The withdrawal is the term used for each time Humans, and other beings came to the world of Daventry from the Other World. It may actually be a form of time warp into the ancient past. The term withdrawal is always italicized, and associated terms include; withdrawals (plural), withdrew (action) & withdrawn (past tense)
The first withdrawal also corresponds to the colonization of the World of Daventry (although certain elements apparently existed within the world before the withdrawal, I.E. Land of the Green Isles, Crispin's House, Old Woods, Glass Mountains, etc) through the magic of the creatures leaving the Other World. Some accounts suggest they had actually withdrawn to planet Earth in the distant past. It was an era in which creatures of mythology still walked the earth.
The reason why they withdrew over the eons was because magic and science were at odds with each other. People were beginning to put more faith in science, philosophy and technology over magic and nature. People were no longer having need for the people that used magic, or they were mistrustful of them. People no longer wanted to commune with nature, in fact progress was destroying nature. So many magical creatures, people, and demigods made the first trip. It was a one way trip with no known way back, so many beings made the choice to stay behind in the Other World. Over the centuries though even they withdrew at various times.
People of Daventry generally distrust technology (which is uncommon in their world) seeing it as leading to the downfall of the natural world and worry about what would happen if it was ever combined with magic. Humans of Daventry view people of the Other World as their ancestors, and they share many of our same books and legends.
Humans settled in the land which is now known as Sovereignty of Serenia first and moved out across the lands from there. Many people believe that entered the world somewhere near Crispin's house, and that he may have been a leader of the first withdrawal. It has been said that his house has existed since the beginning of time when it was created in an instant and that Crispin is older than the beginning of time.
The planet is said to be earth of long ago, in the manuals, the various references in the games.
See On the Origin of Daventry for further information.
One Way trip
The concept of withdrawal is considered a one way trip. With the only exceptions being when the Sierra multiverse is involved, as characters from various Sierra universes are apparently able to travel in between the various game worlds (and even converse with the developers at times). See Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume I. Perhaps taking place in the mysterious place between the worlds.
Note: Larry Laffer's own adventure across the multiverse as well (see LSL3 and Peter Spear's Bedside Companion). Or Rosella traveling to the Sierra World version of Earth in LSL2 (note also, animatronic Graham in Sierra World in LSL1), and regular earth in LSL3. See Larry's Women Speak: The Rosella Interview. And other crossover works like The Bookwyrm Investigates: Sierra Characters' Favorite Books, Rosella's First Quest and Strategy and Tactics: Hoyle Volume 3.
The concept of withdrawal is mentioned only in the King's Quest Companion but not in any of the manuals or games. Unfortunately references to when withdrawals occurred on Earth are vague.
Derek explains that modern people represent the descendants of earth: that humans are the sons of sons and daughters of daughters from generation and centuries back. But magical creatures, and those races that evolved alongside humanity might have left earlier centuries.
One of the of the comments made for the first withdrawal is that those who were involved saw the thrashers coming for them as if they were ripe wheat. Thrashers are a technology from the late 1700's which may suggest possible era that they first leave the world (or at least seers saw technology that was on the horizon and the names for the technology). Even the manuals and the games themselves are vague when making references to dates. It is also unclear what date within Daventry's own universe they withdrew into but appears to be at least several thousand years.
It is possible to assume general dates for each withdrawal (in earth time) by interpreting from earth based subjects seen in Daventry. Assumptions can be made off objects, locations or characters that have been said to have originated from the withdrawals.
Withdrawal into Daventry
The Ancient Ones apparently existed on the World of Daventry before the first withdrawal. They existed about 1,000 years before KQ1 (based on information in the Guidebook). The Ancients were already legend by the time of the withdrawal. This could suggest that within Daventry time that the withdrawal had to have occurred less than 1000 years before KQ1 (though several other sections of the KQC implies that it was much longer). Crispin implies that the withdrawal took place a millennium or so before in the companion (he had been resting that much time since the withdrawal). But he was probably not being specific.
