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 Is Fate and Ao the same entity?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
creyzi4zb12 Posted - 02 Jan 2022 : 12:18:38
Kinda had me thinking that during the Time of Troubles Ao brought something called the Tablets of Fate.
Considering how Fate had a worshipper that was powerful enough to beat the gods and the genies (Loregiver), does this mean they are one and the same? Fate and Ao I mean.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
PattPlays Posted - 11 Jan 2022 : 12:34:39
The aboleth hate the gods. Maybe their shard of the memories were focused on the pain and denial of the destruction of Zotha by a comet. Like a dragon's ego crying out in woe-is-me i-hate-you at adventurers in its death throes. The Aboleth part of Zotha's psyche has been twisted from "what gods could permit such a disaster" to "Asgorath-killed-me and him-and-all-gods-are-bastards. They think they have a philosophical excuse against the gods and that they are rivals- but it's all a misunderstanding from a piece of an overgod spaceship ascended-species's mind being warped as it was destroyed but made unable to die.

"Unable to kill" yet ever destructive, that sounds like torture. Shattered psyche narrative looks even more interesting.


Also, Annam being a primirdial sire is actually really useful. It sucks thinking of Annam as some already formed sky-god titan-man from an outer plane who came in as an alien and mated with a primal spirit of the land. It's more interesting if Annam's ego derives from his status as an archomental of rulership who comes to every formed world to make all the mirriad primordial beings on any given forming world submit to his nobility. He then finds a primordial suitable for his intentions, mates in whatever mystical way, and produces a legion of immortals. They conquer the planet, establish Ostoria, and then Annam leaves them in charge. Or if you wish this didn't happen infinitely and everywhere but rather once and totally on the one-world.
Because the giants as a schematic do beat everyone in conquering. IF dragons don't exist. If toril had a timeline without dragons, then the giants would rule it. If the timeline was changed by Zotha and Asgorath colliding (imagine that a series of time-travel energy waves displacing everyone in realmspace causing the comet to be in the wrong place and surprise evryone by crashing into Zotha above Toril. Space-halifax. Nobody's happy.) then that would suddenly introduce dragons to the timeline and worse.

When Annam's giants come, in the flat circle of time, the disc suddenly has a crack. The primordials grasp at this aberation and the broken and moaning body of Zotha cries out to the surface of Abeir-Toril that the gods are all out to get them and they all need to die for killing Zotha. The princes of elemental power 'mount' the dragons and resist Annam's power. The timeline breaks as Ao gives the dragon-riding god-hating primordials their own planet to end the dawn war and all of this is iust because of time-screwing that d i d n ' t e v e n h a p p e n y e t. Elves come onto the world and find dragons fighting giants- giving them an angle.
Dragons elevate humans at the Citadel of the Ravens. A Batrachi plots to steal Ironfang keep. The 'draconic' Sarrukh may only exist thanks to the crack in the disk of time, too.

Annaam could be order for the material world like how Primus is order in the realm of belief. Infinite order beaten back by power, mental trauma, and the aligned forces of the elementals. That's the shard of ultimate evil's playbook.
I heard that Dragons (draedens,astral dragons, even the Ruby dragon) could save the universe by being powerful enough to destroy the abyss itself- something the gods can't do. Draeden swarm across the various destroyed worlds of the abyss, the abyss forced to grow around them, and the far realm residing inside of them. If dragons are a key to beating chaotic evil, it may be because Dragons enabled its rise.
Baltas Posted - 08 Jan 2022 : 23:56:15
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays
Okay I thought I wanted to know more about Zotha but I was not expecting to have cracked open the best cosmic horror story in the realms. Big flesh spaceship god hit by meteor-that-doesn't-kill and the eyeball and flash and blood and brain and guts all fall into Abeir-Toril's gravity well and they're all forced to evolve like some mockery of the natural processes that evolve multiple species from an ancestor. If Zotha had been humanoid then we'd have arms and legs and a spine as our shattered space-faring god-gibblets.
Also- WHAT?! Sharn lore from a different setting? I didn't know anyone else had thought to use them elsewhere. Tharizdun's name showing up next to Sharn has me EXTREMELY anxious..



Glad you found this discussion informative. With Tharizdun, I'm not sure if he managed to enter the Realmspace as it's stated he didn;t. I had once a theory Moander might be a an aspect of Tharizdun though. Ghaunadaur is kinda connected -, with the original Monster Mythology stating he/it is the Torillian aspect of the Elder Elemental God (which made an uholy trinity with the Dark God (Tharizdun) and Juiblex)- with EEG being in latter 2E materials implied and outright named as the same as Tharizdun,though this wasn't the intention of Gary Gygax.
I kinda explain more about it here, with a link to the interview with Gary Gygax:
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18889&whichpage=17#541392

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

And the Mystaran lore says that dragons were born when the original draconic spirits ("cousins to the Draedens") possessed dinosaur eggs... just saying.




With Draeden (and continuing with the Spelljammer elements), I wondered if Stellar Dragons, might not be in reality Draeden – as Draeden were said to be seen by most mortals as absurdly big dragons – and Stellar Dragons fit here, with Stellar Great Wyrms attaining even the length of 3 million feet (914.4 kilometers/568 miles)!!!

Alongside having some absurd abilities – they can use any wizard's spell in the Player's Handbook without error, and basically enhance their effects as they want, and even merge spells as they want. And use spells as many times they want. And their breath weapon, is basically a black hole (ie their insides work as as a sphere of annihilation, and they can attract anything inside with colossal gravity). Among things:
https://spelljammer.fandom.com/wiki/Stellar_dragon

Though the Stellar Dragons, seeing their lack of hatred of gods and true neutral outlook, seem to be more probably the first dragons who were cousins of Draeden, or very close in nature close descendants of those beings.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You know, we have this "ritual" that the batrachi use that "releases" Asgorath and "other" primordials..... what if that ritual was them drawing the primordial spirits into the eggs of dinosaurs. We have this idea that things may have been "instantaneous" after they released the primordials, but what if they were born into the world and simply aged relatively rapidly? For instance, it's theorized that a standard T-Rex grows to full adulthood in just 20 years.



Hmm, this might very be the case. I also wonder if it wasn't in part Batrachi fighting "fire with fire" – as Annam was described as Primordial himself (on Nerath at least), even father of them (I guess the more giant-like ones, especially the ones who also were stated to be directly connected to giants Castanamir on Nerath or Cirotralech in Realmspace, or even siring some kinds of giants, like Piranoth being said to ancestor(at least on Nerath) of earth, frost, and fire giants), as described in Dragon Magazine 394:
quote:
The Stone King, called the Living Rock by his giant underlings, is nearly forgotten in the modern era. He once ruled the distant Skyclaw Peaks, now a line of weathered, tree-covered mountains in the far west. Legends of the king’s identity abound; some claim he was a goliath chieftain, others a stone giant despot, and still others believe he was a fierce primordial sired by First Creator Annam.


Though this could mean a number of Primordials, are Annam previous generation of children, I guess even more unrully than his children sired during the Dawn Age.

Further about Primordials, Dragons and Draeden, Dendar does come kinda like a malicious creature related to Stellar Dragons, with her devouring the sun (like a black hole would), and like Stelar Dragons love knowlege and absorbing it, Dendar does something similar with nightmares (which are also a form of knowlege, when we think about it), if Dendar being more dependant on nightmares.

[edit]

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Some of these Spaakil (do we have a good description) may have gone on to form the race of Ixzan (freshwater) and Ixitxachitl (seawater) actually somehow.

The actual spelljammer itself, noting there can be only one at a time, and a smalljammer turns into a spelljammer if its killed. So it may be that they were ALL Zotha. Perhaps the ship itself is like a phylactery for a lich, comprised of the spirits of the Spaakil, and when it dies it transfers into a smalljammer, then "grows" it to full size.



With Spaakiil it was stated all became the first Spelljammer, but I think after Zotha's destruction, some of these might had "unfused", resulting in the Aboleth, as well as Ixzan and Ixitxachitl. Ixzan are indeed in good relations with Aboleth (one of the only creatures they have a positive relation to), and even revere them to a degree. Indeed, even Ilxendren (god of Ixzan, was stated hate all other creatures (aside from Ixzan and maybe Ixitxachitl, at least those that worshipped him), aside from also Aboleths, who really liked and respected.

