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Timeline Notesby Thorfinn Tait
During my work on compiling the D&D official timeline, I come across many contradictions between different sources, and sometimes even within the same source. When I find a discrepancy, I examine the available evidence before making a decision on whether to disregard one source, or to ignore the discrepancy and enter the details of both sources, or to try to reconcile the two sources if possible. In all cases I note the contradiction in this document, which lists sources by date.
If a source is not mentioned below, it either has not been completed yet or had no discernible discrepancies. At this time my progress through the official sources has reached Gazetteer 7, The Northern Reaches. However I have also worked on a number of other sources which were published more recently.
As my timeline nears completion, I intend to integrate this document into the timeline as footnotes, or possibly as an appendix. Right now, the latest discrepancies are marked with asterisks (*) in the source marker (e.g. "GAZ7*").
D&D Timeline Discrepancies
GAZ1 - The Grand Duchy of Karameikos
GAZ4 - The Kingdom of Ierendi
- GAZ1 places the rise and eventual destruction of Blackmoor 1000 years later than more recent sources (everything from GAZ2 to Champions of Mystara). There is also the first occurrence of an erroneous reference to module X1 in relation to the leftover Blackmoor device in the Borken Lands. This reference is repeated in many other sources, including the Hollow World set.
- The progression of the Nithians from Bronze Age to Iron Age is also placed earlier, but this time only by 250 years. The actual progression is later documented as taking place BC 1750-BC 1500. (HW)
- Finally, a note for AC 1200 on the setting of the X4, X5 and X10 modules conflicts with WotI and PWA events: "Though X10 indicates Duke Stefan III is still on the throne and Ludwig "Black Eagle" von Hendriks still his enemy at this time, this is an error. In actuality the ruler of the Duchy is now Archduke Stefan Karameikos VI, and the Black Eagle Barony is ruled by Ludwig's linear and temperamentally similar descendent Wilhelm von Hendriks." This is especially interesting in light of the ascension of Duke Stefan III to King and the deposition of the Black Eagle Baron.
GAZ5 - The Elves of Alfheim
- The local cataclysms which form the isles to the south of Karameikos and the Five Shires are said to happen circa 1700 BC, placing them concurrent with the explosion in the Broken Lands. However, later sources (Hollow World, Champions of Mystara) move this date back to 1750, thus separating the two events. This incongruity is repeated in GAZ9.
- The land masses split further circa 1720 BC, according to GAZ4, but this is before they split at all according to the 1700 date for the cataclysms. It should be noted that there is a similar entry in GAZ9 regarding the Verdier elves sailing to "join their cousins". Clearly the writers either intended for this to be 20 years after the cataclysm, or the cataclysm date was erroneously placed in 1700 from GAZ4 onwards, and the error was fixed in later sources. Personally I am more inclined to the latter, which allows the 1720 date to remain fixed while only the cataclysm date is moved.
- The text says "Thyatian explorers discovered the islands around 600 AC." The actual date is c. 570/571 according to the timeline in GAZ4. I took it to be 570, since the very next year the Thyatians set up their prisons.
- Black Toes' establishment of the Council of Lords is said in the text to happen "three years after [he] assumed the throne". However, the timeline says it is in fact five years after. I have followed the timeline over the text, as I did with the last point.
- The whole Kikiana Caldera part in the Geography section seems to conflict with what we know of the Ierendi area at that time (ie it was not islands but in fact dry land proper). It is conflicted right there in the same chapter by the section on mermen. Nevertheless I included it in the timeline since it is certainly of interest, and it is possible that it does not actually conflict - the sources are vague, and later sources support the possibility.
GAZ6 - The Dwarves of Rockhome
- A number of mistakes in the textual history reference a number of "years ago" when they really mean "years BC" - this is bourne out in the timeline, and thus isn't really an issue.
