Back in the ’90s, I built Athens the MUD using the real-life geography of Greece and maps of mythological locations based on their story details. While I built everything from the depths of Tartarus, to the almost exact layout of Athen’s ancient city streets, to the fiery lava tubes of Hephaestus’s volcano workshop and many places between, it was all very inspired by mythological and historical sources.
This time around I am building a high-fantasy world from scratch. Where to start? The creation of the universe, of course!
The Creation of Oneiro
In the beginning, the dream was empty. There was light and dark but they were scrambled together randomly and yet uniformly. This cosmic static or background noise flickered and changed constantly.
In time a consciousness became self-aware. The being, whom we would later name The Dreamer, played with the flickering and chaotic space around her. She tried separating the light from the dark. It was a long process as there were many shades between and the spots of darkness and light were always moving. She found the effort entertaining and there was not much else to for her to do or consider yet.
In an attempt to keep the light and dark separated, The Dreamer slowed down the light to stop it from moving around so much. This inadvertently created the first matter. It was a fascinating accident.
The dreamer tried to make something solid out of this new matter, to weave it or write with it. She needed a way to record history so that she could remember how things had been and plan for how she would want them to be. This was the creation of the Arcaic Language (An in-game language) and The Akashic Record.
With the invention of language and a way to record her progress, the dreamer became more lucid. She named herself Phaedra and her dream Oneiro. She learned to manipulate the reality around her further, eventually creating all the known worlds. A ring of shining stars gathered around her and the darkness was pushed back.
Phaedra became lonely and bored but soon the first signs of life sprung up among the worlds gathered nearest to the center of the dream, Oneiro.
While Phaedra became enamored with the life she helped to create, she found that living beings were happier if she did not force the direction of their growth. If she tried to bend life to her own will the life became twisted and corrupted. She allowed life to spread organically and enjoyed watching it grow.
Phaedra continued to create new worlds in Oneiro and watch life spread, but after a period of time too immeasurable for mortals to understand, the edges of the dream began to shred. The dream of Oneiro slowly began to collapse.
Eventually, the first dream did collapse and The Dreamer awoke. She was sailing alone on the cosmic sea with the tattered remains of the dreamlands of Oneiro floating above her in the night sky. She mourned the loss of life from her first dream and wept.
Phaedra was determined to recreate the dream again the next time she fell into a deep slumber. She continued to dream throughout the ages. While the dream was often repetitive, it was not stable.
Prophecies arise due to the repetition of the dreams. Through the many iterations of Oneiro, some consistencies remain true. Most people live their lives in much the same way as they did in previous versions of the dreams. This allows accurate predictions of the future, powerful fate magic users are able to glimpse past iterations.
Prophecies often fail to mention or account for The Fateless. The Fateless are not bound to repeat the same life each cycle and have the free will to greatly affect change around them. Each iteration of the dream is different because of the choices they make.