Historical eras of the Forgotten Realms.
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## The Creation
The oldest myths and legends tell of many different things; the humans tell of the time of change, when the very magic of Oerth forged the different races from human stock; some elves speak of "The Awakening," when they found themselves on Oerth after the battle of Correlon and Gruumsh; the dwur speak of Forge Time when Moradin forged the lives of the Dwarven Fathers and set them under a mountain. Other major forces stirred both evil and good, and warfare was frequent.
### Era of Humanity
Amongst the early human tribes in the southwest of Oerik arose the first great civilization of Zarum with its great capital city of Anitor, thought to be home to almost half a million people by -11,500 CY. The Zarumites dominated neighboring peoples, such as eiger, euroz, and the jeblikind races, and their society was divided into a rigid caste system, their lives ruled by ancient ritual. The ruins of Old Zarum today overflow with sacred spaces and temples, though the names of the ancient Zarumite animal-headed gods are still unknown.
By -6,700 CY, the Suel who fled Mur encountered fierce tribes in the Sea of Grass descended from other survivors of old Zarum. First, the dark-haired _Baklun_ horsemen of the northern plains forced their migrations south into the great basin that surrounded the inland _Krakuun Sea_, and then they were halted by agrarian _Oerid_ tribes at the Niole River (_which was renamed the Suel Halt river and now rests well beneath the surface of the Sea of Dust_).
According to the text, over fifty-five hundred years ago, _Obendar_, a mighty Suloise mage, discovered secret Olven magics and used this new-found power to dominate the ten cities of the Suel. Obendar was crowned _First Imperator of the Suel Imperium_ in -5,515 CY. This marked the beginning of the Suel calendar, and Obendar established an Imperial Council comprised of representatives of the Suel noble houses to advise the Imperator on matters of state.
>**Word on Magic**
Many centuries ago, magic was the primary tool of nefarious despots who ruled over enormous empires. The ancient _Ur_ sorcerers of the Flan, most notably Vecna, mastered necromancy and used it to create undead abominations to conquer and control vast populations. Those who did not succumb to the will of the Ur were often slain with magic spells and then animated as undead to serve dutifully. The Flan people of ancient times abhorred this practice and, in time, managed to overthrow their oppressive necromancer rulers and erase many of the most powerful necromantic magics from history so that they might never be used again. Meanwhile, in the UnderOerth, the drow utilized the same necromantic magic to craft some of the most horrific undead ever known. Though the means to create these horrors were lost in devastating drow wars, the creations remained, some of them self-propagating, their victims joining them in unlife.
In western Oerik, there is a generational memory of the great Demon Wars that saw the vast lands that are today the Celestial Empire riven by conflict fanned and fought by fiendish forces from the abyss against goodly forces of humans, spirit folk, olve, and others backed by celestials from the upper planes. Perhaps the most momentous use of magic ever to occur on Oerik was the raising of the Demon Wall by the empyrean Jiao that ended that great conflict. To this day, magic is highly regulated across Suhfeng lands, and its practitioners tend to be avoided by common people whenever possible.
Next came the Baklunish-Suloise Wars. The Baklunish Empire and the Suel Imperium fought against each other for decades, honing their battle magic and raining down destruction upon each other. But their spell-work on the battlefield was nothing compared to the _Twin Cataclysms_: the _Invoked Devastation_, which destroyed the Baklunish Empire, and the Rain of Colorless Fire, which reduced the Suel Imperium to ash. These indiscriminate magics of war decimated entire populations of innocent people. They are still cited today as among the chief dangers of magic.
As the surviving Suloise people fled from their burning land, some traveled through the UnderOerth for long periods, coming into contact with the drow. The worst magic of the two peoples was occasionally exchanged, and the drow, long-time fiend worshippers, enriched their ties to other dark entities such as the _Elder Elemental God_. House Eilservs of Erelhei-Cinlu would eventually come to worship the Elder Elemental God almost exclusively, and this would lead to an arrangement between the drow and evil people on the surface which would spell yet another disaster for the Flanaess region of Oerik, the rise of Elemental Evil.
