The Rise of The Fallen
The Hundred Years Chaos
The century-long conflict that destroyed empires across the Three Worlds, caused by corruption from within and invasion from without.
In The World, the human-created Kelsenon Empire collapsed thanks to internal corruption that was unable to deal with an invasion of undead forces lead by The Witch Lord and raids by barbaric orc and goblin tribes. In the Feywild, a cabal of Vecna-worshiping wizards unleashed a diabolic army, only to be betrayed by the army they summoned. In The Shadowfell, the Shadar Kai warred with the Drow over the River of Time, control of which would have lead to control over the fates of mortal souls.
The conflicts intensified over the years. The city of Myir was pulled partway into the Shadowfell by the Shadar-Kai and then conquered by the Witch Lord, the diabolic army spilled into Eastern Alrahon, and the dwarven kingdom was destroyed by orcs, goblins, and giants under the control of The Beast Lord, one of The Seven Devil Lords, who managed to escape his hell. But mighty heroes rose up to stand against the darkness. The West Star Companions and The Daughters of The Dawn, in particular, helped save The World from these threats.
During the conflict, the gods themselves suffered, as the god Vecna made deals with The Spider Queen and The Great Beast in an attempt to conquer Heaven. This alliance resulted in the death of Khron Gruumush (an ally of Vecna, betrayed to The Great Beast to secure his alliance) and, when the pact was discovered, the banishment of Vecna from Heaven to The Shadowed Hell.
After the conflict, the world was changed. In the north, the Kelsenon Empire was shattered, and descended into a dark age. The southern lands, which had been less touched by the war, flourished, and are now poised to create their own empire. The Eladrin state of Avaleron splintered into feudalism, though some eladrin seek to rebuild their fallen kingdom. The Shadar-Kai and Drow kingdoms maintain a cold war, neither side able to break the balance of power and gain a definitive advantage over the River of Time.
In The Kelsenon Empire
The Imperial Civil War—This period is marked by the death of Emperor Kaius Argius IX and his three male heirs, which touched off a succession crises that boiled into a full on civil war. Five claimants for the throne vied with each other, splitting the empire into five chunks as they battled among themselves. This infighting weakened the Empire’s grip on The Borderlands and Elondaron. The Orc tribes of The Gruag-Mal started to unite under the banner of The Bloody One and intensified their raids on The Gruag-Mal and Keregorn.
During this time, Corsasia and Baradan (once a single province) split, as the Corsasians sought independence and Baradan’s populace were loyal to the crown (fractured as it may have been). Paladins from The Order Of The Golden Lion began a brutal suppression of suspected “traitors,” which overwhelmingly targeted the disadvantaged tiefling minority. Corsasia is eventually subjugated by Baradan once again, and the tiefling minority begin to nurse a grudge that will lead to another civil war eighty years later.
The Borderlands Crisis
The Rise of The Witch Lord
The Fall of Argius and the Rise of the Young Kingdoms
Rise of The Black Fleet
The Sacking of Fort Karras
The Liberation of Hellbeard Keep
The Army of Darkness
Civil War in Baradan
The Daughters of the Dawn
The Battle of Golden Dawn
The Treaty of Leban
The Court of Stars
The Zargoni Conspiracy
The Avaleron Civil War
The Army of Darkness appears
The Fall of Minas Elendrii
In The Shadowfell
1544 KR—Emperor Kaius Argius IX, his wife, and his three male heirs are killed by an assassin. Five claimants to the throne vie with each other. Lady Mellin Yorick has the strongest claim (being the Empress’s sister), Darius Ravensdale is the emperor’s nephew (his father was already dead, else he’d have been eligible to take the throne) and the LeVaines had one of the weakest claims (their claimant is supposedly a bastard child of the emperor himself, but this could not be proved, and most think their supposed heir is a pretender). The Order Of The Golden Lion and The Great Church, both having large numbers of noble scions among their ranks, also produced members with claims to the throne. The matter comes to blows, and the five claimants raise armies against each other. The Imperial Civil War begins.
1544-1549 KR—The five initial claimants are whittled down to three in a series of battles. The three families that remain claimants are the Ravensdales, the LeVaines, and the Yoricks. The Yoricks have the support of the clergy of The Great Church, the Ravensdales have the support of the war wizards and The Order Of The Golden Lion, and the LeVaines cut a deal with devils to aid their flagging power. This would mark their family line, transforming the LeVaine family and their supporters into Tieflings.
1547-1550 KR—The teifling population of Baradan rises in revolt, forming the short-lived nation of Corsasia that declares its independence from the Empire. The revolt is put down by The Order Of The Golden Lion, and sets the stage for another, longer conflict and centuries of simmering resentment.
1550 KR-1562—By this point, the conflict between the three major powers of Kelsenon has settled into a stalemate. These years mark a period of cold war, as the three factions rebuild their forces and attempt to sabotage the others. During this time, a number of Weather Wardens are waylaid by the LeVaines, and a growing number are killed in order to cause bad harvests for the other factions.
1575-1590 KR—A dozen minor skirmishes along The Black Hills, the Gruag-Mal, and The Creel an Morgan signal the beginning or a crisis in The Borderlands. The Imperial Legion is still weakened by the civil war, and response to these skirmishes is almost nonexistent. The Borderlands, left to fend for themselves, rise up in revolt. The Emperor responds to the revolt with horrifically brutal suppression. The orcs respond by marching their hordes into The Heartlands.
1575-1625—The weather changes drastically as the wards used by Kelsenon’s weather wizards to control the climate begin to fail from neglect. The corps of Weather Wardens never fully recovers from the their slaughter during the Imperial Civil War, and are too few in number and too weak in training to hold back the changing climate. Many areas of Alrahon turn vicious and inhospitable as the wards fail. The worst of the hostile weather passes after 50 years, but the climate of Alrahon is never the same afterward, and occasionally bad magical storms rip across the land.
