Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Church of the Triumvirate part one

The "official religion" of the western empire:

  At the most basic level of understanding, the Church of the Triumvirate is the worship of three gods:  Aceola (the masculine essence, the sun), Alunia (the feminine essence, the moon) and Dormun (a sexually ambiguous nature spirit depicted as the union of earth and water)  

Few remember that worship of Dormun is far older in this land than the worship of Aceola and Alunia that was introduced by an invading mounted horde from the southern steppes.  The followers of Dormun were farmers who saw the divine in the union of earth and water that each spring brought their crops forth and began the harvest cycle anew.  Pockets of the old religion still exist in certain remote areas, and many of the fertility rites survive to the present day in altered form in official church ceremonies.  
In the modern Church of the Triumvirate, Aceola is normally portrayed as the dominant figure, the masculine sun god, the shining symbol of light, virtue and strength in battle.  Alunia is a secondary figure, feminine, symbolic of quiet supple durability, magic, the moon, the night and the sky in general.  Dormun is a tertiary figure, often overshadowed in the iconography of the church and the sermons of the priests.  Dormun is portrayed as the union of the earth and water, god of plants and fertility.  While the moon in sun symbol of Aceola and Alunia serves as the holy symbol for most clerics of the triumvirate and their gospel speaks to the well heeled elite of an agricultural society, Dormun’s blue and black circle is more common among low ranking rural priests and the poorer lay worshipers who appreciate the simplicity of Dormun’s message.  

The Gospel of Aceola: 

There are two distinct gospels of Aceola:

 The Vedena

One is an ancient text known as the Vedena that is inscribed on five sacred rocks and is among the holiest relics of the church, and the other is the relatively recent revelation of Sidonean the Elder which led to the Church attaining its present form.
The Vedena, which means ritual lore or knowledge in an ancient form of the modern language, contains many of the prayers and rituals still performed by the church today.  Some of the more demanding sacrifices are no longer fashionable, but during several particularly trying periods in recent memory an orthodox priest has conducted them in an attempt to win divine favor. The message of the Vedena can be summed up simply as follows: worshipers of Aceola must constantly prove their devotion to the sun through costly sacrifice and rigid adherence to ritual prescriptions, and non-believers must be converted or perish in the light of the sun.

The Gospel of Aceola according to Sidonean the Elder

Sidonean the elder is the pivotal figure in the early history of the Church of the Triumvirate.  The grandson of the tribal leader who led the invasion into the fertile farmlands, Sidonean grew up watching his people treat the earth worshiping farmers that they had subjugated worse than they treated the village dogs.  His people had long worshipped the sun and the moon in the persons of Aceola and Alunia, and they understood Aceola to be a harsh and uncompromising god who demanded of his followers to conquer and convert any unbelievers.  Those that refused to convert were enslaved and worked to death.  When a young man, Sidonean had the first of a series of prophetic revelations that took the form of a waking dream in which he conversed with Aceola.  Aceola revealed to him that his followers had misinterpreted his desires; he wished to convert new followers by setting a shining example, not through brute force and the threat of enslavement.  Aceola related to Sidonean that a series of terrible tragedies would befall the tribe unless they reformed their ways.  First, a drought would decimate the croplands.  Then, a strange wasting sickness would claim the tribe’s prized horses.  Finally, the women of the tribe would become barren and the tribe would slowly disappear into the long sunset.  Sidonean was deeply shaken by this conversation with his god, and sincerely tried to convince his people that they were on the precipice, teetering on the brink of a great disaster.  But his grandfather laughed, and the tribe continued to revel in the bounty provided by the enslaved earth-worshipers.  Sidonean finally retreated into the mountains, to purify himself through ritual fasting and meditation.  Over the five years that he spent in the mountains he composed a series of poems and hymns inspired by his understanding of Aceola which, along with his later teachings, are known as The Gospel of Aceola according to Sidonean the Elder.  

