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Thread: The Mythos Setting Timeline
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
The Mythos Setting Timeline
Useful Links To Other Mythos Stuff
(If you have no idea what this thread is for, these are the place to start.)
The current General Mythos Discussion thread. The first post also has a lot of helpful links.
The Mythos Compendium. The best place to find all Mythos-related mechanical content. Some of it is mine, some of it belongs to others.
An expanded view on Titans. Another large piece of Mythos setting content, although a lot more narrow and specific than the timeline presented here.
An oft-requested and oft-promised project, here is my attempt, at last, at a centralized location for all setting information for my Mythos setting expansion. I say 'expansion', because most of the 'present day' multiverse - that is, the time period where campaigns are assumed to be running - is just default Great Wheel and Planescape stuff, with the addition of semi-competent non-spellcasters existing.
Still, hopefully, with the existence of this thread, I will no longer be throwing bits of fluff hither and yon, and rather it can all be put here, easily found, easily referenced and, perhaps best of all, easily updated. As I write new content, I can add, or link to, its relevant events in the timeline, so it all stays together.
Furthermore, I'm open to questions and requests for elaboration on characters, events, themes, etc. The additions of which I'll either add to the timeline or compile links to. I can always use excuses to write more fluff. Anyway, without further ado -
The Mythos Timeline
The pseudo-place that would come to be known as The Far Realm has always something-other-than-existed-or-not-existed. Within its negative-expanse, things that exist come to be, gutter away, and change. Things that do not exist come to not be, creating voids that are ultimately changed as well. Things that are not things and things that fall outside the non-existence and existence binary transpire in whatever manner that they do.
A thing comes to exist in the Far Realm, and as it begins to erode back into nothing, it defies the nature of the world it was born into, asserting an authority to exist by its own design and its own terms, and not to be beholden to the precedents of that horrific edifice. The power of the Far Realm falls upon it with intent to destroy and dissolve, but similar things that had come to be and had not yet been dissolved flock to the light of authority, and together they form a single concept of such unquestionable significance that it burns the Far Realm away like a flame. The concept declares "I AM", and comes to exist by its own authority. This act leaves a wound in the Far Realm, creating a place that is not the Far Realm, but a roiling chaos of pure potential for reality.
The First Thing floats through the chaos, knowing That it Is, but not Why it Is, or Who it Is.
The Time Before Time
More things are created and uncreated in the Far Realm. Some of them grow powerful and real, as The First had, but do not have the authority to contradict the nature of their home, being reclaimed by it after a time. Three find one another, and as the nightmarish land had all but devoured them, they see the light shed by the white flame of the First, and seek it. The First recognizes them as being similar to it, and burns away their imperfections, birthing them into the primal chaos, and giving them the prerogative to exist by The First's own authority. The first hierarchy is created, with The First at the top, and its subjects recognizing it as their ruler. It then begins to know itself as The Empyrean, and its Purpose is to Rule.
The three siblings call the Empyrean their sovereign mother, and begin to use the chaos to create. They come to be known as Design, Mutation, and The Maker, in accordance with the way in which they create. The Far Realm notices that its wound has become infected, and seeks to destroy the four Titans within. The Empyrean creates a second flame within herself, a flame of judgment, and it fights the tide of horror ceaselessly, keeping the fledgling universe safe. The siblings name this protective flame 'Amin', and call it their sovereign father, while they call their mother 'Aum', the flame of glory. Many of their creations are created in distinctive pairs as a homage to their parents.
The Titans have grown to become vast worlds, with no pre-existing inclination to house themselves in a single body. They are peoples and cultures and geography and concepts and stories.
More Titans recognize the growing universe of reality, and seek the Empyrean to be birthed into it. Some are forces of cohesion and support for their kin, such as Dogma and Unity, while others bring destruction and terror to the story-scape, like Ephemera and The Monster. All are considered equally valid narratives to exist. The All-Shadow, a Titan of darkness and opposition, is seemingly annihilated by the Empyrean's bright and unopposable nature during his birthing. Still, a single shadow remains, too weak to be noticed or to interact with even the other Titans' least souls.
With the growing number of Titans, the duty to defend the maelstrom passes from falling solely to the Empyrean to a rotating responsibility. Some find it an arduous and denigrating, though necessary, ordeal, while others take it as an honor or a joy. The Empyrean has his subjects construct the House Empyreal on the top of the universe, and his heart-flames take up residence there, to project their wise rulership over all things.
The Maker and Design collaborate to construct a barrier between the maelstrom and the Far Realm, forcing Farspawn to take on shapes in accordance with the maelstrom's nature to cross it and enter. This crystalline ring they name 'The Betwixt', and it is quickly scarred and bloodied in ceaseless combat. However, the defense of the universe becomes much more compartmentalized and manageable.
