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Turn-of-the-Century Toughs timeline

This timeline is a chronology of the stories, major characters' birthdates, and political events in Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series about adults and youths on the margins of society, and the people who love them. Set in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. As a result, the New World retains certain classical and medieval customs.

Sections below: Calendar Systems | Tri-National Calendar | Old Calendar | Timeline.

Updated June 2022.

Calendar systems

Two different calendars are used in the four Midcoast nations of the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs universe.

Tri-National Calendar

The Tri-National Calendar is a reformed calendar system used by Yclau, Vovim, and Mip. The calendar was formulated by the Queendom of Yclau and the Kingdom of Vovim, which had originally used different calendars from each other. The Tri-National Caldndar counts their planet's single circuit around the sun as a year, divides the year into four seasons of three months each, and uses numbers rather than names for the months, so as to avoid favoritism toward either Yclau or Vovim.

The four seasons are a concession to Vovim, which originally had a calendar based on its quaternary number system (base 4), while the three months are a concession to Yclau, which originally had a calendar based on its ternary number system (base 3). Both number systems were eliminated at the time of the calendar reform, replaced by a uniform duodecimal number system (base 12).

Three years in the Tri-National Calendar equal one year in our own world's calendar. Thus, the years 355 to 453 cover the span of time that was covered in our own world between 1880 to 1912. However, because the equivalent historical events take three times longer in the Toughs universe, the dates of historical events in the Toughs world only approximately correspond with the dates of historical events in our world.

Holidays are left to the individual nations to decide, but by the fifth century, the tri-nations are all celebrating the traditional Yclau holidays of the Lords' Spring Festival (moveable date: the day after the migrating birds return) and the Commoners' Autumn Festival (moveable date: the day after the first night of frost or snowfall), as well as the traditional Vovimian holidays of Mercy's Feast (midsummer) and Hell's Fast (extending from midwinter to late winter).

Old Calendar

The Old Calendar, used by the Dozen Landsteads, and originally by Yclau as well, is a tri-year calendar based on the Dozen Landsteads' ternary number system. One tri-year in the Dozen Landsteads equals three years in Yclau, Mip, and Vovim. Each tri-year is divided into three sun-circuits of three seasons: autumn, spring, and summer. In turn, each season is divided into three months; each month contains three weeks.

There are 27 weeks in a sun-circuit (3 x 3 x 3). All months and weeks are named; the names repeat in each sun-circuit. Reflecting the traditional Landstead belief in death, transformation, and rebirth, the names of the weeks in the first season of the year are: Spring Waning, Spring Illness, Spring Dying, Spring Death, Spring Transformation, Spring Rebirth, Spring Childhood, Spring Youth, Spring Manhood. At that point, the cycle continues with Summer Waning.

Landsteaders label the three circuits of their tri-year according to their traditional three-field system of planting: barley, clover, and fallow. For example: 1895 Barley, 1895 Clover, and 1895 Fallow are the three sun-circuits (years) that make up the single tri-year of 1895. By contrast, under the Tri-National Calendar, the tri-year of 1895 is counted as three years: 400, 401, and 402.

Conveniently for the reader, one tri-year just happens to correspond to one Earth year. The Dozen Landsteads' dating system therefore corresponds to the dating system of Earth's, leaving aside minor details such as the fact that the Landsteaders' planet travels around the sun three times during each equivalent of our year. Thus, the tri-years 1880 to 1912 in the Dozen Landsteads correspond to the years 1880 to 1912 in our own world.

The Dozen Landsteads celebrate the Lords' Spring Festival and the Commoners' Autumn Festival by the holidays' original names: the Masters' Spring Festival and the Slaves' Autumn Festival. They do not celebrate the traditional Vovimian holidays.

For more about the Old Calendar, see: Landstead Ternary Symbols and Their Meaning.


OC = Old Calendar.

TNC = Tri-National Calendar.

Dates unknown: Invaders from various continents of the Old World arrive at the North Continent of the New World, displacing and intermarrying with the natives. In the region that will later come to be known as the Midcoast nations, natives who refuse to adopt the newcomers' ways of life fight the encroaching invaders.

