According to scholars and historians, the world now stands in its fifth full age - dubbed the Age of Innovation, it marks the end of a long-held fear of invention and machine. This fear was not without founding, and was rightly held for so long; only the persistent passage of time enabled the stories of the past to pass into legend, and in so doing paved the way for change.
The following timeline provides an overview of the history of the world as it is known by those who study it in the modern day:
??? - The Age of Isolation, also known as the Age of Revels, lasted for an unknown amount of time in the distant past.
??? - During the Age of Isolation, The Princes of Sh'than claimed the three great houses of fae from the Faerie King, presenting them as retainers to the Sh'thani people.
0AS - The Age of Spires began when the first spiretechnician came from Sh'than, the world in the sky, and constructed the first of the spires.
~2500AS - The great war commenced, led by the humans of the world agains their Sh'thani oppressors.
~2600AS / 0AD - The end of the great war - most texts refer to "100 years", but this is assumed to be imprecise. With the fall of the spires, the Age of Darkness began.
~100AD / 0AK - The crowning of Darus Stonebreaker marks the beginning of the Age of Kingdoms, and a time of peace in the land.
1470AK - The invention of the steam engine and its acceptance by society demonstrates and end to the fear of progress.
1495AK - The marriage of Prince Tumold of Avadear to Princess Marisa of Runalon (distance descendant of the Stonebreaker line) signifies the merging of two of the greatest kingdoms, and marks the end of the Age of Kingdoms.
0AI - The Age of Innovation begins.
22AI - The modern day.
Age of Isolation
The Age of Isolation, also known as the Age of Revels, is a relatively unknown age as most history was oral, and little writing remains to the modern day. What is known is that at this time, only the four native mortal species of the world - kingmakers (the native humans), krakaw, bobbins, and ogar, occupied the land. The land was wild and raw at this time, and civilization mostly involved the revelstones. Constructed during this forgotten age, these stone circles marked the places of great revels - pagan religious ceremonies devoted to one or more of the gods these ancient people worshipped.
The land was dangerous and undeveloped; there were not castles and cities, no ruined spires, palaces, or even much in the way of roads. Sh'than, the mirror world, still hung in the sky in one piece, and moon whose peoples and culture had yet to press itself upon the world.
Age of Spires
At some point in these ancient times, a Sh’thani came from the moon. This Sh’thani brought with her advanced technology, known today as spiretech. Working with the people of the world, the first spire was built - an impossibly high tower that pierced the heavens and allowed travel between the two worlds. With the gate opened, the Sh’thani conquerers came through, and thus began the "Age of the Spires". It was not long before the Sh'thani had constructed spires across the world.
The Sh'thani brought with them their retainers, the three fallen houses of fae, the Fizus, Chaxxi, and Sprit. These faeries had been lost by the Faerie King in a bargain to The Princes, the patron gods of Sh'than. Kicked from Fae'rela and made mortal, these peoples were under the heel of the Sh'thani, and were used as the first resource on the world to subjugate the native populations. While the Sh'thani, physiologically humans, gave special treatment to the humans of this world in whom they saw themselves, this was not a relationship amongst equals.
The "Age of the Spires" lasted for millennia. The Sh’thani were the dominant species on two worlds, highly sophisticated, educated, and advanced. Their technologies fused with magic to create wonders. When they found their faerie retainers and conquered peoples of this world to be insufficient for their tasks they began to fuse their magics with the native animal life (something Sh'than was not known for), creating various of the faunus species, each bred for specific purposes.
A war had been brewing for some time; the humans were sick of the control the Sh’thani had over both worlds, and inspired by the krakaw who foretold a great change in the tapestry, revolted. Many Sh’thani on this world supported this desire for independence (although they secretly wished to maintain control without having to answer to the sultans of Sh’than itself).
The great war spanned one hundred years, with Sh’thani on both sides increasing the destructive powers of their weapons; its conclusion saw the shattering of Sh’than itself, the destruction of most of the spires, and most certainly the end of the "Age of the Spires". Those Sh’thani that remained in this world were a ghost of their former selves; many of the natives of this world found themselves stranded on the remains of Sh’than with no reasonable hope of return, while many native Sh’thani were left here with their liberated fae and faunus free to seek their own paths.
At the end of the Age of Spires, the moon that once hung in the world, home to an advanced species of conquerers, now lay in ruins - a shattered rock whose debris spread across the sky.
Age of Darkness
After the fall of the spires, a dark age fell across the land, one where not much history was kept. The spires were no longer a dominate force in the world, and Sh’than was a ruin in the night sky. Several generations passed before the peoples of the world began to truly pick up the pieces.
Age of Kingdoms
The Age of the Kingdoms began with the crowning of Darus Stormbreaker; as other feudal lords were crowned kings, the world began to settle down. It was a fairly prosperous, if slow-moving time. Kingdoms would rise and fall, wars were inevitable, and innovation was rare. The people were still frightened of the technology brought by the Sh’thani, and were not interested in repeating those mistakes - this feeling would be passed from generation to generation for nearly 1500 years.
Over this time, the native humans rose to dominance as the major political force, earning them the moniker Kingmaker (both for their roles in politics at this time, but also in homage to their initial efforts in the early days of the great war which ultimately lead to liberation from Sh’than).
After generations passed, the descendants of the Sh’thani that remained in this world were no longer shunned, but at the same time, no longer had any more access to their ancient technologies as anyone else. The former great houses of fae brought to this world took their newfound freedom to heart. The faunus species evolved to be less subservient, finding their own voices and cultures, and were readily welcomed by the rest of the world. Throughout it all, the krakaw, bobbins, and ogar found the least change from their old ways. While bobbins readily adapt to the times, their culture remained largely unchanged; ogar continued to live largely solitary lives away from the more civilized world, and the krakaw sunk deeper into the devotions to Athya, and their study of the cosmic threads and the Great Tapestry.
Age of Innovation
Nearly fifteen hundred years since the founding of the first kingdoms, a new age dawns. The Age of Invention has brought with it a heightened interest in exploration, innovation, and creation. The long-held fears of technology and the devastation they can bring have been washed away to myth; the Age of the Spires is often no more than stories told to children, or ancient lore studied by scholars. Sh’than still hangs shattered in the sky, but it is as much a normal part of life on the world as bugs on a summer’s day.
The world is changing - old alliances are fusing into a more modern and connected world, while old rivalries fuel a race for technological innovation. Trains have been constructed connecting most cities throughout a given kingdom; simple firearms are now the preferred weapon for the wealthy to "show off". It is a prosperous time - anyone living in a city is far more likely to be middle class; fashion and art are encouraged by most, and everyone strives to be part of "high society". Cities have sprung up over the last several hundred years around the old castles from the early Age of the Kingdoms, these bastions still standing as points of national pride, and are often still used and occupied by rulers and dignitaries. Faerie tale palaces built by the wealthy dot the landscape of the countryside, a dedication to a dream of a world that never was.
But the ruins of the spires still exist in the dark corners of the world; ancient tech lying dormant for eons waiting to be reactivated, the mirrors waiting to allow travel to Sh’than once more. With the reemergence of technology and a global world, there has been a revival of interest in the pagan gods, with old revel sites being cleaned up - the folk that live outside the cities take these matters quite seriously; while those from higher society tend to view them as a fad, touring and participating in revels as something to do to occupy their idle time. Magic still exists in this world, but is most often seen as an esoteric but necessary occupation, with each town having a corner-shop wizard, and each village hearing rumors of some witch who lives in the woods...