An outline of the history of the world of Tefr as a character within that world might know it. The chronology given is sketchy and only covers important events. Much is drawn from the teachings of the Karoch, the church of the Tree of Life, as the dominant religion around the Castelon Sea. This history is not necessarily correct and bards and priests may have changed or distorted the truth over the years. Different versions of history and creation myths can be found in more far flung areas of the world.
Ruell, the First World
In this legendary time the years are not numbered: they were never counted. There were no seasons or Year’s End. No stars or moons, only day and night. It is not known what the time-scales involved might have been.
The Creator made Ruell, the first and greatest world that encompassed all. He made servants, the Aruites and, bid them to cast the seeds from the Arba, the Tree of Life upon the ground to bring forth the flora and fauna of the world.
Asatal, one of the highest of the Aruites kept his seeds and lied to the Creator about it. But the creator saw his lies and wept, which was the first rain. Asatal left the divine citadel of Arilitha in shame.
The Creator sent others of his servants into the Ruell to protect and nurture the new life growing there.
Felin, another of the Aruites, became the Lord of Night. Wishing to share the secrets of the dark, he took all creatures of the night as his own. But in particular he favoured the great cats, nurturing them, teaching them how to speak, and to walk upon two legs as he did. He named them the Felini, and the cats worshipped him in the darkness.
During this time Asatal created creatures of his own from the seeds he had stolen, corrupted beings that mocked The Creator’s intent.
Aren became the Lord of Day in balance to his brother Felin. Creatures of daylight followed him loved him. Of these the first men were the most favoured, for they were pure and innocent. Aren taught them artistry and craft, raising them above the level of beasts.
Asatal then persuaded Cusion to steal a bough from the Tree of Life for him. Cusion was thereafter was known as the treacherous. Asatal worked powerful magics upon the stolen bough, reversing its nature, forging it into a great rod which became known as the Life Ending Ylg, the Arbagog. In enchanting the Death glyph.
Asatal found Aren teaching to the men and became jealous, wanting their adoration for himself. Taking the Arbagog, he struck Aren and killed him. Thus Aren was the first to die and the world was plunged into darkness. Many of the men, fearing Asatal and the Ylg, fell down and worshipped him. The rest ran away to hide in the darkness and mourn the loss of their Lord.
The soul of Aren was found by Sourne wandering lost beyond Ruell. She guided the Lord of Day’s essence to the mountains of the sky and the sanctity of Arilitha.
Cusion went to Felin and, playing upon the pride of the Lord of Night, said “Look unto the skies, the light is weak and has failed. The world is yours to take by right, for darkness is now the master!” Hearing these words the Felin took arms and with the Felini made war on all that would follow the light.
The men that remained with Asatal became twisted and cursed so that many resembled beasts more than men. Thus Asatal formed a great army, and whilst the Felini fought with the pure men and other races of light, the cursed army of the Lord of Death marched upon the Tree of Life. Many Aruites and their followers attempted to stop them, but were overwhelmed.
Learning that the Tree of Life was in danger, Melikaar, its guardian, gathered all that followed him. Together they worked a great magic upon the tree which turned it into impervious living Arbine. They then prepared to defend the tree, but the sight of the monstrous hosts of Asatal proved too fearsome and the tree’s guardians fled.
Having captured the Tree of Life, Asatal attempted to destroy it but was thwarted by the spell that had turned it to Arbine. Finally he took up the Arbagog, and using magic of his own to lend him strength and the weapon an irresistable sharpness, he struck Arba to its heart. The fatal blow caused the tree to shatter and its shards fell over the whole of the world.
With the killing of the Tree of Life, true death was brought upon the world of Ruell and in that moment every living creature died. And, like the tree which was its heart, Ruell itself shattered into many pieces, separated by a spiritual void, the Greylands.
A moment after this cataclysm, the all the Aruites who served the light, having anticipated the event, took the soul of the Tree of Life and poured all their power together fixed it in Arilitha. This great magic that preserved the remaining world fragments. As a result, all things that had died in that instant were restored to life and the world of Tefr was formed from a mere fragment of Ruell. The world was changed forever, the horizon now curved away and down, and whilst the Great Death that Asatal had wrought was lessened, each living thing must still eventually die.
With the resurrection of the tree in Arilitha, Aren was also restored to life. But he too was changed; reborn as a mortal, he shares the fate of his beloved men. Hence it must be that once each year, Aren must die and be re-born. This is shown by the death of the old sun at Year’s End and the birth of a new sun as the new year begins.
The power of the Lords of Light was altered forever in this undertaking, such that if any left the Mountains of the sky they would also become mortal. Many fought and died in the last battles with Asatal and the Felini (Felin himself was believed killed in this struggle). After the war was over the Lords of Light withdrew to Arilitha and no longer walk amongst mortals.
