Blood in the Water

Timeline of Theah

(Vaticine Church) Theus creates the Universe and everything in it.

(Ussura) Matushka wanders Ussura, shaping the land and creating life. Lonely, she finally decides to sleep beneath the land she has claimed as hers.

(Vestenmannavnjar) Grumfather (also ‘The Grey Wanderer’) battles Varld the giant. After slaying him, Grumfather creates the world from his body.

(Cathay) Peng Kui emerges from the Great Egg, in the Void of Chaos. For untold ages, he labours to bring order to the Void, before finally collapsing exhausted. From his body comes both the earth and the gods.

???? – SYRNETH. Terra is home to several separate non-human civilizations; including the Domae, Drachen, Setines, Tessera and Thalusai. These beings are known collectively to present-day scholars as the Old Races, the Syrne or the Syrneth. All are extinct long before the arrival of Man, leaving only incomprehensible artifacts and mysterious ruins to prove they ever existed.

Domae are unknown in appearance, but believed to be approximately Man-sized. They construct huge underground cities and live in peace for thousands of years, before destroying themselves and most of their works in a vicious civil war. Their technology incorporates a variety of rare and distinctive gemstones, believed to be Domai creations. Remnants of the last Domae city endure as the main sewers of the city of Charouse.

Drachen (Dragons) are gigantic reptiloid beings up to several hundred feet long, by far the largest of all Syrneth races. Their enormous cavern dwellings, containing a few out-sized artifacts, are found in the mountains of Eisen. Numerous Drachen skeletons, apparently a burial ground, lie in what is now the centre of the city of Freiburg, overshadowed by a huge tower of Drachen bones (called ‘die Wachtturm’). This is one of the earliest known Syrneth races, and one of the first to die out. The size and durability of Drachen bones is such that Men later use then in construction, especially around Freiburg. A lesser kind of Drachen, unintelligent and smaller, survives in remote corners of Eisen and Ussura. Dragons also appear in many Cathayan legends, being huge creatures of immense power and wisdom.

Setines are extraordinarily varied in appearance – some have wings, others are approximately Man-shaped and still others are large quadrupeds with horns or tusks. However different, all share the same distinctive hollow bones. Their technology is based upon machinery vaguely resembling clockwork, and they are one of the most widespread of the Syrneth.

Tessera are also unknown in appearance, and originate soon after the extinction of the Drachen. A war with other Old Races ends with the total annihilation of the Tesseran civilization. Only a few minor examples of their magnetic-based technology remain as proof that they ever existed..

Thalusai are approximately Man-sized, resembling giant insects that walk upright, and may have been one of the last of the Syrneth. They dwell on what are later called the Thalusian Isles, far westwards of Avalon. They preserve their dead in amber, then place the bodies in deep caverns. The entire race perishes in a cataclysm (possibly a war), leaving only these tombs and a few artifacts. Surviving artifacts reflect their makers’ appearance, being predominantly “insectoid” in look. Millennia later, portions of Thalusai “armour” (actually the creatures’ shells) become popular fashionwear in the wealthier social circles of Montaigne.

???? – MAN.

(Vaticine Church) Theus creates Man, the pinnacle of His creation and sharing many of His attributes.

(Ussura) Matushka, creator of all life and guardian of Ussura, creates Men in her dreams.

(Vestenmannavnjar) Grumfather creates Men from the roots of The Great Tree. To give them a good place to live, he then cuts Varld’s heart into nine pieces – these become the nine islands of the Vestenmannavnjar.

(Cathay) The goddess Nu Wa creates the animals of the earth. To ease her loneliness, she also creates Men.

AVALON. A boatload of Men survive a world-wide flood, and arrive in Bryn Bresail. They form a pact with the Sidhe, who guide them to Avalon.

???? – Establishment of several city-states and small kingdoms in the Arene Candide region (in what is later Vodacce). They are the earliest human civilizations.

???? – Contact is established between Acraga (later Castille) and the Jadur-rihad tribe (later part of the Empire of the Crescent Moon). The two peoples find that they have much in common, and begin strengthening this bond through commerce and inter-marriage.

???? – INISMORE / Firbolg Wars. Humans settle on an island north of Theah, which they name Inismore. Unknown to them, the hospitable land is also home to a race of fierce giants, later known as the Firbolg. After a quiet period of some years, during which isolated human settlements occasionally disappear, the Firbolg finally emerge to wage open war on the Inish.

circa -1500 AUCCATHAY / First Dynasty. Cathay is ruled by deities (‘the Three Noble Emperors’); who teach their people the arts of writing, medicine, agriculture, building, pottery and cooking.

circa -500 AUC – Shang Dynasty. Cathay’s first “historical” dynasty, known for its mighty palaces and strong walls.

AUC = Ab Urbe Condita (“After the Founding of The City”).

circa 1 AUC – Zhou Dynasty. They overthrow the Shangs, who have become weak and complacent. Despite being warlike, the Zhous begin as competent rulers who bring several reforms to their realm.

1 AUCNUMA. Numus establishes his city on the banks of the Tigres river, in the Arene Candide region.

1-340 AUC – Rise of ‘NUMAN REPUBLIC’. Shrewd leadership, successful trade and military prowess all serve to increase Numa’s borders and influence. Nearby cultures are absorbed or supplanted.

The Sidhe occasionally visit Numa from someplace far to the north-west.

circa 150 AUC – Numan traders reach southern Ussura (later Somojez). Impressed by all that these newcomers have to offer, the native Zakut people establish trade links and adopt Numan ways.

213 AUC – Battle of Palo di Olympia. Numan legions defeat a larger Crescent army. Numa takes control of the western portion of the Crescent peninsula, and is to hold that territory for nearly six hundred years.

225 AUC – Having consolidated its western holdings, Numa turns its attention eastwards..

228 AUC – Priscus Tecpatus of the Numan Republic negotiates a treaty with the city-states of Acraga (later Castille). Whilst relations are initially friendly, Numa’s ongoing expansion soon causes tension between the two cultures.

236-255 AUC – The Numan Republic campaigns against the barbarian tribes in central Theah (later Eisen).

circa 250 AUC – The Novgod tribe loses a war in the Vestenmannavnjar islands, and is exiled to Ussura.

255 AUC – Numa’s Wall. The Numan Republic starts construction of a huge wall along the south bank of the Great River, to keep barbarian hordes at bay.

Barbarian incursions impede communications between Numa and its south Ussuran allies. The latter are soon targeted by the savage tribes of Brutovskaya and Alyuskar. The Drachenberg mountains are the scene of numerous battles between invaders from the west and Ussuran defenders.

268 AUC – Death of Priscus Tecpatus.

Discovery of precious metals in Acraga, in what is later called ‘La Sierra de Hierro’ (The Mountains of Iron). Numa resumes its expansion westwards into Acragan lands, seeking to profit from this find.

269-344 AUC – Acragan Wars. Numa and Acraga fight a series of wars. Numa wins most of them. Acragan territory inexorably shrinks.

344 AUC – End of ‘Acragan Wars’. Numa conquers the last of the Acragan city-states, and dominates that region for the next seven centuries.

365 AUC – Ussurans, led by the Novgod tribe, defeat invading barbarians west of modern Donskoy.

The Novgod change their name to the Novgorov.

366 AUC – Foundation of the Ussuran city of Ektar (later Ekaternava), as a bulwark against future invasions from the west.

circa 375 AUCRURIK and SOMOJEZ. Foundation of these adjoining kingdoms, in Ussura.

421 AUC – Numa Invades Avalon. General Julius Caius leads the invasion force, which faces scattered and confused opposition at most. That there are lands and people beyond their own comes as a profound shock to many Avalons.

423 AUC – Numa crushes the last remnants of Avalon resistance, and imposes its rule over the entire island.

Establishment of Numan outposts along the southern shores of the Highland Marches, with a view towards expansion there. Further incursions are discouraged after meeting fierce (if disorganized) resistance from the Highlanders.

424 AUC – General Julius Caius makes a triumphant return to Numa.

circa 425 AUC – Qin Dynasty. Unquestionably the briefest serving of Cathay’s ruling dynasties, nonetheless it leads the nation out of civil war and achieves a great many reforms that endure to this day.

425 AUC – Self-proclamation of General Julius Caius as absolute ruler (Imperator) of Numa.

Death of Imperator Julius Caius, assassinated by rivals in the Numan Senate.

Coronation of Tigranus, son of Julius Caius, as Numa’s new Imperator. Those who opposed his father are forced into exile.

Centuries later, Vodacce’s infamous Lorenzo family will claim direct descent from Tigranus, through his oldest daughter.

425-581 AUC – Age of Imperators. The Numan Republic is ruled by a series of dictators of highly diverse outlooks and abilities. During this time, the Senate is reduced to a mostly ineffectual advisory role.

circa 440 AUC – Han Dynasty. The Hans defeat the Qin in the Battle of the Wei Valley, and take over the rule of Cathay. There is much internal dissent during this period, which the new rulers strive to defuse by encouraging both commerce and territorial expansion.

508 AUC – Barbarians destroy the last Numan colony in central Theah (later Eisen).

573 AUC – Curse of Avalon. Mysterious storms and fogs block all access to Avalon. Numa unsuccessfully tries to re-establish contact by several means. Finally, Numa’s Imperator decides that the islands are “cursed” and decrees against further attempts to reach, contact or otherwise locate them.

581 AUC – End of ‘Age of Imperators’ / SECOND NUMAN REPUBLIC. Death of Imperator Clementes (“The Mad”). Numa’s Senate stages a popular uprising, and proclaims the formation of a new Republic.

598 AUC – General Thanthus and the remnants of his legion return to Numan shores. Presumed lost when Avalon disappeared, they had in fact escaped by ship – only to spend the next twenty-five years wandering the high seas. Their tales of strange lands, great peril and fantastic treasures form the basis for Gurlan’s literary epic ‘The Tanthusiad’.

623 AUC – End of ‘Curse of Avalon’. The strange weather encircling Avalon dissipates, and the islands become accessible to the outside world once more. Nobody there has aged so much as a day since the storms began, nor are they aware of anything having happened in all that time. Foreigners either leave the Glamour isles or quietly assimilate. Numa does not try to reconquer the land.

698 AUC – General Gaius Phillipus Macer and his army returns to Numa, after campaigning in central Theah (later Eisen).

Self-proclamation of Gaius Phillipus Macer as Imperator of Numa.

circa 699-772(?) AUC – The Living Runes / Laerdom. A huge monster (remembered as “The Great Wyrm”) ravages the lands of the Vestenmannavnjar. Twenty-five warriors, one from each of the Vesten tribes of the time; gather, ally and eventually defeat the beast. In doing so, they take the Wyrm’s power for themselves and become the so-called ‘Living Runes’, forming the basis for all Laerdom magic. Ultimately, some heroes cannot cope with this new power and.go mad, killing several former comrades before being slain themselves. Of the remainder, most disappear into seclusion and the rest stay to aid their people.

700-724 AUC – Decline of ‘SECOND NUMAN REPUBLIC’ / Rise of ‘NUMAN EMPIRE’. Imperator Gaius tightens his grip on power. Yet again, the Senate’s authority weakens.

724 AUCSORCERY. A group of Numan Senators, led by one Octavus Montanus, become Theah’s first sorcerors via means unknown. Opponents pf sorcery avow that these magics are gained through a loathsome pact with unholy forces, so this event is still referred to in certain quarters as ‘The Bargain’. The sorcerors freely use their terrifying new powers to seize control of the Numan Empire – with trouble-makers burned to ash, ripped apart or hurled screaming through strange portals never to be seen again. The aging Imperator Gaius is allowed to both live and keep his throne, but hereafter has no authority save what the sorcerors allow. The fortunes of Numa’s non-sorcerous nobles wane.

Pyeryem. Matushka awakens from her long slumber, and gifts certain of her people with the ability to change into animal form. Some legends have it that she is awakened by, and talks with, the First Prophet.

734 AUCGALLENIA. Former Numan Senator Edwardus Ajax Gallen leads a group of refugees into eastern Ussura. They establish their own nation near the distant land of Cathay.

735 AUC – The Wall of Fire. All land access to Cathay is suddenly and dramatically blocked by an immense barrier of magical flame. At the same time, the seas off Cathay become ‘The Corridors of Flame’ (‘Huo Zhi Zou Lon’g’ in Cathayan) for the labyrinth of fire and other hazards that makes sailing through there unspeakably dangerous. Several Cathayan groups are cut off from their homeland.

735-740 AUC – Tumen Horde. A “stranded” Cathayan tribe, called the Tumen, ruthlessly conquers most of northern Ussura (later Molhyna). The native Zakut tribes are driven into the icy wastes of the far north.

739 AUC – Selection of General Cnaerus to be Numa’s Imperator. The Senate chooses him in order to shift him from command of his loyal army to a position where his authority and influence is limited.

Paranoid about safety from assassination, Imperator Cnaerus diverts funds from public works to construct a fortified personal estate, the Calix Parietis (‘Stone Wall’), on an artificial island in the Tigres River.

circa 740-765 AUC – The Tumen attack Gallenia, but are defeated by Numan-style tactics.

741 AUC – Death of Numan Imperator Cnaerus, killed in a street riot protesting his use of public funds. Curiously, the riot ends with his death and nobody else, including his guards, are hurt.

Work on the Calix Parietis halts, with the fortification mostly complete but little else. Successive Imperators use it as a barracks for Numa’s legions.

circa 768 AUC – First Prophet. A charismatic young man begins preaching a new faith, performing miracles and gathering followers.

His original followers, known as the Nine Witnesses, come from all over Theah. They are Jaime, Joaquin, Maria, Tomas, Kirstin, Pierre, Simon, Philippa and Sophia.

773 AUC – The First Prophet gathers his Nine Witnesses at ‘Monte Joyas’ (The Mountain of Jewels) in La Sierra Hierro. He instructs them to separate from him and each other, then wait one year before starting to pass on his teachings.

AV = Anno Veritas (“The Year of Truth”).
774 AUC / 1 AV – Last Days of the ‘First Prophet’. / CHURCH OF THE PROPHET. Alone, the First Prophet journeys to Numa. Confronting the Senate whilst it is in full session, he denounces sorcery and chides the Senators for their greed. Several enraged Senators attack the interloper, only to discover that sorcery cannot harm him. They finally have him arrested (to which he offers no resistance), then tried and condemned on several trumped-up charges.
The night before execution, the Prophet is visited in his cell by Senator Tobias (nicknamed “Tobias the Meek”), who records his prophecies and final teachings – Theus and his mercy, the dangers of sorcery and the three Prophets still to come.

Death of the First Prophet, publicly burned at the stake in Numa’s city square.

Tobias renounces his rank of Senator, and changes his name to Mattheus.

Mattheus, to become the Prophet’s Tenth Witness, and Maria, one of the Prophet’s most loyal followers, meet and secretly claim the ashes of the Prophet. These ashes are interred in a crypt just outside of Numa.

The Prophet’s words quickly spread throughout the Empire, despite the best efforts of authorities to suppress this new “Church” and its followers.

32 AV – EMPIRE OF THE CRESCENT MOON. An alliance of Crescent tribes defeats Numa’s legions, regaining territory lost in the Battle of Palo di Olympia nearly six hundred years before.

circa 65 AV – Cathayan trade goods start reappearing in Ussura and the Crescent Empire. From Gallenia come reports of Cathayan traders who can somehow pass through the Wall of Fire unharmed.

98 AV -

Imperator Legio II defeats an invasion from Ussura.

The Numan Empire splits into two – the Eastern Empire (ruled from Numa); and the Western Empire (ruled from what is later the city of San Cristobal). Each empire is ruled by an Imperator and a Senate.

circa 100 AV – The Ussuran kingdoms of Rurik and Somojez embrace the teachings of the Prophet. Pagan dissidents from both realms journey eastwards.

VECHE. Vladimir Aryov, leader of the pagan dissidents from Rurik and Somojez, establishes a new realm near the Gora Sorivdgrastov Mountains.

105 AV – The Eastern Imperator formally recognizes the Church of the Prophet as a legitimate faith. Popular support prevents any opposition from the Senate.

