Order from Chaos
Before the coming of the gods, Meranthis was a realm of tumultuous chaos, where permanent storms rocked the skies and primal elementals ruled over the world. In the far corners of the land, in the frozen wastes of the north and the burning deserts of the south, the noble dragons lived a solitary existence, away from the constant fighting of the elemental lords. When the Prime Ones came from the divine realms and created the gods, they imparted their will upon the world and made order from chaos. From the chaotic elements, they formed the first of the great realms, lands that would forever be shaped and influenced by their primal origins. The greatest of these was Lemuria, formed from the elementals of water, and taken shape as a series of islands in the great ocean of the south. The next was Elderwyld, a land of great forests and hills in the northeastern corners of the world, its foundations formed from the elementals of earth. From the elementals of air, Skyholm, land of thundering mountains and rocky plains, took shape in the south. In the western reaches, Cinderhearth was formed from the elementals of fire, great volcanoes and rocky planes sprouting from the earth. From the depths of the oceans, they then raised several great masses of earth to bind the world together, thus cementing their vision, forever bound on each corner by the lands of the elements. The gods then looked upon their creations and deemed to fill them with life, bringing forth the first of the mortal races. In Lemuria, Mar-Lemurius, God of Storms and Sea, brought forth the Triton from the Plane of Water, and entrusted them with guardianship of the depths and to forever protect the lands from the horrors that lurked beneath the oceans of the world. Inaris, Goddess of Magic and Nature, awakened the elves in the Feywild, and brought them to Elderwyld, gifting them with the verdant lands and fragments of her own magical power, naming them guardians of the green. To the south in Skyholm, Korrath, God of Strength, formed the goliath and gifted them with his strength, naming them champions of their new mountain homes. Thoradin, Lord of the Forge, shaped the dwarves in Cinderhearth, and showed them the magics of the forge and instilled in them a love of rock and stone. But as the gods watched their creations, entrusted with the protection of the elemental realms, they found their vision of the world somehow lacking, and so Abos, God of Civilization and Invention, shaped another race. From his own strange magics, he created humanity and spread them about the world, from the frozen north to the burning south and even across the sea to other continents, and though they did not possess the great lifespans of their predecessors, Abos gifted them his own ambition, and from that the great passions of humanity would foster. In time, other races found their way to Meranthis, either as creations of the gods, or from other planes within the many realms of existence, with some even stranger still. For a time, the world was at peace, as the many peoples of the world cultivated their budding civilizations, languages were spread, cultures were formed, and the gods believed their vision to be complete. Yet, the chaos of the primal elementals stirred in the hearts of many, for the influence of the Elemental Planes still lingered in the far corners of the world. When this chaos finally erupted, the four elemental realms brought war to each other, as their elemental forebears had done so long ago. Legions from Lemuria marched upon Elderwyld, and the great engines of war from Cinderhearth laid siege to Skyholm. Storms once again covered the skies, and the earth shook beneath the feet of many, humans hid within their villages as violence raged around them, and the reasons for war were soon lost to memory. From the chaos, the evil realms of Hell and the Abyss, eternal enemies of the gods, crept their influence into the world, sowing the birth of diabolic and demonic forces in equal measure. Tiamat, Goddess of Destruction and Vengeance, began her long-planned machinations, weaving her evils into the fabric of the world. Meranthis soon became a world of darkness, ravaged by war and the encroaching forces of darkness. Wishing no longer to see their creation brought to ruin, the gods intervened once more in the world, but it was not without a cost. Using the last of their power that allowed them to manifest upon the Material Plane, the gods erected four magical barriers between Meranthis and the Elemental Planes, to stem the seeds of chaos. Deep within the lowest reefs and trenches of Lemuria, they formed the elemental gate known as the Current. In Elderwyld, the Wall was shaped in the deepest hedges of the great forests. The Zephyr was placed atop the highest peak in Skyholm, and the Ember was erected within the hottest of Cinderhearth’s volcanoes. As their power waned, the gods retreated to the heavenly planes, leaving Meranthis in the care of their creations, and they soon became known as the Distant Gods. Though the gods had brought stability to the world, still the damage had been done. Forces of darkness and shadow now crept in the hidden parts of the world, and the wounds of war would not soon be forgotten. Even despite this, the mortal races once more began to cultivate civilization, and with it, a somber peace was renewed, with many venturing beyond the borders of their realms to explore what lies beyond. For better or worse, the land of Meranthis was born.