Everything settles into an ordered chaos. With every moment, new things are created and new stories are told and retold in an endless cosmic production.
New, non-Titanic, forms take shape in the maelstrom. Anthols are beings that exist as part of a Titan, but separate from it as well, possessing a slightly greater measure of free will. As such, they may act in the Titans' interest, but outside the means of their nature, or they may even rebel against their progenitor's wishes, an act otherwise impossible for a Titan's souls.
Some powerful narratives in the Far Realm see the light of the Empyrean, but use the stabilizing nature of the Betwixt to create real forms for themselves without the authority of the King of Kings. They wander the worlds of the Titans, unsure of what they are, usually mistaken for Anthols if noticed at all. They would later be called Lawgivers.
By pure happenstance, the Shadow's travels intersect upon the least Lawgiver, The Fool, wandering the same forested path on one of the Maker's satellites. The Fool is a being of infinite unrealized potential, ever ready to become something great, but by its nature never doing so, for that would be to change its nature of being infinite unrealized potential. So weak is the Fool that the Shadow may touch upon it, and it does so.
In an ultimate act of opposition, the Shadow betrays itself and unleashes all that it is not, all that it hates, all that will be its undoing. Where it is weak, it creates strength, where it is cowardly, it creates valor, where it is darkness, it creates light, where it is villainous, it creates heroism, where it is corruptive, it creates purity, killing its fragile form in the process. As is the Shadow's means, the Fool's nature is likewise corrupted and destroyed.
The Lawgiver called 'The End' seeks to bring stagnancy to the Flesh-Hive, the world of Mutation, and is defeated by a shining hero and banished into the depths of the chaos between worlds. The hero is exalted by Mutation's monstrous souls.
The Lawgiver called 'The Dragon' creates the universe's first ponzi scheme in the Kingdom of Smoke, the world of The Maker, in which he amasses a hoard of priceless treasures without creating anything in return, a sacrilege of the highest order, by trading notions of debt and theoretical currency for real things. A shining hero appears to unravel the dragon's villainy and throws him into space.
The Lawgiver called 'Erudition' has her kiosk of informative pamphlets burned down by a shining hero in the City of Glass Temples, the world of Dogma, for crimes against questionless faith. The citizens believe in his righteousness immediately and with frightening intensity.
And so on, many of the Lawgivers and Anthols of the time are laid low and defeated by a mysterious being of light and power, whose fame grows, but yet claims neither home nor name.
The House Empyreal is beseiged by the Titan Ephemera, who has fallen in love with her queen and king, and her love has the misfortune of manifesting as a cosmic typhoon of matter-ablating razors. It is beyond the Empyrean's nature to order something to not love her, and therefore endures the destruction of her works.
The shining hero appears and cuts out Ephemera's love for Aum and Amin, which falls into the sky to meet an auspicious fate. Confused and bewildered, the stellar winds of Ephemera pass on to other ventures. The Empyrean, impressed and grateful, and having heard of the hero's exploits, offers refuge in her House. The hero accepts.
The Empyrean has adopted the hero, and named it The Sun. Under the flame-hearts' tutelage, he has become a great and brilliant beacon of power, the Right Hand of the King of Kings and Majordomo of the House Empyreal. With a halo of a thousand burning hands, the Sun leads the Lawgivers that he has subjugated and chained to his will, and together they strike such fear into the Farspawn that the Realm Beyond quiets, and the selenite fields of the Betwixt grow empty and cold.
The Titans love their golden brother, for he has brought absolute safety and peace to them, and they may work without interruption or inconvenience.
The Sun is filled with a growing dread that he has faced the last true challenge of his life.
While the Titans are pleased with an eternity to express their nature unhindered, playing the same trillion-trillion stories over and over, the Sun comes to desire more. He comes to his father's house and discusses the possibility of creating a world that is both real, but also beyond the narrative control of any being. A place where new things create themselves and free will is a right to all. In such a world, the Sun hopes to find things that may again excite him.
The Empyrean is horrified by the notion of an entire world that she cannot control, and therefore would stand as an affront to her very nature. The two argue heatedly, and the Sun relents, betraying himself for the first time, allowing his courage to be struck down.
In secret, the Sun conspires with the other Lawgivers, creating servant-beings for themselves, called Gods. They are champions of various ideas, with divine power similar to their creators, minus their mythic nature. Though they serve now, the Sun intends for them to preside over his new world; they will be Gods, and he will be the God of Gods.