115 AV – Death of Vladimir Aryov, ruler of Veche, in Aryanski Castle. On his deathbed, he names Boris Tomiech, his most able and ruthless general, as successor. Tomiech is bloodsworn to never return to Aryov’s fortress, and is presented with Aryov’s youngest daughter, Anisheva Aryovna, as wife.

Departure of Boris and Anisheva Tomiech from Aryanski, accompanied by their respective armies. They ride for Veche’s ‘Mountains of Smoke’.

122 AV – Completion of ‘Tara Oaslui’. This imposing fortress, the stronghold of Boris and Anisheva Tomiech, is said to be built on the bones of all who dared oppose them. This year is also marked by the couple’s seventh anniversary and the birth of their third son.

circa 130 AV – Most noble families in Numa now practice some form of sorcery. Magic has become genetic, passing from parent to child with each successive generation.

202 AV – After much discussion, the Crescent tribes formalize their alliance, so as to present a united front to outsiders. A leader with authority over all of the tribes is selected, titled ‘Caliph’ (successor).

203 AV – Eastern Imperator Danatius converts to the Church of the Prophet.

circa 217 AV – Chin Dynasty. The founder of this dynasty leads his army to victory at the Battle of Red Cliff, ending a long period of strife and civil war in Cathay. Trade with the Crescents becomes very profitable at this time.

circa 225 AV – PATIKA. A man, known only as the ‘Haberci’ (Messenger), begins preaching the ways of ‘patika’ (The True Faith) in the Empire of the Crescent Moon. That religion soon becomes the dominant faith there.

297 AV – Fall of ‘NUMAN EMPIRE’. Invasion of the city of Numa, by an alliance of barbarian tribes from central Theah (later Eisen).

Death of the Eastern Imperator, during the sack of Numa. La Rovine, Numa’s ancient centre, is almost totally levelled. The last vestiges of Numan central authority are lost.

The kingdom of Rurik absorbs the formerly Numan holdings of Somojez and northern Vodacce. This region becomes a bulwark of civilization between the barbarians to the west and the Tumen raiders to the east.

CASTILLE. The Acragans break from Numa and, led by the Castillius family, establish their own nation. Shortly thereafter, the Castillius family changes name to Castillo.

299 AV – Coronation of Josemaria de Castillo, the first High King of Castille.

300 AV – Marriage of High King Josemaria de Castillo to the eldest daughter of the Caliph of the Crescent Empire.

301 AV – Birth of Alonzo al’Mahmud Josemaria, son of the High King of Castille and grandson of the Caliph of the Crescent Empire.

circa 303 AV – Second Prophet. Malak appears exactly as predicted by the First Prophet (as recorded by Mattheus), accompanied by nine Witnesses. All are from the Empire of the Crescent Moon. As the Second Prophet, Malak advocates strict codes of behaviour, denounces the Church as hopelessly corrupt, and calls for followers to accompany him back to the Crescent Empire.

305 AV – Imperator Alexius orders that Malak be arrested and brought before him for questioning. The first attempt to do so fails when the Witnesses form a protective circle around their leader that cannot be broken by sorcery or weapons. The second attempt, with an entire army, is more successful – the Witnesses simply step aside when confronted, and Malak allows himself to be taken prisoner. But, during a year of imprisonment, the Second Prophet refuses to speak. His Witnesses attempt to speak to the Imperator on his behalf, but little comes of this.

Joseph of Aremacady, a follower of the Second Prophet, leads a group of converts to Avalon. He is credited with being the first to bring the words of both the First and the Second Prophets to that land. He also secretly carries Holy Relics to Avalon for safekeeping.

306 AV -

The Second Prophet’s prison is mysteriously destroyed. One surviving witness, a guard, tells of " … a blanket of bright white light, descending from on high … ". Afterwards, Malak walks away from the wreckage unharmed and then disappears.

Exodus. Malak arrives at Monte Joyas, where his Witnesses and 40,000 followers have already gathered. Once together, they depart for the Crescent Empire. One follower, Marco, is told to remain behind and convey the words of the Second Prophet and his Witnesses to the Church. These writings eventually form the basis for the Second Vigil, in ‘The Book of the Prophets’.

Malak’s miraculous escape leaves Imperator Alexius inclined to believe the claims of divinity. However, he is also dubious about so many of his subjects leaving the realm for an unknown fate. Three armies are despatched, with orders to turn the Prophet’s group back.

Death of ‘Second Prophet’. Near the border town of Rahajeel, the Second Prophet and his entire group are massacred by Crescents as they worship. Within an hour of discovery by the Imperator’s troops, all traces of the dead disappear in a mysterious storm. One of the Imperator’s soldiers gathers the scattered pages of Malak’s last sermon, just before the storm comes. These writings prove to be a continuation of the discussions between the First Prophet and Witness Mattheus.

Kosar Invasion. The Kosar, a Tumen tribe, unite under the leadership of Jaala Khan. They embark on a war of conquest, conquering much of Ussura and threatening the Crescent Empire.

Aleksandr Borisovich Tomiech, ruler of Veche, confronts the approaching Kosar threat in a manner typical of his family. His soldiers secretly round up and kill all as many citizens as they can find that are old, infirm or insane. The bodies of these unfortunates are then displayed for the benefit of the advancing Kosars. Sight of this carnage convinces the would-be invaders to avoid Veche.

Battle of Demetrian’s Pass. Five hundred soldiers of the Rurik Empire, led by Demetrian, block the mountain passes near Sousdal. They hold out against massed attacks from Jaala Khan’s armies for three months, long enough for winter snows to force the Kosars’ withdrawal. Demetrian and all of his troops die, but they save the rest of Theah from Kosar invasion.

The teachings of the Second Prophet create a deep rift within Rurik’s populace, with some believing him a fraud and others a messiah. To prevent civil war, Rurik’s Knias finally rejects the Second Prophet and brutally represses all followers of his teachings. The Rurik Empire is weakened, but survives.

307 AV – First Crusade. Imperator Alexius publicly blames the Crescent Empire for the murder of the Second Prophet and his followers. The Imperator’s armies invade.

308 AV – Hospital of the First Witness. Erik Schumacher, soldier, and his wife Francesca Ghiloni, a Numan healer, lead a group of former crusaders into Crescent lands. At the port-city of Zafara, they establish a place devoted to caring for the sick and injured of all faiths, sheltering in tents made out of old sails.

310 AV – Birth of Franz Schumacher, son of Erik and Francesca.

311 AV – Black Crosses of Zafara. Death of Francesca Ghiloni Schumacher. To honour her and her husband, the people of their hospital craft and wear rough tabards from the sailcloth awnings that have come to serve as their symbol, marked by a black Prophet’s Cross.

312 AV – Death of Imperator Alexius. He is succeeded by his son Corantine, a faithful Vaticine who is also a convert to the teachings of the Second Prophet.

313 AV – Death of High King Josemaria de Castillo. The heir’s uncle declares himself Regent.

In support of the Crusade, Castille’s Regent denounces the Crescent leadership as treacherous murderers, and proclaims himself both King and Caliph.

Death of Prince Alonzo al’Mahmud Josemaria, heir to the Castillian throne. He is poisoned whilst preparing to depose his uncle, the Regent.

322 AV – The Black Crosses move into a large building centred on Francesca Schumacher’s tomb. ‘The Hospital of the First Witness’ continues to occupy this structure to the present day.

Death of Franz Schumacher, murdered by hired thugs. His grief-stricken father leads the Black Crosses against those responsible for the crime. Within fifteen days, Zafara has been swept clear of corruption, and the city’s government given to more honest people.

325 AV -

Corantine Convention. Formulation of the Vaticine Credo, formally unifying the cults of the First and Second Prophets.

Death of Oscor Nikolai Novgorov, Knias of the Rurik Empire. When commanded to come to Numa and sign the Vaticine Credo, he does journey there – only to defiantly reject the Second Prophet, the Credo and Corantine’s authority. The Knias and all but one of his entourage are then executed for heresy. The sole survivor escapes and returns to his homeland, to tell what has happened.

USSURAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. ‘The Ussuran Orthodox Church of the True Prophet of Theus’ accepts the teachings of the First Prophet (except for those recorded by Mattheus, regarded as the very worst liar and heretic); and rejects outright both the Second Prophet and the authority of the Vaticine Church. The late Knias Oscor becomes the first martyr and confirmed saint of the new faith.

Erik Schumacher leaves Zafara, to visit his homeland one last time. He is accompanied by sixteen of his original knights.

326 AV – The Ussuran city of Sousdal is declared a safe haven against the Vaticine Church. A Vaticine army is defeated near the city after a two-day battle.

circa 327 AV – Sousdal becomes the capital city for the Ussuran Orthodox Church.

330 AV – Death of Erik Schumacher, founder of the Black Crosses, near the village of Tannen in central Theah (later Eisen).

331 AV – The body of Erik Schumacher is returned to Zafara by the last two survivors of his honour guard. He is laid to rest beside his wife.

A representative of the Hierophant visits Zafara, to examine the activities of the Black Crosses.

345 AV – Second Corantine Convention. The Church’s progress is evaluated, and a formal hierarchy established with four levels – these being, in descending order; Hieros, Archdiocese, Diocese and Parish. To honour the Witnesses of both Prophets, the organization is structured around groups of ten.

347 AV -

‘Die Kreutzritter’ (The Knights of The Cross). After much deliberation, the Hierophant finally confirms the Black Crosses as a Knightly Order of the Vaticine Church, and permits the Black Cross to be used as their insignia. The Order’s first official leader, titled the ‘Hochmeister’ (Headmaster), is also confirmed at this time. Now known as ‘die Kreutzritter’, the order’s activities centre on Zafara, where they maintain a peacekeeper force and operate ‘The Hospital of the First Witness’.

Martyrdom of Orthodox Saint Covratski, who dies defending his faith from the Vaticine Church.

376 AV – Death of Imperator Corantine. His empire is divided amongst his three sons, but their kingdoms soon fall apart.

circa 398-408 AV – White Plague I. The first known appearance of this horrific disease, occurring in the Crescent Empire. Many people die of the Plague, and many others in the resulting panic. Unexplained storms and earthquakes block all access to Ussura, preventing the epidemic from spreading there.

circa 400 AV – End of ‘Firbolg Wars’ / The O’Bannon & “Old Molly”. Hard-pressed in their ongoing wars with the Firbolg, the Inish receive vital aid from the Sidhe. The Firbolg are finally defeated, and driven deep underground. To symbolize their alliance, the Sidhe present the Inish with the Fal Stone (known, in folk songs, as “Old Molly”). This magical object is empowered to select the rightful ‘ard ri’ (High King) by singing of his destiny. After many hopefuls try (and fail) to claim Inismore’s throne, reknowned warrior Hugh O’Bannon is chosen by the Stone.

circa 416 AV – Inish High King Hugh O’Bannon removes his crown, packs a bag, kisses his wife and tells her " … I’ll be back … ", then walks away. He is never seen again. With no heir to Inismore’s throne, a civil war inevitably follows. The O’Toole family eventually seizes control.

circa 430 AV – The Prophets’ message arrives in Inismore for the first time. The Inish listen very carefully to the missionaries, and then kick them off the island.

446 AV – The Komnenian family seizes control of the declining kingdom of Rurik.

452 AV – The Molhyni tribe revolt against their Kosar overlords.

Death of Peitr, chief of the Molhyni, after leading his people to victory over the Kosar at the city of Goroduk.

MOLHYNA. Anton, son of Peitr, adopts the surname Pietrov and founds a new nation.

circa 480-___ AV – KOSCHEI PIETROV (also “Koschei The Undying”). An early ruler of Molhyna, who abdicates soon after the first Knias Douma in favour of his son Franczek. However, Koschei retains his seat on the Knias’s Council, and continues to actively participate in Ussura’s rule to the present day! How Koschei cheats death is unknown; but he has not aged greatly, has survived numerous assassination attempts and is said to travel widely both within and outside of Ussura. His loyalty to his kinfolk is well-known – the Pietrov family still rules Molhyna, and has expanded considerably through his numerous marriages and liaisons down through the centuries. The full extent of Koschei’s sorcery is unclear, but believed to be considerable.

492 AV – The kingdom of Rurik falls on hard times, after a peasant revolt and Somojez declares its independence.

518 AV – Saska Tomiechevna, daughter of Veche’s Domiator, tours her father’s kingdom. She demands that her father’s liegemen visit her tent late at night. Those who refuse are found ripped apart in the morning. A terrible ancient evil reawakens in Veche at this time.

520 AV – Succession of Koschei Pietrov as Khan of Molhyna. He is credited with stabilizing the young kingdom, moving its capital to Sladivgorod and instigating many reforms.

521 AV – Marriage of Romain Tomiech, Domiator of Veche, to daughter Saska, soon after the death of his wife. At their wedding, the couple bathes in the blood of 1,000 peasant girls.

522 AV – Birth of Ilhyna Tomiech, son of Romain and Saska.

Death of Domiator Romain Tomiech, one day after the birth of his son. Saska seizes control, and quickly proves to be even more insane than her father.

Disappearance of Domiator Saska Tomiech and infant son Ilhyna. Matushka forever imprisons both in ice beneath Tara Oasalui Castle.

Succession of Valentin Vadomivich Tomiech, Saska’s cousin, as the new Domiator of Veche. He repeals a few of his realm’s more oppressive decrees, thereby easing his people’s burdens.

523 AV – Eisen Invasion of Ussura I. Warlord Johann von der Velde, of central Theah (later Eisen), leads an invasion of Ussura. His entire army is destroyed by a sudden ice storm – in mid-summer!

525 AV – USSURA / First ‘Knias Douma’ (Council of Kings). At the behest of Matushka, the Five Kingdoms of Ussura (Rurik, Somojez, Veche, Molhyna and Gallenia) unite under one banner.

Coronation of Baveroc Fyodovich, a peasant herdsman from Rurik, as Ussura’s first ‘Gaius’ (High King). From now until 1658, all of the nation’s Gaiuses are commoners chosen by Matushka.

526 AV – Eager to sweep away the horrors of his predecessors, Domiator Valentin Tomiech has Tara Oasalui castle renamed ‘Valaamzhensky’.

527 AV – Abdication of Koschei Pietrov from the throne of Molhyna, in favour of his son Franczek.

circa 533 AV – Sui & Tang Dynasties. A time of comparitive peace and prosperity in Cathay.

600 AV – The rise of Carleman, who conquers most of western Theah.

609 AV – Carleman arrives in Numa, and offers to ally with the Church.

Carleman’s army is housed in Numa’s Calix Parietis, a structure which Carleman describes as “a great Stone Giant”. The name sticks hereafter.

Coronation of Carleman as High Imperator of Theah.

Church Guard. Solomon Antone, one of Carleman’s most trusted companions, establishes an elite body of fighting men sworn to protect the Church. Out of respect for their founder, they still use his distinctive fighting style, known as the Swords of Solomon.

654 AV – Death of High Imperator Carleman. His realm is divided amongst his three sons – Charles, Stefan and Iago.

circa 656 AV – VODACCE. Iago (Carleman’s youngest son) strives to hold the north of his realm against his brother Stefan. While he is thus diverted, one Luis Delaga seizes control in the south. Of a prestigious Numan bloodline, Delaga strengthens his new realm via cunning leadership, and by providing refuge to talented exiles from abroad. Centuries later, direct descendancy from Delaga’s line is claimed by both the Villanova and the Caligara families.

659 AV – MONTAIGNE. Death of Charles (Carleman’s middle son), after a long illness. His widow, Isabeau, soon marries her cousin, Leon Montanus. Their realm is renamed “Montaigne”, for their family name.

686 AV – ‘Dracheneisen’ (Dragon Iron) / POSEN and HEILGRUND. Two cartographers working for Stefan (Carleman’s oldest son) discover an odd clay that can be refined into a remarkably light and immensely strong substance. This is soon being used to make weapons and armour for Stefan’s warriors.

Master craftsman forge a special suit of dracheneisen armour for Stefan.

