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First of all my excuses to good ole Gary for not answering his call to arms regarding the Immortals' thread, but as you will see I was pretty busy writing down something else.
I have finally managed to finish the new version of my extended timeline for Wendar, Denagoth and the nearby regions, and after the last adjustments, I have deemed it right to post it here for your perusal. I'm again sorry it comes so late after Old Dawg's great gazetteer, but I couldn't work any faster, sorry.
I took the liberty of using many of the events that were introduced by Geoff in his timeline of the Northern Wildlands, and used almost all of his elven names. However, I did change a lot of the timeline to suit my own vision of the local history, especially since the elven migrations went something different IMHO.
I quoted almost all of the towns and locations added in Wendar's enhanced map too, aside from a couple of places (Uumarne and Brethiliath, since they are tied to the Alfheimers' coming and thus do not appear in the timeline, which halts to AC1000).
I want to thank and to thank a lot Lo Zompatore and Zendrolion for their priceless assistance and ever precise comments, as well as for the capacity of going through this long timeline with a keen eye to spot the inconsistencies.
As soon as I will have the map that shows all the places quoted in this timeline, I promise you I will upload it here.
In the meantime, please take a deep breath and plunge into this long series of events... hoping you'll enjoy them.
Timeline for Wendar-Denagoth-Ghyr-Northern Wildlandsby Marco Dalmonte
6000 BC: There is no true civilisation in the Outer World. Humans are tribal hunter-gatherers, living mostly in plains and light forests. They are divided into three great races: Neathar (light-skinned), Oltec (copper-skinned), and Tanagoro (black-skinned). Dwarves are barbaric mountain and foothill dwellers, mostly goatherds. Elves are sheltered, protected and nurtured by the forest-spirits they worship; they do not need to work or suffer. There are no monstrous humanoids on the world to threaten the demihumans. Halflings live in the rolling hills and forests of the southern continent, some distance from the elves, whom they respect greatly.
5000 BC: The childhood of the elves is over; the forest spirits (faedorne) stop sheltering them, forcing them to leave paradise and to seek their own futures. One group is placed by Ordana in the northern region of the continent of Skothar (Genander High Elves), while another one thrives in the forests of the southern continent (Evergrun Sylvan Elves).
The first great elf civilisation, Evergrun, develops on the southern continent in areas now under the southern icecap.
4600 BC: The Immortal Protius creates a race of aquatic elves similar to the wood elves of Ordana, to act as wardens of the seas, and places them near the Evergrun civilisation. After some centuries, the Aquarendi start mingling more with their land-dwelling cousins, and become very curious and envious of the Evergrunians' life on dry land.
4500 BC: Beastmen - reincarnated souls of evil beings - appear in the upper Borean Valley, a frozen land north of Blackmoor. These Beastmen are wild, chaotic creatures that do not breed true; whelps may have some or none of the traits of their parents, may be of different size and appearance. This is all brought about by the magic of Hel, who wants to introduce more confusion, dismay, and death into the world.
4100 BC: Neathar tribes living near the Borean Valley establish the first contacts with Beastmen and major skirmishes ensue. In the following centuries, the more aggressive and warlike Beastmen end up enslaving the Neathar families who do not abandon the region and learn from them the basics of their technology. They also use the Neathar women as concubines and wives, generating an offspring that does not bear a marked resemblance to their Beastmen parents, despite being stockier and stronger than the common Neathars. These mixed bloods are often feared and loathed by the Neathars and always live in the shadow of their Beastmen fathers, who however consider them somewhat higher than normal humans but not on their same level.
4000 BC: The human Blackmoor civilisation begins a meteoric rise due to its great success in developing powerful sciences and technologies stolen from the alien spaceship F.S.S. Beagle, which crash-landed near Blackmoor centuries before and is now discovered.
With a great ceremony, the majority of the Aquarendi abandon Manwara and seek the patronage of Ordana, leaving the sea for a new life in the woods of Evergrun.
3900 BC: The Kingdom of Blackmoor conquers and assimilates all surrounding human tribes and quickly grows very powerful. When the war against the southern Thonian Empire ends, Blackmoor has absorbed Thonia in its fold and declares the foundation of the Blackmoor Empire.
3500 BC: The Blackmoor civilisation is flourishing. It conducts first an intermittent war with the southern elves, at the other end of the world, and then trades with them, opening diplomatic ties. Four clans of elves (Porador, Gelbalf, Felestyr and Celebryl), attracted by the potential of the Blackmoorian technology, are lured into sailing northwards and colonise in the region near the westernmost borders of Blackmoor (the current area of northern Hule in Brun, at that time covered by lush forests and pastures). Both the southern and the colonial elves embrace Blackmoor's technology. Blackmoor priests demand the extermination of the "unnatural" beastmen in the Borean Valley, and promote holy wars to hunt down and destroy those creatures. Some of the elves living on the western borders enlist in the crusade against the beastmen, as well as a whole clan of high elves led by Clanmaster Menander Itahmis, who previously dwelt in the Redwoods near the capital city of Blackmoor (the more "urbanised" of the Genander High Elves). These high elves move to the western border and settle not far from the four clans of Evergrun elves, specialising in hunting down the Beastmen and protecting the northern and western borders from marauding monsters and humanoids.
3200 BC: The Blackmoor crusades drive the Beastmen farther north, into the land called Hyborea; they adapt to the colder climate and survive. The humanoid Neathar-Beastmen crossbreeds band together under the leadership of the powerful warrior Den after the Beastmen leave them behind in the battlefield. In order to avoid capture at the hands of the Blackmoorians, Den takes the opposite route and flees north-eastward instead, retreating to the inhospitable mountains which will be later renamed the Icereach Range. During the following generations, these humanoids start to consider themselves the Children of Den (Dena, which literally means "of Den" in their tongue) and usually cooperate to survive in the name of their forefather.
Another clan of Blackmoor elves, the Shiye, decides to leave Skothar and to settle in the new lands that have been freed by the crusaders in Brun, in an attempt to create their own realm and separate from the elder Genander clan. These high elves settle in the cold forests of Brun north-western coast, in the area which will be later called the Sylvan Realm.
3100 BC: Aquarendi elves, displeased with the technological ways their brethren are following, seek the guardianship of Manwara, their former patron, to return to the sea. With Calitha Starbrow's help, they are finally welcome by Manwara to enter the warm waters to begin a new life. Calitha then embarks on her path to become immortal and to assist and protect her own clan of seafaring elves, the Meditors, starting with the creation of the Pearl of Power, a great artifact she bestows them to protect her kinsmen.
3000 BC: Some Blackmoor nuclear devices explode, shifting the axis of the Known World in an event later called the Great Rain of Fire or the Planetshift. Blackmoor becomes the north pole and its civilisation is annihilated. The elven civilisation of Evergrun becomes the south pole and only a fraction of the elves are able to escape their doom and migrate to the northern area they call Grunland (which now begins centuries of volcanic upheaval that led to its being renamed Vulcania). These elves, though suffering hardship, are not in immediate danger of extinction and so none are taken to the Hollow World.
Inhabitants of the elven colonies in Brun perish in the thousands because of the nuclear explosions, the following earthquakes and the radioactive storms that pollute their settlements. The survivors of the Evergrun colony burrow deep into the ground to survive the after effects of the Great Rain of Fire and start to wander in the caverns looking for a place suitable to life: these are the ancestors of the Shadow Elves. The high elves of the Itahmis clan instead take a long trek across the ever-changing surface of Brun until they find a suitable place to settle, away from the chaos of the Blackmoor catastrophe: the once frozen valleys of Wendar which they name Genalleth. The Shiye also suffer tremendous losses because of the catastrophe, and only by retreating in the deepest forests (those still untouched by the now deadly touch of the Blackmoor civilisation) some of them are able to survive the nuclear winter that falls on the provinces of the now extinct Empire of Blackmoor.
2900 BC: After many harsh winters, because of the terrible disease that strikes them and the failure of the remaining Blackmoor technology they had relied on so heavily, the Genalleth elves perish in the thousands. In the following elven generation the survivors are able to hold back the disease once they rediscover divine magic in the form of druidism. Thanks to the help of the fey who settle in the middle of their country, they also remember the arcane secrets of their kin and arcane magic becomes once more the focus of the more talented elves.
The Shiye elves instead are forced to compete with the few primitive human tribes that reach their forests and fiercely defend their territory. After some years of skirmishes, the humans acknowledge the elven supremacy and leave them be, retreating eastwards. The Shiye resume their life in complete isolation, trying to live in communion with nature and befriending the woodland animals to use them as allies and wardens. They also master the art of mime and become excellent stalkers, capable of following the movements of people or animals without being noticed.
2800 BC: The new elven nation of Grunland on the southern continent divides on magic vs. technology. A separatist branch of the southern elves, led by Ilsundal the Wise, decides to abandon Blackmoor technology and return to the nature-oriented magic of their ancestors. They begin a long migration northward in the hope of finding the lost colony of elves that had settled near Blackmoor.
2700 BC: After a couple of centuries of skirmishes, the rakasta living in Norwold begin a fierce competition against the Children of Den to acquire their best hunting grounds. The more numerous rakasta are able to gradually push away the Dena, and those who refuse to abandon their territories are outright killed. The number of the Dena dwindle because of this war, and the brave leader Jotakk finally understands that the only way to survive is to find another place to live for her kin. After much exploration, Jotakk finds a suitable region southwest of the Icereach, and leads all the clans that choose to follow her to a wide plateau which is then renamed Denagoth (which means both Land of the Dena and Land of Den). In the following centuries the Dena occupy the northern part of the plateau, living in the grasslands and in the lighter woods, usually following the auroch and bison herds found in this region. They are still a semi-nomadic civilisation of the late stone age, always on the move to avoid being easy targets for their enemies.
2500 BC: Climatic changes due to the axial shift have rendered the lands of Blackmoor and the elves uninhabitable. In Grunland, the elvish civilisation is losing its battle with the elements; it has forgotten most of its magic and its Blackmoor technology is failing. A second separatist group of southern elves led by the Belcadiz clan begins its long march northward taking the route across the eastern half of Davania. These elves settle for a certain time in the verdant valley overlooking the Green Gulf (south of the Vulture Peninsula).
In the northern continent of Brun, a great wave of Neathar tribes moves eastwards from across the Midlands looking for better pastures and warmer lands. The Great Neathar Migration advances slowly and in different waves. The first Neathar tribes discovering the current Known World regions are the Taymora and the Urduks, who compete to gain the best lands with the surviving Oltec and Azcan tribes and in some cases forge alliances and mixed marriages that will later give way to the modern Ethengarian, Atruaghin, Sindhi and Nithian people.
2410 BC: It is obvious to the Immortals that the southern elves are doomed, but this leaves them with a quandary. They want to preserve that elvish culture, but not the technologies which nearly destroyed the world. They settle on a compromise: They will magically alter the devices upon which the elves have grown so dependant, so that these devices will operate in only one certain valley in the Hollow World. That way, the dangerous sciences of Blackmoor cannot infect any other part of the Hollow World. Many of the elves of the southern continent (renamed Blacklore elves) are transplanted to the Hollow World. They are placed in a warm, volcanically-heated series of valleys near the southern polar opening, far away from any of the other Hollow World cultures.
2400 BC : A great volcanic explosion occurs in Grunland (current Vulcania), destroying the remnants of the southern elvish civilisation. The elves who survive the explosion retreat in the snow-covered subpolar wastes, becoming nothing more than savage nomads (ancestors of the modern days Polar Elves).
The elves of the second migration resume their journey northwards when the Belcadiz consider too risky the area where they are living. Only the Hatwa clan decides to contrast the Belcadiz's decision and stays behind. During the following trek, the elves touch the Aryptian Basin, but they are chased away by the simbasta. They proceed then through the Jungle Coast, but are dislodged many times by the warlike natives and monsters. Some of them decide to remain and live along the Neathars of the northern coast, but the majority of the elves follows the Belcadiz up to the Addakian Sound, where they meet Ilsundal's migration and join forces in BC 2300.
2300 BC: Ilsundal's elves follow their leader to the great Izondian Desert, then head east and arrive near the Addakian Sound. Here they are rejoined by the elves of the second migration, who have travelled through the eastern half of Davania and crossed the Addakian Sound. After leaving some quarrelling elves behind on the Izondian coast, the two groups cross the Strait of Izonda to the Immortals' Arm, then head east along the Savage Coast, but not before Aeryl's clan secedes from the migration, settling in the forests of the north-eastern region of the Immortals' Arm (ancestors of the Ee'aars, the Winged Elves).
During the crossing of the eastern and central Savage Coast, many other elves (especially those who belong to the second migration) part from Ilsundal and settle in the area. They live alongside, but not among, the peaceful Oltecs.
In the Gulf of Hule area, some other clans split from Ilsundal's migration and settle in the wooded hills of Kavaja and in the Black Mountains. The Sheyallia clan turns south, onto the Serpent Peninsula, and settles in the forest, together with the Meditor and Verdier clans.
2200 BC: The migration of Ilsundal reaches the Highlands of Glantri and settles there for some time.
Some Tanagoro colonists from halfway around the world reach the Serpent Peninsula and decide they like the abundant rain forests. However, the elves regard their slash-and-burn agriculture with horror. Eventually, they work out a compromise: the Tanagoros keep to the coastlines and forest fringes, while the elves withdraw deeper into the forest.
2100 BC: After a century, Ilsundal finds a way to activate an old Oltec enchantment that opens the Rainbow Path. Ilsundal tries to persuade his followers to join him in his voyage on the Rainbow Path, looking for the promised land, but only a fraction of his now tired allies joins him (those who stand behind live peacefully in the forests and mountains of the Glantrian Highlands). Ilsundal's expedition exits at the other corner of the continent, and after another long trek across the western Midlands, they finally reach the western coast of Brun, where they find the forgotten clan of the Shiye living in a sylvan paradise. Ilsundal befriends the suspicious Shiye and helps them repel a couple of human tribes who were trying to conquer their lands. Once it is clear the sylvan elves of Ilsundal are powerful allies and bring with them superior knowledge, the Shiye accept his guidance and Ilsundal is finally hailed King of the Sylvan Realm.
In the Serpent Peninsula, the Meditors and Verdiers, disliking the increasingly rainy and hot climate and despising the more aggressive and numerous Tanagoro neighbours, sail east in search of better lands, and later settle in the southern region of current Karameikos and Thyatis.
2000 BC: First contacts are established by some elven explorers with the Genalleth elves who live north of the Wendarian Range. The Korrigans of Genalleth begin their rise to power through the study of the magical arts and their heroic adventures in the northlands, becoming famous also among the Antalians of the Northern Reaches and Norwold. These ten elves will be later remembered as: the Eternal Champion, the Silent Hunter, the Dreaming Seer, the Divine Singer, the Merciful Healer, the Lore Mistress, the Verdant Virgin, the Spring Maiden, the Soul Keeper and the Black Wing. The Korrigans will later help Thor and the other Norse heroes during the Age of Heroes to accomplish epic feats like freeing the Heldann region (Nordurland) from its troll and giant inhabitants, making it a viable home for the Antalian tribes who slowly migrate southwards and keeping also Genalleth's eastern border safe from the giants' raids.
