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In the beginning there was nothing, and it was satisfied. And as the Nothing knew satisfaction, it became. And in becoming, was no longer nothing. And so possibility existed. That is, that nothing could become something. And there was a point where the Nothing, now something, recalled being simply nothing, an ordering and placing of things was mandated. And thus the three were. That is, nothing, possibility and regulation.
The nothing, desiring again to be nothing as it had been, set forth to return all to that state. But, being entropy, and being un-inclined to do, the part of itself that desired such had to separate and become. And as this separation was possible, and was within the limits of regulation, it came to pass. And this force of destruction and decay was called Tharizdun. The nothing rested awaiting the success of its child to return it to its previous state.
Possibility and regulation began to conspire to save themselves from this new force of entropy and thus four more beings sprang to existence in the cosmos, Earth, Air, Fire and Water took to the empty spaces and began to create on their own. Possibility and regulation were sated with their creations and rested.
As the elements came together they left traces of creation. As time passed for them it became less imperative to direct their creations and so they took to longer and longer rest, trusting their projects and plans to their first-born. They chose Oerth as a haven and stronghold.
Born of primal elements, Oerth was barren and cold, ravaged by the very elements of its creation. Elementals roamed the surface and battled each other incessantly, warring because they hated their opponents. Fire raged against Water, Earth warred against Air.
Amidst this turmoil marched dark and fearsome armies, ever vigilant and ready. These were the fiends, the forces of Tharizdun and they traveled the world, prepared to resist any assaults on His supremacy, though there were no challengers.
The Pantheon, cosmic powers, kept themselves hidden and observed this desolate world and it's inhabitants. They discovered five extremely powerful and primal entities existed on the primal world.
Kossuth, Istishia, Grumbar, Akadi and Tharizdun. The first four were kings of their kind but they slumbered and their children were lead by more ambitious brethren. Tharizdun's name was heard in the hiss of water quenching fire, in the sound of thunder of tidal waves, in the wind that roared across the flatlands and in the rumbling of stone in an avalanche. There was no doubting who truly ruled Oerth but this great being whom the fiends served could not be perceived by the pantheon though they searched greatly.
The pantheon approached the elementals and discovered their wars were fueled by the Warmasters: Imix, Olhydra, Ogremoch and Yan-C-Bin. These great conflicts stretched beyond even the timeless elemental's memories. Seeking an end to these unreasoning conflicts the pantheon began searching for the elemental kings. During this time was when some of the pantheon encountered the Hidden King.
Two, named Nerull and Incabulos, encountered the Hidden King and quickly abandoned what they felt to be a foolish and hopeless quest. Tharizdun offered them high places in his court, even above His fiend generals. In return they provided Tharizdun with information on their previous pantheon and their plans.
Feindish heralds were sent forth from the Hidden King to the Pantheon. They asked on behalf of their master, "Why do you seek to undo what I have labored so long to achieve? Their wars are amusing and ease the tedium of my eternal reign. Be warned, I will allow no further meddling within my realm. I shall not warn you again."
The pantheon gathered for council to decide what was to be done with this beleaguered world. Many wanted to leave Oerth to the elemental wars. Still others wanted to oppose the Hidden King, stop the wars, free the world and create new life to inhabit the world.
After much observation and information gathering it was discovered that Tharizdun controlled the Warmasters directly and on His behalf they have maintained the chaos ravaging the planet.
After great discussion it was decided that the pantheon would indeed intervene on behalf of the elemental inhabitants of Oerth. Many gods opposed this decision and moved on beyond Oerth and it's Hidden King. Those that remained were determined to crush Tharizdun's fiendish army, reveal the Warmasters and liberate Oerth.
Time passes; an amount of time unlike any mortal mind can comprehend. The pantheon was losing their chosen war and many of their number had been slain, an unheard of tragedy prior to the war. The Warmasters had proclaimed the pantheon invaders of Oerth and the elemental wars ceased as they joined forces to repel this invasion meant to free them. Defeat was imminent and the pantheon began to search in earnest for the slumbering kings of the elements.
Tharizdun's forces hemmed the pantheon in a ring and began to close the circle, battling the whole way. Then when the pantheon was trapped on the last field of battle, the Hidden King emerged from his subterranean halls to wage war on his enemies just once.
The Hidden King was shadowy in form and appearance but the effect on his troops at his presence had immediate results. Troops that had just moments before been ready for retreat were now insane with battle lust and ready for the attack.