Stefan awards baronies to the two discoverers, these becoming the Posen and Heilgrund Konigreichen. As a special gesture, Stefan also gifts his new barons with parts of his new armour, Posen receiving the sword and Heilgrund the breastplate. This marks the beginning of two notable Eisen traditions:

Eisen’s rulers may present portions of this particular suit of armour to those considered worthy (such as newly-created barons).

They will award baronies to any person of any status who discovers a new source of Dracheneisen.

Stefan denies all other nations any access to Dracheneisen. This ensures his own realm’s military superiority, but creates bad blood with neighbouring Montaigne and Vodacce for centuries to come.

‘Die Nibelungen’. A secretive order of craftsmen are entrusted as sole custodians of the knowledge of creating and working Dracheneisen. This gives them considerable influence within Stefan’s realm.

691 AV – EISEN. Stefan adopts the name ‘Eisen’ (Iron) for his realm, symbolizing both the main industry and the character of the people. He is memorialized by his nation as Stefan I, a wise and shrewd ruler.

782 AV – Introduction of the Boar Spear as the primary weapon of Eisen cavalry.

Gottschalk I of Eisen conquers most of northern Vodacce. Decisive to this victory are his cavalry, plus the widespread use of Dracheneisen arms and armour within his army. The city of Numa is set aside by him to be ruled by the Hierophant of the Vaticine Church.

Coronation of Gottschalk as the first Imperator of Eisen, by the Hierophant. Due to its close association with the Vaticine Church over the next several centuries, Eisen comes to be also known as ‘The Holy Republic’.

818 AV – Selection of female warrior Gunnef (“The Ravenhaired”) to be the first High King of the Vestenmannavnjar.

Construction of ‘Thingvallvatn’ (Fortress of the High King). Located on the island of Viddenheim, this is to be the traditional home of the Vestenmannavnjar High Kings, and the central meeting place for the nation’s tribes.

circa 830 AV – The Vestenmannavnjar begin raiding Avalon, the Highland Marches and Inismore. Initially, the peoples of these lands are too divided to offer any meaningful opposition.

Establishment of several Vestenmannavnjar communities in the Highland Marches and Inismore.

‘The Last Battle of Hurngar The Proud’ – The saga of an ailing Vestenmannavnjar chieftain who, as his last mortal act, seeks out and dies in battle against the great serpent encircling the world. .First definite reference to ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’ – a large reef north-west of Inismore, said to be the maw of the Great Serpemt. Generally described as a maze of storm-tossed waters threading past numerous sheer pinnacles of black rock (the beast’s fangs), the whole covered by perpetual cloud (the beast’s breath), it remains a place avoided by all but a scant few most seafarers..

circa 845 AV – Elilodd, King of Eastern Avalon, raises an army and fleet (Avalon’s first navy) to battle the invaders. After a successful defense and counterattack, he finally makes peace with the Vestenmannavnjar, then goes on to unify most of Avalon. Avalon legend has it that Elilodd actually invades the Vesten islands, before finally making peace with the High King herself.. Vesten legend claims that Elilodd never leaves Avalon.

The Sidhe present King Elilodd with a holy artifact called ‘The Graal’. As long as Elilodd and his decendants guard the artifact, Avalon shall have the blessings of the Sidhe.

During Elilodd’s reign, the people of Avalon begin to take an active interest in the world outside their own isles.

circa 858 AV – Death of Empress Wu Tsie Tien, the first female ruler of Cathay. Central authority breaks down within her realm, with the various provinces all going their separate ways.

874 AV – Fifth Corantine Convention. It is determined that the Church can arbitrate political disputes, but must always remain neutral. Priests are banned from possessing land, businesses or noble titles.

888 AV – Destruction of ‘The Invisible Sword’. The existance of a previously secret anti-sorcery organization is uncovered, ironically, by a Strega (Vodacce Fate Witch). All members are hunted down and slain by her husband’s soldiers. Little else is known of the group, other than claims that it originated in Numan times.

900 AV – Death of Gunnef the Ravenhaired, High King of the Vestenmannavnjar.

Selection of Ash Dagfinnrson to be the new High King of the Vestenmannavnjar. Not as skilled a warrior as his predecessor; he encourages exploration southwards into Theah, and into the seas west of Avalon.

914 AV – White Plague II. A major epidemic breaks out. Vodacce is hardest hit, with entire cities swept clean of life. Montaigne and the Crescent Empire also suffer heavy losses.

918 AV – Extinction of the Von Drachens. The entire Von Drachen family, greatly-feared tyrants in Eisen, are massacred whilst gathered in the family castle. Their holdings are annexed by a rival, one Karl Sieger.

circa 930 AV – Song Dynasty. Cathay is mostly reunited during this time, also marked by encouragement of the arts and sciences.

947 AV – A stranger, known only as Bartholomew, gifts the Hierophant with a valuable necklace. With one hundred rubies set in the shape of the Prophet’s Cross, and inlaid with large amber cabochons at the three main points, it is subsequently known as ‘the Blood Cross’. Various stories claim that this precious item once belonged to the First or Second Prophets (or both!), has great healing powers or is cursed.

960-1024 AV – HROSWITHA OF STAHLFORT. An Eisen nun, famous for authoring many thought-provoking comedies and satires.

988 AV – Order of Saint Gregor. The knights of this Order are sworn to uphold the decrees of Eisen’s Imperator, and are answerable only to him.

1000 AV – Third Prophet. A mysterious individual starts performing miracles in northern Castille. He preaches that neither sorcery nor Crescent influence should be tolerated. Hierophant Honorius meets with him at Monte Joyas, and becomes convinced that he is genuine.

1002 AV – Death of Bishop Felipe de Gallegos. Incensed by previous injustices, Crescents riot in the Castillian city of Malaga. The Bishop tries to calm the mob, only to perish at their hands. The Third Prophet immediately calls for a new Holy Crusade against the Crescent Empire.

1002-1011 AV – Second Crusade (also ‘The People’s Crusade’). The Third Prophet and his followers seek to purge Castille of all Crescent influences. They are opposed by Castille’s High King and many of his nobles. Simualtaneously, Vodacce nobles spearhead an invasion of the Crescent Empire. After early successes, both Vaticine armies bog down against increasing opposition.

1008 AV – With the Crusade going badly on both fronts, the Third Prophet asks Hierophant Honorius for assistance. In response, Vodacce’s powerful navies join the fight.

1009 AV – ‘El Fin del Cielo’ (The End of the Cycle). Garcia, Castille’s (pro-Crescent) King, is defeated in battle at Malaca by ‘El Sayyid’ (The Master).

1011 AV – Vodacce’s Lorenzo family, always feared for their cruelty and outright sadism, rise to prominence. Having often claimed to be the “true rulers” of Vodacce, they seem close to achieving exactly that.

End of ‘Second Crusade’. The Crusaders prevail in Castille, but the invasion of the Crescent Empire has been smashed, with Crescent forces now pushing towards Vodacce. Many Vodacce nobles have perished, with the Lorenzos taking especially heavy losses. Lorenzo fortunes suddenly wane.

Fall of the Lorenzos. “Mad Queen” Marrietta, wife of King Vinchenzo Lorenzo and the most powerful Strega (Fate Witch) of all time, attempts to destroy the entire Crescent Empire with her Sorte powers. Instead she, her family’s island and everyone on it all disappear forever. The sea still sometimes turns to blood where the Lorenzos’ island used to be.

1012 AV -

Surviving Lorenzos regroup on the mainland and soon split into two separate family groups – Biancos and Serranos. The two new ruling families become bitter rivals and, in certain respects, even more feared than the Lorenzos ever were.

The Crescent army halts its advance towards Vodacce, and withdraws for reasons unknown.

Vaticine Inquisition. The Third Prophet establishes a special holy order, committed to seeking out and destroying all forms of heresy.

The Prophet deposes the Hierophant, in favour of a man of his own choice. He also decrees that the seat of the Church will permanently move from Numa (in Vodacce) to Vaticine City (in Castille). A number of Cardinals, mostly from Vodacce, vehemently object to these changes.

1012-1019 AV – Hieros Wars. The Third Prophet and his allies openly battle Vodacce’s Cardinals for control of the Vaticine Church.

1014 AV -

Coronation of Ramon Sandoval (‘El Sayyid’) as High King of Castille. In contrast to the nation’s previous rulers, and those of most other nations, his family line is non-sorcerous.

‘Hernando de los Reyes’ (Brother of the Kings). Four of King Ramon I’s most loyal knights refuse to accept any rewards. Instead, they ask to be allowed to continue serving their king as his personal champions. Their request is accepted, and the four become the first of Castille’s Royal Guard. The King honours them by granting a new surname to them and their families – ‘Hernando de los Reyes’ .

Return of The O’Bannon. Inismore’s Fal Stone weeps and sings, marking the return of The O’Bannon. He kills the ruling O’Toole, declares himself the new ‘ard ri’, and raises an army that conquers all of the Vestenmannavnjar settlements on Inish soil. All of the defeated are allowed to stay, provided they swear fealty to their new lord.

1018 AV – Capture of Numa by Imperator Friedrich II of Eisen, an ally of the Third Prophet.

1019 AV – End of ‘Hieros Wars’. Vodacce’s Cardinals finally yield to the Third Prophet. Castille becomes Theah’s new centre of learning and religion.

1020 AV – A convoy of three ships bear the Church’s most valuable treasures (including the famed ‘Blood Cross’) from Vodacce to their new home in Castille. Pirates attack, but are defeated by the Kreutzritter guards. The Hierophant honours the bravery of die Kreutzritter by awarding the Blood Cross to the Order’s Hochmeister.

1021 AV – The O’Bannon sets his crown aside, tells his court " …I’ll be back … ", and then leaves for parts unknown. Inismore resumes its infighting.

1023 AV – King Herygh of Avalon decides to split his realm among his three sons. Youngest son Athrwys objects, saying that the land needs one ruler. Angered, the King disinherits and banishes Athrwys, who flees to Inismore.

Death of King Herygh of Avalon, almost immediately after his argument with Athrwys. Herygh’s two other sons are soon feuding over rulership of the kingdom. Civil war follows.

1028 AV – Battle of Three Roads. The battered armies of Herygh’s two oldest sons clash yet again. Athrwys unexpectedly arrives with an Inish army and defeats both. He forgives his brothers, saying " … Avalon must be united, or we shall surely fall … ".

An invading army from Montaigne arrives on the field, led by Henri du Montaigne. Despite a brave fight, the combined Avalon-Inish armies are crushed.

Death of Athrwys. Gravely wounded, he flees pursued by Henri’s men. Upon arriving at a pond, he shouts out in Cymric and flings something into the water. Athrwys is then killed by the Montaigne. Whatever he threw in the water (‘The Graal’?) is never found.

Montaigne Conquest. Montaigne crushes the last remnants of Avalon resistance, and imposes its rule over the entire island. There follows a century-long occupation of Avalon, Inismore and the Highland Marches. The Sidhe flee with ‘The Graal’, and the power of Glamour fades. Bards, druids and holy men are put to death wherever found. It is forbidden for anyone to speak or teach Cymric, Avalon’s native language.

1030 AV – Death of ‘Third Prophet’. He dies in his sleep the night after completing the Fourth Vigil, which predicts events leading up to The Last Day. These writings also assert that Legion will defeat The Creator, if sin and heresy are unchecked. The Church declares a two year mourning period, and adds the Fourth Vigil to ‘The Book of the Prophets’.

1034 AV – Eisen Invasion of Ussura II. An Eisen army invades Ussura. Earthquakes and blizzards force its retreat.

1035 AV – Death of High King Ramon I of Castille. He is succeeded by his son, Alphonso I (“The Brave”).

circa 1050 AV – THE CRUSADER KINGDOM. ‘The Outremer’, a large spur of coastal land captured by the Vaticines from the Crescents, comes under control of the self-proclaimed (and Church-backed) King Balfour of Urfa. The fortunes of this realm ebb and flow with the Crusades for the next two centuries, with periodic reinforcements in the form of Thean warriors seeking glory, booty and/or land. Most survivors will eventually leave, but there are always some who stay behind to defend hard-won lands against the hostile Crescents.

1072 AV – Death of High King Ramon II (“The Wise”) of Castille. He is succeeded by his brother, Pedro I. The new King is memorialized as “The Pretender”. This is not because of any doubt as to Pedro’s rightful succession to the throne, but because of his (mostly ignored) claim to hold authority over the Hierophant and, hence, the entire Vaticine Church.

1073 AV – Death of High King Pedro I of Castille. He is succeeded by his nephew (Ramon II’s son), Carlos I.

1088 AV – Sacking of ‘Library of Alexia’. Crusaders attack the Crescent city of Alexia, famous for its beauty and immense Library. Several Vodacce families subsequently “acquire” many books and scrolls – at least, until the Church demands that all of this booty be " … gifted to the Hierophant … ".

circa 1110 – Cathedral of Santa Maria. The Vaticine Church commences design and construction of a cathedral over the Tomb of the First Prophet near Numa, replacing the rather humble church previously there. The project drags on for the next two and a half centuries with successive Hierophants, Church officials, Holy Orders, monarchs, builders, artisans and benefactors of every stripe all bitterly squabbling; with innumerable delays, alterations and extensions imposed for every conceivable reason. The final result is immense (second in size only to ‘The Great Cathedral of The Prophets’ in Vaticine City), horrifically expensive (cost incalculable, but several Holy Orders and at least one monarch are bankrupted by it) and remains incomplete to the present day.

1118 AV – Holy Order of the Poor Knights of The Prophet. Established by Hughes Allaix du Crieux, the Poor Knights are sworn to guard lands seized in the Crusades and protect pilgrims. The Order becomes a mainstay of Crusader forces in the Outremer.

1133 AV – The first ‘corrida’ (bullfight) take place in the city of Tarago, as entertainment for Castille’s nobility. These events soon become an important part of Castillian culture.

1134 AV – Order of Saint Victor. Establishment of this missionary order, also seen as a peaceful alternative to the Inquisition. Amongst other tasks, it seeks to bring heretics back into the Church voluntarily through preaching and logical debate.

circa 1147 AV – Construction of ’Tor’Rosa’. Crusaders start building a large fortress on the Outremer’s coast.

1153 AV – Queen Eleanor of Montaigne causes much scandal by having her husband declared legally dead (he is actually away at the Crusades), and then marrying the King of Avalon. Her new husband soon goes off to the Crusades as well. In his absence, Eleanor becomes taken with the old tales of Avalon’s heroes. She has these stories translated from the original Cymric language into Montaigne, and does what she can to change Avalon’s taxation and legal systems for the better. Glamour slowly returns to the land. Eleanor is memorialized as Avalon’s ‘Beloved Queen’.

circa 1157 AV – Completion of Tor’Rosa. With its command of both land and sea trade routes, this fortress becomes one of the most important Crusader strongpoints in the Outremer.

1157-1199(?) AV – ROBIN LOVAINE (also “Robin Goodfellow”). A former Crusader and minor noble of Avalon, who leads the resistance against King Charles’s oppression of the Avalon people. Money and goods taken by King Charles’s men are seized, and returned to the people, by Robin and his fellow outlaws. To more effectively battle King Charles, he eventually goes so far as to fake his own death. Robin marries his lifelong sweetheart (Queen Eleanor’s daughter) and later helps establish ‘The Council of Free Nobles’. Ultimately, his title and lands are restored by the rightful King of Avalon.

1158 AV – Death of Enrique II (“The Mad”), High King of Castille. Unable to cope with the responsibilities of the Crown, he takes his own life. He is succeeded by his brother, Ramon III (“The Noble”).

1170 AV – Death of Ewan O’Toole, High King of Inismore. An Avalon lord claims the throne, and Avalon strengthens its hold on Inish lands.

1172 AV – Edouard Duhamel, the first Duc of Dechaine, commissions the building of a great memorial and mausoleum for the benefit of his descendants. The Montaigne noble is especially pious, striving to atone for the sin of sorcery by various means, including barring all of his children from learning Porte.

1173 AV – Construction of ‘die Posenstadt’. Baron Gerhard Posen of Eisen starts building a castle on the island of Insel. The results endure as both the Posen family’s official residence and one of Theah’s strongest fortresses.

