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Official art of Erathis battling Asmodeus during the Calamity, by Kent Davis.[art 1]

The Calamity was the war fought by the Prime Deities against the Betrayer Gods at the end of the Age of Arcanum. Lasting for possibly at least a century, it ended the Age of Arcanum and resulted in the Divergence, in which the Betrayer Gods were all banished from Exandria, the Divine Gate was constructed, and the Prime Deities permanently left Exandria as well.

Post-Calamity historians estimate only one-third of Exandria's population survived. All civilizations aside from Vasselheim were destroyed and, with them, most records, technology, and magical research. Historical knowledge of the Calamity and the Age of Arcanum is limited as a result. The war also left extensive geographical changes to Exandria, including the desertification of a large part of Marquet, the destruction of the land bridge connecting Tal'Dorei and Wildemount, the corruption of the Miskath Strand into Blightshore, and transformation of rock in the Alabaster Sierras into whitestone.

Timeframe and dates

The Calamity occurred at the end of the Age of Arcanum and ended with the Divergence. Occasionally, the Calamity is described as a separate epoch from the Age of Arcanum,[1][2] but it is more consistently described as occurring at the end of the Age of Arcanum and ending it.[3][4] Though most often referred to as a singular war,[5] the Calamity is occasionally defined as multiple but collective wars between the gods and the resulting cataclysms.[6][7]

In the era following the Calamity, the calendar of Exandria uses the year notation of Post-Divergence (PD), with the Divergence happening at about year 0 PD;[8] Campaign One starts in 810 PD, which dates the Divergence, and thus the end of the Calamity, to 810 years before the events of "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01).[fn 1] It is unclear exactly when the Calamity started or how long it lasted, but it is suggested to have lasted for more than 150 years. References to the length of the Calamity include:

  • Vasselheim is described as "having endured a terrible war that wiped out most of civilization more than a thousand years ago" in 835 PD,[9] suggesting that the Calamity started over 165 years before the Divergence.[fn 2]
  • The Cognouza Ward of Aeor was described as adrift "for over a thousand years" in the Astral Sea, into which it teleported to escape the destruction of the city during the war.[10] Ruins of Aeor in Eiselcross are said to have been untouched "for probably a millennia or more"[11] and built up in ice over the course of "a millennia at this point".[12] Essek Thelyss noted that creatures from Aeor still survive within the ruins despite its fall being "a millennia ago".[13]
  • A Luxon beacon was found "a millennium" before 835 PD in the Underdark.[14] The drow were driven into the Underdark after Lolth was banished early in the war.[15]
  • Torog's incursion into the Pallid Grove during the Calamity is described as occurring "nearly a millennium" before 835 PD.[16]
  • The wilderness that spanned what is now the Greying Wildlands burned with arcane fires set during the war "for over a hundred years" before Molaesmyr was founded after the Divergence.[17]
  • Halas Lutagran said that the destruction of Aeor occurred before he was born, though he knew stories of it growing up,[18] and twice indicated that the Calamity was ongoing at the time he became trapped in a gem.[19][20] He was described as appearing in his mid-50s at the time he became trapped,[21] but time inside in his extraplanar home moves slower at a rate of one hour for every day in Exandria.[22]

Background

The separation of the gods into factions arose during the Founding. The Primordials that lived on Exandria before creation destroyed many of the peoples created by the gods. Those that sought to protect the new peoples of Exandria in fighting the Primordials became known as the Prime Deities; others, siding with the Primordials, fought against them and became known as the Betrayer Gods. The Prime Deities ultimately defeated the Primordials and banished the Betrayer Gods from the Material Plane.[23][24]

In the following era, the Age of Arcanum, a mage woman developed the Ritual of Seeding, destroying the previous god of death and ascending in his place as the Raven Queen. This inspired Vespin Chloras, who turned to the Betrayer Gods to acquire similar power. He released the Betrayer Gods back onto the Material Plane.[25][26]

The Betrayer Gods surreptitiously founded their own kingdom Ghor Dranas located in Xhorhas in eastern Wildemount. From there, they quietly spread their influence among mortals and consolidated their power.[25] Ghor Veles in the Miskath Strand served as an arcane vault and research facility for the Betrayer Gods before the war.[27]

Pre-war events

Assault on Vasselheim

In time, the Betrayer Gods and their followers launched a surprise attack on Vasselheim, making the presence of the Betrayer Gods on Exandria known. The attack destroyed a significant amount of the city, but it survived with aid from the Prime Deities. After a battle between the gods and their followers that lasted for twenty days, the Betrayer Gods were ultimately forced to retreat. This, however, mobilized Exandria and the Prime Deities to war against the Betrayer Gods and their followers.[25][28]

Preparations for war

The revelation that many mortals fell to the influence of the Betrayer Gods shattered trust across various peoples, who no longer knew who to count as an ally. Humans, who trusted only themselves, forged artifacts to be wielded by specific heroes. Many dwarvish peoples became isolationist; they dug deeper underneath their mountain homes and animated constructs to protect themselves. Elves focused their effort on creating new, stronger, more destructive magic.[25] Deities of both factions, archmages, and others crafted legendary artifacts during this period, called now the Vestiges of Divergence.[29][30][31]

