The world of Planescape holds adventure and wonder untold, and all lies beyond the veil of reality that all have become used to seeing. Within the mundane lies not merely matter, but belief, and belief is what fuels the planes. From the Depths of Depravity to the Elysian Fields, from the Greek Pantheon on Olympus Mount to the gods of Faerun spread like so much chaff on the wind throughout, all vie for the thoughts and dreams of mortals wherever they may dwell.
For the longest time, the Prime Material plane of Sagara had been abandoned by the gods, a celestial playground gone awry, a wintery waste frozen over by the icy breath of dragons. Long ago they fought one another, steely teeth gnashing and prying dragon scale from the flesh beneath, but dragons are wily, clever, and they know after a time when they are played for fools.
In aeons past, Nivlheim blew a cold wind from the north, mist and frost coalescing in a never ending torrent of cold clouds. From eternity to eternity the North Wind would blow, no men to count the time of its passing, and no creatures below to feel the biting touch of its winds.
So too did Muspelheim blow, a smoldering cauldron pouring forth its molten winds. None were there to bask in its heat, and none could count the hours that passed since time immemorial, from one spike of glowing ash to the next. The gods gathered, then, at Ginnungagap. There, where the two extremes met, they saw drops fall like tears. Farther away snowflakes danced in the breeze, whimsical as fairies from one evanescent moment to the next. Balmy winds caressed their cheeks farther away, where the winds blew warm. The gods looked upon this void, and they saw that it was good. Yet, they could not create a world without a rock to stand upon, and this would be a world of stone, metal, fire, and frost.
From the Inner Planes, a great stone was brought forth, tumbling through the Ethereal Plane’s ghostly shores as through rolling down a mountain of its own volition. As it crashed through the waters and arrived, the gods weaved about and caressed the sweet, cool surface of their new world: Sagara.
Cool waters flowed now, across its surface, creating the first rivers on a land of stone. From the source at the head of Hvergemle rolled the brisk waves of Elivåger, and its eleven streams poured forth upon the land and nourished it. In time, the gods returned to see their Sagara not merely the dull brown and grey of stone, but verdant greens of hardy trees, deep browns of hard-won soil nourished by harsh rain, and creatures large and small crawling, flying, and swimming. The gods saw this, and they blessed Sagara. Where there walked a cow in the fields to lick a saltstone, they poured forth their power, and from that stone rose the dragons, growing from the very rock to protect the land, answering only to the bidding of their gods – whether for good or ill.
But dragons are ill-suited as shepherds as they are well-suited as guardians. The gods took to walk upon the silver shores of Sagara, and finding some bark upon the salty tides, they set to tinker. The first humans were the fruit of their labor, and the life breathed into them comes from the gods themselves, so that from their first breath the shepherds might know their creators, who have set them to tend this flock.
All was well, for a time, but the gods were diametrically opposed, and each sought an outcome the other abhorred. The law and order of the gods of the Baatezu was anathema to the wild and free spirits of Ysgard. The benevolent autocracy on the Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia set their decrees, but what did that profit them with the treacherous madness of Abyssal Tanar’ri?
The guardians of Sagara, the dragons, were called to their respective masters. The people below trembled in fear as the gods sought battle, blood, and destruction above their heads and across the land. Thousands perished by the hour as dragons’ claws and spells tore through one another and across the plains and towns. For a time, all was war, pain, uncertainty, and destruction. That was before the brother dragons were reconciled.
Hod, the blind guardian, flew into the fray, slashing wildly and breathing his icy breath upon all who opposed him. In the midst he came upon another dragon, a name he had not heard for centuries, the one he had betrayed, and a name that weighed heavy on his heart: Balder. Mighty, valiant, and glowing with power, he was Hod’s equal. Thought dead since Hod’s betrayal, Balder was wise and had seen through the ploys and plans of the gods. The time had come to build their own destiny, one where the gods would not interfere. The two were reconciled, and their twin breaths made icy islands where water once flowed. Rising from the ocean to cover the world of Sagara, the breath of the dragons brought to an end what the gods had hoped would never perish. Their new world created, the dragons found peace, and slumbered.
But time does not stand still, not for the gods, not for anyone. The winds of Muspelheim do not falter, and the ice receded. Dew, frost, and fog covered the land for a time, before the harsh lands of Sagara were borne forth once more. It would take few millennia before the manifold races would walk the land once more, its haggard wildlife covering the landscape, each creature eking out a living in the harsh conditions presented to them. As the gods once more turn their eyes to this world, amid the slumber of dragons and the creaking of wagon wheels, the crackling of spells and the spellbinding songs of bards, this is Sagara, of the Prime Material.
It ain’t much, berk, but it’s home.