Lately I've been playing a lot of Double Fine's Brutal Legend (which if you've never played you totally should check out) and I've come to believe that one of the things that has been missing from my favorite role-playing games is a sense that the world has a history that occurred long before my entrance into it. I don't mean just that the world has an sense of recent history with conflicts between nations, subterfuge, and racial / clan rivalries that color the way that the world functions; instead I'm talking about a deeper mythology that underpins everything. This mythological foundation to the game world is one of the things that Dragonlance did really.
My first real interest in Dungeons & Dragons started with the the Dragonlance Blue Boxed set and its setting book that told this history of the world in this really great conversational style that would become a hallmark of the types of role-playing books that I love (shout out to Kevin Siembieda and his Rifts books for putting out some of the best examples of this style of writing in gaming). The way that the story of the world was written and the brilliant art that TSR coupled with the book kicked my imagination into overdrive. I've spent years taking its tantalizing descriptions and expanding them in my head to form my own understanding of the world. And yet I don't feel like I've ever had that level of engagement with my favorite setting: Greyhawk.
Don't get me wrong I've put in a lot of hours shaping the world in a fashion that suits my sensibilities but there's always been this blank spot in my mind when it comes to making the world have that same sort of place that Dragonlance, Iron Kingdoms, Warhammer, and Rifts have occupied. So I'm asking for you help today. Do you know the legends of Greyhawk? What are its mythological foundations? Who created the world? What history exists beyond the Suloise and Baklunish Wars?
Help a brother out.