0 OC: Remigeus, founder of the Dozen Landsteads' law system, is tortured to death. His death will later mark the start of the Dozen Landsteads' dating system, originally known merely as The Calendar.

0–500 OC: Various invading nations gradually coalesce into the Kingdom of Vovim, which spans much of the Midcoast region. To the southeast of Vovim, a similar alliance takes place between twelve leaders of an invading nation, leading to the founding of the Dozen Landsteads. All other territories on the eastern coast of the North Continent remain under the control of native nations that have not yet formed alliances with one another. With one exception, all of these territories will eventually become small nations with less political influence than the three great nations of the eastern coast: Vovim, Yclau, and the Dozen Landsteads. The one exception is Mip, a disputed territory which will end up bounded by large nations on all three sides: by Vovim to the north and west, by Yclau to the south, and by the Dozen Landsteads to the east. As a result, Mip will play a pivotal role in trade and cultural exchange between its influential neighbors.

1199 OC: The First Landstead breaks with the other landsteads over the issue of female inheritance. It will eventually rename itself as the Queendom of Yclau and expand its territory westward and overseas.

1317 OC: The Celadon-Brun Act is passed in the Dozen Landsteads, making significant changes to that nation's master/liegeman/slave social and political system. ¶ Master and Servant 2: The True Master (Waterman).

1508 OC: The master/liegeman/slave system in the Dozen Landsteads is eliminated in favor of a master/liegeman/servant system. ¶ Master's Piece (Waterman).

1550 OC: The Thousand Years' War begins between Vovim and Yclau, primarily over which nation will control the territory of Mip. Mip's native people are not consulted on this matter.

0 TNC (1762 OC): In one of their periodic attempts at peace, Vovim and Yclau agree to adhere to a bi-national calendar. After the emancipation of Mip in 355 TNC, this is referred to as the Tri-National Calendar.

0–201 TNC (1762 to 1829 OC): In both Yclau and Vovim, ancient systems of government, law-keeping, and class structure continue, epitomized by the use of torture in the royal dungeons of both lands. In Yclau, however, a small number of torturers begin to discuss innovative ways to break prisoners.

202 TNC (1829 OC): Yclau's royal dungeon is destroyed by a cave-in. It is refounded as the Eternal Dungeon, and the dungeon's first ethical code book is issued by the surviving torturers. Debates with other nations over the effectiveness of the Eternal Dungeon's techniques will eventually result in the creation of an international prison reform body, the United Order of Prisons.

The 300s to the 340s (1861–1878)

Events in the Midcoast nations: At the start of this century, an industrial revolution is sweeping Yclau. Yclau and Vovim sporadically continue the Thousand Years' War. Watermen begin to battle one another in the Dozen Landsteads.

309 (1864 Fallow): Yclau regains control of the territory of Mip, intensifying the Thousand Years' War.

309 (1864 Fallow), the fifth month: Emancipation (Life Prison).

310 (1865 Barley): Weldon Chapman is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

312 (1865 Fallow): Seward Sobel and Howard Yates are born (The Eternal Dungeon).

314 (1866 Clover), the seventh month: Emancipation (Life Prison).

319 (1868 Barley): Emancipation (Life Prison).

320, the second month (1868 Clover): Layle Smith is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

327 (1870 Fallow): Birdesmond Manx is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

328 (1871 Barley): Barrett Boyd is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

330, the eleventh month (1871 Fallow): Rain: Beauty (The Eternal Dungeon).

333 (1872 Fallow): Vito de Vere is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

333, the fourth month (1872 Fallow): Never (The Eternal Dungeon).

334 (1873 Barley): D. Urman is born (The Eternal Dungeon). Harrow, FitzGerald, and Walker are born (Life Prison).

337, the first month (1874 Barley): Elsdon Taylor is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

338 (1874 Clover): Clifford Crofford is born (The Eternal Dungeon).

338, the third month (1874 Fallow): Escape (The Eternal Dungeon).

338, the tenth month (1874 Fallow): Layle Smith becomes a torturer in the Eternal Dungeon. ¶ The Unanswered Question (The Eternal Dungeon).

339 (1874 Fallow): In Yclau, the Commoners' Bread Riot takes place (The Eternal Dungeon).

