The Broken Crown
I. The Primordium, Creation, and the First Ages
In the beginning there was nothing but war. There were countless entities eternally fighting. Formless entities made of pure energy and will, indistinguishable from one another. These entities were all that existed. Their sole purpose was conflict. The fighting was constant, no victors, no alliances, and no end in sight to the constant mayhem. The universe itself was a formless mass of pure mayhem. This was the Primordium. The primordium was all that existed, for an immeasurable time. This all changed during the first phenomenon. Many call this phenomenon The Materializing. The first entity to distinguish itself from the primordium was one of pure order, completely contrary to the nature of the primordium itself (The entity of order was named Themis by man.). With Themis, order was beginning to emerge in the primordium, this would change the nature of the universe forever. As order began to develop other entities began to distinguish themselves from the primordium. These entities are called the Prime Entities (many call them gods.) The order of their emergence is unclear, however, by the end of the materializing there were seven prime entities. The entities true names are unknown. Even if man did know the names of the gods they would be in an unfathomable and unspeakable language. Man gave the other six prime entities the following names: Gaia the prime entity of life, Ioun the entity of knowledge, Eris the entity of chaos/disorder, Nerull the entity of death, Azmodan the entity of evil/malevolence, and Pelor the entity of good/benevolence.
Even though these seven prime entities existed there was no end to the conflict. The primordium was the same, however seven entities of definite form and will existed. Most of these entities were inverses of each other, they seemed to focus on their opposite more than the surrounding chaos. The primordium was absolute mayhem. Themis could no longer stand to exist in this amalgamation of chaos. Themis decided one must create order in the primordium. He knew he could not do it alone. This was the start of the second phenomenon: The Unification. One would think it would be impossible to get the seven prime entities to cooperate. Many of them are the antithesis of their companions. The power of these entities is unimaginable. Battles would last a fraction of a second. Themis used his might to momentarily halt the combat of the seven prime entities. It was the first time the seven entities stopped fighting, only if for a moment. A moment is all a being of pure will needs to get a message across. In that moment it was understood that each opposite entity gave meaning to its counterpart. Themis proposed cooperation instead of war; understanding instead of arguments. Themis wished to bring order to the primordium, giving each entity a set role. In this moment of peace, the Great Pact was created. This pact unified the seven prime entities into a pantheon. Using their combined might they would be able to change the primordium, and therefore the universe, forever.
Using their combined might the seven prime entities started to defeat the other entities. The primes banished all other entities to other dimensions. It was there they may continue to war, separate from the primes. The nature and current state of these other “dimensions” is unclear. This left the primes in a universe of emptiness. Nothing existed. For the first time, the primes were at a loss. Gaia was the first entity to realize the potential of this empty cosmos. Gaia started to create. Creation was a completely new concept to the primes. It was in Gaia’s fundamental nature to create. The other primes quickly followed suit. Planes of existence were starting to be formed. Within those planes stars, planets, moons and the rest of the elements of the universe were created. There were now eight planes of existence: One to hold the remnants of the primordium, and seven others one for each prime entity. Almost instantaneously these seven planes collapsed on themselves. They had no balance. A universe could not exist if life overpowered death, or order overpowered chaos. The primes tried many times to create a plane of their own but failed each time. Ioun was the only prime entity to see how the primes erred. Ioun knew that balance was needed to create a stable plane. Ioun communicated this concept with the other primes. The seven primes then combined their will to create the Primal Plane. This was the first plane to be stable enough to exist in a form one could understand. This was the plane that contained reality, and would be the anchor of existence itself.
After some time the balance of power started to decay. The primes could only work together for so long before conflict once again arose between them. One entity would start to create something and their counterpart would start to undo it. It seemed like the primal plane would decay into a new primordium. Themis would not have this. Themis once again called the primes to council. They cannot be the only seven beings in existence. They will only continue to fight. Gaia proposed making other beings to populate the universe. Nerull of course hated the idea. He saw purity in the nothingness that existed. Pelor thought these beings would be able to help each other achieve great things. They would be able to unify and coexist in peace. Azmodan saw no point in this. There would be no meaning in this greatness without the understanding of how terrible things could possibly be. These were the types of arguments that made cooperation between the primes near impossible. Ioun of course was the only prime not to argue. Ioun knew that if the primes remained in this reality they would tear it apart. The other entities of course did not see things that way. This would lead to many issues in the future. Finally, the primes decided to make a race of beings that could populate the primal plane in their stead. These beings would be the start of man. As the primes created however they began to weaken. Each substance or creature they created took a little of the energy to create. They could not create forever. It is believed that Terra was the first planet to contain man and other creatures. Others may have been created but this is unknown. Gaia created a huge variety of life on Terra. Many of these other life forms existed only to create a balanced and inhabitable eco-system for man. However, Gaia viewed all life as equal and did not differentiate between the two. This was the dawn of the third phenomenon known as The Burgeoning. Terra was beginning to take shape. Nerull balanced this creation of life by ensuring they would not live forever. Nerull created mortality.
