The World Beyond: al-Jazira Sadim
1590: Battles with nomads occurred north of what is now Caramykos. This same year, Arachine, the top mage of the Wizards of Grimshire, passes after a life of nearly 500 years.
1840: “Dark Riders” first seen in the area of Canton, north of the Steppes of Arachine as the foundation for invasion is laid.
1842: Tylok I and Lywin retrieve the “Sword of the Dark Elves” from the Great Forest at the request of the otherworldly “Elminster” who takes the sword into his own safe keeping.
1908: The High Priest in Canton catches wind of an impending invasion and deploys Aucleid to secure “the Gauntlet” from Bradbury.
1909: The “Dark Invaders” make landfall at Terramare, swiftly raze the town and all nearby villages, and begin their siege of Canton. (1) (2) Despite the best efforts of Tylok II, the city cannot withstand the onslaught. His son Tylok III and companion Krimshaw journey south to warn of the invasion.
1910: Krimshaw and Tylok III part ways, as Krimshaw begins his quest for a Powerstone. Tylok begins his ascension to power in the City-State of South Sea. Meanwhile, to the surprise of many, the “Dark Invaders” to the north make no move to physically expand the reach of their dominion, though some surmise that they were underhandedly brokering deals with local leaders to become puppets in a long-term scheme. (3)
1912: Having acquired a Powerstone, Krimshaw begins apprenticeship to become the newest Wizard of Grimshire.
1917: Supposedly with the assistance of secret and powerful allies, Tylok III becomes Mayor of South Sea, promising to lead the city into a new era of prosperity.
1920: Skirmishes in the Steppes of Arachine with the “Dark Ones” give South Sea cause to arm themselves in defense against the newfound fear of invasion.
1927: Traveling to the nearby duchies of the Empire, Tylok III meets Princess Wysella of Caithness.
1934: After a seven year romance with Tylok III, Princess Wysella is swept off her feet by a lord from Megalos (the city) and departs east. Tylok, heartbroken, begins a long descent into madness. By now, it is publicly known that the two bore a child, Tylok IV, who is now around six years old.
1958: Tylok III disappears from South Sea.
1959: In an unchallenged self-pronunciation of his own regality, Tylok IV takes over South Sea. Within months, an attempt is made on his life, and he spends most of the year in a coma. Bondar rules South Sea fairly and peacefully. Meanwhile, led by Krimshaw, the Wizards of Grimshire undertake a secret campaign to undermine Tylok’s quest for dominance, (4) including the recruitment of new wizards like Bysajio and the search for the Artifact of Yuvens.
1960: The result of an elaborate plot hatched by Tylok IV himself, imperial soldiers, led by the heroic Gnargak, sweep down upon South Sea to protect it from “Dark Invaders” from the north. Unfortunately, these “Dark Invaders” are aligned with Tylok and turn back the Empire after a long and bloody battle. To “protect” his city and the surrounding region, Tylok proclaims the outlying regions to be a part of the new Kingdom of Tylok and himself King.
1961: Those who oppose this new reign are quietly destroyed by Tylok’s minions. “Dark Warriors” begin to appear through out the new Kingdom as the enforcers of Tylok’s will. (5) Meanwhile, after over a decade of relative normalcy, another Overstorm besieges the earth for the entire year.
1962: Tylok’s plans for immediate expansion are held in check by a universal drought and crop failure in the farms on the steppes.
1963: Word arrives in South Sea that Merlor has been killed at that the Wizards of Grimshire have fled from the Towers of Desolation. (6) Those sent to the supposedly abandoned keep never return.
1964: The Kingdom of Tylok launches an attack on the nearby Towers of Desolation and finds nothing but dead bodies.
1981: Ten years after the search for Hubabah began, the party from Red Spear returns home, having found not a trace.
1982: Despite the extraordinary success of his ruthless quest of conquest, Tylok becomes aware of increasing impotency of his magical artifacts, upon which his own confidence and conquest depended. He keeps this development a secret from his minions, but immediately undertakes an effort to reinvigorate the power of his weapons.
1982 – 1987: Hubabah’s followers find their magic, though now more powerful, frequently backfiring in unpredictable and dangerous ways. Rumors begin that the Mulrah, Deity of Fire, now walks the earth, and Hubabah’s followers anxiously await similar rumors regarding their deity.
1988: Tylok concludes that magic as he knew it is dead to the world and that the gods have abandoned him. His young empire begins to fray at the edges.
1995: Al-Wazif retakes Bannock, subsuming it back into their nation.
1998: Tylok IV sets out with a party of his closest allies to find the avatar of “the Mulrah” rumored to have been encountered with some frequency in the northeast. He believes that consulting one of the Elemental Deities will enable him to regain his magical powers, strengthening his hold on the empire. He is never seen again.
2000: Followers of Hubabah suddenly and silently find themselves completely unable to cast their spells anymore, as if all prayers are unheard. (8) Ismail and Erasmas wandered around al-Jazira Sadim.
2001: Undead in monotheistic nations begin increasing in number.
2003: Humans first begin to notice that toddlers everywhere are not learning speech. Some seem mindless while others have violent tendencies.
- These “Dark Invaders” are actually the Twadhsae, demented, mindless creations of the Elementals.
- Hubabah, who had been keeping to herself in this relatively remote part of the world, fled to seek the protection of the mythical Wizards of Grimshire to the south.
- Unbeknownst to all, the Dark Invaders plans were much more evil. For thirty years, they gradually began the systematic genocide of the Slassraggs in the Dim Forest and planted the seeds for rebellion in other parts of the world. By the time Tylok III began his conquests, the elves were too weak to help and neighboring kingdoms were so divided by corruption and deceit that Tylok’s armies won handily and in some cases were welcomed as saviors.
- The adventure module “Vengeance of the Ffoul Son” incorrectly refers to Tylok IV as Tylok III’s father, not son. It addition, it falsely presumes the death of Tylok IV, who actually just entered into a deep coma from the poisoning he took in his assassination attempt. Bondar ruled in his stead until he was back to full strength.
- It is a commonly held misconception that these were the same “Dark Ones” that invaded to the north. They were rather simply human minions of Tylok cleverly dressed to incite the same type of fear inspired by the considerably deadlier and more menacing versions in Canton.
- This assault was by the Twadhae and initiated by the Mulrah to destroy Hu-Babah, a part of the “plan” described in History.
- This weapon was, in fact, the very “Sword of the Dark Elves” that Tylok’s grandfather delivered for safe keeping to Elminster two generations before. In his dealings with the “Dark Ones,” Tylok III became convinced that his grandfather had spurned his destiny to rule the world in the moment he handed over the sword and its awesome power to someone else, so he gladly accepted the sword when it was given to him. This only completed his descent into madness.
- It is at this point that Hubabah is rumored to have died.