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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    This is a world that's connected to another one that I've begun exploring on this forum, a description of which can be found in the following thread: Serinba'al: The Lands of Torment.

    In many respects, this world is a mashup of ideas from many of my favorite settings/franchises -- Dark Sun, Violet Dawn, Earthdawn, Iron Kingdoms, Dune, Scarred Lands, Destiny, Dragon Age, Lexx, Farscape, Aliens, The Elder Scrolls, etc.

    As with the other thread, I'm open to/interested in, reactions, questions, comments, suggestions, etc. Once I have it sufficiently fleshed-out, I might try to run a PbP in this world if there were sufficient interest (admittedly, I realize that this much, and this strange of, lore might prove challenging).

    The origins of the gods-forsaken world of Vesligarn are, perhaps, ultimately, found in the nearly-as-cursed planet of Serinba'al, the Lands of Torment.

    In the First Age, in the depths of the frigid seas that covered most of Serinba'al during the forgotten Time of Technology, the Age of the Artificer Princes, likely the keenest mind from among the enigmatic and, presumably, long-departed race of the peramasians dwelt intently upon the secrets of time and eternity.

    Though the sauroid carnifex are, in the latter eras, acclaimed as the greatest people molded by the dark hand of the malign powers known, alternatively as the First Gods, the Neverborn, the Prometheans, and other, similar appellations, in truth, it was the little-remembered race of the peramasians, given birth from the half-sleeping enormity of their master's recumbent tetrahedral forms in the most profound depths of the primordial seas, that hold this distinction. Also known by the few that remember them as the caulosians, the diplychodan, or the recaurvusians, the peramasians were either birthed from the unfathomable inner workings of one among their dark gods, or were pre-existent creatures of the ancient oceans raised to life by contact with the half-dead immensities of the 'First Gods'. Likely, no conscious mind other than that of the Lord of Shadows himself now knows the complete truth of the matter...


    A peramasian explores the oceans of the First Age

    In any event, this keenest mind among the peramasians strained the entirety of the deep intelligence which permeated the three brains encased within the curved profile of its sickle-like head. Though in a later age its unconquerable soul should assume the form of Veslimgore, Dreadmaster of the Temple-State of Veldigris the Ebon City, its original name was many hundreds of thousands, or even millions of letters long, and could not be uttered even could it be written, for the peramasian language was uttered only in frequencies so high as to be inaudible to any other mortal race. This solitary soul with its dark, unquenchable curiosity, directed the great power of its wandering mind throughout the chilly reaches of the young world.

    Its mind wandered far and wide, through the warring dominions of the Artificer Princes, as well as the peoples of the concealed dominion of Psychro-City, whose teeming multitudes, including temporal refugees from the declining kobold realms at the close of the Eight Age, believed themselves hidden, deep beneath the ice, a secret preserved inviolate from the remainder of creation.

    After studying all other minds and bodies of the First Age, observing as either an invisible psychic rider or even incarnating a temporary physical form to explore the domains of this distant era, it turned itself to the great, unanswered mystery of its origins. And thus, in the fulness of time, this enterprising consciousness came to ponder the great edifice of the immense dark tetrahedrons which lay in the deepest recesses of the icy seas. Slowly, its attention grew to encompass the inner workings of these strange monoliths, and it came to understand the secret of the origins of the universe and all that transpired within it.

    For these slumbering entities were but one of three classes of beings that had created time and eternity. One, the brahm manifested as immense white spheres, and represented the principle of order and creation. Another, the viṣṇur, lords of balance, were gray toroids who ruled the present age, and served as the patrons of the Artificer Princes, though even their greatest servants did not possess even an inkling of their true nature. Finally, the śiv were the very creators of this dark mind and all its kin -- the ebon tetrahedrons that were the masters of disorder, chaos, and dissolution. What exactly these entities were is perhaps unknowable, in this, or any age. Alien machines that survived the destruction of a previous universe? Ascendants of a sort as great above the dragons, automatons, and phoenixes as these advanced beings are exalted over mortals? In any event, they have assumed countless names and visages throughout the succeeding Four Quadrillion and more years -- gods, devils, demons, and others.


    The śiv slumber within the icy seas of the First Age

    This wisest of the peramasians eventually came to understand that the śiv, the viṣṇur, and the brahm were the first thinking entities in this universe, and at the beginning of time the first two of these opponent powers had struggled mightily with one another, a conflict which it termed the Dawn Fire. In the wake of this titanic struggle, the brahm were cast beyond the galactic rim, an immense distance from which they gradually sought to return, and the śiv were likewise thrown down, but whereas their light-bearing adversaries' throttled minds journeyed for a long age beyond the light of the nearest stars, the lords of darkness slumbered in the depths of the deepest sea. Here, their half-conscious hate gave birth to the very mind that would first understand their true nature. Having observed the Dawn Fire, but taken no part, the viṣṇur reigned unchallenged in the First Age... that is, until the malignant intelligence of that ancient genius among the permasians resolved to bring an end to their rule.

    And so it came to pass that it awakened its sleeping gods, causing the destruction, first of Psychro-City, and then the domains of the Artificer Princes as it invoked the First Visceration upon Serinba'al. As it witnessed the destruction its creators wrought with their infinite malice and unquenchable hunger, this dark mind birthed the end of its terrible meditation in an unwitnessed moment of profound enlightenment. It would, it resolved, rise to join the ranks of its creators, and become the greatest among them.

    This most ambitious of all minds passed its consciousness through a thousand, thousand lifetimes in the intervening ages. It witnessed the rise of the great carnifex civilization of the Third Age, as well as its devolution in the Great Fire. This terrible cataclysm was called upon it by their draconic foes to avoid the sinister potentates of the carnifex empire invoking a new Visceration, a threat with which their awakening of the śiv had threatened the world. These beings' long slumber beginning at the close of the Second Age was maintained until the Fifth Age, when the impact of the comet known as the Harbinger opened their antediluvian tombs.

