My zombie infested, post-apocalypse high fantasy campaign is starting to take shape

Note: If you want to follow the development of the Aruneus world, just click this.  Bookmarking that will bring you back to the latest news.

Over the past few days I’ve been putting a lot of background thought into my world – Aruneus.  I’ve got my map, I’ve got my zombies and I know where I want this world and campaign to go.  Now I have a time line that tells me and my characters what has transpired before the zombie apocalypse.

Yes it’s pretty brief and there are details to be filled in.  I also want to share it with you all because you as a collective audience have already given me a lot of great constructive criticism and ideas.  I need that.  I also promised that I’d share this with the world (or that tiny, infinitesimal portion of it that’s actually interested in this stuff).

Aruneus – A time line leading up to the present day.

100,000 BA (Before Apocalypse) – Magical races are known to exist on Aruneus.  Dragons, fairie, possibly some of the sentient but non-prolific races like gnomes, kobolds.

10,000 BA – The arrival of the Elves.  Traveling from some other plain of existence on a self imposed exile, the Elven race (or some portion of it) settles on Aruneus.

3,500 – 2,500 BA – The other three ‘Major Races’ arrive.  Orcs, Humans and Dwarves.  While the exact reasons for their leaving another realm and arriving on this world are unclear, what is clear is that they arrived through a large number of portals spread throughout worlds surface and collected into several geographical areas.  Approximately 2,500 years before the apocalypse, new arrivals abruptly ceased.

2,700 BA – The Great War.  It is not known why the Elves, Dwarves and Humans began to war with each other.  What is known is that as these three races fought and weakened themselves, the Orcs began to organize and systematically claim land that had belonged to the other three races.

2,450 BA – With no new members of their races arriving from other worlds to bolster their numbers, the three Great Kings of the Elves, Dwarves and Humans hold a conclave to end the Great War.  After a year of negotiating, an agreement is made and the League of the Ring is formed.  The League (symbolized by a golden ring of unity, whose members are identified by the rings on their fingers) is composed of members of nobles houses from the Elves, Dwarves and Humans.  Drawing from the scholarly ranks of all three races, a common tongue is derived over the next decade, along with common goals. The first task given to the League in the next decade is to organize a bipartisan army to recapture lands taken by the Orcs.  They establish their headquarters in Werhave and in doing so also establish the first central repository for records.  Recorded history, available to all of the ‘good’ races on Aruneus begins.

2,438 BA – With the Leagues Army of Reclamation forming, the Orcs respond by uniting under the banner of one of their greatest leaders – Grank.  Grank is able to quickly mobilize an army 200,000 strong adding additional elements from some of the magical or elder races, including trolls, goblins, the dark fey and several dragons.  Grank’s purpose is not to invade however, but to hold on to his newly acquired kingdom, including the lands claimed from the other three races over the past 250 years. Through a series of well planned strikes, Grank and his army eliminate a large number of Elven, Dwarven and Human fortifications on or near their borders.

2,435 BA – The League of the Ring begin their offensive against the Orc territories.  Just 15 years after the Great War has ended another generation is plunged into war.  Over the next 9 years some 300,000 Elves, Dwarves and Humans will lose their lives while an estimated 150,000 Orcs meet the same fate.

2,426 BA – Having offered up years of resistance and held off the combined forces of three races, Grank is captured by the Dwarves after being betrayed by a political faction in the Orc clans.  In return for this betrayal, the Dwarves fail to honor the terms given and a great slaughter commences.  The political faction amongst the Orcs who offered up Grank in return for immunity and the promise of returning to their old ways are killed almost to an Orc.  In addition, without their great leader, the Orcs quickly fall back into fighting amongst themselves.  Their kingdom is shattered and in will not rise again for over 2,500 years.

2,425 BA – In the final Conclave meeting of the League of the Ring, the Dwarves are ejected from the League in what is termed as the Great Shame for their part in betraying and then slaughtering a huge number of Orcs wishing to end hostilities.  This begins a time of isolation for the Dwarves who turn inwards as a society.  The League of the Ring is disbanded and the Elves and Humans create the League of the Earth to act as a political entity between the two races.   The League of the Earth takes a more passive, watchful role in the Aruneus, watching for the rise of any ‘evil’ that may come from any of the sentient races and advising the Elves and Humans on what actions to take.  The Elven and Human portions of the army raised for the League of the Ring’s war against the Orcs is largely disbanded, with a core force some 5,000 strong retained as an elite force at the disposal of the League of the Earth.  A golden age for Elves and Humans begins.

1,800 BA – The Dwarves emerge from their time of isolation and apply for membership in the League of the Earth.

1,795 BA – The Dwarves are given official status in the League of the Earth.

800 BA – By this time, the League of the Earth’s role in politics has dwindled to at best, an advisory role.  They still maintain record keeping at WareHave and also field a small, elite force of military, religious and magical experts.  The great city that has grown up around WareHave has also dwindled to a modest town surrounding the Leagues buildings.  Elves, Dwarves and Humans begin to drift apart both as political and societal entities.  The Elves find themselves in a state of slow decline as their population erodes.  The Dwarves are drifting more and more into isolated communities again and withdrawing from world politics while the humans are experiencing explosive growth and easily taking over management of the territories abandoned by the other two races.  The orcs remain more a collection of loosely organized barbarian tribes than anything else. While conflict exists between them and the other races, it is minimal.

