The Continent of Norn has existed since time immemorial, created by the dragon god Io to protect her children from evil. No known lands exist beyond its shores. Seasonal variations in climate are mild, especially in extreme regions like the Kurtulmak Desert and the icy oceans of northern Praetoria.
Norn is home to five sovereign nations, each founded by a crusader after the fall of the Du’un Empire. In the center of the continent is the Kingdom of Grandévere, a large and prosperous nation composed of five duchies, each founded by a different crusader, which were later united by Freya, leader of the Nine Crusaders. The tall and snowy Barrier Peaks split the kingdom into two distinct environmental regions, a wet and forested southwest and a dry, grassy northeast that meets the dunes of the Kurtulmak.
To the west of Grandévere is the mighty forest kingdom of Ardennes. It was once the home of elves and the fairies, before the Du’un subjugated their cities and their set ablaze their forests. Following the empire’s destruction, the crusader Ulir returned to her homeland and helped regrow the forest and rebuild the elves’ ancient cities. Though the elves ruled the forest wisely for many glorious centuries, fifty years ago, their cities were sacked by a mighty army of orcs. The Ardenni elves have since vanished into the forest’s mystic heart, allowing their once-grand civilization to fall to orcish barbarism. Grandévere and Praetoria have formed a tenuous peace with the current warlord-king of Ardennes.
Y1 – Birth of the modern era. Human tribes settle along the southern coast of modern-day Grandévere. The lunar calendar is created and standardized within these tribes. The Rohn Kingdom is formed.
Y12 – Human settlements in Rohn are besieged by barbaric dwarves. Rohn is thrown into crisis. Northern plains orcs rally to save the fledgling kingdom. The First Alliance of man and orc is formed.
Y15 – The First Alliance is broken off when famine forces the plains orcs to raid nearby settlements. Rohn allies with the dwarves to defend their territory.
Y98 – The Rohn Kingdom expands past the Barrier Peaks, makes contact with the Dragonborn of the east and the Cult of Kurtulmak, lead by the Cardinal Rephaim. Era of prosperity.
Y146 – The Chained God enters Cardinal Rephaim. Rumors of slaughter in the east. Word reaches Rohn that the Kurtulmak massacred the eastern colonists. Preparation for war begins.
Y147 – Kurtulmak subdues small nation states near the desert edge. The imperial cult is reorganized into the Du’un Empire. Cardinal Rephaim is crowned Emperor Sheol I. The Du’un Empire storms into modern-day Grandévere. The Second Alliance of man and orc is formed.
Y149 – The Second Alliance crumbles as a schism divides the orc tribes. Many tribal leaders join Du’un forces. All Rohn resistance is crushed. Sheol I establishes his rule at the temple-palace of Thariz in the eastern badlands.
Y198 – The Blood Purge; one hundred thousand non-humans executed. Orc and goblinoid forces in the west are spared as a mercy of convenience.
Y222 – The Harrowing of Tanais; the southern kingdoms come under siege. Tanais pushes into the heart of the empire, but is crushed when Emperor Sheol III, armed with the Black Book, enters the battle.
Y245 – The Blackscale Pact allies countless tyrannical dragons with the Du’un Empire. All stirrings of rebellion are silenced by this alliance.
Y497 – The Liberation Army is cornered at the small desert fortress of Mersin. All Du’un armies converge. The Miracle of Dawn empowers the Nine Crusaders. The crusaders lead the Liberation Army with their divine might. Du’un opposition is crushed. Emperor Sheol XIV is killed at the Battle of Thariz. The Black Book is lost.
Y498 – The crusaders disband and disperse across the continent. Nations are formed to replace the shattered Du’un Empire.
Y505 – Imperial remnant forces are subdued in the Remnant War.
Y794 – A massive force of orcs invades and conquers the elven kingdom of Ardennes. The Duchy of Brei attempts to halt the invasion after Duke Grommel, who was visiting Ardennes at the time of the invasion, was slain in the initial attack. However, the Breian army, no match for the orcs’ guerrilla tactics, suffers massive casualties and is forced to end hostilities. Mounting tensions between Grandévere and Praetoria also contribute to Brei’s military withdrawal.
Y799 – A treaty of peace is signed by the king and the five dukes of Grandévere and by Praetoria’s king and four viceroys. The trade dispute was never officially resolved, but independent Tanaisian merchants have since settled the issue.