D&D 5E The Tale of the First World: What Do We Know About it and How Does it Connect to the Rest of the Lore? (+)

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
The First World is an idea that was first presented almost a year and a half ago in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, being the new origin story for the D&D Multiverse that Wizards of the Coast has decided to use for future D&D products. Dungeons and Dragons has had an interconnected multiverse with multiple meta-settings for over 30 years, and most official settings have their own histories and creation myths, but it wasn't until Tasha's Cauldron of Everything that we were given an explanation for why so many different settings share common elements between them. Fizban's Treasury of Dragons expanded a lot on this idea and gave us more of an understanding of what the First World was like, how it was destroyed, and why it's still important to the D&D Multiverse. Here, we will analyze what little information about the First World we currently have, speculate a bit on smaller, more obscure details of 5e's lore that could tie into this origin story for the D&D Multiverse, and discuss how the First World could be used more in future official D&D 5e products.

Let's get started!
1648444609517.png

What Was the First World?​

The First World was the first "world" of the Material Plane of Existence that all other campaign settings take place on, which was created by Bahamut and Tiamat at the dawn of time. The Elegy of the First World from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons says that the First World was "forged out of Chaos and painted with beauty," and then goes on to basically say that Tiamat the Chromatic invented the concept of color on the Material Plane. It's hard to pin down how much of this is mythical and how much of it is factual, but we can speculate a fair bit and pretty solidly determine that the "Chaos" that the first stanza of the elegy is talking about the Elemental Chaos. Furthermore, the description text for the Bard class and its College of Creation subclass explicitly states that the Multiverse was either spoken or sang into existence through the use of the "Song of Creation" and that Tiamat and Bahamut were the first entities to sing it.

After the First World was created, Tiamat and Bahamut decided to start populating it, which they began by creating Sardior the Ruby Dragon, who was "made in their likeness." He then aided in creating both Metallic and Chromatic Dragons, who are the true natives of the Material Plane, like Elementals are to the Elemental Planes, Fey are to the Feywild, and Demons are to the Abyss. The Elegy of the First World talks about "breath/breathe" and "singing" quite a bit, which is probably a reference to the Song of Creation that Bahamut and Tiamat used to create the First World out of the Elemental Chaos.

We don't know much about what other creatures originally inhabited the First World, but there were at least the 10 Metallic and Chromatic True Dragons. Due to the lore about the Moonstone Dragons, we also know that the Shadowfell and Feywild already existed, probably being created alongside the Material Plane (although this hasn't been verified yet), so Shadow Dragons probably already existed this early in the First World's short history. Other creatures that could have existed on the First World this early were most Beasts, most Dragonkind (Wyverns, Pseudodragons, Dragon Turtles, Dragonborn, Kobolds, etc), Elementals, some Fey and Sorrowsworn/Shadowspawn creatures, and various awakened Plants. Any creatures created by gods other than Bahamut, Tiamat, and Sardior were not originally present on the First World and are invasive to the Material Plane as a whole (Humans, Halflings, Gnomes, Orcs, Dwarves, Elves, Lizardfolk, Aberrations, and so on).

Why Doesn't the First World Exist Anymore?​

Apparently, the gods came and screwed it up by randomly populating it with their creations. And the good gods are included in this. Moradin, Corellon, Yondalla, Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, and a ton of other gods saw the world that Bahamut and Tiamat created and, for some unknown reason, decided to bring their followers and creations with them. Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblinoids, Lizardfolk, and most other Humanoid and Giant species were brought to the First World by the "conqueror gods" and overthrew Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat as the gods of this plane of existence. Sardior fled to the "Heart of Creation," Bahamut was defeated in battle and decided to surrender and try to make "peace" with the invading gods, and Tiamat declared war against the invading gods and creatures to try to fight for the freedom of her children's homeland. She wouldn't flee, surrender, or try to make peace, and instead fought till the other gods had to save her from death and imprison her (presumably on the first layer of the Nine Hells of Baator; Avernus).

(Wait, did Wizards of the Coast just turn Tiamat into the good guy? Or at least a sympathetic villain? That was unexpected. I'm not entirely against it, but this also is kind of a shocking revelation.)

After the War for the First World, the gods that conquered the world decided to divide it up between them. For some reason, they all collectively decided to screw Gruumsh over and begin an eternal war between the Orcs and literally everyone else, Maglubiyet finished reshaping the Fey spirits that he conquered from the Feywild into his armies of Goblinoids, and Humans multiplied like rabbits and infested the entire planet. This is also probably when the war between the various subspecies of Elves happened, creating the Drow, Eladrin, and Shadar-Kai, as well as the ascension of the Raven Queen as Goddess of Death in the Shadowfell. The capturing of the Duergar and the creation of the Derro, the war between the Goblinoids and Orcs, the start of the Blood War, and the migration of Gnomes to the Material Plane all probably happened around this time as well.

Bahamut continued to bow to his new masters, so much that he was even welcomed to Mount Celestia and made it his new home and tried to convince the rest of the gods to let him reason with Tiamat and eventually let her go. The Metallic and Chromatic Dragons turned against each other, with the Chromatic Dragons following in Tiamat's footsteps, trying to free her from her prison and liberate the First World and the Metallic Dragons decided to make the best of their new situation and became more peaceful than their Chromatic brethren.

