From various older sources of lore, mostly those released during Beta and the first year or so of Release, we know that the basic history of Gharu'n is as follows:
- The Gharu'ndim, led by the Malik Rakhil al-Khur and the warrior-poet Yasif ibn Salayyar, head north out of the Naqut Desert and begin to conquer Roulean territory.
- The Gharu'ndim army siege the Roulean capital of Tirethas. Rakhil threatens to burn the books of the city, and Yasif slays the Malik.
- Rather than succeeding the dead Malik, Yasif becomes adviser to Rakhil's son, Amul ibn Rakhil.
- Yasif becomes the Emissary of Gharu'n, and travels to the other nations of Ispar to get them to recognize Gharu'n as a sovereign nation.
- Mansur al-Rajan, the author of the text To Be A Shadow, is 14 when Yasif is kidnapped while on a mission to Milantos. The events of To Be A Shadow occur. The Zharalim is formed.
- Yasif returns to Gharu'n 5 years later. At this time it is mentioned that Amul is not yet 40 years old.
- Eventually, Yasif dies.
- Soon after, Amul dies.
- With the death of the Malik, Gharu'n falls into chaos, and a period known as the Century of Storms begins, a hundred year time period where Gharu'n has no fewer than 25 rulers.
- Approximately 15 years after the Century of Storms begins, Ladriya bint Daum leaves Tirethas and journeys to her home in Taban.
- 20 years after the death of Yasif, Mansur writes the text To Be A Shadow.
- Ladriya bint Daum arrives in Taban in the year 1018.
- Viamont invades, installs a puppet king Zahir ibn Ma'mun. Jawhar al-Shamshir unites his people, defeats Zahir, and drives the Viamontians out of Gharu'n.
- Jawhar becomes the Malik and Century of Storms ends.
- In the present, Malika Qadira bint Balj is the ruler of Gharu'n.
History of Auberean
When Turbine released the lore articles The History of Auberean, they redid the timeline. For more information see Continuity - Roulean Calendar and Portal Years and Continuity - Aluvian History. One piece of information revealed in this article is that the siege of Tirethas occurred in the year 924 RC.
Throne of Destiny
With the Throne of Destiny expansion, some of the present day Isparian history is revised to fit the new Viamontian invasions in. While the Gharu'ndim Heritage page from Beta states that the threat of war from Viamont (and Milantos) is present, it has not occurred. During the newly revised Gharun'dim history, an unnamed Malika is the ruler of Gharu'n during the Viamontian invasion, described in the lore article The Malika and the Individual.
Retcon of the Founding
Prior to the release of The History Of Auberean, our best guess for when Gharu'n was founded came from the text The Silifi of the Crimson Stars. This text states that one of the crimson stars, al-Ghul, was renamed al-Kuhr some 300 years ago in honor of Rakhil al-Khur after a victory at the salt mines east of Tirethas. If we assume that some 300 years ago could be, perhaps, 300 to 350 years, that would place the renaming of the star at around 941 RC to 991 RC, using our conclusions from Continuity - Roulean Calendar and Portal Years.
Since Rakhil was killed by Yasif at the founding of the nation, this event had to occur prior to the founding. And since the event is a victory near Tirethas, it seems likely that this event occurred during Rakhil's campaign against Roulea, and likely not to long before the siege of Tirethas. The victory at the salt mines may have occurred 0 to 5 years prior to the siege. This would place the founding of the nation anywhere between 936 RC and 991 RC.
Our earlier estimate for when Gharu'n was founded would likely have placed it closer to 991 RC, since we know from the text The Silifi of the Crimson Stars that Amul died around 15 years prior to 1018 RC, and the Gharu'ndim beta information page states that Amul was poisoned at his own birthday celebration, and died without an heir. It would make more sense for someone to poison the Malik if he were, say, 40 to 50 years old, with plenty of life left, rather than if he were 80 to 90 years old. If Amul was young when he became the Malik (say, 20 years old) and the founding took place in approximately 970 RC, he would have been 53 when he died.
Of course, The History Of Auberean rendered any such estimates obsolete, as it states that the nation was founded in 924 RC.
Timeline of To Be A Shadow
The text To Be A Shadow lays out a rough timeline of events that occur after the founding on Gharu'n. Although it doesn't use many exact figures, we can estimate some of the timespans of the events.
Gharu'n was a young nation while Yasif traveled to the other nations of Ispar. It is safe to assume that Yasif did not begin to travel to other nations immediately after the founding of Gharu'n. The passage of 6 months to 1 year seems reasonable.
The text explicitly states that Yasif traveled to Aluvia, Viamont, Roulea, and Silvera. It also says that one by one he won the respect of all the neighboring rulers, except for Milantos. Let us assume that the only remaining neighboring nation is Sho, since the Souia-Vey do not seem to have a single ruling government or ruler. Later in the text, it states that the mission to Milantos was expected to take 4 months. Since Milantos is one of Gharu'n's closest neighbors, we can assume that the missions to Aluvia, Silvera, and Sho took at least 4 months each, and increasing that estimate to 6 months to account for extra travel time is not unreasonable. Additionally, we can probably assume that Yasif returned to Gharu'n between each of these trips, and did not set out immediately to the next country. So an additional 6 months between each mission is reasonable. Lastly, the text states that Yasif stayed in Viamont half a year longer than what was proper.
With all of that in mind, our timeline is looking something like this: 0.5 - 1 years pass after Gharu'n is founded before Yasif's missions begin. The missions to Aluvia, Silvera, and Sho, including times spent back in Gharu'n afterwards, each take 1 year. The mission to Roulea is explicitly stated to have taken a year, and an additional 6 months back in Gharu'n could also be added, for a total of 1.5 years. The mission to Viamont also could have taken 1.5 years. So, when all is tallied up, the timespan from Gharu'n being founded to Yasif making peace with all but Milantos could be approximately 6.5 to 7 years.
