The Founding is widely considered the first age of Exandria. During this time, the gods brought forth creatures to inhabit Exandria, before splitting into two factions in the war against the Primordial Titans: the Prime Deities and the Betrayer Gods. The age ended after the defeat of the Primordials, along with the Betrayer Gods, which made the world safe for civilization to flourish.
Worshipers of the Luxon believe that it predated the Founding, and that its influence was already at work in the world before the gods arrived: giving birth to the Primordials, and sacrificing most of its essence to begin a cycle of rebirth so that its children could better themselves over successive lifetimes.
The Protean Creators
During the Founding, gods brought forth the elves, dwarves, and humans, along with as many other races as they had the inspiration to create. Because the world was still a dangerous place, ruled by elemental chaos, many of their children were killed in the earliest days.
Saddened by the loss of so many children, the gods gifted mortals with arcane magic so they might better defend themselves. The Dragons Metallic were created to aid in the defense of the Children of Creation. With the dragons' help, civilization began to flourish and mortals first offered worship (and purpose) to their creators.
These Elemental Titans had lain beneath the land since before the coming of the gods and now rose up to wreak havoc on the gods' creations. Their carnage invited the attention of demons from the Abyss, who came to feast on the remains.
The Prime Deities vs. the Betrayer Gods
As the Primordials devastated creation, two factions arose between the gods. The Prime Deities wished to stay and conquer the Primordials, leaving the land safe for their children. The Betrayer Gods, frustrated by their losses, gave up; some gave in to madness, and some began twisting their creations and joining forces with the Abyss.
The Prime Deities, with the help of their mortal champions, ultimately destroyed the Primordials and banished the Betrayer Gods from the Material Plane. Tharizdun was imprisoned beneath Gatshadow Mountain.
The fate of one of the defeated Primordials, an earth titan, is known to Vox Machina. This titan was thrust feet-first into the earth in northern Issylra, with such great force that the impact created the Zenwick Mountains.
The founding of Vasselheim
With peace finally achieved, the first true civilization was able to take root. It was called Vasselheim, the "Dawn City", and the "Cradle of Creation." This is believed to have happened tens of thousands of years before the events of Campaign One. After the founding of Vasselheim, the races ventured forth to discover new lands. The world was named Exandria.
Civilizations other than Vasselheim
Before the age came to an end, the Kuul'tevir, noble predecessors of the lizardfolk, built cities with magic nearly on par with the elves'. An unknown civilization had a settlement in the area that became the Ivyheart Thicket. And arriving through a portal from the Far Realm, aboleths and other aberrations conquered the Underdark beneath the Bladeshimmer Coast and drove their slaves to build their capital: Salar, the Unseeable City. They slowly began expanding toward the surface, and their psychic energies gradually produced the azuremite of the Crystalfen Caverns. Not far away, Yug'Voril may have been established during this era.
The end of the era
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 32–33.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 5.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 6.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19. See also p. 51.
- See "Talks Machina #39: 'Shadows of Thomara'" (TMx39) from 1:10:01 through 1:10:38.
- See "The Climb Within" (1x110) at 3:37:12.
- A little over 800 years after the Divergence, Vasselheim "is believed to be tens of thousands of years old." See "Enter Vasselheim" (1x16) at 45:10.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 6.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 123.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 54.
- The caves predate the Age of Arcanum, and the veins of azuremite were formed from "millennia" of exposure to the aberrations' psychic energies before the final battle of the Calamity. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 71. "Thousands of years old" may imply something earlier than what was described as "early Age of Arcanum." The Crypts of Thomara (see below) are "early Age of Arcanum" and alternately described as "thousands of years" old or "well over 1500 years, if not longer."
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
- The Luxon approaching a primeval Exandria, by Cris Peter and CoupleOfKooks from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
- Official art of the creation of the dragons, by Ameera (source). Used with permission.
- Official art of four elemental titans, by Kent Davis from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 1:42. Used with permission.
- Screenshot of Prime Deities and Betrayer Gods, by Cyarna Trim and Conceptopolis from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 2:22. Used with permission.