The history of Praemal extends back more than ten thousand years, with many amazing and significant events. DMs will want to become familiar with this information, because it is rife with possible adventure hooks. What if the ghost-lich Kagrisos rose again, or someone found the secret to unleashing the Utterdark once more?

The history of the world is vast and complex, stretching back almost eleven millennia. The information presented here (timeline on the left, historical discussion on the right) is heavily skewed toward events important to the city of Ptolus, however. Whole civilizations rose and fell in some of the gaps left blank.

  1. Prehistory (scroll down)
  2. Timeline (scroll down)
  3. Eslathagos Malkith (The Dread One)
  4. The Age of the Elder Titans
  5. Information Panel: The Imperial Line
  6. The Utterdark of Ghul
  7. Rise of Empire
  8. The Decline of the Empire
  9. Plagues and Diseases of Note


The early days of creation are more a matter of myth than history. It is widely accepted that a single creator god forged the world out of nothingness. In this primordial age, evil creatures known as the Galchutt waged war against man and god to destroy the world, but were thwarted at every turn. Eventually, the Galchutt turned on each other and ultimately retreated into a state of aeons-long sleep to await a time when they could better wreak their chaos and destruction. (For more information, see Chapter 4: Cosmology and Religion.)

History, according to most scholars, starts with Eslathagos Malkith. But even then, the details of a time more than eight millennia prior to the present day are sketchy at best. Most history books have little to say about it, and most historians know little else. One must find truly arcane texts to learn the truth of his story.


BE = Before Empire; IA = Imperial Age

c. 10,000 BEPraemus creates the world as a trap for the Galchutt, the main purveyors of evil, chaos, and non-existence in the multiverse at the time.
c. 9,900 BEPraemus’ children revolt in order to free the intelligent races he created from servitude. The War of the Gods ensues. An evil goddess—one of the Vested of the Galchutt named Gorgoth-Lol—corrupts a tribe of Shoal elves, taking them deep underground.
c. 9,800 BEThe Galchutt—through one of their Vested servants, Mrathrach—attempt to destroy the world by imprisoning the Gilded Angel, an envoy from another plane sent to visit and judge Praemus’ creation. Mrathrach is thwarted by runebearer heroes. The Gilded Angel leaves safely (the last being to come to the world physically and then leave). The magical energies released at the time of the Vested’s death create the Pit of Mrathrach, which begins to convert any matter that seeps into it into ether that leaks out into the Ethereal Sea. The Galchutt then send a strange, magical virus to the Vallis moon to corrupt the Lords of the Seven Chains and destroy the soul of the world that they guard. Again they are thwarted. Finally, they rend the veil between life and death, allowing the dead to return to the world as undead creatures (which had never happened before). The gods, aided by heroes, seal the breach with a huge piece of the Vallis moon, but in so doing they catapult the moon into the distant reaches of space.
c. 9,700 BEThe War of the Gods ends, with Praemus and his children coming to an understanding; Praemus reveals the purpose of the world to them.
c. 9,600 BEWhat was once the Sinking Swamp around the Pit of Mrathrach, now entirely drained, has become a desert. The land mass begins to shift southward. The waters of the Southern Sea begin draining away, and the Northern Sea—eventually called the Whitewind Sea—moves southward.
c. 9,500 BEThe first city of Ptolus is founded, named after a scholar who originally explored the area. It is ruled by a number of noble families, and the Knights of the Golden Cross defend the city against evil. At this point, Ptolus is not yet a coastal town (the Northern Sea continues to shift south)
c. 9,000 BEThe Galchutt provide their servants with chaositech and begin to attack all areas of civilization. They assail Ptolus with the aid of the traitorous House Vladaam and destroy it all— except for the mysterious Castle Shard. Eventually, the Galchutt’s forces turn on themselves and destroy each other.
c. 8,900 BETheir schemes thwarted, the Galchutt sleep beneath what once was Ptolus, hoping that time will be their ally in their bid to escape this prison-world.
