Timeline of Wesnoth
This is a chronological history of the country of Wesnoth and surrounding regions, gleaned from written accounts and verbal histories passed down through the generations. Portions of entries surrounded by parentheses and containing a question mark are assumed or unconfirmed information. The history is sorted by era, and within the era by date, using the Foundation of Wesnoth as a base. BW=Before Wesnoth, YW=Years Wesnoth. They function the same way as BC and AD do in our timekeeping system. Each of the eras is summarized before the timeline for that era begins. This history of the Great Continent is a subject of active scholarship.
The world that Wesnoth resides in is called Irdya. Before the Great Fall and the (unchronicled) technological age, this name is only rarely used.
Spoiler warning! This page contains plot spoilers to several campaigns.
Prehistory - 20 YW: The Founding of Wesnoth
During the age of the Founding of Wesnoth, there were two important geographic locations, these being the Green Isle and the Great Continent. Haldric is the main historical figure at this time. This age ends with the founding of Wesnoth as a country in the Great Continent, and with Orcs attacking both elves and men from the sea.
- Elves and Dwarves inhabit the Great Continent.
- Humans inhabit the distant West.
- Haldric's people colonise the Green Isle from a continent further to the west.
- The Lich-Lords arrive on the Green Isle after losing a war in the distant West.
- After a long war Haldric's people come to dominate the Green Isle.
- The 'Wesfolk' and their Lich-Lords are pushed onto marginal lands.
- The Crown Prince of Southbay discovers the Great Continent.
- The Crown Prince makes several voyages between the Green Isle and the Great Continent.
- Following these voyages to the Great Continent, the elder Crown Prince falls ill and dies.
- His younger brother is implicated in a plot to kill him.
- As a distraction the younger Prince starts a war with the Wesfolk and their Lich-Lords.
- The Lich-Lords sense they will be destroyed and open gates to the homeland of the Orcs in the West.
- The Green Isle is overrun with Orcs.
- The Wesfolk desert their Lich-Lords as they fear becoming prey for the Orcs.
- Haldric leads the evacuation of the survivors to the Great Continent. The Rise of Wesnoth begins.
- Human settlers, led by Prince Haldric, arrive at the western coast of the Great Continent (the landfall occurs in the future Bay of Pearls) in large numbers.
- Humans arrive in the middle of a simmering dispute between the Elves and Dwarves.
- The Elves and Dwarves are distrustful of humans, and there is a small skirmish.
- Messengers from Wesmere Forest come and ask Haldric to come before the Ka'lian.
- Prince Haldric asks the Four Elvish Lords (Dionli, Logalmier, Aryad, and El'Isomithir) for help and land.
- They set before him four quests to prove his worth, which he completes.
- Haldric is granted the plains north and south of the Great River.
- Haldric agrees to a Pact of Mutual Defence with the Elves, but the Ka'lian decides it will betray him and allow humans and orcs to exhaust each other in war if the opportunity presents. Haldric, learning of this, considers the Pact a dead letter.
- The Ruby of Fire is temporarily hidden, and the lich-lord Jevyan is deceived into believing it is held by the Elves.
- Haldric founds the country of Wesnoth in the central plain south of the great River.
- Reign of Haldric I (formerly prince Haldric) begins. The Rise of Wesnoth ends.
- Orcs, following the ships fleeing from the Green Isle, begin to arrive on the Great Continent.
- These Orcs are defeated by Haldric's forces.
- Some of the Orcish survivors flee back to the Green Isle, others move to attack the Elves.
- King Haldric helps the Elves fight the surviving Orcs.
- A second wave of Orcs arrive from the Green Isle; these Orcs begin claiming large portions of the northern Great Continent for themselves.
- Erlornas of Wesmere is involved in the first direct elvish clash with orcs (An Orcish Incursion takes place in 8-9YW).
- Haldric I publicly repudiates the Pact he spoke with the Elves, refusing to give aid.
- Many Elves are killed in battle by the Orcs.
- Elvish emissaries are turned away from Wesnoth.
- Orcs fail to take the Wesmere Forest and instead march down the coast, devastating human settlements there.
- Elves refuse to aid the Humans in confronting the Orcs.
- Human refugees from the coastal settlements relocate in what will become known as the Great Central Plain. Dan'Tonk, which will become Wesnoth's largest city, is founded.