Eventually, Tiamat escaped from her prison. It's not clear how this happened, it could have been that the style of her imprisonment just wasn't strong enough or that her followers freed her, but she preceded to go on a murderous rampage across the First World with her Chromatic Dragon followers, destroying everything in their path with their breath weapons (I like to imagine this looking similar to Fire Lord Ozai burning the land during the arrival of Sozin's Comet, but with Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, and Poison all mixed together as she and her children flew over the world). This furious flight of vengeance was so destructive that it destroyed the First World, shattered it into an infinite number of seedling realities that created the D&D Multiverse, and killed Sardior, who was still hiding in the center of the First World. Sardior was "sundered" and his fragmented consciousness took physical form as the Gem Dragons that exist across many D&D worlds (this is presumably the source of their psionic powers; Gem Dragons are the physical manifestations of Sardior's fractured mind, allowing them to use their minds to control reality, to an extent).

Side Note: I'm not sure how the Dawn War from 4e's lore ties into this origin story, if it even does at all, but I personally would place it chronologically after the First World was invaded by the Conqueror Gods, but before Tiamat was imprisoned, with Tiamat and Bahamut having to team up with the Gods to keep the First World from being destroyed by the Primordials. This would retcon the origin story for Bahamut and Tiamat (having been created when a Primordial bifurcated Io during the Dawn War, who then went on to kill that Primordial and spawn Dragonkind), but that specific part of their lore could either be pushed back to before the First World was created or just ignored entirely.

Aboleths, however . . . I have absolutely no idea how they tie into this origin story. Maybe they somehow were present when Bahamut and Tiamat created the First World? Or they were the first creatures to invade the world before the Conqueror Gods made it to the Material Plane? This bit of lore could use some explanation.

I also don't know how the Magic: the Gathering settings fit into this story. Some of them (like Strixhaven) seem easier to connect to the First World, and it seems like WotC is trying to do that with some of them (Tarkir is mentioned in Fizban's), but others really don't, especially with how Planeswalkers work in the M:tG universe.

How Does this Relate to D&D's Campaign Settings?​

This origin story for the D&D Multiverse is an explanation of various parts of D&D's base lore that previously hadn't been explained; such as why Chromatic Dragons are so often evil (and why they aren't in Eberron), why Dragons are so important to the worlds of D&D (besides them being the name of D&D), and the origin of the Material Plane. It also gives some meta-explanations for certain decisions in D&D, such as why D&D 5e doesn't have Dragons tied to the Outer Planes but can be changed by the Feywild and Shadowfell (because dragons are entirely Material and cannot be warped by the Spiritual energy of those planes, but can be changed by the Material nature of the Feywild/Shadowfell), why the Outer Planes are the same across all of the D&D settings (because they predate the destruction of the First World), why Great Wyrms are so different from their incarnations in previous editions (having the whole Multiversal Echoes part of them), and why so many creatures, gods, and classes are shared across so many D&D settings (because they were all present in the First World).

This lore can be easily incorporated into the backstories of various D&D settings in order to add more context to their histories. For example; Eberron is now the "second generation" of the First World, and it's implied (but not outright stated) that Siberys, Khyber, and Eberron are reincarnations/new representations of Bahamut, Tiamat, and Sardior. You can fairly easily match up Khyber with Tiamat (female fiendish dragon gods that want to destroy the world) and Siberys with Sardior (being shattered into millions of gem-fragments and having a connection with psionic powers). Bahamut being Eberron is more of a stretch (they both have a connection to the imprisonment of Tiamat/Khyber, being a parental figure to the good dragons, etc), but some minor details with the lore can be tweaked to make it work (their gender is the main one).

In Exandria, this lore can be used to explain where Echo Knights draw their Echoes from, being the alternate realities created by the destruction of the First World. There are also parallels between the Luxon and Sardior, being gods that helped create their worlds and its inhabitants, but hid/slumbered in the center of the world around the time of the arrival of gods from the Outer Planes and still having mortal worshippers that draw from its power (though I'm not as big of a fan of this idea as I am some of the others). It also paints Tiamat in a much better light, which helps explain why someone like Arkhan the Cruel could be so devoted to freeing her.

In the Forgotten Realms, this lore explains why so many dragons seem to basically become gods when they get old enough. This is reasoned as them just becoming Great Wyrms and unlocking their Dragonsight that allows them to contact their alternate selves on other worlds. The apotheosis that was previously undergone by powerful enough dragons is now just the next step to unlock in their aging. This also explains the extreme rivalry between Chromatic and Metallic Dragons, the neutrality of the Gem Dragons, and why Tiamat wants to destroy the world so much.

This lore just helps re-contextualize a lot of the lore from various D&D settings and connect the D&D Multiverse in a way that it wasn't before.

Fizban's also grants a lot of information on how you can use this lore to influence or even drive stories in your D&D campaigns. From Eberron's Chamber investigating the Draconic Prophecy on other worlds, to followers of Tiamat that want vengeance for having the First World being invaded by the gods and Bahamut betraying her, and cults of Sardior that want to bring him back to life (which might kill all Gem Dragons and/or require destroying the Multiverse). Just like the recent lore change for the Goblinoids, this lore expansion can do a lot to influence a campaign and characters in different D&D settings. This backstory is even more useful for settings like Planescape and Spelljammer that can span multiple D&D settings, allowing characters to learn this story and whole campaigns to revolve around it.

That's about all we know about the First World and the D&D Multiverse, connecting other parts of D&D's lore to the new information we have about the origin of the D&D Multiverse. Did I miss anything or get anything wrong about this lore? Are there any other aspects of lore that can connect to this that I didn't mention? What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think that we'll ever see more of the First World?