c. 8,000 BENi-Gorth, a priest of the evil Father Claw, rises up against his master in the hidden city of Shoggoth. He fetters Father Claw with the dragonchain.
c. 7,900 BENi-Gorth is killed by other priests of Father Claw but ascends to godhood, the first of the New Gods that one day would supplant the children of Praemus.
c. 7,500 BEA good cleric named Danar Rotansin builds a vault called Tremoc Korin in order to safely store all the evil artifacts and “banes” of the world, including any chaositech that has survived the centuries since the Galchutt went to sleep. He constructs this “Banewarrens” beneath his own fortress of Mosul Pearl. Danar’s wife, Parnaith—a powerful sorcerer in her own right—anchors the Seven Ethereal Islands around this fortress. These become known as the Seven Jewels of Parnaith and, along with the Wizard-Priests of Ni-Gorth, she builds great wonders upon each of the islands.
c. 7,450 BEBy now, the evil stored within the Banewarrens has grown so repugnant that the earth itself thrusts it away, forming the Spire. Danar repairs the damage done to Tremoc Korin by this upheaval. Mosul Pearl now rests atop the Spire.
c. 7,420 BEDanar grows corrupt thanks to the proximity of the Galchutt and the influence of the banes— particularly the Book of Inverted Darkness. He becomes the Dread One, taking the name Eslathagos Malkith. He calls forth the former servants of the Galchutt and many other evil beasts and demons from the depths of the earth. He changes the name of his castle to Jabel Shammar and begins using the banes he once strove to keep out of evil hands to create more wicked servants.
c. 7,300 BEThe Dread One creates a magical vortex of chaos within the Spire called the Entropy Sphere. He configures magical portals called the Gates of Delirium to regulate its power so that he may utilize it freely.
c. 7,260 BEEslathagos Malkith attacks the civilized lands, raining destruction down upon the world and all its inhabitants. Only runebearer heroes, blessed by the gods’ divine power, are able to stop him and his armies.
c. 7,200 BEThe Dread One’s invasion over, the world’s remaining forces—organized primarily by the Wizard-Priests of Ni- Gorth—attempt to destroy the Spire and its fell fortress. They fail. Instead, they seal it, shoring up the magic that Eslathagos Malkith (as Danar) created centuries ago. To maintain contact with the Seven Jewels of Parnaith, the wizard-priests create the colordoor nodes, places where the moving Ethereal Islands occasionally pass that one can access through particular notes of music.
c. 7,000 BEThe seas cease their shifting, and the land mass looks much as it does today.
c. 6,000 BEThe wizards of Kem build the city of Erish-aga.
c. 5,900 BEThe Solarr and Lunas elves finish construction of Dreta Phantas in the land then known as Theridae, north of the Spire along the coast. The line of the Dream Kings rules over the elves in an age of prosperity and peace. They are close allies of the followers of Ni-Gorth, who continue to maintain the Seven Jewels of Parnaith.
c. 5,600 BEThe cthorn, a strange and malevolent race of humanoids, prosper near the Gulf of Satran along the coast of Southern Sea. They terrorize those around them and focus on gathering magical lore, particularly black magic.
c. 5,500 BEThe Charad Titans arrive in Theridae in great ships. They establish trade with the Solarr and Lunas elves of Dreta Phantas.
c. 5,300 BEThe Charad Titans discover the sleeping Galchutt and vast caches of chaositech. Some of them become corrupted by their discovery, and the titans begin to fight among themselves.
c. 5,000 BEAs the religion of Ni-Gorth fades into obscurity, the wizard-priests abandon the area surrounding Jabel Shammar and the Spire.
c. 4,800 BELast of the Earthsingers, the third overclan of dwarves, dies.
c. 4,600 BEThe cthorn diminish, undone by their own corruption. The wizards of Kem steal many of their secrets.
c. 4,200 BEThe Charad Titans leave in their great ships, ultimately repulsed by the evil of the area.
