Table of Contents
1. Celestial Bodies
2. The Paths
3. Four Tiers of Gods
4. Spiritual Emanation: The Law of Seven
5. The Six Point Elemental Star
6. The Cosmogenic Cycle
7. The Seven Divine Stations
8. The Vault of Linear Time
The home system for Ae, the Realm, is highly deviant from the Terran solar system. Ae is NOT Earth. After the name of each celestial body is an L and a number, this corresponds with a Lagrange point and has to do with the rather unique mechanics of the home system. This is an omniscient point of view, as the average PC will know very little, if any of this, and it will be more common for arguements over the heavens to involve what animal holds up the sky rather than the rotational velocity of the planet and its associated travlers.
'Craft for me a vessel of silver, and fill it with the cold-fire and hang it in the heavens.'
These were the words of the Primerian goddess of Night. The moon Luna was fashioned early during the life of Ae when the gods bound up the unwelcome pieces left over after fashioning the world. It is a beautiful and austere place of ice palaces and strange furtive creatures.
The Golden Vessel, the Moon of Magic, the High House of Aisling Boccob - these names all are granted to the second of Ae's moons, Aura. This Moon is unique in that it doesnt move in relation to Ae, as it is locked into a parallel orbit with the planet. It is also quite distant, close enough to be discerned as a moon of moderate size, but not close enough to be an influence on the tides.
This is the permanent home of Aisling Boccob, the Promethian deity who commited the second greatest sin of the Segundian gods. It was Aisling who brought the secret of the Warrens to mortal races, his first choice being the amphibious and armor plated Braza who are now extinct. The secret of the warrens were passed on and the art of magic in Ae still exists from this gift. As punishment, the Primerian Gods crafted the Golden Vessel in the likeness of Luna, the vessel of ice, and made it as a prison for Aisling Boccob. The Segundian gods were attentive and used the same design when they themselves crafted Dimmault as a prison for the vanquished.
The Celestial City (L4)
The Celestial city can be easily seen from Ae, it is the brightest star in the heavens, and the most stable. Many cultures attribute the Daystar, as it is sometimes called, with being being the World Sheperd, leading it through the celestial vault. This is the abode of the gods on high, the usurpers who cast out the first gods. The cities are gold and jade and carnelian and lapiz lazul, and the waters of the oceans are crystal clear and lap upon pristine white sand beaches. This is heaven as was meant for the gods.
Trailing behind Ae, the world that is, Dimmault skulks along as an unseen vagabond. This is a place of perpetual darkness, where the only light comes from the distant orbs of Ae and her moon, and the painfully luminescence of the Celestial City. Dimmault is a realm of broken shale and overcast skys. The vanquished gods have no desire to look upon that which they created and were cast out of. Storms boil and roar with their bottomless rage.
The land is unstable, groaning and shaking regularly. Volcanoes dot the landscape along with vents and geysers that are as likely to spew acidic vitriol, blood, or volcanic vapors. Dimmault has two major seas, the Sea of Tear's Unnumbered, and the Dark Sea, both of which are known for sudden and savage squals.
The drifting corpse of the one Primerian God slain during the usurpation, his broken shell was cast away from Ae and the celestial city. As things are the way they are, his corpse became a world in it's own, a place of oceans of congealing blood, caverns of decaying meat and bone. An entire world of death and rot, yet imperishable even in the fullness of eternity for the slain god predated linear time and the coming of divine death.
There are other planets in the system, which the astronomers and astrologers name the Wandering Stars. There are seven of them, and one is closer to the sun than Ae, while the other 6 are further out. Most of them are larger planets and have multiple moons, but for purposes of the mechanics are not important and will not be named or detailed.
Aside from internal Magics such as alchemy, chi, or things that draw upon innate sources of power such as ley lines, nodes or the like, sorcery in Ae draws upon heavenly paths. these are conduits that can be learned, and by inner growth and exploration of the psyche through the conduit can its power be expanded. Each of the four closest heavenly bodies is an anchorhead for a different realm of sorcery. This will be expanded upon in a suitable Article.
The Enigmatic Paths
These are the most rare of paths as the Maiden of the Moon is a secretive power. She only shares her paths with druids and rangers, those most in touch with nature, quiet, mystery, and riddles. The Enigmatic paths are majorly influenced by the phase of Luna, the silver moon.
