A timeline for Shadowgate is not easy to follow. Its not even clear if between the various remakes, ports, novel, comics, etc if the games all exist in the same universe even. Between two different names for the world (with possibly different cosmologies Tarkus vs. Tyragon, one moon or several.) Shadowgate 64 set only a century after Shadowgate, yet, Beyond Shadowgate is set perhaps several centuries later (but implying mostly time of peace between Shadowgate and Beyond Shadowgate), and the direction of the world in 64 and Raven not seeming to mesh with the world as seen in Beyond Shadowgate. As well as several different backstories for Lord Jair. As well as confusion over King Otto vs. King Aronde I as the King of Kal Torlin. Stormhaven vs. Gwenynthel.
Note: It is known that Shadowgate 2014 (and possibly Shadowgate Mobile) are part of a rebooted/reimagined alternate timeline. Which will be followed by a completely different Beyond Shadowgate. It has so far given a completely alternate Jair and will have an alternate Del Cottonwood story (whose race has now become fenling).
Before Shadowgate does not give any specific time dates, but a general overview of the history of the world. There maybe some alternative versions of this backstory in the games (in particular Shadowgate 64 adds an age before the elves, the age of the fairies). But its described here for completeness.
- Barbaric Age
- The world was created, by the all-powerful One. The One created all kinds of life, but the only ones that were more than animals were the Elverdan ---the elves. The Elverdan enjoyed a time of great blessing and growth.. During this age, the Elverdan built great cities.
- Great Upheaval
- The end of the Barbaric Age came when the Elverdan began to worship new gods. The One was angered, and brought forth a flaming star called the Portent of Doom, which flew through the skies and created great troubles in the world: floods and shaking of the earth. The land was ripped and torn, and the Elverdan fled into hiding. By the time the star had disappeared, the Elverdan were forever changed.
- Some, who had fled to the caves, had become short and stooped. They had learned to work with the ores and minerals beneath the surface of the planet. They became known as dwarves. Others, who fled across the southern deserts and learned to tame the wild beasts and to band together for strength, became known as humans. The ones that went north into the cold wastes became strong from fighting the elements and fighting the goblins of that region, becoming the barbarians. And the ones that fled into the swamps, who grew short and very quick became fenlings. There are other races in the land, and all come from elves. And there are very few true elves left. Many of those who survived lived for centuries (through the later ages) in the Old Stand after the Great Upheaval.
- Age of Enlightenment
The races began to grow and prosper and explore the world. During that age, the Circle of Twelve was formed ---a council of knowledge that met within Gatekeeper Mountain, at the Castle Shadowgate."
- Great Expansion
- During this age were many battles and great wars over boundaries. This was when Kal Torlin was founded. King Torlin was first king of Kal Torlin, the very land was named for him (other kings would follow over the ages; King Torval the Kind. King Rolka the Generous. King Polvor the Brave.)
- The War of the Races.
- An even worse time, during that time, one member of the Circle of Twelve turned evil and began to practice the black arts, becoming the Warlock King. He turned the races against each other and caused chaos in the land.
- Dark Age
- During the age that followed, there was a kind of peace. The societies of the world began to rebuild.
- Time of Chaos
A terrible age came, with the Rage Wars, where the Warlock King emerged to make war on all the good folk of the land. He and his forces--- trolls, goblins, ogres, and the like --- fought hard against the kings of the land and their followers--- the humans, dwarves, elves, and other little folk. Finally, though, the Circle of Twelve gathered strength and helped the kings defeat the Warlock King. The Circle of Twelve decided to imprison him in the caverns below Castle Shadowgate as punishment. After that the circle disbanded, and most of them vanished from history. Only Lakmir the Timeless stayed behind as guardian of the land.
- Rebuilding Years
A peaceful time after the war when the kingdoms were rebuilt.
- Time of Sorrow
- During this age almost all of the Elverdan disappeared mysteriously from the land. Also at that time, the last of the DelDanian seers died.
- Light Age
The final recorded age, it was a time of peace. It was a good time for all races, until a group of foolish dwarves on an adventure stumbled upon the Warlock King in his cavernous prison, allowing him to escape. This may roughly correspond with the period of the rise of the Death Wraiths, and Jair's parents deaths (when he was five).
At five Jairen's town was attacked by Death Wraiths. His parents were killed and as one of the few survivors, he went to live with Delma in Wooddale. She would die at some point during his early childhood, and he went t olive with Thurl becoming his apprentice.
- On his thirteenth birthday, Jairen was given a short sword by T'hurl].
