Talk:Announcement: New Unofficial History Timeline Page

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There are a lot of subtle inconsistencies or unexplained cross-relationships between historical documents. This now idle Wordsmiths project on the history of necromancy was built as my model for reconciling tons of them. This copy of it has a thousand footnotes. To be clear, I do not think inconsistencies and contradictions between documents are inherently a problem, I am almost allergic to retcons. The problem is lack of IC framing for why they are inconsistent. INIQUITY (talk) 19:29, 24 April 2023 (CDT)

Undead War
The Undead War in particular has a lot of contradictory dates and time spans and inconsistent fine details across documents. The most serious of these is "History of the Faendryl". It has "Eight Patriarchs watched over the conflict" before the Battle of Maelshyve, which most (but not all) documents date as -15,185 Modern Era based off "Timeline of Elanthian History" (sometimes converted into Illistim or Vaalor calendar systems with their House founding dates as year 0), during the reign of Patriarch Unsenis who is number 34. Patriarch Rythwier is number 37 at the time of the Ashrim War in +157 Modern Era (which is itself a few centuries earlier than the reign of Caladsal implies for it in Ta'Illistim Monarchs, and Istmaeon's reign is two thousand years too early for the Kiramon war in it, and Alaein is 1500 years too early for the gnomes in it.) The current Patriarch Korvath Dardanus refers to himself in letters as Patriarch 39.
Faendryl Timeline Gap
The eight Patriarchs could maybe be handwaved as referring to the entire five thousand year period Despana was known to exist, since most (but not all) documents have the Undead War being short on the scale of a few years. But then there are just two Patriarchs covering almost 15,000 years up to Rythwier Faendryl and the Ashrim War, with Patriarch 35 starting in roughly -15,180 with the Faendryl exile to the ruins of Maelshyve.
The entire underground period for the Faendryl has almost no definition. The original intent was for much of (New) Ta'Faendryl to be an underground city, and then "built on a hill overlooking Rhoska-Tor" with regional sinister and eldritch ruins/relics, and then later documentation had NTF as a brand new surface city built after moving out of Rhoska-Tor to a nearby spot only after the Ashrim War. Except there had to have been other surface constructions prior to that point, such as the port where they launched their war ships and maybe Chesylcha's wedding party. (Which I think should be defined to be Gellig so that Gellig is something major enough to explain why the Faendryl reacted so much more severely to the Turamzzyrian Empire invading it in the Third Elven War. Tedronne, Creyth, and Harald's Keep would then be oriented west to east on the Faendryl northern borderlands, with Barrett's Gorge and Brantur to the west and Gellig on the east coast, and those three fortresses meant to cut off potential intervention from the Elven Nations. Tedronne in the west toward Brantur is possibly to eventually pincer New Ta'Faendryl, or to be a fall back position to force potential Faendryl retaliation to pass through the Wizardwaste and Southron Wastes. Then there is a road from Gellig toward New Ta'Faendryl with the army going around the wastes and the Breaking happening southwest of Gellig and Harald's Keep, with northwest fleeing and Tedronne more in the direction of Brantur and the Wizardwaste, and Creyth more in the direction of Barrett's Gorge.)
I think the sensible thing to do here is for there to be an old underground city and for what's now called New Ta'Faendryl to connect down into it, and this surface facade and its five boroughs were centrally planned for organizing the whole society governance structure from the top down. I also think the "Patriarchal Palace" should be a center city within NTF where the Enchiridion Valentia is kept underground, akin to Vatican City, so that the Basilica is architecturally a basilica like it is in OTF and the Palace in the sense of royal residence is its own towering building. Analogous to St. Peter's Basilica versus the Apostolic Palace. This would be its own pentagon with a head building for each Pentact branch between the boulevards, with the five boulevards giving unobstructed view of the Palace itself, and the public gardens are within this center city. This would reconcile some tensions between Faendryl documents about the roles of the Basilica and the Clerisy and the Patriarchal residence and the Enchiridion archives. (e.g. Are the "Basilican Sorcerers" actually the Clerisy? Clerisy positions in the Rachis? Did Second Era Faendryl summoning, such as it actually existed in state sanctioned form to study extraplanar hazards, all happen secretly within and under the Basilica itself in OTF in a strictly controlled and scheduled way?) Or perhaps better, the "Basilica" could refer collectively to these Pentact capitol buildings ("edifices" in "The Theory of Governance and Social Order"), with a Roman style basilica part of the Palace itself for the Arch Chancellors, and the Rachis oriented basilica building for chancellors/magnates including the Palestra headquarters, and the "Basilica Tower" (mentioned in a Korvath letter) being the Clerisy building or at least part of its headquarters.