### Era of Illithids
At some point around 11,000 years ago, the _Illithids_ invaded Zarum from a neighboring plane of existence (most believe it to be the _Far Realm_). Though the Zarumites fought fiercely, they were no match for the psionic might of the Mind Flayers, and soon they were enslaved. Many were brought to the Outer Planes and elsewhere to serve as illithid slaves. Other cities in Zarum were transformed into work pits where illithid overseers forced their slaves to toil for a thousand years. Over the centuries, the illithid warped and changed many humans into other species, and these new slave races were then redeployed throughout the illithids’ plane-spanning empire.
In time, the illithid empire was brought down by a rebellion led by a woman named Gith, who was raised an illithid slave on another plane but whose ancestry stretched back to Zarum itself. As the illithid empire crumbled and Gith’s forces destroyed Zarum, the now free residents of Zarum fled for their lives. Although many died trying to cross the mountain ranges and jungles surrounding Zarum, eventually, whole tribes began coalescing for protection as humanity scattered to the four winds.
### Era of Dwur (Dwarves)
Unlike the other races, the presence of the Dwur on Oerik has been mainly limited to hills and mountains and is accepted to have occurred earlier than most of the other demi-human races. Also, unlike the other races, they are very confident about where they came from. The Dwur believe themselves to be the creations of Moradin, whom they often credit with creating the world and even all the other gods of every race. They believe this event occurred over 10,000 years ago, putting their first appearance on Oerik when the Illithids controlled Zarum in the west. The Dwur, however, were first present in the east; their original homeland is in the Crystalmist and Sulhaut Mountains. The Dwur believe they were created deep beneath those mountains and eventually found their way to the surface, where they have slowly spread over the centuries.
### Era of Olve (Elves)
Sages disagree on when and where the first Olves arrived on Oerik, but it had to have been before the Flan settled the region (so, sometime before the earliest known Flan neolithic sites, or 6,500 CY). There are two competing theories, and olve from all walks of life are passionate about discussing and extolling the virtues of why their favored theory is correct.
The first theory, known as _The Awakening,_ has the first Olvenfolk appearing in the _Adri Forest_ in the far east of Oerik, arriving from the _Feywild_. Neither means nor motive for such a journey has yet been learned. The second theory has the olves arriving first on the _Spindrift Isles_ and then along the coast of what is 28 today the _See of Medegia_. In this theory, the original olven realm on Oerik is the legendary continent of _Aquenoreth (_called Aquaria in Oeridian legend), far across the Solnor Ocean.
Around -6,000 CY, wandering olvenfolk from the Crystalmists discovered the nascent Suel cities and, impressed with their drive and ambition, began tutoring the humans in mathematics, language, art, and, most significantly, the arcane art of wizardry. Already having an aptitude for sorcery, the Suel proved apt students and soon were constructing cities and delighted the elves with their creativity and productivity. The cities of the Suel were patterned similar to those of the olves but these occupied the plains and river deltas of the southlands.
Suel wizards soon came to hold much of the political power of the Suel cities, and these cities began to war against each other. Much to the chagrin of the olve, the Suel also began to dabble in dark arts not sanctioned by the elves. In a worst-case scenario, an ambitious Suel mage summoned a powerful demon who wreaked havoc and may have obliterated an entire Suel city. This awful incident caused the olves to rethink the wisdom of having taught men magic so widely. They closed down their magic schools, and many of the olves departed the Suel cities for their mountain cities, with some opting instead to continue their wandering in a westward direction. The Suel mages chaffed at this and were not pleased. They pleaded with the olves to return and teach them more. But their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Undeterred, the Suel continued with magical experimentation and steadily grew in both mundane and arcane power.