When each of the curses that he had foretold befell the worshipers of the sun god, Sidonean was sought out by the terrified population and made high priest and ruler.  He quickly lifted his people out of the darkness by including the subjugated earth spirit worshiping population in the organized religious expressions of the church.  Dormun was worshiped alongside Aceola and Alunia by order of Sidonean, and the long aggrieved population was granted many civil rights in a series of far reaching reforms that Sidonean embarked upon.  The strict ethnic and class boundaries that had prevented vital new blood from reaching the long inbred horsemen dissolved, and over generations a new society was forged with a common heritage and a shared religion.  While the mountain of theology that has arisen since Sidonean's original burst of revelation comprises the bulk of the texts used in the modern church, it is to Sidonean that both the church and the western empire in its current form owe their existences.


(This post is another snippet of material I created for and about my 3e campaign world.  I will try to scan and post some pictures of the holy symbols and some of the iconography of the church before I leave for my honeymoon on Thursday, but I make no promises... the Church of the Triumvirate will also feature prominently in the forthcoming posts about Gragon city).

More Random Material from my old 3e campaign

Testimony of Daichi Chiyo, Archmage of Nature Magic at the Mages Tower:

 A stranger from the west came to the Mages Tower and petitioned for residency.   He introduced himself as Kranden and stated that he wished to teach a new magical art that he had discovered, which he claimed drew energy from the very earth itself and could perform great wonders beyond any other human magic.  The skeptical archmages agreed to let him perform a demonstration in front of the main tower gates.  He drew a slender blue rod from his robes and, after tapping it thrice upon the earth, suddenly spun and threw the rod into the blue tower.  The rod disappeared inside the castle walls as the western stranger gesticulated wildly with both hands.  The earth shook and the very sun itself seemed to dim in the sky.  A heavy weight seemed to press onto us onlookers, and I was scarcely able to raise my hand and activate my personal wards before the tower exploded outward in a rain of blue crystal shards.  Many of my close friends and colleagues died at that very instant.  They were the lucky ones.  Rising out of the earth, rising up and up, to terrifying heights, was a strange demonic figure.  As my protective magics activated and a cocoon of earth and living grass and roots swathed me in a protective bundle and ensconced me safely deep below the surface of the earth, I caught a clear glimpse of this insect-like humanoid demon as it opened its golden eyes and unleashed a stream of sunlight out of them which began eating away the skin of the rest of the unfortunate survivors.   I waited for hours deep below the earth, using my scrying abilities to monitor the events on the surface.  The greatest magi in the Empire of the Sun were as powerless ants before the might of this demon.  The stranger from the west rode on its shoulder as if it were a mount from a restless child’s darkest nightmares as it laid waste to the surrounding countryside, sparing not a single member of the tower’s extensive supporting network of farmers and herders.  When at last the demon strode off down the royal road to the east, I quietly emerged from the earth and fled to the mountains.  I knew that the empire as I knew it was gone forever.
Here is a description of the monster, augmented with my magical senses as well as my own visual recollection.

It was of generally humanoid form, with two legs, two arms and one head.  The Mages Tower was exactly 500 feet tall, and this beast seemed to be every bit as tall as the crystal tower which it blew asunder as it rose out of the earth.  It was constantly surrounded in shadows, as the sun seemed to dim in its presence as if it were dusk at midday.  Two great, lipid eyes glowed like liquid gold when its heavy lids were parted and emitted a light as bright as the sun should have been, and this light appeared to burn at flesh, wood and steel like acid.  Its body was insect-like, with disproportionately long, skinny limbs and a torso composed of two distinct bulbous sections joined by a narrow connection, like the thorax and abdomen of a wasp.  Its entire form was covered in blue crystalline plates, which overlapped to form a chitonous exoskeleton.  Wicked looking spikes protruded from its shoulders, thin neck, and lower arms, which were triple-jointed and resembled a preying mantis’ in form and function.  Its face was a featureless oval apart from the aforementioned eyes and two protruding mandibles.  It seemed capable of modifying its environment at will; a thousand foot area surrounding it behaved like quicksilver, solid earth running like water and stones flowing into giant pillars which the beast used like spears, crushing those who fled before it under tons of solid rock.  It also seemed to be either totally immune to magic, or just so powerful that it did not even appear to notice my colleagues best efforts.  May the Gods help us all, as I have related nothing but the truth of the matter.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chaldeth History and the Infinite Possibility Matrix

