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odd history question about VoDT


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(Hey! Haven't been here in a minute.)


I was randomly looking something up on the EE wiki about Erika Redmark, and found some contradictory dates for Skylark Vale.


Specifically, the wiki claims that Emperor Stewart closed Skylark School of Magery in the year 762, and that it was then explored and cleaned up in 842 (or 844, in one case). But elsewhere, it claims that Stewart reigned from 672 to 722 IE. That doesn't add up, and I have no idea how we came up with these numbers in the first place.


The BoA version has Stewart closing the school "eighty years ago", but says nothing about the current year. (Interestingly, the BoE version apparently said "130 years ago". Maybe this retcon relates to Pythras, who in BoE apparently claims to have been imprisoned for 127 years - contradicting the school being closed for longer than that - but in BoA only says "more than a hundred years".)


There are several possibilities - maybe VoDT is set much earlier than 842, possibly before the trilogy? Or maybe Stewart reigned much later than assumed. The EE wiki has always maintained that there were three Hawthornes, with Hawthorne I discovering Avernum, Hawthorne II starting to exile people in 765 and Hawthorne III being the one you assassinate in 817. But I can't remember any in-game source for more than the latter two.


(Hilariously, I see we already discussed it on this forum as early as 20 years ago, but this contradiction seemingly never came up.)

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The dates for his reign are made up.  That came directly from Relhan/*i canon, I believe.


That included one emperor Stewart and three Hawthornes.  The Wiki's Timeline of Ermarian (which was my attempt to make all the actual canonical stuff work, while including whatever of Relhan could still reasonably fit with that) converted that to two Stewarts and two Hawthornes specifically to make the Stewart/Magery connection chronologically plausible, and because, as you note, nothing in the games suggests three Hawthornes at all.  722-763 was the Relhan dates for Hawthorne I, which on the Timeline becomes Stewart II, and covers almost any plausible closure date for the School of Magery.


VoDT can't reasonably be set before the trilogy, since there are references in other base-BoX scenarios (maybe also VoDT itself, I forget) to events involving Exile/Avernum, and they are explicitly intended to be playable in sequence with one party.


Note that there are other comments in VoDT about the date of closing which are vaguer and range from "decades ago" to "over a century ago."  This makes 80 years a pretty reasonable guess, but might make the 130 from BoA a harder fit.  So, in terms of actual canon, we can safely say the school was probably closed around 80 years prior to the scenario, but can't entirely rule out an older closure date.


For posterity:



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