    All this the peramasian witnessed, and more, for a thousand, thousand life times, until its soul came to dwell in the mortal body of a human born in the city-states of the Serpent Coast at the end of the Eighth Age. In this body, it was known first as Velismar, and then, later, when it was initiated into the cabal known as the Obsidian Compact, as Veslimgore the Implacable. Here, Velismar aligned itself with the cabal of sorcerers who sought to throw off the yoke of the kobold successor states of Thyssscycthia, and who, in this quest, awakened the sleeping intelligences of the carnifex blight lords Aten-Setinekht, Ramenmernba, Umaymamhes, Babmouthmertekert, and Urmeritsteshrshen. And so Velismar, the latest body of that ancient peramasian, became a disciple of the enterprising blight mage Belsayrian the Invincible. In the ensuing Wars of Purification, Velismar, now Veslimgore the Implacable, the Reaper, the Harbinger of the Last Day, was the mightiest general of Belsayrian the Elder. When he was reborn as a blight dragon, a draugothim, at the end of the many centuries during which the Wars of Purification raged, Veslimgore single-handedly extinguished the lives of several of the greatest kobold cities -- Shamshaar, Ur-Gulgammoth, and Karrakar, cursed names whose ruins still mark the hinterlands of the Temple-State of Ukkur the Red and Terrible City.

    Yet, Belsayrian knew not, indeed could not know, the even darker design which animated the passion of his greatest ally.

    After the founding of the Obsidian Compact and the commencement of the Ninth Age, Veslimgore withdrew into the black city of Veldigris, deep within the blight which marked the northern eastern coast of the strange half-realm of Seapasia. Though its compatriots had speedily concluded that this heretofore unknown demi-plane which they had discovered on the far side of the moon gates of eastern Carcharoth was a recreation of their territory's shape in an earlier age, Veslimgore continued to seek the truth of their new domain, and, when he discovered it, kept this dark finding to himself. In fact, Seapasia was not an ancient recreation of the Lands of the Altar in Serinba'al, now blighted by the Wars of Purification, but the last refuge of the surviving peramasians, an interior concavity of immense depth only accessible from the crater on the far side of the planet whose creation had ignited the Great Visceration of the Fifth Age.

    Here, the last remnant of Vesligmore's lost kin persisted, alongside the recumbent forms of their dark creators. Reaching out to his fellows, Veslimgore, whose first name, as we have mentioned, is both unable to be written and unspeakable, prepared the end of the world. With keen strategy, Veslimgore pretended to be found out in its dark designs by the other Dreadlords of the Obsidian Compact, when in fact he had himself seen to it that they should become aware of this sinister research. Though the other Dreadmasters and Dreadmistresses, even their leader Belsayrian the Elder, unlike the ancient peramasian mind that lived within the Dreadmaster of Veldigris, could not understand the true nature of the śiv and their role in the creation of the universe, and as the true identity of the various families of dark gods that had been worshipped throughout the proceeding eight ages of the world, they did comprehend that their wayward brethren intended to awaken some insidious power associated with the carnifex blight masters whose spirits they had imprisoned at the conclusion of the Wars of Purification. Though they believed they successfully razed the shadowed towers of Veldigris and sundered the soul of its master, in fact the most ancient spirit of Veslimgore merely passed into another form within the depths of the earth beneath his former capital.

    Here, he reached out to the remnant of his ancient kin who dwelt beyond the psychic veil with which they had surrounded the domains of the Obsidian Compact, and even they did not fully comprehend their fellow's true intent...

    Many centuries later, from his hidden realm of New Veldigris, deep beneath the charred blight of the north eastern shores of Seapasia, Veslimgore directed his thoughts to probe the thoughts of the remaining Dreadlords searching their true natures. From some evidence known only to his ancient mind, Veslimgore concluded that Dreadmistress Cilbalba the Insightful of Myanmor and Dreadmaster Kaltorr the Cruel of Tha'ar the Golden were the very souls he had sought for a thousand, thousand years to fulfill his great design. As with the destruction of Veldigris, the sacking of Myanmor by the forces of Dreadmaster Hambadan the Courageous of Ukkur was but a feint which permitted Cilbalba to disappear from history, a stratagem which would be replicated many centuries later by Kaltorr the Cruel within the depths of the Inverted Pyramid. Together, this trinity of darkness conspired to enact the greatest ambition -- to join the ranks of the enigmatic forces which directed the fate of cosmos.


    Dreadmaster Veslimgore plots within his hidden fortress of New Veldigris

    Uniting and then dominating the consciousness of a cabal of the greatest among the peramasian mind lords, Veslimgore awoke the sleeping legions of the śiv and began anew their destruction of the world. They nearly cleansed the forsaken wastes of Carcharoth, Saan-Gabiathan, Ge'ezhanur, and the other lands of Serinba'al before mysteriously disappearing before the last mortal souls were snuffed out. Then, as soon as civilization had seemed to regain somewhat its perilous footing within the cursed earth of the Ninth Age, the Visceration resumed. And so it was a hundred or a thousand times as Veslimgore lengthened the tortured death of the world for an agonizing age.

    Finally, according to a calculation only he alone could fathom, Veslimgore devoured the consciousnesses of its fellow mind lords and seized entirely three of the greatest śiv. At last, the ancient design of the curious peramasian who had first discovered the true nature of the world in the cold depths of the dark seas of the First Age was completed -- it had become the greatest of all beings, the destroyer of the universe, the master of all shadows. He placed, as well, the minds of his fellow conspirators within those of other śiv. Between his own form, the now unique trinitarian consciousness of three śiv, as well as his allies, Veslimgore and his confederates became the mightiest force in the cosmos. They devoured all life in creation and cast the universe into an unquenchable darkness... until, at least, after an unfathomable age, Veslimgore, whose name is forgotten, remade the cosmos, as it had been...

