Talanor, the Bright Tower
History - Cosmology
The Planes of Existence
Beyond the confines of the known world, is the Cosmos, or to some people the Great Beyond. The Cosmos is made of many different planes, each of which is their own universe with its own natural laws. Conceptually, the Cosmos is a simplified and fictional interpretation of quantum physics as they relate to our existence; specifically, that thought, energy and matter are all related and interchangeable. The Void is the manifestation of thought and souls. The Ether is pure energy that was originally created by the gods and is continually replenished by mortals. Finally, the Material Plane is, of course, physical matter.
The best image I can use to describe the cosmos, is a plasma globe. Outside of the globe is the void. Inside the globe is the Ether, and the small sphere inside the globe is the material plane. The thin glass of the globe is the realm of Midian, and the streaks of electricity rippling through the globe to small sphere are the temporal waves of ethereal energy being sent to the material plane.
The Material Plane
At the center of the cosmos, is the Material Plane. The Material Plane is energy turned into matter. It consists of the sun, moons and Æustëra, the Known World.
Surrounding the Material Plane is the Ether, a boundless source of both positive and negative energy. Originally, it was the thoughts of the Ealintaine that formed the energy of the Ether. Later, it is thoughts and prayers of the mortals that have continually replenished it. Upon the Material Plane, magic is the process of using the Temporal Wave to affect the Ether causing a fantastical result.
These Planes are spatial anomalies within the Ether created when the Divinium used the Temporal Wave to enter the Material Plane. Prior to the binding of the Ether, repetitive use of the Temporal Wave by the Divinium resulted in multiple waves converging and creating the Primal Planes. The convergences swelled to create the primal planes of air, earth, fire, water, blood, bone and death. Time flows on these planes, yet a being on a Primal Plane can move between times and even exist in multiple times at once.
If you think of the Temporal Wave as a bundle of strings that connects the ether to the material plane. Some where along it’s line, it knots … and that is the primal planes. But these strings are not straight lines. They ebb and flow and meander through the Ether. Often these waves can warp around each other and become intertwined for a while. It is like the feeling of a cold current in the ocean. Although you might not exist in that current, you felt its effect. Similarly, the different bundles of the Temporal Wave may influence each other. Where they come close to each other and circle each other, the papa-elementals can occur. So, Ice can be found on both the plane of water and the plane of air. Mud is on both water and earth. Magma on earth and fire. Smoke on fire and air.
The Ether is made up of both positive and negative energy. When this energy flows through the primal planes, other para-elements may come to fruition. On the Plane of Water, you may find steam and salt. On Fire, you will find radiance and ash. On Air, you will find lightning and vacuum. On Earth, you will find mineral and dust.
|Air||Calledrym||Expanisive and Ominous||Air, Lightning, Ice, Smoke, Vacuum||Anemos, Djinni, Sylph|
|Earth||Teysura||Primordial||Dust, Earth, Magma, Mineral, Mud||Agthions, Fey, Shaitan, Oread|
|Fire||Vra’lithe||Quickening and Destructive||Ash, Fire, Magma, Radiance, Smoke||Efreeti, Ifrit|
|Water||Celestri||Deep and Restrictive||Ice, Mud, Salt, Steam, Water||Marid, Udine|
|Blood||Gaeruhn||Tyranny and Slavery||None||Devils|
|Bone||Selefahn||Repose and Renewal||None||Demons|
|Death||Kiravor||Darkness, Hatred and Torture||None||Deamons|
The Temporal Wave
As referenced previously, the Temporal Wave is a conduit between all of the planes. Time exists on the planes within the Temporal wave, but each path across the wave is a alternate timeline. Consisting of both positive and negative energy, the Temporal Wave is a transitive plane made of the infinite cascades of time and possibility that interconnects the Void, the Ether, the Primal Planes and the Material Plane.
