In the beginning, all that existed was void. Empty of all, whether it be time or space. A vast and endless nothingness cloaked in a deep and all consuming silence.
Within this void existed “The Nameless”, a power so incredible that in the entire universe, it knew only itself to exist. It had no idea why it was there, just that that it was.
In the quiet expanse of the void, it sent itself out and searched the void to find something different. And there it was, a pocket of space and therein lay the flow of time.
When The Nameless stepped into the space, something terrible but wonderful, something terrifying but exciting happened. It detected the elements of space and time.
The Nameless, knowing nothing of these things, freed what was in there so it could spread out in all directions, filling the space that had been empty for so long with a force that had no boundaries.
Forces touched each other and the emptiness filled with swirling energies, light and heat touched emptiness. Energies collided and crashed, were born and died and became new and different… none of those having been seen ever before started to form planets that differed in size and structure. Also created were stars to watch over this new creation.
But the whole chaos needed order, shaping and fine touch. And so the Nameless created The Gods of Power.
To do so, The Nameless reached into the chaos, drew forth four equal portions of the stuff of existence and shaped it into the Gods that would divide the universe into form.
The first was named Rathe and got the task of bringing order into the chaos. It saw that the task was indeed immense, so it reached into itself and divided into 12 equal parts.
Then The Rathe went into the chaos divided some more material and created Earth. This Earth got set under the eyes of the Nameless, under the stars, so it could watch over his cosmos.
The second was named Fennin Ro and received the task of shaping the chaos.
Fennin as well drew his portion and named it Fire.
He then placed it upon the stars to shed light on the cosmos. Fennin Ro helped The Rathe to shape the solid matter and gave warmth to the cold of chaos.
The third was named Water and The Nameless determined it would need many forms.
So it took the portion and split it into three.
Tarew Marr would be responsible for the main state of the element, the Water, E’Ci for the solid state; the Ice and Povar would lord over steam. These three took their portion and cloaked each world with its life giving touch.
And finally the fourth was named Xegony and she received the task of drawing away the material in-between and setting each thing in its place.
She used her portion of chaos to make it into Air, which she used to blow the chaos away and cushion each world from the harshness of the cold cosmos.
The Nameless then looked into its new creation and felt sorrow because it could not experience it, for the creation could not contain the Nameless and so it decided to find a way to explore this new existence.
So the Nameless called out to the Gods of Power and commanded them to make minions that it could share in their experience of this new world.
Each of the Gods of Power reached into their elemental planes and drew forth a portion that they shaped with their will into what would be eyes and hands for The Nameless and themselves.
They created beings of energy, much like themselves, but beings of will born of the matter of the cosmos.
The Gods of Power knew that balance must be maintained in the universe to keep its shape.
Therefore they started to create the Gods of Influence in the model of a scale, on one side a force of darkness or destruction, on the other side a force of light or creation and …in the middle, a neutral or balancing force to maintain the balance without the involvement of the Gods of Power.
And so they combined their elements to create each God in turn, good, neutral and evil, which the children of Norrath may choose to follow until the end of times.
The Age of Scale
Veeshan, Crystalline Dragon and ruler of the Plane of Sky, was the first god to notice the world of Norrath. She found this world pleasing and deposited her brood onto the frozen continent of Velious.
With one swipe of her mighty claws, Veeshan opened several great wounds upon the surface of Norrath, staking her claim to this promising new world. Dragons then walked the land and flew the skies, powerful beings of great intellect, wisdom, and strength.
The Elder Age
In time the other gods noticed Veeshan’s work, and being often petty and jealous beings, they too came upon Norrath, intent upon leaving their mark.
Brell Serilis was first, and from his Plane of Underfoot, a dark realm of vast caves and endless tunnels, he quietly created a magical portal to a cavern deep in the belly of Norrath. Through this portal the Duke of Underfoot seeded the depths of Norrath with all manner of creatures. Brell then returned home, sealing his portal within a labyrinthine chamber of mystical Living Stone.
And when the other gods came to Norrath, Brell Serilis approached each of them, and after some time convinced them to meet as one to discuss the fate of the world.
The Great Mother Tunare, and Prexus, The Oceanlord were in attendance, and Rallos Zek, the warlord, was also there, yet in mistrust kept his distance.
Brell, carefully avoiding all queries as to the origins of his information, told of Veeshan’s discovery of the new and potentially powerful world in which she had deposited her brood.
