A few hundred years later saw the first known appearance of the dwarven race. The elves will not be drawn to comment on how the dwarves came into being, but the dwarven legends tell that they were created in the forge of the god Moraddin. Soon afterwards occurred an event which is regarded with grave and solemn remembrance by dwarves to this day, but which sees no mention whatsoever in the elven records. The dwarves of today cannot tell exactly what it is the elves did, but they know with certainty that it was a terrible crime against their entire race.
The most important event in dwarven history however is the founding of the Halls of Darnak, a vast excavation which became the home of the dwarven king and thousands of his people, connected by miles of tunnels to fantastically rich veins of precious metals, gems, and iron. The city was reputed to contain vast chambers and public spaces lavishly decorated with gold and silver, including the fantastic dwarven throne room.
A thousand or so years later, the orcish race appeared in the Demesnes. The dwarves competed with them for food and resources and the two races formed a mutual antagonism which lasts to this day. They fought four major wars before the orcs allied with darker and even more evil forces to launch a surprise raid which resulted in the fall of the Halls of Darnak. The Halls were abandoned under duress from the invading force of humanoids and unspeakable subterranean horrors and remain lost to this day. They are reputed to be somewhere in the Crystalmist Mountains or their daughter mountain chains, but the exact location remains a mystery. Many dwarves have tried to find them again, but none have done so and returned to tell the tale.
By the time of the Fall of Darnak, humans had been living in the Demesnes for 500 years or more. Neither the dwarves nor the elves have anything to say on the creation of humans - that is left to human legends. From this time onwards, the demi-humans withdrew to comfortable regions safe from humanoid attacks and left the greater history of the Demesnes to the humans.
After the Suloise Empire was formed, a systematic series of explorations crossed the Sulhaut Mountains to the north and the Hellfurnaces to the east. To the north they met the united Baklunish tribes, resulting in a long and bloody series of conflicts, lasting some 50 years. The Baklunish were slowly driven from their homelands and many refugees migrated eastwards into Flan lands. 300 years later, the Suloise expansion eastwards similarly drove the Oeridian people east and north.
The Baklunish and Flan people had for the most part mixed peacefully for over a thousand years when a new wave of Baklunish settlers fled the Suloise Empire into the central Demesnes. These new refugees were much more strict in their adherence to the old Baklunish religions and conflicts between them and the now mixed Baklunish-Flan populations arose. In response to this and pressure from the Oeridian exodus, the Flan city-states united for the first time to form the Flanae Kingdom.
The Suloise Empire continued its expansion into the Demesnes for another 500 years when a terrible event occurred. Most sages are in agreement that somewhere in or near the Suloise capital a wizard attempted a very powerful spell, which failed with disastrous consequences. The Rain of Colourless Fire fell on the heartland of the Suloise Empire for a fortnight and devastated a region spanning some thousand miles or more, reducing the land to ash and dust. To this day the old empire remains a wasteland, known as the Sea of Dust.
The few Suloise who survived the disaster moved to more hospitable regions and informed their border posts that they no longer had an empire to defend. Within 30 years the remnants of the empire had dispersed into other populations and the Baklunish tribes had begun recolonising their traditional homelands in the west. With stability in the central Demesnes, the Oeridian people could stop fleeing before the Suloise and settle down. They founded several nations and city-states, including the great city of Greyhawk, situated on the busy trade nexus of the Selintan River. This event marks the end of the ancient migrations and the beginning of modern human history.
The Baklunish trade caravans sent goods east through the Bramblewood Forest to Oeridian lands. The forest was larger in those days and few people lived there. Baklunish fortifications were set up along the roads to protect caravans from monster attacks. These slowly grew into towns and the forest shrank as wood was cut for buildings and fires. Eventually the people living in this area united to form their own country, Ket, and got their share of the riches of the far west by taxing goods passing through. This infuriated the rulers of Zeif and Tusmit, who allied to wage war and regain control of the roads, but their desert battle tactics were of little use against the easily defended hills and forests of Ket. Eventually they had to give up and submit to the taxes.
Over the next centuries the simmering resentment of the western nations against Ket flared into battle a few times, but never seriously. Zeif imposed its own tax on goods passing through to Ekbir and Tusmit, which fractured any alliance between these nations, making it impossible to put pressure on Ket. Ket has since prospered and become a powerful nation, while the other three squabble over borders and trade disagreements. Ekbir sends most trade by sea, bypassing Zeif's taxes, while not allowing Tusmit access to the ocean. This put all three nations at odds with each of the other two.
