Cosmology

  • In the beginning, there was the Far Realm.
  • Then there was an explosion of fire, air, water and earth.
  • When the world was young, it was called the Feywild.
  • The Mortal World is in the Middle Ages in more ways than one.
  • When the world will be old and dying, it will be called the Shadowfell.
  • Then only the souls will remain, some reborn into divinity.
  • In the end, there will be the Far Realm.

The various known cultures all have distinct origin stories, but they also invariably share some similarities. During the Time of Troubles, a group known as the Apostates – rogue celestials seeking a permanent end to the Blood War – shared their version of the origin and that story was spread by a group known as The Revelers. It is reproduced below:

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In the beginning there was only chaos. In the true void of chaos, there are no laws, no causality. What can happen is certain to happen. Chaos always births order, and order descends to chaos. We live upon the pendulum that swings between them. That pendulum was set swinging when, inevitably, the chaos birthed order. This began the very first moment or the very first second of time, and since that moment the two have sought to destroy the other. They are diametrically opposed, and so cannot stand to have the other even exist. There can be no peace between them, and yet one can never truly destroy the other.

No, they could not destroy each other, but they soon realized they could create creatures to destroy their foe for them. Their first creations were the gods. Only two at first – formed of the energies of order and chaos. Those gods, like their creators, were filled with the desire to create, but were tamed and unable to draw from the pure energy from whence they were formed. Instead, they formed the planes. The first were the planes now known as Limbo and Mechanus. Limbo was ruled by the avatar of chaos, and is called Cthulhu, the Omega. Mechanus, by the avatar of Order, known as Hastur, the Alpha.

From the energies of these planes they formed new gods, baatorians, and obyriths. To give them homes, they created new planes, even farther removed from the pure chaos and order – The Nine Hells, Acheron, Arcadia, and Mount Celestia served order. Arborea, Ysgard, Pandemonium, and The Abyss served chaos. Again, in turn, these creations used the energies of their planes to craft even more creatures to fight this war. The ancient baatorians created the baatezu, known as devils. The obylith create the tanar-ri, known as demons. The gods created angels and lesser gods. In this time, there was no good or evil – only order and chaos. Devils and angels fought side-by-side for order, just as celestial and demon joined chaos. The war crossed planes, transcended our reality, and lasted throughout time. The war was endless. Being formed from the energy of the planes protected us from death. If we died away from our planes, our energy simply transferred back and we were reformed, whole and unharmed, back in our home plane. We died again and again. We killed endlessly. It was called the Blood War, and it rages to this day, in a fashion.

We aren’t sure who or how, but eventually a new plane was created – or perhaps discovered. Some say it was birthed spontaneously from chaos, or was born as a side-effect of the creation of the other planes (a sort-of cosmic balancing.) Other say it was there all along – a dead plane waiting to be rediscovered. This plane is what you call the Prime. Your home. All we know for certain is that is was found quite by accident. Agents of order and chaos were seeking a neutral plane. It was our thought that we could bring the True Death to our enemies on a neutral plane. The gods created Elysium, the Beastlands, Ghenna, and Hades for this purpose, but found that since they were still ultimately connected to the dichotomy of order an chaos they did not provide an advantage. Then the Prime was found, patiently waiting among the Astral Sea.

This plane was a barren wasteland inhabited by creatures you now know as monsters. The surface of the world was scarred and abandoned. Torn apart long before we arrived and only inhabited by the survivors of this strife – simple animals. It was ruled by those creatures you now call The Primordials. They resisted our invasion, but were quickly swept aside. What remained of your world became our battleground. Quickly, agents of order and chaos had pierced the ethereal veil to assume places in what you call the lower planes – the elements that make up your world, casting The Primordials deep within their elemental homes. More creatures were created – giants, dragons, dwarves, and the other creatures you share your world with. The final battle between order and chaos was so violent that it shook your world in ways beyond the physical. It caused it to fracture across all dimensions, creating the demi-planes you know as the Shadowfel and Feywild, which were in turn filled with more creatures of the gods.

Unknown to us, the act of creation alone would end the war between chaos and order, and not the endless death. Each plane became a bar on the cage of chaos. Even those on the side of chaos did not realize their involvement at first. By the time the dust had settled on the Prime, any agents of chaos in a position to resist were destroyed. The Baatorians had, seemingly overnight, disappeared and had been supplanted by their creations, the Baatezu led by Asmodeus (who to this day do not recognize the baatorians had ever existed at all.) Similarly, the Tanr’ri had supplanted the majority of the obylith. The two original gods disappeared, and have not been seen since.

The war was over, and order reigned… However, the problem with unchecked order is that there is a compulsion to continually quantify. Soon, it was not good enought o simply be an agent of order or chaos. Instead, all creatures became further classified. Soon, concepts of good and evil were introduced. Now, in addition to the war between chaos and order, the Blood War expanded to include good and evil. Former allies, like the devils and angels, now found themselves on opposing sides. The Blood War began anew.

Eventually, a truce of sorts was called. The plane of Carceri was created, and the god known as Death was created to rule it. The gods agreed that no one would be immune from death, and even they could meet death under the right circumstances. Caceri became a place for souls where none would escape, and only death would have ultimate dominion. Finally, Death looked upon your world – the Prime – and returned your people from death. Your people were created from the remains of the soul Death could find within the soil and ruins of your kind. Perhaps re-created is a better term. The truce struck in the Blood War was that your kind would ultimately decide the fate of the War. Your kind embodied all we fought for – goodness, evil, order and chaos. The truce dictated that when one of your kind died, your souls would go the the plane most in accordance with your deeds in life. Your energy joining that plane would grant it power and, throughout the course of time, ultimately decide which was most powerful.

The truce brought about the slumber of the Elder Gods, just as the Great Old Ones before them.

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Cosmology

A Plague of Onces Chad_Johnson_0