Skip to main content

Your World’s Creation Myth


In the beginning, there was only magic. The element floated amidst the vast nothingness of the multiverse until by chance or the power of some creator, magic began to take form. It twisted and combined, cracked and boomed, eventually becoming the first sentient creature of the multiverse: Satyavati, the Magic Primordial. This entity began to weave together magic to create entities like itself, beings that represented Satyavati. They were its children, four Primordials formed of fire, air, water, and earth. Alongside their creator, they started molding the multiverse: deities, the planes of existence, the planet of Eldar, and the moons and stars In this primeval universe, all was beautiful and serene…

How was your world created? It’s an interesting question to pose when making a D&D setting. The origins of the deities, who the first creatures were, and why the planes of existence exist are all big questions. While it might not immediately play a role in your game, it’s definitely fun to create. Ancient history, conflicts between ultimate beings, and mysteries that last to this day are all a part of creation myths. How can that not sound intriguing?

In this article, we’re going to learn how to create one and take a look at the myth I wrote for my world, Eldar. Let’s roll.

A Spark of Existence

How does everything begin? The beginning of this article tells the story of how my world began: with a dark expanse of space filled with primal, crackling magic. By chance, something we should be familiar with in fantasy, or by the hand of some unknown creator, it takes shape and forms a primordial. In turn, the primordial makes the other pieces of the multiverse and everything is lovely.

Think about how you want your world to begin. Is it by mistake? Does a greater creature mold it and its creator? Can it be scientifically proven? Do powerful creatures sing it into existence? Does chance and luck play a part? I tend to go with the latter, especially for fantasy settings. That approach leaves a tang of mystery in the air.

After deciding how it comes into being, decide who or what presides over it. Early gods? Primordials? Dragons? You could be unique, something I nearly did, and have primeval beholders from another universe dream your multiverse into existence. All you need are a few factions to exist while everything is serene. Once you have them, it’s time to move on.

If you need some inspiration, here are six possible starts to your world or multiverse:
  1. The world is sung into being by a beautiful entity.
  2. The world forms as the result of two creatures colliding.
  3. A creature from a dying universe creates the multiverse as a last ditch effort to save life.
  4. A primeval beholder dreams the multiverse into existence.
  5. A cabal of respected spellcasters unite and accidentally create a new world.
  6. By chance, the only two creatures in the multiverse meet and usher in new life and a new world.

Conflict Between Supreme Beings

And that’s the next step: creating a conflict between the early factions of your world. Most of the time, they're supreme beings: gods, dragons, primordials, and titans. In the current day, the most powerful creatures of the multiverse are likely not interacting with mortals or interfering in the Material Plane all too often. Why is this? Were they killed? How did it happen? Is it talked about often, or is it a secret? This conflict needs to be massive. I mean worldshaking, god-killing, plane-making madness. When someone hears of it, they should be floored. It should be unbelievable, impossible. Maybe it is, that’s up to you. Once you’ve created the conflict, it’s time to discuss how folk in the present see your world’s creation myth.

If you need help designing a flabbergastingly crazy conflict, check out these four for inspiration:
  1. Aberrations from another universe invade and kill the original gods. The remaining deities rise up and are forced to man the wall between the Far Realm and theirs.
  2. Dragons overpower and enslave the gods. Before long, they are the true rulers of the multiverse.
  3. The deities war over the mortal world on the mortal world. The conflict ends with two deities remaining and tens of demigods populating the world.
  4. Mortals band together and hunt down the deities, convinced no entity should hold as much power as they. The last killed deity starts a new age.

In the Present

Now it’s time to think about how people in the present react to this myth. In most fantasy worlds, creation happened hundreds of thousands if not millions of years before the start of the campaign, so how many people know about it? Is it a story only known by the most studied of scholars? Or is it something told around campfires at night by bards who study mythic lore? Will it play a part in your campaign?

Uninspired? Maybe people think like this…
  1. No one knows about it, but it plays a huge role in the politics of the heavens and hells.
  2. Powerful people keep the myth of creation a secret and it gives them power. They spread false stories about the world’s creation and are intent on no one else ever finding out.
  3. Everyone knows the story but many believe it’s just that: a story.
  4. The myth is creation is known by no one, but plenty of beings are trying to discover how the world was made.

My World's Myth

In the beginning, there was only magic. The element floated amidst the vast nothingness of the multiverse until by chance or the power of some creator, magic began to take form. It twisted and combined, cracked and boomed, eventually becoming the first sentient creature of the multiverse: Satyavati, the Magic Primordial. This entity began to weave together magic to create entities like itself, beings that represented Satyavati. They were its children, four Primordials formed of fire, air, water, and earth. Alongside their creator, they started molding the multiverse: deities, the planes of existence, the planet of Eldar, and the moons and stars In this primeval universe, all was beautiful and serene…

But Satyavati’s powers were unparalleled, and the other Primordials grew fearful of its might. Together, they turned against their creator and waged war upon the Magic Primordial using their own creations, the deities. Hundreds against one, they slew it. From Satyavati’s corpse spewed raw magic, embodiments of the alignments, and the first outsiders. The magic spread across the multiverse, spawning life and places of power. The embodiments of the alignments took residence in distant planes, shaping them to their liking; these places became the Outer Planes. The first outsiders followed the living alignments, becoming fiends and celestials. Enraged that Satyavati still had a bastion in the multiverse, the four Primordials continued their war on all things made by their powerful creator.