Meanwhile the Paynim nomads spread southwards, repopulating the lands of the Dry Steppes. Around 500 years ago a group of the Paynim nomads settled the land of Ull.
A few hundred years later, a handful of similar sized states was unified into the Kingdom of Keoland by a strong Suloise leader. He waged war on Ulek, intending to conquer it for the past injustices done against his race, taking the middle portion of the country before giving up. Separated, the northern part turned into the Duchy of Ulek while the southern became the Principality of Ulek. Soon after this, the nation further to the north splintered into Bissel and Gran March when an ambitious margrave led a partially successful rebellion.
About 200 years ago, the subjugated people of central Ulek, with the help of their neighbours to the north and south, liberated their land from Keoland in a long and bloody war. The Duchy and Principality had not, however, expected the new racial mix of the central Ulek people, who had taken much Suloise blood from Keoland. Unable to see past this, they refused to unify again and the central region became the independent County of Ulek. While this was happening, the bands of pirates operating on the Azure Sea from island bases seized the opportunity to take the land south of the Hool Marshes, which nominally belonged to Keoland. With Keoland unable to defend this remote corner of the kingdom, the area become the Hold of the Sea Princes.
In recent times the Sea Princes have earned a grudging respect for their position from Keoland, if only because they have now held the territory for several generations and attacking through the Hool Marshes would be close to impossible. However, the number of humanoids attacking Keoland territory through the Dreadwood has been increasing lately, and the Keoish court suspects the Sea Princes may be behind it. The other borders in this region of The Demesnes are mostly peaceful, and have been for centuries, with countries sequestered behind geographic barriers and engaging in mutual trade.
The land now known as Celene was also a loose assortment of towns when it came under attack by humanoids from the Suss Forest. Pushed northwards against the Lortmil Mountains, the humans had nowhere to retreat except into the Welkwood. The elves there took pity on the fleeing humans and allied with them to drive the humanoids back, thus establishing the land of Celene.
North of the Nyr Dyv, the Kingdom of Furyondy expanded its influence eastwards, eventually running into the domain of Urnst. Urnst retaliated with a massive assault and battle raged across the northern shores of Nyr Dyv as well as between ships on the lake. The Furyondians dug in and defended their territory, effectively repelling wave after wave of Urnst attackers over a period of ten years. Eventually the Urnst forces were recalled to deal with problems on their eastern borders with the newly formed Kingdom of Nyrond. The stretch of land defended so ably by the Furyondians became known as the Shield Lands, and became a vassal state of Furyondy.
The Nyrond attacks on Urnst splintered the country. The southern people did not want to commit troops to distant wars and withdrew support, separating under the command of Duke Ruthenius to form the Duchy of Urnst. King Ralkerg of Urnst was slain on the battlefield by Nyrond troops, leaving the northern part of Urnst under command of Count Broca. When he had repelled the Nyrond invaders, he cast a sad eye to his fractured country and vowed that the kingdom would one day be reunited, but until that day the ruler of the north shall be known only as a count, thus creating the County of Urnst.
With the eastern border secure, though further west than desired, Furyondy turned its attention westwards, to the lands of Veluna. The land between the Velverdyva and Att Rivers was at stake, with Furyondy initially gaining almost the entire region before being repulsed by Velunan forces. The front has shifted several times in the intervening centuries, with Veluna currently claiming the lion's share of the disputed territory. Troops from both countries remain on high alert.
While occupied with Veluna, Furyondy was relatively defenseless to the north. Flanae nomads drifted southwards, raiding and conquering Furyondy towns. A patchwork defence was mounted, but the nomads were bloodthirsty and gained support from allied humanoids who emerged from the Fellreev Forest. The Shield Lands once again came to the rescue, halting the joint nomad/humanoid forces north of the Veng and Ritensa Rivers. Ensconced in this former Furyondy territory, they formed the Horned Society, a land of evil and oppression.
Although by this time the Shield Lands were safe from Urnst, more Flan raiders attacked the north-eastern borders from around the other end of the Fellreev Forest. The Shield Land forces retreated back beyond the Rift Canyon, giving up the land to the north to the raiding nomads, now known as the Bandit Kingdoms.
Most recently, The Pomarj was attacked by a massed humanoid army from the Suss Forest. The human population of the region, always disorganised, was decimated, and the entire peninsula fell under the sway of the humanoids. Many say it was inevitable that such a tragedy should strike people daring enough to brave the curse of the Drachensgrab. Humanoids have held the region for over 90 years now. The situation in much of the rest of the central Demesnes remains tense, with battle lines drawn between many of the countries.