- Haldric I dies.
- Haldric II ascends to the throne.
- Kalenz and Landar escape an orcish invasion of their home in Lintanir Forest. The Legend of Wesmere begins.
- Humans and elves decisively defeat the orcs at Tath, thus halting the orcish advance.
- A new treaty between humans and elves is signed and King Haldric II allows emissaries of the Elves to return to Wesnoth.
- Elves inform Haldric II of the danger posed by the unshielded Ruby of Fire.
- Kalenz and Landar, later to become successive High Lords of the Elves, are able to sneak into an orcish camp by stealth and assassinate the Great Chief Brurbar. A long orcish civil war for succession follows. The orcs are unable to undertake action against any other race during this period and Wesnoth enjoys a long period during which it can expand with little opposition.
20-130 YW: The Taming of the Wild
This era is that in which the kingdom of Wesnoth expanded and defined its borders, and settled the area which it had claimed for its own. The Taming of the Wild refers to the settling of the unsettled lands, as well as to the colonization of the Northlands. The end of this era is marked by friction between the city-state of Elensefar and the country of Wesnoth, which will continue for the next several hundred years.
- Founding of the Great Academy on Alduin.
- Kalenz is relieved of command by the Ka'lian. He retires to Lintanir Forest with Cleodil. A faction of xenophobic elves begins to gather around Landar.
- While studying at the Academy, Ardonna resolves to spend the winter researching the Lich Lords' longevity.
- Action of Secrets of the Ancients takes place.
- In 25 YW Haldric II sends an expedition to retrieve the Ruby of Fire from its place of concealment.
- Haldric II commissions a Dwarven tribe to build the Sceptre of Fire with the Ruby of Fire as its centerpiece; Elves associated with Landar's faction attack during the transfer. Sceptre of Fire begins.
- Action of The Sceptre of Fire takes place. Haldric II is informed that the Sceptre was both completed and lost in the year 40. It will not be recovered for nearly 500 years.
- With the death of Thursagan, the Runemaster, all runemasters are killed and runesmithing is lost for several centuries.
- Landar declares himself High Lord of the Elves, leading to civil war.
- Wesnothian New Writing (the script later called "steel-hand", to distinguish it from the more complex "brush-hand" cursive brought from the Green Isle) is promulgated by royal decree. From this date all royal documents and public inscriptions are in New Writing. It spreads rapidly via the mercantile class. The older brush-hand writing continues to be used for magical purposes, scholarship, and in certain elevated literary forms.
- Elvish civil war (and The Legend of Wesmere) ends. Kalenz declared High Lord, begins reorganizing and militarizing Elvish society to fight the orcs. In late 93 YW he cedes control to a reconstituted Ka'lian and retires again to the Forest of Lintanir.
- The newly crowned king sought to make safe once and for all the wildlands that separated the human cities surrounding Weldyn and the coastal regions of Elensefar.
- The grand army of Wesnoth, personally led by the High Council of Archmagi, destroyed all enemies residing within Wesnoth.
- The city-state of Elensefar is formally united to the kingdom. Settlements from it spread north of the river into the new frontier province of Annuvin, carefully avoiding the margins of Wesmere Forest.
- During this twelve year span, the western fortress of Halstead was erected in the very heart of the western wilderlands.
- Emboldened by the far-reaching arm of Halstead's protection, settlement in the west explodes
- The settlements of Aldril and Carcyn grow to become major cities, the first as an important port due to its position on the Bay of Pearls, and the second as a stop on the road to Elensefar and military outpost along the Great River
- Settlers from Carcyn cross the Great River to establish the first settlements north of it and east of Wesmere.
200-350 YW: The Golden Age of Wesnoth
The Golden Age of Wesnoth was the time of the great kings, and of peace and prosperity within the kingdom. The Orcs had suffered a grave defeat at the hands of Wesnoth and Elensefar seventy-five years earlier, so they did not pose much of a threat, and whenever they did attack they were quickly defeated. This allowed the army to lessen in size, and the kings of this age to undertake the great public works they are renowned for. The era ends when the king of Wesnoth dies without an heir, and a new dynasty begins.
- Disintegration of the Kingdom follows the death of Haldric IV.
- Elensefar remains a province of Wesnoth but exerts increasing independence due to isolation.
