Mysteries of the Nentir Vale
(all dates are approximate)
Early Empires 0 – 1200
Recorded history begins around 3000 years ago with the founding of the dragonborn southern empire of Arkhosia. 2500 years ago in the east the tiefling empire of Bael Turath is founded. Both nations have a policy of expansion, and 2000 years ago these great empires began to encounter one another. This led inevitably to contact between these great powers, and 1800 years ago the first war between these states broke out.
0 – Founding of Arkhosia. The dragonborn of Bahamut finally triumphed over those of Tiamat, forging the empire of Arkhosia in the arid lands of the south, in a unified array of dragonborn city-states ruled over by royal lines of mighty dragons led by a dragon emperor named the Golden One and a dragonborn bureaucracy supported the nobles, protected by a military headed by the clan Moonscale (dragonborn general Surina Moonscale).
300 – The Arkhosians founded the floating mountain stronghold of Ustraternes to help oversee their holdings.
500 – Founding of Bael Turath in Vor Kragal.
700 – The Arkhosian Empire expanded its territories with the aim of bringing civilisation, knowledge and security to untamed places and ignorant peoples. It expanded mostly through peaceful mean, rather than by force. Within a mere few centuries, Arkhosia came to rule large portions of the known realms. Many tribes and nations of other races deemed it better to live within the borders of the powerful empire, than to fend for themselves in a dark world.
1000 – The Turathi Empire expanded its territories by force, enslaving the conquered nations. Within a mere few centuries, Bael Turath came to rule large portions of the known realms.
1000 – Founding of Sarthel, which grows to prominence as a northern provincial capital in the tiefling empire of Bael Turath.
1000 – Bael Turath and Arkhosia came into contact, descending into centuries of warfare. Border skirmishes grew with each year.
1200 – The War of Wings erupts between Arkhosia and Bael Turath, as both expansionist nations stake a claim to the island continent of Saris. The war is so named because of the predominately aerial forces deployed by both Empires.
Empires at War 1200 – 2060
Over the following 800 years Arkhosia and Bael Turath fight several further wars, rising in intensity. Increasingly desperate and ill-considered acts of war wreak catastrophe. 1200 years ago Bael Turath unleashes elemental forces against Arkhosia which begin to transform the Arkhosian homeland into an utterly barren Desert of Desolation. However Bael Turath is affected by its own magic, which begins to render its own homeland increasingly uninhabitable (and turns vast areas of the forests of the elven lands of Vailin to dry arid plains). 1000 years ago the War of Ruin sounds the death knell, and within 100 hundred years both nations have collapsed leaving chaos and a nee dark age in their wake.
1250 – the hill tribes of the Nentir Vale construct the necropolis Andok Sur to inter their honoured enemies alive.
1400 – Arkhosian Myrdroon led storm giants and white dragons against the tiefling capital of Vor Kragal. His Spear of the Skylord destroyed the demon Middendark and shattered. The storm giant lord was slain by poisonous arrows shortly after.
1500 – the Vampire Lord Zarguna takes control of the necropolis of Andok Sur, and transforms it into a vibrant City of the dead, terrorising the local hill tribes.
1600 – The War of Teeth began. Serpentus Rift, one of the seven Jewels of the South, was destroyed by a massive earthquake dragon, possibly unleashed by the tieflings. The threat was ended by an entire dragonborn army.
1750 – an earthquake buries the necropolis of Andok Sur beneath the earth (this may have been further work by the Turathi earthquake dragon…).
1800 – The foul magic of Bael Turath succeeds in affecting the climate of Arkhosia (leading to droughts and failed crops), but unknown to the tieflings, their own empire begins to be similarly affected. Eventually this would lead to a fall in the population of both empires, contributing to their destruction.
1950 – the Troll Kingdom of Vardar is founded by the Troll King Vard in the north (near the current town of Moonstair).
2000 – The final War of Ruin broke out. A ten-year siege ended when the tiefling general Achazriel tunneled into Razortear, an Arkhosian fortress. Both sides suffered heavy losses, and the Battle of Razortear marked the beginning of the end for both empires.
2010 – the southern elven nation of Solaneillon breaks apart into the separate states of the Emerald Blade Barony, Duchy of Solandir, Tithinia and the Thorndeep.