Some peoples attempted to escape the imminent war before it began. Followers of Zehir slaughtered the people in the Vault of Shumas and locked it away, placing it under the care of an undead caregiver.[32] An adventure hook in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, "A Dormant Threat", similarly describes the seers of the serpentfolk empire of Vos'sykriss (now Visa Isle) as having foreseen the Calamity; to survive the coming war, they created a magical stasis field under their city, suspending their strongest and most powerful so that they may rebuild afterwards.[33] The Qoniira Tetrarchy in southern Tal'Dorei chose not to fight and withdrew from the world. As a result, a magic that post-Divergence Qoniirans cannot explain called the Gift closed the Rifenmist Jungle around the city of Niirdal-Poc to protect it.[34] Similarly, the fallen Court of Ullusa, who would later become the elves of Syngorn, fled to the Feywild and did not return until a generation later.[35] Almost all elven civilizations disappeared from Exandria to escape.[36]

Chronology

Approximated chronology

Official art of Ioun battling Tharizdun, by Wesley Griffith.[art 2]

Official art of Pelor battling Tharizdun, by Svetoslav Petrov from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 4.[art 3]

The precise time line of the Calamity is unclear, particularly because the surviving peoples of Exandria do not know much about the history of the war. Some events can be roughly ordered chronologically:

  • Lolth possibly cursed Mirescar.[37]
  • Lolth, one of the first casualties of the war, was impaled by Kord's thunderspear and banished to the Abyss before her soldiers fought any battle, driving the drow into the Underdark.[15]
  • Torog and his followers bypassed the protective illusions of a reclusive society of elves who worshiped Sehanine and tunneled beneath a woodland atop a plateau in the Cyrios Mountains in Wildemount, ultimately creating the Pallid Grove.[16]
  • In a battle late in the Calamity, and after multiple clashes between the two gods over the course of the war, Melora and her Free Children defeated Bane and his goblinoid legions on the Beynsfal Plateaus in what would become known as Gwessar, leaving his armor scattered across the region and freeing the goblinkin. The battle left the region ashen, no longer able to support plant life.[38][39]
  • The Prime Deities and their greatest champions, including Alyxian, defeated the Betrayer Gods' forces at the Betrayers' Rise near Bazzoxan, an instrumental temple-stronghold protecting Ghor Dranas, allowing the Prime Deities to reach the walls of Ghor Dranas.[40] This is now known as the Battle of the Barbed Fields.[41]
    • Pelor and Sarenrae drew Torog above ground, defeated him, and banished him to a portion of the Far Realm that borders the Underdark. Torog's tears burned tunnels through Exandria, and his followers fled into them. [42][43] To prepare for this, Moradin and Sehanine previously built the King's Cage in secret near Bazzoxan as a trap for Torog. It appeared to be a temple to Torog, but it was a fane that would allow them to banish him.[44]
  • Kord created the Stormlord's Heart, which would allow his champions to enter Lolth's home in the Abyss, and hid it in Bazzoxan in case the Prime Deities would be defeated in the final battles.[45]
  • The final battles occurred at the Barbed Fields, ultimately razing Ghor Dranas.[46][47] These battles also sundered the mountain range dividing Wynandir, creating the Brokenveil Bluffs and separating the range into the Ashkeeper Peaks and the Dunrock Mountains.[48][49]
    • Sarenrae, because she believed even the corrupt can be redeemed, was deceived and betrayed by Asmodeus, who killed most or all of her worshipers in a single stroke.[50][51]
    • Avandra defeated Asmodeus by tricking his armies into fighting each other.[52] At some point prior to this, the remnants of the original Cerberus Assembly tore Desirat, Asmodeus' phoenix mount, from her master and bound her underneath Mount Mentiri in Wildemount.[53][fn 3]
  • Near the end of the Calamity, the Prime Deities banished Tharizdun using the Rites of Prime Banishment.[54] Moradin crafted four Prime Trammels on the Core Anvil.[55] Ioun baited Tharizdun to her central temple in northern Gwessar in what is now Whitestone, resulting in her near-destruction and causing her temple to sink underground.[56] With Avandra's blessing, a furious Pelor embedded the trammels into Tharizdun, who fled to Gatshadow Mountain. Pelor gave chase and banished Tharizdun.[57]
  • At the location where Tharizdun wounded Ioun, Pelor planted the Sun Tree.[58]
  • In retaliation against Corellon, Gruumsh vengefully destroyed the city later dubbed Cael Morrow, creating the Rumedam Desert.[59][60] The great hero Alyxian, whose tale survives only in fragments, sacrificed himself to save the continent from complete destruction.[61][62][63][fn 4][fn 5]
  • In the Barbed Fields, Melora planted the Arbor Exemplar.[66]
  • The Prime Deities finished banishing the remaining Betrayer Gods, and Bahamut and Erathis suggested that the Prime Deities themselves also leave Exandria. The gods erected the Divine Gate behind them, ending the Calamity and the Age of Arcanum.[67]

Events with unknown chronology

Many events during the Calamity do not have clear a place in the overall chronology but can be placed in a chronology with other individual events:

