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for the Valley of Wonders
The following excerpt is taken from the 'Book of Wonders' and recounts the history
of the Valley of Wonders up through the beginning of the original Age of Wonders game. All
years are given in "LIR" or Lord Inioch's Reign.
- 0 LIR: Inioch is crowned
Emperor of the Elven Kingdom and his father retires to Evermore. He is the undisputed
supreme monarch over the Blessed
Continent. From the Verdant Court in the Valley of Wonders, Inioch's will is law.
- 800 LIR: A new race called the High Men appear
before the Verdant Court. Inioch hides the official communications between the Verdant
Court and the High Men, keeping their requests to himself. Instead, Inioch forms a
political coalition among all the races of reason to promote peace with the new comers,
assigning many scholars to lead the effort. They are called the Keepers. The Keepers,
grossly ill-informed of High Men intentions, satiate the strange newcomers with their
intentions of peace.
- 801 LIR: The High Men leave to work in their
- 870 LIR: Inioch announces his wife's pregnancy.
The Verdant Kingdom rejoices for the duration of the pregnancy.
- 878 LIR: After 8 years of pregnancy, Inioch's
wife gives birth to Meandor, but the celebrations are cut short. Inioch's first wife,
Eleanor, dies in childbirth. Her body is taken to Evermore. The celebration of the new
heir's birth is overshadowed by the obligation to mourn the loss of the Elven Queen.
- 898 LIR: The minimal period of mourning
expires, and Inioch marries Elwyn the following day. Meandor, still only a child, resents
Elwyn and finds the haste of their marriage an insult to his mother.
- 961 LIR: Inioch announces that Queen Elwyn is
pregnant. Inioch justifies the new child's conception by claiming the child will replace
his first wife among the Elven population. Factions led by Meandor in the Verdant Court
refuse to celebrate the child's coming.
- 962 LIR: Vessels appear on the horizon, and
inhabitants of the Blood Isles issue complaints about the migration of an uncouth race
called Humans. After overwhelming many of these islands, the first Human explorers
continue on to the Blessed Continent, following after the retreating ships.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Blood Isles
- 964 LIR: The first Humans refuges reach the shores
of the Valley of Wonders. The Keepers welcome the Humans and convince Inioch to grant them
the Grey River Basin in which they form a small colony. Inioch instructs the Dwarven
Sentinels to open the Valley passageways to all.
- 965 LIR: The Human colonies experience
hardships at the hands of Goblin and Orcs raiders, and the Verdant Court remains reluctant
to show aid. Rumors abound among the Court that perhaps some of the cause of this hardship
is Court induced. The Humans turn to more dangerous allies, seeking help from the
oppression of their kind.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: First Conflict.
- 969 LIR: Queen Elwyn gives birth to a baby girl.
Other races clamor about the influx of Human population, as comfort and ease of life
become scarcer. Inioch's political enemies view the new child as evidence that there will
soon be no room for both the growing Elven population and the ever-burgeoning humanity.
The Keepers back Inioch, who claims the fact that the child is female is proof that she
was meant to replace his dead wife. To acknowledge that replacement, he names the child
Julia--the name of his first wife (and Meandor's mother). Meandor is less than pleased.
Celebrations honoring Julia end abruptly with the news that Human factions have discovered
evidence suggesting that factions within Verdant Court have funded and organized the
plagues and persecution against Human colonies.
- 970 LIR: FALL OF INIOCH'S COURT.
The Humans declare war upon the Verdant Kingdom, and together with their allies, they
strike against many of the Kingdom's most precious holdings, including Inioch's Court.
Meandor allies with a secret faction of Elven rebels known as Dark Elves. After a twisted
scheme of political intrigue, the Verdant Court falls to a force of Humans. Inioch is
slain. The palace is razed. Clutching her newborn child in her arms, Queen Elwyn flees the
Verdant Court with the help of the Keepers.
