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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5248 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2017 :  14:26:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I was looking for updates on Dweomorheart, because the SCAG doesn't say where the returned Mystra makes her home (though one could argue she is now living -in- the Weave). I even went to the wiki page, just to see, but it says nothing about it being restored, though it does say that most of its inhabitants went to the Fugue Plane or were re-assigned to another realm.

Or, perhaps it wasn't entirely destroyed, but rather "knocked" to another part of the Astral Plane, or "branch" or "spoke" lol. The GhotR said that only the greater gods managed to hold on to their realms, but I think they either allowed for allying, "lesser" deities to share their realm (some already did), or they helped them hold on to it. The list in the 4e campaign guide lists their realms, and all the major god realms were intact and inhabited by at least one greater god and then gods or exarchs (give or take). All the major divine realms seemed to be there. I wish the SCAG listed the planes of the gods. Even 4e did that.





Hmmm, that quote from the dweomerheart wiki page intrigued me (the one that said their petitioners went elsewhere), so I wanted to go read it. It was apparently from an - The one and only "ask the Realms Authors/Designers Thread" 3 - which apparently went to the old gleemax forums in 2008, so right after the 4e release. I went to go look for it, and its no longer available. I tried the wayback machine. Anyone actually have it?

That all being said, its not extremely important to what I'm doing, as I don't plan to delve strongly into what EXACTLY happened on a deific scale (i.e. uncertain narrators making guesses).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2017 :  20:24:43  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really LOVE a lot of MtG's Planer lore, and I could never understand why they haven't merged MtG stuff with D&D (its just nuts - they could use all the same art, published lore/splat books, etc).

Check this out. Its a very interesting way to spin the Feywild & Shadowfell.
I've always thought of both of them as imperfect 'reflections' of the real world (Prime Material), but in that, it has them be reflections of themselves, or rather, two sides of the same coin.

Not sure how that could work in regards to what we already know about D&D's planes, but its an interesting notion: There is no difference between the Shadowfell and the Feywild, except for the time of your arrival (which is always chaotic and completely random). Reminds me of the Narnia stories in a way - you could go there one time and find a land of beauty and fairy-queens, and then go back a few weeks later, and centuries have passed (or have you arrived earlier than the first time?), and now its a shadoy, mist-filled world of goblins and long leggity-beasties.

I don't think I'd want to use that in a game (games NEED rules), but it would make for a rather interesting novel. The characters would think they are meating evil versions of people they know in the Shadowfell, when in reality, they are just meeting those SAME people during a different cycle. Neat.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 19 Feb 2017 01:54:35
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  02:28:29  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is a thought to add to the discussion that just occurred to me: how does Sigil, which I find interesting, play into all this?

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 19 Feb 2017 02:30:21
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
418 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  11:22:58  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sigil is a city similar to gatetowns (lot of portals and various planar creatures living there) but it is situated directly in the center of the Great Wheel (absolute neutral if you will) and is ruled by enigmatic Lady of Pain. It is meant to be a hub of planar travel and commerce and somehow gods are forbidden to enter the city.

AFAIK it has no important role in workings of the Planes. In Planescape it is used pretty much like a Waterdeep in FR.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5248 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  15:04:43  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

Here is a thought to add to the discussion that just occurred to me: how does Sigil, which I find interesting, play into all this?



Sigil may just be one of MANY "central" cities that are focused around a grouping of planes. The dark of it may be that the berks of Sigil who believe that "their" city is THE center of it all don't even realize that there simply is no center.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
82 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  15:25:27  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Markustay: I agree, would have been a fun way to have a line of optional books with monster stats for D&D in the back, and have some MtG stuff for us to enjoy as optional planes. Ravnica, New Phyrexia (Mirrodin/Ice Age), up to Zenistrad or the realms of Plancechase!
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  18:03:37  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

Sigil is a city similar to gatetowns (lot of portals and various planar creatures living there) but it is situated directly in the center of the Great Wheel (absolute neutral if you will) and is ruled by enigmatic Lady of Pain. It is meant to be a hub of planar travel and commerce and somehow gods are forbidden to enter the city.

