Planescape Timeline v1.1 – The Beginning

The Beginning Pre-Sigil Post-Sigil Post Faction War
Intro Calendar      Great Upheaval Key

A Chronology of the Factions and the Planes

by William James Cuffe

Version 1.1 

     Planescape is a setting of grand scope.  Tasks of herculean proportions, mythical events of universe-shattering importance are part of the settings very nature.  As such, most events are given only vague, loose assignment in the grand scheme of things.  These monolithic events dwarf the mental scope of mankind, defying the intuitive need of man to pin things down. 

     The purpose of this timeline is not to include every minutia of data ever presented in the Planescape line.  Some dates are too nebulous — “long ago”, “in a time before measure”, and so on.  While the Council has tried to include as much information as possible, we have purposely not made up concrete dates for obvious dates, such as the birth of Erin Montgomery, the creation of Sigil, or the first appearance of the Lady of Pain.  What this chronology is meant to accomplish is give the individual an insight into the relationships of the events as they happened across the planes: how the cyclic passing of the Great Modron March corresponds to the rise and fall of the Factions, how interwoven the Kriegstanz is in the daily affairs of planar life, etc.

     The Post-Faction War Project utilizes Ken Lipka’s Sigilian Calendar as the official method of naming months and days.  Official dating of years in the Planescape setting was specifically given, though rarely utilized.  When something happens doesn’t matter so much in the planes as what happened, to whom, and what did they believe.  The year is usually titled as a certain year in the Administration of the Fraternity of Order’s Factol, currently Haskar.  From that we have a range of 130 years with solid dates.  Before that, while we may know who the Guvner’s factol was, we don’t know how long she reigned.  So, I have simply made anything before Haskar’s Inauguration the “B.C.” of the setting.  After Haskar’s death in his 130th year of office, the Factions were ejected from Sigil.  We have begun a new method of dating — Years since the Faction War.

     The current date is Year 2 PFW — Post Faction War.  The Guilds and Sects are scrambling to fill the power vacuum left by the Lady’s Edict and the Faction Exodus.  Life on the planes is about to get very interesting, indeed…

“All rings have a beginning…
the moment they are forged.”
–the deva known as Unity-of-Rings