### Era of Hobniz (Halflings)
Of all the groups claiming to be the first settlers to populate the Flanaess widely, the _Hobniz_ have the best. They were certainly widespread on the Flanaess by the time written records began to be kept. Indeed, the nature of the Hobniz written language shows their great dispersion, as the language’s written form is an extensive syllabary intended to accommodate the wide array of dialects used by disparate groups. Despite this long history, and probably because of their wide dispersal, the Hobniz never developed a calendar of their own, operating simply by following the year's natural cycles.
Nobody can even hazard a guess as to the origin of the Hobniz. By all accounts, they have always been present on the Flanaess, and they are likely indigenous to the region, for early Flan legend refer to Hobniz clans aiding their migrating ancestor in adapting to their new homes on the Flanaess. The Dwur also have legends of “_Fey and Small Folk_” living in the lowlands to the east of their mountain holds that go back to ancient times.
### Era of Noniz (Gnomes)
The Noniz have had a less turmoil-ridden history than the olve or the dwur, and most consider that to be a good thing. Gnome history is shrouded in myth and legend. Elders tell of the distant past when Noniz first came to the Flanaess, finding themselves “_shipwrecked_” on Oerth. Although given little credence by most non-Noniz sages, the gnomes claim to hail from an entirely different world. Where this world is or what it is called, none can say.
Noniz myth tells how _Garl Glittergold_ and his fellow gods were guiding the Noniz to safety after the conquest of their homeworld aboard massive sailing vessels that could traverse the heavens. At least one such vessel crashed into the tundra north of the current _Archbarony of Blackmoor_ near the mysterious _Land of Black Ice_ some 4,000 years ago.
## The War of Light and Dark
Up until this time, the olve of the Flanaess was generally a homogeneous people who resembled the _High Elves_ of today. Seeing her chance to usurp power from her hated rival Corellon, the olven goddess Lolth corrupted many olve and turned them against their kin. Lolth saw the rise of the Suel as an opportunity and she used Arianin’s ambition to help further her own plots. Lolth’s manipulations sparked the _War of Light and Dark_, and it lasted centuries, which meant little to the lich Imperator or the long-lived olves.
The Olve fought tirelessly against Lolth’s secret alliance. Lolth’s followers became known as the _Drow_ creating a schism in olvendom that persists to this day. Corrupted by their dark mistress, these olve changed; their skin became dusky charcoal to ebon-hued, and their hair all turned bone white. Other olve abandoned their mountain citadels in favor of rustic lives in the forest glens of the Flanaess, where they began taking on aspects of their natural environment and became the _Sylvan (i.e., wood)_ and _Grugach_ olven folk. Many others fled east, over the Sea of Grass and eventually into the lands of the Suhfeng.
By four and a half thousand years ago, the last of the great old cities in the mountains was discovered and destroyed. The defense of the city was so great, however, that the Drow were forced underground permanently, and the last surviving ancient giant nations of the Sheldomar Valley were effectively destroyed, with individual giant clans scattering in disorder to the four corners of the Flanaess and beyond
The Suloise army, which aided in the destruction of the elven city, was destroyed by a man, and no word of them was ever heard. Their goblinoid mercenaries scattered throughout the region, taking over abandoned old settlements wherever they could. The remnants of the olvenfolk migrated eastward to the interior of the eastern portion of the continent.
It was the ending of this war and the founding of the _Four Olven Realms of the Flanaess_ that is said to mark the beginning of the Olven Calendar, which has now recorded 5,038 years (as of 576 CY). The original Olven citadels of the Crystalmists were all but destroyed, but the hated Drow were driven beneath Oerth for good; the giant nations had all but been exterminated, and the treacherous humans returned to their cities to lick their wounds, fearful of a retributive strike from the Olve that would never come.
## Time of Flowering
During the War of Light and Dark many _Eladrin_ from the Feywild were sent to aid the olve against the followers of Lolth. Many formed bonds and relationships with their material plane cousins resulting in the creation of the _Gray Olven_ sub-race (any child born of an Eladrin and High or Sylvan olve is a Gray Elf as is the child of two Gray olven parents of course).