AFAIK it has no important role in workings of the Planes. In Planescape it is used pretty much like a Waterdeep in FR.



I know what it is, which is why I brought it up. It is in the center of the Great Wheel, and you're right, it is neutral ground. But I would still be curious to see what role it plays, especially if we go with the idea of shifting planes. It could be unimportant, yes, but I mentioned it because it is part of the cosmology.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  21:13:53  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sigil is called 'The Cage' for a reason - its a prison for something. I think the LoP is 'the Warden'.

I also like Rip Van Wormer's take on Sigil and Imaskar, and using what Sleyvas just said above - and combining it - that perhaps every 'great magical civilization' eventually builds it own little 'Sigil', and just like Gate-towns, its nature causes it to slowly shift into the Outlands, and merge with Sigil proper (and as it does in Ravenloft/DoD, no-one seems to recall a time when it wasn't connected). So Sigil isn't so much a single city, but rather, a great big ball of cities all mashed together in bizarre and non-Euclidean ways. I picture whole sections with weird architecture no-one understands, belonging to races long gone (and strange 'things' still scurrying about in the semi-ruins... the devolved inhabitants, perhaps?)

I'd also connect it to Michael Moorcock's Tanelorn - his city that exists 'nowhere, and everywhere'. Its a city that exists on every world, mostly in legend, and only the bravest of souls (high level) can find it. So Taking Moorcock's vision, and just saying those folks aren't really 'finding a city' in some remote region of their world, they are finding a Gate to districts within Sigil, but the gate itself would like a fantastic city to those approaching it (so you better remember where you entered, because if you step out a different gate you could wind-up on some other world). So maybe it was an ancient, lost city of their world... but it has since drifted into the planes and merged with Sigil, merely leaving an 'echo' of itself behind... and a Gate.

Perhaps 'The Cage' is where they keep Tharizdun's physical body (his 'essence' is in the Ethereal)? Maybe the 'ultimate evil' (PURE Chaotic Evil) had to be separated into three pieces and imprisoned far from each other, to keep it contained. Thus, the original 'Sigil' was nothing more than the chained body of the greatest 'Elder evil', but its nature warps reality, and draws like-minded beings (magic-users, who also spend their lives altering reality) to it, like moths to a flame. This is why all these High-Magic cities are slowly drawn into Sigil. "They say if you travel too deep into the 'underbelly' of The Cage, the tunnel walls start to appear like living flesh."

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 19 Feb 2017 21:15:43
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Darkmeer
Senior Scribe

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  02:44:30  Show Profile  Visit Darkmeer's Homepage Send Darkmeer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Wooly about the planar layout issue. I tried (and never completed) my Tree to wheel conversions, but that is my running theory as well. The Gate towns can also shift back and forth (I believe Ribcage is one that is known for doing this, multiple times). It's a matter of belief out there, as the Outer Planes are entirely about that in my mind.

The fact that there could be further gate towns beyond the ring, but they have not yet been discovered/believed in enough yet, leaves enough for me to say the wheel can be expanded, from an inner rim to the outer rim. I believe the wheel CAN be expanded.


"These people are my family, not just friends, and if you want to get to them you gotta go through ME."
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  03:27:20  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Plus, we are barely even thinking of it as 3-dimensional (we tend to think of even the Outlands in a 2-dimensional fashion). We think in terms of all these planes in front of us, behind us, to the left, or to the right (not even up or down).

But gods and other outsiders are operating in an 11+ dimensional space, so there are 'directions' we mortals can't even fathom. There could literally be an infinite number of things anchored to the wheel that we don't know about.

"A million angles can dance on the had of a pin"

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Feb 2017 03:30:03
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  03:51:12  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed, it is very hard to make a "map" of a number of infinite planes! For me, there is still merit in such a thing, because I want planeswalking to be a viable option for my players. Even the earliest FR products had people visting Waterdeep from other planes, and in my game these individuals are present in the city. It's important to me for me to able to say where they came from, and how they got to Toril, and what life is like where they come from. This definitely isn't important to everyone's style of game, but it interests me.