Keep the (+) nature of this thread in mind and don't threadcrap, but feel free to discuss how you might use this story or change it for your own campaigns and settings.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
I was definitely inspired by the idea of a First World where all other prime material worlds were derivative from when creating Salvera, and I combined that idea with 4e’s Dawn War creation story to create a proto-world where the primordials were defeated and the gods abandoned the world that they believed was beyond saving due to the devastation that both sides caused to the world.

Salvera is a forgotten world severed from the rest of the multiverse that hopes to remain separated. The dragons act as one of the main defenders of the plane from outside influences due to their ability to connect with their echoes in the greater multiverse. Due to the dragons of Salvera being the most direct descendants of Io the original dragon god, they have powers that most other dragons in the multiverse lack and can shield themselves from their echoes and influence them without detection.

For Bahamut, Tiamat, and Sardior, they did not create the world or the original dragons, but their “birth” was integral to giving the gods the upper hand they needed in order to fight and defeat the stronger primordials. I took the idea of the battle between Io and Erek-Hus and modified it a bit to make it an epic multi-plane spanning fight where both entities were nearly evenly matched. I also changed Io’s death, where instead of him being cleaved due to arrogance and hubris, it was instead due to prophetic insight and a selfless act of self-sacrifice where he took the killing blow meant for what would later become the living soul of the Salvera, the Primal Spirit known as the World Tree.

When Io died, his body merged with the continent that would be known as Thaczil and from his divine essence came four entities. Tiamat the first formed who embodied Io’s passion, creativity, anger, draconic might and wielded the Arcane and elemental fury that her father had mastered. Bahamut the second formed who embodied Io’s compassion, determination, bravery, righteous fervor and wielded his father’s Divine power. Sardior the third formed who embodied Io’s Intellect, curiosity, discipline, patience and gained his father’s mastery of the Psionic disciplines. World Serpent the fourth formed who embodied Io’s nurturing nature, cunning, protectiveness, wisdom and gained mastery over his father's Primal energies. These four together were able to kill Erek-Hus where their father couldn't alone, making this event the first primordial death and gave the four fledgling dragon gods the insight they needed to be able to combat their stronger foes. They then separated and rallied the other scattered gods together in order to turn the tides of the war in their favor.
 
Last edited:

JEB

Legend
Nice summation, though I strongly suspect that the version of the tale we got so far is filtered through the prism of the dragon worldview, and likely doesn't represent the truest origin, just an interpretation thereof. As you point out, there are holes - where did the aboleth come from? What about the Far Realm? Exactly how far back did Maglubiyet co-opt the fey that became the goblins? (Heck, where did the other gods come from?) What about the Inner and Outer Planes? How do MTG settings fit in? Etc.

It'll be interesting to see if different perspectives or expansions appear in books as we approach 2024, or in the 2024 edition itself. (I bet the giants have a very different story from the dragons, for example...)
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Nice summation, though I strongly suspect that the version of the tale we got so far is filtered through the prism of the dragon worldview, and likely doesn't represent the truest origin, just an interpretation thereof.
Oh, definitely. I absolutely believe that while the core aspects of this tale are accurate (Bahamut and Tiamat created the Material Plane with the Song of Creation, Sardior died and became the Gem Dragons, the First World was shattered into the infinite number of worlds contained in the Multiverse) it is definitely heavily biased by the Dragons' perspective/culture.
As you point out, there are holes - where did the aboleth come from? What about the Far Realm? Exactly how far back did Maglubiyet co-opt the fey that became the goblins? (Heck, where did the other gods come from?) What about the Inner and Outer Planes? How do MTG settings fit in? Etc.
I think this actually makes it more interesting. The fact that we don't know all that much about the First World, and what little we do know is tainted by the perspective of the Dragons makes it more mysterious and intriguing. The fact that we only have the perspective of the Dragons could be used as an explanation as to why the Elegy of the First World doesn't discuss Aboleths and other parts of its history. Dragons see themselves as the true heirs to the Material Plane and victims of the Conqueror Gods that had their homeland stolen from them, so any part of the story that could have contradicted this (the existence of Aboleths, origin of Bahamut and Tiamat, specific details about the involvement of other gods and entities in the world's creation) probably wouldn't have been included in the Elegy.

This also leads to a chicken and the egg question of whether or not Dragons have this viewpoint because it's actually what happened, or if they warped the truth about the First World to make themselves the victims more than they actually are. I think these questions could be a pretty compelling for a campaign to tackle and focus around.
(I bet the giants have a very different story from the dragons, for example...)
Absolutely. I've already covered the war between the Giants and Dragons a bit in this thread, but would definitely love to have more information about this. How does Annam play into this creation myth? Why do both Dragons and Giants have elemental abilities (breath weapons, damage immunities, etc)? How might other creatures view the First World story in a different way?

I'm really interested in seeing how this story is expanded upon in future D&D products. I'm expecting the 2024 Monster Manual to be the main product to go more in-depth on the concept of the First World and how it relates to the creatures in the book, but I'd welcome any other Easter eggs about it in future D&D books or discussions about it on their Youtube channel.

Edit: I just realized that the upcoming Spelljammer book might cover this concept more. Gives me another reason to look forward to that book.
 