Here are a few paragraphs from something I wrote about the Chaldeth and their meditations into the nature of reality (refer to this post for a general outline of this campaign world):


The third planet orbiting a medium sun in a small galaxy in one possible universe was notable for its abundance of liquid water and an oxygen rich atmosphere, thanks to the lush plant life which filled the oceans and lay like a verdant blanket across the land masses.   Invertebrate life forms abounded in the seas and on land, insects and worms, crabs and spiders. 

One lone branch diverged from its invertebrate predecessors, an insect resembling a grass hopper with two powerful jumping legs and three segmented grasping limbs which evolved a central nervous system, a central brain and a rudimentary back bone.  Though small in size compared to some of the immense beetle-like species which grazed the lush vegetation like two-ton lawnmowers, this new species relied on its superior reasoning abilities to quickly establish itself as the dominant predator on the planet.  The species differentiated over time and filled many different environmental niches, the older and smaller species moving into the forest canopy when larger species evolved which came to dominate the ground.  After millions of years of evolution, a beneficial mutation arose in a small mountain population which drastically increased brain size and intelligence.  Offspring born with this mutation exhibited powerful mental abilities including telepathy and telekinesis.  They rose to positions of prominence within the group and soon had spread the mutated gene through their numerous offspring until in only a handful of generations the entire population of this small subspecies exhibited these mental powers.  The 2112 members of the species joined their minds together to form a collective consciousness, and in so doing unlocked the secrets of effective immortality through complete mental mastery of body and mind.  This species and the collective were later referred to as the Chaldeth, although they made no use of words and names after becoming the collective and had previously only communicated through hand gestures. 

The Chaldeth Era

The collective was able to meet its food needs easily; it took only a small fraction of the mental abilities of the collective to enter the simple brains of the teeming invertebrates and convince them to willingly march themselves into the waiting maws of the Chaldeth.  There were no internal divisions to weaken the Chaldeth, as each individual’s mind had been subsumed into the collective, and all individual desires and egos burned away in the white heat of the combined mental energy.  The collective’s decisions were unanimous, but it would be more correct to think of the collective as a single entity than a group of individuals who all agree on the same course of action.  Most of the collective’s time was spent in meditation, honing its mental abilities to a fine edge capable of nearly any imaginable form of energy manipulation.  As the years past into centuries, and the centuries past into millennia, the Chaldeth became more and more disconnected from the physical world and spent ever longer periods of time engaged in deep meditation.  During these periods, to an outside observer the Chaldeth might have seemed like statues, covered by moss, scarcely breathing, hearts scarcely beating, bodily processes slowed to a near halt but the collective mind deeply engaged in what had become the consuming passion of the Chaldeth; a desire to understand the purpose of existence, and the purpose of the collective.  For the collective had become more and more sure of one thing; that the awesome power that it was developing must have a use;  that there must be some reason that the collective was granted these abilities. 

