the Universe begins
Somewhere in purgatory, surrounded by a web of mental energy, there once existed an empty plane of dark space. Nothing ever happened there and it seemed like it would stay that way forever. Then in the center of the darkness, the universe suddenly began to emerge from one immeasurable point of pure and boundless energy.
the Elements come in to existence
What began as a single point of energy, suddenly split in to four new energies, which immediately rushed outward to fill the universe. These energies, called elements, make up and give definition to reality. When elements are manacled together, distinct sub-elemental products can be created.
the Spirits & the Gods are created
The elements flew wildly about for some time, perpetually crashing apart and mixing together. During this period, every possible elemental product was eventually created and subsequently destroyed to such an infinite point, that the original four elements seemed to reform at the end of the cycle. Instead of repeating the chaotic transmutation that once again seemed inevitable, the elements began to coalesce uniformly in to four, separate masses. After a moment of stillness, an implosion of elemental energies revealed four condensed masses of pure elemental energy, each located at a fixed point, in what now seemed like very empty space.
What would eventually be called "Spirits" suddenly and of course, quite miraculously, came in to existence. Miraculous as they might have been, the Spirits actually possessed no overt intelligence, because they did not exist within the boundaries of the mental plane. They did however, have a certain unconscious purpose and intent; more of a natural aversion toward imbalance in the universe. Unfortunately for the universe, all of the elemental energy it would need to have physical substance was now on the outer rim of the mental plane. With no creative thought, there could be no conceivable future.
So, in an act of pure instinct, each spirit simultaneously expelled half of its energy toward the heart of the universe. The four streams of energy managed to remain tethered to each spirit, even after plunging through the dark void of space and puncturing the mental plane. As they blasted through the astral fog, in to conscious existence, each elemental projection became immediately self-aware and began to question their own purpose. With no one to instruct them, the new entities were left to devise their own understanding of the universe, beginning with the first linguistic associations; they called their creators "Spirits" and referred to themselves as "Gods".
the Dawn of Mortal Life
The Gods had little else to do but spend their time creating lower-lifeforms and of course, places for them to live. Despite the fact that the universe was now brimming with life, the Gods were experiencing an uncomfortable feeling that the Spirits may be running out of energy. The Gods were in a way, the corporeal avatars of the Spirits and so, shared a subconscious respect for universal balance. The Gods knew without fully understanding why, that in order for the universe to remain intact, the Spirits must always retain at least some of their energy supply. The only way the Gods could hope to reclaim some of this supply, was to begin sacrificing their creations, many of which were already becoming boring.
The Gods, who had grown quite difficult to entertain, spent a minimal amount of time sifting through their countless creations. Most creatures were scooped up and quickly examined, then even more quickly destroyed for lacking entertaining quality. After destroying all of those creatures however, there was still work to be done until their problem was solved. Dead matter takes a long time to decompose naturally; the Gods needed a faster method of recycling elemental refuse.
After a long argument, the Gods agreed on a small roster of creatures to reanimate and did so. The mounds of dead matter were then tossed rather carelessly toward the Spirits, where they were absorbed and immediately broken down to raw elemental energy, then redistributed evenly back toward the Gods. Well supplied for the moment, with fresh energy and a clean working environment, the Gods returned to their experiments.
the World begins to take form
After another long stretch of time, the Spirits were once again running low on energy. During their last crisis however, the Gods had devised a preemptive solution for this impending situation. There were still many physical realms leftover from the recently eradicated creatures. The plan was to break all of these down and finally construct a single set of elemental realms, using a more condensed area and a reduced amount of energy.
The Gods once again combed their mortal ranks for the most stagnant and boring creatures, ending each of their lives without much thought and even less remorse. Then with a newly consolidated roster, all remaining mortal life could be placed comfortably on a single world. Once again of course, there was the annoyance of gathering the recently deceased; a task which the Gods felt they had grown beyond and one which they had no intention of personally undertaking.
the Sun & the Moon are constructed
Instead of personally cleaning up the universe, the Gods designed a routine system to collect dead matter, faster and much more automatically than before. Since their normal creations seemed somehow ill-equipped to handle such an important task, the Gods developed two unique objects capable of filling their needs. One called "the Sun" was created by the Gods of Air and Fire, while a polar opposite called "the Moon" was created by the Gods of Water and Earth. When they were completed, both objects were placed in orbit around the world, where they would chase each other forever.
The Sun burned with such ferocity and brightness, that the black of the sky directly around it became illuminated to a light-blue. With this intense light came heat, which warmed the surface of the world as it passed. A number of environmental changes were gradually taking place because of this, but the Gods had become too detached to notice this triviality. What was important to them, was that this new heat served to bake any dead matter laying about, greatly accelerating the usually long process of decay. Afterward the Moon follows, emitting a much softer glow and collecting the smallest elemental particles as it passes. The collected particles are then separated and released toward the Spirits, where they are recycled and distributed back to the Gods; they finally figured out a way to play continually, without having to clean up after themselves.
Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan & Tritan are created
For the first time in a long while, the Gods felt joyous for their accomplishments. In their eyes, this new realm was a model of perfection. They celebrated amongst the mortals all throughout the first Day, enjoying the brightness of the Sun as it passed. When the Moon arrived however, it ushered darkness back in to the sky and the Gods began to feel tired. As they drifted off to sleep, each god dreamed of life in the form of their favorite creature. The God of Water dreamed of a fish, the God of Air dreamed of a bird, the God of Fire dreamed of a salamander and the God of Earth dreamed of a mole.
To their surprise, the Gods were suddenly jarred awake by four new beings, which they had never seen before. Each creature was a product of a God's sleeping mind, so while many of their traits were familiar, their overall design seemed startlingly strange and new; they shared the mental potential of the Gods, but absorbed energy naturally through the environment, like the mortals. The Gods were so impressed by these new creations, that they decided it was unfair to compare them to the rest of the mortals, categorizing them as "Man" and lesser creatures as "animals". Like the Gods did after their own birth, Man began to question its existence. However, in a manner which the Spirits were never able, the Gods began to interact with Man by teaching them about the universe; reducing the confusion that all of the secrets of existence could carry. The Gods taught Man to manipulate the elements, mostly out of curiosity, to see just how far their potential reached. Under the tutelage of the Gods, Man attained many new and wonderful powers, but they were never allowed to combine their knowledge. The Gods were so adamantly against combining the elements, that they forbade Man from doing so. To prevent such a thing from ever happening, the Gods rarely allowed them to even see each other, let alone have any extended contact.
Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan & Tritan reunite
After centuries of teaching, the Gods had once again become fatigued and they abruptly and almost simultaneously fell asleep. After centuries of learning and especially isolation in the realms, Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan and Tritan had nearly mastered their relative areas of study, but they wondered about each other and the other realms. Leaving the Gods aslee, Man began wandering the realms in search of one another. Ifriton and Sparron met in the realm of Water, where they were both looking for Tritan. Of course, Tritan wasn't there, because he had gone to the realm of Fire in search of Ifriton, though he happened upon Talpan there instead. Talpan was actually looking for Sparron, but had somehow gotten lost along the way. Out of curiosity and completely by chance, both pair made the decision to explore the center of the world, where for the first time, Man reunited without the watchful eye of the Gods.
After spending a very short amount of time together, the quickly changing topic of conversation turned to that of their sleeping mentors. The general mood changed and the conversation suddenly died down suddenly, when Talpan rather bluntly observed, "There's no telling what they'll do if they wake up and find that we're not in our realms."
To which Sparron added, "What if they find us together?!"
..and so driven by fear and uncertainty, each of them moved as quickly as they could back to their realm, where they were amazed and overjoyed to find each of the Gods still asleep. Unlike the first time Man awakened the Gods, they each felt fear and anxiety. However, when the Gods failed to awaken after being thoroughly poked, shaken and screamed at, Man soon realized that they might be without guidance for a while. So, with nothing better to do, Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan and Tritan reunited at the center of the world for the second time. As more time passed and they grew more comfortable with each other, Man slowly began to exchange and share their knowledge; something the Gods rarely did and had never encouraged in Man. As they cooperated, Man discovered that the blending of elements produced more interesting and less cursed results than the Gods had claimed. Man continued to study the four basic elements, but they embraced the ability to combine them, allowing the creation of many things the Gods couldn't have even imagined.
At first, Man frequently adjourned to their realms to try rousing the Gods awake, but after a while of that.. that turned in to simply checking in on them, to make sure they were still asleep. Then even that became less frequent, until the point where simply for lack of interest, Man rarely even spoke of the Gods at all. Since that fearful moment during their first reunion, Man had come to realize that they did not want the Gods to control them anymore. Also, enough time had passed and enough of their combined knowledge had been expanded upon, that Man had become much more confident in their understanding of the Universe. Without question, Man's combined power finally grew to exceed that of the Gods.
Man redefines mortality
Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan and Tritan toiled constantly over their studies, making progress every day. After centuries without the Gods, who were still in the very spots where they had fallen asleep, Man actually began to grow bored with one another. With their endless lifespans, it was starting to seem as though Man would follow suit with the Gods; becoming so bored with life that they simply fall asleep. Wanting to stop this possibility from becoming reality, Man made a difficult but revolutionary decision. The plan itself took another century to complete and would be the most drastic change that mortal life would ever undergo. As soon as the calculations were completed, and they were certain that it would work, our good friends Ifriton, Sparron, Talpan and Tritan said goodbye to life in their current forms.