The Great War
The Sun has amassed a mighty army and prepares to openly rebel against the Empyrean's rule. If it comes to blood, he is prepared for it, and if not, then so shall it be, but he will have his new world, and in his heart of hearts he cannot deny that a war with the Titans would be, at the very least, exciting.
He makes to rise above the cosmos, meeting, then exceeding the House Empyreal, declaring himself greater than his mother and father. But he cannot. The chains of his conviction bind him with oathes he spoke to the Empyrean, and so long as they stand resolute, he cannot betray them. And so, he strikes at the chains of his heart, betraying himself a second time as the self-insinuation of his potential imperfection sunders his purity, and he grasps his conviction and sunders it as well, betraying himself a third time.
With this, he rises to the zenith of the universe, declaring himself the equal of his father, and all the heavenly mechanisms align themselves with him, and he creates for all to see The First Day. Then, he declares himself the better of his father, and all damnation is brought against him.
Suddenly, wherever the light of the Sun shines, on the opposite side of solid things, darkness is born in a shadow. Laughter is heard by no one as the Shadow of All Things is born again into reality, whole, undiminished, mighty.
All the wroth of heaven boils forth in white fire and the vault of the House Empyreal is cracked, the skies of the Titanic worlds melt and shatter as the binary star of the Empyrean's hearts call out, and war is joined by both sides.
While the Highest of Holies and the Morningstar battled atop the cosmos, the other Titans and their Souls clashed with Gods and Lawgivers below. An elite contingent lead by one of the mightiest Lawgivers, the Lodestar, makes the first decisive move in the war by capturing the Titan of Rage and Violence, called The Monster, though with great cost. Imprisoned, the rage of the monster is collected and alloyed with the laws of the gods, and then smelted in the Sun's fire to form the first real object of the Gods' envisioned world, beyond the absolute control of any - a spear with the power to slay any being, even the Titans themselves, removing the authority of life granted to them by the Empyrean.
The Sun takes up the spear, and he, it, and the Monster, are changed by the act forever. He hurls the spear at the Empyrean, who refuses to move aside for anything. Another Titan, who guesses at the spear's potency, intercepts it in mid-flight, and is slain. Truly. Utterly. Slain.
With nowhere for the Titan's power to go, it cannot pass, but cannot be, and therefore its nature merely changes, becoming a mockery of life, The Abomination, the first Undead.
In that moment, all the universe is quiet.
The war rages and casualties mount on either side. New Gods of Death form an afterlife for the departed Gods and Lawgivers, and try to silence the terrible, agonized moans of the Abomination. No more Titans are slain, but instead the very premises upon which they are built are usurped and perverted, unraveling them or subjugating them to the Sun's will.
On the final day of the war, the Sun takes up his spear again and meets the Empyrean in single combat for the last time. What was once love and admiration between them has turned to hatred. Against his better judgment, the Sun strikes to kill again, accepting the possibility of a second, greater Abomination. One of the Empyrean's hearts is pierced, and she dies, falling from the heavens. Suddenly the maelstrom grows much darker, lit only by its single Sun. The remaining Titans surrender.
Victorious, but deeply wounded in both body and soul, the Sun hardens his heart with self-righteousness anew. He was the greatest after all. All that he believed was greater than what his father had believed, and the rock of his courage, the chains of his conviction, the fire of his purity had carried the day. They were inviolate. Perfect. He was perfect.
But then there is a voice that says otherwise. The Sun's light flickers and dims, and the universe is plunged into utter dark.
The battle between the Sun and the All-Shadow takes many forms. It strikes him from within and without, poisons wounds of the flesh, cuts at weaknesses of the mind, it festers in every corner of the Sun's heart, it knows him better than he knows himself. The Sun raises a hand to strike, but his shadow is everywhere and nowhere, a part of him he can neither accept nor defeat.
The universe grows cold, and something terrible looms on the horizon. It appears as if the victors of the war will live to see the dawn of a dark sun, a tyrant plagued with fear and doubt, more vicious and oppressive than ever the Empyrean had been.
But there is no time fit for heroes more so than their darkest hour. The Moon and Stars infiltrate the core of the Sun as the other Lawgivers and battle-weary deities look on with cautious hope. In darkness, they shine brightly, and tear the black serpent from their king's heart, and cast it down into a pit in the furthest depths of the maelstrom, where its body leaves a coiling, blood-soaked crevice beyond all light. Though it lives, its body is broken beyond any reasonable expectation of repair, and its heart is nowhere to be found.
