For a history of the proceeding period see; The Realm of the Mists: the Royal Period
21 BCI: On Midwinters night a great comet suddenly appears in the sky. Madmen, prophets, doomsayers and even some of the clergy across the Realm interpret this great celestial display as a harbinger of the end times.
12-9: The Second Long Winter. As during the Long Winter of 358 – 353, the sun suddenly fades in the sky and winter grows greatly in duration and ferocity. Although better agricultural practices reduce the impact of this Second Long Winter, thousands still perish in the resulting famines. Worse, strange beasts begin to roam the lands.
5: Prince Isaladar publishes his treatise ‘On Faire Government’. This radical work advocated for the dissolution of the lord’s independent armies, the reduction of royal authority, the creation of a limited democracy, the abolition of serfdom and slavery, the creation of a centralised bureaucracy and the strengthening of common law.
Unsurprisingly, the barons react violently to the young prince’s perceived attack on their rights and privileges. As Prince Isaladar’s relationship with his father, King Harold II, had already been strained by his somewhat wild and licentious youth, the barons have little trouble convincing his father to exile him from the capital.
Although King Harold arranges for Isaladar to study at the University of Mandor, the young prince escapes his minders. Disguised, he travels north to enlist under the Duke de Albern as a common man-at-arms.
4: Rumours reach the Realm of an enormous barbarian horde, the Taal, approaching Barraine from the across the Eastern Steppe.
3, May: Isaladar, after distinguishing himself numerous times in action against the Druids, is knighted in the field by the Duke de Albern.
3, June: Word is received that the Barraine Emperor, Manfred the Redhanded, has fought and won a great and bloody battle against the barbarian horde. Thwarted in their migration, the Taal are reported have to have retreated into the north.
3, November: the great wild dragon, Fafnir, who has been devastating much of the continent, suddenly crosses the ocean to the Central Isles. On landfall, the great beast levels the Dercian city of Oldfort before continuing west.
3, November: the mighty beast flies over the Mountains of Morn and sacks the fortress city of Sunburry in the Realm.
3, November: Fafnir attacks Drania itself and even the Royal Guard prove powerless against it. The Royal Palace is destroyed and much of the city is immolated. The horrifically injured King Harold is only saved due to the heroic actions of one of his wife’s ladies-in-waiting, Elizabet de Minae.
Seemingly content with the destruction it had wrought, the great wyrm spends the night nestled upon Stonecrown Island in the middle of Drania’s lake. The next dawn, it lets out a single piercing shriek and takes off into the east. A ship’s captain reports seeing the beast bound for the Silent Shore. It is never seen again by mortal eyes.
2, January: Learning of the sack of Drania and his father’s dire injuries, Isaladar quits his command with de Albern, returns to the capital and is reconciled with King Harold.
2, November: A second even greater host is sighted approaching Barraine. Bar scouts report this enormous host is built around a heart of nightmare war engines of terrible power. It becomes quickly apparent that the Taal were simply fleeing before this greater horde. These strange new people do not even seem to have a name for themselves and the Bar nickname them Die Wölfe von Mitternacht (The Wolves of Midnight).
1, June: Emperor Manfred meets the Wolves in open battle at Kaslach Pass. The battle is a bloodbath, the Emperor is killed and the flower of Bar chivalry are annihilated. The few survivors retreat before the Wolves who sweep down onto the Bar plain.
1, August: Believing all Circillian nations are now under threat, the Caladian Emperor Balbinus moves to support the Bar. At the Battle of Bloodheath, the Caladians and the remaining Bar knights again confront the Wolves. Although this battle is bloody, long and hard fought, the allied army is again routed and eight of the twelve Caladian dragons are killed.
The Wolves’ host splinters and begins to besiege and sack the cities and fortresses of the Bar plain piecemeal.
1, August – November: In Drania, debate rages between two political camps around whether the Realm should become involved on the Continent. The Interventionists, lead by Prince Isaladar, argue that all of Circillia is threaten by the Wolves and that the Realm must do what it can to help their Circilian brothers and sisters. The Isolationists, lead by Prince Yorrick, the King’s brother-in-law, disagree. They claim the Realm has no business intervening and, worse, any meddling on the continent may only serve to bring the ire of the Wolves down on them next. King Harold vacillates between these two parties.
1, November: Just before the King is to address his full council of nobles, he is suddenly seized by a violent apoplexy and dies.
1, November: Prince Yorrick moves quickly. Claiming Prince Isaladar is unfit to rule, Yorrick has him seized and imprisoned. Any members of the noble council Yorrick believes may support Isaladar are arrested. Many of those arrested disappear.
1, December: Yorrick crowns himself King.
1, December: King Yorrick unleashes a violent purge. Hundreds of officers, academics, lawyers and nobles are executed.
1, December – 0 CR, April: An uprising against the King gains strength across the Inner Realm. Although Yorrick keeps control of Drania, many other parts of the Green Isle defect to the rebels.
0, April: Insurrection breaks out in the capital itself. For three days, Yorrick’s forces are hard pressed. However, just as it seems inevitable that Yorrick’s short and brutal reign is about to end in bloody ruin, a great wyrm, a hatchling seemingly left behind by the dreadful Fanfir, emerges from Lake Skalmere in the centre of Drania. While only tiny in comparison to its terrible parent, the young wyrm is still an immense beast. It also boasts a twisted dark intelligence. Seeking out Yorrick, the creature offers its services to the King. Man and best forge a dark and strange alliance and on his orders, the wyrm throws itself into battle with the rebels and routs them.