Words befit of the King of Thieves poured forth from Brell’s lips and he proposed that they accept an alliance of sorts, to which all save Rallos Zek agreed, ignorant of the fact that Brell had already released some of his creations into the Underfoot of this new world.
The planet that would be called Norrath was divided up between these beings of power for the purpose of keeping the Dragon Wurmqueen in check.
Each would create a race of beings to watch over Norrath and keep a vigilant eye on the schemes of Dragonkind.
Brell claimed the bowels of the planet and created the Dwarves, stout and strong, deep beneath the mountains of Norrath.
In the abysmal depths of the oceans Prexus left his children, the Kedge, hearty aquatic beings of great mental power and stamina.
And on the surface of Norrath did Tunare create the Elves, creatures of limitless grace and beauty, and Rallos Zek the Giants, fierce and formidable beings, intent upon the defense of their lands.
The Age of Monuments
It was inevitable that such energies involved in seeding planets with life would attract even more of the gods, and it was the Elves who drew the unwanted attention of Innoruuk, Prince of Hate.
In a decrepit tower overlooking the dark decaying alleys of the Plane over which he ruled, Innoruuk waited, stoking the fire of his Hate until it was a raging inferno. He cursed his fellow gods for not including him in their pact and vowed to make them regret such disrespect.
From the halls of the Elves’ fair city, Takish-Hiz, the Prince of Hate snatched away the first Elven King and Queen.
In his realm of pain and anger he slowly tore them apart, physically and mentally, over the course of three hundred years.
He then gathered the quivering remnants of these beings of light and rebuilt them into his own dark sadistic image, a twisted mockery of Tunare’s noble children.
In depositing the Teir’Dal, as Innoruuk’s Dark Elven creations would come to be called, back into the Underfoot of Norrath, the seeds for The Prince of Hate’s final revenge were sown.
Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane and Cazic-Thule came next to Norrath, and Brell met them, concocting a second pact with these latter gods, wishing another excuse to create more peoples into the world.
Rallos Zek again watched from afar, determined to add to his creation as well, and this time Brell convinced the Warlord to join the pact, assuring him that it was indeed an appropriate time to fulfill his desires.
Deep in the earth did Brell return to create the gnomes, resembling dwarves to some extent, yet more wiry and gnarled, consumed with tinkering with devices more so than their cousins.
On the surface, away from Elves and Giants, Bristlebane made the Halflings, short and stubby folk, agile and with a propensity to meddle and even pilfer at times.
Cazic-Thule, Lord of Fear, was drawn to the swamps and jungles of Norrath and there created the green skinned Trolls, the reptilian Lizard Men and the Iksars of Kunark.
And Rallos Zek returned to the surface, pleased with his sanction to create even more peoples for his army. He made then the Ogres, massive, unmovable beings of questionable intelligence, and the Orcs, bred for battle and singled-minded in their desire for conquest.
By this time, those who are now known as the elder races of Norrath had begun to expand and mature. Villages became cities, and cities became kingdoms. Several of the races became bent on expansion and warfare became part of their developing cultures.
And of all the races, it was the Ogres who quickly proved the most interested in battle and plunder, and their empire grew outward from their mountain home until it eventually encompassed a large portion of Tunaria, largest of the known continents.
Their knowledge of magic grew as did their greed, until they became weary of only Norrath, and when they learned of other planes and dimensions, invaded the Plane of Earth itself.
Rallos Zek watched with pride as his creations challenged the gods of that realm, and when they eventually knew defeat, the Warlord himself led a second invasion.
The war that ensued shook the heavens and angered the greater gods. Through their combined might, Rallos Zek was finally thwarted and forced back to his domain, after which a great barrier to the Planes of Power was erected, denying entry to both the lesser gods and mortals as well.
And then, in what some view as spite and others justice, the gods cursed the Warlord’s creations.
Thousands of Ogres were slain and their empire collapsed around them. The Giants were spread from one end of the earth to the other, forced to flee their homes as the gods brought snow and ice to their previously lush lands.
And the goblins were also cursed, but no writings remain of their punishment as they no longer keep records of their history (which is perhaps some indication as to the severity of their curse).
The Age of Blood
As the dust settled, the last of the gods came to Norrath. Mithaniel Marr, god of Valor, and Erollisi Marr,her twin sister, the goddess of Love, created the Barbarians, a hardy race who settled the cold and rugged northlands, near the ruins of the Giant empire.
Being the youngest race, they were generally unwashed and rugged, possessing very few social graces. And while they too had a warlike culture, there were those amongst them who began to believe in something more.
