First Law Wiki
First Law Wiki

The History of the First Law World is an attempt to lay out the most important events in the history of the Circle of the World. Although the series has a rich backstory, the study of history have fallen into decline within The Union. It was only in the short-story collection Sharp Ends, and various blogs and posts that any precise dates have been provided. Yet many historical dates, especially in the Old Time, remain difficult even to speculate on. Any dates are in relation to the founding of The Union; Before the Union (BU) or After the Union (AU).

The Old Time[]

The Old Time began thousands of years before the events in the trilogy.

Timeframe Events
Unknown In ancient times, it is said, the Circle of the World and The Other Side were one and the same. Demons roamed the world, leaving chaos beyond imagining in their wake. They bred with humans, and their offspring were half breeds; Devil-Bloods, half-human, half-Demon.
Unknown Almighty Euz was one such Devil-Blood. His blood granted him great gifts of Magic. He rose-up against the Demons, banished them to The Other Side, and sealed the gates between the worlds, thus allowing humans to flourish. Afterwards, he granted the "three pure disciplines of magic" to the eldest three of his four sons, telling them to bring order to the world. The only stricture placed on them was to obey his First and Second laws.
Unknown Euz' son Juvens found a people living by the river Aos, and gave them laws and learning, government and the power to defeat their enemies. He thus cultivated the cradle of civilisation; The Old Empire. Over thousands of years, Emperor after Emperor, the Old Empire flourished and steadily expanded, with Juvens always there to guide the Empire's fate.
Unknown As for the other sons, Kanedias built the House of the Maker in what would become Adua, and made his home there. The people who lived in the area became his disciples, worshipping him like a God, and assisting him with his works. Of Bedesh little is known. Glustrod, the youngest son of Euz who received no gift, begged his brothers to share their talents with him, but they all refused.
Unknown Juvens eventually took Bayaz as his apprentice, teaching him High Art. However, soon Juvens took a second apprentice, Khalul. A bitter rivalry grew between the pair, even as Juvens took more apprentices; twelve in all.
Unknown Over the centuries, Glustrod became jealous of the achievement of Juvens in the Old Empire. In secret, he rediscovered and studied forbidden knowledge, that allowed him to hear the voices of Demons on The Other Side. They showed him where to search for The Seed, and how to build an army from Devil-Bloods.
Unknown While Juvens was away, Glustrod conquered the Old Empire and took the Emperor’s throne for himself in Aulcus. When Juvens discovered what Glustrod had done, he sought the aid of his brother Bedesh, and fought a terrible war against Glustrod; Kanedias, too consumed by his work, refused to come. In the end, Juvens was prevailed and Glustrod was besieged in Aulcus. In desperation, Glustrod tried to open the gates to The Other Side using The Seed, but in his haste made some small mistake. The Seed destroyed Glustrod and turned Aulcus into a wasteland, forever poisoned.
Unknown After the war, Juvens gave The Seed into Kanedias’ keeping, so he could study it and try to turn it to righteous purposes.
Unknown Over long years, the trust between the brothers dwindled. Juvens begged his brother to give up The Seed. Then he threatened, and eventually Kanedias relented. The three remaining sons of Euz journeyed to distant Shabulyan, and gave the Seed to the Spirit of the island.
Unknown Meanwhile, after the horrors of the war with Glustrod, Juvens interceded in the feud that had developed between his apprentices Bayaz and Khalul. He sent Bayaz to the north, and Khalul to the south, to two of the great Libraries he had built long years before.
Unknown Bayaz resented his exile, and determined to find another master; Kanedias. Kanedias agreed, because Bayaz' Art was useful to him, however, he was jealous of his secrets, and taught him only those scraps that Bayaz needed in order to serve him.
Unknown When Kanedias left to seek out materials for his works, Bayaz explored the House for secrets, and found his greatest secret; his daughter Tolomei. The two became lovers, and she told him of Kanedias' experiments to incorporate material from The Other Side into his works. When Kanedias returned and found them together, Bayaz fled the House, barely escaping with his life.
Unknown Bayaz found sanctuary with his old master, Juvens. He told him of Kanedias’ experiments. When Kanedias came demanding justice for the violation of his daughter, the two brothers fought. In the end, Juvens lay dead.
400 BU Bayaz gathered the Magi, and made war on Kanedias; all except Khalul who refused, blaming Bayaz himself for Juvens' death. The Magi put siege to the Makers House, but could not breach it. Eventually, Bayaz persuaded Tolomei to open the door to him. The Magi fought Kanedias chamber by chamber, with Anselmi and Brokentooth losing their lives, until finally Bayaz cornered Kanedias high in the House. In the end, both Kanedias and his daughter fell to their deaths.
400BU-0BC Thus the Old Time ended with the death of all four sons of Euz. Of Bedesh’s death little is known.

