The further back one delves, the less consistent the story - much like traveling away from the City. Even Noddish literature seems to contradict itself, painting a paradoxical picture of the past.
That being said, it seems consistent that gloam was not commonly manipulated in the beginning in the ways it is today. Most things were grown, bred, harvested, built, or brewed, and the anomalies that weren't easily accounted for were seen as gifts - or punishment - from the city. Mages were rare, and seen as very gifted if not otherworldly. Magic was much less nuanced, predictable, and powerful; in these times, a mage capable of summoning flames was something the entire city knew well - and feared. Only very important people were resurrected, and only if the corpse was relatively unscathed - and even then, this couldn’t be done reliably.
There were only insiders in the beginning, and they were less varied.
After countless bizarre events, it had long been suspected that excess order in Nodd leads to chaos to counteract it - any time things seemed to be operating as intended, something bizarre and horrific would take place. This pattern seemed to appear at any scale, from an individual’s life to the city as a whole. The rare, gifted mage was known for appearing able to avert these swells of chaos (or divert them onto others). The Council performed a series of experiments to try to determine the truth of these questionable legends, and if and how it can be controlled.
An unassuming mephitoad was the subject of these fateful experiments, the details of which remain a mystery to Nodd’s citizens to this day. All that is known is that the hypothesis was said to have been confirmed at this time, and the Night of the Mothertoad then ensued.
The Night of the Mothertoad
The concentrated chaos resulted in a corrupted mephitoad - something far more than what the Council could contain. The creature was now not only sapient, but a godlike, rapidly-spreading organism. It began to take over the city, its growing mass assimilating terrified citizens and spawning hundreds of partially-corrupted mephitoads. As it did, the city itself seemed to grow, new architecture erupting from the chaos-dense soil.
The Council sought out the City’s most powerful mage, Illa Phasmere, offering her a position in the council if she subdues the rampaging, rapidly-multiplying mephitoad.
On this night, the citizens, too, were embroiled in a civil war - some were entranced by the prospect of being a part of something far greater, the promise of unending bliss groaning from the slack jaws of the freshly-assimilated. Others, less enchanted by the idea of being part of an ever-swelling sentient ooze, sought to fight for their individuality and freedom.
Phasmere and her followers were able to destroy most of the Mothertoad - and much of the city, in the process. Before the mephitoad was entirely eradicated, it was offered power by the Council, which it accepted.
Illa Phasmere and The Mothertoad were now the Council’s two official cityspeakers - called the citygods - founding The House of Umbrasia and the House of Viviria, respectively. The house of Viviria would represent life and corruption, whereas Umbrasia was to represent death and destruction.
Consulting the two godlike entities for guidance, the Council formulated new laws in an attempt to orchestrate a controlled chaos.
The forming of the two houses seemed to yield a sudden increase in magic usage and prowess, as they brought together those of similar goals and views to further develop their skill. This trend led to the theory that more belief would garner more energy, and GodGrinder was established as a sort of experiment.
The Council announced a trial they called GodGrinder. This would be a death match tournament, and the victor would be made a Citygod, alongside Illa Phasmere and The Mothertoad.
Mages trained and scrambled to empower themselves in various ways before the event.
The trial lasted many sleeps, and hundreds of lives were lost. Finally, only two remained.
Filo Rooke and Mercian Vetch fought, and Mercian won - at the cost of her face, mutilated in an arcane explosion. Such injuries are unusually crippling for Lehlts, who rely on the envy of others to remain beautiful - and are resistant to cosmetic magics as a result.
The Council then made Mercian a Citygod. To her horror, they then resurrected Filo - whose body was mostly in tact and thus feasible to revive in this era - and made him a Citygod as well.
With Nodd's two most powerful mages in the Council's grasp, the city grew.
The Door of Knowledge
Quin Aven was a petrid - a gargoyle-like creature - in the form of a humble doorknocker.
White most petrids are excised from their host building upon spawning, Quin refused this, as he had no viable body as most petrids do - excision would essentially mean decapitation. While this occasionally seemed like it could be no worse than his current circumstances, it certainly did not seem any better.
Most doorknockers lack meaningful awareness, but Quin was not only aware, but an intellectual. His mistress - the house owner - would bring him books and scrolls. Over years of poring over these arcane texts, he learned to create his own artifacts. He began relying less and less on the City's gifts - harvested and resold by the Council - and began making his own tools. While Quin wasn't the only one capable of doing this, it was a strange and complex art reserved for only the greatest minds in Nodd - and one that was generally kept secret, lest one's hobbies invoke the Council's wrath.
Regardless of his secrecy, this very thing befell the poor petrid. Without warning or explanation, Quin was abducted for a mysterious new creation - now thought by many to be the Conduit itself.
The Omnillian citadel was constructed around Quin's original building, which now only makes up the central chamber where Quin resides. The Conduit was installed at the top of the Council Spire shortly thereafter, and the City's resources became nearly endless. Nodd grew in size in every dimension. Homes became richly furnished, and poverty became nearly irrelevant.
Technology flourished, and formulae known as spells were developed in order to further control gloam.
Citizens were now increasingly encouraged to indulge, as they still are today.
The Morphoria Mystery
The last house, Morphoria, is perhaps one of Nodd's greatest mysteries.
Nobody really seems to recall when or even why it was founded, and stories are only consistent in that they vary. One would assume this means the house is older than the others, but the stories surrounding Morphoria actually become less varied the further back you go - all anyone seems to agree on is that it definitely wasn't there in the beginning, while nobody in the house can quite fully agree on what happened a few moments ago.
The Council has recently announced a defect in the conduit, resulting in a sudden deficit in gloam.
Citizens have begun to panic, increasingly unable to generate income through various acts of chaos. Fewer citizens are being resurrected. A state of unease grips the city.
In addition, there has been talk of strange, otherworldly creatures known as outsiders appearing before the gates of the city. These beautiful creatures have attracted the interest of the Council, who has taken to calling them the Chosen Ones.