2015 – Vor Rukoth is destroyed when a hellgate is opened to help defend it against an Arkhosian army.
2030 – The silver dragon Arantor and his protege Imrissa agreed to aid Arkhosia by attacking the Turathi outpost of Monadhan. Too late, the dragons discovered the outpost had only infirm, elderly, women and children.
2050 – Io’vanthor fell when it became corrupted by cultists of Tiamat, who opened to city gates to Turathi invaders, thinking the Turathi would slay the remaining worshippers of Bahamut and then they would slay the Turathi. However, Bael Turath was destroyed at the same time, and the Turathi forces were forced to live in the ruins of Io’vanthor.
2050 – Vor Kragal disappeared in a mysterious cataclysm that buried the city beneath the earth. The Anatheaum of Bael Turath, the great temple where the original pacts that gave birth to the tiefling race were stored, was destroyed at the end of war.
2060 – The Golden One and many dragon lords died in the final battle against the forces of Bael Turath. The surviving dragon lords fled the battlefield, leaving the Arkhosian survivors to fend for themselves.
2060 – The slaves of the former nobles of Bael Turath started a revolt against the surviving tieflings. Many tieflings hid themselves in humans tribes and nations, where they started to live like the peoples they enslaved in the past.
Rise of the Nerath Empire 2060 – 2780
Following the collapse of Arkhosia and Bael Turath, smaller communities begin to flourish in the lands once claimed by these empires. 800 years ago in the east, human barbarians found the Empire of Karkoth, and 500 years ago in the west humans, elves and dwarves come together to found the Empire of Nerath. Both empires expand and grow in strength before finally coming into conflict 300 years ago. The conflict results in a clear victory for Nerath, causing the Karkothi to withdraw, and allowing Nerathi expansion to go unchecked.
2100 – the Nentir Vale is the home of primitive human hill tribes who raise the Sword Barrows in the Gray Downs for their honoured dead. They also raise simple stone forts in the Gray Downs and Old Hills.
2100 – human tribes settle the warm southern lands once part of the Empire of Arkhosia, and found the nations of Adretia, Rethmil, and Solandir.
2180 – the Kars, a barbarian human tribe from eastern Selduria, conquers the Kingdom of Surth and the Realm of Dol-Thamar, founding the Empire of Karkoth in the east. The Throneholds are established in Dol-Thamar.
2200 – Minotaurs found the city of Saruun Khel beneath Thunderspire Mountain. Minotaurs increasingly pacify the human hill tribes of the Nentir Vale to open up trade routes.
2400 – the Empire of Karkoth has expanded to occupy the Broken Lands, Blisterforge, the Vale of Slaughtergarde, and the Icebound Wastes. Taking advantage of its new-found strength, Karkoth overruns the elven land of Tarsembor, destroying large areas with a rain of colourless fire, and putting its inhabitants to the sword.
2400 – The Troll Kingdom of Vardar begins to collapse due to civil war.
2450 – A barbarian warlord, the Winter King, forges an alliance with a fey lord (the Frost Prince) and uses this to conquer the tribes north of the Frostjaw Mountains. After five years he, and his army, vanishes.
2500 – The Nerathi League, an alliance of human, elven and dwarven city-states, comes together and forms the basis of the Empire of Nerath.
2590 – The minotaurs of Saruun Khel are cursed by Baphomet with mindless fury for worshipping Torog, and their civilisation collapses in a civil war.
2550 – A dragon which lairs in caverns beneath a waterfall on the Nentir River (at the future site of Fallcrest) terrorises the local hill tribes. Vendar, a barbarian warrior of the hill folk, confronts the creature in its lair and slays it, becoming a hero of his people.
2600 – Town of Fastormel founded on shores of the Lake Nen by the Empire of Nerath. Its ruler, the Lord Mage Starris, rules from The Mistborn Tower.
2610 – the Nerathi Wizard-Emperor Magroth comes to the throne. History will remember him as “Magroth the Mad”.
2640 – Nerathi Emperor Magroth forges a pact with Orcus. In return for dead warriors to bolster his Shadowfell armies, Orcus makes Magroth immune to all natural weapons. Magroth turns the Nerathi legions against enemies real or imagined, and dedicates the dead to Orcus.
