A reckoning of events

0 (1050 CR)    Present

17  (1033 CR)   Battle of Ashton.  Forces of Morbane, Freehaven, Veluna, and Genwyn repel a second effort by Mhara Khur to invade the City States.  This time the princes are better prepared and work together more readily.  The city of Ashton is devastated, however.

33  (1017 CR)   Battle of the Marsh.  United Draz tribes under the Warlord attempt to drive into Skandik lands through the Eskwood.  Allied forces of Elves, Dwarves, and Skandik defeat the invaders, but Skandik tribes are decimated.

90  (960 CR)   Draz migrate into the Lands.

103   (947 CR)  Battle of Veluna Fords.  The armies of Mhaa Khur launch an invasion of the north.  Morbane, caught by surprise, is overrun.  The invading armies advance to the gates of the city of Veluna, when a relieving army of allied forces from Genwyn, Belmor, Freehaven, and Rubicollia breaks the siege.  Gorn Athyn are said to play a role with the allies.

120  (930 CR)  Amazons renounce Skandik clans, settle in Gorn Athyn ruins at Sea Rune.

251  (799 CR)   First ships arrive from Khur, City States of Illien and Vallmer fall to the invaders and become the colony of Mhara Khur.

800  (250 CR)   Skandik arrive from the Icelands and settle on the coasts of the Great Valley.

1050     A dynastic crisis results in the fall of the Great Kingdom and the formation of City-States.  The Common Reckoning begins.

1700     The Great Kingdom rises among the former subject peoples of Gorn Athyn.

1900    City of Freehaven founded.

2800     Dwarves move into Godswall from the Underdeep.

3000     Gorn Athyn civilization mysteriously falls in a catastrophe.  Godshome is deserted, and the Godswall is raised.  The heartland of the Gorn Athyn empire is turned into the Ashlands and the Broken Lands.

5000     Rise of Gorn Athyn empire at the expense of a vast elven kingdom. 

The Lands of Ruin earned their name because of the large numbers of powers that have seen their rise and fall in this part of the world.  The memories of the Dragonborn and Eladrin go far back beyond the arrival of Men in the Lands, back to when the elves ruled.

The elves had an empire that stretched from the Sullinor in the south to the Coldwash in the north. Their numbers were never great, but they brought peace, security, and stability to the lands, which they tended as f it were a vast garden.  They greeted the first humans to arrive from the distant lands to the south as neighbors, offering them hospitality and teaching them their lore of magic and crafts. 

Soon the humans came in larger numbers and built cities which encroached on elven lands.  At first, the elves did nothing, as the humans showed no ill intent, but the number of humans in the lands steadily grew, and their pressure on the elves likewise increased.  At length open war broke out.  By this time, the elves were badly outnumbered, and while conflicts raged for centuries, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.  The humans cut down the elven forests to make houses, ships, and fuel for their fires.  The elves retreated to a few refuges, while a few wandered the lands, lamenting their lost paradise for thousands of years after its fall.

The Gorn Athyn, the humans who overthrew the elves, learned their lessons well.  Through their ability to harness magical forces and to tap into the power from other planes, they built huge cities and pushed the frontiers of knowledge.  Gorn Athyn ships sailed across the seas in search of new lands and new lore.  They brought back with them great wealth, as well as slaves from lesser peoples to serve them and do their bidding.  These slaves adopted the language and faith of their Gorn Athyn lords, but they harbored resentment that lasted for centuries. 

The Ruin came as a shock to the Gorn Athyn.  Some believe that a mage tapped into a plane of raw energy and the forces he unleashed could not be contained.  Others believe that the Gods themselves, angered at the hubris of the Gorn Athyn, devastated their lands.  Fires from above swept the Gorn Athyn homelands in the south, rendering them forever inhospitable to life.  Today, these lands are known as the Ashlands.  Great earthquakes toppled the Gorn Athyn cities in the north and broke the lands themselves.  In a single day, the mountain range known as the Godswall rose from the plain, creating the Great Valley to the north.  The fertile lands around the capital city of Godhome shattered, becoming the wasteland known as the Broken Lands.

 

For centuries, chaos reigned.  Small tribes of humans vied with elves, goblins and dwarves where the only victory was survival.  A few warlords managed to accumulate power, and eventually one of these grew so strong that he was able to bring all of his neighbors to heel.  The ruler, who styled himself Emperor Rauxes I, founded the realm known simply as the Great Kingdom, for it had no rivals for hundreds of leagues.  While it never achieved the level of culture or civilization that the Gorn Athyn once had, the Great Kingdom provided peace and stability for a while.  However, based as it was around the blood of a single royal family, a dynastic crisis was sure to occur.  And after King Malcolm died over a thousand years ago, the Great Kingdom fragmented into a number of petty states, all vying with one another for dominance. 

These petty civil wars have gone on for a millennium.  The arrival of the Skandik, the Draz, and the Khur only complicated the state of perpetual competition among the city-states.  Most people in the realms agree that a strong ruler is needed to ensure peace, yet none can agree on who that leader should be.