[Part10 of my ongoing translation of "The World" chapters from the Meikyuu Kingdom GM's Book 2nd Edition. This one gives an overview of the History of the Endless Dungeons. This can be found on page 112. Original Japanese text and art is © Bouken]
The following passages are an overview of the history of the Endless Dungeons, excerpted from the book, "A History of the Millennium Dynasty".
History of the Endless Dungeons
There are countless different histories in the Endless Dungeons, one for each of its countless kingdoms, both large and small. For example, like the Metro Schedule of Metro Khan, most kingdoms mark their founding as the first year of their history. In addition, the Necromancers have their own special calendar called the Twilight Calendar. The years of this calendar strangely count down towards the end of the world called "Doomsday". And then there are those kingdoms where time does not pass at all, like the Wonderland where fairies live.
However, when talking about history, there is none other more prestigious than "A History of the Millennium Dynasty" as adopted by the Millenium Dynasty. The small kingdoms that have ties with the Millenium Dynasty have adopted the Unified Dungeon Calendar and its use have spread far and wide.
"A History of the Millennium Dynasty" is based upon the model of "time" fixed by Hazardism (which is also the estimated time that Quetzalcoatlus Northropi descended), rather than upon the founding of the Millenium Dynasty. According to this system, the history of the dungeons can be classified into five general periods. They are, in order: the time before Dungeon Hazard (Mythical Era), the dark years immediately after the Hazard (Dark Age Era), the middle ages when star light has been discovered and mankind is starting to rebuild civilization (Star Light Era), the period of wars between the kingdoms (Warring Kingdoms Era), and the current age (Small Kingdoms Era).
The following descriptions present an overview of each era, with more information about the actual events within each era in the timelines that follow.
Pre-Hazard (Mythical Era)
The Mythical Era refers to the time of the "One Kingdom" which is said to have flourished before the Dungeon Hazard. The Millenium Dynasty claims descent from this "One Kingdom", but other theories exist about the world before it became a dungeon. However, few to none of the documents from this era have survived. The few sources documents that were found offered very little reliabiility for the most part, such as the oral traditions passed down through a clan of dragons who take pride in their longevity or the writings of Deep One scholars who lived well before the Dungeon Hazard. There are even some historical experts who doubt that the Dungeon Hazard happened at all, but everyone agrees that more research about the Mythical Age is definitely needed.
Dark Age Era (0~1000AD)
The Dark Age Era refers to the period when the "One Kingdom" was split into ten by the Dungeon Hazard. These Ten Kingdoms are Sol, Mercurio, Vénéré, Térra, Marté, Jové, Saturno, Néptuno, and Plutoné. During this time, the chaos and hardship caused by the darkness in the dungeons reaches a fever pitch, rightfully earning the name Dark Ages. The Ten Kings of these Kingdoms were kept busy dealing with food shortage, rebuilding, fighting threats from the dungeon (including an hostile horde of ogres) as well as threats from the other nine kingdoms. Verifying these facts is a difficult process, because like the Mythical Age, you just have to accept the Millenium Dynasty's claims about what this period was like since no surviving records exist. The Dark Ages Era ended with a final battle against the Ogres for the fate of the human race, and the formation of the Millenium Dynasty.
Star Light Era (1001~1340AD)
At the end of the violent wars between humanity and the great ogres, large kingdoms such as the Victory Empire and the Metro Khan were born. As these newborn kingdoms engaged in talks to re-establish the One Kingdom, the Era of Star Light began. Many of these kingdoms assumed that the Unified Dungeon Calendar's 1001st year was the beginning of history, but the Millenium Dynasty, along with the kingdoms who were friendly with them, included the preceding eras, Mythical and Dark Age. The Star Light Era marks the time when Astrology was developed and new technologies were invented to improve life in the dungeon. Valuable books of lore were written for unlocking the secret of the dungeons, such as the "Optical Atlas" and the "Monster Manual". This is also the era when the dungeon craftsmen arose. In this age of productivity, human civilization is finally getting gradually rebuilt. The arrival of the Orsini Comet ended the Star Light Era.
Warring Kingdoms Era (1364~1831AD)
Culture in the dungeon have flourished during the Star Light Era. As men's lifestyles improved, so too did they greed and pride. The trigger for the Warring Kingdoms Era came with the death of the Great Victory Emperor Gauss and the Succession Wars that followed. Repeated oppression against the faithful of Expositionism, The Antelope Revolt, The Cursed Sword War, and many other incidents soon embroiled all the Great Powers in the Great Dungeon War. When the war ended 15 years later, Victory Empire, among the top three great kingdoms, had fallen into ruin. With this, the Haglma's Adventure Alley, a vassal state of the Victory Empire, declared independence and became the Capitalistic Holy Republic of Haglma.
Small Kingdoms Era (1833AD~Present)
The end of the Great Dungeon War was also the end of the Warring Kingdoms Era. Now the Small Kingdoms Era begins. As the war ended, colonies that were under the rule of now-fallen Victory Empire declared independence one after the other, aided by the Millenial Dynasty. In addition, mankind experienced the biggest disaster since the Dungeon Hazard: a Dungeon Tsunami, caused by the "Betrayal of an Island Whale" devastated the entire Dungeon in 1855. People who became separated from their homes banded together and formed small kingdoms. As a result, countless small kingdoms were established across the Endless Dungeons. New kingdoms were founded one after the other and there were some who prospered like Dynamite Empire. This small kingdom boom continues to the present age. However it should also be pointed out that, despite the boom, countless small kingdoms have also fallen.
The above-mentioned five ages is the Hazardism religion's view of history and was conceived during the Star Light Era. It started with the ideal era of the "One Kingdom", then moved on to the world after the Dungeon Hazard which was considered the Dark Ages Era, and on to the era of rebuilding. This idea has carried over to the subsequent Warring Kingdoms Era and is the generally accepted view of history since the 1900s.
At first glance, the Hazardism view of history stands up strongly, even under the rationalism of science. However this view of history is being questioned more and more frequently in recent years as more research into the Ten Kingdoms of the Dark Ages Era are conducted. Major artifacts of the Hazard King have been unearthed in Chamberland and are currently being studied, and everyone is focused on what the findings will be. There is allegedly growing unease among the upper levels of Hazardism's religious leaders about the possible repercussions of the artifacts.
Landmakers are not the sole explorers of the dungeon. Freelance adventurers, seeking treasure and fame, also regularly challenge the dangers of the dungeons. Many kingdoms establish inns and taverns to cater to these adventurers in an attempt to get them to spend their foreign currencies.
These temporary residents account for a percentage of the population of small kingdoms. Experienced adventurers may also be retained long term as a Talent. They can be tasked by the Court to scout the unexplored regions around the kingdom while the Court waits for whatever treasures or information they might bring back.
Perhaps a kingdom somewhere has hired adventurers to scout out your territories without permission?
[Detailed timeline coming up next!]