The Three Ages of the First Men
First Age: The Vale of Youth (VA)
Notes for Historians: The First Age of the First Men is numbered from the year the Chosen of the Most High first beheld the Vale of Youth. The Chosen were called by the Most High out of their godless lives of decadence, and journeyed north from Jangela through desert and swamp to gather in the Vale of Youth. It is not known how long this journey took, nor how many people made the journey, as no records are extant from this pre-First Age period. This is a matter of great frustration to historians, who are offered only the merest of glimpses of the age before Vale of Youth.
The First Age is, by contrast, well recorded. All but the most dedicated historian, however, will find the level of detail overwhelming. Much store was placed in ancestry. The dates of birth, of receiving the Fire and of translation are carefully recorded, as well as full geneaologies. Much less attention is given to what would now be considered important events, for as the civilisation developed it became more insular and paid little attention to happenings in the wider world. The dates and details surrounding the end of the Age come from writings of Falthans, and are less reliable than the earlier records.
b. = born
d. = died
tr. = translated
VA 1: The Chosen are gifted the Vale of Youth by the Most High. Dona Mihst is established. The Fire falls.
VA 5: The four Great Houses are established. Written records begin with Rizala of the House of Wenta (tr. VA 328), father of historians.
VA 12: The cornerstone of the Hall of Lore laid in a lavish ceremony. In the next three years, three further building projects are begun.
VA 115: The Tower of Worship, last of the four great buildings, is topped off.
VA 289: The Hall of Lore is severely damaged by fire. Histories of the time are dominated by this incident, which had serious theological ramifications for the First Men.
VA 338 – VA 340: Refugees from Jangela, the original home of the Chosen, arrive at Dona Mihst. They tell stories of famine and corruption in the south, and the rise of a great evil. The refugees are integrated into the Vale of the Chosen.
VA 502: The lovers Mankha and Rikishia are banished from The Vale of Youth. After many complaints the Council of Leaders rescind their banishment order, but the pair cannot be found.
VA 516: The Book of Losian is begun, recording the names of all First Men who refuse the Fire of Life. The book is lost at the end of the Age.
VA 703 – VA 751: The ‘evangelism’ years. An attempt was made to spread knowledge of the Most High to surrounding lands, under the leadership of Argelion of Dona Mihst. Ended when Council of Leaders declared Evangelism a heresy.
VA 752: The evangelism coterie leave Dona Mihst and settle in the far south of the Vale, founding the city of Belare. A law is passed in Dona Mihst forbidding the coterie access to the Square of the Fountain.
VA 807: Nustazo of the House of Landam (VA 89 – tr. VA 807), the longest-lived of the First Men, is translated.
VA 975: Dona Mihst renamed Dunamis, the city of power. The name is used in official documents but is never widely favoured.
VA 1029: Weid of the House of Wenta (VA 992 – GA 17), is elevated to the ranks of dominie (scholar-teacher).
VA 1030: Saurga son of Sunatha (VA 1030 – GA 12), father of Kannwar, born in Dona Mihst.
VA 1038: Mayalla daughter of Dreyalla (VA 1038 – GA 27), mother of Kannwar, born in the southern Vale.
VA 1082: Saurga and Mayalla married in a ceremony at the Square of the Fountain. Saurga is passed over for leadership of the Kerd Clan.
VA 1088: Kannwar son of Saurga born in Dona Mihst.
VA 1091: Kannwar receives the Fire of Life, the youngest ever to do so.
VA 1118: Saurga son of Sunatha again passed over for leadership of the Kerd Clan. Kannwar leaves the Vale of Youth after striking Garadh son of Raedh (VY 1071 – GA 30) and wanders the northern world.
VA 1121: Kannwar returns to Dona Mihst, leading a rebellion against the Council of Leaders. He drinks from the prohibited Fountain, and is defeated by the Most High. The Jugom Ark is taken by the exiled First Men, who leave Dona Mihst. The Vale of Youth is destroyed in a cataclysmic flood, along with Kannwar’s supporters, and the First Age ends.
Second Age: The Golden Age (GA)
Notes for Historians: This period was not, of course, originally known as the Golden Age. The refugees from the Vale of Youth were unwilling to acknowledge their exile, and continued to count the years from the founding of the Vale. It was not until the last of the Chosen died in exile that the years began to be numbered from the rebellion of Kannwar, the Destroyer. There was some suggestion that the Age be measured from the date of Astor’s death, the last of the Chosen, but this was rejected.
The Rehtal clan, who remain in the wreck of the Vale of Youth, do not adopt a new numbering, choosing instead to regard the events surrounding Kannwar as a purification of their number. Thus they continue to count the years from the founding of the Vale, and for them the world is still in its First Years.
GA 1: The Most High judges and exiles the First Men. The Migration of the First Men begins: at least 50,000 leave as the land is inundated by the sea.
