Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week I want to try and hammer out a pretty solid timeline and history of both the world and the island.
The Age of Civilizations
As longtime readers know, I enjoy a strong sense of realism within my games. I like for the world and the people in it to feel and act, more or less, like a real world while also understanding the impact and constraints of a fantasy realm. I am very aware that there are a plethora of reasons that an imaginary world won’t react the same way we expect our real world too. In my mind, however, and through my experience, having the world react in a manner that is consistent with our expectations creates greater drama around the parts of the world that do not.
With that said, I went about trying to create a fairly realistic time frame for “civilization” to have existed on the world and to have progressed to where it is at a fairly expected pace.
First, I know that we live in the year 2019, but we also know that the general setting of a fantasy world is around 1100-1350, with a definite reach to hit 1453 if we need it. We also know what time various cities started to be inhabited around 5000-4000 bc, (Ur, Uruk, Eridu, etc) and this gives us a pretty reasonable time frame for cities to exist in our world, about 5850 years ago. The intervention of the gods, the creation stories and other factors within the world probably make this estimate fine for building a timeline.
So, Our cities are going to start being inhabited around 5850 years ago, as the gods have left and now people have to get along on their own. This gives a long stretch of time prior that the gods could have built the world and messed with a number of creations (humans, elves, and others being a large part of that) to help populate the cities. I also know that there are a number of large time points I need to hit, somewhere, within this timeline. In no particular order:
- The end of the Godswar
- The Age of Heroes/golden age
- The War with the Demon Queen
- The Sundering
- The Recover/the Silver age
- The founding of Killbar
- The founding of Tyndaria
So, I have to fit all this into a singular timeline that makes at least reasonable sense. So let’s start putting this thing together.
First: The gods had little incentive to push civilization forward, so I’m going to say that the gods were living in the world, creating cities that never advanced in any meaningful way for an unknown period of time. However, around 5800 years ago is going to be the revolt of the Accursed and the start of the Godswar. This is going to, through the actions that follow, force the people on Kasan to work towards the advancement of their civilizations. This pushes the world forward in a way the gods never would have.
The timeline below is an extremely rough draft. I’ve spent a lot of time assembling it and designing it, and much less checking the grammar and syntax. That’ll be next up. I wanted to be able to have a singular view of everything that happened up to the current time. Take a look, and I’ll continue a bit of discussion below.
There are currently four ages, and that is a decision I’d made long ago. Many games are played in the Golden Age of civilization, portraying the strong and mighty performing unparalleled acts of Valor. I knew I wanted to keep my adventures and campaigns grounded, so I decided to place the adventures strongly in a time of decline. Before my very first adventure, I had the first three ages envisioned. The Age of Gods, The Golden Age, the Silver Age, and the present, the Fourth Age.
The ages above are color coded, so you can easily tell them apart. The Fourth age, as where I have contained all of my adventures, has the most detail. Again, its rough draft, and I’m going to go back through and make a ton of edits and adds, so don’t crucify me too much.
The Yellow/Red markings denote events that happened during games that I have run.
This isn’t a long article as the Timeline does most of the talking, so I hope it’s enjoyable.
Until next time,