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Karameikan Timeline

by Steven B Wilson

BC 1500: The Nithian culture climbs to its greatness in the lands today known as Ylaruam. One colonial expedition, led by the Nithian wizard-priest Traldar, travels southwest to the lands now known as Karameikos.

Traldar creates the Eyes of Traldar (the Black Opal Eye and the Fire Opal Eye), powerful divination artifacts designed to help protect his clan in their new home. Unfortunately, the Eyes were lost at Traldar's death.

The Immortal Pflarr creates a jackal-headed servitor race he calls the Hutaaka. He uses many of them as agents, heralds, and servants throughout the world; he plants a large colony of them in the mountains southwest of the Nithians.

BC 1400: Within five generations, the Nithian Traldar settlers have suffered enormous population losses (through bad winters, animal attacks, and disease). They have lost most of the materials and time necessary to forge metal (and consequently have forgotten how), and have reverted to a pre-agricultural lifestyle. They now fall under the domination of the Hutaaka humanoid people from the northern mountains.

BC 1050: Great wizards of the Nithians, inspired by the Immortal Pflarr's servant-race (the Hutaaka), create the gnoll race by magically blending the Black Moon horde of trolls with gnomes. However, they've been deluded that the results might be an equivalent servant-race for the Nithians. Gnolls rebel; they escape and head south and west towards Traldar lands.

BC 1000: Zirchev, a man of extraordinary intelligence who'd been educated by the Hutaaka, finds the Eyes of Traldar and is warned of the coming gnolls. He warns the Hutaakans, and the High Priestess sends out word to the Hutaakans living in the lowlands to return to their valley and bring all traces of the Hutaakan race with them. Meanwhile, they inspire the humans with a holy zeal to fight these invaders - allowing the humans to defend them as they bolt for safety.

A large clan of Traladarans flees west to the nation of Sind, closely followed by a horde of gnolls. Upon arriving, the gnolls abandon their pursuit and try to settle in the fertile lands. The Sindhi welcome both groups as unskilled labourers.

Seeing the response of his hated Hutaakan masters, Zirchev flees the valley and contacts the only two human leaders who could lead the abandoned people: Halav (king of the fortified village of Lavv) and Petra (queen of the more southerly Krakatos and widowed early in the gnollish wars). These three, joining forces, hold the line of the gnollish invasion at the Volaga River. By the time the gnolls retreat, the Traldar population is 20% of its pre-invasion amount. The Traldar Golden Age has ended and its Dark Age has begun.

Halav and the gnoll leader kill each other on a large hill east of the village of Lavv (across the moors) near the Volaga River.

BC 980: Rumours that Halav did not die and is, in fact, travelling among his people doing great deeds have spread like wildfire over the past two decades. A former spear-bearer of Halav (who was present at the final battle) vehemently denies the tales and establishes a sort of worship of what he calls "The Death and Sacrifice of King Halav." He gains a few followers and they build a monastery at the place of the death of Halav. Although never widely popular, the Philosophy remains in one form or another and becomes the roots of the Cult of Halav nearly two thousand years later.

BC 975: Zirchev, as one of his last mortal acts, sets apart the first Seer of Traldar. He bestows the Eyes of Traldar upon the Seer with the admonition to watch over and protect the Traladaran people and their lands. He also encourages the formation of a wide-ranging group of assistants informally known as the Watchers.

BC 900: The formation of the Witches of Dymrak, a cabal of hags who live in different locations of the Dymrak Forest. Little is known about them as they keep to themselves and deal harshly with curious intruders. For their own mysterious reasons they keep their number at nine. When one dies, another is quickly initiated into the circle.

BC 800: Elves, led by Mealiden Starwatcher leave the Sylvan Realm via the magical rainbow. They land in the forested reaches of what would later be called Thyatis, but are driven out by the warlike humans there, and flee northward. The Callarii clan breaks with Mealiden and heads west to settle in Traladaran territory.