Meandor is gravely wounded and mistaken for dead. The slaughter is so great that the
Humans pile the bodies in the ruined central court and refuse to settle near it, leaving
the center to stink in the wind. Not understanding Elven physiology, Meandor's gravely-
wounded body is thrown into the heap of dead to rot. After many weeks, with the aid of an
unknown force, he escapes the press of the dead and joins with the Dark Elves. The Keepers
manage to hold the Humans back temporarily and establish a non-aggression pact.
- 971 LIR: The Humans claim the Valley of Wonders
as their own. Any race refusing to accept Human sovereignty is to be driven from the
Valley. The Keepers negotiate a brief time for migration. Queen Elwyn gathers the Elves,
pleading with them to leave the Valley and go elsewhere, but many stubbornly refuse. Many
Elves want to stay and fight, desiring vengeance and demanding that she lead them in the
struggle to reclaim the Valley. After many debates, she takes Julia and leaves.
- 973 LIR: Tired of Keeper efforts to stall the
evacuation of Elven settlements from the Valley of Wonders, the Humans turn to their
swords to force the migration of all others therein. The Elves are scattered, fleeing in
every direction, as they become the primary targets of Human aggression. The Dwarves, at
great expense, try to close the mountain passes to the Humans, allowing the Elves time to
escape. Only a few Human armies make it through to pursue the fleeing Elves. From the Pass
of Grief, a mass of Humans overwhelm the Elves, chasing them to the Toll Rock Wood. The
Humans trap the desperate fleeing Elves and all that cannot escape via boats are
- 974 LIR: Silvanus is founded as a bastion of
Elf power. Unlike Queen Elwyn, they refuse to retreat further at the press of Humans. They
raise an army and destroy any Humans responsible for the slaughter of Toll Rock Wood, and
drive all Humans back to the Valley of Wonders. In the coming centuries, only the Elves of
Silvanus consistently succeed in resisting Human expansion.
- 975 LIR: The Dwarven Sentinels break and fall
back to settlements nearby. The Humans begin building massive fortresses and continue to
hold the Valley, as more Humans arrive by sea.
- 977 LIR: The Dark Elves crown Meandor the
rightful monarch, in Inioch's place, over the Valley of Wonders. Few races acknowledge the
act, and a majority of races back Queen Elwyn, while others simply refuse to accept any
- 983 LIR: The Dwarves, wearied by a decade of
holding the Humans within the boundaries of the Valley of Wonders, begin to see their
efforts are in vain. With little support from the other races, they are forced to consider
their own survival. They decide to expand their underground cities, centering upon
Deepmir. They begin massive feats of construction and excavation.
- 985 LIR: After a short period of being ignored,
Meandor forms the Cult of Storms, dedicated to the destruction of humanity. The Cult
adopts tactics similar to the Keepers', but with the intent of destruction, rather than
preserving peace and serenity. Meandor attempts to flatter the Elves of Silvanus into
joining with him, but the Elves refuse to have any part of his plots, and Meandor's plans
for retaking the Valley are largely ignored
- 987 LIR: Human strongholds within the Valley of
Wonders are so established and impregnable that the Humans increase their colonization
into the Valley at an unprecedented speed. Fleet upon fleet of travelers arrive. The
Valley continues to fill with Humans, and they eye the surrounding lands with hunger. The
Cult tries to excite the nations to action against the Humans, citing their rapid
expansion as the doom of all others. But too many races have been beaten by previous
engagements against the Humans to really do much more than nod and sigh.
- 989 LIR: After repeated defeats at the hands of
the Humans, the Cult of Storms suffers numerous desertions and many bloody outbreaks of
civil strife. The Cult eventually gains control over most of the evil races, but not
without suffering many setbacks and losing many of its more powerful Leaders to sedition
- 993 LIR: The Cult's attacks of terror against
the Humans result in Humans attacking the fair Elves, mistaking them for their attackers.