1174 AV – Eisen has its first ever Beer Festival. It is so popular that it becomes an annual event.

1175 AV -

Fall of the Serranos. The last known member of Vodacce’s Serrano family launches a trading venture into the Crescent Empire. This venture ends disastrously. Bankrupt, the Serranos are permanently exiled to Vodacce’s mainland, their status reduced to that of peasants.

Death of Avalon’s Queen Eleanor. She is betrayed by her friend, Archbishop Harold Guissard, and hung as a traitor by her brother-in-law, Charles.

Self-appointment of Charles as Regent of Avalon, supposedly until his brother returns from the Crusades. He restores the anti-Cymric laws and imposes heavy taxes.

1177 AV – Robin Lovaine returns home from the Crusades, and witnesses King Charles’s oppression of the Avalon people. The young noble is soon organizing resistance against him.

1193 AV – Torrential rains cause severe floods in Numa, virtually destroying the farming district of Pianura and damaging others.

1195 AV – More severe flooding in Numa’s Pianura district, wiping out all efforts at recovery since the previous flood.

1196 AV – Still more floods in Pianura. Rebuilding is seen as a lost cause and the area abandoned by all except the lawless and those with no other place to go.

1199 AV – Death (allegedly) of Robin Goodfellow, in a skirmish with King Charles’s men. However, his legend grows, with reported sightings and deeds continuing for nearly twenty years thereafter.

1207 AV – Eisen Invasion of Ussura III. An Eisen army invades Ussura, but is (again) defeated by the weather.

1215 AV -

King Charles loses control of Avalon’s holdings in Montaigne. In a rash attempt to reclaim these lands, he orders an invasion of Montaigne. His army is soundly defeated, and Charles publicly humiliated.

Council of Free Nobles. A group of Avalon nobles force King Charles to sign a document that places limits on his authority. This is to prevent Avalon’s monarchs from making arbitrary decisions in the future.

Robert The Dark. A new leader rises to power in the Highland Marches. Unusually for that nation, he disclaims alliance with any particular clan – instead gaining widespread support through skill and force of personality.

1216 AV – Charles’s nephew, the rightful King of Avalon, returns from the Crusades and deposes Charles.

Death of Harold Guissard, Archbishop of the Church of Avalon. He is defrocked by unanimous vote of his bishops, charged with treason by the new King, and then hung from the same gallows that Queen Eleanor died upon.

1217 AV -

Death of Edouard Duhamel, Duc of Dechaine and the last survivor of his family. The extinction of his ancient line, through a series of misfortunes, had embittered the once pious Duc to the verge of outright heresy. He is laid to rest beside his three children in the splendid mausoleum he built. Rule of Dechaine goes to the du Crieux family.

‘El Ano de Tres Reyes’ (The Year of Three Kings). Castille has three Kings within one year:

Death of King Alfonso II (“The Desired”), of a wasting disease. He is succeeded by his son, Ferdinand, who suffers from the same malady.
Death of King Ferdinand (“The Beautiful”), only seven months later.
Coronation of King Juan I, a cousin of Alfonso II.
1218 AV – Battle of Dun Val. Under the leadership of Robert The Dark, the Highlanders defeat their foreign overlords.

1219 AV – Coronation of Robert The Dark as High King of the Highland Marches. He also founds the MacDuff dynasty and clan, separate from the other clans of the Marches. At least in part, this isolates his bloodline from the web of grudges and feuds that have divided the Highlanders for centuries.

1223-1279 AV – GIORGIO TOURELLE. Arguably the greatest swordsman of his time, author of one of the oldest known books on swordplay, and developer of many tactics that evolve into standard broadsword and longsword techniques.

circa 1230 AV – Yuan Dynasty. Originally leaders of a frontier tribe, they rebel against the previous dynasty – and end up conquering much of Cathay. There is a great deal of strife and division in the nation at this time.

1243 AV – The Hieros Council bans outright the establishment of any new Holy Orders. There are already so many that the Church bureaucracy has serious difficulty coping with the burden.

1250 AV – The monk Juan Bautista Rael edits a version of the Four Vigils, in which each book is subdivided into chapters and verses. The lessons of ‘The Book of the Prophets’ thus become far more accessible to all.

1261 AV – ‘Declaration of Connickmoor’. High King Robert II (“The Just”) formally establishes the legal system of the Highland Marches.

1267 AV – Construction of ‘The Stein’. Imperator Stefan III builds a large fortress around die Wachtturm (a gigantic Syrneth tower built of Drachen bones). It overlooks the junction of Eisen’s two largest rivers (Der Roth and Der Rotsturm), and is the centre of the Iron Nation’s defense for the next three centuries.

1270 AV – Ceyr al Ansari, of the Crescent Empire, writes his famous treatise on poisons and antidotes.

1287 AV – Death of Francesca, a Vaticine nun. Reknowned for her piety and good works, she is eventually canonized as Saint Francesca of Gallili.

1291 AV – Battle for Tor’Rosa / Twilight of ‘THE CRUSADER KINGDOM’. After instigating a successful “divide and conquer” strategy against Crusader groups in the Outremer, famed Crescent leader Salahdar turns his full attention, and the bulk of his army, on Tor’Rosa. The fortress there is the strongest in the Outremer, and is the home of the Poor Knights, a mainstay of the Crusaders’ forces.

After weeks of heavy bombardment, and with no prospect of relief, it becomes clear that Tor’Rosa cannot hold out against the Crescents.

Death of Severy Etalon du Toile, Grand Master of the Poor Knights. He and the other Poor Knights in Tor’Rosa, along with a few Kreutzritters, all ride out to battle Salahdar’s much larger army face-to-face. None return.

Salahdar’s army is expected to overrun Tor’Rosa, but instead withdraws, satisfied with their victory over the Poor Knights.

Despite those Crusaders still holding out elsewhere in the Outremer, the losses at Tor’Rosa are a decisive blow to Vaticine ambitions. Already flagging, Thean support for the Crusades all but disappears.

1294 AV – The unpopular King Carlos II (“The Cruel”) of Castille falsely accuses his brother, Sancho, of being in league with the Vodacce. Castille’s Royal Guard is ordered to execute Sancho for treason, but refuses to do so. The stature of the Royal Guard is such that no other Castillian dares to confront them, and King Carlos II backs down in disgrace.

1295 AV – Abdication of King Carlos II, in favour of the same brother he accused of treason.

King Sancho decrees that his nephew (Carlos II’s son) is to be heir to the throne instead of his own son. For this action and others, he is memorialized as “Sancho The Just”.

Sandoval’s Guard. King Sancho decrees that Castille’s Royal Guard will henceforth have a new name. Their mantle is changed to include the heraldry of the Sandoval family.

circa 1300 AV – “Official” beginning of the Vodacce Renaissance.

1305 AV – Death of Robert III, High King of the Marches, at sea under suspicious circumstances. His brother, Malcolm I, takes the throne since the heir, Duncan, is only 3 years old.

1307 AV – ‘The Holy Order of the Poor Knights of The Prophet’ is declared heretical by, firstly, the King of Montaigne and then by the Hierophant. The Hierophant also decrees that all sovereigns acting against the Order are entitled to keep half of the Order’s substantial wealth, with the other half to go to the Church. It does not take long for all of the Poor Knights to be arrested and their properties seized.

1308 AV -

Destruction of ‘Poor Knights’. Death of Jacques du Mugeot, the last Poor Knight and former head of the Order. Like all of his fellow knights, he is burned at the stake for heresy. As he is tied to the stake, du Mugeot foretells that both the Hierophant and Montaigne’s King, both of whom are present, will die within the year. This prediction proves to be accurate.

End of ‘Second Crusade’ / Fall of ‘THE CRUSADER KINGDOM’. No Crusaders remain in the Outremer, all having retreated back to Theah or been slain by the Crescents. The Vaticine Church closes western Theah’s borders with the Empire of the Crescent Moon, establishing a chain of outposts to enforce this ban. By virtue of their service to (and influence within) the Church, the only group permitted to visit or trade with the Crescents from now on are Vodacce’s Bernoulli family.

1312(?)-1355(?) AV – CAPTAIN JUSTICE ROGERS. The first pirate to achieve true fame, namesake of the Jolly Roger flag, creator of the Rogers swordfighting school and the main inspiration for every Thean freebooter since. Born in Avalon, he spends much of his career raiding Montaigne shipping, with most of this plunder returned to its rightful owners, the Avalon people. The final fate of Captain Rogers and his crew remains one of Theah’s most famous mysteries. His birthday, 30 Septimus, is still traditionally commemorated by many pirates as ‘Saint Rogers’s Day’ (though Captain Rogers was never canonized by any Church!).

circa 1319 AV – Ming Dynasty. Victors of a revolt against the Yuans, these rulers strive to improve the lives of the lower classes, but have little interest in foreign trade.

1323 AV – Death of Malcolm I, High King of the Marches, slain by his nephew, Duncan.

Coronation of High King Duncan, hailed as a national hero for restoring the true MacDuff line without war. Unfortunately, he has been totally unhinged by his uncle’s cruelty, seeing plots and assassins everywhere, and soon becomes known as “Duncan The Mad”.

Many members of the MacDuff clan are exiled, imprisoned, executed or closely watched at the King’s order.

1329 AV – FHIDELI / TIBESTI. First recorded encounters with these mysterious nomads, in Somojez. They prove to be a proud independant people with their own distinctive culture, commonly distrusted by other folk.

1334 AV – Orthodox Saint Sergius of Radonezh leaves his monastery at Siev, in order to preach his faith to the Kosars.

1342 AV – Death of Cey’Ceyrr Aydamir Jildaki, famed Crescent alchemist, after concocting and drinking a potion he was certain would prolong life.

1347 AV – White Plague III. Another major epidemic, with Avalon being hardest hit.

1348 AV – Eisen Invasion of Ussura IV. Eisen General Ernst Heilgrund musters one of the largest armies ever seen in Theah. It gets further into Ussura than any other, but is annihilated by a massive flood at the Ekaterina River.

Eisen’s Imperator forbids any further attempts by his nation to invade Ussura.

1353 AV – Noble & Learned Adventurer’s Society of Luthon & Lovaine. Lord Ainsley Johns, Earl of Breneth, presides over the first meeting with four friends (close political allies). Their organization is to serve as a social club and sponsor for persons seeking to explore exotic lands

1355 AV – Disappearance of Captain Rogers and his crew. After raiding a Montaigne treasure ship, his ship (‘The Jolly Rogers’) is chased by a fleet of warships to the previously unknown isle of Syrne. When the pursuers arrive, they find only the empty pirate ship – captain, crew and treasure all having inexplicably vanished. The entire fleet, and their prize as well, are lost shortly afterwards in a ferocious storm, with only a few survivors to tell the tale. The fate of Captain Rogers, his crew and the treasure remains unknown to this day.

1360 AV – Coronation of Murakhan al’Tazir, a famed general, as the first ‘Sultan’ (ruler) of the Crescent Empire. The title of Caliph falls into disuse.

Council of Tribes. To aid in the ruling of his Empire, Sultan Murakhan establishes a council with representatives from all of the Crescent tribes.

1367 AV – Construction of ‘Heart of the Drachen Cathedral’. Father Piessel begins construction of a cathedral on a hill overlooking The Stein. Particularly noteworthy is the use of Drachen skeletons (common in the area) as the primary building material.

circa 1368 AV – Richter Masthoff is unjustly imprisoned by an Eisen baron. Whilst in the dungeon, he writes a considerable number of books. These writings also contain coded messages for his family and supporters.

1369-1412 AV – CRISTOFORO SCARAVESE. Author of ‘Means to Ends’ and ‘Victory’, widely acclaimed commentaries on Vodacce politics. The Vodacce nobility’s wholehearted adoption and twisting of his ideas so appalls Scaravese that he gives up writing forever. The remainder of his life is spent in Dionna, as a vassel of the Villanovas.

1373 AV – The Adventurer’s Society begins collecting charts and rutters from various sources, seeking to establish accurate navigational information for the waters around Avalon, the Highland Marches and Inismore..

1375 AV – Order of Saint Francesca of Gallilli. A deluge of petitions induces the Hieros Council to lift its ban on the establishment of new religious orders. The Franciscan Order seeks to emulate their patron through charitable works and vows of poverty. Eventually, they are to become one of the Vaticine Church’s largest monastic orders.

1376 AV – Consecration of ‘Heart of the Drachen Cathedral’. It is an awe-inspiring structure of Drachen bones overshadowed only by the nearby Wachtturm. The main steeple is over eighty feet high, formed from a Drachen skeleton’s tail and needing two hundred men and eight oxen teams to haul upright.

1377 AV – Death of Marches High King Duncan (“The Mad”), apparently committing suicide by poison. He is succeeded by his daughter Catherine (“The Graceful”).

Marches High Queen Catherine pardons all MacDuffs exiled or imprisoned by her father.

1380-1400 AV – ANDARE DEL CASIGULA ROSA (later “The White Knight of Vodacce”). Revered as the greatest knight in Vodacce history. Andare joins die Kreutzritter at an early age and, as an adult, plays a vital role in the Church’s war with the sorcerous Bianco family.

1381 AV -

The leader of the northern Molhynan Kosars rides with his family and tribe to Siev. There, all are formally baptized into the Orthodox Church.

Death of Catherine (“The Graceful”), High Queen of the Marches, in childbirth. Her son, Malcolm, survives.

Coronation of Malcolm (“The Lion”) as High King of the Marches. He is only 1 day old.

A lengthy Regency period follows, during which a succession of clans act as the young King’s “guardians”.

1382 AV – ‘die Seeadleren’ (The Sea-Eagles). As a reward for years of distinguished service, veteran soldier Horst Dressler is granted permission to establish a regiment directly sworn to the service of Eisen’s Imperator. Much of Dressler’s experience comes, notably, from shipboard actions and other duties along Eisen’s waterways. This becomes the traditional specialty of his new regiment, something which few other elite Eisen units do.

circa 1383 – Arrival in Vodacce of Manuel Chrysolaras, a scholar related to Castille’s Royal Family. He acts as an ambassador to the Mondavis and Caligaras, seeking allies for Castille against attack from Avalon.

1384 AV – Death of Sir Christopher Canfield, respected explorer and Adventurer’s Society member. His methods – setting clear objectives, thorough pre-planning, accurate record-keeping and working with local inhabitants to learn more about the region – have become the standard to which all other expeditions are compared.

1386 AV – White Plague IV. San Cristobal, the capital of Castille, is hardest hit with King Enrique III and his entire family amongst the dead. A time of great uncertainty follows for Castille, with no clear heir to the throne.

Despite being a possible heir to the Castillian throne, Manuel Chrysolaras chooses to stay in Vodacce, reasoning that his claim is weak (and perhaps suicidal). Instead, he marries a Mondavi daughter and becomes a scholar at the University of Laurentia.

Coronation of Jacques Cesar Praisse du Rachetisse (a distant cousin by marriage to Enrique III) as King of Castille. Most Castillians bitterly resent having a foreign monarch, and the Hieros Council denies him the title of “Rex Castillium”, both of which impede his ability to rule.

Members of Castille’s Royal Guard return from Ussura with Tomas Sandoval, a cousin of Enrique III.

Abdication of King Jacques, in favour of Tomas Sandoval.

Coronation of King Tomas (“The Summoned”).

1387 AV – The Adventurer;s Society finally publishes complete charts for the waters around the Glamour Isles. Whilst expensive, they do prove to be a boon to both seafarers and trade.

1388 AV – Death of Richter Masthoff, to become one of Eisen’s most famous authors. The Eisen baron imprisoning him is deposed by a revolt, orchestrated by Richter from his prison cell through the use of coded writings . Unfortunately, one of the baron’s last acts is to have everyone in his dungeon killed, including Richter Masthoff.

1389 AV – Battle of Razgrad. Sultan Murakhan and his volatile oldest son, Bayazed, lead a Crescent army to victory against rebels in the Empire’s north-east.

Death of Sultan Murakhan in the battle. He is succeeded by Bayazed.