341 (1875 Clover): Bainbridge – as he would be commonly termed in later years – is born.

343, the seventh month (1876 Barley): Sweet Blood 2: Searching (The Eternal Dungeon), flashbacks only.

343, the ninth month (1876 Barley): New-Fashioned (The Eternal Dungeon).

344 (1876 Clover): The fifth revision of the Code of Seeking is issued, spurring a prison reform movement within Yclau and increasing the power of the United Order of Prisons. The Eternal Dungeon enters its Golden Age.

345, the seventh month (1876 Fallow): Gurth is born (The Eternal Dungeon). The first High Seeker of the Eternal Dungeon assumes power.

346 (1877 Barley): Zenas is born (The Eternal Dungeon). Lord Vere (a distant relation of Vito de Vere) and Valdis are born (Life Prison).

The 350s (1878–1881)

Events in the Midcoast nations: The fourth of the Midcoast nations is founded as a result of a bloodless rebellion by its people against foreign rule.

350 (1878 Clover): Dick Pickens is born (Life Prison).

352 (1879 Barley): Merrick is born (Life Prison).

354, the eleventh month (1879 Fallow): Emancipation (Life Prison).

355 (1880 Barley): Mercy Prison is created in Mip by the Yclau government, which has control of the land at this time. It is the first of Mip's life prisons and is a product of the prison reform movement. Later that year, Yclau frees Mip as part of a truce agreement with Vovim, which also agrees to release its claim on the territory. The Mippite government is given into the hands of its magistrates. Beginning of the main plotline of the Eternal Dungeon series, which is set in Yclau.

355, the fourth month (1880 Barley): Sedgewick Staunton is born (Life Prison). ¶ Rebirth 1: The Breaking (The Eternal Dungeon).

355, the seventh month (1880 Barley): Rebirth 2: Love and Betrayal (The Eternal Dungeon) and Rebirth 3: First Time (The Eternal Dungeon).

355, the twelfth month (1880 Barley): Shifts (The Eternal Dungeon).

356 (1880 Clover): In response to pressure from the United Order of Prisons, Vovim's King declares that some crimes that were previously punished by death will now be punished by life imprisonment. The conditions under which Vovim's life prisoners are kept will eventually become the topic of heated international debate.

356, the second month (1880 Clover): In Hot Water (The Eternal Dungeon).

356, the third month (1880 Clover): Patience (The Eternal Dungeon).

356, the fourth month (1880 Clover): Rebirth 4: In Training (The Eternal Dungeon).

356: the sixth month, but ending later than Rebirth 5 (1880 Clover): Rebirth 6: Tops and Sops (The Eternal Dungeon).

356, the tenth month (1880 Clover): Rebirth 5: As a Seeker (The Eternal Dungeon).

357, the sixth month (1880 Fallow): Transformation 1: Deception (The Eternal Dungeon).

357, the ninth month (1880 Fallow): Transformation 2: Twists and Turns (The Eternal Dungeon).

358 (1881 Barley): Tyrrell is born (Life Prison).

358, the sixth month (1881 Barley): Transformation 3: A Prisoner Has Need (The Eternal Dungeon) and Rain: Love (Life Prison).

358, the eighth month (1881 Barley): Prison Food and Fondness (The Eternal Dungeon).

359 (1881 Clover): Babaqi is born (Life Prison).

359, the third month (1881 Clover): Transformation 4: The Consultation (The Eternal Dungeon).

359, the fourth month (1881 Clover): The Balance 1: Truth and Lies (The Eternal Dungeon).

359, the sixth month (1881 Clover): The Balance 2: Barbarians (The Eternal Dungeon).

359, the eighth month (1881 Clover): Hunger (The Eternal Dungeon).

359, the tenth month (1881 Clover): Commoners' Festival (The Eternal Dungeon).

359, the twelfth month (1881 Clover): The Balance 3: Hidden (The Eternal Dungeon).

The 360s (1881–1884)

Events in the Midcoast nations: Trouble arises in Vovim between its mentally unstable King and his lords.

360 (1881 Fallow): Bainbridge starts the Commoners' Guild in Yclau. The guild becomes the focus of class unrest in that land. A dispute between the Vovimian King and the High Master of his Hidden Dungeon over prison reform issues causes political divisions in Vovim. The United Order of Prisons condemns the use of torture in the Eternal Dungeon.