- Treaty between lord of Elensefar and king of Wesnoth signed.
350-417 YW: The First Dark Age of Wesnoth
The first Dark Age was a time of strife and invasion. When Haldric IV died, he left Wesnoth without a king, and the next 70 years were marked by short-lived dynasties, attacks by ever more aggressive orcs, and the further separation of Wesnoth and Elensefar. The Dark Age ended when Garard I took the throne, and began a new dynasty that would last for several hundred years.
- Malin Keshar born in Parthyn.
- Last of Kalenz's children dies. Kalenz, condemned to outlive his offspring by the potion of Crelanu, leaves the Forest of Lintanir and begins wandering the Great Continent.
- Village of Maghre terrorized by a minor necromancer. Action of A Tale of Two Brothers takes place.
- Garard, a future king of Wesnoth, is born.
- Malin Keshar returns to Parthyn from the Academy at Alduin. Descent Into Darkness begins.
417-530 YW: The Turmoil of Asheviere
King Garard's dynasty was long-lived and productive, but it was also punctuated by significant turmoil: the end of the first king's reign was marred by orcish and undead raids, and the second was murdered by his own wife and son. It was not until 517 YW that the usurpation of the throne by Queen Mother Asheviere was ended.
- Ending years of strife and division, Garard I seizes the throne and becomes king of Wesnoth, beginning the Garardine Dynasty.
- Crown Prince Garard II is born.
- Delfador, later called "the Great", is born.
- Prince Arand is born.
- Zorlan becomes Great Chief of the northern orcs
- Delfador graduates from the Great Academy. Delfador's Memoirs begins.
- Garard I dies; Garard II ascends to the throne of Wesnoth
- Orcs under Great Chief Zorlan and undead raised by the necromancer Iliah-Malal raid Wesnoth's borders. All but the first and the last three scenarios of Delfador's Memoirs take place in this year.
- Control of the Estmarks is effectively lost during this war, not to be regained for decades. Outposts are built on the near side of the Weldyn to repel orc raids. The long watch of the River Guard begins.
- Garard II marries Asheviere.
- Garard issues the Edict of the Sceptre, providing that the crown shall settle after his death on whichever member of the royal family successfully retrieves it from the Caverns of Flame.
- Crown Prince Eldred is born.
- Erain and Ethyn, identical twins and brothers of Eldred, are born.
- Princess Li'sar is born.
- Prince Konrad is born, the youngest of several sons of Prince Arand.
- Wesnoth and the orcs of the north go to war.
Betrayal on the battlefield
- Garard leads his army to orc encampment at Galcadar by the Ford of Abez.
- Garard's forces split into two groups, one led by himself and the other by his son Eldred.
- Eldred betrays his father and attacks him with the troops under his control.
- Eldred slays King Garard and his uncle Prince Arand on the battlefield of Abez.
- Delfador escapes the battle and heads to Weldyn.
- Eldred gives tribute to the Orcish king, who stops his attacks.
- Delfador gathers a force of Loyalists to avenge Garard's Death.
- Eldred's forces confront Delfador's Loyalists at Weldyn.
- The Loyalists are defeated, but Eldred is slain by Delfador in the fight.
Asheviere seizes power
- Asheviere orders the slaughter of Garard's nephews and declares herself Queen of Wesnoth.
- Hearing of the news Delfador infiltrates the palace.
- Delfador finds the youngest prince Konrad as he is slain.
- Delfador flees, taking Konrad's body for burial to the land of the Elves.
- While traveling through Wesnoth, Elf Lady Parandra finds an orphaned human child.
- Parandra and Delfador agree to give the orphan the identity of Prince Konrad.
- Delfador and Konrad flee to live in refuge with the Wood Elves of the great southwestern forest.
The country resists Asheviere
- Elensefar refuses to submit to Asheviere and declares itself an independent city-state.
- After several defeats, Wesnoth's army retreats from the remote areas of the kingdom. The western Wesnothian border recedes, is fixed, and remains heavily defended.
- As a result of the loyalist withdrawal, several small human communities on the west coast of the Great Continent live in relative independence while elves flourish in the great forest to the southwest of Wesnoth.
- A band of Wesnoth citizens organizes resistance to Asheviere's siezure of power. They are eventually forced to abandon their home and settle in the Three Sisters (Liberty).
