Gibbon advanced, black and exalted. With the tip of his
crozier, he touched the growing pool, began to draw meticulous
red lines around Covenant.
Covenant watched like an icon of desolation as the na-Mhoram enclosed him in a triangle of his blood. The chanting became words he could not prevent himself from understanding.
When Gibbon had completed the triangle, he stepped back and raised his iron. Flame blossomed thetic and incarnadine from its end.
And Covenant exploded into vision.
|-- The Wounded Land|
What an incredible experience the Soothtell must have been,
despite the nearly fatal consequences Thomas Covenant suffered.
This may have been the Despiser's single
greatest error in the entire Chronicles, for without the
knowledge of history he gained, Covenant would not have embarked
on his quest for the Staff of Law. His intended quest -- to
recover a branch of the One Tree to fashion into a renewed
Staff of Law -- failed disastrously and caused the deaths of
Hergrom, Ceer, Cable Seadreamer and, in a sense, Brinn. However
without embarking, Covenant might never otherwise have encountered
the faery Elohim and the Land and the entire Earth might
never have been redeemed.
Sadly we lack access to a Soothtell necessary to establish a true account of the vast and rich history of the Land. Perhaps it was even beyond the reach of the rock-listening Unfettered One slain by turiya Raver in Elena's foul winter storm. Donaldson merely tantalizes us with hints, legends and relatively brief accounts of events within the Land. So at best this will be a crude attempt at a timeline of significant events in the Land's history. I invite you to submit corrections which I'll gladly add to the record.
Mr Donaldson does not provide a systematic record of years as Tolkien and other authors utilized thus I feel free to make up a calendar system of my own, with major time periods of Epochs with sub-periods called Eras.
Update 15 Dec 01. Skywier from www.kevinswatch.com discussion forum was kind enough to provide a correction to the timeline, indicated in red text. Mahalo Skywier!
|Era of Creation||
Creator forges the Arch of Time to provide
his creation a place to exist. He forms the
alternate Earth and the Land.
Lord Foul mars the Creator's handiwork, is revealed as the Enemy and cast into the prison within the Arch of Time.
as I understood it, the earth was created first of which 'The Land' is a part. The AoT was placed over it which infact imprisoned Foul who was already found to be on the 'earth'
|Era of Destruction (perhaps apocryphal)||The Worm of the World's End takes form and devours the Creator's children in the form of many thousands or even millions of stars. The Worm becomes satiated, curls into a ball and the Earth forms around it; its tail alone is exposed as the One Tree in a tremendous cavern on an isolated island. Perhaps at this time the torpid Worm gives birth to the Nicor that populate the deep oceans.|
|Era of the Elohim||If any creatures other than the Enemy, Elohim and Nicor exist, it is not revealed.|
|Era of Discovery||Findail the Appointed provides our only tenuous clues to the events that transpired in "a time which we do not deem distant, but which has been long forgotten among your most enduring memories". The Elohim "sojourned all the wide Earth ... participating perhaps not always wisely in that which we encountered."|
|Era of the Northern Fire||In the farthest North of the world a fire of incredible virulence was born, threatening to rive the shell of the world (perhaps waking the Worm of the World's End). Kastenessen the Elohim lives among humans in "a land to the east, where the Elohim are neither known nor guessed" and loves a human woman. In his absence the Elohim Appoint him to prevent the world's destruction. He refuses, flees with his lover and is caught and bound as a keystone over the fire in the North. He curses Findail.|
|Era of the One Forest||Findail claims that in "the place which you deem the Land, life was not the life of men and women, but of trees." The Ravers come into being and a 'female' Elohim is Appointed to become the Colossus of the Fall to interdict the Ravers. Perhaps in this era the Viles come into being.|
|Era of Peoples||Findail relates that "people started coming to the Land, started cutting down trees". The loss is later estimated at "perhaps a hundred thousand square leagues". The One Forest creates the Forestals in self-defense but they are unable to halt the decimation. The watershed supporting the vast southern empire of Doriendor Corishev begins to disappear. Perhaps during this time the race of Viles fashions the Demondim.|
|Era of Peace||Atiaran relates that "in the eldest days, in the age that marks the beginning of the memory of mankind ... the Demondim were a high and lofty race, and the Cavewights smithed and smelted beautiful metals to trade in open friendship with all the people of the Land. In that time the Land was one great nation, and over it ruled a King and Queen."|
|Era of Strife||The Ravers are released as the trees of the One Forest become separated and the interdict of the Colossus of the Fall is unbound. The King becomes lustful of power over others. He is opposed by the Queen; her forces are commanded by her principal champion, Berek. War rages in the Land, initially the Queen's forces prevail until Lord Foul's shadow overwhelms all except Berek. The great southern empire of Doriendor Corishev is destroyed. Possibly this era marks the beginning of the corruption of Cavewights and the Demondim who begin breeding the Demondim-spawn: ur-viles and Waynhim, among other abominations from their pits deep under Mount Thunder; the exudations of this spawning poison the Soulsease River which becomes the Defiles Course, polluting the Sarangrave Flat and the Great Swamp.|