- Of more importance is a little comment about Mealiden's arrival in Thyatis - it says that the philosophies that would eventually make an empire were already in place - 800 years before the crowning of the first Thyatian Emperor (AC 0). Trouble is, according to Dawn of the Emperors the Thyatian, Kerendan and Hattian tribes only arrive in 600 BC... This is glossed over in the Hollow World description of events, so it is most probably an error.
- The Glossary says Doriath came to power 200 years ago, while all other references point to 300 years ago. The Glossary reference is almost certainly a mistake.
- GAZ5 has a summarized history of the Shadow Elves which I will deal with in the GAZ13 section of this document. In general it does not conflict - indeed it looks as if GAZ13 was built upon the strong foundations found in GAZ5. The most notable point of conflict is that GAZ5 has all Shadow Elves chaotic, not lawful. This causes a few minor corrections to appear in GAZ13, mostly regarding motive.
- The "some centuries back" of p. 31's History of Trade section was placed in 700 BC approximately.
GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches
- A very interesting point is raised on p. 42. The Hollow World set describes Kagyar separating the surviving outer world dwarves in half, placing half in the Hollow World and half in Rockhome. Later on p. 43 it is revealed that the number placed in Rockhome was actually "five hundred or so" - meaning that there were also originally only five hundred Kogolors. This is supported by the Poor Wizard's Almanacs for AC 1011 and 1012, though the 1010 Almanac is a little ambiguous on the point. However, later it is revealed in GAZ7 (and indeed the HW set) that some dwarves were also placed in the Northern Reaches. This does seem to contradict Kagyar's plan with Denwarf, but he *is* said to be created "almost as an afterthought". Thus, we could perhaps presume that Kagyar placed equal numbers of dwarves in each place, for a total of one thousand outer world dwarves, discounting any undocumented (i.e. uncanonical) placings. This correlates to at least a thousand Kogolors. The only problem may be that there are certainly not a million Modrigswerg dwarves in the modern Northern Reaches.
- In any case, it is clear from this that the numbers of remaining dwarves had diminished very considerably by 1800 BC.
- Pages 64-65 give two separate dates for the rise of Dwalur and Dia to the leadership of he Syrklist Clan. It is stated that the previous clan head Fara died "fifty years ago", but at the end of the description of the power-struggle it says "these events were some twenty-five years ago". It may be possible that this is not a contradiction, but it sounds as if the events happened over a short period of time, not that long ago. However, the stress that Dia is a youth at the time coupled with her "approaching Seniority" in the present-day makes the AC 950 date definite for Fara's death and the AC 975 date for Dia and Dwalur becoming clan-heads extremely doubtful. Thus I have taken the 50 years ago reference and ignored the 50 years ago one as a mistake, placing all of these events in AC 950. This is supported firmly by the writeup for Dia's sister Bali on p. 66.
- The founding of the giantish city of Jotunheim I have placed in 997 AC, as work was described as being started on it "a few years ago."
CoM - Champions of Mystara
- The humanoid migrations c. 1700 BC cause minor problems: the timeline says the "successive waves of migrations" occur in 1700, whereas the text says "after 1710 BC." Thus I have entered the latter reference along with the main body of the description at 1710 BC, with a note at 1700, as per the timeline, except that it says the migrations have been completed by then.
- There is an additional problem in the appearance of the gnolls at that time: they are supposedly created in 1050 by the Nithians, 650 years later... I ignored this and entered both events without reconciling them. It is possible that the gnolls created by the Nithians are a different breed of humanoid, very similar to the older gnolls - maybe they are similar enough to interbreed and even merge as a species.
- The dwarves who come to the Northern Reached at the same time as the gnomes in BC 2500 are erroneously referred to as the Modrigswerg clans and the moulder dwarves - in actual fact, at least according to the Hollow World set, the Northern Reaches Modrigswerg dwarves are descended from the new dwarven race created by Kagyar in BC 1800. I left a reference to the moulder dwarves' treasure hoards in, however, as it deals with the present-day moulder dwarves; perhaps the Modrigswerg clans were placed in the same areas of the Northern Reaches as the original dwarves were taken from, and thus they "inherited" the possessions of their earlier ancestors. Of course, a much simpler and more plausible solution is that they got these gnomish artifacts during the 1300 years in which the Modrigswerg and gnomes co-existed...