The mummy buried in the crypt carved into the Impossible Mountains was at least 1000 years old. This might suggest that the Egyptian priestesses might have withdrawn into Daventry about 1000 years before KQ1 to create the kingdom of Aegypt (however it is never stated that the egyptians/aegyptians actually withdrew). Rosella surmised the ancient tomb in Tamir must have been carved into the mountain around the time of ancient Aegypt, and Pandora's Box had been guarded there for eons(so from her perspective Aegypt has always been an ancient land in Daventry's past). If withdrawal took place it would suggest that Aegypt may be a kingdom within the world of Daventry (that shares many similarities to Egypt in geography). The 1000 year date could correspond to the first withdrawal (although first withdrawal could have been longer than a thousand years).
The oldest date mentioned in Daventry, 10,000 or more years, as the last time that the Old Wood felt grief. It shows that Old Woods predates the faeries and the withdrawal. Time inside the woods actually moves at a much slower rate than time outside the woods (due to faery magic), that is from the POV of someone entering the woods will only experience a few hours, days in the woods, but days, weeks or years may have passed outside the woods. This means that 10,000 years or more is a long time indeed (time in Daventry itself could be much longer than that). The Glass Mountains are said to be even older than the Old Wood, suggesting they also existed before the first withdrawal.
The Ancient Well was apparently was created when many of the races that first withdrew reached Daventry, about the same time the Kingdom of Daventry was formed.
Withdrawal from the Other World
Mythical creatures from Rome, Greece and Egypt likely withdrew to Daventry during those periods. Some of these periods may overlap (Cleopatra died during the time of Rome). If Daventry is on earth and KQ takes place centuries ago on Earth (as stated in 1992 Interaction article) then Aegyptians or Romans didn't necessarily have to withdraw to Daventry, but may have visited it from Rome and Egypt. However details may suggest if Merlin/Crispin was the first to lead the withdrawal it probably took place following the events of Arthurian legends. Some details might suggest it was during the Renaissance or even Enlightenment era. This would mean they withdrew to hidden continents somewhere (possibly micro-continents as each continent is not very large in scale).
The names of humans such as Merlin, Achilles, William Shakespeare, and Sun Tzu may also indicate earth periods in which people withdrew. The names indicate that items such as Shield of Achilles, Merlin's Mirror, and Compleat Works of Shakespeare had to have been taken after the eras of Greece, ancient Britain, the Renaissance, and China. On the other hand some of these materials may be contemporary to the time of Daventry, or occurred in an earlier point in history before the time portrayed in Daventry.
William Shakespeare was writing his plays about 1589 and later. However, the book which collections his plays tend to be more of a modern phenomena, and tied to the Innsmouth (roughly early 20th century related) in the KQ lore. However, its not clear how Rosella or other Daventry citizens first learned of his plays (but knew them long before Rosella discovered the 20th century published compendium in Whateley Manor).
See No Weevil has implication of the north America continent, and the cowboys who lasso cattle there. This would suggest that some cowboys have accidentally withdrawn into Daventry, or that Daventry exists in a time period contemporary with American cowboys (about as early as 1725).
Dangerous compendiums such as The Key of Solomon, the Book of Dyzan, the Principia Discordia and the Book of the Damned may also indicate eras in which withdrawals took place. Abdul Alhazred may even have brought his book, the Al Azif (the Necronomicon) to the world.
Whateley Manor was brought over as early as Victorian times (though possibly even into the 1928-1931 (as per Shadows over Innsmouth and Dunwich Horror) when or soon after Innsmouth was being inspected by the FBI, judging by the decor, the style of building. It was brought over by powerful mutant sorcerers from Innsmouth. The graveyard of Whateley Mansion however shows that people have been buried in it since the 16th century or so. Both the mansion and the graveyard were brought over at the same time.
A modern withdrawal may have brought the Eye Between the Worlds to Daventry, or its a piece of machinery created by Pope Sylvester or Manannan himself.
- King's Quest I, King's Quest 6, King's Quest V, King's Quest: Mask of Eternity
- KQC3E, pg