The second wave of Great Neathar Migration that left the Midlands in BC 2500 sweeps across Genalleth before hitting the Known World. Many Neathar tribes (ancestors of the modern inhabitants of the Isle of Dawn) settle peacefully in the fertile valleys of Genalleth after acknowledging the elves' supremacy in the region. These humans have a deep respect and reverence for the elves and the fey creatures, whom they view as nature spirits. Because of this submissive attitude, the elves welcome the newcomers and establish friendly relationships with them. The majority of this migration however reaches lower Norwold (Nordurland) and proceeds further arriving in the Isle of Dawn, where they find empty lands to settle. This migration forces many Antalians living in Norwold to relocate: some of them move northward in middle Norwold (Oceansend region), while the majority sails across the Western Sea of Dawn and settle on the Isle of Dawn for some time, until the Neathars arrive and force them to turn south-westwards ending up in the Northern Reaches alongside other Neathars who do not follow their brethren in the Isle of Dawn (these are the ancestors of the Hinterlanders).
1950 BC: One of the elven clans that survived the GRoF underground splits when a young clanholder named Atziann leads his followers to claim the promised land on the surface. The elves resurface near the southern Broken Lands (at that time an area of forested hills). They build their new capital city of Aengmor in the south-western corner of current Red Orcland, on the eastern banks of the river Vesubia. Due to the fact that the nearby lands are populated by tribes of warlike giants (hills and rock), fearsome elder trolls and human barbarians (proto-Ethengarians and Dunharian Neathars), Atziann's elves remain hidden in the heart of their dominion, ignoring the existence of the Grunland elves in the nearby Highlands.
1725 BC: King Loark raises the Great Horde at Urzud (which is located at a fork in the Borea River in central Brun) and moves eastward in search of the Blue Knife, causing the migration of the Saamari led by Vainamoinen towards Norwold and ravaging other Neathar tribes of the north, who migrate southward to escape slavery and death at the hands of the humanoids: some reach Norwold (the ancestors of the nomadic barbarian tribes that still live in the plains of Norwold) while others head for the Denagothian plateau. Here some of them are able to reach the southern grasslands, but the majority of the Neathars are stopped by the Dena and forced to adapt living in the badlands of northwestern Denagoth (the region near current Gereth Minar).
1724 BC: Akkila-Khan, believing he is working off better knowledge than Loark, raises an appreciably smaller horde and moves south-eastward from Urzud on his quest for the Blue Knife.
1723 BC: Akkila-Khan comes across the Great Northern Wildlands west of Genalleth and starts ravaging the Neathar tribes inhabiting the area.
1722 BC: The Great Horde of King Loark crosses the Icereach Range and ravages the Antalian civilisation of Norwold, adopting some of the Norse habits and sending the Antalians into a dark age; the Immortals Odin and Thor send intact communities of Antalians into the Hollow World (the descendants of the outer-world Antalians eventually become the men of the Heldann Freeholds). Some Antalians cross the Mengul mountains to escape and compete with other Neathar tribes just arrived from the Borean Valley and with the Dena, who claim this region as their homeland. During the course of the following centuries, the Neathar and Antalian clans will slowly conquer or ally with one another mixing their bloodlines and claiming the central area of the plateau (including the fringes of the Great Forest of Geffron), while the proud Dena will hold sway over the northern region thanks to their superior knowledge of the territory, their hit and run tactics, and the bronze age weapons they acquire from the conquered Antalians they defeat.
1721 BC: After a meagre plundering, some captured Neathar slaves reveal to Akkila-Khan the existence of a prosperous kingdom to the east, and the horde moves on entering the elven territory of Genalleth (Wendar) looking for a richer booty. However, Akkila-Khan's forces soon realise their mistake when the elves led by the Korrigans, using their superior magic and knowledge of the region, keep the humanoids near the northern border and constantly hinder every raid towards the heart of their country. Frustrated by the recurring losses and by the elves' territorial supremacy, Akkila-Khan decides to head eastward until the elven armies finally let him cross the southern hills, and he ends up in Ethengar in BC 1720. Some of his forces are separated from the horde during the march and the goblinoids led by Chlyras the Sly decide to retreat to the Northern Wildlands, claiming a large swampy lowland later renamed Moors of Chlyras. Other humanoids instead (mostly orcs and bugbears) try the difficult way northward, settling in the Mengul Mountains.
1700 BC: Convinced by the sly words of the Black Wing (Idris), some elves of Atziann's clan tinker with a Blackmoor artifact discovered in the southern mountains (current Trollhattan region) and they cause a terrible explosion that will be later remembered as the Glantrian Catastrophe. Atziann's elves are utterly annihilated because they were the closest to the deflagration point: only their king and a small group of loyal followers are able to survive thanks to Atziann's magics and flee underground. Unfortunately, the devastating disease derived from the explosion takes the lives of most of Atziann's companions and he abandons the remaining few for fear of meeting the same doom, wandering alone in the depths of Mystara until he resurfaces in the Hollow World. On the outer world, the explosion rocks the land (sending the crumbling city of Aengmor into the bowels of the earth) and pollutes the ecosystem, turning the region into the modern Broken Lands. The nuclear cloud brings a rotten disease in the newly formed Broken Lands (killing most of the giants and troll), in the Highlands (causing thousands of casualties among the elves) and in the south-western steppes of Ethengar (the explosion also causes a reality rift in the eastern steppes, forming the Land of Black Sand). Many of the Highland elves flee underground and later resurface in the Hollow World (Icevale) or in the Five Shires region (Truedyl aka Gentle Folk), while others (Schattenalfen) join the underground ancestors of the shadowelves. The Belcadiz elves, who lived closer to the site of the explosion (current New Alvar region), decide to activate the old Oltec Spell and use the Rainbow Path to escape sudden doom, ending up on an island in the Thanegioth Archipelago.
Another clan who lived in the northernmost part of the Highlands decides to move northwards, seeking shelter among the Genalleth cousins. After braving the Wendarian Range, they are welcomed by their kin and protected by the Korrigans' magic (the Elvenstar and the Magical Nodes), they survive the nuclear winter that spreads over Glantri, the Broken Lands and western Ethengar.
1600-990 BC: The Golden Years. After the Korrigans' ascension, a new King (Sylvair) is elected by the clanmasters to rule over the elves and humans living in the regions known as Genalleth (central and northern Wendar), Kevareth (eastern Wendar) and Greatwood (western Wendar), commonly referred to as Genalleth. An elven generation of relative peace follows, with elves living peacefully alongside humans and sporadic threats from the humanoid tribes of the Mengul Range and the Great Northern Wildlands, and from the Antalian raiders of Nordurland (Heldann). During this era, first human-elves intermarriages produce half-human half-elven offspring's. The half elf race is possible in Wendar because of the effects of the Korrigan realm magic and especially of the different heritage of the High Elves (in contrast to the common Evergrunian Sylvan Elves, who cannot sire half-elven offspring's).
1000 BC: The Nithian pressure on the human civilisation of the Northern Reaches causes a series of migrations towards the north-western regions. Many Antalians cross the Wendarian Range and the Mengul mountains and reach Genalleth. Here they meet first the suspicious elves and then the proud humans. Their arrival wreaks havoc in Kevareth (the western part of modern Wendar) and word of their warlike attitude and bravery spreads fast. Suddenly the peace that lasted for over six centuries is threatened by new alliances that the most independent human tribes of Genalleth strike with the newcomers to steal lands and power away from the elves. By virtue of a series of blood oaths, the Antalian immigrants are allowed to stay among elves and humans, helping both as vassals in their personal conflicts of power.
Also in this period, the gnolls escape their Nithian masters and spread all over the Known World. Some tribes venture as far as Nordurland (later to be known as Heldann) and manage to reach the Mengul Mountains, becoming a threat for both Genalleth and the people of the Denagothian plateau.
Part 2/4: The Clanswars
990 BC: Tension runs high among the elves of Genalleth when the time comes to elect a new common King to hold the position of Keeper of the Elvenstar. Heavy infighting begins, fuelled by the machinations of power-hungry human clans, and the nation breaks up into different petty dominions. The Elvenstar is lost: some rumours want it stolen by one of the elven clans, others say it was spirited away by the Korrigans themselves, displeased with their followers' actions.
Many elves, descendants of those who came from the Highlands, decide to leave Wendar to avoid the turmoil, and since Glantri is already off-limits, they move northward and settle in the woods and hills of Great Northern Wildlands. Two clans of High Elves instead seek refuge in the southern forests of the Denagothian Plateau, forging an alliance to survive.
989 BC: Beldareth, clanmaster of the elves who moved to the Northern Wildlands, after passing north of the Baamor Woods decides to build his stronghold in the wooded foothills of the western Mengul Mountains, at some distance from the humanoid infested Moors of Chlyras and from the northern plains occupied by tribes of human barbarians (descendants of the Second Great Neathar Migration). The stronghold of Nimbeth quickly attracts other elves from Genalleth when rumours about a magical spring with wondrous healing properties hidden in the dungeons of Nimbeth spread in the valley.
980 BC: Beldareth uses the silver mined from the nearby mountains to produce exquisite works of art and jewellery, and creates a special silver dome on top of his stronghold, which by this date has expanded much and grown into a veritable town. Nimbeth becomes a rich independent city-state, capable of fending off the occasional attacks attempted by human and humanoid warbands from the wildlands thanks to its inhabitants' arcane and martial might.
970 BC: Some elves of Greatwood, not liking the decisions of their rulers and the pressure of the human neighbours, migrate westwards in the southern part of the Northern Wildlands (south of the Moors of Chlyras) to carve out their own dominion. They eventually find a broad lush valley through which a river flows and following its course near the headwaters, they discover the fortified human village of Mur, whose inhabitants react with anger at the elves' approach and attack them. The elves retreat and are forced to settle in a small grove a couple of days distant from Mur, where they build a small fortress. During the following two years, the elves besiege the human village straining its resources until they are finally victorious, and drive the surviving humans into nearby caves in the Adri Varma plateau, sealing them up afterwards. The town of Thalion is founded on the ruins of the village, ruled by Aranael, the most senior clanmaster present.
962 BC: After many difficult years of wandering underground, the Murai humans exiled by the elves of Thalion reach the surface world once more in the northern fringes of the Moors of Chlyras. There, they encounter the indigenous humanoids (goblins, hobgoblins and kobolds) who call themselves Chlyrasi, descendants of the great warleader Chlyras who split from Akkila-Khan's horde and led their forefathers to tame the moors. The Chlyrasi forge a wary peace with the newcomers once it is clear that they are not elves, and in fact bear a grudge against them. The humanoids have been eyeing Thalion and Nimbeth warily, fearing an invasion, and see the humans as potential allies easy to dominate because of their inferior number. The humans and humanoids forge an alliance and coexist in the moors, despite the strong aversion of each other. The Murai cannot attempt to resist the Chlyrasi's more numerous forces, so they start cooperating waiting for the time they will be able to eradicate both the Chlyrasi and the elves from their territory. The humans become hunters and scouts, often giving a large part of their meagre game to their humanoid overlords, but they take their time and begin to master the secrets of the moor and swamp, becoming expert herbalists and rangers.
950 BC: The clanmasters of the elves who have settled on the northern plateau decide to join their forces to establish a strong nation that could maintain safe the forests they inhabit after resisting for the umpteenth time to an attempted invasion from the northern barbarians. Gethenar, crown prince of the western Lothenar clan, marries Geffron, clanmistress and founder of the eastern clan, and the elders agree to unite the two regions in one single nation they rename Geffronell ("Womb of Our Children" in high elvish). These elves isolate in their forests and use their superior magics to fend off the occasional raids of the humanoids and barbarian human hordes living on the plateau.
947 - 940 BC: The Mengul Campaign. Human tribes living in the western Mengul Range witness the power and richness of Nimbeth grow, and coveting it for themselves, band together to attack the elves and drive them away. Lord Beldareth gathers his clan's warriors, as well as many men from the human families who live under his protection, and mounts a campaign to drive back the Denagothians. Many bloody battles ensue throughout the forested hills claimed by Beldareth's clan, and by dint of discipline, determination, and elven magic, Lord Beldareth and his armies manage to push the barbarians back to the Mengul Range. The most decisive battle is fought at Alvar's Stead, in which four of the six human chieftains are killed, after which the tribes are routed. After ensuring that his lands are secure, Beldareth orders the construction of a series of towers near the Mengul Range, and expands his dominion southwards to control the trail connecting Nimbeth with Genalleth. Beldareth's clanmembers and the human who survived the war hail him as a king, thus beginning the dynasty of the House of Nimbeth.
940 BC: Once word of the newly founded kingdoms of Nimbeth and Geffronell reaches the other clanmasters of Genalleth, many of them view this act as an insult and a way of overshadowing the Council of Elders' role in appointing the new King of Genalleth. The Kings of Nimbeth and Geffronell are declared usurpers and publicly condemned by the Council, who also prohibits all the other clanmasters to follow their example. The Elders and the Heralds of the Korrigans instead encourage the would-be candidates to the crown of Genalleth to find and bring back the Elvenstar, the only way of assuring one's legitimate claim to the throne.
940-300 BC: The Clanswars. For an elven generation the elves and humans in Genalleth and in the Northern Wildlands remain divided, occasionally fighting on open field for territorial disputes. They all try to find the Elvenstar, which would assure the holder the crown of Genalleth, but to no avail. The Korrigans send omens to powerful rulers and priests to redeem and restore peace and unity among the elves. Many of these elves embark on epic quests to cleanse their spirit and retrieve the Elvenstar. The Clanswars end when the elven cleric Enoreth of Geffronell succeeds in his quest and is able to bring the Elvenstar back to Genalleth, unifying the kingdom in BC 300, just in time to repel an invasion from the humanoid tribes of the Mengul Mountains.
914 BC: After a couple of generations of relative quiet in the Northern Wildlands, the Murai and Chlyrasi of the moors launch a series of probing attacks against Thalion to test their enemies' resolve. Unfortunately for them, the ever vigilant elves are ready and the raids are always repelled with minimum losses on the elves' part, while many human victims remain on the fields outside Thalion's walls. This prompts the moor-people to find other routes to conquer the elves' stronghold, and they begin exploring the underground tunnels.
900 BC: The elves of Nimbeth lead an expedition to settle new lands to the south following the course of the Silver River. In a fertile plain they choose a suitable spot near the river where they build another walled town, Eredhon, which is then populated by many humans and ruled by the elves who distinguished themselves in the Mengul Campaign. Eredhon lies atop a small hill and dominates the surrounding plains with its watchtower, so despite being quite close (a day's march) from the Moors of Chylras, its inhabitants are confident they can spot any attacker before it's too late and organise the defences timely.
870 BC: After months passed watching the movements of the inhabitants of Eredhon, the humans and humanoids of the moors finally make their move when Eredhon's leaders and part of the town guards are in Nimbeth to present their gifts to King Beldareth's firstborn. The attackers use their underground tunnels to enter the city unseen and catching the defenders off guard, Eredhon is quickly captured. The conquerors fall upon the inhabitants with brutal ferocity and the Eredhonians cannot even tell they have been attacked by a mixed group of human and humanoids. The few survivors who manage to flee the town and reach Nimbeth report an horde of cruel monsters painted with white and brown dyes wielding crude but deadly weapons which crept up from the bowels of the earth and slaughtered everyone.
Informed of the disaster, King Beldareth leads a campaign in early spring to retake Eredhon, from which his enemies are launching more daring attacks. The town is retaken, and Nimbeth's armies pursue the invaders back into the moors. In order to avoid repeating the same mistake, Beldareth orders the entrances to the caves under Eredhon magically sealed, and the elves put other arcane traps in the underground passages to avoid being surprised again, keeping a special force ready for such occurrences.
