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Timeline of the Sea of Dread

by Andrew Theisen from Threshold Magazine issue 3

The following is a fairly complete listing of events in the Sea of Dread. I posted a larger timeline including many bits of fan works on a webpage many years ago. Those bits were excised from this version, which only includes published canon sources.




3000 BC

Blackmoor is destroyed in the Great Rain of Fire. The planet shifts its axis; ice caps melt and lands are flooded as the sea level rises.

G4, G9, PC3

2500 BC

A human culture, the Taymora, settle along the shores of southeastern Brun.


2400 BC

To the north of the Taymora, another human culture- the Antalians- enter into the bronze age.


2200 BC

Elves from the two southern migrations reach the frozen valleys of the land now known as Glantri, to the northwest of the Taymora and southwest of the Antalians.

Colonists from the human Tanagoro culture of distant Skothar reach the Serpent Peninsula. They conflict with the Sheyallia elves who have also settled there.


2100 BC

The Meditor and Verdier elf clans part ways with the Ilsundal migration, settling along the southern shores of Brun, near to the Taymora.

G9, HW

2000 BC

The humans living near the River Nithia develop a swiftly growing bronze-age civilization.

The Antalians begin migrating southwards, closer to the Nithians.

G4, G8, HW, DotE, PC3

1750 BC

The Nithians begin developing new technologies. Within a century and a half, they will have progressed to Iron Age.

Further to the south, a series of earthquakes and geological disasters begin to break apart the continent. The Taymora civilization is destroyed, and the Meditor elves are left stranded on islands in the newly-made southern sea. They name this sea the Sea of Dread.

The earthquakes cause flooding of the Serpent Peninsula, causing the Tanagoro culture to splinter and regress.

HW, G4, G9, CoM

1720 BC

Continuing geological changes and volcanic eruptions cause more land to break away from the continent, creating new islands in the western Sea of Dread. The Makai humans and lizard men find themselves stranded on these islands.

The Verdier elves build ships and join their cousins the Meditor on the southeastern islands.

Fleeing similar elemental clashes in the southern seas near Davania, primitive tribes of merrow head northwards. Many settle in and around the Thanegioth Islands, but still others continue further, settling in the Sea of Dread. They name their new home the Sunlit Sea.

G4, G9, PC3

1500 BC

The Nithians have now formed an Empire, and begin sending out colonial expeditions. One such expedition is led by the Traldar clan, and settles in lands to the southwest, along the shores of the Sea of Dread.

Davanian halflings, driven out of their homelands from population pressures of expanding human nations, sail northwards. They stop briefly at Thanegia Island, but quickly move onwards.

G2, HW, CoM

1400 BC

The Traldar colonists have not endured their new home well, and have suffered population loss from disease, weather, and animal attacks. They revert to a pre-agrarian lifestyle.


1300 BC

The halflings reach a sheltered land along the shores of the Sea of Dread inhabited by a reclusive clan of elves. They settle this land, which they name Llora.

HW, G8

1100 BC

A Nithian mercantile expedition led by the adventurer Minroth claims a large island in the Sea of Dread which they name Traders Isle and found a settlement they call Harbortown. They name the newly discovered island chain the Colony Islands.

G9, HW

1000 BC

Gnolls invade the lands of the Traldar. King Milen leads a massive flotilla in an exodus to escape the gnolls, heading southwards to the continent of Davania. Traldar piracy in the Sea of Dread is drastically diminished.

With the Sea of Dread now relatively safe, the Nithian Empire extends its colonial holdings to the westernmost islands of the Colony Isles, conquering and enslaving the Makai inhabitants.

The Nithians also begin transporting Antalian slaves to the Colony Isles, to be sent with Nithian overlords following the flight of Milens people, to start colonies in Davania. The slaves soon revolt, however, and the colonies quickly collapse.

G4, HW

800 BC

Elves from the distant Sylvan Realm reach the eastern shores of the Sea of Dread via a magical rainbow. They attempt to settle in the forests there, but are driven out by warlike humans.


700 BC

The Nithian Empire begins its decline, as Entropic Immortals corrupt its leaders.

The eastern Colony Isles are flourishing, and the people begin calling themselves the Minroth Traders, after the cult that arose to honor its founder. They increasingly distance themselves from the Nithian Empire.

HW, G9

600 BC

Three warrior-tribes, formerly from Davania, sail north through the Sea of Dread, driven out by Milenian aggression. They make landing on the eastern shores, coming into conflict with the human tribes that drove out the elves 200 years before.

