While we are currently working on expanding the Age of Wonders universe, we have prepared this detailed timeline, which contains all key events that happened in between Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic and Age of Wonders III. This timeline will answer questions concerning the activities of key characters, disappearance of entire races, as well as raise some new mysteries!
After the war of the Wizard Kings, the restoration of the Circle of Evermore was supposed to bring back peace and balance of the elemental forces. But the magical cataclysm caught the attention of a greater evil. From the void, demonic shadows gathered. They struck Evermore first. Merlin and the Circle are caught unprepared and were marooned in limbo, called the Shadow World.
Meanwhile, a Human Emperor called Phobius established rule over the Blessed Continent. People, frightened of all things magical, flocked to his side. Feeding the paranoia, Phobius set out to root out practitioners of magic. In this magical vacuum, the Shadow Demons gathered their strength and began devouring souls.
Faced with a common threat, rival siblings Meandor and Julia of the ancient Elven House Inioch put aside their conflicts. Together with the human wizard called Merlin and his otherworldly Syron allies; they drove the shadow demons back and defeated Phobius. The world returned to peace. This happened in the year 382 of Queen Julia’s Rule.
Now follow the key the events that have transpired between that time and the start of the Age of Wonders 3 campaign.
QJR 385 – The Decade of Peace – Most Wizards find their realms decimated from the Shadow War. They gather their remaining forces and repair their lands. Meandor (the Wizard of Death and High King of Dark Elves) and Julia (the Wizard of Life and High Queen of the Wood Elves) rule what remains of the surrendered Phobian empire in peace. Merlin is sceptical about the new times and wishes to be forgotten by most, but makes an exception for Julia.
QJR 387 – Having seen the fall and redemption of her brother Meandor, Julia seeks a way to heal the conflicted natures of all elves and to restore them to the state they were in when her mother, Queen Elwyn, was young. Julia’s duties as queen require her to abandon her search, however. Merlin vows to continue to search for the means of mending the Dark and Wood Elves together, knowing the peace it would bring would make Julia happy.
QJR 387 – Delegations of Human representatives petition Julia for power to seek their own sovereignty. Queen Julia is sympathetic, but after the reign of Phobius Meandor does not trust the Human race. Because the two rule together, she respects his wishes and sides with her brother, denying their petition.
QJR 390 – The Syron and Archons return from the Shadow Realm, pleading for help from the world’s greatest heroes. They claim to have found other worlds falling prey to the Shadows. Meandor is sick of the constant squawking of human complaints and proclaims his intent to leave the world of Athla to exterminate the forces of Shadow. Heeding his call, Wizards and Heroes follow Meandor’s lead as rumors spread of whole worlds full of riches to be discovered. Merlin also leaves to investigate these claims. Meandor leaves three of his most trusted servants, a Triumvirate of dark elf leaders, to rule in his place. They are named Saridas, Werlac and Hester.
Queen Julia also remains behind to care for her people and rule the world of Athla.
QJR 391 – With Meandor gone, a deluge of requests inundate the courts. It becomes clear to Julia that most Elves, due to their immortal nature, are unfamiliar with the immediate nature of humans and their needs for quick resolution of things an Elf might find tiresome or unimportant. She attempts to teach the Triumvirate of Dark Elves about the nature of humans, but Werlac is uninterested, Hester hostile to any advice, only Saridas listens intently.
QJR 394 – After four years of constant petitioning from representatives of all the races remaining in Athla, Queen Julia gathers her closest advisors to address their requests. With the help of Saridas, Julia formulates a plan to allow the other races the rights and powers to rule themselves. She drafts the original charter for what will become known as The Commonwealth.
(YC – First Year of the Commonwealth – Founder’s Day is a holiday held on the day the Council of Kings finished drafting the Commonwealth’s Laws of Governance. Most sages agree this year marked the start of the Third Age of Wonders.
1 YC (395 QJR) – The Council of Kings – Julia gathers the remaining rulers of the land to the Valley of Wonders. She presents the Charter of Principles, and asks the rulers present to accept it as their law. A number of rulers refuse to relinquish the way they rule their people. Among them various Orc, Draconian and Goblin clans, the Tigrans, a group of Dark Elves led by Hester, and all the Frostling Kings. They withdraw from the Council of Kings. The remaining kings, wizards and heroes agree to abdicate their power to the people, opting to form the first Ruling Synod to establish common rights and laws that enforce equality for all their subjects. They name their new government: The Commonwealth. Stronghelm City is officially declared to be the capital. The Commonwealth is a law-based society, without preference to race, creeds or birth right. Its citizens agree to resolve their differences using courts, rather than violence.
