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ID: 1864

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December 1, 2005, 1:01 pm

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Dreaming Lord and String of Worlds Cosmology

By:

The worlds are nothing more than bubbles on the strings on the plane of dreams.

The Dreaming Lord is the master of dreams and nightmares. He is also the creator of the universes. He flexed his will upon the unformed chaos and created bubbles of reality, much the way a dreamer creates a bubble of dream on the dream planes. Each universe has a number of its associated planes, the only one that links them is the dream plane (if one travels far enough on it).

In each Universe he created a God (Goodish-creative/ preserver) and MazGod (Evilish-Destructive), who are locked in an eternal struggle for dominance. Each God and MazGod have created Servitors- Godlike beings of their own - to work their will. It is normally three to eight, with the other side having an equal number. Some of the servitors has sub-servitors, minor spiritual functionaries that cover one area so the Servitor can focus on others. The fact that all of these are Gods is a confusing thing. If “people” worship a diety, it is probably a servitor or sub-servitor… as The God and MazGod have little to do with anything other than the Conflict.

Priests in this cosmology have different roles that people in North America/ Europe are accustomed. Priests are not shepards of their flocks (though some do a little of that). Priests (and associated cults) exist to fufill the aims and goals of their patron diety. The relationship between a Priest and a Diety is a contract, in return for aiding the Gods aims and performing rituals of worship (providing energy to the diety), the God will grant powers to the priest. These powers are normally appropriate to the fufilling the aims of the diety, so a war god gives powers to enhance their ability to get honor and glory in combat.

Few priests have anything to do with a community, they live in temples in the middle of nowhere worshiping their deity and honing their powers to support their goals.

Of course the servitor concept extends to the mortal realms- one for each diety. They are walking talking plot devices.

What is Humanity’s (People’s ... there can be other races) role in all of this?  That is the debate of many theologans.  Dreaming is the popular one. They dream to support the Dreaming Lord… a nightly form of worship. Score Keeping: The number of humans each diety can claim determines their “score”. Humanity may be the actual powers in the universe, learning about good and evil, asking why and seeking answers. Perhaps all this “thinking power” is being harnessed by the Dreaming Lord to contemplate the universal forces. Or perhaps Humanity is nothing more than a common shape for intelligent life in the universe.

Any thoughts?



Additional Ideas (6)

Or an afterthought, or side effect, or creatures that gained sentience on their own, or sub-sub-creations so far down the line that they cannot create in the deific manner--but are still driven to create in some fashion...

These dieties (or rather, their churches) may not be of the type familiar to most Westerners, but they are very familiar to many gamers. Power in exchange for a token worship, adherence to a code, &/or furthering the dieties sphere of influence, is the basis for many roleplaying games.
0xp

2005-12-01 01:02 PM » Link: [1864#8866|text]
On first thought-
far too large. There are a string of universes! This is way beyond my personal limits of scope.
In addition, if there is a priest among the heroes, he will almost certainly have some knowledge of the other universes. Thus, it will be apparent to the players that their heroic deeds are not as "newsworthy", if you will, as they might be. Adventures and heroism become less significant in that there are hundreds of other worlds where the heroes are unknown.
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2005-12-01 01:02 PM » Link: [1864#8867|text]
Also these "universes" are actually just one world. (Unless you are Spell Jamming)

Nobody said travelling between worlds will be easy. Or something you could normally do. The information any priest would have would most likely have to come from their deity. And what does the Deity have to gain by telling them of the rest of the universe?

It is mostly there for color, and for the occasional "Outsider" travelling to their world upsetting their world's balance. I mean Moorcock had 14 worlds strung together in his multiverse. Only the Universal Champion had any contact with another world and that was strained and odd at best. So you can have a multiverse and have a single world.

Besides, nobody said you had to create the other worlds. Just come up with an idea like The Next One over is a world of Ice and Volcanic Fire, call Gebros. Super Elves and Trolls are the people. there. End of world description.

So why have multiple worlds? Perhaps the Lord of Dreams is trying to decide which is stronger Good or Evil and is running several tests. Perhaps he gets energy from the conflict (Co-generation). Maybe he is just bored and like gladitorial sports and wants to watch two opposing sides go at it. Maybe it is just archetypal.

I like Echo's take. And it was where my thoughts were going with this.
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2005-12-01 01:05 PM » Link: [1864#8869|text]
What about making it a world of many variations instead of a multiverse? Make something like a spider's web, with each crossing of the strands being a bubble of reality. and the gods being members of 'teams' - The Goodness Gospel Gazelles and the Evil Eviscerator Elks... or whatever.
And then, make humanity essential: the gods and angels and spirits may be mighty, but there are thing they cannot do, and places they cannot go - this should surpass the 'generating worship' role of believers by far: perhaps all are allowed to play, but only mortals may score a goal...
The outcome of the conflict is determined by the meekest participants, and the mighty ones are there for support.
So, Budgurz the Basher, a warrior, may be well aware that Carnifex, the god of slaughter, may quench his little life-flame in a direct encounter, but his courage is fuelled by the fact that not his patron deity, Bocc the Brawler, but he, the human, can smash Carnifex's life-orb and end his rule for good.

might be interesting, and promote the mortals from the role of pawns.
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2005-12-01 01:03 PM » Link: [1864#8868|text]
So moving from what Echo said....