The All-Shadow is vanquished, and the Sun is now bereft of even the least flaw or fault. His foes lay dead, his friends kneel at his feet, the world is his and nothing could ever possibly go wrong. His ego and perfection are too massive to exist in a proper story, trumping anything that could resemble conflict or opposition, and his crowning Mythos, Horizon-Collapsing Narrative Singularity Shintai is forged. All significance held by any plot, setting, or character begins to be drawn into his event horizon.
It is only now, after any hope of reversal has been lost, that the Sun comes to understand just how antithetical omnipotence is to his wishes of a world of free will. He cannot continue to exist if things are to happen as they should. And so, the Lawgivers and a few surrendered Titans aid the Sun in breaking himself into eight Aspects before the black hole of his essence can consume everything. Each Aspect is married unto the Celestial Vault, encased in a vast structure that keeps the Aspect dormant and vents the excess energy of its languishing sleep as heat and light too brilliant to be gazed upon. These eight lesser suns are hung in the sky, where they illuminate the stage for the Lawgivers' greatest work; the construction of the Great Wheel.
The Age of the Wheel
The Gods quickly find that even their greatest attempts to create a new world from nothing will eventually sink back into chaos. It is not simply the Titans' will that such a world not exist, but rather the maelstrom itself fights against that which is too real.
But the Titans themselves, and their stories, they exist in harmony with the maelstrom. The Gods ponder this, and devise a grand solution to both the issue of what to do with their subjugated enemies, and how to realize their mighty design. Save for a few choice specimens, they begin to unravel the threads of the Titans' bodies, much to their horror, and reweave them into a foundation upon which their Wheel can be made. When the Titans' cries can no longer be heard, the Gods assume that the process has unmade them, and continue onward until the entire maelstrom has been blanketed, contained, and repurposed to their will, from one edge of the Betwixt to the other.
At the center of their wheel, the Gods choose four pillars of reality; Air, Water, Earth, and Fire, and fabricate infinite fonts of these principles. They, and where they mix, become a pallet for their canvas, and with them the Gods construct the very center of what is real and solid - The Prime Material Plane. But the plane's design is so vastly complicated, and so necessitating of countless rules and regulating functions, without the power of belief or narrative to fudge any gaps for its physical laws, that the Gods are forced to create a machine to regulate it for them, lest a great many of their number toil away their eternities to this job alone. When the machine is finished, they name it The Omphalos, but not one among them fully comprehends what, in aggregate, they have made by the separate acts of a thousand gods.
Far from the core of reality, but within the bounds of existence, the gods make their homes as the Outer Planes, places where belief, and ideas, and symbolism have a little more weight than gravity and thermodynamics. But they are a disparate hodge-podge of works, and naturally resist connection. And that is where the Gods employ one such Titan who was spared the blade and loom, Unity. She is left mostly intact, only severely amputated and bolted in upon herself, reworked as a city of doors to connect all the planes in unification, as only she might. Though the measure of freedom left to her is slim, it is enough that her heart bares no trespass by any deity upon the city, and those rare instances in which she might trap a wayward god in the mazes of her body and torment it without end provide her only enjoyment.
The Gods begin to explore the planes they have created, and populate it with all the plants, animals, magics, minerals, majestic vistas, and assorted phenomena that they desire. And, quickly, they find portions of those planes to be less hospitable than others. Demons arise from the Abyss where the remains of the Empyrean were interred, eager to decimate the works of the gods. Dread spirits still emanate from the tomb-city of the Abomination from its resting place in the Gray Wastes. And some nameless, seemingly sourceless evil claims those barren rocks surrounding that lightless, coiling crevice that no one remembers making under the Eternal Battlefields of Acheron.
For a time, the Gods fight off these aggressors, and though they are ever victorious, the tide is without end, and so to continue their works, they create legions of servant-entities to safeguard the Outer Planes - Outsiders. Greatest among these Outsiders are the Angels, and greatest among the Angels is Asmodeus, the credit of whose creation is taken by many Gods, all the claims of which are false. Under his leadership, the Pit is subjugated, renamed Baator, and repurposed as a headquarters for containing the threats of the Lower Planes. Pleased, the Gods continue about their works, creating the first mortals, Elves, followed shortly after by Dwarves.
With the advent of mortal kind, inheritors both of the Great Wheel's nature, and the truest free will, a modern version of the ancient Anthol arises. Mortals, possessed of great heroism, tell the stories upon which the Wheel was founded by their deeds and character, and thereby perpetuate the Titans who were thought obliterated, for their existence extends beyond any mere physicality. In this way, these mortals become both part of those Titans as well as maintaining their individual identity.