Each prime contributed to the creation of the first men. Gaia gave them life. Nerull made them age and eventually die. Themis gave them form and shape. Ioun gave them cognition. Pelor gave them the capacity for good, while Azmodan gave them the capacity for evil. Eris gave man their most important attribute: free will: the ability to choose their path. Eris gave man the ability to create, to love, to hate. Eris did all they could to make sure man would not be controlled by the primes. Man’s first form was one very different from what they look like today and cannot be described in simple terms. These first “men” are known as the Ancients. The ancients and the primes shared Terra as their home. The primes still refused to leave their creations alone, much to Ioun’s dismay. The primes spent so much of their divine energy on the creation that they were beginning to require sustenance. The most appropriate form of this sustenance was worship. The ancients worshipped all of the primes as their gods. The time of gods and ancients was known as The First Age – The Age of Discord. Unfortunately this peaceful coexistence between the gods and the ancients would be short lived.
Each prime was strengthened by the worship they received. Azmodan was the first to realize the possibility to abuse this. If Azmodan could influence the ancients to worship him above the other primes he could become their master. The ancients began to fight with one another. They took the sides of their patron gods. This began a war that would change the face of Terra forever. So began the fourth phenomenon known as The Reaping. This phenomenon was a war between the primes and their respective worshippers. Terra was being torn apart. Countless ancients were killed during the reaping. All of the primes save Pelor were blind to the terror and slaughter occurring on Terra. Pelor was the only prime that was doing all one could to stop the conflict. Pelor hated seeing his creation become a model of Azmodan’s will. Ioun was not surprised when this reaping began. He had been warning the primes the entire time that they could not coexist with man. Regardless of Pelor and Ioun’s input the reaping was leading to the end of all the primes had worked towards. The primes were losing power as their followers were slain. It was almost too late when the other primes realized this. The conflict slowed to a halt right before the last few ancients were killed. They realized what Ioun had warned them of so long ago. They cannot coexist with their creations. They need to separate themselves. The pantheon once again met with one another, during this time a final pact was created known as The Pact of Man. The prime entities agreed to leave man alone to determine his own fate. They would still receive sustenance for their worship and be able to reward their loyal followers but only from a distance. They must separate themselves from their creations and allow them to find their own path. Unfortunately most of their creation was destroyed by the reaping. The gods (especially Gaia) did not have enough energy to repopulate Terra with ancients. Instead they created humans. Humans were much smaller and frailer than their ancient counterparts. Humans had shorter lives but could reproduce much faster. The ancients saw the first humans as lesser beings. The ancients acted as lords and kings and ruled over the humans. This time period was known as The Second Age – The Age of Kings. Most of the historical records of this age were lost. It was during this time that the gods completed their final phenomenon which would change the nature of Terra and shape our world as it is today.
The fifth and final phenomenon was known as The Sundering for a myriad of reasons. The sundering describes firstly how the prime entities (or gods) separated themselves from the reality of man. They would enact their will without coexisting with their creation. All at once the gods left the primal plane to observe and assist from afar. This was called The Divine Exodus. The exodus would have many unforeseen consequences. Firstly, prior to the exodus, only the ancients were able to directly commune with the gods. This was one of their primary sources of power over humans. Once the humans realized that the ancients lost their power to communicate with the gods they rose up and destroyed the remaining ancients. The details of these rebellions are lost to time. This (and many other factors) caused the end of the second age. Terra had been supporting beings of immeasurable strength and energy for all of its existence prior to the exodus. When the gods left Terra, the entire planet fractured as it began to reshape itself. This caused a huge division in the first humans. Large groups of humans were cut off from their former brethren. New landscapes and environments took shape due to the immense destruction and reformation of the sundering. Mankind would also be sundered, or split into pieces. From these first humans the other races would evolve. Many of the humans were driven into caves deep underground to seek shelter from the natural disasters outside. These humans would one day become Dwarves. Some of the first humans did not have the luxury of using caves or underground chasms and were forced to burrow into hills. These humans would form the race of the Halflings/Gnomes (one in the same genetically, just a difference in culture). Some humans sought shelter in peaceful groves and forests. These humans evolved to become Elves. The last humans remained in the savage jungles and deserts of the world. They had the harshest creation by far. These humans became what we know today as Orcs. Some humans were practically unaffected by the disasters, they were safe in a mountain valley, protected by the walls and structures of a great city. All records of this great city are lost to time. These humans are said to have not changed during the sundering and still exist today (though scholars believe this is highly unlikely). Many other races or beings may have been created during this time as well. The history and creation of each race is not well known and would most likely be safeguarded by the races themselves. This period of evolution was known as The Third Age – The Age of Change.
The third age led to the creation of empires, tribes, countries, and other organizations. The races began to interact with each other once Terra became stable. Much time had passed, changing the races physical form, language, and culture. All of the races still worshipped the prime entities, though each did so in their own way. Some put some divines higher than others but the balance of power was still intact. This age saw the rise and fall of many empires. Wars erupted between the races or within the races themselves. Alliances were created and destroyed. This age of war and peace is what shaped the culture and kingdoms of the world today. This Fourth Age was known as The Fourth Age – The Age of Strife. There are many historical records on this age, but they are not exactly common knowledge to the people of Terra. Most of these records would be found in the great libraries across the world.
All of these periods of time shaped Terra into the world it is today. The age of strife has ended as there has been relative fragile peace throughout the land for hundreds of years. This time of peace has spawned The Fifth Age – The Age of Heroes. The events of this age are yet to be determined. It will now be the actions of the few that will determine the fate of Terra. We shall see how.