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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2017 :  18:26:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And as an aside to the whole 'panspermia' (MAN, I HATE that word LOL) thing, I think THE 'Desent of the Drow' only happened once, on ONE World - Toril. I've gone over this many times, in many other threads. Only Elves with the Ilythiir bloodline (which may have been 'different' because it had already been tainted by fiends), were affected, but since ALL elves came from 'Faerie' originally (THAT from the Evermeet novel, and later the GHotR expands on it further concerning the Wood Elves), the Ilithiir bloodline was also spread in the Elven 'diaspora' to other worlds, and all of them were forced to change, even though they had nothing to do with the stuff on Toril (did I mention the Seldarine SUCK?)

But others came to be through the Panspermia thing, both through SJ, and through planer connections. However, in the case of the drow (and few other races of The Night Below), there was a third option - the Underways (The Underland from Beyond Countless Doorways - a most excellent 3rd-party 3e product). I suppose in this post-4e time, I would connect all of that to the Feydark of the Fewild (thus making the 'Underland' a part of the Feywild).

I specifically connected the Greyhawk drow to The Realms - and say they were an even more conservative group of Lloth worshipers (if one could imagine such a thing), that found their way to GH through those Underways, and continue to maintain contact - and trade - with some parts of FR for quite some time, before finally 'losing their way'. I went this way with them in the Elven netbook project (Elves of Faerūn) because there is a list of 'known drow cities' in an FR source (2e DotU) that includes Erelhei-Cinlu, and several drow Noble Houses are also mentioned from Greyhawk... in an FR product. More recently, in a conversion I am currently working on, I plan to reestablish that connection, to explain some of the 'oddness' with placing Nentir Vale in the Forgotten Realms. Hopefully I'll be able to put that up on the DM's Guild.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I think Athas gives us even more problems, if we take its prehistory as 'canon' rather than legend. Supposedly ALL the intelligent species there sprung from halflings. Weird.

Not quite all. Kreen are just kreen, they may have both originated on the same world but are otherwise entirely unrelated. The semi-reptilian Giths are degenerate Githyanki spawned from the Astral (or wherever), not a species "evolved" on Athas.

I know - I was just simplifying for brevity's sake (something I almost never do, because this happens LOL). I'm not a fan of psionics (as presented in D&D), but I've always been fascinated by Darksun - sadly, I'v never gotten a chance to play in it. It was a very good example - perhaps the BEST example - of the extremes you can push D&D to when you want to - no generic, 'kitchen sink' setting there.

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
Not quite all. Kreen are just kreen, they may have both originated on the same world but are otherwise entirely unrelated. The semi-reptilian Giths are degenerate Githyanki spawned from the Astral (or wherever), not a species "evolved" on Athas.


Githyanki are originaly humans so how could a semi-reptilian evolve from them?

Because humans themselves evolved from reptiles, who evolved from fish, who evolved from more primitive lifeforms...

and ALL of that is still in our DNA, and accessible, if 'needed'.

Our conscious mind isn't aware of that. Our subconscious only remembers it in a dream. But our reptilian brain - it lives there... waiting.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 12 Mar 2017 18:37:28
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Zeromaru X
Learned Scribe

Colombia
243 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2017 :  19:48:49  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

And as an aside to the whole 'panspermia' (MAN, I HATE that word LOL) thing, I think THE 'Desent of the Drow' only happened once, on ONE World - Toril. I've gone over this many times, in many other threads. Only Elves with the Ilythiir bloodline (which may have been 'different' because it had already been tainted by fiends), were affected, but since ALL elves came from 'Faerie' originally (THAT from the Evermeet novel, and later the GHotR expands on it further concerning the Wood Elves), the Ilithiir bloodline was also spread in the Elven 'diaspora' to other worlds, and all of them were forced to change, even though they had nothing to do with the stuff on Toril (did I mention the Seldarine SUCK?)

But others came to be through the Panspermia thing, both through SJ, and through planer connections. However, in the case of the drow (and few other races of The Night Below), there was a third option - the Underways (The Underland from Beyond Countless Doorways - a most excellent 3rd-party 3e product). I suppose in this post-4e time, I would connect all of that to the Feydark of the Fewild (thus making the 'Underland' a part of the Feywild).


Well, this makes sense if you take into account that there is only one Feywild (Faerie) in the whole multiverse (according to the Heroes of the Feywild 4e sourcebook).

EDIT:

The info is on a sidebar called "Many worlds, one Feywild" (p. 10) that explains that the material published in that book and in the 4e Manual of the Planes regarding the Feywild applies to all worlds, official or homemade. Exact quote:

"Whether your campaign takes place in the region of the Nentir Vale, the world of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting or the Eberron campaign setting, some other published setting, or a world of your DM's creation, you can use the material in this book with little or no alteration. For all practical purposes, the Feywild exists as described in these pages (and in sources such as Manual of the Planes) regardless of the mortal world to which it is connected. You can view this consistency as a mysterious property of the Feywild - its features mirror every world at once - or as a convenience to make this material as useful as possible to the game."

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

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 12 Mar 2017 20:02:19
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6166 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2017 :  21:18:42  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always had a hard time accepting that halflings could "evolve" into dragons and angels, lol.