BC 600: The Traladarans in Sind (now referring to themselves as the Dom) never quite fit into the local culture - the Sindhi acceptance of the gnolls really didn't' help matters either) and as a whole leave the region and become wandering gypsies. The Darine, comprise the bulk of the Dom refugees, and are the largest of the three Dom "nations". They return to their ancestral homes in Traladara, but never truly settle down in one place again.

BC 500: The Traldar are in the midst of their Dark Age. Communication between communities is infrequent. Local dialects begin to widely differ. The national epic of King Halav is the only thing that gives the people a sense of unity. Linguistic changes are already advanced enough that the people consider themselves no longer Nithian, but Traladaran - descendants of the Traldar, the people of King Halav.

Having preached against some of the major precepts of the Song of Halav, the followers of "The Death and Sacrifice of King Halav" are rejected and reviled by the majority of the population. Those living at the monastery never number more than a dozen in any given year.

BC 107: Elyas, a young slave of Thyatian descent is trained in magic by his Alphatian master.

BC 77: Elyas is freed from slavery by his master's deathbed wish. Wanting to escape human society and the guilty feelings he has because of the more poorly treated slaves, Elyas leaves for the remote lands of Traladara. There he befriends a group of Callarii elves who give him a place within their forest where he constructs a tremendous tower.

BC 27: Elyas spends his life learning the elven ways and becomes known as a great philosopher and mystic among the Callarii. He spends much time studying magic, but also meditating and praying. The Immortal patrons of his ancestors had never seemed concerned about his peoples' slavery, but he found comfort in the worship of the elven Immortal Theleris (Terra). He founds a new philosophy in her honour, the Silent Way, which becomes widespread among the Callarii.

In the Lost Valley of the Hutaaka, the descendants of the Traldar finally free themselves from Hutaakan rule and begin warring on their former masters. This racial war is destined to go on for another 1,100 years.

BC 7: Although not Traladaran, Elyas receives the Fire Opal Eye and becomes the next Seer of Traldar.

BC 4: Elyas recovers the Black Opal Eye from the tomb of Trinkla the Black Seer.

AC 0: The Traladarans begin a period of re-growth as trade is slowly established with other peoples. Peaceable races (most notably the Highforge gnomes) settle in Traladaran territories; warlike races (goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs) do as well, in lesser numbers. Some of the hostile tribes ally with (or are dominated by) a member of the Witches of Dymrak.

The order of the "Death and Sacrifice of King Halav" ceases to exist as a formal organisation. The monastery remains empty over the next several centuries with the exception of the few marauding bands of humanoids who wander through the area on their way to more inhabited regions.

AC 2: Karelena, Solorena, and Trilena, three sisters who seek great magical power, strive to become part of the Witches of Dymrak. They are driven away by the cabal and encounter a demonic incarnation of Orcus. In an unholy pact, Orcus enhances the sisters' magical powers and gives each a demonic ally (quasit) in the shape of a black panther.

AC 3: In Orcus' service, the three sisters settle in Radlebb forest and attempt to turn it into a dark realm of their own. The Callarii and Elyas, who used the Eyes of Traldar to learn of the sisters' plan, thwart them. Orcus in his fury calls down a grey mountain to crush Elyas and his tower. In his final moments, Elyas is able to draw the sisters inside where he trapped them. However, Elyas himself perishes.

In his memory, the Callarii begin to build a temple on the mountain. They find and return the Fire Opal Eye to the Lake of Lost Dreams (traditional home of the Seers and current seat of Watcher council), but the Black Opal Eye is never recovered.

AC 200: The dwarven policy of colonisation outside of Rockhome is well underway. The Stronghollow clan settles in Traladara among the Highforge gnomes.

A group of Stronghollow dwarves help expand the Callarii's Temple of Gray Mountain. The temple becomes a place of quiet meditation and learning. Elves who stud there and follow the Silent Way become known as the Siswa.

AC 400: The village of Marilenev begins doing more trade business than fishing and begins a slow, gradual growth from the increasing trade. Thyatian clerics learn the "Song of Halav" and commit it to writing for the first time.

AC 500: Traders bearing the curses of vampirism, wolf, bear, and boar lycanthropy settle in Traladara's deep woods and flourish there.