I guess what I want to do is not necessarily understand how exactly the planes work, but how they're understood by planars and Toril primes that venture into the planes, and for me that means explaining how the Great Wheel and the World Tree fit together into a greater picture. As far as my 2D presentation I posted, I imagine the World Tree existing outside of normal space dimensions rather than something constrained by length, width, and height. But, drawing it helps make the links between planes more comprehendable, so it's useful to me - and by extension my players, who might use such a model to plan their adventures.

Edit: We could take the "damaged World Tree" of 4e concept even further by saying as the planes "dropped off" the Tree, they folded over on themselves to become the finite "planet-like" planes in the Astral that 4e described. Then, when Ao restored the Tree in the Sundering (conjecture), they were restored to their former status.

An additional factor that I've mostly let slip past me thus far is that Toril's Astral Plane is actually a separate entity to the Great Wheel Astral Plane (p139 PGtF). The World Tree exists within this separate Astral Plane, with the Material Plane serving as its trunk. This doesn't necessarily change what we've said, as the individual branches of the tree could still be links to the Great Wheel of the "main" Astral Plane.

I'm imagining Ao folded a section of the Astral Plane into itself (either when Toril was created, or maybe when Toril and Abeir split) that would serve as a home to the deities active on Toril, creating a space he could control more absolutely. Those deities wishing to have a presence on Toril would have to do so from his "separate" Astral. Within his separate Astral he created a World Tree to bind the deities' realms both to Toril (the trunk according to PGtF), and their home realms on the Great Wheel (the tips of the branches). Thus, the deities home planes on the Great Wheel partly extend into the World Tree and their "Torilian" plane - or, for example, Moradin's realm of Erackinor on Mount Celestia has been partly folded by Ao into his separate Astral and the World Tree, becoming part of Dwarfhome there by joining with the folded in Realms of Marthammor Duin, Beronnar, etcetera. Moradin and the other deities have to initially allow this of course, but they do so in order to be active on Toril - arguably one of the most divinely active of the Crystal Spheres deities have access to.

This way, a better 2D representation would be of the World Tree being outside of rather than inside the Great Wheel (an abstract concept anyway, but stay with me), and the tips of the World Tree's branches reaching over to the Great Wheel (extending between the separate Astral planes) rather than from "within" it. All conceptual regardless, but this might make more sense to those actually travelling the planes.

Edit 2: One advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it) of the latest Sundering is that without any lore existing at the moment, it's possible to do whatever you want with the planes. We just don't know what gods are where, if there's even a World Tree concept any more, or if the gods are all just back on the Great Wheel. There's a reference to dwarves believing they go to Dwarfhome in the SCAG, but other than that I don't recall a great deal to go on. Part of me is inclined to say that Ao "unfolded" the second Astral plane into the original, resetting the status quo to that of the 2e books. It's just easier - althought the second Astral as an area that Ao has full control over also makes it easier to comprehend his power over the other gods influential on Toril.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 20 Feb 2017 04:51:44
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29798 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  04:14:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Perhaps 'The Cage' is where they keep Tharizdun's physical body (his 'essence' is in the Ethereal)? Maybe the 'ultimate evil' (PURE Chaotic Evil) had to be separated into three pieces and imprisoned far from each other, to keep it contained. Thus, the original 'Sigil' was nothing more than the chained body of the greatest 'Elder evil', but its nature warps reality, and draws like-minded beings (magic-users, who also spend their lives altering reality) to it, like moths to a flame. This is why all these High-Magic cities are slowly drawn into Sigil. "They say if you travel too deep into the 'underbelly' of The Cage, the tunnel walls start to appear like living flesh."



That could also explain why deities can't enter Sigil... Either the presence of a certain amount* of divine energy could be drawn off to free/awaken that portion of Tharizdun, and/or there was some sort of pact sealed at his imprisonment, mandating that deities would avoid his jail. (Though, honestly, the latter is not anywhere near as likely or easy to explain as the former).

*Certain amount meaning "enough of a divine rank to answer prayers and form an avatar." Clerics may contain some of that divine energy, but it's too "diluted" by their mortality and life energy to matter, for this purpose. Even cramming every cleric/priest in existence into Sigil wouldn't be enough to count.

