The History of Feyworld
History is divided by most scholars into "Ages" of variable length, punctuated by dark times between them when humanity struggled to survived, called an Interannum by Imperial scholars. Most historians agree that human history, as defined as the written history of man, began with the foundation of the First City, Thenos, in Aebasa some eight millennia ago. Any time prior to this is consider the near-mythical Age of the Gods (though some other racial histories, such as that of the dwarves, start during this Age). This glorious First Age of Man was followed by the long Great Darkness, wherein the Elder Gods first withdrew from the world. The Great Darkness is considered to have ended when the Tuatha de Dannan rose up to replace the elder gods, sparking a war that, some say, encompassed all three continents of the known world. As the Tuatha themselves receded, the Long Night began, signalling the end of the Second Age. The Third Age of Man is generally dated from the Foundation of Zeth about two thousand years ago, somewhere about the time the Elder Gods returned to guide mankind. Eventually, however, the Elder Gods receded again, starting the short-lived Dark Times which, though the shortest of the Interannums, was likely the deadliest. Only a little more than a generation later, the Elder Gods returned, this time coexisting with the druids of the Tuatha, sparking the dawn of the Fourth Age of Man.
It has only been four decades since the dawn of the new Age of Man... some consider this a time of great heroes and even greater deeds, that will define the Age to come. Others consider it the last gasp of humanity... a brief time of respite before the final fall of all mankind.
Age of the Gods
The Age of the Gods is that nebulous, almost mythological period in which the Old Gods created the world, begat their children, fought amongst one another and created the animals, plants and people. Very little from this period can be tied to a specific date, though the dwarves founded their first kingdom, Kalazar during this period. Generally, humans scholars assign anything that happened before the foundation of Thenos in Aebasa to the misty Age of the Gods.
The First Age of Man
The First Age of Man is generally judged to begin with the foundation of the first city, Thenos in Aebasa, 6626 years before the foundation of the Great Empire. The First Age lasted two and a half millennia before the Great Darkness settled over humanity, sending humans on all three continents into their first Dark Age.
Human scholars of the Fourth Age tend to know very little of this time period, particularly of events on Aurea and Duria, though recently some dwarven and even elven scholars have been filling in the vagueness. The First Age was a time of fantastic heroics, tremendous magic and often direct interference in mortal affairs by the gods. Perhaps most importantly, this was the period in which the dwarves were first forced underground by orcish hordes as well as the time where elves were first taught the secrets of immortality.
By the end of the First Age of Man, the gods had grown so frustrated with their attempts to directly manipulate human civilization that they withdrew their blessing altogether. Except in a few regions, humanity collapsed into barbarism and ignorance during the Great Darkness, which lasted almost 2000 years.
The Great Darkness
The Great Darkness, the first and longest of the Interannae, lasted almost two thousand years. While it is known that the Elder Gods receded from the world at the end of the First Age of Man, whatever event or series of events that caused it to occur has long since been lost. By the end of the Great Darkness, worship of the Tuatha de Dannan had spread throughout much of the world and druids had become the spiritual leaders of much of humanity. The end of the Great Darkness, ironically, was marked by the rebellion of Math Mathonwy and the war that tore across the known world some 3,500 years ago, sparking the dawn of the Second Age of Man.
The Second Age of Man
The Second Age of Man is dominated by the wars of the Tuatha de Dannan, a group of human alchemists who had attained godhood during the First Age of Man. 4416 years after the foundation of Thenos and over two millennia before the rise of the Great Empire, Math Mathonwy withdrew from the Tuatha and violated their sacred pact not to share the secret of immortality with the entirety of humanity. The subsequent wars raged for over four hundred years before Math was finally defeated by Cuchulainn, one of the youngest of the Tuatha. At the conclusion of the wars, one of the original Tuatha known as Ogma inflicted the Curse of Tongues on all of humanity to ensure that it could never rise up again to challenge the powers of the gods. The curse left most of humanity unable to speak the same language as one another and the resulting chaos sent humanity spiraling into their second Dark Age (called the Second Interannum in modern times).
Ironically enough, it was also during this time period that the first peace between dwarves and humans was established, at a place called Gundagor. It would last some six hundred years, well into the Second Interrannum, before the Goblet of Gundagor was stolen and the peace broken.