GA 1 – 3: The First Men encounter the deep desert. A thousand decide to return to Dhauria; nothing is heard from them again. Starvation and sunstroke kill nearly 20,000 people. Early historians attributed the high mortality to loss of hope, but recent scholars have discarded this theory.
GA 4 – 11: The First Men recover in the upper Aleinus valley, and are joined by many Wodrani from the surrounding hills.
GA 12: The First Men cross the Great Plains, and are joined by over 20,000 people. Many of the First Men wished to settle, but the leaders pressed on eastwards, losing 10,000 people in the swamps of the Maremma.
GA 13: Furist and Raupa fight over the Jugom Ark. Bewray is given stewardship of the Arrow and travels south with Furist and a quarter of the First Men. 14,000 people remain behind to found the settlement of Instruere.
GA 14: Racked by divisions, Raupa’s northern group divides in half at the confluence of the Grand and Petite Branca rivers. Raupa travels east, while the other group, led by Reika, head west. Two-thirds of ths group are lost in Whitefang Pass.
GA 15: Raupa and his loyal followers found the country of Sna Vaztha.
GA 15: Reika halts to recover on the wide plains of Treika, and decides to settle there.
GA 15 – 19: Bewray founds Nemohaim. Furist tries to reclaim the Jugom Ark from Bewray, who hides it from him. After nearly five years trying to learn of it, Furist leaves with his clans.
GA 19: Gold is discovered in Tabul, and settlement begins.
GA 20: Furist and his loyal followers found the country of Sarista.
GA 30: Five thousand men, a combination of First Men and bandits from Bannire, head west from Treika. Many are lost in conflicts with the Widuz.
GA 34: The remnants of the northern group arrive at the western coast and found the city of Astora. It is built in memorial of Astor, the last of the First Men, who dies within sight of the coast and is buried on a small hill in an inland vale.
GA 41: First Men begin to settle in Deruys, and conflict begins with the Children of the Mist.
GA 85: First Widuz War. The Plains of Treika are ‘cleansed’ of Widuz, who are driven into the forests of Clovenhill and of Remparer Mountains.
GA 101: Second Widuz War. Laverock is sacked and the Widuz reclaim Treika, driving the First Men into Bannire.
GA 107: Third Widuz War. The First Men liberate the eastern Treikan Plains; an uneasy truce exists for less than a year.
GA 108 – GA 110: Fourth Widuz War. The plains-dwelling Widuz are massacred in a violation of the truce, and a bitter border exchange escalates into a war involving the Widuz on two fronts (Treika and Plonya).
GA 117: Last Widuz War. The Widuz are prusued into the fastness of Cloventop.
c. GA 120: First raids on coastal North March villages from Halvoya to the north. The raids continue intermittently for the next three hundred years.
c. GA 150: The Robbers of the Ramparts begin to harrass travellers along the Westway between Deuverre and Treika.
GA 306 – GA 315: Famine strikes southern Faltha, devastating descendants of the First Men and losian (people living in Faltha other than the First Men) alike. The Jardines, the vast croplands of Vertensia, are destroyed and gradually covered by desert.
GA 402: The Halvoyans of Issanes invade Firanes, defeating the hastily-assembled Firanese army and annexing the North March. King Hasselen II extends his dominion south to the province of Innerlie within a decade, and raises a throne at Oln.
GA 523: Voteka the Cold ascends the Halvoyan throne. The Halvoyan control of Firanes is at its greatest extent. He imposes harsh conditions and resistance begins immediately.
GA 549: Voteka is slain in the Battle of Vapnatak, but Halvoya is victorious. The remaining Firanese hide in the Great North Woods.
GA 566: King Niwun, the last of the Halvoyan kings, is driven out of Firanes after being defeated in the Battle of Iskelsee.
GA 576 (FY 1697): The Destroyer attacks Dhauria with his elite troops. There is a battle to the north of Dona Mihst, and the Destroyer is driven back. Details are unclear, and it is possible that this incident may be apocryphal or may not have involved the Destroyer.
GA 580 (FY 1701): First Dhaurian delegation sent to Bhrudwo. It is not heard from again.
GA 593 (FY 1714): Second Dhaurian delegation sent to Bhrudwo. Two members return a year later; their reports have never been released.
GA 595 (FY 1716): First Dhaurian spy sent to Andratan; others follow at irregular intervals.
GA 688: Northern Faltha suffers a pox epidemic which particularly afflicts losian. The Dubhnan, Fodhram, Fenni, Halvoyans and Scymrians are the most seriously affected. After the epidemic, the Halvoyans are no longer a threat to Firanes.
GA 906 (FY 2027): Bhrudwan spy discovered living in southern Dhauria. An official document offers evidence that there may have been other spies.
GA 953: A Bhrudwan army advances into Faltha through The Gap, headed by a general who claims to be the Destroyer. The army meets little resistance until the Battle of Ehrenmal, in which the hastily-assembled armies of Favony, Asgowan and Deuverre are decimated.