2650 – Following a pronouncement that all of the first-born children of Darani are to be sacrificed, Nerathi Emperor Magroth is murdered by his bodyguard Krondor, who takes on the aspect of shadow so he could harm him. Krondor is in turn slain by his brother, knight-commander Kalaban. Magroth’s death triggers a spell of vengeance and all inhabitants of the city of Darani are killed, and the city is drawn into the realm of Shadowfell by his magic. Magroth continues to rule as a lich and Kalaban as a death knight in a dread domain sealed off in the Shadowfell.
2650 – Emperor Torreon replaces Magroth at the head of the Empire of Nerath, restoring much needed sanity.
2650 – Gardmore Abbey founded by Nerathi Paladins of Bahamut on the Gardbury Downs. The paladins carry out a campaign of conquest, securing the north for Nerathi expansion.
2660 – Nerathi Prince Tarmagel invades the Iron Wolf lands to put an end to the raiding of Nerathi lands and to subdue the restless savages. When the barbarians are attacked by orcs, the Nerathi soldiers and the Iron Wolf warriors joined forces to smash the orc incursion. Tarmagel and the warrior-princess Selfreya of the Iron Wolf tribe fell in love, and the crown prince took her as his wife. The union allowed the Iron Wolf people and other tribes of western Selduria to remain free of Nerathi rule. And as honoured allies, the warriors of those peoples often served valiantly in Nerath’s legions for the remainder of the empire’s days.
2680 – A fort is constructed at Winterhaven by minor Nerathi noble Lord Padraig.
2690 – The adventurer, Aranda Markelhay, builds a tower at the site of Fallcrest.
2690 – The red dragon Calastryx terrorises the east of the Nentir Vale, and wipes out several new Nerathi settlements.
2695 – The Nerathi Lord Mage Starris defeats the dragon Calastryx, imprisoning him in Forgepeak in the Dawnforge Mts.
2700 – The Knights of Gardmore Abbey carry out a crusade into the Stonemarch to end the orc threat. They wipe out many clans and carrying out near genocide on the orcs of the north.
2720 – Through their alliance with the Iron Wolf barbarians, the Empire of Nerath is drawn into conflict with the Empire of Karkoth.
2750 – the paladins of Gardmore Abbey discover a Temple to Zehir in the Witchlight Fens and begin a crusade against the Yuan-Ti. Zarel, the daughter of the head of the order, is corrupted by the Yuan-Ti.
2780 – The Empire of Nerath breaks the power of Karkoth, and the Karkothi, humiliated and bitter, retreat to the Karthohi Throneholds.
The Fall of Nerath 2780 – 2990
Summary: Following the routing of the Empire of Karkoth, Nerath continued to expand, including into the northern lands, and Nerath’s great success was to lead to its downfall. In civilising the northern lands Nerath’s forces pacified the humanoid tribes and the wild men inhabiting that region. Eventually these tribes of humanoid recovered, and over a hundred years ago a gnoll hero known as the White Ruin rose up and led an army out of the Stonemarch north of the Nentir Vale. The army marches south, burning imperial outposts, towns and villas until a final battle on the plains before the Imperial City of Nera. At the final battle the Nerathi Emperor and his heirs are slain, as is the White Ruin, and the monstrous armies disband, but not before destroying the capital city and routing the imperial armies. The Empire collapses as its nobles bicker and turn against one another.
A few years later the Bloodspear Orcs emerge from the Stonemarch and assault the Nentir Vale, wiping out the last remnants of the Nerathi Empire, and putting Fastormel and Fallcrest to the torch. This is recorded as The Bloodspear War
2790 – a hobgoblin warlord named Hur-Tharak arises in the southern lands of the Dragondown Coast. He is aided by priests of Asmodeus and devils and poses a threat to Nerath. The paladins of Gardmore Abbey conduct a crusade against him and destroy his fortress, the Infernal Bastion, bringing home many treasures.
