Age of Might, the Third Age
Article written by Joe Mashuga
The Age of Might focuses primarily on the rise and fall of the Empire of Istar and runs ca. 1000 PC - 0 PC.
A cleric of Paladine protects the city of Istar during the war, endearing the populace to the church. Dwarves return to Thoradin and open trade routes with Istar. Solamnia allies with Hylo and grants mining rights to the dwarves of Thorbardin. The Thorbardin dwarves found the kingdoms of Kayolin and Hillow and begin work on the Tree of Life. As the elves continue their self-imposed isolation, the Ogre Wars occur as ogres attempt to drive the dwarves from Thoradin. Balifor begins a trade war with Istar over the empire's trade laws, and the kender tax is signed. Istar expands into Silvanesti naval routes and is blockaded. Shortly thereafter, Istar signs the Swordsheath Scroll. Thoradin follows suit after a second conflict with ogres. Barbarian raiders from Estwilde raid Istarian caravans and are confronted by Solamnia, which re-signs the Swordsheath Scroll.
Istar's expansion continues until it becomes Ansalon's major power, and claims itself the moral center of the world. The first Kingpriest takes power in 280 PC. The empire of Istar begins enforcing the Kingpriest's policies and repressing freedoms. Frustrated elves withdraw into their forests. The Kingpriest of 118 PC gives the Proclamation of Manifest Virtue and draws up a list of evil acts that result in execution or arena time. Istar's priests begin losing their clerical powers. The Kingpriest of 94 PC adds to the Proclamation by declaring that certain races are evil. The empire of Istar conquers the minotaurs and forces them into slavery. Istar becomes the religious center of Ansalon. Tensions mount between the Istarian clergy and the Wizards of High Sorcery, until Kingpriest Beldinas starts the Lost Battles by sending Istar to war with the Towers of High Sorcery in 19 PC. Two towers are destroyed but the wizards agree to exile themselves to the Tower of Wayreth, ending the conflict. Istar begins using mind readers to ensure that no one is thinking evil thoughts.
Ultimately, Kingpriest Beldinas prepares to ascend to godhood with the aid of the Disks of Mishakal. The people of Istar applaud the effort and are sent Thirteen Warnings by the gods to warn them of their folly. True clerics vanish, trees weep blood, and the city of Istar is battered by a continuous storm. The citizens of Istar and their Kingpriest mistake the signs as being the work of Evil. The Kingpriest continues his preparations, and on the third day of the new year, the Cataclysm occurs. On both Ansalon and Taladas, lands are torn asunder, new bodies of water form, and innumerable lives are lost. The empire of Istar is destroyed, Ergoth is separated from the mainland, Thoradin becomes Zhakar, and the New Sea is formed. Most clerical power vanishes from the world.
One source said that the Age of Might started at 2500 PC, but this is untrue.
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