Last edited:

JEB

Legend
I absolutely believe that while the core aspects of this tale are accurate (Bahamut and Tiamat created the Material Plane with the Song of Creation, Sardior died and became the Gem Dragons, the First World was shattered into the Multiverse) it is definitely heavily biased by the Dragons' perspective/culture.
I'd say the broad strokes may be accurate (the universe was created by some kind of primal entities, then was shattered into the multiverse), but the players probably differ based on whose myths are in play.

In late 2E canon, for example, two serpent-like creatures helped build creation... Ahriman and Jazirian. Jazirian becoming the patron of couatls, and Ahriman becoming Asmodeus.

In 4E, it was the primordials - progenitors of the dragon's enemies, the giants, I should note - that created the world, before the gods (to include Io, who later became Bahamut and Tiamat) usurped their creation (leading to the Dawn War).

(It would be sort of interesting in a meta-sense if 4E's canon became the basis for the First World... the world 5E sprung from, in multiple senses.)

EDIT: It also occurs to me that Critical Role's Exandria follows Dawn War canon, more or less, and that's part of the mix in 5E as well.
 

JEB

Legend
Another mystery to throw in for consideration: the vaati (elemental beings) and their war with the Queen of Chaos, as established in 2014 5E's aarakocra lore (and hearkening back to older editions, of course). (Whether that's still canon as of MOTM's race lore revisions, not sure... but until the 2024 core is out, we're supposed to assume it is.) The war ended with the destruction of the Queen's general, Mishka the Wolf Spider, at the hands of a vaati wielding the Rod of Law - which shattered into seven parts scattered across the multiverse. Maybe this has nothing to do with the shattering of the First World... or maybe this is another perspective of the same events.
 

pukunui

Legend
The First World / Eberron creation myth and the idea that some dragon gods are just elder dragons who are god-like has made me want to build a campaign world where all the "gods" are just super-powerful dragons. I haven't developed the idea very far, but it would make use of the First World / Eberron creation myth for starters.

So there were three dragons who created everything. One killed one of the others, shattering it into pieces, and then the third imprisoned the first and so on. Somehow other, non-draconic creatures have come into being to populate this world that the three progenitor dragons created, but all the "gods" those creatures believe in are actually real elder dragons (or are inspired by them at least). I'm not sure if I'd want that to be a campaign secret or something that is obvious to everyone. Either way could be fun. I could see a world like Theros where the gods appear in the sky and sometimes even walk the earth, except that instead of appearing humanoid, they're dragons. Or it could be more like Eberron, where no one really knows if the gods exist, but the deities that make up the Sovereign Host (or whatever) are actually based on real, god-like dragons.

It requires a lot more thought, and I'm not sure I have the time or mental energy to think it all through yet. (I've been considering asking for help in fleshing it out here but I'd like to get my thoughts gathered together a bit more first.)
 

Mercurius

Legend
I like it, although not sure how they would create a First World setting if it has been destroyed. A setting set in the primordial past would be a departure, and WotC seems to like to connect everything in a contemporary way. Maybe they make a "Dragon World" (Iomandra?) that is a kind of echo of the First World, maybe an attempt by the dragons to recreate it.

Another option is that they just flesh it out as a "meta-setting" in a Multiverse book, giving guidance on how to incorporate it into a campaign.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Or it could be more like Eberron, where no one really knows if the gods exist, but the deities that make up the Sovereign Host (or whatever) are actually based on real, god-like dragons.
That's actually one of the common suggestions for what the gods of the Sovereign Host actually are. All of the gods in both the Sovereign Host and Dark Six are associated with one of the chromatic/metallic dragons (except for The Shadow and The Traveler). Dol Arrah is commonly depicted as a Red Dragon, Aureon as a Blue Dragon, Boldrei as a Copper Dragon, The Keeper as a Dracolich, and so on.

I think that this idea actually fits pretty well already into Eberron. The Progenitors are Dragons, the constellations are dragons that are commonly worshipped as gods, there's inherited magic from a Draconic Prophecy called Dragonmarks, magic crystals called dragonshards empower spellcasting and magical bloodlines, and so on.

You could even flavor Erandis Vol's goal of apotheosis as her knowledge of the godhood inherent in magic of dragons due to her being a Half-Dragon with a Dragonmark. The mixing of dragonblood with the draconic prophecy could allow her to get something similar to Dragonsight. The "apotheosis" that she's trying to achieve could actually just be becoming the Half-Dragon equivalent of a Great Wyrm.

This is actually a pretty cool idea. I might use this at some point.
 
Last edited:

pukunui

Legend
That's actually one of the common suggestions for what the gods of the Sovereign Host actually are. All of the gods in both the Sovereign Host and Dark Six are associated with one of the chromatic/metallic dragons (except for The Shadow and The Traveler). Dol Arrah is commonly depicted as a Red Dragon, Aureon as a Blue Dragon, Boldrei as a Copper Dragon, The Keeper as a Dracolich, and so on.

I think that this idea actually fits pretty well already into Eberron. The Progenitors are Dragons, the constellations are dragons that are commonly worshipped as gods, there's inherited magic from a Draconic Prophecy called Dragonmarks, magic crystals called dragonshards empower spellcasting and magical bloodlines, and so on.

You could even flavor Erandis Vol's goal of apotheosis as her knowledge of the godhood inherent in magic of dragons due to her being a Half-Dragon with a Dragonmark. The mixing of dragonblood with the draconic prophecy could allow her to get something similar to Dragonsight. The "apotheosis" that she's trying to achieve could actually just be becoming the Half-Dragon equivalent of a Great Wyrm.