    And so was born again the śiv, the viṣṇur, and the brahm, but now, above them all, was the Divine Shadow, the Trinity of Sublime Darkness, the First Principle, the Maker of the Universe, the Shadow Itself -- the infinite power that had been Veslimgore was now the unchallenged master of all things. And yet, for some reason known only to itself, the Divine Shadow permitted history to largely repeat itself, witnessed the early speculation of the ancient peramasian, most curious of its brethren, as it divined the true nature of the cosmos... except not that of the Divine Shadow, which hid itself from the knowledge of this greatest sage of the antediluvian world.


    The Divine Shadow arises at the beginning of a new world

    However, where the hand of the Divine Shadow was absent from the mortal realm until the Ninth Age, it was felt heavily in the inner and outer planes.

    First, the Divine Shadow tainted the transitive plane of the outer planes with its darkness, transforming the Astral Sea into the Shadowstar Sea.

    For reasons known only to its own council, the Divine Shadow shattered the Elemental Strongholds that ringed the three parallel material planes of the cosmos. It divided the Prime Elements and Paraelements alike. Earth was splintered further into Rock, Water divided into Ocean and River, Air into Wind, and Fire into Flame. These became known as the False Prime Elements, or the Pseudo Primes. Later, during the Ninth Age, the Divine Shadow sundered the Paraelements, creating dozens of False Paraelemental Strongholds or Pseudoparaelements.

    Furthermore, the Divine Shadow overturned the order of the lower planes, which number among the many demiplanes of infinite size which hover in the transitive domain known as the Shadowstar Sea which surrounds the Inner Planes. The Nine Hells, Gehenna, and the Abyss are the greatest 'shards' within the Shadowstar Sea oriented towards the planes of pure consciousness that surround the universe and embody, law, chaos, good, evil, and balance in all their configurations. The Divine Shadow deposed the devils from hell, the yugoloths from Gehenna, and the demons from the abyss, raising the ancient baatorians, the baernaloths, and the obryith and qlippoth to rule again. Though even the natives of these planes did not understand the true nature of this planar revolution, the lords of each of these races had in fact been visages of the brahm. As with many of the faiths embraced throughout the ages, the new powers were visages of the spherical principles of rebirth and order, while the primeval powers were masks of the śiv. Thus it was that the śiv who assumed the identities of Zargon and other esoteric powers rose again to dominance of the Lower Planes.

    Now, the power of the śiv was ascendant throughout the myriad dimensions. Despite this, the history of Vesligarn, the recreation of Serinba'al, proceeded much as it had in its previous iteration. However, the Ninth Age has assumed a worse form than even the cursed epoch of its predecessor. The Second Sun which hangs over the parched earth of Carcharoth is joined by the Ghost Moon, a manifestation of one of the Pseudo Paraelemental Strongholds.

    In other respects, the Divine Shadow has altered the Vesligarn in matters that are difficult to quantify. Except for shadow magic, which is ascendant, there is no other form of arcane enchantment available to mortals. The only practitioners of this art are the enigmatic Umbral Savants, the servitors of the Divine Shadow. Consequently, the carnifex Hierophants of the Third Age, the Dreadlords themselves, as well as their warlock servitors, are all dark druids able to draw upon arcane magic, but not blight mages.

    The races of Vesligarn are sundered by the transformation of the Elemental Strongholds -- the elves sundered into the riverine high elves, and the oceanic and typhonic drow, among other alterations.

    As before, Veslimgore has arisen amongst the Obsidian Compact, but in this iteration of history has explored the deep mysteries of shadow magic within the lightless recesses of New Veldigris, in the course of which explorations he has contacted the mind of the Divine Shadow, a strange paradox known only to the consciousness of the ultimate dark creator of the present world.

    What terrible design the Divine Shadow might prepare for the close of the Ninth Age of Vesligarn, none but its own dark mind can know....
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-02-18 at 03:43 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    Geography

    The outer world of Vesligarn contains at least three large continents: Carcharoth, Saan-Gabiathan, and Ge'ezhanur.

    Northeastern Carcharoth contains the lands claimed by the Domination of the Obsidian Compact, perhaps the primary political power in the Ninth Age. Other significant polities include the Ascendency of the Divine Shadow, the Paraelemental Theocracy of the True Drakes, and the tarek Warholds of Kareth-Scra. The skies above Carcharoth are dominated by the Second Sun, a sinister celestial body ringed by a sickly emerald light, as well as the Ghost Moon, a pale orb that drifts between Vesligarn and the Second Sun for half the year, dividing time into rotating cycles of eight day 'weeks of light' and seven day 'weeks of darkness'. This strange calendar system only applies to Carcharoth due to the presence of the Second Sun and the Ghost Moon in its heavens.

    To the east, across the Seas of Sand, lies the continent of Saan-Gabiathan. The territories on this continent facing those of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact are dominated by the Chromatic Alliance of the godlike dragon-devils, dragon-daemons, and dragon-demons. These immense draconic entities have joined their reptilian essence with those of the deposed former lords of the lower planes. Among the greatest of these is the Queen of Fire Ashikari, dragon-devil potentate of the metropolis of Ashkaba. The coastal regions of Saan-Gabiathan also contain the Lands of the Trader Princes, a league of city states that serves as mediators between the polities of the dragon-devils, dragon-daemons, and dragon-demons. The Lands of the Trader Princes are in fact physically constituted as a large 'T' that begins on the western coast of Saan-Gabiathan, and extends medially to the Plateau of Glass which partially divides this section of the continent from its eastern portion. This shape divides the respective territories of the dragon-devils, daemons, and demons of the Chromatic Alliance from one another. The so-called 'Prismatic City' of Tiamatan, a neutral meeting-ground for members of the Alliance primarily populated by kobolds, is located at the juncture of the two 'bars' of the thin strip of territory which contains the Lands of the Trader Princes.