2 YC – 200 YC – An Era of Common Glory: An unprecedented era of peace and prosperity ensues for the Commonwealth. During this time, the borders of the Empire expand beyond any other empire ever known in the world of Athla—even beyond that of the Elves prior to humanity’s arrival.
10 YC – 33 YC – A Long Courtship – With their responsibilities as rulers diminished both Julia and Saridas begin a courtship. Saridas, who has been smitten with the Elven Queen for years, pursues her favor. Julia seeks to mend her relations with the Dark Elves, in the same sense she did with her brother Meandor. During a season of peace, and with Merlin and Meandor gone, Julia makes many efforts to meet with the Dark Elves in general, and Saridas in particular. One night, while walking beneath the trees and moonlight, he discovers her truest desire to heal the physical division between the Dark Elves and Wood Elves, so that they are one people again.
33 YC – An aged Merlin returns from the Shadow Realm. He claims to have been away for 1500 years, though he has been gone from Athla for less than 50. He tells of many realms, fragments of kingdoms, and portals found in the Shadow World, where even the passage of time is not the same as it is on the Blessed Continent. Most of the Wizards that entered the labyrinthine realm have disappeared behind this endless realm of smoke and mirrors. His words are used by demagogues to create fear and hysteria. A movement springs into action demanding the Shadowgates throughout the world be closed. After much debate, the Shadowgate at Sunbirth Citadel, which is considered a remote wasteland, is designated to be the only Shadowgate to remain operational within the Commonwealth.
35 YC – The Noble Exodus – After years of work establishing the Commonwealth, nostalgic (and often bankrupt) noble houses grow tired of the idea of equality and seek the old ways of ruling. They form a small, but mostly unpopular, movement to take their power back. After a quick and mostly nonviolent conflict they are given the option to leave Athla altogether through the Shadowgate or remain in Athla, stripped of their noble titles.
37 YC – Sunbirth City – Merlin is appointed guardian to the last Shadowgate in Sunbirth Citadel. He invites Julia to join him in the study of the weird phenomena in the region. Her affinity with nature and life magic lead them to a deeper understanding of the nature of Mana and its regenerative properties in the very world of Athla.
39 YC – Julia leaves Sunbirth City and Merlin to care for her people. Merlin realizes that Julia’s heart is with the plight of her people, and putting aside any potential rivalry secretly decides to help Saridas achieve Julia’s dream. He disappears for years at a time, distracted by his newfound quest, leaving the people to freely create massive wealth with very little oversight. All other shadow gates are now destroyed, and many of the people far from the last Gate start to forget the pain of the past.
66 YC – The Frostling Kings, tired of being pushed to the fringe of the fairest lands, attempt to break the Commonwealth’s hold. After two years of war, the Frostlings are driven out of Brisska and far into the north. All subsequent diplomatic overtures are met with disastrous results. They refuse all contact with the Commonwealth, barricading themselves in a land of permanent ice and snow. From this time on, none of the people known as Frostlings hold any lands of significance within the Commonwealth.
94 YC – What remains of the Tigran Race abandons the Continent of Kesh, and their desert holdings. There is no explanation for this migration, and their cities lay alone as great stone ruins to be swallowed by the constantly shifting desert sands.
99 – YC – As Wizards explore realms beyond the Shadow Gates, Commonwealth explores finding rich new lands on Athla itself. A call is made for colonists to fill the newly established colonies far across the seas and in unspoiled distant lands.
100 YC – The Last Shadowgate opens, this time from the inside. A delegation of Archons request assistance from Wizards and noble warriors to join them in what they call “The War Without End”. They wish to speak with Merlin, but he is gone. Merlin has been missing for a decade now, and even his apprentices don’t know where he is. Few in the land join the Archons. They warn the Commonwealth Synod that they are becoming complacent, and if they do not remain vigilant they will bring great calamities upon Athla. After they leave, the Archons are declared false prophets and dissidents by some of the wealthy and influential Sunbirth nobles. Queen Julia withdraws from the Synod, freeing up her seat to a new member.
117 YC – Saridas travels to Evermore seeking lore to help realize Julia’s dream of healing the Elven people.
125 YC – Because of their impatient and ambitious nature, a majority of the Commonwealth officials are now Humans, with Dwarves making up most of the rest. Draconians are tolerated less and less, and some taverns don’t allow them inside.