With that, Man and every other mortal creature were divided in to genders, one called 'male' and the other 'female.' Through a process of reproduction, males and females could combine traits from themselves in to an offspring. Another vital change to the new version of mortal life was the institution of limited lifespans, ensuring that individuals would likely never grow in to boring power-mongers, as the Gods had. Any information a creature accumulates as an individual can somehow be passed down to the next generation. In this way, each mortal was able to create life and contribute to the collective knowledge of its species, without assistance from the Gods. Evolution would then take place over time, considering a species was able to survive from generation to generation.
the Ancient Era
After more than a thousand years under Mankind's carefree jurisdiction, the elemental realms had long since blended together. With the Gods still asleep, there was no one to keep the elements segregated. For many centuries, Fire had been creeping too close to Earth, slow-cooking much of it to rock and stone. Air and Water had combined in a variety of forms, creating all sorts of clouds, fogs and vapors. Instead of four strictly segregated realms of pure elemental alignment, there was now a single, slowly-but-constantly fluctuating realm, where all of the elements and resulting products were allowed to flow together. Mankind referred to their realm as "the World" and would go on to name many other things after that. Even the Gods, who had gone all of this time with only their titles, were finally given names by Mankind. The Gods even began to be referred to with gender-specific pronouns, even though they didn't properly apply; all of this was probably an effort by a story-teller, to help people relate to the Gods.
Things had certainly changed a lot since the Gods reigned over the Universe and the elements were not the only things, finally allowed to blend together. It was within the first two generations of Mankind that crossbreeding first occurred. After quite a few more generations, six new and distinct hybrid-races had rather prominently emerged from the original four. Every day seemed to reinforce Mankind's detachment from the Gods, who at that point, had been asleep for nearly three thousand years. Mankind had expanded in to a productive civilization, in which every generation continued to make advancements to their society's collective knowledge; everything seemed ideal.
the Gods awaken
The God of Fire, or Rutram as he had been recently named, was the first to stir himself to consciousness. Finding the realms to be in complete disorder, he quickly located and awakened his fellow Gods, who were equally appalled and infuriated. Creatures which the Gods could not classify roamed the world, unchecked and uncontrolled, preying on one another to avoid starvation. Rather than rectify this problem, this new "Mankind-thing" seemed to be catering to its own whim. Mankind exhibited a plethora of new traits which the Gods found to be unattractive; anything from deceit to materialism seemed to amplify their anger. The Gods were especially displeased about the existence of Mankind's hybrid races. To the Gods, the combination of elements was still forbidden and the hybrids seemed like nothing more than complex living examples of Mankind's defiance. Despite their overall dissatisfaction, each God secretly retained some fondness for their obvious favorite race of Mankind.
the Age of Conflict
The Gods recalled the obedience of Man's original incarnations. Expecting to find that same level of obedience, the Gods presented their beliefs to Mankind. Though they were able to earn the trust of a few, most of Mankind did not believe in the Gods, or had grown to perceive them more as meddlers than mentors. The Gods were astonished by Mankind's apparently illogical behavior; such arrogance was inexcusable. Wishing only to return the Universe to their control and not foreseeing any possibility for opposition, the Gods attempted to reform the elemental realms, without Mankind's consent. When the Gods began thoughtlessly destroying cities, Mankind was more than ready to retaliate. After the initial deflection, the Gods began to understand that Mankind's collective power might actually be a threat, so they quickly devised a scheme to disrupt their ability to cooperate. The Gods created a language-barrier between each distinct cultures of Mankind, destroying their ability to communicate outside of their own race. After that initial disruption, the Gods proceeded to feed Mankind false information, to distort their understanding of the truthful nature of the universe and to turn the races against each other.
the Gods are banished
The Gods eventually created such a twisted array of misconceptions, that Mankind's once beautiful civilization was nearly engulfed by war. The wars continued through generations, until Mankind was almost annihilated. Miraculously, through the fog of war and confusion, four heroes emerged. These heroes, who's names have become lost over time, somehow worked beyond their differences in language, to reveal the true nature of the Gods who had been manipulated the World. With the focused efforts of all of the remnants of Mankind behind them, the heroes were able to force the Gods in to their own energy supply; recycling them like husks of dead matter.
The Gods put up such a defiant struggle, that their link to the Spirits became unstable. The Spirits then became unstable themselves and gradually began to drift toward the heart of the universe; toward the struggle. They drifted further and further toward the mental plane until much like the God before them, the Spirits burst through and for the first time, achieved conscious thought. Directly after attaining consciousness, each spirit smashed in to their relative god, changing suddenly in to a crystalline form upon impact. Each god was encased in a crystal, which came to rest at fixed locations, relative to their previous quadrants in space.
All of this expulsion of energy nearly destroyed the world, at very least, severely scarring its surface. The solitary super-continent that had formed slowly over the years was fragmented. The Spirits had become Crystals; now part of the physical world. All of the energy in the universe was now within mortal grasp and with the Gods no longer linked to the source, the energy would be free to absorb.. but the Crystals were buried deep within the World's new landscape, hiding away all of their retained energy.. and the only ones that knew this, were the Gods.
This marks the end of the prehistoric period and the beginning of the modern era.