Timeline

Present Day: Year ZY1113, Twelfth Month, 21st Day (Winter Solstice), Moon Day

Calendrical conventions

Astronomy and magic enabled the early development of a highly accurate solar calendar. The following conventions measure time in the Empire.

Years

There are 365 days a year, with an additional day every four years. The official New Year falls in midwinter, though local customs may vary.

Standard years are numbered according to the Zhong Yuga (ZY) system. Zero corresponds to the founding of the Empire; previous dates are listed as Before Zhong Yuga (BZY). There is also a sacred system, which numbers years according to the four ages (Li Yuga, Wu Yuga, Zhong Yuga, and Kali Yuga). Today the sacred system is used only for religious and ornamental purposes.

Months

There are twelve months in a year, with 28-31 days each. Their official names are simply First Month, Second Month, etc. Local names also obtain (for example, Tenth Month is called “Reaping Moon” in in the Imperial Lowlands).

Days of the Week

Seven days make a week. Each day is associated with one of the five elements or an astronomical body, a symbol, a deity or divine abode, and a color. Wearing or displaying colors on appropriate days is considered lucky.

Day Element/Body Symbol1 Deity Color
Sun Day Sun Thauma’s Forge Gold
Moon Day Moon Bharata’s Glade Silver
Fire Day Fire Atmah Red
Water Day Water Maha-Meng Black
Wood Day Wood Bharata Green
Metal Day Metal Thauma White
Earth Day Earth Wu-Yu Yellow

1 (Viewing symbols requires Japanese characters to be enabled on your operating system)

Mythic History

Tradition associates historical dates with certain sacred events. The exact date of the beginning of the Kali Yuga, which heralds the immanent end of the world, is currently a hotly-debated controversy.

Standard Date Sacred Date Event Divine Activity
c. BZY120,000 Li Yuga 0 The world grows out of darkness like a lotus from a muddy pond; soaring dragons lead the world according to li, the principle of natural harmony; beings are immortal Atmah, the World-encircling Serpent, ancestor of Dragon-kind, becomes first Regent of Wu-Yu, and the First Age, or Li Yuga, begins.
c. BZY12,100 Li Yuga 107,900 The great dragons mysteriously disappear, leaving only the small and degenerate Atmah sinks beneath the ocean to contemplate eternity
c. BZY12,000 Wu Yuga 0 Wandering Elves lead the world according to wu, the principle of the dance; death enters the world, though beings live a thousand years thanks to the magic of the wu dance Bharata, ancestor of Elf-kind, rouses Atmah with a dance and gains his blessing, becoming Regent, and the Second Age, or Wu Yuga, begins.
c. BZY100 Wu Yuga 11,900 The great Elven masters mysteriously depart, leaving only fragments of the wu dance Bharata withdraws to the moon to study the dance of reincarnation
ZY0 Zhong Yuga 0 Noble Dwarves lead the world according to zhong, the principle of loyalty Thauma, ancestor of Dwarf-kind, catches Atmah while fishing and obtains his blessing, becoming Regent; also present in the boat is the elf fisher Viru, said by followers of the Thauma-Virun religion to be ancestor of Orc-kind, and the Third Age, or Zhong Yuga, begins.
ZY 599 and onward c. Zhong Yuga 599+ Dwarven nobility declines, the principle of zhong is weak in the world Followers of the Tathatan religion claim Thauma withdraws to the sun to study cosmic law
ZY1086 Zhong Yuga 1086/Kali Yuga 0 The holy city of Bara-xi falls to the Orcs, completing the Conquest Followers of Tathatan say there is no more Regent, while those of Thauma-Virun say Thauma continues to reign in his alter-ego as Viru; Followers of Tathatan say the final age, the Fourth Age, or Kali Yuga, begins, while those of Thauma-Virun say the Zhong Yuga continues.
ZY1113 Zhong Yuga 1113/Kali Yuga 27 Present Day -

Pre-Imperial History

Magic has proved a powerful aid in reconstructing dates for key events in millennia prior to the Empire. Corroboration is provided by certain verses of the Dwarven Law-scriptures. Later dates are also confirmed by the Annals of the Tathatan League.