The angels of Baator are slowly corrupted by their surroundings, and those demonic hordes which they fight, and become more at home in their realm of darkness. As more mortal races are made, Asmodeus influences the creation of human-kind, resulting in the Vashar. After their subsequent obliteration, the Gods hold a meeting to hash out notions of morality and ethics, attempting to define the powers of Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, and the space between. A mechanism is constructed in the body of Unity that records the alignment of all things, and one of her souls is charged with its maintenance and safe-keeping.
Some of the Lawgivers, for their own reasons, depart the wheel on expeditions of their own, or fall into slumber, leaving a small group of Aspects to act on their behalf.
The Lodestar, given the honorary name, Tharizdun, after his defeat of the Monster, recognizes an opportunity as some of his kin leave the Wheel. Long ago corrupted by the Far Realm, he attempts to annihilate the multiverse, and has less success than he would like. After the resulting battle, Tharizdun is imprisoned and he, and his prison, become together The Elder Elemental Eye.
Having seen, hopefully, their last great opposition, what remains of the Lawgivers' tired ranks depart to parts unknown, or to rest, and fall into myth among the Gods, and are forgotten by mortals altogether.
Thousands of years pass.
In the present day, adventurers go about their business, largely unconcerned by the preceding events.
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Re: The Mythos Setting Timeline
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
Re: The Mythos Setting Timeline
Wow. I'm kind of speechless. This is extremely impressive. The start feels a little jumbled, but then, the beginning was a chaotic time. It provides an interesting mess of cosmological happenings that feels, ultimately, very sensible (at least, from the perspective of those types of creatures), and makes the gods conceptually quite scary. I wish I could provide better feedback, but, well, your timeline looks solid to me. I especially like how much potential there is for finding Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, and the potential plots and cults and the like that can be tied into the cosmological history.
Anyway, great job.
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
Re: The Mythos Setting Timeline
Hi Xefas, just rereading this in preparation for... something. Not quite sure what is yet, but there you go.
During the introduction of the dual-nature of the Empyrean, you name the two hearts Aum and Amin. Aum, the mother of glory and Amin the protector flame and father.
In some of your earlier stuff, you usually have the traditional stuff switched, where the red flame brings succor to the devoted and the green flame judgement to the impious. From this, I would assume that Aum is red and Amin is green.
My confusion stems from the fact that the Demon Emperor is (traditionally) green, while you state that 'she' dies when pierced by the Sun with his spear. Have I got my mythos jumbled? Either way, I was just wondering which half of the Empyrean was killed. Thanks!Originally Posted by XefasOriginally Posted by Kymme
- Join Date
- Sep 2016
- near athens, ga
Re: The Mythos Setting Timeline
i know this is apropos nothing.....
The WeirdWar, which followed WWIII, began in 2037 with the Great Snap, which was a kind of very sudden Ice Age that completely froze Canada, Alaska and the northern USA. Millions died during the first six months from the cold alone, and millions more in the coming year from famine. In 2038, American scientists diagnosed the first case of Snap Syndrome, a bizarre kind of mental illness brought on by traumatic stress and famine. Six months later, the cause was traced to a prion contracted from eating human flesh, which affects the frontal lobes and slowly turns the victim into a kind a rabid predator, devoid of language but filled with cunning. In the winter of 2039, the Snap reached across the Pole to northern Eurasia, and it became clear that some agency was *causing* the freeze. Entire cities would vanish into a freezing fog and utter communications blackout, whereupon the citizen would riot and tear each other apart until they froze in place. Thermal imaging of the cloud showed a gigantic humanoid form at a totally impossible -500Centigrade (less than absolute zero, cold enough to freeze hydrogen solid), surrounded by waving tentacles of freezing cloud. The world media promptly dubbed it "wedigo", a name that was already on everyone's lips since the plague of cannibalism in North America. Conventional military assault had one noticeable result: it proved that there was intent behind the Snaps. The assaults did zero damage to the Wendigo, but they DID annoy it, with the result of total loss of all attacking units. The first nuclear attack took it by surprise and apparently hurt it, but the attacking generals erred on the side of caution and used a single low yield device. It fled back to North America, only to return in 2040 - and this time, it simply froze any incoming missles and went about it's merry way. Over the next few years, while northern Eurasia froze and died, the surviving world governments orbited a ring of microwave beam station powerful enough to chase the invader back to the Arctic Circle. They did NOT actually kill it - the Arctic Circle is a permanent death zone, but the thing is apparently underneath the ice. The Ring of Fire was left on automatic detect and fire, and fitted with SOTA nanotech self-repairing systems. The WeirdWar represented humanity first brush with one of the Great Old Ones, just one of them, and resulted in the death of 2 billion people worldwide over five years and uncountable climatic damage to the entire globe.