This is actually a pretty cool idea. I might use this at some point.
I think I was aware of that in the back of my mind. I suppose I could just try running a campaign in Eberron sometime to see if that scratches the itch satisfyingly enough.
 

vecna00

Speculation Specialist Wizard
I really love the idea of the First World and I really hope we see more of it fleshed out. Hopefully one of the new settings!

I do find myself wondering about possible specific connections between the First World and existing campaign worlds. For example, what is the connection between the First World and Birthright? Was the land of the FW steeped in magic where individuals could tap into the land itself to power spells that could affect entire countries? That, would be pretty awesome. It would also be a stealth way to introduce Realm Magic into 5E!

Then I start to think about the connection to a place like Dark Sun, and my mind just goes totally blank and I say "The connection here would be really something." And that's as far as I get with that one!
 

Absolutely. I've already covered the war between the Giants and Dragons a bit in this thread, but would definitely love to have more information about this. How does Annam play into this creation myth? Why do both Dragons and Giants have elemental abilities (breath weapons, damage immunities, etc)? How might other creatures view the First World story in a different way?
With the most recent UA hinting at something giant related, presumably, if we get a giant-themed book similar to Fizaban's, we'll get the giant viewpoint on the matter. I expect it will be similar in some ways, inconsistent in others, and wildly different in still other ways. That's the great thing about origin myths - everyone re-frames them to their own points of view, and trying to discern the truth (if there is any - there's always the possibility that everyone is wrong!) is part of the fun. I assume that any further themed monster books, such as one on aberrations, will just add more confirming and contrasting viewpoints on the subject.
 


With the most recent UA hinting at something giant related, presumably, if we get a giant-themed book similar to Fizaban's, we'll get the giant viewpoint on the matter. I expect it will be similar in some ways, inconsistent in others, and wildly different in still other ways. That's the great thing about origin myths - everyone re-frames them to their own points of view, and trying to discern the truth (if there is any - there's always the possibility that everyone is wrong!) is part of the fun. I assume that any further themed monster books, such as one on aberrations, will just add more confirming and contrasting viewpoints on the subject.
Given their association with elements, and thus the Elemental Chaos and Primordials, I suspect their position would be more or less "these gods stole the raw material of creation from the Primordials, the TRUE creators of existence!" Whereas, obviously, the draconic gods would see it as "you literally weren't doing anything with these materials and forces, we just made use of what happened to be available." One side calling it theft, the other side calling it making use of the commons.
 

Keith Baker addressed this on his website:



How would you incorporate either the draconic echoes or the Elegy of the First World into Eberron?

To answer this question, you first need to answer another: Do you want your Eberron to be part of the greater Multiverse? Eberron has its own cosmology and a very different approach to deities than many of the other core D&D settings. One option—as we suggest in Rising From The Last War is the idea that Eberron is part of the multiverse, but that it was sealed off; that traffic to other settings is possible, but very difficult. On the other hand, if you don’t WANT to use elements of other settings in your Eberron campaign, it’s easy to just ignore the Multiverse and focus on Eberron as an entirely independent setting.

By canon, Eberron has its own creation myth that explains the origins of dragons. The funny thing is that it’s not entirely incompatible with the Elegy of the First World. The Elegy asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind (if you count Sardior). The Progenitor myth asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind. The Progenitor myth asserts that the first dragons were born from the drops of blood that fell on Eberron; nonetheless, this still matches the basic concept of the Elegy, in that the dragons were the first children of the Progenitors, but “were supplanted by the teeming peoples” that came after them.

Personally, I LIKE the story of dragons being formed from the blood of Siberys—the idea that they alone believe that they have a direct connection to both Siberys and Eberron, an idea that explains their innate arcane power. In MY Eberron campaign, I’m not likely to abandon this concept in favor of Eberron’s dragons being linked to other dragons across infinite settings.

If you want to add the First World to Eberron WITHOUT adding the Multiverse, a simple option is to just put it AFTER THE PROGENITORS. The Progenitors create reality. Bahamut (a native celestial who favors a draconic form) and Tiamat (the Daughter of Khyber) unite the dragons and create the First World on Eberron—an idyllic civilization that predates the Age of Demons, which was ultimately shattered BY the Age of Demons, presumably set in motion by the Daughter of Khyber. This aligns with Thir, saying that the “Dragon Gods” existed before the Age of Demons but left reality when the First World was broken; this ties to the idea I’ve suggested elsewhere that Eberron’s version of Bahamut would have sacrificed themselves in the Age of Demons and could be the core of the Silver Flame.

If you want to incorporate the Multiverse into your Eberron campaign, then you can just use the First World exactly as it stands in Fizban’s. In this case, the Progenitor myth is presumably FALSE, since it has a very specific story for the origin of dragons; but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying that the Progenitor Myth IS ONLY A MYTH… or even that the Progenitor Myth is just a garbled version of the Elegy.

As for draconic echoes, the idea that each dragon is mirrored across realities: If I wanted to use this, what I’d do is to assert that every reality has a Draconic Prophecy, and Eberron is simply the only one where people have recognized this. Draconic Echoes reflect the fact that the dragons are prophetically significant. But if I was going to do that, I’d personally want to add OTHER echoes across settings; even if they don’t manifest dragonmarks, you might have echoes of dragonmarked heirs in other worlds, and you’d definitely have echoes of especially Prophetically significant characters—IE player characters. But I personally prefer NOT to mix peanut butter with my chocolate. I’m happy to explore alternate incarnations of Eberron, as with the Gith, but I’ve never brought the rest of the multiverse into any of my personal campaigns (though I HAVE played a “far traveler” character from Eberron—a warforged cleric searching for pieces of the Becoming God—in someone else’s non-Eberron campaign).