- Delfador raises Konrad under the protection of the Elves.
- Asheviere hires Orcish forces to hunt down her nephew-in-law Konrad.
- Orcish forces converge on Delfador's refuge.
- Konrad flees his home with the elves and embark upon a quest to regain the throne of Wesnoth. Heir To The Throne begins.
- Konrad crosses the Great River into the Northlands on a search for the Sceptre of Fire.
- They enter the Caves of Knalga, allied with Princess Li'sar, and find it.
- They return to Wesnoth and claim the throne. Heir to the Throne ends.
- Birth of Princess Ana'sar.
- Wesnothian colonists begin reclaiming the Estmarks.
- With both sides of the lower Weldyn River again civilized territory, the River Guard posts south of Soradoc are abandoned. Wesnothian military activity shifts eastward into the Estmarks.
530-630 YW: The Age of Fear
The Age of Fear takes its names from the events of the end of the era. On the surface, the first 77 years were very uneventful for the kingdom of Wesnoth. However, during this time unexplainable magical events took place, especially in the eastern lands. Previously tamed lands were slowly claimed by wilderness as fear and paranoia gradually overshadowed the spirit of pioneering and adventure displayed earlier in Wesnoth's history. In the last 10 years of the age, Wesnoth bore the brunt of the most powerful Undead attack ever and was nearly destroyed. By the end of the era, most of Wesnoth had been made barren, most of the great buildings inside and outside of Weldyn were razed, and the population of Wesnoth was half of what it had been.
It was in this era that certain areas of the chaotic Northlands were for the first time put into any kind of law and order. A small group of humans and dwarves, accepting anyone of any race who wished to join, formed themselves into the "Northern Alliance”, with the vision of making the Northlands safe to live in. Over time, this alliance grew slowly but steadily in power. By the end of the era, the alliance had succeeded in making a few small areas, including Knalga and the surrounding regions, stable and prosperous. Consequently, many people evacuated from the wasteland that most of Wesnoth had become and moved north - depleting the population of Wesnoth still further.
- Delfador succumbs to old age and dies, his body is entombed alongside his staff in Eregonor.
- The next great sage of Wesnoth, Dacyn, is born.
- The small community of Dwarven Doors, in the Northlands just outside Knalga, rebels against the Orcish overlords. Northern Rebirth begins.
- The residents, led by Tallin, head underground and find dwarves, whom they ally with.
- Their combined forces destroy a lich who is attempting to claim Knalga as his own.
- Abhai finds the Rod of Justice
- The warlord-aspirant Rakshas attacks Tallin and his forces, but does not penetrate the dwarves' defences.
- To help defeat the orcs, Tallin secures the help of two Liches, and rescues an elvish princess to secure the help of the elves.
- Assisted by his new allies, Tallin smashes the forces of Rakshas.
- According to some historians, Tallin and the elvish princess are married; others say they parted in bad blood.
- To preserve the new-found peace in the Northlands, Tallin and his allies form the Northern Alliance. Northern Rebirth ends.
- Lord Hamel of Knalga sends an expedition to Kal Kartha to determine the fate of the Hammer of Thursagan (The Hammer of Thursagan takes place in late 550 YW to early 551 YW.).
- Dwarves at Knalga and elsewhere begin to reclaim the lost art of runesmithing.
- Wesnothian colonization expands southward past Fort Tahn.
- Konrad and Li'sar die after an extraordinarily long reign.
- Princess Ana'sar becomes queen.
- The seer Galdren becomes prominent at the court of Weldyn.
- Queen Ana'sar retires.
- Haldric VII becomes king of Wesnoth.
- Dacyn the White Mage and Ravanal, an eastern wizard, compete to be the king's advisor.
- The seer Galdren dies after advising Haldric VII to choose Dacyn.
- The king does as Galdren advises.
- Ravanal reveals that he has turned to evil, and flees from Weldyn.
- Konrad II is born.
- Certain southern frontier regions are formally annexed to the Kingdom of Wesnoth as the Province of Kerlath.
- South Guard organized as a semi-detached formation of the Royal Army, to protect the inhabitants of the frontier province of Kerlath.
- South Guard ceases reporting. Haldric VII sends Deoran, grandson of Haldiel, to investigate. The South Guard takes place in 607-608 YW.