131 YC – Meandor’s Return: Meandor opens the last Shadowgate from the inside. He refuses to talk with anyone, barricading himself in a wizard tower. He seeks counsel of Julia and Merlin. The Commonwealth’s Ruling Synod demands to be included and is ignored.
132 YC – Last Exodus – A rampant rumor spreads throughout the land about a new power that has been discovered in the Shadow Realm. This power is vast and untapped. Many of the remaining Wizard Kings in the land set their global enchantments to protect their holdings and then gather their forces. They converge on Sunbirth Citadel and travel into the Shadow Realm to lay claim to this new great power.
135 YC – Merlin returns from the Shadowgate. He goes to meet with Meandor. When Julia arrives, Meandor unexpectedly fields a massive army, marching on Sunbirth City. Julia returns to her kingdom, and begins to stockpile supplies. All year long she demands tributes of any form, to be gathered and stored. Julia empties her treasuries. Merlin is seen in Evermore, reclaiming the Wizard’s Throne. Saridas leaves Evermore after a stranger helped him to find what he was looking for.
136 YC – The Cataclysm: The armies of Meandor sack Sunbirth City. Strangely they do not kill anyone who retreats, allowing them to leave in peace and take what they can. He clears the land around the city, and then drives his forces into the Last Shadowgate. Julia invites the refugees to her realm, where there are supplies for their subsistence. Before the Ruling Synod can react to Meandor’s treachery, Merlin destroys the Wizard’s Circle in Evermore. He channels the power of the destruction through his Wizard’s Tower in the Sunbirth Citadel: in a huge cataclysm the last Shadowgate is destroyed. The Shadow Realm is sealed off from the world of Athla. Merlin’s ritual to destroy the last Shadowgate destroys the power of all Wizard Kings remaining in the Athla. No longer able to enrich their domains with their enchantments or control the prosperity of the lands they control, natural calamities destroy many cities and regions.
137 YC – The Great Dearth – With the Wizard Kings losing their power, a great famine covers the lands of the Blessed Continent. Crops fail. The rains refuse to fall. The whole land suffers. Julia and her Elves save many lives by carefully rationing supplies that they stockpiled.
140 YC – Hunted and despised, Merlin seeks asylum with Julia, but the people, demand he be delivered to the Ruling Synod for execution as a traitor. Julia, in an effort to appease the outraged people, orders Merlin’s execution.
141 YC – Saridas returns from his voyages. He discovers Julia in a weakened state, no longer a wizard of life. He attempts to teach Julia the ways of rudimentary sorcery, but her heart is not in it. She has no more interest in the arts she once knew. They remind her of all she lost. Desperate to seek counsel, he enlists the aid of a group of druids. They remind Julia of the ways of the natural world. She is naturally gifted and dedicates herself to healing her lands.
142 YC – Voices in the Ruling Synod of the Commonwealth accuse Julia, and by extension all Elves, of knowingly allowing the sacking of Sunbirth City and profiting from the refugees, even though Julia shares her supplies for free.
143 YC – A young Lord, Victor Degrance, organizes the homeless nobles and merchants from ruined Sunbirth Citadel and raises a small army. He starts raiding the Elven lands of the Eastern Commonwealth. Instead of hording his wealth, he feeds his followers. He blames Julia and all Elves for the starvation in the land, using the stores of the elves as evidence that they have means while the rest of the empire starves. He notes that the Elves hold the richest lands in the realm, ignoring their counterargument that Elves are natural stewards of their ancient homelands. Victor convinces the Commonwealth Synod to parcel out lands traditionally held by Elves since the beginning of known history to non-Elves. This is an enormous insult to most elves driven from their ancient homelands.
146 YC – Slain and beaten, driven and betrayed, the Elves gather in the West, and choose Saridas and Julia as protectors.
148 YC – Saridas proclaims the ancient and unconquered Elven homeland, Sylvanus, a safe haven for Elves. He refuses to give up the Elven lands held in the East. Masses gather in these ancient woods. Saridas and Julia begin collecting the powers and resources required to perform a powerful magical ceremony. Rumors about their motives spread throughout the Commonwealth, accelerating the intolerance and hatred against Elves in the Commonwealth.
150 YC – The Mending – Julia and Saridas unite in a ceremony that heals the rift between all Dark and Wood Elves present, restoring the ancient race of Elves: the High Elves. They reinstate the Elven Court in protest to the Commonwealth, which demands the Elves surrender their lands for the benefit of all the other people in the land. Saridas declares the western portion of the Commonwealth to henceforth be Elven Court territory. The High Elves appoint their own local lords and elect their own ruling body. Then, ignoring their objections, they elevate Saridas and Julia to be their King and Queen.