The Infinite Possibility Matrix

The Chaldeth first became aware of the infinite parallel planes which coexisted with the reality and universe which they inhabited through their study of the nature of energy.  The mental breakthrough which had gained the Chaldeth effective immortality through their mastery of their own bodies and minds also allowed them to begin manipulating energy in its various forms through mental exertion alone.  After ages of studying and experimenting, the collective came to the startling conclusion that energy was constantly leaping into and out of existence as if from nothing.  This flew in the face of everything they thought they knew about the nature of reality, because they had previously believed that energy could neither be created nor destroyed, but could only take on new forms.  The collective focused its sizzling mental energy on this problem and after a few thousand years soon became aware that the universe they knew was only one of an infinite number of possible realities through which energy moved freely, only seeming to appear and disappear.  In reality, every moment that ever could have been, ever was now, and ever could be are all coexisting at the same moment, tied together by the energy which forms the matrix of reality.  They termed this infinite collection of coexistent planes the “Infinite Possibility Matrix” (IPM).  There is only one “now”, and what we perceive as a continuous forward progression through time is actually a particular constellation of moments scattered across a particular number of planes in this infinite possibility matrix of the present.  Individual lives are experienced as if the individual was the same entity throughout a long life, whereas a person’s life span is actually a near infinite collection of “moments,” and the “person” who experiences each moment is a different person from the person who experienced every other moment.  These “people” all exist at the same time in the IPM, in essence removed from time and frozen as part of one particular possible combination of all the energy in existence.  Every other possible decision or choice that the individual could have made likewise exists. What we call an “individual life” is actually a particular thread which denotes one possible way that a small portion of the total energy in existence could become bound up in a sentient body, experience changes, and then become another form of energy.  Each thread denoting a life is bundled next to other threads which denote a similar but slightly different collection of moments. One life thread may include fewer moments than another, representing a life cut shorter in one thread than the other. 

                This intrigued the Chaldeth immensely, and they began a systematic mental exploration of the parallel threads, beginning with those closest to their own.  As they progressed through this study, they became aware of noticeable currents of energy which seemed to be emanating from particular sources, which the Chaldeth termed “energy wells.”  Tracing these currents towards their sources, the Chaldeth soon discovered that certain threads seemed to contain a disproportionately high amount of total energy when compared to the planes surrounding them.  They hypothesized that certain possible moments may temporarily draw a disproportionate share of the total energy which flows through the infinite possibility matrix. They called these energy charged moments “nodes,” because the energy seemed to stem from the fact that each node represented a radical juncture or turning point, a moment from which many threads which had been the same diverged.  

As energy jumps back and forth across threads, certain nodes receive a disproportionately high amount of energy because of the tremendous amounts of threads sharing that node.  The Chaldeth next realized that their own thread of experience, the events that they knew as their own history, represented what seemed to be an anti-node; there was less possible energy on their own plane than any other thread of existence which they had yet become aware of, seeming to indicate that the choices made by the Chaldeth since they attained mastery were the choices that would always have been made by any other possible Chaldeth, and thus drastically reducing the total number of possibilities. 

Looking “forward”*[1] in time through the infinite possibility matrix is nearly impossible, because it is only through having experienced a particular thread as reality that you can perceive and organize possible realities as being in the “past,” and sifting through the infinite possibilities that could occur farther down the thread of an individual’s experience is very difficult because the mind has no way to structure or organize the data.  The Chaldeth could not see their future, but they did see that the world they lived on as the sole sentient beings was the exception to the universal norm; some other possible threads only had one sentient being, but most had many, from dolphins and octopus to humans and elves, every possible combination of energy into sentient life forms imaginable. 

Pursuing their studies farther, the Chaldeth soon became aware of currents of entropic energy emitting from particular nodes, from which all the entropic forces of reality seemed to emanate.  The pull towards division and disorder, hatred and chaos, was due to the energy radiating from particular malignant beings, great Demons whose very possible existence sent shock waves through all other possible realities.  Even in moments far removed from the moments of the possible universe which contained these malodorous beings, their shadow was cast and their energy emanations felt.  The thread of possible moments we call human history is replete with references to the forces of evil, and they are called many names, but the Chaldeth had discovered the true source of these forces as humankind has never done.  These mysterious beings deeply repulsed the Chaldeth, who valued order and conformity, patience and rational thought and action above all else.  After a thousand years of meditation on the problem, a radical idea began to gain sprout in the collective mind. 

(Again, see this post if you want to know what the Chaldeth did next!)

[1] Remember that time as a linear progression from beginning to end does not apply to the IPM, where every possible moment which ever could have been, could be now or could be in the future all coexist in one present moment.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Batshit Crazy?