Date The West The East Elsewhere
c. BZY6000 The Tathatan region inhabited by nomadic Dwarven goat herders, cult of the River Tathata established Primitive agriculture in fertile crescent between Meng and Jie Die rivers, slowly diffuses east and west over ensuing millennia Various hunter-gatherer and nomadic societies
c. BZY4000 - Irrigation in fertile crescent region, simple copper-working -
c. BZY3000 - Goblinoid towns emerge in fertile crescent -
c. BZY2000 - Bronze-working developed by an unknown nomadic people from the Imperial Highlands called the Barrow Builders; trade with fertile crescent farmers at the future site of Xing Xiang; bronze plow improves agriculture and speeds its diffusion; towns begin to construct defensive walls Barrow Builders trade with Gnomes of the Plateau of Trulkor
c. BZY1800 - Widespread crop failure devastates fertile crescent, trade networks collapse; First Goblinoid Dark Age -
c. BZY1600 - Towns re-emerge in the fertile crescent, trade resumes -
c. BZY1300 - Chariot developed by Goblinoid nomads of the Jie Die Grasslands, fertile crescent towns laid waste by Jie Die raiders, trade networks collapse again; Second Goblinoid Dark Age -
c. BZY1100 - Small city-states, led by a Jie Die aristocracy, emerge in the fertile crescent and vie for dominance; trade resumes and expands -
c. BZY900 - Xing Xiang ascends to dominion in the fertile crescent, becomes known as the First City; Xing Xiang script, the first known writing, is inscribed on stone architecture; explorers venture east and west; Goblinoid Golden Age Gnomes of Plateau of Trulkor trade with Xing Xiang, adopt limited agriculture
c. BZY600 Agriculture and urbanism reaches the Tathatan, nomadic Dwarves settle and develop cities; holy city of Bara-xi, situated at source of the Tathata river, becomes object of pilgrimage, inspired priestesses give oracles; oracles eventually coalesce into the Dwarven Law-scriptures - -
c. BZY500 - Overpopulation and crop failure send Xing Xiang culture into decline; Guang Tien rises to dominate the region -
c. BZY450 - Colony of Er Qiao established by Guang Tien to trade with peoples of Hoto Coast -
c. BZY400 - War between Er Qiao and Guang Tien, Er Qiao wins independence and ascends to dominate region thanks to trade revenues -
c. BZY300 - Er Qiao crushed by a resurgent Guang Tien -
c. BZY250 - Guang Tien subjugates Xing Xiang, securing control of the entire region -
c. BZY200 Failed invasion by Guang Tien Guang Tien strikes west across Tianshu Mountains into the Tathatan; invasion fails as armies are devastated by Goat Plague, to which Dwarves are immune -
c. BZY190 - After Guang Tien’s failure in the West, Xing Xiang revolts and wins independence, followed by Er Qiao which does the same -
c. BZY150 Iron-working mastered by Dwarven herders dwelling in foothills of the Tianshu Mountains; Tianshu raiders lay waste to Tathatan cities, set up primitive overlordship Goat Plague spreads all through the East, devastates population -
BZY104 Bara-xi destroyed by Tianshu raiders - -
BZY99 Tathatan League created by city-states of the Tathatan to overthrow Tianshu overlords, start of the Iron Wars, period of protracted struggle and stalemate - -
BZY25 Peace of Thauma treaty signed at rebuilt Bara-xi, treaty recognizes self-governing authority of city-states in the Tathatan and Tianshu raider kingdoms in the Iron Forest - -
BZY24 Emissaries sent to Xing Xiang and Guang Tien by Tathatan League to establish trade report depopulation, cities in severe decline Weakened city-states receive Tathatan emissaries -
BZY15 On advice from Bara-xi Oracle, Tathatan League votes to strike east across the Tianshu Mountains; Tathatan armies occupy the Kong Wan Pass - -
BZY13 - Tathatan armies march up and down Meng River, laying waste to towns and cutting off trade routes -
BZY12 - Imperial Highlands occupied by Tathatan armies, Xing Xiang repeatedly rebuffs attacks -
BZY3 - Tathatan armies occupy Jie Die River areas, Guang Tien falls to seige, Xing Xiang lone remaining Goblinoid power -
ZY0 - Xing Xiang falls, establishment of the Glorious Purple Empire of the City-states of the Tathatan, by convention simply “The Empire” -

The Early Dwarven Empire

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Dates from the early Imperial era are attested by legal records, Imperial decrees, and the Annals of the Tathatan League.

