Age of Uroghosh
It is said that witnessing a human hunting party trapping a griffin to stop it stealing from farmlands was the inspiration for a campaign that swept the world. Dwarves whisper of a time where other species were enslaved in droves and technology was driven from the world. Orcs speak of peace and balance where the natural order was restored. The truth likely lies between these extremes.
Very little remains of this time for the orcs were not great builders. When the ways of Uroghosh were dominating, the opposite was true. Tribe and family living off the land was put above a large society and changing the landscape with extensive farming. Walls were seen as a threat to the ruling order and quickly torn down.
No specific event is documented as bringing this Age to an end. Society was likely fragmented, other cultures and boundaries slowly returning to the world, the dwarves emerging from their deepest holds.
Legendary artifacts from this Age often the reflect druidic or shamanistic orders that existed at the time.
"We cannot return to his body," she explained. The fire crackled suddenly. Sparks danced in the air as a chunk of wood collapsed into the flames.
"It's not right, leaving him to the griffin." The young hunter bristled with frustration.
She could understand that; he had just lost a close friend. But she wasn't here to comfort the party. Taking young orcs out into the wilderness was to show them the way of the world first hand. And the world was not a comforting place.
"Jhikark fell, the griffin was stronger. It earned that meal through its strength. It is the natural order."
"We should go as a group now, finish it off while it's..."
"No." This time she raised her voice. "Were we humans we would lay traps and bring down such a magnificent creature through trickery. Making the world safer so that we can grow weaker. The very thing that led Uroghosh on her campaign to set the world right. It won. Jhikark died. In a few days we return to those hills. If we are stronger then the griffin will fall to our blades and arrows. If you are so determined, take your axe and go alone now. I will not stop you. But you will not return unless you fell the griffin with your own hands."
One day she hoped the world would be right again, as it had been in Uroghosh' time. Then she would spend less time answering stupid questions from orcs who looked at the human cities with jealous eyes.
"We always have to watch them," he said with a shrug. From their walls the dwarves could see a distant orc tribe moving across the landscape. From up high they were but a colony of ants on the march.
"They're far away," Novrod countered. His mail clinked as he yawned.
"But they are large in number. Sometimes a small tribe suddenly gathers with a few others and they go pillaging. Hopefully the vermin never unite under one leader."
"It happened. Once. We were lucky. Headed into the deep fortresses. Their tiny orc brains couldn't conjure a way to crack our doors. But the humans and elves suffered. They swarmed across the land and tore down everything the humans had built. They don't even know the names of the cities they lost, burned to ash by the orcs. But we remember. When an orc horde marches, nothing is left in its wake."
Novrod stood a little more straight. His eyes watched the dots on the horizon more keenly.
Age of Wonders
Accounts of what brought this society down are strongly opposed, even if the event itself is agreed upon and that this Age came to a very sudden end thousands of years ago. Those who venture deep into the dead valley north of the Ixchel Wilds can find the ruins of a what used to be a grand city. Nothing grows on the black scorch ground, and the scar remains for miles in all directions around the twisted ruins of the city.
The dwarves state that an order of mages, jealous that their power was fading compared to the advances that could be enjoyed by all, made a pact and called upon dark magics to strike down their ancient capital.
Several magical orders dispute this and claim the dwarves themselves tinkered with powers that upset the orders of nature, ushering forth their own downfall.
Regardless of the truth the wonders of this age have been all but lost. The center of this culture is an abandoned ruin. Only darkness lives there now.
Legendary artifacts from this Age are technological marvels. Even the greatest dwarven engineers struggle to understand the principles that these devices work from.
Age of Expansion
Where the crusade went, castles sprang up on precipitous peaks. The western lands are still dotted with stone ruins from this Age and form its main legacy. Mankind has never again reached the peak of castle building that it achieved in this bygone era.
Eventually King Grichen is said to have started to lose his mind. The gods gave him increasingly outlandish goals to achieve. Other religions started to take hold in the populace and were harshly punished. When his generals started to question him, the Age was already starting to end.
Religious rebellions took hold of several castles, leading to lengthy sieges. Entire divisions of the army broke away.
Some scholars believe the end should formally be ascribed to the time the kingdom stopped its expansion; others when its territory finally fractured. What is known is that by the time it came to an end most of the castles had been deliberately dismantled to stop them being taken by rebel forces.
This expansion is one of the few points of interest in a dark age that stretches back thousands of years from the present day to when the Age of Wonders came to an end.
Age of Chronicles
This has been accepted by Elbion scholars as the formal title of the current Age. Literacy has expanded significantly. Most nobles have their children be educated from a young age – either by tutors at home or scholars in colleges. Even the wealthier merchants ensure the skill is spread to their most senior employees. Many organisations and families employ a full time scholar.
Even adventurers and commanders – most of whom cannot read and write – will hire their services occasionally to chronicle their exploits and commit them to the annals of history.