c. 4,000 BEThe Wars of Fire. Wizards from the west and those from Kem meet on the Plains of Panish and fight horrible magical wars.
c. 3,400 BEThe dark elves surface for the first time since their Shoal ancestors disappeared for their long subterranean exile. They wage wars with the elves of Theridae and Dreta Phantas.
c. 3,000 BEMuch of Kem is consumed in the Metalstorm, unleashed by wanton magic. Ochremeshk the Demon God is imprisoned in a magical rune.
c. 2,800 BEThe dark elves are driven back down underground by the armies of the surface elves. More Shoal elves settle in Theridae than ever before, having come to the region to help fight the dark elves.
c. 2,000 BEDwarves settle in the area near the Spire and build the fortress-city of Dwarvenhearth. Most of the city lies underground, but portions extend to the surface.
1,554 BEThe dark elves launch a massive attack on the surface elves and use a powerful spell, channeled directly from their goddess Gorgoth-Lol, to steal the entire city of Dreta Phantas, which they hide deep below the Spire. They settle in nearby areas even below Dwarvenhearth. The surface elves of Theridae are dispersed.
c. 1,500 BEHumans settle in Theridae, founding the Kingdom of Palastan. They establish friendly relations with the dwarves of Dwarvenhearth.
c. 1,200 BEThe Wintersouled undead come to the area around the Spire, led by the King in Yellow. They find themselves drawn by the power of the sleeping Galchutt. Being undying creatures, they silently wait for the evil ones to awaken.
c. 1,000 BEThe Circle of Green, a powerful group of druids, forms in Palastan.
c. 800 BEUraq establishes itself as the world’s major power economically, through its control of the Southern Sea.
c. 700 BEThe Metalstorm in Kem completely fades.
c. 600 BESeeking the Black Grail held within the Banewarrens, the half-demon wizard Sokalahn builds an underground fortress near the coast by the Spire. He eventually uses a powerful spell to shatter one of the Gates of Delirium and breach the wards around the Banewarrens. This causes the Entropy Sphere to spin forth great energies, which twist into pools and eddies called the Pits of Insanity. They dot the interior of the Spire and nearby subterranean locations, playing havoc with physical laws and magical powers.
c. 500 BEUraq’s influence begins to decline.
477 BELothian the wandering preacher is crucified. The Kingdom of Prust collapses when an earthquake and floods kill thousands, including the king and his entire court.
443 BEThe first of the dwarven wars with the dark elves begins.
c. 440 BEGhul the Half God, the Skull-King who claims to be the resurrected son of Eslathagos Malkith, slays the last of the cthorn.
436 BEThe first dwarven/dark elf war ends.
399 BEGhul slays the Circle of Green.
376 BEThe human wizard Alchestrin takes over Castle Shard.
351 BEThe second of the dwarven wars with the dark elves begins.
350 BEThe dwarves notice that someone has moved onto the Spire and has begun building a fortress. Their spies reveal it to be Ghul. This fortress, which he calls Goth Gulgamel, is built by orcs he created: the tribe of Toruk-Rul (which means “closing fist”). The war with the dark elves is too costly for the dwarves to do anything but seal off Dwarvenhearth’s entrances to the surface.
347 BEThe death of Caliph Ulrazed marks the true end of Uraq’s position of power and influence.
343 BEThe second dwarven/dark elf war ends.
330 BEGoth Gulgamel completed, Ghul sends his armies down to attack the dwarves.
319 BEGhul’s forces drive the dwarves from Dwarvenhearth.
292 BEGhul begins an invasion to conquer the surrounding lands that history has termed the Ghulwar. His forces include Toruk-Rul orcs, dark elves, tribes of evil men and dwarves, and monsters.
291 BEPalastan falls to Ghul. Ghul slays King Rissathion upon the King’s Stone.
290 BEThe Sea Kingdoms fall to Ghul
289 BEEastern Rhoth falls to Ghul, cutting off the realm of Cherubar from the rest of the continent.
288 BEGhul conjures forth a magical darkness called the Utterdark, which covers the lands he has conquered.
285 BEThe elves of the northern Moonsilver Forest fall to Ghul. They are taken to Goth Gulgamel en masse and filter out again slowly as Harrow elves—the blighted ones.