|Era of the Earthpower||Berek is pursued by the King's forces to Mount Thunder where he pledges to heal the Earth. The first surgence of Earthpower occurs as the Fire Lions of Mount Thunder annihalate the King and his armies.|
|Era of Berek Heartthew||Berek voyages to the Isle of the One Tree, recovering a branch without waking the Worm of the World's End. He creates the Staff of Law, founds the first Council of Lords of which he is High Lord, fathers Damelon, and lives for several centuries.|
|Era of Damelon Giantfriend||A convoy of Giantish ships becomes lost and arrives at the eastern shore of the Land in the region known as Seareach. They are welcomed by High Lord Damelon, who grants them the region to live in. They fashion Coercri the Grieve as their home in exile, and Revelstone in the Westron Mountains for the Council of Lords. Damelon also lives for centuries and sires Loric.|
|Era of Loric Vilesilencer||Loric becomes High Lord and forges a mystic shortsword called the krill with a pure white gemstone at its heart for the coming war with the Demondim. He earns his title by stemming "the corruption of the Demondim, rendering them impotent" according to the teachings of the Loresraat. He lives for several centuries and fathers Kevin.|
|Era of Kevin Landwaster||Kevin becomes High Lord and lives for a thousand years. An army of Haruchai enters the Land through Guards Gap intent on conquest but are overwhelmed by the site of Revelstone and the might of High Lord Kevin and the Staff of Law. They swear a Vow to serve the Council of Lords and five hundred of them become the Bloodguard, warders of the Lords and Lord's Keep, losing the ability to sleep or age.|
|Era of Lord Foul the Despiser||Lord Foul pretends friendship with the Council of Lords and is accepted by High Lord Kevin who teaches him much secret lore. Foul sets a trap for Kevin near Mount Thunder but Kevin is mistrustful and sends other Lords who are butchered at the spot known thereafter as Treacher's Gorge. Lord Foul corrupts the southeast regions of the Land which are renamed the Spoiled Plains and Shattered Hills surrounding Foul's Creche. He begins breeding monstrous creatures to be his servants and warriors, starting a series of internecene wars against the Lord's Council which results in widespread death and destruction of the Land.|
|Era of the Desecration||Sickening of the butchery and seeing no respite for the Land or its peoples, High Lord Kevin creates the Seven Wards, giving the First to the Giants who set sail from the Land. He sends the Bloodguard to safety in the mountains and attempts to secure as many innocents as possible before challenging Lord Foul to the Ritual of Desecration. Foul accepts and together they enact the Ritual which temporarily banishes Lord Foul and his Raver servants from corporeal existence and devastates the unprotected substance, creatures and peoples of the Land. High Lord Kevin realizes in the instant before his death that Lord Foul and the Ravers cannot be slain by the Desecration. He dies howling in agony.|
|Era of the New Lords||Generations pass and the Land slowly begins to heal. The Giants return to the Land with the First Ward of Kevin's Lore which they give to the folks of the Northron Plains who have returned to Revelstone. The new Lords Council swears the Oath of Peace and dedicates itself to the healing of Kevin's Desecration. A thousand years pass as they work to slowly reclaim Kurash Plenethor (Stricken Stone), renamed Trothgard, and other areas of the Land from ruin. Toward the end of this era Lord Foul and the Ravers slowly coalesce back into physical forms.|
|Era of the Quest for the Staff of Law||The Cavewight Drool Rockworm uncovers the Staff of Law and the Illearth Stone beneath Mount Thunder. Lord Foul tricks him into summoning Thomas Covenant to the Land. Covenant is healed of leprosy by the Stonedownor Lena, rapes her, and accompanies first her mother Atiaran, then the Giant Saltheart Foamfollower, toward Revelstone. He delivers Lord Foul's prophecy to the Council of Lords headed by High Lord Prothall and joins their Quest to recover the Staff of Law beneath Mount Thunder. The Quest is successful and when Drool Rockworm dies Covenant is returned to our Earth.|
|Era of the Illearth War||Forty years elapse. Lord Foul becomes master of the Illearth Stone upon Drool Rockworm's death and his Ravers succeed in mastering young Giant triplets, each with a fragment of the Stone. Hile Troy of our Earth is summoned to the Land by Atiaran, who dies in the attempt. Elena, daughter of Covenant and Lena, becomes High Lord of the Council and installs Hile Troy as Warmark. One of the Giant-Ravers uses a fragment of the Illearth Stone to commit genocide against the Giants at Coercri but is killed by a small team of Bloodguard who become corrupted by the power of the Stone. Elena resummons Covenant to the Land and heals him of leprosy. Another Giant-Raver leads a tremendous army against the Council of Lords; simultaneously Covenant accompanies High Lord Elena and Amok (High Lord Kevin's sentient Seventh Ward) to Melenkurion Skyweir. After much slaughter Foul's army is exterminated by the trees of Garroting Deep and its Forestal at the price of Hile Troy's transformation. Meanwhile Elena drinks of the puissant Earthblood and Commands dead Kevin's specter to battle Lord Foul. He is mastered by the Despiser and kills Elena, retaking the Staff of Law at which Covenant is returned to our Earth.|