So, either Unsenis and Cestimir should be pushed back to something like Patriarchs 27/28 and those eight unnamed monarchs can be between Cestimir and Rythwier, or (better) a premise can be framed that state sanctioned history by the Faendryl is somewhat revisionist / propaganda in nature and the Faendryl basically redacted that 15,000 year underground period and renumbered the Patriarchs after the Ashrim War to make the underground period sound relatively brief (allowing only one then-living memory predecessor for Rythwier.) Rythwier is officially Patriarch 37, for example, but might "in reality" be something like the 53rd Patriarch. I would add an NPC note by an Illistim scholar to the top of "History of the Faendryl" saying the Faendryl have revised their Patriarch numbers to omit things, and generally exaggerate and distort historical precedent or continuity for their current practices with dark magic. That would also take pressure off "History of the Faendryl" and "Introduction to the Enchiridion Valentia and Summoning" making it sound like demonic summoning was widespread and public in the capital of the Elven Empire for roughly 20,000 years leading up to the Battle of Maelshyve, while "Path to Palestra" has the Palestra academies not being founded until after the Ashrim War (and the lesser academies founded under the current Patriarch.) I would define the original Palestra purpose (circa -40,000) as guarding against demonic hazards in general, which would not have been controversial to anyone in their public facing capacity. I would also define the Faendryl bringing the Ithzir world conquerors into OTF as a symbolic gesture along the lines of "this is what we have been protecting you from for millennia and this is what your cities will become without us."
The timing descriptions of the advance to ShadowGuard and its duration are also pretty deeply inconsistent between "History of Elanthia" and the Vaalor journal documents which have that one battle lasting months using Vaalorian calendar dates, while its present northern position on the Elanith map makes it seem like there is no reason the undead army should have even bothered stopping in that location. If ShadowGuard were instead further south between Nevishrim and Ta'Nalfein, it would be more consistent with History of the Sylvan Elves, and would be the Undead blocking in that relatively narrow pass around the mountains while they wreaked havoc in the "outlying provinces" west of the DragonSpine. In that position ShadowGuard's purpose could then be defined as a guardian on the edge of the Elven Empire's core territory for stopping dark stuff (with its "thaumaturge units") coming out of the southern wastelands (e.g. undead, demons, cultists, dark magic criminals), and you could have an extended period of stagnation in the forests around ShadowGuard before Dharthiir suddenly shifts gears and tries to surge northeast into the Elven Empire itself. Despana and Maelshyve and her undead had been present for a few thousand years at that point, so it was a very sudden escalation contrary to her precedent.
In that case if it does not contradict anything, I would make Harradahn (since the Undead kept advancing after ShadowGuard) the position currently labeled as ShadowGuard on the Elanith map, and move ShadowGuard down near the gap between the mountains and ocean and treat that as being to the west of Nalfein holdings. The Sylvan history also has the Battle of Harradahn in -15,195 seven years before Maelshyve in -15,188 and later than ShadowGuard, while the Vaalor journals and "Wyvern" use the equivalent of -15,186 for ShadowGuard, with the Battle of Maelshyve within one year in -15,185. Other documents have the Undead War lasting for plural "years" after Shadow Guard, including "History of Elanthia", "History of the Truefolk", and "History of the Sylvan Elves". Duration and time gap inconsistencies are more serious than specific date inconsistencies.