Beyond the Ether resides the Void, a unimaginable vastness of timeless thought to be where the first beings of the Cosmos first gained consciousness. The Void is pure thought and consciousness. It is "being without being”. In the void, individual thoughts took form and became the first Ealintaine.
The Realm of Midian
Midian is plane that acts as a barrier between the Ether and the Void. Within the Realm of Midian, the Ealintaine have been bound by the Magi and are unable to access the Temporal Wave. However, Midian, the Ether, the Primal Planes and the Material Plane are all reflected in the twisted, parallel dimensions of the transitive Plane of Shadow.
The Plane of Shadow
Plane of Shadows is the darkened edges of the Temporal Wave that flows from the void to the material plane. It is a transient plane that touches Midian, the Ether, the Primal Planes and the Material Plane. The perfect, secretive plane that can be used by Grahlithe, the Plane of Shadow only fails to touch the demi-planes created from the Material Plane… like the Dreaming. How Grahlithe found a way to create and enter the Plane of Shadow from Midian is as great a mystery as the god, himself.
Demiplanes are generally small, finite dimensions connected to the Ether. They are created when reality is sufficiently warped that small pieces of its substrate fragment and fuse together, thereby creating a stable dimension. These demiplanes can be formed by the workings of powerful magic, be it from an artifact, a powerful mortal spellcaster, or the will of a god. All that is required is for reality to be bent and twisted to the breaking point. The Dreaming, a demiplane created by several of the Godlings to preserve the memories of the First World, is such a place.
- The Dreaming — A demiplane contiguous with the entirety of the First Lands. Here the Temporal Wave is set to a single moment in time: the founding of the First Lands. This is related to the stability and seeming stasis of the First Lands. At some point in prehistory it was connected to the Primal Plane of Bone. Now whenever someone of the appropriate ancestry dies, they get shunted here instead of returning to the Ether through the Plane of Bone.
- The First Lands — Mysterious lands of violent storms and primordial creatures surrounding the Elder Forest, inclusive of some portion of the Iron Mountains.
- The Song-Lines of Chana — a lattice network of ley lines of incredibly variable strength, though usually much weaker than ley lines found elsewhere. These ley lines interpenetrate the First Lands and the Dream. Instead of allowing power to move between spatial distortions, they connect power bleeding from temporal distortions caused by singular events. The metaphysical “echoes” that reverberate through time from these events carries the power of these ley lines. These ley lines are spatially centered on natural or artificial phenomenon that some how commemorate the event that originated the event. If these memorials are destroyed than, the ley line “evaporates.” Supposedly, these ley lines where first created by Chana, Eye-of-Stars, who subsequently taught the elders of the various peoples of the First Lands how to maintain those that exist and create new ones by memorializing singular events through rituals.
The Effect of Time in the Planes
The Temporal Wave can also be thought of as ripples through the space/time continuum. Every decision a mortal makes causes a small ripple and change to the waves of time. So, every decision creates an alternate timeline. Every mortal is tethered to their personal timeline with all the decisions they and others make. That mortal is unique amongst all the other instances of that mortal in the alternate timelines that were affected by different decisions. Yet, in the Material Plane, the mortal can only exist in one timeline.
The Primal Planes are created by the Divinium and do not have this effect. On those planes, all of the infinite timelines converge upon the plane, but as stated before, a mortal is tethered to her one timeline. She sees the Primal Plane as corporeal and any mortals from her timeline as corporeal. Any other mortals from other timelines, she sees as these incorporeal beings. She can see them, hear them, talk with them, but not affect them. The Primal Plane itself is ‘out of time’. That is, all times converge upon it, like a hub with an infinite number of timelines flowing out of the Ether into the Primal Planes and an infinite number of timelines flowing out of the Primal Planes and to the Material Plane.