840 BC: In the eastern region of Kevareth, the human clans who had previously declared their independence, now hard-pressed by the Antalians of Nordurland plea the brave Mylnaras, clanmaster of the Kevars, to take them under his protection. After forcing the human clanleaders to swear a blood oath with him, Mylnaras moves his warriors to the eastern border and repels the Antalian invaders, pushing them back in Nordurland (later Heldann). He then orders the construction of a solid keep to watch the pass that leads to Kevareth, and establishes a special garrison of trained elves that will protect the nearby villages. The garrison is dubbed Hawksgate by the humans, after Mylnaras's personal symbol and nickname. With the support of the elves and humans of the region, Mylnaras crowns himself King of Kevareth.
820 BC: Thalion has, by now, grown into a small, well-defended town of great beauty. Inspired by the surrounding landscape, and by the majestic river, Aranael designs and begins to construct a grand bridge connecting Thalion with the trail that leads, ultimately, to Eredhon and Nimbeth.
818 BC: Thalion's Bridge, a true work of art, is complete. Its beauty and magnificence soon become almost as well known to the elves of Genalleth as the silver domes of Nimbeth. Some artistically inclined elves, as well as those who seek new lands to explore, settle in the town and the surrounding hills. Following the example of Lothenar of Geffronell, Beldareth of Nimbeth and Mylnaras of Kevareth, Aranael crowns himself King of Thalion and establishes a small realm west of Greatwood. Clanmaster Ilmasyr of Greatwood deeply resents the proclamation issued by one of his former vassals, and after persuading the clan Elders that something must be done to avoid further secessions from Genalleth, he organises a warband to march against Thalion and reduce Aranael's ambitions.
817 - 811 BC: Thalion's Siege. The more numerous forces of Greatwood conquer Thalion's lands step by step during the first year of skirmishes limiting the casualties on both sides. King Aranael is forced to call back his soldiers when he understands they have no chance in open field and to prevent his elves from surrendering or deserting to the enemy. The elves of Thalion retreat in their stronghold and the invaders begin a long siege with the intention of straining Thalion's resources without attacking it. In fact Ilmasyr of Greatwood does not want to kill what he still considers his subjects: he merely wants to humiliate his despondent cousin Aranael and have him publicly relinquish his title. Ilmasyr's goal is to add Thalion to Greatwood's allied strongholds and to remove Aranael from the seat of power, appointing a more loyal relative as Clanmaster of Thalion and crushing the dreams of another independent elven kingdom.
The Thalionians use all their magics to avoid surrendering, but finally Aranael understands they cannot win and following his advisers' pleas, he asks for reinforcements to the nearby Kingdom of Nimbeth. Secret meetings are held using magical means of communication until Aranael and Beldareth reach an agreement: Nimbeth will help Thalion remain independent and drive off the invaders, in exchange for Thalion's perpetual alliance and help to King Beldareth's claims to the throne of Genalleth and a yearly tithe to Nimbeth's crown. King Beldareth personally leads an elite squadron of griffon riders as reinforcement to Thalion, while his most trusted general, Althenar, marches from Eredhon towards Thalion with a whole regiment of battlemages to engage the troops of Greatwood in open field. The strategy of King Beldareth is victorious, and Ilmasyr is forced to order a retreat after seven years of siege, swearing revenge both against Thalion and Nimbeth.
810 - 740 BC: Thalion's and Nimbeth's borders grow thanks to the constant efforts of their leaders, who encourage new settlers to come and loyal servants to establish new settlements to tame the wildlands. The path connecting Eredhon to Thalion becomes a veritable road: the Kings' Way is built on behalf of the two crowns, and guard posts are established especially on the spots nearer to the Chlyras Moors (since the road touches the northern tip of the moors). Elves establish settlements along this road, which the inhabitants of the moors consider real threats to their dominion. During these years, combined assaults of human and humanoids against the elves settlements become more frequent and more daring, and in some cases manage to burn down whole villages, abducting elves who are later found skinned and impaled near the border of the moors as macabre warning signs.
Ilmasyr arranges with a series of meetings with other clanmasters of Genalleth and with the Elders. He is looking for their support to raise an army from all of Genalleth's clans to march against the two kings and re-establish order. Unfortunately, not all of the clanmasters respond to his call to arms, since many are busy defending their territory against the recurring raids and skirmishes of human warbands. The elves living in northern Genalleth however choose to ally with Ilmasyr fearing Nimbeth's growing power and prepare for battle. Clanmaster Darkstalker train his soldiers in the heart of the Laughing Woods and waits for Ilmasyr's signal to start the invasion of the allied kingdoms of the Wildlands.
730 BC: Darkstalker of Clan Moonshade, hearing of the ever present threat posed by the Moor People to the Kingdom of Nimbeth, suggests his ally Ilmasyr of Greatwood to send envoys to the Chlyrasi and the Murai to enlist their help in the campaign against the rebel kings. Ilmasyr sends a mixed group of humans and half-elves loyal to his cause. Despite the hatred and contempt of the Moor People towards the elven race, the ambassadors are able to negotiate an alliance with almost all the tribes who dwell in the moors after months of meetings and gifts, promising them to leave the Northern Wildlands under their lordship once the elves of Nimbeth and Thalion are defeated. The Moor People obviously would like to kill as many elves as they could before the war is over, while the elves do not tell them that their intention is to spy on their meeting points and military tactics only to crush them too, once the rebel kingdoms have been conquered.
720 - 711 BC: The Ten Years' War. An all-out war is launched by Clanmaster Ilmasyr of Greatwood once his forces are ready to march against Thalion. When King Aranael's spies warn him, the King of Thalion begs his ally King Beldareth to send him troops. Unfortunately, the troops are ambushed on the Kings' Way by the Moor People, while the elves of clan Moonshade attack Nimbeth on the eastern front. Beldareth is thus forced to recall his troops to withstand Darkstaler's assault, while the people of Aranael are left alone facing Greatwood's invasion. The war is long and bloody on both fronts despite Ilmasyr's initial intentions, with the Moor People making regular forays outside their territory to assault the elves of Eredhon and the isolated villages on the deserted Kings' Way. Thalion manages to withstand Greatwood's advance thanks to the Order of the Stars, a group of well-trained elf-wizards specialised in summoning and defensive spells, who often manage to turn the tables against the invaders with few well-aimed hits. Thalion and Nimbeth cannot however muster enough forces to counterattack and repel the invasion and the war stalls for many years.
It is only when King Beldareth understands he cannot compete against the joint forces of his enemies that he follows his son Geldarion's advice and secretly demands the help of King Lothenar of Geffronell and King Mylnaras of Kevareth. Lothenar refuses to be dragged into the war of the southern elves, but Mylnaras agrees to send reinforcements in exchange for Beldareth's assent to Kevareth's expansion westwards at the end of the war. When the troops of Mylnaras march against the Laughing Woods, Darkstalker's elves are caught by surprise and many of them are forced to return home to defend their stronghold, diminishing the pressure on Nimbeth.
The war goes on for another three years: as Beldareth witnesses many of his most trusted friends perish in the battles, he understands that his beautiful kingdom is slowly being bled alive by the war. Desperate to find a way to resolve the conflict once and for all, he ignores all the warnings of his forefathers and the clan elders, and resorts to an ancient and powerful heirloom dating back to Blackmoor's era, which has been so far secretly guarded by his family for the last three generations. Not knowing exactly the extent of the heirloom's destructive power, King Beldareth chooses to activate it some miles away from Nimbeth's walls, and makes a sortie behind the enemy lines to lure much of the besieging troops in the northern foothills. The enemies pursue Beldareth and his group in the hills and there a great explosion annihilates the bulk of the elven troops besieging Nimbeth, while Beldareth manages to escape teleporting away before it's too late. The survivors are so frightened by Beldareth's power that the field officers order a hasty retreat.
Exploiting the enthusiasm generated by his show of force, Beldareth orders a counterstrike and leads his army in the heart of the enemy territory, threatening Darkstalker to destroy the Laughing Woods with his new weapon. The threat is however a bluff, since the artifact got destroyed after its use but Beldareth's enemies do not know it. Darkstalker refuses to surrender and Beldareth launches his first attack against his stronghold in the woods benefiting from the help of a half dozen summoned jade dragons, who lay waste of the first line of defending elves. The clan elders quickly remove Darkstalker from command and negotiate peace once it's clear they are surrounded by Nimbeth's and Kevareth's joint forces. With clan Moonshade out of the way, Nimbeth finally confronts the army of Greatwood and attacks from an unexpected front: coming directly from the north of Genalleth. Clanmaster Ilmasyr falls in the great battle fought in northern Greatwood, and his successor Voronwyl calls for truce immediately.
710 BC: During the peace talks that end the Ten Years' War, King Beldareth of Nimbeth is the real winner and annexes the Laughing Woods and most of northern Genalleth to his own realm, while the north-eastern part of Genalleth goes to Mylnaras of Kevareth. The Moonshade clan is forced to relocate to another region or to obey the new masters of their ancestral lands. Many elves move in the southern Forest of Shadows or in the woods of Greatwood (where they establish the reclusive stronghold of Ammalaneth), while a small minority chooses to stay and to swear allegiance to King Beldareth. Greatwood's borders are likewise reduced in favour of Thalion and some of the northern minor clans are allowed to secede from Greatwood and form their own independent strongholds, reducing Clanmaster Voronwyl's power even more.
700 BC: The elves who chose to remain in the Laughing woods have now recognised the authority of the half-elven mystic Blynnflar, who petitions King Beldareth to create his own clan and establishes the stronghold of Blynnflare Hall after swearing allegiance to Nimbeth. There he begins to train his disciples in the Way of the Void, a new philosophy based on meditation and purification of body and soul through the suppression of all emotions. The Way of the Void will attract new followers over the course of the following centuries and the Blynnflare clan will found new shrines to train its adepts, becoming a renowned haven for mystics and ascetics of the Known World even up to the present.
650 BC: By this time the Kingdom of Nimbeth is at its peak. It encompasses what is now north-western Wendar and the southeastern portion of the Northern Wildlands and counts more than one hundred thousand people within its borders. Near the border with Kevareth, King Beldareth orders the construction of a sister city to Nimbeth inside the Laughing Woods naming it Amoleth, while crown Prince Geldarion starts building the Tower of Twilight near the southern border, as a watch post to oversee Greatwood and the Baamor Woods.
640 BC: A great warrior of southern Genalleth, Duncan the Clanless, manages to conquer other warring human clans and unites them under his banner, establishing a small dominion in the area south-east of the town of Sylvair. He takes the title of Overlord and styles himself as king of all the humans of southern Genalleth, ruling his fiefdom from his fortified keep. Many human farmers and artisans gather around the Overlord's stronghold looking for protection and the new village of Duncan's Keep is created soon afterwards.
630 BC: Thane Duncan of the Heartlands (as he is now called) controls most of the flatlands and hills in the centre of Genalleth and often his loyalists make forays into the woods inhabited by the elves to capture their magical treasures, thus earning the enmity of the elven kin. However, Duncan possesses a powerful magical globe he stole to some fey lord that enables him to foresee every attack against his dominion and to cast illusions to trick his enemies. With the help of the Orb of the Fey, he is able to hold still his position for many years.
626 BC: The exiled and former clanmaster Darkstalker allies with Thane Duncan and uses his magics and his followers in the battles against the independent Antalian chieftains of the east to subjugate them. Afterwards, he tries to push Duncan's expansion southwards in the Shadow Forest, to conquer his old clan that is currently living in those woods. However, Thane Duncan does not proceed further foreseeing the ultimate defeat of his troops at the hands of some obscure and ancient threat dwelling in that forest, and scolds Darkstalker for putting his men in danger on a matter of pride. Angry at Duncan for his about-turn, Darkstalker leaves the Heartlands with his elves once it becomes clear he will never be able to kill Duncan and heads for the ominous Baamor Woods, eager to discover the secrets they hide hoping he will muster enough power to exact his vengeance upon both elves and humans alike. There they build their stronghold, Shal'anassyr (the Fortress of Silence), and start to explore the shunned forest.
625 BC: After one year in the Dark Woods of Baamor, Darkstalker finds the lost Tenth Shrine of the Korrigans, the one Black Wing used in her attempt at earning lichdom. The Entropic energies that flow through the woods and the land start to alter the elves' perceptions and senses first, their bodies and souls later, turning them into vicious beings full of hatred towards the living and their elven kindred. Under Darkstalker's guide, they start kidnapping elves from nearby villages to perform gruesome rituals in the depths of the Baamor Woods, giving the site its sinister fame as "den of demons".
600 BC: At the death of Thane Duncan, his firstborn Sean succeeds on the throne of the Heartlands and becomes known as Sean ApDuncan ("son of Duncan" in their dialect) of the Duncan clan. During a minor skirmish against some invading giants from the Wendarian Range however, Thane Sean is badly beaten and kidnapped by the marauders, who take him to their lair together with the Orb of the Fey (underestimating its real powers) and ask for a wealthy ransom. His three brothers do not answer the ultimatum and Sean's head is later found impaled on a tree near the southern fringes of the Heartlands. The trio then struggles to inherit Sean's place as Thane of the Heartlands and split the population as well as the dominion in three clans that start warring against each other and against Eowyn, mistress of Sean ApDuncan, who claims her own rights to the throne and rules from Duncan's Keep. This war will ravage the Heartlands and the human southholds of Genalleth for nearly three centuries without a clear winner.
580 BC: Voronwyl of Greatwood creates a special team to investigate the rumours about demons dwelling the Woods of Baamor and about the frequent abductions reported near the border with this area. Unfortunately, none of the elves sent to clear the matter ever comes out of the cursed woods, which are then considered haunted and left alone, following the advice of some Heralds of the Korrigans. Many of the villages stationed too close to Baamor's border are evacuated and their inhabitants relocate in other areas of Genalleth, Nimbeth and Greatwood out of fear.
530 BC: Darkstalker's powers have increased tremendously in the last century of permanence in the Baamor Woods, and his own body has changed so much that he now is but a pale reflection of his former self. Remembering well that tribes of humanoids and humans dwell in the near Moors of Chlyras, he starts making power plays in their communities to show them his strength and dominate them. The Baamor Fiends (as Darkstalker and his elves are now dubbed) slowly but steadily subjugate one clan after the other until they end up controlling all of the Moor People. In the years that follow the Baamor Fiends train many of the more skilled and strong members of the Moor People in their stronghold in the Baamor Woods, producing an elite squadron of formidable killers and soldiers twisted by the entropic powers of the lost Tenth Shrine as first step in Darkstalker's path of conquest and revenge.
500 BC: Some human tribes, tired of the constant warfare among the southern clanlords, leave the Genalleth valley and settle on the pre-Alps of the Wendarian Range, dwelling in the wooded hills after the ices melt and the effects of the nuclear catastrophe that happened more than 1200 years before have waned.
416 BC: King Beldareth dies at the venerable age of 994 years, succeeded by his son Geldarion. It soon becomes apparent that, while Geldarion is charismatic, he is not a warrior at heart, as he prefers to delve in the study of the arcane arts and is rarely found seated on the royal throne in Nimbeth. Under his rule, the armies of Nimbeth watch the Mengul Range less and less, and some fortifications are unmanned for years at a time. His cousin Arendyll helps him as regent of the northlands and rules from Nimbeth, while Geldarion takes the city of Amoleth as his seat, although he spends most of his time in the Tower of Twilight in his arcane library.