0, April: All across the countryside of the Realm, fell beasts are reported to be on the move again. The populations of entire villages disappear.
0, April – May: In the aftermath of the revolt in Drania Yorrick has thousands more executed. Everywhere Yorrick goes the terrible wyrm (now called Widowmaker by the people) goes too.
0, June – July: Strange news arrives from the north. King Yorrick has allied with the Druidic tribes and ordered the northern fortresses to let the Druidc host into the Realm. The Druids add almost 40,000 men to Yorrick’s strength and the remaining rebels in the Inner Realm are soon hunted down and slaughtered or driven into the mountains, marshes and forests.
0, July: For the first time in a millennia, Druids land on the Green Isle and the Rebellion is soon crushed there as well.
0, October: Toman, a friend of Isaladar’s from his time serving with de Albern, and Elizabet de Minae hatch a plot to rescue Prince Isaladar. Gathering together a small bunch of loyalists, they enter the ruins of the Royal Palace and free him. Although they wish to flee Drania, Isaladar resolves to confront his uncle. The small party fight their way through to the throne room where Isaladar slays both Widowmaker and his uncle Yorrick.
0, October: Isaladar is crowned king and offers immediate clemency to any who will swear loyalty to the throne.
0, October – 1, March: Troops and their lords from all over the Green Isle flock to King Isaladar’s banner. He offers to spare any Druids who leave the Realm, but they largely refuse. Isaladar defeats the Druids on the Green Isle and crossing to the Inner Realm, he crushes them there as well at the Battle of Ravenspurn. The few Druidic survivors are driven back into the north.
1, March: Overruling his more timid lords who want him to stay and rebuild the shattered Realm, Isaladar gathers together an army to help on the continent and sets sail.
1, June: Interrupting his voyage east, Isaladar visits King Offa of Dercia and convinces him to also commit his forces to the war.
1, November: Reaching the continent, Isaladar finds a land in ruin. As in the Realm, strange beasts stalk the land. But here countless cities have also fallen to the Wolves’ and their populations have been enslaved, sacrificed or worse. A pall of smoke blankets almost the entire coast. A few scattered Bar, Dov and Caladian citadels still hold on.
1, December: Sailing south to escape the worst of the winter, Isaladar finds the well-defended Caladian fortress city of Misenum is still holding out. Striking from the sea, his army surprises the Wolf besiegers and lifts the siege.
1, December: Isaladar convinces the Caladian commander, Quintus Tullius, that rather than pushing east to help liberate other Caladian garrisons, they should strike north to attack the Wolves’ main host where it has the Caladian Emperor Balbinus and the remains of his army bottled up in the ancient city of Levestar.
2, January: The Battle of Levestar. In one of the bloodiest battles in history, the combined Realm-Dercian-Caladian army lands and attacks the enormous Wolf host besieging the port-city of Levestar. For three days there is almost ceaseless fighting. Twice the allied army is almost thrown back into the sea. The first time they are saved by a gallant counter attack by Balbinus who sallies out of Levestar and disrupts the Wolves’ advance. The second time they fight on doggedly with their backs to the cold sea for almost a day.
Then Isaladar is there. By the afternoon of the third day, large numbers of horse have finally been unloaded from the ships and, gathering his surviving knights, the King leads the most famous cavalry charge in history. Although his bannermen fall in their hundreds, Isaladar, Toman and a few of their faithful retainers cut their way through to the Wolves’ nameless Priest-Warlord. Although horribly injured by the warlord’s dark taint, King Isaladar cuts the fiend down. Already bled and exhausted by the three days of savage fighting, the Wolves’ break and run.
2, January – March: Isaladar and the Allied army recuperate around Levestar.
2, January – 6, August: All across the continent, the Allies fight hundreds of battles against the Wolves and the monsters that now infest the land. Although the tide is clearly turning against them, the Wolves hold on grimly to every fort, city and even village they have captured. Slowly the Allies push them off the Bar plain, but each step is dearly paid for in blood.
6, August: A second great comet appears in the sky. Inexplicably, after four grim years of merciless war, all the surviving Wolves’ simultaneously begin to flee back into the east. The Allied scouts follow them as they head back across the trackless, barren plains from which they emerged. This time however, the Wolves’ forces seem unprepared for the trek and thousands of them are left dotting the steppe, dead from thirst, hunger or the pitiless cold.
7: Isaladar returns to the Realm and marries Elizabet de Minae.
8 – 32: The Glorious Endeavour. King Isaladar works tirelessly to repair the Realm. Cities are rebuilt and crops replanted. His knights hunt the beasts that still infest the lands. Unfair or cruel lords are chastised. Men and women of good heart are elevated to rank and Isaladar is able to force through many of the ideas he originally described in ‘On Faire Government’. The Camar Shiem is also founded to formalise the Realm’s treatment of the tainted. By the Year 32, King Isaladar has stabilised the Realm and the nation is rapidly recovering from the agonies of The Deluge.
33: Without warning Isaladar abdicates and his son, Roland, is crowned king.
Isaladar, Elizabet, Toman and their old Caladian friend, Quintus Tullius, set off into the east on their own, allegedly to find what became of the Wolves of Midnight.
Is this true? Did they really travel across the great steppe to find the grave of that terrible host? I do not know. All we know for sure is that the Great King and his party passed away across the endless plains and were never heard of in civilised lands again.