Milantos repeatedly refuses Yasif’s requests. This continues for seasons until King Aprad dies, and King Laszko comes to power. Yasif travels to Milantos. His mission was expected to last 4 months. Mansur, the author of the text, is 14 at this time.
This part gets a little murky. First, the word seasons is used. Seasons could mean winter/spring/summer/fall (0.25 years), or it could mean wet/dry seasons (0.5 years), or it could mean a whole year. It is not clear from the text which it is. However, given that Gharu’n is a desert nation that probably does not have four distinct seasons, and also that requests and responses would take considerable time to travel to other nations, the 0.25 year figure seems slightly less likely.
Next, the number of requests that were sent to Milantos is unclear. It says the polite refusals gave way to hostility and threats. That means there were at least 2 polite refusals. It also means there was as least 1 unfriendly refusal. It is stated that this did not stop Yasif and he continued to send requests every season. This means at least 2 more requests were sent.
So at a minimum, 5 requests had to have been sent. If we assume that a season is 0.5 to 1 year, this puts the time passed at a minimum of 2.5 to 5 years. It seems likely though that, based on the wording of the text, more than 5 requests had been sent. Doubling the requests to 10 does not seem unreasonable. That puts the time passed to 5 to 10 years.
We don't know when Yasif started to send requests to Milantos - did he send them a request and, when rejected, instead travel to another nation? Or did he not begin to send requests until Milantos was the last country remaining to visit? It isn't clear either way. But what we do know is a significant amount of time passed between Yasif making peace with the last neighbor and his request being accepted by Milantos. For now, all we can do is stick with our figure of 5 to 10 years.
The next set of events are pretty clearly laid out in the text. Yasif travels to Milantos. six months pass and there is no word from yasif. Two years after Yasif left, the malik’s messages become pleas. Still no word as to why Yasif had been captured. Soon, people begin to disappear from the palace. Mansur is 16 at this time. Zharalim train for 3 years. Of the 50 that started, 36 remain. Of those 36, the 12 best were chosen. Mansur is 19 at this time. The malik is not yet 40 at this time. Yasif is returned prior to the Zharalim’s rescue mission.
And lastly, the text states that even years later, Yasif still has nightmares of his time in Milantos.
What we have are the following dates:
- 924: Gharu'n is founded.
- 924+: The events of To Be A Shadow occur.
- 1002 (approx.): Yasif dies.
- 1003 (approx.): Amul dies.
- 1018: After some 15 years of chaos, Ladriya bint Daum returns to Taban. She would go on to be Malika.
- 1022 (approx.): 20 years after the death of Yasif, Mansur writes To Be A Shadow. A Malika is ruler during this time.
We just need to fill in what we can for when the events of To Be A Shadow happen. using our infomation from above, we can construct the following timeline:
- 924.5 to 925: Yasif begins his missions to the other nations of Ispar.
- 931 to 932: Yasif has made peace with Aluvia, Viamont, Silvera, Roulea, and Sho.
- 936 to 942: Yasif sets off to Milantos. Mansur is 14.
- 936.5 to 942.5: Yasif has been in Milantos for 6 months.
- 938 to 944: Yasif has been in Milantos for 2 years. Mansur is 16.
- 941 to 947: The Zharalim train for 3 years. Mansur is 19. Amul is not yet 40. Yasif is returned prior to the Zharalim’s rescue mission.
The ages of Rakhil, Amul, Yasif, and Mansur can help us with the timeline. Here is what we know:
- 924: Rakhil, Amul, and Yasif are alive.
- 924: Rakhil dies.
- 941 to 947 (approx.): Mansur is 19 at this time, and Amul is not yet 40.
- 1002 (approx.): Yasif dies.
- 1003 (approx.): Amul dies.
- 1022 (approx.): Mansur is alive.
- Yasif lived for at least 78 years.
- Amul lived for at least 79 years.
- Mansur was born, perhaps, between 922 and 928. This means he lived at least 94 to 100 years.
We can make a few assumptions about their ages:
- Rakhil must be older than his son Amul. He perhaps had Amul between the ages of 15 to 20.
- Yasif was probably around the same age as Rakhil.
- Given that Yasif, instead of taking the throne, became Amul's advisor, it may imply that Amul was young when he became king, and Yasif felt he needed guidance. We will assume that he is perhaps 15.
With that, we can revise our guesses for their ages:
- 889 to 894: If Rahkil had Amul when he was 15 to 20, Rakhil was born in this time.
- 889 to 894: If we assume Yasif is the same age or younger than Rakhil, he was born in this time or later.
- 909: If, in 924, Amul was 15, he was born this year.
- 924: Rakhil and Yasif are perhaps 30 to 35. Amul is 15.
- 925: If in 944 Mansur is 19, he is born this year.
- 944: If, when Amul was "not yet 40" we assume that he was 35, he would be 35 this year. This fits into our above range of 941 to 947.
- 1002: If Yasif was born between 889 to 894, when he died he was 108 to 113.
- 1003: If Amul was born in 909, when he died he was 94.
- 1022: If Mansur was born in 925, when he wrote To Be A Shadow he was 97.
Jojii is mentioned to have died at the age of 108, so the age of Yasif is not outside the realm of possibility for Isparians, especially Isparians of great power and importance. While it is odd that Amul was poisoned at age 94, and never had a child, it is still plausible.