The weave of Time
Sense the shattering of the world Nations and civilization itself fell, rose, and fell again. Occasional periods of uneasy peace have been punctuated by warfare.
There were two major conflicts that were of particular importance, in terms of their effect on civilization as a whole. The first were the Trolloc Wars, in which servants of the Dark One tried to destroy civilization once more, in a more or less continuous war that lasted for several hundred years. This period finally came to an end thanks to an alliance of nations led by the I Sedai.
The second was the War of the Hundred Years, a devastating civil war that followed the fall of a continent-spanning empire ruled by the High King, Artur Hawkwing.
These wars have prevented the human race from regaining the power and high technology of the Age of Legends, and left humanity divided. Even the prestige of the I Sedai has fallen, with their terrible power and shrinking numbers, and the emergence of organizations such as the Children of the Light, a militant order who hold that all who dabble with the One Power are servants of the Shadow. The human race has clawed its way back to a level of technology and culture roughly comparable to that of our 1450 to 1600 (although without the sciences, formalized learning, or the military use of gunpowder), with the difference that women enjoy full equality with men in most societies, and are superior in some. One likely explanation for this is the power and influence of the female-only I Sedai spilling over into everyday life.
During the last war of note, called the Aiel War and ending 20 years before the start of the this adventure, the nations of the modern era allied themselves against the warrior-clans of the Aiel, who crossed into the western kingdoms on a mission of vengeance after suffering a grievous insult at the hands of one of the western Kings. The Aiel have since returned to the Aiel Waste, with some saying that they were defeated and fled, but others saying that they got their vengeance and left on their own terms. Despite this confrontation, little is known of these fierce warriors in the kingdoms of the east.