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Timeline of the Dark Golden Age

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mikeb's picture

Things that happened before the Collapse are dated as BC while things that came after are AC.


1200 BC Many early attempts on the part of the School of Metamorphosis to create useful slave races did not end well.  Early forms included Mongrelmen as well as Lycanthropes, unable to control transitions between animalistic and humanoid forms.  It is not known what became of these early forms, but rumors persist whenever monsters stalk the night.
1100 BC The first magical beast is created by the School of Metamorphosis.  The School of Dominion develops arcane methods to control the newly-created beasts.
1000 BC The first Beastfolk are created. Their creators are surprised to discover that they are able to successfully breed.  They become a permanent slave-class used for labor, military force, service and sport.
800 BC The Egalit named Dun'or is the first Beastfolk to have earned his freedom from a human master through legal maneuvers. He was assassinated months later.
100 BC The School of Dominion takes over the Chancellory of the Arcane Schools of Sascria.
80 BC The School of Dominion orchestrates a purge of religious practices throughout and beyond Sascria.
0 AC The Collapse happens. All magic above ground ceases functioning including both temporary and permanent effects. Beastfolk and magical beasts run free as the magics controlling them fail. The Dean of the School of Eternity takes over the Chancellory of the Arcane Schools in the chaos.
1 AC A handful of wizards and sorcerers throughout Gondal regain their ability to cast spells. Investigations begin to identify why and how. The Red Currant Syndicate is formed.
2 AC Willem Analore discovers a means to do magic that requires a personal sacrifice. Wizards in the School of Eternity determine that they can power their magic via the souls of the living.
3 AC While previously unknown, divine magic begins taking form throughout Gondal. The source of which is unknown.



Just out of curiosity how

Just out of curiosity how exactly do magical items fit into all this if magic ceases to function?  The especially comes into question when dealing with artifacts which I would assume would be quite old.

Oh, oh, it's magic!

The basic idea is that whatever caused magic to cease functioning, it didn't affect magical items that were stored underground. Most magical items and mechanisms on the surface ceased to function. However, there are still plenty of options for storeholds of magical items that would have then become treasure troves. Tombs, and storage facilities, would both likely be subterranean and those magical items left or stored there would continue to function. Leaving magical items with a buried body could be considered as likely as a watch, or cuff links, on the body of a deceased person. Additionally, particularly strong enchantments may continue to function, at least in some areas. Examples would be the sascrian roadway. It's above-ground, but every now and then, you'll find a spot that still works as designed. About 5-20 feet worth over five miles of road. And actually, that might be an interesting angle to study in trying to determine what exactly is causing the failure of magic.

Additionally, in the city state of Brug, it is still possible to activate two of the seven protective magical shields that encircle the city, although the cost in life is prohibitive. 

Artifacts are generally items with a purpose of some sort. Many artifacts can take actions as well, allowing them to move themselves into a sheltered area before magic gave way. Depending on the artifact, it may even be powerful enough to have withstood the effects of the collapse. Those artifacts with a purpose (which should be most of them) and with any way to sense that the collapse was coming, should have moved themselves underground.

This brings up another interesting thought. It is possible that there are subterranean societies who were driven underground by the Magocracy, and who have yet to realize that anything has changed on the surface. I imagine it would be very tempting for them to take revenge.

I like that idea, about folks

I like that idea, about folks coming up from the debts to take revenge on Sascria; dark-adapted beastfolk and so on.  Definitely something to think about.

Do I smell a "revenge of the

Do I smell a "revenge of the mole people" theme coming on?

mikeb's picture

Definitely not mole people.

Definitely not mole people. :)

I can bend a little, I would

I can bend a little, I would also accept rat people or cockroach people. XD

Rat-people we already have,

Rat-people we already have, and I'd assume they figure prominently down there: Muroideans!

Better mongrelmen?

I don't really see a need for a Salvatore'ish drow underworld. Instead, what I imagine is mongrelmen slowly slinking away underground along a... hrrmmm.. ratling railroad as it were. Once there, over generations, they've mutated into a handful of specific races. So you've got ratlings, mongrelmen, and additional subraces. Ever wonder why the ratling population in Sascria is undeterred by the rat tail bounties? Because it's constantly being resupplied by the underground. No one knows how valiant the ratlings really are!

No God please no more

No God please no more Underdark.  This should be as little like the Underdark as possible.  Noble savages living amongst magical ruins, having fought a resistance/insurgency against the Schools of Magic for generations, until suddenly the Collapse happens, and they are now a force to be reckoned with.

I also like the mongrelmen idea - better name, better work-up, etc.  Maybe they've developed a semi-utopian communitarian society beneath the ground, and they've been absorbing cast-offs and outsiders for years - people fleeing Witch Hunters and worse, wanted criminals, etc. Maybe in the olden days when there was a mal-formed infant left for the gods, they secretly came and took them, like misshapen Changelings.

I also like the Jeckyll/Hyde aspect of utopian societies - the irony of a society built beneath the literal surface which is not at all what it seems on the metaphorical surface, you know?  The Glorious Society of Ruined Ones, built to be egalitarian and to resist the Sascrian magocracy, seemingly open to all comers, but secretly perhaps just as sinister as the Schools of Magic.  A magically-augmented proletariat.

I'm blathering - but yeah, the world does not need one more Underdark ripoff.

Oh come now what did

Oh come now what did underdark ever do to you? XD

Too much of a gimme if

Too much of a gimme if they're literally mole people, but, in brief, yes. :)