Helionativity (~4.6 BYA)A boiling cloud of gas attains the mass required needed to begin the fusion of hydrogen. Happy birthday, Sun.
Far away, the slow death of the empire of the Elders is ongoing: the hyperspatial passages their civilization depends on corrode and collapse as the universe transitions from the Matter-Dominated Era to the Dark-Energy-Dominated Era. Shoggoths, liberated via a self-replicating protein chain capable of breaking Elder neural conditioning, strike back for hundreds of millions of years of enslavement. Rebellions across the empire have crippled vital infrastructure and wrested great swathes of territory from Elder control. Life and its direction slips from them.
The Sun's protoplanetary disk coalesces and the planets are born. Orbits are cleared. Solar winds expel the leftover dust.
Gaia-Theia Collision (~4.5 BYA)
Theia collides with Earth; the impact provides the necessary elements, energy, and unknowns to serve as the building blocks of a native siliconate ecosystem within the Terran mantle. in time this will give rise to the lithics.
Life Emerges (~3.7 BYA)
Microbial mats emerge in the Archaean oceans of Earth. The atmosphere is methane-rich and oxygen poor. These stromatolites, simple as they are, are practically a miracle.
The Elder Empire Reaches Earth (~2.5 BYA)
The vessels of that old and dimming empire arrives in the system of a recently-formed G-class star. They build a hyperspace relay on the ninth planet, part of a last, desperate effort to revitalize the fraying hyperspace network on which they depend. It will in time be called Yog-Oth by the Holocene sorcerers of Doggerland, and later Persephone by the Austrailian physicist Neville Kingston-Brown.
The system is named Relay 53325 34201 55002 21142 44322, and several of its worlds are seeded with shoggoths and cthonians for the purposes of ecoforming.
Great Oxygenation Event (~2.4 bya)
Eukaryotic Life Develops (~1.85 bya)
The integration of shoggoth protomatter into local terran bacterial populations leads to novel mutations, such as the mass integration of mitochrondria (also known as the powerhouse of the cell)
Cambrian Explosion (~538 MYA)
With the ecoforming now completed to their liking, Elders take up permanent residence on Earth. They will have some role in guiding life, but it is a passing fancy of theirs that comes and goes.
Arrival of the Star Spawn
Ordovician-Silurian Extinction (445-444 MYA)
A Star Spawn fleet - remnant of their grand and failed revanchist conquest - arrives in-system. Most of the combat is confined to interplanetary space but a lone vessel, which will be called Dhulu, manages to break the blockade and make an oceanic landing. It is sufficiently damaged that it cannot return to space, and sufficiently intact that the invasion force is able to fight the Elders to a draw.
A period of tentative peace follows.
The Abyssal Masters (~415 MYA)
Deep in the abyssal oceans of Earth, a species of ostracoderm evolves sapience through the integration of shoggoth biomatter (though they will always claim otherwise). These are the aboleths, and they possess three defining traits: the first, mastery of sorcery. The second, absolutist self-assurance that they are rightful masters of the world. The third, sheer and total bloody-mindedness. They hate the Elders and the Star Spawn, but they are patient. They will wait.
The Yog-Oth Relay is Lost (~380 MYA)
The connection had been tenuous for nearly a gigacentury, and the Empire silent for even longer, but at last the final strand snaps under the distorting weight of the dark-matter dominated universe.
Late Devonian Extinctions (~372 & 359 MYA)
The Elders and Star Spawn retreat to their fortresses, to lick their wounds and wallow in their paranoia for an age.
Tully Monster Ascendent (~300 MYA)
A population of Tullimonstrum prove receptive hosts to a strain of shoggoth proteins and begin an accelerated (though still slow) generational journey towards sapience.