- Haldric VII dies. Konrad II is crowned King of Wesnoth.
- Dacyn continues his duties as advisor with Konrad II.
- Mysterious disappearances of livestock and peasants cause partial evacuation of the the Estmark Hills. Lords of the Horse Plains report increased banditry from there.
- Konrad II sends Dacyn with Owaec and Gweddry to man the old River Guard strongpoints. Eastern Invasion begins.
- Mal-Ravanal attacks the middle outpost where Gweddry and Dacyn are stationed.
- Dacyn and Gweddry travel to the northern outpost, and, with Owaec, retreat into the northlands.
- In the Far North, the wife of Kai Laudiss slain in a large raid by the orcs of Tirigaz on Jotha
- Kai Laudiss slain by poisoned orcish dart during failed attack on the Port of Tirigaz orcs. His son, Krellis succeeds him as Kai and relies on the wisdom of Cylanna, a priestess.
- The merfolk city of Jotha is overrun by undead (Mal Kevek and others). The action of Dead Water takes place.
- Wesnoth's last defences are broken and the undead march on Wesnoth
- In the northlands, the orcs drive Gweddry's army back across the river.
- Weldyn is besieged.
- Gweddry breaks through undead lines to reach Weldyn and a council is held.
- Gweddry's army is fortunate and kills Mal-Ravanal. Eastern Invasion ends. Dead Water ends (about this time).
- Wesnoth is saved, but large portions have been laid waste by the undead.
- After destroying Mal-Ravanal's henchmen the mermen relaxed and began rebuilding in earnest, and soon Jotha was restored.
628-673 YW: The Silver Age of Wesnoth
The Silver Age, or restoration of the Wesnothian kingdom, essentially coincides with the rest of the long and successful reign of Konrad II. During this period Wesnoth largely recovered from the damage that Mal-Ravanal's undead attack had done. It would, however, never quite regain the majesty it had at the height of its power.
The Northlands, aided by a second wave of colonization north from Wesnoth, become more civilised and stable. Although nowhere near as prosperous as Wesnoth was during its Golden Age, the Northlands developed towns of significant size and a thriving - if somewhat dangerous - trade network.
Four major powers soon came to dominate much of the Northlands. First there were the dwarves, who controlled most of the mountains and a vast array of underground tunnels and caverns. To the east, shrouded in mystery, lay the Elvish forests which continued to be inaccessible to anyone not of elvish blood. The remaining landscape was dominated either by orcish tribes, or independent human earldoms. As competition for the land grew fierce, wars smoldered between human and orcish forces.
- Konrad II begins his attempt to rebuild Wesnoth.
786-826 YW: The Legacy of Black-Eye Karun
After decades of struggle, Black-Eye Karun becomes the first warlord since the assassination of Great Chief Brurbar in 20 YW to unite all the different squabbling orcish tribes under his banner. Among his many accomplishments as a Sovereign, his most famous is the creation of the Great Council.
Karun was a far-sighted individual and he knew that after his death the orcish tribes would once again turn to fighting among themselves, with little he could do to prevent that and consequent peril from the Wesnothians and elves.
Consequently, Karun selected from among all the different tribes six of the most sober and wisest orcs and thus created the Great Council. It was the Great Council's job to stay aloof from any tribal or territorial squabbling amongst the orcs, but yet always remain there to give advice to whomever came to seek it. In order to preserve the orcish race in the event of an emergency, he invested in them the power to call up The Great Horde. It was established that every orc, no matter what tribe he came from, must obey the summons of The Great Horde and follow wholeheartedly the leader that the Great Council put at the head of The Great Horde.
- Karun is born.
- Karun devised the formation of the Great Council.
- A border dispute between Karun and a human enclave aligned with the Northern Alliance leaves several men and orcs dead and begins a feud that will grow into a fifteen-year war.
- Rahul I becomes Lord Protector of the Northern Alliance.
- Kapou’e is born
- Rahul I (Lord Protector of the Northern Alliance) and Black Eye Karun sign a peace treaty ending a 15 year war between the humans and the orcs. Soon after this Karun, is ambushed and killed in mysterious circumstances.
- Frustrated by the fallout of Karun's supposed assassination, Rahul I resigns, and Howgarth III takes his place as Lord Protector.
