The timeline of events that occurred within Esshar, beginning at the 16th century.
1650 - 1653AC: Conquest of Rhoynur
Following a period of significantly increased raiding by the people of Rhoynur, the Kingdom of Esshar formally declares war after the city of Hessalia is sacked. Lead by Lightbringer Ardes Grimmore, the Essharan military begins a hard fought campaign to repel the Rhoynish invaders. The campaign is successful, and not only are the Rhoynish raids defeated, but the Essharan military invades the Rhoynish Tribelands, capturing the capital city Rhoynur after a months-long siege that only ends after Lightbringer Grimmore captures the Rhoynish King. The Treaty of Hessalia that follows results in the annexation of the Rhoynish tribelands into the Kingdom of Esshar, and the enslavement of a large amount of Rhoynish as 'war reparations'.
1655AC: The Syndicate
The Syndicate was extremist criminal organization with the goal of destabilizing Osrona, led by the self-proclaimed eccentric revolutionary, Elevans, and the lady of the slums, Soirée.
- 1655AC - Rise of The Syndicate: The Syndicate established itself as the leading gang of criminals within the impoverished district of Sudbury, and it attracted attention through the capabilities of its inner members who were particularly magically gifted. Vasilios Quinn was a Rhoynish man hardened by the war and truly embodied his people's talent for battle, while Soirée was trained in the art of Occult directly by a Witch. She was notably instructed by this woman behind the curtains and took advantage of the growing state of impoverishment within Sudbury, recruiting many of the promising youth to her cause, some of which would infiltrate the City Watch on her behalf. Gaining infamy and prominence rapidly, the Syndicate would soon become such a widespread threat that it was to be handled by the First Light directly, the elite militia of Osrona, on the orders of Queen Ariadne Petrakis.
- 1655AC - Osronian Gala of Aerendale: A gala is hosted by Gerald cos D'Arnette and Claude vey Pelleaux, naturally excluding lowborn from attending. The Syndicate were somehow able to avoid the security, which was later revealed in unclassified Order documents to be a purposeful plot between Gerald and the mob bosses to spurn resentment of the lower classes and their numerous protests in recent years. The manor was now a battlefield between Knight and Criminal, where most notably a young Elijah Soleis narrowly defeated the occultist and mob boss Soiree in an epic clash of light and darkness, many of whom the Syndicate followers looked towards as the true leader of the Syndicate. Her death was both a blow to the Syndicate but also spurred them on further and led to more extreme clashes in the City of Osrona and on its outskirts.
- 1657AC - Public Execution of Kirai Kurokaiyo: The leader of the Assassin Fist style had been charged with numerous crimes by the Radiant Atrosus Vandigan, and a duel followed between them in the halls of the Kurokaiyo Dojo. Fire and lava spilled out while the masterful talents of the accused Shadow Style was put on full display. The Radiant narrowly won and apprehended Kirai, executing him publicly - to which several of his children were a witness, some of whom went on to join the Syndicate.
- 1658AC - Death of Soma Duran: With intensifying tensions, Sudbury in particular had become a hotspot for skirmishes as the First Light tried to return order to their City. A notable death that sent shock waves throughout society was the death of beloved, accomplished Knight Soma cos Duran, the head of the Duran household that had earned a reputation as a witch hunters. The self-proclaimed revolutionary Elevans reportedly crucified him atop of a building, and taking their family sword, the Silver Durendal.
- 1660AC - Final Battle: After numerous conflicts, including one that outright collapsed a theatre that was a base of operations for the Syndicate, the First Light strike what's believed to be their headquarters after Elijah Soleis interrogated a captured Syndicate turncoat, Shrike Airgetlam. Their goal was to rescue the captured cadet Asphira Falstaff and also put the finishing blow in the criminal organization that had been on the defensive in recent years. The battle was handily won by the First Light, with Sophie Duran avenging her brother and defeating Elevans, reclaiming her family sword and sending the grievously injured man in hiding, never to be heard from again.
1660AC - 1670AC: The Elysium Coven
Deep in the seclusive village of Moonfall, a coven of witches work secretly, unknown to most of its own denizens. Many druids were said to be under a spell of obedience and followed the Supreme Cornelia obediently, and there were even credible rumors that the coven supported the Syndicate from a distance. The curtains slowly open after the Coven solidify complete dominance over the village, and they use it as a veil of protection and a province to expand their influence from. Esshar had dealt with groups of upstart witches occasionally, but none quite as sophisticated and prepared as the Elysium Coven.
- 1674AC - Black Circle: A gateway between Esshar and the hellish lands of Atrellya is opened by the Elysium Witches. The demons take to the nameless tower of their ancestors where they were summoned, ruins from when their kind once populated Esshar in number.
1685AC: Battle For Osrona
The combined forces of demonkind, now in the possession of three Indras shards, jewels of power that can be particularly destructive in the wrong hands, take their plan of action to Osrona directly. The Knights of the First Light had fought valiantly against them in recent years and gained the upper hand, with guilds like the Ivory Aegis and the Demon Hunters Association rising to combat the threat, and this was the last ditch attempt at victory.
A ritual to turn stone to rust, and to spread plaguelands throughout Osrona took place. It even involved the sacrifice of their own kin, siphoning the occult essence of many of the demons present in a mad display of strength. The defenders, while victorious, lost much of Osrona to the attack and hundreds of thousands of more were killed.
The few demons that survived - the strongest among them - were said to have scattered to the winds and continued to hunt in the shadowy corners of Esshar, raising their own clans. A clutch of giant spiders deep in the swamp, a pack of red-eyed wolves atop of the mountains. They became the stories that parents threatened their children with to behave.
Now in a position of desperation, the Elysium Coven calls out to the Dark Lord. But something else answers them.
1700s: Present Day
1725AC: Invasion of Barsburg
All of Esshar was at risk when Barsburg attacked. After settling into a peacefire with its longtime enemy, the Empire of Aen, the expansionist nation set its eyes on the entirety of Esshar. The country had long since been weakened by its prior conflicts, as many cities had declared independence from the Petrakis lineage, no longer a united country. The rise of opportunists and Syndicates had left Esshar particularly vulnerable.
Many blamed the unwillingness of Theria and Osrona to ally against the threat, and Myllenoris for doing all but nothing - likely because at the time the King of Osrona had made it clear that he didn't trust the Teraphim, who he saw as invaders from another realm, having felt disrespected by them and looked down upon for being 'human'. Theria had also been responsible for attacking and pillaging the minor territories that Myllenoris safeguarded. Despite their reasonings, the war was catastrophic for all, towns and villages being ransacked throughout Esshar. Some territory to the east was seceded, but ultimately Esshar survived the ordeal, as fractured as it was.
Several prominent Dragonlords died. The King also died in battle, leaving the young, inexperienced heir as the monarch, and the Lightbringer was dealt grievous wounds that forced him into an early retirement.
Each of the Three Kingdoms look upon one another with warranted suspicion. Occasional conflict on the borders was all but guaranteed, but not outright war. Yet.