Note that Dark Sun lore doesn't explicitly describe "halflings" as the same "halflings" one would find in the Realms or in a Player's Handbook. And Athas has been destroyed over ages, it's been transformed by cataclysms and been wasted away by magical abuses, it's (almost) entirely disconnected from other planes and worlds, it's even suffered from wars and deaths of the old gods (or so they say).

Look at how much the Realms have been reshaped by cataclysms, magical abuses, conflicts and "deaths" of gods. Some of the "old" races were lost or changed, some "new" races were introduced. Dark Sun was always a post-apocalyptic setting, a barren wasteland of a world circling a poisoned sun, all the lore about it being a lush and rich and thriving world is presented in the context of ancient myths. The Realms were always a lush and rich and thriving setting with an ongoing history of change so the changes themselves (along with their impact) seems far more immediate. I suppose it's not impossible the races of the Realms will "evolve" into stronger, harder, smarter versions over the ages - one could even argue that they've already been doing that since they "populated" the Realms in 1E.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]
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CorellonsDevout
Master of Realmslore

USA
1771 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2017 :  02:07:37  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see the Feywild as having "connections" to multiple planes. Or, at least any plane that has seen "fey" creatures.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6166 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  02:23:23  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An "infinite" Ethereal plane surrounds each Prime. Presumably one could travel between Primes by travelling an "infinite" distance through the deepest fathoms of the Deep Ethereal - but nobody ever has, it's just a hard (and probably futile) option, while one could instead easily use the Ethereal as an interface to the Astral or the Inner Planes, an "infinite" distance and travel time vs an extraplanar "shortcut" towards the destination. Mileage doesn't apply on the planes - nobody can walk an infinite distance (especially when burdened by enough provisions for an infinite journey) but anyone can walk short distances between things like gates and pools and portals.

I imagine the Demiplane of Shadow (Shadowfell) might be similarly "infinite" - except that it's bounded by shadows, mixtures of lightness and darkness, and shadows can only be found in proximity to other places (places with light sources and dark objects, lol). No shadows between worlds would mean no passage through the Shadowfell between worlds - and there's not a whole lot to see in the Phlogiston between spheres, lol.

And the Feywild is also transitive. And the Demiplane of Dread (Ravenloft) is also transitive. And the Demiplane of Time (Temporal Prime) is also transitive. But they can't just be accessed from anywhere anytime, they can only be reached when conditions are right - indeed, they are sometimes impossible to avoid and will spontaneously manifest when conditions are perfect. But conditions always change, so links to/from these planes also always change. These demiplanes might constantly overlap with the Prime(s), they might always be "moving" in relation to each other, but they are utterly closed off and impossible to access when conditions are wrong.

Yes, there might be "one" Feywild which spans all the worlds of D&D, constantly co-existing on some other "layer" of congruent reality. Worlds lacking links to the Feywild (like elves and fey, sylvan glades, ley lines and druidic stone circles, etc) may never even know the Feywild exists. Many creatures (not just elves, but pixies and brownies and even goblins) have been "collected" from other places by the Feywild or "deposited" to other places from the Feywild.

I think the simplest and best approach is this:
If you consider the Prime Material Plane (ie, a campaign world) to be a unique plane in itself, along with a bunch of Alternate Prime Material Planes (ie, other campaign worlds) then each one should have it's "own" Ethereal and Feywild and Demiplanes.
If you consider the Prime Material Plane to be "one" shared cosmos-spanning plane (which contains all campaign worlds) then the "one" Ethereal, Feywild, etc should be equally boundless.

And simply having access to a plane doesn't immediately/automatically grant "full" access to the entire plane. Everything is always local. Two distant "corners" of the Feywild (or the Shadowfell, or Thay, or Los Angelos) might appear to be entirely different worlds with entirely different laws of "physics", quirks, properties, terrain, and inhabitants. An aspect of the Feywild visited from Cormanthyr would share little with an aspect of the Feywild visited from Yellowstone Park.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  02:42:24  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a response to something in the ice asteroids thread which I thought would be better placed here, as it's pretty off topic. Just to try and understand what Markustay was saying in that thread, I'm going to try and integrate it with what we know about the cosmology with some of my own theories. Credit for the idea fully goes to the originators, I'm just trying to understand it.

Main Theory of Wildspace and Beyond
At the beginning time of the gods and primordials, there is the Astral Plane, the Elemental Chaos, and the True Ethereal.

The primordials start moving elements into the True Ethereal so they can create and uncreate worlds. This is the beginning of playing with "matter", forging prototype worlds and unforging them just as fast. Forming as connections between these clumps of physical matter is the Phlogiston - streams of energy that are later called the Flow. This is a byproduct of the actions of the primordials rather than something they consciously choose to create - a reaction of the True Ethereal. The True Ethereal condenses into streams of energy flowing from clump of matter to clump of matter, leaving void behind in the spaces between. This void, or the absence of Phlogiston, has the same properties as real world space.

There is no permanence to any of the primordials' protoworlds, partly due to permanence being anathema to the primordials, but also due to the influence of the raw Phlogiston connecting them.

The gods take an interest in these creations, but desire to give them permanence - something which cannot exist while matter is touched by the raw Phlogiston. They thus create the crystal spheres, enclosing the protoworlds and separating them from the raw Phlogiston. What is left behind inside the spheres is what the primordials built - protoworlds - which drift in void (RW space, or the absence of Phlogiston). Thus each crystal sphere holds something like a real-world solar system, real-world space included. This is the Material Plane.

