50 years (B)efore (E)mpire: Pythios is born crown prince of the centrally located country of [insert country name here when we decide on it].
34 yrs BE: Pythios ascends to the throne.
29 yrs BE: After a two year campaign, King Pythios annexes western neighbouring country. Beginnings of Empire.
21 yrs BE: Eastern neighbouring country annexed.
16 yrs BE: Southern neighbouring country annexed.
10 yrs BE: Northern neighbouring country annexed.
1st (Y)ear of (E)mpire: King Pythios finishes annexing new eastern neighbouring country and formally declares himself Emperor; instigates new dating system and begins to centralise government properly.
5th YE: Emperor Pythios dies; succeeded by his son, Emperor Arkadios.
5th – 56th YE: Various periods of peace interspersed by annexing more countries and putting down rebellions; however, generally good government means the Empire is more stable than some. There is a surprising lack of unstable monarchs, probably because the size of the Empire allows a greater gene pool even in the nobility.
57th YE: A southern neighbour is successfully annexed and their Royal Guard with their distinctive scarlet cloaks are adopted as the current Crown Prince, Mahon’s, own bodyguard-cum-regiment. They are renamed the Scarlet Guard.
58th YE: Crown Prince Mahon murdered by Scarlet Guard. Rebels purged mercilessly and hung up on city gates. Scarlet Guard restocked with the best of the best normal soldiers.
66th YE: As a gesture of peace to some troublesome countries who are getting uppity, Emperor Veles gives up the title of Emperor and goes back to being called King, which is somewhat more modest. It doesn’t noticeably work and he is forced to give them a certain amount of ‘own rule’ to shut them up (comparable to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly; are allowed to make their own laws about some things, but still answerable to central British parliament).
78th YE: Veles’ son, Vasuki, feeling that to inherit the title of ‘King’ just isn’t good enough but not wanting to completely backtrack on his father’s peace offer, adds ‘Ruler of All the Nations United Under This Glorious Empire’ to his title, which is often shortened (when they can get away with it) to ‘Ruler of All’.
83rd YE: Final easily accessible country annexed; almost the entirety of the continent now included in the Empire. The only exceptions are very small countries in the middle of mountains that aren’t worth the effort, a neighbouring huge country that would be impossible to take and is in any case a valuable trade partner, and [Vagari Nation], which is through an extremely thick forest and over some mountains so it isn’t very accessible. Plus, they have strange abilities that aren’t like normal magic (which I imagine is fireballs, etc and nothing so subtle as shapeshifting or scrying). People are suspicious and superstitious about them, so it’s not worth going to all the effort to get at them only to wipe them out. The Empire settles down to a long period of peace.
92nd YE: Crown Prince Alastor born.
94th YE: Borysko born.
96th YE: Nyssa de Silva born.
110th YE: King Ladon tells Crown Prince Alastor, who is getting uppity, to go out and get some experience. Crown Prince Alastor decides he wants to conquer [Vagari Nation]. King Ladon, thinking he’ll just waste his time getting lost in the mountains, gives him a small force of soldiers who weren’t doing anything just at that moment and tells him to knock himself out.
113th YE: Alastor succeeds in reaching [Vagari Nation] having lost very few of his men through good leadership. He finds the rough countryside strangely empty, only a few shepherds who won’t fight him even when he and his hungry army steal their sheep. He takes his army deeper into [Vagari Nation].
114th YE: A small force of Vagari attack quite suddenly; Alastor fights them and wins. This continues intermittently for the rest of the year, never with large numbers of casualties, and the fights have a rather hit-and-run nature. Alastor tends to win, as the Vagari don’t seem very good at war. The invaders have not yet run across a large city. Alastor begins to contemplate overrunning their lands entirely and bringing them into the Empire by force, and rather likes this idea as it seems easy. Sends back to his father for more supplies and soldiers; his father tells him to be careful, as the Vagari are tricky folk.
115th YE: The Vagari Grandmothers send a peaceful delegation to Alastor that includes Nyssa de Silva and Dimi de Arlind (ODT). They say they will join the Empire peacefully on the condition that Alastor takes two of them back to the capital as ambassadors. Alastor likes this idea and likes the look of Nyssa as well, so he magnanimously accepts.
116th YE: Alastor returns to the capital in triumph with Nyssa and Dimi (and Dimi’s wife). His father is very pleased with him. Alastor admits he found [Vagari Nation] absolutely fascinating and would like to learn more, so Nyssa and Dimi teach him.
117th YE: King Ladon dies. Alastor ascends to the throne.
118th YE: King Alastor is married to Lady Liadan, whom he finds attractive but not really interesting.
119th YE: Alastor promotes Nyssa to Magic Advisor and Dimi to a high post in the Advisory Council. Alastor and Nyssa begin an affair.
122nd YE: Khoreia is born.
124th YE: Donovan is born.
125th YE: Berengar is born. Dimi attains the rank of Chief Advisor. More Vagari have now joined Palace staff, but they are very careful not to arouse jealousy; most of the people are still suspicious of them, but since they never really see any of the Vagari around it comes to nothing.
130th YE: Drakon is born, supposedly as the Queen’s son. Nyssa leaves the court to set up a Magic School in Magusford, the closest town to the [Vagari Nation]; she plans to teach Vagari magic to Empire children who show general magical aptitude to increase acceptance. Plus, Magusford throws up a lot of magically talented people, hence the name.
145th YE: Drakon begins to manifest signs of magic; turning things different colours, levitation etc.
146th YE, March: Drakon is packed off to Nyssa’s Mage’s School to learn not to turn footmen into toads any more. Meets Steiffa and begins to make a nuisance of himself. Borysko, a loyal and talented career soldier who is getting a bit too old for active service but is still remarkably fit and tough is sent with him as a bodyguard.
August: Events of story.
Note: This timeline does make Nyssa 50 during the story and Borysko 52; we can either say ‘Vagari life spans are a lot longer than normal people’s so they don’t age so fast’ or make Alastor older when he conquers [Vagari Nation], which would mean that either he does it after he takes the throne or he takes the throne at age about 30 or so.
Borysko being 52 might work. Or you can de-age him too. Alastor being 54 is probably about right.
I keep putting [Vagari Nation] in square brackets so we can replace it with the actual name of the country when we think it up. x3