With all Spelljammers being Zotha, it is possible to a degree at least of sharing memories and "essence", but I think Zotha's destruction, purified the essence of the Spelljammer - as other Spelljammers, didn't show Zotha's destructive bahavior.
sleyvas Posted - 08 Jan 2022 : 14:27:15
Some of these Spaakil (do we have a good description) may have gone on to form the race of Ixzan (freshwater) and Ixitxachitl (seawater) actually somehow.

The actual spelljammer itself, noting there can be only one at a time, and a smalljammer turns into a spelljammer if its killed. So it may be that they were ALL Zotha. Perhaps the ship itself is like a phylactery for a lich, comprised of the spirits of the Spaakil, and when it dies it transfers into a smalljammer, then "grows" it to full size.

Oh, and on the idea of batrachi "releasing" the primordials by releasing them into dinosaur eggs. Maybe another twist on that take. Releasing them into the eggs of Lung dragons, gem dragons, linnorms, fang dragons, etc..... Thus, the primordials were "using dragons as mounts".

Finally, given that the elves and other fey were NOT in Abeir per the 4e campaign setting, it may be that the "elven sundering" tried to reach back in time to send away some draconic overlords that were a problem for them during the tearfall (hoping to stop the dragon eggs falling AND the primordial dragon lords). In this idea, it wasn't Ao who "split the world" anymore than it was Ao who created the "Imaskari Godswall". It may be that Ao is given (takes?) a lot of credit for things that are caused by mortal beings. Of course, he might be behind the scenes SHAPING those events into place, which makes him the "master chessman" that I prefer him as.

From 4e campaign setting
In Returned Abeir, dragons rule vast realms of slaves. The dragonborn are the most numerous, but they are given to rebellion. Dwarves and humans are plentiful. Genasi were also numerous, but mostly on the eastern continent of Shyr (a continent that was not transported to Toril by the Blue Breath of Change). Other races are less numerous, and fey such as elves and eladrin are rare curiosities introduced only in the last century.
PattPlays Posted - 08 Jan 2022 : 03:15:28
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

It's also curious aboleths think they were born from parts of an elder evil - they think they were born from Pisaethces' blood, but it's possibe that Pisaethces was a big fragment of Zotha that lead the first aboleth - them aboleth being kind-of reborn Spaakiil, but a twisted version of them, due to what Zotha became. Alternatelly Pisaethces was esentially a first "reborn" Spaakiil, and born a new version of her race - the aboleth.
Also, Neogi also claim they were born from a "dead god". Maybe some aberrations are a twisted memory of some species of Ouiyan? Juna/the Creators themselves, already looked kinda weird, being directly compared to Xorn, and on Nerath it being stated the Sharn are kinda born from the "memory" of the Juna, in an universe/multierse Tharizdun destroyed/corrupted. Neogi myths state they were born from their creators brain, further maybe suggesting they are a corrupted memory.





Okay I thought I wanted to know more about Zotha but I was not expecting to have cracked open the best cosmic horror story in the realms. Big flesh spaceship god hit by meteor-that-doesn't-kill and the eyeball and flash and blood and brain and guts all fall into Abeir-Toril's gravity well and they're all forced to evolve like some mockery of the natural processes that evolve multiple species from an ancestor. If Zotha had been humanoid then we'd have arms and legs and a spine as our shattered space-faring god-gibblets.
Also- WHAT?! Sharn lore from a different setting? I didn't know anyone else had thought to use them elsewhere. Tharizdun's name showing up next to Sharn has me EXTREMELY anxious..

It's crazy that yesterday I found a scroll here with an amazing chart documenting human migration and mixing in realmslore and spelljammer was all over that thing! Later that night I learned more about the Spelljamming origins of the plateau in Kara-tur. That was cool, but the Aerae start making this even more fantastic and strange.
I hope 6th edition launches with Spelljammer. . . or better yet let's just take these Black Obelisks to time travel WAYYYYY back to when Toril's space super-constructs were just coming online, Zotha is entering the crystal sphere for the first time, Colair is nearing its fate, and Asgorath makes its final approach.


quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

It's also curious aboleths think they were born from parts of an elder evil - they think they were born from Pisaethces' blood, but it's possibe that Pisaethces was a big fragment of Zotha that lead the first aboleth - them aboleth being kind-of reborn Spaakiil, but a twisted version of them, due to what Zotha became. Alternatelly Pisaethces was esentially a first "reborn" Spaakiil, and born a new version of her race - the aboleth.
Also, Neogi also claim they were born from a "dead god". Maybe some aberrations are a twisted memory of some species of Ouiyan? Juna/the Creators themselves, already looked kinda weird, being directly compared to Xorn, and on Nerath it being stated the Sharn are kinda born from the "memory" of the Juna, in an universe/multierse Tharizdun destroyed/corrupted. Neogi myths state they were born from their creators brain, further maybe suggesting they are a corrupted memory.





Okay I thought I wanted to know more about Zotha but I was not expecting to have cracked open the best cosmic horror story in the realms. Big flesh spaceship god hit by meteor-that-doesn't-kill and the eyeball and flash and blood and brain and guts all fall into Abeir-Toril's gravity well and they're all forced to evolve like some mockery of the natural processes that evolve multiple species from an ancestor. If Zotha had been humanoid then we'd have arms and legs and a spine as our shattered space-faring god-gibblets.
Also- WHAT?! Sharn lore from a different setting? I didn't know anyone else had thought to use them elsewhere. Tharizdun's name showing up next to Sharn has me EXTREMELY anxious..
https://tahlequahpointsoflight.fandom.com/wiki/Mythic_Age

It's crazy that yesterday I found a scroll here with an amazing chart documenting human migration and mixing in realmslore and spelljammer was all over that thing! Later that night I learned more about the Spelljamming origins of the plateau in Kara-tur. That was cool, but the Aerae start making this even more fantastic and strange.
I hope 6th edition launches with Spelljammer. . . or better yet let's just take these Black Obelisks to time travel WAYYYYY back to when Toril's space super-constructs were just coming online, Zotha is entering the crystal sphere for the first time, Colair is nearing its fate, and Asgorath makes its final approach.



quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

With Torillian dragons, they were stated to be possibly native, quite probably evolved from a species of local dinosaur (as explained in original Draconomicon as one of Torillian dragons possible origins). Indeed, Fizban's Treasury of Dragons repeats this claim, but also clarifying Torilian dragons evoled based on a cosmic archetype that existed before.


And the Mystaran lore says that dragons were born when the original draconic spirits ("cousins to the Draedens") possessed dinosaur eggs... just saying.



You know, we have this "ritual" that the batrachi use that "releases" Asgorath and "other" primordials..... what if that ritual was them drawing the primordial spirits into the eggs of dinosaurs. We have this idea that things may have been "instantaneous" after they released the primordials, but what if they were born into the world and simply aged relatively rapidly? For instance, it's theorized that a standard T-Rex grows to full adulthood in just 20 years.



>draeden
The dawn war really has everything. The Worms were the original taking-up-space-in-the-cosmos lifeforms, in the sense that they had to be kiled relocated or squished to make room for astral domains and layers. They almost feel like bacteria if they were among the largest of inconceivable lifeforms rather than being typcially some of the smallest. Moreso for their ability to grow a culture that fills all available surface area. (2d culture grows to devour the food and fill the space, 3d culture spreads through the atmosphere to occupy as much available preferred terrain as possible, a 4d culture would expand and feed until most of the cosmos is wormflesh. Then again, I knew terribly little about the Draeden and them being connected to dragons and thus the Aerae..

Also, duh! Why didn't I think of the magical dragon eggs just being thunder beast eggs enchanted or exposed? If you screw with a dinosaur egg enough you could get Sarrukh and Dragons and anything akin.