The raw Phlogiston, which once connected all matter in the void, is thus removed from the crystal spheres, and now only connects the crystal spheres rather than the matter within them. This is all that remains of the True Ethereal - flows of Phlogiston running between crystal spheres, with void in between the flows.

However, a memory or remnant of the True Ethereal remains, inside the crystal spheres - the Border Ethereal. This exists as a connection between the Material Plane and the True Ethereal (the Phlogiston and the void outside the crystal spheres). The part of the Border Ethereal that exists over the RW space between planets is known as "wildspace".

This is the "misty realm of timeless nothingness crafted by Ao from the raw elemental bedlam of the Phlogiston" mentioned in the FRCG. That's all is in the crystal spheres at this point - protoworlds drifting within a void (Material Plane), overlaid by a memory of the True Ethereal (Border Ethereal). Removing the raw Phlogiston thus allows the gods to give the creations permanence, which triggers the Dawn War, etc.

What Spelljammers then do is NOT fly through the true physical space between planets (like RW spaceships), but instead fly through the border ethereal between planets, or wildspace (at least, this definition of wildspace). Wildspace being the part of the Border Ethereal existing "over" normal "RW space" can account for the weird gravity effects, it not being cold, etc. When a Spelljammer "lands" on a planet or something, the Spelljamming helms guide them out of the Border Ethereal back into the Material Plane. This passing between the Border Ethereal and the Material Plane may not even be perceptible to spelljammers, so it feels like you're just passing through the atmosphere of a world - but in fact you're passing between planes. This is all due to the influence of the spelljamming helm.

Another way of saying this is that RW space DOES exist outside the planets, but wildspace does too - and it's the part of the Border Ethereal extending over "space".

Almost as an aside, I imagine the Deep Ethereal as being different to the True Ethereal. As the Deep Ethereal serves as a connection between the Border Ethereals of the Material Plane, the Elemental Planes and the Feywild and Shadowfell, I imagine it as being a deeper memory of the True Ethereal, a memory that remembers the paths the primordials used to traverse between those planes when they were forging their creations. The primordials after all must have forged pathways as they came between the Elemental Chaos and the True Ethereal, and forged more pathways as they created the Feywild and the Shadowfell by flinging away bright and dark bits of matter. So the Deep Ethereal is just a deeper version of the Border Ethereal, and the True Ethereal is more like the original state of matter before the coming of the primordials and their inadvertent creation of the Phlogiston and the void. The Phlogiston and the void outside the Crystal Spheres can still be called the True Ethereal, but it's not the same as its original state.

Keen to hear thoughts.

Edit 1:
True Ethereal, or Plane of Magical Energy?

You could also switch out "True Ethereal" for something entirely different without breaking this theory. The third original plane might not have been "ethereal" at all, but could have been pure magical energy, for example. The Phlogiston would then be condensed magical energy flowing between clumps of matter brought by the primordials, and later between crystal spheres. The Border Ethereal would then be the memory or remnant of the presence of this magical energy. The Weave of Mystra could then tap into this - the Weave could literally be a weave of strong connections between this memory of magical energy and the Material Plane. Spells cast through the Weave would then access the energy of the Material Plane, combined with the magical energy accessible through the Ethereal connections (which Mystra makes accessible).

Edit 2:
Prime Material Plane vs Material Planes

You could also think about the Material Plane inside the Crystal Spheres as being individual Material Planes (eg. Material Plane of Toril, Material Plane of Krynn, etc), while thinking of the grander picture of the crystal spheres enclosed within the phlogiston and void outside as all part of the greater Prime Material Plane. This way you can refer to both concepts (of separate Material Planes and an all-encompassing Prime Material Plane). I personally would argue that there is only the Prime Material, and the crystal spheres just enclose sections of the Prime, so that what's inside the crystal spheres are not true "planes" in themselves. By this definition, the "Prime Material Plane" is what has become of the sectioned-up True Ethereal: part phlogiston, part void, part crystal spheres. But, Prime Materials vs separate Materials seems pretty open to individual interpretation.

Feywild and Shadowfell
I'd imagined that the Feywild and Shadowfell exist mainly as bright/dark versions of the planets existing on alternate planes (after all, they're the too dark and too bright bits of the original planets), with void in between those bright/dark planets. That void is still Feywild and Shadowfell (or Feyspace and Shadowspace), but no one has the means to traverse them - except for the gods. So the Feywild and Shadowfell are just planes overlaying the Prime Material, and as in the Prime Material, no one knows how to traverse the "space between", which is why the Border Ethereal of the Prime Material (wildspace) is used. Thus you can't travel between the Feywild of Oerth and the Feywild of Toril without some sort of crossing or portal, or going via other planes.

A second possibility could be that the Feywild and Shadowfell are infinite, traversable planes without void between the planets and crystal spheres. However, this definition makes less immediate sense to me with how those planes were created by the primordials - it doesn't make instant sense to me that there would be infinite amounts of "matter" to create such planes. However, it does make more immediate sense for any theory involving the panspermia of elves out of the Feywild.