How binding this is probably depends on your stance regarding Canon vs Kanon.
 

Bitbrain

Glory to Ka!
The First World is an idea that was first presented almost a year and a half ago in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, being the new origin story for the D&D Multiverse that Wizards of the Coast has decided to use for future D&D products. Dungeons and Dragons has had an interconnected multiverse with multiple meta-settings for over 30 years, and most official settings have their own histories and creation myths, but it wasn't until Tasha's Cauldron of Everything that we were given an explanation for why so many different settings share common elements between them. Fizban's Treasury of Dragons expanded a lot on this idea and gave us more of an understanding of what the First World was like, how it was destroyed, and why it's still important to the D&D Multiverse. Here, we will analyze what little information about the First World we currently have, speculate a bit on smaller, more obscure details of 5e's lore that could tie into this origin story for the D&D Multiverse, and discuss how the First World could be used more in future official D&D 5e products.

Let's get started!
View attachment 154417

What Was the First World?​

The First World was the first "world" of the Material Plane of Existence that all other campaign settings take place on, which was created by Bahamut and Tiamat at the dawn of time. The Elegy of the First World from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons says that the First World was "forged out of Chaos and painted with beauty," and then goes on to basically say that Tiamat the Chromatic invented the concept of color on the Material Plane. It's hard to pin down how much of this is mythical and how much of it is factual, but we can speculate a fair bit and pretty solidly determine that the "Chaos" that the first stanza of the elegy is talking about the Elemental Chaos. Furthermore, the description text for the Bard class and its College of Creation subclass explicitly states that the Multiverse was either spoken or sang into existence through the use of the "Song of Creation" and that Tiamat and Bahamut were the first entities to sing it.

After the First World was created, Tiamat and Bahamut decided to start populating it, which they began by creating Sardior the Ruby Dragon, who was "made in their likeness." He then aided in creating both Metallic and Chromatic Dragons, who are the true natives of the Material Plane, like Elementals are to the Elemental Planes, Fey are to the Feywild, and Demons are to the Abyss. The Elegy of the First World talks about "breath/breathe" and "singing" quite a bit, which is probably a reference to the Song of Creation that Bahamut and Tiamat used to create the First World out of the Elemental Chaos.

We don't know much about what other creatures originally inhabited the First World, but there were at least the 10 Metallic and Chromatic True Dragons. Due to the lore about the Moonstone Dragons, we also know that the Shadowfell and Feywild already existed, probably being created alongside the Material Plane (although this hasn't been verified yet), so Shadow Dragons probably already existed this early in the First World's short history. Other creatures that could have existed on the First World this early were most Beasts, most Dragonkind (Wyverns, Pseudodragons, Dragon Turtles, Dragonborn, Kobolds, etc), Elementals, some Fey and Sorrowsworn/Shadowspawn creatures, and various awakened Plants. Any creatures created by gods other than Bahamut, Tiamat, and Sardior were not originally present on the First World and are invasive to the Material Plane as a whole (Humans, Halflings, Gnomes, Orcs, Dwarves, Elves, Lizardfolk, Aberrations, and so on).

Why Doesn't the First World Exist Anymore?​

Apparently, the gods came and screwed it up by randomly populating it with their creations. And the good gods are included in this. Moradin, Corellon, Yondalla, Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, and a ton of other gods saw the world that Bahamut and Tiamat created and, for some unknown reason, decided to bring their followers and creations with them. Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblinoids, Lizardfolk, and most other Humanoid and Giant species were brought to the First World by the "conqueror gods" and overthrew Sardior, Bahamut, and Tiamat as the gods of this plane of existence. Sardior fled to the "Heart of Creation," Bahamut was defeated in battle and decided to surrender and try to make "peace" with the invading gods, and Tiamat declared war against the invading gods and creatures to try to fight for the freedom of her children's homeland. She wouldn't flee, surrender, or try to make peace, and instead fought till the other gods had to save her from death and imprison her (presumably on the first layer of the Nine Hells of Baator; Avernus).

(Wait, did Wizards of the Coast just turn Tiamat into the good guy? Or at least a sympathetic villain? That was unexpected. I'm not entirely against it, but this also is kind of a shocking revelation.)

After the War for the First World, the gods that conquered the world decided to divide it up between them. For some reason, they all collectively decided to screw Gruumsh over and begin an eternal war between the Orcs and literally everyone else, Maglubiyet finished reshaping the Fey spirits that he conquered from the Feywild into his armies of Goblinoids, and Humans multiplied like rabbits and infested the entire planet. This is also probably when the war between the various subspecies of Elves happened, creating the Drow, Eladrin, and Shadar-Kai, as well as the ascension of the Raven Queen as Goddess of Death in the Shadowfell. The capturing of the Duergar and the creation of the Derro, the war between the Goblinoids and Orcs, the start of the Blood War, and the migration of Gnomes to the Material Plane all probably happened around this time as well.