AC 550: As a response to the increasing lycanthropic "demon" presence, a large group of Traldar people, led by religious leaders, leave for the Savage Coast far to the west after hearing tales about the lands from traders coming to Marilenev village.

AC 730: Another groups of settlers leave Traladara and head towards the Flaemish lands in the north.

AC 900: The Empire of Thyatis, under Gabrionus IV, begins a new expansion policy. Marilenev is a flourishing trade village of 500 in the Traladaran lands. The Empire of Thyatis moves on Marilenev, conquers it, and claims the entire Traladara region as a Thyatian protectorate. Marilenev is renamed "Specularum."

AC 942: A human smith along the Savage Coast discovers red steel.

AC 948: Stefan Karameikos III is born in Thyatis.

AC 950: A traveller from the Savage Coast befriends the Seer of the Lake of Lost Dreams. After hearing stories of Trinkla the Black Sage, the lost Black Opal Eye and its legendary dragon claw pedestal, he takes the Fire Opal Eye of Traldar and mounts it in a dragon's claw setting fashioned from red steel that he had brought with him.

AC 970: Stefan Karameikos III sells his ancestral lands to the Emperor of Thyatis for independent rule of the Traladara region, which is renamed the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. Duke Stefan sails to and takes possession of his duchy, then begins parcelling out land and titles to his Thyatian followers, including giving land near the Five Shires border to his cousin Ludwig von Hendriks. Duke Stefan begins building roads across the Duchy and a strong military to protect it. A minor rebellion and several assassination attempts follow his move to Specularum.

The large multi-generational homestead of the Sielo family welcomes the influx of Thyatians. The head of the family, for his own private reasons, persuades the Duke's men into a military presence in the region. The homestead is renamed Sielo's Fort. Neighbouring communities are at first resentful until the greater protection the fort provides them is proven.

AC 979: Duke Stefan marries Lady Olivia Prothemian.

AC 980: Lady Adriana Karameikos is born.

AC 982: Lord Justin Karameikos is born.

AC 985: The rise of a hobgoblin warlord named Vlack. It becomes his desire to build a Great Horde and take the mystical (among the humanoids in Dymrak at least) title of "The Dymrak Dread."

AC 986: Lord Valen Karameikos is born.

AC 989: Large numbers of Traladarans fleeing the Black Eagle Barony prompt Baron von Hendriks to invade the Shires without the permission or knowledge of Duke Stefan. Three successive expeditions from Fort Doom are annihilated by the hin ere Hendriks turns his attention elsewhere.

AC 990: An expeditionary force launched from Sielo's Fort reacts to the growing threat of humanoid organisation. They enter the Dymrak Forest and are victorious over several humanoid strongholds. Vlack escapes.

AC 991: Realising the roadblock Sielo's Fort is to his Dymrak Dream, Vlack plots ways to destroy it. He discovers the ruins of the Halav monastery on the hill across the river from the Fort. Although dangerous by proximity, Vlack begins to rebuild his horde right under his enemy's nose.

AC 993: A young cleric of the Church of Karameikos named Elwyn is seduced by the promise of power and joins with an evil temple located in the remote wilderness mountains of northeast Karameikos. They help fund construction of an outpost halfway between the temple and Elwyn's home in Specularum - only a few days travel from Sielo's Fort.

AC 995: Wholly converted to evil, Elwyn steals a holy relic from a shrine in Specularum and flees to her sanctuary. She is captured by Vlack, but negotiates her freedom in return for an alliance between Vlack's horde and the evil temple.