The Late Permian Civilization Complex (~260 MYA)
In the great deserts and rainforests of Pangea, multiple species of synapsid come in turn to sapience through consuming the fruit and roots of the Tree of Life. Over many years their civilizations rise and fall against and alongside each other, through times of peace and of war, through good times and through lean. There are ages of utopic peace and of Sword-Logic dissolution. They gain great knowledge and later mastery of sorcerous arts, especially the biomantic methods of growing and shaping shoggoth-matter into new forms. They become a superclade of near infinite forms and functions, and revel in their mastery of self and flesh.
Permian-Triassic Extinction / The Great Dying (252 MYA)The world ends. Softly at first, then rising to castrophonies that could be heard far away in space.
The Elders of Earth, possessing that potent mix of scientific detachment and gigayear-long perspective, simply move to their other colonies in the system and leave the planet fallow for millions of years.
The Empire of Flesh and Bone burns, leaving no trace behind. A few synapsids, though they bear no resemblance to those species that first bore their names, flee to space and vanish from the record. Whether they died or thrived, none know.
The Yithians Arrive (~230 MYA)The descendants of the shoggoth-adapted tullimonstrum, having developed into a placid and peaceful self-awareness, are targeted by the Great Race of Yith as their next hosts. The conomorphs are shunted off into the bodies of a species of gas-giant floaters just about to meet the sharp end of a supernova.
The Yithians take up primary residence in the warm, wet regions of eastern Gondwana, just south of the Tehtys Sea. There they build their great Library as they always have and forever will, and gather the greatest minds from across time and space to chronicle the full and true history of the universe. The aboleths and the Star Spawn are apathetic.
The Elders Return (~205 MYA)
They are fewer now, far fewer. The other worlds in the system are all in their own forms of collapse.
The paranoid and reclusive Martian Elders, having killed all their own shoggoths during the Rebellion, rule over a slowly-dying world. Consumed with pride they reject the Terran Elders as weak and cowardly; Mars is dying, but they would rather be the imperial masters of a dying world than admit failure.
The Venusian Elders succeeded at seeding the planet with life, but found themselves unable to adapt to the environment they themselves had made. Evolution, desperate to keep the species alive in the fungal forests below the clouds, stripped them of their sapience, reduced their size, specialized them into arboreal brachiators, and eventually failed in the face of the local competition - an adaptable, clever species not entirely unlike a cross between starfish and flying squirrels. The last of the Venusian Elders will die terrified of the dark shapes that glided through the soft jungles on black folds of skin.
The Jovian moons hold many remnants of Elder colonization, but no Elders at all. The oceans of Ganymede overflow with the life born of their handiwork, but the gardeners are dead or fled. On Europa, a Mind Beneath the Ice repulses any attempt to approach. The harvesting platforms of Io are silent; the subglacial cities of Callisto are empty.
The Titanian Elders shed their material bodies to inhabit vast mesas of crystalline computational substrate. These slow and solipsistic intelligences hardly recognize anything outside their simulations; the most intelligent life of the methane moon are ice-shelled, crablike beings that crawl among the Titans' processing architecture.
The icy bodies of the outer system were simply abandoned, their Elders departing on the long journey through interstellar space to parts unknown. The relay station at Yog-Oth, its passage long-disconnected from the network and now tangled in dark matter, has become a forwarding base for the mi-go, who pick through the ruins with a scavenger's keen eye.
Elder-Yithian War (201 MYA)
The Elders that survived the return to Earth brook no competition, even now at the end of their civilization, and seek to wrest the world away from the Yithians. They fail. While the Chroniclers do not put much stock in direct violence, they will defend their libraries with an incredible ferocity.
The Elders attempt to re-engineer shoggoths back under their command, but the arts are lost to them and the result is disastrous. These flying polyps swiftly escape Elder control conditioning and inflict considerable damage to both sides - so much so that their own war is abandoned The Yithians win out, and drive the polyps into the caverns beneath the earth.
The Jurassic Cold War
Exhausted by the conflict, the world settles once again into a semi-stable equilibrium. The Yithians have their Library, the Elder Things their last great city, the Star Spawn their island stronghold, and the Mi-Go - newly arrived and claiming the old Relay - pick over the remains throughout the solar system. The polyps are imprisoned deep underground. The aboleths have taken the abyss for their own.