Bahamut continued to bow to his new masters, so much that he was even welcomed to Mount Celestia and made it his new home and tried to convince the rest of the gods to let him reason with Tiamat and eventually let her go. The Metallic and Chromatic Dragons turned against each other, with the Chromatic Dragons following in Tiamat's footsteps, trying to free her from her prison and liberate the First World and the Metallic Dragons decided to make the best of their new situation and became more peaceful than their Chromatic brethren.

Eventually, Tiamat escaped from her prison. It's not clear how this happened, it could have been that the style of her imprisonment just wasn't strong enough or that her followers freed her, but she preceded to go on a murderous rampage across the First World with her Chromatic Dragon followers, destroying everything in their path with their breath weapons (I like to imagine this looking similar to Fire Lord Ozai burning the land during the arrival of Sozin's Comet, but with Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, and Poison all mixed together as she and her children flew over the world). This furious flight of vengeance was so destructive that it destroyed the First World, shattered it into an infinite number of seedling realities that created the D&D Multiverse, and killed Sardior, who was still hiding in the center of the First World. Sardior was "sundered" and his fragmented consciousness took physical form as the Gem Dragons that exist across many D&D worlds (this is presumably the source of their psionic powers; Gem Dragons are the physical manifestations of Sardior's fractured mind, allowing them to use their minds to control reality, to an extent).

Side Note: I'm not sure how the Dawn War from 4e's lore ties into this origin story, if it even does at all, but I personally would place it chronologically after the First World was invaded by the Conqueror Gods, but before Tiamat was imprisoned, with Tiamat and Bahamut having to team up with the Gods to keep the First World from being destroyed by the Primordials. This would retcon the origin story for Bahamut and Tiamat (having been created when a Primordial bifurcated Io during the Dawn War, who then went on to kill that Primordial and spawn Dragonkind), but that specific part of their lore could either be pushed back to before the First World was created or just ignored entirely.

Aboleths, however . . . I have absolutely no idea how they tie into this origin story. Maybe they somehow were present when Bahamut and Tiamat created the First World? Or they were the first creatures to invade the world before the Conqueror Gods made it to the Material Plane? This bit of lore could use some explanation.

I also don't know how the Magic: the Gathering settings fit into this story. Some of them (like Strixhaven) seem easier to connect to the First World, and it seems like WotC is trying to do that with some of them (Tarkir is mentioned in Fizban's), but others really don't, especially with how Planeswalkers work in the M:tG universe.

How Does this Relate to D&D's Campaign Settings?​

This origin story for the D&D Multiverse is an explanation of various parts of D&D's base lore that previously hadn't been explained; such as why Chromatic Dragons are so often evil (and why they aren't in Eberron), why Dragons are so important to the worlds of D&D (besides them being the name of D&D), and the origin of the Material Plane. It also gives some meta-explanations for certain decisions in D&D, such as why D&D 5e doesn't have Dragons tied to the Outer Planes but can be changed by the Feywild and Shadowfell (because dragons are entirely Material and cannot be warped by the Spiritual energy of those planes, but can be changed by the Material nature of the Feywild/Shadowfell), why the Outer Planes are the same across all of the D&D settings (because they predate the destruction of the First World), why Great Wyrms are so different from their incarnations in previous editions (having the whole Multiversal Echoes part of them), and why so many creatures, gods, and classes are shared across so many D&D settings (because they were all present in the First World).

This lore can be easily incorporated into the backstories of various D&D settings in order to add more context to their histories. For example; Eberron is now the "second generation" of the First World, and it's implied (but not outright stated) that Siberys, Khyber, and Eberron are reincarnations/new representations of Bahamut, Tiamat, and Sardior. You can fairly easily match up Khyber with Tiamat (female fiendish dragon gods that want to destroy the world) and Siberys with Sardior (being shattered into millions of gem-fragments and having a connection with psionic powers). Bahamut being Eberron is more of a stretch (they both have a connection to the imprisonment of Tiamat/Khyber, being a parental figure to the good dragons, etc), but some minor details with the lore can be tweaked to make it work (their gender is the main one).

In Exandria, this lore can be used to explain where Echo Knights draw their Echoes from, being the alternate realities created by the destruction of the First World. There are also parallels between the Luxon and Sardior, being gods that helped create their worlds and its inhabitants, but hid/slumbered in the center of the world around the time of the arrival of gods from the Outer Planes and still having mortal worshippers that draw from its power (though I'm not as big of a fan of this idea as I am some of the others). It also paints Tiamat in a much better light, which helps explain why someone like Arkhan the Cruel could be so devoted to freeing her.

In the Forgotten Realms, this lore explains why so many dragons seem to basically become gods when they get old enough. This is reasoned as them just becoming Great Wyrms and unlocking their Dragonsight that allows them to contact their alternate selves on other worlds. The apotheosis that was previously undergone by powerful enough dragons is now just the next step to unlock in their aging. This also explains the extreme rivalry between Chromatic and Metallic Dragons, the neutrality of the Gem Dragons, and why Tiamat wants to destroy the world so much.

This lore just helps re-contextualize a lot of the lore from various D&D settings and connect the D&D Multiverse in a way that it wasn't before.

Fizban's also grants a lot of information on how you can use this lore to influence or even drive stories in your D&D campaigns. From Eberron's Chamber investigating the Draconic Prophecy on other worlds, to followers of Tiamat that want vengeance for having the First World being invaded by the gods and Bahamut betraying her, and cults of Sardior that want to bring him back to life (which might kill all Gem Dragons and/or require destroying the Multiverse). Just like the recent lore change for the Goblinoids, this lore expansion can do a lot to influence a campaign and characters in different D&D settings. This backstory is even more useful for settings like Planescape and Spelljammer that can span multiple D&D settings, allowing characters to learn this story and whole campaigns to revolve around it.

