I would like to run a game of 13th Age after working with my players through a worldbuilding session of Microscope. In order to have some prompts and framework for us to build on (or replace), I wanted to compile the things we know about the history of default world.

The known history of the world is told primarily through asides spread across all the rulebooks. The name of a dead Icon is mentioned in a monster description, for example.

I'm looking for just a short chronology of the known history, and, hopefully, a list of Icons that have been around at one point or another. I know such a timeline might be quite muddy, but that's fine because Microscope only needs a general order of events, so a chronology wouldn't have to be very precise either.

Has anybody compiled such a concise chronology? Is there a list of Icons which have come and gone? If so, where can they be found?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've added 'timeline' to the heading as another potential keyword to help people understand what you're looking for. Is that accurate? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, thank you. I know the timeline is going to be very muddy. For example, as far as I know, WHEN the Green was taken, or when the Leviathan was killed is not exactly known. In the past! Which is fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xavier
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 6:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Someone will probably have figured it out (D&D 4e also tried to have all the "when"s pretty vague) :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 6:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might be just as happy, if not happier, if you made an independent history using Microscope. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 20:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @okeefe The new Microscope supplement suggested this strategy for collaborative world-building in an established setting - my players and I are excited to try it out. I thought 13th Age would be the perfect pairing for that, which is why I'm looking for this information. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xavier
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


There is not a default timeline. This isn't an accident. 13th Age sets itself up to only give half the story. The reason for this is because the players are encouraged to affect the world via their One Unique Thing, and just general backstory. For instance, one player in a game had, "I look just like the Emperor's only son." Obviously there's a reason for this, so now either the Emperor has an illegitimate son, or maybe there were twins that got separated at birth. You'll find out later.

There are a handful of specific events that we do know though, But we don't know which age they happened in. They are, in their entirety (so far as I know):

If these happened in the 12th Age:

  • The Lich King was not yet undead, and was the Wizard King. As the Wizard King, he killed one of the other Icons of that age, The White (dragon).
  • Ultimately, the previous Orc Lord killed the Wizard King, which was the ending of that age. Since there's a new Orc Lord in this age, both of them were probably killed together.

If they happened in an earlier Age:

  • The Lich King was still not yet undead, and was still the Wizard King. He still killed one of the other Icons of that age, The White.
  • Ultimately, the previous Orc Lord killed the Wizard King, but most likely didn't die. We don't know how long each age was, and how long orcs live, but since they generally die in battle, and this orc is the Orc Lord, he could have lived a long time indeed. That doesn't make this age being the first or second age very probably still, but possible. More likely it was the 8th or forward, if each age is a good fifty years or so. The 13th Age has lasted at least that long.

p.s. The Leviathan is mentioned only once, as a possibility, and the Green is held by the Priestess, but for an inordinate amount of time. There's no way to date those at all, even suppositionally.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean “indefinite” where you wrote “inordinate”? Those may seem like synonyms, but idiomatically “an indefinitely amount of time” means we're not sure how long, while “an inordinate amount of time” means that we don't know how long but we do know that it's too long. (It implies judgement or unhappiness with the fact.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 20, 2016 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was actually using it in it's fourth sense, that of being unregulated, since she has him captive without a set end. \$\endgroup\$
    – Be Cn
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ In some sentences that would make sense, but in sentences about lengths of time, "indefinite" is almost always expected when trying to say "an amount of time without a set end." In that sentence, "inordinate" implies that the amount of time is unreasonable, but the captivity itself is not a problem. When making a point about being undateable, "indefinite" ("having no defined limits") is probably clearer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 0:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I hope I'm not out of line adding this so much later, but for the sake of accuracy I'd like to note that the Green is held by the Elf Queen, not by the Priestess. (Core rules pp. 20 & 28) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ysharros
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie If it were used in it's first sense, that would be correct, but since it wasn't, that's not a correct statement. The 4th sense of inordinate is not regulated. She hasn't set a limit on his captivity, so inordinate is correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Be Cn
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 8:22

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