Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lord of Chaos

A timeline of Kane's adventures
Version 3.0

Disclaimer: the following is a probable timeline using the sources in the Kane saga by Karl Edward Wagner. The numbers on the left are Kane's age, except for the last seven, which are dates. Nothing in this chronology should be considered official, although I attempted to make it as accurate as possible. At the bottom of the list are the facts that I had to work with, along with a discussion of the 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0 updates.

Oceans have receded, possible ice age, several ancient alien races living on Earth
God perfects the first man after many attempts, a Golden Age begins, Kane born
Kane rebels against God, kills his brother Abel, Kane is marked by God, Golden Age ends
God disperses mankind across the Earth
Carsultyal founded on the ruins of a prehuman city
Events of In the Wake of the Night, Kethrid rebuilds the Yhosal-Monyr
Kethrid begins the voyage of Yhosal-Monyr, collects the knowledge of Elder Races
Kane joins Kethrid on his voyage, Alorri-Zrokros compiles the "Book of the Elders"
Kethrid disappears on his final voyage
Kane reappears in Carsultyal, starts practicing sorcery
Carsultyal has become the greatest city of mankind's dawn
Events of Undertow, Kane has become the envy of Carsultyal's mages
Kane journeys to Hell and speaks with a Demonlord, presumably Sathonys
The spirit of discovery in Carsultyal begins to stagnate
Kane's sorcerous studies take off in alien directions
Amderin the mage begins to craft a set of sixteen muses in Carsultyal
Carsultyal's sorcerers drive Kane from the city, events of Two Suns Setting
Events of Bloodstone, Carsultyal is in decline
Kane begins practicing sorcery in the city of Ashertiri
Kane rules from the Obsidian Throne of Ashertiri
Kane extends the dominion of Ashertiri across vast regions of the Northern Continent
The sorcerers of Carsultyal attack and destroy the ill-fated empire of Ashertiri
The Halbros-Serrantho capital (the Old City) is visited by Kane
Halbros-Serrantho move their capital to Enseljos, the Old City is abandoned
Carsultyal has experienced a "strange fall" and is no longer inhabited
Kane is a crime-lord in Enseljos, events of The Dark Muse
Halbros-Serrantho begins the road to empire, annexing several neighboring realms
Kane begins practicing necromancy from a stronghold atop the Halbros Mountains
Kane consolidates his rule and begins demanding tribute from the countryside
Several expeditions attempt to unseat Kane, all fail
Kane uses his skills to aid Halbros-Serranthro in the Imperial Wars
Halbros-Serrantro becomes known as the Serranthonian Empire
Tiring of Kane's depravity, the combined forces of the Serranthonian Empire destroy Kane's citadel
The rape and death of the maiden, Valdese, and the torture of Korjonos
The Dualist Heresy begins in the northern Serranthonian Empire
Kane stirs up civil unrest as an assassin, events of Sing a Last Song of Valdese
The Serranthonian Empire descends into civil war, several provinces successfully declare their independence, including Chrosanthe
King Janisavion of Chrosanthe is assassinated
Chrosanthe is in the middle of a civil war, Kane is renown as an assassin there
Events of Misericorde
Consumed by civil war, the Serranthonian Empire falls, breaking up into hundreds of city-states
Masale of Wesvetin decides to carve an empire, declares war on Lynortis
After two years of bloody siege, Lynortis falls due to Kane's treachery
The "Age of Shattered Empires" begins, the northern continents fall into barbarism
Kane and Jeresen of Waldan put Roderic on his brother's throne
Events of Lynortis Reprise
Kane becomes a bandit in the Myceum Mountains
Kane burns the Raven's Eyrie Inn, the Lartroxian Combine put a price on his head
Kane's daughter, Klesst, is born, Ionor makes a pact with Sathonys, the Demonlord
Events of Raven's Eyrie
Kane is a general in Sandotneri
Events of Dark Crusade
Kane spends a year recovering from his ordeal in the Tower of Yslsl
Events of Reflections for the Winter of My Soul
Kane is wandering the Southern Lands
Kane melds a number of pirate vessels into the Black Fleet in the isles south of Lartroxia
Kane is such a success that he becomes known as Red Kane the Pirate Lord
The Black Fleet is destroyed at Montes, Kane escapes
The remnants of Kane's Black Fleet raid the coast of the Southern Kingdoms
Kane is performing sorcerous experiments in the Myceum Mountains
Kane is raiding caravans in the deserts of Lomarn
Events of Cold Light
Kane fights a towering demon with a broken sword
Kane joins the army of Talyvion of Chrosanthe, rises to the rank of lieutenant
Jasseartion takes his brother's throne in Chrosanthe, events of Mirage
Kane travels to eastern Lartroxia, where his band of mercenaries enters service in the army of Andalar, Kane rises to general of Andalar's armies, events recounted in The Other One
Kane is a general in the Lands east of the Myceum Mountains, gathers an army of one hundred thousand men and razes the city of Andalar
Kane returns to Lartroxia South, discovers that the Lartroxian Combine has placed a price on his head
Events of Darkness Weaves
Kane returns to roam the Southern Lands
Kane is a bandit leader in eastern Lartroxia, framing events presented in The Other One