I would suggest -15,196 as the real year for ShadowGuard falling, -15,195 for Harradahn, and Maelshyve at -15,185 or -15,188, and blame it on differences between calendar systems in how they corrected or didn't correct the 365th day of the solar year. Even Julian versus Gregorian would make year large errors on these time scales. It is very difficult to reconstruct ancient chronologies from intercalculating between calendar systems, such as lunar calendars and regnal year calendars and founding year calendars where different authors disagree on the mythical founding year being used as the basis, and cross-referencing across less reliable calendars can explain much larger date range disagreements. Then other inconsistencies would be unreliable narration or differences of emphasis, like Dharthiir recruiting allies as early at -15,497 and maybe low level provinces conflict reaching back to roughly -15,490, or that could be the result of an especially large calendar system discrepancy. For example, a 360 day calendar system would create a 291 year discrepancy over 20,000 years, if it were not adjusted for by an incautious chronicler. -15,490 in that hypothetical 360 day calendar would be -15,199 Modern Era assuming that is using 365.2422 days per year as we do now on Earth. Then -15,196 Modern Era for ShadowGuard falling would make much more sense, with a fairly brief preceding period of outlying provinces falling (and recruiting humans from the West in the process.) Likewise, a flat 365 day calendar creates a 13 year error over 20,000 years.
Despana and Undeath
There is a very old unfortunate misreading of "History of Elanthia" that interprets the line "Using this ancient work, Despana created the first of the Undead." to mean Despana created the first undead to ever exist. That is a self-contradiction on face value, since the premise is she found a necromancy book written by someone else. "Undead" is a proper noun in that document, referring to her horde army. That interpretation of the first undead (by mortals) is in "History of Luukos" and tacitly in the early parts of "The Battle of ShadowGuard, A soldier's journal (An eyewitness account)". It is contradicted outright in "History of the Dhe'nar", the Wolves Den implementation of the Aramur Forean hook in "History of Elanthia", "History of Fash'lo'nae" dating the struggle with the Vishmiir to the Elven Empire period, and is incoherent for many reasons given the many ways undead come into existence in the world setting. (For example, "History of the Faendryl" puts veil piercing and demon summoning earlier than -40,000 Modern Era, and demons have always been defined in GemStone as causes of undeath. They are the ultimate source of undeath in DragonRealms. The Ur-Daemon are tacitly implied to be related to undeath in "History of Elanthia", with the speculated origins of the Book of Tormtor, and we've seen their undying body parts are profoundly corrupting.) The history of necromancy I had written was a model for fixing this problem. Despana should be defined as having innovated hierarchical control of undead hordes (especially the rotting corpse varieties) and the use of disease curses and mass transformations of undead allowing big hordes to be rapidly made for the first time. Necromancy of undeath should be a practice dating all the way back into the Age of Darkness with demon worshippers and Marluvian cultists (e.g. vruul), and there should be a bunch of kinds of undead (e.g. corrupted spirits, extraplanar undead) that should have always been present dating back to the Ur-Daemon War.
INIQUITY (talk) 19:29, 24 April 2023 (CDT)

Dhe'nar Departure and House Founding Timing
There is inconsistency on the details of the Dhe'nar departure from the other Elves and the split into Houses in general. The core of the issue is that "History of the Dhe'nar" has a 5,000 year gap between the Noi'sho'rah prophecy (circa -50,000) and the Tahlad departure (circa -45,000). "Timeline of Elanthian History" follows this with dating the departure as -45,293. But this makes the whole Dhe'nar version of events incoherent. It is 2,000 years after the last House formed, and 4,000 years after the first House formed. (This may have happened because "History of Elanthia" had originally used 50,000 years ago for the Elven Empire, but the timeline document later defined the individual House / city foundings at earlier dates pushing back to 54,000 years ago, and the unofficial player Dhe'nar history got canonized using the original 50,000 years ago timing. But moving that date back doesn't fix the fundamental problems. The Sylvan history is the most scholarly account of the period and makes it clear the "split" into Houses was really just the urbanization of spread out and long pre-existing colonies / bloodlines.)