A third way of looking at it could be to say that Feyspace/Shadowspace is traversable, and that's how elves move between the Feywilds of different Crystal Spheres. Perhaps they even use the Feywild's version of the Border Ethereal, just as mortals on the Prime Material use their Border Ethereal to move between different material plane crystal spheres. The problem I see with this though is that it adds another whole method of travel, overcomplicating things and leads to a question of why the fey would ever travel through "Material Plane Border Ethereal" wildspace.

I personally prefer the first definition for these planes, explaining away panspermia and other things with portals/crossings between the different "pockets" of Feywild and Shadowfell, and keeping Feyspace/Shadowspace untraversable. You could even make crossings between the different Feywild planets/spheres really common to make it feel more connected, and similarly with the Shadowfell. It might even make sense, considering how much time Corellon used to spend in the Feywild, and how much influence he has on so many different worlds.

Edit 3:
The Border Ethereal on other planes

We know that the Border Ethereal also exists throughout the Inner Planes and the Feywild and Shadowfell, presumably seeping through them from the True Ethereal as the primordials forged paths between planes. This wouldn't be exactly the same as the Border Ethereal on the Material Plane, which is a remnant/memory of the True Ethereal - instead, it's just a bit of it that has seeped through. So, both are "remnants" in a way, which is why they function the same, but they have different aetiologies. It's worth noting that "wildspace" only refers to the portion of the Border Ethereal over the void between planets in the Material Plane, and "wildspace" is the only part of the Border Ethereal that Spelljammers traverse.

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 14 Mar 2017 05:45:49
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  21:55:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nicely done - you've managed to reinterpret some of my ideas (and others) into something more cohesive (sometimes its hard to put what I am picturing into words).

WE have to imagine that there are more 'directions' we can travel in than just 3, when we factor-in other dimensions. Thats how it is with the 'Border Ethereal'. You can move forward into and 'go deeper' ('back' would just back you out of the ethereal in the Prime), or move 'up' or 'down' and move into the Feywild or Shadowfell, respectively. If you go 'left' or 'right' you can move 'sideways' in the Ethereal, and reach other Prime Worlds. This is all besides the direction of 'here and now' - you can move in what would feel like a normal fashion, and just stay in the Border Ethereal, which has settlements and inhabitants of its own (Moorcock's Mittlemarch). Its basically what Ed and C.S. Lewis call 'The Woods Between the Worlds' - just a border-realm which connects everything else, if you know the proper way to move through it (for example, gods and fiends might know other 'directions' to head in, so they can move in and out of their 'home turf'). Basically, my concept is that EVERYTHING actually passes through this first, even if its only just an incredibly small 'slice' of it ("the veil between the worlds"). Maybe its really some sort of 'cosmic lubricant', that keeps all the planes from rubbing directly together.

And here's the thing - and I've discussed this at-length elsewhere in regards to Faerie: time/distance compression. Since the Ethereal world isn't 'real', at least not in the sense that we know it, it is anchored to the real world by landmarks. These are usually settlements with mortal (prime Material) beings in them, but they could also be 'places of wonder' (ancient ruins, some sort of powerful edifice or natural terrain feature, a place where an 'ancient battle took place' {magical or otherwise}, or just some site that has become 'legendary' for whatever reason). These will almost always have a corresponding 'echo' in the Border Ethereal, and in the Feywild and Shadowfell... as you move 'further' from the Prime, these 'echoes' become fainter. Like a stone skipping on water.

Time & distance become 'compressed' in these other planes, because they are somewhat smaller than the Prime. The Border Ethereal may be the closest to us in size, but even that is much smaller (1/2, maybe?) But this is also relative to the distance to the 'anchor'. In toher words, when you are within another planer city, it would seem roughly the same size and shape as the RW version. Then as you moved away from that 'anchor point', they distance (and time) would distort. A few miles away, and you'd probably be traveling 1/2 as much to reach the same places, and it would continue to dwindle as you moved further away from an anchor-point. But if you start to approach a different anchor-point, it would start to 'normalize' again. This is why trips through the Feywild (or any other plane for that matter) could take different amounts of time, depending on what route is taken. Sometimes what appears to be 'going out of your way' could actually be much quicker. Usually, only denizens of those planes would know the fastest routes. Thus, when you travel far from a singularity (the center of a crystal sphere, when in the Border Ethereal), the distances would be insanely compressed ('hyperspace'), and this is why you can travel so quickly through space in SJ.

Time works similar, but with one major caveat - it also bends around powerful beings. So the same trip to the same spot in the feywild could take one day, or you could be gone a hundred years, depending on whom you interacted with (and just because you think you were talking to the same fey doesn't make it so). Time is a construct - it isn't real (natural). It was created so that there could be 'continuity' in the universe. The more powerful the beings in the area, the more time wraps itself around it (and 'heavenly bodies' count as 'beings' in a fantasy milieu). Mortals are so spread-out on their worlds, with powerful members everywhere (usually), that time 'levels out' and appears to remain static for the entire planet (and in most cases, this is true). Beings from the Prime are always powerful anchors, regardless of 'level' - its part of their nature (or rather, the nature of Prime Material itself). Time becomes fairly constant to them, even if its flowing differently all around them (which is why you think only one day passed, and really a hundred years passed back home.. or the opposite).

