Although the three planes and pillars were quickly teeming with life, only the Primordials seemed capable of making sentient mortals. There was something about their unique combination of the nonants that allowed sentience to survive. The gods and their servitors could make astral constructs with some autonomous function, and the chthonians managed to animate pale shadowy simulacra from the souls of mortals who migrated into the Vault after death. But only the Primordials could make true races, first on the Prime Material Plane, and then within the three Pillars.
The Primordials reveled in their gift, creating a multitude of races. On the Prime Material, they created more than a dozen races, from halflings and humans to goblinkind to bullywugs and locathah. In the World Tree, they places a handful of faerie races, including elves, satyrs, and pixies. In the Elemental Sea, they placed genasi, giantkind, and goliaths. In the Tower of Iron Will, they placed modrons and shardminds. These creatures awoke, and marveled at creation. They felt. They dreamed. They prayed. And the Primordials basked in their creations' adulation. And they jealously guarded those creations.
And the chthonians and gods suddenly felt very lonely.
The gods -- particularly the Demiurges -- continued to work to unlock the secrets of making races. But the chthonians had less patience and less ability to manufacture their own beings.
The attack was more surprising than it should have been. The chthonians had been relentless in their efforts to find a way to cross the barriers and enter the Prime Material Plane, but their solution was both bold and devastating.
They sank the Prime Material. Metaphysically, they darkened the Prime Material and drew it farther from the Firmament and into the umbra of the Chthonic Vault. This required them to damage their own Junctures of the Deep Realm, Abyss, and Roothold, weaking them and causing a brief collapse that caused the entire cosmos to fall a little darker. But the result was that the Prime Material became accessible to them directly.
The invading Fomorians, Old Ones, and Demon Lords wreaked havoc on the Prime Material, reshaping the world to resemble the dark nightmares of their own egos. They immediately flooded the world with races of their own devise -- illithids, aboleths, gnolls, minotaurs, cyclops, hags, and other dark and horrific races.
The primordials fought back as best as they were able, but they were caught unprepared and many of them were slaughtered in the initial portion of the war. Inexorably, the chthonians pressed their advantage, asserting more and more control over the Prime Material, until it appeared that the Prime and Vault were certain to merge. The chthonians seemed willing to sacrifice their own Junctures in order to accomplish this goal, heedless of the chance that all reality may collapse.
Finally, the primordials had no choice. They sought the assistance of the gods to rescue reality. The gods answered the call. They had been watching the war below in horror, but the Prime Material had sunk far beneath their reach and they were powerless to do more than watch, and ocassionally act if the war bled into the regions of the Pillars they could access. But with the primordials' reaching upward, the gods could reach downward and pull the Prime Material back into its place in the cosmos. They gods and primordials forged stronger links between the worlds, and the gods took the fight directly to the chthonians.
The primordials had to make a dear bargain for the salvation the gods offered. The gods wanted their own races, and they also wanted the primordials' races to offer supplications to them. The price of the Prime Material's survival was bending knee to the Astral Firmament. With little choice, it was a price they paid. The gods populated the Prime Material with races of their own devise: dwarves, deva, dragonborn, orcs, and dragons, among others.
The fight was not easy and there were terrible sacrifices. But in the end, the gods mustered and organized the primordials' remaining defense and banished the chthonians into the Vault. Moradin and other Demiurges known as the Wind Dukes of Aaqa forged a mighty artifact, caled the Rod fo Law. And although it was shattered in a battle against the Demon Queen of Chaos, it helped bring an end to the conflict.
The gods placed powerful wards on the barrier between the planes to prevent such a war from occurring again, and the Vault was locked. Fissures and rifts remained, however. Not all the damage the chthonians created could be undone. Smaller demons and old ones and fomorians could be summoned through the rifts by those who discovered the arcane passages. Areas of chaos and destruction still swirled about the plane.
The gods also worked to undo the damage done by the chthonians. When they were driven into the Vault, the chthonians took many of their races with them, but many remained behind. The gods hunted down the most irredeemable -- the illithids, cyclops, and hags -- and drove them into hiding, but tried to convert the more malleable, having some success with gnolls and minotaurs.
And when it was done, they returned to their Firmament. Once the planes were restored to their former positions, the gods found they could nto remain in the Prime Material for long. To prevent the primordials from reasserting their former primacy, they barred the primordials from accessign the Prime Material for any longer than the gods themselves could. But the gods had what they wanted. The cosmos was safe, and the mortals were offering prayers to them in return for their divine munificence, thanks to the channels created during the war. Souls dedicated to the gods would rise directly to the Firmament, rather than transmigrating through the reincarnation of the Shadow. There they would serve the gods in afterlives managed by the gods in their respective Junctures.
And the world had dragons.
There are two epilogues to this first War of the Nonants.
War of the Genies. At the end of the war, the gods were exhausted. Some primordials, mostly the djinn, believed the gods were so weak that they could be forced to release the primordials from their compact. The Genies, led by the noble djinn, rebelled against the gods. Their first strike was devastating. The leader of the rebels, Erek-Hus, struke down the dragon god Io, splitting it in twain. But Io's pieces awakened as Bahamut and Tiamat and slew Erek-Hus. The Demiurges reacted to the rebellion swiftly. They appointed eight Elemental Princes, Noble Genies who were loyal to the Demiurges, who destroyed the rebellion, and bound the rebellious noble djinn and their loyal followers in mundane objects, and scattered them across the planes. These would be their prisons, and they could only be released by mortals, who would become their masters for a specific amount of time. Only after this humiliation could the rebellious genies be freed, and only if they would accept the Elemental Princes as their masters.
War of the Doors. The Lady of Hosts announced early that Sigil would be neutral in any conflict. but it was an ill-kept secret that she gave some solace to the rebellious Genies. One Apotheosis, Aoskar, decided that the Lady of Hosts should be considered a Primordial and forced to bend knee to the gods. Although the other gods tried to dissuade him, Aoskar was hungry for the power of Sigil, and also worried its gates could be used by the chthonians to reignite the Nonant Wars. He mustered a mighty army of quori and invaded the Juncture of Sigil. Once he had passed through the portal, every portal in the cosmos closed and disappeared simultaneously. Aoskar and his quori were never seen again. The portals opened briefly, and a servant of Aoskar exited each portal. They were hollowed shells, their frames shredded and flayed. They each stated that Sigil was closed to all of the Great Powers forever, but that any lesser being who wished to escape the tyranny of the Powers could find respite in Sigil. Then, with a terriple wail of angush, the quori of Aoskar dissolved into ephemera. From that moment on, the Lady of Hosts would be known as the Lady of Pain, and Sigil soon teemed from refugees of the various wars among the planes.
click on the image for a larger viewNotwithstanding these small hiccups, the gods thought all was well in the world, but little did they know that the end of this war laid the foundation for the next one... the War of Betrayal. But that is a story for another time.
Read the entire Nonant Cosmology series!
Cosmology of the Nonants
Immortals of the Nonants
War of the Nonants
Betrayal of the Nonants
Mortals of the Nonants