- Famine in the Northlands. Famine led humans to colonize some orcish lands and push orcs into desolated hill country. The few orcish tribes who had remained part of the Alliance, feeling the pressure, either left Alliance territory or revolted and were destroyed.
- Retaliating, the orcs systematically slaughtered human colonies and villages on their lands. Then, Earl Lanbec'h — the most powerful human warlord of the North — determined to abolish the orcish menace raised an army and conferred leadership of it to his son-in-law Baron Alber.
- In response, the Great Council set up by the Black Eye Karun calls upon The Great Horde and bestows leadership of it upon Kapou’e; Son of the Black Eye begins.
- Half of the Great Council is treacherously slain by the allied human forces and orcish unity disintegrates. Faced with the extermination of all the orcs on the Great Continent, Kapou’e forcibly asserts his control over the orcish territories and defeats the enemy forces. The Northern Alliance arrives on the scene in time for the final battle and helps Kapou’e defeat the forces of the northern earldoms, who had broken the treaty. Kapou’e then assumes the position of Sovereign over the northern tribes, and his rule ushers in an unprecedented era of unity and prosperity for the orcs.
- After 843: Portions of Kapou'e's army act as mercenaries in foreign struggles with other races which keeps them from attacking their nearest neighbors.
- Kapou’e repels a large elvish invasion.
- The humans once again stage an invasion but prove to be no match for the united orcish forces under the leadership of Kapou’e. Son of the Black Eye ends.
After the Great Fall
At some unknown point in the future, an unspeakable cataclysm scorched the surface of the lands and the God-Demon Zhangor terrorizes the world. The Wesnoth magicians try to raise up a 3rd sun in the sky, Gaia, but they fail and the 'sun' falls down over Weldyn. The capital is no more. The King and his family are dead and there is no heir. The local leaders tear apart Wesnoth. The nights become longer, days hotter. Evil creatures show up. Forests die, hills turn into rocky wastelands and fields become barren deserts. In the apocalypse allies turn against each other and friends fight over what few resources remain. The great nations were destroyed, and huge numbers of people died. Still amidst the chaos somehow small groups of people survived, sheltered in hidden places. In this post-apocalyptic world survival is a daily struggle as a few remaining tribes eke out an existence among the ruins of fallen empires. Heroic bands of elves, nomadic refugee humans, savage hordes of orcs and dark necromancers all forge new lives under the merciless dual suns, Sela and Naia, of this new Irdya. In the meantime an evil entity named Uria arises, scarring the history for life.
- The Quenoth elves adapt to life in barren world of the Great Southern Desert. Over time they lost their affinity for the woodlands of their ancestry and embrace life in the sandy wastelands.
- Under the leadership of Tanuil, the Quenoth elves build and sustain a fortified village around a rare oasis. The village thrives amidst the hostilities of the desert.
- One night, a meteor storm rains from the sky and destroys the village of the Quenoth elves. Under the Burning Suns begins. The next day, Tanuil, like many others, is missing and presumed dead. Kalehssar (Kaleh), nephew of Tanuil, takes leadership of the remaining Quenoth elves as the surviving next of kin.
- Kaleh, heeding the voice of his god Eloh in his dreams, gathers the remaining Quenoth elves and leads them north to a new promised land, foregoing rebuilding of their desert village.
- The Quenoth elves battle their way north through Undead, Orcs, Bandits and other evil, venturing underground beneath a large mountain range at the command of Eloh.
- Befriending unexpected allies underground, Kaleh's forces survive to the other side of the mountain.
- Keratur, son of Tanuil and survivor of the cataclysm, insane with fright attacks Kaleh. Kaleh defeats Keratur.
- Kaleh defies commands given him by a vision of Eloh.
- The Quenoth reach the ocean. Aided by Merfolk, they escape the mainland and head for a newly discovered island, a place where the Quenoth may settle in peace.
- On the island, the Quenoth confront Yechnagoth, the Eater of Souls and impersonator of Eloh. Yechnagoth and army are destroyed by the Quenoth.
- Kaleh and the elves settle on their newfound, and newly named, Quenoth Isle. Under the Burning Suns ends.
Timelined by Kamahawk and Turin. Revised to incorporate material from later version of Legend of Wesmere and reconcile different versions of the history of the Sceptre of Fire by Eric S. Raymond.
- History derived from:
- Setting details derived from:
- Invasion from the Unknown