A Brief History of Dema
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Hello everyone! The work continues. We hope the last community update gave you a window into the tireless pace the devs are working at.
On my end, writing for both the conversion book and the second Redsky novel is now going at a much more manageable pace. With my freed up time, expect the blog entries to return to about one every week to week-and-a-half. We've got some very exciting Dema content and lore to bring to you in Fall and Winter 2021.
By request from the community, I've put together this timeline explaining how history and recordkeeping is done in Dema. Included are just a few of the many major events that occur in each Era of the world. We could not include everything this first time around for the sake of brevity, but the hope is you view each of these points as fodder for your own adventures.
Once again, a major shout-out to our beta playtesters on the Redsky Discord. The idea that so many people are having laughs and rolling D20s in our world keeps us smiling in these interesting times. We can't wait for playtesting to open up to the general public this winter!
The Solar Calendar
Within the world, the inhabitants of Dema who follow the Solar Hegemony's calendar divide time into the epoko de mallumo (EM, era of darkness) and the levigo de sola (LS, rule of the sun). Their year 0 EM is the year Emperor Remus formed the Solar Hegemony. Most of the team's Redsky content is planned to take place between 9 EM and 102 LS. Four Eras and a Solar Calendar are both used to track history.
A Solar Year is functionally identical to our real years as far as length, just oriented around 25 hour days, 30 day months, and 10 months in a year.
The ten months are:
1. Unuaplanta (OO-nu-ah-plan-ta) Planting
2. Duamona (DU-ah-mo-na) Weeding & Growing
3. Trimona (TRY-mo-na) Weeding & Growing
4. Wenkomona (VEN-ko-mo-na) Pre-Harvest
5. Remumona (REE-muh-mo-na) Low Harvest
6. Duaplanta (DOO-ah-plan-ta) Planting
7. Sepamona (Seh-PA-mo-na) Weeding & Growing
8. Okamona (OH-ka-mo-na) Weeding & Growing
9. Homamona (HO-ma-mo-na) Pre-Harvest
10. Solamona (So-LA-mo-na) High Harvest
The Four Eras:
The Heroic Era is a mythic prehistory that stretches back centuries, full of legends and the undocumented growth of the cities and cultures players later encounter in their most advanced stages of development. There is a lot of overlap between Dema's factual history and legend, as reliable recordkeeping did not exist for much of the Era.
?? EM - Vella Montura spends a lifetime building up her undertribe on the steppes of the western Moon Realms. She unites the Freesteeds after proving her merit, becoming a founding mythological figure for all Nightriders. Over generations, the Monturyn tribes split further from the original Freesteeds into Dawnraiders, Hardhooves, and Cairnkeepers, shaping their own histories.
?? EM - The small settlement of Etherea is expanded by Shiran Imyaliv and a figure known only as The Archivist. They spread the word of Zenyecrot and begin their people's grand quest for Eldertech. Over the centuries, The Archivist reappears periodically at moments of great strife to the Eltayan people, lending mysterious guidance that can take a generation to manifest.
?? EM - The great Sporespawn entity known as the Overmind mysteriously shatters in an event known as the Sundering, collapsing its hive mind society. Hundreds of thousands of Sporespawn drones are thrust into consciousness, a shock that leaves many helpless to the perils of the Thalkast. Decades elapse before large societies are able to reorganize into what will become known as the hive halls of Tohol, Ikhish, and Unrul.
<100+ EM - The Desolation begins in the Midnight Isles with the arrival of the swimming behemoths known as Deep Ones. Dozens of Wakewalker clans are wiped out in the chaos, succumbing to maw and tentacle as well as their kin's fighting over resources. High King Odiseas begins the Wild Hunt, banishing the Deep Ones from the Midnight Isles with the Shakahr Depth Rigs he brings back from the World Tree.
61 EM - The Battle of Dragon’s Eye takes place. Cairnkeeper Nightriders make war against Ethereans seeking to take control of Tallon's rich gem mines. Dozens of struggles like Dragon's Eye occur throughout the four Eras, pitting unlikely foes against one another in the name of power, greed, misunderstanding, or vengeance.
9 EM - 40s LS
The Uprising Era is a time of radical change, warfare, and revolts against existing power structures. Many adventures take place during these decades, in what some consider the height of international interaction and exchange in Dema's history.
5 EM - After uniting the Moon Realms under the Shadow Blood alliances, the King of Darkness gathers a grand horde of 40,000 Nightriders to make war on the kingdoms of humanity, beginning the Dayraid of the Light Plains. With its vast wealth and hopelessly corrupt feudal rulers ripe for conquest, the lands of humanity suffer the greatest collective trauma in living memory.
0-12 LS - After rebuffing the King of Darkness and leading a revolt against the human nobility, a commoner named Remus is coronated as the first Solar Emperor. He consolidates much of humanity into the Solar Hegemony: a classless society based on military expansion and devout worship of the sun goddess Sola. Remus launches a counter invasion into the Moon Realms, bringing much of it under human control.