So... Zotha the overgod of good-slowly-turning-evil aquatic genius eldritch horror and the Draconic Primal Spirit. Sharn and other three armed beings, Tharizdun, Ao, creator races in space, a literal eyeball of a- well, I've heard a more T-Dun related origin for the Beholders but this severed eyeball (and brain etc) idea is just fantastic. Draeden .. Dragons .. unconscious cosmic biological body-plans for power... enchanting dinosaur eggs.. I can't quite draw what connects all this..
sleyvas Posted - 08 Jan 2022 : 02:40:55
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

With Torillian dragons, they were stated to be possibly native, quite probably evolved from a species of local dinosaur (as explained in original Draconomicon as one of Torillian dragons possible origins). Indeed, Fizban's Treasury of Dragons repeats this claim, but also clarifying Torilian dragons evoled based on a cosmic archetype that existed before.


And the Mystaran lore says that dragons were born when the original draconic spirits ("cousins to the Draedens") possessed dinosaur eggs... just saying.



You know, we have this "ritual" that the batrachi use that "releases" Asgorath and "other" primordials..... what if that ritual was them drawing the primordial spirits into the eggs of dinosaurs. We have this idea that things may have been "instantaneous" after they released the primordials, but what if they were born into the world and simply aged relatively rapidly? For instance, it's theorized that a standard T-Rex grows to full adulthood in just 20 years.
Zeromaru X Posted - 08 Jan 2022 : 01:04:51
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

[...]though a lot of life, especially oldest civilisations in the spheres, like the creators/Juna are descendants of the species of Ouiyan.

Some have commented spaakiil are oddly similar to the aboleth, as if good counterparts of them, some theorizing in reality they are descended from a split of the same species.[...]


Now that you mention this, I remember the Sharn have been compared in form with the Juna... actually, the first Sharn that appeared in the Nentir Vale's world are said to be the Juna reborn.

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

With Torillian dragons, they were stated to be possibly native, quite probably evolved from a species of local dinosaur (as explained in original Draconomicon as one of Torillian dragons possible origins). Indeed, Fizban's Treasury of Dragons repeats this claim, but also clarifying Torilian dragons evoled based on a cosmic archetype that existed before.


And the Mystaran lore says that dragons were born when the original draconic spirits ("cousins to the Draedens") possessed dinosaur eggs... just saying.
Baltas Posted - 07 Jan 2022 : 17:23:00
With Zotha being a Spelljammer, that's a very interesting idea. It's also notable that the Spelljammer has a will of it's own, being in a symbosis with it's pilot, and it's possible that due to the Avians (proto-Aearee?) Zotha became malicious or at least insane and out of their control.

It's also curious aboleths think they were born from parts of an elder evil - they think they were born from Pisaethces' blood, but it's possibe that Pisaethces was a big fragment of Zotha that lead the first aboleth - them aboleth being kind-of reborn Spaakiil, but a twisted version of them, due to what Zotha became. Alternatelly Pisaethces was esentially a first "reborn" Spaakiil, and born a new version of her race - the aboleth.
Also, Neogi also claim they were born from a "dead god". Maybe some aberrations are a twisted memory of some species of Ouiyan? Juna/the Creators themselves, already looked kinda weird, being directly compared to Xorn, and on Nerath it being stated the Sharn are kinda born from the "memory" of the Juna, in an universe/multierse Tharizdun destroyed/corrupted. Neogi myths state they were born from their creators brain, further maybe suggesting they are a corrupted memory.

(Though this does contradict the Far Realm origins of many of these beings and species, though maybe Ouiyan has some connection to it.)

I also wonder if Aearee and dragons don't share more deep common origins to some degree, seeing them paired, both on Coliar and Toril, and the ancient Aearee possible semi-draconic look. Maybe originally Aearee wanted to to the Spelljammer to escape or rebel against their Primordial masters (and maybe creators?).

Still, indeed the lore of dragon origins on Toril is self-contradictory, intentionally so even (ie the original Draconomicon stated the dinisaur origin of dragons, is possibly just a theory, and they might be literally descendants of Asgorath), to make it more mysterious. It's also possible Torllian dragons, are ultimatelly descended from a crossbreed of dinosaur-dragons (proto-dragons/Eodraco), dragons descended from Asgorath, and "primordial dragons".

As I mentioned in past, some Primordials even are kinda draconic - Asgorath is sometimes described as a Primordial, Rorn is another draconic Primordial, as is Gargash from Nerath/Nethir Vale.
Even Erek-Hus might been kinda draconic humanoid (as he appears to have a long reptillian neck, dorsal plates, and is cracked magma skin looks a bit like scales), but it's hard to tell from his artwork. Even Ubtao could count, especially if we consider the connection between dragons and dinosaurs mentioned in the Draconomicon, as could (more probably) Dendar (while she's a serpentine primordial, she also was called Nidhogg among Rus, ie a serpentine dragon of Norse myths. Dendar's 3E art also looks bit like a Linnorm).
sleyvas Posted - 07 Jan 2022 : 16:28:04
On the Spaakil / spelljammer / Zotha - so that's the ORIGIN of the spelljammer, but at some point it died, and another smalljammer became the NEXT spelljammer and rinse/repeat. So, what if the bird folk of Coliar at some point captained a smalljammer that became the next Spelljammer? What if that spelljammer became named Zotha? What if these bird folk were basically roaming around the multiverse with their ship and invading other worlds, until someone got pissed at them and decided "I'm gonna come destroy your homeworld"? What if they were using the spelljammer to escape the "destruction" of Coliar (which some did survive mind you)? For that matter, what if the beings that got pissed were primordials or dragons of Toril during that dawn war or somesuch? Maybe they also destroyed whatever sun existed in Realmspace as well at that time OR there were a lot of bird folk living on the celestial object that gets lit on fire by opening portals to the plane of fire?


On Torilian dragons, we have different stories. Since the stories of the Primordials and the Dawn War indicate that the Primordials were using dragons as "mounts" (with whatever that means), the story that we get later of fire dragons coming from the Tearfall is AFTER that. So, yes, I'd agree, there's several DIFFERENT origins for dragons in this world. I suspect that some may have been brought here in a giant ball of ice, which what melted by Asgorath's breath and the touch of Asgorath's breath weapon MAY have quickened the hatching of those eggs.

On the Aearee connection you mention, if the eggs in the ice ball (frozen water island) came from Coliar, and the Aearee came from Coliar... and the Aearee show up right after the Tearfall... you have a lot of commonalities there.
Baltas Posted - 07 Jan 2022 : 15:22:15
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


We've been told Zotha was a giant "manta ray" like being for instance that supposedly roamed from world to world.... interesting how THE spelljammer is a gigantic manta ray shaped "thing" with a city on its back, which is a living thing and creates spawn (smalljammers). But there can only be ONE spelljammer at a time..... which implies that previously there had been another one before it was replaced seemingly by one or more of its spawn. Almost like the spelljammer showed up in orbit with a "crystal sun"/"ice moon" in tow that was filled with dragon eggs (or a crystalline shell holding fire dragon eggs frozen in ice for transport.... hmmmm, doesn't Coliar have dragons and bird folk and "water islands".... and don't they like to carry eggs around the sun to change their nature in spelljamming vessels.... and wouldn't a water island taken farther away from Coliar possibly "freeze"... and right after the tearfall, didn't the batrachi civilization fall and the aearee civilization start up)




With The Spelljammer, the The Ultimate Helm last part of the Spelljammer novel series the Cloakmaster Cycle, reveal it's origin and why it is manta ray shaped (though the two novels are rather controversial, as they aren't the best written). Obviously, these are spoilers.
crystal
The origins of the Speljammer, lie in the possible first (at least inhabited by intelligent life) sphere - the One Sphere/Ouiyan. In there lived a powerful (to the point many seen them as gods) and benevolent manta species - the spaakiil, who brough enlightement, technology and magic to worlds. But a species on the farthest, inhospitable world on the crystal sphere, the vampiric Sh’tarrgh, waged war on all other worlds, to conquer them. The destruction was so great, the spaakiil wored with mages of other races, to make a great sacrifice - all merged spaakiil merged into the first Spelljammer (others, including thee current ones, are descendants of the first, Smalljammers who matured, once the previous Speljammer died, if havig memories of the past incarnations). Whille the Spelljammer flew from world to world, to save what remained of it's peoples, the Sh’tarrgh were still to powerfull, and Spelljammer and i's crew decided to flee the First Sphere. ut they made a fatal eror, making a too big opening, causing phlogiston to flow into the One Sphere, causing it to explode.