The Arcane Paths
These are by far the most common of the magical paths, forged before time by Aisling Boccob. Many of these are very well known, which makes them useful as training paths, but limits their effectiveness. These are the traditional powers of sorcery. These paths are constant in power as Aura, the gold moon, or sorcerers moon has a fixed location in the heavens.
The Celestial Paths
The most strongly guarded of the paths, the paths of the Divine tap into the innate power of the Celestial City and the domains of the Segundian gods. These are the realms of healing, divination and the generally powers of Light. Tied to the guiding light of the Celestial City, these paths are the most steady.
The Infernal Paths
The Infernal paths of magic trace their power back to the bleak and blasted face of Dimmault. The prime forces of the Infernal paths are fire, storms, hatred, and malevolence, drawing upon the tainted essence of the Primerian's prison. The paths are convoluted and very challenging, but there obscurity makes them unpredictable and powerful.
The Alien Paths
These paths of magic are the domain of the elves and the dragons, the bastard spawn of the slain god, and are as frightening as they are unknown. These are rare even among those races, with the elves more often adopting Arcane and Enigmatic paths and the elder Dragons seeking the Infernal paths. Humans cannot access any Alien path.
The Four tiers of Gods
There are four tiers of gods, with only the top three which originally numbered 400 (7 x 7 x 7) being considered 'Gods' with the least tier being considered powerful spirits.
Primerian - the Originator gods, who originally numbered 7, but are now six confined in Dimmault after being overthrown by the Segundians. Their prison is Hellish, and their powers have been greatly hindered and now they can only work through mortals.
Segundian - the second gods, who originally numbered 49, but have been reduced to somewhere around 20 or so in the Usurpation. The greatest is the draconic Ouros who is the Guardian of Linear Time, the lock on the prison of Dimmault. He viciously seeks out and destroys those who try to access the forbidden paths of chronomancy.
Tercerian - The third generation of gods, lieutenants to the Segundians and originally numbering 343, though the number now is not known. Many Tercerians were destroyed in the usurpation, but unlike Segundian and Primerian, things can rise in power to become Tercerians.
Cuartians - The least of the gods, and most commonly recognized as 'spirits' and elementals. There are ranks recognized within the Cuartian tier, namely the ranks of Pentarian, Sextian, and Septian, each being correspondingly weaker than the last. Pentarians are one on one matches for average PCs, Sextians match commoners, and septians exist at a near animal/vegetable level.
Spiritual Emanation: The Law of Seven
According to the impulse of the demiurge that spawned the 7 Primerian gods, the universe resonates with the number seven. Each of the original seven spawned 7 Segundians, and each of the Segundians spawned 7 Tercerians, etc. This is as surely a law of the incorporeal realm, the spirit world as is the union of man and woman to create life in the material world.
The seven primal emantations are as follows:
Protective - The urge to protect, as aspect of self awareness. Can range from motherly love, to deterrance by massive firepower. Thor.
Directive - The structured organizational urge, can range from keeping peace and order to brutal dictatorships. Zeus, Odin.
Reflective - The observational urge that defines itself in regards to its surroundings. Can be quiet and contemplative or agressive seeking a certain state of being.
Communicative - Words contain power, songs contain power, the passage of information has long been embodied as a diety. Hermes.
Expressive - While words have power, so does art, and the expressive urge manifests itself in the guises of action excedding word. Apollo.
Definitive/Understanding - The technical urge, this is the realm of the maker, the healer, the creator, the tool-maker and map-maker. Haephestus, Vulcan.
Indulgent - The self gratifying urge, the desire for entertainment, pleasure and the like. Venus.
The six Point Elemental Star
Ae recognizes six, not four basic elements, utilizing a mix of both Oriental and Occidental sources. Drawn as a six point star, specifically the two triangles, one rising and one descending as a Star of David.
1. Air - Top of the star, the first rising element as it gives life to rain and clouds. opposed by the three terrestrial elements of wood, stone, and metal.
2. Fire - first point clockwise, top of descending elements as fire consumes and leaves ash in its wake. An energetic element opposed by stone, wood, and water.
3. Metal - A rising element and one of the most vital of men's heritages, it is born of fire and stone, and is opposed by wood which dulls, water that corrodes, and air that rusts.
4. Stone - The base of the star, and the anchoring element that all others rise from. A descending element as stone breaks down into gravel and dust. opposed by water, air, and fire.
