Few records recount a time before the the unification and formation of the First Empire, and a great majority of what is known is filtered through the teachings of the Sun God and the biases of his earlier missionaries. However the last century has seen an incredible effort on the part of the Elven historians and scholars to piece together an accurate, if incomplete, timeline dating from a time when, it is thought, only the Gods and their few children walked Itaire, and the rise and fall of the Elves.
All dates are counted, as best estimated, using the New Imperial Calendar (NIC). Historians generally divide Itaire's history into four different eras, demarcated by significant events, such as the formation of the Elven Empire or the death of the Sun God.
Before the Empire (BE) – The longest era in Itaire's history, thought to have endured for over twenty thousand years before the unification of the Elves.
The First Empire (TFE) – The power of the Elves and the reach of the Sun God waxed during this era. Emboldened by their God and proud with powerful magic and mighty soldiers, the Elven Empire would come to span much of known Itaire. It was inevitable they would clash with the other children of the Gods and the territories of 'savage' Rei'kuk (“The Lost”; races without Gods to lord over them). After the swift subjugation of the Dwarves, it is believed that the other Gods began in secret to conspire against the Sun God.
This era is generally recognized to have ended with the rebellion of the Serin family and their followers and their subsequent exile to the island of Tash'lor'ka. Cursed by the Sun God and banished further to a life underground, the exiles came to be known as the Durn'hala (Children of the Dark) or Dark Elves.
The Second Empire (SE) – Spanning several centuries, this was a time of great turmoil and internal strife within the Elven Empire. Weakened by a series of ineffectual princes, questionable policies, and the growing power of the Dark Elves, a strong rebellion amongst the other races, most notably the orc territories, quickly engulfed Imperial lands.
Led at times by an avatar of the Sun God himself, the armies of the Elves brought brutal retribution against the seditious provinces, quickly bringing them back under control.
Victorious and believing, perhaps correctly, that the rebellion was at least partly incited by efforts on behalf of the Durn'hala, the Sun God unleashed the flower of Imperial might upon the homeland of the Dark Elves, Tash'lor'ka. In response, the Gods of Itaire gathered the strength of their peoples that lied secretly in wait, assaulting Imperial armies and consuming the island in a tempest of war.
The battle raged for months, culminating in the death of the Sun God, the destruction of Mount Tumavori, and the decimation of the Dark Elves.
After the Fall (AF) – Many centuries have passed since the death of the Sun God, and the echoes of it are felt still. The old Empire is naught more than relics of stone, heralds of an aforetime that may never return. An unheard of calm settled over the world as each race rebuilt in the wake of their new freedom.
But the height of the Fourth Era is now. Elements of war and restlessness have begun to touch all the peoples of Itaire again, and not long now can this fragile and strange peace remain.
Despite the destruction of the Sun God and the fall of the Second Empire, the civilized races of Itaire still make use of the old elven calendar, though it has since been revised and in some cases entirely rewritten to confirm with certain traditions or holy days.
Among the elves, the calendar is termed the Hist'sem calendar, meaning “World Circle” or “Circling of the World”. The other races refer to the calendar as the “New Imperial Calendar”, or NIC, more as a matter of rote than any actual deference to the old Elven empire.
The calendar is read from right to left and consists of a twelve month, twenty-eight day (with a twenty four hour cycle) year (336 days). There is no 'week' as is understood and days are simply recognized by their numeric relation during the current month.
The calendar and the count of years was 'restarted' after the destruction of the Sun God. The events of Dawn of Ascension begin on 773.6.14 AF (After the Fall), representing the fourteenth day of the sixth month of the seven hundred and seventy third year since the destruction of the Sun God. Variations on the calendar do exist, but this is mainly confined to human tribal beliefs (which organize the year not by month but by the rise of different animal spirits) or certain documentation which accounts for the fall of the Second Empire and the defeat of the Sun God but does not recount the years (which would make it closer to 8733.1.15 under the NIC depending on how one interprets old Imperial records).
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