The Hidden King leapt among the pantheon to attack and they fought him together, in vain. Try as they might he was too mighty. The battle ended and the entire pantheon lay on the ground, defeated, awaiting the death stroke.
Then, with tremendous rumblings of the earth the ground heaved itself up around Tharizdun and seized him. Though momentarily stunned Tharizdun wasn't done for and he began to slither out of the earth's grasp like a shadow. A massive stone shape began to form and strike out at Tharizdun but was unable to connect with its shadowy foe. Tharizdun streached out his arms toward the great earth elemental and the years began to crumble stone and soil as the weight of years fell upon the powerful behemoth. Grumbar was falling beneath Tharizdun's onslaught until the earth erupted in a gout of flame and magma and Kossuth, lord of all flame leapt upon Tharizdun battering Him with flame and lava. The Hidden King seemed diminished by this attack but was far from finished. Gathering his powers Kossuth's flame and lava began to wither and dissipate as the chill aura of Tharizdun cooled them. The Fire King's light dimmed as Tharizdun directed his chill gaze toward him. The Hidden King screamed in agony as waves of water and walls of air slammed into him and began to batter him between them. Istishia and Akadi, last of the sleeping elemental powers had arrived to combat Tharizdun. Kossuth and Grumbar moved to join the fray and the Hidden King began to retreat from the Lords of Oerth in earnest.
In unison they began to chant, "We will no longer suffer the reign of a false king upon this, our world of creation. From hence forth, we shall oppose you in all that you do and we shall shut thee out of our realm. The Lords of Oerth will no longer tolerate the Lord of Destruction and Evil or his servants."
The pantheon had recovered and entered the battle as well forcing the Hidden King to retreat further. Tharizdun was still matching his opponents, blow for blow. As he began to diminish in power and size he fell upon the ground and laughed aloud. He them spoke:
"You cannot destroy me! I am older than all of you and though you may have won this battle, I am eternal. This will not end here! We shall fight again and I…"
Tharizdun's words were cut short as his form began to fade and he began to look upon himself with great apprehension. "What are you doing? I am eternal!" Then he faded away completely.
The fiends of Tharizdun were cast into the lower planes. The Lords of Oerth brought peace between the elements and agreed that in order to assure the same mistake was not repeated they must leave the prime material plane. Thus, into the Inner planes of existence did they retire with their minions leaving the primal Oerth to the Pantheon to do with as they saw fit.
The elemental Lords spoke to the Pantheon before departing. The gods inquired about what had become of Tharizdun. The Elemental Lords answered that they could not destroy the incarnation of destruction but that they could banish him. They believed that it would last but could not be certain. The effort of the battle and the banishing had weakened them, they were now only as strong as the greatest of the Pantheon. It was agreed that none of the Lords could return to Oerth lest their people also desire to return and the wars began anew.
The Time Before
Now begins the first reckoning of beings in the multiverse. The first forces to arise at this point were of a nature totally alien to that which is now. These alien forces were crudely formed, and their lives were spent contesting with each other for mastery of all. In the end they consumed themselves or were banished to an alien reality by the Pantheon.
What they were is mostly unknown at the present, as only the barest remnants of them remain. These remnants include the force known as the Elder Elemental Power, or Vilp-akf'cho Rentaq, foul creatures called Illithids and the even more alien Aboleth. To this day, their very natures are inimical to humanish life, yet some still seek to interact with them in search of power.
The Time of Creatures
A poor choice for describing this era, but the best available to me at this time. The Time of Creatures actually encompasses 3 different sub-eras: The Time of the Primals, the Time of the Giants, and the Time of Memories. During this Time, the first Humanish Powers arose, Simultaneously with the Primal Folk. Beory- the Oerth itself, Istus-what is, what was, what shall be, Boccob-the power of making, that is to say-magic. These were the first three. Then came Pelor-the light and sun above, and his foul shadow Nerull-all darkness that immediately turned to the service of Tharizdun. Next were Lendor-that lesser time of which mortals are ruled by, and Procan-the formless chaos that spawns all. The earliest and most primitive of races then came into being. The Scaly Folk primarily, but also the Spider Folk as well. These are called primitive only in that their races were the first to exist on Oerth, not because of their knowledge and abilities. Indeed, they raised up great empires in their time, only to tear them down in battles aganst each other.
