Critical Events in Shadow World

The 10 Most Important Moments in History - Owlcation

After working on the Nomikos Library Project and some other tinkering with the Master Timeline, I thought I would identify some key world events that are integral to the the setting but might need further clarification in the event of new SW material.

  1. When did the Althans discover the Essaence? -15,000 FE. Althans are able to identify and utilize the Essaence. Why is this important? The Althans combine technology and Essaence and leverage latent abilities via genetic manipulation so their use might even be “pre-Arcane” with no formalized spell lists. Essaence use was not found throughout the Althan population, and Essaence has only been found exclusively on Kuthea, Orhan and Charon. (It’s not clear if Essaence extends to the other solar system planets).
  2. When did the Lords of Orhan arrive? -80,000 FE. Why is this important? The Lords predate the Althan civilization on Kulthea by 50,000 years and it’s implied that the “rift” that gave them access also allowed Essaence to permeate the planet and it’s surroundings. What’s not clear is what, if any, role did the Lords have with the development of the Althans? Were they also god figures to early Althan society?
  3. When did “fantastic creatures” first appear? Between -10,000 and -6,000 FE. Per the Atlas 4th Ed.:

Many peoples and creatures from other planets and Pales are brought
to Kulthea for scientific experimentation. Masters of genetics, the Lords of Essænce alter plants, animals, and races to suit their whim

Why is this important? This provides one source of “magical” or fantasy creatures that are found on Kulthea in the present timeline. However, are they descendants from the ancient Lords of Essence experiments? Weren’t these creatures, and almost all life wiped out at the end of the First Era? The Lords of Orhan rescued representative flora and fauna and brought them to Orhan; did they then reintroduce them to the planet during the reseeding that occurred in the Interregnum?

4. When did the Dark Gods of Charon first appear? 450 Second Era. Why is the important? Are the Dark Gods contemporaries of the Orhan pantheon or something new? Per the Atlas:

The origin of the Dark Gods remains unclear, shrouded in the superstition and myth of a time long ago. Some Loremasters suspect they are actually former Lords of Orhan who turned from the benign ways of their brethren. Others hold
that they are escapees from some inter-dimensional prison, or even the result of experiments by the Althans to create non-corporeal life.

That’s a wide range of theories and I feel it needs to be a bit more precise at this point. As the counter-pantheon to Orhan, the Dark Gods play a important part of the setting. And it should be clarified that they are not of the Unlife.

5. When did the Unlife appear? 2000-3000 Second Era. Why is this important? The appearance of the Unlife is relatively late in the timeline and only 6,000 years in the past. It’s easy to assume that the Unlife was the opposing force throughout Kulthea’s history, but it’s not.

6. When did Demons first make an appearance? -10,000 FE. The Ka’taviir/Althans opened gates to other planes “The Pales” during their experimentation with the mysterious Essaence. The Empress Kaedena had a Demon bodygaurd (Morloch) and Demons were let loose during the Interregnum.

7. When did the Dragonlords show up and from where? For beings of such power, and who have such a prominent role in the setting, the lack of origins for the Dragonlords is a problem. Per the Atlas:

The origins of the Dragonlords are shrouded in the temporal mists which divided the First and Second Eras. It is not known if dragons shared Kulthea
with the Althans, or if they came into being during the Interregnum

If you have read some of my other material, you know that I proposed a solution, but this really needs to be pinned down.

8. When did the Elves and other races appear? c.-100,000 – -90,000. Interregnum. Per the Atlas:

The Lords of Orhan send
their servants, the Fey Folk (Nymphs and
Sylphs, Naiads, Dryads, and Oceanids) to
Kulthea to begin nurturing fragile life back from
the edge of oblivion. Next, the lords return the
sentient peoples to Kulthea: Elves, Mortal Men,
and certain exotic races: Hírazi, Centaurs, Fauns
and Mermen

What’s not clear is if any of these races or sentient creatures were part of the Lords of Essence experiments that were brought to Orhan at the end of the First Era, or whether they are creations of the Lords of Orhan. Are they evolved from Altha stock? Can they interbreed?

Anyway, just a few points in history that I think are important in the setting. Are there other’s that you think need clarification or modification?

2 thoughts on “Critical Events in Shadow World”

  1. Nice list of events. There’s just so many ideas and starts that it’s hard for me to pick a spot. I find myself stumbling across some reference to something in a source book that isn’t ever mentioned again, anywhere else and wonder “What the heck is that”. Here are a few:

    Dark Gods: I get the distinct impression that the Dark Gods are more Demonic than anything else. SWMA3 says that the “Demons of the Pale” are in fact related to the Dark Gods. “Powers of Light and Darkness” states that the Dark Gods aren’t as intrinsically powerful as the Lords of Orhan; that they (the Dark Gods) have a different power base. Of course it also says on the same page that the Dark Gods are “similar in nature and power” to the lords of Orhan.

    The Masters of Emer: Titans (aka Greater Spirits of Orhan): They’ve played a large role in the past, including helping the Lords of Orhan to drive the Dark Gods away. Did they simply fade away, or are they up to something.

    (This caused me to dig out my “Shadow World Master Timeline” from 1998 compiled by …. ahem… someone I suspect you know).

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