The Plane of Shadow is different. Grahlithe was not powerful or capable of creating the plane in a stable manner, like the Divinium. On his plane, the convergence of the waves is too chaotic. It becomes too simple to slide between timelines and get lost. Within the Plane of Shadow, time keeps splitting with each decision, and a mortal would be pulled between multiple timelines, feeling her soul splitting with them. The longer she’s there, the more she splits and sees incorporeal reflections of herself moving and acting, like a silhouette of herself walking in another direction. The mortal would soon find themselves lost in a see of reflections.
- In the beginning, the Divinium stayed in the Ether and used the Temporal Wave to affect and shape the Material Plane.
- Eventually all seven of the Divinium use the Temporal Wave to enter the Material Plane, thereby creating the Primal Planes.
- Their point of entry into the Material Plane is a leyline in which their disciples can tap to produce divine magic.
- There are 2 leylines to the Plane of Water. Celestri first entered the Material Plane before any of the other Ealintaine. She entered deep beneath the surface, so that she might not be seen. She erupted from the ground and her waters spilled out covering most of the world. This formed the waterfall along the cliff-shores near Parthis. It created the Rynin Sea and then spread across the world. She did not manifest in the flesh as flesh had not been conceived by Amus. Rather, at this time, she manifested as water, itself.
- Later, she and Calledrym entered the material world atop the Iron Mountains. Those leylines are know encapsulated in the Shrine of the Summoner.
- Vra’Lithe entered the world in the depths of the world. The earth erupted and he came to the surface upon a flow of magma. This split the a continental plate under what is currently Esteparon. The violent earthquakes and global shifting created the Shadow Mountains.
- During the Godling Wars, Teysura entered the world in the forests near Greyton.
- Gearuhn entered the Material Plane through the blood of mortals. Such is the reason his power is vast upon the world. Tricked Amus into creating men.
- Kiravor entered the Material Plane wherever life was corrupted and undead creatures came to exist.
- Selefahn creates no Leylines as she never enters the world but opens up the Temporal Wave for those that have died to enter the Ether.
- It is easy for the three gods to enter the world and why they have access to such vast ethereal energy.
- The Docti use the Temporal Wave to enter the Material Plane, but their knowledge is deeper in the understanding of the Ether.
- The Docti’ entrance into the Material World gives birth to the other Mortal Ancestries.
- Their transcendence across the Temporal Wave into the Material Plane created the ancestral leylines, which are the point of origin of the mortal races.
- The Inhaerens use the Harmonic Wave to enter the Material Plane quite easily as they were conceived by Teysura in the Ether.
- They can travel easily to the Material Plane and manifest themselves as an Avatar.
- Their entry into the Material Plane does not create any disturbances in the Temporal Wave, and therefore, does not create any leylines or planes.
- Avatars are the temporal manifestation of Ealintaine in the Material Plane.
- Celestri is the first to take the form of an Avatar, but only imparts her dominion over the seas, taking the form of water.
- Gaeruhn and Kiravor learned the secret and their arrival as Avatars began the Godling Wars. – the first mortal sacrifice.
- Lorrynor was the next to discover this technique. He manifests himself on the Material Plane as a dragon and teaches the Godlings during the wars to take this higher form of being. He was eventually defeated by Gaeruhn.
- Dasyra was the next to become an Avatar, but she placed her whole being within the Avatar so that she might have the power to rival the evil brothers of the Divinium. She freed Lorrynor from the belly of Gaeruhn. This form was foolish for when she was defeated, her consciousness was lost for a time.
- Selefahn had learned the secret as she escorted the first sacrifice to the Ether. She shares the secret to Vra’lithe.
The Binding of the Ether
- Following the war, Thaedymar takes seven of the godlings and has them bind the Ether and trap the Ealintaine within it. Creating Demi-planes that capture all the Ealintaine but four.
1. Korlez – trapped on Plane of Bone
2. Grahlithe – Can use the Plane of Shadow at will
3. Elanil – Knows the untold ways of the cosmos.
4. Dasyra – Bound into the Stars of the Material Plane until her return.