The Ages of the World

The Ages of the World

A Story by StarNinja

It is not known exactly when the current age system came into popular use, but we do know of its earliest appearance in the works of Plunomer, who was the first to combine color theory with the calendar. Here then is the Ages of the World, supplemented with the latest historical findings by yours truly.

The Age before Time

The Time before Time. The Lost Age. The Mists of History. Who can say what came before history? No written records survive of this period and of the peoples and cultures who lived then. Of these we can only guess. Monolithic structures the world over can be found from this period, unbelievably ancient even by our ancestors’ standards. From this timeless age arose human civilization. Of the stories that survive we can tell that humanity had walked the earth for more time than we know to count yet the touch of the ancients on our lives is all but invisible to us now. Entire civilizations rose and fell, ground to ashes by the unceasing seas of eternity, many times before the record of history begins. May we honor their passing by living pure lives and not repeating the mistakes of our forefathers.

 

The Black Age

The Age of Paradox. The Time of Corruption. The Crudest Age. The earliest records we have come to us from a time of turbulence and change. No other age is more defined by its color than the Black Age. From the black clouds of industry, to the black blood of the earth that produced their terrible wonders. From the blackness that stirred in men’s hearts to the black depths of space where their dreams led them to folly. This was an age of greed and malice, of wonders and great achievement. Never had humanity been more united or divided. When Plunomer began his work, a plethora of records from the Black Age had only just been discovered in hidden vaults and neglected libraries. He had the great honor of inspecting many primary sources himself and it is from him that the most complete picture of the Black Age to date has been assembled.

The means to decipher the calendars of the Black Age have long been lost, but what can be discerned is that the Black Age lasted for at least several hundred years. It began when men first discovered the gift of the Black Blood. With this magical substance, society changed and civilization seemed to spring up all the over the world, even in its most remote corners. With the powerful gift of the Earth’s Black Blood, great feats were accomplished which are unmatched by even today’s greatest polities. They constructed cities that scraped the skies and housed untold millions of people.  They learned the secrets of the universe and created weapons that could shatter the heavens. They walked on the surface of the Moon! To us common folk, the men of the Black Age were like unto gods themselves, doing that which only gods could do. But in their hubris, they forgot that the Earth’s Black Blood was a gift, not a guarantee. Their works scarred the skies and dirtied the oceans and it did not go unnoticed.

At the behest of the gods, the Blood began to run thin and the people grew angry; plundering their mother for all she had to offer. In this age of turmoil, increasingly violent wars were fought over the fate of evermore dwindling natural bounties. Stories of the Great Wars for the Borderlands and the War for the World echo throughout eternity as the bloodiest wars ever fought by man. Countless died, even more than are alive on the planet today! As the Black Age drew to a close, brother fought brother and nowhere was safe to sleep. In this, humanity’s darkest night, it is said that a few were able to see the corruption that seized their brothers’ souls. They chose to walk a different path and it is from them that we have what few records survive from that age.

Many sources show that at the zenith of this age, people were divided about their fate and the fate of their world. Would things continue forever as they were, they wondered? Or would it end all at once, in one final glorious moment? It turns out neither answer was correct. The Black Age ended with a whimper. The hubris of the Black Age was such that they could conceive of no future other than that in which they were center stage. But, as history has shown many times since then, man is but one lowly part of this magnificent world and if one is not careful they will end up making the same mistakes as the men of that ancient age of madness. It is in this age that one of the more popular stories of recent note, Gildram’s Idiom, takes place. It is also the subject of many of Ser Farnham Drake’s poems. Here is one such example.

From whence came the Blackest Age?

With blackest clouds of rain and soot?

Alas it is said that Nature’s rage

Had rendered the question moot.

 

The Grey Age

The Unknown Age. The Time of Decline. The Wandering Time. It is at this time that records grow scarce again. The Black Age ended quietly and without much fanfare, quite contrary to predictions by contemporary historians. Through the ruins of the Black Age the men of the Grey Age wandered, poking through the scraps left behind by their careless forebears. The great civilizations of the Black Age did not disappear altogether simultaneously, though. In some parts of the world, small pockets of Black Age wonder continued to flourish, but even these paled when compared to their predecessors, hence Plunomer’s choice of Grey for this age. This was a time of scavengers and of survivors. Without the Earth’s Black Blood, no nation could maintain the wonders of the age past and so they fell silently into ruin. This was the time of the Great Wandering, as people the world over flocked to the places that Earth had left untouched by great storms, terrible droughts, and destructive floods. The seas swallowed the lands closest to them, and the changing climate continued to push the survivors of the last age harder and harder. Many died. Many more held on to life and slowly began to rebuild what was lost. As people fled the changing climate, they carried with them their languages and customs. This great Diaspora changed the lands where they settled and the seeds of today’s cultures were planted.

The greatest epic poems ever written were first passed down orally by the peoples of the Grey Age. Writing was a luxury then, and so the forms of the Epics changed much before they solidified to their current state.

 

The Yellow Age

The Wilting Time. The Age of Big Men. The Time of Warlords. The Yellow Age saw the first polities rise from the ashes of the previous age. For the first time, the waning power of the “nations” that survived the end of the Black Age could be challenged. This change was embodied in the sack and pillage of the last of the great Black Age cities. The most famous by far was the sacking of the city of Emeralds, Seahtell, although by the Yellow Age Seahtell was a mere shadow of its former splendor. In a siege that lasted a week and a night, Seahtell was laid low by the Plainsmen that had journeyed from the East beyond the mountains. With it, culture and literacy collapsed across North Murka as the survivors of the Grey Age had enough to worry about fighting against the Plainsmen that had traveled from the heart of Murka.

