An Alternate Historical Timeline (for non-BH/KJA fans)

In my opinion, one of the best times to run a game in the Duniverse is during the decades leading up to the events in the first book (10,191 AG).

Presently, most of the resources available for this period are based on the works of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I believe that I may not be alone in not being a fan of their work.

For those finding theirselves in the same camp, you should know that there is an alternative source of history known as the Dune Encyclopedia published in 1984 by Dr. Willis McNelly (et al). Frank Herbert actually expressed his approval for the book, which covered the first 4 books of the series, while reserving the right to contradict it as he saw fit while continuing the saga (which I believe he did).

I happen to have a copy and I have done some compiling of vague dates to put together a rough timeline of the prior century or so to the events of the first book. I think I’m setling in on the idea of running a campaign in 10,163 and beginning with the announcement that the Atreides Duke was killed in a bullfight and that his son, Leto is assuming the role of Siridar Duke on Caladan.

In case anyone else would find it useful, here it is:

10059 : Minotauros (Mintor) Atreides born.

10075 : Thufir Hawat born on Logi.

10079 : Gunseng Harkonnen born.

10100 : T. Hawat enters service to Atreides family.

10110 : Vladimir Harkonnen born to G. Harkonnen and Baroness Muertana (of House Sarobella).

10111 : House Harkonnen awarded control of Arrakis as siridar fief.

10116 : Duke Paulos XVIII Atreides dies of illness. Mintor Atreides becomes Siridar Duke of Caladan.

10119 : Shaddam IV Corrino born This is the birth date that I believe is correct with respect to Irulan's quote from the book "My father, the Padishah Emperor, was 72 yet looked no more than 35 the year he encompassed the death of Duke Leto and gave Arrakis back to the Harkonnens." Leto died on 10191. 10191-72 is 10119.

10128 : G. Harkonnen enters unofficial kanly with House Sarobella.

10130 : Gunseng Harkonnen is murdered by his eldest son Araskin who is then killed by the family mentat by way of a poison needle to the neck. V. Harkonnen becomes Baron.

10132 : Glossu Rabban born to Abulurd, youngest demibrother of V. Harkonnen who had renounced the family name for the subdistrict of Rabban-Lankivel.

10133 : Hasimir Fenring born on Kaitain

10134 : Shaddam IV Corrino born. This date is given in the Encyclopedia but it appears to be at odds with the book.

10135 : Gurney Halleck born to house Halleck, a minor House on Chusuk under the banner of House Euterpe (long time allies of House Atreides).

10140 : Leto Atreides born.

10147 : H. Fenring tested with Gom Jabbar by R. M. Zoe Partherin. In her report to the B. G., Pertherin stated that while Fenring acquitted himself well during the ordeal, he was lacking in essential qualities that would make him useful to the B. G.

10153 : H. Fenring becomes Count upon the death of his father.

10154 : Jessica (Harkonnen) born to Tanidia Nerus (rumored to be G. H. Mohiam).

10155 : Glossu Rabban (23) leads Harkonnen attack on Chusuk, leaving over a third of its industrial areas in ruins. House Halleck is wiped out save for Gurney and his sister, Annette. Gurney spends next decade on Giedi Prime as a slave.

Na Emperor Shaddam IV survives an assassination attempt during leave on Kaitain thanks to warnings from his friend, Count Fenring. A member of the royal House was executed for the crime but Emperor Elrood IX was behind the attempt. Shaddam returns to Salusa Secondus. Elrood is killed by chaumurky (H. Fenring likely behind it). Shaddam ascends the throne.

10158 : Duncan Idaho born to lower-class parents on Caladan. While still very young, Duncan is apprenticed to House Ginaz to study swordsmanship.

10163 : Duke Mintor Atreides is killed in Corrida on Caladan. He is succeeded by his son Leto (23). T. Hawat (88) stays on to advise the young duke.

10164 : Glossu Rabban appointed governor of Arrakis by Baron V. Harkonnen. Rabban scars G. Halleck before departing.

10165 : In retaliation for an attack on an allied House, Duke L. Atreides orders an attack on Giedi Prime with the express goal of freeing Harkonnen slaves. G. Halleck is freed and enters Atreides service.

10173 : Count Hasimir Fenring marries Lady Margot

10175 : A “War of Assassins” begins between House Ginaz and House Moritani of Grumman. Sometime in the ensuing years, D. Idaho goes to Grumman and faces overwhelming odds. He kills many before he is finally captured.

10180 : D. Idaho (22) sold as a slave to House Harkonnen and condemned to the mines of Hagal.

10181 : House Ginaz defeated by House Moritani.

10184 : Idaho seduces daughter of Harkonnen governor on Hagal and is able to send a message to Caladan and escape the mines with the governor’s daughter. Six months later he is rescued by G. Halleck and an Atreides force.


Excellent! I’m working on a campaign arc starting around 10170ish and really not a fan of the prequels by BH/KJA and was largely just going to ignore any of the ‘canon’ from those sources.


Thank you so much for this. There is so much potential story meat here.

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