Broken Throne Page 1


I can’t believe you’ve been with me this long. Thank you.

Throughout my studies in Norta, I always found myself working around the edges of events known only as the Calamities. I have always been fascinated with the histories of our distant past, as well as the lessons therein. Unfortunately, the pre-Silverian time lines have always been riddled with holes and are difficult to verify, as primary sources were largely lost. Only relatively recent events (recent being within the last 1500 years) can be considered set in stone. Despite being already accepted points of record, they are still vital, like the first steps down a pathway.

Therefore, I must base all my research on this relevant time line, correlating with both the archives at Delphie and the vaults of Horn Mountain (note: dates are based on the Nortan calendar; my apologies to the Republic):

? OE = Old Era, before the formation of Norta

? NE = New Era, after the formation of Norta

Before 1500 OE: Civilization across the continent still in state of flux following the Calamities

1500 OE: Beginning of the Reformation Period—civilizations of the continent begin to stabilize and rebuild

950 OE: Trial of Barr Rambler—earliest verifiable record of Silver individuals (a strongarm displays his abilities while being tried for thievery)

~900 OE: Foundation of the Finix Dynasty, formation of the Kingdom of Ciron, the oldest Silver-led kingdom on the continent (according to Cironian lore)

202 OE: Following civil war, the Kingdom of Tiraxes restructures into the present-day triarchy

180 OE: Formation of the Kingdom of Tetonia in what will become present-day Montfort. Tetonia is one of many small kingdoms and lands to sprout up in the mountains

72 OE: Formation of the Kingdom of the Lakelands through the conquests of the Cygnet Line

0 NE: Formation of modern Norta under the dynasty of House Calore—the smaller kingdoms and city-states of the region are forged into one

2 NE: An alliance between Piedmont and Norta is established through marriage, forming the bedrock of a longstanding bond between both nations.

170–195 NE: The Border Wars between the Lakelands and various Prairie warlords

200 NE: The Lakelander War begins between Norta and the Lakelands

296 NE: Dane Davidson, future premier of the Free Republic of Montfort, flees Norta

321 NE: The Nortan Civil War—secession of the Rift, abdication of King Tiberias VII of Norta, fall of the Kingdom of Norta, abdication of King Ptolemus of the Rift, abdication of Queen Evangeline of the Rift, formation of the Nortan States

The above are selected highlights of historical fact, which can be found in most any passable text from Ascendant to Harbor Bay. I’m not terribly interested in what I’ve already learned, and neither are the scholars of Horn Mountain. After weeks of study, to Sara’s chagrin, I’ve attempted to compile some kind of overview of the time before the Reformation. It must be noted, the information is hardly scientific and, at present, impossible to correlate. Much of what I’ve encountered directly contradicts other sources, therefore I have attempted to paint a picture of the overlap.

Most helpful has been a painstakingly preserved collection of paper annuals or pamphlets, kept in a climate-controlled and pressurized room deep in the vaults of Horn Mountain. Records indicate they were stored there before the existence of Montfort, more than a thousand years ago when the vaults were first sealed. I must assume that the vaults, originally built to survive the Calamities, were stocked with information meant to outlive their owners. Several of the documents appear to be of the same set, and feature what were once beautiful photographs. Translation has been difficult, but not impossible. One set was perhaps called Nation’s Geography or the like, while the other is quite simply labeled Time.


* * *

I was also extremely partial to some illustrated books detailing the exploits of a crime-fighting, angst-ridden bat person.

* * *

First, we must work backward from a fixed point in history—this being, for us, the 1500 NE benchmark that begins the Reformation. Everything before and during the Calamities is shrouded in historical fog, with myth often overtaking fact.

We know for certain that the Calamities themselves effectively ended or severely crippled the civilizations that came before our own, so much so that we are still, even now, piecing together a picture of that time.

According to the sources in Horn Mountain, the first of the so-called Calamities—the most destructive and longest lasting—was a catastrophic change in climate due to widespread pollution on a global scale. It worsened over decades, each year worse than the last. Drought rocked much of the world, including lands beyond the oceans bordering our continent, places I have not yet begun to fathom.

* * *

It’s possible those places beyond our continent no longer exist, or are still in reformation periods of their own. For the Silver kingdoms, war and self-interest have kept us restricted to our own backyards, so to speak. Perhaps the same can be said of the rest.

* * *

Drought, in time, led to agricultural collapse, famine, migration, upheaval, and war in the affected areas, with many refugees attempting to flee into the regions still producing food. Resource wars sparked everywhere and often, over water, fuel, land, etc. These were largely seen in clashes between organizations, or between organizations and indigenous peoples. Very few larger governments were directly in conflict in the first years of the resource wars.