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One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created,
Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Len Lakofka 1944-2020
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    Canonfire :: View topic - The order of creation
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    The order of creation
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    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3108
    From: Michigan

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    Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:34 pm  
    The order of creation

    In what order would you put the appearance of the following creatures on Oerth? Many of them might have appeared at the same time, some might have crawled around unseen for millennia before finally becoming a significant force, or maybe they were all created in seven days.

    Giants
    Lizard men
    Serpent people (not necessarily yuan-ti)
    Elves
    Orcs
    Dwarves
    Humans
    Halflings
    Faerie folk
    Proto-bullywugs
    Kuo-toa
    Dragons
    Dinosaurs
    Demons
    Gods
    Xvarts
    Insects
    Aboleths
    Mind flayers
    Beholders
    Single-celled life (do these even exist on your Oerth?)
    Slimes/jellies/oozes
    Worms
    Plants
    Elementals
    Neanderthals
    Cloakers
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:15 pm  

    Rasgon I placed giants and dragons as the first races to appear on Oerth. Then elves and dwarves, Then in my campaign world gnomes and Trolls (http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=402). Humans and Orcs next. Then goblinoids and halflings. Animals where the first living creature though to exist on Oerth. Dinosaurs I guess you can say modern Oerth creatures evolved from the ancient dinosaurs. I personally never used dinosaurs in my game. I am one of the few people who did not like Jurassic Park effects good that's it. I have'nt really fleshed out the rest but this is my take.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
    Posts: 170
    From: Niflheim, 9to5

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    Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:41 pm  

    Ooh. Toughie. But, a nice exercise to go through! It points out how there are multiple, somewhat incommensurable precedents set on Oerth.

    Elementals
    Single-celled life (do these even exist on your Oerth?)
    Slimes/jellies/oozes
    Plants
    Worms
    Insects
    Aboleths
    Beholders
    Dinosaurs
    Faerie folk
    Giants
    Demons
    Gods
    Elves
    Dragons
    Dwarves
    Proto-bullywugs
    Kuo-toa
    Serpent people (not necessarily yuan-ti)
    Lizard men
    Neanderthals
    Cloakers
    Orcs
    Halflings
    Mind flayers
    Xvarts
    Humans
    Forum Moderator

    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
    Posts: 2569
    From: Ullinois

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    Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:20 pm  

    Fun exercise! I shall list them in groups.

    1. (Pre-Prime Material Plane Era) Gods, Demons, Elementals
    2. (Prime Material Plane Inception) Single-celled life
    3. (Untouched Development Over Eons) Dinosaurs, Insects, Plants, Worms
    4. (Abberant Revolution) Dragons, Aboleths, Beholders, Mind flayers, Slimes/jellies/oozes, Cloakers
    5. (Rise of the Scaly Races) Serpent people (not necessarily yuan-ti), Kuo-toa, Proto-bullywugs, Lizard men
    6. (Primeval Dawn) Elves, Faerie folk, Dwarves, Giants, Neanderthals
    7. (Arrival of the Breeders) Orcs, Humans, Halflings, Xvarts

    Naturally development of many top races continue through the eras. New types of demons or plants are constantly found for example.

    Mind Flayers have an interesting origin (according to 3.5e's Lords of Madness). IIRC they arrived in the present from the past where they fled from the 'end of time' event. This puts them in a quirky time loop that defies placement.

    Slimes and Oozes are tricky. One could argue that they should belong with single cell life or the eons of development that follow. And they might, but I think many of the Mega-Cellular life in D&D are in fact aberrant creations that aren't so old(unless you believe Juiblex spawns all ooze-life), and in fact many might be recently created via magic of the biped races.

    I subscribe to the Scaly before Smooth-skin timeline as that fits alot of GH canon-apocryphal canon.