Not sure if this actually qualifies - you be the judge.  I have made the decision to present material from my old D&D 3.5 campaign as I created it, regardless of if it is so wrapped up in the unique history of my world that it operates under completely different rules that I will also have to explain.  After all, if any of this stuff is too out there for a regular D&D campaign, those elements can be ignored or simply presented as background material with no mechanical impact on the rules used.

I have literally hundreds of pages of material at my disposal now that I have made this decision, so I decided to provide a brief outline of the content I hope to present.  I doubt that this outline will actually be Batshit Crazy, but I assure you, when I start releasing detailed posts of material from this world, the Batshit will be Insane.  Much of this material will be presented more or less unedited as I used it in my campaign because I have quite a bit saved in .doc files that I can just plop in here.  A majority of the material is handwritten stuff that will have to be redone for presentation on a blog, but I will try to scan in all of my drawings to help illustrate the world.

An overview of World Geography:

I will tidy up and post some world maps and regional maps.  This will include several detailed sections: The Orcish Lowlands; the Eastern Frontier of the "Western Empire" including the Valley of the Dam; the "Eastern Empire";  the city of Siss Anor and the surrounding desert, including the ruins of the Temple of the Goat outside Siss Anor and detailed maps of the Temple of the Bull inside Siss Anor and the dungeons below it; the jungle lands across the ocean; the Mist Coast including the islands of the Mithr; the Northern Wastelands including the Osbirg Glacier, the ice cities of the Fafnyn, and the Order of the Red Hand; and the town of Gragon including the complexes beneath it.  Note my unsatisfactory names for the Eastern Empire and the Western Empire?  The names and some general background setting details of those two empires in my game were taken from gaming products published by TSR.  I have not yet decided what to call them, but I feel like I need to rename them because they are certainly nothing like the published materials that share their names.

A Brief History of Time:   A few words about the nature of space and time in my campaign universe.  The idea of the Infinite Possibility Matrix will be introduced.  The IPM will finally allow time travelling without all those messy questions of consequences!  So strap on your time travelling helmet and get going!

The History of the World:  A broad outline of the history of the world, starting with its birth roughly five billion years ago and continuing to the present.  This will be a timeline with relatively little explanation of the events listed.

Individual Epochs in the History of the World: These will be more detailed than the world history timeline, and will provide more information about particular epochs that proved extremely formative in the creation of the world of today.  Allow me to provide just a snippet about some of the epochs as a sneak preview.

The Age of the Chaldeth: The Chaldeth were the original (and for millions of years the only) intelligent species in the world.  Even though they experienced time very slowly, their effectively immortal life spans and the combined telepathic powers of their collective hive mind enabled the Chaldeth to construct several monumental edifices that survive in perfect condition to the present day (weathering millions of years and going strong!).  The Chaldeth also learned to comprehend the true nature of reality and through their investigations into the Infinite Possibility Matrix ended up discovering four unique creatures that seemed to attract power and cause chaos across all nearby realities.  The Chaldeth, a collective mind that treasured stability and deliberated on actions for thousands of years, could not abide the thought of creatures that by their very existence cause threads of reality to warp and intermix.  The Chaldeth bound the creatures into this world, harnessing the tremendous power that flowed into and out of them as a perpetualy renewable resource.  Of course, this laid the seeds for the eventual downfall of the Chaldeth after the Age of Splintering Time and Space.  While the Chaldeth persisted in this reality for a few thousand years after the Age of Splintering Time and Space, this epoch can be officially demarcated as ending when the first random connections between realities began appearing.  To the Chaldeth, the subsequent events occupied a span of time comparable, when accounting for their incredibly slow reaction times, to a few weeks in human temporal perception; at the end of that time the Chaldeth had left this reality forever.