Tefr the Mortal World,
After the death of the tree the years were counted, although some of the dates may be approximate. Here the years are given according to the Tefr calendar, in Great Years. The dates are also shown in brackets in ordinary years, starting with the year zero, making it easier to understand the time-scale involved, .
01,0 (year 0)
Having been thwarted in his design, Asatal continues to throw his army against the the now leaderless forces of light. But the sun has returned and many take this as a sign of hope.
The hero Kils finds an injured female Felini named Frença and nurses her back to health. As a result Kils is sent a shield made by the Lords of Light from the last piece of the Tree of Life and a heavy fate laid upon him.
Men begin to lose the war, being assaulted by the Felini on one side and the armies of Asatal upon the other.
Frença takes Kils before the leaders of the Felini who are still demoralised after the death of their god Felin. Kils convinces them that they had been deceived by Cusion to begin the war at all. Light and darkness are once more in balance and should always have been that way. The Felini take council and decide to withdraw their forces, maintaining an uneasy truce.
01,02 (year 2)
Frença undertakes a perilous journey to find the Sky Cities of Ilcosel, the Mistress of the winds. She pleads with Ilcosel to ally the cities with the forces of light in their struggle against Asatal.
Kils plants his banner at Kiesse, calling all who would join with him to stand against Asatal.
01,03 (year 3)
Asatal summons all his armies to crush the Kiessan forces and a great battle is joined. Unknown to the forces of light, Asatal has opened a gate into the Greylands, allowing Rigeth and her hoards of non-living through. In the final hours the five Sky Cities arrive, saving the Kiessans from being utterly destroyed. Two cities, Celn and Larel travel to the greylands to oppose Rigeth and both are lost in the process. The third, Menn is swarmed by Asatal’s demons and destroyed by magical fire, but the two remaining cities Taren and Saan turn a rout into a stand-off. Saan sacrifices itself to destroy the foul Greylands gate.
With the destruction of the gate the forces of Asatal falter, Kils is able to surge into the evil ranks and attack Asatal himself, pitting the Shield of Life against the Arbagog. The hero fights the Aruite and though he is wounded by the Ylg, he is saved from instant death by the Shield. Aided by magic given to him by Ilcosel and the strength of his closest companions, Kils is able to turn Asatal’s own weapon against him and the Aruite is vanquished.
With the death of their leader, the hoards of Asatal surrender and throw themselves upon the mercy of the pure men.
The Felini are given the choice of being sundered or becoming human by the Lords of Light. All but Frença choose to be sundered, and are never seen again.
Despite his mortal wound The Shield of Life sustains Kils for many years. He becomes the first ruler of the Empire of Kiesse. Frença stays with him as his wife until the pain of his wound becomes too much for him to bear and he choses death. The Emperor Kils is interred beneath a great cairn, raised by every citizen of the empire placing a single stone upon it.
Taren, the last Sky City flies away to the realm of dragons beyond the world of Tefr.
01,02 to 01,06 (years 3 to 6)
The remaining creatures of Asatal are driven to the farthest West of the world, and those creatures of supernatural origin are slain or banished to Gograbuch.
01, 02 to 03,00 (2 to 120 years)
Medil sends her waters to cleanse the battlefield, forming the sea now known as the Castelon Sea.
01,04 to 12,18 (1 to 498 years)
The rise of the Kiessan Empire of pure men.
01,20 (about year 20)
The Nétrål Mystics rise to prominence, a group of reclusive but powerful practitioners of magic. Over the next five hundred years they discover many new spells and magics. They build a great city dedicated to the study and pursuit of magic upon an island named Jarlin.
03,16 (year 136)
King Brechot and his son Udek discover the many armed god, Biel beneath a mountain in the land of Krodukh. Biel tells Udek of his destiny and gives him one of his three eyes as a token. The eye proves to be a powerful weapon of destruction. Udek then gives his father, King Brechot, to Biel as a sacrifice and declares himself King.
03,18 (year 138)
King Udek founds the Holy City of Bakaar upon the mountain of Biel.
03,20 to 4,13 (140 to 173 years)
Udek finally subdues all the kingdoms of Krodukh, and in the name of Biel, declares himself the first Emperor of Bakaar.
04,13 to 12,14 (173 to 494 years)
Through successive emperors of the line of Udek, the Empire of Bakaar expands to take in Phakol, Makeb, Trinis and much of Western Shelir.
10,00 (400 years)
The Southern Sea finally dries-up to become the Great Desert. The ports are abandoned, turning to ruins upon the Great Ridge. The Empire of Kiesse is considerably weakened by the loss.