1581 KR—The Black Hills start suffering raids from forces of undead warriors. Then the city of Myir is attacked by an army of undead led by a being calling itself The Witch Lord. The army of the dead is repulsed, but it will be besieged again and again.
1584 KR—The second siege of Myir by The Witch Lord.
1587 KR—The third siege of Myir by The Witch Lord.
1590 KR—The Witch Lord gains possession of The Soulstone. Now able to raise limitless numbers of undead quickly, the lich’s undead forces march on Miyr once again, and this time take the city. The Witch Lord proceeds to yank Myir partway into The Shadowfell. The city, existing in two planes at once, is the perfect staging ground for an attack on The Heartlands of the Kelsenon Empire.
1591 KR—The orc hordes of the Gruag-Mal join forces with The Witch Lord’s undead army. The two armies slaughter their way across the Empire. Forces are recalled from The Borderlands, and the Creel an Morgan celebrates it’s victory over the Empire, declaring itself a sovereign nation.
1594 KR—The Siege of Argius begins. Refugees flee The Heartlands by the tens of thousands. The lands that would become Calyeron and Coralton grow more powerful. Fort Karras triples in size in less than a year. The West Star Companions meet for the first time while on separate missions.
1596 KR—The Fall of Argius. The city is finally breached by The Witch Lord’s forces after Emperor Darius Argius III goes insane and orders the gates opened. The city’s defenders throw themselves into a great bonfire rather than allow their bodies to be raised as undead. This fails to save their souls from The Soulstone, however—The Witch Lord binds their wandering spirits to him as burning giests. Less than a hundred of the city’s population of over 100,000 people escape the slaughter (The West Star Companions among them). This generally marks the effective end of The Kelsenon Empire. The Young Kingdoms of Calyeron, Baradan, Ironroot, and Myir declare their sovereignty when word of the city’s fall reaches them.
1597-1613 KR—The West Star Companions gather forces and rally the demoralized troops of the fallen empire. They train a guerrilla army that harries the forces of the orc hordes and the Witch Lord’s forces, carefully avoiding open battle as they liberate areas from the opposing army’s control.
1597 KR—The Black Fleet of The Dread Pirate Hellbeard sacks Fort Karras and enslaves the population. The Black Fleet grows into a powerful force along The Argius Sea. Calyeron abandons it’s claim to the lands south of The Gash, leaving them to the depredations of the pirates.
1602-1607 KR—Hannibal Lightfoot organizes a rag-tag fleet of ships to engage The Black Fleet in battle after his first wife is killed by Hellbeard. Lightfoot’s Privateers become one of the most powerful naval forces of the day, sinking the pirate lord’s ships and disrupting his control of the sea.
1607 KR—Lightfoot’s Privateers lay siege to Fort Karras, now called Hellbeard Keep. They destroy most of Hellbeard’s ships (including his flagship), take the fort, and liberate the people of the city. Hellbeard himself manages to escape, but vanishes from history. Lightfoot renames the town Coral Town and uses it as a base for his Privateers, which slowly spread throughout the region as a peacekeeping force.
1610-1627 KR—The first of several conflicts arise in Baradan. The areas of Baradan that once belongs to the ancient empire of Bael Turath are repressed by the Order of the Golden Lion after an uprising among the tiefling population. The lands ceded to the pirates by Calyeron form into two city states, Coral Town and Notre Dame. Calyaron attempts to annex it’s former holdings, but is rebuffed. The Sorcerer’s Enclave in Notre Dame is quietly infiltrated by The Zargoni Conspiracy, who embark on a project to build a number of magical towers to serve as anchors for a massive portal to the Feywild.
1614 KR—The West Star Companions and their army meet the forces of the Witch Lord at Myir. The Liberation of Myir marks a turning point in the war.
1628-1644 KR—Lightfoot’s Privateers and The Daughters of The Dawn battle The Army of Darkness, destroying The Anchors that allow them free passage into The World. The battles rage across Coralton, Calyeron, and Baradan.
1630-1634 KR—The repressed tiefling population of rise up in revolt in Baradan. A charismatic tiefling leader, [name here], cuts a deal with the Army of Darkness for troops. [Name here] and several noble-blooded scions collaborate with the Army to defeat Baradan’s forces, and declare their independence from Baradan, forming the nation of Corsasia.
1634-1644 KR—Corsasia goes to war for independence from Baradan.
1644 KR—The Battle of Golden Dawn closes the last Anchor. The remaining forces, bereft of their leadership, turn to banditry and raiding. The Battle of Notre Dame reduces the northern half of the city to rubble, but proves a decisive rout of the leaderless forces. The Treaty of Leban ends the war between Baradan and Corsasia (at least for a time) as Baradan recognizes Cosrsasia as a sovereign nation. The Young Kingdoms officially recognize 1644 as the end of the Chaos Wars, and begin to date the passage of years from this point forward. 1644 is designated 0 ACW.
1658 KR—Final defeat of The Army of Darkness by The Wild Hunt, though the scattered diabolic forces will remain a threat in Avaleron for centuries until the very last remnants are wiped out in 1808 KR (paving the way for The Great Fetch Hunt). On a diplomatic mission to Keregorn, the elderly monarch Rogar MacCwellen discovers that his former friend Balgron Stonehammer has finally been corrupted by his Runeblade and has broken the lock on The Savage Hell to release The Great Beast on his people. Rogar and The West Star Companions battle the Devil Lord and Blagron. Rogar uses The Runeblade to strike the blow that kills The Great Beast, but is slain by the monster’s death throes. In honor of his accomplishments in life and the great sacrifice at the end of it, his soul ascended to godhood, and he became The Storm Prince.