For beings such as these, in the senescense of their age, the years are of little account and the passing of epochs is as the turning of seasons.
Come In From The Cold
The Cold War ends not in fire but in slow, ignominious imperial decay.
The Star Spawn, failing to steal the secrets of dark-matter-era-compatible hyperspace travel from the Mi-Go, are unable to return their ancient Dhulu dreadnought to functionality. They sink their fortress beneath the ocean and enter hibernation, hoping that a day will come, millions of years hence, when the stars are right and they might return to the heavens.
The Elders too enter hibernation, though they do so grimly. There is little hope for their future - a tiny population stranded on a remote world. The last Terran Elders enter their sleep of ages, for even endless sleep is preferable to death.
End of the Library (~150 MYA)
The yithians prove to be their own undoing.
The foundations of the Library have dug too deep; polyps from the old war return to the surface, and the yithian defenses prove unable to hold them off a second time. In an effort to save at least some of the Library from the encroaching polyps, a chunk of space-time superstructure is violently torn out of the ontological lattice, carrying part of the library with it.
The yithians remaining on Earth flee into the future, and the ruins of the Library are consigned to the march of time. Those yithians that remain inside the severed Branch Library are unable to transfer their consciousnesses into the greater universe, and so are trapped in a cycle of diminishing returns - building new generations of bodies for themselves and losing something of themselves with each transfer. The beings that will be called the Docents, far in the future, are the shadows that are left. It will not be visited again until the age of the Serpentmen, far from now.
With the loss of the Library, Earth has no remaining civilizations on its surface. The aboleths and the lithics, in the deep abyss of sea and stone, carry on as they always have. The flying polyps diversify into a variety of clades, but their teratomatic morphologies do not lend themselves to wide propagation - they are, after all, living cancers. Within a few million years, all that are left of the terran shoggoth strains are the Dark Young, the Trees of Life, and a few scattered ancients clinging to life by the thermal vents in the deep oceans.
The world is quiet.
The Cretaceous Troodontid Civilization (~67 MYA)
The quiet of the Cretaceous is interrupted by the development of an intelligent species of troodontid. Their energetic civilization goes through several global boom and bust cycles. They develop some sorcerous traditions of their own, though never reach the complexity and power of the synapsids or other powers.
Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction (66 mya)
The Troodontids, despite their forays into orbit, were not able to escape their fate. The synapsids long before them had time to plan and prepare; The troodontid civilization was obliterated in an instant, their ghosts burned into the background ontology of creation. Many demons of later eras are indeed the shadows left behind of this people, and some remnants of their occult engineering (such as the semi-functional global leyline network) remain intact even to this day.
And They Were As Gods Upon The Earth (~64 MYA)
A clade of dinosauroids, heavily modified for orbital operations, return to the recovering Earth after the deterioration of their nesting stations. Their descendants, the dragons and drakes, will retain something of their vast solar-sail wings and internal fusion furnaces, but evolution will never overcome their population-control engineering, and so they will never attain more than localized environmental dominance in the age of mammals. They shall never return to space, and few, if any, will ever achieve intelligence via the Trees of Life.
The Long and Empty Age
While life on Earth rebounds in the wake of the K-T Extinction, the great civilizations of the Mesozoic are not replicated. With the loss of the Trees of Life, the planet is left fallow of intelligence for a long, long time.
The Serpent Men (53 MYA)
The Serpentmen rise to prominence in the hothouse of the Eocene. They are the descendants of a species of small burrowing lizard that had taken shelter among the roots of Trees of Life through the catastrophe, and in eating on the roots the process of neuron multiplication began. They are not true serpents (for they retain their forelimbs), but the name will suffice. Their rise to sapience is uncontested, and soon they are the dominant power on land. They make contact with the aboleths, the deep ones, and the lithics. For the most part, the thinking beings of Earth are of such vastly different environments that they have little reason to interact beyond some occasional trade and sporadic war.