This is why is fairly safe to deal with lesser planer beings - like pixies in the feywild, etc - than it is to deal with more powerful ones. 'Domain Lords' (any being that can actually control the local landscape somewhat, and even the creatures in it) - which would include an archfiend, or a 'fairy Queen', etc (and DEFINITELY 'a god'), would warp time the worst for a mortal, and are therefor dangerous, even when the being itself is benign (you go to the fairy queen to get a magical doll for your young daughter, and return home to find she is now an old crone, etc). Basically, the greater the 'power' you are around, the greater the distortions you could suffer (although most Gods try to set themselves to the mortals 'home time' to avoid this, otherwise god-worshiper relations would just fall apart). Most of these very powerful beings ('Powers') can exert their will to slow or speed up the time around them, but mostly its just the gods who bother to do this (other outsiders just don't care enough). This is why you could walk into a temple, and have a sumptuous feast with your deity, and they can tell you all sorts of wondrous things, and teach you stuff, and then give you a quest, and you'll think all of that took one whole day, a least, but to your friends waiting outside, only a few minutes passed. And thats what could happen while on the Prime Material - it gets so much worse when you leave it. Gods are cool like that; time is fairly innocuous to them.

Bottom line: 'Mass' (and energy) actually create Time & Space (distance) around them, and the further you move from those points, the more irrelevant they become. This model works both in our magical theory, but in RW physics as well.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Mar 2017 22:09:28
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2017 :  22:19:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And as an addendum to all of that above, I picture Cerilia (Birthright) being IN the Border Ethereal (the 'Middle Marches'). It has 'Domain Lords' - Regents and awnsheghlien (abominations) that have powers similar to RL's Domain Lords, or even personages like Amlaruil of Evermeet (or archfey, demon lords, etc, etc).

It could also possibly be somewhere in the Feywild, if you don't care the Mittlemrach/Border Ethereal concepts.

I like placing it there (in one of these 'transitive' planes), because it makes some of its toys accessible. Its version of Fomorians always fit the Fey version better than the standard D&D variety, and it also has this dichtomony with its own Shadoworld that is very similar to the 4e (and 5e) concept of the Shadowfell.

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

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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2017 :  03:21:18  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My single problem with the "Wildspace = Border Ethereal space =/= Prime Material space" alternate hypothesis is that it goes against the canon lore for what we know about Spelljamming.

But the reason I like it as an alternative is because the weird physics of Spelljamming (air pockets, weird gravity relationships, warmth in space, etc) just don't feel right to me. I know D&D/Realms physics =/= RW physics, but the disjunction here just makes my brain unhappy. If I can make my brain happy AND avoid damaging too much existing lore by shunting wildspace into the Border Ethereal, I think it's worth it for me.

I imagine the actual experience of "Border Ethereal space" to be exactly the same as what is described in the SJ material: it looks like real space, but it operates differently (warmth etc). Why the Border Ethereal functions differently in space compared to on planets can be explained through proximity to planet-sized objects: such objects may make the Border Ethereal (BE) clump around them, resulting in a different experience for those in the BE on planets as compared to those in the BE in space.

I like the theory, and it allows for Spelljamming without having to have discussions about "but space doesn't work like that" with my players. I guess my main question to the Spelljammer fans out there is:

Does changing things so that Spelljammers "spelljam" into the Border Ethereal over "space" rather than through the Prime Material "space" damage any assumptions of the setting, or introduce any other major new contradictions?

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 15 Mar 2017 03:25:49
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2017 :  06:26:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right - that was my problem with it - there was no way of reconciling arcane space with real space, and yet, we have D&D canon that 'normal' spaceshps do exist, and that Earth (the D&D earth) exists in the same universe, which would mean all of our current science is completely wrong... and thats why it just doesn't "feel right".

So we came up with that, and it doesn't violate SJ canon for the simple reason that people on these 'magical' worlds don't realize their SJ helms are shifting them slowly into the Border Ethereal as the leave the breathable atmosphere. They would think that IS 'space'. They don't know the difference.

There is no 'illusion' on the moon - thats the best part. When someone with a halfway decent telescope on Toril looks at the moon, thats what they see - a barren, empty place. But when someone travels toward it (using any sort of magi-tech), they enter the Border ethereal, and THAT version of the moon would become apparent. Same for the other planets.

Now, if we postulate an advanced world that still has 'magic', then they would probably be aware of both versions (and maybe even have ships designed to utilize both). Picture something like the Enterprise, or Battlestar Galactica (or an imperial Star-destroyer, etc) with an SJ helm attached. But they'd probably have a full-blown, 'Planesjammer' Helm, which should be able to shift into other planes as well (so not just back-N-forth between the Border Ethereal and the Prime material). Normal Warp technology (hyperspace) doesn't work in close proximity to a singularity (I think you have to be at least out around Saturn or something), so basically you just say you can't switch while in Wildspace/normal intrastellar space (well, you could, just like you can try to go to warp closer to the sun... but you run certain risks).

Heck, Star Trek went to 'other universes'/dimensions (quantum realities) a bunch of times. Even the mirroverse (where we first learned that goatees are evil).

So, since worlds that have both magic and technology are very rare, worlds where both would be known and explored would be rare. Our world (and other scify planets) would almost entirely use the normal (Prime Material) version, and magical worlds would almost always use the arcane (Border ethereal) version.

