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Timeline

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Timeline[edit]

This timeline uses Earth-based dates for the sake of reading convenience.

8000 BCE - The first Alhazredian settlements develop, and develop crude magical systems. For the next thousand years, they spread across their planet, conquering and ruling in tribal structures.

5000 BCE - Alhazredian science advances far enough for them to achieve functional, if dangerous, dimensional travel. With an advanced knowledge of mathematics and a scientific level far beyond that of the corresponding period in Earth history, they begin to spread out across the Dimensional Sea.

1700 BCE - The sprawling mess of Alhazredian worlds and tribes is thrown into chaos as their homeworld drops into Imaginary Space. The dimensional quakes that accompanied this event are titanic, of such strength and magnitude that scars remain on the Dimensional Sea until the days of the TSAB. Every priest-king and priest-savant within hundreds of dimensions drops dead from the backlash the moment Alhazred unmakes itself, leaving a near-total power vacuum. The first Dark Ages begin.

1500 BCE - Standardised magic systems, with coherent geometrical casting structures rather than formless masses of cuneiform, begin to emerge from the shock troops of dead priest-kings, who were taught close-knit spell arsenals that all worked on the same basic principles.

983 BCE - The first Belkan King crowns herself at swordpoint with a remnant Alhazredian priest-king’s crown, killing him immediately thereafter. Vivio’s ancestor then begins to set the foundations for what will eventually become Ancient Belka, first of the Dawn States.

1200 CE - A succession war between Saint Kings ends with the Saint’s Cradle raking the Belkan homeworld with fire. It renders the planet uninhabitable, and splits Belka apart as a vicious civil war begins. The other superpowers hover around the edges briefly before diving in to exploit the situation, and the tentative stalemate that had kept Dimensional Space largely in a state of cold war dissolves. The Warring States Era begins, with the remnants of the major Empires - all still fairly powerful - fighting amongst one another, fiefdoms and kingdoms popping up and squabbling, Lost Logia being set off, etc.

1851 CE - Olivie Segbrecht, last of the Saint Kings of Ancient Belka, takes the throne despite not being the heir apparent after defeating her cousin in a duel. For the next fifteen years, she systematically undermines the military supremacy of her own nation in furious wars against other power groups, deliberately wasting her power while strengthening the "civilian" infrastructure.

1866 CE - Olivie dies in what may have been the culmination of a deliberate plan, losing the Saint’s Cradle and ensuring that the Belkan hegemony collapses in a controlled manner. The line of the Saint Kings is shattered, and the remnant powers of the other Empires have been thoroughly broken, so it is the civilian powers that take up the reigns of dimensional space, setting up institutions that recover as the Belkan Empire drifts apart - not violently like most collapses, but almost as an afterthought.

1941 CE - 0000 NC. The clusters of allied worlds that survived the milder period of anarchy after Olivie’s death set up the TSAB officially, adopting the New Calendar and proclaiming this to be the starting year.

1980 CE - 0039 NC. The experimental reactor being worked on by Precia Testarossa suffers an explosive failure, killing her five-year old daughter along with many others.

1995 CE - 0054 NC. Previous Book of Darkness Incident. The Book is destroyed with the sacrifice of the dimensional cruiser Estia, killing all onboard, including Captain Clyde Harloawn.

2005 CE - 0064-0065 NC. Combat Cyborg Incident

2006 CE - 0065 NC. The time period for the events of the Jewel Seed Incident (in the early months) and the Book of Darkness Incident (around the end of the year).

Eras[edit]

Alhazredian (8000 BCE to 1700 BCE)[edit]

Alhazred. It bears a similar place in the history of Dimensional Space to Atlantis, the semi-mythical, incredibly advanced culture far back in the mists of time, lost to catastrophe and with only legend left behind in its wake. The truth... is a little more complex.

Alhazred developed not long after humans developed agriculture, during ancient, prehistoric eras; pre-Sumerian. They developed magic almost as soon as their civilisation began, somewhere around 8000 to 7800 BCE, and were spreading rapidly through dimensional space within three thousand years. Their systems of writing and mathematics both developed from their need to better control the magical forces they wielded, as did the majority of their technological advancement. The result of this rapid, out-of-order development was that their culture was alien in many ways to ours - a difference that can be traced back to the very beginnings of Alhazred.