    Lastly, I was sorely tempted to put halflings in a spot all by themselves at the end but the era of humankind has been so short that halflings could be younger or older. No one knows. They ARE older than Rhennee in the Flanaess though. ;)
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 951
    From: Neck Deep in the Viscounty of Verbobonc

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    Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:44 pm  

    Hmmm. Okay, then - without consulting any sources or thinking any longer than I have to, here's an attempt:

    Gods
    Demons
    Elementals
    Single-celled life
    Slimes/Oozes/Jellies
    Plants
    Worms
    Insects
    Dinosaurs
    Aboleths
    Mind Flayers
    Beholders
    Dragons
    Serpent people (not necessarily yuan-ti)
    Kuo-toa
    Proto-bullywugs
    Lizard men
    Giants
    Neanderthals
    Faerie folk
    Cloakers
    Elves
    Dwarves
    Orcs
    Halflings
    Xvarts
    Humans

    That's a rough estimate. Note: I don't apply evolution much IMC, so don't try to read any hints of evolution into the list. Frankly, the concept doesn't seem to have much place in fantasy literature since the over-imposition of logic conflicts with too many fantastic elements. Also, in the list above any given race's position before or after another in no way indicates any particular amount of time. Therefore halflings may have been created 20,000 years before xvarts or 20 minutes before them, and I haven't decided which yet.

    I'd be extremely interested in seeing any canon arguments anyone has on this subject, since one of my ongoing projects involves the ancient history of Oerth.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 170
    From: Laporte IN.

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    Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:33 am  

    bubbagump Smile Laughing
    Gods
    Demons
    Elementals
    Single-celled life
    Slimes/Oozes/Jellies
    Plants
    Worms
    Insects
    Dinosaurs
    Aboleths
    Mind Flayers
    Beholders
    Dragons
    Serpent people
    Kuo-toa
    Proto-bullywugs
    Lizard men
    Giants
    Neanderthals
    Faerie folk
    Cloakers
    Elves
    Dwarves
    Orcs
    Xvarts
    Halflings
    Humans

    Thats my list. Wink
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 951
    From: Neck Deep in the Viscounty of Verbobonc

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    Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:49 am  

    baronzemo wrote:
    bubbagump Smile Laughing
    Gods
    Demons
    Elementals....


    Ah, but those were the days... No gods yapping at each other, no demons making everything stinky, no elementals slogging mud everywhere, blowing around my papers, and setting everything on fire... I remember it well.

    Rasgon> I have to admit I'm intrigued. Was there any purpose to the OP or were you just trying to start a topic? Are you, by chance, working on something...tasty?
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3108
    From: Michigan

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    Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:58 pm  

    I'm always working on a bunch of different things, though I have no idea when they'll come to fruition. I keep stopping and starting other projects instead. A number of them are relevant (a lamia kingdom in the domain of Greyhawk, the war between the serpent people and kuo-toa, the lizardfolk empire in the Bright Lands, a survey of the batrachian kingdoms of the Flanaess, the last days of the Wind Dukes, and general planar histories). A big issue was the temptation to have dragons and giants around since the earliest days of the world, countered by the temptation to go fish to frogs to lizards to mammals. Everyone else seems happy to have giants appear later, though, and it seems the best solution. If there were giants striding the Oerth while the crust was still cooling, they weren't mortal giants.

    I think there isn't any real need for microbes on Oerth. Diseases can have supernatural origins, and foul water can be suffused with negative energy. It doesn't much matter, though.

    Also, I was just curious what everyone thought. Feel free to keep posting in this thread. I'm fascinated by the idea of prehistoric Oerth.

    It's interesting that nobody (except possibly Argon) thinks xvarts are younger than humans. I don't have any strong feelings on the issue, but I thought it was at least a possibility that they were a fairly young race created or somehow initiated by Graz'zt. Raxivort would be pleased you have more respect for his people than that.

