Any understanding of a system requires it to be codified. To express ideas about a subject one needs to be able to communicate those concepts using a common system of language. While Hellifyno naturally resists this, the great minds of the many ages have come up with a rudimentary system with which the history of this planet can be divided. It is by no means universally accepted, or even functional. Rather, it provides a soft framework over which initiates, and indeed the many peoples of the lands, can at least start to grasp the scope and evolution of the planet’s history.
This refers to the Five Ages. Broad generalizations of temporally incompatible stories that seem to be possibly related in relative terms of cause, effect, nature, and activity. While they do not tell us the full truth, a truth that may be obscured forever, they at least allow the beginnings of understanding, and a starting point from which an exploration of this planet’s history can actually be undertaken.
It always begins with the Dreamers. Every sage that reaches the plateau of wisdom knows of them. Beyond them we know that the First People, the Twines that stitched reality created an age of stories, of impossible tales. When those legends grew too real they became myths, religions, formalized structures of controlling existence, which were then shattered through wars and corruptions into a lesser age, one of reduced grace but great possibility. An age of magic, and life, but also one of coarse and violent death. Then we see the rise of an age where magic was placed aside in favor of science, and the universe rather than the multiverse, became the mainstay of activity. And then there is the Modern Age, the time from which we remember.
When we date Hellifyno history we do it from two points:
The Modern Interpretation
BMA: Before the Modern Era. This refers to the million years of time that we know existed, but whose history was largely lost in the The Empty Years – The Great Silence. Before this point, nothing is certain.
MA: Modern Era. This is the current era. It began roughly 10,000 years back, and is dated most accurately to 12019 from the writing of this tome. This is where we have a clear understanding of history, records, archaeology, traces of past souls and even immortal and the aged that can accurately account a history of our world. It was first developed in the city of Consequence, during the early days of the rise of the nations, and has been a mainstay for understanding these histories since then.
The Apocalyptic Tradition
BVA: Before Void Apocalypse. Some claim that we are now in a new, sixth age. It is well known that all of reality ended just a few years ago, when the Void that is beyond time and space consumed everything, and in that eternal darkness, reality was re-born. Since then there has been a marked increase in wars, violence, and great events. This has prompted some to call the last age the “Time of Endings” with this new age being termed “The Era of Change.”
EOC: The Era of Change is one that has seen more conflict, more existential threats, and greater upheaval than in any other time. It has witnessed the incredibly rapid rise, and fall, of immensely powerful empires. It has seen the awakening of new realms and the development of new powers that rival even the greatest tales of the Age of Stories. It is one that is terrifying for many, and one that is being actively explored by the greatest scholars, as they work towards a better understanding of future and past.
For the sake of clarity we will use the terms BMA and MA for the majority of our dating. This is more of a convention than anything else but at least provides a consistent benchmark against which we can try and relatively date the many ages, epochs, and events that make up the muddled history of our magical world. In the few cases where BVA is used, it will be employed only to provide context against the actual apocalypse, and will be cross referenced with the start times of the Modern Era.