5. Wood - The rising element, the living earth. Opposed by fire, metal, and air/storms.
6. Water - The element of life for it is the quickest to die without, choking withstanding. It is a descending element as it always seeks the lowest point by the easiest method. Opposed by fire, stone and metal which destroy or seek to control it.
7. Spirit - The center of the star, also called soul, pneuma, gnosis, mana, essence, quintessence, this is the vital animating force of existance that is both the source of the other six, and the outcome of the combination of the other six.
The Cosmogenic Cycle
The various faiths and religions have different ideas and explanations about the nature of life and death, and for the most part they are all correct, but they are also all not literal. The very core of the cosmogenic cycle is essential Reincarnation. The spirit, or vital essence of the soul is taken back into a hidden wellspring that not even the Segundians can alter as it was crafted by the demi-urge that spawned the Primerians and the Segundians themselves.
Breaking the Cycle: Heavens and Hells
There are two ways to break out of the cycle of reincarnation, and one involves the gods, the other is determined by will. The least and most unfavorable way is to linger after death as a ghost. These wretched spirits have by whatever reason or emotion, detached themselves from the cycle of reincarnation. Fear or disbelief of death is common, while avarice, greed, or covetousness are also common. The least common method is by application of necromancy to break the cycle for a soul.
The second path is the goal of the various faiths. Those souls who become deeply resonate with the faith of a god can by this faith be drawn into the celestial domain of said god. now it is a common misperception that the demons and devils rule hell, and that the angels and celestials rule heaven. This is not the case. A single deity can rule one of each.
A soul that strongly believes in a faith, and does good by it can rise to the 'heaven' aspect of a god's demense, or by having faith and doing ill by it can end in the 'hell' aspect of the demense. Some deities can choose to emphasis one aspect over another, such as a hell aspected celestial whose faith is governed by a fear of damnation, or a heaven aspected demon who lures followers with palaces of honey.
Forever is a long time, and if every pious soul that lived went on to a celestial heaven, what good would there be plowed back into the spiritual soil of mankind? None, the stays in the heavens and hells are transient affairs. being in close communion with the deities can become an experience in altered time, with seeming centuries of bliss, or suffering passing before the time to move on comes. a small few stay on, becoming lesser deities in their own right, custodians and saints.
The Demon Atma is a central figure in the Via Mortus, who will be more explained later in the Great Barrow(in work). While there is little said of a glowing afterlife for the dead, those who violate the corpses of the dead, and break the tenets of the Via Mortus, while believing in them, will surely end up in Atma's Maw, a hellish realm of perpetually gnashing teeth that chew at the tormented. After 1000 years of torment, the soul is released and slips back into the cycle of reincarnation.
Only the mightiest of magics can tap into the foggy memories of past lives, these coming from the Celestial or infernal realms exclusively. Astrology can give some glimpses, but the number of frauds among that field can reduce the chance of finding viable information to almost nil. An aspect of the reincarnation is the purification of the soul of its past experiences and being uncluttered of old memories.
The Seven Divine Stations
The Seven stations draw heavily upon the six pointed elemental star, and the law of Spiritual Emanation. A combination of elemental aspect and spiritual urge combines to form the 7 seminal gods. In normal mythology, these gods stand well above the rest.
1. Divinity of Leadership
Air Element, Directive Urge
2. Divinity of Arts and Entertainment
Fire Element, Expressive Urge
3. Divinity of Death
Metal Element, Reflective Urge
4. Divinity of War
Earth Element, Protective Urge
5. Divinity of Love
Wood Element, Indulgent Urge
6. Divinity of Crafts and Making
Water Element, Understanding Urge
7. Divinity of Knowledge
Spirit Element, Communicative Urge
Incomplete, still in work
The Vault of Linear Time
The key to the prison of the Primerian Gods is linear time, as they have been locked away until the end of time itself. This might sound huge and ominous, but linear time was not created until the world and the races had already been established. Cycles turned, but time itself had no constant. This is why many of the oldest records are of untold years. When Aisling Boccob was imprisoned for giving magic to the mortal races, the globe of Aura was created to house him, this was locked by the will of the Primerians. The Segundians lacked such personal power to bind their own creators and had to thus search for something else.
Aisling Boccob supplied the answer through an intermediary, that order be applied to the flow of time. When he conspired to grant magic to mortals, his intentions were known, but he stepped outside of consensual time to move ahead and perform the deed before he was confined. This created a strange paradox that he was imprisoned within Aura before actually commiting his crime. The act of empowerment would be the last use of temporal power...ever.