HW, DotE

500 BC

The Nithian Empire collapses, and all memory of the culture is wiped out by the Immortals. All Nithian colonies are destroyed, save for those of Thothia and the Colony Isles, which have already turned away from the Entropic faith which led to the destruction of Nithia.

In the western Colony Isles (now called the Ierendi Islands), the Malpheggi lizard men, doomed to extinction by a parasitic plague brought by the Nithian colonists, wipe out the Nithians before dying themselves.

Goblin slaves brought by the Nithians retreat into lava tunnel complexes beneath the islands.

Whitenight Abbey is established on White Isle, populated by followers of the Immortal Orisis as a safeguard against any resurgence of the dark powers that led to the destruction of ancient Nithia.

The Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians have by now conquered the human tribes who opposed them, and control the region now known as Thyatis

HW, DotE, G4

250 BC

Thyatian pirates are by now a common scourge in the Sea of Dread.


200 BC

Fleeing devilfish enemies to the south, tritons enter the Sunlit Sea, settling waters between the islands of Ierendi and Minrothad.


The tritons and merrow clash over undersea territory for several centuries before the more organized tritons finally triumph, establishing the Kingdom of Tilluaraver, and leaving the rest of the Sunlit Sea to the merrow.

192 BC

Irritated by the increasingly wide-ranging piracy of the Thyatian tribes, the Alphatians launch a campaign to conquer Thyatis.

HW, DotE

190 BC

The Alphatians complete their conquest of Thyatis, bringing its lands and peoples into the Empire.

HW, DotE

100 BC

The Kikianu Caldera erupts, killing the native population and breaking the landmass up into four smaller islands. These islands will later be repopulated by Makai and come to be known as White, Honor, Aloysius, and Roister Islands.


2 BC

Lucinius Trenzantenbium of Thyatis leads a revolt and declares himself King of Thyatis; war breaks out between Thyatis and Alphatia.

HW, DotE

0 AC

First Emperor of Thyatis crowned.

Their economies wrecked by the war, Thyatis and Alphatia sign the Treaty of Edairo. Later, in Thyatis, General Zendrolion Tatriokanitas assassinates King Lucinius and several other kings gathered there, crowning himself Emperor of Thyatis, Ochalea, and the Pearl Islands.

Thyatians do some trading with Minroth islanders. The halflings of the now established Five Shires also establish sea trade relationships with coastal nations.

The Verdier and Meditor split over disputes about usage of forest wood. The Verdier enter a period of isolation.

Alawyn Verdier, Treekeeper of the forest elves, undertakes a quest to find a relic to replace their long-lost Tree of Life.

G4, HW, DotE, G9, PC3, G8

150 AC

Thyatis begins colonizing the Alasiyan basin, driving out or enslaving native peoples.

G4, DotE, HW

250 AC

Alphatia begins colonizing the Alasiyan basin in direct competition with the Thyatians.

The Alphatian colony of New Alphatia is founded on Traders Isle, and Alphatian air-magics are adapted to more sea-based needs.

G4, G9, HW, DotE

251 AC

The Alphatians and Minrothians of Traders Isle discover one another and though initially are hostile, quickly establish a formal alliance.


276 AC

New volcanic activity in the Sea of Dread pushes the Meditor elves into looking for new settlements. As they explore, they come into contact with the human cultures of the Colony Isles and establish trade relations.

The Meditor re-establish ties with the Verdier elves, bringing them into the new trading combine.


284 AC

Conflicts over slavery drives a wedge between the Minrothian and Alphatian cultures, but the elves force the humans to make peace.


300 AC

Seahome is established as a trading port.


313 AC

The Hattians attempt to establish independence, but Emperor Alexian II puts down their rebellion.


c.313 AC

Sir Actius, a warrior-knight of Alexian II, is granted an island off the coast of Hattias as his dominion, which he names after himself. It soon becomes a major provisioning center for trade in the Sea of Dread.


360 AC

Minrothians engage in slave trade for the Thyatians; halfling slaves are introduced into the Colony Islands.


410 AC

The plagues of lycanthropy and vampirism spread throughout the Sea of Dread cultures by unwitting Minroth traders. Even the undersea kingdoms are affected.

G9, HW, PC3

432 AC

The first reported sightings of lycanthropic Weresharks in Undersea.


437 AC

Devilfish attack the Sunlit Sea in the Great Abysmal Invasion; they first strike at the undersea settlements of Ulhedar and Narwa.


443-445 AC

The Silver Purge: elves and humans led by an elvish adventurer named Ruaidrhi purge Traders Isle of all lycanthropes. The human population is sorely devastated and the entire colony of New Alphatia is wiped out.