Seeing the pure, unstoppable drive of the Primordials, the deities betrayed their creators and trapped them in their respective Elemental Plane. During this battle, the multiverse suffered and the deities witnessed the consequences of their direct meddling. Millions died, planes were destroyed, but the raging Primordials were sealed away. After The Chaining, the deities — some willingly, others unwillingly — formed a pact, The Supreme Pact. No longer would they directly interfere in the conflicts of the mortal world. Instead, they would bless their worshipers with their power, and forward their agendas from elsewhere. Besides, the mortal world was not the be all and end all. The plots of deities spanned the multiverse, from the Nine Hells of Avernus and the Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia to the churning flames of the Elemental Plane of Fire and the mysterious Far Realm.

Most educated folk know the general story of this creation myth, but many think it’s just that: a myth. Only the most ancient deities remember how everything was created, why the Magic Primordial died, and when fiends and celestials were young, immortal beings. Some of them pass this knowledge down to their most devout followers, who may share it with the rest of Eldar, but who will believe them? Farmers who war with goblin tribes on the edge of the woods? Merchants who are concerned with clearing their shipping routes of pirates? Warlords who don’t worry themselves with primeval affairs? How about creatures who seek the secrets of creation: conniving slaadi, Primordial cultists, and power-hungry wizards? If they knew the truth of the multiverse’s earliest years, what could they accomplish with that knowledge? Could they shatter the seals chaining the Primordials? What if they convinced a deity to break the pact? What would happen if they grasped the concepts of true creation? Only time will tell.

In Summary

Writing a creation myth for your world can clear lots of things up, and inject an aura of mystery into your world at the same time.
  1. How was the world created?
  2. What conflict plagued the elder days?
  3. What do people know about the world’s creation in the present?
Thanks for reading.

Until next time, farewell!

Follow RJD20 on TwitterYouTube, and Facebook for more RPG content.

Comments

Most Popular Articles of the Week

D&D Players and DMs, Be Thankful

It’s Wednesday night. The party are faced with a decision: continue toward the lair of one of their vile foes through cramped kobold tunnels, try to enter through a broken lightning rail, or turn back and face the enemies behind them. If they choose correctly, they’ll reach their destination before the mysterious Vaxilidan can complete the domination of those they hold dear. If they choose incorrectly, their loved ones will become horrific husks twisted by aberrant minds and incurable darkness. Of course, they choose the quickest and safest path: through the kobold tunnels! In single file, they crawl and slip their way down the wet passages until they arrive at a hole that leads into an ancient and flooded crypt. Dragon murals line the walls, kobold packs float in the murky water, and the cracks in the ground remind the party of a defeated foe. Their path forward muddied, they decide to delve into the crypt and a wild night of roleplaying and mad speculation ensues: kobold sarcasm and

How to Begin a D&D Campaign

The world is created, the characters are made, and the starting location is set, but how do you begin a Dungeons & Dragons campaign? There are many lines to check off on your list. Is the starting point created? Are all the session zeros finished? Is the initial plot formulated? Is the opening scene ready to go? As I prepare for the start of my next D&D campaign, Caught in Galen, I’m going to help you or anyone else out there itching to begin a campaign correctly complete their pre-campaign checklist. The D&D Campaign’s Starting Point Where will the campaign begin? This is a key question you should know before your players begin to make their characters that I dedicated an entire article to awhile back. Will the party explore the titanic ruins of a dragon empire on a jungle continent? Will they delve into the depths of the Subterrane in chase of a rogue celestial? Will they begin caught in a giant city of an inherently magical population? Know this before anything e

How to Play an Archfey in D&D

Archfey are part of the god-like trio: archfiends, archfey, and great old ones. Each member of this class is unique, from Mephistopheles the Lord of No Mercy and Orcus the Prince of Undeath, to Hyrsam the Prince of Fools to Dendar the Night Serpent. Distinct from even these unique examples, archfey live on the Plane of Faerie, or the Feywild, where they play court and war amongst each other in a land of impossible flora and fauna. Most of the time, they won’t appear directly in your campaign. They’ll be faraway actors, pulling the strings in the background as your party traverses the world. However, what if you would like an archfey or three to become major players? What if you’d like to use Oberon the Green Lord as a villain? Maybe Titania the Summer Queen as an ally? How about your warlock forms a pact with Hyrsam the Prince of Fools? Well, you’ll need to know how to play one. Outlined below are how I see archfey in my world, Eldar. They might be different in your setting

My Take on Matthew Colville’s 5E Action Oriented Monsters

Soaring into a manifest zone on their airship, the Misty Tide, the party erupts into a pocket of the Elemental Plane of Fire high above a sea of bubbling lava. Surrounding them are hissing fire newts mounted upon burning birds, prepared to hijack the airship and release the fire elementals powering it. The airship’s captain screams, “Hold out! We’ll escape ‘ere in a minute, I’ll get us through!” In response, the fiery raiders attack, lead by a striking fire newt warlock. The combat begins, and she thrusts her molten scimitar into the broiling air. The blade soars between each party member, scorching them with ease before reforming in her hands. Later in the combat, she deftly descends atop her burning bird below the airship, narrowly avoiding a blast of eldritch energy. In the struggle’s final moments, she dismounts from her tiny phoenix in a whirl, leaping thirty feet to gouge one of the party members with her scimitar and deal tremendous damage. Ultimately, she fails; the rest of