360, the first month (1881 Fallow): Green Ruin (The Eternal Dungeon).

360, the fourth month (1881 Fallow): Tax the Dungeon (The Eternal Dungeon).

360, the sixth month (1881 Fallow): The Balance 4: Death Watch (The Eternal Dungeon), The Balance 5: Balladeer (The Eternal Dungeon), and On Guard (The Eternal Dungeon).

360, the seventh month (1881 Fallow): Wax (The Eternal Dungeon).

360, the eleventh month (1881 Fallow): Sweet Blood 1: Bonds (The Eternal Dungeon), flashbacks only, The Whipping Post (The Eternal Dungeon), and Open-Soul Surgery (The Eternal Dungeon).

361 (1882 Barley): Aldred Starke is born (Life Prison).

363, the fourth month (1882 Fallow): Sweet Blood 1: Bonds (The Eternal Dungeon) and Sweet Blood 2: Searching (The Eternal Dungeon).

363, the tenth month (1882 Fallow): Sweet Blood 3: Split (The Eternal Dungeon).

364 (1883 Barley): Ahiga and Farnam are born (Life Prison).

364, the third month (1883 Barley): Ma'am (The Eternal Dungeon).

364, the fifth month (1883 Barley): Sweet Blood 4: Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon).

364, the seventh month (1883 Barley): The Awakening 1: The Shining Ones (Dungeon Guards), The Awakening 2: Shot (Dungeon Guards), and The Awakening 3: Before (Dungeon Guards).

364, the eighth month (1883 Barley): The Awakening 4: Tempest (Dungeon Guards)

365 (1883 Clover): Thomas and Dorn are born (Life Prison). The admonishments of a young Vovimian prophet against the King and his advisers spark civil war in Vovim, causing the unofficial end of the Thousand Years' War between Vovim and Yclau. Major changes occur to life in the Eternal Dungeon.

365, the third month (1883 Clover): Sweet Blood 5: Truth and Trust (The Eternal Dungeon).

366 (1883 Fallow): Ulick and Shuji are born (Life Prison).

367 (1884 Barley): Hosobuchi is born (Life Prison).

368 (1884 Clover): Richard Medinger is born (Life Prison).

The 370s (1885–1888)

Events in the Midcoast nations: At the beginning of the decade, civil war continues to ravage Vovim. The Commoners' Guild grows in power in Yclau, sparking attempts by the Queen's government to oppress it. The guild spreads to Mip, whose democratic form of government encourages the commoners to demand equal rights. As a result of exciting events occurring in the surrounding nations, the Dozen Landsteads enter into a period of decline.

372, the sixth month (1885 Fallow): Torture (The Eternal Dungeon / Life Prison).

373 (1886 Barley): Gustav and Olumbo born (Life Prison).

374 (1886 Clover), the tenth month: Escape (The Eternal Dungeon), epilogue only.

375 (1886 Fallow): Llewellyn and Jahnsen are born (Life Prison). Partly in response to changes in the Eternal Dungeon, the Commoners' Guild in Yclau begins pressing for a new era of prison reform that takes into account class oppression. Vovim's civil war reaches its climax.

375, the third month (1886 Fallow): In the Silence (Life Prison).

375, the fourth month (1886 Fallow): Forge 1: Stalk (The Eternal Dungeon).

375, the sixth month (1886 Fallow): Forge 2: Broadside (The Eternal Dungeon).

375, the eighth month (1886 Fallow): Forge 3: Guild (The Eternal Dungeon).

375, the eleventh month (1886 Fallow): Forge 4: Protest (The Eternal Dungeon) and Forge 5: Trap (The Eternal Dungeon).

376 (1887 Barley): After an initial period of anarchy that lasts into the following decade, the Vovimian government is gradually converted into an elective monarchy with a parliament. A period of peace begins in the Midcoast nations.

378, the fifth month (1887 Fallow): Rain: Hope (Life Prison / Commando).

The 380s (1888–1891)

Events in the Midcoast nations: Crime increases throughout the Midcoast nations, resulting in a sharp increase in life prisoners.