In the far reaches of the distant past, on a world nearly identical to Earth, priest-kings and priest-queens, clad in crude barrier jackets and actual armour of hammered bronze, draw beaten bronze swords wrapped in magical fields and fall upon their foes, maiming and cutting, until their side was dominant. From these foundations was Alhazred built, where the priest-kings and the priest-savants had their empires and were unchallenged, for all were lesser to them. For two thousand 1-years they rose and swept across their world, fracturing and splitting into fractious city-states, and in a world where most still lived in huts, the priest-kings created buildings of magic and engineer genetics, for only the magic-users mattered.

And then these priest-kings, these tribal tyrants with their uplifts and their towering spires and their power sources that have never since been replicated... then these priest-kings discovered dimensional space. And from that day onwards, humanity has spread across the worlds.

As can be seen, a certain amount of cultural schizophrenia permeated Alhazredian civilisation. They had already mastered the Familiar Uplift by the point they left their planet, and that was a contributing factor to their progress, because the priest-savants could give up power to run as many familiars as they could. They spent a lot of time spreading out over dimensional space, terraforming, colonising and inhabiting. Their society... wasn’t one, really. A disparate collection of priest-kings and priest-queens ruling over fiefdoms, their culture (such as it was) was a schizophrenic mixture of primitivism and hyper-advancement. While not quite at the level where they skipped the wheel because they invented the technomagical antigrav generator, they certainly missed huge chunks of a modern functioning society - something that makes them fascinating to archeologists. They were primitive enough to use tribal markings as a relatively common way to denote their clans, while at the same time doing so by coding unnatural hair and eye colours, or facial markings, into the genome - it is for this reason that hair colours such as purple or green persist to the modern day in Dimensional Space. They had no form of centralised authority, and how different priest-kings ruled their tribes varied wildly. The era spanned thousands of years, and wars between tribes sparked waves of colonisation as they expanded outward, terraforming planets casually to get more land.

Even the name "Alhazredian" is a crude summary of the era, as there were many hundreds of divisions within the six-thousand-year period that bears the name, ranging from Meso-Urahnian to Teleutian and Sarkophagan. "Alhazredian" is a closer equivalent to "Iron Age" than a descriptor such as "French" or even "African", and the variance within the era was enormous.

Dark Ages (1700 BCE to 983 BCE)[edit]

Around 1700 BCE, an unknown event dropped the Alhazredian homeworld into Imaginary Space, shattering Alhazred's power and cutting the many colonies apart. The dimensional quakes caused by an entire planet plunging into Imaginary Space killed every priest king within a hundred or more dimensions, and crippled many more at further distances. Scars still survive on Dimensional Space from this cataclysm, most notably the Alhazredian Rift. The societal collapse that followed was the first of many, the Dark Ages. Some of the surviving priest-kings held onto power, but Alhazred's back was broken, and one by one, they died. In their wake rose tentative new empires and fiefdoms, built from the soldiers that had served them, who had more efficient, homogeneous spells for ease of tutelage. They were the ones who developed the idea of standardising the basic pattern of a spell - of every spell, so that no matter what you were casting, large elements of it were the same, and you could plug other bits in in a modular, generic way to get almost any effect. Little information survives from this era, as there was widespread conflict and much of the technology to make long-lasting data records had been lost with Alhazred's fall. The wonders of the priest-kings were rendered largely useless or inoperable without the secrets of their function, and many of those that remained were highly cost-prohibitive. It is thought that cartridge-tech was developed during this era, not as a power boost but rather as a means of simply supplying the extreme energy requirements of some of the surviving Alhazredian weapons.

Dawn States (983 BCE to 1200 CE)[edit]

Eventually, the pseudo-empires of the Dark Ages began to clump together into larger and larger polities, and the first superpowers of the third era began to emerge. The Belkan Empire became a major military power - perhaps the greatest military power of the time - just as other superstates began to emerge in similar fashions across Dimensional Space. The Kingdom of Galea was a second, led by the Dark Monarchs. There were others as well - the Praové Dynasty, the Shahdom of Ossiria, the Yeventine Caliphate and yet more besides. Collectively, these were called the Dawn States. Of them, Belka is the most well-known in the modern day and was the most powerful of them in military terms. This was, however, only on a one-to-one comparison, and the balance of forces caused a stalemate to develop wherein Belka could not move to attack any other Empire for fear of facing several more attacking it on other fronts while it was occupied.