    Forming the eastern border of the Chromatic Alliance are the forbidding heights of the Mirrorglass Mountains, the high walls of which enclose the Plateau of Glass on three sides. South of this region lies the super heated expanse of the Scryglass Desert, a region hotter than the torrential surface of the Second Sun. It is not able to be crossed without the aid of powerful magics. The eastern reaches of Saan Gabiathan are largely mysterious because of the few travelers that can cross the dangerous climes of the Scryglass Desert, but are purported to contain several large polities including a kingdom of goblinoids and the original homeland of the elves.

    The planet of Vesligarn is one of the stranger celestial objects to be encountered among the many worlds of D&D. It contains considerably greater land area than earth because of its flying continents, interior 'vaults', and the inner world, known alternatively as Tharg, Tharnag, Thagnarg, or other names. Unlike other interior worlds, Tharg levitates within circular cavity at the center of Vesligarn. The inside of this spherical compartment is also habitable, though it contains almost no water. A thousand or more miniature suns levitate between these two interior worlds and dim and wax with illumination in a complex pattern which includes shades of light not experienced on the surface world. One of the main routes to access this subterranean universe is through a funnel at the bottom of the great volcano which rises from the western side of the continent. It contains a vast, virtually waterless red waste. This inner world by itself contains more land area than Earth, though much of it is virtually uninhabitable. The tarek, skarren, and their allies in Kareth-Scra have established significant mining operations within this vault, the resources of which are supporting their measured encroachment upon the levitating territories of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact.

    The flying continents of Kamish Batogg and Oslidarg face on another, and levitate above the seas of sand betwixt Carcharoth and Saan Gabiathan, and is oriented at a dizzying ninety degree angle to the surface of Vesligarn. These aerial territories are accessible by means of so-called moon gates from Carcharoth and other surface territories. Kamish Batogg is the primary domain of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact. It is also surrounded by thousands of islands, and the verdant continent of Oslidarg is also located opposite the domain of the Deadlords within a vast ocean. Oslidarg is currently undergoing colonization by two competing factions -- one of the forces of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact, the other those of the Divine Shadow, the latter of whom have thus far concealed themselves from their imperial opponents. The oceans are dominated by a remnant of the ancient peramsian civilization, the mind lords of which indirectly rule many coastal settlements.

    Of the inner seas, one of these is located on the far side of the planet, opposite Carcharoth, and is known as the Peramsian Vault to the few sages who understand its nature. It is accessed through a gateway in the midst of an immense crater surrounded by mountains high enough to pierce the outer atmosphere, and which render the area within their encirclement devoid of either air or gravity. This impact site was the location where the comet known as the Harbinger struck Vesligarn during the Fifth Age, a terrible event which incited the Great Visceration which caused the various races of mortals to conceal themselves in warded arcologies for over a thousand years. Within the depths of this concavity is a primordial ocean which contains a number of continental masses.

    The subterranean seas are populated by many other warlike peoples, including the riverine high elves, the oceanic dark elves, who contest ceaselessly with each other for rule over the inner seas of Tharaksa, Thaohh, Thuamka, and Thabarwa.

    In addition to the extreme aridity of the climate, the cataclysmic wars that brought the eighth age to a close severely altered the elevation of the world's landscape. The continent of Carcharoth and its mates are a study in almost unbelievable contrasts -- towering cliffs, miles tall, drop off into the depths of the sand seas, and the highest points of their respective landscapes, such as the summits of the Twin Dooms, exit the planet's atmosphere. Between these polarities, most of the terrain is angled to a sickening 45 degree angle, a difficulty around which subsequent civilization has been forced to adapt.

    Northeastern Carcharoth in the Ninth Age
    This is a hex-map of the main region which is 8,496 hexes wide and 7,362 hexes tall, and which thus encompasses 62,547,552 hexes.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-14 at 06:57 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    Cosmology

    The three coexistent Prime Material Planes of Vesligarn's cosmology is surrounded by a complex network of over seventy Inner Planes.

    Each of the coexistent Prime Materials Planes is dominated by one of the three primordial forces -- the śiv, the viṣṇur, and the brahm. The Prime Material Plane in which Vesligarn is situated is known as the Shadowverse and is ultimately ruled by the śiv. These three Prime Material Planes are separated by the Void, a chaotic, far-realm like dimension which is coterminous with all of the Prime Material Planes, but not with any of the Inner or Outer Planes. Dread entities in the Void attempt to prevent inhabitants of any one of the Prime Material Planes from visiting one of the others.

    The Prime Material Planes are surrounded by a complicated assemblage of Inner Planes which number at least seventy, and are listed below. The Prime Material Planes are connected to the Outer Planes by the Shadowstar Sea, a transitive plane which combines features of the Astral Sea and the Plane of Shadow. The Outer Planes are each demiplanes of infinite size that float within the Shadowstar Sea and are coterminous with the three separate Ethereal Planes that are connected to each of the three different Prime Material Planes. Each of these demiplanes is oriented towards different non-corporeal planes of pure forms.

    The Elemental Strongholds

    At the beginning of the last cycle within the material plane known as the Shadowverse which contains Vesligarn, the Divine Shadow sundered the Prime Elemental Planes of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Wood to create a number of Pseudoprime or False Prime Elemental Planes. These include the Elemental Strongholds of Wind, River, Ocean, Flame, Rock, and Stone. This planar violence in fact eliminated the Elemental Strongholds of Earth and Water, which were sundered into a number of competing planes. The Elemental Stronghold of Air and Fire are each opposed by one primary 'pseudoprime' element -- for air it is wind, and for fire it is flame.