The Age of Splintering Time and Space:  The radiation emitting from the Creatures (even though they were encased in the largest structures the Chaldeth had ever built, designed specifically to keep them bound and to harness their energy) eventually weakened the connections between each universal point in this thread of reality, and connections began to appear randomly between this world and places and times from across the infinite possibilities of the timeless universe.  The world was soon overrun with species that rapidly outcompeted the very slow reproducing native species.  The Chaldeth were no exception; despite the fact that their telepathic abilities as a collective mind were more than powerful enough to "patch" the radiation leaks and handle any intruders, their glacially slow response times meant that by the time they even noticed the problem, humans and orcs had proliferated across the world, harvested most of the ancient growth trees that had stood for thousands upon thousands of years and robbed the land of much of its vigor.  Saddened, the Chaldeth constructed a temple in the heart of a comet using strange elements found in its rock to attune the vibrations of their collective mind.  Using this temple, the Chaldeth were able to transport their entire race to a backwater point in the Infinite Possibility Matrix with few connections to surrounding realities.  There, the Chaldeth hoped to complete their meditations into the Infinite Possibility Matrix and divine their true purpose in existing.

Early Post-Chaldeth Epoch:  Beginning with the closure of the rifts in the IPM by the Chaldeth prior to their departure, this epoch marks the beginnings of the world of today.  Species of impossibly different origins and evolutionary histories found themselves thrown together in the melting pot of the world during and immediately after the Age of Splintering Time and Space.  Many could not survive in this atmosphere at all.  Many others changed the atmosphere itself as they survived and prospered, emitting peculiar gases as a result of alien metabolisms and energy sources.  Eventually, a balance was reached and the intelligent beings that had managed to carve out a foothold began the process of territorial warring and empire building.  Towards the end of this epoch, several civilizations that grew up around the ancient Chaldeth monuments housing the Creatures discovered that they could harness the power of the Creatures.  With this extremely powerful and renewable energy source, these civilizations began an aggressive campaign of conquest.  The desperation of the neighboring kingdoms and city-states to combat the new energy weapons led to the signing of the Devilish Pacts.

The Devilish Pact - Mid Post-Chaldeth Epoch: A coalition of human groups summoned representatives of a powerful race of "devils" that abide in an alternate universe.  The devils were powerful creatures, but they could not spontaneously generate energy like the creatures that the Chaldeth had captured.  Instead, the devils harvested life energy from living sacrifices and used that energy to manipulate reality.  The devils also were exceedingly meticulous and lawful, refusing to enter fully into this world until a pact was made and a contract was signed detailing the terms of the deal.  The humans were looking for a source of magical power to combat the energy wielded by their enemies who had the good fortune to live near an ancient Chaldeth Monument/Creature Prison.  The devils were looking to harvest all the energy in this world (while still obeying the letter of the contract).  The terms of the Devilish Pact gave the devils a circular area of the earth to call their own with a diameter of one mile.  The devils promptly dug a lined shaft straight down through the middle of the world to the other side, and constructed a one-mile diameter tower that pierced the planet through.  While the humans complained, the devils pointed out that the contract only specified the footprint of the devil's area of the world, it did not specify how high or low that area would extend.  As the contract clearly was not worded so a reasonable judge would infer that only a two-dimensional area of the world's surface had been granted to the devils, the devils argued that they were entitled to that one mile diameter circle of the earth all the way through the planet.

I will detail the cities that grew up around the Devils' Tower on both sides of the globe, and give a history of the civilizations that kept to the terms of the contract for generation after generation.  The devils kept their end of the bargain, providing energy contained in "batteries" that could be used to power a variety of infernal devices.  The humans provided the contractual amount of live sacrifices, easily gained through warfare with their enemies.  This continued for thousands of years.

Breaking the Pact - Late Post-Chaldeth Epoch:  The wars eventually stopped, because the city states in league with the devils finally overcame their ancient adversaries.  While subjugated populations provided the live sacrifices for a while, after many generations the oppressed peoples of the world began to grumble and rise up against the tradition that sent so many of their best young men and women to be offered to the devils in a magnificent public square.  They knew of the power that the devils provided, but the vast majority of the people never saw that power themselves.  The batteries (in truth a device capable of capturing life-force when a sentient creature dies and storing the life-force as energy that is available to be used for many purposes) and the weapons, vehicles and devices that used the batteries as a power source passed from the hands of the devils to the hands of the traditional hereditary leadership.  The system was corrupt and the leaders and the priesthood cared for little except securing the necessary number of sacrifices to keep the all important batteries coming.  You see, the number of sacrifices and batteries provided by each side were fixed at the number detailed in the contract.  But over time, the number of devices that used those batteries slowly grew as the devils kept giving away more and more incredible devices to the humans.  Soon, there was an intense perceived battery crisis because far more wealthy nobles and and priests had entire private armies equipped with equipment than could be supplied with power by the monthly battery quota delivered faithfully and on time by the devils after the monthly sacrifices were performed.  Anger over the battery crisis mounted: the faithful upper level bureaucrat who was finally rewarded with a devilish artifact but learned that he must wait 15 months before receiving a battery; the impotent leader who must stand by and watch as her possessions are taken because she was not well connected enough politically to get batteries for her soldiers' equipment; powerless.

The anger was only fueled by a discovery made by an eccentric group of arcane researchers affiliated with the church that far more energy was generated by each sacrifice than the devils returned to the humans in the form of batteries.  While all of the details of this transaction were recorded in minute detail in the contract, the contract does not mention the total amount of power generated by each sacrifice but does explicitly state that the devils could keep any energy in excess of the amount required to provide the battery quota.  A power-hungry and desperate upper-class looked on in anger at the devils, now knowing full well that the devils could provide triple or quadruple the number of batteries and STILL gain a sizeable amount of life-force energy in the exchange.  An angry and long-oppressed lower class chaffed at the monthly sarificial quotas and saw none of the benefits provided by the devilish energy. This volatile situation culminated in an ill-fated attempt to storm the Devils' Tower and seize all of the devils' power reserves.  Unfortunately, the short sighted humans had failed to read the fine print in the contract, detailing the consequences of a breach of contract.

Contractually, the devils had free run of the planet for exactly one year from the moment of the breach of contract.  When the deal had been signed so many thousands of years ago, the human representatives had thought themselves mighty clever when that was all the devils asked for in the event of a breach of contract.  Unfortunately, the devils had prepared very well and had been waiting to take full advantage of that one year of freedom.  They released a plague of organisms that they had created, using the genomes of native species and splicing them with devilish genes.  These organisms were known as the Devil Progenitors and they were designed to go out and reproduce with their corresponding native organisms, producing offspring with devilish traits.  Coded instructions were embedded in the devilish gene sequences, genes that could be activated via an external trigger.  The devils' plan was simple - release the Devil Progenitors, then sit back and watch as generation after generation of the devil progeny out-compete their native brethren.  Once the tipping point was reached in the devils estimation, they would remotely trigger the hidden gene sequences and cause the devil progeny to go into berserk war mode, destroying all life on the planet.  The devils would harvest the entire life energy of the planet using their "tower", in reality a giant device specifically designed for the purpose of capturing and pulling in life energy from across the entire planet.

In several threads of reality, this did not succeed entirely.  The Devil Progenitors were released, but it is possible that a second invasion into the Devil's Tower by a coalition of human and demi-human forces succeeded to an extent.  Most threads end in this invasion's defeat at the well prepared hands of the devils (much as the first invasion ended).  However, an elven prince (just a general note here - elves do not exist anymore in the particular present of the campaign world, as their extremely slow reproductive rates did not deal well with the Devil Plague.  Devil Progeny reproduce insanely fast regardless of their heritage, so the elves soon found themselves outnumbered by elf-devils and fled this reality or died) attempted to use a powerful artifact to momentarily stun the devils.  Some threads continue with the devilish defenders put into a magical sleep by the artifact while a group of human wizards (TruE magic users) transported the devils' Soul Phylactery (the massive battery that the devils stored their accumulated soul energy in) to the surface of a comet and sequestered it in a temple they created there with magic.  As the comet hurtled away across the solar system, the devils found themselves deprived of the source of their power in this reality and were unable to awaken from the magical sleep they had been thrown into by the elven artifact.  The world that unfurled after this is the campaign world that I will be detailing, not the barren and lifeless husk that is all that remains of the world after the devils left in most threads of reality.

Other Epochs to be detailed include:

The Age of the Devil Plague:

The early Modern Age:

The Modern Age:
- Religion in the Modern Age
- the Old Ones in the Modern Age
- the Return of the Comet

Unique magic systems:  TruE Magic, Symbolic Magic and Trance Possession Magic (levels 1-6 of an early version of this system previously published on this blog, available as a .PDF) will be detailed.

TruE Magic is a form of energy manipulation not reliant on memorized spells or particular symbols.  Its practitioners have learned to unlock the hidden energy potential that exists within all matter.  It will be presented as a simpler point buy system easily compatible with standard D&D spellcasting and a more complex version that allows for the creation of new spell effects on the fly.

Symbolic Magic is only accessible to members of a Devilish bloodline created in the Age of the Devil Plague (epoch).  The potent combination of the powerful devil genes and a body evolved to exist on this plane of reality created readily accessible pools of energy (chi, for lack of a better word, and to differentiate this energy from the Energy which forms the E in TruE magic and is a more universal property of all matter).  Devil Progeny can tap into this chi through perfect execution of movements designed to carve symbols into reality and release attacks of devastating power.

Trance Possession Magic is loosely based on Yoruban trance possession religion and its syncretized forms in the new world, Santeria and Candomble.  I previously published on this blog a post about Trance Possession Magic, and character levels 1-6 of the Trance Possession Magic rules are available as a .PDF.  I will also publish more material detailing additional gods and entities that can be invoked into the body, some of whom are tied to particular locales and cannot be called upon outside of those areas.

Unique Creatures:  

New creatures will be presented in both the discussions of various epochs and in the detailed discussion of particular areas of the world.  Many of these unique creatures will use the new magic rules, particularly Devil Progeny.  All Devil Progeny can use Symbolic Magic, but many 1st and 2d generation old ones are also powerful TruE magic users.  

- Several races of Insect Devil Progeny will be detailed along with keyed maps of their dwelling places.  

- The Old Ones (the only surviving 1st generation Human Devil Progeny, who have been sleeping in their well-secured chamber far beneath Gragon for 50,000 years) and the cult that worships them have filled the lowest levels of their temple with many interesting diversions, not the least of which are the successes from the breeding program overseen by the eyeless High Priests.  The entirety of the sprawling tunnels and caves underneath the sewers of Old Gragon will be laid out in map and short key form.  I imagine a dedicated post or two will be given each to the priesthood, the particular bloodlines of the four surviving Old Ones, and the immense warrior breeding program that the temple runs far underground.

- New plants will also be included, an area that I feel is often overlooked in campaign world creation.  

- The strange chaos-inducing creatures that the Chaldeth bound into this world each were encased in a massive construct that was manifested by the collective mind using the power of the creatures themselves.  The huge constructions that house the creatures are designed to capture, channel and store the energy that constantly radiates from the creatures.  All of the constructions and the creatures beneath will be fully described, including the massive "dungeons" within the dam that rises above the creature that resembles a bat.

Unique Items:  

Many items that might be considered "high-tech" or "sci-fi" exist in this world.  Some of those actually are high tech artifacts deposited in this reality during the 
The Age of Splintering Time and Space.  Most are powered by Soul Batteries and date from after the Devilish Pact was signed.

There will be weapons of all descriptions.  Amazing flame cannons, mechanical swords, you betcha.

There will be vehicles.  Your standard "hover craft" in a variety of forms.  

There are also a number of unique named books that are relics of the various cults that sprang up during the Age of the Devilish Plague.  Each of these books contain many rituals which will be fully detailed.  These rituals can be quite powerful in effect but all require very specific sacrifices and ceremonies to be performed.  These posts will not be for the faint of heart.  If you can't handle the Book of Ebon Bindings, then I would skip these when I get around to posting them.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...