Age Of Monsters

The Age of Monsters was a time when humans, elves, and other races familiar to modern Khorvairians were absent from the continent and the dominant civilizations were groups that now are considered savage and monstrous, hence the common name. As you can see from the Age of Monsters Timeline, this period was both exceptionally long and exceptionally eventful. This page serves as a summary page for the era and a jumping off point for the more detailed pages found in links below.

Lands of the Age of Monsters

Lands of the Dhakaani Empire

The sprawling Dhakaani Empire of the goblinoid races stretched across southern Khorvaire including many areas that have large goblinoid populations today. For the majority of the empire's existence, there were five provinces Akhaac Province and Targaask Province in central Khorvaire, Dekhuul'daal Province in southwestern Khorvaire, Shuugac Province in southeastern Khorvaire, and Uthroul Province as the northernmost estension of the empire. The dangerous southern province of Dalaan was established, lost, and reclaimed several times over the life of the empire while Tal'aakuul was established as a frontier province that never quite felt established before Dhakaan fell.

Mighty goblinoid cities dotted the lands of the Dhakaani Empire, busy population centers with strong goblinoid communities, foreign traders, and slave populations. The lands between the cities were sometimes dangerous but often patrolled by army units during times of relative peace. Often, though, political rivalries and cultural disputes wracked the empire with open warfare. When the Dhakaani Empire erupted in war, that conflict often spilled over into neighboring lands which continued to keep the other areas' focus on the goblinoids and also kept the Dhakaani interested in expanding their borders.

Lands of the Orcish Tribes

In the northern reaches of Khorvaire, the orcish tribelands were an important stabilizing force. Though scattered and lightly-populated compared to the southern goblinoid races, the orcs and their cities were part of trade networks that connected communities from the Demon Wastes]] in the west to the Ironroot Mountains in the east. The orcs and goblinoids were more integrated at times than others (most notably the Kingdom of Lekhaan) but until the wars against the daelkyr they were distinctly different regions.

Lands of the Dragonborn Kingdoms

In the far eastern parts of Khorvaire along the coast of the modern Lhazaar Sea, the heirs of the ancient dragons held power. Just like modern Q'barra, the dragonborn peoples kept ancient pacts but in the Age of Monsters they were more numerous and claimed far more land. Both the Iceshard Kingdoms to the north an the Obsidian Kingdoms to the south had well-defended cities that repelled goblinoid raids, dwarven attacks, and sahuagin marauders.

Lands of the Goliath Tribes

Across the Graywall Mountains from the lands of the goblinoids, the plains and mountains of the goliath tribes were dangerous and deadly. This is exactly how the tribes wanted it as they sought to destroy any Dhakaani slaving parties that came across the mountain passes. Despite their physical abilities and the advantage they had from the mountains' natural defenses, the goliaths were a frequent target of the goblinoids and prized as powerful slaves. Their proud traditions and bustling population centers (called "cities" but nothing like the Dhakaani cities to the east) continue to shape the cultural landscape of modern Droaam despite many people's impression that they were a fleeting part of the Age of Monsters.

Races of the Age of Monsters

Without any of the Sarlonan races (determined as those with major populations in modern Sarlona) the list of appropriate races in an Age of Monsters campaign is as follows.

  • Goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears: These races are native to southern Khorvaire and make up the dominant race of the campaign. They are one of many important races in the early era but by the Daelkyr War they occupy more than half of the continent.
  • Orcs: Another important race, the orcs come into their own after they are introduced to primal magic by the green dragon Vvaraak. They live primarily in northwestern Khorvaire in the areas now occupied by Aundair, the Eldeen Reaches, the Shadow Marshes, and parts of Droaam.
  • Dragonborn: Originally from the Talenta Plains and the Blade Desert, they were pushed east during the Talentan Wars and into Q'barra. Later they established their own kingdom which covered most of the eastern coastline of Khorvaire until that too was destroyed by the goblins.
  • Dwarves: Though unknown through most of the Age of Monsters, the dwarves came to the Ironroot Mountains in -12,000 YK well after the fall of the dragonborn kingdom of Q'barra. They are present through the Daelkyr Wars but most goblins consider them a dangerous unknown on the edges of the empire and some even suspect them of aiding the daelkyr in their conquest.
  • Elves: Establishing their empire and government as the Dhakaani Empire forms, the elves area mysterious people from the south. They have powerful magic, bizarre customs, and a harsh (if well-earned) xenophobia. There are no half-elves in this period.
  • Gnomes: Emmigrants from the feyspires in southern Khorvaire, the gnomes are rapidly hemmed in by goblin forces during the rise of Dhakaan. They occupied a fraction of the territory of modern Zilargo and fought fiercely to repel goblin slaving raids. Despite this resistance, many were enslaved and forced to serve mighty Dhakaan.
  • Goliaths: This race originated in Xen'drik where they were kept as slaves though they faired poorly in captivity. Many more live in Khorvaire than Xen'drik even in this period and most lived in the western reaches of the continent alongside the druidic orcs. Some were later forced into servitude by the Dhakaani Empire as guards, though with similar results as the giants.
  • Halflings: Living in the Talenta Plains in nomadic family groups that would be recognizable even to modern Khorvairians. Some are kept as slaves during the Dhakaani Empire and both the goblins and the orcs consider them irrational savages.
  • Lizardfolk: The native race of Q'barra, they trade with the goblins even before the dragonborn arrived in the jungle peninsula. During the days of the kingdom of Q'barra they are valued allies to the dragonborn and after this they return to their tribal existence.
  • Kobolds: Another scaled race, the kobolds exist on the outskirts of empires throughout the Age of Monsters. They trade with, raid, and are enslaved by the goblins and they are a perpetual thorn in the side of the orcish kingdoms in the north. They have a brief period of legitimacy during the days of Q'barra but they scatter once more when that nation falls.

Adventures in the Age of Monsters

There are many different time periods to set campaigns during the Age of Monsters. Of necessity, the time periods created by Khorvairian historians are biased towards events in the [[Dhakaani Empire]]. This is the culture with the most detailed historical record and it dominated the continent during this long age both militarily and economically. Even dragonborn and orcs who had never seen a goblinoid were affected by the great empire, in much the same way that a tribal halfling or half-orc villager in the marshes in modern Khorvaire is affected by the political realities of the Five Nations in subtle ways that he may not even perceive.

Orium War Campaign

The six goblin kingdoms in southern Khorvaire erupted into three centuries of war after the discovery of orium. This is a time of strife and mistrust as well as volatile frontiers and experimental magic making it a setting ripe for adventure.
Nations: In southern Khorvaire there are six powerful goblin kingdoms who are discovering magic and using the new resource of orium to create the most powerful magical items that Khorvaire has seen to date. The orc nations are in a nascent state, still recovering from the backlash of chaos following the introduction of primal magic by Vvaraak while the goliath tribes in modern-day Droaam enjoy a time of uncontested autonomy. In the east, the lizardfolk hold Q'barra uncontested and the dragonborn live as nomadic tribes in the Blade Desert and in ringed hill-forts alongside the halfling tribes of the Talenta Plains.

The Six Kingdoms


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