    Later, at the commencement of the Ninth Age, the Divine Shadow likewise shattered the Paraelemental Strongholds of the Sun, Magma, Rain, Gem, Metal, Frost, Vapor, Silt, Rain, Frost, and Lightning into numerous Pseudoparaelements.

    These elemental divisions also manifest in the mortal races of Vesligarn. The elves are divided among the riverine high elves and the oceanic dark elves, the dwarves among the fire mountain dwarves and the flame gray dwarves, and the gnolls among the aerial gnolls and wind flinds.

    The Paraelemental Theocracy of the True Drakes has been ruptured by the incursion of the Pseudoparaelements, whose representatives control a large province on the southern border of the Theocracy's territory, and is rumored to be allied with the Ascendency of the Divine Shadow.

    https://www.enworld.org/threads/crea...finder.356663/

    Known Inner Planes

    Plane of Air
    Plane of Fire
    Plane of Wood
    Plane of Wind
    Plane of Mountain
    Plane of Land
    Plane of Stone
    Plane of Soil
    Plane of Mud
    Plane of Mercury
    Plane of Iron
    Plane of Steel
    Plane of Platinum
    Plane of Adamantium
    Plane of Gold
    Plane of Silver
    Plane of Brass
    Plane of Copper
    Plane of Metal
    Plane of Dust/Silt
    Plane of Gem
    Plane of Crystal
    Plane of Amethyst
    Plane of Topaz
    Plane of Emerald
    Plane of Sapphire
    Plane of Salt
    Plane of Sand
    Plane of Shell
    Plane of Quill, Spine
    Plane of Scale
    Plane of Jungle
    Plane of Forest
    Plane of Spore/Moss
    Plane of Web
    Plane of Swamp
    Plane of Rain
    Plane of River
    Plane of Ocean
    Plane of Typhoon
    Plane of Steam
    Plane of Mist
    Plane of Fog
    Plane of Flame
    Plane of Magma
    Plane of Sun
    Plane of Ash/Coal
    Plane of Radiance
    Plane of Spark
    Plane of Tar/Oil
    Plane of Clay
    Plane of Snow
    Plane of Frost
    Plane of Ice
    Plane of Pumice
    Plane of Obsidian
    Plane of Ooze
    Plane of Slime
    Plane of Acid
    Plane of Poison/Venom
    Plane of Vapor
    Plane of Lightning
    Plane of Air
    Plane of Fume
    Plane of Vacuum
    Plane of Cloud
    Plane of Sound
    Plane of Coral
    Plane of Horn
    Plane of Bone
    Plane of Spirit
    Plane of Flesh
    Plane of Blood
    Plane of the Moon
    Plane of Stars/Zodiac
    Plane of Eclipse
    Plane of Force
    Plane of Rainbow
    Temporal Elemental Plane
    The Plane of Stasis
    The Plane of Gyres
    The Plane of Dissipation
    The Plane of Detonation
    Smoke (Air and Fire)
    Ice (Air and Water)
    Ooze (Earth and Water)
    Magma (Fire and Earth)
    Steam (Fire and Water)*
    Sand (Earth and Air) *
    Cold (Void and Air)
    Moist (Void and water)
    Hot (Void and Fire)
    Dry (Void and Earth)
    Quasi Elemental Planes
    Lighting (Positive and Air)
    Mineral (Positive and Earth)
    Radiance (Positive and Fire)
    Vapor (Positive and Water)
    Fertility (Positive and Light)
    Pleasure (Positive and Dark)
    Beginning (Positive and Void)
    Brilliance (Positive and Negative)
    Vacuum (Negative and Air)
    Dust (Negative and Earth)
    Ash (Negative and Fire)
    Brine (Negative and Water)
    Barren (Negative and Darkness)
    Pain (Negative and Light)
    Ending (Negative and Void)
    The Demi Elemental Planes (Light and Darkness)
    Mist (Air and Light)
    Silt (Water and Light)
    Crystal (Earth and Light)
    Spark (Fire and Light)
    Clay (Void and Light)
    Fumes (Air and Darkness)
    Frost (Water and Darkness)
    Grime (Earth and Darkness)
    Obsidian (Fire and Darkness)
    Pumice (Void and Darkness)
    Rainbow (Light and Darkness)
    The Semi Elemental Planes
    Paper (Wood and Light)
    Poison (Wood and Darkness)
    Coral (Wood and Water)
    Pollen (Wood and Air)
    Coal (Wood and Fire)
    Soil (Wood and Earth)
    Flesh (Wood and Positive)
    Blight (Wood and Negative)
    Sound (Wood and Void)
    Slag (Metal and Water)
    Ore (Metal and Earth)
    Pyre (Metal and Fire)
    Miasma (Metal and Air)
    Will (Metal and Void)
    Steel (Metal and Positive
    Rust (Metal and Negative)
    Glass (Metal and Light)
    Shard (Metal and Darkness)
    Acid (Metal and Wood)
    Aether (The Energy Plane)
    Ember (Aether/Fire)
    Salt (Aether/Water)
    Sulfur (Aether/Earth)
    Storm (Aether/Air
    Blood (Aether/Wood)
    Mercury (Aether/Metal)
    Energy/Spirit (Aether Light)
    Quintessence (Aether Darkness)
    Breath (Aether Positive)
    Oil (Aeither/Negative)
    Soul/Heart (Aether/Void)*
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-02-18 at 03:20 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    The Nature of Magic in Vesligarn

    One of the Divine Shadow's more difficult to understand alterations of reality was its transformation of arcane magic from the form it assumed in Serinba'al to that which it then took in Vesligarn. The destructive power of blight magic no longer exists in the form it was practiced by either the Hierophants of the Carnifex Empire or the Dreadlords of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact. Instead, the Dreadlords arose in the city-states of the Serpent Coast from cabals of ex-druids who multi-classed into the Blighter PrC, and who also possess one of the arcane archetypes such that they can access wizard spell lists: The Knotty Works – Druid Archetypes.

