The Primal Universe is in reference to the home universe of the City of Heroes MMO. It is sometimes referred to as the "Paraverse".
The term "Primal Universe" was designated by the Portal Corporation as referring to the home universe, standing it apart from all other universes. It was believed that this would be easier than calling it "Earth-One" or "Earth-Prime".
There is some speculation that the term "Primal Universe" meant that this universe had some sort of extra-normal meaning. There have been some passages in the One Book of Rularuu that suggest that the "Primal Universe" was in fact the wellspring of other similar realities, and that the conquest of this universe by a cosmic force such as Rularuu would result in the conquest of all similar realities. And, likewise, its destruction would lead to the destruction of all other similar realities. But this idea has been debunked by the scientists in Portal.
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The Primal Universe history mirrors those of other worlds but with a few notable exceptions. Here, mystical and other-worldly forces play minor roles in human development and are often dismissed as "myth" in the history books.
The most notable event, though, was in 1931, when Marcus Cole would return to America after searching for a cure to his exposure to mustard gas in World War I. His discovery of the Well of the Furies opened the door not only to his own powers, but also ignited the super-human potential in people around the world. Magic and mutations were energized and re-awakened.
Cole's arrival in Paragon City led to the rise of the super-heroes. After he adopted the name Statesman, others soon joined his crusade to clean up the city. When the city was threatened by the self-professed "Prussian Prince of Automation", the heroes rose up to defeat Nemesis and thus cemented their place in human society as defenders and protectors of the planet.
Since then, humanity developed under the watchful eye of the heroes, and the threatening eye of the villains.