In terms of writing and other cultural forms, not much separates this age from the last. Plunomer saw fit to demarcate the ages when he noticed that the records of the Yellow Age suggested that the land itself had begun to die. Indeed this was the age of crop failures, starvation, and desertification, which gave the age its name. This expansion of the dry lands and the deserts drove the Plains Peoples to migrate which in turn led to entire peoples becoming displaced and dying as a result of the warlike nature of the Plainsmen and the rampant disease carried by them and their horses. A steady historical record would not again emerge until the end the Yellow Age, when the Lords of Middle Murka finally settled, conquered or made peace with the native peoples across Murka.

Once again the Coasts began to develop and grow as places of trade and civilization. Though the shore would continue to creep further inland as the age came to a close, making permanent settlement impossible, the bays and mouths of major waterways would become important once more.

 

The Blue Age

The Age of Boats. The Time of Voyage. The Explorer’s Era. The technologies of the seafarers of the Black Age had long been preserved by Sea Gypsies of various kinds, but it wasn’t until new navigation techniques combined with the old traditions that sailing the high seas became feasible once more. Trade of some sort had existed since the decline of the Black Age but seemingly all at once there was a voracious sense that the maps were too empty and needed to filled once more. New trade routes opened between the isolated polities of Murka and the first eastward transoceanic voyage in centuries occurred. South Murka was rediscovered and the distant, far off land of El Europa colonized. For a long while, it was believed that the West Ocean, also known as Pacifica, was infinite and continued forever as blue waters and island chains. Of course the Sea Gypsies and Monastic Traditions that preserved Black Age knowledge knew that there was a land mass out there somewhere, an unimaginable distance away but its name had been lost to history.

This was the age of daring explorers and ruthless corsairs. Cut throat merchant traders and cunning pirateers. With so many remote sources of knowledge being reacquired and traded for the first time in ages a reawakening of the mind occurred. It was especially thanks to contact with South Murka that so many forgotten thought forms were reintroduced to North Murkan discourse. The famous frescos of Baldwin were made in this time as well as Newmath, a form of mathematics which could calculate infinitely large numbers. Each discovery and rediscovery fueled a voracious appetite for knowledge that the sailors of the Blue Age were happy to satiate for a price. Many voyages and quests were launched looking for more Black Age secrets and a new age of Rationalism took root which would come to flower in the next age.

 

The Green Age

The Rekindling. The Glowing Period. Flowering Age. It was in the Green Age that civilizations began to emerge once more from the darkness that had pervaded much of the previous ages. This was the age of Plunomer and other great thinkers. Besides the flowery metaphors for the rise of intellectualism, Plunomer named his age the Green Age because agriculture in all its forms became the prime intellectual project of the time. New harvesting techniques and nature science allowed the agricultural centers of Old Murka to flourish. The Great Rationalist Thinkers lived during this age and the most sublime theses of life and nature we have today were composed during this greatest of ages. Exploration continued as in the Blue Age but the last corners of the map had yet to be filled. Great empires rose from the cultures that had been planted in the Grey Age which came to dominate all of Murka.

The Black Age was but a distant memory to the Green Age folk, but the light that had been shed by the brave Blue Age explorers allowed Plunomer and his contemporaries to learn much about the ages past. The age system we use today was invented in this time though we do not know by who as Plunomer only referenced his sources briefly when he spoke of them at all. Color Age theory would not become popular until long after Plunomer’s death when his seminal work, Coloria Chronologica, became a sensation among nobles across Murka. It seemed as if the Green Age would go on forever, but as the world continued to grow smaller, greater forces would ensure that turmoil would come to rule the next age.

 

The Red Age

The Age of Blood. The Burning Age. The Time of Sundering. Our current age. Though our age is very young, barely a hundred years old by most historians’ reckoning, it is already being called the Red Age due to the untold bloodshed of the recent wars to hit Murkan shores. As the age of expansion started in the Blue Age came to bloody fruition, the virgin lands of El Europa, which had seen fighting for most of its history since the dawning of the Grey Age, was invaded by the various Murkan Empires. When the conquest failed, a second expeditionary force was launched by the Greatest Murkan Empire, Nov Brasilia, which was more successful. Colonies founded along the Iberian Coast were met with fierce resistance from the local Europans which caused the invasion to stall.

Nov Brasilia was then attacked by its rival to the south, the Confederalia of Mehiko which started the bloodiest war in recent memory. The allies of Mehiko came together in order to topple Nov Brasilia’s stranglehold on eastward trade. Nov Brasilia called on her own allies and the war resulted in the deaths of millions. Whole kingdoms and principalities were destroyed by the total war fighting of the Murkan generals. Even when the war ended, the fighting did not truly stop, and another war erupted a mere decade later. This second war was more than Nov Brasilia could handle, and its domain fragmented into many smaller states.

Twenty years after the Second Murkan War, A third war between half of the Brasilia successor states and the other half dragged most of the other Murkan countries into the bloody struggle as the major Murkan players reveled at the chance to install their own puppet governments. This final war was so catastrophic that it was deemed the Last War by those who survived its ravages. The final body count has much to thank for the pandemic which arose during the hours of the hardest fighting. Estimates vary wildly, but some say that there is only half the population there was at the end of the Green Age. It was been a decade since the Last War ended, and already there are stirrings of another great Murkan war. How long our age will last and how many have yet to perish, these are questions we may never know. But the God of all Wars is not easily satisfied. It is this historian’s opinion that the Red Age will last for centuries as the elements which started the Red Age have not changed. Pray to the War God that he may spare you from the suffering of our age. War help us all.

© 2014 StarNinja


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Added on December 31, 2013
Last Updated on March 3, 2014

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StarNinja
StarNinja

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