    In essence, the Divine Shadow destroyed the equivalent of the Weave in Vesligarn, leaving only the Shadow Weave. Druids with certain archetypes can draw upon the remnants of the Weave, but there are no proper wizards or sorcerers of any sort in the Ninth Age of Vesligarn, though they may have existed in previous eras. In the present era, the only form of intact arcane magic is shadow magic, which is only practiced by the arcane servants of the Divine Shadow, such as the Umbral Savants who rule the mysterious political entity known as the Ascendency of the Divine Shadow. Chief among the Divine Shadow's servants are wayang, velstracs, shadow deep gnomes, and a remnant of the nearly extinct species of humans who have been touched by the power of shadow. These alone practice various schools of arcane shadow magic.

    While there are no full arcane casters except for those that practice shadow magic, there are a number of 2/3 caster classes such as the hellion that have survived into this current incarnation of the world. Most of the Warlocks which serve the Dreadlords of the various Temple-States of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact continue to be drawn from this 2/3 caster gish class.

    The only substantial population of full arcane casters other than shadowcasters are the envoys from the universe of light that have recently arrived in the City States of the Veil, which lie on the southernmost border of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-02-20 at 02:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    Faith and Religion in Vesligarn

    Along with magic, the nature of the divine forces present in the world was also decisively impacted by the imposition of the Divine Shadow. It has woken its brethren, the śiv and deposed the the brahm. This act has impacted the nature of all pantheons in the Ninth Age. Whereas the Ninth Age of Serinba'al saw the rise of Demon and Devil cults when the brahm altered their manner of relation to the mortal world, and assumed infernal guises, a much different state of divine affairs obtains in the Ninth Age of Vesligarn. Instead, the first gods of each pantheon, those which are manifestations of the śiv, have arisen to prominence.

    Thus, the Olympian Pantheon venerated by the elves is headed by the titans, while the gods are locked away, except for deities of darkness such as Pluto, Persephone, and Hecate. It is now known as the Titanic pantheon. Similarly, the Norse Pantheon is composed of jötunn, fire giants, and linnorms, alongside Loki and Hela, and has been renamed the Ragnarök Pantheon. The Sumerian and Babylonian Pantheon is dominated by Tiamat, Apsu, and other antediluvian and underworld powers, and is dubbed the Annunaki Pantheon. The Pharaonic Pantheon is now dominated by various serpentine demons of the Underworld, as well as the deities Anubis and Set, and is known as the Patheon of Duat.

    The Titanic Pantheon is the primary form of religion in the city-states of the Serpent Coast, including the Temple-State of Pelos. Dreadmaster Drospteran the Victorious, ruler of Pelos the Opal City, does not desire to be worshipped as a god unlike many of his fellow Dreadlords, and so the ancient faith of the peoples remains alongside many atheistic Gnostic Schools, societies of philosophers which critics refer to as Cynic Cults. Titans such as Cronus possess large temples in Pelos, as do monsters such as Skyla and Charybdis. Though the cults of the different deities of the Titanic Pantheon vary, many are led by seers known as oracles whose revelations guide the faithful. The oceanic dark elves of Carcharoth and the inner seas of the Vault of Tharnag particularly embrace the veneration of Persephone and Hecate.

    The Ragnarök Pantheon is almost unknown in the lands of eastern Carcharoth, and is mainly encountered as the faith of infrequent travelers from the Pole of Salt, which lies at the summit of the planet. It is said that some regions of Saan-Gabiathan extend into the northern hemisphere near the Pole of Salt, and that this form of religion is also found in these regions, but these purported northern territories lie beyond the forbidding midcontinental barrier known as the Scryglass Desert, and so remain little but rumor. Its primary exponents are said to be a council of frost kobold lich cardinals who perform daily sacrifices of sentient beings to appease the infinite hunger of their linnorm patrons. The Ragnarök may also be present in the Pole of Carbon, which lies at the southern pole of the planet. It is known that a large land bridge connects the continent of Carcharoth with the Pole of Carbon, but the midst of this territory is dominated by the imposing expanse of the Mountains of Eternal Hunger. This region is populated by hostile ape-like creatures which wield unbreakable crystal weapons that channel electricity, and is riddled with the ruins of ancient civilizations.

    The Annunaki Pantheon is one of the major religions of the Lands of the Altar or the Lands of the Great Altar, the territory in eastern Carcharoth which contains the Domination of the Obsidian Compact. It is a primary faith among the flame gray dwarves of the forbidding peaks which cut through the heart of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact known either the Mountains of the Flail or the Mountains of the Claw. It is also widely practiced in the Temple-States of the Valley of the Giants and in Ukkur, the Red and Terrible City, and its client cities.

    The Pantheon of Duat is particularly prominent in the Pharaharmium of Sulgriss, but is present throughout much of eastern Carcharoth. Within the Pharaharmium, the jackal-like Anpur, who consider themselves to be the children of Set and Anubis, are particularly well-represented among the clerical caste. This religion coexists with the veneration of the sleeping dragons deep within the tombs that stand at the center of most Sulgrissian cities, as well as the sects devoted to the enigmatic entities known as the Visitors, a strange, multi-form race of large-headed gray explorers and frightening 'starbeasts' that serve as the ruling caste of some cities within the Pharaharmium.

    In addition, so other, lesser known faiths predominate in smaller regions of the planet.

    The Pantheon of the Asuras and Yakṣas predominates in the Temple-State of Rahul the Enlightened. This pantheon is headed by the an ogre-deity named Rāvaṇa, as well as other, similar powers. These are held to have overthrown a preexisting pantheon of deities.