Execution of Bayazed’s uncle, alongside the rebel leaders. Despite being on the Sultan’s side during the battle, he is accused of plotting to seize the throne for himself.

1390 AV – Marches High King Malcolm, age 9, is taken on a hunting trip by his erstwhile “guardians”, Clan MacDonald. Malcolm is kidnapped by the Boyd family of Kirksoulis, who raise him and act as Regents for the Highland Marches for the next five years.

1391 AV – Death of Arleigh Hess, respected professor and a nun of the Vaticine Church. She calls for sweeping reform in the Church, and is arrested for heresy. Her trial begins in the morning, and she is burnt at the stake that night.

1392 AV – Adoption of Andare del Casigula Rosa, age 11, into die Kreutzritter. Training is uneventful, apart from a number of dreams and visions the boy has, predicting that he will lead a great crusade against evil.

1394 AV – First publication of ‘Means to Ends’. Cristoforo Scarovese’s book is immensely popular, becoming a mainstay of Vodacce political thought.

1395 AV – Marches High King Malcolm, age 14, is ransomed by the Boyds to the MacLeod clan. For the next two years, the MacLeods use the Regency to increase their wealth at the expense of rival clans, especially the MacDonalds.

1397 AV – End of Regency for Marches High King Malcolm.

Execution of Callum MacLeod, head of the clan, at the order of the King.

Overturning of all decrees made by the MacLeods during their time as Regents.

Malcolm proves to be a just and noble King, who rules the Marches well.

circa 1400 AV – Hai Ping & the ‘Bao Chuan’. Cathay assembles a mighty fleet of ships to explore the seas, contact other nations and open up trade. Central to this fleet are the ‘Bao Chuan’ (Treasure Ships), arguably the largest and most seaworthy vessels existing anywhere on Terra. Commanding this endeavour is Admiral Hai Ping, one of Cathay’s most experienced mariners.

1400 AV – Bianco War. The Vaticine Church receives proof that the wealthy Bianco family worship Legion and indulge in other sacreligious practices. The Vestini, an ambitious craftsman family, are granted permission to destroy the Biancos once and for all.

Aided by the Inquisition, the Church Guard and die Kreutzritter; the Vestini attack the Bianco estates. The Biancos use strange powers (unquestionably the result of Legion worship) to stave off this assault. Kreutxritter Andare del Casigula Rosa rallies the Church forces and turns the tide of battle.

Extinction of the Biancos. The last of the Bianco family are cornered in their central manse in the city of Quattro Alle (later renamed Fontaine). The Inquisition tries them in absentia and finds all guilty of the blackest sins. Before any captures or arrests can be made, the Bianco manse erupts into an inferno. None of the Biancos escape.

Death of Andare del Casigula Rosa, soon after the fall of the Biancos. His body is entombed nearby, in the chapel at St Ivo della Sapienza.

The Vestini become a ruling house of Vodacce.

1402 AV – Gallegos’s Folly. A fleet of ships sails westwards from San Cristobal, in search of new lands across the ocean. Cristobal Gallegos, the expedition leader, vows to be the first Thean to circumnavigate the globe. He and his entire fleet are never seen again.

Upon hearing of Gallegos’s endeavour, the Adventurer’s Society hurriedly launches its own attempt to circle the globe first. This expedition also disappears without trace.

1403 AV – The Hochmeister of die Kreutzritter leads an expedition to reestablish contact with the Order’s Hospital in Zafara. ‘Their ship, the ’Vigilant’, enters the Forbidden Sea and is never seen again. Also lost with this group are various relics, including the ‘Blood Cross’.

1407 AV – In Vodacce, this year’s Falisci wine is named ‘Amore (Love) de Falisci’. Many connoisseurs say it is the finest vintage ever produced anywhere.

1411 AV – Battle of Tannen / Destruction of die Kreutzritter. The Black Crosses have risen from humble beginnings to become a powerful and very wealthy order of knights. Hierophant Logan III condemns all Kreutzritters for heresy, citing proof of corruption and unholy practices. Imperator Arvid I gathers an army to enforce the Church edict, and destroys the entire Order in battle near their Tannen estate in Eisen. Considerable wealth (over 6 million Vodacce Senators worth) is seized. The only remnant of the Order to survive is ‘The Hospital of the First Witness’ in faraway Zafara.

1412 AV – Death of Cristoforo Scaravese, allegedly from food poisoning.

1413 AV – Death of King David II of Avalon. His sixteen year old son, David III, takes the throne and proves more than equal to the challenge. Within five years he has unified Avalon and conquered part of Montaigne.

1414 AV – Death of Bayazed, Sultan of the Crescent Empire, of a wasting disease. With no strong successors, the Empire goes into decline.

1415 AV – Death of Manuel Chrysoloras. He is most famous for translating ancient manuscripts from Numan to other languages, notably Castillian and Avalon, thereby opening other nations to the Renaissance. Several of his apprentices go on to become famous in their own right, including the reknowned artist-inventor Leonardo Vinchenti.

1422 AV -

First publication of ‘The Encyclopedia of Demonology & Witchcraft’, written by Cardinal Leonardo Vincenzo. Based largely on experience gained battling the Bianco family, this book remains the Vaticine Church’s primary reference work on Legion worship and related subjects.

Death of King David III of Avalon. His ten year old son, David IV takes the throne, but political infighting impedes his ability to reign.

1423 AV – The Vaticine Church sets out to catalog and verify all known Holy Relics. Major problems soon arise. Despite confirming that the Third Prophet’s corpse is wholly intact in his tomb, investigators also locate 107 fingers of the Prophet in Castille alone. Rather than offend influential families, the Church quietly abandons the project.

1425 AV -

Avalon relinquishes the last of its claims to Montaigne lands.

Battle of Lochcarn. Death of Malcolm II (“The Lion”), High King of the Highland Marches. His brother, Kenneth, takes the throne.

Death of Marches High King Kenneth (also “Black Kenneth”); tried, condemned and hung by the Council of the Clans for murdering his brother, King Malcolm II, at the Battle of Lochcarn. This sets an unusual precedent in Highland law, proving that no one is above justice in the land.

Coronation of Marches High King Iain (“The Solemn”), Malcolm II’s son. He rules with wisdom and piety.

1429 AV – Discovery of the island of Marcina, in the Midnight Archipelago, by Castillian explorer Esteban Guzman. He discovers two tribes there – the Erego, who are being invaded by the warlike Urub. Siding with the Erego, Guzman uses his ship’s cannon to repel the invasion. Grateful, the Erego become staunch subjects of Castille.

circa 1432 AV – Hai Ping’s Last Voyage. After six highly successful voyages of discovery, Admiral Hai Ping is ordered to fully explore the ‘Huo Zhi Zou Lon’g’ (Corridors of Flame). He and his fleet never return, obviously being consumed by demons. Further exploration beyond Cathay’s borders cease, seen as too dangerous and of no benefit to the Seven Kingdoms.

1438 AV – Invention of the printing press by Tobias Vogel, an Eisen monk.

1440 AV – Discovery of large gold deposits on Marcina, by a Castillian missionary. Colonists and fortune-seekers are soon flocking to the island. Pirates and privateers from other nations also flock there to prey on the ships bearing wealth back to Castille.

1444 AV – Marriage of Mehmut ben Seliman, of the Ruzgar’Hala tribe, to the eldest daughter of the reigning Sultan. Deeply impressed by the young man’s qualities, the Sultan soon names him as heir. Upon becoming Sultan, Mehmet (and his descendants) prove to be especially able rulers of the Crescent Empire.

circa 1450 AV – The White Silk Fleet. There are rumoured sightings of ghostly ships, manned by skeletal crews, in the Corridors of Flame. They are said to be part of Hai Ping’s lost fleet, cursed for all eternity for mutinying against their admiral. Allegedly, Hai Ping and the loyal portion of his fleet passed through the maze, and sailed eastwards to an unknown fate.

1457 AV – Ordainment of Thomas Cranmer as Bishop of Camlann, in Avalon.

Death of Thomas Cranmer, Bishop of Camlann. He is murdered after refusing to obey certain demands from his erstwhile friend, the Duke of Camlann. Horrified by what has happened, the Duke has Cranmer honoured throughout the land, and successfully campaigns to have him canonized.

1458-1513 AV – GISLA ILSE VON REICHMOND. The daughter of an Eisen diplomat, who accompanies her father in visits to foreign lands. Many times she duels with men who do not realize that she can fight as well as them (if not better). She is still revered by many Eisen women as proof that being a woman does not mean being weak in combat.

circa 1470 AV – Sultan Mahamat II embarks on an ambitious program of redesign and beautification for Iskandar, his capital city. It is to become the most beautiful city in the Crescent Empire and, arguably, the world.

1478 AV – Death of Albert Tuttenberg. A low-ranking guardsman at the Stein, he gives his life to singlehandedly foil a pirate attack. A small memorial is built in his honour.

1479 AV – Completion of Sousdal’s ‘Assumption Cathedral’. Vodacce architect Presclau Fioravanti blends traditional Ussuran styles with classical Vodacce proportions. The end result is acclaimed as an ideal of Ussuran iconic art.

1489 AV – Birth of Mathias Lieber, the founder of the Objectionist Movement.

1497-1558 AV – JORGE ARGENTO. A reknowned Castillian swordsman, who masters every fighting style of his nation known at the time; and who writes several books on swordfighting, the most notewothy being ‘Los Paradjos de Defensa’ (The Paradoxes of Defense). Ferociously patriotic, he denigrates the styles of all other nations and conducts a famous debate via correspondance with Avalon swordsman Geoffrey Donovan. Surprisingly, Argento never duels, claiming that this cheapens the purity of his art. Instead, he concentrates on writing and teaching.

1498 AV – Investigation of the Adventurer’s Society by the Vaticine Church. Questions are raised as to whether the group’s activities are heretical..

1499 AV -

Adventurer’s Society representative Lord Egan, Earl of Carroll, has an audience with Hierophant Joaquin II. The Hieros Council chooses to drop their investigation of the Society, but also decides to never again support or sponsor their activities.

In Vodacce, this year’s Falisci wine is named ‘Ninnananna (Lullaby) de Falisci’. Enemies of the Falisci poison much of this wine at the source, so that drinking it is (at best) risky.

1501 AV – On the Vesten island of Grimstadd, an entire village starves to death after its ‘jarl’ (warlord) takes all of their grain for his own warriors. Frustrated by constant neglect from the jarls (most of whom are only interested in feasting and raiding), Vesten’s underclasses ask the High King to call an althing (council / meeting) specifically for them.

1504 AV – Death of King Juan III (“The Great”) of Castille, from the White Plague. He is succeeded by his sickly heir, Pedro II.

1504-1569 AV – GEOFFREY DONOVAN. Master swordsman, creator of the Donovan swordsman school and author of ‘A Treatise on Proper Defense’. For his entire life, he is a fervent Avalon nationalist who openly despises all of the ‘foreign’ rapier styles. Every foreign swordsmen Donovan ever meets is challenged by him to a duel. After retiring from duelling, he concentrates on teaching and manages to live to a ripe old age.

1506 AV – Death of King Pedro II (“The Infirm”) of Castille. His wife, Queen Beatrix, assumes the throne until the birth of their child.

Death of Queen Beatrix, in childbirth. The son, Prince Ramon V, survives.

Appointment of Don Armando Ramirez de Aldana, the late Queen’s brother, as Regent of Castille until Prince Ramon comes of age.

1508 AV – Ordainment of Mathias Lieber in the Vaticine Church.

1513 AV -

First publication of ‘On The Wholeness Of Scripture’, written by Mathias Lieber. The book contends that Theus is not just found in the world he created, but within the words mankind uses to express his will and truths. The idea is radical, but one that the Church has no problem embracing.

Caligari-Villanova Feud. Vodacce Prince Aldo Caligara rashly brags that any true Delaga descendant cannot be defeated when the family name is at stake. Guiseppi Villanova publicly shames.him into a wager and duel, in order to prove this boast. Aldo is soundly defeated, thereby compelling his family to change name from Caligara to Caligari. Their rightful heritage denied, the Caligaris have borne a deep grudge against the Villanovas ever since.

1514 AV – The Adventurer’s Society assembles an expedition for Cathay. The ship departs from the port of Dionna, against the wishes of the Vaticine Church.

1516 AV -

Carls’ Council. Establishment of a ruling council of Vesten’s carls and thralls, in the city of Kirkjubaejarklauster. It soon becomes a “day-to-day” central government for the Vesten nation.

Imperator Franz II of Eisen reaches an agreement with the Carls’ Council. In exchange for protection against jarl retribution, the Imperator is granted a permanent seat on their council.

Appalled by the sudden turn of events, Vesten’s High King orders the Carls’ Council to disband. However, the Imperator’s troops prove more than a match for those few warriors that can be mustered at short notice. The High King finally concedes the council’s legitimacy, provided they continue to recognize his authority.

Leotano Vinchenti updates the ‘Cuore Governo’ (Heart of the State) building in the Vodacce city of Guarre de Puertofino. His beloved dies during this work, so the main entrance is subsequently marked with a small plaque reading “For my lost Rachele”. The building is still known as ‘The Rachele’, and is said to be a testament to love.

1517 AV -

’Lieber’s List’ / OBJECTIONIST MOVEMENT. Mathias Lieber compiles a list of ninety-five questions concerning practices and doctrines of the Vaticine Church, which he then nails to his Bishop’s front door. Intended to incite debate and eventual reform, these questions are widely distributed within days. Church officials accuse Lieber of heresy.

Return of the Adventurer’s Society’s Cathayan Expedition to Thean waters. Unfortunately, the ship arrives in Porta Spatia at the height of a White Plague outbreak. None of the expedition survive, and everything brought back is lost.

Coronation of King Ramon V (“The Boy King”), at the age of eleven. He is remembered as one of Castille’s wisest and most benevolent rulers.

1518 AV – Official condemnation of Lieber’s teachings, by Hierophant Leto VIII.

Lieber’s Trial. Mathias Lieber is summoned to Vaticine City, to appear before the Diet. A three day debate with Cardinal Thomas Chandler ends with Lieber excommunicated and condemned to death.

Lieber’s Escape. Lieber is rescued from his cell by several knights sent by his friend, Imperator Franz II of Eisen. Lieber.goes into hiding in Eisen and, during the next few months, translates all of the Book of the Prophets from Thean into common Eisen. He also puts his personal theology to paper in a journal later published as ’Lieber’s Book’.

Hierophant Leto VIII learns of Eisen complicity in Lieber’s escape, and demands Lieber’s return. The Imperator refuses and, given Eisen’s military strength, the Hierophant has no choice but to back down.

1521-1589 AV – MARIE-LOUISA DU MONTROSE. Born a peasant, she rises to become one of Montaigne’s most famous (or notorious) courtesans. She marries four times; wins and loses several fortunes; gains the favour of kings and travels much of Theah. Later years are spent on her Charouse estate; where she writes her memoirs, conducts various liaisons, does charitable work and is viewed with horrified fascination by most of the Montaigne court. Of her five children; one enters the priesthood, one becomes a successful pirate, one elopes with a Tibesti and the remaining two marry well.

1525 AV – The Vaticine Church’s Hieros Council officially declares Objectionism to be heretical.

circa 1526 AV – Creation of the Durchsetzungburg swordsman school, by students and faculty of Eisen’s Durchsetzungburg University.

1526 AV – King Ramon V (“The Boy King”) finally receives the title of ‘Rex Castillium’ from the Hieros Council, granting him full authority over his realm.

1527 AV – Henry IV of Camlann (also “The Bloody Boar”) plots the assassination of Richard Lovaine, his foremost rival for the throne of Avalon. This conspiracy is revealed by one Albert MacCormick, who discovers the direct involvement of Lord Devin Johns, a fellow member of the Adventurer’s Society.

Death of Lord Devin Johns, tried and executed for treason.

Support for Lovaine increases dramatically. Open civil war ensues in Avalon.

Death of Albert MacCormick, from injuries sustained in a hunting expedition.