Or maybe the Spire itself is the prison, and Sigil is the guardhouse...

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  08:36:28  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
New mock-up taking the dual Astral Planes into account (3.5 Mb):
Link

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5248 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  16:06:06  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sigil is called 'The Cage' for a reason - its a prison for something. I think the LoP is 'the Warden'.

I also like Rip Van Wormer's take on Sigil and Imaskar, and using what Sleyvas just said above - and combining it - that perhaps every 'great magical civilization' eventually builds it own little 'Sigil', and just like Gate-towns, its nature causes it to slowly shift into the Outlands, and merge with Sigil proper (and as it does in Ravenloft/DoD, no-one seems to recall a time when it wasn't connected). So Sigil isn't so much a single city, but rather, a great big ball of cities all mashed together in bizarre and non-Euclidean ways. I picture whole sections with weird architecture no-one understands, belonging to races long gone (and strange 'things' still scurrying about in the semi-ruins... the devolved inhabitants, perhaps?)

I'd also connect it to Michael Moorcock's Tanelorn - his city that exists 'nowhere, and everywhere'. Its a city that exists on every world, mostly in legend, and only the bravest of souls (high level) can find it. So Taking Moorcock's vision, and just saying those folks aren't really 'finding a city' in some remote region of their world, they are finding a Gate to districts within Sigil, but the gate itself would like a fantastic city to those approaching it (so you better remember where you entered, because if you step out a different gate you could wind-up on some other world). So maybe it was an ancient, lost city of their world... but it has since drifted into the planes and merged with Sigil, merely leaving an 'echo' of itself behind... and a Gate.

Perhaps 'The Cage' is where they keep Tharizdun's physical body (his 'essence' is in the Ethereal)? Maybe the 'ultimate evil' (PURE Chaotic Evil) had to be separated into three pieces and imprisoned far from each other, to keep it contained. Thus, the original 'Sigil' was nothing more than the chained body of the greatest 'Elder evil', but its nature warps reality, and draws like-minded beings (magic-users, who also spend their lives altering reality) to it, like moths to a flame. This is why all these High-Magic cities are slowly drawn into Sigil. "They say if you travel too deep into the 'underbelly' of The Cage, the tunnel walls start to appear like living flesh."





Holy Crap Markustay.... you just fueled an idea for me. Not Tharizdun. Imaskar... Sigil as a Prison for some great elder evil... weird extra dimensional places.... gods not being able to enter Sigil much like the godswall that surrounded realmspace.... Entropy, the god swallower, is a Primordial, but also appears to be tied to an elder evil....

I present to you, Pandorym is somehow tied to the formation of Sigil, and the lady of Pain is the warden? The godswall was some kind of extension possibly from Sigil to Realmspace (or vice versa maybe)? You know, the lady of pain does somewhat resemble an Imaskari.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
418 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  21:13:23  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Plus, we are barely even thinking of it as 3-dimensional (we tend to think of even the Outlands in a 2-dimensional fashion). We think in terms of all these planes in front of us, behind us, to the left, or to the right (not even up or down).

But gods and other outsiders are operating in an 11+ dimensional space, so there are 'directions' we mortals can't even fathom. There could literally be an infinite number of things anchored to the wheel that we don't know about.



Where did you get that 11+ dimension space theory? I have seen you use it multiple times and it still sounds silly to me. Why would the gods have to perceive universe in more dimensions than us - they are not omnipotent after all...


They have more information available than common mortal on Toril but it is actualy quite close to our modern spy network - you get instant updates on multiple events from multiple source and you just have to allocate your processing time to events that you care about. You have also many direct or indirect methods to manipulate events and multiple opponents (and allies) with conflicting agendas. As you cannot take their heads off you will play most of the time the This for That game.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  22:20:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My Over-cosmology theories are blended with RW science - Its M-theory, which is a unified String theory, and is based on eleven-dimensional supergravity.

We mortals perceive things in three diemsions. 'Higher' beings may be able to perceive stuff in more dimensions. Szass Tam once cast a spell that let him see-into about a half dozen dimensions (to view alternate timelines), and it almost drove him nuts. There is also a scene in one of the Avatar novels where Oghma tries to explain to (the new?) Mystra about how each god sees the world differently, through their own perspective, and being the goddess of magic, she was able to alter to her view to see some of what they see. Not exactly the same thing, but it all ties together.

I think we are 'aware' ('understand the rudiments of') of at least 5 of these dimensions now (the fourth or fifth is 'Time') - not sure. I know Quantum physics is making huge advances all the time. Not sure if you take objection to the existence of these other dimensions, or you just don't like the idea that some 'gods' may be able to utilize some of them. I never said the Powers we know can use all of them. In fact, I doubt deities can even see into more than the fourth. But there are things MUCH more powerful than deities, and I think Overpowers are just the bottom tier of that extra-divine hierarchy. I think things like conduits (in Planescape) are just passageways built by some of these uber-beings through some of those dimensions the rest of us - deities included - can't fathom.

And 'Time' is a very real dimension in D&D - its called Temporal Prime, and only a very elite cadre of magic-users can access it (which makes you wonder why gods don't mess with it more).

I tried to link the dimensions to schools of magic once, but it doesn't really work out so well. I had this idea that every plane exists in all the dimensions, but to varying degrees, so some dimensions have greater impact on some planes than others. Magic just uses these connections to manipulate reality. Like I said, its a nice theory, but way too hard to work-out on paper.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 20 Feb 2017 22:29:06
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  01:58:22  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any comments from anyone on my mock-up of the cosmology? Looking for ways to improve it, either by making it more useful to people or fitting it in with the lore better.

One wrinkle with the split Astral planes is the fact that the Nine Hells and the Abyss are present in both, but none of the other Great Wheel planes are. I imagine the connections of the "World Tree" to those planes are just more direct, and there's no "divine dominions" between them, so they just exist as colour pools within Ao's Astral Sea. I've also just realised that the core-4e concept of "planes as planets in the Astral Sea" doesn't seem to have been explicitly used in FR - they're just described as vast but finite spaces drifting in the Astral Sea. The way to the Nine Hells and the Abyss then could easily just be a "colour pool" within Ao's Astral Sea during this era. This doesn't explain the connection to the Abyss's new home in the Elemental Chaos of course (Asmodeus having thrown it down there after consuming Azuth, subsequently ending the Blood War), but that's a whole separate issue. I'm not sure what the situation with the Abyss, Asmodeus, and the Blood War is in the new post-Sundering FR canon, but I imagine it's out of the Elemental Chaos again. I'm hoping it comes up in the Brimstone Angels series, which I've only recently started.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  02:11:21  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could be wrong (I do not remember if the Brimistone Angels series mentioned it or not), but I think the Abyss is still in the Elemental Chaos. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Sweet water and light laughter
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  02:20:54  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is one of the reasons I really wish the SCAG had more detail about the planes.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Zeromaru X
Learned Scribe

Colombia
243 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  03:47:44  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is not mentioned in the last trilogy, IIRC (I can check the books later, for more details).

Toward the cobalt, there is a shining Earth. That is where sadness begins. All that we love is returning there...
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  04:47:19  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made a discovery upon a closer reading of the SCAG: there is actually a mention of a Great Wheel plane in there! Arborea is mentioned as the home plane of the elven gods:
quote:
From the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

They are believed to dwell in the realm of Arvandor on the plane of Arborea.

The line of Arvandor being on Arborea is repeated elsewhere in the book. However, there is also a reference in the same book to "some people saying" that Bruenor Battlehammer "delayed receiving the rewards of Moradin's own Dwarfhome" - a reference to a World Tree plane. BUT, the event in question also occurred prior to the Sundering...

This leaves my best current guess is that Ao sundered the entire World Tree/"Ao's Astral Plane" model, moving the deities back to being solely on the Great Wheel, as they were in the pre-Time of Troubles era. This might also help explain why "dead" deities came back: Myrkul may have always been alive on the Great Wheel, but unable to access Ao's Astral Plane and Toril. The reference to Dwarfhome in the SCAG is before the Sundering, so it doesn't affect this.