At the same time, however, none of the other states could afford to start serious wars with one another, for fear of strikes at their own unguarded flanks if they did so. This state of cold war; with each of the great domains expanding out from borders they didn’t share with one another, conquering smaller, weaker fiefdoms and engaging in frequent minor tussles and border conflicts that were ended before they grew large enough to create points of weakness that another faction could exploit; epitomised much of the Dawn States Era, with the sheer military might of Belka being the main capstone that kept the rest in line.

Warring States (1200 CE to 1866 CE)[edit]

As the primary military power of the Dawn States, Belka held the others in an uneasy stalemate, and when the Belkan homeworld was raked with fire by the Saint's Cradle during a succession crisis between Saint Kings in 1200AD, this state of affairs collapsed and the Warring States era began. With Belka's collapse marking the beginning of a free-for-all war, the great empires shattered on each other. Ossira engineered the collapse of Praove, overestimating its ability to contain the fallout as the Dynasty sent out its forces against Yevent in a misaimed attempt at retaliation. The three directions of Belka came to blows with each other and Galea, and fractured further. The Hegemony based in Shutra, from whose leader Einhart Stratos descends from, was one such break-away post-Belkan state controlled by a military oligarchy composed of the super-soldier model now referred to as the Hegemon linage.

Conflict defined the Warring States. The heights of the Dawn States had been lost, but many of the Lost Logia weapons from that time still survived, and the micro-empires formed from the shattered chunks of sundered superpowers used them to excess against their rivals. The stocks of priceless Logia were depleted rapidly in a vicious arms race that consumed, birthed and altered polities at a frantic pace, and which sparked a great deal of innovation and adaptation in magical styles and systems.

Towards the end of this period, approximately 150 years before the present day, the last of the Saint Kings of Ancient Belka took the throne. Olivie Segbrecht, despite the fact that she was not the heir apparent, was crowned after defeating her cousin (who history records as a singularly ambitious and violent person) in a duel to the death.

Olivie's reign was short, lasting barely 15 years before she herself was killed, but it was transformational. She single-handedly and systematically undermined the military supremacy of her own nation in furious wars against other power groups, deliberately wasting her power while strengthening the "civilian" infrastructure. The lineage of the Saint Kings was said to have a savant-like genius at warfare, yet Olivie's behaviour appeared irrational; later historians are sure that she had worked out that the rule of the Belkans was unstable, based around the Cradle and military force over unwilling and increasingly unhappy populations. It is thought that she was acting deliberately to ensure that the Belkan hegonomy collapsed in a controlled manner - up to and including arranging her own death in a way that lost the legendary ship that so much of their power was based on.

Anarchic Years (1866 CE to 1941 CE)[edit]

The Anarchic Years are not generally thought of as an Era in their own right, but rather as the name given to the end of the Warring States, after Olivie's death. If the theory that her actions were intentionally designed to reduce her own nation's military power along with all the others, it worked. She had broken the backs of the Saint Kings as thoroughly as the other Warring States powers, and her subtle work to reinforce civilian infrastructure and ensure that not all political power ran through the Cradle meant that there were institutions in place which recovered. The Belkan Empire drifted apart; it did not truly collapse. Wars and conquerors still existed, but on a far smaller scale. Overall, the empire did not tear itself apart, but instead merely separated into clusters of allied worlds, with far less "reversion to the dark ages" than most previous collapses.

TSAB New Calendar (1941 CE - present)[edit]

The official date of the current era was marked by the start of the TSAB New Calendar. The organisation, founded by a group of powerful mages from the allied worlds of the Anarchic Years, had been around for some time, but this was its official genesis. While small at first, it quickly expanded, using the remnants of the collaboration and the backing of the Saint Church to regulate and administer Dimensional Space. The polity grew into something akin to the Dimensional EU/NATO, and Dimensional Space began to return to a relative peace as they tried to bring the standards of living in their Administered Worlds up somewhat from the levels they had degenerated to. While still young, and lacking the numbers and resources to fully control the territory they've claimed, they are keeping the peace so far and accelerating as fast as possible to reach the level of power they really need to do their job.

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