1528 AV – VENDEL. Vesten’s carls change their nation’s name from Vestenmannavnjar to Vendel. The alteration is justified as easier for everyone (especially foreigners) to pronounce, with other names soon being shortened as well. Traditionalists are infuriated, seeing this as dishonouring their ancestors and history. The rift between old and new deepens.

1531 AV – Battle of Bedgrave. Death of Henry IV of Camlann. Despite brilliant tactics, his army is defeated and he is killed by Richard Lovaine..

Coronation of King Richard II of Avalon, previously Richard Lovaine.

1534 AV – Avalon invades Inismore.

1535 AV – Publication of ‘The Graal’, a collection of traditional (and formerly illegal) Avalonian stories.

1541 AV – Avalon crushes the last remnants of Inish resistance, and imposes its rule over the entire island.

1546 AV – Birth of Vincenzo Caligari, future Prince of Vodacce’s Caligari family, and notoriously long-lived artifact collector.

1547 AV -

‘Coup de Jarnac’. Montaigne nobles Franciois de Vivonne and Guy de Jarnac duel over an exchange of insults. Vivonne is the King’s champion and considered the better swordsman, but the more popular Jarnac defeats him with a single swift cut across the back of one knee. This type of attack is immortalized as the ‘coup de Jarnac’.

Death of Eindridi Utterson, High King of the Vestenmannvnjar.

Selection of warrior Ulf Hovsgaard to be the new High King of the Vestenmannvnjar. He is known to openly despise the Vendel.

1548 AV – Unhappy about the defeat of his champion the previous year, King Herold II du Montaigne bans both duelling and trial by combat. Nobles begin hosting illegal duels, which the King chooses to ignore.

1549 AV – First publication of ‘A Treatise on Proper Defense’, written by Geoffrey Donovan.

1552 AV – Cardinal Alfonso Ordunez writes a report on the overcrowded and inhumane state of Castille’s prisons. He proposes that a completely new type of prison be built on an island.

1554 AV – Retirement of master swordsman Geoffrey Donovan from duelling, due mainly to advancing age.

1561 AV – Deeply impressed by Cardinal Ordunez’s ideas, Castille’s King Felipe II (“The Proud”) decrees that a prison be built on La Palabra de Dios, an island just south-east of Castille. This prison will have no guards or walls – prisoners will have all they need to survive, but otherwise be left to their own devices. Cardinal Ordunez reasons " … Perhaps if they are forced to build their own civilization, they will grow to appreciate its blessings … ".

1563 AV -

Completion of the prison on La Palabra de Dios. Within a month of opening, half of the prisoners have been rescued by pirates seeking new recruits. The remaining prisoners form several “tribes” that spend most of the time warring with each other.

The Vaticine Church calls for art that " … instructs and cultivates piety … ". The so-called Baroque style is one result. A number of artists rise to prominence.

1565 AV – Disappearance of the High King. The Vendel are barred from a vital trade port in Montaigne, with several of their ships docked there being seized. The Council and High King Ulf Hovsgaard bitterly argue over a response – they want to use Eisen mercenaries, and he wants to send his finest jarls to destroy that city. The High King’s warriors attack without the council’s permission, only to be wiped out by the Montaigne. Eisen mercenaries hired by the council finally resolve the matter without firing a single shot. The High King disappears from Thingvallvatn shortly afterwards, never to be seen again.

1569 AV – Death of master swordsman Geoffrey Donovan. Unlike a great many duellists, he dies peacefully in bed

1570 AV – The Firework Dam. In Montaigne, work begins on a dam that will provide the King with a new fishing lake. Saboteurs conceal gunpowder in the dam’s foundations, which is detonated during the opening ceremony. The explosion and ensuing mayhem destroys the dam, kills three of the King’s entourage, floods a noble’s entire estate and showers forty tons of debris over several miles in all directions. Francois Goddard du Rachitisse, the saboteurs’ leader and a self-styled ‘Rilasciare’, becomes the most wanted man in Theah.

1571 AV -

Crescent pirates unsuccessfully attack the Bernoulli island of Amozare.

‘La Bucca’. Walls and fortifications are completed around La Palabra de Dios, to prevent further escapes or outside interference. The prison is soon nicknamed ‘La Bucca’, for the smoked pork produced there for export.

1572 AV – Battle of Marcina. On the island of Marcina, Castillian colonists and the hostile Urub tribe wage a week-long battle. The colonists claim a great victory but both sides survive and retain control of their lands, suggesting more of a draw.

Construction of ‘La Murulla de Urub’. Castille builds a chain of fortresses across Marcina, to protect their colonists from Urub attack.

1574 AV – Death of the Sultan of the Crescent Empire, without an heir. The Council of Tribes selects a member of the Kurta-Kir tribe to be the new Sultan.

1582 AV – A Vaticine Church delegation, led by Father Ricardo Mateus, visits Cathay. The group has an audience with the nation’s Celestial Emperor.

1585 AV – The Hierophant employs scholar Cameron MacCormick (great-grandson of Adventurer’s Society member Albert MacCormick) to research and trace the travels of the Prophets.

1587 AV -

For the first time, Vaticine records refer to the Objectionists as being a church in their own right, rather than as heretics.

Coronation of Eisen Imperator Weiss III (also “Weiss The Great”). Escalating Vaticine-Objectionist hostilities have pushed the Iron Nation to the verge of civil war, but Weiss defuses this by decreeing freedom from religious persecution in his realm.

Discoverer’s Society. Whilst examining a battlefield of the Hieros War, Cameron MacCormick uncovers the first known evidence of the ancient Thalusai race. He and five associates decide to pool knowledge and resources to unravel this new mystery.

1589 AV -

Allario Caligari, a founder (and major financial supporter) of the Discoverer’s Society, is caught selling artifacts stolen from Society excavations. He is expelled from the Society which, in consequence, loses funding and many artifacts (“re-claimed” by the Caligari family and its allies). Remaining members of the Society are dogged by ill-fortune hereafter.

Death of Marie-Louisa du Montrose, reknowned Montaigne courtesan. Mourners at her funeral iinclude many people who benefitted from her charity, as well as Montaigne’s King and dignitaries from several other nations.

1590 AV – Publication of ‘La Chateau du Montrose’, the complete memoirs of the late Marie-Louisa du Montrose. The six volume work proves immensely popular. It also triggers several major scandals in Montaigne and elsewhere.

circa 1591 AV – Deacon Johann Adamus von Bell, an Eisen Objectionist obsessed with timepieces, arrives in Cathay. Despite barriers of language and culture, he does manage to study the Cathayan lunar calendar – and even locate a few minor errors.

1593 AV -

Creation of the Valroux style of swordfighting, by Francois Valroux du Martise. The school is proclaimed illegal in Montaigne, but proves to be popular regardless.

Montaigne’s King Leon XII and Eisen Imperator Siegfried II quarrel. Their nations go to war.

Battle of Lierre-Vallee. ‘Die Grenzeruaeber’, one of Eisen’s elite military units, penetrates deep into Montaigne territory and heads for the town of ‘Lierre-Vallee’ (The Valley of Lilies), where King Leon is encamped. The newly-raised 3rd Musketeer Company blocks, attacks and eventually drives off the larger Eisen force.

Montaigne Musketeers. In honour of their valour, King Leon forms the survivors of the 3rd Musketeer Company into the Montaigne Musketeers. They are charged by decree with the protection of the ruler and the people of Montaigne.

A flood of patriotic volunteers quickly swell the Musketeers’ ranks.

Appointment of the original company’s ranking officer, Lieutenant Francois Duarte de Levignac, as the leader of the Musketeers. The King and he work together to set out the new organization’s Code and Oath.

A violent quarrel between Levignac and General Praisse du Rachetisse forces the Musketeers to seek resources and future recruits from outside of the army.

Three masters of the illicit Valroux style (one of them General Praisse du Rachetisse’s nephew!) offer their services in training Musketeer recruits, and are welcomed.

Canonization of Valeria of Marcina. She becomes the Vaticine Church’s patron saint of sugar cane.

1594 AV – Montaigne’s Musketeers march into Charouse for the first time. By the King’s order, their spacious new barracks include an academy for scholarship and legal studies. These buildings are soon widely known as “Montaigne’s Pride”.

1597 AV – Death of Andrew MacCormick (older brother of Cameron), and of Lord Stephen Johns II (of the Adventurer’s Society). Both men perish on Montaigne’s ’L’il du Bete’ (Island of Beasts), in the same hunting accident.

With the death of his brother, Cameron MacCormick inherits the family estates. Family obligations force him to withdraw from the Discoverer’s Society, which is effectively disbanded.

1598 AV -

Explorer’s Society. Cameron MacCormick converts his ancestral home into the headquarters of a new organization, with similar goals to the now-defunct Discoverer’s Society.

Arrest of Jenny Malone, a young prostitute, for the murder of an abusive customer. The court finds her not guilty, making Avalon the first nation of Theah to legally recognize self-defence as a Creator-given right.

Jenny’s Guild. With much popular support, Jenny Malone begins organizing Avalon’s prostitutes into a Guild of their own.

circa 1600 AV – Arrival in Cathay of several astronomers from different parts of Theah, seeking to learn from the Cathayans. There is some minor success, but the newcomers soon come under threat and are forced to flee the country.

Wu Dynasty. These rulers succeed the crumbling Ming dynasty relatively peacefully. They strive to reform Cathay’s massive bureaucracy, and to improve relations with other nations.

1600 AV -

La Bucca’s First Revolt. Death of over nine-tenths of La Bucca’s prisoners, and a third of their guards, die in an unsuccessful uprising. Ordunez’s experiment is labelled a dismal failure, and the prison becomes a dumping ground for those deemed unfit to live amywhere else.

VENDEL LEAGUE. Vendel establishes a guild system which, in effect, becomes their government. Trade flourishes, and the League soon challenges Vodacce’s position as Theah’s leading economic power.

circa 1605 AV – Shipwreck on the island of Alvara, in the Thalusian island group. The sole survivor, a Vodacce known only as Leon, becomes the first human to set foot there. He writes a detailed journal about the island’s numerous hazards, which he leaves behind when escaping the island for an unknown fate.

1605 AV – Battle of the King’s Guards. Ill-feeling between Montaigne’s Lightning Guard and Musketeers erupts into a major public brawl causing numerous injuries, considerable property damage and the deaths of two Musketeers.

Lightning Guard Captain Lucien du Montaigne, convinced that the Musketeers plan to kill him, sends hirelings laden with gunpowder to destroy all of Montaigne’s Pride (along with a sizable piece of Charouse!). Fortunately, this plot is uncovered before any damage can be done, and the hirelings soon confess.

Death of Lucien du Montaigne, former Captain of the Lightning Guard. He is the first member of Montaigne’s Royal Family to be executed in over three centuries.

To prevent future “incidents”, King Leon XIII decrees that the duty of the Musketeers is to protect Montaigne and its people, and the duty of the Lightning Guard is to protect the King.

1606-1658 AV – DON MILLANO RIOS DEL ALDANA. A reknowned Castillian swordsman, who becomes a Master at age 16. He is one of several nobles credited with successfully revitalizing the Aldana swordsman school.

1608 AV – Invention of the microscope, in Vendel.

1610 AV -

“Mapping” of the human body, by Caspar Gallus.

Execution of two nobles for illegal duelling, by order of King Leon XIII du Montaigne – the only Thean monarch ever to do so. The large crowd at the execution very nearly riots in support of the “criminals”.

Birth of Prince Leon XIV, heir to the Montaigne throne.

1613 AV – Knights of the Rose & Cross. Mysteriously distributed pamphlets in Montaigne, Eisen and Castille proclaim the existance of a previously unknown group called " … The Knightly Order of the Rose & Cross … ". The Inquisition is unable to discover anything further, and the Hierophant demands that " … the men of the Rose & Cross make themselves and their intentions plain … ". There is no immediate response.

1614 AV -

Coronation of Richard IV, King of Avalon. He is a staunch supporter of the Vaticine Church.

The Jenny’s Guild receives a Chair in the Vendel League.

Rose & Cross Knights respond to the Hierophant’s demand.

Three men wearing the Seal of the Rose & Cross foil an assassination attempt against a Montaigne cardinal. They flee before anyone can recognize or question them.

Six men wearing the Seal of the Rose & Cross save a Castillian princess from kidnappers. Afterwards, the rescuers escape.

A man wearing the Seal of the Rose & Cross rescues a Vendel merchant from a burning building. He also evades questioning and vanishes.

1615 AV – One hundred and fifty men and women of high station openly identify themselves as members of ‘The Knightly Order of the Rose & Cross’. Included in this number are the Hierophant’s high advisor, the first daughter of the King of Montaigne, the heir-designate of the Vestini family and two senior members of the Adventurer’s Society.

1617 AV – Declaration by the Hierophant that the Knights of the Rose & Cross are " … official servants of the Church, and Makers of Justice …".

1620 AV -

Royal Fraternity for Scientific Minds. Avalon scientist Jeremy Cook is the founder of this organization, dedicated to scientific research.

Birth of Magnus Desaux du Montaigne, founder of the Swordsman’s Guild.

1621 AV – Death of King Alfonso III (“The Prudent”) of Castille. He is succeeded by his son, Salvador I.

1622 AV -

CHURCH OF AVALON. Desperate for a male heir, and after the Vaticine Church rejects his petition for divorce, Richard IV of Avalon passes the ‘Act Of Supremacy’. He thus becomes the head of an independant Avalon Church, which conveniently grants him permission to divorce and remarry.

The Camille Regency. Death of King Leon XIII du Montaigne. For the next six years, until son and heir Prince Leon XIV comes of age, Montaigne will be ruled by Queen Camille du Montaigne and Cardinal Maurice d’Argeneau. It is a time of repressive laws and heavy taxation, with the overturning of many reforms made by previous monarchs.

Admiral Alisse Praisse du Rachetisse is sent to Vraisse, with orders to rid the wealthy Montaigne port of its pirate problem..

Death of Montaigne’s Comte du Bete, devoured by a giant asprey. Ironically, he perishes on L’il du Bete (Island of the Beast), the royal (and highly dangerous) hunting grounds which he is responsible for maintaining. His title remains unused until 1667.

1623 AV – The Lefarge Treason. Sebastien Lefarge, Captain of the Musketeers, attempts a coup against the Montaigne throne. He is arrested by several of his own men, then tried and condemned for treason.

Appointment of Christine Valroux du Martise as the new Captain of Musketeers. She was leader of the group that deposed Lefarge..

1624 AV – Birth of Miles Donovan, son of swordmaster Oolac Donovan, great great grandson of Geoffrey Donovan, and a founder of the Swordsman’s Guild.

1625 AV – In Vodacce, the Falisci family’s grape harvest is atrociously bad this year. As a jest, the resulting “wine” is bottled and sold as ‘Montaigne de Falisci’. Due to subsequent efforts of patriotic Montaigne to acquire and destroy every bottle of this vile stuff, it quickly becomes the rarest (and most valuable!) of all Falisci wines.

1625-1657 AV – GOGIL ANTON ISAAKOVICH. A Ussuran noble, notorious at court for his gambling, carousing and romantic escapades. In one famous duel, he loses his right eye, upon which he tells his opponent, " … If you do that one more time, I’ll never look at you again … ".

1627 AV -

Disappearance of an expedition led by Darius Olaf, one of the Explorer Society’s most experienced members.

Birth of Alcide Mondavi, heir to Vodacce’s Mondavi princedom. His father builds a triumphal arch to celebrate.

1628 AV -

End of ‘The Camille Regency’. Coronation of King Leon XIV du Montaigne, at age eighteen. Embittered by years of mistreatment, he promptly banishes his mother to a remote country estate for the rest of her life. Cardinal d’Argeneau remains at court, but without any influence. Despite hopes that the new King will soon ease the burdens of the common people, this proves not to be the case.

Admiral Alisse Praisse du Rachetisse comes under pressure from his superiors, after five years of pirate-chasing has left him empty-handed and the port of Vraisse no better off. Finally, in desperation, he resorts to an unorthodox use of Porte. A Porte-blooded arrow is fired into the pirate ship, and then a boarding party passed through a portal to it. Something goes horribly wrong. When they appear on the pirate ship, the fifty boarders have become monsters. In the ensuing battle, that ship is destroyed, along with all onboard, but the Montaigne port has been cursed ever since. Mysterious shipwrecks and other strange happenings lead to most sailors, from now on, shunning those waters.

circa 1629 AV – Birth of Wu Shang Fon, future Empress of Cathay.