717 BA – The Human kingdom of Reblair announces that it is forming its own, sovereign state and in a mostly bloodless revolution the Human kingdom is split in two.  Reblair becomes organized as a republic.

680 BA – War between the Human Kingdom (known as The Kingdom) and the Republic of Reblair.

600 BA – The last 80 years of sporadic warfare have depleted both the Kingdom and the Republic of Reblair.  Peace is agreed on and The Kingdom is divided into the Old Kingdom and the Principalities of Millay – under the guidance of the a spiritual organization whose priests wear white frocks.  Eventually they will come to be known as the Order of the White Cloth and will hold political and military power in the Principalities, drawing their highest officials from the nobility and elite.

470 BA – The League of the Earth has increasingly become home to renowned mages and scholars.  Its military side has dwindled.  The formation of several magical colleges backed by the League further increases learning and the spread of magical abilities.

400 BA – The League of the Earth and the Order of the White Cloth, finding themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum declare each other to be a hindrance to society.  In response, the League of the Cloth calls on their carefully obtained standing within the nobility of the Principalities and outlaws the teaching of magic in any setting other than one overseen by themselves.  The League of the Earth whose political capital has already been spent find themselves declining rapidly in popularity and power.

300 BA – Brief fighting between the Principalities of Millay and the Republic of Reblair spills over into a Dwarven hold.  For several years sporadic fighting between both kingdoms and the Dwarves causes a great deal of tension.  Eventually reparations are made to the Dwarves by both kingdoms.

120 BA – Spurred by warnings from the flagging League of the Earth, both Humans and Elves mobilize a small force (~3000 troops) to put down a rebellion on an island principality belonging to Millay.  This force is defeated and stragglers report a massive build up of ‘dark creatures’ on the island.  The Order of the White Cloth suffer their first politcal blow as they had previously dismissed such reports.

119 BA – The rise of the Necromancer.  Several border states in Millay fall to an unknown human female who wields a large amount of magical power.  A coalition force of all three Human states, the Elves and a smattering of Dwarves is created to deal with the uprising. Despite its early role, the League of the Earth is snubbed and control of the coalition is placed with nobles sympathetic to the Order of the White Cloth.

112 BA – What was to be a short war against the evil magic users finally ends with the destruction of the Necromantic forces.  The Necromancer, whose identity has never been known, is not officially counted among the dead.

0 – Starting as scattered reports of undead overrunning small human settlements in the Old Kingdom soon becomes known as the Undead Apocalypse.  over the next 20 years, almost 90% of the worlds population will die.  Communication with Elven and Dwarven government ceases almost at once as every race is overrun by the undead.

20 AA (After Apocalypse) – The Order of the White Cloth, with their administrative arm intact and their ability to turn undead and newly added skills in dealing with the undead, emerge as the dominant political force in the Human race.  They exchange their protection for the right to ‘advise’ what rulers are left.  In many cases, they have simply installed themselves in leadership roles when none of the local nobility remain alive.  Under their guidance and protection, the human race stops its nearly cataclysmic decline and for the first time in 20 years, the population holds steady.

25 AA – The Order of the White Cloth establishes embassies with what few large Elven and Dwarven city-states remain.  Outside of heavily protected fortifications sustained existence is nearly impossible.  Information from outside of the fortified White Cloth cities is heavily censored by the Order of the White Cloth.

45 AA – The Order of the White Cloth declairs the use of magic without a written decree from the order to be “A treasonous offense against the gods, punishable by death”.  The last of the magical colleges close their doors and the time of mages subservient to religious dominance begins.

73 AA – The leadership of the League of the Earth are arrested at WareHave, tried by the Order of the White Cloth and executed for “plotting against the greater good of humanity”.  While never officially stated, it is implied the the League of the Earth may have been responsible for the Apocalypse – a charge that remaining members vehemently denied.

74 AA – What few members of rank remaining who are loyal to the League of the Earth go underground, with the aid of Human nobles who find themselves losing more and more of their power to the Order of the White Cloth.

80 AA – the political divisions of the Human kingdoms are dissolved and one Kingdom is established, under the control of the Order of the White Cloth.

100 AA (The Present) – Rumors are spreading that mages working with the rebellious League of the Earth have discovered a cure – one that would prevent a human from becoming a zombie if administered in time.  The Order of the White Cloth is finding it very hard to quash these rumors.  Living in WareHave, you’ve heard your share of them as well.  After last nights conversation at the Toyman’s Tuppance and then your little adventure near the docks, you awake bleary eyed and suffering from a nasty headache.  And with the certainty that these rumors are true.

Wow – that just led right into the start of the campaign!  I’m working on placing what’s left of the human, dwarven and elven kingdoms and city states on the map, as well as WareHave, which will be somewhat centrally located.  Aruneus consists of one major continent, one smaller continent and several islands, making this easier on me.

[tags]aruneus, zombies, rpg, fantasy[/tags]

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