381 (1888 Fallow): Davidson is born (Life Prison).

385 (1890 Barley): The public receives its first hint of troubles in Mip's life prisons through an unsuccessful uprising at Compassion Prison. Beginning of the main plotline of the Life Prison series, which is set in Mip.

385, the third month (1890 Barley): Mercy's Prisoner 1: Life Prison (Life Prison).

385, the sixth month (1890 Barley): Coded Messages (Life Prison).

385, the seventh month (1890 Barley): Cell-mates (Life Prison).

385, the eleventh month (1890 Barley): Lockdown (Life Prison).

385, the eleventh month (1890 Barley): Mercy's Prisoner 2: Men and Lads (Life Prison), flashbacks only.

The 390s (1891–1894)

Events in the Midcoast nations: As Vovim settles into peace, civil unrest increases in Yclau.

392 (1892 Clover): Yclau's Guild of Healers issues a report suggesting that more mid-class folk than in the past are engaging in vice and crime. Mid-class folk begin to join the commoners in urging Yclau's Queen to institute social reforms, particularly to the prison system.

393, the eleventh month (1892 Fallow): Mercy's Prisoner 2: Men and Lads (Life Prison) and Lord and Servant (Life Prison).

394 (1893 Barley): Archy is born (Michael's House).

395, the twelfth month (1893 Clover): Mercy's Prisoner 3: Milord (Life Prison).

399, the tenth month (1894 Fallow): Mercy's Prisoner 4: Isolation (Life Prison).

The 400s (1895–1898)

Events in the Midcoast nations: The Midcoast nations' democratic revolution, which started in Mip and Vovim, spreads to Yclau. The Dozen Landsteads refuse to take part in the revolution, continuing to adhere to its time-honored master/liegeman/servant system.

400 (1895 Barley): The first High Seeker's correspondence is published. The Commoners' Guild and its mid-class allies rise against the Queen of Yclau. The Eternal Dungeon is raided as part of the rebels' attack on the royal palace. The Yclau government is converted into a democracy. Yclau's life prisons are shut down. In Mip, troubles in the life prisons reach their peak.

400, the third month (1895 Barley): Mercy's Prisoner 5: Curious (Life Prison) and Hell's Messenger (Life Prison).

402 (1895 Fallow): As a result of troubles in Mip's life prisons that affect foreigners, the Dozen Landsteads declare war upon Mip. The Midcoast War begins, eventually involving all four of the Midcoast nations. The end of the war will cause increased ties between the three countries of the Tri-Nation area, to the exclusion of the Dozen Landsteads. Beginning of the main plotline of the Commando series, which is set in Mip and the Dozen Landsteads.

403, the seventh month (1896 Barley): Spy Hill (Commando).

The 410s to the 450s (1898–1915)

Events in the Midcoast nations: Vovim gradually accepts the industrial revolution that has already transformed life in Yclau and Mip. The slum problem that plagues those two countries spreads to Vovim. Social reformers turn their attention from the treatment of prisoners to the role of poverty in creating immorality and crime.

427, the fourth month (1904 Barley): Janus Roe is born (Michael's House).

427, the eighth month (1904 Barley): Michael is born (Michael's House).

428, the tenth month (1904 Clover): Hasan is born (Michael's House).

432 (1905 Fallow): Wyll Hicks is born (Michael's House).

434 (1906 Clover): Evan is born (Michael's House).

435 (1906 Fallow): Lann is born (Michael's House).

439, the fourth month (1908 Barley): Rain: Happiness (Michael's House).

448 (1911 Barley): Michael's House for Boys is founded in Vovim. It will soon attract the attention of social reformers in that land. Beginning of the main plotline of the Michael's House series, which is set in Vovim.

448, the eighth month (1911 Barley): Whipster 1: The New Boy (Michael's House).

449, the tenth month (1911 Clover): Whipster 2: Offstage (Michael's House).

450, the fourth month (1911 Fallow): Whipster 3: Blurred Lines (Michael's House).

