Tal'Dorei: Dawn of the Fourth Age
The Wanderer's Journal
I live in a world steeped in legend and laden with the arcane, where the fragmented histories of its people hide more than they reveal, and magic is the innovative spark that drives progress, propelling civilization forward and shaping our history. Many may live their entire lives with little concern for the mysteries of what has come before, so focused are they on the present or future that they seldom see any benefit in devoting themselves to secrets of the past.
However, these questions remain. They consume the curious, call to those hungry for purpose, and drive the adventurous to explore the furthest corners of the world. Delving into ancient ruins and forgotten crypts, these rare individuals remain focused on hidden truths, digging beneath layers of dust and decay to uncover battles long past, texts long abandoned and heroes long forgotten.
That which follows is what, over the years, I have pieced together on the history and geography of our world. There are likely countless omissions and no doubt dozens of errors, for my information is gathered from far-traders, sages, and explorers of all character – some of whom no doubt saw it in their best interest to mislead me wherever possible. While the learned student may begin their journey with seeds of these histories, others may only uncover them as they make their way through the world. Regardless, we all came from somewhere and as they say, to learn from history is to write a better destiny.
An Overview of the World
From the rulers of Emon, who guide the political future of the Second Republic to the humble farmers of Turst Fields tending their crops and hoping for a quiet life, nearly everyone seems to hold some belief on the origins of our world. Much of it is a little more than a patchwork of folklore and tradition passed from father to daughter, or scriptures which favor one faith over all others. Among the chronicles of our history some of that which passes for truth is, in my opinion, nothing more than deceptive propaganda.
Nevertheless, even among the most jaded annals of history some truth can be gleaned and certain broad outlines emerge. We know that from the sheer number and span of these chronicles the world is thousands of years old. They also show that the lands of Tal’Dorei are not fixed and immutable. Rulers and kingdoms can both rise and fall. Borders shift as new rulers take the reins of power.
First it was the ancient realm of the Four Lands that was lost in the Sundering, marking the end of the First Age. The Second Age saw both the rise and fall of the great magocracies of Allain, Caelmarath and Vael Turog which were laid to ruin in the Mage Wars at the end of the age. The next bore witness to the Imperium Wars under the reign of Sinistrad and his bloodline, who after decades of violent conflict were finally cast down by revolutionaries and their elven allies. Centuries later came the Dragon-Kings, whose violent ascent to power shook the very foundations of Tal’Dorei and brought an end to the Third Age.
Of what came before the Sundering, far less is known. Yet perhaps among the disparate myths and fables there very well may be kernels of truth. In my travels I have found that nearly all legends of our past in one way or another rest on the belief that a mythic age preceded that great cataclysm. Some believe this was an age of living gods and lost magic, a time where the first civilizations rose to prominence and spread to the furthest corners of the ancient world.
One thing I am sure of is that the hinterlands of our world abound with the relics of these forgotten civilizations. Who has not marveled at the forlorn walls of a forgotten city snaking from beneath the edges of a great forest? Who has not stopped while passing a rocky aerie to wonder at the weathered ruins of a tower perched upon its summit? Who has ever crossed a road paved in crumbling stone without speculating as to where it once led?
If you have asked yourself these same questions, then you feel in your heart what I have accepted as true: Our knowledge of the world represents but a shadow of what has come before. Today, at the dawn of the Fourth Age, the ruins of cities and civilizations lost to time lie buried beneath our feet, hiding secrets that long to be unearthed.
A Brief History of the World
Fall of the Imperial Republic and the Reign of the Dragon-Kings
Dawn of the Fourth Age
The Ancient World and the Third Age
Magic of Tal'Dorei
The Greater and Lesser Paths
An Overview of the Land
The Dividing Plains
~ Westruun: The Free City
~ The Bramblewood
~ Turst Fields
The Black Valley
~ Jorenn Village
~ The Dawnmist River
~ The Candlemere
The Wyvernfang Mountains
~ Murdoon Mines