The westernmost of these, the “_Realm of Highfolk_” in the Yatils and the Vesve was established as a guardian against the Suel and the Drow. This realm was established with the Sylvan olves of the Vesve. Of all the olven realms, it was the most open to other races, allowing humans, noniz, hoibniz and even dwur to partake of it’s society.
The second Kingdom, Celene, also called the “_Heart Jewel of Olvendom_”, was established by high and gray olves. It, alone of the realms, has always been ruled by an olven queen.
The third Kingdom, _Aliador,_ was established in the Griff Mountains and the plains to the west to the shores of the Nyr Dyv. This was the Crown of the Olven seat, and was inhabited almost exclusively by Gray olves and their servants. The _High King of All Olvendom_ had his palace here.
The Fourth Realm, _Arrisa_, was established by a council of mages and priests in the southern islands now known as the Spindrift Isles. It is called “_The Secret Realm_” and it has long been a closed society. Little traffic passes between this realm and the remainder of the Flanaess.
Over the next two millennia the olven realms flourished in relative peace and seclusion, the battles with humanoids were frequent, but the might of each of the realms remained unchallenged.
## Twin Cataclysms
The disasters in question, in -421 CY, were precipitated when the Suloise _Mages of Power_, who practiced a kind of magic unknown to the present day, created a terrible cataclysm remembered as the _Invoked Devastation_.
A wave of invisible destruction swept over the lands of the Bakluni from the Sulhaut to the Dramidj and from the Crystalmists to the Tyurzi Mountains. Buildings crumbled as if being powdered by an oerthquake, only the ground did not shake. All living things within the area were sickened. Although some survived, the vast majority were less fortunate. The wind was black and howling, and under its strange force the work of the hands of man decayed as if time were running a thousand times faster for such non-living matter.
Living things suffered increased aging, as well. Trees grew suddenly, depleted their soil, and died. Animals and people alike aged and died. Children became old men and women and soon died without caretakers. The remains of the dead were visible for some period, but the habitations and cities were naught but powder and 50
dirt. In a score of years, however, the whole area became covered by weeds and struggling plants, and slowly, as the worms and insects made their way into the soil, the land became a steppeland of short grasses and sedges and became known as the _Dry Steppes_. The area worst affected appears to be the old Bakluni homelands of Ghayar which, even to this day, is avoided by all sentient creatures as its ruins are home to foul undead not found elsewhere on Oerth.
In retribution, the surviving elementalists of the Bakluni gathered within the stone circles of _Tovag Baragu_ and conjured a mighty working, bringing down the terrible _Rain of Colorless Fire_ upon the Suloise basin.
The Suloise lands were inundated by a nearly invisible fiery rain that killed all creatures it struck, burned all living things, ignited the landscape with colorless flame, and burned the very hills themselves into ash, leaving the Sea of Dust as a monument to the hubris of Man. The Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire are known as the _Twin Cataclysms_.
## Recent Events
-217 CY | Founding of the Kingdom of Aerdy.
-113 CY | "The Great Disembarkment"; the Aqua-Oeridians sail eastward.
-110 CY | Battle of a Fortnight's length.
