Timeline of the Enclave
Dates are given in years before present (BP). This is a rough summary drawn from confusing and fragmentary documents. The Enclave counts years starting from about 7300 years BP; see also the Enclave Calendar.
- ~2000-~1500: Gradual rise of a powerful, advanced, integrated civilization of humans, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and elves.
- ~1500: A great cataclysm occurs; The Enclave is constructed by powerful mages and clerics to protect a remnant of the civilization and safeguard its knowledge. Old, fragmentary manuscripts reference earthquakes, floods, plagues, and wars, in confusing and unclear terms.
- ~1490: Early governance of The Enclave is established, which is thought to closely resemble the current system.
- ~1200: An 'eldrytch fire' partially destroys the Magical Library. Although much practical information is saved, there are serious losses of magical lore, natural science, and information about the outside world.
- ~1190: Watchmaster Argus Ynew disbands the Enclave Council and seizes absolute power. Mages affiliated with him persecute other mages and sages, who they blame for the Magical Library disaster.
- ~1190-1128: A time of great instability, known as the Years of Strife. Fights between factions of mages disrupt basic functions, such as farming. Famine and disease follow and the population is reduced by half. About 80% of dwarves seal themselves into their caverns, separating themselves from the Enclave. More knowledge is lost.
- 1128: Absolute ruler Egan Ynew, grandson of Argus, abdicates power following a farmers' strike and reinstates the Enclave Council, becoming a councilmember. He appoints a leader of the farmers to serve as Watchmaster. This date continues to be celebrated as a yearly holiday (Reconstruction Day).
- 1128-~900: Period of Reconstruction. Much that was destroyed in the Years of Strife is rebuilt; however, losses of engineering knowledge and damage to farmland hinder the efforts. Population gradually increases but resources are insufficient to support pre-Strife levels. Dwarves gradually reopen their caverns and rejoin society.
- 843: A group of several dozen half-orcs, formerly slaves of an orcish tribe, is granted entry and ultimately citizenship in the Enclave, following a contentious vote in the Enclave Council. Over the next few generations, they become well-integrated into Enclave society. This day is commemorated yearly by a festival in the Arena, organized entirely by half-orcs.
- ~840-~835: Spurred in part by tales told by the half-orcs, the Enclave Council encourages scouts to explore the outside world. However, few return, and those who do are maimed or insane. Orcs and 'half-living' creatures appear to be very abundant and well-organized outside. The Enclave Council eventually forbids outside travel.
- 734: Dwarven miners break into a chamber which houses dormant mushroom mites, previously unknown to the Enclave. The mites multiply explosively in the dwarven fungus farms. Food is short and the birth rate declines, though deaths from hunger are few.
- 734-~745: The mites are gradually controlled (but not eliminated) by breeding of new varieties of fungus and compartmentalization of fungus farms, such that infected farms can be isolated and fumigated.
- ~750-~200: The Years of Stability. Enclave society is peaceful, undisturbed, and mostly unchanging during this time. Nearly everyone farms. There is relatively little research or synthesis of new knowledge, and no desire to venture outside.
- 205: An apprentice mage discovers a small gap in the illusionary wards that hide and protect the Great Gate. Further investigation reveals additional gaps. Even the most knowledgeable Enclave sages, mages, and clerics cannot satisfactorily explain why they exist.
- 198: Careful observation reveals that some gaps are slowly growing. Mages and clerics attempt to patch them, but are hindered by their poor understanding of the ancient magics that created the illusions and wards.
- 194: The Enclave Council begins actively seeking intelligent young people and apprenticing them to the few remaining scientists and skilled mages/clerics, mainly to facilitate research on Enclave defenses. Prizes are offered for ideas that are useful to society.
- ~185-100: Enclave society diversifies markedly. Magical and mundane research increases. Farming practices improve. Many new books are written on various topics, adding to the Magical Library. Entrepreneurship expands.
- 98: The Enclave Council calls a meeting in the Arena and reveals to the public that nearly all the enchantments protecting the Enclave are gradually breaking down. Furthermore, even the most advanced mages lack the necessary understanding and skill to repair them. The Enclave must rejoin the outside world, though it is unclear when. This causes great concern by the public, but this quickly fades for most people.
- 97: With much fanfare, a party leaves the Enclave to explore - the first in 700 years. One person returns, only to be killed by an Orc within view of the guards at the Great Gate. This greatly reduces enthusiasm for exploring.
- ~98-44: Learning increases and curiosity and inquisitiveness are increasingly valued in Enclave society. The economy continues to diversify.
- 44: The University is founded 'to expand knowledge for the defense and betterment of Enclave society'.
- 9: Parties begin to explore Outside once again, with more success. New raw materials are brought in, stimulating the Enclave economy. Some large networks of Orcish tunnels are found abandoned near the Enclave, and heaps of skeletons are found. A plague on Orcs is suspected.
- 0 (Year 7300): Education and economics in the Enclave continue to improve. Although political fights continue about the wisdom of exploring Outside, evidence has mounted concerning the slow breakdown of the Enclave's enchantments, and the necessity of preparing to rejoin the outside world is widely recognized. (Beginning of the current gaming campaign).