The written history of the world has been divided into 13 parts that scholars and historians refer to as “ages.” There are, of course, ruins and artifacts that date older than that, but any real knowledge that anyone has about prehistory is spotty at best. Most knowledge about these earlier ages was collected in the Great Library of Glassguard, which was burned to the ground when the Orc Lord sacked the city.
The First Age: The first age was marked by the rise of the Crystalline Empire, a magocracy under the rule of the most powerful spellcaster of that age, the Wizard King. The Wizard King united the continent by force, which left many discontent. It eventually fell after a rebellion by the Empire’s subjects left the military weak enough that a legion of orcs and demons, rallied under the banner of a powerful warchief called the Orc Lord, carved a swath of destruction across the Empire, before sacking the capitol of Glassguard; the Orc Lord himself personally killed the Wizard King by stabbing him through his left eye. However, after that battle, the Wizard King resurrected himself as the Lich King. Using powerful necromancy, he killed the eldest white dragon, resurrected it as a dracolich, and used this new weapon of his to kill the Orc Lord in retaliation, bringing the 1st Age to an end.
The Second Age: After the fall of the Crystalline Empire, the world fractured into several city states that would inevitably end up warring with each other. The strife would also hit underground, when the Dwarven civilization eventually expanded into territory claimed by the drow. The massive war between the two underground empires eventually caused catastrophes on the surface, the large earthquakes caused by dwarven magic to crush the elves causing entire cities to collapse into the underground. It was the fall of one of these cities, which crushed both the Dwarf King and the Elf King of that age while both were locked in single combat, that brought the Second Age to an end.
The Third Age: Their underground empire lost to them, the Dwarves expanded onto the surface. While there were still tensions with the elves, the peace treaties signed after the Great Underworld War held firm. The Dwarves brought with them advanced stonework and metallurgy technologies. Sick of war, the dwarves instead promised to share their technology with any city that would pledge allegiance to their King. Thus, the Third Age is sometimes known as “the Dwarven Age.” Of course, this golden age would soon end.
The Fourth Age: This age was another one of strife. Various orc warbands, which had been only a nuisance during the third age, were again united under another warchief who claimed the title of Orc Lord. After browbeating most of the orcs, as well as a force of ogres, goblins, and giants as well, the Orc Lord set his sights on the Dwarven Empire. Having gone so long without fighting a major war, the Dwarves and their allies were helpless against the onslaught of the orcs. After the Orc Lord slew the Dwarf Queen of the age with minimal effort, it looked like the dwarves might go extinct. However, a powerful dwarven warrior by the name of Steelfist rallied the dwarves and their allies. Assuming the iconic role of the Champion, Steelfist beat back the orcish hordes, eventually slaying the Orc Lord in single combat before succumbing to his wounds. The Dwarven Empire would never return, but the dwarves would live on.
The Fifth Age: In the wake of the fall of the dwarves, the Elves would take over as the major power of the Fifth Age. The new Elf Queen agreed to keep the orcs in check, and created powerful wards in the North that would theoretically keep the orcs at bay. No major wars of import happened during the Fifth Age; it was an era of rebuilding.
The Sixth Age: The orcs again rose to prominence in the Sixth Age, but the Orc Lord who arose took a different tack. Deciding he wanted to build something lasting, the Orc Lord of this era built mighty cities, in which the weapons of war were forged and vast legions trained. His legion of warcasters broke the enchantments that would prevent the orcs from raiding south. The nations to the South prepared and waited, wondering if they would manage to survive this assault. But before his armies could march, the Orc Lord’s capitol was destroyed in a month by a sudden, concerted attack of the Four, the oldest remaining living dragons. Out of seemingly nowhere, the Orc Lord was dead, and the dragons ascended as the masters of the world, after years of preparations.
The Seventh Age: Also known as the Draconic Age, an army of dragons, dragonians, and lizardlings performed one of the most complete conquests of the world ever recorded. Draconic spies implanted in the governments of the various nations weakened opposition, and before anyone knew it, the dragons had assumed control of all civilization. The Seventh Age was marked by many rebellions against the dragon overlords, many of which were put down violently. The Age ended with the arrival of allies no one would have suspected.
The Eighth Age: The draconic hold on the continent seemed absolute, until the arrival from the West of the Metallic Dragons, under the command of their eldest representative, the Great Gold Wyrm. Ancient foes of the Chromatic Dragons controlling the continent, their arrival was the spark needed for the rebellions to succeed. Many heroic icons rose during this age, including the Dragonslayer, the Evoker, the Elf Queen, and the High Druid. The rebellion and metallic dragons worked together (though the humanoids were VERY wary of their draconic allies, of course) to purge the continent of the Chromatic Dragons. Oddly enough, only the eldest Green Dragon attempted to fight against the rebellion, and for her trouble was ensorcelled and sealed within the elven woods. The three others remained out of sight, oddly content to see their empire fall down around them.
The Ninth Age: While some of the metallic dragons, including the Great Gold Wyrm, remained on the continent to guard against further chromatic predations, most the of metallic dragons flew west back to where they had come from. The Ninth Age was one of relative peace, as the various civilizations attempted to build themselves back up after the draconic hegemony that had destroyed most of their culture and technology.
The Tenth Age: The Tenth Age’s beginning was marked by a rift into Hell known as the Abyss opening up in the far South, the result of a powerful ritual by a nobleman known as the Baron of Blades; this act earned him the iconic title of the Diabolist. While demon summoning had always been a problem, now the demons could simply climb out of a tear in reality to do what they wished. Several demon lords did so, including the Asmodeus the deceiver, Pazuzu the defiler, and Noctus the shadow. Several of these demon lords were then bound under the control of the Diabolist, who used them to try and construct an empire of his own. Fortunately, the metallic dragons and several civilizations managed to act quickly and contain the demonic spread, forcing the demon lords back into the rift. This war ended up killing most of the heroic icons of the age, including the Avenger, the Exalt, and the Demonslayer. The last battle also claimed the life of the Diabolist himself. The Gold Wyrm then bound himself to the rift, killing all the demons he could in hope that he could staunch the flow of demons from the Abyss.
The Eleventh Age: The Eleventh Age was an era of strife. While the Great Demon Lords had been pushed back into the Abyss, demons had become a lot more common in the world. Various Holy Orders arose in this Age to combat this new threat. No great Empires arose during this time, since the devotees of various Gods would often fight over the best way to combat the demons. However, these squabbles would soon be quieted when the churches began to be united by an Aasimar holy woman who assumed the iconic title of the Priestess.
The Twelfth Age: This age was marked by the Rise of the Dragon Empire. The House of Draco, ancestral rulers of the city of Axis, managed to gain the loyalty of the Priestess, the most powerful spellcaster in the world (known as the Archmage), and even a clan of silver dragons. With this influence, the Dragon Empire expanded rapidly. Many cities swore allegiance to the new empire, while some were conquered by the military might of House Draco. The Dragon Empire reached the height of its power under Sextus Draco, who managed to secure an alliance with both the Dwarves and the Elves, a feat thought impossible to do.
The Thirteenth Age: The current age of the world, the Thirteenth Age began with the wars fought by Septimus Draco against various enemies that threatened the Dragon Empire’s borders. Several icons who have been preparing for centuries to retake the world, including the Lich King and the Three, along with newer ambitious icons like a new Diabolist and a Fourth Orc Lord, appear to be beginning their plans all at the same time. Who will control the world in this age, and the ages to come, is a question very much up in the air.