  • All deities momentarily struck an armistice to destroy the flying city-state of Aeor, a mageocracy which had developed weapons to kill gods. Aeor disappeared into the north and crashed in Eiselcross.[68][69] At least fifty years after the fall of Aeor,[fn 6] Halas Lutagran trapped himself inside of a gem after someone sabotaged the components for his experiments to prolong his natural life.[70] After this, other flying cities in Wildemount, including Zemniaz in the Zemni Fields and Kethesk in the Dreemoth Ravine, also crashed.[71][72][73]
  • Corellon battled Gruumsh and took out his eye at the hill now known as the Throne of the Archeart, also known as the Fist of the Ruiner.[15][74][52] Shortly after, elves of northern Wildemount begged for aid from Corellon; Corellon, temporarily deafened from their battle with Gruumsh, did not answer, so the elves fled to the Feywild.[75] Following a short period of fear, some of the first generation of orcs settled harmoniously with elves in the city that would later be called Cael Morrow;[76] this city was later destroyed by Gruumsh in the late Calamity, after the Battle of the Barbed Fields.[60]
  • The Raven Queen's angels saved her from a near-fatal encounter with Tharizdun, but all the angels were consumed by Tharizdun in the process.[77][fn 7] Later, Tharizdun fought Ioun and Pelor and was banished.[56][57]

Some events are described as having occurred some number of years prior but only in vague terms, making them difficult to definitively place in sequence with other events of the Calamity (or even place during the Calamity at all), especially as other events often do not have associated years:

  • "[O]ver a thousand years" before 836 PD - Aeor was destroyed. The Somnovem teleported the Cognouza Ward into the Astral Sea.[10]
  • "[A] millennium" before 836 PD - A Luxon beacon was found by the drow in the Underdark.[14][78][79]
  • 900 or 1,000 years before 810 PD - A celestial solstice tore open elemental rifts, causing terrible earthquakes, fires, and a flood of elemental monsters. The elementals were eventually defeated, and the Ashari split into four tribes to seal the rifts and watch over the major remaining portals.[80][81][fn 8]
  • Less than "a century" before 0 PD - A battle set a slow-burning arcane fire in northern Wildemount; a small patch of the forest survived and became the core of the Veluthil Forest, but the northern part became a wintry desert,[82] dubbed the Crystalsands Tundra.[83]

Further events have no stated relationship to other events nor approximated years, making them impossible to place in a chronology:

  • Zehir ambushed and killed many followers of Melora, and her anguished fury created the poisonous wilderness of the Lushgut Forest.[84]
  • Clemain Astural looked into the Far Realm for the power to end the war. He received such power but lost his sanity under the influence of the Sightless One. He sowed chaos across southeastern Gwessar before he was killed.[85]
  • An alleged temple on the northern shore of the Ounterloch sank into water due to earthquakes caused by the fighting.[86]
  • A servant of Torog fell in battle in Wildemount, poisoning the marshes now known as the Saltwallow Bog.[87]
  • One of the bloodiest battles of the Calamity took place at what is now Bladegarden, leaving behind a vast amount of weaponry.[88]
  • Fighting took place at Incanter's Rest in Wildemount. Post-Calamity historians are unsure if multiple battles or the largest battle on the continent occurred there.[27]
  • Siff Duthar, a necromancer in the Marrow Valley, conducted experiments on refugees in an effort to bind his soul and survive the war. He was ultimately successful and became an allip.[89]
  • The land bridge connecting Wildemount and Gwessar was shattered, creating the Shearing Channel.[90][fn 9]
  • Xalicas, Corellon's right hand, was horrifically injured in a battle in what is now the Greying Wildlands, possibly the same battle that created the Crystalsands Tundra. She did not have the strength to move from where she lay for over a century; the war was over by the time she could move again.[91]
  • The kingdom of Uthtor was destroyed.[92]
  • Orcus gave two of his horns to a champion. This champion was killed and their body completely destroyed, but the horns remained and were locked away.[93]

Society during the Calamity

In general, the inability of the Betrayer Gods to work together allowed them to be defeated,[94] though for a brief period there was unity between the Demon Princes for the purposes of fighting the Prime Deities.[95] Abyssal anchors, which can tear holes through the barriers between the Abyss and the Prime Material Plane, were used during the Calamity to allow demon generals to invade various places in Exandria.[96] Mages and followers of the Betrayer Gods used gloomstalkers as mounts during the war.[97]

The banishment of Lolth early in the war left the drow leaderless and unable to communicate with her. As a result, they were driven from the surface into the Underdark, where they rebuilt.[15] Once there, their nobility began to fall under the influence of Tharizdun;[98] others abandoned worship of Lolth after a Luxon beacon was found during the war. Over the years, those who remained loyal to Lolth discovered pools of her blood and drank it, becoming half-spider hybrids called driders.[15]

Though most elven societies fled the plane before the war, a handful remained on Exandria, including the Horselords of Laphitas (see: Associated origins and creation myths).[15][74] The elves in northern Wildemount remained on the plane until after Corellon was temporarily deafened in their battle with Gruumsh, leaving their pleas for protection unheard; these elves encased their civilization in ice before fleeing the plane.[75] The Sehanine-worshiping society living in what became the Pallid Grove were thought destroyed by Torog after he invaded their home and kidnapped many of them to be tortured, but many survived by living underground under the protection of Sehanine's blessings, becoming pallid elves.[16] A wandering colony of elves fled the Calamity, eventually becoming the Orroyen tribes of the Rifenmist Peninsula.[99]

