A majority of the eminent scholars of history in the Aust of the World would name the Seventh Age of Aarde as the present era After Wrath, but given the scarcity of archeological material and the difficulties inherent in acquiring it, doubt quickly clouds the notion that a substantial store of reliable and actionable knowledge of Ages past survives. Indeed, even with in-depth analysis, the number of years in each age can not be ascertained with any accuracy, let alone any attempt to construct a useful series of annals be successful.
This, the Seventh Age proposition, first argued by the sage Amaxah Gukhina of Stöl, was corroborated by fellow historians after a long period of collaborative research and inquiry into existing fragments of ancient documents. Many explicit references to events of previous ages can be found scattered across the libraries of contemporary lore-masters of east and west - provided one knows where to look and who to ask (and has indeed reputation sufficient to demand an audience).
Mentions of a pre-Wrath sixth age are rare, but can be found, particularly in various apocryphal tablets kept by the elf-clerics of Eden. The numbering of dates found in these documents numerically surpasses the current count of years AW, while other material found together with these explicitly mentions the then-current Age being the Sixth. This tells us they come from before the failing and resetting of the count of days that lead to the Dark Time. These Sixth Age collections deal mostly with mean survival techniques, leading scholars to believe the age was a very difficult one, and that The Wrath ended an age that had itself hardly recovered from the previous. They also record several hierarchies of rough genealogical details that inform us that the Sixth Age measured at least 1500 years.
Fifth Age material is incredibly difficult to find, and the fragments suspected to have come from that time have not been thoroughly examined, being in the private collections of a number of very reclusive nobles less disposed to public research endeavours than most.
Snippets of Fourth age writings are extant, and seem mostly of a fictional imaginative nature. That peoples of that age had the time and ease with which to write fictions and express artistry of various forms implies that civilization had reached a stable and progressive stage before something reduced it to rubble, but unfortunately it is also thus difficult to build a picture of the societies that gave rise to them or accurately date any true history that might lie buried within.
These clues (to a potentially flourishing Fourth Age) lead some to propose that the Wrath itself did not mark the boundary of transition from sixth to seventh age, but actually from the fourth to the fifth. Opinion remains divided on this topic however, with others arguing that Ages would not be Ages without a disruptive transition to mark them, and that the Dark Time before the rule of the House of Thane were indeed dark. Many alive today in the kingdoms of the Ever-end of the World could relate grim tales told to them by their sires or grand-sires of evil times in the not-so-distant past.
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