AC 998: A female black dragon begins to lay eggs in numerous places across the nation of Karameikos. Trying to avoid as much attention as possible, she keeps to the waterways and steers clear of most human settlements. While travelling up the Volaga River, she fins an underwater tunnel leading to a cave perfect for her brood. The only downside is Sielo's Fort across the river. The dragon spends a few days scouting the Fort from the hilltop. There she meets Vlack and Elwyn. An alliance is made:

1) Vlack is to protect the eggs until they hatch
a. The dragon sees the humanoids as a food source for her hatchlings
b. Vlack, being smarter than that, banishes a rebellious goblin family to the dragon caves and then ignores them
2) The Dragon is to destroy Sielo's Fort aided by forces led by Elwyn
a. Vlack sees the opportunity to destroy the Fort with no loss to his own Horde
b. The dragon is confident in her ability to destroy the under garrisoned fort. It will also remove a danger of her eggs being discovered
c. Elwyn plans to use the chance to get a hold of black dragon eggs. She is aware of a large force coming upriver headed to Castellan Keep. They should keep the dragon busy enough for Elwyn's force to steal the eggs

Late AC 998: The black dragon attacks Sielo's Fort. The dragon is killed, Elwyn is only able to steal one egg, and Vlack (who accompanied the dragon to gloat over his victory) becomes aware, too late, of Elwyn's betrayal and barely escapes with his life. He loses an eye to a human child (a lucky hit).

Early AC 999: The Duke's men investigate the dragon attack, but determine the dragon was not native to the area and acted alone - it is not a cause for further concern.

Three black dragon eggs hatch - two beneath The Hill and one at Elwyn's Sanctuary.

AC 1000: Millennial Celebration. A young group of humans at Sielo's Fort enjoy their Shearing Ceremony and prepare to explore the surrounding region.

Justifications

B1 - In Search of the Unknown
Becomes the remains of the post-Beastman War/pre-Immortality stronghold of Halav (Rogahn), Zirchev (Zelligar), and Petra (Melissa)

B2 - Keep on the Borderlands
Change the Keep to just the military portion (according to Gaz1)
Move town portion to become Sielo's Fort
Connect evil temple with Elwyn
Connect evil temple with Orcus

B5 - Horror on the Hill
Explains history of monastery
Change pagan monastery to Halav monastery
Change Guido's Fort to Sielo's Fort
Explains presence of hobgoblin horde near fort
Change red dragon under The Hill to two black dragon hatchlings
Change kobolds under The Hill to goblins (no kobolds in Karameikos according to Gaz1)
Change dragon's exit tunnel to an underwater one
Make sure hobgoblin king (Vlack) escapes to have his revenge in B10

B7 - Rahasia
Gives more background to Elyas
Introduces Black Opal
Connects him to the Seers and thus to Zirchev
Connects sisters to Orcus

B9 - Elwyn's Sanctuary
Explains why Elwyn has a small black dragon in her fortress
Connect Elwyn with Orcus
Connect Elwyn with evil temple

B10 - Night's Dark Terror
Gives location of Sielo and surrounding communities
Future destruction of PC's home
Connects Vlack (Golthar's hobgoblin lieutenant) to other hobgoblin personalities thus creating a reoccurring villain (even if not fully known to players)
Adds motivation for Vlack to ally himself with the Iron Ring

DDA3 - Eye of Traldar
Introduces the Seer
Gives description of Eye of Traldar in red gold dragon claw pedestal
Change name to Fire Opal Eye
Change red gold to red steel

DDA4 - The Dymrak Dread
Introduces the name "Dymrak Dread"

AC2 - Treasure of the Hideous One
Gives description of Essence-Orb in dragon claw pedestal
Introduces name of Trinkla the Black Seer
Possible nature of Trinkla and vampiric legacy in Rosentos
Change Essence-Orb to smaller, more portable Black Opal Eye

Bards
Gives reason for bard presence in Karameikos (Darine)
(IMC bards are a subculture of the Traladarans - Thyatian entertainers, such as those in Specularum, are usually just that, entertainers. Most do not have the abilities of the bard class)

Rangers
Gives reason for ranger presence in Karameikos (the Watchers) (IMC rangers will have an actual purpose other than just "taking care of the wilderness" - that's for the druids. True, this makes them a little more Tolkien-esque than some would like, but oh well. I like the idea.)

Other Connections to Explore:
Orcus vs. Zirchev
Witches of Dymrak and the green dragon Argos
Witches of Dymrak vs. Seer
Witches of Dymrak and Orcus
Orcus and Leptar