Kuul'tevir, the lizardfolk of Tal'Dorei, used "corrupting magic" to preserve their grand cities and prospered during the Calamity through the magic of demons and evil gods. However, they turned against each other in their pursuit to do anything to survive the war, ultimately destroying their societies themselves.[100]

In the Ashkeeper Peaks, the dwarven clan of Grimgol was almost wiped out; the survivors burrowed deep and collapsed the established tunnels to buffer against the wars above, and so began centuries of isolation.[101] Other dwarven strongholds in the Ebonglass Massif, including Xagonstar, were completely destroyed.[102]

The core spawn, concentrated in Blightshore, were awakened by the actions of the Betrayer Gods and their followers during the war.[103]

Associated origins and creation myths

Prior to the Calamity, Bane bent most of the dranassar of Wildemount to his will. Those who resisted were transformed into the first goblinkin to serve in his armies during the Calamity, with each race of goblinkin formed to fulfill a specific purpose. As the war continued and more soldiers were needed, loyal dranassar were transformed as well. This left all goblinkin burdened with the Curse of Strife.[104][105]

The Raven Queen's angels saved the Raven Queen from Tharizdun, but they were all consumed into his infinite void in the process. Though they were believed destroyed, they were freed when Tharizdun was defeated near the end of the Calamity. They returned as the mortal kenku, having lost their divine gifts, their wings, and memories of their existence as the Raven's Queen's angels. Cursed by Tharizdun's curse of oblivion, they became small creatures who could only speak in mimicry.[106]

Though many elvish societies fled to the Feywild, the Horselords of Laphithas stayed on Exandria to fight alongside Corellon against Gruumsh at the Throne of the Archheart in Gwessar. Centaurs are said to have been created when the Horselords were slain by a burst of magic when Corellon stabbed Gruumsh's eye, merging them with their horses; as a reward and gesture of mercy, Corellon revived the elves as centaurs.[15][74] Orcs are believed to have been accidentally created in the same battle from the elves who were seared and changed by Gruumsh's blood.[15][74][107] Each story "conflicts somewhat" with the other, and it is described as possible that neither is accurate or both are simultaneously true.[15] Further, some sources say that Wildemount's first half-orcs were born in the war's final days out of a union between humans and orcish traitors,[108] though others say half-orcs did not exist in Exandria until after the Calamity.[109]

Catfolk generally agree they were once normal animals who were transformed by magic. One of the theories of their origin is that they were created by the magic unleashed during the Calamity.[110] Similarly, gnolls were created when a Demon Prince (presumably Yeenoghu) arrived on Exandria to fight in the Calamity. A pack of wild hyenas were caught in the surrounding nimbus, which turned the hyenas into gnolls.[15][111]

A "particularly pervasive" origin myth for the dragonborn says that they were created by Tiamat and Bahamut during the Calamity as soldiers, and that these soldiers eventually earned their freedom as the dragonborn.[112]

The Sehanine-worshiping elves whose home was transformed into the Pallid Grove retreated underground, beneath the Grove, and became pallid elves.[113] Those drow who remained loyal to Lolth discovered bloods of her blood and drank it, becoming half-spider hybrids called driders.[15]

The Divergence

Main article: The Divergence

After the defeat of Ghor Dranas and the banishment of the Betrayer Gods, the Prime Deities knew that the Betrayer Gods could return again and sought to prevent a third divine war. In the hopes of sealing the Betrayer Gods away permanently and feeling that their own involvement bore responsibility for the vast destruction, the Prime Deities self-imposed an exile from Exandria and returned to their own realms. At the suggestion of Bahamut and Erathis, they erected the Divine Gate, preventing any god from physically crossing into the Material Plane. This event, known primarily as the Divergence, ended the Calamity and with it, the Age of Arcanum. The age following is known as post-Divergence or post-Calamity.[114][67]

Aftermath

The Calamity resulted in significant physical changes for Exandria. The war destroyed most existing civilizations and cities, leaving only Vasselheim as a surviving bastion, and historians in the post-Divergence estimate that only one-third of the planet's population at the time survived.[114]

Significant amounts of magical research and technology was lost in the war. This included original sources of brumestone,[115] study in dunamancy,[116][117] and the creation of ensouled constructs such as aeormatons.[118] Many of the Vestiges of Divergence and Arms of the Betrayers were lost during the Calamity, including Fenthras,[119] all but one Grimoire Infinitus spellbook,[120] and the Blade of Broken Mirrors.[121]

Generally, most pre-Divergence history was lost in the war, leaving post-Divergence understanding of it full of gaps.[122] This included history on pre-Calamity human civilization in what would become Gwessar was lost as their records were destroyed and, unlike the dwarves and elves, their shorter lifespans left them without individuals who remembered the world as it used to be.[123] Though most records were lost as a result of the widespread destruction, some were destroyed purposefully to prevent others from recreating the tools from the Age of Arcanum that led to a was as destructive as the Calamity.[1] As a result of both, little history is known about the Calamity and the Age of Arcanum.[1]

Vasselheim was the only civilization to survive the war.[67] Due to the events of the Age of Arcanum and the resulting Calamity, arcane magic became viewed with suspicion in the city.[124]

