that he can control it remotely. [The technician suit is an exoskeleton designed to enhance a persons' own strength. It is mainly used by mechanics, and others, that need to move heavy materials.]

Other scientists determine that the Albatross is the cause of the strange rotting plague. The modification made to the radiance reactor, making it purely technological, are not able to shield the radiance properly. The shielding was a purely magical component of the old reactor.

In the meantime the reactor's use is curtailed. All energy is routed to the life support systems, using only the bare minimum amount of energy to sustain the colony.

2964 BC - Several prototype mining robots have been constructed from old technician suits. Cyborgs begin the process of mining the surrounding layers of rocks for much needed resources. Banding together they form Molectronic, the first post cataclysm corporation.

2945 BC - Deterioration of the World Shield ore has been stopped, and the Albatross' cavern is completely lined with protective alloys. Molectronic Corporation begins to grow as small refineries and factories are built. The first order of business is to produce more mining robots.

The refugee's population is evening out at this point. The population is small, numbering only in the hundreds. Many are forced to get cybernetic implants to counter the effects of the rotting disease, but since cyborgs are in demand to help pilot the newly created robots, most citizens welcome the transformation.

Much of the World Shield cavern system has been explored at this point, although citizens are still reluctant to leave the safety of the Albatross' cavern, which is rapidly becoming known as the Enclave.

2900 BC - Several cyborgs suffer from bizarre neurosis caused by the imperfection of their purely technological implants. The Enclave's provisional government mandates that cyborgs must undergo stability monitoring. The Interfacer's Guild is created to regulate cyborgs, many of whom must resign their positions in prominent corporations.

2895 BC - Without the strong leadership of the cyborgs, Molectronic Corporation splits into two separate entities, Molecraft which specialises in robotics, and Neurotronic Industries which specialises in intelligent software.

2850 BC - Thermal vents and lava pools are capped to capture geo-thermal energy.

2700 BC - Geo-thermal power plants are refined to produce more energy, more efficiently. The corporation of Eboncore is formed to manage this process. All dependencies on radiance power are removed as the Enclave switches over to all geo-thermal energy.

2697 BC - Molecraft takes another hit when several leading roboticists break away from the mother company to form Benzil Mechanics. Benzil becomes the leading producer of industrial robotics.

The fate of the colony is finally taking a turn for the better. Resources are not as scarce as they once were. Everybody has food to eat, and power to light their homes. For the first time in centuries, the Enclave thinks about expanding its boundaries into adjacent World Shield caverns and cave complexes.

2600 BC - World Shield ore is smelted and processed for the first time.

2400 BC - Nullium ore is processed for the first time.

2200 BC - Idyllic Corporation is founded by the merger of subsidiaries of Benzil Mechanics and Molecraft.

2000 BC - Neurotronic implements the Not Men project, and creates the Archive of Ages. Both the Forever and the Infinite are created at this time.

2034 BC - The first Not Men venture out from the Enclave's cavern complexes and into the world.

2037 BC - One of the Not Men reaches the surface of the outer world. This is the first contact the Blackmoorian refugees have had with the surface in nearly 1000 years.

1956 BC - As Not Men begin to return to the caverns and download their data into the Archive of Ages, the Enclave gets its first look at the surface world. It is very different from the one that they remember. Debates about what actions to take start, destined to last for centuries to come.

1800 BC - Polarity, a subsidiary of Eboncore, breaks away to form its own company. Their research focuses on the special properties generated by excited Nullium.

1785 BC - Not Men have explored much of the outer world and are able to infiltrate many of the known governments. Their purpose is only to gather as much information as they can.

1700 BC - A group of elves find an ancient Blackmoorian device on the surface and cause it to detonate. The explosion devastates the area known as the Broken Lands, and sends elven refugees scrambling underground to seek shelter.

[This event may not be as straight forward as it sounds. Not Men may have been involved in uncovering the artifact and leading the elves to it. Searches of the Archive have returned no evidence that this was the case, however some scholars theorise that the Not Men involved were under the control of the Infinite. If this were the case then those Not Men would not have downloaded all of heir data into the Archive.]