Date The Empire Elsewhere
ZY0 Tathatan city-states directly govern regions conquered by their respective armies, but distance creates difficulty in administration; rebellions by Goblinoids as well as disputes between city-states plague early years -
ZY32 Representatives of Tathatan city-states convene in neutral Qaruna to decide new form of government; vigorous debate between defenders of city-state system and proponents of a centralized Imperial government; the latter wins and former-general Chandara is created Emperor, but Tathatan city-states retain the right to convene a Council of States with power to veto Imperial decisions, and pass laws subject to Imperial veto -
ZY32 – 41 Emperor Chandara makes Xing Xiang his capital and spends the next ten years putting down rebellions and consolidating the East under the new centralized government, while the West remains largely self-governed by city-states
ZY41 The Empire formally opens trade by land and sea with neighboring peoples; Dwarves of the East prosper, experiencing upward social mobility contrary to the traditional Dwarven caste system; exposure to Goblinoid culture and learning further erodes adherence to traditional customs; some Dwarves take Goblinoid wives -
ZY57 Punduk, a Dwarven priest of the West, denounces the East for violating the caste system, and persuades the Council of States to pass a law punishing such violations; the Emperor vetoes the law, and bribes Councilors to drop the issue
ZY58 A frustrusted Punduk raises a small army of sympathizers and marches south from Indirah along the coast, trading with foreign peoples along the way; he stops at the future site of Shen Bei and establishes a monastery to train holy warriors called the Pundukan
ZY59-65 The Pundukan enslave primitive Goblinoid hunter-gatherers of the area, exerting influence as far south as Yurik; the monastery grows wealthy on local minerals, spices, and gems
ZY65 Punduk’s Raid: A group of Pundukan book passage to Er Qiao on trade vessels and set fire to the Great Lighthouse, a wonder of Goblinoid architecture; Punduk declares a Holy War and sends an army to Xing Xiang
ZY66 Chandara’s forces scatter the Pundukan, but Chandara himself is felled by an inside agent hidden in his own guard; with the support of the Council of States, Punduk assumes the throne
ZY67-70 In three years, Emperor Punduk systematically reduces all Goblinoid temples to rubble, and destroys the vast majority of Goblinoid texts and tablets, extinguishing a millennium-long tradition of learning
ZY71 Punduk’s Code enslaves Goblinoids as serfs, outlaws the Goblinoid language, codifies the caste system as binding upon all Dwarves, and sets up the Pundukan as elite enforcers of the Dwarven Law-scriptures; literacy effectively ceases

Pundukan meddling irritates city-states, Council of States declares Punduk’s Code null, Punduk dissolves the Council of States, Council of States wages war and overthrows Punduk, replaces him with Chandara’s grandson, Chandara II. The Pundukan retreat to their monastery and islands. Over centuries they play a clandestine influence in political affairs.

Chandara II overthrows Punduk and exiles the Pundukan, repeals Punduk’s Code and replaces it with Chandara’s Code, leaving caste and other spiritual matters to conscience but retaining the serfdom of Goblinoids and the outlaw of the Goblinoid language. Chandara’s Code endures till overturned by Hunun Gol’s Decree of Emancipation. Chandara II founds the Great Library of Punj to protect and expound Chandara’s Code.

eruptions of Goat Plague Ethnic Rebellions, Doctrine of Unity Grand Drama of the Four Ages outlaw of Sorcery magical agriculture

The Late Dwarven Empire

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Numerous sources support dates from the late Imperial era, from legal records to voluminous historical tomes. The most respected work on this period is Bhatrati’s erudite volume “The Purple Twilight.”

Date Event

The Conquest

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

The era of the conquest of the Empire by Hunun Gol’s Orcs is recounted with particular eloquence in Bhatrati’s inspired work “They Came On Horseback.”

Date Event
ZY1088 Bara-xi falls, Three Treasures thrown into the river Tathata, the Conquest is complete

The Reign of Hunun Gol

The last three decades have been plagued by numerous challenges. No one has offered a complete account of the troubled reign of Hunun Gol, which is not yet over.