Of course, other explanations are also possible. It's possible we're just back to the dual Great Wheel/World Tree model of 3e, and the elven gods' home on both Arvandor and Arborea is a reflection of that dual model. However, with FR seemingly very close to being "core 5th edition D&D", and "core 5th edition D&D" embracing the Great Wheel wholeheartedly in the PHB and DMG, I'm inclined to guess that the World Tree model won't be referenced again. The Abyss is certainly in the Great Wheel in the core 5e model, so I'm betting the same being true in the Realms.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  05:17:10  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd prefer it back where it was - it seems a little far-fetched that Asmodeus gained enough power from a minor god (who wasn't even multispheric!) to be able to physically tear the Abyss - an infinite number of infinite levels (filled with an infinite number of enemies) - loose from the Great Wheel - an invulnerable uber-artifact from the beginning of time, and there was no force that could prevent that? Asmodeus wasn't even a god originally - he's a Fallen Angel! And Azuth didn't have that kind of power - he was underling of Mystra!

Either way, it doesn't matter, because I think EVERY 'planer model' is wrong because of reasons I stated earlier (drawing a 3-dimensional version of many-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional surface). For all we know the Abyss could have ALWAYS been in the Elemental Maelstrom , with a major connection (the Gate Towns) to the Wheel, and all Asmodeus did was garner enough (temporary) power to sever that link. He didn't MOVE anything - he just closed the door. The only reason why people notice the Abyss in the elemental planes now is because they lack structure now - the Abyss was closed off from them (mostly) as they 'revolved' around it. Picture having one of those floating lounge-chair thingies in a big pool (thats the Abyss in the elemental chaos), and the four elemental planes floating around it are beach balls (and throw in a bunch of smaller pool toys for all those in-between para/psuedo planes). Anything inside those balls is unaware of the lounge chair, even though they're all in the same pool. 4e comes along and pops the balls, spilling-out whatever was on the inside (pure elemental matter). Now its all mixed together swirling around in the pool, with the chair still floating there in the middle, but now all of that IS aware of the chair.

Now the guy who wanted to use that chair - Asmodeus just slammed the patio door in his face and told him the party was over. No-one ever really moved the chair.
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Any comments from anyone on my mock-up of the cosmology? Looking for ways to improve it, either by making it more useful to people or fitting it in with the lore better.
See my comments above - I think ANY model will have problems. You did a bang-up job drawing all those lines (more than I would have done), but in reality, nothing is really 'where it is' in a drawing. Every plane could be universes away from each, but anchored by gates/portals/'Gate Towns'/etc. There doesn't need to be two astrals, or two ethereals, or two Abyss' and two Hells - they're all the same, just connected to the other stuff differently.

It all comes back to my 'theory of everything', and two very simple, basic rules: Your reality is defined by your preconceived notions (so if you think a connection exists, it does), and you leave by the door you came in by. That second one just means that if you entered Hell from the great tree, and a buddy of yours came from GH and entered from the Great Wheel, and you both went to a kickin' party at Lilith's place (she throws the best balls!), and you walk each other back to that SAME DOOR, when you exit you wind-up back in the Tree, and he winds up back in the Wheel (or Toril & Greyhawk - whatever). Unless you have VERY powerful magic (like deity-level), you cannot 'force' a gate to go to another destination other than the one you came from. the door is the same door on the one side (in this case, Lilith's house in hell), but it leads back to wherever you came from, even if ten people all from different places walked through at once.

Thus, its all the same hell, and Abyss, etc. Those guys only think its in The Tree, or on the Wheel. Once you leave the Prime Material, you are immaterial - only what you think matters. There are no actual 'locations' for anything.

But I DO applaud the amount of effort you put into making it all work.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 21 Feb 2017 05:23:47
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  05:26:55  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

He didn't MOVE anything - he just closed the door.