    In Calital, the other major Temple-State of the Slothaurim Jungles, the population worship batlike entities known as the camazotz.

    In addition, the cults of the Lower Planes have also been altered. The powers of the devils, daemons, and demons were overturned by the Divine Shadow, and the ancient baatorians, baernaloth, qlippoth, and obyrith restored to power. The patrons of each of these entities are in fact different śiv. The cults of the baatorians and other infernal powers have spread widely throughout Carcharoth and foreign lands. The faith of the Divine Shadow is a particular ally of the baatorians, whose emissaries can found throughout the gloomy cities of the Ascendency.

    The stone and rock orcs, black orcs, and orogs of Bhaal-Amon, Ba'al-Zuhath, and Belial-Kargon venerate a large pantheon of orc racial deities and monstrous animal totems.

    There is also a very large number of elemental religions. The most prominent of these is that practiced in the Paraelemental Theocracy of the True Drakes, but each of the seventy or more Elemental Strongholds possesses several elemental Lords, as well as Princes and Princesses of Elemental Evil.

    Finally, there is the Faith of the Divine Shadow, the religion which reveres the Dark Master, the Sublime Shadow, the One True Darkness. Though the principle religion of the Ascendency of the Divine Shadow, this faith is found throughout the lands of mortals. It has become increasingly potent, for example, in the Temple-State of Tha'ar the Golden following the mysterious disappearance of Dreadlord Kaltorr the Cruel. Adherents of the Faith of the Divine Shadow, which include many former Warlocks of Kaltorr, claim that the Dreadlord has ascended to join the mysterious power known as the Trinity of Shadows, the head of which is the Dark Master, the Divine Shadow.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-02-18 at 03:08 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    Regions/Kingdoms of Carcharoth


    The Rock Orc Kingdom of Bhaal-Amon
    The Stone Orc Kingdom of Ba'al-Zuhath
    The Earth Orc Kingdom of Balial-Kargon
    The Flame Gray Dwarf Kingdom of Salmeesar
    The Fire Dwarf Kingdom of Nabiru
    Gaeyae
    The Ascendency/Supremacy of the Divine Shadow
    The Domination of the Obsidian Compact
    The Domains of the Artificer Princes
    The Great Cauldron/Caldarium
    The Paraelemental Theocracy of the True Drakes
    The First/Final/True Elemental Clericocracy of the Pure Drakes
    The Pharaharmium of Sulgriss
    The Slaver States of the Shivering Plain
    The Veil City-States
    The Riverine High Elf League
    The Oceanic Dark Elf League
    Halfling Nations
    The Order of the Ebon Mirror
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-10 at 11:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    The Elven Freeholds

    The elves, both light and dark, are generally believed to have hailed from the east, and to be native to a peninsula and archipelago on the southern shores of Saan-Gabiathan. This distant elven homeland is held to lie beyond the forbidding expanse of the Scryglass Desert which divides the eastern continent between the territories of the Trader Princes and the Chromatic Alliance, which face those of the Domination of the Obsidian Compact on the eastern shores of Carcharoth, and territories unknown, including, perhaps, a land bridge to the northern Pole of Salt. Elven legends speak of a disaster that befell the gleaming cities of the Isle of Kyriakos and the Peninsula of Eleftheria. The elves made the long journey across the then Sea of Vohagun and the Sea of Sunlight in their many-oared triremes. When they reached the Samaphamar Coast, following a pitched conflict with the Minotaur corsairs of the, then, un-shattered Peninsula of the Bull's Horn, the human inhabitants of the coastal city-states initially welcomed then, recognizing a familial relationship in their common Alkiviadisian cultural complex.

    One tradition asserts that the Alkiviadisian civilization originated with the dragons, and that the current elven civilization began with the fey as servants or slaves of the wyrms. Perhaps the elven civilization of the Peninsula of Eleftheria was one and the same as the legends of the 'Dragonteacher' or 'Dragonspeaker' Empire -- a regime which is said to have somehow overthrown their reptilian lieges. These traditions are interesting in light of the later accounts of the elves causing the draconic founders of Sulgriss to sleep deep beneath the earth, though of course all events of so great an antiquity are in extreme doubt.

    The nature of the armada that journeyed across the Seas of Vohagun and Sunlight is debated -- considering the greater elemental affinity of the dark elves with the elements of ocean and its associated para and quasi elements, it would seem likely that the expedition was primarily, or even completely, composed of dark elves. However, the presence of the riverine high elves in Carcharoth complicates this assumption. It is possible a schism in the elven race occurred after their landing in the Samaphamar Coast, but no verifiable tradition about this event exists. The date of the sundering of the Elemental Stronghold of Water is also debated, further complicating the matter.

    The date of this journey is debated, but occurred sometime between the end of the Fifth Age and the early days of the Eighth Age. It is also possible that some accounts telescope a number of elven emigrations from eastern Saan-Gabiathan over the course of one or more ages.

    The grandees of the elven merchant houses which had accompanied the voyage even intermarried with the elite among the trader class of the city-states, producing a minority of half-elves which enjoyed a level of social prominence out of size with their small population numbers. However, when Dreadmaster Drospteran the Victorious eventually seized power over the Dappled Cities at the conclusion of the Wars of Purification, he initiated the Elven Purge by stoking long-held economic resentment against these half-elven products of the initial contacts between Eleftheria and the Serpent Coast city-states. It is rumored that a secret society dedicated to preserving the heritage of this period continues to exist in the Opal City.

    Before the Wars of Purification, the elves built a thriving civilization in Carcharoth on the shores of the inner sea which was then known as the Inland Ocean of Vonman. Conflict accounts suggest that, at some point during the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, or Eighth Age, the elven dominions expanded into the territories of the Paraharmium of Sulgriss. One of the two great rivers that nourished this ancient civilization flowed from the Inland Ocean of Vonman, and the other from the Bay of Solace, also known as Preservation Bay. The triremes of the elves sailed up the River of Khonsuairitis and into the inter riverine sector known as the Great Anaua. Here, they occupied many cities, including storied Zaphnath-paaneah.

    Once again, several conflicting narratives emerge from the tattered remnants of the historical record that survived the Wars of Purification. For instance, it is not clear whether the elves actually conquered a part of Sulgriss, or merely allied with one side of a civil war between the inhabitants of the desert, on the one hand, and those that dwelt between the rivers, on the other. One set of traditions asserts that the elven invaders lulled the Great Brown Dragons of the Desert to sleep, while another maintains that the opening for the incursion was created by the endless sleep of these ancient rulers of Sulgriss following the Great Visceration. It is reasonably clear that the elven occupation was confined largely to the 'cities of the circlet', the populous conurbations that lie within the Great Anaua, and that the territories of the jackal-like anpur and their allies were never fully, or even partially subjected to foreign rule. Other traditions suggest that the elves cultivated 'sound gardens' in the vicinity of the 'Great Tombs', the depth of which supposedly contain the sleeping dragons which birthed this strange desert land.

    In time, the anpur and their confederates drove the elves from their territories in the Great Anaua.

    Following the Wars of Purification, the elves retreated to the shores of the subterranean seas known as the Sea of Thamka. One tradition holds that the 'Wave Break', the sundering of the Elemental Stronghold of Water into the opponent planes of 'river' and 'ocean', occurred at this time, as well as the consequent division of the fey peoples into the high and dark elves.

    The oceanic dark elves control the subterranean oceans that now lie at the center of the remnant elven civilization. They live both above and below the waves, for the oceanic dark elves have also diverged into air and water-breathing sub-species. Their dire plesiosaurus aquatic cavalry and war triremes are widely feared.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-14 at 03:21 PM.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    The First/Final/True Elemental Clericocracy of the Pure Drakes



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    An unexpected occurrence in the Paraelemental Theocracy was the formation of the dozens of pseudoparaelements among the inner planes, strongholds of malign elemental power just as opposed to the paraelements as they are to those of the prime. An accompanying incursion of the pseudoparalements led to the followers of these elemental strongholds creating their own polity on the borders of the Paralemental Theocracy.

    Despite their large numbers and the virulence of their adherents, they have been subjected to internal schisms that have hampered any possibility on capitalizing on their strengths. Indeed, the Clericocracy is divided by a theological schism that contests whether the pseudoparaelements are the 'first', the 'final', or the 'true' elements. This disagreement has effectively riven the nation in three, and there are in fact three different temple cities which vie for recognition as the administrative and cultural capital of the Clericocracy. This situation means that there are three different overlapping bureaucracies that attempt to impose their will within the boundaries of the realm, and in any given province the authority of one or another faction may rise or fall, sometimes with great alacrity.

    The three competing capitals of the Clericocracy are Jikatol (First), Suhoyal (Final), and Gunush-Olrur (True). The faction of the True Elements at Gunush-Olrur is currently slightly ascendant over their rivals. This station is believed to have been accomplished via a secretive alliance with the Ascendency of the Divine Shadow, representatives of which dwell in the ambassadorial gauntlet of Gunush-Olrur.

    Unlike the Paraelemental Theocracy, whose population consists of 'Prime' races who converted to the worship of the Paralements, the majority of the inhabitants of the Clericocracy are goblinoids, and were not drawn from the original populations of the Prime Elemental Republics. The hobgoblins and goblins are the majority population, while the barghest, worghest, and bugbears represent a ruling class. The cardinal of Gunush-Olrur, for example, is a barghest.

    The Clericocracy abuts the southern border of the Paraelemental Theocracy, and occupies a peninsula that extends into the Sand Seas, reaching towards the eastern continent of Sa'an-Gabiathan. Though it's land area is smaller than its rival elemental theocracy, the population of the Clericocracy is actually higher. The nation is also seeking an alliance with the minotaurs of the Shattered Horn Peninsula to afflict their foes, though this effort is hampered by the competition among the representatives of the Clericocracy's three major religious factions.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-11 at 12:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    The Ascendency/Supremacy of the Divine Shadow

    B]Proper Name[/B]
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    This mysterious nation lies to the south of the Clericocracy of the Pure Drakes. It population is partially distributed through several ports, but its primary urban centers are a collection of island metropolises largely closed to the outside world. These are connected to the mainland by a monolithic network of suspension bridges made of obsidian suspended by unimaginably powerful psionic forces. They can be retracted to halt the advance of hostile forces. Even the coastal port cities of the Ascendency are sheltered from excessive contact with the wider world. Each is divided into an inner and outer sector, and citizens of the Ascendency confine themselves to their secluded quarters except for tightly-controlled contacts. The outer sectors also contain non-citizen residents of the Ascendency, a demographic which is absent from the nations island-bound population.

    Flying continents of Kamish Batogg and Oslidarim
    Enaziatam
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-14 at 10:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Vesligarn: Crucifex of the Paraelements

    Tyrosh: Sovereignty of the Sun

    The city-state of Tyrosh and its dependencies were founded by refugees from the temple-state of Thaar the Golden during the Nadeerian Uprising. The so-called 'white-flame' sorceress Nadira led a revolt against the Dreadlord Kaltorr the Cruel a little more than three centuries in the past. This struggle resulted in the death of the High Templar Ba'al Ammon, but was ultimately suppressed by the Dreadlord's Warlocks. Kaltorr himself rained down a noxious barrage over the rebellious districts from his demesne high atop the Golden Tower. However, a small band of survivors was able to flee the city, the Valley of the Giants, and the confines of the two flying continents known collectively as the 'Folded Fear' and attain a place of refuge in the barren lands of northwestern Carcharoth.

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