The more civilised Flan regions prospered until the break-up of the Flanae Kingdom around 1000 years after its founding. The Great Kingdom managed to remain intact for years to come, but the more central regions splintered into several nations over differences in religion which had been maintained ever since unification. A century and several bloody wars later, mass migrations saw the differences mostly settled as those of like mind came together on opposite sides of the Yol River, creating the Theocracy of The Pale and the Duchy of Tenh.
Further west, population pressures slowly pushed groups of Wolf Nomads north of the Cold Marshes, where they encountered increasingly cold and hostile terrain. This forced them to give up the nomadic lifestyle and settle into villages with domesticated reindeer and intensively worked crops for food. Eventually towns and cities appeared, and the land was united under the name of Blackmoor, who was the first unified ruler.
Up until some 60 years ago, the lands between the Wolf Nomads and the Rovers was also occupied by a nomadic nation of Flan peoples. A rebellious army of humans and humanoids loyal to a mad commander named Iuz from the Horned Society invaded and soon overpowered the nomads with superior weaponry and tactics. The nomads were enslaved and Iuz set about carving his own country out of the chilly steppes. Since then, the land now known as Iuz has prospered at the expense of the original inhabitants and any unwise enough to approach its borders. The original leader is dead, but his grandson, Iuz III, now holds a strongly fortified land and is looking to expand his territory by taking the northern parts of the Vesve Forest.
The city of Irongate was the first to declare independence, followed quickly by nearby Onnwal. United against the Great Kingdom forces, and protecting an easily defended peninsula, they maintained their freedom. When Idee and Sunndi joined the rebellious provinces, decadence had set in at the court in Rauxes and there was barely a fight to maintain control.
Soon after, Bone March and Medegia declared independence, and the king's demoralised troops were split between the north and south-east to try to maintain control. At this moment of weakness, Nyrond attacked the border to the west, advancing several hundred kilometres before finally being stopped by the people of the western provinces. A border was marked and, before the king knew what was happening, the frustrated people of the western province marked another border between them and the Great Kingdom, creating the Prelacy of Almor.
With his kingdom falling apart, King Aleber III committed suicide, leaving the land in the charge of his infant nephew. A strong leadership by his mother as regent saw the kingdom stabilised for a time, but when young Seyrul took the throne he was no better than his uncle. Within five years he had lost control of the North and South Provinces, reducing the Great Kingdom to a decadent shadow of its former glory. In the 120 years since, descendents of Seyrul have continued to mount attacks on lands they still claim as theirs, but for the most part the defenders have held firm. The Great Kingdom's armies grow stronger each time though, and perhaps one day soon they will have a major victory.
Retaking the Bone March will prove difficult, however, since 30 years ago it was conquered by bands of humanoids who poured down out of The Rakers. They now control all the lands within, making it a nightmare for humans. Most have fled and taken refuge within the Northern Province.
Further north, the islands of the Sea Barons were also being colonised, but the Flanae Kingdom held a tighter rein on them. When trade shipping along the coast became common, pirate groups arose and based themselves in the remoter parts of the islands. Towns and cities grew up around the pirate havens, becoming dens of vice and iniquity. When the Flanae Kingdom broke up, the Great Kingdom relaxed its hold on the islands and the pirates soon took over, establishing a government and calling themselves the Sea Barons.
When the Sea Barons began raiding the more southerly islands of the Spindrift Archipelago, the Lendorians, as they now called themselves, allied together in defence. This created the nation of Lendor, spanning the entire archipelago. Lendor lasted 400 years before internal politics split the nation in two. Both tried to claim the title of Lendor, but the resulting confusion led to the nations eventually becoming known simply as the Lordship of the Isles and the Spindrift Isles.
In the centuries since, the island nations have remained hostile to one another, with brief alliances quickly broken by mistrust and double-crosses, although much of the time open warfare has remained only a threat. With the growth of trade encouraged by the Great Kingdom at its peak of power, the island states became wealthy through their domination of shipping in the region.
When the Great Kingdom began to break up, however, times became leaner. The Spindrift Isles suddenly declared absolute sovereignty over the entire Spindrift Sound and demanded a tax from all vessels sailing on its waters. Naturally, this infuriated the other island nations, particularly the Sea Barons, who declared war on the Spindrift Isles. When Medegia gained independence from the Great Kingdom, it added another major power to the region. They allied with the Lordship of the Isles to hold shipping lanes open, resulting in counter-attacks by the Spindrift Isles. The Battle of Medegia brought the war to the mainland and devastated the Medegian capital of Rel Astra.
