The primordials, or Dawn Titans, were god-like beings made of manifest entropy and elemental energy whose domains were the Elemental Chaos and Abeir, unlike the gods (Estelar), whose domains were the Astral Sea and Toril.
Ao created the multiverse from the raw material of the Phlogiston, and within the sphere several worlds drifted upon the Sea of Night. The worlds contained no life, but they were coveted by powerful beings who arose from the Elemental Chaos, known today as the primordials. The beautiful goddesses of light and dark, Selûne and Shar, formed from the ocean of silvery liquid left over from the realm's creation (the Astral Sea), unbeknownst to the primordials. They defended the new worlds from the primordials, naturally as the primordials were beings of entropy and destruction. Thus began the Dawn War, and other gods were created from the residue of the conflict or summoned from other dimensions to help the native gods of Realmspace.
During the time known as the Blue Age, a race of sea creatures were living on Abeir-Toril in the planet's single vast ocean. The Blue Age came to an end when a primordial known as Dendar the Night Serpent swallowed the sun, giving way to the Shadow Epoch. Sarrukh myths and legends tell of great battles during this time between the primordials and the Elder Gods led by Ouroboros the World Serpent. The war turned in the gods' favor when the primordial Ubtao the Deceiver assisted the elder gods in slaying, imprisoning, or driving away the remaining primordials.
Circa −31,000 DR, during the Days of Thunder and near the end of the Batrachi civilization, the amphibious creator race was waging a losing war against the titans descended from Annam All-Father. Desperate, the Batrachi summoned several primordials, which released them from their imprisonment. The gods quickly attacked their ancient foes, and the Dawn Titans were defeated, and a few even slaughtered, in a cataclysmic period known as the Tearfall. During the fighting, Ao himself intervened when the primordial Asgorath the World Shaper hurled an ice moon at Abeir-Toril, wanting to destroy the world she couldn't claim as her own. Ao then sundered the world into two new, twin worlds called Abeir and Toril. He granted the primordials control of the world of Abeir and the gods control of the original world, Toril.
The few primordials who survived retreated to Abeir, tired of conflict. Their dragon slave-steeds then rose on rebellion, igniting the War of Fang and Talon that killed even more primordials, Meanwhile, the remaining Dawn Titans retreated into the mountains of Abeir and fell silent. From that point on, Abeir was ruled by dragons until recent times, when the Spellplague transferred a continent called Laerakond from Abeir onto Toril. As of the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, a few surviving Dawn Titans from Abeir were sleeping in the mountains of Laerakond called Fimbrul.
There were a few primordials who never fought the gods and chose to remain in Toril when Abeir split away. Five such primordials were elemental lords and ruled over the Inner Planes, worshiped like gods. All were true neutral in alignment except Bazim-Gorag, who was chaotic evil.
- Akadi, the Queen of the Air, was the ruler of the air element. Her domain was Sky Home.
- Bazim-Gorag the Firebringer, Lord of the Pandemonium Stone, wasn't originally a primordial. He ascended to that status sometime after the Spellplague. His portfolios were chance and chaos, and he was invoked by gamblers and anyone who wanted the impossible.
- Grumbar, the Lord of the Earth, was the ruler of the earth element. His domain was Root Hold.
- Istishia, the Lord of Water, was the ruler of the water element. He cared not about Umberlee's storms or Valkur's sailors. His domain was the Cresting Spires.
- Kossuth, the Lord of Fire, was the ruler of the fire element. His domain was the Undying Pyre.
Seven Lost Gods
- Kezef the Chaos Hound, Maram of the Great Spear, and Borem of the Boiling Mud. The "Seven Lost Gods" was a term used to describe various groups of powerful entities at different times. Some of these entities might have been primordials, and candidates included Dendar the Night Serpent,
Other Known Primordials
There existed many other elemental beings who were confirmed as primordials:
- Achazar the Pillar of Wrath
- A fire primordial that ruled Tarmalune in Abeir. It was destroyed before the Spellplague and magically kept in a dormant status.
- A Dawn Titan so powerful that even in death his essence changed the color of the sky over Abeir from blue to a steely sheen with dark green or copper-colored clouds.
- Asgorath the World Shaper
- Some believed he (rarely reported as "she") was a primordial, but dragons worshiped him as a true god.
- Atropus the World Born Dead
- An undead primordial and an Elder evil whose coming was a harbinger of death and destruction.