The world is a "chess board" of sorts, with a God and his opposite as the players. (maybe an abstract wargamish kind of game... perhaps humans play a "simple" version of it) People are the markers/ counters on the board. The markers/ counters do things in the game that score points, capture/ disable other player's markers/ counters, and get "promoted" becoming a better piece with different rules.

To make this more complicated, the same "board" is actually used by all the sets of gods at once. While your score only counts vs your opponent, you can effect other games. So there is an interplay of games. As a player, one god might help a diety they are normally opposed to, for considerations on another part of the board. Humans "lack of knowing the entire gameboard" is the reason why so many actions the deities take do not make any sense.

So the Deities in this world give direct instructions to their priests and "know" what some of their followers will probably do... to play the game.

Opinion piece. You know, gaming allows us great analogies to use for cognitive positioning. In short, it gives us new ways to visualize/ think of situations that we would not have the language/ dialog to express (or a "way to get our head around it". That last paragraph actually expresses what several theurgical and thaumaturgical experts from the last few centuries back spent hundreds of pages and dozens of tracts trying to explain. And here we have it. (Of course, they coached it in angels/ higher powers/ thrones/ great spirits vs demons/ lower powers/ thrones/ negative spirits or just GOD vs the Opponent or unity vs chaos). Plug in your names for the various "players" and sides and you are a couple steps ahead of many mystic students.
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2005-12-01 01:05 PM » Link: [1864#8870|text]
Now stop me if I'm way off base here...

But I think a theme we might all recognize in this is the essential "dreaming god". Many mythologies have creator gods who created the world and then fell asleep, or are sleeping and their body is the world. Also of note is the Australian mythology of the Dreamtime, a mystical pre-world state of magic and whimsy.
In Lord Dunsany's masterpiece, the Gods of Pegana, the creator god, MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, is presented as being a slumbering god who passed into a deep sleep after creating the gods, and that when the wakes time will end.
There is, of course, Cthulhu (and where would we be without him)- "In his house in R'lyeh, Cthulhu lies dreaming".

So where am I going with all this?

"Dreaming Lord". There you go. Though MoonHunter did say that he is the "lord of dreams and nightmares", it would suggest to me that somewhere in the creative process we might assume that the god of the String of Worlds is, in fact, dreaming.
So what does this mean for the String of Worlds?
Well, generally, in mythology, a sleeping god is a happy god. More often than not, the reason the world remains generally in stasis and the apocalypse doesn't occur is that the creator is asleep.
So if we follow this assumption, can we assume that if the Dreaming God awoke, the String of Worlds would be destroyed?

Thus, the reason the Gods and MazGods were created-
Gods are the force of stability. They seek to keep the Dreaming Lord asleep through their actions, to continue the status quo.
MazGods are, rather, the force of change. They seek to awaken the Dreaming Lord and let the Worlds be judged or whatever will happen when DL is awakened.

(Let me digress: At the beginning of The Gods of Pegana, Fate and Chance cast lots to decide who would govern the world. Who won this lot, nobody knows. Thus, perhaps the reason that DL created a force to keep him sleeping and a force to keep him awake is that he wished to keep a balance- the world is "Fated" to end {he is Fated to awaken}, but "Chances" are that it won't be anytime soon {there is a low likelihood that he will awaken, little Chance})

What do you think, Moon?
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2005-12-01 01:07 PM » Link: [1864#8871|text]
When we finally got down to the applicable, it works for me. It is more philosophical than I intended, as we are hard pressed to fully realize the reality of the deities.

However, it is as good of an explanation as we can suppose.
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2005-12-01 01:11 PM » Link: [1864#8872|text]
Damned by faint praise. :D
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2006-03-12 11:44 PM » Link: [1864#13357|text]
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Comments ( 6 )
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Voted Mourngrymn
January 12, 2006, 11:50
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I think that this is a short layout of a possible massive religious/ pantheon. With comments adding to it this is a great concept.
CaptainPenguin
March 12, 2006, 23:41
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Are you ever gonna' work on this again? I liked it.
MoonHunter
March 13, 2006, 17:52
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Add more to it. There is a reason we have a scroll. Think of it as a post in the forum if you have to.
MoonHunter
March 13, 2006, 18:14
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This piece was originally intended to be a framework to be built upon (for a given world).

It gives you a format for each Pantheon (good team and bad team) with a major deity and several supporting ones. It gives you a different take on what clerics do, not based upon psuedo christian ethos of healing and caring for the flock. The format makes you think of the "two universes next store", so you know what outsiders and travellers from these worlds might be lke. And it gives you an idea for the metaphysics behind all of this (the sleeping god.. with a nod to Moorcock). Plug in your own God and MazGod, create the teams, and off you go. Deepish cosmology without having to worry about the structure.


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