Keeper negotiations with Humans crumble as a result, for Humans do not believe the Keepers
and Cult to be separate organizations. To prove to the Humans that they are different, the
Keepers realize they can no longer ignore the actions of the Cult. In the Keepers war
against the Cult, Elf and Dark Elf clash in a terrible conflict.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Kin Slayers.
- 994 LIR: Humans begin to conquer the lands
surrounding the Valley of Wonders. Each race braces for inexorable Human expansion, while
eyeing each other's holdings with the hope of gaining some advantage.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: After the Fall.
- 999 LIR: The Halflings donate the Isle of Aldor
to the Elves and draw most of their people into the United Cities. After nearly thirty
years of wandering and fleeing, Queen Elwyn and her refugees found a new Court. She is
proclaimed rightful ruler over the Elves. The Elves of Aldor accept her as ruler, and the
Halflings back her appointment with unprecedented enthusiasm.
- 1000 LIR: REIGN OF CHAOS. A number of key
alliances crumble. The races divide and gather to themselves, seeking to exert as much
influence as possible. The Keepers' only shelter is found within Elwyn's court and among
the Halflings. Many of the evil races view the disintegration of harmony upon the surface
as an opportunity to attack. Thus, a new millennium starts for the broken kingdoms. Aptly,
the following years become known as the "Reign of Chaos."
Meandor claims that he should be the rightful heir supreme, as by Elven custom the
rightful heir is traditionally named in the 1000th year of a king's rule. Yet it is
unprecedented that an Elven King die before the end of his rule (as Inioch has), and most
Elves fear Meandor--even those few who follow him fear the outward changes in his
appearance and the company he keeps. Following Elven tradition, he would have to marry
Elwyn, and Elwyn will have nothing to do with him. Many Elves look to Julia as a true heir
to the Verdant Throne.
Meandor declares that, due to their reluctance to crown him, the fair surface Elves have
committed high treason and vows to see them all punished. This, of course, does not win
many converts to his side. And still, the threat of Human expansion increases.
Human settlers in the area of Castle Gulch establish a trade compact with the savage race
called Lizardmen. Never before has such a lucrative and cooperative deal been forged with
the reptilian race, and the world looks on in envy.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Reign of Chaos.
- 1001 LIR: With the Elves weakened and the order
of protection crumbled, Orcs pour from their caves beneath the Toadstool Vale, seeing the
latest chaos as an opportunity for easy plunder and a chance to establish themselves as
'chief bullies' in a world of weaklings.
- 1013 LIR: The remaining surface Dwarves leave
for Deepmir. Rumors abound the Dwarves plan to abandon their mines, and intend to collapse
their lucrative excavations in favor of the security offered by Deepmir. Though the rumors
are false, the mines of Moridian became a battlefield. Dark Elves and Orcs slaughter each
other by the thousands fighting over the rich area on the far periphery of the Dwarven
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Mine All Mine.
- 1020 LIR: After the official period of mourning
ends, Meandor strikes against his former subjects, the fair Elves. He begins a reign of
terror and vows to destroy all those who will not join him in his quest to rule the Valley
and destroy humanity. The Heartwood Forest is badly scarred by a most terrible skirmish.
Meander sets loose hordes of Orcs and Goblins who set fire to the sacred forest. Thousands
of acres are destroyed and the fires continue smoldering for years.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Heartwood Forest.
- 1023 LIR: After many losses and migrations, the
Dwarves are more numerous in Deepmir than in any other place on the land.
- 1025 LIR: Julia joins the Keepers, and begins
her training among them. She is celebrated as the youngest Elf to join their order. She is
sharp, and beautiful. All who behold her view her as the one true heiress to Inioch's
reign. Meandor's many attempts to assassinate her fail.
- 1048 LIR: After the most severe winter ever
recorded, the Humans make a new enemy: The Frostlings, who took the unusually strong
winter to be a sign by which they should conquer.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Icedale.