1 CY | Crowning Nasron, of the House of Cramden, as the Overking of Aerdy.
75 CY | Tenmeris and his Queen, Yalranda rule Aerdy.
100 CY | Foundation of Viceroyalty of Furyondy.
107 CY | The Overking of Aerdy constructs Castle Millennium at Seawolf Point.
113 CY | Alisedran's report of The Hanging Glacier.
155 CY | Attir Aedorich's discovery of the Sinking Isle.
198 CY | The appearance of the Ball of Fire over the South of the Great Kingdom.
200 CY | City of Leukish began as a trading post.
213 CY | Age of Great Sorrow.
254 CY | Kingdom of Furyondy, Veluna and Tenh declared independence.
272 CY | Padin the Vain uses the Hand of Vecna to start the Insurrection.
283 CY | Thrommel III begins construction of Chendl. (916 CY)
290 CY | "Vecna II" rises in the Bone March Area with the Eye of Vecna.
310 CY | Beginning of the Formation of the Shield Lands.
320 CY | Nomads Appear in the North, and dependencies of Aerdy gain sovereignty.
350 CY | The formation of the Bandit Kingdoms is complete.
356 CY | Kingdom of Nyrond established, Kingdom of Keoland reaches peak; Keoland's "Small War" with Furyondy. Urnst becomes independent. Theocracy of the Pale was founded by religious refugees of Pholtus from the Great Kingdom.
360 CY | Battle of Molvar and Battle of Lopolla end Keolandish expansion to the North.
371 CY | Founder of Bandit Kingdom City of Rookroost assassinated.
375 CY | Zagig Yragerne begins construction of Greyhawk Castle.
390 CY | The Malachite Throne overthrows Vecna II.
393 CY | Zagig Yragerne founded the Guild of Wizardry in Greyhawk.
394 CY | The publishing of Pontus Hardiggin's, halfling traveler extraordinaire, journals, and his description of Esmerin, "the land of giants and halflings in the Lortmils."
400 CY | Voorman Perren unites cantons of Perrenland.
416 CY | The paladin, Myro, conquers one of the bandit kingdoms and declares himself "king."
430 CY | Vlek Col Vlekzed establishes the Hold of Stonefist.
435 CY | An unnamed agent of evil bestows the Hand of Vecna, on Myro. He is corrupted by it.
437 CY | Turmoil Between the Crowns. House Naelax replaces House Rax on Malachite Throne.
440 CY | Warrior-Priests of Wintershiven found the Church Militant (of Pholtus).
446 CY | Founding of Iron League; Bandit Kings sack Trigol; Assassination of the entire house of Rax in the Great Kingdom.
449 CY | Second Civil War in Rauxes. University of Rauxes sacked.
450 CY | Myro is destroyed by a joint force from Nyrond, Furyondy and the Shield Lands. (1085 CY)
453 CY | King Tavish III of Keoland dies, Tavish IV ascends to throne; end of Keoish Emperialism. The ill-fated expedition of Sormod of Perrenland to find Eru-Tovar, north of Blackmoor.
455 CY | Sunndi rebels against the Great Kingdom, joins the Iron League.
461 CY | Demi-human realm of Ulek is affected, and the demi-human realm of Celene is revealed (although it is also "affected" in the eyes of the Great Kingdom, this hidden Elven realm actually decides to open communications with the human kingdoms at this time).
465 CY | Volte, a blue dragon terrorizing Geoff and Sterich, is defeated by a group of adventurers aided by Schemley, a Greyhawk dragon.
468 CY | The Witch-Queen Iggwilv's power grows in the Yatils. She conquers Perrenland.
478 CY | Iggwilv is overthrown and imprisoned. Perrenland is liberated.
479 CY | Might of Iuz grows, humanoid invasions become common.
480 CY | City of Elredd was founded by a Wolf Nomad warrior on the site of earlier camp settlements.
494 CY | Ivid I dies, and Ivid II ascends the Malachite Throne.
497 CY | Ivid II is assassinated and replaced by his son, Ivid III.
498 CY | County of Urnst becomes Palatinate under Duchy of Urnst; Greyhawk becomes a free city.
505 CY | Imprisonment of Iuz beneath the Castle Greyhawk.
506 CY | Jurnre falls at the height of The Hateful Wars.
510 CY | Last of the Euroz and Jebli driven from the Lortmil Mountains. Lord Sandor, the Headstrong of Polvar (in Ket), pursues the goblin horde of Urgush. Both forces are lost to the poisons of Csipros Erd, the Geysers of Death, located somewhere in the maze of valleys and hills north of the Barrier Peak region. This ended the Hateful Wars.
