The Collapse (Y1-Y52)

After the battle at the base of the World Tree the world of Elves, Humans, and Dwarves fell into chaos. Freed slaves fled the ruins of Hismir and tried to find homes in the surrounding lands. The inhabitants of the Eastlands, relatively unscathed by the war, walled themselves off, leading to a general collapse of society on the western continent. Several groups regained or rose to prominence during this period.

The Settlement (Y53-Y128)

Two and a half generations after the end of the Great War, a crude peace reigned over much of the land. Most of the settlements in the south had clearly defined areas of influence and more or less stable populations. The stability of this era was aided by the reopening of the Eastlands, which brought renewed trade opportunities. Also, people eventually realized there was plenty of room for everyone. Vast swaths of the southern region were uninhabited.

The Guardians of Mendia remained a constant thorn in the side of peace. Operating from what would eventually become Graywall, they made regular raids on smaller Dwarven settlements. Ironically, they also secretly allied themselves with surviving Wyrmkin, using their knowledge and magical powers as weapons in their war of hatred. Some Human and Elven settlements, particularly, Ironhold and Dimdell worked with the Dwarves to combat the Guardian threat with limited success.

One of the reasons efforts against the Guardians failed was the rise of the Windy Isles Clans. Renegades and rogues who could not find a place in the west often traveled to the Eastlands, where they were turned back at the borders. Many ended up on the Windy Isles, where they joined the native Human clans. The conjoined groups sent regular raiding parties to attack the Eastlands, the lands south of the Dividers, and Kobold and Goblin holdings further north. The Windy Isles Clans remained dangerous for many many years, and even today are unpredictable allies at best.

City Wars (Y129-Y164)

Low-level conflicts between various city-states flared into open conflict during this period, driven by several factors:

Wars during this period ranged from minor conflicts between settlements, to large-scale, multi-year wars involving multiple cities. While the period was quite bloody, it also represented a turning point in the Guardian conflict.

In Y161, Wardens, forces from Ironhold, and an assortment of freebooters and mercenaries purchased with Dwarven wealth laid siege to Graywall and eventually conquered the city. When it fell, the victors exposed the Guardians's alliance with the Wyrmkin, slaying many of the creatures in the tunnels beneath the city. The conquerors displayed the dead Wyrmkin in cities across the countryside and even sent some, preserved, to the Eastlands and the Windy Isles. The remaining Guardians were scattered, but not destroyed. They remain a minor thorn in the side of the Free Cities today.

The Consolidation (Y165-Y197)

The relatively peaceful Consolidation marked the rise to power of the Free Cities. There were small conflicts during this period as unaffiliated city-states maneuvered and fought for power within the expanding alliance. The Windy Isles Clans and Goblins also remained a threat during the Consolidation, but a minor one. The Goblins had problems of their own with a growing Kobold population in the north.

Divider Wars (Y198-Y230)

This era was defined by ongoing conflict with the Goblins and expansion along the Cloud Dividers and the coastal regions of the Wild Plains. By the end of the period, the Goblins were, for the most part, driven into the Encircling Peaks or the forests north of the Wild Plains. Humans, Dwarves, and Elves gained near-complete control over the habitable sections of the Dividers and established settlements further north, notably Hillfast and Redtower. The founding of Redtower also helped calm conflicts with the Windy Isles Clans as it offered the islanders a place to engage in peaceful trade. Relations between the Free Cities and the Clans improved during this period.

The consolidation of the Dividers represented a significant population increase for the various city states as independent mountain settlements came under the rule of the Free Cities. This process was not without its ups and downs. Many Dwarves, thanks to the Guardians, were suspicious of Humans and Elves. Incidents involving Walking Corpses also increased during this period, but most of these occurred north of the Dividers in the southern reaches of the Scorch.

The Second Consolidation (Y231-Y361)

The relatively peaceful Second Consolidation was a period of minor expansion marred by the occasional border conflict. Lowbridge and Bluestone were established, and land use within the existing Free Cities expanded as populations swelled. Trade between the Free Cities and Eastlands grew, and even the Windy Isles Clans and Goblins managed to swing a few peaceful economic deals. A few minor incidents involving the Guardians of Mendia near the end of the Second Consolidation reminded everyone that the group was still around, and rumors of Wyrmkin nests in the Wild Plains gave rise to expanded military operations throughout the region.

The Scab Plague (Y362-Y378)

The Scab Plague first appeared in Redtower and quickly spread to nearby cities, resisting both mundane and magical healing. Victims became weak and feverish and then broke out in sores that give the disease its name. The Scab Plague killed more than half the Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Goblins it infected, and its relatively long incubation period made most quarantine efforts useless. Kobolds appeared to be immune to the plague.

People blamed the disease on many groups: hidden Wyrmkin, Windy Isles Clans, Guardians of Mendia, Humans, Dwarves, and Elves. Finally, a group of Grovekeepers discovered the source: a long-hidden Outsider weapon in the cliff caves beneath Redtower. It was eventually destroyed by the Ice Touched wizard, Magrila, who entombed it in the everlasting ice of the Frozen Sea. Once the source was destroyed, the plague burned itself out, but only after it killed close to a third of the population of the Free Cities and Windy Isles. The Eastlands suffered fewer losses because of their relative isolation, and no one knows how many Goblins fell to the disease.

Restoration (Y379-Y432))

The years since the plague have been relatively peaceful because there is no great source of conflict. There is plenty of land available, game is plentiful, and trade is slowly recovering. However, the Scab Plague forced people to confront the state of their world. The warnings of the Grovekeepers concerning the World Tree gain weight with each passing decade, and everyone wonders what terrible weapons lie beneath the forests and hills of Mendia.