This is brilliant. Stealing it.
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

It all comes back to my 'theory of everything', and two very simple, basic rules: Your reality is defined by your preconceived notions (so if you think a connection exists, it does), and you leave by the door you came in by. That second one just means that if you entered Hell from the great tree, and a buddy of yours came from GH and entered from the Great Wheel, and you both went to a kickin' party at Lilith's place (she throws the best balls!), and you walk each other back to that SAME DOOR, when you exit you wind-up back in the Tree, and he winds up back in the Wheel (or Toril & Greyhawk - whatever). Unless you have VERY power magic (like deity-level), you cannot 'force' a gate to go to another destination other than the one you came from. the door is the same door on the one side (in this case, Lilith's house in hell), but it leads back to wherever you came from, even if ten people all from different places walked through at once.

I still really like this idea, which you articulated quite well early in this thread. However, at the table, I imagine it would be difficult to manage, so I've avoided going with it for my game.
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

But I DO applaud the amount of effort you put into making it all work.

Thanks! I tend to get stuck on concepts until I grok them really well, and making these sorts of things helps me with that.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5248 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  16:54:05  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I'd prefer it back where it was - it seems a little far-fetched that Asmodeus gained enough power from a minor god (who wasn't even multispheric!) to be able to physically tear the Abyss - an infinite number of infinite levels (filled with an infinite number of enemies) - loose from the Great Wheel - an invulnerable uber-artifact from the beginning of time, and there was no force that could prevent that? Asmodeus wasn't even a god originally - he's a Fallen Angel! And Azuth didn't have that kind of power - he was underling of Mystra!

Either way, it doesn't matter, because I think EVERY 'planer model' is wrong because of reasons I stated earlier (drawing a 3-dimensional version of many-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional surface). For all we know the Abyss could have ALWAYS been in the Elemental Maelstrom , with a major connection (the Gate Towns) to the Wheel, and all Asmodeus did was garner enough (temporary) power to sever that link. He didn't MOVE anything - he just closed the door. The only reason why people notice the Abyss in the elemental planes now is because they lack structure now - the Abyss was closed off from them (mostly) as they 'revolved' around it. Picture having one of those floating lounge-chair thingies in a big pool (thats the Abyss in the elemental chaos), and the four elemental planes floating around it are beach balls (and throw in a bunch of smaller pool toys for all those in-between para/psuedo planes). Anything inside those balls is unaware of the lounge chair, even though they're all in the same pool. 4e comes along and pops the balls, spilling-out whatever was on the inside (pure elemental matter). Now its all mixed together swirling around in the pool, with the chair still floating there in the middle, but now all of that IS aware of the chair.

Now the guy who wanted to use that chair - Asmodeus just slammed the patio door in his face and told him the party was over. No-one ever really moved the chair.
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Any comments from anyone on my mock-up of the cosmology? Looking for ways to improve it, either by making it more useful to people or fitting it in with the lore better.
See my comments above - I think ANY model will have problems. You did a bang-up job drawing all those lines (more than I would have done), but in reality, nothing is really 'where it is' in a drawing. Every plane could be universes away from each, but anchored by gates/portals/'Gate Towns'/etc. There doesn't need to be two astrals, or two ethereals, or two Abyss' and two Hells - they're all the same, just connected to the other stuff differently.

It all comes back to my 'theory of everything', and two very simple, basic rules: Your reality is defined by your preconceived notions (so if you think a connection exists, it does), and you leave by the door you came in by. That second one just means that if you entered Hell from the great tree, and a buddy of yours came from GH and entered from the Great Wheel, and you both went to a kickin' party at Lilith's place (she throws the best balls!), and you walk each other back to that SAME DOOR, when you exit you wind-up back in the Tree, and he winds up back in the Wheel (or Toril & Greyhawk - whatever). Unless you have VERY powerful magic (like deity-level), you cannot 'force' a gate to go to another destination other than the one you came from. the door is the same door on the one side (in this case, Lilith's house in hell), but it leads back to wherever you came from, even if ten people all from different places walked through at once.

Thus, its all the same hell, and Abyss, etc. Those guys only think its in The Tree, or on the Wheel. Once you leave the Prime Material, you are immaterial - only what you think matters. There are no actual 'locations' for anything.