The Lizard Men, Troglodytes, Locathah, Ur-Sahuagin, Kuo-Toa, Dragons, Yuan-ti, Bullywugs, and the Spider Folk, (what they called themselves is lost to us, as is their entire race) all ruled this Oerth at one time. Now only pitiful remnants remain. Their Powers as well have all but fallen into nothingness. Semuanya lurks alone in the bogs at the Center of all. Laogzed, Ramenos, Blibdooolpoolp, and Meershaulk lanugish in the Red Prison. Eadro has retreated to the water which spawned him and his people. Sekolah has enjoyed a small success with his new Sahuagin, humans corrupted to his service, however. And Arachne as we know has subverted that branch of Olve called Drow to her service, much to the regret of all.
Whilst these Races were building themselves up, the first true Humanish were also crawling out of the muck. Some, such as the Tasloi, never rose above their apish forebears. Others did, only to find themsleves quickly enslaved by the Pirmal Folk. Mighty were, the Primal Folk when they held primitive humanity in their grasp, and many were things they did with them.
Magical experimentation upon them to produce better food sources (Hob-niz), better workers (Dwur), better shock troops (humanoids), and finally better spell users for battle with their enemies (Olve). And with these experiments, forces gathered in the Outer Planes and helped to shape these races to what they are today. Moradin Soul-Forge, working on the Mount, saw a place for his peopel in the mines and under the Oerth. The first Dwur were placed, and soon were laboring for the glory of their foul masters. Yondalla of the Green Fields took her gentle children and sent them to sweet Oerth, only to see them taken away to serve the foul apetites of the Primal Folk. Garl Glittergold having taught his children well the ways of working for a sweet reward, sent them to the rolling hills where they were swept up to the workshops of the warmasters. Corellon Larethian, having spent his blood to bring his children to the world, watched them taken in the deep forests to serve new masters. And worse, saw some of them turn to the darkness that led the Spider Folk. And in his dark pit, Tharizdun saw the humanoids being bred, and turned his attention to some of the unformed spirits around him. Shaping them to his needs, he saw that these new races had guidance from his servants, not their breeder-masters. And again forces were shaped on the Great Ring.From the Abyss rose the Demons and their multitudinous lords. from Baator rose the ordered Dukes and barons. On Arborea, the dreams of the Olve were called Eladrin. And on the Mount, the Archons were shaped, first by Moradin and Yondalla, later by Rao himself.
The Time of Giants
All these events did not sit well with Beory. She disliked what the Primal Folk were doing to the humans, and took action to change it. Keeping company with Boccob, she brought forth the Giants. Forming them first from the elements, Water(Storm), Air(Cloud), Earth(Stone), and Fire(Fire), she sent them to battle the Primal Folk, and set the Humanish free. Seeing they were not enough, she put forth her will again and brought more Giants forth from the very body of herself. From Forest(Voadkyn), to Hill and Mountain (the same named). All these first Giants served her well, and contested with the primal Folk to free the Humanish. Many humanish were freed, and fled to places prepared for them by their Patron Powers. But it was a drop of water in the ocean compared to what was needed. Still, it was start, and though the Time of Giants is little more than a footnote for the creation of those great ones, it was still an important milestone in the great history of the world.
The Time of Memories
This is so called beacuse it is of this time that the most primitive and primal memories of the Humanish spring from. Fear of serpents, of spiders, of the great Wyrms. All these spring form this time. As well, the memories of the banishment of races from the surface of the Oerth also come form this period in time. What is little remembered perhaps is that it was less due to the effort of the Humanish and the Giants, than it was to the mutual destruction the Primal Folk visited upon them. The Greatest civilizations, that of the Lizard Men, were wiped away, leaving only swamp dwelling primitive behind. The Spider were exterminated, and Arachne remains only because of the Olve She corrupted to her service. Similarly, the Ur-Sahuagin disappeared, and Sekolah was forced to take their Human slaves and reshape them into new Sahaugin. Very little is left now of this time, save for the changes wrought on the Great Ring. Tharizdun's evil servants completed their corruption of the Humanoids and took them, and their place sint he Pits. Rao sprang forth from the Mount to ease the pains of both Humanish and Oerht itself after the Great Wars had run their course. So too did Pelor go unto Beory and together bring forth his Bright Ones to aid the Oerth in Her recovery. The Inner Planes gave forth their essences in shapes comprehensible to Humanish. And the Demi Humans expressed themselves more fully within the Human structures taking shape. More details on who, and what came into being are discussed elsewhere.
Credit for this write up goes to an unremembered contributor to the Greytalk mailing list.