511 CY | The Battle of Dour Pentress.
513 CY | Rise of Horned Society; humanoids take Pomarj.
516 CY | First Sighting of the Velunese Lights.
519 CY | Founding of Azak-Zil ("Pureheart") by the dwarven clan Highgate.
520 CY | Hradji Beartooth's discovery of Skrellingshald.
522 CY | King Belvor II is crowned in Furyondy.
523 CY | Storrich of the Hold of Stonefist supposedly enter the Burning Cliffs region.
524 CY | Loss of Azak-Zil.
526 CY | Dyvers becomes a Free City.
537 CY | King Belvor III of Furyondy dies in his sleep.
550 CY | The Valley of the Mage is established.
555 CY | The Frutzii are conquered by the Schnai.
556 CY | The discovery the unusual halfling casket in the River near Courwood. Ivid IV is assassinated by his son, Ivid V.
557 CY | Rise of the Slaver Lords in Drachensgrabs.
560 CY | Formation of the Circle of Eight.
561 CY | The Wizard Murq captures and kills many of the children of the nobility of Greyhawk.
563 CY | Bone March taken by humanoids.
565 CY | Defeat of the Slave Lords.
566 CY | Alliance of Drow with Giants in the West of the Flanaess.
567 CY | The "Beggar's War" in Greyhawk Beggar's Union defeated by Thieves' Guild.
569 CY | Battle of Emridy Meadows --Horde of Elemental Evil Scattered. Herzog of the South Province leads forces to a minor victory over the Golden League (Nyrond, Almor and the Iron League).
570 CY | Iuz freed from captivity and returns north.
571 CY | Irongate joins the Golden League and drives Ivid's forces under the Herzog back to the South Province.
572 CY | The Dawnbreaker Clan of Rauxes fails to overthrow Ivid. Sea Barons defeat Duxchaners in The Battle of Medegia.
573 CY | Scarlet Brotherhood first reported; Prince of Furyondy and Provost of Veluna kidnapped; The Cult of the Reptile God Rises in Orlane.
575 CY | Appointment of the People's Constables in Greyhawk City. Duke Eyeh II of Tenh begins an aggressive campaign to clear the Troll Fens.
576 CY | "Guide to the World of Greyhawk" completed by Pluffet Smedger the Elder.
577 CY | The expedition of Archmage Marinian of Willip is lost searching for "The City of the Gods" north of Blackmoor. The Royal Minting House of Nyrond moves from Rel Mord to Womtham.
579 CY | Reformation of Coinage in Greyhawk City; beginning of infiltration of Horned Society into Bandit Kingdoms; The Outbreak of the Red Death, and the Change of Istus.
580 CY | Magnificent Talking Goat Party formed in Greyhawk; The Declaimers of Stroun predict the downfall of Tenh.
581 CY | Vecna (after apparently destroying of the Circle of Eight) is himself thrown into out of the Prime Material planes at Tovag Baragu. Cuthbert expends huge amounts of energy to simulate the death of the Circle, and after contributing immense aid to a party in overthrowing Vecna, is himself greatly weakened.
582 CY | Rise of Vatun (Iuz) in the North; Fall of Tenh; Beginning of the Greyhawk Wars.
583 CY | Destruction of Shield Lands; Ossian's Raid, fall of Medegia; Rise of the Pomarj; Fall of Geoff and Sterich, Conquest of Bissel; Usurpation of the Lordship of the Isles, Fall of the Sea Princes. Fall of the Onnwall and Idee; Halfling Blight in Elmshire; Night of Terror on the Wild Coast; Elves reclaim Lendore Isle. The first appearance of Mayaheine's avatar on Oerth.
584 CY | Destruction of Almor; Dissolution of the Great Kingdom; End of the Greyhawk Wars; Great day of Signing; Treachery of Rary; Breaking of the Circle of Eight; The Great Burn in Greyhawk; Formation of the Kingdom of the Bright Lands.