The Long Night
The Long Night, also known as the Second Interannum, began with the defeat of Math Mathonwy by Cuchulainn about three thousand years ago. It lasted just shy of a thousand years, ending with either the foundation of Zeth or Neptaris (depending on which historian you ask). Chaos, disease and isolation reigned across much of humanity at this time, as the Tuatha took steps to ensure that the wars of the Second Age of Man would never happen again with the Curse of Ten Tongues (there are legends that the Tuatha laid other curses upon humanity as well, though the nature of these curses is generally unknown). Throughout the Long Night, the Tuatha went through several changes of leadership and internal conflict, but generally interfered much less directly in the affairs of Man. It would not be until the return of the Elder Gods somewhere near the foundation of Neptaris or Zeth that the Long Night would come to its conclusion and the Tuatha fully recede from the world.
The Third Age of Man
The Third Age of Man began with the foundation of the city of Zeth almost six millennia after the foundation of Thenos in Aebasa, over one thousand years after the Curse of Tongues was inflicted on humanity, leading to the Long Night. The foundation of Zeth on Aurea coincided with the rise of the Kingdom, later Empire, of Balguran on Gallorea. The Old Gods had returned to their creation as the Tuatha de Dannan became less and less involved in the world, though this time they directed their faithful in portents and granted power indirectly to their priests, instead of directly influencing events as they had done in the First Age of Man.
The Third Age of Man is dominated by the rise of the Great Empire on Aurea and its expansion into Duria, as well as its slow contraction from the continent in the last half of the Age. The conquest of Koramia on Duria and the re-emergence of the dwarves after the recovery of the Goblet of Gundagor in the last century of the Age seemed to ensure that this would be the final, lasting Age of Man, but events conspired to bring humanity low once more. First, the Mage-King of Lun Dorak, Lucasa, gained the Imperial Throne in Zeth and set to conquer Koramia before being defeated by a combined army of humans, elves and orcs in the Mage War. Then a dark conqueror from another dimension arrived and attempted to destroy Creation in a bid for not only godhood, but to become the sole god of all universes. Though both conquerors were thwarted, the damage had been done.
The Dark Times
With much of the world attempting to recover from the wars of the Mage King and an unknown puppetmaster on Gallorea, the Elder Gods suddenly receded from the world, again leaving the connection with their priests severed. The Crimson Plague raced across Gallorea and, eventually, into Aurea and Duria. The power vaccuum left in the Great Empire by the death of the Mage King lead to the bloody Fourth Succession War, which saw many of the Empire's formerly subject states wage war on one another. When the Crimson Plague struck Aurea, the Empire did not have the strength of arms or will to defend against the chaos inflicted upon them as the Valtang barbarians raged unfettered across their once glorious Empire. Meanwhile, on Duria, the orcish horde assembled to defeat the Mage-King turned on its former allies, first defeating the elves of the Sapphire Wood, then ravaging Koramia itself.
With the return of the dwarves to the surface world and the rise of orcish hordes on Aurea and Duria, many considered this to be the final death kneel of humanity. The Interannum, however, was only to last a little more than a generation.
The Fourth Age of Man
Despite the chaos of the final century of the Third Age of Man and what seemed to be the final destruction of human civilization, much of humanity struggled to maintain what it had gained in the Third Age. Only forty years after the Sack of Zeth, the withdrawal of the gods and the dawn of the Dark Times, the gods suddenly returned. Those priests who had remained faithful again regained their powers and humanity began to rebuild the civilizations that were destroyed. Unlike previous ages however, which saw either the Old Gods or the Tuatha de Dannan predominant, both pantheons of deities began calling to their faithful.
This was a generation ago. Humanity stands now at the dawn of the Fourth Age of Man. No one seems to know just what event heralded the Fourth Age or why both pantheons are active in mortal affairs. This time, the dwarves seem intent on working with humanity to build this new age and even the reclusive elves have unprecedented contact with humanity. Reports also suggest that darker powers are on the rise deep beneath the surface of Creation and that the orcs have also become more active of late. Just what will define the Fourth Age of Man is for its heroes, villains and people to decide.
|This article is part of the Feyworld Sourcebook|
|The History of Feyworld|
|General History Articles||
Overview · Timeline
|Age of the Gods|
|The First Age of Man|
|The Great Darkness|
|The Second Age of Man|
|The Long Night|
|The Third Age of Man|
|The Dark Times|
|The Fourth Age of Man|