1629 AV – Castille’s national Ajedrez competition is won, for the first time, by a native of Marcina.

1630 AV – Death of Queen Camille du Montaigne. Her last words are to curse her son, King Leon XIV, vowing that he will never have any sons of his own.

1631 AV -

Marriage of King Leon XIV du Montaigne to Estelle, a commoner. Many nobles oppose the marriage, thus destabilizing his reign.

Lester Peecke, of Avalon, demonstrates his skill with the quarterstaff by soundly defeating three swordsmen at Montaigne’s Royal Court. Because of the ill-feeling this causes, he makes a hurried return to Avalon.

Death of High King William (“The Holy”), the first ruler of the Highland Marches to be openly Objectionist. His son, Robert V, takes the throne.

1632 AV -

Tubingen duelling becomes popular in Eisen. Named for the southern town where it began, the fighting style emphasises withstanding pain, rather than matters of skill.

Birth of Faulk Fischler, the son of an Eisen fisherman – and future Eisenfurst of the Fischler konigreich.

Birth of Vladimir Goroduk Drakov v’Pietrov. His father, Drako Goroduk Stanimirov v’Petrov, Knias of Molhyna, is said by some to be the cruellest ruler in Molhyna’s history.

1634 AV – Creation of the Robertson swordfighting school, by David Robertson. He successfully combines elements of Avalon’s Donovan and Castille’s Torres schools, to create a new fighting style using rapier and cloak.

1636 AV – Death of Imperator Weiss III. His cousin Reifenstahl, a devout and outspoken Vaticine, becomes the new Imperator of Eisen.

War of the Cross. Fearing Reifenstahl’s rule, Objectionists in southern Eisen revolt, only to be quickly defeated by General Stauss’s army.

1637 AV -

Last Battle of The Stein. Well-known leader Stefano Wulf commands a “volunteer” Objectionist army that invades northern Eisen from Vendel. Their surprise capture of the Stein is a major setback for the previously superior Vaticine forces. Two quotes from this battle have been immortalized:

Matthias Stark, commander of the Stein, upon sighting Wulf’s approaching army – " … You sly bastard. You’ve got me, haven’t you? … ".

Stefano Wulf, after witnessing the death of Matthias Stark – " … Poor fool. He let his honour kill him … ".

Death of General Helmut Stauss, one of Eisen’s most experienced and respected military leaders. After redeploying his Vaticine army northwards to face Wulf, Stauss is assassinated at his country estate before battle can be joined. General Dehmer takes command.

Birth of Timur al’Aslan Cihangir, future Sultan of the Crescent Empire. His birth is marked by a she-wolf sneaking into his family’s tent and birthing a cub at the same time. Ancient prophecies about this indicate that Timur will be the greatest ruler in Crescent history.

1638 AV -

General Dehmer proves to be incompetent. His larger army starts blundering all over Eisen, doggedly chasing Objectionists, yet out-maneuvered and out-fought by Wulf at every turn.

Disappearance of the famous Captain Philip Gosse and his ‘Gentlemen Pirates’. They retire from piracy to an uncharted island paradise, somewhere in the western ocean.

Birth of Donello Falisci, heir to Vodacce’s Falisci princedom. In celebration, his proud parents name that year’s wine ‘Festa (Holiday) de Falisci’.

1639 AV -

Death of Cameron MacCormick, founder of both the Discoverer’s Society and the Explorer’s Society.

Foundation of the Alchemist’s Guild, in the Vendel League.

Revival of the Aldana School. Development of an updated form of the Aldana swordfighting school, by Don Millano Rios del Aldana and others. It proves extremely popular, and is credited with revitalizing the previously fading school.

Don Julian Rivera del Rios publicly accuses Don Millano of having stolen his ideas for Aldana. He makes a number of attacks against Don Millano’s holdings, which results in him being outlawed.

Disappearance of Don Julian Rivera del Rios. His accusations about the Aldana family remain a subject for some gossip.

General Wulf’s army finally retreats from the Stein, leaving it in ruins.

Death of Queen Estelle du Montaigne. She has borne her husband five daughters and no sons. The bereaved King has all of the doctors who attended her executed.

Birth of Fauner Konrad Posen, heir to the Posen konigreich.

1640 AV -

First known appearance of the fanatical corsair Kheired-Din.

Marriage of King Leon XIV du Montaigne to Princess Rosa Velasquez de Sandoval of Castille.

1642 AV -

Ordainment of Esteban Verdugo as a priest of the Vaticine Church.

Birth of Valentina Vestini (future wife of Prince Giovanni Villanova of Vodacce).

Death of Lester Peecke. Despite his fame, he refused to teach his quarterstaff fighting methods to others. There are no known students or heirs.

Death of Robert V, High King of the Highland Marches, from the White Plague. He is succeeded by his 11 year old son, James II.

1643 AV -

Birth of Katerina Fischler, younger sister of future Eisenfurst Faulk Fischler and future wife of Gaius Ilya Sladivgorod Nikolovich of Ussura.

The Great Duel. Famed Castillian swordsmen Manuel Salvador de Aldana and Antonio Rodriguez de Gallegos duel, to settle once and for all (for the benefit of their students) which of their respective fighting styles is the superior. They agree to fight until first blood, with ten minute breaks every hour, but end up battling for twenty hours without any blood being drawn. Eventually, a blister on Antonio’s hand bursts and, on that basis, the two elderly masters mutually decide that honour has been satisfied. They end the duel, and retire to town for a drink together.

1644 AV – Swordsman’s Guild. Master swordsmen Magnus Desaux du Montaigne, Linnae Knute and Miles Donovan establish a guild to regulate duelling and oversee the interests of professional swordsmen throughout Theah. Support is gained from the Vendel league and the monarchs of Avalon, Montaigne, Eisen, Castille and the Highland Marches.

When granting his acceptance of the Swordsman’s Guild, King Leon XIV du Montaigne also legalizes the Valroux swordfighting school. Practitioners of the style have grown to include several of his own relatives, as well as much of the Lightning Guard and the Musketeers.

Members of the Torres swordfighting school decide against joining the Swordsman’s Guild. They reconsider soon enough, but it is more than twenty years before the school finally receives Guild sanction.

1645 AV -

Marriage of Gaius Nicholai of Ussura to Chevaliene Rois et Reines of Montaigne.

Appointment of Esteban Verdugo as High Inquisitor and Bishop.

Death of Queen Rosa Velasquez du Montaigne. She has borne King Leon three daughters and no sons. Her sudden death and seemingly rushed burial in Montaigne raises suspicions in Castille. Relations between the two nations sour.

1646 AV – Disappearance of Elaine, an Avalon noblewoman, from her wedding. The great druid, Derwyddon, confronts her at the altar and removes her to a place unknown.

1647 AV – Marriage of King Leon XIV du Montaigne to Morella Caligari, a Fate Witch of Vodacce.

1648 AV -

Kheired-Din makes his first known raid on western Theah. His corsairs attack several coastal towns, taking many citizens as slaves for his galleys.

Birth of Dominique du Montaigne, the ninth (and last) daughter of King Leon XIV.

Disappearance of Silan, the head of Ussura’s Bogatyr school.

circa 1649 AV – Coronation of Wu Shang Fon as Empress of Cathay. She is comparitively young – and only the second woman to ever rule this nation.

1649 AV -

FISCHLER. Discovery of a previously unknown dracheneisen deposit near Eisen’s Sudlache, by fisherman Faulk Fischler. In keeping with tradition, Imperator Reifenstahl makes him an Eisenfurst. Given the strains of the ongoing War of the Cross, taking large areas of land from other previously loyal Eisenfursts to create this new barony alienates the Imperator even further.

Birth of Ilya Sladivgorod Nikolovich, only child of Gaius Nikolai of Ussura and Chevaliene Rois et Reines. It is whispered that Ilya’s parents somehow trick Matushka into a promise that he will be the next Gaius, against all tradition.

circa 1650 AV – The Castillian Navy grows to over three hundred ships. Castille is now Theah’s greatest ever naval power.

1650 AV – Inish Uprising. The Inish revolt against Avalon rule, with backing from Montaigne. Fifteen Avalon lords are assassinated within the first month. Numerous priests and churches are burned.

1651 AV – Return of The O’Bannon II. Inismore’s Fal Stone weeps and sings, marking the return of The O’Bannon. Under his leadership, the war with Avalon shifts even more strongly in Inismore’s favour.

1652 AV -

Death of David Robertson, creator of the Robertson swordfighting school. He is killed in an illegal duel with a Donovan swordsman. His assistant, Jack Webster, takes over leadership of the school but refuses to change its name.

Death of the Grand High Inquisitor, head of the Vaticine Inquisition. Esteban Verdugo is chosen as successor.

Declaration by Grand High Inquisitor Esteban Verdugo that the new scientific principles of Empiricism are heretical.

Birth of Prince Salvador Bejarano de Sandoval. He is second in line to the Castillian throne.

1653 AV -

Giovanni Villanova kills a fellow Swordsman in an illegal duel. The Swordsman’s Guild sends ten ‘Razors’ (Guild enforcers) to deliver justice. None of these master swordsmen are ever seen again. Every year hereafter, Villanova sends a piece of one of them to the Guild, as a reminder.

Appointment of Martin du Huet as ‘Master of the Hunt’, by King Leon XIV. The title includes responsibility for the hunting ground of L’il du Bete.

The Swordsman’s Guild tests and offically sanctions the Andrews School.

1655 AV – A merchant vessel traversing the Forbidden Sea finds a cask floating in mid-ocean. Sealed inside is the logbook of Alessandro de la Hoya, famed captain of the pirate ship ‘Bruja Negro’. Apparently, he had been entrusted with the guardianship of a secret island, only to go mad and poison himself and his entire crew. The location of the hideout and its treasure trove remains a mystery.

1654 AV -

John Harmond, a one-legged swordsman, fights four separate duels in one morning. He wins them all, without getting as much as a scratch.

Creation of the Ambrogia swordsman school by Veronica Ambrogia, a reknowned Vodacce courtesan.

Death of Margaret, Avalon’s “Iron Queen”. She leaves no heir. Civil war ensues.

The Highland Marches declare their independance from Avalon.

1656 AV -

Foundation of Theah’s first newspaper, ‘The Steinhalt Gazette’.

Return of ‘The Graal’. Elaine returns from an unexplained ten year absence, bearing the long-lost Graal. By virtue of this, and through being a previously unknown daughter of Richard IV, she claims the throne of Avalon. With most of Avalon rallying to her side, the civil war is soon over.

Mad Jack O’Bannon calls a cease-fire in Inismore’s war with Avalon.

Death of Tuqo Al’Ramar, High Priest of the Crescent Empire, after a long illness. His decrees had become erratic (and particularly strict) in recent years so, despite the great respect he commanded, there is some relief about his demise. The successor is his protege, Farat Al’Agzlik.

Jasper Peecke, grandson of Lester Peecke, begins teaching the Peecke Quarterstaff School to others.

Selection of Vincent Bernadore to be the new head of the Explorer’s Society, succeeding Edwina Coleson.

Formal betrothal of Katerina Fischler, sister of Eisenfurst Faulk Fischler, to Ilya Sladivgorod Nikolovich, heir to Ussura’s throne. She is 13 years old, he is 7. Terms of the engagement include a trade agreement between the Fischler konigreich and Ussura.

The Adventurer’s Society dispatches an expedition into the Crescent Empire, led by Jack McNitt. His policy of learning and (where possible) adopting local customs earns him considerable respect, and is a major factor in that expedition’s success.

1657 AV -

With the admission of Ravenild Hibbott as irs first female member, ‘The Royal Fraternity for Scientific Minds’ changes name to become ‘The Royal Association for Scientific Minds’.

The Swordsman’s Guild tests and officially sanctions the Robertson School.

Foundation of ‘la Universidad de Arciniega’ in Castille, by wealthy scholar Alvara Arciniega.

1658 AV -

Death of Gaius Nikolai of Ussura and his wife Chevaliene. When skating on the iced-over Ekaterina River one night, both fall through the ice and drown.

The hair of their 9 year old son, Ilya, turns white that same night, marking him as the new Gaius. His upbringing (and the rule of Ussura) are taken over by two of the Knias Douma – Markov v’Novgorov and Drakov v’Pietrov.
Coronation of Elaine, Queen of Avalon. The High Kings of Inismore and the Highland Marches both swear allegiance to her. The three realms unite to become the Triple Kingdom.

Death of Haakon Vils, Vendel’s Guildmaster of Sailors. His successor is Allen Trel, who advocates improved relations with the Vesten.

Death of Don Millano Rios del Aldana, of natural causes. He was the last survivor of the group credited with reviving the Aldana swordsman school. His son, Don Francisco Guzman del Aldana, becomes the new Master of Aldana.

The Swordsman’s Guild tests and officially sanctions the Villanova swordsman school, after swordmaster Nicodemo Villanova successfully (and unexpectedly!) applies for its acceptance. Why his Prince, Giovanni Villanova, tolerates this (and allows Nicodemo to live!) continues to mystify many.

First known appearance of the ‘Crimson Rogers’. Led by the mysterious Captain Reis, their savagery and tendency to leave no survivors make them one of Theah’s most feared pirate groups.

Death of the headmaster of ‘La Ciencia’ (one of Castille’s most prestigious universities), murdered by a petty thug.

1659 AV -

Defeat of Castillian Armada. Commanded by Admiral Hernando Arciniega de Orduno, Castille’s Armada sails forth to conquer Avalon and depose Queen Elaine. Plagued from the start by poor organization, unfavourable weather, piracy, overcrowding, leaky ships, inadequate supplies and sheer bad luck; the fleet is finally defeated by Avalon’s ‘Sea Dogs’. Thirty-six thousand sailors and soldiers, including Hernando Orduno, perish. Orduno’s nephew, Captain Enrique Orduno, leads the Armada’s battered remnants back to Castille. Of the 180 ships that first set sail, only 39 remain.

Retirement of Claude Desaix du Paix, Captain of the Musketeers. His successor is Jean-Marie Rois et Reines, fiance of Anne du Montaigne (King Leon’s sixth daughter).

Lieber’s Cathedral. Located in the city of Kirk, this expensive new project of the Vendel League is expected to take thirty years to complete. It will be the tallest structure ever built by Man, and the crowning glory of the Objectionist movement. Some also see it as Vendel’s supreme gesture of defiance to both the Vaticines and the Vestenmannavnjar.

Selection of Brendon Stafford to be Head of Sea Exploration for the Explorer’s Society. The society has only five ships, but he soon increases this number into a proper fleet.

Selection of Lorraine Weller to head the Avalon branch of the Jenny’s Guild. At age 25, she is the youngest person ever to achieve that status.

Discovery of a new vein of Dracheneisen near the Stein, by soldier Nicholas Trague. In keeping with Eisen tradition, Imperator Reifenstahl confers upon him a new barony. Unusually, the only land Trague wants (and is granted).is all that visible from the top of Die Wachtturm – a comparitively tiny area.

Writing and publication of the first medical description of typhoid fever, in Castille.

1660 AV -

In the aftermath of the Armada disaster, the Orduno family (previously regarded as Castille’s premier sailors) are disgraced and relegated to minor posts.

Appointment of Prince Javier Sandoval, heir to the Castillian throne, as Admiral of the Navy. He works to restore Castille’s naval supremacy through an ambitious program of reform, innovation and expansion.

Re-dedication of ‘Crieux House’, a Chapter house of the Rose & Cross. Huge donations from the Allais family have made it the Order’s biggest and most splendid Chapter House, and the third largest house in all of Theah.

Construction of a pencil factory in Castille. It is Theah’s first known use of the “assembly line” concept.

1661 AV -

Death of King Salvador I of Castille, after a long illness. His elder son, Prince Javier Sandoval, becomes Regent.