Many societies were annihilated. Wildemount's flying city-states Aeor, Zemniaz, and Kethesk were destroyed,[125] and none of Exandria's flying cities were known to have survived.[126] Though the cultures of Zemniaz and Kethesk endured through survivors who lived in the Zemni Fields and who founded Draconia respectively,[127] Aeorian society completely vanished, locked away in the remote depths of Eiselcross. A group of drow who worshiped a pre-Founding being called the Luxon instead of Lolth climbed out of the underdark. Led by Den Kryn and Leylas Kryn, who was present when the first Luxon beacon was found, they founded the first post-Calamity society in Xhorhas, the Kryn Dynasty, in the new city of Rosohna built on the ruins of Ghor Dranas.[14][128] Uthodurn followed shortly after, founded soon after 35 PD in northern Wildemount.[129] The dranassar were almost entirely destroyed, and the very few who survived into the post-Divergence live disguised and in hiding. Few remained in Gwessar as the remnants of Bane's invading armies, but most can be found in their home continent Wildemount.[104]

Of the peoples in what would become Gwessar, the dwarves are described as having "best weathered" the war, and the surviving families of the kingdom of Uthtor founded Kraghammer underneath the Cliffkeep Mountains.[123][92] They were the first peoples of the continent to resume mining operations. The elvish peoples of Gwessar returned from the Feywild a generation later. Led by Yenlara Alderwreath, they settled in the Verdant Expanse and built Syngorn, which in turn named the continent Gwessar.[123] The centaur tribes of the Dividing Plains, who are said to have been created from elves who remained on Exandria to fight, hold a grudge against Syngorn for fleeing during the Calamity.[15] Halflings settled the Dividing Plains and the foothills of the Cliffkeep Mountains. Humans would not return to Gwessar to establish a new society for centuries.[123]

In Marquet, the city of Ank'Harel was founded on top of the ruins of what became known as Cael Morrow as among the first societies to rebuild afterward.[130] A society of orcish people who survived Gruumsh's destruction of Marquet founded a city on the continent known for its "mathematically immaculate architecture".[61] This city is presumably Yios, in Aeshanadoor.

Effect on worship

The Divine Gate ensured that the gods could no longer cross onto the Material Plane, reducing their ability to enact their will on Exandria to only granting power to their clerics and followers.[131]

Because Sarenrae's trusting nature is what led to her betrayal and destruction of her followers by Asmodeus, many priests erased her name from history. Her name, title, and worship fell into obscurity for centuries, only to begin a revival eight hundred years later.[132] Similarly, Ioun was injured in battle with Tharizdun and her sorrow caused her central temple to sink underground;[58] her public worship was broken and her presence in Vasselheim reduced,[133] many of her followers were killed during the Calamity and hunted by followers of her ancient enemies afterward,[134] and she faded into obscurity.[135] Over eight centuries later, Ioun was still recovering from her wound.[136][137] The Cobalt Soul was founded in Wildemount shortly after the Calamity to continue her work on Exandria.[138]

Of the Betrayer Gods, most of Zehir's followers were also killed during the war with the remainder either in self-induced stasis or hunted for sport by followers of Lolth and Torog.[139] Lolth lost influence in Wildemount as the drow rejected her to worship the Luxon instead; she took this as a personal betrayal.[140]

Geographical changes

Official art of the Barbed Fields, by Clara.[art 4]

Similarly, the last battle sent strong waves of magical force throughout Exandria. This collapsed most of the Crystalfen Caverns, unintentionally causing the fall of the aberration civilization centered at Salar.[141] A shift in ley energy after the Calamity accelerated growth that created the Verdant Expanse, a place untouched by the Betrayer Gods, and filled the groves with stranded fey and displaced aberrations.[142] The continents of Wildemount and Gwessar became completely separated from one another when the land bridge between them collapsed, leaving the treacherous Shearing Channel.[90]

Xhorhas, once densely forested, became a blasted wasteland.[143] The Barbed Fields are a treacherous land pocked with sinkholes and tar pits.[144] The once-tranquil coastal paradise of the Miskath Strand was defiled by the Betrayer Gods and became the dramatically transformed Blightshore.[145] The final battles created tidal surges in the Lucidian Ocean, flooding the Swavain Islands and the Menagerie Coast. When the waters receded, most civilization there had been swept away, and jungles reclaimed the land.[146] These battles also sundered the mountain range dividing Wynandir, creating the Brokenveil Bluffs and separating the range into the Ashkeeper Peaks and the Dunrock Mountains.[48][49] This may be when the mountains which the dwarven clan of Grimgol had called home were destroyed.[101] Less than a century before the war ended, an extremely slow-burning arcane forest fire started in what later became the Greying Wildlands, and was not extinguished until after the Calamity ended.[147]

The battle between Pelor and Tharizdun in the Alabaster Sierras raised the mountains upward, creating the valley that would become the Parchwood Timberlands.[56] The mountains became infused with residuum, remnants of arcane energy, and creating the easily enchanted and valuable whitestone of the Sierras.[148] This also resulted in the woodland becoming filled with monsters.[149] Toward the end of the war, the site of Melora's final battle with Bane in the Beynsfal Plateaus was reduced to ash, and plants wouldn't grow there ever again.[150]

Marquet was previously a verdant landscape before the Calamity, and it was reduced to ash and desert by Gruumsh striking the continent.[65][61][fn 5]

Known survivors

Individuals who endured into the post-Divergence era through undeath, such as Siff Duthar, are not included. Those listed either lived on Exandria during the Calamity or specifically fled the plane ahead of the war.