410 BC: Curious about the strange magical auras that regularly appear over the Dark Woods of Baamor, King Geldarion organises an expedition in the heart of the cursed forest to discover what secrets lie within them. The party soon meets fierce and hostile creatures created by the Baamor Fiends to guard their woods but are able to defeat them and proceed in their march. Only when they come in sight of the Tenth Shrine they discover to have fallen into a well prepared ambush. Hundreds of creatures creep out of the mires and ground and swoop down from the trees attacking the elves of Nimbeth with savage fury. Only Geldarion and a handful of his assistants are able to survive and teleport back to the Tower of Twilight, but one of them has fallen victim of a powerful spell cast by Darkstalker, who now can sense everything he perceives and is even able to possess his victim's body during his sleep.
405 BC: After some time, Darkstalker's influence over King Geldarion through his puppet unwitting slave starts to manifest as the King becomes less interested in political and strategic matters and spends entire days working on some mysterious parchments that one of his assistants recovered in the expedition in the Baamor Woods. Geldarion becomes convinced that if he ever manages to unveil the secrets of those scrolls, he will be able to free the Dark Woods of Baamor of their evil and the fabled Elvenstar will finally reappear, earning the Korrigans' approval and becoming the new King of a united Genalleth.
400 BC: The human warlords living in the Northern Wildlands are contacted by the Master of the Baamor Fiends (Darkstalker), who announces them that the Kingdom of Nimbeth is losing its strength and will likely fall in the following years as part of his scheme. He convinces them to send scouts and raiders to the south to test the elven defences, and the barbarians start making forays into the elven territories of Nimbeth and Thalion, becoming bolder with each passing year when they discover a weak resistance on the elves' part. During the ninety years that follow, the Kingdom of Nimbeth is attacked on many fronts and eventually it crumbles under external and internal pressures, leaving the Northern Wildlands to the humans.
390 BC: Thousands of human warriors, convinced by Darkstalker's words that the elven kingdom has become weak, descend from the mountains and lay siege to Nimbeth's north-western settlements, wreaking havoc throughout the kingdom. Lord Arendyll personally leads many counterattacks, but the hit and run tactics used by the barbarians and the overwhelming number of invading warbands make his task more difficult than expected. Many humans, isolated on farms and in small villages, are slaughtered by the invaders, and Nimbeth's western border slowly recedes as more refugees look for shelter within the capital's walls.
In the south, the living and undead abominations created by Darkstalker after centuries of experiments in the Baamor Woods are released in Genalleth and attack viciously both elven and human settlements in desperate need of living flesh to satisfy their eternal hunger. King Geldarion is still incapable of grasping the whole extent of the danger because of his clouded mind and does not summon the army, leaving each village to stand with its own forces against the danger.
387 - 386 BC: Emboldened by a series of major successes against the elves in the previous years, the barbarian tribes arrive so close to Nimbeth's grounds to besiege the capital.
In the meantime, the Moor People exit their swamps once again after many centuries to invade Eredhon, creeping in from the old tunnels that King Beldareth had magically sealed which have however been opened again by the magics of Darkstalker. The Eredhonians fight bravely this time and are able to hold the city, but soon a strange sickness spreads throughout the city, and the victims' count soon reaches the thousand in few weeks. The Eredhonian leader, Lord Mayor Permion, asks Nimbeth to send its best clerics to save the afflicted, but Lord Arendyll cannot help much since he too needs them to withstand the barbarians' siege. Lord Permion begs then old King Aranael of Thalion to come to their aid, but he refuses since his kingdom is also experiencing attacks from strange creatures emerged from the Moors of Chlyras. Eredhon falls in less than a year, completely abandoned by the few elves who manage to escape its doom, and is then claimed by the Moor People. The survivors of Eredhon also spread the disease created by the Murai to the villages they touch in their flight to Amoleth.
On his front, Lord Arendyll manages to drive back the assailants and musters enough troops to mount a counterattack, driving the humans out of Nimbeth's fields. Nimbeth endures, but in a reduced and weakened state. No longer feeling safe, many humans and elves leave the ancient capital for Amoleth and other cities in Genalleth.
385 - 381 BC: Trying to reconquer Eredhon and the lands he lost in the west, Lord Arendyll asks again for reinforcements, but King Geldarion does not meet his demands, exalting his cousin's tactical and military skills and overestimating the real defensive capacities of Nimbeth. In the years that follow, the human raids will hit Nimbeth's north-western area more often and more violently, besieging the capital at least another two times before being repelled. These victories on Arendyll's part are however hollow ones, since they cost the lives of many valiant soldiers without assuring Nimbeth's actual safety and the emigration towards Amoleth continues.
380 BC: The Battle of King's Sorrow. When the umpteenth request to get new troops is again underestimated by King Geldarion, who sends only a battalion of a hundred soldiers, Lord Arendyll becomes frustrated up to the point of declaring his cousin unfit to be King. After some voyages to Amoleth and the Laughing Woods, Arendyll gathers enough support to back up his claim to Nimbeth's throne and crowns himself King of Nimbeth establishing his control over the northern region. King Geldarion reacts to this perceived treachery by mustering the troops still loyal to him and sends his firstborn Lerian to Nimbeth to retake the city from the hands of the usurper. The two forces meet halfway in a valley between the Laughing Woods and the Dark Woods of Baamor, where a bloody battle ensues. Many lives are lost on the battlefield when blood brethren fight against each other in the civil war, and for this reason the surrounding lands are called the Gap of Tears ever afterwards. Arendyll and his troops are finally forced to retreat, but the way back to Nimbeth is suddenly blocked by bands of threatening Chlyrasi (both normal and mutated), which fall upon the elves with savage frenzy. Lord Arendyll is killed in the assault and the forces of Crown Prince Lerian do not understand what is happening until it is over. Prince Lerian orders a hasty retreat to avoid meeting his uncle's doom, and the Chlyrasi move towards Nimbeth bearing Arendyll's head on their standard, laying siege to the city. Witnessing the dramatic turn of events and their leader's death, nearly one third of Nimbeth's population leaves the city finding refuge in Amoleth and Thalion.
379 BC: The tribes of the Northern Wildlands resume their attacks against the elves and humans of Nimbeth. Soon many warriors attack the now ill-defended lands around the city of Nimbeth, already besieged by the Moor People. Bloody battles are frequent also between the invaders, helping the remaining Nimbethians resist a bit better to the disorganised siege. However, King Geldarion refuses to let his troops march against the attackers to retake Nimbeth, judging its citizens as traitors since they allied with the usurper Arendyll. Geldarion's stubbornness leaves the Nimbethian elves to their imminent doom, raising contempt among some of his own vassals.
377 BC: The Fall of Nimbeth. The city of Nimbeth capitulates to a combined host of barbarians and orcs, the latter of whom were enticed from their northern lairs by promises of loot, and by assurances that the elves and men of Nimbeth were no longer a threat. Few of the survivors manage to reach the Laughing Woods while the others are slaughtered. With the loss of Nimbeth, and having no immediate means nor will of regaining it, King Geldarion officially moves his court to Amoleth, and renames his kingdom accordingly.
376 - 375 BC: The northlanders and their orcish allies unite against the Moor People who are now threatening their dominion over the ruins of Nimbeth. Thanks to the sheer force of their numbers, the human-orcish alliance is able to fend off the Moor People's raids and to repel them in their tribal lands after letting them take a small part in Nimbeth's plundering. The Moor People, who have already lost many of their kin during the last sieges of Nimbeth, retreat in their marshy dominion satisfied with the loot gained and content of reducing the elves' presence in the Wildlands.
374 BC: After razing the deserted elven settlements near Nimbeth and regrouping, the human tribes muster their forces and march south, attacking the nearest elvish dominions, aided in part by wider-ranging orcish incursions. Prince Lerian however is well prepared and with magical and military might repels the invaders into the Wildlands. He then builds Lerian's Tower to oversee the valley that leads from the ruins of Nimbeth to Amoleth, a strong bastion against the barbarian hordes that have ravaged the ancestral lands of his family and are now pressing against the western border.
372 BC: With Nimbeth in ruins and the human invaders running amok in the former elven lands, the Moor People under Darkstalker's control target the southern realm of Thalion with more pressing attacks. Soon it becomes apparent that Thalion will be next to capitulate if the elves do not muster enough troops to counterattack. King Aranael desperately tries to convince clanmaster Voronwyl of Greatwood and King Geldarion of Amoleth to help them, but the two elves are deaf to Aranael's calls as much as he did with Eredhon's.
369 - 360 BC: The Thalion Campaign. After three years of recurring skirmishes, old Aranael passes away and leaves his throne to his daughter. Queen AncalimŽ reopens the negotiations with Greatwood and finally proposes to Clanmaster Voronwyl to marry her, making him King of Thalion, if he ever came to help her nation. Voronwyl arranges the marriage to be held immediately, eager to reclaim the lost realm of Thalion and unite it under Greatwood's flag. Afterwards, using his new title of King of Greatwood, Voronwyl sends his troops to defend Thalion from the invaders. In the following ten years Greatwood is able to secure the lands of Thalion and to fortify the northern and eastern borders against attacks from human and humanoid invaders. AncalimŽ is granted lordship over the city of Thalion and she continues administering the region from there, while King Voronwyl rules over Greatwood from his stronghold of Elthanamir.
360 BC: After losing northern Nimbeth to the humans and after Greatwood's conquest of Thalion, King Geldarion feels particularly hard-pressed to finish his studies on the Baamor Scrolls (as he renamed them) to establish himself as sole King of Genalleth and overshadow his opponents. For this reason he leaves Prince Lerian even more in charge of the nation's policy, which prompts the wise elf to raise a call to arms in all the Kingdom of Amoleth to fight back the monsters that have been emerging from the Dark Woods of Baamor in the last three decades and to improve the defences on the western border with the Northern Wildlands.
350 BC: The humanoids of the Mengul Range become increasingly hostile and descend into Genalleth and Kevareth with alarming frequency, adding to the elves' general distress caused by the internal strife and the pressure of the humans of the Northern Wildlands. Kevareth and Amoleth unite in their efforts to drive back the orcs and gnolls and usually are successful, but sometimes the raiding parties devastate whole villages and human farmsteads before being caught. Now more than ever the Heralds of the Korrigans preach the elves to quest for the lost Elvenstar.
In Geffronell, Enoreth, adult son of Lothenar and Geffron and crown prince, hears the call of the Korrigans during one of his solitary strolls in the woods and immediately sets out for his holy quest towards the Wildlands, accompanied by his most trusted friends and despite his parents' clear discontent.
310 - 300 BC: Years of Darkness. Darkstalker's machinations bring more mischief in Genalleth when one of his allies manages to sneak into King Voronwyl's court and to convince the elven monarch that the time is right to lay his hands on the crown of Amoleth too. Since Amoleth is facing troubles in the north and its southern borders have never truly been patrolled since King Beldareth's death, it would be easy to march on Amoleth from southward and to conquer it, keeping King Geldarion prisoner in the Tower of Twilight until his capitulation. Voronwyl likes the plan and immediately begins preparing the invasion, leaving Queen AncalimŽ completely ignorant of his projects. Greatwood's troops hit Amoleth's southern area with an unexpected force, gaining miles day by day without encountering significant opposition. In less than a week they reach the Tower of Twilight, where however Geldarion is ready for them and unleashes on the Greatwood elves deadly spells he learnt from the Baamor Scrolls. The siege of the Tower of Twilight is a massacre, and the assailants must retreat without being able to hold their ground against the spells of mass destruction mastered by King Geldarion. Prince Lerian is informed of the sneaky move on Voronwyl's part and immediately sends all the troops he can muster to aid his father. The armies of the two kingdoms face one another establishing a fortified line near the Tower of Twilight. Since both kingdoms have suffered heavy losses in the past decades and cannot bear to lose other troops, Voronwyl and Lerian decide to hold their positions and avoid open battles, looking instead for a way to force the enemy's surrender without risking their soldiers' lives. This position war lasts for years while the two contenders try to enlist the aid of the other clans living in Genalleth and to create a new magic weapon so overtly powerful to assure their ultimate victory (like King Beldareth did 400 years before). However, their calls to other elven clans fall on deaf ears, since the Elders of these clans refuse to take part in a civil war that would only increase the chaos and suffering they have been enduring since King Sylvair's death.
Around BC 302 Geldarion is finally able to unlock the last secrets of the Baamor Scrolls and begins to prepare a ritual that in his mind will conjure an inferno of fire against his enemies and will make the Elvenstar reappear in his hands. Unknown to him, he is actually helping Darkstalker complete a difficult summoning ritual to open the gates of Pyts and bring a legion of powerful demon in the lands of Genalleth. This ritual slowly attracts Idris's attention in the higher spheres, since it is something she began researching shortly before her demise at the hands of the Korrigans. She watches Darkstalker's machinations with malign joy, taking a special interest in the area and sending omens to the Baamor Fiends to show them her support. The Baamor Fiends start worshipping Idris as source of their powers. The Korrigans on their part begin sending omens of an imminent threat to their followers, too, hoping they will be able to stop Darkstalker's plot before it reaches its zenith.
To further distract the elves and hinder their moves, Darkstalker orders all his troops (both living and undead) stationed in the Baamor Woods to storm out of their hideouts and attack all settlements in the Kingdom of Amoleth and the rest of Genalleth, while the Moor People take the duty of harassing the elves of Thalion and Greatwood. The ensuing invasion led by the Twelve Archfiends (Darkstalker's remaining companions) drags all the inhabitants of Genalleth, both elves and humans, in complete chaos, and forces old King Mylnaras of Kevareth to personally intervene to prevent the entropic horde from spreading into his territory. Prince Lerian and King Mylnaras fight side by side in the valley of Genalleth and King Voronwyl must forfeit its plans of conquest to defend his own kingdom from the Moor People.
When Prince Lerian comes to the Tower of Twilight to help his besieged father, from whom he has not received any news in the last two months, he discovers the horrible truth: all the towers' inhabitants have been turned into undead with the sole purpose of stopping anyone from entering, while his father has gone mad after deciphering the Baamor Scrolls and is about to complete a ritual involving disturbing symbols of Entropy and Death. Lerian confronts his father to stop him but his soul has been corrupted by Entropic forces and cannot be talked out of his scheme. The battle between father and son is tremendous and Prince Lerian must flee to escape death. After this intrusion, the mad Geldarion protects his tower against magical scrying and teleport attempts and goes on with his summoning. When Lerian reports the situation to Mylnaras, the two agree they will take whatever means necessary to stop Geldarion and assemble an elite team of experienced heroes for a direct strike at Geldarion's keep.
In the meantime, Enoreth ends his fifty years quest when he locates the lost Elvenstar at the spring of the Silver River in the western Mengul Range. It was the artifact's magical powers that gave the river of Nimbeth its healing powers, but the late King Beldareth never discovered it because its was deeply hidden below earth and guarded by a rogue dragon that had stolen it to use the artifact in his final ceremony of ascension to godhood. Enoreth and his companions kill the dragon and retrieve the artifact, and head immediately for Genalleth, where they find the land encroached in complete chaos. Enoreth's companions want to reach the Enchanted Forest to meet with the Heralds and consult them, but Enoreth follows the voices he hears from the Elvenstar and marches inside the heart of the enemy, entering the Dark Woods of Baamor.
