Kenshi has a history spanning several thousand years. Much of it is shrouded in mystery, with legends, lies, and myths mixed in with the historical records. This is a timeline of events we know to have happened, sorted as close to chronological order as possible with our limited knowledge.
SPOILER ALERT!!! (obviously)
The Ancients (Many Thousands of Years Ago): Edit
- The First Empire; A powerful and technologically advanced civilization, possessing automated factories, satellites, genetic engineering, giant robots, and space elevators. Unknown how long they existed, what came before them, how far their reach extended, or if they were even from Kenshi's world or not; regardless, they were advanced to the point of godlike levels compared to the modern times.
- The War of Behemoths; At some point a war broke out between the First Empire and an unknown enemy. The war was very destructive and used weapons so powerful that their owners began to fear the consequences of using them, such as the Behemoths, giant Skeletons that tower over the normal races.
- Obedience; Due to their fear of the Behemoths, the Ancients decided to dispose of them. Taking advantage of their unquestioning loyalty, the Ancients ordered the Behemoths down into a massive pit, and then betrayed their servants by encasing the pit in solid metal. (Possibly included the ordering of suicide among normal skeletons, as there are apparently many cases of skeleton bodies found with suicide as the cause of death. Unconfirmed if related.)
- The Chaos Age; A time of many calamities, from dangerous celestial activity, to natural disasters, to plagues, to a skeleton rebellion (possibly in vengeance for Obedience). It's unclear exactly what happened, but it brought the great empire of the Ancients to its knees, and humanity to the brink of extinction. According to ancient legends, the calamities were stopped by a being named Chitrin, though the validity of these legends is impossible to say.
Second Empire (3000+ Years Ago) Edit
- The Second Empire is Founded; Many hundreds or thousands of years after the Chaos Age, in an effort to redeem themselves in the eyes of humanity for their actions of the past (though the humans had long since forgotten), Cat-Lon and his Skeleton followers founded an empire and attempted to rebuild civilization and study the remains of the Ancient Empire.
- The Northwesterners Turn to Cannibalism; At some point, and for reasons unknown, the humans in the northwest developed a taste for human flesh. Cat-Lon's empire spent a fair amount of resources combating them, including the formation of a military group known as the Hydraulic Knights. These knights would combat the external enemies of the empire, such as pirates and cannibals. The cannibal tribes have legends that speak of a skeleton warrior they know as "The Inedible One". It is highly likely that this warrior was a member of the Hydraulic Knights, possibly their leader General Jang.
- The Empire starts to Crumble; While initially founded with good intentions, in order to keep the peace the empire became more and more dictatorial. Child prisons, crackdowns on piracy and religious cults, and the killing of many of their own innocent citizens in the process greatly inflamed tensions amongst the populace. When a great famine hit, the Empire neared its breaking point.
- The Fall of the Second Empire, and founding of the Holy Nation; While details from this time are sparse (and rarely trustworthy), it was at this time that a great leader of humanity stepped forward and gathered his followers in rebellion. Legends call him the Phoenix, champion of the god Okran and possessor of the everlasting Holy Flame. The forces of the empire could not stand up to the rebellion and broke apart at the seams. The rebels drove Cat-Lon and his most loyal followers away, and founded an empire that would go on to be one of the longest lasting empires in the history of Kenshi, the Holy Nation.
- The Founding of the Black Desert City; The Skeleton survivors of the rebellion were heavily persecuted by the Okranites, and made to pay for their people's crimes against humanity. In response, many of them banded together and retreated into one of the most hazardous lands in the world, where no humans would pursue them. Here they would live out the remainder of their years in hiding, completely isolated from the world, pondering the actions that brought them to this point.
Intermediate Period (100-3000 Years Ago) Edit
- Appearance of the Hivers; Though it is unclear when or how the Hivers appeared, it is evident they were not around at the time of Cat-Lon's empire. At least not in a form recognizable as a Hiver. Whether they mutated from humans, or simply came from a land across the seas, they appeared and have been a resident of our lands ever since.
- Appearance of the Modern Shek; While it is likely the Shek existed during Cat-Lon's empire, and possibly even back to the days of Ancients, they did not have the appearance they currently sport. Their former appearance was much more similar to a standard human, as they lacked the horns they are known for, and were known as Enforcers. It is unknown what role they played in the empires of old, though given the name it is possible they were a soldier caste, dedicated to fighting their master's enemies. This could explain the Okranite belief of them being "Servants of Darkness", if they fought on opposite sides during the human rebellion. The truth however, has been lost to time.