  • Abrianna Mirimm, drow living in the Underdark who worships the Luxon.[151][fn 10]
  • Alyxian, human hero whose blessings from three gods made him a demigod. At the end of the war, he was inadvertantly transported to the Netherdeep, an extraplanar space connected to Exandria and the Elemental Plane of Water through a combination of Gruumsh's spear strike and Alyxian's connection to Ruidus, where he survived into the current age.[62]
  • Brashaar, human mage and architect at Aeor when it fell. She was preserved by a magical stasis bubble, but she remains frozen in time within.[152]
  • Desirat, phoenix mount of Asmodeus. She was captured by mages during the war and imprisoned underneath Mount Mentiri, where she remains trapped.[53]
  • Devexian, aeormaton. His power crystal was destroyed in Aeor's crash, but he was revived when the Mighty Nein replaced it in 836 PD.
  • Galdric, wolf companion of the Raven Queen's champion Purvan Suul. He slept inside the Raven's Slumber amulet for centuries.[58]
  • Halas Lutagran, human archmage from Zeidel. He accidentally trapped his soul inside a gem, which remained in his extraplanar home for centuries.[70]
  • Jourrael, drow assassin for Lolth. For lack of a way to kill her, she was split into three pieces, which were sealed in secret locations across Wildemount.[153]
  • The Laughing Hand, champion of Torog. For lack of a way to kill him, he was sealed inside the King's Cage underneath Bazzoxan.
  • Leylas Kryn, drow living in the Underdark who worships the Luxon. She was present when the first Luxon beacon was found and founded the Kryn Dynasty in the post-Calamity.[154]
  • Olara, sea elf survivor of Gruumsh's destruction of Cael Morrow.[155]
  • Quajath, scout for Torog. He was thought killed during the final battles, but he instead escaped by abandoning most of his wounded body. As a fragment, he burrowed into the earth and slept underneath Eiselcross, recovering and regrowing. When he later attempted to return to the surface, he became trapped in the ice of the continent.[156]
  • Somnovem, archmages of Aeor, and others of the Cognouza ward. As the gods approached to smite Aeor, the Somnovem teleported the entirety of Cognouza into the Astral Sea to escape. Shortly after, a psychic wind merged their consciousnesses into one.
  • Uk'otoa, leviathan created by Zehir and one of his greatest warriors during the war. In Zehir's absence, masterless and purposeless, Uk'ota eventually began to see himself as near-divine and became a patron of the Ki'Nau people.
  • Xalicas, solar and right hand of Corellon. Horrifically injured in battle in what is now the Greying Wildlands, she did not have the strength to move from where she fell for over a century.[91]