Date Event
ZY1088 Conquest leaves more Orc chiefs than lands with which to award them; Hunun Gol strips clan status from families who once opposed him; fallen clans begin underground rebellion
ZY1088 On the Eve of the New Year, hundreds of Dwarven leaders and sages protest Orc rule by committing bodhi-yama, or enlightened suicide; their loss leaves an intellectual and technological vacuum, and galvanizes anti-Imperial movement among remaining Dwarves
ZY1089 Tathatan religion begins as a reform movement denying the spiritual authority of an Orc-led regime
ZY1089 Rebellion led by fallen Da’aga clan of Orcs takes over Palace of Guang Tien; palace burned to ground, rebellion crushed; surviving Da’aga flee to Liu Dong and Yushi
ZY1089 Various new cults spring up, especially in Imperial Lowlands; many preach apocalyptic themes
ZY1090 Yamananda Prophecy predicts the end within a year, tens of thousands sell all possessions to await the end, sending economy into chaos
ZY1090 Rebellion led by fallen O’olo clan capitalizes on Yamananda chaos and seizes property throughout Imperial Lowlands, captures thousands of Yamananda worshipers and exports them to Halfling Merchant Companies as slaves; rebellion crushed by Imperial forces; surviving O’olo flee to Liu Dong and Yushi
ZY1091 Liu Dong and Yushi become center of rebellious activity under Da’aga and O’olo clans; piracy in Feng Xia Sea funds insurgence; Hunun Gol unofficially allows piracy if directed only against foreign vessels, of which the majority are Halfling; Liu Dong and Yushi nicknamed “The Pirate Kingdoms”
ZY1091 Establishment of new Imperial cult Thauma-Virun; cult proclaims “New Peace” that Viru, ancestor of Orc-kind, is one with Thauma and carries on as Regent of Wu-Yu, thus the Zhong Yuga continues and the world is safe so long as Orcs rule; Emperor is the worldly avatar of Viru
ZY1092 Persecution of Tathatan followers
ZY1093 Goblinoid Priestess Wei-i has vision and begins preaching a new religion called Yaj Yeeb, emphasizing worship with animated emotional displays and spirit possession; Wei-i promotes nonviolent protest of inequality and prejudice against Goblinoids
ZY1095 Decree of Emancipation declares “All intelligent souls dwelling within this glorious Empire, henceforth be free”; Hunun Gol abolishes serfdom in effort to win support from Goblinoid masses
ZY1097 Scandal of the The Shen: Human family called the Shen assassinates high-level members of Da’aga and O’olo Orc clans; widespread rumors that the Shen work for Hunun Gol
ZY1099 Da’aga and O’olo clans retaliate against assassinations by increasing pirate activity against Halfling Merchant Companies, raiding deep into Halfling territory.
ZY1099 Halfling Merchant Companies retaliate against pirate raid by attacking and sinking Imperial vessel “The Ladyslipper” off the shore of Qrato; war with Empire threatened
ZY1099 Patriarch of the Shen family tried before Imperial court and found guilty, commits bodhi-yama (enlightened suicide)
ZY1100 Freedom of Trade Proclamation establishes peace with Halfling Merchant Companies in exchange for trade concessions: 1) legal passage throughout Empire for Halfling merchants; 2) ban of certain spells deemed detrimental to business, including Golden Tongue and Read Thoughts; and 3) legalization of Tabaxi slave trade; Imperial theologians declare Tabaxi and Vanara not ni-tauma species, hence without souls and not covered under Decree of Emancipation’s “all intelligent souls”; Tabaxi slaves flow into the Empire from the port of Shen Bei; Vanara are confined to demarcated ghettos in many cities
ZY1102 Opium begins to appear in the Empire, flowing out of Human regions of Imperial Highlands in Halfling wagons
ZY1107 Appearance of strange clouds of black particles, dubbed “Thauma’s Ashes
ZY1108 Widespread crop failure, famine; no response from Hunun Gol
ZY1111 Widespread crop failure again, another famine; still no response from Hunun Gol; rumors speculate on Emperor’s health and mental condition
ZY1112 Plan for Imperial succession remains secret; governors begin preparing for war
ZY1113 Present day

Timeline

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