But I DO applaud the amount of effort you put into making it all work.




I agree with most of this, and I really liked the swimming pool allegory.

It should be noted that during 3e that FR resources did reference multiple astrals that weren't necessarily linked. My viewpoint is that all planes are in fact finite (despite what we're told), but that its these links that "grow" between the planes that make them seem endless. So, for instance, there's a Seven Heavens for Toril, a Seven Heavens for Greyhawk, etc.. and you can walk from one to the other via an extended "pathway" that connects them such that you don't realize that you're going from one to another. Thus, you could "blow up" the Seven Heavens of Toril and it in effect just severs those links to the OTHER Seven Heavens that exist. In fact, some of these links may shrivel up and die, such that something that used to be called the Seven Heavens and was connected to the others no longer has a connection to the others and they may then decide to rename the original by calling it say "Celestia". Similarly, one plane may bud off of itself and create a new plane with a connection to the old and then shrivel the link between them.

In this model there is somewhat of a problem with multi-spheric deities, but not a huge one. Essentially, each deity would have to build a "clone"/"manifestation"/"greater avatar" of itself that is separate. I suspect there is some kind of "dimension" or "frequency" where all of these separate godly personalities exist as one or as some kind of council, and that some effects are able to access this dimension and thereby affect gods across pantheons/crystal spheres/etc..., but that doing so can be much more complex than affecting an individual "god node". This handles the issues where sometimes something affects a god and its only local, but other times a god is affected and it goes across the planes. If you were to compare this to networking, it would be as though this were a multi-cast (not broadcast) transmission, and anything subscribing to that multi-cast would accept the input. It may be that over time some "manifestations" quit subscribing to that multi-cast transmission, and thus they sever themselves from the other "manifestations" of that god in that collective.

In this way, there may actually be multiple and different versions of say Tiamat, some of which have lost track of each other. Then again, whenever two versions of the same being find one another but one is no longer listening to the multi-cast transmission, they may be able to rejoin the conversation with the aid of the other.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2017 :  17:12:29  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I made a discovery upon a closer reading of the SCAG: there is actually a mention of a Great Wheel plane in there! Arborea is mentioned as the home plane of the elven gods:
quote:
From the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

They are believed to dwell in the realm of Arvandor on the plane of Arborea.

The line of Arvandor being on Arborea is repeated elsewhere in the book. However, there is also a reference in the same book to "some people saying" that Bruenor Battlehammer "delayed receiving the rewards of Moradin's own Dwarfhome" - a reference to a World Tree plane. BUT, the event in question also occurred prior to the Sundering...

This leaves my best current guess is that Ao sundered the entire World Tree/"Ao's Astral Plane" model, moving the deities back to being solely on the Great Wheel, as they were in the pre-Time of Troubles era. This might also help explain why "dead" deities came back: Myrkul may have always been alive on the Great Wheel, but unable to access Ao's Astral Plane and Toril. The reference to Dwarfhome in the SCAG is before the Sundering, so it doesn't affect this.

Of course, other explanations are also possible. It's possible we're just back to the dual Great Wheel/World Tree model of 3e, and the elven gods' home on both Arvandor and Arborea is a reflection of that dual model. However, with FR seemingly very close to being "core 5th edition D&D", and "core 5th edition D&D" embracing the Great Wheel wholeheartedly in the PHB and DMG, I'm inclined to guess that the World Tree model won't be referenced again. The Abyss is certainly in the Great Wheel in the core 5e model, so I'm betting the same being true in the Realms.



This is entirely plausible, especially if everything has been "restored" to what it used to be. This could mean either the Great Tree or Wheel, but based on what you pointed out (I don't have the 5e PHB or DMG, though now I may have to get at least one of them), it seems likely.

On a side note, I don't like how the SCAG uses "people believe" so often. Yeah, mortals don't know everything, but one of the things I've always liked about the Realms is that the planes and the gods were fact, not just belief. I don't want to start a whole new discussion with this, just something I noticed. Maybe I should put it in the "Pet Peeves" scroll

Sweet water and light laughter
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