| "He’s a stranger here, your majesty... he couldn’t possibly know."|
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|The Dark Age of Narnia|
|Time Period:||The Dark Age (Narnian-years 1015—1998)|
|Preceded by:||The Golden Age (1000—1015)|
|Followed by:||The Telmarine Age (1998—2303)|
The Dark Age (1015-1998), was the Narnian world's mysterious middle era, immediately following the Golden Age, in which a time of intellectual darkness ("unenlightenment"), decline in economic prosperity, and social collapse swept across the Narnian Empire and other civilisations for 983 Narnian years. Apparently education and learning greatly decreased after the strange disappearance of the four beloved Pevensie rulers of Narnia while hunting the White Stag in 1015. Records and documentation of Narnia's history suddenly ceased altogether and a period of apparent lack of rule ensued. Not one of the young Pevensie kings and queens had left any known heir or successor at all, and since their reign had begun after defeat of the White Witch, their disappearance left no royal family whatsoever.
The Narnians searched several months, perhaps years, for their lost monarchs before finally choosing a new King. Several candidates have been suggested by various fans, most notably Lord Peridan who appears to have been a very important noble in the Pevensie Court, and the only one mentioned by name, though it is likely that any succession would have been contended. Another possible candidate was Prince Corin of Archenland, who would have been in a prime political position with the backing of King Lune and his brother and Future King Cor. If Corin or Peridan, or even both, had died without issue then it is quite possible that Ram, King of Archenland, was also King of Narnia, which would explain his epitaph 'the Great'. Regardless of who succeeded the Pevenies, their reign would have been contested by their nobles, the Tisrocs of Calormen, and those few Narnians who still believed that the Pevensies would return. It is most likely that the early Kings and Queens of the Dark Age were descendents of Frank I, from Archenland.
For several centuries, the line of Kings endured and Narnia was, for a time, given effective government, although little more is known. The only named ruler from this period is the Queen Swanwhite II, who was crowned in 1502. At some point after Swanwhite's death, the line failed, either because of the lack of a legitimate heir, or because of rebellion and overthrow.
After the end of the Dynasty, various rulers came and went, some from within Narnia, and some put in place by the outside interference of both Archenland and Calormen. Dynasties repeatedly arose and then fell when they were believed to be disputed.
Although no accounts of the later centuries, of the second half, of this vast era have been found, it is believed the country of Narnia somehow became engulfed in anarchy. There are rumours that the last Narnian king was murdered by an anarchist movement within Narnia itself, due to the disapproval of its leaders' policies and rivalries. This left the nation in a state of anarchy where Talking Beasts declined, living a more natural and governmentless existence, while Calormenes and Archenlanders may have battled for control of Narnia. Since neither country succeeded in capturing Narnia, a few talking beasts may have had some, perhaps even significant, authority over Narnia, since they were responsible for the construction of Aslan's How during this period. The other allies of Narnia fell into isolation, most notably the Lone Islands, which was captured by Calormen soldiers and used as a slave hub with the other isles, including Galma and Terebinthia that were also lost, but all three remained parts of the empire. Ettinsmoor declared independence, as did the Seven Isles. The Merepeople Nation remained part of the empire, but also fell into isolation.
Some time during this age, the Giants of the Wild Lands of the North, had lost their society and empire, until all that remained was the castle of Harfang. The Lady of the Green Kirtle may have been born in this era, as it was the age when the Ruined City of the Giants fell.
However, the innately warrior-like Telmarines, far more powerful than any other invaders, began seizing Narnian lands until they had taken over the entire country. According to the Archives of the Last King, the Telmarine invasion began sometime around NY (Narnian Year) 1998. Most of the Telmarines abandoned their home of Telmar, due to centuries of disorder and ultimately, a famine. The Telmarine Conquest was a success, ending with the Battle of Cair Paravel; Narnia fell to foreign control: the Telmarine Age had begun.