Oblivious of each other's actions, Enoreth and his friends confront Darkstalker in the Tenth Shrine while the party led by Mylnaras and Lerian breaks into the Tower of Twilight to stop Geldarion. The ensuing battles are fierce and merciless and many elves fell (including King Mylnaras), but in the end Enoreth and Lerian prevail when the Elvenstar destroys Darkstalker's gate and both he and Geldarion are sucked into the Plane of Pyts disappearing forever.
Enoreth emerges victorious from the Dark Woods of Baamor and activates all the powers of the Elvenstar, strengthening Genalleth's borders and preventing the troops of the Archfiends to capture the Shrines of the Korrigans. All the Heralds understand that the Elvenstar has returned and quickly meet in the Forest of the Korrigans, where they greet Enoreth as new King of unified Genalleth. When Lerian hears the Elvenstar has been retrieved, he arranges a meeting with Enoreth and acknowledges his wisdom and power, swearing fealty to the new King together with the Elders and clanmasters of the rest of Genalleth and Kevareth. Under Enoreth's banner the united elven forces manage to defeat the remaining Entropic hordes and the Archfiends are vanquished, with the surviving fiends retreating into the Baamor Woods. At last, even King Voronwyl must acknowledge Enoreth as his sovereign and relinquishes his title returning a common Clanmaster. Enoreth is officially crowned Monarch of the United Kingdoms of Genalleth and Geffronell (since he is also Crown Prince of Geffronell) in BC 300 and proceeds in restoring peace in all of Genalleth in the following years.
Part 3/4: Enoreth and Wendar
300 BC - 300 AC: Enoreth's Reign. A new era of peace and brotherhood opens for humans and elves living in Genalleth and Geffronell, and new laws are passed to avoid future strife. Lerian of Amoleth (later known as Lerian the Just) is named Regent of Genalleth by Enoreth, who chooses to establish his seat of power in the Great Forest of Geffron, in his father's court. Thanks to Lerian and Enoreth's friendship and trustworthiness the elves of both kingdoms benefit from wise laws and just rulership, and the humans are given enough freedom to feel content and secure living in the elven lands. During these six centuries Enoreth avoids insurrections, despite the usual appearance of would-be Thanes in some of the central and southern regions, and the Dark Woods of Baamor are closely watched for signs of evil by the garrisons of Lerian's Tower and the keep of Aelythnar built by order of Clanmistress AncalimŽ a day's ride from the south-western borders of Baamor. A joint group of human and elven settlers establishes another village a day's ride from the southern tip of the Baamor Woods with the precise duty of keeping an eye on the deserted Tower of Twilight and on the cursed forest; this village will later become the prosperous town of Woodgate. It is also during Enoreth's reign that the town of Yngvarsvall is settled by people of Heldanner stock on the way between Lerian's Tower and the town of Woodgate, since military wagons going between the town and the tower often use the village as a rest stop. As a result, a small, but moderately prosperous, group of craftsmen and burghers grew up here, trading their services for the soldiers' coin.
During Enoreth's reign, Clanmaster Lerian and Clanmaster Voronwyl die and are replaced respectively by Ellareth (Lerian's older son) and AncalimŽ of Thalion (Voronwyl's mistress).
In AC 300, sensing the approach of his mortal life, Enoreth chooses his cousin Denolas as new heir and keeper of the Elvenstar among the Geffronell elves (his kin) after promising the Genalleth elves more freedom. Upon his death his corpse is entombed in a magical holy place, the Shrine of Enoreth, hidden deep in the Great Forest of Geffron.
100 BC: Idris reveals herself to the humans and humanoids of the Denagothian plateau and the Mengul Range, accusing the southern elves for every problem they experience and for the disasters that befell them in the past. The elves become the focus of this policy of hatred spread by the priests of Idris, a common scapegoat to rally the hotheads among the tribes and organise warbands to assault the Kingdom of Geffronell. The Geffronells do not consider this new faith a real threat and simply reinforce their border patrols, without paying too much attention to the machinations of the newly formed Church of Idris. In the following century, the cult of Idris spreads both among the humanoids and the humans thanks to the help of the nomadic Dena (first among the converted tribes), who bring the word of Idris to the four corners of the plateau. Idris's priests become the trusted advisers of many chieftains, while in other cases they openly challenge the clanleaders and try to usurp their place. The clerics of Idris try to establish a sense of kinship between their human and humanoid followers, oftentimes encouraging blood oaths between orcish and human tribes (a practice that becomes common enough especially among the Dena).
300-866 AC: Denolas's Reign. The first act of the new King of Geffronell and Genalleth is to move the court from the Great Forest of Geffron to his personal palace in the forest of Lothenar. Afterwards he appoints a new plenipotentiary to oversee the area of Genalleth to replace the late Lerian, as Enoreth had instructed him before his death. Denolas chooses Wendar, a wise and charismatic half-elf who was Lerian's second in command, to hold the position, thereby earning Ellareth's contempt for not assigning him to the role his father had wisely covered in the past. Wendar immediately sets out to forge alliances with the other clanmasters and townmasters of the Genalleth region.
301 AC: Wendar and his allies meet in the clanhall of the plenipotentiary and seal a pact of loyalty and mutual friendship known as the League of Wendar. This reinforces Wendar's power over the various regions of Genalleth, and gives him direct authority over the affairs of the region by virtue of a common agreement with the local rulers (rather than imposing his will simply because appointed by a distant and unknown elven king). The only clanmaster who deserts the meeting is not surprisingly Ellareth of House Nimbeth.
302-398 AC: Wendar's reign over Genalleth is enlightened and prosperous, and he is able to face the secession of the reborn Kingdom of Nimbeth and an assault of the Mengul humanoids with great wisdom and competence, leading to Genalleth's ultimate victory over the menaces that threaten its unity. Great efforts are done afterwards to strengthen the bond between elves and humans in Genalleth, giving more power to human leaders, laying the base of a common faith in the Korrigans and restoring peace even in the more troublesome areas in the south of the country.
307 AC: After some years spent building up his armies, the Clanmaster of Amoleth marches north to retake Nimbeth from the now divided human tribes still occupying its ruins. Thanks to the fact the humans are now divided and warring against each other, Ellareth succeeds in his quest after a bloody, month-long battle.
308 AC: Ellareth and his armies are able to withstand the pressure of the northern barbarians and actually drive them out of Nimbeth's old borders after several decisive battles. Wendar and the other clanmasters watch warily as Ellareth returns his court to the ruined city, and undertakes a massive effort to restore it. A few elven nobles, believing that the Kingdom of Nimbeth is rising once more, swear fealty to the son of Lerian.
323 AC: Enthralled by his achievements, Ellareth shows his real intentions by crowning himself King of Nimbeth and Amoleth and by questioning Wendar's role as leader of Genalleth. The League condemns Ellareth's selfish drive to rebuild his kingdom, and declares his realm an enemy land. As a result, Ellareth secedes from the United Kingdoms of Geffronell and Genalleth and declares his open hostility towards Genalleth. Moreover he invites the elven purists to leave Genalleth, which has become too lax under Wendar's policy of integration, and to resettle in his lands. Some elves listen to his dreams of glory and move to Nimbeth and the Laughing Woods.
326 AC: After many diplomatic efforts to bring Ellareth back under Genalleth's banner fail, King Denolas authorises Wendar to use military force to reclaim the lost lands of Amoleth. The Battle of Amoleth is fought as Regent Wendar of Genalleth, in a desperate attempt at stopping King Ellareth's secession, throws the might of the League of Wendar against the stronghold of House Nimbeth in the hopes of capturing the rebel. Ellareth meets Wendar on the battlefield, and wounds his enemy severely before being defeated and killed in single duel. Although Wendar wins, his victory is a hollow one, as his armies are now weakened, the northern region is still divided and the beautiful city of Amoleth lies in ruins. Ellareth's son, Gwyndor, escapes from the fall of Amoleth and hides in the rebuilt town of Nimbeth organising his resistant troops and declaring independence from Genalleth.
327 AC: Noting the kingdom's weakness, Mengul humanoid tribes following the omens of Idris's shamans invade Nimbeth from the east and Genalleth from the north, in the hopes of slaughtering the elves and securing a rich loot.
329 AC: Although they fight bravely, the army of Nimbeth (still recovering from the Battle of Amoleth) is unable to hold back the enemies; great swaths of territory in the east and south are lost, nearly cutting the kingdom in two. King Gwyndor pleads for aid from Genalleth, asking Wendar to have pity on his people. Wendar replies that Genalleth will help Nimbeth only if Gwyndor recognises Wendar's authority and retreats his act of secession. The prideful Gwyndor obviously refuses to let down his claims and endures the siege.
In the meantime Wendar must lead his own army against the humanoids (orcs and gnolls) pouring from the Mengul Range, trying to halt the invasion before it reaches the most important towns and the Shrines of the Korrigans. The fight is always difficult because the humanoid warbands are many and they attack in different locations at the same time.
330 AC: After three years of skirmishes against the humanoids, Wendar has finally understood which are the key positions to hold in order to prevent the invaders from entering Wendar's borders. He stations many different outposts on Genalleth's northern border with great observation towers and magical communication devices, and connects them with the castle he builds on the widest pass that leads towards the Great Forest of Geffron to organise the defences. Surewatch Keep becomes a pivotal element in preventing further raids from the Mengul Mountains and keeping a safe way towards Geffronell. Thanks to this tactical improvements, the humanoid attacks become less and less frequent during the following years, once the invaders realise the elves are able to inflict heavy casualties on their raiding parties before entering Genalleth.
331 AC: The city of Nimbeth is completely cut off from the rest of the small kingdom. Orcs and hobgoblins run rampant throughout the countryside, killing any human or elf they can find. Thousands of people flee south returning to Genalleth, while Wendar watches the situation and Genalleth's border from Lerian's Tower.
332 AC: His armies unable to hold the city any longer, King Gwyndor orders his people to abandon Nimbeth. Aided by magic and good tactics, the king and his army open a gap through the besieging orcs and humans, and manage to hold it long enough for the surviving citizens to flee to the west in Thalion following the old Kings' Way. Miraculously, few casualties are suffered because the besiegers did not expect the elves to take the western route and had instead concentrated the majority of their forces on the southern way towards Genalleth. After thoroughly looting the city, the hobgoblins retreat north in the mountains while the orcish tribes occupy the now fallen Kingdom of Nimbeth.
333 AC: King Gwyndor begs the old clanmistress AncalimŽ to let him and the refugees from Nimbeth find a safe haven in Thalion. AncalimŽ takes pity in young Gwyndor and takes him and his elves under her protection. The dispossessed King and his people lick their wound in Thalion, despite the Thalionians' clear discomfort at housing the northern rebels, but AncalimŽ is adamant in ordering a peaceful cooperation on her subjects' part and they obey.
334 AC: Many centaurs that once benefited from Nimbeth's protection are now forced to move inside Genalleth to escape the humanoids' raids. They reach an agreement with High Master Wendar who allows them to relocate in the northernmost tip of the Baamor Woods, where they will act as his personal spies and eyes, watching the border with the Moors of Chlyras and the Northern Wildlands. They establish the village of Aebhyrn Lwnn and are given total freedom of action inside the Dark Woods of Baamor. From this moment, the centaurs of Aebhyrn Lwnn becomes known as Wendar's Herd and will later remain loyal to all the High Masters of the League of Wendar.
337 AC: When Wendar is informed by his spies that Thalion is hiding the survivors of Nimbeth, he demands the clanmistress and the Elders of Greatwood to surrender him Gwyndor for proper judgement. The Elders have nothing against such decision, but AncalimŽ objects Wendar's orders, protesting that Gwyndor has already been defeated and now asks nothing more than leading a peaceful life and forgetting the past mistakes of his youth. In fact the old elven lady has become so attached to young Gwyndor to consider him the son she never had, and is now trying to school him in the elven philosophy of peace and meditation. Since AncalimŽ insists on taking responsibility for Gwyndor's future acts and King Denolas respects the old clanmistress' word, Wendar is forced to abandon his vengeance against the exiled rebel and leaves him be. Nevertheless, he sends spies to Thalion to monitor the traitor's actions and report at the slightest infraction.
340 - 343 AC: The Fall of Thalion. A great conqueror rises among the human tribes of the Northern Wildlands and looking for glory and riches, he marches southward to conquer the elven lands of Thalion. The Horde of Meglath attacks both elven and human settlements near Thalion and the forces of AncalimŽ begin to lose ground to the more numerous northlanders. Some citizens flee southwards to Greatwood anticipating disaster, while AncalimŽ issues a plea to their southern kin to aid them.
Greatwood sends reinforcements immediately, but the elves are caught by surprise on the path towards Thalion by the Moor People, who attack them viciously with poisonous weapons and decimate the elven troops before retreating in their swamp. Baffled by this ambush, Greatwood asks Wendar to send other troops, but the elven leader deliberately delays the reinforcements because of minor humanoid raids in the north, still obsessed by taking revenge on AncalimŽ and her protťgť Gwyndor. When the elves sent by Wendar arrive, they too are attacked by the Moor People and a great number of undead elves, humanoids and humans, all controlled by the Chlyrasi shamans who view this opportunity as a way of eradicating the elven presence in the Northern Wildlands once and for all.
Because of the war open on so many fronts around Thalion, the city finally falls to the massed might of the human clans of the Northern Wildlands, and the surviving elves flee southwards, many of them making it to Genalleth. AncalimŽ and Gwyndor die defending together the royal stronghold founded many centuries ago by AncalimŽ's father, King Aranael. Satisfied that they have driven the elves away for good and have plundered the city, but still considering Thalion and its valley to be too close to the inhospitable Moor People and the powerful elves of Greatwood, Meglath leads his horde back to their homes in the north, where he is greeted as a great conqueror. The Moor People on their part take possession of the ruins of Thalion and in the following years they work hard to expand the moors, polluting and deforesting the former elven lands to prevent the Genallethians to ever settle this region again.
398 AC: At Wendar's death, his clanshall has become a town and has been renamed Wendar (White Oak) in his honour. The members of the League of Wendar (which now identifies the town where the meetings are held) choose together another High Master to lead them. Denolas visits the newly appointed High Master Nione (a half-elf sorceress from the town of Woodgate) in the town of Wendar and gives his approval to the succession after the new plenipotentiary has sworn fealty to his crown in front of the holy Elvenstar. From this day, the ceremony for the nomination of the High Master of the League of Wendar follows this same ritual, and the Genalleth area becomes known as the League of Wendar, or Wendarian League. Nione's rule over the communities of Genalleth lasts until her death in AC 452.
400-500 AC: The humans living in the Wendarian Range are conquered by more independent Flaemish clans, who move into the mountains and build their strongholds here, dominating the Antalian and Neathar communities through the use of sheer force, magic or diplomacy, and maintaining fragile ties with the southern Flaemish Duchies. These Northern Marches develop friendlier relationships with Nordurland (modern Heldann) and Genalleth (modern Wendar), and try to stay independent from the Flaemish Dukes. During this century the Wendarian Range on both sides (Highlands and Genalleth) is divided into various autonomous dominions ruled by powerful wizards or warlords. Some of these lords maintain closer ties with the Flaems, and some even swear fealty to it; however, in front of the civil strife that plagues the Flaemish kingdom (the Battle of the Six Kings in AC 481 being the largest battle of these civil wars), most principalities of the Northern Marches easily take their road toward total independence.