Since then, ships have reluctantly submitted to the Spindrift tax, since it is cheaper than waging war, though resentment still simmers. Medegia has rebuilt itself, and the Lordship of the Isles has once again become prosperous on the new trade flowing through the region. Recently though, the Sea Barons have been refusing to pay the tax, leading to open confrontations. The war between the Sea Barons and Spindrift Isles, never formally ceased, has taken hold once again.
With no readily available lands to raid, Stonefist had to become more self-dependent. It developed a more agricultural and insular society, with little external contact. In recent times Stonefist has attempted to open a trade route with Tenh via the Griff Mountains pass, but the dangers of the mountains have thwarted all efforts at regular traffic.
The Dwarven Calendar begins at year 1 (1815 Elven Reckoning) with the beginning of the construction of the fabled Halls of Darnak.
The Suloise Ephemeris is the oldest human calendar, beginning in the year of the foundation of the Suloise Empire. With the destruction of the empire nearly three and a half thousand years later, the calendar fell into disuse, though many sages and scholars still refer to it.
The Baklunish Almanac has its initial year marking the unification of the scattered semi-nomadic Baklunish tribes into an empire under the warlord Paksha Khan. The Almanac is unusual in marking years by periods of 13 full moons, making its years a little over a day shorter than those counted by the seasons. Over the 4704 seasonal years since the beginning of the Almanac, 4720 Baklunish years have passed. Those who follow Baklunish religions still use the Almanac.
The Flan Calendar was restarted by the original inhabitants of The Demesnes to mark the birth of the Flanae Kingdom from many independent city states. Prior to this event, each Flan city had kept its own calendar. Old Flan calendar dates are now almost impossible to reconcile with known calendar systems. Some Old Flan dates number in the two thousands, so the starting points almost certainly precede the establishment of the Baklunish Almanac. The New Flan Calendar is used by many humans of Flan descent.
The Oeridian calendar begins with the founding of the City of Greyhawk. Years are labelled "Year of Greyhawk" (YG) if a distinction is required from other calendars. The Oeridian calendar is the one in most common use amongst humans in The Demesnes today, being the common calendar used by traders, merchants, and travellers. Those who still keep the Baklunish Almanac or New Flan Calendar will usually understand Years of Greyhawk also.
|0||Beginning of Elven Reckoning.|
|1362||War of Separation. Exile of dark elves.|
|1693||First reliable mention of dwarves in elven records, though records imply earlier meetings.|
|c. 1730||c. -80||Alleged injustice against dwarves by elves.|
|1815||1||Excavation begins on dwarven Halls of Darnak.|
|4142||2328||First Major Dwarf-Orc War.|
|4295||2481||Second Major Dwarf-Orc War begins.|
|4298||2484||Second Major Dwarf-Orc War ends.|
|5133||3319||Third Major Dwarf-Orc War. Orcish race almost wiped out.|
|7588||5774||Fourth Major Dwarf-Orc War. Elven forces join dwarves in battle.|
|8115||6301||Mention of race which may be humans in elven records.|
|8742||6928||Fall of Darnak - Halls of Darnak attacked by orcs and allies and abandoned by dwarves.|
|9082||7358||1||Foundation of Suloise Empire.|
|c. 9580||c. 7850||c. 500||0||Beginning of earliest known Old Flan calendar systems.|
|9970||8246||889||1||c. 390||Paksha Khan unites Baklunish tribes.|
|10642||8918||1561||673||c. 1060||Beginning of Suloise-Baklunish wars.|
|10680||8956||1599||711||c. 1100||Mass Baklunish migrations into central and eastern Demesnes regions.|
|10944||9220||1863||975||c. 1360||Eastward Suloise colonisation drives Oeridian people into central Demesnes.|
|11193||9469||2112||1224||c. 1610||Fifth Major Dwarf-Orc War. Some human forces ally with dwarves.|
|11799||10075||2718||1830||c. 2220||Baklunish-Flan conflicts.|
|12024||10300||2943||2055||0||Flan city states join to form Flanae Kingdom. New Flan Calendar begun.|
|c. 12170||c. 10450||c. 3090||c. 2200||c. 150||Spindrift Archipelago colonised by Flan sailors.|
|12553||10829||3472||2584||529||Rain of Colourless Fire destroys Suloise Empire, creating the Sea of Dust.|
|12555||10831||3474||2586||531||Suloise refugees spread across The Demesnes.|