Notes

  1. Compare also that, when describing the age of the Heirloom Sphere, Matthew Mercer stated that the Calamity occurred "a little over 800" prior to 835 PD ("The Stowaway" (2x45) at 1:06:24). When discussing Blightshore, he repeated that the Calamity occurred over 800 years ago ("A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:24:11).
  2. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting also has this language (p. 5), but it is not present in Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.
  3. As the Cerberus Assembly separated Desirat from Asmodeus, this presumably happened before he was defeated by Avandra.
  4. Because Call of the Netherdeep places Alyxian at the Battle of the Barbed Fields, this must have taken place after that battle.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount described a civilization in Marquet that collapsed early in the Calamity as a result of an internal war, turning the verdant landscape into ash and desert.[64][65] Because "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) and Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting instead reference the destruction of Cael Morrow, this internal war was likely retconned.
  6. Halas Lutagran, an archmage of Zemniaz, said that Aeor was destroyed "before my time" but indicated the other cities were still extant at the time he trapped himself inside a gem before the Divergence. He was described as appearing in his mid-50s at the time he became trapped, but time inside in his extraplanar home moves slower at a rate of one hour for every day in Exandria.
  7. This happened "long years" before Tharizdun fought Ioun.
  8. This is said to have occurred about 900 or 1,000 years before Campaign One in "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 1:17:27, possibly placing it during the Calamity per similarly dated events.
  9. Given the proximity to the Alabaster Sierras, this likely happened during the battle between Pelor and Tharizdun.
  10. When introduced during Campaign Two in 835 PD, Abrianna is a goblin, but due to the nature of consecution and her place in Kryn society, she must've been originally drow and living in the Underdark during the Calamity.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 See "Deadly Echoes" (1x82) at 0:47:02.
  2. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 4:05.
  3. See:
    • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 14. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "The Calamity". "The most common name for this time of warfare and divine separation is the Divergence, and it marked the end of the Age of Arcanum."
    • "Taryon, My Wayward Son" (1x97) at 1:06:56. "...that was more of a secondary use during the actual war that ended the Age of Arcanum."
    • "The Mines of the Many" (1x98) at 2:15:18. Matt describes the battles of the Calamity in Wildemount as taking place "towards the end of the Age of Arcanum".
    • "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:49:27.
    • "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:49:07. Matt says that Den Kryn "at some point during or at the tail end of the Age of Arcanum" broke away from Lolth, which is known to have occurred after the Calamity began.
    • Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 200. The Vestiges of Divergence are simultaneously said to be relics of the Age of Arcanum and to have been first created and used during the Calamity. See similarly "Causatum" (2x70) at 1:26:00 regarding the Star Razor's forging.
    • "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:28:36. It is stated that it is currently the Third Age, suggesting that the Calamity is not a separate age from the Age of Arcanum. Compare "Trust" (1x70) at 1:22:22, where it is stated that the Age of Arcanum is the second era.
    • Halas is said to have lived during the Age of Arcanum (Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 12, Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount, "Age of Arcanum".) but also is known to have lived after the destruction of Aeor during the Calamity ("The Neverending Day" (2x125) at 0:36:16).
  4. The glossary to Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (p. 302) simultaneously describes the Calamity as a separate epoch from the Age of Arcanum ("Age of Arcanum is the previous age before the Calamity...") and as part of it ("Calamity is the name given for the collective wars and ensuing cataclysms that occurred at the end of the Age of Arcanum...").
  5. See, for example:
    • Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 5, and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 11, Chapter 1: Story of Exandria, "Myth of Exandria".
    • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 13. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "Age of Aracanum".
    • "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) from 4:05 through 4:37.
    • Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 15.
  6. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 302. Glossary.
  7. The Vestiges of Divergence section of Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn (p. 200) describes the Calamity both as multiple wars ("During the wars of the Calamity...") and as a singular war ("the war climaxed in a wave of total destruction...").
  8. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 5:04.
  9. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 See "Rebirth" (2x139) at 0:09:33.  See also "Long May He Reign" (2x140) at 3:49:44.
  11. See "Contentious Company" (2x120) at 2:14:39.
  12. See "Into the Eye" (2x131) at 3:27:05.
  13. See "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124) at 2:42:30.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 40. Chapter 2: Factions and Societies. "Kryn Dynasty".
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 122.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 70.
  17. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 18. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "The Greying Wildlands: Molaesmyr".
  18. See "The Neverending Day" (2x125) at 0:36:16.
  19. See "The Beat of the Permaheart" (2x82) at 1:30:34.
  20. See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 1:36:09.
  21. See "Dark Bargains" (2x83) at 0:25:38..
  22. See "The Neverending Day" (2x125) at 3:25:26.
  23. See from EGTW through 11.  Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "The Founding".
  24. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) from 1:27 through 2:41.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 See from EGTW through 12.  Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "Age of Arcanum".
  26. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) from 3:24 through 3:41.
  27. 27.0 27.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 154.
  28. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 3:41.
  29. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 270.
  30. See "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 4:22.
  31. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) at 3:25:38.
  32. See "CelebriD&D with Joe Manganiello" at 15:08. See also at 49:58.
  33. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 97.
  34. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 115–116.
  35. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 123.
  36. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 162.
  37. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 122.
  38. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  39. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21.
  40. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 59. Chapter 3: Bazzoxan. "Locations in Bazzoxan: B5: Dilapidated Temple".
  41. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 65. Chapter 3: Bazzoxan, "Locations in the Betrayers' Rise: R2: Hall of Holes".
  42. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 28.
  43. Call of the Netherdeep places Torog at the Battle of the Barbed Fields. Because it involves Bazzoxan, the defeat is presumably more likely to have happened around this time. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 73. Chapter 3: Bazzoxan, "Locations in the Betrayers' Rise: R16: Prayer Site of Avandra".
  44. See "The King's Cage" (2x69) at 59:19.
  45. See The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2. Dryca: "Before returning to his realm beyond the Divine Gate, the Stormlord created an entrance to the Dreadnest. A passage for his mortal champions to enter, should the final battles of the Calamity fail..."
  46. See "A Dangerous Chase" (2x64) at 41:00.
  47. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 13.
  48. 48.0 48.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 82.
  49. 49.0 49.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 136.
  50. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 15. See also p. 20.
  51. Sarenrae said that she could not speak about the Prime Rites of Banishment as she was betrayed and thus not present when the Prime Deities began sealing the Betrayer Gods, suggesting that the attempt to seal Tharizdun must have happened afterward.  See "Elysium" (1x104) at 52:05.
  52. 52.0 52.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 20.
  53. 53.0 53.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 31.
  54. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 176–177. Chapter 4: Character Options, "Kenku"
  55. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:08:57.
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 51.
  57. 57.0 57.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 64.
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 51.
  59. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 13:09.
  60. 60.0 60.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 16. See also p. 146.
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 146.
  62. 62.0 62.1 See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 7. Introduction: Answering the Call. "Story Overview". "Rise and Fall of the Apotheon".