Unknown Date
Using his accumulated knowledge and power, Kane learns to open the doorways between space and time, and to travel to alternate realities for a limited time
Unknown Date
On several journeys through space/time gateways, Kane first meets Elric of Melniboné and later Prince Corum Jhaelen Irsei. Around this time he begins to repair a damaged spaceship he has discovered.
Unknown Date
Kane learns the whereabouts of a supposedly undamaged spaceship transducer, events of The Gothic Touch
Unknown Date
Presumably using his rebuilt space ship, Kane makes his way to his Creator's abode and manages to kill him along with most of his minions.

1974 A.D.
The poem Midnight Sun, the Kane stories shift to a modern-day setting
1980 A.D.
Events in Lacunae, Kane begins accumulating wealth and power by the takeover of an illegal drug lab in New York's Soho district
1982 A.D.
Kane has risen in wealth and power as the owner of Kane,Ltd., based in New Orleans, events of Deep in the Depths of the Acme Warehouse
1985 A.D.
Kane learns to master the manipulation of real time, near time, and time time.
Aug 1987 A.D.
Kane is now the head of a powerful international corporation, and is in London for the Harmonic Convergence, events of At First Just Ghostly

Notes on the Timeline

Special note on the Version 2.0 Update:-Last year, when I first developed the timeline, I stated to my friends that I would change it only if I recieved proof that my timeline was wrong in any way. Last week, I recieved a copy of an article about Kane that Steve Trout wrote back in 1979. Attached to the article (and its timeline) was a letter from Karl Edward Wagner critiquing the article. While most of Wagner's letter talks about how the Kane stories are "free-standing" and not meant to be read in chronological order, he did provide a glimpse into how the stories are arranged:

"This is not to say that a chronological order does not exist - rather, that it's a far more complex pattern than most fans realize. The novels can be placed in order easily enough, again keeping in mind the gulfs of time and distance. Also, within the story collections (DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW, NIGHT WINDS, and the projected SILVER DAGGER volume) the stories are arranged in chronological order; but again there is a gap of time - about a century in DAS, over a thousand years in NW and SD - so that the stories straddle the novels and the stories of the other collections. The stories are gathered to center on a mood or a theme, and not a specific connected period of events. Thus the novels would run IN THE WAKE OF THE NIGHT (still in progress), BLOODSTONE, DARK CRUSADE, DARKNESS WEAVES, with the stories scattered in between, from "Undertow" to "The Other One" - keeping in mind that the stories in each collection are in chronological order within that collection itself. Simple, isn't it?" K.E.W.