|12582||10858||3501||2613||558||Baklunish people begin recolonisation of traditional homelands in western Demesnes.|
|12791||11067||3710||2822||767||1||City of Greyhawk founded.|
|12897||11173||3816||2928||873||107||Trade routes west of Baklunish lands re-established. Silk and spices reappear in Demesnes.|
|13038||11314||3957||3069||1014||248||Flanae Kingdom splinters into Great Kingdom and several smaller states in the central Demesnes.|
|13085||11361||4004||3116||1061||295||Sea Barons take control of islands off coast of Great Kingdom.|
|13153||11429||4072||3184||1129||363||The three barbarian kingdoms begin raiding southerly lands, stabilising previously volatile local politics.|
|13162||11438||4081||3193||1138||372||Pale and Tenh created after mass migrations divide central Flan region along religious lines.|
|13204||11480||4123||3235||1180||414||Summer of Dragons. Human and demi-human settlements across The Demesnes terrorised by dragons.|
|13287||11563||4206||3318||1263||497||Ket becomes a nation and imposes taxes on goods traded through its territory. Zeif and Tusmit declare war.|
|13293||11569||4212||3324||1269||503||Zeif and Tusmit give up war and submit to taxes on their trade goods imposed by Ket.|
|13406||11682||4325||3437||1382||616||Sea Baron raids unite Spindrift Archipelago in defence, creating nation of Lendor.|
|13518||11794||4437||3549||1494||728||Elves ally with humans fleeing humanoid incursions from Suss Forest, creating land of Celene.|
|13621||11897||4540||3652||1597||831||Flan nomads settled north of Cold Marshes unite to form land of Blackmoor.|
|13838||12114||4757||3869||1814||1048||Lendor breaks up into the Lordship of the Isles and the Spindrift Isles.|
|13923||12199||4842||3954||1899||1131||Barbarian raiders slaughter Great Kingdom reinforcements, giving name to the province of Bone March.|
|14045||12321||4964||4076||2021||1255||Unification of Ulek. Geoff, Sterich, and The Yeomanry unify over the next few decades.|
|14122||12398||5041||4153||2098||1332||Zeif imposes tax on trade goods, fracturing alliances between the major Baklunish nations.|
|14202||12478||5121||4233||2178||1412||Paynim nomads settle the land of Ull.|
|14263||12539||5182||4294||2239||1473||Eastern expansion of Furyondy runs into Urnst. Urnst retaliation prompts formation of Shield Lands.|
|14274||12550||5193||4305||2250||1484||Nyrond attacks Kingdom of Urnst, initiating break-up into Duchy and County of Urnst.|
|14317||12593||5236||4348||2293||1527||Furyondy begins ongoing series of attempts to conquer Velunan territory beyond Att River.|
|14385||12661||5304||4416||2361||1595||Flan nomads ally with humanoids and conquer northern Furyondy lands, creating the Horned Society.|
|14416||12692||5335||4447||2392||1626||King Korin unites several small fiefdoms, creating Keoland. A campaign of conquest begins.|
|14424||12700||5343||4455||2400||1634||Keoland forces consolidate holdings in central Ulek, splitting Ulek into three parts.|
|14435||12711||5354||4466||2411||1645||Gran March declares independence from Bissel.|
|14452||12728||5371||4483||2428||1662||Flan raiders attack Shield Lands, gaining territory and forming the Bandit Kingdoms.|
|14481||12757||5400||4512||2457||1691||County of Ulek liberated from Keoish occupation. Sea Princes take territory south of Hool Marshes.|
|14505||12781||5424||4536||2481||1715||Irongate and Onnwall become independent of Great Kingdom.|
|14508||12784||5427||4539||2484||1718||Idee and Sunndi declare independence and ally with Irongate and Onnwal.|
|14512||12788||5431||4543||2488||1722||Spindrift Isles declare sovereignty over Spindrift Sound and tax ships passing through.|
|14531||12807||5450||4562||2507||1741||Bone March and Medegia declare independence from Great Kingdom. Nyrond attacks western border.|
|14533||12809||5452||4564||2509||1743||Nyrond advance into Great Kingdom stopped. Almor founded, fortifying border against Great Kingdom.|
|14549||12825||5468||4580||2525||1759||Great Kingdom loses North Province. South Province also declares independence five years later.|
|14556||12832||5475||4587||2532||1766||Battle of Medegia: Spindrift Isles forces devastate Medegian capital of Rel Astra.|
|14578||12854||5497||4609||2554||1788||Humanoid forces from Suss Forest conquer The Pomarj.|
|14609||12885||5528||4640||2585||1819||The mad General Iuz conquers nomadic Flan people creating country named after himself.|
|14642||12918||5561||4673||2618||1852||Humanoid forces conquer Bone March, driving human refugees to North Province.|