451 (1912 Barley): Yclau, while retaining its democracy, restores its monarchy. In one of her first speeches, the new Queen proposes granting independence to the First Landstead, known by this time as the First District: the queendom's founding district. Citizens of the First District have become increasingly restive over centuries as Yclau culture has gradually diverged from the culture of the Dozen Landsteads. Returning self-government to the First Landstead would allow the First Landstead's government to re-ally itself with the Alliance of the Dozen Landsteads, the polical body of the other eleven landsteads. The Queen's proposal includes provisions requiring the retention of certain aspects of Yclau culture in that territory, such as the queendom's advanced technology. The Dozen Landsteads react by forbidding nearly all cultural and technological imports from foreign nations, including the First Landstead. As a result, the society of the so-called upper landsteads is effectively frozen in the year 1912.

The sixth century (1928–1961)

Events in the Midcoast nations: Life in the Midcoast region is transformed by the First Landstead's development of the world's first optical computers in the 1930s. The Dozen Landsteads continue to adhere to 1912-era technology and culture.

548 (1944 Clover): Geoffrey Gray is born (Waterman).

564 (1949 Fallow): Variel is born (Waterman).

566 (1950 Clover): Benjamin Carruthers and Geoffrey Gray's youngest sister Candace (later nicknamed Daisy) are born (Waterman and).

579, the ninth month (1954 Fallow): The Lure (Waterman).

583 (1956 Barley): Geoffrey Gray becomes High Master of the Second Landstead (Waterman). ¶ Far Enough Away (Waterman).

584 (1956 Clover): A Concise History of the Dozen Landsteads is published (Waterman).

584, the fourth month (1956 Clover, Spring Childhood week): M Carruthers – son of Benjamin and Daisy Carruthers, nicknamed Carr – and Bat are born (Waterman and Young Toughs).

584, the ninth month (1956 Clover, Autumn Waning week): Meredith is born (Waterman).

585 (1956 Fallow): Sally is born (Waterman).

586 (1957 Barley): Honey Tillbury, Foster, and Pembroke are born (Waterman).

587 (1957 Clover): Kit Sutcliff is born (Waterman).

596, the sixth month (1960 Clover, Summer Transformation week): Rain: Joy (Waterman).

598 (1961 Barley, Summer Dying week): New Day (Waterman).

598 (1961 Barley, Autumn Dying week): Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman).

The seventh century (1961–1995)

Events in the Midcoast nations: Yclau, Vovim, and Mip have become scientifically advanced, drawing upon technology developed in the First Landstead. At the start of the century, the upper landsteads of the Dozen Landsteads remain culturally frozen in the year 451 (1912 Barley).

601 (1962 Barley, Spring Youth week): Survival School (Waterman).

601 (1962 Barley, Summer Transformation week): AI (Waterman).

601 (1962 Barley, Autumn Waning week): Sweeping Day (Waterman).

602 (1962 Clover): The centuries-long battle between the watermen of the Dozen Landsteads intensifies, centering upon the rivalry between the Second Landstead (on the Western Shore) and the Third Landstead (on the Eastern Shore). Beginning of the main plotline of the Waterman series, which is set in the Dozen Landsteads.

602, the second month (1962 Clover, Spring Transformation week): Master and Servant 1: The Abolitionist (Waterman).

602, the fourth month (1962 Clover, Spring Manhood week): Runaway (Waterman).

602, the ninth month (1962 Clover, Autumn Waning week): Master and Servant 3: Unmarked (Waterman).

602 (1962 Clover, Autumn Dying week): Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman).

603, the second month (1962 Fallow, Spring Death week): Queue (Waterman).

603, the fourth month (1962 Fallow, Spring Manhood week): Journey to Manhood (Waterman).

603, the fifth month (1962 Fallow, Summer Waning week): Sacrifice 2: Lost Haven (Waterman).

606, the tenth month (1963 Fallow, Autumn Death week): Liegeman's Service (Waterman).

The eighth century (1995–2029)

Events in the Midcoast nations: The unimaginable future.

723, the ninth month (2002 Fallow): Psychologists with Whips: A History of the Eternal Dungeon is published (The Eternal Dungeon).

748, the first month (2011 Barley): Broken (The Eternal Dungeon).

779, the ninth month (2021 Clover): Forge 6: Historical Annotations (The Eternal Dungeon).

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