- At fifteen he started on his great journey to learn his heritage, and reach Shadowgate on Gatekeeper Mountain. After several adventures that year he finally defeated his foe.
Shadowgate Classic/64 TimelineEdit
- c. 200,000 or more years B.C.: The rise of the D'Narth CLan of Dragonriders.
- 10 B.C.: Ten years before event C. Some of the kingdom of Westland's oldest coins minted. Perhaps around the time Shadowgate was first built.
- 1 B.C.: Final year leading up to event C. Event C. Presumably has something to do with the formation of Kal Torlin (or at least an important King who reset the dates), Castle Shadowgate (the date that Shadowgate was completed), or perhaps the catastrophe of the rise of the Warlock Lord.
- 1: First year following event C.
- c. 301 (-400): 4th century Kal Torlin coins begin to be minted. Castle Shadowgate under construction or expansion. Time of the Rage Wars (? or later century). Warlock Lord imprisoned.
- c. 350 Jair's death
- c. 353 Lakmir's 'death'
- c. 453 Del Cottonwood is captured and taken to Shadowgate.
- A couple of lines in Shadowgate/Shadowgate Classic PC version states that the castle has been around for 'centuries'.
- A coin in Shadowgate dated 10 B.C. in the original Shadowgate. Before Christ?, Before Completion, Before Castrophe,
- The prologue story for Shadowgate Classic states; "Centuries passed and the land enjoyed peace and prosperity as the Warlock Lord bided his time deep below." This may be at odds with the dating of the Rage Wars as given in Shadowgate 64 (or its referring to a time of peace after his first capture, but before the Rage Wars).
- Shadowgate 64 is set 153 years after the Rage Wars according to information from Aristolin and his servant. It is also exactly 100 years since Lakmir's 'death' (or disappearance).
- Lakmir became reclusive and there was talk of his impending death about three years after Jair died.
- Ancient Kal Torlin 4th century mint coin, Kal Torlin mint, minted several centuries before (apparently found in the trash middens at the base of Gatekeeper mountain which accumulated through the centuries). Another coin found in the first tower would likely have been placed there a bit over 100 years before after the towers were built for Lakmir in the renovation of the castle (if it older than 100 years (someone's collectable) or was minted around that time is unclear). It could be an image of King Aronde (whose death coincides around the time the castle was being renovated). Assuming that Garon was looking for 4th century coins in particular, it place current timeline in 5th or 6th century.
- It is said that no one has seen a dragon in hundreds of years. Technically Jair encountered a Black Dragon in Shadowgate when he went on his adventure (not counting the Wyvern or the demonic Firedrake), and that was perhaps only a little over a century before (he encountered dragons twice if counting Before Shadowgate). If Dragons were used in the Rage Wars, that was only 153 years before. A book Jair read in the castle spoke of many Dragons existing on the world. But it snot clear how old the book was.
- The line of D'Narth, Dragon Keepers of Kal Torlin, is traced back hundreds of thousands of years to the first appearance of dragons on the world.
- The legendary Circle of Twelve is said to have ceased to exist centuries ago at the time of Shadowgate 64 (this is in potential conflict with the information given in Before Shadowgate, as Rage Wars and first defeat of the Warlock Lord were said to be one and the same). Shadowgate 64 may be in conflict with itself based on some of its own backstories concerning the Rage Wars, as well as with the backstory of the War of the Kings in the original Shadowgate.
Jair seems a bit older than fifteen in Shadowgate series (perhaps in eighteen, to mid twenties) which makes things a bit different than Before Shadowgate.
Beyond Shadowgate TimelineEdit
Other than a few names adopted or reused from Beyond Shadowgate there doesn't appear to be much connection between the universe of Shadowgate 64 and Beyond Shadowgate. It has an alternate Aronde, and even an alternate Belezaar/Belzar). Beyond Shadowgate appears to take place many generations after Shadowgate in a kingdom that has seen more or less peace the entire time (whereas it has been on decline in the last hundred of years or so since Lakmir's death in Shadowgate 64, and left to a fool of a king at the time of the game). The situation with Lakmir's death not more than a hundred years after Shadowgate (when he is alive and well in Beyond Shadowgate).
If it was to fit into the timeline at all, Beyond Shadowgate would have to take place centuries after Shadowgate 64, Lakmir would have to be reincarnated back into his body (to be fair Shadowgate, does leave some ambiguity on if Lakmir actually died or simply 'disappeared' (he is afterall the Timeless). It also seemingly has nothing to do with the single reference to a date given in Beyond Shadowgate (unless Beyond Shadowgate takes place thousands of millennia after Shadowgate 64).