  63. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 121. Chapter 5: The Drowned City.
  64. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 98.
  65. 65.0 65.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 159.
  66. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 134. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Wastes of Xhorhas: Barbed Fields".
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 16.
  68. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 121.
  69. See "The Neverending Day" (2x125) at 0:36:16.
  70. 70.0 70.1 See "Dark Bargains" (2x83) from 1:25:58 through 1:31:48.
  71. See "Dinner with the Devil" (2x110) at 3:52:38.
  72. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 14. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "Wildemount after the Calamity: Western Wynandir".
  73. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 20. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "Wildemount after the Calamity: Draconia".
  74. 74.0 74.1 74.2 74.3 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 56.
  75. 75.0 75.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 162.
  76. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 7. Introduction: Answering the Call. "Story Overview".
  77. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 176.
  78. Drow started rejecting Lolth in favor of the Luxon during the Calamity. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 27. See also p. 19, which notes that the drow turned from Lolth "[b]eneath the ruins of Ghor Dranas", which was destroyed during the Calamity. But also see p. 38, which says the drow uncovered the first Luxon beacon "in a time before they turned from Lolth".
  79. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:49:07.  Matt says that Den Kryn "at some point during or at the tail end of the Age of Arcanum" broke away from Lolth, placing the discovery of the beacon before the Divergence.
  80. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 30–31.
  81. As in the original Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting set in 812 PD, this is still said to have happened "[a] dozen generations" ago as of 836 PD. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 48. But note on p. 21 that the Ashari first revealed themselves to the people of Tal'Dorei during the Icelost Years, so "generations" must be longer than human generations are typically measured.
  82. This battle definitely happened during the Calamity, and the fire burned for "nearly a century" and "filled the sky with smoke for over a hundred years", but it is not definitive how long the fire burned after the Divergence. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 18.
  83. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 113.
  84. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 67.
  85. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 75.
  86. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 90.
  87. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 108. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Zemni Fields".
  88. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 81.
  89. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:33:05.
  90. 90.0 90.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 48.
  91. 91.0 91.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 33.
  92. 92.0 92.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 96. The Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting (p. 65) says that this happened "nearly a millennia [sic]" before 812 PD, but this approximation was removed in Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.
  93. See "Glass and Bone" (1x08) at 0:55:41.  See also at 1:27:51.
  94. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 26.
  95. See "Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66) at 2:14:41.
  96. See "Duplicity" (2x55) at 4:16:53.
  97. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 291.
  98. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 156.
  99. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 78.
  100. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 222.
  101. 101.0 101.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 14.
  102. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 152.
  103. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 285. Chapter 7: Wildemount Bestiary. "Core Spawn".
  104. 104.0 104.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 125–126.
  105. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 173–174.
  106. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 176–177. Chapter 4: Character Options. "Kenku".
  107. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 126.
  108. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 177.
  109. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 28.
  110. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 217.
  111. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 221.
  112. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 151.
  113. As of 835 PD, "nearly a millennium" ago. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 70.
  114. 114.0 114.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 14. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "The Calamity"
  115. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 2:48:56.  Brumestone is salvaged from the floating cities of the Age of Arcanum.
  116. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 182. Chapter 4: Character Options. "Dunamis and dunamancy".
  117. See "The Genesis Ward" (2x135) at 2:33:40.  Upon finding traces of dunamis at Aeor, Essek remarks that dunamis is currently specific to the Dynasty.
  118. See "The Genesis Ward" (2x135) at 2:17:29.
  119. See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:44:45.
  120. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 271. Chapter 6: Wildemount Treasures. "Vestiges of Divergence".
  121. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 31. Chapter 2: Story of Wildemount. "Lesser Idols: Arms of the Betrayers".
  122. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:50:55.
  123. 123.0 123.1 123.2 123.3 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8.
  124. Matthew Mercer (/u/matthewmercer) in a comment on Reddit (July 28, 2017): "Arcane Magic isn't OUTLAWED, per say, just largely frowned upon. Mages aren't trusted, due to the fallout after the Age of Arcanum, so any public display of semi-powerful magic that isn't Divine in nature will draw attention and require an explanation by the keepers of order. Small fines and minor jail time may ensue."
  125. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 20.
  126. See "A Storm of Memories" (2x46) at 1:12:00.
  127. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 168.
  128. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 19. Chapter 1: Story of Wildemount. "Wildemount after the Calamity: Eastern Wynandir".
  129. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 119. Chapter 3: Wildemount Gazetteer. "Greying Wildlands: Uthodurn".
  130. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 1:00:45.
  131. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 20. Chapter 2: Story of Wildemount. "Pantheon of Exandria".
  132. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 24. Chapter 2: Story of Wildemount. "Prime Deities".
  133. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:38:21.
  134. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 32:35.
  135. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 23.
  136. See "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) at 4:02:43.
  137. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:25:40.
  138. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 58.
  139. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19.
  140. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 27.
  141. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  142. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8. See also p. 80.
  143. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 19.
  144. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 134.
  145. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 149.
  146. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 17.
  147. The fire lasted nearly a century before burning out, at which point the survival of the Veluthil Forest is described in the section on "Wildemount After the Calamity." See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 18.
  148. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 49.
  149. See "Jugs and Rods" (1x94) at 2:37:40.
  150. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21. See also p. 76.
  151. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 0:27:06.  Abrianna is described as nearly as old as Leylas Kryn. Because Leylas lived during the Calamity, so must have Abrianna.
  152. See "Hunter and Hunted" (2x133) at 1:56:55.  See also "The Streets of the Forgotten" (2x134) at 1:29:40.
  153. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:01:58.
  154. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 0:35:57Leylas: "You have not seen the things I have seen. You have not known the atrocities of the Calamity like I have." Additionally note that Leylas is over 1,200 years old.
  155. See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 129.
  156. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 32.

Art:

  1. Official art of Erathis battling Asmodeus during the Calamity, by Kent Davis (source). Used with permission.
  2. Official art of Ioun battling Tharizdun, by Wesley Griffith (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Official art of Pelor battling Tharizdun, by Svetoslav Petrov from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 4. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  4. Official art of the Barbed Fields, by Clara (source). Used with permission.
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