(1) Age: Tahlad is Korthyr's uncle in "History of the Dhe'nar" and "History of the Faendryl". Korthyr only lives long enough to build the first borough of Ta'Faendryl, founded in -48,897 in "Timeline of Elanthian History", where Ta'Faendryl was built by Korthyr's "line" in "History of Elanthia" and mostly under Korthyr's successor, his own great nephew Khalar Andiris in "History of the Faendryl" up until around circa -48,000. Working through the timing of Patriarchs in "History of the Faendryl", the Dhe'nar departure in "Timeline of Elanthian History" probably happened during the reign of Yshryth Silvius Patriarch 14, which is around the time the Elven Empire becomes a meaningful concept (consistent with "History of Elanthia".) Whereas it would not have been a meaningful concept in -50,000 when none of the Houses existed yet, and the founders were most likely of different generations. Some may have not even been alive at the same time as others, or not known each other, the capital cities having been founded over a span of 1,500 years. This line in "History of the Faendryl" has to be an anachronism or "great man of history" myth: "The elves were ready to leave the forests and split into eight noble Houses to form the greatest empire the world had known, lead by Korthyr Faendryl, Aradhul Vaalor, Zishra Nalfein, Sharyth Ardenai, Bhoreas Ashrim, Callisto Loenthra, Linsandrych Illistim and Tahlad Tsi'shalar." Tahlad in turn dies around circa -40,000 in "History of the Dhe'nar". He would have been well over ten thousand years old if he was Korthyr's uncle.
(2) Founding Spread: "History of the Faendryl" words it this way: "Noi'sho'rah's cult left the forests, lead by Tahlad Tsi'shalar, and later became known as the Dhe'nar. Undaunted by his uncle's desertion, Korthyr Faendryl lead the rest of the elves from their home of ages amid the trees, leaving behind those that are the sylphs, and Sharyth Ardenai's line, who would lead the elven holdings there." This is inconsistent in several ways. "History of the Sylvan Elves" has the Elves spread out in disparate colonies and living in open-air spaces outside the forests for a very long time before urbanizing, back to some time well before circa -55,000 (i.e. the split with the sylvans begins earlier than 60,000 years ago and the sylvan nomadic bands "gradually" consolidated into one colony), inconsistent with any abrupt planned division into Seven Cities of noble houses out of some central location or unified civilization. "Timeline of Elanthian History" and the documents using Illistim calendar dates have House Illistim as the first "House" in -49,107. House Ardenai was the second to last House in -47,689. The Ardenai lineages were apparently not considered "sylvisterai" in the pre-House period, so even with them, it would make more sense with the Sylvan history for Sharyth Ardenai to be leading a back to nature kind of movement into the Darkling Wood. Or at least having croplands on the forest edges with sedentary woodland hamlets (instead of clear cutting the forests to expand croplands like the other Elves) and later moving deeper into the woods to found Ta'Ardenai.
The Sylvan city of Ithnishmyn is founded circa -45,400 in between Ta'Ardenai and Ta'Loenthra, and the Dhe'nar departure is dated after that as well. There may be some cross-reference sense in this because sylvan harassment by Elven religious cults and slavers in "History of the Sylvan Elves" started around that time, and given the Dhe'nar enslavement of Sylvans for eighty years mentioned in the lavender lore in Speech Unspoken: The Language of Flowers (which makes no geographic sense in other time periods.) The treatment of the cities Ithnishmyn versus Ta'Ardenai, for nine thousand years until -36,567, would not make much sense unless the Elves and Sylvans had culturally split much earlier. Similarly for their religious differences versus "Elven Dogma and Theology". The tension here I think would be best handled by establishing a framing for it as being a general disagreement among the Elven lineages (biased by their own self-interests or ideologies) about when the dissidents that eventually became the Dhe'nar really left and who they were in the first place. One aspect of inconsistent views they could have of the "Matter of the Elven Empire" in general, which would be something analogous to the history and legend / founding myth mixed Matter of Britain. (e.g. the Illistim emphasize Lindsandrych Illistim founded the first city with the Chronicle keepers, the Faendryl argue Korthyr lead the House movement and so they have a perverse incentive to support the Noi'sho'rah/Tahlad legend, the Vaalor with their Wyvern oral tradition mythology, etc.)
