A brief history of Syra, as written by Gurrard Snevilin.
The First Age: "The Age of Creation"
It was in this time that the universe was created, and that the world was forged by the gods and primordials. Virtually no information yet exists about what occurred during this time; only the gods and primordials know for sure, and they remain tight-lipped on the subject.
The Second Age: "The Age of Darkness"
What little scholars and oracles have been able to glean speaks of a terrible evil that appeared, causing great devastation and destruction before it was laid low by the gods and primordials. The exact nature of this evil remains unclear, as does whether it was destroyed, banished, or merely imprisoned.
The Third Age: "The Age of Giants"
With the defeat of the great evil, the earliest mortal races flourished. The giants built a great empire that spanned much of the world, and were rivaled only by the dragons. After thousands of years of coexistence, something sparked a long, bloody war between the giants and dragons. Though the exact cause has likely been lost to time, the war lasted a thousand years and consumed every corner of Syra. In the end, even the gods and primordials were drawn into taking sides in the conflict - or else were engaged in a separate, simultaneous war amidst themselves. In the end, neither the giants nor the dragons won; attrition had taken such a heavy toll that neither side could afford to continue their conflict. The gods, on the other hand, defeated the primordials and imprisoned those they did not - or could not - kill.
The Fourth Age: "The Age of Legends"
Little knowledge remains of the societies that dominated Syra following the giants' downfall, save that they were magically advanced to a degree the world has not seen since. What little has been found--especially the recent discovery of what has been called the Fortress at World's End--suggests that one of these civilizations was a precursor to the mad derro that inhabit the Underdark. The dearth of surviving information and artifacts speaks to the severity of the cataclysm that brought these civilizations to a sudden, violent end.
The Fifth Age: "The Age of Elves"
In the aftermath of the calamity that ended the Age of Legends, the races that could be rightly thought of of as modern rose to prominence: dwarves, elves, halflings, and gnomes all made their mark on the landscape, though chief among them by far were the elves. Their empire spanned nearly the width and breadth of Syra, and elves could be found in every forest and jungle. While the broad details of this age have largely been forgotten, its ending is indelibly etched in history. Whether out of jealousy, a lust for power, or reasons known only to her, the goddess Lolth turned against her fellow deities. She bound a great number of elves to her, corrupting them into the drow, and waged war across the planes. In the end, the other gods imprisoned her and the drow within the valley of Doth'Mordun in the Frostland.
The Sixth Age: "The Age of Magic"
With the elves' empire shattered, the shorter-lived races were quick to expand their own territories. Empires of many races rose and fell over the next three thousand years, with the human empire of Estorium being perhaps the most notable. This age was brought to an end not by overreaching mortals, however, but by the machinations of the divine. Lolth's agents outside of her prison nearly managed to free her, though a band of adventurers (including yours truly) was able to halt their schemes. The death god Nerull saw an opportunity in the chaos surrounding her near escape, though, and launched a war against the gods themselves. His goal was to consume their divine sparks and become all-powerful, and many gods fell to his blade. The delicate truce that had long existed between the gods collapsed, and many of them took the opportunity to try to oust their rivals or settle old scores. More than a few gods died at each others' hands without ever taking part in Nerull's plan of conquest. The Deity War ended with Nerull's death, brought about by a trap set by Wee Jas and Boccob that saw both deities sacrifice themselves in the process.
The Seventh Age
It is generally agreed that the upheaval of the Deity War constituted the end of the Sixth Age and the beginning of a Seventh. Some pretentious scholars have given it the rather unimaginative name of "The Age of Mortals," though the more grounded of us recognize that it will be hundreds if not thousands of years before a truly fitting name presents itself. Still, it cannot be denied that we are living in a momentous time. The Deity War has been over not yet thirty years and already the world has survived an invasion from the Far Realm, only just barely halted by a new generation of adventurers. In addition, there are elemental disturbances in Orodeth that likely bear further investigation, and an alarming number of giant clans have been stirring as of late. Teriax tells me, too, that the chromatic dragons are organizing for the first time since the so-called "Age of Dragons," though to what purpose he cannot say. The increased number of incursions from the Shadowfell also concerns me, though not so much as the fact that Lolth and the drow have seemingly fallen silent within their prison. What the Seventh Age will yet bring, I cannot say, though I fear the world will need a great many more adventurers before it is over.