Though in the book, it's a bit doubful if the One Sphere/Ouiyan is the first one, as the Spelljammer itself discovered there were other spheres, and implied they existed at least along Ouiyan, though a lot of life, especially oldest civilisations in the spheres, like the creators/Juna are descendants of the species of Ouiyan.

It's possible Ouiyan is a sphere connected to Zotha, or maybe on he created (though this would arguably make Zotha an being on par with Overgods), or at least the world were spaakiil lived, and them, possibly overlooking to destroy them in his cycle of creation and destruction.

Some have commented spaakiil are oddly similar to the aboleth, as if good counterparts of them, some theorizing in reality they are descended from a split of the same species. Though I think it's also possible Zotha created the aboleth, or Pisaethces. Ed also stated from fragments of Zotha, Asgorath couldn't kill, were born many aberrations, including Illithids, Beholders and Neogi. With Beholders, it's iteresting, that there is an in-universe theory by sages that the Great Mother, was born from an eye of a fragmenented god - this might mean, the Great Mother, is literally Zotha's eye.
(I would guess Ilsensine is possibly Zotha's brain, or it's part? Pisaethces herself also looks a bit like a torn piece of flesh, and/or a globster).

It's also interesting both Zotha's and Asgorath's names, resemble that of Azathoth.

With Torillian dragons, they were stated to be possibly native, quite probably evolved from a species of local dinosaur (as explained in original Draconomicon as one of Torillian dragons possible origins). Indeed, Fizban's Treasury of Dragons repeats this claim, but also clarifying Torilian dragons evoled based on a cosmic archetype that existed before.

It's also interesting, The Grand History of the Realms states possibly Aeraee and Dragons have close common ancestors at least - aearee statues reported by Captain Neidre, had draconic features. It's also curious Sarrukh were described as both Sauroid, and even Dinosauroid (in Powers and Pantheons), further suggesting a relation with Aeraee and Dragons, though possibly a much more distant one, ie both evolving from a dinosaur species, instead of having a close common ancestor, as implied with dragons and aearee.
sleyvas Posted - 07 Jan 2022 : 14:55:47
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
We've been told Zotha was




Not even finishing reading this before posting.
I have summoned more Zotha lore discussion into the world (AND DRAGON LASERS) without even having to mention it. This thread officially has everything.


quote:
and wouldn't a water island taken farther away from Coliar

Oh gosh, if the Sun has any kind of life cycle or behavioral patterns then the 'habitable zone' could have changed over the magical history of realmspace. Massive flare-ups, swelling of the 'size' of the portal, shrinking of it, losing the portal and having to start it up again. Starting a new portal in the wrong place.


If the dragon gods of old were just a bunch of space-rocks and comets and space-ships then it makes sense that old dragons would have a penchant for space-lasers.
Dragons kind of seem like a part of industrialized space-society that got out and, being elemental batteries of bio-magical construction, were ripe for being manipulated by the creator races. Honestly, imagine that there were dragon eggs but no dragons for thousands of years of space-civilization. People using these elemental storage magical items shaped like eggs to power their society. Munitions and Auxiliary power supplies. Your video-game fusion coil fuel cells or red explosive barrels. If someone was transporting a massive facility-powering supply of elemental eggs and a comet struck the thing, well, space-halifax over the Dragon Sea?

Dropped off on the planet would be broken elemental seeds which contained untapped flesh-magic un-formed beings. I wouldn't be surprised if they adopted the appearance of the proto-dragons and thunder-beasts if such beings were omnipresent apex predators.



Glad you liked it. Another take on H'Catha, given its information supplying aspects might be that its not a weapon, but that the central spire is an antennae, and its a listening station gathering data from the entire crystal sphere. Essentially like a giant data processing unit, water cooled so it can "process" faster. Could definitely be a creation of say an elder brain, illithid deity, or a dragon who just wanted data. That being may even still be there, and it allows the beholders to serve as its guardians, just because they don't KNOW its there.

Or who knows, it might be both... with the "antennae" getting adapted / added onto at some point.

Going along with that same idea.... Glyth is covered in a weird gelatin like water which keeps that planet cool. It's size E (same size as Toril) and inhabited by mind flayers. Data Storage facility?
PattPlays Posted - 06 Jan 2022 : 03:07:46
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
We've been told Zotha was




Not even finishing reading this before posting.
I have summoned more Zotha lore discussion into the world (AND DRAGON LASERS) without even having to mention it. This thread officially has everything.


quote:
and wouldn't a water island taken farther away from Coliar

Oh gosh, if the Sun has any kind of life cycle or behavioral patterns then the 'habitable zone' could have changed over the magical history of realmspace. Massive flare-ups, swelling of the 'size' of the portal, shrinking of it, losing the portal and having to start it up again. Starting a new portal in the wrong place.


If the dragon gods of old were just a bunch of space-rocks and comets and space-ships then it makes sense that old dragons would have a penchant for space-lasers.
Dragons kind of seem like a part of industrialized space-society that got out and, being elemental batteries of bio-magical construction, were ripe for being manipulated by the creator races. Honestly, imagine that there were dragon eggs but no dragons for thousands of years of space-civilization. People using these elemental storage magical items shaped like eggs to power their society. Munitions and Auxiliary power supplies. Your video-game fusion coil fuel cells or red explosive barrels. If someone was transporting a massive facility-powering supply of elemental eggs and a comet struck the thing, well, space-halifax over the Dragon Sea?

Dropped off on the planet would be broken elemental seeds which contained untapped flesh-magic un-formed beings. I wouldn't be surprised if they adopted the appearance of the proto-dragons and thunder-beasts if such beings were omnipresent apex predators.
sleyvas Posted - 05 Jan 2022 : 13:44:29
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas



But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.




I personally don't read that as meaning that Ghaunadaur is a potential threat to Ao -- just that Ol' Slimy thinks he can be one.

And the Dead Three have already aptly demonstrated how thinking to challenge Ao and actually being able to pull it off are not at all the same thing.



Ghaunadaur thinking itself as a threat to Ao is the best thing I've heard all year.


quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
I prefer Ao to NOT be as powerful as he's reported to be. I prefer that the gods may overblow Ao's power so that they themselves don't appear so weak that he can affect them so much (because after all, if Ao is so powerful, who can call Tyr weak for having to do his bidding).




Ao's power is interesting, but he is indeed probably extremely powerful, maybe even for an Overgod (though this has some complexities and indeed reliance on gods).

As Faiths and Avatars, implied the Ao who basically bullied Greater ods, and sent down as avatars all gods, was a mere avatar of Ao. As how Ao avatar is described, is how Ao appeared in The Avatar series, specifically during the Time of Troubles, and that apperance of Ao is even directly called as such:
quote:
Ao's Avatar and Other Manifestations
Ao, when he appears (as he’s only done once), takes a form that is 12 feet tall. His face is ageless, neither young nor old. His visage is neither handsome nor ugly, and has even, symmetrical, and unremarkable features. His hair and beard are white. He wears a robe that appears to be made of celestial cloth. The robe is black and dotted by millions of stars and thousands of moons, all arranged in a pattern that is not quite perceptible, but which gives the whole robe a beautiful, harmonious feel.
Theoretically, Ao’s avatar can do anything.


But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.


This might be also connected to the fact, that aside from absorbing all power from other gods, the death of gods, would potentially weaken Ao - On Hallowed Ground, suggested an Overgods power, is proportional to the number (and persumably power) of gods within their Crystal Sphere.:
[quote]Chant is they've tied all their strength to maintaining the one sphere; perhaps they're simply its spirit made real. Whatever, the more powers they have in their domain, the more might they have, so the overpowers that want to grow are almost always looking to invite new deities under their umbrella.