- Blazing Rorn the Fury
- Also called Rorn of the Rages, was a gigantic humanoid with cooling lava-like skin and the head and tail of a dragon, capable of transforming into a blazing star of light brighter than the sun. It was among the most hated and feared primordials before Ao twinned the world. It was defeated in Abeir by dragons sometime before the Battle of the Crippled Mountain, and went to hide in the Howling Mountains of Laerakond.
- An evil archomental of ooze, Bwimb was considered a great general of the planes in ages past.
- An earth primordial. A fragment of him was sealed in Deadstone Cleft in Greypeak Mountains. He posing as an avatar of Skoraeus Stonebones manipulated the local stone giants clan in order to create havoc.
- A primordial imprisoned by Ao in the form of a sphere of annihilation, Entropy was freed during the Spellplague.
- Also known as The King of Terror, was one of the primordials who fought against the gods and died during the Dawn War.
- This primordial despot was one of the few active primordials of Abeir (as of 1479 DR). He ruled Shyr, a continent from Abeir, when the Spellplague swept across the land taking part of his reign to Toril.
- Maegera the Inferno
- A primordial of magma and stone trapped under Gauntlgrym, it caused the destruction of at least a quarter of Neverwinter when thayans briefly awoke him around 1453 DR.
- Miska the Wolf-Spider
- A demonic primordial who was once the Prince of Demons and was banished during the Dawn War.
- Mual-Tar the Thunder Serpent
- A massive snake-like creature held captive by magical chains forged by Moradin, but with a cult that seek its freedom.
- A powerful primordial artificer, she built the fortress of Glaur during the Dawn War. She was killed on Abeir, during the War of Fang and Talon.
- Merciless Petron
- One of the primordials who survived the Dawn War. She was killed on Abeir, during the War of Fang and Talon.
- Telos fell to the earth during the Spellplague, landing in Vaasa, where he remained comatose in a crater. The Warlock Knights, the nobility of Vaasa, mined ironfell from Telos (which he quickly regenerated), using it to craft their arms and armor and to fuel and power their magic. They also used shardsouls, insane and suicidal automatons made of extraplanar iron carved from Telos, as soldiers.
- Ubtao the Deceiver
- During the Shadow Epoch, he betrayed his fellow primordials and aided the gods during the Dawn War. He remained on Toril, where he was worshiped as a god.
Behind the Scenes
The primordials are a concept native to "core" Dungeons & Dragons. In keeping with their stated policy of using core content in campaign settings for the fourth edition of the game, Wizards of the Coast imported the godlike beings into the Realms. In order to facilitate this process, an unused concept by Ed Greenwood predating fourth edition known as the "sleeping gods" was used to retcon the primordials into the setting.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41–43. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb (February, 2012). Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 32–33. ISBN 78-0-7869-5981-5.
- Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- Bruce R. Cordell (May 2009). “Gontal: Dominions of Nehu”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #375 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77–78. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Ed Greenwood. "Backdrop: Tarmulane." Dragon #372. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, February 2009.
- Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
- Schwalb, Robert J. (December 2007). Elder Evils. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7869-4733-1.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 242–243. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Erin M. Evans (December 2015). Ashes of the Tyrant. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 311–312. ISBN 978-0786965731.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Wolfgang Baur (December 2005). “A Gathering of Winds”. In James Jacobs ed. Dungeon #129 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 47.
- Living Forgotten Realms, QUES2-01 Stir Not the World's Doom adventure, page 26.
- Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0786966004.
- Brian R. James. "Chessenta" Dungeon #178. Page 71. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, May 2010.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
- Wyatt, James. “Mual-Tar, the Thunder Serpent.” Dragon #370 (12 Dec. 2008). Wizards of the Coast. Accessed 28 May 2009 < (archived by WebCite at )>.
- Erin M. Evans (October 4th, 2016). The Devil You Know. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 366. ISBN 978-0786965946.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 276–279. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 235. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Richard Baker (December 12th, 2007). The one and only “Ask the Realms authors/designers thread” 3. Retrieved on January 12th, 2009.
Akadi • Bazim-Gorag • Grumbar • Istishia • Kossuth
Achazar • Arambar • Asgorath • Atropus • Borem • Bwimb • Cirotralech • Dendar • Draunn • Dur-baagal • Entropy • Erek-Hus • Karshimis • Kezef • Maegera • Maram • Nehushta • Petron • Queen of Chaos • Rorn • Telos • Ubtao