Similar events take place in Undersea, with many of the lycanthropes fleeing to deeper waters. This time is known as the Night of the Long Knives.

G9, PC3, PC4

450 AC

In the Colony Islands, the hafling Malf Quickhand leads a slave revolt and leads the newly-freed halflings on ships to the island they name Open Isle.

The elves, long opposed to slavery, quickly sign a treaty with the halflings, bringing them into the trade federation as freedmen. The humans, hurt by the events of the Silver Purge, can do little to protest.


475 AC

Verdon is established as a trading port.


488 AC

The scattered humans of the Colony Islands are brought together by Hadric Corser, the Great Uniter. The city of Minrothad is founded on the former site of New Alphatia. Corser lays the foundation for an organized trading federation.

The Farmarva family of tritons begins its monarchic dynasty in the kingdom of Tilluaraver.

The economy of Actius has begun to sour, as traders increasingly use the route through Vanyas Girdle as opposed to taking the longer route around Cape Hattias. Actius turns its resources towards shipbuilding instead.

G9, PC3, DotE

500 AC

Alphatia and Thyatis begin another period of intermitten warfare that will last for the next three centuries. The Minroth Traders stay neutral as they dominate shipping for both sides of the conflict.

The savage Makai tribes of northwestern Ierendi are mysteriously decimated. Legend attributes their disappearance as being brought on by a curse connected to the tribal burial grounds of distant Elegy Island.

The Battle of Minrothad takes place in the bay outside of the city of Minrothad.

The Clash of the Princes takes place between the islands of Alfeisle and Open Isle.

The Storm Battle takes place at the northeast end of Cove Reef.

G4, DotE, G9, HW

520 AC

The halfling trading port and capital city of Open Isle, Malfton, is established.


570 AC

Exiles from the Five Shires found a settlement on Ierendi Island alongside the native Makai inhabitants.


571 AC

The Empire of Thyatis begins to use the Ierendi Islands as prison colonies, putting them into conflict with the Five Shires, who are using the islands as naval bases.

G4, HW, DotE, G8

575 AC

Halfling sea trade flourishes as they begin building small, stout, rounded ships (nicknamedwallowing turtles”), which prove surprisingly sturdy.


582 AC

Last known sighting of a werehawk, slain by the Silver Hunter on a tiny island in the Sea of Dread.


586 AC

The Empire of Thyatis, at war with the Empire of Alphatia and needing ships and shipbuilding harbors urgently, seizes the Ierendi islands from the halflings with all ships in harbor at the time. In retaliation, the halflings begin piracy against Thyatian shipping, which continues to the present day.

The navy of Thyatis clashes with the Five Shires navy at the Battle of Ierendi and the War of Fletcher.

The Thyatians also clash with halfling pirates and kna at the Battle of the Trap off the northwestern coast of Safari Island.

G8, HW, DotE, PC3

593 AC

Battle of the Rovers takes place in the deepwater pool of the Kna.

Ruaidhri kills the last of the werehawks.

PC3, PC4

600 AC

Mad Creeg the pirate leads a rebellion among the prisoners of the Ierendi Islands. With the help of the Makai natives, Mad Creegs army drives out the Thyatians.

Honor Island is settled by a colony of humans and their goblin slaves, refugees from an Alphatian subject nation southeast of the Isle of Dawn.

G4, HW, DotE

601 AC

Gregus Verdier, the Second Uniter, is born on Alfeisle.


602 AC

Mad Creeg claims all of the Ierendi Islands, establishing the Kingdom of Ierendi, and declaring himself ruler.

Thyatis, faced with its more urgent war with Alphatia, signs a treaty with Mad Creeg, abandoning its claims on Ierendi.

The Honor Islanders establish themselves as an independent nation, though they maintain close diplomatic ties and an alliance with the Kingdom of Ierendi.


625 AC

A man named Lord Ingram rules a small island nation in the Sea of Dread, terrorizing the natives. They call himthe Devil Swine.”


637 AC

Mad Creegs son, Black Toes, assumes rulership upon death of his father. He marries Kerhy Matrongle from Glantri and assumes her surname. The Matrongle family begins long control of the island.


642 AC

The Council of Lords, a cabinet of his closest advisors, is established by Black Toes.


644 AC

The Thyatians attempt to regain control of the Ierendi Islands, but are defeated by the islanders with the help of war fleets from Honor Island at the Battles of Honor and Utter Isle Strait.

G4, PC3, DotE

646 AC

Gregus Verdier forges the forest elves into a unified political and economic faction.


650 AC

The first naval school is established on Ierendi Island.

Tomia, a visitor from the Minrothad Guilds,