400-600 AC: During this era, the Dena (who have almost all abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and settled in the northwestern plains) and the humans of the northern region unite under the banner of the Church of Idris and become known simply as the Denagothians, a dangerous enemy for Geffronell and all the southern clans who refuse to accept Idris's faith. The Denagothian nation is still divided into many clanholds, but all of them respect and obey the advice of the High Priest of Idris, who rules from the Hidden Tower, although they refuse to acknowledge his political supremacy.
In order to contrast the hatred towards elves spread by the Church of Idris among the humans of the central plains, King Denolas abandons the Geffronells' policy of isolationism and tries to establish friendlier ties with the nearby Neathar clans. Some of them accept the elves' help against the northern Denagothians and are even allowed into the elven strongholds for commercial and military purposes. Thanks to the superior elven magic and technology they acquire, the Essur clan begins its rise to power among the independent human communities that dwell in the southeastern corner of the plateau. King Denolas tries then to use them as their spokesmen among the humans and manoeuvre to create a buffer territory controlled by the Essur clan between Geffronell and the northern Denagothians.
445 AC: A fearsome mountain giant, named Felzuumath, occupies the ruined city of Nimbeth after subduing the orcish tribe that still dwells there and killing its chieftain with a single blow. Felzuumath and his clan of giants recruit many humanoids of the Mengul Range to raid the north-western part of Genalleth, dreaming of plundering the rich strongholds of the elves.
448 AC: King Denolas's armies march on Nimbeth from Lothenar in the hopes of dislodging Felzuumath and his increasing horde. After making some impressive initial gains, the elves are surprised by Felzuumath's tactical skill, and are driven north back into Geffronell.
451 AC: Leading an army of a thousand humanoids and a hundred giants, Felzuumath attacks the Laughing Woods and enters Genalleth. Clanmaster Maeglin of House Lythiras now in power in the Laughing Woods organises his people's resistance while waiting for reinforcements from Nione. Once Felzuumath understands the way eastward is blocked, he leads his troops southward to avoid being blocked inside the forest during the winter.
452 AC: High Master Nione dedicates herself to stopping the giant's march and protecting her subjects without waiting for reinforcements from the other members of the League. She begins to assemble a band of like-minded elves and humans of renowned skills to help her. Many small battles and skirmishes occur over the following months, hindering Felzuumath's advance. At a great battle that will later be known as Felzuumath's Fall, the bold Nione and his volunteers are joined by the reinforcements from all of Genalleth and the army openly confronts the reduced horde of Felzuumath some miles before reaching Woodgate. Nione meets the giant in battle, slaying him and putting his horde in disarray, although she later dies of a poisonous injury while engaged in battle with the remaining giants. Her closest companions take up her cause, pursuing their remaining enemies with a vengeance.
453 AC: By now, Nione's tragic triumph resonates greatly among the elves and humans of Genalleth, and many rulers cite her as an example of true heroism. King Denolas orders a small shrine dedicated to the heroine to be built on the site of her death, and the bards start spreading songs about Nione's epic confrontation against the giant, which will become one of the classical ballads of Wendar. In the meeting of the League of Wendar that follows, the new High Master appointed to rule as Denolas's regent for Genalleth is Sonnoleth, Nione's right hand, a charismatic wizard with a distinctive fey heritage from the village of Lauriantia in the Enchanted Forest.
453 - 546 AC: Sonnoleth's rule as High Master of the Wendarian League lasts until his death in AC 560. He is responsible for endorsing a policy of complete tolerance of, furthering Wendar's ideals of cooperation and integration, and he actually funds the construction of many villages with a mixed population of human, elves and half-elves especially in the central and southern plains. Sonnoleth dies in AC 546 defending some half-blood villages from an insurrection led by groups of human purists and Idris's followers from the Heartlands. For his great courage and the ultimate sacrifice in defending Wendar's cause, King Denolas renames the plains south of the Enchanted Forest where he met his demise the Sonnoleth Plains. The tale of his last stand quickly becomes another popular song among the half-bloods of Wendar. Surprising everyone and against King Denolas's advice however, the members of the League of Wendar do not choose Sonnoleth's lieutenant to follow him but instead appoint Colm ApGrannith, the human townmaster of Sylvair, as new High Master of Genalleth.
500-700 AC: In the Wendarian Range, wars and strife plague the Northern Marches as contrasts divide the independent lords from those that pledged vassalage to the Flaems. The latter want to impose Flaemish dominion over the whole Northern Marches, and are backed by the Flaemish Dukes of the Highlands. Among the independent lords rises Baron Elktazar, who leads an alliance of the independent lords against the Flaems' vassals, and manages to expand his domain by conquering his enemies. One of his toughest opponents is the Flaemish sorceress Maerklara, who rules a domain east of Elktazar's Barony. Wars in the region last for what remains of the 6th century, but none of the contenders achieve supremacy. After the death of Baron Elktazar, the Northern Marches begin to decline; the internal strife has reduced to poverty many domains, while others have been conquered, destroyed or absorbed by the Flaemish realm. In the following decades, many fiefdoms of the Northern Marches become vassals of the Flaems and the tradition of arcane lore that until now had flourished there is forgotten and definitely lost. Many of these northmen, without a strong leader to protect them and refusing to bow to the Flaems' will, move to the safer valleys of Genalleth and Nordurland. In the following centuries, the remaining petty landlords of the Wendarian Range eventually fall under Glantrian rule.
547 - 565 AC: High Master ApGrannith's rule is characterised by the pacification of the Heartlands, whose insurrection began in the last years of Sonnoleth's life and caused his own death. ApGrannith uses his influence over the humans of the Heartlands to organise peaceful meetings and resolve old feuds and resentments to avoid an effective war. When some of the chieftains completely refuse to parlay however, he shows no mercy and musters the troops of the League to conquer the insurrectionists and to burn down their villages. Master ApGrannith becomes a clear example of the love for Order and Law taken to the limit. Many of the villagers who are forced to relocate choose the southern areas of Genalleth near the Wendarian Range, but do not venture on the mountains since the situation there is already too troubled. In AC 558 the majority of these wanderers establish the human town of Oakwall as the last stop before crossing the Wendarian Range. Colm ApGrannith dies during the siege of Duncan's Keep, and the League of Wendar immediately announces the new High Master choosing a more diplomatic candidate for that role, the elderly Forenath, an elven priest of the Korrigans.
565 - 640 AC: Forenath's rule over Wendar starts the opposite way of High Master ApGrannith's end. He immediately calls for a truce stopping the siege of Duncan's Keep when it was clear the besiegers were heading for victory. By showing his mercy and sympathies to the besieged humans, Forenath manages to end the hostilities and grants the Heartlands some of the requests they had been demanding in the last century, including the permission to cut down parts of the Korrigan Forest to build new villages and farms. Duncan's Keep is rebuilt after the siege and renamed Duncansby. Many elven clanlords accuse Master Forenath of excessive remissiveness and even cowardice, but he is determined not to ignite the powder keg once more. High Master Forenath also receives King Denolas's complete support, since he has been one of his advisers in the past and the monarch shows a deep respect for his wisdom. Forenath is especially remembered by the Wendarians for his efforts to create a unique national language which he renamed Wendarian and which later spread among the humans and elves thanks to the efforts of the priests of the Korrigans. The Wendarian tongue indeed takes many words from the Neathar and Antalian dialects but uses the elven grammar and syntax, making it easier to understand and learn. The Wendarian tongue helps a lot to create a sense of unity and of national pride inside the inhabitants of Genalleth, who start to think of themselves more as Wendarians and less as Genallethians (a term used primarily by the elven historians now) from the VII century AC. Master Forenath dies in his sleep in AC 640 aged 794 years and his funerals are followed by a day of mourning in all the nation.
630 AC: King Denolas grants the Essur clan some lands in the eastern forest of Geffron (mostly deserted by his own people) as a sign of goodwill in exchange for their perpetual alliance. There the humans build the village of Tallen, which they use mostly as trading point with the elves.
641 - 719 AC: The League of Wendar, which now comprises many representatives from all of the region's major towns and clans, meet in Wendar Hall to elect a new High Master. After one week of discussions and votes, the elves' candidate, Sarendyl h'Caramore, half-elf captain of the garrison of Hawksgate, is finally acknowledged as the new regent of Genalleth. Master h'Caramore proves to be a sound and pragmatic regent, ready to meet his councilmembers' demands without ousting any of the parties involved in the quarrels he is called to settle. He is especially remembered for beginning the construction of the road that would later be called Royal Way and that connects Hawksgate to the town of Wendar, and for building the Everway Tower in the south, a keep charged with overseeing all the traffic coming from the southern Highlands (current Glantri) through the Elven Pass.
660 AC: The new High Priestess of Idris holds a meeting of the northern Denagothian lords in the heart of the Dena's tribelands and after a heated debate she succeeds in dominating their mind with a magical curse. With their support, she then crowns herself Queen of Denagoth and sends her minions to the allied tribes to prepare for a major campaign against the southern infidels. In the years that follow, the Queen of Denagoth makes secret alliances with the humanoid chiefs of the Mengul Range and uses their troops to raid other clans in the middle of the plateau, later offering them her protection against the humanoids in exchange for their submission. Using both subterfuge, treachery and strength, she is able to expand Denagoth's southern border and to rally new converts to Idris's cause.
Part 4/4: The Rise and Fall of Essuria
666 AC: Nebunar of clan Teriak, a great warleader of a northern independent tribe, starts to plan a major military campaign to conquer the free southern clans in order to build his own kingdom.
670 AC: After four years of wars, Nebunar has become a major warlord in eastern Denagoth and the High Priest of Idris arranges a meeting with him, seeing the opportunity to bring him in his fold. Nebunar is clever enough to convert to Idris's faith and to ask the High Priest for support in his campaign, although he refuses to be part of the Denagothian nation the cleric dreams of building. In order to avoid conflicts with a possible rival, the High Priest gives him the Blackstick (an artifact of evil necromantic powers) to increase his army's firepower and Nebunar agrees to secretly promote the faith of Idris among his kinsmen, focusing his attention on the southern lands bordering the elven territories. Nebunar and the High Priest together devise a plan that will allow them to infiltrate the elven kingdom of Geffronell and destroy it from within.
673 AC: After eight years of wars and diplomatic talks, Nebunar is able to unite the Neathar and Antalian tribes of the eastern Denagothian plateau and ends his military campaign with the conquest of the last independent clan left: the Essurs of Geffron. In order to pretend his goodwill towards the neighbouring elves and their protťgťs, Nebunar does not enslave the Essurs like he did with other tribes. Instead he simply forces their chieftain's daughter to marry him, thus uniting clans Essur and Teriak under his banner, and crowns himself first King of Essuria. He then chooses the village of Tallen as his seat of power and there he builds the fortress of Drax Tallen, establishing House Teriak as Essuria's ruling clan. He receives help in his ascension by the secret cultists of Idris, who take deep roots in Nebunar's reign covering the most important roles in administering the kingdom's bureaucracy and making new converts to their ideals of hatred and supremacy.
674-689 AC: Nebunar's Reign on Essuria. His foreign policy is immediately aggressive both towards the free northern tribes and the humanoids, and his constant wars against them to expand Essuria's northern borders are approved by the nearby Geffronells, who consider him the best ally to create a powerful kingdom that could stop the northern barbarians and humanoids from raiding them. In fact, Nebunar plans to gather enough military and arcane might to turn his army against the Kingdom of Geffronell, since he resents the elves' influence on Essurian soil and because his mind is constantly poisoned by the Church of Idris. In the last years of his reign he becomes openly hostile towards Geffronell and grants the Church of Idris power above all the other Essurian faiths in exchange for help in securing the borders and raising an army against the elves. At the end, Nebunar is so obsessed with mastering the powers of necromancy and extending his life in order to further his plans of conquest that he demands the patriarch of Idris to help him unveil the secrets of undeath. However, the patriarch of Idris refuses to help him and tries to wrestle power from the old monarch's hands by plotting against him together with his firstborn, Gereth. When Nebunar finds out, he estranges the whole clergy, while the patriarch of Idris and Gereth are forced to flee to Denagoth to avoid public execution. Nebunar becomes incredibly suspicious and paranoid, and his dreams of immortality finally fade away when he dies in his bed aged 67 years, few days before declaring war against Geffronell. The Blackstick is entombed with him by his will.
690-703 AC: The new King of Essuria, Nebunar's second son Avien (who never liked Idris's power over his father), immediately sends envoys of peace to King Denolas to assure him of his peaceful intentions. A peace treaty is signed between Essuria and Geffronell and the Church of Idris loses its grip on Essuria. Avien makes war with the estranged brother Gereth, now self-styled King of Denagoth, supported by the Church of Idris on his claim to the Essurian crown. Thanks to the help of the elves of Geffronell, Avien is able to resist Denagoth's pressure and to actually repel the invaders, conquering and securing the area renamed the Avien Plains, thus extending the Essurian northern border. Gereth retreats in the northernmost part of Denagoth, where he builds a tower (Gereth Minar, "Tower of Gereth" in Denagothian tongue) and broods revenge listening to the advice of the High Priestess of Idris, becoming her lover and her puppet. The next assaults he launches on Essuria are doomed to fail because of the erratic behaviour of his humanoid forces. During the last skirmish in the Avien Plains, he is killed on the battlefield by his own brother.
The High Priestess of Idris begets Gereth's son shortly after his demise in BC 696. She raises the child, Landru, fuelling his mind with ideals of hatred and envy towards Geffronells and Essurians, responsible for stealing his heritage and resisting the conversion to Idris's faith.
698 - 710 AC: Rise and Fall of Heldann. Heldann the Brave, a powerful and skilled warleader of Nordurland, after a ten years long campaign is able to conquer all the independent clans of northmen and to unite them under his banner, declaring the formation of the Heldann Freeholds in AC 707. Heldann then leads his men in a great campaign to vanquish the last threat remaining in his lands: the trolls and giants. After five years of battles he is able to rally the help of the Vestlanders and Ethengarians to drive all remaining trolls of Nordurland into the Trollheim hills, and there he personally slays the King of Trolls at the battle of Feuerhals in AC 910, declaring the end of his campaign against the humanoids. However, once he returns home he is treacherously poisoned in his clanhall (Haldisvall) by some clanleaders, who are worried of Heldann's increasing fame and power and try to avoid his ascension as sole ruler of a unified Nordurland. Heldann dies in AC 710 and his murderers publicly take responsibility of their act, announcing they freed Nordurland of its tyrant. The clans who are still loyal to Heldann take arms against the murderers and begin a bloody feud, with the majority of Heldanners staying out of this war (a clear sign that Heldann's dream of unity was not shared by all the Heldanners once the troll's threat is no more). After two years, the clans responsible for Heldann's death are defeated and an assembly of all clanleaders is called by the winners. The chieftains meet in Haldisvall and rename Nordurland the Heldann Freeholds, maintaining the feudal laws passed by Heldann during his reign. His nephew is elected Warleader of the Clans, but this is merely a hollow title in honour of the great hero, and the Heldanner clans maintain their independence (like to the Soderfjord Jarldoms).