13 - 18 LS - Jayne Erindera, a Nightrider of the Dawnraider tribe by birth, comes of age in the Hardhoove port city of Yaras before setting off on her adventure to reshape history. The consequences of her actions will reverberate across all of Dema up until the final days of the Redsky Era.
29 LS - 32.5 LS - The war between the kingdoms of the Athenaeum and the Solar Hegemony takes place. Long fierce rivals, the Archivist nations and the Solar Hegemony see fierce fighting around the area of Snow's Edge. The war culminates with the great human general Gawain sacking the winter metropolis Aegis.
48 LS - One of the great cataclysms of the Era occurs when Hiremai Island is totally destroyed after the Hiremai are decimated by land-striding Deep Ones. Combined with the steady migration of Deep Ones back into the sinking Midnight Isles, much of the Wakewalker population of the region must resettle onto the main continents.
50s to 80s LS
The Exodus Era is made up of the decades when many cultures come under intense strain from disasters, resource shortages, and refugee migrations in a slowly closing circle from the corners of Dema.
59 - 64 LS - A series of Marauder Wars occur between Jana'haki Wakewalkers and combined Human/Featherfolk fleets over control of Dema's naval trade routes. Raids against pirate hideouts in the Midlands draw in thousands of mercenaries onto both sides of the conflicts. The wars only reach an informal end when Emperor Tacitus the Kind leads the Hegemony Home Fleet to destroy the largest pirate fiefdoms.
70 - 90 LS - After the Solar Hegemony is gripped by years of civil war and unrest, Empress Celina Solati seizes control of the Light Plains and founds the hardline Second Genesis regime. Even more zealous worship of Sola is enforced through a fundamentalist new sect of the faith called the Rudiment. Celina's two decades of co-rule with Emperor Ahn Vanen is maintained through suppressing dozens of rebelling governors and false emperors in a series of conflicts known as The Exaltation Wars.
73 LS - The famed Featherfolk adventurer Sheri' Din discovers an Orb of Abragon in the Sunbleak Wastes, setting off a world-spanning treasure hunt for more relics. In time, Din becomes one of the few people in Dema to visit all six cultural regions, crossing paths with adventurers from the Jade Feather on many occasions. Din would lead every available member of her retainer on a hunt for more Orbs of Abragon.
85 LS - The thermal energy of Tallon's crater city suddenly ceases. The entire Cairnkeeper population must flee the Tenaybre in what becomes known as the Shivering March. Much of their population resettles in Mundi, where they attempt to hold true to a schismatic faith that is as old as the distant Heroic Era, when their folk were originally exiled from orthodox Nightrider societies in the Black Severance.
87 LS - After decades of war with Tohol and The Freespawn of Ikhish, the totalitarian Sporespawn hive city of Unrul isolates itself completely from the outside world to survive the Brass Automata swarms. A massive organic barrier known as the Great Seed is grown around Unrul. Despite many expeditions, no contact with the Allspawn or the countless thousands of drones laboring beneath their rule is ever reestablished again.
90- 102 LS
The Redsky Era is the short span around 90-102 LS where many apocalyptic catastrophes push civilization to its breaking point. Cultures collapse, monsters migrate en masse, and the final wars for survival rage in the shadow of the end of life in Dema.
93 LS - Empress Celina is overthrown by her son Sicarius, ending the Second Genesis regime and ushering in a reborn second Solar Hegemony. Through sweeping reforms and conquest, Emperor Sicarius builds a successor state that is in several ways mightier than the original Hegemony. Tensions rise between the Hegemony and its client state the Hominid Dominion.
94-101 LS - Long dismissed as another minor jungle peril, the Feral Plague rises to a severe risk to Featherfolk life in the Midlands continent. After smaller outbreaks overwhelm outlying communes, Panacea itself faces total annihilation by the Feral Plague as the infected try to clamor over the city walls. Refugee ships arrive in Mundi alongside growing numbers of other cultures.
93 LS - The city of Mundi celebrates 80 years since its first Creche was incorporated into a now famous system for housing and educating orphans. Four generations of orphans from all species have been incorporated into the city's workforce, with their descendants numbering in the thousands. In the wake of Dema's collapse, even more families are resettled by Creche workers across the Hominid Dominion.
102 LS - A terrifying swarm of flying strigoi monsters previously migrated from the Red Desert to completely envelop Sunbleak City in 97 LS, growing their numbers beyond measure. By 102 LS, Deonar is overwhelmed by these strigoi, laying waste to the city of marble. The survivors flee for other parts of the Light Plains, though safe zones are largely limited to territory controlled by Mundi and Scintilla.
102 LS - The Hive Halls are rendered almost completely uninhabitable by flooding, Brass Automata, and swarms of horrors that have escaped from the Forbidden Cells. The Everborn of Tohol emerge near Scintilla fleeing from Brass Automata. They choose to reinforce Emperor Sicarius in a war that has broken out between the Solar Hegemony and the Hominid Dominion.
What events will you add to Dema's timeline in your own adventures?
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