After the Division, the world became soulless. Where once had been a thriving core of endless potential, a hollow cavity hurt now. The world was in pain. The world was dying. The cycle, broken.
See, until then the world was inhabited by all kinds of souls that manifested themselves through all the living and knowing things. There was the Celestial Soul, unknowable and immovable, lording above all things and all things in between. In roamed the Storm Soul and the Wind Heart and all the aerial things of fickle disposition. These, together with the Soul of Fire and the Verdant Soul, were the great souls amongst which the tiny souls of men lived and died in the span of a heartbeat.
The Great Souls were so long-lived as to be called immortal. The diminutive mind of Man or Woman cannot understand that which is unlike him or herself, and so they gave these great souls names and faces and made them dance to the tune of their own stories. In their fear of the unknown, humanity sought a life after a life, aware of the great cycle only in brief flashes of sudden insight or as a conclusion to decades-long meditative bouts.
For a soul does not truly die, it is simply recalled by the soul of the world to be recast and remade into something else. All magic, all sorcery, all miracles and mystical esotery stem from the soul of the world. When the Division occurred, the cycle broke down, and the Great Souls took upon themselves the weight of the world. This is how Old Gods were born. Their spirits had always been there, but the sudden burst of minor, hopeless souls having no place to go, found in them a place to return to, a sort of cosmic home, and in turn these Great Souls were shaped by the small spirits of Men.
But there were others.
Those who came from the sky. Another, moribund core shattered into uncountable fragments raining down on an orphan world. These were the New Gods and they knew nothing of the cycle, for their fate was to consume and devour, and that they would do.