This would explain Ao's power, with the Realms many deities (and comparable entities), as well as very powerful ones, like Mystra and Shar for example.

It also ties with TomCosta's idea of Overgods being emodiments and (primal) spirits of Crystal Spheres.


Toril being important to the Overgods moreso than maybe any other world makes a lot more sense if things have been getting snowball-like with the number of gods ballooning on Toril thanks to its portals as well as dark things lurking there long before the sun was made. Though this makes me question how Primal Spirits' power through faith with a pantheon and followers matches up against an imprisoned god-like primordial power that has less worshipers here yet is not a dead power in the astral and in fact can be tapped for great energy. If we're talking 4th edition in a 5th edition scope, then what of the old wars between elementals and astral powers? Did Selune have a relationship with Ao's power network when she arrived in realmspace and commenced her origin story and subsequent dynamic with Chauntea? If we take the "proportional to their sphere's gods' powers and number" to primordial elemental powers like Kossuth do primordials that blur the line between god not contribute to this power limit? Because if a bound being with divine levels of power does contribute to Ao without any worshipers then perhaps the endless layers of the underdark possess plenty of forgotten score-boosting batteries being tapped for by alien civilizations unknown to any creature the surface folk have met.

What if Toril has been "born" over a dozen times, each time a being like Selune shows up to find a Dead Rock (Toril post apocalypse when all gods are gone except 'primordials' bound up inside) that beguiles them. A selune-like being gives it power and a chauntea-like being creates a new surface layer with life. Eventually life draws gods in which then deal with Ao. If you think a Dawn War between primordials and Gods is inevitable (again, they all seem like Primal Spirits to me from some angles but I have only picked up that term recently) then this angle of Toril as a prison realm for primal powers makes them "erupting from the earth to attack the gods" definitely is terrifying. Plus, if you hauled a chunk of Toril away in the Tearfall it would likely have Primordials on it but no gods like a taking a slice of spherical raisin cake.
Then the surface is populated by beings, and their gods, and eventually it decays into a dried up Dead Rock- creating another layer of Ed's famed numerous onion layers. I just checked and Ed said he proposed documenting the "first ten layers" once.




One thing I find people doing over and over.... who says Toril has to be the "center of the focus of the crystal sphere". That's so thinking like old philosphers where the earth is the center of the universe because we're there. It's also natural.

So, take your same idea.... extend it to Coliar... which could be construed as blown into smithereens and populated by "bird" folk, "lizard" folk (maybe dragonborn as well as lizardmen), and dragons.

Take your same idea.... extend it to Glyth... which is covered in a gelatin like ooze, but possibly holds life beneath its surface. This might be a good place for some of the amphibious batrachi to have started.

Take your same idea... extend it to Karpri... which is a world which, if it previously had continents, has had its seas rise so much that they're under water. This could be another good place for batrachi.

Was Anadia always so close to the sun? Were there previously populations there before it moved so close and died out. Did its populations flee to other worlds? Could this be a good world for maybe a thri-kreen, spellweaver, etc... population.

Was Chandos once more solid and less of a "bunch of marbles moving around in water"? Another great place for batrachi as well.

Was the giant plant of Garden connecting several small "moons" once a part of a larger planet (for instance maybe Coliar)?

How did the sun (which isn't a star remember) become set on fire?

Finally, if we look at H'Catha, of all the worlds, it appears to be some kind of giant construct. It's shaped like a wagon wheel which "rolls" around the sun and its central spire directed at the sun. Travelling to the tip of the "spire" also serves as some kind of massive information transmittal system to any creature whose brain is larger than two feet in diameter (which could in theory include beings like dragons, as well as an elder brain of the illithids) but making them absolutely lawful neutral. It has two "moons", one of which appears to be some tiny abandoned lab, and the other is some kind of massive "gaseous" power source that ignites when exposed to oxygen. It's almost like H'Catha might have been built to "fire" at the sun or another planet, and the reason it has a lot of water is to "super cool" the machinery. To note, the world is size C (100 to 1000 miles in diameter), but its oceans are noted as 300 miles thick, so with its shape described as "wagon wheel" and not "tube" it must be closer to 1000 miles in diameter. Meanwhile the "gaseous" moon Turbetl is 980 miles in size... so its about the same size as the planet it orbits if not bigger. Toril, for comparison, is size E (which is 4000 to 10000 miles in diameter, and its close to earth size which is 7000)

Now where did the reptilian sarrukh, the bird like aearee, the amphibious batrachi, the dragons, etc... come from? Possibly some of them came from these other worlds.

We've been told Zotha was a giant "manta ray" like being for instance that supposedly roamed from world to world.... interesting how THE spelljammer is a gigantic manta ray shaped "thing" with a city on its back, which is a living thing and creates spawn (smalljammers). But there can only be ONE spelljammer at a time..... which implies that previously there had been another one before it was replaced seemingly by one or more of its spawn. Almost like the spelljammer showed up in orbit with a "crystal sun"/"ice moon" in tow that was filled with dragon eggs (or a crystalline shell holding fire dragon eggs frozen in ice for transport.... hmmmm, doesn't Coliar have dragons and bird folk and "water islands".... and don't they like to carry eggs around the sun to change their nature in spelljamming vessels.... and wouldn't a water island taken farther away from Coliar possibly "freeze"... and right after the tearfall, didn't the batrachi civilization fall and the aearee civilization start up)

In this concept, it also shouldn't be that each world was the only thing active in the crystal sphere at any given time, but rather that at certain points in history certain worlds may have been more of a focus of civilization, while the other planets may have been more of a backwater.

Some ideas that pop in my head are things like Coliar colliding with Anadia long ago, and perhaps Coliar was a bit of a "swiss cheese" like world that broke apart (or a world whose lower areas had been turned into an underdark tunnelled out by umber hulk like, wormlike, or elemental beings). Then Anadia settled into its current orbit.

Or H'Catha was created by someone and it "fired" at Coliar like a giant "death star" machine with a "super breath weapon" or "giant eye ray", shattered the world of Coliar, spun off Anadia, and hundreds of small "meteors" burned up in Toril's atmosphere leaving particles for some time, creating a temporary ice age that the sarrukh survived.

Maybe Glyth had some civilization before its bullywug population opened portals to the Far Realm, and the gelatin on the surface is some giant ooze creature.

Maybe the giant insects of Chandos came from Anadia "travelling through it" on its way to colliding with Coliar.


TBeholder Posted - 05 Jan 2022 : 08:44:54
The only answer to the question in subject is, of course, "unknowable".
But the laws of their respective "domains" seem to be different.
PattPlays Posted - 05 Jan 2022 : 02:55:08
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Baltas



But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.




I personally don't read that as meaning that Ghaunadaur is a potential threat to Ao -- just that Ol' Slimy thinks he can be one.

And the Dead Three have already aptly demonstrated how thinking to challenge Ao and actually being able to pull it off are not at all the same thing.



Ghaunadaur thinking itself as a threat to Ao is the best thing I've heard all year.


quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
I prefer Ao to NOT be as powerful as he's reported to be. I prefer that the gods may overblow Ao's power so that they themselves don't appear so weak that he can affect them so much (because after all, if Ao is so powerful, who can call Tyr weak for having to do his bidding).




Ao's power is interesting, but he is indeed probably extremely powerful, maybe even for an Overgod (though this has some complexities and indeed reliance on gods).

As Faiths and Avatars, implied the Ao who basically bullied Greater ods, and sent down as avatars all gods, was a mere avatar of Ao. As how Ao avatar is described, is how Ao appeared in The Avatar series, specifically during the Time of Troubles, and that apperance of Ao is even directly called as such:
quote:
Ao's Avatar and Other Manifestations
Ao, when he appears (as he’s only done once), takes a form that is 12 feet tall. His face is ageless, neither young nor old. His visage is neither handsome nor ugly, and has even, symmetrical, and unremarkable features. His hair and beard are white. He wears a robe that appears to be made of celestial cloth. The robe is black and dotted by millions of stars and thousands of moons, all arranged in a pattern that is not quite perceptible, but which gives the whole robe a beautiful, harmonious feel.
Theoretically, Ao’s avatar can do anything.


