The Age of Spears
Before the Age of Empires came the Age of Spears. It was a ruinous time, and one that sorely tried the peoples of humanity that were struggling to drag themselves from the murk of tribalism and ignorance. Even as they began to understand something of the world, the earth shifted under their feet. Though they sometimes knew little more of what was happening than rumbling and storms in the distance, the oldest and most powerful denizens of their world were vying for dominance. And sometimes they were not so lucky, and their blood ran freely and mixed with that of elves, giants, and greater evils besides.
It should be noted that the Age of Spears ends with the founding of Antiras, the first human city. It is a time when records were disparate; often histories were passed only by word of mouth, or on scrolls that have long since crumbled into dust. While the records of the elves are more comprehensive, they were aloof and distant during this time - and had troubles of their own to deal with. As such, there is relatively little known about this time period, although it is not quite prehistoric.
1000 - 900 BE
900 - 800 BE
800 - 700 BE
700 - 600 BE
600 - 500 BE
1000 - 900 BE
The Red Tide950 BE
In the latter century of the Age of Mists, as the scattered nomadic humans of Leng fought bitterly to gain a foothold in the new world, the dwarves had arisen from their age-old slumbering. The Ancestor Forges, ancient relics scattered around Leng to protect them from the dire peril they once sought to escape, finally began to open - and the dwarves had begun to rebuild. It was only in 950 BE, however, that the dwarves were forced to reveal themselves to the world. It was the Red Tide - "Tuath Corraign" in dwarvish - that precipitated these events.
For 50 years from 1000 BE to 950 BE, the dwarves of Uzan Rith were increasingly forced to turn their attention to the surface by gigantine raids from the wastes of the north. Giants and dwarves have ever been enemies, and their long somnolence had not changed this state of affairs. Even so, Uzan Rith could not have expected that which came next.
The Red Tide came all at once. First to come were the giants: hill, stone and frost giants from the desolate wastes in great numbers besieged the gates of Uzan Rith. Even as the giant armies sundered the dwarven fortresses and laid them open, an orcish horde spilled out to meet the dwarves in the lands now known as the Plains of Death. They were led by Duma Firkrag, the legendary orcish warchief - said to be the chosen of Gruumsh, and the only orc in history to assemble such a vast horde.
Far from the burgeoning humans and elven forests, the northerly dwarves of Uzan Rith were utterly alone in their battle. Their only neighbours, the mountainhomes of Rukon Zon and Edem Azmol, are still cloistered beneath the earth, attempting to gather their strength - blisfully unaware of what goes on beneath. It is all the dwarves of Uzan Rith can do to stop the orcs and giants from spilling into the south.
The Blight of the Grey Trolls945 BE
It was in 945 BE, after 5 years of bitter war, that Tuath Corraign came to a tragic end. The dwarves of Uzan Rith fought bitterly, and their desperate scouts had finally stumbled across Rukon Zon and Edem Azmol. Their dwarven neighbours promised what little aid they could spare, and for a time it seemed as though the war would turn. Their opponents were strengthened, however, by the appearance of a new ally: one more powerful than either orcs or giants.
The grey trolls came from the north, bringing with them their foul and diseased sorceries. The Plains of Death earned their name, when the dwarven forces of Uzan Rith were decimated by a sorcerous curse that - to this day - makes them a barren wasteland of fear, where bogeymen rise from the ground by night and slaughter the living. Without their armies, the dwarves of Uzan Rith were defenseless against the giants that tore down their walls and the orcs that swept over their kingdom. Uzan Rith, the first mountainhome to awaken on Leng, was destroyed.
With Uzan Rith laid low, there was now nothing stopping the monstrous peoples of the Uncharted Lands from sweeping into the rest of Leng and subjugating it to their will.
The Reign of Monsters945 BE - 900 BE
Over the 45 years that passed after the destruction of Uzan Rith, a dark era began in Leng. The elves of Murthrid, distracted by their own troubles with their Underdark-dwelling kin, sealed off their borders by magical means. The rest of the continent did not have this option, however. After their neighbours were crushed by the monstrous tide from the north, Edem Azmol and Rukon Zon sallied forth with their full strength and held back the Grey Trolls and their slaves in the Plains of Death. Though their efforts saved Leng from certain doom, they were too late to stop the wave of orcish and gigantine marauders who had spilled into the south.
The Vintas, which would someday become Vingaard, is overrun by hill giants. The heartlands of Leng, which would someday become Lorknir, are easy and attractive prey to a seemingly endless orcish horde. By 910 BE, the foundations of the Gigantine Empire of the South have been laid, and Lorknir has become an endless battleground between men, orcs, and other opportunistic races wanting a piece of the action.
It was not until 900 BE that the situation began to improve. The elves of Lurkmoor, known for their hatred of orcs, came to the aid of the beleaguered humans of Lorknir even as the southerly dwarves of Zon Sacat sent legions of soldiers into the north. For the first time in history, humans, dwarves and elves fought side by side in the War of Domination. It was in this time of comradeship that mortal men learned much of the art that would make them the rulers of Leng in later days - many great leaders and warlords arose in this time.