And it means certain other 'oddities' now also work, like an old gem of a game, Space: 1889, where Victorian-era folk travel to Mars (in sailing ships - about a year or so before SJ did it). That could have been the D&D Earth, and those steampunk spaceships also utilized the Border Ethereal version of space, and thats the Mars they visited. Same would go for any Jules Verne story, like From the Earth to the Moon. This theory of two different, overlapping versions of 'space' makes lots and lots of things work for us.

Oh... and Mongo, from Flash Gordon. It never made sense - a 'rogue planet' that travels into star systems form outside, with life and an ecosphere all its own (with NO sun? ). But if Mongo were traveling through Wildpsace, then it all makes perfect sense. And THAT planet would have duel-space capabilities.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Mar 2017 06:27:38
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6166 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  03:15:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Heck, Star Trek went to 'other universes'/dimensions (quantum realities) a bunch of times. Even the mirroverse (where we first learned that goatees are evil).
Goatees have always been evil, lol. Even if you call them "Van Dykes" or "beards".

Insofar as combining magic and science (or science fiction) ... there's little need to go into such elaborately detailed analyses unless they affect specific mechanics in a game/setting. We have many things (like the internet, GPS smartphones, TV, microwaved popcorn, and flu-shots) which could only be explained and understood as "magic" to anyone from the Realms.

Perhaps a dwarven engineer or a cleric of Gond Wondermaker could understand how the stuff under the hood of your car works - in principle, at least theoretically, even though it might be entirely nonfunctional and nonworkable in the Realms. To anyone else it would just be some kind of "magic".

Just as perhaps an avid fantasy roleplaying geek or fan of Realms novels in our world might understand how a teleport spell works - in principle, at least theoretically, even though it might be entirely nonfunctional and nonworkable on our world. To anyone else (especially those with a sci-fi bent) it would be some kind of "science".

And we might like to explain our "magic" with quanta and superstrings and dark matter and logical conclusions drawn from rigourous observation and methodical experimentation, but it's still just a whole bunch of arcane babble and convoluted complex rituals which are used to achieve the kind of consistent, reproducible results that we understand. Just as spellcasting in the Realms is as much art as "science", it also achieves consistent, reproducible, understandable results.

Eat lots of garlic - it keeps the elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons, you just don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They stick to your boots, will smell awful, and are impossible to scrape off.
Ah, of course. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 16 Mar 2017 03:18:15
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AuldDragon
Learned Scribe

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  05:04:01  Show Profile  Visit AuldDragon's Homepage Send AuldDragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

Does changing things so that Spelljammers "spelljam" into the Border Ethereal over "space" rather than through the Prime Material "space" damage any assumptions of the setting, or introduce any other major new contradictions?



Air isn't an issue on the Ethereal plane; it *is* an issue in Wildspace and the Phlogiston. But it is also possible to travel about without a helm; time and air are the only limits. You can shove off from an asteroid city in a rowboat and get anywhere else if you want (with a possible limitation on getting out of the Crystal Sphere if there are no natural portals). Flying creatures can also leave a world without entering the ethereal; they don't because they generally don't have enough air to get anywhere. The ability of Pirates of Gith to planeshift into the Astral plane would break, since there is no way to move directly from the Ethereal to the Astral. The Phlogiston is completely closed to all other planes, which to my knowledge is no known effect on the Ethereal or any other plane. The Spelljammer-specific spells Locate Portal, Detect Powers, and Disable Helm would no longer work. Contact Home Power would also fail if a priest's deity is on the Astral or Outer Planes (although it shouldn't be necessary since the ethereal doesn't block priests from gaining spells). That's just the quick list; that of course doesn't cover many of the other differences between how the Ethereal plane and Wildspace and the Phlogiston work.

Jeff

My 2nd Edition blog: http://blog.aulddragon.com/
Let's Play Old Games: https://www.youtube.com/user/aulddragon/
"That sums it up in a nutshell, AuldDragon. You make a more convincing argument. But he's right and you're not."
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5248 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  12:55:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Right - that was my problem with it - there was no way of reconciling arcane space with real space, and yet, we have D&D canon that 'normal' spaceshps do exist, and that Earth (the D&D earth) exists in the same universe, which would mean all of our current science is completely wrong... and thats why it just doesn't "feel right".

So we came up with that, and it doesn't violate SJ canon for the simple reason that people on these 'magical' worlds don't realize their SJ helms are shifting them slowly into the Border Ethereal as the leave the breathable atmosphere. They would think that IS 'space'. They don't know the difference.

There is no 'illusion' on the moon - thats the best part. When someone with a halfway decent telescope on Toril looks at the moon, thats what they see - a barren, empty place. But when someone travels toward it (using any sort of magi-tech), they enter the Border ethereal, and THAT version of the moon would become apparent. Same for the other planets.

Now, if we postulate an advanced world that still has 'magic', then they would probably be aware of both versions (and maybe even have ships designed to utilize both). Picture something like the Enterprise, or Battlestar Galactica (or an imperial Star-destroyer, etc) with an SJ helm attached. But they'd probably have a full-blown, 'Planesjammer' Helm, which should be able to shift into other planes as well (so not just back-N-forth between the Border Ethereal and the Prime material). Normal Warp technology (hyperspace) doesn't work in close proximity to a singularity (I think you have to be at least out around Saturn or something), so basically you just say you can't switch while in Wildspace/normal intrastellar space (well, you could, just like you can try to go to warp closer to the sun... but you run certain risks).

