I originally wrote this as a history of the Six Lands, but after a while thought that it was really terrible in that function and went back to rewrite it. History is one of those aspects of worldbuilding in general and for campaign settings specifically that I find highly overrated, or at least greatly overemphasized. What it is good for is to help establishing an internal logic for a world and serve as a useful reference frame when placing important locations and establishing a plausible pace for gradual changes that have happened in the world. It helps when you want to have a consistent order of the ruins of different civilizations that have been build on top of another, so that players can actually try to make sense of their discoveries.
The following is all stuff that players really don’t need to know, and probably even shouldn’t know. It’s stuff that I won’t be putting into any campaign guide or setting introduction. The purpose of this timeline is to provide me with some reference information on when a site would have been originally build, by who, and for what purpose, and what the overall situation was around it while it decayed up to the present day. This is meant as a gamemaster tool to assist with creating specific dungeons for actual adventures. I thought it might be interesting to some people to see how I am doing this, and maybe get ideas for how they could do a similar thing for their own campaigns.
A General Timeline of the Shattered Empire
- 1: The city states of Aktaras are united under the rule of the Emperor.
- 59: The Emperor’s White Host conquers the woodlands of Western Miskoiya, north of the Red Sea.
- 112: The Golden Host conquers the plains of Vaikar and their vast grain fields on the river Hakemes, establishing the Aktarans as a true Empire.
- 157: The Iron Host drives the asura from the eastern reaches of the Miskoiya woodlands, but never fully subjugates the small clans of Miskovai barbarians.
- 204: The Green Host defeats the giants of the Korenya highlands and drives them higher into the mountains. The Empire enslaves large numbers of Kozai barbarians to mine silver and iron for the imperial hosts, both in Korenya and Aktaras.
- 238: The White Host crosses the Mistwoods from western Miskoiya into Venlat to begin the conquest of the Kuri clans, but their progress always remains slow.
- 281: The Black Host is established in the south of the Vaikar plains to prepare for an invasion and conquest of the forests of Mangal.
- 321: The General of the Iron Host kills the Emperor in the imperial capital and declares himself to be the new emperor. The other five generals unite to turn against him, beginning the Wars of the Successors.
- 320: After a long siege, the Golden Host of Vaikar, the Red Host of Aktaras, and the Green Host of Korenya completely destroy the imperial capital with terrible sorcery, turning it into the Gray City. The Iron General is killed and the Golden General declares himself the rightful successor of the Emperor. The Red General, Green General, and Black General refuse to accept him as their new ruler and recall their hosts to their provinces to create their own kingdoms.
- 335: Even though the Golden Host is fighting a war against the other remnants of the Empire on three sides, it manages to destroy the small Black Host, that never managed to gain control over significant portions of Mangal.
- 351: Without any support from the Empire, the White Host is driven out of the southern regions of Venlant that it had manged to conquer by an army of Kuri warriors led by the newly appeared immortal Witch Queen Meiv of Halva, and is driven back towards the Mistwood at the norther edge of Miskoiya. Some of the people people from the White Hosts main stronghold in Elwai flee east instead and become the Kaska of the Witchfens.
- 362: After fighting both the Red Host of Aktaras and the Green Host of Korenya for over 40 years, the Gold Host is finally destroyed and the False Emperor killed. The two victorious armies continue to fight each other over the control of the Vaikar plains.
- 429: In Miskoiya, the White Host is annihilated in the Mistwood by another Kuri army led by Meiv, and reminding imperial soldiers flee south to Aktaras to join the Red Host, completely abandoning western Miskoiya.
- 430: Taygur nomads from the east begin migrating into the plains of Vaikar, and take control over most of the land south of the Hakemes, which have been almost entirely depopulated by the continuous fighting between the Red Host and the Green Host.
- 472: The large port cities of Aktaras rise up in rebellion against the General of the Red Host and overthrow him, reverting back to independent city states and signifying the final end of the Shattered Empire. One of the generals most trusted lieutenants claims to be his rightful successor, but only claims the title of King of Ateia. Taygur clans increasingly cross the Hakemes with their herds and slowly start to establish settlements of their own in the empty ruins of imperial farming towns.
- 521: What has remained of the Green Host in Korenya by this point is destroyed by hordes of Kozai barbarians who establish their own small tribal kingdoms in the highlands.
- 683: The present year.
This is about as much detail as I think I want to put into this aspect of the setting. It provides some decent guidance for how old the ruins that scatter the various regions of the Shattered Empire are, who build them, what their original purpose might have been, and who might have used them later.