- 1080 LIR: The Azrac Empire pushes against the influx
of new races into its Southern territories. Under the guise of a 'Ritual War of Racial
Purification,' refugee races find themselves trapped between a mass of Human invaders and
the sacrosanct empire of the Azracs.
- 1082 LIR: After purifying their boundaries, the
Azracs turn their attention to capturing key treasures in the North and begin a great
campaign to take control of the Blessed Continent.
- 1084 LIR: Azracs fight for control of the
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Reedfin Canal.
- 1087 LIR: The Humans expand their influence, pushing
the Azracs from the southern and eastern sides of the Valley. After a great battle, they
capture the Ashen Steppe.
- 1090 LIR: Human explorers established a
fortress in Barondir Bay. They clash in a bloody contest with the Azracs, Lizardmen and
Frostlings who all lay a claim to the land.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Barondir Bay.
- 1096 LIR: After many successful attempts to
secure new lands, the Azracs launch their most concerted effort ever to conquer the lush
lands held nearest the Valley of Wonders. The Keepers see the invasion as a chance to
establish strong order and take back some of their rightful lands. In addition, they hope
to show forth their peaceful intentions toward the Humans--the most established race in
the region. The Cult of Storms moves in to sabotage any efforts for peace.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Rise of the South
- 1098 LIR: The Keeper Alliance manages to push
the Azracs from the richest portions of the Northern Kingdom. The Azracs, who know defeat
is imminent, steal the Horn of the Dead and threaten to blow it, should aggressors seek
vengeance, or attempt to take advantage of their weakened state and capture their ancient
holdings. The Horn is a ancient artifact with the power to call forth the living dead.
- 1101 LIR: Melenis, a powerful Stormlord wizard and
favorite wife of Meandor, sneaks past the Azracian defenses and blows the Horn. The Azracs
are blamed, though they deny the deed and do not know themselves it was Melenis.
- 1102 LIR: The Undead sweep over the lands.
- 1111 LIR: Halflings and Goblins fight over an
obscure area of mountain lands. All races of the Northern Kingdom prepare for the waves of
death, which are surging toward even the most peaceful lands.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Mountain Clash.
- 1115 LIR: The Dark Elves refuse to join the
alliance against the Undead. Though generally silent during the invasion, which occurs
mostly on the sunlit surface, they do manage to take a few surface possessions, including
a fertile area near Durlag.
- 1122 LIR: Many Humans are seduced by the power of
the Undead. Death cults and necromancers run rampant, spreading the false doctrines of
death. The fair races of the world suffer greatly.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Rocky Hollow.
- 1127 LIR: Races crowd into the largest walled
cities at even greater rates for protection. As a result of over crowding, pestilence
breaks out among the people. Huge populations die. The Undead grow stronger. Even without
invading armies of dead, whole cities of living creatures are replaced by the walking
dead. Most crops are destroyed by pestilence as well.
The Azrac Empire trades with the Blessed Continent for obscene profits, thus bolstering
the Azrac's sagging defenses and economy. Though never that significant in the battle
against the Undead, they do manage to hold their own and continue to profit from heavy
trading throughout the next decade.
- 1145 LIR: Undead continue to take Alliance
holdings. The Humans pull back to their strongholds closest to the Valley of Wonders, and
cease their expansions, but they too begin to lose footage against the Undead onslaught.
- 1146 LIR: After a year in which the Valley teetered
on the brink of oblivion, the High Men arrive in glory and power. Within a month, they
stop the Undead advance. Together with the Alliance and the Humans, the High Men begin to
- 1148 LIR: After another harsh winter, the
Frostlings begin to move into more central regions, as the Undead begin to scatter from
High Men attacks. Many remote areas are washed with the chaos of battle, giving the
Frostlings the perfect opportunity to claim large tracts of abandoned territory.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Cold Fusion.
- 1149 LIR: The Undead are driven back to retreat
into the shadows.