900 - 800 BE
The Burning of Lurkmoor900 BE - 895 BE
By 900 BE, Leng had been a battleground for 45 years, even though the dwarves of the north had cut off any further reinforcements from the Uncharted Lands. The Gigantine Empire of the South was powerful and seemingly insurmountable, cutting the elves of Murthrid off from their cousins in Lurkmoor. Lorknir, too, was a bloody and violent place, beset by goblinoids and humans vying desperately to be the lone inheritor of the heartlands. But this was set to change.
The War of Domination, which would spell the end of the so-called "Reign of Monsters", began for a number of reasons. First and foremost was the misleading of Kon Firkrag, the son of the legendary orcish warchief, by the drow. In 900 BE, tantalised by drow priestesses in the guise of his god Gruumsh, Kon came to believe that, like his father, he had been called by his god to lead a great crusade. Together, the legions of Kon and the drow forces from the Underdark spilled into Lurkmoor to destroy it once and for all. They very nearly succeeded.
In the course of 5 years between 900 and 895 BE, much of the great forests of Lurkmoor were burned, creating the Borderlands that still persist to this day. The elves suffered great losses, including the extinction of the Meilin - a fey species native to the forest with the power to bring growth and woodland wherever they walked - but they repelled both orcs and drow. And while the orcs were distracted in the south, the humans of Lorknir had rallied and united under warlords and chieftains.
The War of Domination895 BE - 880 BE
After the Burning of Lurkmoor, events began to move surprisingly quickly. In Lorknir, the humans and endless hordes of orcs were on near-even footing for the first time in decades. In Lurkmoor, the furious elves had put the drow and orcish threat to rest. Yet even then, things may have stabilised for the monstrous occupiers if the legendary anger of the elves - slow to rouse but unquenchable once awoken - had not driven them forth from their forest home.
Clad in shining armor and wielding mighty magics, the elves who came north into Lorknir must have seemed like gods to the humans desperately holding out against overwhelming forces. They did not spend long there, however. Finding that the orcs scattered easily before them, and that the humans were distrustful of them, the elves made a wary alliance with the mortal men and left them to their own affairs.
By 890 BE, they had turned their attention to the Vintas, and to the Gigantine Empire that waited for them there. A war was fought by the elves in those days that has been almost wholly forgotten by mortal historians. While the budding human warlords were struggling against the orcs in Lorknir, the elves of Murthrid and Lurkmoor joined forces to topple the regime of the giants.
The humans of Lorknir were not alone in their struggle, however. The dwarves of Sacatmorul, at long last, heard of what had happened in Uzan Rith. Filled with sorrow that they have not awoken in time to save their kin, they vowed never to close themselves off completely from the world above. In penance, they joined forces with the human warlords of Lorknir to drive out the orcs once and for all.
By 880 BE, the War of Domination was ended. The orcish hordes were dispersed, and the Gigantine Empire was toppled. The three peoples parted and went their uneasy ways. But while the dwarves and elves simply returned to their homes to enjoy the peace they had earned, the humans of Leng were changed permanently by their ordeal. They had been exposed to the sorcery of the elves and the craft of the dwarves, and their ambition was kindled. No longer disparate tribes of nomads, they had formed into distinct peoples led by powerful warlords. The War of Domination is believed by many to have been the catalyst that would propel mankind into its current position as the de facto rulers of Leng's surface.
800 - 700 BE
700 - 600 BE
600 - 500 BE
Founding of Antiras500 BE
Antiras is the oldest surviving human city of Leng, nestled in the heart of Lorknir - the so-called "Cradle of Civilisation". The end of the Age of Spears is marked by the founding of this great city, which still stands to this day. The time that would follow was a time of wars, maneuvering for power, and city-building known as the Age of Empires.
When Antiras was founded, the west of Leng was a land of fractious tribes warring constantly with each other and with the Karpathi for land and riches. The Vintas and surrounding lands were home to ancient, extended clans with strong bonds of tradition and honour. Villages and towns were common throughout Leng, and in some places groups of clans or tribes had banded together under a powerful leader for mutual protection. But there were no true cities.
The founding of Antiras would herald the concentration of wealth and knowledge into urban centers, and thus - for better or worse - the rise of civilisation and kingdoms. It began simply enough - with a cunning leader's plan to carve canals and tunnels to maximise the efficiency of the river and irrigate the land. As the land became more desirable, the people living in the town of Antiras found themselves more and more beset by those desiring their wealth.
Eventually, after changing hands several times. it was captured by the legendary Bashan, whom old stories say was a demigod sent by Incantus to show the people how the art of defense. He raised high stone walls around the city and fortified it against all attack. And so it came to pass that there was a city on Leng; the first of many. The gathering of men and building of cities would turn much of Leng into a fractious and warlike land for centuries to come.