The Elder Gods
Every culture has its own myths and legends about the creation of the Realm. As cultures mix and stories get passed from generation to generation these stories transform. New deities come forward, and old ones are discarded.
The generally accepted story of creation told by the human inhabitants of the Reaches late in the Third Age, tells of eight beings known as the Elder Gods. These "gods" represent the elemental forces of the world, and their tales most likely have been passed down from the earliest inhabitants of the Realm. Personification of the Elder Gods has been reported countless times since the dawn of civilization. However, rumors of the human forms of the Elder Gods have never been substantiated by the academic population.
- Death - (NOTE: In some cultures, Death is portrayed as a male figure with a female figure, Fate, as his bride.)
- Melandrea, Goddess of the Sun
- Blacklock, God of the Air
- Baliol, Warder of the Seas
- Karelia, Goddess of the Stars
- Hastur, Master of Stone
- Oakentree, God of Nature
Godstime: The Pre-History of the Races
The three gods of the elements struggled to control their realms against the chaos brought on by Death. Baliol battled great hurricanes, typhoons, and tidal waves that attempted to tear the very soul from the sea. On the earth, great quakes and volcanoes shook the ground deep into the realm of Hastur. Even the airy domain of Blacklock swirled with great tornadoes and whirlwinds. Far above the highest clouds, the goddesses of the heavens also felt the chaos. Melandrea, the Sun, oftentimes went black during the heat of the day. Comets and meteors filled the darkness of the night, the realm of Karelia, Goddess of the Stars. Oakentree saw that all good must be balanced by evil, all law by chaos, and all life by death. He reveled in the life of Summer and mourned the death of Winter. And so the epochs passed. The Elder Gods were unchallenged, supreme.
As seasons came and went, great storms raged and died, the earth shook and then rested, and through all of this the Elder Gods grew more dormant, the equilibrium of the forces of nature lulling them to sleep. In the Realm, the animals of the earth and sea continued to evolve. The primitive races evolved more quickly - the vestiges of civilization had begun. However, they were inconsequential and insignificant to the Elder Gods.
The End of Godstime: Arrival of the Dark Moon
While no definitive narrative exists that details the arrival of the Dark Moon, all the races of the Realm have a folktale of the event. Several common threads in these stories tell of an inky blackness eating the nighttime stars from the skies - the Dark Moon. The dwarves noted that the sun dimmed - causing a great winter over the land which lasted a score of years. The Old Kingdom tales speak of forty men, riding in flaming chariots, glowing in silver, with swords that cut with light. These beings brought with them great magic and knowledge which they shared with humankind.
The most important tale from this time comes from the Druids of Oakentree, although the tales itself predates the organization by hundreds of years. The Druid tradition tells of a strange battle at the dawn of the First Age. In the days after the arrival of the Dark Moon, it is said that Oakentree's power began to wain. Inconsequential at first, the effects of this sickness began to accelerate: the trees became blighted - the air and water becoming murky and rancid, the animals sickly. It was as if the forest itself was dying. The elves worked tirelessly to protect their land. It is said the battle turned when Eldevera dropped a thousand staves that were taken by the elves to every corner of the forest. Using the staves as sounding sticks, a constant song was sung to awaken Oakentree and warn him of the danger. The elves were successful, but as Oakentree awoke, it is said that the other Elder Gods did not. Instead, they fell into a deep slumber that would last three thousand years - until they were released from their prison and returned to the land.