Chronicle of the Flickering Flame
The Era of Upheaval
○ Creation (Eons ago)
○ The Days of Thunder (~35,000 years ago)
○ The Dawn Age (~30,000 years ago)
○ The Sundering (~24,000 years ago)
○ The First Flowering (~12,000 years ago)
○ The Crown Wars (~9,000 years ago)
○ The Age of Humanity (~3,000 years ago)
The Era of Upheaval (1358 DR to Present)
With the destruction of the Netheril empire the way was clear for the founding of new cities and the flourishing of old, oppressed nations all across Faerûn. Great metropolises like Waterdeep, Neverwinter, Baldur’s Gate and others rose to great power, shining like great beacons along the Sword Coast. In this new era a compact between human settlers and elves became known as the Dalereckoning(DR) and marked the start of a new calendar with the year one.
Many centuries passed, marked with times of war and peace, famine and plenty. Most of the great catastrophes of the past had been forgotten or hidden in shame from the new generations. The people of Faerûn led their mundane lives not knowing exactly how bad things could get. And then came the Time of Troubles. Though this time, it can be said, the trouble was not the fault of hubristic mortals.
The Time of Troubles (1358 DR)
Two clay tablets once existed, ancient beyond comprehension. And etched into them was the overgod, Ao’s, grand plan for his pantheon of deities. These artifacts, known as the Tablets of Fate, also represented a measure of Ao’s ability to know and control their actions. It was then, in the year 1358 DR, that the lord of darkness, Bane, and the god of death, Myrkul, managed to steal the Tablets, hoping to gain greater freedom and some measure of Ao’s power. The overgod discovered the theft and summoned his pantheon. He demanded the return of the tablets and when none would step forward he showed them the consequences of such a flagrant transgression. Ao stripped his pantheon, all except Helm, of their godly powers and immortality. They were banished to Toril to walk among their followers. Helm was tasked with guarding the celestial gates from the downcast deities.
The gods soon formed alliances with each other and with certain mortal adventurers who were fated to cross their paths. Arcane magic began to behave strangely and divine magic soon ceased altogether. Some sought to find the Tablets of Fate and those responsible for their theft. Others sought to force their way back into the heavens. For years the gods struggled to find their way and their placed among the world they had once lorded over. Many mortals and various nations were pulled into their schemes. In the end, the Tablets were recovered and returned to Ao, who reacquired their power before destroying them. The gods were given their divinity back though many of them died during the Time of Troubles. Some were replaced in the pantheon by mortals who showed incredible resolve during the upheaval. Magic was returned to normal, yet magic still behaves oddly in some parts of Toril.
The Return of Netheril (1374 DR)
More than a century past, a skirmish in the tombs beneath the elven city of Evereska, between thieves and the Tomb Guard, inadvertently destroyed the Sharn Wall, a hidden, magical barrier imprisoning and binding the Phaerimm deep underground. The horrific beings awoke and emerged to walk Faerûn once again. The hero, Galaeron Nihmedu, one of the Tomb Guard who was involved in the battle in the elven crypts, formed an uneasy alliance with the few surviving tomb robbers and set out on a quest to find a way to seal away or defeat the released Phaerimm. Galaeron and his companions learned of the ancient Netherese empire and its destruction. They also came into possession of a hidden secret; that the Netherese flying city of Thultanthar had survived destruction when Karsus banished the Phaerimm and disrupted the magical Weave. Thultanthar, in the last moments, was shifted into the Plane of Shadow. The legends said that the Netherese waged war against the Phaerimm for centuries and so Galaeron decided that he would find a way to bring the city back to Toril so that it might aid in the battle against their ancient foe.
Galaeron’s adventuring party, through great effort, located a powerful magical artifact known as the Karstone, which was in fact the heart of Karsus the Archwizard. The elf used the artifact and opened a breach in the Plane of Shadow. Through the portal came the flying city of Thultanthar. The people of the flying city, now renamed Shade, were remarkably changed, having lived in the Plane of Shadow for nearly two-thousand years. The elf learned that the mages had spent much of that time devising a way to destroy the Phaerimm once and for all should they ever return to Toril. Galaeron formed an alliance with the Shadovar, as they were now known. They traveled across Faerûn looking for artifacts buried in ancient Netherese ruins. Once the necessary items were gathered Galaeron and the Shadovar were able to destroy the Phaerimm in one, final climactic battle.