704-795 AC: During the reign of the following seven Essurian monarchs, Essuria strengthens its borders and openly contrasts Denagoth in the central plains of the plateau. Denagoth declares war on Essuria at least five times, but it is never able to crush it despite the help of the humanoid tribes, because of the elves' staunch support of the Essurian Kings. This causes a dramatic loss of power for the cult of Idris, but thanks to her necromantic powers and knowledge, the High Priestess is always able to extend her life beyond her mortal limits and to maintain a firm grip on her vassals, begetting one son after the other who then are put on the throne of Denagoth to act as her puppet kings.
711 AC: Bensarian of Kevar is born a half-elf from an elven father (a Geffronell hero distantly related to King Denolas's wife) and a human mother (a priestess of the Korrigans) in the small hamlet of Kevar. He grows up sharing the wisdom of his parents and quickly becomes an important figure in Kevareth, renowned for his erudition and charisma.
719 - 734 AC: After Sarendyl h'Caramore's death, the League of Wendar meets and elects a new High Master choosing the crafty and clever Oleg Gunnarson from Yngvarsvall. His short rule is characterised by a distinctive interest in economics and by the trading agreements which bring various benefits to the human communities of the region. Yngvarsvall prospers incredibly thanks to his first citizen's support, and many commercial treaties are established with nearby Sind, Essuria and Glantri, and even with the remote towns of the Adri Varma plateau. High Master Gunnarson is however forced to renounce his title once evidences of corruption and theft from the League's coffers are brought against him. He ends his life quietly in his home town, surrounded by the protection of all those he made richer thanks to his dishonest schemes.
734 - 773 AC: Genhalldon is the next High Master the League chooses after Oleg Gunnarson resigns. He is a famous half-elven bard and a great artist, not exactly a politician, and for this reason many are marvelled at the League's decision. Even King Denolas raises some doubts about the regent's capabilities, but Genhalldon's charisma is so strong that soon most of his detractors become his most vibrant sponsors after meeting him personally. Indeed Genhalldon is not a keen politician nor an expert statesman and during his reign the various Wendarian towns enjoy more freedom than what they experienced in the past decades because of his laxity. It is probably for this reason that many of the League members, especially the humans, chose him as new regent. Genhalldon is an artist above all, and he is persuaded that beautiful works of art can embellish Wendar's appearance and push its people to achieve higher ideals of communion and friendship. For this reason he spends great amounts of Wendar's treasury to commission and personally oversee great artistic projects all over the country. He is also responsible for building the Temple of the Kings in Wendar, a shrine that houses three great ebon statues of the monarchs of Genalleth and Geffronell (Sylvair, Enoreth and Denolas), and the Epic Pentad, a compilation of the bardic tales regarding the five most important figures of Wendar's past (Enoreth, Lerian, Wendar, Nione and Sonnoleth). Genhalldon dies because of a sudden collapse of a mine, during an inspection of an important extraction site located in north-eastern Wendar, and his unexpected loss takes the council of Wendar unprepared.
773 - 867 AC: When Genhalldon dies during a mine accident, a powerful elven mage of Greatwood named Antirion is ready to step in and to convince many of the League members to support his election to regency. Because of his clever manoeuvres, he becomes the new High Master of Wendar in less then a week. The first act to commemorate his unfortunate predecessor is to rename Genhalldon the small village near the site of the accident and to commission its artisans an elaborate funeral monument in his honour. When the great carving of Genhalldon is complete, Antirion is so awestruck by the artwork chiselled on the side of the granite mountain that he immediately summons the best stonecarvers of Genalleth to create a bas-relief of immense proportions depicting all the other High Masters of the League (including himself) in the same spot. The grand project dubbed the Stone Faces takes twenty years to be completed and is regarded as a real marvel of the Known World. However, Antirion aspires to a greater glory and constantly looks for a way to render his name immortal in the future chronicles of Wendar. Inspired to perform greater deeds, Antirion quests for ancient artifacts to increase Genalleth's power and bring glory to his own name, often disappearing for months before coming back to his duties, until he disappears forever and leaves Wendar in disarray in AC 867.
775 AC: Halvan, brother of the ninth King of Essuria, becomes Bensarian's pupil. The wise half elf lives in Essuria for the time being, educating the young heir to the throne and raising him with ideals of peace and justice.
782 AC: During the construction of the Royal Mausoleum in Drax Tallen, Halvan finds the Blackstick in the tomb of Nebunar. After some time, disturbed by its malign influence, he gives the artifact to his old mentor, the sage Bensarian, to study it and to hide the staff from the eyes of powerful enemies.
784 AC: Bensarian understands the Blackstick is too evil and powerful for him and asks the Geffronell elves to guard it. In exchange for this favour, he starts to write a long chronicle of their history as a gift to the old King Denolas. Impressed by his wisdom and honesty, Denolas appoints Bensarian with the title of Chief Historian of Geffronell.
785-786 AC: The Thyatian hero Giovanni Porphirio helps the Kingdom of Essuria and the dragons of Wyrmsteeth to unveil a mysterious and most nefarious plot of the Church of Idris involving dragons. During his adventures in Norwold, Giovanni helps a gold dragon escape the clutches of the evil Onyx Ring, and then together with his new ally traces the path of the cultists who wanted to kidnap the dragon back to Denagoth. Here he discovers that the Church of Idris is stealing dragon eggs and kidnapping young dragons from the Wyrmsteeth blaming the Norwold dragonslayers and that the priests and wizards of the Onyx Ring use their prisoners for weird experiments. They are trying to create an artifact that could cross humanoids and dragons, producing a new species completely subservient to their will. With these slaves they could then conquer nearby Essuria and later Geffronell and Genalleth.
Giovanni and his ally gather enough proofs to convince the Essurian King that Denagoth is a real threat to the region's stability, and backed by a punitive force of Wyrmsteeth gold dragons, the Essurian Army attacks and destroys the headquarters of the Onyx Ring in northern Denagoth. This action breaks once again Idris's control over Denagoth and crushes the alliance that the Onyx Ring had sealed with all the different Denagothian tribes (both human and humanoid) foreseeing an invasion of the rich Kingdom of Essuria.
Because of Giovanni's pivotal role in the events, the dragons forge an oath of eternal friendship with Giovanni. When he becomes Emperor of Thyatis in AC 799, Giovanni calls upon that oath to obtain that a small number of the more lawful Wyrmsteeth dragons serve in the Retebius Air Fleet for a short term (according to draconic lifespan) as a sign of reward for his help. Some of these dragons take a liking in the Empire and eventually settle in the Thyatian mainland, becoming officers and permanent members of the RAF.
The Essurian King also strikes a friendship bond with Giovanni, which becomes useful when he is crowned Giovanni I, Emperor of Thyatis. Essuria is then regarded as a "friend and ally of the Thyatian Empire" and benefits from the protection of its Emperor (even if Thyatis never goes as far as claiming the lands of Essuria as its own protectorate) and from formal diplomatic and commercial exchanges.
795 - 818 AC: Halvan's Reign. In AC 795 Halvan is crowned 10th King of Essuria after his brother's death. He strengthens the alliance with the court of King Denolas and proceeds to improve Drax Tallen following his brother's example. During his reign Drax Tallen becomes a rich capital with a special college where the richest nobles of the kingdom send their children to learn the basics in arts, economics, history, politics, religion and magic. Essuria's cultural level increases thanks to Halvan's enlightened guide, but he is no less staunch in his opposition against Denagoth's threat and reinforces the Essurian army with better weapons and better training, employing retired officers of Thyatis that are sent by the Emperor to teach the Essurian troops the best tactics and warfare strategies to contrast the Denagothians.
817 - 818 AC: The Hammer & Anvil Campaign. After rallying the help of the humanoids living in the eastern Mengul Range, the King of Denagoth launches a terrible strike against Essuria, opening two fronts: from the north his pikemen try to conquer the Avien Plains, while from the south the humanoid warbands advance with hit and run tactics to lure the Essurian soldiers into ambushes and lay siege to Drax Tallen. This strategy has been secretly devised by King Garlan of Denagoth and dubbed Hammer & Anvil, hoping Essuria will be crushed between these two forces. Unfortunately, his plans backfire when the dragons of Wyrmsteeth send a couple of gold dragons to repel the Mengul humanoids answering to Halvan's plea. Halvan himself leads his troops against the Denagothian pikemen and allows them to advance in the heart of the Avien Plains only to cut their retreat with a clever manoeuvre. The bottled Denagothians fight with all their might without surrendering and the ensuing battle is a massacre. Halvan is mortally wounded and dismembered during a particularly savage assault made at the end of the battle by a small group of lycanthropes employed by the Denagothians as shock troops.
818 AC: After the disastrous military campaign against Essuria, King Garlan of Denagoth goes mad when he discovers that his mother and lover, the High Priestess of Idris, is plotting to remove him because of his failures. He takes revenge for this treachery by killing her outright in front of the court, and in his deranged state of mind, to completely prevent anyone from raising her soul and take vengeance on him, he activates a powerful magical weapon she had devised to use against the elves to eliminate all the witnesses. The whole palace is destroyed in the backleash of the magical energies released by the explosion, which annihilates the royal couple and the major priests of Idris gathered in the hall. Having lost its key rulers, Denagoth becomes a divided country made up of feuding tribes that vie for supremacy and isolated priests of Idris who try to strengthen their grip on the tribes they control.
818 - 830 AC: Gallathon's Reign. When Halvan dies on the battlefield, his son Gallathon takes his place. Gallathon has been schooled in the best Thyatian collegi by will of his father, and when he returns home he has already developed a wide net of important political and economic ties with the most influential nobles of the southern nations. Gallathon is not a man of arms, so he leaves the army in the capable hands of his most trusted generals, focusing instead on increasing Essuria's political influence in the world and enriching its treasury. He therefore makes many different commercial agreements with the nearby allied nations of Wendar, Geffronell, Glantri and the Northern Reaches, trading with partners as far as Thyatis and Minrothad thanks to his school days' acquaintances. Essuria's economy blooms during his reign, and the fragmentation of Denagoth (whose armies are busy fighting among themselves than against Essuria) only helps strengthening Essuria's position as the only reliable commercial partner in Norwold. King Gallathon dies during a diplomatic voyage to faraway Alphatia, when the Minrothaddan ship he's embarked on experiences a sudden dramatic storm that sinks it.
830 AC: After many years of loyal dedication to the elves' cause, Bensarian is appointed with the title of Court Adviser. In order to complete his Chronicles of the Elven Kin, Denolas uses the power of the Elvenstar to rejuvenate Bensarian (who was already in his old age).
830 - 849 AC: Mirimar's Reign. Gallathon's son Mirimar inherits the crown after his father's death, but he takes on this role without real pleasure. Mirimar in fact is a scholar at heart and delights more in studying ancient history, discussing philosophy and religious matters rather than administering a whole kingdom. For this reason he always tries to find the right person to do the job in his place, and so during his reign a new caste arises in the Essurian Kingdom: the royal bureaucrats. These people contribute to create an efficient bureaucracy that basically rules the kingdom with the King's approval, taking with them a considerable amount of power and stripping the nobles of many of their privileges. This fact alienates the support of the petty nobles to King Mirimar, but he does not care since the population seems to be content of his reforms. He also establishes the Church of He Who Watches as the state religion, a religious philosophy he himself creates based on the most Lawful aspects of many of the deities worshipped in the southern nations. The Church becomes another key element in Mirimar's policy of administering the state and controlling the population's morale. At the age of 50, Mirimar abdicates and passes his crown onto his eldest son, the valiant Vespen, First Paladin of He Who Watches. The old king ends his days in a monastery he founded ten years before, spending his time happily between meditation and reading.
849 - 856 AC: Vespen's Reign. Vespen becomes the 13th King of Essuria at the young age of 27 with the blessing of his father. When his brother Landryn discovers Mirimar's decision, he abandons Drax Tallen full of envy and resentment and heads for Glantri to fuel his passion for the arcane arts, hoping magic will help him to become more powerful. There he studies under the patronage of the di Malapietras for the following five years, learning a lot about alchemy and taking a liking in necromancy too. Vespen is a formidable fighter and his actions are motivated by his strong will to eradicate Evil from the plateau, but he is also completely unfit at ruling his subjects lacking the subtlety and diplomacy that every monarch should have. For this reasons Vespen's reign is characterised by the growing dissent of the aristocracy, caused by the power of the royal bureaucrats growing unchecked. After a series of meetings hosted by Vespen in Drax Tallen, the King decides to give a sign of goodwill to the nobles by reducing the power of the functionaries and awarding to larger fiefdoms a large degree of autonomy. Seeing this as a sign of royal weakness, the aristocratic magnates begin to wrestle power from the crown in the regions they rule, openly ousting the King's authority. Vespen, more interested in keeping harmony with the nobility than in enforcing his will, leave the situation as it is and concentrates more on his military campaigns against the Denagothians, who are considered treacherous followers of the evil Idris. During his successful holy crusades, Essuria's northern borders encroach many of the woods and hills that were previously held by the Denagothian Kingdom. It is under Vespen's campaigns that Essuria reaches its greatest expansion and that new small fiefdoms are established by distinguished army officers or awarded to restless nobles near the area of the Ice Mountains (a spur of the Icereach Range north of the plateau), where a new precious mineral is discovered and jealously mined by the Essurians. These victories and the expansion of the Essurian northern border convince the Denagothian lords that the time has come to unite once again to avoid being enslaved or driven away from their ancestral territories by the hated Essurians. The Church of Idris reorganises its ranks and starts spinning a web of alliances among the independent warlords to rebuild the Kingdom of Denagoth. It also sends new spies and manipulators to Essuria, in order to corrupt the dissident nobles in King Vespen's court.
After his return to Essuria in AC 854, Landryn falls under the influence of a follower of Idris who lures Vespen's younger brother into Idris's net exploiting his obsession for necromancy and power. Landryn's envy towards his brother grows, well watered by Idris's teachings, until the priest persuades Landryn to arrange for Vespen's premature demise. Landryn does not think twice about the opportunity to get his hands on the throne (an option which would become impossible if Vespen ever beget a heir), and starts to slowly poison his older brother with a special concoction he puts in his drinks.
856 - 861 AC: Landryn's Reign. When King Vespen dies in his bed, his brother Landryn quickly seizes the throne, silencing the rumours of assassination that circulate in the court with discreet firmness. His policy is immediately aggressive towards the priests and the generals loyal to his brother, while on the other hands he secretly befriends the followers of Idris still living in Essuria. In the following years, secret meetings with the Denagothian Church of Idris are held as well as with some free tribes of northern barbarians. Landryn tries to gather support for a likely invasion of Geffronell in the near future and demands the crown of Denagoth in exchange for open support to the Church of Idris.
When Landryn is sure that the new High Priest of Idris is backing his claims, he sends ambassadors to Geffronell inviting King Denolas to Essuria to attend a strategic meeting for the preparation of an all-out war against the remaining Denagothian tribes "to fulfil his dear brother's dream of a unified nation under the forces of Good". King Denolas accepts but sends his firstborn to represent his court, following Bensarian's advice. However, during the meeting in Drax Tallen Landryn assassinates the elven ambassador with all his escort and launches a sudden military strike against the Great Forest of Geffron. Immediately after, in AC 860 the High Priest of Idris crowns Landryn Teriak King of Denagoth and Essuria. Landryn raises the Church of Idris above the cult of He Who Watches, and explicitly prohibits the priests of this church to speak publicly against the throne or the Church of Idris.