|Era of the Despiser's Winter||Seven years elapse during which Foul commands Elena's specter to use the Staff of Law to cover the Land west of Landsdrop in unnatural winter. The mastered Bloodguard are maimed and sent against Revelstone; dismayed, the Bloodguard renounce their Vow and abandon Revelstone. Foul unleashes a great army against the Council of Lords, now headed by High Lord Mhoram. Covenant is summoned to the Land by Triock and Saltheart Foamfollower at Kevin's Watch, and begins a long march to Foul's Creche to fight the Despiser. Mhoram uses the krill to slay the last of the Giant-Ravers and defeats Lord Foul's army with the aid of several rhysh of Waynhim. Covenant inadvertently destroys the Staff of Law, reaches Foul's Creche, destroys the Illearth Stone and banishes Lord Foul from corporeal existence. In the destruction of Foul's Creche Saltheart Foamfollower is killed and Covenant is sent back to our Earth.|
|Era of the Oath of Peace||High Lord Mhoram renounces the expression of Earthpower contained within Kevin's Lore and vows to find new lore that embodies the Oath of Peace. For nearly two thousand years the Council of Lords continues this work, aided by the destruction of the Staff of Law which has weakened the fabric of Law and Earthpower. Nearly the entire Upper Land is redeemed and even Sarangrave Flat and the ruined lands near the destruction of Foul's Creche are somewhat restored. The ancient forests spread anew and the Forestal of Garroting Deep passes away. The Third Ward is discovered and taken to Revelstone but is not researched.|
|Era of Corruption||Lord Foul, who has taken refuge at the heart of Earthpower, begins to corrupt its essence and uses it to reform himself and his servants the Ravers. samadhi Raver infiltrates the Council of Lords which renames itself the Clave, headed by the na-Mhoram. The Oath of Peace is abandoned.|
|Era of the Sunbane||Lord Foul unleashes the Sunbane on the Upper Land (roughly all the area west of Landsdrop), instantly destroying the forests, harvests and livestock of the free peoples. Caer-Caveral retreats to Andelain which he is able to preserve; the Ranyhyn and Ramen flee the Upper Land and relocate to the southern grasslands of the Sunbirth Sea. The Raver-mastered Clave creates the Banefire which strengthens and accelerates the Sunbane. Knowledge of Earthpower is replaced by the Clave's false Rede of bloodshed, enforced by Courser-mounted Riders of the Clave. Stonedowns and Woodhelvennin become isolated. An Unfettered One prophecies Covenant's return and sets up a mission at the base of Kevin's Watch; it is sustained by male descendents of his line from Mithil Stonedown. For the first time in millennia, small parties of Haruchai attempt to return to the Land but are overpowered and sacrificed by the Banefire-wielding Riders of the Clave; their potent blood reinforces the power of the Banefire and thus the Sunbane.|
|Era of the Return||Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery are summoned to the Land by Lord Foul himself. Horrified by the Sunbane's and Clave's effect on the Land, Covenant and Linden journey to Revelstone for answers. Along the way Covenant is repeatedly envenomed by Lord Foul's minions and is rescued by Waynhim who aid his journey to Revelstone. Covenant travels through Andelain where the shades of his dead impart prophetic words and gift him with a perfect yet inscrutable golem named Vain fashioned (apparently without malice) by the ur-viles. Learning at Lord's Keep that his inadvertent destruction of the Staff of Law is at the root of the Land's evisceration, Covenant journeys to the Lower Land in hopes of finding a solution. In Sarangrave Flat he is aided by the sur-jheherrin and the Giantish Search, whose fealty he earns apocalyptically at Coercri the Grieve.|
|Era of Starfare's Gem||Covenant and his companions accompany the Search and set sail for the Isle of the One Tree. They encounter the mysterious Elohim who reveal the One Tree's location in return for reaving Covenant's will from his body. After a fierce Raver-inspired attack and storm damage the Search is forced to resupply in Bhrathairain, a harbor of humans once allied with the Giants but grown arrogant beneath the sinister shadow rule of Kasreyn of the Gyre. This powerful thaumaturge plots to gain Covenant's white gold ring but is slain in the attempt. Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery become lovers. The Search reaches the One Tree but Covenant discovers he cannot gain wood for a new Staff of Law without waking the Worm of the World's End and destroying the Arch of Time. He tries to return Linden to our Earth to heal his body but she refuses to be parted from him.|
|Era of Restoration of Law||Dispirited, the Search returns to the northern reaches of the Land and aims for Revelstone, to wage war against the Raver-led Clave. At the cost of much bloodshed they destroy the Clave and eradicate the Banefire, though not the Sunbane. They journey to Mount Thunder where Lord Foul has taken up his abode and though Covenant is killed, his specter tricks Lord Foul into dissipating his life force through the white gold without harming the Arch of Time. Linden Avery fulfills the Elohim's prophecy that she is the Sun-Sage by employing the newly formed Staff of Law and the white gold ring to eliminate the Sunbane and begin the healing of the Land. She returns to our Earth where Thomas Covenant has indeed passed away.|
|Era of the Land's Renewal||This era and those that follow are as yet unChronicalled.|