The Beginning

      The multiverse was a chaotic, primordial soup. (GtH)
      The first powers formed from the ether. (GtH)
      The Powers divided into the Powers of Chaos, and the Powers of Law. (GtH)
      The mightiest champions of Law, the Twin Serpents, Jazirian of Good and Ahriman of Evil, form the first ring and the Outlands were born. (GtH)
      The planes are formed. (GtH, H:tBW)
      The Twin Serpents tore apart.  Jazirian flies up to the summit of the fourth layer of Mount Celstia, Solania, the Electrum Heaven, while Ahriman falls to the bottom of the pit that is Baator.  Both wounded, where Jazirian’s blood fell in the Seven Heaves, couatls were born; there Ahriman’s blood fell in the pit of Hell, the ancient Baatorians spawned. (GtH, FoE:F)
      Ahriman renames himself Asmodeous, and waits for the day his wounds heal and he can destroy all belief in the multiverse. (GtH)
      The baernaloths stagger forth from the mists of creation on the Grey Wastes. (H:tBW)
      The River Styx forms. (H:tBW, FoE:F)
      The baernaloths spawn the yugoloths near the banks of the River Styx on Oinos. (H:tBW, FoE:F)
      A baernaloth named Apomps crestes the gehreleths from dead yugoloths and is exhiled with the gehreleths into Carcerci. (H:tBW)
      The first ultroloth, the General of Gehenna, creates the Heart of Darkness to expunge the taint of law and chaos from the yugoloths which he imbues into the larvae of the lower planes. (H:tBW)
      A creature called the Maeldur Et Kavurik is told the true names of all the larvae. (H:tBW)
      The larvae migrated to the Abyss and Baator to evolve into the tanar’ri and baatezu. (H:tBW)
      In a time before mortals existed, the ancient Baatorians use the larvae to produce their young, nupperibos. (FoE:F)
      The baernaloth disappear, and the ultroloths become the leaders of the yugoloths. (H:tBW)
      A mad faction of baernaloths known as the Demented remain behind to control and guide the fiendish races.  One of these regularly serves as confidant for the ultraloths. (PoC)
      The law and chaos tainted larvae evolve into the baatezu and the tanar’ri. (FoE:F)
      The baatezu begin to explore the planes, eventually discovering the tanar’ri in the Abyss; as the tanar’ri stumble into Baator and find the baatezu. (H:tBW)
      The Blood War begins. (H:tBW)
      The archanaloths hire themselves out to either side of the Blood War, and betraying both. (H:tBW)
      The baatezu and tanar’ri discover the upper planes and the celestials. (H:tBW)
      The celestials swoop down on the lower planes and the Blood War in a year long campaign. (H:tBW)
      A truce is called by the fiends as they rout the celestials back to the upper planes, leaving only 3000 celestials alive. (H:tBW)
      A schism forms in the celestial on how to proceed, forming the archons and the aasimon. (H:tBW)
      The assimon travel to the marshy Belierin in Elysium and create the Quesar. (PoC, WoH:Q)
      The Lords of the Nine and the Princes of the Abyss (the Abyssal Lords) rise in power. (H:tBW)
      The archon Triel is cast down from Mount Celesita,  Asmodeous takes his broken body, infusing it with his own blood, transforming Triel the Fallen into Baalzebul. (GtH)             Prince Levistus ambushes and kills Asmodeous’ consort and mother of Glasya, Lady Bensozia.  In retribution, Asmodeous encases him in an iceberg, never to be freed.  He give Geyron control of Stygia. (GtH)
      The Reckoning of Hell.  A schism forms in the Lords of the Nine, and half rebel against Asmodeous. (GtH)
      For his part in the Reckoning, Asmodeous casts down Moloch as Lord of the Sixth and bestows rulership to Malagard, Geyron’s informer. (GtH)
      Geryon, Lord of the Fifth, is repaid for his loyalty to Asmodeous by being deposed and reinstates Prince Levistus over Stygia. (GtH)
      Asmodeous forms the Dark Eight under the leadership of Cantrum, promoting the Blood War generals that remained loyal to him during the Reckoning.  Only Paalzepohon and Furcas will survive of the eight original members. (GtH)
      Concurrently yet seperately, the baatezu, tanar’ri, and yugoloths begin recording their histories. (H:tBW)
      The fiends learn about the powers. (H:tBW)
      Gods of chaos and law begin to meddle in the Blood War until a power of chaos is slain and the surviving gods decided to take more subtle actions. (H:tBW)
            Mask of the Pit happens, as tanar’ri forces attempt to disguise themselves as baatezu and infiltrate the baatezu camp.  They fail miserably. (H:tBW)
        The Four-Cross.  Bel turns stag on the baatezu, joining forces with tanar’ri, then rejoining the baatezu, only turn stag on his kind again for a year and a day, when he leads the tanar’ri into a long planned baatezu ambush, crippling the chaotic fiends for almost a decade.  Bel is awarded the hordes Avernus, the first layer of Baator, to serve as Zariel’s right hand.  Somehow, the not yet existing faction Sign of One plays a part in this. (GtH, H:tBW, FM)
      After many centuries of faithful service, Bel betrays Zariel and takes control of Avernus.  Asmodeus allows Bel to keep control, in exchange for Bel’s allegiance to the Dark Eight and continuation of the Blood War. (GtH)
        After millennia, spirits begin appearing from the prime material plane.  On the lower planes, they take the form of larvae, which the baatezu learn to metamorphosize into new members of their kind. (H:tBW)

“I’ve done this all before, and will do it all again.
I will repeat history until I get it right.”
— the rilmani known as Center-of-All

      Abbreviations/Dating Key:

   Planescape            2 Post Faction War
   Birthright                2041 MA, 1527 HC, or 554 MR
   Dark Sun                Free Year 15, or Mountain’s Defiance of the 190th Kings Age
   Forgotten Realms 1371 Dale Reckoning, Year of the Unstrung Harp, or 13 Present Reckoning.
   Ravenloft               754


