Dungeons & Dragons is continuing to tease its fans with details about the mythical First World. Earlier this week, Wizards of the Coast provided D&D Beyond users with a lengthy preview of its upcoming Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel anthology book, with the first chapter unlocked for free to all registered users. This chapter contains a mini-gazetteer of the Radiant Citadel itself, detailing its various organizations, its culture, and its history. Most intriguingly, the chapter notes that the Radiant Citadel is theorized to be a relic of the First World, an ancient primordial plane that pre-dates the multiverse.
In 2020, the Dungeons & Dragons design team slyly introduced readers to the idea of the First World, a myth that claimed that the D&D multiverse was once a single cohesive reality that was "shattered" by an unknown cataclysm. The First World myth explained why every D&D campaign setting features variations of the same races (and occasionally) monsters despite their wildly different backgrounds and histories. Mention of the First World appeared in a sidebar of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, nestled away in the spells section of the book. The D&D design team built out the First World a bit more in last year's Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, explaining that the First World was created by the dragon gods Tiamat and Bahamut and noting that the First World's connection to dragons allows some dragons to gain "dragonsight" and collate the power and strength of their multiversal equivalents to become even more powerful.
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel only theorizes about the connection between the Radiant Citadel and the First World, stating that the Ethereal Plane-bound fortress was possibly connected to the ancient world. While some scholars believe that the Citadel served as a "vital center of diplomacy" between various cultures that existed in the First World, others believe that the Radiant Citadel was actually a weapon used in the final days of the First World before the Material Plane shattered into the Multiverse.
Whatever the tie to the Radiant Citadel may be, the First World is shaping up to be Dungeons & Dragons' next big mystery, and we can't wait to see it play out over the next few years.