151 YC – Julia announces that she is with child and steps away from ruling to focus on the start of her family.
153 YC – Rumors start to spread about the old Archon cities, long since void of the divine beings. Remote and almost forgotten, their dwellings are said to be haunted.
154 YC – Rise of an Emperor: After a near complete recovery and unprecedented prosperity thanks to stripping lands traditionally held by elves, the Commonwealth declares King Saridas, Queen Julia and their High Elven Court enemies of the Commonwealth. Among the Humans, the hysteria is at an all-time high. They fear the Elves are plotting to kill them all—as was a tenant of the Dark Elves at one time, and now these new Elves could be Dark Elves in disguise. Victor uses the uncertainty to consolidate his power.
155 YC – Victor convinces a majority of the Ruling Synod that an executive body is necessary to manage the powers of the Commonwealth—much like the ancient Wizard Kings of old. He proposes that he be elevated to Emperor in the case that there is a threat made against the Commonwealth. This would be a temporary position that would only exist for as long as the Commonwealth were in true danger. The Synod sanctions the creation of the station of this Emperor In War, and despite the Elves’ objections to it, the majority of the Commonwealth enthusiastically endorses Victor to serve in this position.
155 YC – 225 YC – The Uneasy Peace: The Elven Court and Commonwealth remain at odds. The Commonwealth position is that the Elven Court constists of rebels who have declared independence and who should give up their holdings since they belong to the Commonwealth. The Elven Court says they simply withdrew from the Commonwealth since it abused its power to steal their lands from them and that they should be left alone. Minor skirmishes happen from time to time, but there are also a lot of high-level talks, usually held at the Council of Origins in the Valley of Wonders. A solution is never reached.
157 YC – A new form of religion becomes popular in the Commonwealth. Demand for strange Shrines that empower their followers with enchantments outstrip the new sect’s ability to build them. Many Shrines are idols of the disappeared Wizard Kings.
158 YC – Prince Thannis is born.
161 YC – Though no official announcement has been made, rumors in the court are confirmed that Julia is pregnant with a second child.
168 YC – After another typical Elven pregnancy of 8 years, Julia gives birth to her second child, a beautiful High Elf daughter she names Sundren.
172 YC – Emperor Victor conceives a child. He names him Leonus.
173 YC – Heartwood Halfling Massacre – The Halflings within known realms in both Elven Court and Commonwealth inexplicably disappear after this great atrocity.
175 YC – The Dwarves of Rockwall form a trading alliance with the Elven Court, claiming neutrality in the political turmoil faced by the Elves. They are the first race to form such an alliance—having already strong trading ties to the Commowealth.
196 YC – Leonus has his first military success against a ravaging band of Orcs. He uses technology and machines to secure his victory. He is proclaimed hero and defender of the realm. An Academy is established to further develop mechanical powers.
200 YC – Edward is born to a lesser noble family. His father has fought with Leonus and they have been distant friends since. His mother was schooled in the ways of mathematics and philosophy. They are both devoted to the Empire and believe in its ideals.
201 YC – Victor dies, and his son Leonus takes his place as Emperor In War.
204 YC – Ships from the outer Colonies of the Commonwealth appear on the horizon. They share tales of rebellion. Colonies are falling.
205 YC – In reaction to the trouble with the colonies, and after a long fruitless struggle of reconciliation with the High Elves, the last remaining political opposition to Leonus gives in. The Ruling Synod abdicates its power to Leonus, declaring him to be Emperor Eternal. High Priest Voraditius crowns him in a lavish coronation ceremony. Emperor Leonus consolidates his hold on the last remaining noble houses in the Commonwealth. He sends envoys and powerful ships to take back the lost colonies on the outer edges of the Commonwealth.
215 YC – With the success and unprecedented security provided to the Commonwealth Empire thanks to their illustrious Emperor, Voraditius dismantles the Cathedral to the Allfather and proposes a whole new theology, proclaiming Leonus a living god, a Savior of the free people. The people once worshipped the dead heroes of their past, so why not a living hero—one in the flesh? Emperor Leonus declares it is his divine duty to reign in the High Elf separatists and bring them soundly back under the care of the Commonwealth.
224 YC – Order has been restored to most of the outer colonies of the Commonwealth. With tributes flowing into the Capital, the Emperor turns his attention back to the High Elf separatists, demanding they give up their lands immediately. Opposite to the trend, Brisska declares its independence.
225 YC – Start of the Campaign: the Commonwealth calls for talks with the Elven Court in a last attempt to avert all out war.