But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.


This might be also connected to the fact, that aside from absorbing all power from other gods, the death of gods, would potentially weaken Ao - On Hallowed Ground, suggested an Overgods power, is proportional to the number (and persumably power) of gods within their Crystal Sphere.:
[quote]Chant is they've tied all their strength to maintaining the one sphere; perhaps they're simply its spirit made real. Whatever, the more powers they have in their domain, the more might they have, so the overpowers that want to grow are almost always looking to invite new deities under their umbrella.


This would explain Ao's power, with the Realms many deities (and comparable entities), as well as very powerful ones, like Mystra and Shar for example.

It also ties with TomCosta's idea of Overgods being emodiments and (primal) spirits of Crystal Spheres.


Toril being important to the Overgods moreso than maybe any other world makes a lot more sense if things have been getting snowball-like with the number of gods ballooning on Toril thanks to its portals as well as dark things lurking there long before the sun was made. Though this makes me question how Primal Spirits' power through faith with a pantheon and followers matches up against an imprisoned god-like primordial power that has less worshipers here yet is not a dead power in the astral and in fact can be tapped for great energy. If we're talking 4th edition in a 5th edition scope, then what of the old wars between elementals and astral powers? Did Selune have a relationship with Ao's power network when she arrived in realmspace and commenced her origin story and subsequent dynamic with Chauntea? If we take the "proportional to their sphere's gods' powers and number" to primordial elemental powers like Kossuth do primordials that blur the line between god not contribute to this power limit? Because if a bound being with divine levels of power does contribute to Ao without any worshipers then perhaps the endless layers of the underdark possess plenty of forgotten score-boosting batteries being tapped for by alien civilizations unknown to any creature the surface folk have met.

What if Toril has been "born" over a dozen times, each time a being like Selune shows up to find a Dead Rock (Toril post apocalypse when all gods are gone except 'primordials' bound up inside) that beguiles them. A selune-like being gives it power and a chauntea-like being creates a new surface layer with life. Eventually life draws gods in which then deal with Ao. If you think a Dawn War between primordials and Gods is inevitable (again, they all seem like Primal Spirits to me from some angles but I have only picked up that term recently) then this angle of Toril as a prison realm for primal powers makes them "erupting from the earth to attack the gods" definitely is terrifying. Plus, if you hauled a chunk of Toril away in the Tearfall it would likely have Primordials on it but no gods like a taking a slice of spherical raisin cake.
Then the surface is populated by beings, and their gods, and eventually it decays into a dried up Dead Rock- creating another layer of Ed's famed numerous onion layers. I just checked and Ed said he proposed documenting the "first ten layers" once.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 04 Jan 2022 : 15:41:43
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas



But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.




I personally don't read that as meaning that Ghaunadaur is a potential threat to Ao -- just that Ol' Slimy thinks he can be one.

And the Dead Three have already aptly demonstrated how thinking to challenge Ao and actually being able to pull it off are not at all the same thing.
Baltas Posted - 04 Jan 2022 : 15:12:31
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
I prefer Ao to NOT be as powerful as he's reported to be. I prefer that the gods may overblow Ao's power so that they themselves don't appear so weak that he can affect them so much (because after all, if Ao is so powerful, who can call Tyr weak for having to do his bidding).




Ao's power is interesting, but he is indeed probably extremely powerful, maybe even for an Overgod (though this has some complexities and indeed reliance on gods).

As Faiths and Avatars, implied the Ao who basically bullied Greater ods, and sent down as avatars all gods, was a mere avatar of Ao. As how Ao avatar is described, is how Ao appeared in The Avatar series, specifically during the Time of Troubles, and that apperance of Ao is even directly called as such:
quote:
Ao's Avatar and Other Manifestations
Ao, when he appears (as he’s only done once), takes a form that is 12 feet tall. His face is ageless, neither young nor old. His visage is neither handsome nor ugly, and has even, symmetrical, and unremarkable features. His hair and beard are white. He wears a robe that appears to be made of celestial cloth. The robe is black and dotted by millions of stars and thousands of moons, all arranged in a pattern that is not quite perceptible, but which gives the whole robe a beautiful, harmonious feel.
Theoretically, Ao’s avatar can do anything.


But on the other hand, at least one god is described as a potential threat to Ao - Ghaunadaur. As detailed in Dragon #361:
quote:
Instead of being an avatar of Tharizdun, Shothragot is the creation of Ghaunadaur, an entity spawned to shatter the worshipers of all other gods and enable the Elder Eye to become master of all things. Shothragot is the principal instrument in his plans and the elder evil slaughters the worshipers of other gods to weaken them. Once the gods are brought low, Ghaunadaur plans to move against them, stealing their power for himself until he can challenge the architect of the universe -- Ao himself.


This might be also connected to the fact, that aside from absorbing all power from other gods, the death of gods, would potentially weaken Ao - On Hallowed Ground, suggested an Overgods power, is proportional to the number (and persumably power) of gods within their Crystal Sphere.:
quote:
Chant is they've tied all their strength to maintaining the one sphere; perhaps they're simply its spirit made real. Whatever, the more powers they have in their domain, the more might they have, so the overpowers that want to grow are almost always looking to invite new deities under their umbrella.


This would explain Ao's power, with the Realms many deities (and comparable entities), as well as very powerful ones, like Mystra and Shar for example.

It also ties with TomCosta's idea of Overgods being emodiments and (primal) spirits of Crystal Spheres.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Jan 2022 : 13:55:02
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

My argument for doing this is to make it such that Ao NEEDS the gods to get things accomplished, and he may be trying to move them like chess pieces to get things done.


Flashbacks to the strange chess-game presentation of Ascendancy of the Last and Ao's one line reference
It's all chess all the way down.


As for changes in the heavens, well, have you seen the 4e map of the planes? The 'World Axis' has no astral plane and doesn't look adventure-able and is listed as possessing a random list of planes or even individual abyssal layers as the only points of interest. The Elemental planes go from being adventure locations not for the faint of heart to "you get one elemental plane. it is also the abyss." as well as stitching two (multiple, really, under two banners) demiplanar realms onto the prime material and calling it a day. Like under a dozen places to visit in the Astral, the material and its echoes, and the elemental cosmic butthole. It's almost like a D&D Lite list of cosmic need-to-know points of interest. "There's only three alignments, don't go looking for anything else."

If you wanted an in-world explanation for the further simplification of the cosmos pre 5e then that totally works as Ao giving Toril a "look, play with these planes and I'll give you more later."

Like a DM using a simplistic handout for a campaign while they spend that time working on a bombastic 2e-scaled cosmos with less crunch for the next campaign (5e). Works well for connecting WOTC's constraints with the realms, having Ao as a symbol for everyone working to create realmslore who themselves have to struggle and strain and get emotional about the various beings living in this fantasy reality and trying to make it fit into a consumable product as time changes.

https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/9/91/4e_FR_cosmology.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/640?cb=20190811000030
Look at sigil. It's just sitting there, unloved but present for some reason- not attached to anything and probably never mentioned in text.
Ao be like Hulk handing Ant-man a taco. "You get sigil. Be happy." What's sigil without the outlands and the planes? XD
https://imgur.com/a/jic58ZnI couldn't resist making this.



The big change I saw in 4e's culmination (and I'm not fighting for any given version being better) was that planes were no longer "infinite" and all these planes were just "make it up as you need it". I actually have no problem with that, and I will say that I do like the idea of outer planes not being infinite. If its infinite AND populated, that gives the lords of a lot of layers basically infinite hordes. That's the one change to 4e planar cosmology that I'd keep. That being said, most people didn't actually delve into all that "what it would mean for planes to be infinite", and the fact that you would get dropped randomly into a plane.

That being said, it also causes problems when there's multiple variants of the "nine hells". In many ways, the idea of Eberron's model with planes attaching and detaching, waxing/waning, etc... makes for a good model in my book. It can explain why there might be a nine hells that's shared between some worlds and not others. Then again, that creates its own problems when the ruler of layer X is lord Y for world 1, and its lord Z for world 2.
PattPlays Posted - 04 Jan 2022 : 05:20:30
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

My argument for doing this is to make it such that Ao NEEDS the gods to get things accomplished, and he may be trying to move them like chess pieces to get things done.


Flashbacks to the strange chess-game presentation of Ascendancy of the Last and Ao's one line reference
It's all chess all the way down.


As for changes in the heavens, well, have you seen the 4e map of the planes? The 'World Axis' has no astral plane and doesn't look adventure-able and is listed as possessing a random list of planes or even individual abyssal layers as the only points of interest. The Elemental planes go from being adventure locations not for the faint of heart to "you get one elemental plane. it is also the abyss." as well as stitching two (multiple, really, under two banners) demiplanar realms onto the prime material and calling it a day. Like under a dozen places to visit in the Astral, the material and its echoes, and the elemental cosmic butthole. It's almost like a D&D Lite list of cosmic need-to-know points of interest. "There's only three alignments, don't go looking for anything else."

If you wanted an in-world explanation for the further simplification of the cosmos pre 5e then that totally works as Ao giving Toril a "look, play with these planes and I'll give you more later."

Like a DM using a simplistic handout for a campaign while they spend that time working on a bombastic 2e-scaled cosmos with less crunch for the next campaign (5e). Works well for connecting WOTC's constraints with the realms, having Ao as a symbol for everyone working to create realmslore who themselves have to struggle and strain and get emotional about the various beings living in this fantasy reality and trying to make it fit into a consumable product as time changes.

https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/9/91/4e_FR_cosmology.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/640?cb=20190811000030
Look at sigil. It's just sitting there, unloved but present for some reason- not attached to anything and probably never mentioned in text.
Ao be like Hulk handing Ant-man a taco. "You get sigil. Be happy." What's sigil without the outlands and the planes? XD
https://imgur.com/a/jic58ZnI couldn't resist making this.
sleyvas Posted - 03 Jan 2022 : 14:32:56
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't think the Tablets of Fate were important to Ao; he destroyed them, after all... I think the Tablets were more of a symbol -- kind of like a contract between Ao and the gods, that he had the power to unilaterally change or discard.

I don't recall where it is, but there was a reference to the Celestial Bureaucracy getting tossed down during the ToT, as well.

I'm personally going to go with those other overdeities being aspects of Ao. I'd rather have them be avatars or servants of his, but then that begs the question of why he handles Faerûn directly but hands off the other continents to other folks. So I'm going with aspects.

(Although, you could explain it away with those overdeities rising to their position some other way; maybe they were voted into power or somehow pushed their way to the top, or maybe they're interlopers that brought their existing organizational structure with them)




To note, can't find where tha quote on the celestial bureaucracy was either, but I recall it clearly. It didn't say what mountains and basically it just said they "hid away". The same quote though also said that "none of the elemental gods were seen", then someone put Kossuth's avatar down in Chult in Serpent Kingdom. It does bug me that I can't find it, because I know I read it in a product. I could swear it was FR Adventures or Old Empires, but I don't find it in those.

I go the other end of the spectrum for Ao's power, and each viewpoint I feel is valid and doesn't really impact play much. I prefer Ao to NOT be as powerful as he's reported to be. I prefer that the gods may overblow Ao's power so that they themselves don't appear so weak that he can affect them so much (because after all, if Ao is so powerful, who can call Tyr weak for having to do his bidding).

My argument for doing this is to make it such that Ao NEEDS the gods to get things accomplished, and he may be trying to move them like chess pieces to get things done. I prefer plots in which "what we've been told" and "what was really going on" are different things.

For instance, the storyline that Ao kicked out the gods because they stole his tablets of fate, and he kept the only god in "the heavens" who will absolutely keep his mouth shut if told to do so..... I go with the idea that Ao specifically left out his tablets of fate as a honey pot KNOWING that he would get certain deities to come steal them. Why? He needed the gods out of the heavens so that he could remake/remodel things. He may have also wanted to get rid of the tablets of fate because they were a contract that prevented him from devouring gods who had very few worshippers or weren't doing their jobs, and he couldn't destroy them unless the gods broke their side of the agreement.

One thing that happened with the Time of Troubles as well is that the Imaskari Godswall went away AND Ao at that point also became the sole arbiter of who could rise up as a god. Perhaps part of kicking the gods out of the heavens was SO THAT HE COULD ABSORB THE POWER OF THE IMASKARI GODSWALL AND THEREBY SET IT THAT HE AND ONLY HE HELD THE POWER TO AGREE TO RAISE UP GODS. By that, I mean that perhaps when Ptah brought the Mulan gods to Toril, maybe it wasn't with the approval of Ao... but Ptah had the power to force the issue and Ao sat back rather than risk his own power.... all the while plotting to turn the tables later.

Along these similar lines, other people may have risen to godhood without Ao's consent prior to this that also irked Ao (i.e. Mellifleur). By this, I view it that Mellifleur is a "collective" god who moves into crystal spheres by the same basic process (corrupting some other gods lich creation ritual to steal divine power and implant it into a "new Mellifleur drone"). Thus, when Talos almost immediately afterward wants to help Velsharoon ascend by subverting Mellifleur's power.... Ao may have been very happy to help.

One thing that you could maybe develop as a theory is that during the ToT, Ao actually began "growing" new divine domains for the gods, such that they possessed their own places tied specifically to realmspace (i.e. the 3e world tree model). The gods may have then slowly migrated to these new places. This could be why Mystra was in Elysium in 2e but had her own divine domain of Dweomerheart in 3e.

Leading off from this, Ao maybe KNEW that the Spellplague was coming (and by that I mean the convergence of Abeir and Toril, not necessarily the death of Midnight... though I'm fine with that as well), and the time of troubles was him prepping for that. He foresaw that in 4e divine domains would be finite places.... and thus by having multiple of these created by him already in the world tree model would allow him to be even more powerful in this era.

Along these lines, the laughable storyline of Tyr, Helm, Siamorphe, Sune, and Cyric were likely some cover for some other godly shenanigans.

These story ideas become a lot harder if not impossible if Ao can remake the entire universe at his whim.
creyzi4zb12 Posted - 03 Jan 2022 : 12:03:50
quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by creyzi4zb12

Kinda had me thinking that during the Time of Troubles Ao brought something called the Tablets of Fate.
Considering how Fate had a worshipper that was powerful enough to beat the gods and the genies (Loregiver), does this mean they are one and the same? Fate and Ao I mean.


Ao explicitly said at one point, to a character in-universe (who was praying to Torm at the time) that he had never answered a prayer before, and if I remember rightly also said he would not do so again. It was something to do with Tethyr, and somebody using his name to do something Ao disagreed with. I’ll see if I can dig it up later.

So I would say no, they likely are not the same. Even calling Ao an “overgod” I feel may be implicitly ascribing traits of gods to him that he doesn’t actually possess, when he is very fundamentally a different type of being.


Sorry, that was a mistake. The Loregiver never worshipped Fate. Nor was Fate worshipped on the Zakharan pantheon. Kinda makes sense a bit. Ao is not worhipped, Fate is not worshipped.

Fate did help her in dealing with the grand genies and gods fighting over her.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 03 Jan 2022 : 04:34:11
I don't think the Tablets of Fate were important to Ao; he destroyed them, after all... I think the Tablets were more of a symbol -- kind of like a contract between Ao and the gods, that he had the power to unilaterally change or discard.

I don't recall where it is, but there was a reference to the Celestial Bureaucracy getting tossed down during the ToT, as well.

I'm personally going to go with those other overdeities being aspects of Ao. I'd rather have them be avatars or servants of his, but then that begs the question of why he handles Faerûn directly but hands off the other continents to other folks. So I'm going with aspects.

