From 30 Days of World Building: "Spend 15 minutes outlining the major historical events of the last 100 years before your novel begins. "
Well, it took more like an hour.
1. Who lives where, and what wars and conflicts have they had?
a. 100 years ago the GOE was at the height of its power. They had well established trade routes with Fjordland for stone and were about to invade Wispolill with the thought that they could capture and sacrifice Sourcerers to gain their magic. The comet strike ended their trade ability by destroying the fleet. It also wreaked havoc on the infrastructure so much that the GOE retreated back onto Orangeland for the most part, leaving the smoldering wreck of the main part of their empire behind on Yellowland (much like The Eastern Roman Empire left the West to its own defense).
b. 100 years ago a blacksmith of the Forest people invented the very first magical device and presented it to the ruler of his land, a Goldenman Duke. this was the beginning of the Wizards and the beginning of the rise of this Duke's power which eventually led him to King. The Golden people incessantly fight wars to establish and reestablish their elaborate hierarchy. They are also needlessly violent and cruel so that the Forest people (who normally wouldn't fight) fight to keep their human rights. They have also become very put upon by the Ice Age and lost half their land. This forces them into wars of conquest and to make plans to conquer other lands. they have made a few raids into Fjordland, but they are most interested in taking over the GOE.
c. The Fjordland people mainly fight among themselves, from one valley to another. They are too few in number to launch overseas attacks like the Vikings did.
d. The Forest people cherish innovation, resourcefulness, curiosity and diligence above all else, they have no interest in conquest of ruling. They allow themselves to be dominated by the Golden people.
e. The Desert people love freedom of movement. They don't lay claim to any land. They don't like being dominated by anyone and fight for freedom any time they see it being put down, but they have never gotten into a protracted war.
2. Who keeps the peace? - See above.
3. How do borders stay in place? - Basically the peoples are divided by being on different islands, but they are also divided by the scarcity of the population (which was thinned out when the Comet struck).
4. What happens when power shifts? – See above with the shrinking of the GOE and the expansion of the Golden people.
5. What major resources are considered necessary to staying in power? – This is the most germane to the story. The power that is most fought over is MAGIC. The descendants of the aliens have it in the Sourcerers (the Fjordlanders have their own watered down version that are less powerful, but also less autistic, they are Wizards/Priests/Sourcerers all rolled into a single individual called a Paladin).
1. Dates when power shifted in your civilization(s) (through coup, death of a monarch, revolution, election, etc.)?
a. GOE was established 1,000 years ago, on Midsummer in the year 1,000 of the GOE calendar the comet struck.
b. The Golden people keep their calendar from what they call The Year of Eruption (they don't know why, they think it was their eruption onto the world), but they date it 2,500 years ago while it was actually 10,000 years ago when the mega-volcano erupted and forced the peoples of the alien race to spread. Golden years are noted as EG (Eruption of Gold, or BEG). Year 1000GOE was year 2500EG.
c. 1EG – the first true Sourcerer is recoginized as such (probably born 10BEG).
d. 500EG – the Old Priesthood of Magic (OPM) was established by the Golden people to control magic. It was also the time when the Forest people had developed agriculture and domesticated animals.
e. 600EG – the Golden people raided the Forest people to steal their technology, with the magic wielded by the OPM they swept through easily.
f. 700EG – the first Golden cities were established
g. 700EG – 1500EG – innumerable wars were fought to establish the hierarchy of the Golden nobility, they mostly used the OPM as they wished.
h. 1500EG (1GOE) – The Great Old Empire was established with the capital city of Southopolis.
i. 100GOE (1600EG) – GOE conquered Yellowland.
j. 1800EG – Cardinal X established the Priestesshood of Klellryn to wrest control of magic and the Sourcerers from the nobility.
k. 1800 – 1900EG - The Klellryn fought the OPM to establish themselves as the magic wielding authority
l. 1900 – 2000EG – Klellryn wrangled with the Golden nobility to establish their relationship as outside of the noble hierarchy. Before this all Golden people had ranks which placed them in the hierarchy of the nobility. The Klellryn "wars" were a way to establish the Priestesshood as outside but interacting with the noble power structure. This was mainly done through magic manipulation and subversion rather than physical wars.
m. Treaty of 2000EG – It was officially agreed how the Klellryn and Golden nobility would interact. From this point on the Klellryn would wield power through magic and sexual favors. Subversion, espionage and physical force were given up by the Klellryn as weapons.
n. 500GOE (2000EG) – GOE capital was moved to the new and glorious city of Northopolis on Yellowland.
o. 2100EG – The Golden people established a kingship of the Forest people, but this was just a puppet so that the Golden people could have one point of contact with which to deal.