GA 954: The Destroyer defeats the Southern Alliance on the Field of Straux and captures Instruere. He sets up his ‘Western Kingdom’ and demands tribute from all of Faltha. Any reference to the First Men or the Most High is outlawed, punishable by death. The period between GA 954 and GA 986 is known as the Years of Misery.
GA 958 - GA 986: Much of the land and riches of Faltha is divided up amongst the Bhrudwan army, who settle throughout the West. During this period they are drawn into many skirmishes with losian, but there is little resistance from the First Men.
GA 986: Conal Greatheart and the Knights of Fealty battle the Destroyer and his Lords of Fear. The Destroyer is defeated in single combat and flees Instruere. The Golden Age ends.
Third Age: The New Age (NA)
Notes for Historians: Identifying the beginning of this Age continues to be a matter of the keenest dispute. Some scholars fix the end of the Golden Age at the moment the Destroyer conquered Faltha. However, those historians enamoured of Conal Greatheart’s victory eventually identified the beginning of the New Age with this latter date. It seems to many that this choice, extending the Golden Age into the Years of Misery, may have been motivated by the prophecy of Malthan of Plonya predicting ‘a thousand years of peace’ after the fall of the Vale.
NA 1: Conal Greatheart becomes Mayor of Instruere, turning down the kingship of Straux.
NA 1 – c. NA 30: It takes three decades for the Bhrudwan settlers to be driven out of Faltha. In some countries, particularly Tabul, Sarista and Vertensia in the south, little or no attempt is made to displace them, though their possessions are confiscated.
NA 7: Conal Greatheart resigns as Mayor of Instruere and returns to the town of Fealty.
NA 35: The Convocation of Regents is convened in Instruere. It is the only time the monarchs of the Sixteen Kingdoms ever meet in one place. After three months no agreement about the governance of Faltha is reached. Bitter feuds develop between kings of northern and southern Faltha. On their return home, the kings of Asgowan and Piskasia discover they have been dethroned.
NA 71: Death of Conal Greatheart. A year of mourning is declared in Straux.
NA 115: The Watchers, a secret organisation dedicated to protecting Faltha from Bhrudwan invasion, is established and quickly spreads throughout eastern Faltha.
NA 150: The Dubhnan, a small tribe in northern Treika whom it was believed had died out, begin to attack neighbouring towns and villages. King Fuseln of Treika takes a force north and is badly defeated.
NA 173: Ambassadors from each of the Sixteen Kingdoms gather in Instruere, forming the Council of Faltha. The Council gradually extends economic and political control over Faltha.
NA 242 – NA 258: The great eruptions of Venenum Spire and Porveiir devastate Haurn and Favony respectively. Thousands are killed, crops are ruined and many people are made homeless as the two volcanoes cover the land with ash and poisonous fumes. The lessening of the two kingdoms’ power can be dated from this time.
NA 667: Futhork I, the great scholar-king of Firanes, ascends the throne in Rammr.
NA 682: King Futhork of Firanes negotiates a truce with the raiders of Scymria, the last of his neighbours to resist his lordship.
NA 797: Men from Mjolkbridge invade Windrise and set fire to Tilthan Vale.
c. NA 900: Nemohaim takes possession of Pei-ra, renaming it Astraea.
NA 912: Nemohaimian civil war begins.
NA 914: Pei-ran army invades Nemohaim. Battle of Vassilian, both armies broken.
NA 968: The Lankangas, a confederation of ten cities, demands autonomy from Firanes.
NA 977: The black fly plague strikes northern Faltha in a warm spring, claiming thousands of victims.
NA 981: Mjolkbridge and Windrise contend over access through Windwhistle Gap to the Plains of Pollerne. The Battle of Hustad ends in a victory for Mjolkbridge.
NA 999: Treaty of Ulvikslot signed between Firanes and the Lankangas, granting the city-states limited autonomy.
NA 1006: Sna Vaztha invades Haurn, sacking Hauthra and Tor Hailan after a siege.
NA 1009: A large army, gathered from Favony, Deuverre and Asgowan, resists the invasion of Asgowan by Sna Vaztha. The Battle of the Branca is a stalemate, and the Sna Vazthan forces withdraw. The Windrise Manor burns down, with over fifty people killed.
NA 1016: The Black Winter of the North March. Spring finally arrives three months late. King Kolkhis IV of Sna Vaztha dies, replaced by his daughter Ylisane.
NA 1022: The Lankangas officially secedes from Firanes. King Prosala I assembles an army and cuts the Lankangas off from the outside world.
NA 1027 (FY 3134): Dhaurian spy sent to Andratan.
NA 1028: Mahnum of Loulea sent to Bhrudwo to spy for the King of Firanes. Phemanderac of Dhauria is exiled and leaves to search for the Right Hand.
NA 1029: Aldha of Loulea, the oldest man in the Vale, dies at the age of 103.
NA 1030: King Prosala I of Firanes dies, and Wisula accedes as regent. The events reported in Across the Face of the World begin.