2792 – a cult of the demon prince Orcus create a gate connecting one of Orcus’s unholy Shadowfell sites to the world. Undead flood through the rift until the Empire of Nerath dispatched legionnaires to eliminate the threat. The empire’s soldiers destroyed the undead, sealed the opening, and built a keep (the Keep on the Shadowfell) to watch over the location and contain the threat.
2800 – a hundred years after the Knights of Gardmore Abbey carry out their crusade against the Stonemarch, the orcs of the north finally recover from the losses they suffered. They harbour a deep hatred of the human empire, and long for their revenge.
2800 – King Elidyr replaces his father on the throne as emperor. The Nerathi Empire is at a peak of civilisation with holdings across wide areas of the world. The Imperial Army is thousands strong, headed by the Imperial Shields who are sworn to defend the Nerathi royal family. The Imperial Shields are supplemented by the Stoneguard, a cadre of golems constructed to defend the Nerathi crown by the Royal College of Magicians based in Nera.
2800 – Kalton Manor was raised by Lord Arrol Kalton, but he and his men are driven off by monsters from the Witchlight Fens.
2840 – The Vile Rune orc clan comes out the Stonemarch and descends on Gardmore Abbey, destroying the abbey and bringing about the destruction of the paladins.
2880 – The White Ruin, a Gnoll warrior, unifies several tribes of gnolls, and then builds an army in the Stonemarch. The army combines an array of humanoid creatures, including goblins, orcs, minotaurs, and demons. The Army of the White Ruin begins to assault Nerathi lands from the north.
2880 – Fallcrest has grown into a prosperous town.
2887 – civil war breaks out in the dwarven Glintshield clan hold (150 strong) in the Ironwall Mts.
2890 – Battle of Nine Sons, and Fall of Nerath. In the plains before the capital city of Nera Emperor Elidyr and the White Ruin battle. Elidyr’s sons are all slain in the battle, and in the final confrontation the King and the White Ruin strike each other down and, according to legend, are both pulled into The Abyss to continue their battle unending.
2890 – The Karkothi turn to worship of the Chained God, Tharizdun, and the Empire of Karkoth begins to rise in power as Nerath’s star sets, and it comes to dominate the east.
2895 – Shadowfell Keep is abandoned after the Captain of the Guard goes mad and kills his own men.
2900 – The Bloodspear War: Bloodspear orcs descend from Stonemarch and assault Nentir Vale. Fallcrest army defeated on Gardbury Downs and Fallcrest and Fastormel burned. Fallcrest is reestablished, but Fastormel is abandoned. The Bloodspears also kill the guards and ransack Hammerfast, and wiped out the community of Lake Dunmere in the Dawnforge Mountains, and destroy “Kobold” Hall.
2910 – dwarven refugees from the fall of Nerath begin to settle in Hammerfast. Orcs of Gruumsh attack the town, and after a number of battles a compact is agreed between the priesthoods of Gruumsh and Moradin.
2940 – exiled dwarven slavers found the city of Turak-Tol near to Vor Rukoth.
2940 – The Monastery of the Monks of the Enlightened Flame in the Dawnforge Mts is destroyed and the monks wiped out by marauding gnolls.
2965 – an earthquake brings down the walls of Shadowfell Keep
2965 – the wizards establish the Seven Pillared Hall in the ruins of Saruun Khel in Thunderspire Mountain.
2965 – Baron Harken retires to the Nentir Vale and builds a keep.
2970 – a halfling adventurer founds a camp outside the ruins of Vor Rukoth.
2970 – the Iron Circle rises to power in the south and takes control of the southern cities of Adretia.
2980 – Karkoth’s forces strike north and besiege the northern borders of the elven realm of Vailin.
2982 – goblins overrun the town of Kiris Dahn and rename it Gorizbadd.
2990 – Fallcrest has rebuilt and is now a small town.
2992 – Rise and fall of the Black Phoenix – The Black Phoenix Pass is established
2994 – The Salt Merchants save Durin’s Hole and Harrkenwald
2996 – The Scions of Saruun Khel overthrow the Mages of Saruun
2999 – Present Year
The Empire of Nerath is no more. The capital, Nera, is a gnoll-infested ruin, and its armies are a memory. The Nentir Vale is wild land with points of light in the form of small settlements huddled against the surrounding darkness.