Well, yes and no. It meant I needed to move Raven's Eyrie forward to fit after the events of Lynortis Reprise. That was easy enough (although I noted on the Steve Trout timeline that he had it placed in the same order that I placed it; a pretty clear indication that the internal evidence of the story argued for a later placement). I moved The Other One to immediately in front of Darkness Weaves (it fits much better here than where I had it; I'm really happy about this one). I had to squeeze all of the events between Reflection for the Winter of My Soul and Mirage into a space of less than a century (I think I've got it into ninety years), which created a fairly drastic renumbering of the years of the events after Dark Crusade, not to mention a few before. All of this was fairly simple.

Unfortunately, there is one story that I could not reconcile with Wagner's chronology. Sing a Last Song of Valdese cannot be placed as the final chronological story in NIGHT WINDS. It has to take place before the events of Lynortis Reprise. Here's why. Reflection for the Winter of My Soul states that the Serranthonian Empire fell one hundred years prior to the story, and that Kane was in Lynortis when it fell a century earlier. Dark Crusade states that the Dualist Heresy that fanned the flames that brought down the Serranthonian Empire occurred several centuries prior to the story. Now Reflection for the Winter of My Soul takes place only five years after Dark Crusade so this means that the Dualist Heresy started at least one and possibly two hundred years before the Serranthonian Empire fell. Since in Sing a Last Song of Valdese the Dualist Heresy is well underway, it HAS to take place before the events of Lynortis Reprise(remember Kane was in Lynortis when the Serranthonian Empire fell, and Lynortis Reprise takes place thirty years later). A placement after Raven's Eyrie guts the timeline and makes it for all intents and purposes useless. This isn't to say that Wagner was wrong; he could have fixed the timing of the other stories to fit his chronology. Unfortunately he died before he saw fit to do this, so we are left with a chronology with an artifact in it. Whether this matters or not I will leave up to you.........


Update 2.1, May 1, 1999:-I received an email from Scott Wyatt (who worked on the bibliography for EXORCISMS AND ECSTASIES) and he was kind enough to relate to me that Karl Wagner did indeed know that Sing a Last Song of Valdese was out of order in NIGHT WINDS. It seems it was placed as the final story for artistic considerations. He also provided me with a much more logical reordering of the "modern-day" Kane stories, which I have adapted for this timeline. I should never have to change it again. Thank you, Scott!


Update 3.0, April 22, 2002:-After reading and re-reading the various Kane stories, I came to the conclusion that The Gothic Touch is not one of the modern tales. See my article "Rethinking The Gothic Touch" to see how I came to my conclusions.

***notes on the stories***

Bloodstone:-Kane is found to be 450-500 years old (Teres is 25, and she estimates that Kane was twenty years older than she was. He claimed to be over ten times that number in years, hence 450-500). The voyage of Kethrid was over 400 years before events in the story.

Reflection for the Winter of My Soul:-This story takes four years after the events of Dark Crusade. Kane spent one year recovering from Yslsl's Lair. The Serranthonian Empire fell one hundred years prior to the story. Kane was in Lynortis a century earlier, when the city fell.

Cold Light:-Kane was practicing sorcery in the Myceum Mountains 5 years prior to the story. 10 years previously Kane was a pirate attacking the Thovnosian Empire. The year prior was spent raiding caravans in Lomarn. The cities of Lartroxia seem to be independent city-states.

Mirage:-One year prior to the story, Kane was a lieutenant in the army of Talyvion of Chrosanthe. 200 years previously, Chrosanthe experienced a terrible civil war.

Dark Crusade:-The story takes place during the Age of Shattered Empires. The Dualist Heresy that fanned the flames that brought down the Serranthonian Empire occurred several centuries prior to the story. Kane was a general in Sandotneri one year previously. Ashertiri was destroyed a millenium prior to the story.

Undertow:-Kane is practicing magic at the height of Carsultyal's glory.