Heck, Star Trek went to 'other universes'/dimensions (quantum realities) a bunch of times. Even the mirroverse (where we first learned that goatees are evil).

So, since worlds that have both magic and technology are very rare, worlds where both would be known and explored would be rare. Our world (and other scify planets) would almost entirely use the normal (Prime Material) version, and magical worlds would almost always use the arcane (Border ethereal) version.

And it means certain other 'oddities' now also work, like an old gem of a game, Space: 1889, where Victorian-era folk travel to Mars (in sailing ships - about a year or so before SJ did it). That could have been the D&D Earth, and those steampunk spaceships also utilized the Border Ethereal version of space, and thats the Mars they visited. Same would go for any Jules Verne story, like From the Earth to the Moon. This theory of two different, overlapping versions of 'space' makes lots and lots of things work for us.

Oh... and Mongo, from Flash Gordon. It never made sense - a 'rogue planet' that travels into star systems form outside, with life and an ecosphere all its own (with NO sun? ). But if Mongo were traveling through Wildpsace, then it all makes perfect sense. And THAT planet would have duel-space capabilities.




Hmmmm, I'm biting on this more. So space as we know it (let's call it "Science Space") and this border ethereal "wildspace" LOOK the same because the border ethereal has always somewhat mirrored the prime. The idea of the moon not having an illusion, but rather its a lie that even the moon's inhabitants don't understand.

The problems I see. People SEE things on the prime from the border ethereal, but they can phase/pass through them and generally can't interact with them. Unlike the shadowfell/demiplane of shadow, they aren't "copied" across. What you describe would possibly be better described for spelljamming as crossing into the darkness of the shadowfell for "wildspace". Then at some point, you reach the "crystal sphere" and cross into the Phlogiston... which maybe is very close to the "Far Realms"... considering you can't summon anyone in the phlogiston, lose contact with your deity, and the whole area is a deathtrap waiting for a spark.... and if it WERE close to the Far Realm it MIGHT explain all these neogi, aboleth, and mind flayers in space. Of course, the problems with this idea of using the shadowfell are that most systems have this brightly glowing sun.

Another idea COULD be that in "Science Space" we're actually crossing into a plane of "void" in order to traverse between planets.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13403 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  18:46:51  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, you could call this 'magical space' anything you want (or just use the terms SJ uses, but understand that you've phased out of 'normal space' as you left the atmosphere).

The reason why Grey Richardson and I used the Ethereal and Border Ethereal is because we had that conversation when 4e first came out, and there didn't seem to be anything SJ related 'in the works', and yet the 'Sea of Night' was mentioned, and SJ was used in one early 4e novel series (Rich Baker's Blades of the Moonsea). They also seem to have completely dropped the entire concept of an 'Ethereal Plane' in 4e (although later it may have been reintroduced - by that time I was no longer following anything D&D/FR was doing). So we took those two things - a need for some SJ lore in 4e and our 'lost' Ethereal Plane, and merged them, and also managed to explain-away a whole bunch of inconsistencies between RW physics and SJ 'tech'.

It was never meant to be a 'OMG we figured out D&D! We are SO smart!" moments. We KNEW full well it wasn't supposed to be that way. We were just using what we had to work with, to try and create something that may prove useful to others. We are also aware that it isn't a 100% 'perfect fit', but its a pretty damn good one, if I do say so myself. For someone like me - having not liked Spelljammer from its outset - it seemed like the perfect compromise to explain how both RW and magic space can coexist. The other added bonus is that SJ is just a specific type of Planesjamming - there already are 'boats' that can sail the astral seas, so why not ones that sail the ethereal seas? its just a different flavor of world-hopping, is all. It not only becomes more palatable (to some of us), it becomes more useful. If you could get your hands on an 'Omnijammer'©, you could probably use both transitive planes - Astral & Ethereal (and I would probably lump-in the Feywild and shadowfell) - and go wherever the hell you like... including hell.

But watch out for those pirate fiends... they'll bedevil you.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 16 Mar 2017 18:51:16
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  22:52:00  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps we could also say the Border Ethereal is spread so thinly over "space" that it doesn't truly function as transitioning to another plane when you go there - at least not in the same way. That way the plane-jumping spells should still work as intended without need for modification. That could also explain why Spelljammers can make that "jump" but not jump as easily to other planes.

If going with this, it might even benefit to call the thinned Border Ethereal over space something different to avoid confusion... something like ""wildspace"!

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 16 Mar 2017 22:52:59
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
612 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2017 :  16:31:48  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm back to thinking about overarching cosmology theories, and here's what I have currently. It uses some of the same words as my old theory, but it's quite different.

The Forces of the Universe
At the core of the universe are two concepts: a force for life (positive energy), and a force for the non-existence of life (negative energy). At the centre of each of these forces is a raw sentience that is gradually shaped over time by the universe that will spring up around it. However, these sentiences are not so much consciousnesses, but are better seen as raw forces of the universe. One craves the building of life, the other craves the void of nothingness. The sentience that is at the center of the force for life is what Ao will one day call Master, but here I will refer to it as the Ubergod. The sentience at the center of the force for nothingness is perhaps best described as the Antigod. These forces are not moral - they are forces of nature.