282 BEThe Elder Elves of Theridae stop the advance of Ghul’s armies near the River Tonam.
281 BEThe Cold Quiet begins. Few pass in or out of the Utterdark.
152 BEThe Cold Quiet ends. The armies of Ghul issue forth from the Utterdark, composed of Toruk-Rul orcs, the newly spawned Sorn-Ulth orcs (meaning “bleeding breath”), ogres, trolls, and worse.
150 BEThe Elder Elves, now allied with the Stonelost dwarves (descended from those who fled Dwarvenhearth), drive back Ghul’s armies.
c. 100 BEThe dark elves drop their alliance with Ghul, concerned now with matters in the under-realms. The zaug begin a series of aggressions known as the Deep Wars.
87 BEThe elf wizard Khelaeson banishes the Utterdark.
86 BEThe elves and dwarves invade the realm of Ghul.
85 BEThe invaders take back the Moonsilver Forest and most of Palastan from Ghul.
84 BEGhul calls forth the Squirming Horde, also known as the Shrieking Horde, and defeats the elves and dwarves. The horde follows the Elder Elves back to their homeland of Theridae and razes it.
c. 75 BEThe dark elves drive their zaug enemies back from Dreta Phantas but grow sorely depleted in power.
74 BEGhul attacks Dreta Phantas in order to wrest it from the dark elves. He hopes to gain control of Koth, the dream tower fabled to guard the path to the many worlds.
71 BEThe Pact of Brightfather’s Day. The Stonelost dwarves, the Shoal elves, the halfling tribes, the Grailwarden dwarves, and the Prustan humans of Tarsis from the east forge a pact to ally against Ghul.
c. 70 BEThe dark elves seal Dreta Phantas so that no one can enter (or so they think).
61 BEWeakened from their battles with the dark elves, the foul hordes of Ghul fall to the combined forces of the Stonelost dwarves and the eastern Prustan forces. This marks the end of the Ghulwar.
59 BEGoth Gulgamel falls. Ghul flees into the Jewels of Parnaith.
55 BEThe Great Seven hunt down Ghul and destroy him.
50 BEWith the help of Tarsis, the people of the once-dark lands begin to rebuild.
43 BEThe dwarves begin construction on Dalenguard, a fortress for the Tarsisans.
41 BETarsisan outposts and garrisons dot the landscape, providing security and maintenance on the roads.
40 BEConstruction of Dalenguard completed.
9 BEDelian Von Tessel becomes ruler of Tarsis, naming his seat of power the Lion-Guarded Throne after his family crest.
1 IAThe Lion-Guarded Throne proclaims Imperial control over the lands all around it. The Age of the Empire of Tarsis begins.
15 IAAfter a short conflict, Rhoth falls to the Tarsisan armies and becomes part of the Empire.
61 IAThe noble houses of Palastan swear allegiance to the Lion-Guarded Throne.
110 IADespite magical aids, Delian Von Tessel, first Emperor of the Lion-Guarded Throne, dies.
180 IAUraq falls to the Empire after a series of bloody conflicts.
223 IAA conclave of divine beings appoints Emperor Rudolf Von Tessel the Main Purveyor of Law. They grant him vast power, which he uses to strengthen the Empire.
301 IAThe Great Earthquake devastates much of Tarsis. Rebuilding takes almost fifty years.
386 IAFollowing the assassination of her husband, Empress Addares (Von Tessel) X makes it illegal to own a firearm without official Imperial dispensation.
413 IAThe second city of Ptolus, named after fragmentary information regarding the distant past discovered by the loremaster Gerris Hin, is founded. It is built near (and eventually encompasses) the fortress of Dalenguard. The Church of Lothian opposes the founding of the city but takes no overt action. It does not explain its opposition.