Using that moment as an anchor, linear time was created. This closed the doors of Temporal and Time magics, as tampering with the flow of linear time could disrupt the flow. This would serve to place a termination point to time, and thus release the Primerians from their prison world of Dimmault. The Temporal Paths of sorcery have since been occluded by the gods, and guardians placed to keep the reckless from gaining that power.
That being said - There is no Time Travel in Ae.
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? Responses (17)-18
Bizarre, intricate and mystifying existential treatise. The Heavenly Paths are intriguing!
Love the descriptions of Dimmalt 'realm of broken shale and overcast skys' and Hecatomb 'oceans of congealing blood, caverns of decaying meat and bone.'
I'll be honest, some parts are slightly confusing. Had to read and reread LaGrange several times in Wiki :D The presentation seems slightly disjointed.
Why Boccob? isnt he a Greyhawk deity?
Really this is too much information for one sub, but I am lazy and didnt want to make it out into several larger subs. As for Boccob, I havent finished twiddling with the name yet, but he is the current god of magic according to the 3rd ed of DnD. I havent put much into him since he is permanently imprisoned, and really only high power sorcerers are going to know of him.
This is going together rather like the infrastructure of my basic setting, so it isnt going to be elaborate or given the same level of presentation as most of my other work. In a way, this is the THIS IS HOW IT IS (Godly Baritone) submission that is going to try define various aspects of the realm.
I think, upon reflection, that I might make it a scroll...
I liked the Hecatomb bit most of all. I wonder what creatures might live on a giant rotting body?
The setup is definitely neat for any sci-fi/astronomy fan. It must be admitted that, though I have some idea of what Lagrange points are, the Wikipedia post was quite a bit confusing. (You could provide a simplified picture to show what it looks like... but I guess that would be a too big hint.)
So: if you have two massive objects in space, there exist locations, where their gravitational forces will be just about in balance. A relatively light object (compared to the two), would find a stable place in these Lagrange points.
In our solar system, there are of some notoriety the Lagrange points for Sun and Jupiter, or Earth and Moon. (Scrasamax, do I take it right that the two bodies your system is based on are two suns?)
Oh, and before I forget it: the rest of the submission is also not bad. :)
There is only one sun in my cosmology, and the basic part of the LaGrange theory is that a large mass orbiting a second larger mass is going to create stable points around it where a smaller item could sit and be relatively safe from gravitational effect.
Thus, they are held in a sort of gravitational balance between the two larger bodies, in this case Ae and the Sun. Points L4 and L5 are directly in front of, and directly behind the planet in orbit. Jupiter is best known for this for the Trojan asteroid field that follows the gas giant in the L5 point in it's orbit, and in theory, BTW, each planet in the solar system hase the 5 LaGrange points.
This is really simple, yet really hard to explain.
Fantastic. Just fantastic.
Nifty post. Not much to say, since you've done your job well.
As complete as it gets... a really fundamental post.
Well executed and nnicely described. It could use a bit more detail, it seems almost too scant for the amount of area covered; but that is just me.
Whoa. This is splendid work and does not become bogged down but keeps on flowing until the end.
Left me craving more but still ends where it should(in my opinion). Thats what a good post is all about.
Also nice to read it as a scroll.
OMG BUMP!! Read the sublime updates!!
I may have to vote this Golden too now! Hmmm...must reread. Rosicrucian Esoterica, combined with Astrology, Asotronomy, Elementalism, Animism, Symbology, and Qabbalah-esque Existentionalism!!
Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I've always loved mystical astrology, and this is beyond anything I'd ever expected to see. Now we can actually have real orbits in our Orrerys! Also gives astrologists something to say besides 'they're not aligned' when you ask them how the stars are. Not to mention an engaging and easy-to-follow (yet not overly simple) magic system. Amazing!
Now is it just me, or have Citadel Subs been getting a lot...better...recently?
Always been good if you ask me. Of course back in 03 and that time, the requirements were less and a ten liner could harvest a 5/5 easily. It was more about the idea back then, which is fine really. The emphasis right now is on idea + presentation.
A solid foundation for a world to be built! Liking it a lot!
I see alot of gnostic and mystical influence here as well as heavy neoplatonism. I like it, alot. This is not just astronomical, it's as Olontur said, a foundation for an entire cosmos, or at least a single world. A very cool 'a posteriori' take on some by-the-book classical/mythical ideas, with a new flavor to them.