(3) Separate Versions: One view would be the Dhe'nar left in circa -50,000 prior to the Illistim Chronicles being founded in -49,238 with Noi'sho'rah as a real person, Tahlad as the uncle of Korthyr, and were a distinct ideological tradition who could have been their own House if they had not left (giving the premise and timing in "History of the Faendryl" and to some extent "Elven Dogma and Theology".) Another view might be that Tahlad, or whoever that name really refers to in practice (possibly a few people using that name-title which means "Student" in Dhe'nar-si), was a dissident proselytizing for thousands of years and left with a group of followers after the Houses finished forming and the near dozen Faendryl coups (giving the circa -45,000 timing in "History of the Dhe'nar".) A third version for explaining the use of the specific date -45,293 might be an Illistim historiographer theory that the "Sharath" promised land people were really what became of some recorded reactionary offshoot branch of "Sharyth" Ardenai's movement who rejected the Houses and cities, and then left the forest after failing to convert the Sylvans. Possibly they would argue the "sho'rah" (which means "sister" in Dhe'nar-si) is also an oral history debasement of "Sharyth." The second and third versions might then view the Noi'sho'rah story and "prophecy" as distorted with anachronistic details of the Houses and Elven Empire as a single nation, from the bloody politics and instability of the Faendryl in the millennium leading up to Yshryth's mother overthrowing the government, and then Yshryth executing her and purging those who undermine Elven unity and the eternal empire. Then becoming more distorted with Despana being read into it later. The first version would go all-in on the Noi'sho'rah prophecy as an actual historical event. One subtlety is that the "Houses" as a formal political organization do not need to be equivalent to the city foundings. It might be that the "Houses" were institutionalized all at once as the "Elven Empire" in the -45,000s, and that later generation of rulers named their Houses after city-founder figures from a few thousand years earlier, and so the Dhe'nar do the same thing with Noi'sho'rah and it's all vaguely anachronistic with founder myths.
INIQUITY (talk) 15:13, 27 April 2023 (CDT)

Kannalan Empire
The Kannalan Empire has some dubious chronology due to the Gnomes documentation. These do not really need to be retconned in a hard way, recontextualizing the dates would be sufficient in most cases. Though a few of them do unavoidably need hard retcons from contradictions. The term "Kannalan Empire" was almost certainly De-I.C.E.'d from "Lankan Empire" (which was a totally different thing in nature) in the Path of Enlightenment messaging for the Order of Voln. This messaging has always used the year "1,300", which would have originally referred to the timeline of the archaic world setting. The meaning of this was implicitly retconned by "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire" in 2000 (real world), where the year +1,300 on the Kannalan calendar is equivalent to +4,045 Modern Era. This is because that document defined Fasthr k'Tafali founding the Order of Voln in +4,045 Modern Era which contradicted the "1300" year in the Order of Voln messaging. This calendar system conversion explanation for that date was explicitly canonized about a decade later (if not earlier) in "History of the Order of Voln". No explanation has ever been given, as far as I am aware, for why +2,745 Modern Era is year zero on the Kannalan calendar. But there is also no explanation for what motivates year 0 on the Modern Era calendar system.
(This could be any number of things, such as a new 365th day correction calendar system, perhaps a convention adopted by the Library of Biblia and the relatively early Chronomages. The Ta'Illistim Monarchs document refers to it as the "Common calendar", and it is at least used in the Turamzzyrian Empire. But then the choice for year 0 makes even less sense in terms of established premises if it is a Turamzzyrian convention, and the present day form of the "Common" language would not have existed yet. Though I would prefer it if Biblia itself was older than that, keeping the Bandur / Graveyard story in its original 6,300 years ago timing, which would recontextualize it as the late Age of Chaos. Because Bandur resided for a time at the Library of Biblia, and as an NPC he is still canon. There is a book by him in Moonsedge. Human fortifications beginning 8,000 years ago in "Timeline of Elanthian History".)
The complication then enters from "Lines of Blood: A History of the Gnomes" from roughly 2003 (real world), which dates the burghal gnomes moving into the "Kannalan Empire" a little after the year -135, but it does not say which calendar system it is using. Then "Timeline of Elanthian History" takes this and makes that "Circa -125" Modern Era. The gnome history is then talking about human cities, and Tamzyrr and "Selanthia" in year +725. Which as a Modern Era date would be 3500 years before the time of Selantha Anodheles. If it is instead +725 Kannalan, that is +3,470 Modern Era. This is still dubious, but significantly less dubious. Tamzyrr was already established as a "town" pre-dating +3,961 Modern Era in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire", but which has it "grow[ing] tremendously" after the trade alliance of +4,222 Modern Era. The gnome history talks about Tamzyrr as a town in "-125" and refers to "Selanthia" outside Tamzyrr in "+725". Perhaps "Selanthia" could be defined as Tamzyrr's surrounding territory going back some ways before the Turamzzyrian Empire but still only being "town" sized during the Kannalan Empire period. Selantha would have to be named after the territory rather than the other way around, or else the Gnome history could be taken as sort of anachronistically referring to what the region was named in later centuries.