417 IAAfter years of labor, the artificial shoreline for the docks of Ptolus is finished and the harbor opens.
418 IAThe Brotherhood of the Sword is founded in Ptolus.
c. 420 IASensing that the Galchutt would awaken within a few hundred years, the Wintersouled begin granting soldiers who fell in the Ghulwar the gift of unlife. They build the Dark Reliquary on the cliffs overlooking the sea. The Wintersouled manage to keep their undead servitors from drawing too much attention by residents of the growing city.
420 IABased on the research of Gerris Hin, Shay Orridar recreates the Knights of the Golden Cross to stand against evil and bring back the worship of the Elder Gods.
c. 431 IAThe noble families of Palastan relocate to Ptolus and begin building estates. Some of these are descendents of the original noble families of the first (but nearly forgotten) city of Ptolus.
440 IAThe Commissar of Ptolus grants each noble family a seat on the Assembly of the City Council as a way of placating the people of the region who have for so long looked upon the noble houses as rulers and thought-leaders.
444 IAConstruction of the Pale Tower is completed.
449 IAAs it is wont to do every thousand years or so, the tarrasque rises in Nall and ravages the countryside. It is eventually defeated by the half-orc warrior Brusk. After this, half-orcs are afforded a little more tolerance across the land.
c. 450 IASewer workers, gravediggers, and construction workers begin to spread stories of the vast underground structures beneath Ptolus. Ghul’s Labyrinth, Dwarvenhearth, dark elf tunnels, and natural caverns make for an complex system of interconnected subterranean spaces unlike anything anywhere else.
512 IAThe Brotherhood of the Sword disbands.
513 IABy Ptolus’ centennial, it has spread beyond its original bounds, the area that is now called Oldtown.
514 IAConstruction of Ptolus’ Arena begins.
519 IAMaven Balacazar consolidates many of the criminals in Ptolus for the first time. The Longfingers thieves’ guild begins to lose its influence.
520 IAThadeus Koll discovers the Shadow of Ptolus and brings the box of shadows he finds there to the Malkuth.
532 IAA drought in the north leads to food riots in Ptolus. The Sisterhood of Silence helps maintain order.
533 IAThe Sisterhood of Silence builds the Priory of Introspection in Ptolus.
554 IAFleeing the Empire’s growing distaste for arcane magic (due to the influence of the Church of Lothian), the mages’ guild known as the Inverted Pyramid relocates to Ptolus, in the hinterlands of the Empire.
560 IAThe Edict of Deviltry is issued, adding strict laws prohibiting arcane magic to the Vast Codex.
562 IAThe First Inquisition terrorizes the Empire. The “Days of Blood” begin.
563 IAWith sponsorship from the First Inquisition, the Keepers of the Veil forms in Ptolus.
564 IAThe First Inquisition ends.
590 IAThe wall around Ptolus is finished.
598 IAThe Second Inquisition begins. Its main goal is to find the Inverted Pyramid.
601 IAThe Order of Iron Might warriors’ guild is founded in Ptolus.
602 IAThe ghost-lich Kagrisos rose from beneath the city streets to cast a spell that would spread a plague throughout the city. Before he could complete this horrible act, the great hero Abesh Runihan struck him down. However, Runihan died in the process.
609 IADespite tortures and horrible massacres, the Second Inquisition ends in failure. The Edict of Deviltry falls into disfavor. The “Days of Blood” end.
615 IAThe Commissar of Ptolus, Norrid Favanar, officially declares the city a safe haven for arcane spellcasters. Both Emperors officially reprimand the Commissar but make no move to actually stop the action. More and more wizards and sorcerers come to Ptolus.
617 IACommissar Norrid Favanar begins to make use of spellcasters in the City Watch.
618 IAAelian Fardream, an elf wizard, creates a number of clones of himself, including the one that will one day call itself the Shadow Eyes.