Two Suns Setting:-Kane has been alive "a few centuries." Mega-fauna (sabertooths, great sloths, cave bears, woolly mammoths) have been extinct for some time. Carsultyal has started into decline.

The Dark Muse:-The Old City was abandoned two hundred years before the story. Kane's familiarity with the city implies his having visited it before it became deserted. The mage Amderin sculpted the Dark Muse centuries ago during Carsultyal's declining years.

Raven's Eyrie:-Kane has been a bandit in the Myceum Mountains for the past ten years. He destroyed an inn and fathered Klesst 8 years prior to the story. Lartroxia's cities have combined into an alliance. Kane has talked to the Demonlord previously.

Lynortis Reprise:-The fall of Lynortis occurred thirty years prior to the story, placing it some 70 years prior to Reflections. 15 years before the story, Kane and Jeresen put Roderic on a throne.

Sing a Last Song of Valdese:-Kane aided the Serranthonian Empire in its imperial wars and his keep was destroyed "centuries ago". Valdese was raped and killed 49 years prior to the story. The Dualist Heresy is in full swing.

Darkness Weaves:-Kane claims to have only recently come into the Lartroxian Combine and has had some successes as a general in several campaigns to the east of the Combine (part of this is recounted in The Other One). The tale of Red Kane the Pirate Lord takes place two centuries prior to the story. Lynortis Reprise, Bloodstone, and the stories of Death Angel's Shadow all take place before Darkness Weaves. The book also has vignettes about Kane fighting a demon, as a necromancer, as king of a country, and killing his brother, Abel.

The Other One:-The story takes place in the eastern part of Lartroxia South, because of mention of jungles, veldts and Banyan trees. I placed the story as I did because Karl Wagner stated in a letter written in 1979 that this was the last of the short stories when placed in chronological order. It also fits in really well as occuring immediately preceding the events of Darkness Weaves.

Misericorde:-While the historical parts of the story suggest an early placement in the saga, the latter part sets the tale firmly at the time of the Southern Kingdoms, after the fall of the Serranthonian Empire. Kane also states that the stars have changed since he was born, which would seem to indicate a considerable period of time. The kingdom of Chrosanthe is in the midst of a lengthy civil war, quite possibly the one mentioned in Mirage.

In the Wake of the Night:- This story takes place shortly after the founding of Carsultyal.

The Midnight Sun:- This poem is the first of the 20th century stories. I dated it as 1974, the date it was first published.

The Gothic Touch:-It is difficult to date this story until you realize that Kane is carrying his Carsultyal Blade, can travel to parallel worlds through space and time, and is seeking a spaceship transducer. It is dated to shortly before Kane kills his Creator.

Lacunae:-A modern story that seems to take place before At First Just Ghostly because of Kane having just recently joining up with Blacklight, and still trying to perfect his special drug.

Deep in the Depths of the Acme Warehouse:-Not much to report about this story. Kane is a record producer in New Orleans. Blacklight makes an appearance.

At First Just Ghostly:-This story takes place in London during the Harmonic Convergence. Klesst, Blacklight, and the special drug all make appearances in this story. Full scale war with Sathonys. Fun stuff!

Special note on Ashertiri:-While it never states anywhere in the saga that Kane was the King of Ashertiri, several items make me assume so. First, in Dark Crusade, Kane digs into the ruins of Ashertiri, at the exact spot where he knew a fire elemental was imprisoned. Second, in Reflections, the bard sings a song pointed directly at Kane in the language of Ashertiri knowing full well that he will understand it. Third, there is the vignette in Darkness Weaves that shows Kane as a king on an obsidian throne shortly after the events of Bloodstone. Finally, Carsultyal destroyed Ashertiri when it attempted to create an empire on the Great Northern Continent. If that doesn't sound like something Kane would do, I don't know what does.

Copyright 1999-2012 Dale E Rippke
All rights reserved

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