p. Treaty of 2110 (2010EG) – The King of the Forest gave up all power to the Golden people. This made the Forest people completely under Golden control.
q. Forest Revolt (2200EG) – Because of terrible abuses by the Golden people the Forest people had finally had enough and revolted. The war only lasted a year and the Golden people eventually won by using the Klellryn excessively. It worried the Golden people because all of their infrastructure stopped without the Forest people to run it. The nobles resolved to not control the Forest people so directly, but to contain them even more than before. The Klellryn were of mixed feelings. Many welcomed the ability to be assigned as Village Priestesses and help the Forest people, village by village. Some others saw it as a chance to really use their powers to complete control a population, like they couldn't with the Golden nobility.
r. War of Magic (2300EG) – using basically what amounted to a zombie Forest people army a faction of the Klellryn tried to wrest all power from the Golden nobility. It failed only when the free Forest people, Village Klellryn and Golden nobility joined forces. Some of the proponents of that revolt are still at large.
s. 2500EG (1000GOE) was the year when the blacksmith presented the very first magical device to Duke XY and Cardinal XX.
t. Comet Stike – Midsummer 1000GOE – the Ice Age began. The GOE began to collapse.
u. All Winter (2509EG) – the first year that the northern half of the Golden land did not see summer. This was the coldest year yet in the early Ice Age and the first year that the northern most tip of Goldenland was permanent ice bound.
v. 1010GOE (2510EG) The capital returned to Southopolis on Orangeland and the outlying provences were left to fend for themselves. The GOE was essentially reduced to two provences with most of the wealth and power moving south.
w. 2510EG Wizards were firmly entrenched in the system of the Golden people when Duke XY became King through the use of his wizards in battle.
x. 2511EG the wizards got together to form a council to regulate wizardry and established different classes of wizard based on what medium they worked on and in. This Wizard Council allowed the wizards to control their own destiny more, especially the non-Black Wizards, who were the ones most employed by the Golden nobility.
y. Winter Wars (2515EG – 2540EG) – The Golden people, pushed by the Ice Age moved further and further south eventually conquering all of Wispolill by 2540EG.
z. 2560EG – The Wizard Council had been very close to gaining some sort of control of some of the Sourcerers so that they didn't have to go to the Klellryn for all their magical needs. This and the fact that the Wizards were gaining strength outside the nobility (though they still officially had ranks within the hierarchy, they seldom paid any attention to them themselves and neither did the nobility) those in the Klellryn Web (as their ruling class is called) decided to increase their own power base. A systematic exploitation of Sourcerers was established. This took away any human rights that Sourcerers had.
aa. The Great Raid (2581EG) – The first raid of Yellowland by the Golden people. It had mixed results. The Golden people lost some of their fear and awe of the GOE, but the GOE had won some battles (most notably the defense of Northopolis) and succeeded in ejecting the Golden Expeditionary Force (GEF I) out of Yellowland. They also took prisoners and sacrificed the Sourcerers they captured in order to gain their magic (whether it worked or not is to be seen).
bb. Crackdown (2582EG) – with the sacrifice of the Sourcerers at the hands of the GOE, the Klellryn locked all Sourcerers away in dungeons.
cc. The Movement Begins (2590EG) – Golden nobles of low rank, some wizards, Forest people in general, village priestesses and Desert people began smuggling Sourcerers away from the Klellryn Web and out of Wispolill.
dd. Establishment of Seasideton (2595EG) The Movement decides to establish a colony for escaped Sourcerer on the northern shore of The Great Inland Sea on Emptyland. The colony is established with only three houses.
ee. 2600EG – the time of the story. Seasideton is up to ten families, but the transport is extremely dangerous with about 75% of those trying to make the journey either dieing or being recaptured. 75% of Sourcerers and those helping them don't even know that Seasideton even exists.
2. Whether the power shift was smooth (as it might be when a monarch dies and their offspring takes their place) – see above
3. Dates when a natural event reduced or increased the amount of natural resources (food, usually, but also water, timber, and other resources). – see above
4. Dates when an unnatural event (such as a magical or technological event) changed the resources as well. – see above
5. At the high-pressure points, write "battle/conflict" – see above
6. Date your novel begins – 2600EG (1100GOE)
7. Date your character was born
a. Cardinal XXI – 2100EG (500yo) – the Cardinal who chases the characters across the North Pole and dies by Wizard Thanh's arrow. She had been involved in the War of Magic but escaped.
b. Captain Nagao of the Thrice Blessed airship – 2565EG (35yo)
c. Village Priestess Hwah – 2578EG (22yo)
d. Wizard Thahn – 2579EG (21yo)