620 IADerrin Darkbirth establishes in the Guildsman District an asylum that will one day bear his name.
633 IAThe Imperial Census records the population of Ptolus as fifty thousand people.
c. 640 IAPtolus begins in earnest to incorporate existing underground structures as usable parts of the city. The Prison and other underground locations are established.
640 IAThe Brotherhood of Redemption finishes development of a magical process to redeem evil creatures and compel them to turn to good.
641 IAThe Edict of Deviltry is officially overturned.
643 IAHealers of the Sacred Heat begin their work in Ptolus.
651 IAYrkyth Vladaam creates the Enigma Engine, which he hopes will tap into the power of the Dread One’s Entropy Sphere. He fails.
657 IAThe Prince of the Church is permanently stationed in Ptolus. The Prince at the time is Lukas Mikolic. The Church of Lothian is secretly concerned about the underground activity in Ptolus.
688 IAThe Keepers of the Veil move their headquarters to Ptolus.
690 IAAfter almost two centuries of working unofficially to help keep order, the Sisterhood of Silence gains official Imperial sanction to enforce laws and deal with criminals in Ptolus.
693 IAThe first incident of Faceless Rage is recorded in Ptolus.
695 IAPrince Lukas Mikolic dies of a degenerative disease called the Rotting Fester, which even magic could not permanently cure. The new Prince is his cousin, Rehoboth Ylestos.
696 IAThe Gnoll War rages in southern Rhoth. General Igor Urnst leads Imperial troops to victory there.
700 IAHoly Emperor Palabosh dies, and Rehoboth Ylestos becomes the new Emperor of the Church.
700 IAThe Eastern Hordes unite under the barbarian King Oulgas.
703 IAIgor Urnst is appointed the Commissar of Ptolus
706 IAEmpress Addares XXXIII and XVIII dies (see “The Imperial Line,” page 78). The Empire is in chaos, with ultimately three different people claiming the Lion- Guarded Throne. Empress Addares XXXIV attempts to move the capital to her home city of Dohrinthas.
707 IAThe Commissar assembles the Twelve Commanders in Ptolus.
708 IAThe Urthon Aedar begin to appear in Ptolus, prophesying doom and performing enigmatic deeds.
709 IAThe Eastern Hordes lay siege to Tarsis. Eight-year-old Prince of the Church Kirian Ylestos arrives in Ptolus.
710 IATarsis is overrun by barbarians from the Eastern Hordes. Holy Emperor Rehoboth of the Church of Lothian flees to Ptolus to stay with the Prince of the Church.
712 IAThe Commissar recruits willing volunteers to be polymorphed into trolls to guard the King’s River Bridge from all threats.

In 712, the Commissar, having fought against monsters throughout his career as a military man, wanted monsters on his side when planning the defense of Ptolus. So he employed Inverted Pyramid mages to polymorph willing volunteers into appropriate monsters. The lack of volunteers limited the program to merely the use of polymorphed trolls guarding the King’s River Bridge. One can see these trolls there today, garbed in Imperial military uniforms and serving a human commander. The Commissar still really likes this plan and, should the defense of Ptolus ever become an issue, would conscript “volunteers” for polymorphing.

713 IAExplorers plumbing the ancient reaches beneath Ptolus discover great treasures and begin bringing them to the surface.Tacheron Kint gains fame as tales spread of the strange underground treasure troves he has found, reportedly dating back to the days of Ghul.
714 IAThe barbarians leave Tarsis. Emperor Segaci Fellisti attempts to re-establish the Empire from its traditional capital.
717 IAPtolus becomes the center of much attention as more and more would-be treasureseekers plumb the depths below the city.
718 IAThe Delver’s Guild is established. Thoy Champous, paladin of Ahaar, disappears exploring the regions below Ptolus with the famous bow of Ahaar.
719 IASheva Callister, a famous delver, uncovers the Crown of Ki-Lias, an artifact of the Charad Titans, below the city. She retires after she sells it.
720 IAMinor outbreaks of Scarlet Death spread throughout Ptolus. Future crime lord Kevris Killraven arrives in the city.
721 IAToday.