- Aronde II was king for thirty years. Erik is 18. They appear to be the last generations of a family that had been around for many years. Erik is but a distant descendent from Lord Jair (as there is only about a few generations between Shadowgate and Shadowgate 64 this doesn't appear to fit with that game's timeline very well, if at all where it lasted only a few generations at best).
- Heating system under Kal Torlin dungeons was constructed in year of our master 122264 P.Q. (the meaning of this date is far from clear, and the only thing it might even relate to remotely is the date given for Dragonriders in Shadowgate 64 having been around for hundreds of thousands of years, but again it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the B.C. system in original Shadowgate, or 'century' system vaguely mentioned in Shadowgate 64)
- There is a four or five year old child.
- Lakmir the eternal friend of the Jair family line, is frozen solid in his hut. He was like that for years. Lakmir mentions if he hadn't been saved he might have been frozen for eternity.
It is mentioned that one of your royal ancestors hid the Staff of Ages, but the pieces have become scattered over the years.
- First Age
- Ends with the Great Upheaval (?).
- Second Age
- 1: Second age begins.
- 1070: Apparent rise of the Monarchs of Stormhaven (Kal Torlin?). Between this period (1070 to 1710) Duggan Aul Onath the mad king, is killed by the Steward of StormHaven during the Wark of Bolsheks. He is cursed by high sorceres Myradel to become a wight, always craving gold and jewels after his death.
- 1500: Between this period (1500-2100) Lakmir is initiated into the Circle replacing one of the earlier members.
- 1710: Perhaps the time Talimar the Black escapes his shackles, possibly laying waste to the human Monarchs? Kahu begins her attacks on the castle, killing most of the Twelve, or forcing them into hiding (where they would die later). She is thwarted at her attempts to get to Lakmir.
- 1851: Lakmir successfully reaches the One during his Astral projections trips to call upon his powers (keeping him in stasis). Kahu continues attempts to reach him.
- 2100: Has something to do with the end of the history of the Circle of Twelve (perhaps the last of the Circle are killed off (their skulls collected) or they die off, commit suicide, etc).
- Third Age
- 1: third Age begins.
- 157: Yorick is born, or Yorick died leaving behind his skull.
- 857: Family Ornsal has a tryst with Fandral the High One (300 years in the past).
- 1117: Talimar escapes his shackles. Rage Wars. Kahu continues to send forces to attack the castle in attempt to get at Lakmir. But he was barricaded in his own tower (Kahu's last entry was either written shortly during the Rage Wars, or closer to the events of Shadowgate with Lakmir still barricaded in his room).
- 1157: Kahu's Log, last entry, Shadowgate (2014)
- 1197: Beyond Shadowgate (2016)
Note: It's unclear if Year 1851 journal is 1851 of the Third Age, or of the Second Age, or if it is set before or after Kahu's Log of 1157. If it is set after Kahu's Log, it would be beg the question why Kahu hadn't been writing in her log for over a thousand years. If set in the Second Age, then Lotharyth must have survived late into the Second or possibly Third age for a while, as he wrote about year 2100. It would seem Fandryl also survived into the Third Age, and passed on his seed leading to Jair through. Lakmir notes in one of the cut-scenes that Talimar escaped his shackles forty years before the events of Shadowgate, so that date is pretty specific. It may also relate to the 'Rage Wars'.One of the books in the library makes reference to Jairs' prophecy being set in the 3rd age of the world, which seems to indicate a reset of sorts, which would seem to explain why Kahu's journal would have a date smaller than most of the circle's or the king's histories.
On the other hand Shadowgate 64 (of the original series timeline) seemed to discuss two previous resets of the world by the One, first destroying the world of the fairies and then destroying the world of the elves, leading into the third age of the human races. It is unclear if elements of this idea were maintained the reimagined universe, although it does seem to indicate a similar plot to Beyond Shadowgate which only discusses a single reset called the Great Upheaval, which was reset to the elves, the Elverdan.
To be fair its not exactly clear what the significance of the date of 1710 actually is, other than it has something to do with the reign of the Monarchs. Although its known kings exist into present times including Otto (of likely Stormhaven). Likewise its not known what the significance of the 2100 date is, other than it has to do with history of the Circle. Both of these histories are written by one of the remaining members of the Circle apparently, Lotharyth the Historian.
Yorick says his skull is 1000 years old. Is that based on his birthdate, or the date he died.
Is the information on Orsansal researched in Second Age or the Third Age?