861 AC: Denolas calls forth to Genalleth for reinforcements, and at the same time sends scouts in the Northern Wildlands to rally the help of the human independent clans. The hero Henadin answers Denolas's plea due to an old oath and as part of his path towards immortality. After gathering the barbarian tribes of the Wildlands north and west of Gereth Minar, he marches into Essuria descending from the north with the help of two of the last gold dragons living in Wyrmsteeth, since the wyrms have in the meantime forfeited their protection to Essuria. The Essurian Army cannot stand the opening of two fronts at the same time, and Essuria falls to the invading barbarians and the elves. During the siege of Drax Tallen Landryn is able to kill Henadin and consumes his soul, but is then forced to flee. He is later caught and killed in the Avien Plains by one of the draconic allies of Henadin. The companions of Henadin keep the hero's death a secret, and after razing Drax Tallen, they lead the barbarian horde from whence it came, telling the tales of Henadin's ascension to the realm of the Forefathers and leaving behind the crumbling Essurian Kingdom.
Few days after, a wandering Denagothian priest of Idris sent on a quest by her patroness resurrects Landryn. After the cleric has explained what Idris wants from him and Landryn has regained his strengths and spells, he possesses the priest's body and manages to reach the High Tower of Idris. Posing as the wandering priest, he is able to infiltrate Idris's sanctum and to commune with the goddess. She curses him because of his treachery on her cleric, but promises him she would lift the curse if he was able to crush once and for all the elves of Denagothian plateau. Landryn Teriak swears fealty to the goddess, who in turn puts him in charge of the military campaign to unite Denagoth once again. Under the false identity of the slain cleric, Landryn gains the support of the Church of Idris and adopts the title of Shadowlord.
862 AC: A group of halflings and dwarves escapes the towers and laboratories of Glantrian wizards, and crosses the mountains in a perilous journey towards freedom and safety in Wendar. Many die along the way, but some arrive to their destination and are allowed - not without suspicion - to settle in the mountains of south-east Wendar. There they found the village of Dawnblossom-Wyrdal (the first word is the hin name, the second - the dwarven one, since they couldn't agree on one single name).
In the Barony of Ghyr, one of the few dominions that survived the fall of Essuria, the wife of the current ruler, Baron Qasmar, gives birth to his firstborn and only child, Ganto.
863 - 897 AC: The Prism Wars. In the north-eastern corner of the Denagothian plateau, the dominions left unscathed by Henadin's invasion because of their decentralised location take advantage of the Essurian Kingdom's fall to declare their independence and claim rights over the nearby lands. Some of them ally while others jump at each other's throat after decades of rivalry. Baron Qasmar of Ghyr, ruler of the largest and wealthiest dominion, crowns himself King of Ghyr and proceeds to demand the other petty nobles' loyalty in exchange for his protection. The noble lords who refuse to submit to Qasmar declare war against Ghyr in order to obtain the control of the Prism Mines, an important vein that produces a rare mineral of capital importance for the region's economics. The Prism Wars ravage this secluded area of Norwold for nearly forty years, but it is mostly a battle of wits, strategic alliances, blockades and blackmails rather than an open war, although open field skirmishes and ambushes abound.
865 AC: The Kingdom of Denagoth rears its head once again, when the Shadowlord manages to be hailed King by the various human and humanoid warlords, backed up by the Church of Idris. He declares war on Genalleth and Geffronell, with the purpose of conquering the enemy territories and annihilating the elves in order to rule all of the Denagothian Plateau.
866 AC: Denagoth invades the Forest of Lothenar with humanoid shock troops headed by the black dragon Vitriol (one of the surviving Spawn of Idris, the dragons magically hatched by the Onyx Ring back in 785 AC) and begins slaughtering the elves. Reinforcements from the Great Forest of Geffron are cut off by groups of well-trained mercenaries and wyvern riders. At the last stand in his palace, King Denolas is slaughtered together with his wife and his court by the minions of Idris led by evil Vitriol. A group of brave elves led by Bensarian manages to spirit away the precious Elvenstar, symbol of the ruling caste of Geffronell, and brings it to the Great Forest of Geffron. Since Denolas did not leave heirs, the surviving clanmasters of Geffronell struggle to elect a new King and organise the resistance against Denagoth. In the meantime Bensarian travels to Genalleth to convince the League of Wendar to send troops to Geffronell, and brings with him the Elvenstar as a sign of friendship and oath towards the Geffronells. After Denolas's death, Bensarian is in fact the Keeper of the Elvenstar by last will of the dead King.
867 AC: High Master Antirion finds a strange device in a dead city of strange black stone on the Adri Varma Plateau. Intrigued, he brings the object back to his tower in Greatwood and begins studying it in complete isolation. Five months after his discovery, a great flash of light lights the sky for miles around his tower. Worried about the High Master's state, envoys from Greatwood are dispatched but they find no evidence of habitation the next day, and the lands surrounding the tower seem corrupted somehow - the vegetation grows sickly, brittle, and grey in colour, and no traces of Antirion are to be found. Even today, no animal goes near the tower, and those who spend too much time there almost inevitably sicken and die from a strange wasting disease. Many rumours begin to circulate about a curse that Antirion attracted because of his dabbling in ancient lore, and once over a year passes without news on his part, the League of Wendar officially declares Antirion dead and meets to elect a new High Master.
Bensarian arrives in the town of Wendar and speaks in front of the League asking for their troops, but the councilmembers do not seem to agree. After a few secret meetings with some elven clanmasters, Bensarian bestows the Elvenstar upon Gylharen, an elven hero and townmaster of Wendar, foretelling the coming of the Shadowlord. This actually makes Gylharen the King of Geffronell and Genalleth, but many of the human leaders refuse to acknowledge the act and leave the assembly.
Gylharen starts to reinforce Genalleth's defences and sends troops to the borders. He also proceeds, advised by Bensarian's knowledge of the artifact, to cast the spells necessary to summon the true power of the Elvenstar.
The Shadowlord orders another Spawn of Idris, the dragon Brulefer, to secure the southern border and take command of the humanoid tribes of the Mengul Range, preparing for an all-out invasion of Genalleth. Brulefer oversees to the preparation of the humanoid hordes and to the construction of the village of Geron, the last outpost of the Denagothians near the border with Genalleth.
868-870 AC: The Wizards War (Landryn vs Gylharen) starts with Denagoth's all-out invasion of Wendar. The only successes for Denagoth are during the early stages of the war, since it manages to conquer a couple of keeps and observation towers stationed in the Mengul Range, on the northern Wendarian border. However, once the Denagothian armies invade Wendar's forests and foothills and enter the region protected by the Korrigans' enchantments, they are unprepared to face the magical defences and the enchanted creatures conjured by the Elvenstar that march against them. After two years of continuos losses and without significant achievements, the invaders disband and are recalled back on the plateau, quickly pursued by the defenders who slain many Denagothians before they reach the plateau. The Wizards War ends in disaster and the Shadowlord falls in disgrace. He retreats to Gereth Minar, to keep watch on the northern barbarian tribes and to plot his vengeance. Some of the keeps conquered by the Denagothians are burnt down when they retreat, others are retaken by the Wendarians, while one is captured by the cloud giant Azor, who remains independent.
During the war a Thyatian hero named Gabrion distinguishes himself fighting alongside Gylharen and the two saving each other's life in a couple of occasions. The two leaders develop a close friendship and once the war is over, Gabrion heads back to Thyatis but they remain in close contact. Some years later in AC 876, Gabrion becomes the Emperor Gabrionius III of Thyatis, after marrying the widow of the previous Emperor Giovanni II, who had fallen victim of a palace conspiracy.
870-900 AC: During these three decades, Gylharen tries to convince all of the human and elven leaders to accept him as new King and Keeper of the Elvenstar. Unfortunately the Geffronell elves vehemently protests against the crowning, since it did not follow the proper ceremony nor did it involve a common agreement among all the elven clanmasters. The humans also want to have a word in deciding who will hold the Elvenstar, who has become so pivotal in determining the fate of the nation, and resent being ruled by the distant Geffronells. The situation is tense, but Bensarian and Gylharen manage to maintain the peace and the meetings go on slowly. In the meantime Gylharen retains possession of the Elvenstar and rules over the city of Wendar and the allied regions, while the rest of Genalleth is divided into semi-independent dominions.
880 AC: He Who Watches, the former Immortal Patron of Essuria, sends omens to King Qasmar of Ghyr because of his utter faith in the old religion. Qasmar follows the omens and departs on a quest, returning by the end of the year with the Heartstone. The King uses this powerful artifact to discern the barons still loyal to the cause of Good from those who have converted to Idris's faith. His intentions are in fact to end the Prism Wars and to forge an alliance with the last trustworthy nobles to build a common ground on which rebuilding a great kingdom. Qasmar and his allies gather in the hall of Ghyr and sign a perpetual alliance that recognises Qasmar as their leader, since he is the keeper of the Heartstone (a clear sign he is the Chosen One and Blessed by He Who Watches).
888 AC: The Shadowlord comes up with a new plan to conquer Genalleth and sends a spy to infiltrate the entourage of Gylharen.
897 AC: Camla, the Shadowlord's spy, steals the Elvenstar and flees to Gereth Minar. The cultists of Idris start to spread disease and famine through the Wendarian country, and Gylharen is blamed for his inefficiency. Gylharen calls Thyatis for help, but the empire is in turmoil and the only help sent by Emperor Gabrionius III (who is facing a civil war) is a group of stalwart heroes directly sponsored by him. Among them is the warrior Renia, illegitimate daughter of the late Emperor Giovanni II born right after his death, whom Gabrionius III sends away from Thyatis hoping to keep her true origins a secret and to remove a potential claimant to the imperial throne.
In northern Denagoth, the Prism Wars end when King Qasmar destroys the fragile alliance of the rebel barons by helping some of the claimants to those dominions to overthrow their relatives with guile and deceit. Once the newly installed barons declare their loyalty to Qasmar, the remaining lords surrender, incapable of resisting the military might of their neighbours. After dislodging or executing the last enemies of Ghyr, King Qasmar takes in his court the relatives of all his allies as diplomatic hostages and extends his rule over the small northeastern corner of the Denagothian Plateau.
898-899 AC: The events of module X11. Landryn is defeated once more and the curse of Idris corrupts his living body, turning him into an undead: he becomes the Wraith Lord. His plot to retrieve the infamous Blackstick of Nebunar and raise an army of undead is likewise thwarted by the same adventurers that previously confronted him, acting under the supervision of Bensarian of Kevar. He is finally forced to abandon his plans of conquest and hides in the catacombs of Drax Tallen to survive.
899 AC: Danhakriss, a master thief and a follower of Idris, manages to penetrate in King Qasmar's palace and to steal the Heartstone, disappearing in the north. The Prism Wars have just ended and Qasmar does not want to let all his vassals know that the symbol of his power is no more in his possession. Hiding the evidences of the theft, he sends his most trusted and capable soldiers in search of Danhakriss, ordering them to bring him alive to the royal palace to be trailed for High Treason (although he does not specify the exact nature of his crime). Despite all his men's efforts, Danhakriss always eludes capture.
900-901 AC: Gylharen finally unites the country and is crowned King of Wendar after the Elvenstar is returned. He is acknowledged by all inhabitants of the region as the rightful ruler.
AC 901-the present: Gylharen's Reign. During the following decades, Bensarian mediates between Gylharen and the Geffronell elders until an agreement is reached. The Geffronells still refrain from acknowledging Gylharen as the true monarch of Genalleth and Geffronell (and in fact he is dubbed "King of Wendar"), although they agree to leave him rule until the end of his mortal life, with the promise that upon his death a common council of all clanmasters and three representatives of the humans will be held to elect the new King and Keeper of the Elvenstar. On his part, Gylharen also promises to protect Geffronell by sending reinforcements on the border with Lothenar and coming to the elves' aid in case of invasion from Denagoth.
913 - 950 AC: King Ganto's Reign. After earning the respect of his peers on the battlefield during the Prism Wars as general of the Ghyrian Army, Ganto ascends the throne at his father's death. However, much to his discomfort, he learns from his father's last words the dramatic truth about the Heartstone. Ganto maintains the secret and continues to search for the artifact, trying to keep Ghyr out of the skirmishes that engulf some of the neighbouring dominions and developing instead trade routes with Oceansend and Heldann. Landfall is indeed established in 930 AC at the crossroads of the routes that from Oceansend and Haldisvall (later Freiburg) come to Ghyr.
934 AC : King Ganto marries a young noblewoman, Leahrah, who is just 16 and is fifty years younger than him. She is Ganto's third wife after the two previous Queens died without giving him a heir. He starts thinking that this is some kind of curse cast by the priests of Idris and his enemies to ruin the Kingdom of Ghyr and feverishly hopes to find the Heartstone to break the curse.
950 AC: King Ganto dies without leaving a heir to his throne. Queen Leahrah proclaims the Heartstone has been stolen and issues a holy quest to retrieve the Heartstone. She believes that only the Heartstone will prevent the kingdom's fall now that the nobles are fighting among each other to lay their hands on Ghyr's crown. A group of stalwart adventurers sets out to find the lost artifact and bring it back to Ghyr (see adventure module XL-1: Quest for the Heartstone). At the end of their quest, the Heartstone is regained and delivered to Leahrah, since the adventurers do not want any part in the affairs of Ghyr. Leahrah is proclaimed the rightful Queen of Ghyr by Loftos, the patriarch of He Who Watches, and while some of the most ambitious nobles secede from Ghyr, most of them recognise the Queen. Thanks to the properties of the Heartstone, Leahrah is able to scry inside the souls and hearts of those who come petitioning for her hand, and finally chooses a righteous knight, Theoderic, as her King, bringing Ghyr's reins into the hands of a capable and just leader.
950 - 952 AC: Foundation of the Heldannic Territories. A small but powerful army of Hattian clerics of the Immortal Vanya receives permission from Emperor Gabrionious of Thyatis to leave the Empire and claim their own nation. They sail northward and invade the Heldann Freeholds. Haldisvall, the most important town of the Freeholds, falls within a year and is then renamed Freiburg by the Hattians. Nearly all members of the Haldis family, the most important clan of Heldann (direct descendants of the great hero), are massacred by the invaders to avoid further claims on the throne. Many Heldanners die bravely on the battlefield to defend their homesteads, while other seek refuge in the woods and in the foothills to avoid submitting to the invaders' will. In 952 AC Altendorf, the last Heldanner free town, is besieged and after three months is forced to surrender. The conquerors rename the Heldann Freeholds the Heldannic Territories, and the Thyatian Order of Vanya is recast as the Heldannic Knights. King Gylharen maintains Wendar out of the whole conflict despite some bŁrgermeisters' desperate request of aid, keeping a low profile against what is perceived a move on Thyatis's part to extend its own influence in Norwold. It is only when the invaders declare the foundation of the Heldannic Territories and their independence from the Empire that King Gylharen realises the extent of his mistake and helps many Heldanners to secretly escape the Territories and find refuge in Wendar.
953 AC: Refugees from the Heldanner town of Skolgrim (now Grauenberg) fleeing the Heldannic Knights' invasion arrive in Kevar. Frictions with the local humans force King Gylharen to relocate them near the forested hills south of the Royal Way and on the northern border with the Mengul Range, giving them mining and limited forestry rights. The region is sparsely inhabited and could provide a stable population base to make the land productive, and from which armies could be raised should tensions with Heldann or Denagoth ever boil over. These immigrants establish the communities of Hvollsvatn and DalvarhÝfn, becoming skilled miners, smiths and smelters.