This article collects information regarding the conceptualisation of the game world of The Mana World.
Gods and the Universe
Before the universe existed as it is known, there was only mana and a sphere of energy to which the mana was attracted. Mana surrounded the sphere in all directions.
Then, an anomaly. The sphere suddenly expanded with great force in all directions. In an instant, four elements were born from the explosion. The elements clashed and collided with each other as they were propelled into the universe.
Mana was strewn into chaos. It expanded, shifted, condensed, and dispersed to make way for the elements. As mana pushed into other mana, some condensed enough to become sentient, but the beings were undone just as quickly as the mana dispersed. These un-embodied flashes of life occurred a near infinite number of times in the first second as the universe cast outward. These were Spirits.
In this same instant, one condensation of mana compressed greatly enough to gain control of itself and its mind. It did not allow itself to expand again, as it reveled in its existence. It was the first God. The being watched as mana instinctively seeped into the elements of the expanding universe, creating a vacuum of space. As the God had this first thought, elsewhere three more Gods were born.
Mana was still abundant enough for the Gods to know of the others' existence, but as mana streams spread into the growing universe and pooled among the elements, the Gods became detached from each other and were alone in their minds. They came together in resistance to the void created by their loneness.
With their power, the Gods could control the four elements, to which they were so attracted, and they instinctively began manipulating the mana within these elements in order to create worlds.
We call the Gods Jande, Nu'rem, Tal, and, Di'tal.
Later, during the Doomsday events, it was revealed Jande, Nu'Rem, Tal and Di'tal are Great Dragons, surviving from a great war and still fighting against themselves for the Mana Source.
Jande controls Earth, Nu'Rem controls Wind, Tal controls Water, and Di'tal rules over fire.
As the universe settled, the Gods created worlds and beings out of the elements in a way that each world could maintain itself and its mana. The Gods knew that they were expending energy as they worked, and mana was slowly pouring from their beings, but they were so captivated by the elements that they could not stop, nor did they want to.
One particular world held such incredible amounts of mana that it flourished in life. The Gods felt the intense energy from this world, and held a special love for it. This world had evolved human life, in which the most incredible concentration of mana was invested. Nowhere else in the universe did mana manifest itself in such a way.
The Gods knew that as Man's population grew, more and more mana was pulled from the world and from the Gods themselves, who still felt such affinity for these creatures that they gave more of their own mana to this world than to any other. Early in Man's existence, when mana was plentiful, Man felt the Gods and appreciated their love, and loved the Gods in return. But as the mana grew thin, Man could no longer feel the Gods, and soon forgot them. Man flourished in his self interest. Hunting groups established villages, which grew into cities.
Plight of the Gods
Just as the Gods knew would happen, they began to lose their energy as mana escaped their beings. With the gradual loss of divine knowledge, the four Gods began feeling emotions of jealousy and self-interest.
A darkness grew in their minds. The God Nu'rem soon felt that humans had become too selfish, and sought to regain his mana through their slaughter. He used his power to agitate the elements, and the world shook so hard that it was almost destroyed. When the other Gods saw what Nu'rem was doing, Tal and Di'tal restrained Nu'rem with all of their might, while Jande settled the world.
It was too late. Many of the world's creatures had been destroyed. As the souls died, free mana spread and began to redistribute itself in the world. Jande drank hungrily at the energy. Tal and Du'tal releaesd Nu'rem and they drank as well. Slightly replenished, they stopped and saw the destruction that they had caused in their greed, and they remembered their beloved world from which they were now feeding.
In his remorse, the weakest of the Gods, Nu'rem, released his being, letting himself die. The remaining three Gods directed Nu'rem's spiling mana into the world and then they pulled away to mourn and to watch as the world rehabilitated itself under Nu'rem's sacrifice.
see also The Great Quake
Man and Magic
Mana was now very thick on the world of mana. The Gods watched the mana tease at Man's senses. The best of men could feel the intensity of mana and felt that they had some control over its energy. All over the world, men gathered to study, discuss, and learn of the magic that they inherently possessed. Most men even found that they were capable of transmitting thoughts to one another all across the world. They learned of the great ways that they could control mana and its healing and empowering abilities. Man also learned of mana's destructive capabilities.
The Gods mused at Man's desire to manifest the mana as the eight elements; Some men who controlled the forces of mana gave it the appearance of water, while others attributed fire to their magic. As the kingdoms of men grew, the knowledge of magic spread.
see also the nature of mana and magic