Disappearance of Prince Javier from his rooms in Castille’s Royal Palace. Thorough searches of the Palace and the rest of the city give no indication as to what has become of him. Very highly regarded, Javier was expected to take the Castillian throne unopposed.

First publication of ‘The Rational Chemist’, written by Jeremy Cook. The controversial book denounces the old practices of Alchemy and advocates the new science of Empiricism.

Excommunication of Jeremy Cook from the Vaticine Church.

Foundation of the Steil Academy by Oskar Steil, a cousin of Imperator Reifenstahl. His school emphasizes exemplary leadership and inspiring personal loyalty in one’s followers. This is markedly different from the detached (and, perhaps, more ruthless) principles of the well-known Unabwendbar school.

Creation of the Snedig swordsman school by Vendel surgeon Tor Snedig. His new style combines elements of the Leegstra school with detailed anatomical knowledge and the use of a rapier.

At the urging of Lord Ryefellow, Avalon scholars begin studying air pollution and its effect on health.

Denunciation of the humor theory of the human body, by Vendel physician Franz Deleboe.

Death of Franz Deleboe, kidnapped and burned at the stake by persons unknown.

1662 AV -

Invention of the air pump, by Jeremy Cook.

Death of Jeremy Cook, Avalon scientist and inventor, murdered by the Inquisition. His discoveries are preserved by the Invisible College.

Publication of ‘Nouvelles Montaigne’, written by Lucien Sices. A collection of short historical stories set in the arena of a princely court, the book is very popular. It also inspires other “historical novels”.

La Bucca’s Second Revolt / Foundation of ‘The Brotherhood of the Coast’. Prisoners led by one Captain Allende seize control of La Bucca and several ships. They then declare themselves an independant nation, governed only by themselves with no king or nobility. Given the difficulties inherent in retaking the island, plus uncertainties closer to home, Castille chooses to delay any response. The former prison becomes a pirate haven.

The Explorer’s Society, in cooperation with the Adventurer’s Soociety and various of Avalon’s sailors and scholars, seeks to create improved and updated charts for the waters around the Three Kingdoms. One particularly unsettling discovery is made almost immediately – there are several charts for the area around ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’, and a few for parts of its interior from various times, but absolutely none agree on anything. It is almost as if the Dragon’s Teeth …. move around.

A servant accuses Cardinal Erika Durkheim of consorting with demons. She is interrogated by the Inquisition for three days, before being acquitted. Shortly afterwards, the Inquisition publicly apologizes to the Cardinal .

Invention of a device that produces static electricity from a rotating globe of sulphur, by Castillian scholar Maria Alverado.

1663 AV -

Appointment of Pedro de Avila as Castille’s ‘gubenador’ (governor) of Marcina.

Coronation of Timur al’Aslan Cihangir as Sultan of the Crescent Empire.

Retirement of Madame Kaatje Fanse, Vendel’s Guildmistress of Jennys. Her protege, Lorraine Weller, is named successor.

Death of Knias Drakov Goroduk Stanimirov v’Pietrov, the cruellest and evillest man ever to rule Molhyna. He is succeeded by his son Vladimir who, against all odds, seems both sane and compassionate. Vladimir repeals many of his father’s decrees; and disbands the ‘Oprechnina’ (Blackness of Hell), his father’s dreaded guardsmen.

Responsibility for “care” of the young Gaius Illya is now borne solely by Knias Markov v’Novgorov of Rurik.

1664 AV -

Introduction of Vendel’s ‘Guilder’. The new currency proves to be extraordinarily successful.

Resignation of Pedro de Avila, gubenador of Marcina, amid accusations of corruption and treasonous conduct. Appointment of Maria Suarez, of mixed Castillian-Marcinan parentage, as “temporary” gubenador of Marcina.

Retirement of Red, Master of Vendel’s Usury Guild, after nearly sixty years service. As architect of the Guilder’s rise, he is considered most responsible for the Vendel League’s extraordinary economic success. He names Gunther Soloman as his successor.

Completion of ‘Le Chateau du Soleil’ (The Palace of the Sun). Montaigne’s vast new royal palace has lavish accomodation for the Royal Family and several hundred courtiers, a ballroom that can hold four hundred dancers at once, six separate gardens, twenty fountains, three hedge mazes and a wine cellar with over two acres of space. King Leon and his daughters move in immediately. The Old Palace is converted for use by foreign dignitaries.

King Leon XIV openly defies the Vaticine Church by revealing that he is a sorcerer, stating an intention to openly use his magic and by offering refuge in Montaigne to other sorcerers.

Discovery of the ‘Setines’, a previously unknown Syrneth race, in an area around the Castille-Vodacce border. As it turns out, several examples of their skeletons and technology have previously been found but misidentified.

Dedication of ‘Carleon House’, a Chapter house of the Rose & Cross, in Avalon.

Completion of repairs to the Stein. Nicklaus Trague names his new barony ‘Freiburg’ (Free City).

‘The Steinhalt Gazette’ newspaper changes its name to ‘The Freiburg Gazette’.

1665 AV -

Death of Magnus Desaux du Montaigne, in a duel. His seat in the Swordsman’s Guild is imherited by his only son, Frantz Desaux du Montaigne.

The Swordsman’s Guild tests and officially sanctions the Snedig School.

Professor Alain Louvain seeks to impress l’Empereur (and gain funding) by demonstrating his theory of flight, using a large “hot air balloon”. The display ends in disastrous failure. Louvain is imprisoned for " … disappointing His Most Gracious Majesty … ".

Discovery of the island of Kanuba, far to the southwest of Castille, by an Avalon and an Eisen ship sailing together. Contact is made with the natives, who prove to be friendly after some early misunderstandings.

Establishment, on Kanuba, of the Avalon colony of New Fenshire and the Eisen colony of Vogeldorf.

Discovery of the rotation periods of the planets Guer (24 hours, 40 minutes) and Re (9 hours, 56 minutes) by a Vodacce astronomer, identified only as “Antonio” to elude the Inqusition.

Tamara v’Riasanova, Knias of Gallenia, rescues Ilya Sladivgorod Nikolovich, heir to the Ussuran throne, from his captivity and brings him to Pavtlow.

Coronation of Ilya as Gaius of Ussura, upon his sixteenth birthday. Unlike all preceding Gaiuses, the ceremony is not attended by Matushka.

Death of Markov v’Novgorov, Knias of Rurik. He is fed to the same dogs that he used to force the young Gaius to share a kennel with. Markov’s son, Aleksi, becomes the new Knias of Rurik.

For his acts of vengeance against those who had previously wronged him, Gaius Ilya quickly earns the nickname “Grozny” (Terrible).

Marriage of Gaius Ilya Sladivgorod Nikolovich to Katerina Fischler.

Invention of midwifery forceps, in Avalon.

Coronation of Prince Salvador Bejarano de Sandoval, as King Salvador II (“Good King Salvador”) of Castille. This follows months of uncertainty after older brother Prince Javier’s disappearance. The Hieros Council denies the young monarch the title of ‘Rex Castillium’, severely limiting his authority.

‘El Vago’ (The Vagabond). First appearance of this masked swordsman. He rescues Lucinda Garcia, a peasant girl, from being burned at the stake by the Inquisition.

Other exploits by the hero are soon occurring all over Castille.

El Vago joins the King’s advisor, Don Andres Aldana, in foiling an assassination attempt on Good King Salvador.

The Crimson Rogers sink the Avalon ship ‘Highland Piper’ near the Midnight Archipelago. The Piper’s captain fights bravely, earning a new nickname when Reis says of her, " … What a bloody bonnie lass … ". Somehow, “Bloody” Bonnie McGee escapes, and is the only known survivor of an attack by the Rogers.

First issue of ‘The Luthon Weekly’. It is Avalon’s first newspaper.

Imperator Reifenstahl finally replaces General Dehmer. The much wilier General Gietl takes command of Eisen’s Vaticine army.

1666 AV -

Death of Stefano Wulf, Eisen’s Objectionist leader. He is killed by a desperate Vaticine bauer (farmer), whose livestock is being taken by Wulf’s men. Without Wulf’s leadership, Eisen’s north is rapidly conquered by General Gietl’s army. The southern Objectionists are expected to follow.

Invasion of Eisen. Seizing the oppurtunity, both Castille and Montaigne invade Eisen. Divided and decimated by years of strife, Eisen’s reknowned armies cannot stand against them.

Of special note is Colonel Francois Etalon du Toille of Montaigne, who leads his regiment in capturing vast tracts of Eisen land. He thus comes to the favourable attention of both his superiors and his monarch, soon being promoted to General.

Appointment of Linnae Knute as the new head of the Eisenfaust School, by Imperator Reifenstahl, the previous holder of that post. Since Eisenfaust is regarded by many as Eisen’s “national” swordsman school, this causes some dissent since Knute is only Eisen on his mother’s side. However, Reifenstahl has enough authority to enforce his choice.

Treaty of Weissberg. Imperator Reifenstahl signs a treaty surrendering a third of Eisen’s territory to Montaigne and Castille. This marks the official end of both the invasion and the War of the Cross. Virtually all of Eisen is in ruins, with at least half of the original population either dead or having fled elsewhere.

The lands ceded to Castille are, basically, the barony of Erich Sieger – previously a loyal subject of the Imperator. Sieger’s reaction is to eject the Vaticine Church from his realm; then salt the land and destroy all crops, to deny invaders anything of value. Unsurprisingly, the Castillians decide that forcibly seizing the area is not worth the trouble. Sieger retains control of his lands, such as they are.

The lands ceded to Montaigne are auctioned at the royal court, and bought by the Sices and Michel families. Respectively, these purchases form the basis for Montaigne’s new provinces of Sices and Gloyure. The owners are elevated to the nobility.

Montegue’s Stand. An army of Castillian zealots, backed by the Inquisition, marches on Charouse. Intent on the capture or death of King Leon, they evade most of Montaigne’s army and soon face the gates of Chateau du Soleil. There, a single infantry company led by one Corporal Montegue uses unorthodox tactics to defeat these invaders.

Promotion of Corporal Montegue to High General of Montaigne, at King Leon’s insistence.

Marriage of High General Montegue to the King’s youngest daughter, Dominique.

King Leon XIV renews his defiance of the Vaticine Church. Several of Montaigne’s cathedrals are demolished or forcibly converted to other uses.

Death of the Hierophant. In an attempt to repair relations with Montaigne, the earthly leader of the Vaticine Church visits Charouse. Whilst there, he (allegedly) falls victim to the White Plague.

Disappearance of Cardinal d’Argeneau and all nine of Montaigne’s archbishops, effectively crippling the Vaticine Church’s leadership. The Hieros Council now cannot appoint new Cardinals or even select a new Hierophant for at least three years. Furthermore, Church orders such as the Inquisition are now freed of all outside restraint.

Self-proclamation of King Leon XIV du Montaigne as ’l’Empereur’ (Imperator), a title previously bestowed only by Hierophants, and unused since the days of the Holy Republic. He now wears Cardinal d’Argeneau’s ring.

Cardinal Erika Durkheim, originally sent to Montaigne to assist Cardinal d’Argeneau, becomes de facto head of the Church in Montaigne. Given the attitude of the King (and nobility), the Vaticine Church’s standing in Montaigne has never been lower.

Disappearance of Jasper Peecke, master of the Peecke Quarterstaff School. Teaching of his fighting style is left up to his students.

Discovery of the light spectrum by Castillian scientist Alvara Arciniega, using prisms of glass. Inquisitors attempt to murder him at his home, but he kills three of them and then escapes.

1667 AV -

Death of Eisen’s Imperator. Despondent about all that has happened to his nation, Imperator Reifenstahl commits suicide in his palace near Gottkirchen.

Joseph Volkner, Reifenstahl’s personal butler, inherits the Imperator’s Chair in the Vendel League. This surprise bequeathment in the Imperator’s will, written just before his death, makes Volkner one of the richest men in the known world.

Death of Eisenfurst Stefan Heilgrund II, along with his wife. Reifenstahl’s hosts when he hung himself, they also commit suicide rather than live with his blood on their hands. Their only son, Stefan Gregor Heilgrund III, becomes Heilgrund’s new Eisenfurst.

Secundus 18, 1667
An accounting of events written by the Count Della Montagna

Secundus 18, 1667

It began at sea. After Gallia and I attended to my affairs in Avalon, we sailed for my Villa in Montaigne aboard the merchant ship the Cresting Wave. The ship belonged to the merchant company Savall&Co., which was formerly Dumas & Verne before Mortimer Savall assumed the company.

Besides Gallia and myself there were three other passengers aboard her of note: Isabelle, An educated Vodacce woman whom I suspect is an explorer; Royston, an Avalonian drunkard whose lips were never far from the brim of his cup; and Roderick, a man whose appearance bespoke that of a brigand.

It was not long into this voyage that we found ourselves beset by pirates. The irony was not lost upon me. However, it was no sea dog or hanged man whose shadow darkened our bow, but the Crimson Roger itself, the flag ship of that abyssal Captain Reis.

The fighting was brutal, and terrible, and near instantaneous. Gallia managed to eliminate several of our enemy crew before being knocked unconscious, I did my best, but as I made my way to Gallia’s rescue I was taken myself.

I awoke manacled, and tied with Gallia, Roderick, Isabelle, and Royston to the mast of the Cresting Wave. The manacles did not prove difficult for me, but I felt it best to continue the facade of helplessness until the opportune time. The daunting Captain Reis stood at the bow with a small puzzle box as we were given his customary offer: We had proven ourselves worthy by killing members of his crew, we could afford ourselves of their places, or perish. Roderick signed the leather contract in blood, a thing I warned him was foolishness. Fortunately, before their torturer could apply himself to his trade and demonstrate his joy at finding one who had left their ranks before, the Crimson Roger found itself under attack by no other than the Hanged Man.

To say I was surprised would be to understate the truth of my situation. Allende has always shown himself to be a man of valor, education, and honor. That he should attack a fellow member of the pirate nation, and the supposedly immortal Captain Reis no less, seemed ignorant and haughty at its best. He was not alone. The leader of the Sea Dogs and his flagship were also in the attack, and appeared from behind us and the Crimson Roger by means of the seventh sea. Their use of it seemed orchestrated, rather than the haphazard nature of the seventh sea that I am used to hearing tell of. I shall investigate further when more time is available to me.

We took our opportunity as it presented itself to free ourselves of our bonds while our captors were distracted. The canon fire provided ample cover, and a plan was hatched. I disguised myself as their first mate, and ordered them aboard the Crimson Roger. They left after some small hesitation, but in the end the Cresting Wave came under our command. We were boarded by the crew of the Hanging Man, who were kind enough to send us on our way after they realized the men of the Crimson Roger were no longer on board.

As we sailed away we watched from the deck as Bloody Bonnie McGee cut her way through the crew of the Crimson Roger, until she came to blows with Reis himself. He fell into the water, landing upon the charter born upon a piece of flesh that I had tossed overboard, and vanished. Bloody Bonnie McGee vanished also, and then we were vanished in the mists of the seventh sea.

When the mists parted we found ourselves on the shores of Inismore. Roderick at the helm docked us at the small city immediately before us. We paid for the docking of the ship, and then sought food and shelter.

That I am now in possession of a lost ship of my enemies is a unique position, but that I am in possession of Reis’ puzzle box is of more importance. We were directed to an established dining house called Fiddler’s Green. There we ate a hearty meal in as much privacy as could be provided. When we were finished, we retired to an inn called the O’Bannon’s.

Isabelle managed to open the puzzle box from the Crimson Roger. Within was a map, leading to the legendary Isle of Cabora. This is no doubt of great importance to the Roger, and to Reis himself who is no doubt clawing his way back from the Abyss even as I write these words. When word came to us that the Roger had captured Allende and his crew, I sent Roderick, who in turn sent his trained monkey, to tell the crew that I would be willing to return what they sought, in exchange for Allende, and his crew.

Though he bears no importance to my plans, I would not see a good man such as Allende bound to such an abyssal fate as the Crimson Roger. If I can, I intend to ransom him with the puzzle box, though I have removed what laid inside. We shall see what the sunrise brings.

- M


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