- The Rise and Fall of Kral; For as long as anyone can remember, the Shek were simple tribes living in the wilderness, divided and warring regularly. At one point a great Shek warrior named Kral unified the tribes into a powerful kingdom, taught his followers a code of honor and strength, and led them into a march of conquest. Eventually however, he was slain in battle against an enemy force that legends say outnumbered him hundredfold. After his death he attained near godlike levels of worship from his followers, who want nothing more than to die in a great battle like him. As such they have continued their raiding and warlike ways with their neighbors ever since.
Recent History (0-100 Years Ago) Edit
- Birth of Phoenix LXII; As is Holy Nation tradition, the 62nd Phoenix was taken from his birth parents shortly after his birth and raised in isolation by the High Priest. Here he is indoctrinated into the Okranite religion and taught all the skills he will need to rule the empire. The 62nd Phoenix is said to be one of the harshest Phoenixes in the Holy Nation's history, having been forced to judge his own family at the age of 16, and sentencing them to be purged in Holy Fire.
- The Red Rebellion; A few decades ago the southern plains suffered a major drought, which in turn caused a severe famine that nearly brought the United Cities to its collective knees. Due to the famine, the southern cities were forced to rely on the Trader's Guild to bring them the supplies they needed to survive; unfortunately, bandits and Shek raiders blockaded the routes and took these supplies for themselves. What little did get through was instantly set upon by the nobles in a bidding war, and the lower classes were driven to starvation and rebellion. The resultant fighting claimed many lives, including many nobles and even Emperor Anzai himself, but the rebels were eventually put down and survivors enslaved. This marked the selection of a new Emperor from the Noble's Circle, Emperor Tengu, a cruel and impulsive man known for his lack of common sense.
- The Destruction of Bast; Bast was once a prosperous and fertile area, filled with many farmlands and towns for trading. However, everything changed when the Holy Nation attacked, who proceeded to burn towns and farms to the ground and haul the children off to Rebirth. Ever since, the land has been a warzone where both the Holy Nation and United cities vie endlessly in a stalemate, trampling underfoot any life that may have once thrived here.
- Revenge of Luquin; Luquin and his family were sold into slavery at a young age, where they were subjected to beatings, starvation, and exhaustion from working in the mines. Eventually, his father would succumb to the horrid conditions, devestating both Luquin and his mother who, with nothing left to lose, devised an escape plan to save her son. She succeeded in freeing him, but at the cost of her own life. Starving and alone in the desert at the age of 14, he was found and taken in by a clan of ninjas who trained him in the arts of stealth and assassination. 7 years later he returned to his hometown for blood, using his skills to stalk and assassinate noble after noble. Eventually Luquin was arrested, and paraded through the streets as a criminal before being sent off to Tengu's Vault, where he was subjected to many tortures, including being forced to write a book in tribute to Emperor Tengu.
- Overthrow of King Shager; Shager was the latest in the line of Kings from the Shek Kingdom. Like most Shek he saw battle as a point of honor, with death in battle being the highest of honors. Under his rule, the Shek Kingdom was crumbling under the loss of life sustained in their wars with the Holy nation and United Cities. King Shager proposed a desperate, suicidal last stand with whatever weakened warriors were left. To this, the warrior Bayan spoke up, protesting against throwing away their lives needlessly. Shager was furious, but one of the Invincible Five, Esata the Stone Golem, stepped between the two and shouted "the man speaks the truth. You want Bayan silenced, you'll have to cut me down first". Their swords crossed, and that day marked the beginning of the Stone Golem's rule, with Bayan at her side. She pulled her warriors off the front lines, made peace with the United Cities, and opened her borders to trade from the other races. Despite protests from some of her warriors, she is determined to ensure her people survive into the future, even if it means tearing down some of their long held ideals and traditions.
Alternate, Unconfirmed, and Contradictory Histories Edit
Kenshi has a variety of historical sources, with some claims being made by a sole source, and others contradicting each other.
- Pre-Human Times; Elder, the leader of the Skeleton Bandits, claims that skeletons existed before humans, and that humans were created by skeletons. He also claims to be the first skeleton in existence, and says he is to blame for the flaws of humanity. However, Elder is also the leader of a cult of humans pretending to be skeletons, so his claims may be part of his cult of personality (such as himself conveniently being the first skeleton) and not actual history.
- Possible Cause of Human near-extinction; Elder claims that a skeleton martyr by the name of Great Stobe was the "exterminator of the human plague," and thanks to his sacrifice in "the human war," helped "reset the land to its former purity." This could align with the Chaos Age, as it's known humans nearly went extinct, and it's implied that skeletons were somehow responsible.