- 1151 LIR: The High Men clear the Undead from
the Northgale Islands and inform the Frostlings that they might come and resettle the
area. Hearing the news, three rival Stormlords rush off to claim the land "for the
Cult," but all are slaughtered by a force of Undead still hidden in the isles.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Love thy Neighbor.
- 1152 LIR: The High Men disappear again, leaving
their holdings empty. Only a few potent High Men remain to guard certain nodes of
destructive potential. Most races scramble to snatch up their holdings and build upon
them. This results in another conflict.
- 1054 LIR: An order of dragons, tired of the
bickering races, convince the Humans to experiment with weapons of mass destruction.
Trusting the dragons beyond sense, the foolhardy Humans, eager to gain greater power over
the other four factions, turn their major holdings in Gelder Province into a crater of
smoldering stone and the Dragons move in to occupy the territory.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Diplomacy with Dragons.
- 1159 LIR: With the High Men mostly gone, the
Undead try to revisit their destruction upon the land, but the alliance is too strong, and
after half a century of fighting, the Undead are simply too weak. The Undead change their
plan of attack to one far more subtle--they start to work upon Meandor's mind.
- 1163 LIR: After many defeats, the Undead leader
Igor attempts to obtain more troops by orchestrating a war between rival Dwarf and Orc
factions by luring them both to his stronghold with false tales of riches and power. His
plan backfires when he gets caught himself between the warring races and is destroyed.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Igor's Folly.
- 1164 LIR: The Cult agrees to a number of
non-aggression treaties with the Undead. Necromancers begin to hold influence among the
Cult of Storms.
- 1172 LIR: High Men are spotted among certain
Human settlements, but nothing comes of Keeper attempts to forge alliances. Dark Elves and
Orcs battle Dwarves and Elves for control over Thinreed Lake.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Thinreed Lake.
- 1175 LIR: Elves on the Isle of Aldor start a
campaign to eradicate the local pirate trade in the region.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: River of Life.
- 1194 LIR: Meandor allies with the Goblins and
- 1197 LIR: A record-long drought ensues and
famine consumes the land for the next four years. Some races raid other races for food.
The Halflings become quite rich from a trade compact with the Frostlings, whose normally
frozen land blossoms in the scorching heat of the drought. The Azracs, on the other hand,
are forced to eat many of their stores, and their plans for another organized invasion of
the Blessed Continent are scrapped.
- 1203 LIR: Frostling and Halfling relations
chill. After five years of prosperity and cooperation among the Halflings and Frostlings,
the deterioration of diplomacy causes a number of conflicts between the two races. Orc
hordes move against Honeyvale Falls and Halfling citizens start to disappear. By treaty,
the Frostlings are required to repel the invaders before they could enter the vale. The
Frostlings accuse Halfling militias of driving the Orc raiders back toward Frostling
possessions just beyond the vale. The Orcs, pleased to annihilate either race, set off a
war between the three races.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 scenario: Honeyvale Falls
- 1204 LIR: After a decisive victory against the
Goblins, driving the grunting race back to their caves and out of all surface holdings,
Julia is promoted to lead the Keepers.
--These events are played out in the AoW1 Tutorial scenario.
- 1206 LIR: The 'Decade of Silence' begins. (The
next ten years are a time of uncertain peace, and no serious battles are fought during
this time period. But instead of enjoying prosperity, there is a vast expansion in arms,
as though a war is inevitable.).
- 1216 LIR: The Star appears over the Valley of
Wonders. Meandor is seen creeping about the central Court Ruins, sifting through the bones
of the dead. An agent for the Cult of Storms assassinates Queen Elwyn. The Silence ends.
Julia and her choosen hero leads her Keepers forth to reclaim the Valley of Wonders.
At this point the campaign scenarios began for the original Age of Wonders
game. Several centuries would pass until the storyline for AoW II: The Wizard Throne
Back to the Top | AoW2 Story Main | Original AoW1 Story