Unfortunately, the Shadovar were not content to remain as they were or return to the Plane of Shadow. They returned to their ancient homeland, which had since become the barren Anauroch desert. There they sought to recreate the Netherese empire and turn the desert back into a verdant landscape. They attempted to melt the High Ice glacier to the north in an effort to revivify the barren waste. This caused massive, torrential flooding, killing thousands. This, coupled with other dark, ulterior motives turned the Shadovar into enemies of the people of Faerûn once again. Galaeron, with the help of the legendary Elminster the Sage, struck back at the City of Shade, sending it crashing to the ground and destroying it utterly.
The Spellplague (1385 DR)
During the Time of Troubles the god of murder, Bhaal, was slain by a mortal named Cyric, ending the dark god’s evil plans. One could perhaps praise Cyric as a hero if he were not as dark-hearted and scheming as Bhaal. The mortal was granted godhood and raised by Ao to replace Bhaal and become the god of lies and madness. Cyric performed his new role with great relish and enthusiasm. And it was then that Shar, the Mistress of the Night, approached Cyric with a bold and daring scheme.
With Shar’s aid Cyric was able to enter Mystra’s domain, Dweomerheart. The god of murder lived up to his namesake and slew the goddess of magic. Mystra’s fall began the collapse of the Weave. Shar, who maintained control of the Plane of Shadow, had power over the Shadow Weave, the dark counterpoint to the magical Weave that permeated Toril. The goddess of darkness hoped that she might be able tame the Weave and merge its power with the Shadow Weave. She opened a conduit between this world and a place of concentrated madness called the Far Realm. This bolstered her already immense power and Dweomerheart was annihilated utterly. This caused an intense explosion of chaotic energy that engulfed the fleeing Cyric. The god of murder’s madness combined with the unspeakable insanity of the Far Realm causing a surge of raw chaos that began filling in the void left by the collapsing Weave. Shar was overwhelmed and was unable to tame the Weave as she had hoped. Its collapse was complete and replaced with Cyric’s madness made manifest. Shar fled to the Plane of Shadow where she created an impenetrable fortress realm called the Shadowfell. And it was here that she would erect her new throne.
Back on Toril, chaos was consuming the world, even spreading to other worlds and planes of existence beyond. Waves of azure flame spread across Toril leaving great change in their wake. Vast stretches of land changed in myriad ways, whole cities on Toril where swapped with cities from Abeir, many animals changed into horrible mockeries of life, massive chunks of earth would tear from the ground to float in the sky. There was no predicting how things would change or why one thing would be altered but not another. Many wizards all across the world were consumed by the blue inferno and those who survived found that their magic spells were wild and uncontrollable. Before long an irrevocably changed Cyric was apprehended and put on trial by the gods. He was bound to his realm for a thousand years, unable to leave or directly meddle in mortal affairs.
After a decade the wizards of the Realms where mostly able to tame the strange, new source of magic. But, there was much that could never be as it was before. After nearly a century the fabled wizard, Elminster’s long and arduous search for his mistress came to an end. He had finally found Mystra’s essence and it became clear that no force in all the multiverse had the power to completely destroy the goddess of magic. Magic must always be and can never cease. The goddess was resurrected, finally restoring the Weave and returning magic to its original and almost forgotten form.
The Second Sundering (1482 DR)
Since the Time of Troubles the Overgod, Ao, was crafting a new set of divine tablets to replace the ones that were destroyed. Ao sought to set the worlds in order and rewrite the rules by which the pantheon Faerûn must abide, though there would be much pain that would accompany the change and the mending. Strange phenomena spread across Faerûn, including great earthquakes, powerful storms, unnaturally long seasons and other odd occurrences, including the rebirth of Bhaal, the god of murder. Abeir and Toril were being separated once again and the world was returning to some measure of normalcy. However, the gods feared what Ao was planning. The Overgod possessed the power to cast them down and raise mortals up into their place. So they schemed among one another, seeking to protect their power and ensure that it could not be taken from them completely. This resulted in many conflicts and outright wars among the mortal nations. All fueled by the machinations of the gods. Divine magic became unreliable for a time. In the end, many of the struggles ground to a halt. Many gods who had once perished had been restored to life and divinity. Others were destroyed or exiled. Today, the powerful and destabilizing changes of the past century to the world and to magic have been repaired. Who knows what fate lies in store for the world in the coming days?