Early History[]

Early History begins at the end of the Old Time roughly six hundred years ago.

Timeframe Events
0 AU Six hundred years ago, Bayaz approached Harod, the ruler of one of Midderlands many petty kingdoms, and offered to advise him. After demonstrating his Art, Harod agreed, and Bayaz became his most trusted counsellor. In time Midderland was unified, and Harod became the first High King of The Union. Bayaz cultivated the Union in much the same way as Juvens had cultivated The Old Empire.
1-566 AU Meanwhile, Khalul did the same in founding The Gurkish Empire. However, while Bayaz maintained control of The Union through money, Khalul used religion, becoming the Prophet Khalul, religious leader of the Gurkish. As Juvens had, Khalul took apprentices. Mamun became his first apprentice, and together they broke the Second Law and ate the flesh of men; becoming the first Eaters since Glustrod.
1-566 AU A continuous line of monarchs has persisted in The Union since the time of High King Harod the Great. The reign of King Morlic the Mad led to a civil war that nearly tore The Union apart, until King Arnault restored stability. Some two hundred year ago in roughly 375AU, King Casamir undertook a conquest of Angland, although he later failed to conquer The North because of Skarling Hoodless. Later, Starikland was brought into The Union, and later still the wealthy port of Westport in Styria joined through the influence of the Guild of Mercers.
1-566 AU All the while, Bayaz continued to influence and manipulate The Union, directly or indirectly. He returned directly himself in secret, helping Arnault assume the throne, and acting as Lord Chamberlain and Arch Lector. He has also indirectly influenced it, through the bank Valint & Balk, and various minions.
1-566 AU Meanwhile, the Gurkish Empire also grew to incorporate almost the entire southern continent of Kanta. Khalul built The Hundred Words, disciples bred for battle; Eaters all.

Recent History[]

The recent history details the ten years before the trilogy.

Timeframe Events
566 AU Some nine years before the events in the trilogy, war erupted between The Union and The Gurkish Empire in the First Gurkish War in Gurkhul. Both side had victories during the war, The Union at the siege and sack of Ulrioch, the Gurkish at the bridge where Colonel Glokta was captured. The war was considered a victory for The Union.
568 AU Dagoska was brought into The Union through the influence of the Guild of Spicers.
569 AU Two years after the end of the First Gurkish War, about seven years before The Blade Itself, there was an exchange of prisoners, including Sand dan Glokta. The prisoners had endured incredibly brutal treatment and torture.
575 AU Just before the series, Bayaz' latest minion dies, Lord Chancellor Feekt.
575 AU

(spring to autumn)

The events of The Blade Itself, including the start of the First Northern War, and the return of the fabled Magus Bayaz to The Union.
575-576 AU (autumn to spring) The events of Before They Are Hanged, including the fall of Dagoska to the Gurkish, and the deaths of both heirs to the throne.
576-577 AU (summer to winter) The events of Last Argument of Kings. In The Union the Open Council elect new High King Jezal the First, and the invasion of Midderland by the Gurkish in the Battle of Adua. In The North, the war ends with the death of King Bethod of the Northmen, and the brief reign of King Logen, who is then succeeded by Black Dow as Protector of the North.
579-80 AU The events of Best Served Cold, with the fall of Grand Duke Orso and the rise of Grand Duchess Monza of Talins to prominence in Styria.
584 AU The events of The Heroes, and the Battle of the Heroes. After the Union and the North decide on a truce, Black Dow is killed by Caul Shivers, and is succeeded by Black Calder with Bayaz as the real power behind the throne.
590 AU The events of Red Country, following the Union peasant revolt that rocks Starikland under the rebel leader Conthus.
605 AU The events of A Little Hatred, with Stour Nightfall's failed invasion of the Protectorate, the Valbeck insurrection, and the death of King Jezal.
606 AU The events of The Trouble With Peace, with the death of The Dogman, the failed rebellion by Leo dan Brock and his fellow conspirators, as well as the imprisonment of both he and Stour Nightfall, the latter carried out by Rikke's followers, as she assumes power in the North.