    Argon's take was interesting in that he had goblinoids younger than orcs (I didn't bother to list them separately, since I assumed most people would have them around for about the same time), but even he had mundane animals appearing before giants and dragons, if I'm reading that right.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:10 pm  

    True Rasgon,
    Mundane animals or their predecessors where the first living creatures to brace Oerth in my campaign of course flora and fauna where boundless back then. I always felt the first or in my campaign descendants of the true giants and dragons where the first races on Oerth.
    I have the original Dragons (Linnorm viking equivalent) being equated in strength to the gods, much like the true giants (Joten) where equivalent in strength to them as well. While I still had a chromatic and metallic orders there differences back then where not as fractured as they are now. The giants had no separation of different types until after Oerth was formed.
    It was the descendants of the original Jotens which broke into factions such as Storm, Cloud,Frost, Fire, Hill, and Stone. Titans in my game where giants who where direct descendants of the Jotens and had various abilities no normal mortal being would have. The Aesir are the governing body of giant kind and any of the original factions can have a member on their counsel. While any Cloud giant out ranks a Stone giant it the Stone giant is an Aesir he out ranks all but others of the Aesir.
    I did away with gods for giants and dragons. Instead the giant gods as we know them are ancestors part of the original stock of Joten blood and many of which lead a factions of giants to stake out there new place on this world. Tiamat is the queen of the chromantic order and all dragons which are chromantic follow her whims. Bahamut is the king of the metallic order and he commands any metallic dragons respect and dedication. It is said that Tiamat and Bahamut where once a mated pair and both of their blood was present in all Linnorms. When the chromantic sided with the gods against the giants. It splinted the bound with which they shared and Tiamat and Bahamut were for every separated.

    This is why so many different dragon species exist now devolved from there former glory. Bahamut travels the upper planes and Tiamat the lower planes (rumors to her demonic presence no doubt). In draconic circles if all gods die Tiamat and Bahamut will reunite creating a new world for dragonkind.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
    Posts: 170
    From: Niflheim, 9to5

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    Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:03 am  

    I like to think that everything sprang out of primordial chaos, so I like elementals being very early, followed soon by aberrations. I would have aberrations even before demons (unless you count obyriths), who I view as evolving from damned mortal souls. Shortly after conscious matter (elementals) starts to settle and coalesce into inert matter, and consciousness becomes more concentrated, I have the Old World of the fey form - sort of a bridge between a world of mountain spirits and one of demi-humans. Dragons co-existing with fey, but being somewhat older than demi-humans seems natural. But, then it also seems natural to have them be the pinnacle of evolution in an age of reptiles. Harrumph. As consciousness becomes more concentrated in entities, rather than distributed throughout matter, gods begin to form, bringing in the New World. Giants/titans serve as a bridge between the new gods and humans (and all derivative races), and therefore would occur fairly late in the overall scheme, but still in pre-history for humans. Neanderthal man... Harrumph! Perhaps a parallel evolution from apes, whereas humans devolved from giants.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 951
    From: Neck Deep in the Viscounty of Verbobonc

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    Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:30 pm  

    Some decent thinking in this thread, and I especially appreciate the attempt to get away from real-world analogs.

    IMC, I handle this subject somewhat differently, though. In short, there IS no creation story because Oerth/the multiverse WAS NOT created - that is to say, it is eternal with no beginning and no end. Thus, no matter how far back in time one goes, there will always be ancient ruins, tales of "elder races", and legends of long ago. Oerth is always in the process of "becoming" (as are all the other planes), changing from one age to the next with no apparent pattern. Such changes are not cyclical, nor do they obey any other known laws. Evolution occurs, but not along any predictable lines.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 04, 2005
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    Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:55 pm  

    Well, how about this...