By this time the other civilizations of Norrath had either long since declined, or were well on their way, and this small minority of Barbarians saw an opportunity to triumph where the others had failed.
Perhaps this was a seed of wisdom planted by the Marr Twins, or perhaps it was only by chance, but as the Barbarians spread out across the lands, warring with both each other and any other race encountered, this tiny movement continued to grow. And so even amidst desolation and war, there was hope.
This small and enlightened group of Barbarians were the fathers of the Human race, and they rapidly gained a foothold throughout the lands, studying the lost art of geomancy.
The Combine Empire, as this lost race of Humans is called, spread throughout the known world, but then died even more quickly than it grew, and for reasons still unknown. And while they are the ancestors of every Human on Norrath and their relics and ruins still litter the lands from Odus to Faydwer, little history of this period remains.
The Lost Age
The last of the old races to decline was the empire of the Elves.
The Elddar Forest, the Elven realm of old, spread across the entire southeastern quarter of Tunaria. Tree communities and marble cities were built in the forest’s clearings and meadows, their white towers and spires climbing out of the forest, higher than the tallest tree.
Legends say this prosperity drew the jealousy of Solusek Ro, Lord of Flame. He arched the spine of the serpent mountains, bringing heat from the burning sun to the ancient forest.
The rivers ran dry, it rained less each year, and while the great elven druids fought long and hard, using their powerful magics to combat the change, they could only delay the inevitable.
Slowly the forest gave way to desert, and eventually even the fair Elven city Takish-Hiz crumbled and the elves were forced to flee Tunaria, leaving much of their greatness behind.
After the fall of the Combine Empire, the remnants of mankind dwelled mostly in the center of Tunaria, inhabiting primarily the vast and fertile plains of Karana. Villages appeared and prospered, several reaching the size of towns, and two even became cities.
To the west a strong and noble band of Humans, lead by Antonius Bayle the First, founded Qeynos under the lofty principles of law.
Freeport, to the east, became an active and dangerous port of call for all who dared to venture into the Ocean of Tears Humanity, much to the disdain of the elder races who watched from afar, remained strong, even daring to rename their home after one of their own instead of one of the gods. The great continent of Tunaria would forever more be known as Antonica.
This is not to imply, however, that humanity was at peace. Competition was fierce, and when resources grew scarce for one reason or another many groups abandoned the promises and alliances of their past and fought.
A few leaders spoke out against the violence, urging the masses to remember why they had fled the cold north. Others reminded them of their former glory and the might of the Combine Empire. These leaders insisted that humanity adhere once again to those principals to which all had agreed.
Explorers and adventurers returned from afar with tales of elves, dwarves, and other strange creatures, as well as descriptions of ancient abandoned cities. A few even came back with limited knowledge of sorcery and the mystic arts. And when that discontent minority of leaders heard all of this, they became both jealous and determined.
The Age of Enlightenment
A small, frail man of great intellect called Erud led this group, and he formed them into a council. They quickly became irritated, even disgusted, by their fellow man. Leaving a small network of spies behind, the remainder of Erud’s followers fled the city of Qeynos and boarded a small fleet of ships. They sailed to the west and landed upon the barren coast of the island of Odus. The land was sparse and uninhabited and quite appealing to the council and their people.
They quickly built a city of their own, dissimilar in almost every way to both Qeynos and Freeport, for it was almost entirely a towering castle. Erudin it was called, and within it the scribes and scholars, who called themselves High Men, gathered and analyzed reports, captured books and scrolls, and other artifacts brought to them by their spies.
The first human mages since the Combine Empire were born ? wizards, sorcerers, and enchanters occupied the great halls of Erudin and grew immensely in both power and knowledge.
The Age of Turmoil
It came to pass some years later that a small group of Erudites discovered the lost art of Necromancy.
They were branded heretics and great conflict arose. For the first time in several hundred years, the Erudites fought.
They engaged in a civil war not entirely dissimilar to that which they had loathed and fled from back on the mainland. But there was one very significant difference ? they did not use swords and bows, but rather magic, and the result was terrible.
Lives by the hundreds were lost, great buildings and structures destroyed, and eventually the heretics were forced to flee Erudin, to hide and regroup in the southern regions of Odus.
In one final battle, great mystic energies were released and an immense hole leading to unknown depths beneath the earth was created.
Into the sides of this chasm the heretics built their own city which they called Paineel. And while both sides still seethed with anger and hatred towards one another, their fear of what the last battle had wrought has kept any further conflict at bay.