Leaving it as it is now would mean the Kannalan Empire existed for at least several thousand years. That is much longer than the Turamzzyrian Empire, much too long for a weak empire with very little lore defining it. It would also mean that Tamzyrr is over 5,000 years old and did not become a big city until several thousand years later. These are not really contradictions, but are pretty implausible and "just so." The fluctuations framed for the past thousand years of history make several thousand years for Kannalan a strained premise. Another more subtle point that actually is a contradiction is that it says " Sjandor Withycombe led the Burghal Gnomes into the cities and towns of the Kannalan Empire", but then turns around and has Sjandor leading the burghal gnomes to Tamzyrr, which along with the other human cities in the southwest were already established as having not been part of the Kannalan Empire. Which makes the burghal gnomes in the Kannalan Empire in -125 under Sjandor a misattribution in the first place. It would have to mean later generations spread out into the Kannalan Empire from Tamzyrr. But we cannot just treat it as mythical distortions of what really happened, because the timing was then reused by other documents, "Timeline of Elanthian History" and Ta'Illistim Monarchs (converted into the Illistim calendar.)
I would suggest defining the Kannalan Empire as being founded in +2,745 Modern Era with a coronation of the Emperor of Veng, year 0 on the Kannalan calendar, which is a defined title in "Incomplete History of River's Rest". I do not know if the capital city of Veng has a defined location on the backend somewhere. For various reasons I think it would make most sense to have been somewhere in Hendor, whether or not "Hendor" was a name that only existed later, with the Kingdom of Hendor as its eventual successor state. Then the cities and so forth that formed the Kannalan Empire (or its neighbors in the case of Tamzyrr which was one of the "independent towns" that took in Kannalan refugees in "History of the Turamzzyrian Empire") would be what the gnome documentation is referencing. "Timeline of Elanthian History" (which has numerous contradictory dates) could then be tweaked to having the gnomes showing up Circa +2,620 Modern Era and then put parentheses saying "-125 Kannalan". Which recontextualizes the Gnome history document as using Kannalan dates instead of Modern Era dates. The alternative would be to have precursor alliances between cities pre-dating the formal Kannalan Empire (which could begin in +2,745), since human fortifications begin eight thousand years ago circa -3,000 Modern Era, and then the gnome history is just loosely referring to that earlier period (and Tamzyrr) as "Kannalan Empire" in an anachronistic way. Still more tortured would be to have the Kannalan Empire as a continuous entity founded in some deeply negative year on the Kannalan calendar. But I think the cleanest way to handle this is to just have the Gnome history be mostly referring to Kannalan calendar dates, and define year 0 on that calendar system as the Kannalan Empire founding.
That being said, that clearly isn't the original intent in the Gnomes document, because it uses the dates +2,389 in the Greengair section and +4,120 in the Nylem section (and the 4120 one is also used in the "Timeline of Elanthian History"), which would have to be tweaked to say "Modern Era" but the other dates tweaked to be saying "Kannalan". It also speaks of Elven rangers having the "first extended contact" with a gnome in -4,500. This is copied over as a Modern Era date in "Timeline of Elanthian History". However, Ta'Illistim Monarchs has "contact was first officially made" sometime between 43,019 and 43,232 Illistim (-6,088 and -5,875 Modern Era) during the reign of the Mirror Alaein Illistim. Treating the -4,500 as a Kannalan date (which would be -1,755 Modern Era) actually makes that contradiction worse. The cases of Circa -4,500 (Modern Era) could be hard retconned to Circa -6,000 Modern Era, to be consistent with the Illistim monarchs documentation since a hard retcon is unavoidable in this case, and then that Illistim documentation is just using more precise dates. Or Alaein could be pushed forward around 2,000 years. (Changing the gnome dates to the Kannalan calendar also requires pushing Ardtin forward by 2,000 years, because she is the one who let the Winedotter gnomes live in Ta'Illistim. As it stands Ardtin is well over 4,000 years old but had a daughter as a recent Handmaiden. Elven ages are broken in general but this is pretty severe even for an old NPC who is not something abnormal, like Morvule who is tens of thousands of years old.)
INIQUITY (talk) 15:57, 5 May 2023 (CDT)