The forming of the world, the Eight, and the Pillar.
In the beginning of time, a great chaos rang out in the darkness, shining brilliantly in the form of a billion small star fragments. Amidst the emptiness, a handful of these shards combined and churned themselves into a series of heavenly bodies, quietly floating around a young sun.
It did not stop there, however. The fourth-furthest world in this celestial family appeared to be having troubles forming. While the other bodies were solidifying, it remained calamitous, suffering from years upon years of explosive tumult.
Unlike its brother and sister realms, this fledgling planet teemed with unimaginable energies. As chunks of stone and dust smashed against one another, they prevented the perfect astronomic harmony needed to truly form a world.
From this bedlam, the magical energies themselves began to concentrate and change. Similar particles receded into four great beings, each overwhelmingly dense with a different element. As if eager to proudly display their emergence to some unseen divinity, these beings took on the shapes of great wyrms. At first very similar-looking, each drake became more and more unique as it absorbed the essences that crowded the crumbled mess, until they had become quite distinct: Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Quite interested now in the jumble of rocks from which they had been birthed, the First Four decided to end the chaos and began to build.
After a few millennia, the planet had taken a truly different form.
The dragon who christened himself the Earthshaker heaved slabs of stone into mountains and valleys, molding a diverse landscape across the surface. From beneath the earth's crust, the being that called itself the Flamecaller burst forth and tested the realm with volcanic eruptions and streams of molten fury. The drake known as the Tidelord summoned great storms and floods to cool this invasion, letting the heat and moisture mingle to form continents, oceans, and rivers. And from above, the spindled form of the one named the Windsinger traced lines of air currents around the globe, crafting clouds as if painting them with a colossal brush.
Though happy with their combined efforts, the First Four were not without their differing opinions on the direction this young planet should take.
"The mountains should be taller, the canyons greater. Our home should stand ironclad against the dangers of the heavens, protected against cosmic bombardment," shouted the Earthshaker.
"Our home should be turned inside-out, and lava should churn violently across its surface. Through me, it could rival the Sun itself in brightness and energy," spoke the Flamecaller.
"With more water, the world would shine like a blue pearl, unlike so many in the Heavens. It could stand alone in beauty and tranquility," murmured the Tidelord.
"The air should be filled with a thousand screaming vortexes, singing a song that the Heavens will never forget," spouted the Windsinger.
Concerned only with their own campaigns, the First Four bickered and quarreled over the planet, until bitter conjecture turned to combat.
Water and Air warred firstly, stirring up roiling, violent storms. The cataclysmic energy created by their relentless attacks made the clouds themselves swell with anger. It was not long until the charged mass expelled a horrendous cascade of electric tempests, as well as a frustrated drake-shaped anomaly. Stunned by the event, the Tidelord and Windsinger abated, unaware of how to handle this new threat.
On the other side of the world, Earth and Fire smashed the landscape to pieces. Each broken mountain or fractured plain only riled the Earthshaker into deeper rage. With one great heave of his front leg, the entire planet wobbled in its orbit, and to this day has remained at an irregular tilt. Emboldened by the sudden disorientation, the Flamecaller beckoned several magma vents into existence, shattering the crust and spewing voluminous smoke billows into the atmosphere. This brash action blotted out the sun, plunging the southern hemisphere into an impenetrable darkness, causing a chill that the world had never experienced. Unbeknownst to the combatants, an isolated island on the bottom of the world began to freeze over, frigid ice sheets expanding their size at a rapid pace.
Having spent millennia working together, the First Four had not considered the magnitude of the stress their warring had caused. The planet was in far worse shape than when it had been newly-formed, and everywhere they looked, unrestrained energies were being exhibited in their extremes.
Where the charged young Stormcatcher went, thunderstorms crackled, parching once-fertile land into inhospitable desert. The Lightweaver's aggravations were making the days too bright, and the cold aggression of the Shadowbinder was plunging each night into a murk most foul. The southern land shelf was encrusted in a living frost that would soon freeze into the imposing silhouette of the Icewarden.
The turbulent planet--a once-beautiful feat of magical engineering--would soon be at an end if the fighting worsened. And it was not going unnoticed.
As if written to save the Eight from themselves, a sudden silence swept over the land; the ruined spread of the conflict ceased, and a paralyzing uneasiness washed over the behemoths. The relentless ejection of magical energy had been recognized, and the very void from which they had designed their world now seemed to be retaliating.
The defiling Shade continued its encroachment, sapping enough light from the world that it even distressed the Shadowbinder, who bellowed in defiance. Each dark spindle began to pulse and multiply, some even growing terrifying maws full of thin needle-like teeth. But before the blackness had entirely set in, the Flamecaller roared, breathing great bright flames from her jaws. The Shade recoiled at the explosive plume, emboldening the group to counter.
Each using their elemental strengths, the Eight battled back at the darkness that sought to inhale the magical life from their home. For hundreds of years, the beings who once sparred with one another tore at the Shade, driving each gloom tendril back. The dragon gods ferociously ripped at every gaping mouth that threatened to suck away the energy they treasured, determined to save their shattered world.
Humbled and embarrassed by the state of the image that surrounded them, the drakes agreed upon a truce, and on the undeniable notion that they were no longer fit to oversee the burgeoning world. It had already seen its darkest days and what little life that existed had not even been given the chance to thrive. Unanimously, the eight wyrms decided to use their remaining strength to blanket the planet in a magical shield strong enough to protect it should the roaming Shade ever return.
Using the Earthshaker's gargantuan form as a foundation, the gods constructed a massive pillar at the northernmost point of the globe, fusing their corporeal bodies together into layers of elemental marble slabs. The World Pillar, as it is known today, would be the Eight's last and final resignation as makers. If the scarred flanks of the young world were ever to heal, they would do so on their own, unmarred by the omnipotence of the gods.