Templore Campaign Setting
There is no singularly true account of the history of Urth. If one were to view the past as a mirror, then the passage of time has shattered this mirror into a million pieces, never to be put together exactly the same way again. Even the most astute students of history can only hypothesize as to what ancient times were truly like, inferring facts from myths and artifacts from bygone ages. Only when the first calendars were developed was there an accurate portrayal of history, but even this history is written by mortals, and so is subject to error or prejudice all the same.
Pre-History, The Age of Myth
Before recorded history was the time of myth, stretching from the creation of the known world to the time when people began developing civilization. This was a time when cosmic forces were raw and new, when gods clashed and walked the earth. When magic permeated everywhere. It was during this time that the basis of many religions known today were formed. Stories from the age of myth are epics of ancient heroes sparring with gods and antediluvian monsters, and some help give an idea of what transpired to mold the world into the shape it is in today. This period likely stretched over thousands of years.
The various races of humans and humanoids were still tribes, spreading across Urth and eking out infant civilizations. It’s believed that during the age of myth, the world was new and still settling into its shape. The land was not divided geographically, or divided very little. As the world settled, pieces of land moved about. Great glaciers carved rivers and lakes, and mountains rose slowly but persistently. Some evidence still remains of this era, such as cave paintings. Interestingly, great megalithic structures that still exist today are said to have originated from this era, though any other traces of these supposedly majestic civilizations have vanished. There are rumors that the ancestor race of humans erected these great structures alongside those of giants, lizardfolk, and other races, though there is precious little evidence of this.
The Dark Ages, The Age of Legend
Not much is known about this period of history, for it is said that a great cataclysm occurred which divided the peoples of the world and cast them into a prolonged period of darkness. This cataclysm, which some believe to have been a war between the gods, took much of the magic from the world, and changed the mystical laws of nature. Much of the knowledge and achievements of men had been lost or discarded. Every race, regardless of religion or place in the world, have legends which tell of this catastrophe, though each account tends to tell a very different tale. In any case, what resulted was a world drained of the splendor and vitality it once possessed. It is believed that several centuries of darkness passed before most races regained their progress, during which time many ancient evils slithered into dark corners of the earth, and many new ones emerged. Many of the kingdoms that exist today were born out of this bloody, feudal era. This era, as best as scholars can tell, lasted a mere couple thousand years.
There are some archaeological findings dating from this period of history. The ruins of ancient cities and other sites have been discovered, but without sufficient historical records to back them up, historians can only guess as to the nature of these places. It is known that during this era, the elves undertook their great migration to Urth, and the dwarves of Mount Zakhar were driven out of their home and into the world at large.
The Modern Age, The Age of Reason
When the Kotoran people developed forms of writing and mathematics that could be easily learned, their kingdom burst into an empire that conquered most of the known world. While empires had risen before, never was there one of such size or longevity. The Kotoran advances in philosophy, mathematics and many other areas lead them to become the most prolific empire the world has ever seen. The peoples they conquered adopted these technologies, and the age of reason was born. Written records were kept of virtually everything, and many technological advances were introduced to humanity at large. Magic was slowly being forgotten and shunned, replaced with engineering and industry. While the empire would eventually fall, it left many of the people it had conquered to rule themselves in its decline. At the end of the empire’s reign, many of these peoples seceded and became their own governments. What remains is a land of ethnically and culturally diverse peoples of many races, though peace between them is seldom seen.
Recorded History, the Calendar of Paphesidon
When the city of Catharta was founded, the scholar Paphesidon created a calendar by which to accurately measure all time. This calendar proved so popular that it replaced the previous Kotoran calendar, and was adopted by all provinces of the empire. What follows is a timeline of Templore rendered in Paphesidonian Reckoning (P.R.).