World History is one of the most important things that needs to be fractalled out in your fantasy world. Without it, your world will be disconnected, and it will not have the overarching continuity that is necessary for the development of your other facets. World History gives you a framework from off of which you can build the histories of your races, nations, and cities. Without that framework, you end up with a messy hodge podge. World History can be called the backbone of your world. So, here we go to develop it for you.
There are three main components to your world’s history: Pivotal events, Ages, and Empires (not the video game).
GLOBAL, PIVOTAL EVENTS
These are things that happen once, and never happen again. They occur, and the whole world is dramatically different because of it. They are generally divine in nature, or are connected to the unfolding of God’s plan for the world in some key way. They are the undergirding events that shape your world. They cannot be left unconsidered.
Earth had seven particular events like this. Your world need not necessarily have them all, but each needs to be carefully considered for inclusion. If you don’t include one, there needs to be a jolly good reason why not. Period. The same goes for additional events that did not occur on Earth. These are alright, and they are somewhat advisable. Especially if you have a very good cobha. You need to consider these, though, and figure out why they did not happen on Earth.
Here are the seven C’s of Earth’s history: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, & Consummation (thanks to AIG for that alliteration). If you are not familiar with them, you need to read your Bible more, definitely. Take each of them and figure out if they are in your world. If they are, how are they different? What events shaped them to be different from ours? How were the people involved different? And especially, how does the cobha of your world affect it?
Every World History worth anything has ages. These put a very artistic and dramatic sound to dates (‘In the Fourth Age of the world, in the Second Year of my reign, my court jester tripped and spilled soup on my royal personage.’), but more than that, they give a realistic and helpful organization to your world. These can almost be seen as stages between great events, because great events usually mark the beginning and end of the great ages. But these events are not limited to the global ones above. And sometimes there are several different views on which ages were when in different parts of a world. So they are definitely not static, or absolute. You can have one race with five ages, another with three, and so on.
But in any case you need to look at these different kinds of ages to get some inspiration at the least.
Beginning Ages: are defined by being at the beginning of the world. These sorts of ages are dramatically different from the others in many ways, simply because they have no history at all. The world is fresh, and in mint condition. There are very few affects of any curse as of yet (generally speaking, of course, your cobha might be different).
Foundational Ages: are defined by being at the beginning of the world that lasted and became the world that mostly everything happens in, and are therefore foundational to it. Basically, the first age after the Catastrophe.
Imperial Ages: are defined by having many, large world powers one after the other. Sometimes there is one age per empire. But basically they are defined by having the whole world under one thumb at one time.
Growth/Industrial Ages: are generally left out of fantasy pictures, but they are there all the same to be considered. These ages are defined by the predominant technology at any one time. They are harder to develop because this is when technology takes on a new life and things change rapidly. Technologies are very variable, and can be implemented in a huge variety of forms (which is why these ages are so hard to develop).
End Ages: are when the world is coming to an end. Of course there is much debate about these sorts, even in our world (maybe especially in our world). So, basically, you can do what makes the most sense with your history and your cobha.
Dark Ages: are not nice to live in, but are fun to write about. Very simple.
Golden Ages: are nice to live in, but boring to write about. Very interesting.
Empires define a lot in your world. Especially in the time periods that most fantasy stories are written in. Empires affect all the rest of your history, and you can’t easily insert them after everything else is already figured out. So figure them out early.
There are several different aspects of any one empire that can be considered and fractalled out. Here is our list:
Period: when does the empire exist? How long does it last? What other events occur during its life span?
Manner: what type of empire is it? What is its governing system? Who are its leaders? Is it a good or an evil empire? What does it do while it is in power? What areas of life does it presume to control?
Reach: what parts of your world does it reign over? How big is it? Where are its borders, and why do they only go that far?
Evolution: how does it change over time? What are the fluctuations of its borders? Does it start good and end bad? What happens in the middle? Does its manner change?
Rise: focus on its beginning. How did it become an empire? Why did it achieve that level of power? Who led it to that place? Why didn’t the other nations prevent it? What was its advantage? What was its goal? How did the squirrels feel about it?
Fall: focus on its grisly fall. These are generally rather interesting. What made it change that made it lose its equilibrium? What overthrew it? Why did they let it? How was it corrupted? How did it affect the other nations when it fell? What did they do afterwards? What changes occurred to the people?
There you go. The three main parts of a World History, and some helpful questions that should get you started. Remember, look for the reasons why things happen, and for how they affect everything else. These are the most important things to remember and focus on.
Hope this helps! Be sure to be creative, and let me know how it works out! Any questions or suggestions are also welcome.
With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes