In the Beginning

From the void came thought, from thought came motion, from motion all that is seen and unseen came to be.

Anaxiletus - Motus, Primus, et Deos

It is believed that the Astral Sea and the Ethereal Mists have always existed. The Gods do not speak of it, the Titans question the importance of knowing their origins. However, all seem to agree that where the Astral Sea borders the Ethereal Mists, a river began to flow of an admixture of the two. This Affluviam is considered the first cause that generated the universe.

As the Affluviam flowed into the Ethereal Mists, the seven elements of the Central Wheel were formed. The first element, Bosk (Wood) was formed and as the flow continues, the rest came in order: Air, Fire, Earth, Stone, Metal, and Water. Where the elements bordered each other, came Serrago (Wood and Air), Smoke (Air and Fire), Magma (Fire and Earth), Gemstone (Stone and Metal), and Rust (Metal and Water).

Where Wood and Water met, however, a branch of the Affluviam changed course and Stroth (The Great Marsh) came to be. From the Great Marsh, life began as the start of the Inner Wheel. From Birth (the Forge of Souls), the Affluviam coursed into Growth, then to Decay and then to Death, and emerging back to the Central Wheel through Threst (Compression).

Threst is the ultimate destination of the physical body where it is transformed into a stone-like material before cast adrift in the Astral Sea. The dead gods and titans floating in the Astral Sea are proof enough that the Threst exists.

The mind, however, joins the Affluviam to journey through the Ethereal Mists and into the Empyrean Wheel, the lands of the deities (Gods, Titans, and Powers). Some minds never escape the Ethereal Mists choosing to form their own ethereal home. The mind take ethereal form as ghosts and other spirits. They in turn form the myriad Ghostrealms that stretch the infinite mists.

Beyond the Empyrean Ring lies Ad Lucem (Towards the Light) and Ad Umbram (Toward the Shadow). Light and Shadow admix through all of creation drawing sentient life toward one or the other. Some are drawn to a balance. This is where the ideas of Good and Evil, Law and Chaos come from. Their purest forms do not exist, even in the Empyrean Ring.

The known world exists in the center of Central Wheel where the elements, life, light, shadow, the Ethereal Mists, and the Astral Sea converge. Other worlds with different elements and different life flow with the Affluviam throughout the Astral Sea.

Beyond the Empyrean Ring lies only thought. The alien Ngngilligan Horrors and the Ninian Angels are believed to emerge from there. Illic furor est.

Game Usage

This is the foundation of the how and why of this universe. Instead of Gods, there are deities that comprise the Gods, the Titans, and the Powers. The idea of the Light and Shadow are meant to imply that Alignment as a game concept doesn't exist. The concepts of good and evil, law and chaos exist, but not to the extent that each concept has a common language or that magic can divine these concepts to produce an effect. As such, Clerics still exist and worship of one of the deities provides access to various domain spells per the standard rules. The Powers, however, can also serve as patrons for Warlocks.

The Njnjilligan Horrors are a stand-in for Cthulhu. Lovecraft is problematic and I don't want any part of it. The idea of non-Euclidean horrors, however, can serve as useful game material. I imagine cursed items, Phrenic Scourges, various plagues, and more could have roots here. The idea of something that is "beyond the gods" can also serve as a source for challenges to very high level characters.

The seven elements at a base level provide different kinds of elementals. It adds three more dialects to the Primordial language. The goal here, though, is to lay the foundation for the elemental bloodlines for characters. The elemental planes are home to creatures of all kinds, including sentient species like the Haizawer (Air), as well as animals like the Tineshuna (literally a fire-fox), as well as kings, lords, and beings of great magical powers. I do not believe that Genasi are OGL, but I don't have djinn in my world. Ancestors of those with elemental bloodlines can be a variety of sentient beings.

The Marsh as the beginning of life still provides a plane of Life, but nothing so overpowering to cause radiance damage by just visiting. It is earth-like, but serves as a gateway to any place on the Central and Inner Wheel. The Threst is my attempt to explain why there are dead gods floating around the Astral Sea. Basically, everything that died is transformed into the stone-like material of the dead deities floating in the Astral Sea. Anything Medium sized or smaller isn't encountered: the compressed body doesn't last very long, becoming dust. Elemental Compression is weird, true. I'm still working through what adventures there would be like.

My favorite thing so far, though, is the Ethereal Mists. There can be worlds there where the living and the dead can co-exist. The Ethereal Mists are still the fundamental source of all matter, so the thoughts of the dead provide a ghost body. Those of strong enough will could gain physical form as well. I imagine these worlds can be terrifying, but I also wanted to provide places where characters can visit the dead and talk to them.

One last thing. Anaxiletus is my NPC that is the great historian and philosopher of this universe. I haven't explored more about him yet. Anyway, those are my thoughts so far. Let me know what you think.

NaGaDeMon 2022

This year I am going to post my remix of 5e lore. Right now, this may not make much sense, here is what remix means specifically (in no particular order):

  • Two types of deities, Gods and Titans
  • No Alignment (including spells)
  • Feat Requirements
  • Optional Icons similar to the Archmage Engine. (Example: The Six-Armed Man)
  • Dragons organized by House instead of Chromatic/Gemstone/Metallic distinctions
  • Major Changes in Elemental and "Outer" Planes
  • As much of a bestiary as I can finish in a month
  • Travel in space, the Astral Sea, the Ethereal Plane, and anywhere else you want to go.
  • A different name for D&D Golems, automatons, and many other creatures with English names in parenthesis.
  • Using Ancestries, Bloodlines (maybe) and Cultures instead of race.
  • Magic weapons, Unique Magic Items, and spells.

A note about naming. I took a few Old English classes in college and still have my textbooks. Using a mix of English, Old English, Welsh books, Irish books, Frisian, and some things I've done with vulgarlang.com, I want to see how different it feels when there is a consistent, but different naming system for creatures.

Why?

I've modified tools to more easily make magic items and creatures on my computer locally. I still won't have much art, but I'll have content written. I've actually written about 25% of this.

Another idea that I've had for some time is the equivalent of stock art for writers. In other words, I make adventures, creatures, magic items, etc. with only descriptions, text, and statblocks. All of this stuff will be OGL, so folks can go crazy with it.

Tomorrow will start with Astral Sea, the Ethereal Mists, and the Elemental Planes.

Lotus the Traveler

Lotus lives in dimension 2 Lotus XVII.  They qualify for the universe name not only due to being the first contact from their world, but from being the most distinctive quality of their universe. Sixteen variants from other second level dimensions have made contact, but only this Lotus maintains contact with the Compendium and other dimensions. They will say to everyone that they meet that exploring is the most meaningful part of their life.

Open and curious, Lotus discovered pithanotons early in their life. To understand these particles, they pursued a life of science and exploration. On one trip they encountered what others described as magic. Despite their intricate knowledge of various particles and mastery of hexaton fields, this power of magic opened yet more worlds to explore. They plunged into the study of magic with unrivaled enthusiasm.

They do not like the term magic to refer to higher dimensional particles.

Magic, like light, behaves as a wave and as a yet unstudied set of particles. Magic has definite principles that translate to axioms and formulas. Mathematics is comprised of an infinite number of dimensions, not merely the ten that you know. However, we name this magic and thereby remove the desire to understand it. In its place, the pseudo-mystical schemer peddles their circular reasoning and bewitching displays of color and pomp. Magic does not exist, but I can point to the higher dimensional particle that the most fundamental laws of physics and math proclaim should and do exist. Call them kruptothons enneathons, or super-dimensional particles. Call them Ralph, but in the name of humility, do not call them magic.

from The Touch of Math and the Myth of Magic

In the journey to learn and travel, they have created adaptations to allow for safer travel to outer dimensions. One such adaptation, the Boundary Sphere, allows them to navigate through three-dimensional space in a visible way. This sphere also protects others from their impossibly sharp edges.

A further refinement allows the ability to create sounds. Through practice, the Boundary Sphere serves as a voice by using the edges of their body to generate vibrations against the sphere. In their universe, communication happens only by touch. Using the sphere, Lotus rotates their body, touching the sphere at specific places with deliberate intensity to generate sounds and translate their touches into words. Creating their own spoken language from their native language, Compendium translation machines provide a more direct method of communication with Lotus, a development Lotus values highly.

Lotus is insatiably curious and enjoys sharing what they know. Aside from harnessing the power of super-dimensional particles, they hope to make contact with entities in various one dimensional universes. They are the foremost authority on multidimensional travel. Lotus continues to push the boundaries of what is possible.

In addition to their primary pursuits, Lotus possesses a keen mind. Their ability to think and process in multiple dimensions defies their inability to directly perceive these dimensions. Aside from math, Lotus loves chess and ranks with an estimated ELO of 3600. They enjoy defeating Artificial Intelligences in chess saying that the game cannot possibly be mathematically solved. There is such a thing as magic and it is the magic inherit in chess that allows the game to endure.