1500 BC - The Nithian civilisation has reached its height.

1450 BC - Seeing the first generation of Not Men become dysfunctional, the Infinite rebels. The Forever recognises this as the natural order of things and opposes him. During the conflict the Never Caves are irradiated and must be evacuated. The Infinite is not destroyed however, and continues his resistance in secret.

???? BC? - One Not Man travelling with a group of shadow elves stumbles upon the Hollow World. When he returns to the Enclave, the Not Men project is revitalised. They now have an entire new world to explore.

???? BC? - Not Men travelling in the Hollow World are surprised to find the nation of Blackmoor! An intense infiltration campaign is begun once the Enclave hears of this occurrence. Not Men are pulled from assignments from all around the world to travel to Jomphur Blackmoor.

A hysteria rips through the Enclave when the news becomes general knowledge. Many citizens want to return to the surface world (even if it is the surface of the Hollow World) and rejoin their brethren. Cooler heads prevail however, as the provisional government rules that no citizens be allowed to leave the Enclave.

1100 BC - Factions of Polarity and Eboncore merge to form the research firm, Corewave. Corewave focuses on energy transfer systems.

1000 BC - Alphatians make Landfall. The provisional government institutes the training of the Zen-Thara. These are the Enclave's elite, trained in the arts of combat and deception. Cloaked in the latest Nullium technology (woven Nullium clothing and devices) the Zen-Thara venture to Jomphur Blackmoor and try to blend in with their society.

980 BC - The Zen-Thara find that Jomphur Blackmoor is pitifully behind in its technological advances. They still practice the magical arts and worship the immortals. With these findings the provisional government rules that none shall journey to Jomphur Blackmoor except authorised Not Men and Zen-Thara.

The Zen-Thara's charter is expanded and after an initial training period in Jomphur Blackmoor, they are allowed to travel to other nations in the Hollow World. Many take on apprenticeships with local wizards and begin to relearn lost magical arts.

972 BC - Enterprising corporate entities come up with an idea to reintegrate Jomphur Blackmoor into their society. The plan is long term (spanning over the centuries) but with the backing of the Forever, they feel that they can go ahead. By manufacturing Nullium trinkets and distributing them throughout the countryside, they hope to do for a nation what Nullium cloth does for one of the Zen-Thara.

954 BC - Nullium products are slowly being spread across the landscape of Jomphur Blackmoor in the Hollow World. A select group of Zen-Thara and Not Men are chosen to head up the project. Posing as merchants from neighbouring lands, they slowly begin to introduce ancient Blackmoorian technology (all made from Nullium) to their recently found brethren in Jomphur. The project is limited to small and distant communities with little interest in the immortals.

670 BC - Although it has taken longer than expected (due to the spell of preservation), Enclave technology is becoming entrenched in those initially selected Jomphur communities. The operatives notice that the more Nullium is present in an area, the easier it is for the natives to accept new ideas and technology. The presence of Nullium actually weakens the Spell of Preservation, allowing the Jomphur citizens to behave as they would have on the surface.

Native born citizens of Jomphur Blackmoor are being recruited by the Zen-Thara to carry Enclave technology to the rest of their culture. That way if the immortals investigate the emergence of new technology, they will find that it comes from Jomphur Blackmoor.

650 BC - The Merchant project in Jomphur is so successful that the corporations turn their sights to another long term project. They begin to stockpile Nullium items that would be useful in the event that the Enclave decides to return to the surface. Since these items are manufactured by robots, and never see the light of day, they will remain, in perfect condition, indefinitely.

500 BC - The Nithian civilisation has been erased by the immortals. With its disappearance the Zen-Thara are allowed to operate on the outer surface.

0 BC - The first Emperor of Thyatis is crowned.

??? AC - Several Not Men disguised as gnomes help Glimreen Gemeye to utilise ancient Blackmoorian artifacts in the construction of the Flying City of Serraine.

1010 AC - The Not Men witness the events during the Wrath of the Immortals.

1017 AC - The present day.