- The date 490 AC is given in the text on p. 5 for the arrival of the kobolds who destroy the gnomes, but the timeline says 490 BC. I have taken the AC date to be an error, though it is repeated throughout the "History" text. The BC date seems more plausible in any case, because the kobolds are "Several waves of kobold clans are driven into the uplands of the Northern Reaches from the west, fugitives from the armies of Rockhome," and the dwarves are more active in the defence of their nation in 490 BC than 490 AC. Still, it could really go either way, but I have found the prose history in the gazetteer series often to be less accurate than the timeline, hence I have gone with the timeline date of 490 BC.
- The siege of Norrvik which ends in 614 AC may have started earlier than 614. My entry implies that it starts the same year, but this should not be taken as definite.
- p. 9 under "The Rise of the Zealanders" says "during those fifteen centuries" referring to the previous 500 BC to 500 AC. This would seem to be a simple error, and as such I have ignored it.
- On p. 11 it is claimed that "King Hord has signed a number of treaties with Thyatis." However, the main Ostland-Thyatis treaty was signed in 950 AC, when Hord was only 1 year old. Clearly the treaties referred to are more recent treaties, though I cannot find any other reference to them apart from the note saying Hord has allied himself with Thyatis against Norwold.
- "Built in the last century" on p. 12 I have assumed to mean some time between AC 900 and AC 999. I have thus placed a note in AC 900.
Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure
- I have taken CoM as the most authoritative source on Sind, the Serpent Peninsula and Graakhalia. There are a very few continuity problems fitting the CoM histories into the overall timeline, mainly small details.
- Ilsundal's migration is described in a small amount of geographic detail. A (the?) second migration of elves is said to have gone north by a different route before joining Ilsundal. The principal point of interest is a small comment on the Meditor and Verdier clans. It seems to associate them with the Sheyallia clan (factions which split away, like Erewan did from Erendyl?), implying that they also went to the Serpent Peninsula but found it too hot and wet, and so sailed east: "The Sheyallia clan turned south, onto the Serpent Peninsula, and settled in the forest. The Meditor and Verdier clans, disliking the increasingly rainy and hot climate, sailed east in search of better lands... Ilsundal and the other clans moved across the Great Waste to Glantri, then northwest to the Sylvan Lands." Now, this could mean that the Meditor and Verdier clans left *Ilsundal's* group due to the climate, but that doesn't make sense. Ilsundal is moving due east, near the dry, hot lands of the Great Waste. However, the Serpent Peninsula is hot and wet, fitting the description nicely. It is my contention that the Meditor and Verdier clans were either factions of the Sheyallia clan or turned south onto the peninsula with them; finding it too hot and wet, they sailed west to Karameikos. This doesn't really create any problems, except for the previous information (in GAZ9 for instance) suggesting that these clans left Ilsundal's migration about a century later. But dates for the elven migration have always been a little vague... It is certainly an interesting matter.
- There is some confusion as to the date of the stabilization of the Serpent Peninsula after the BC 1750 cataclysm. The problem is that there is a paragraph inserted between the two parts of the description, dealing with halflings in BC 1500. The second part begins "After nearly a century..." This either means c. 1400 or c. 1650. I took it to mean 1650 as this seems more reasonable in terms of the events, and in relation to the length of the cataclysm's stabilization elsewhere.
- This source lists for AC 200 "Rockhome dwarves begin colonizing into outside lands, including Karameikos; they are usually welcomed into human communities." However, GAZ6, which I have taken to be the most authoritative source on Rockhome and dwarves in general (with the exception of parts of the Hollow World set, which were created after GAZ6 but are obviously meant to supplement it), states that the colonization process is already well underway by this point.