12,18 (year 498)
Emperor Nectus Nectanebus of Bakaar invades Terfyn followed by the Kiessan city of Ceseleth (now known as Cormalon), beginning the Empire War between Bakaar and Kiesse, lasting over fifty years.
12,18 to 13,30 (498 to 550 years)
Kiesse is steadily pushed North or Eastwards by the invading forces. Much of the once glorious Empire is laid waste.
13,01 (year 521)
After repelling an attack by the Bakaaran fleet, the Nétrål mystics disappear from the face of the world, leaving no trace.
13,30 (year 550)
The culminating battle of the Empire War takes place in the east of Kiesse, where the young Kiessan Emperor, Cusith kills Nectus Nectanebus on the battlefield. The Eye of Biel is broken in the same blow that strikes down the Emperor of Bakaar and its power is extinguished.
Cusith returns to northern Kiesse, the only part of the empire not laid waste by the wars, and declares Minas to be the new capital, re-naming it Annu.
13,30 to 14,10 (550 to 570 years)
Too ashamed to return to Krodukh, the Bakaaran army remains in the wastes of Kiesse and erects a huge monument over the body of their fallen emperor. A prophecy is circulated that Nectus Nectanebus will rise again at some time in the future. The remainder of army then disbands.
30,30 to 15, 00 (550 to 600 years)
The first Bakaaran Empire crumbles reduced to only Krodukh.
15,31 (year 631)
Emperor Cusith dies, Annu withdraws control over Lansdar, Corith and what remains of its Terasonian interests. Only the islands of Earat remain loyal.
17,07 (year 687)
Kersith Mylar, a kiessan trained by the Nétrål Mystics, forms the Conclave of Destilar and raises a tower to house the first college of magic.
17,10 (year 690)
The first kingdom of Terasonia is created, based at Terasu.
17,17 (year 697)
After only ten years at Destilar, Kersith Mylar leaves upon a quest for a holy relic and never returns.
19,05 (year 765)
King Tarith of Cormalon and Queen Silbeth of Terasonia conquer the length of the River Terusil, meeting in the middle. They agree a union between the two kingdoms and the second kingdom of Terasonia is formed, based at Cormalon.
20,04 (year 804)
After being a haven for pirates for many years the merchant lords of Terfyn meet and appoint the first Patriarch of the island. His life’s work is to change the national industry from piracy to daylight robbery.
21,08 (year 848)
Priests and nobles in Shelir form the first Bardic Order based at the free city of Darvis.
21,28 (year 868)
The Bardic Order sends the first crusade to liberate the earthly remnants of the Tree of Life, known as The Root, from the fading Bakaaran Empire.
22,88 (year 888)
The Bards finally achieve their objective, freeing the land of Kaar from Imperial forces and take possession of The Root.
22,13 (year 893)
Emperor Kathdran III of Bakaar rejects the religion of Biel and proclaims himself as God Emperor. This heralds the start of the New Bakaaran Empire, which begins expanding into neighbouring lands up to the present times.
24,07 (year 967)
The kingdom of Shelis is formed under King Rovad I.
25,25 (year 1025)
Kaarmen rebels drive the Bardic forces from The Root and the Pass of Penitence. The first Bardic Order falls apart and its members return to their homelands.
A second Bardic Order is formed at Darvis and a second crusade mounted against Kaar. The fighting continues for seventeen years before the Bardic forces withdraw without regaining control of The Root.
Terfyn joins forces with the Bards, enabling a third crusade. The Bards are able to attack Kaar by sea from the North and successfully capture The Root in only one year.
Sayanay allies with the Kaarmen and again forces the Bards out of Kaar.
The Bards prepare for a fourth crusade but mediators from Annu persuade them and the Kaarmen to sign a treaty allowing pilgrims to visit The Root and for the Bards to re-occupy some of their original hostelries. The Root itself remains closed to all but Kaarmen priests.
32,23 (year 1303)
King Larat II of Terasonia dies leaving no heir. To avoid civil war, the seven Duaths form a council which meets each year to discuss the kingdom as a whole. For most purposes each Duathar remains an independent principality.
35,12 (year 1412)
The Duathar of Tukis in Shelis rebels against the king and declares Tukis independent. This is followed later by Panis and Mexota. The Bards in these areas remain unaffected by these changes, largely following policy from the Bardic council at Darvis.
37,05 (year 1485)
Trinis is taken once more by Bakaar, to become part of the new empire.
39,30 (year 1590)
Approximately the present day.
The Empire of Bakaar prepares for war, The God Emperor Elakus IV holds most power, but the followers of Biel believe the time of the prophecy draws near and that Nectus Nectanebus will rise again to lead them into battle.