That's about all we know about the First World and the D&D Multiverse, connecting other parts of D&D's lore to the new information we have about the origin of the D&D Multiverse. Did I miss anything or get anything wrong about this lore? Are there any other aspects of lore that can connect to this that I didn't mention? What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think that we'll ever see more of the First World?

Keep the (+) nature of this thread in mind and don't threadcrap, but feel free to discuss how you might use this story or change it for your own campaigns and settings.

Regarding aboleths: I would imagine that they originate from the First World, preceded the dragons as that world’s first intelligent species, and due to both aboleths and dragons being implied to have a “genetic memory”, both groups remember said First World. Also kind of explains why the aboleths really don’t like the gods.

“Bad enough the dragons supplanted us as the dominant life form, but those gods, man. They made Tiamat so mad, she up and shattered the world.”
 

Keith Baker addressed this on his website:



How would you incorporate either the draconic echoes or the Elegy of the First World into Eberron?

To answer this question, you first need to answer another: Do you want your Eberron to be part of the greater Multiverse? Eberron has its own cosmology and a very different approach to deities than many of the other core D&D settings. One option—as we suggest in Rising From The Last War is the idea that Eberron is part of the multiverse, but that it was sealed off; that traffic to other settings is possible, but very difficult. On the other hand, if you don’t WANT to use elements of other settings in your Eberron campaign, it’s easy to just ignore the Multiverse and focus on Eberron as an entirely independent setting.

By canon, Eberron has its own creation myth that explains the origins of dragons. The funny thing is that it’s not entirely incompatible with the Elegy of the First World. The Elegy asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind (if you count Sardior). The Progenitor myth asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind. The Progenitor myth asserts that the first dragons were born from the drops of blood that fell on Eberron; nonetheless, this still matches the basic concept of the Elegy, in that the dragons were the first children of the Progenitors, but “were supplanted by the teeming peoples” that came after them.

Personally, I LIKE the story of dragons being formed from the blood of Siberys—the idea that they alone believe that they have a direct connection to both Siberys and Eberron, an idea that explains their innate arcane power. In MY Eberron campaign, I’m not likely to abandon this concept in favor of Eberron’s dragons being linked to other dragons across infinite settings.

If you want to add the First World to Eberron WITHOUT adding the Multiverse, a simple option is to just put it AFTER THE PROGENITORS. The Progenitors create reality. Bahamut (a native celestial who favors a draconic form) and Tiamat (the Daughter of Khyber) unite the dragons and create the First World on Eberron—an idyllic civilization that predates the Age of Demons, which was ultimately shattered BY the Age of Demons, presumably set in motion by the Daughter of Khyber. This aligns with Thir, saying that the “Dragon Gods” existed before the Age of Demons but left reality when the First World was broken; this ties to the idea I’ve suggested elsewhere that Eberron’s version of Bahamut would have sacrificed themselves in the Age of Demons and could be the core of the Silver Flame.

If you want to incorporate the Multiverse into your Eberron campaign, then you can just use the First World exactly as it stands in Fizban’s. In this case, the Progenitor myth is presumably FALSE, since it has a very specific story for the origin of dragons; but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying that the Progenitor Myth IS ONLY A MYTH… or even that the Progenitor Myth is just a garbled version of the Elegy.

As for draconic echoes, the idea that each dragon is mirrored across realities: If I wanted to use this, what I’d do is to assert that every reality has a Draconic Prophecy, and Eberron is simply the only one where people have recognized this. Draconic Echoes reflect the fact that the dragons are prophetically significant. But if I was going to do that, I’d personally want to add OTHER echoes across settings; even if they don’t manifest dragonmarks, you might have echoes of dragonmarked heirs in other worlds, and you’d definitely have echoes of especially Prophetically significant characters—IE player characters. But I personally prefer NOT to mix peanut butter with my chocolate. I’m happy to explore alternate incarnations of Eberron, as with the Gith, but I’ve never brought the rest of the multiverse into any of my personal campaigns (though I HAVE played a “far traveler” character from Eberron—a warforged cleric searching for pieces of the Becoming God—in someone else’s non-Eberron campaign).

How binding this is probably depends on your stance regarding Canon vs Kanon.
It is not binding either way
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Regarding aboleths: I would imagine that they originate from the First World, preceded the dragons as that world’s first intelligent species, and due to both aboleths and dragons being implied to have a “genetic memory”, both groups remember said First World. Also kind of explains why the aboleths really don’t like the gods.

“Bad enough the dragons supplanted us as the dominant life form, but those gods, man. They made Tiamat so mad, she up and shattered the world.”
They come from the Pre-First World thst the Primordials took over.

First World's, all the way down.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Keith Baker addressed this on his website:


How binding this is probably depends on your stance regarding Canon vs Kanon.
This all seems like much ado about nothing to me. The obvious answer is that the Progenitor Myth and the Elegy of the First World are both myths, which share a common motif of three dragons creating reality and dragonkind. There are probably many more such myths throughout the world, or worlds if you’re doing a multiversal campaign. There’s no need for there to be one right answer, especially in Eberron where the gods are less overt than in a lot of other D&D settings. Nobody knows what the real truth is, just like in real life.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top