       DG            Dead Gods

       DS             The Deva Spark

       DttU           Doors to the Unknown

       EB              The Eternal Boundary

       FM              Factol’s Manifesto

       FW              Faction War

       FoD             Fires of Dis

       GttAP          Guide to the Astral Plane

       GttEP          Guide to the Ethereal Plane

       H:tBW         Hellbound: The Blood War

       HH              Harbinger House

       ItC:GtS        In the Cage: Guide to Sigil

       OHG            On Hallowed Ground

       PGttO          Player’s Guide to the Outlands

       PH               Planewalker’s Handbook

       PoC             Planes of Conflict

             Planes of Law

             Planes of Chaos

         Planescape Campaign Setting

       Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix

     Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix 2

     Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix 3

              Something Wild

            Tales from the Infinite Staircase

            TSR Jam 1999

            Well of Worlds

   PLANESCAPE Video Games
       P:T           Planescape: Torment
   PLANESCAPE Collectible Card Game
       BW:CCG             Blood Wars: Collectible Card Game
       BW:CCG:F&F     Blood Wars: Collectible Card Game: Factols & Factions
       BW:CCG:P&P     Blood Wars: Collectible Card Game: Powers & Proxies
       BW:CCG:R&R    Blood Wars: Collectible Card Game: Rebels & Reinforcements
   RPGA Planescape Adventures
       AG:M                Adventurer’s Guild: The Menagerie
       RPGA:C           RPGA: Cutters
       RPGA:HoEE    RPGA: Heirs of Elemental Evil
       RPGA:PP         RPGA: The Poison Pen
       RPGA:SoF       RPGA: A Summoning of Fiends
   Magazine Articles
       D55           Dungeon #55 “Umbra”
       D60           Dungeon #60 “Nemesis”
       D72           Dungeon #72 “Deep Trouble in Telthin”
       P127          Polyhedron #127 “The Day of Grace”
       P137          Polyhedron #137 “Of Sigil and the Sea”
   Planar Products
       MC8          Monster Compendium Vol. 8
       DVD          Die Vecna, Die!
       GtH           Guide to Hell
       VoM           Vortex of Madness
       WoH          Warriors of Heaven
       WoH:DD    Warriors of Heaven: Devil’s Deal
       WoH:Q      Warriors of Heaven: Quesar
   Other Settings
       BR:CS          BIRTHRIGHT Campaign Setting
       DS:BS           DARK SUN: Black Spine
       DS:CbtSS     DARK SUN: City by the Silt Sea
       FR:FD&D      FORGOTTEN REALMS: For Duty & Diety
       FR:CS2         FORGOTTEN REALMS: Campaign Setting 2nd Edition
       GH:RttToH   GREYHAWK: Return to the Tomb of Horrors
       GH:Q1          GREYHAWK: Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits
       RL:DoD         RAVNELOFT: Domains of Dread
       RL:tNL          RAVENLOFT: The Nightmare Lands
       SJ:tAC          SPELLJAMMER: The Astromundi Cluster

“No history is more accurate
than the force that governs it…”
— A stubborn Indep
debating with an even more stubborn Modron


5 thoughts on “Planescape Timeline v1.1 – The Beginning

  1. Pingback: Planescape Timeline v1.1 – Pre-Sigil | Living Sigil

  2. Pingback: Planescape Timeline v1.1 – Post-Sigil | Living Sigil

  3. Pingback: Planescape Timeline v1.1 – Post Faction War | Living Sigil

  4. Love your site! I know it’s been a while since you posted anything here, but there’s some of us PS fans coming together at ENWorld, Drahonsfoot, and of course Planewalker (after crash) to work on a conversion & adventure for 5th edition. Would you be interested in contributing your PS history expertise? Also, where is your lovely prototype Lady of Pain banner from, did you make it? Cheers!


    • Thank you, Aaron; I’m glad you enjoyed it. The Planescape Timeline was compiled from official Planescape and other setting products with no alteration, save a tweak to explain the Vlaakith inconsistency with the Dark Sun adventure “Black Spine”. My timeline has the advantage of being able to incorporate some Planescape lore that not many people know about, such as the RPGA adventures “Poison Pen”, “Cutters”, and the one I wrote, “Heirs of Elemental Evil”.

      You are right, it has been awhile since I’ve updated. I’m far more active on my Endless Blue setting site. I still have to get around to posting the Hound character that was cut from Heirs of Elemental Evil, but my work on Endless Blue has taken up most of my time.

      I’m a little leery of of fan projects. I threw my lot in with a couple of attempts at adapting Planescape to 3E, only to see a lot of people wanting in but producing little. There are a lot of things I didn’t agree with the directions those efforts were taking, such as the choice of making Faction membership a prestige class, wanting to rewrite the Monster Manual to adjust the skills of creatures with Planar subtype, and so on. In general, I’m more in favor of changing the game rules to fit the Planescape setting than changing the setting to fit the new rules.

      As for the prototype Lady of Pain logo, that is literally what it is — the prototype. It was used by TSR in pre-production advertising for the then-upcoming Planescape setting. The image I use is a high resolution scan from the 1994 Product Schedule distributed by TSR to retailers. The other logos that are randomly shown are significant to the history of Planescape as well…

      Side note: Of the almost 5,000 hit my site has had, you are the only person to have asked about the logo.

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