Great Wars

The Great Wars marked the end of the Old World.


Took place about 1500 years before the events of the First King of Shannara.

They levelled governments and institutions, obliterated cities and entire nations, poisoned the air, water and earth, and left the larger world virtually uninhabitable. It saw the end of the Old World, and the dawning of the New World.

The End of the Wars

By the time Adam Wills was sent to Deep Rock, the government had been all but eliminated. Washington had been taken out in the first strike and most East Coast cities shortly after. The environment was in upheaval with many parts of the country uninhabitable. Terrorists were at work and plague had started to spread.1The Gypsy Morph – pp 3-4

This destruction was worldwide. Hundreds of millions worldwide had died: armed strikes, chemical warfare, plague infestation, environmental collapse and terrorist attacks proved overwhelming.2The Gypsy Morph – pp 3-4

A series of huge explosions tore up the land and poisoned everything for two hundred years. Hardly anyone survived, and out of those who did they went north or south or hid in places that escaped the worst of it. Some went underground, some went into the mountains, some stayed put and got lucky. Others turned into Freaks or mutants or something worse. Hardly anyone survived the first five years. Not many of any kind survived.


After the final nuclear holocaust, half the survivors outside of The Valley were wiped out by the plague. The Once-Men were totally wiped out.

Almost everyone was wiped out and those that were left were homeless and disconnected. New families were made and everyone had to band together to survive.

For about 100 years people lived like animals. They scrapped and clawed to stay alive. Would kill anyone who threatened them. Some reported to eat each other. Food was hard to find and starvation an everyday occurrence. There was nothing resembling civilisation, no order or moral imperative or a sense of right and wrong. Some people try to hold onto these values but most gave in and became what they needed to survive.

After about two hundred years things started to right themselves. Fortified and protected communities started to form. Weapons were rudimentary; some flechettes, sprays and other leftovers from the Old World. Most of them stopped working or rusted. Men forgot how to fix them, then how to use them and finally forgot them altogether. Weapons of the old way started to be made: swords, spears, javelins, bows and arrows. They formed hunting parties and set watch over the women and children. They stood up to the predators and ravers that still roamed the land. They were beginning to organise themselves.

There was still lots of fighting: battles were fought all over the place, dozens of battles each day and entire communities were wiped out. Some of the mutants created from the effects of the Great Wars evolved into monsters that almost nothing could stop. Most of the worst ones could not breed and died out early on. There wasn’t enough food for them, and they ate things still poisoned from the wars.

A few Demons also survived. They went back to trying wipe out all but their own kind. They subverted who they could and turned them to their own uses.

Five hundred years later some people were still living like animals.

For the next 2000 years Man was reduced to its most primitive level.

  • 1
    The Gypsy Morph – pp 3-4
  • 2
    The Gypsy Morph – pp 3-4