    Gods/Demons/Devils/Elementals (Pre-existing)
    Single-celled life (Evolved)
    Slimes/jellies/oozes (Evolved)
    Aboleths (unknowk source)
    Cloakers (Created by aboleths)
    Plants (Evolved)
    Worms (Evolved)
    Insects (Evolved)
    Dinosaurs (Evolved)
    Dragons (Created by gods)
    Serpent people (Created by dragons)
    Faerie folk (extraplanar)
    Elves/Dwarves (Created by gods)
    Mind flayers (extradimensional)
    Neanderthals/Kuo-toa/Proto-bullywugs/Lizard men (Evolved)
    Orcs/Humans/Halflings (Created by gods)
    Beholders (extraterrestrial)

    A bit of explination- Since we're talking one planet I'd guess the planes were in place already, with their traditional inhabitants. The only other extraplanar group moved in once the climate stabalized after the glacial age that took out most of the dinos (I put one in my world. Not sure if thats cannon)
    Most of the boring stuff came up the long hard way without interferance from gods. Assuming that gods have more than one planet to worry about, and time really isn't a driving concern to most of them I'm figuring that Oerth was ignored for a pretty long time simply due to most deities not being willing to expend the energy to tinker with it since at that point they are drawing no worship (and hence no power) from it. The exception is the Aboleths who seek out planets without much direct divine involvement to establish themselves. When gods start poking about most of them decamp to other young worlds taking vast amounts of their knowledge and civilization with them. Some stay though for reasons known only to themselves.
    The base forms of bipedal life came up in mammalian, reptilian (land and water based), amphibious, and avian at about the same time. Many of them provided the evolutionary stock for later more refined creatures, others were used as templets for gods to create their chosen races.
    Finally, the wilds of space and countless other prime material planes were the source of beholders and mindflayers and many other powerful creatures able to traverse the gulfs between their point of origin and Oerth. In the case of these two horrors, neither was interested in coming here till there were sufficent numbers of sentient creatures to enslave and eat (espically in the case of the mind flayers)
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 03, 2011
    Posts: 79
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    Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:10 pm  

    Well this thread was posted in a more recent one and I couldn't pass up the mental exercise. Although I haven't delved that deeply into my Oerth's primordial timeline I see the various species and races as such.

    Elementals
    Dragons
    Aboleths
    Single-celled life (do these even exist on your Oerth?)
    Slimes/jellies/oozes
    Plants
    Worms
    Insects
    Giants
    Dinosaurs
    Faerie folk
    Beholders
    Cloakers
    Gods
    Demons
    Mind flayers
    Serpent people (not necessarily yuan-ti)
    Kuo-toa
    Proto-bullywugs
    Elves
    Dwarves
    Lizard men
    Neanderthals
    Orcs
    Halflings
    Humans
    Xvarts
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
    Posts: 503
    From: London, England

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    Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:36 am  

    Elementals & CN entities
    LN entities
    LG, CG, NG & NE entities
    Single-celled life (eg bacteria)
    Slimes/jellies/oozes
    Worms / sponges / algae
    Aboleth (introduced not evolved)
    Corals / starfish / trilobites
    Fungi
    Millipedes / jawed fish
    Kua-toa / locathah & similar species (engineered by aboleths)
    Simple plants (ferns / mosses)
    Wingless insects
    Amphibians
    Proto-Sharks & squid
    Winged Insects
    Bullywugs / grippli & similar apmphibious species (engineered by aboleths)
    Reptiles
    Beetles / flies
    Dinosaurs
    Lizardfolk (egineered by aboleths)
    'New' Gods
    Mammals
    Dragons (magically evovled)
    Proto-birds
    Troglodytes (engineered by Dragons)
    Serpent-people / ophidians?
    Flowering plants
    Marsupials
    Larger mammals & apes
    Fey (magically evolved)
    Giants / ogres / trolls (magically evovled)
    Neanderthals
    Dwarves (created)
    Elves (introduced from Fey realm)
    Gnomes (created)
    Halflings (magically evolved)
    'Modern' Humans
    Yuan-ti (created)

    I can't decide where to place any of the humanoids such as orcs, goblins, xvarts, gnolls etc as I haven't decided where they fit into my order of things. Also I'm not sure about beholders & illithids yet either - part of me is thinking another aboleth creation another part - alien arrivals - I can't decide!! I'm tempted to go with something completely different from those two and have Beltar create the beholders maybe.

    Also I've noted where I think some things evolved naturally and other things had a helping hand from an outside source!
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