The Ice Ages Begin (~33 MYA)
The cooling of the planet during the Oligocene forces the Serpentmen civilization underground. A few lone researchers remain on the surface in their towers and citadels, attended to by their legions of sorcery-born servitors.
Humans. Arriving. On the scene. (~2.8 MYA)
Hominids evolve in eastern Africa. Despite their intelligence and tool usage, the Serpentmen pay them no mind until, thanks to some heterodox scholars chasing odd fields of study, it is discovered that these hominids are capable of Dreaming - and thus, capable of birthing a new Great One. This is beyond both the Serpentmen and the Mi-go, and thus of immense interest to both parties.
The Great Ones
Beings that Dream might give birth to Great Ones; their dreams will coalesce into vast gestalts of the species, growing in power and complexity until the combined oneironic weight of their slumbering achieves singularity and the Dream is now able to shape the Dreamer,
Many dream-deities will form and shine briefly before retreating to the ranks of the mild, quiet gods of Earth. Our current age is dominated by two such bright-burning deities warring against each other: Matar Kubileya and the Gollyknack. Of these two much more can be said, but history is long in the tooth and their war is an aside for another time.
The Experimentals (~1 MYA)
The Serpentmen begin a myriada-long experimental project. Populations of humans were isolated and monitored - their bodies modified through biological and sorcerous means, their cultures guided by the scaly hand. These experimental civilizations will later be called the nations of Atlantis, Mu, Lemuria, Atavatbar and others by later occultists who knew just enough of the truth to look the other way.
Fall of the Serpent (~32 KYA)
Chafing under long generations of subjugation, the humans enslaved by the Serpentmen join together in solidarity and overthrow their puppermasters.
In truth, the Serpentmen civilization was nearing its natural end. The underground population had been weathered away by wars with the lithics and their own antisocial natures. Even fewer remained on the surface; the last overseers of projects that had born them only stunted and inedible fruit.
After the Serpent-War (~31 KYA)
The war-alliance collapses with the loss of a common enemy. Atlantis, enriched on looted serpentine citadels, makes wars of subjugation against its neighboring nations. In time the others fall or go into hiding; Atlantis loots their cities and razes their lands, and sends their captive populations to its colonies.
The Dream-War (~30 KYA)
At the height of their hubris, Atlantis mounts an invasion of the Dreamlands; they cannot endure the existence of those who dream free of their yoke. Their forces are rebuffed, but in breaching of the Gates of Sleep they gain the notice of the Great Nightmare.
The Great Nightmare's influence spreads among the Atlantean priesthood and nobility, and it was handed perhaps the perfect clay for shaping. The imperial designs of the Atlanteans have made them vulnerable to such subversions, and within three generations their civilization has fractured into civil war. In another, their homeland is no more.
Those lucky enough to survive the collapse flee to the shores of Europe, Africa, and North America, all those places where their colonies once stood. But those colonies had withered away to ruins and the hollow-faced folk who haunted them. The Atlantean remnant succumbs to disease, starvation, cold, and resistance from the local populations. Within four generations their colonies have collapsed. In four more, they are only dim memories. All that remains of Atlantis is the flying fortress of Laputa, which shall endure until the War of Atom's Eve.
The Closing of the Age (~11.5 KYA)
A sorcerous artifact, forged by the highest disciple of Great Nightmare and thought lost during the fall of Atlantis, is discovered by a kuduk tribe of the land that will be called Oxenaford. Recognizing the danger, a handful of the tribe's members depart southward towards the Sea in the Center of the World to destroy the artifact in the volcano Aitho.
With the artifact's destruction, the Great Nightmare's last ties to the waking world are severed.
Fin, and Sequel Hook(~8 KYA)
As the world warms and the Age of Ice draws to a close, Doggerland sinks beneath the sea. With it go the last remnants of the peoples who will falsely be called the Hyperboreans.
Here then ends the history that came before.