(Although, you could explain it away with those overdeities rising to their position some other way; maybe they were voted into power or somehow pushed their way to the top, or maybe they're interlopers that brought their existing organizational structure with them)
Ayrik Posted - 02 Jan 2022 : 23:17:22
Ao is an overgod. Said to be the creator and supreme power of the Realms. In the Avatar trilogy he demonstrates power over all the other gods - he permanently maims Tyr with a simple thought in a moment of peevish anger - he decrees all the gods (except Helm) be cast to the world and he denies them any access to their normal domains, portfolios, and powers - he puts on a big show in sky and instantly promotes a trio of petty mortals to the station of greatest gods/goddesses at the head of the pantheon. He also interacts in some way with other entities of station comparable (or superior?) to his own, dutifully providing status reports and ultimately stating that "balance in the Realms has been secured".

The status of Fate (Zakhara), the Celestial Emperor (Kara-Tur), and Maztica (queen-goddess) is a little uncertain.
They could be Ao's peers.
They could be Ao's aspects.
They could be Ao's avatars.
They could be Ao's servants.

It's worth noting that Ao's existence was basically completely unknown to mortals prior to his appearance Avatar Crisis. And even afterwards, he does not recognize mortal worship nor communicate in any way (except, perhaps, by passing directives indirectly through the proper Faerunian deities).
While Fate, the Celestial Emperor, and Maztica are known to mortals, they have names and apparently do (rarely) respond to prayers/worship, even if they are vague and aloof and unfathomable.

And it's worth pointing out that Realmspace is a thing - an inhabited crystal sphere bobbling around in the void, indeed, it's almost sort of two spheres because of the phased-extraplanar-complicated Abeir-Toril situation.
Yet there is no "Qadim-space" - no sphere, (demi)plane, or world of Fate beyond the Realms - Zakhara is entirely contained within the Realms, it appears to be a subset within Ao's dominions.

And then there's the various archetype deities - Corellon, Moradin, Gruumsh, Bahamut, Tiamat, Lolth, etc - who exist in Realms mythology and who also span many other worlds, they exist every place their peoples exist. Corellon and Gruumsh and Tiamat apparently choose to do what they do as they will do without any need to consult Ao.
There are also tangents to other overgod contenders (like Zeus, Odin, etc), entangled to the Realms through their own progeny (Tyche, Tyr, etc) - this would probably depend a lot on which D&D game (and FR lore) edition you prefer, whether Mount Olympus and the Yggdrasil/World Tree are "real" cosmic metaphors in your Realms.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I'd categorize the Lady of Pain (in Sigil) and Anubis (on the Astral) as overgod entities, along with Ptah (as mentioned in my post above).
Because they all have absolute supremacy in their domains, a higher order of power than any interloping power (or interloping overpower) can command. They all are truly immortal in their domains. And they all have direct access to any other domain (every plane, every world) in the entire D&D cosmos.

Primus (the First Modron) of Mechanus might be an overgod of sorts. Some planeslore asserts that the cosmos were created by Primus imposing order and structure on primeval chaos. Whether this is true or not, it is evident that Primus wields absolute power on the entire plane of Mechanus and his power extends to many planes or worlds beyond Mechanus. No other deity has such uncontested and absolute claim over an entire outer plane.

The "High God" of Krynn might also be an overgod, of stature similar to Ao.

And the dualistic Ouroboros "World Serpent" might also be an overgod - perhaps the first overgod - although perhaps also the first (and only) "dead/destroyed" overgod after splitting into Jazirian/Asmodeus. (Anubis is also "dead", but in a very different way.)
This overgod identity admittedly relies on only one myth from only one source (Planes of Hell) - so it is technically published canon but it is also inconsistent (and somewhat contradictory) with all other published canon - it's often treated as apocryphal canon by fans.

It could be argued that certain demihuman/monstrous deities - like Corelllon, Moraddin, Gruumsh, and even Lolth/Lloth - are all overgods. Insofar as their power extends everywhere their species exist, their mythology and peoples have impacted countless worlds. With only the powers intrinsic to their universal archetypes - without relying on any cosmic constructs (like Mount Olympus or the Ygdrasil Tree) as vehicles for their power.

And Asmodeus could be an overgod.
Some people (and some canon sources) are quite indignant or vehemently opposed to categorizing Asmodeus as any sort of divine/godlike being. And some canon firmly asserts that Asmodeus wants nothing to do with the limitations/dependencies inherent to assuming divine station. And of course 4E publisjed its own ideas about Asmodeus being a deity (which would technically make it the most valid canon, until overwritten by something newer).
But the bottom line is that Asmodeus is absolute and ultimate ruler of the Nine Hells. He commands the obedience of every devil in the D&D cosmos. And he has no small power over countless souls on countless worlds. I'd argue that Asmodeus is an overgod.

I might also add the "Dark Powers" of the Demiplane of Dread (Ravenloft setting). Since they can insidiously make their powers (and their misty demiplane) manifest anywhere they like. Though this is an iffy call since the "Dark Powers" might be an individual or a group entity, it might have a godlike (and malign) intelligence or it might be a mindless instinctive predator attracted to the scent of sustenance.

4E lore essentially adds Mystra to this list, since her Weave (or at least her death) supposedly has effects which span the known cosmos.


The Tablets of Fate are important to Ao. Important enough to motivate the Dead Three to steal them, to cause the entire Time of Troubles and Avatar Crisis which brought D&D and the Realms from 1E to 2E.
Beyond that, we don't really know a lot about these tablets, they were just a plot macguffin to drive the novel/adventure narratives. For all we know, they might be called "The Tablets of Zakhara" outside the Heartlands of Faerun.

quote:
Originally posted by Othinnar

I'm one of the people who thought that Ao has a connection with Anu, and if I remember good, the Overgod was covered in stars in the books? If so, it's a very sky-god thing. Also the Mesopotamian tablets of fate were first in Anu's or Tiamat's possession, and later in Enlil's or Marduk's, depending on the version of myths. And I think that maybe Ao's author first got the name from filling tablets, and when developing the Over Power beyond the name, he was inspired by some, or all of the above deities?


http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16609
Eldacar Posted - 02 Jan 2022 : 22:54:58
quote:
Originally posted by creyzi4zb12

Kinda had me thinking that during the Time of Troubles Ao brought something called the Tablets of Fate.
Considering how Fate had a worshipper that was powerful enough to beat the gods and the genies (Loregiver), does this mean they are one and the same? Fate and Ao I mean.


Ao explicitly said at one point, to a character in-universe (who was praying to Torm at the time) that he had never answered a prayer before, and if I remember rightly also said he would not do so again. It was something to do with Tethyr, and somebody using his name to do something Ao disagreed with. I’ll see if I can dig it up later.

So I would say no, they likely are not the same. Even calling Ao an “overgod” I feel may be implicitly ascribing traits of gods to him that he doesn’t actually possess, when he is very fundamentally a different type of being.
TomCosta Posted - 02 Jan 2022 : 21:06:48
I like to think of Ao and the other overgods as one "god" and actually the primal spirit of Realmspace (mixing a bit of 4E lore I liked).
Baltas Posted - 02 Jan 2022 : 18:18:11
Hard to tell. The 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms campaign setting, sugests Fate (and the Celestial Emperor, and Maztica (the goddess)) might be fellow Overgods to Ao, though also suggesting they might be facets of Ao (page 61 of Running the Realms):
quote:
In addition, there seem to be other over-powers in other pantheons alien to those commonly found in Faerûn. Far to the East, the godhead is arranged as a church hierarchy or army, with one Supreme Bureaucrat commanding the Celestial Bureaucracy. Far to the South, another unified pantheon traces its teachings back to a being known as Fate, who is not a god but rather something greater and vastly different. And to the West the gods of the True World venerate a founding mother known as Maztica.
The question of whether these over-gods are merely different versions of the same god Ao or are part of a committee of over-gods assigned their mortal parishes in different regions is a matter of theology best suited to sages. And, say the priests, more luck to them.



I couldn't find another source adressing this, and latter sources describe Ao as the sole Overgod of the Realmspace. I guess this could mean some of the puprosed Overgods are either just very powerfull Greater Gods, or indeed facets of Ao. One could also see Fate as planar Overgod, or similar higher being, that came to be worshipped in Zakhara (posssibly connected to genie influence).

[Edit]

Fixed my quote, as originally I accudentally deleted a revelant part with the suggestion other proposed Overgods and Ao are aspects of each other.

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