Gods and Primordials
The Ubergod desires Life to spread throughout the universe. "Life" to the Ubergod is more than just raw existence: it is the pursuit of goals, it is devotion to ideals, it is the refining of souls rather than the mere duplication of their number (although that is also a factor). In order to achieve this, first the Ubergod uses its power to create the deities - the gods and the beings later known as the primordials. The first primordials are created by Positive Energy infusing the raw Elemental Chaos, for simple purposes: to create beings that will give shape to the universe, craft worlds, and drive raw matter into the Material Plane. At the same time, the Ubergod creates the Gods in the Astral Sea. These beings, formed second in the Ubergod's sentience if not in practice, are more complex - the Ubergod desires them to create Life. These first gods are not just given the power to create mortal races, but are also designed to represent certain ideals that mortals will grasp for, to spur the refining of their souls and the furthering of the cause of Life.

The gods and primordials are granted consciousness so that they might better achieve their aims, rather than being mere automatons. This allows them to adapt to the times, to alter their way of thinking as it becomes necessary. To spur the gods to further the cause of Life as well as their own agendas, the Ubergod makes it so they can gain more power through the faith of mortals. The Ubergod ties faith-energy to the existence of every mortal soul, faith-energy that empowers deities when they are worshiped. This drives gods to create mortals to worship them, and also determines that the future of each god will be influenced by the desires of mortals.

However, primordials do not feel the desire for mortals to worship them anywhere near as strongly as their desire for the making and unmaking of worlds. With the gods requiring the stability of worlds for their mortals, and the primordials desiring to unmake worlds, the stage for the Dawn War is set. The Ubergod foresees the Dawn War however, as well as its end - it is all part of the bigger picture. The primordials will have served their primary purpose, and the gods will grain better knowledge of themselves and the universe through the conflict.

The Overgods
Knowing that once the gods have made the primordials subservient to them they would surely squabble between each other over the worship of mortals, the Ubergod creates the Overgods to oversee the interactions of the gods. These Overgods are empowered with consciousness, just as the deities were, in order for them to better achieve their goals. Each Overgod is granted dominion over a region of universe, in that they can set the rules for faith-energy in their sphere, control the flow of that faith-energy, and allow in and remove deities from their domain as they see fit. Each Overgod also differs from the next, ensuring differences in how different spheres operate - so that mistakes made by one Overgod will not be repeated elsewhere. The Overgod known as Ao comes to the part of the universe later known as Realmspace, the Overgod later known as the High God comes to Krynnspace, and so on. This pattern is repeated all over the multiverse, with the Overgods laying claims to regions of space the primordials have crafted. Gods thus find that to access the faith-energy of the mortals they create, they need to abide by the rules of the Overgod in the sphere they operate in. The Overgod can also bar or allow entry of gods into its sphere as it sees fit. All this is in the name of maintaining the Balance - a balance constructed by the Overgod in their realm to ensure the continuation and flourishing of Life.

Realmspace
The Overgod known as Ao sees an idea of perfection in the concept of initially allowing only two gods into his crystal sphere: a god of light and a god of darkness. The god of light, later known as Selune, will be driven to create life, while the being of darkness, later known as Shar, will be driven to extinguish it: replicating the struggle between Life and Nothingness that has existed since the beginning of the universe. This is Ao's only act in his sphere for many millenia - the setting of the initial rules, and deciding on who he allows in first.

First, Selune and Shar battle the primordials in Realmspace's private battleground of the Dawn War. They summon other gods to their aid, as well as create new gods out of their battles - finding that refining certain parts of their essences into separate beings helps them, such as refining the warlike part of oneself into a separate god of destruction. They then turn on each other, creating new gods out of those battles - such as gods of war and death. This battle is ongoing, but Ao ensures that it never truly threatens the existence of Life - which begins to flourish on the world of Abeir-Toril.

One of the gods summoned by the sister goddesses at that start of the conflict with the primordials is Ouroboros, the World Serpent. Ouroboros comes to lead the Elder Gods in the conflict, and once that conflict ends, he is one of the first to lay down the seed of life on the world - creating the sarrukh. Soon after, the triplet deities Krocaa, Syranita, and Quorlinn together create the Aearee. However, these gods discover that they were beaten to the punch by another deity who had created a mortal race even before the Dawn War ended: the batrachi, a race of sea creatures created by the devious god Ramenos in Abeir Toril's Blue Age. Ramenos had transformed the batrachi in order for them to survive the Shadow Epoch, and once it ended they began to build once more. Soon after, the first interloper races begin to appear: the Fey appear from the Feywild, and humans appear through gates from other worlds. The gods know that are part of a mass exodus of their kind from another crystal sphere, spreading across the multiverse.

Although these humans are still primitive, and will not play a large part in events on Abeir-Toril for many years, the other gods that had been preoccupied with warring with each other until recently begin to take an interest in this race. They find humans to be near-perfect in the ratio of soul-development to breeding: perfect for harnessing faith-energy. The humans begin to worship primal things - the wind, protector spirits, hunting gods - and the gods slowly change to resemble these ideals. As humans spread throughout the world, the gods split, change, and occasionally new interlopers arrive. Over thirty-five thousand years, humans develop into many different peoples, with many different pantheons of gods. Other races are born or arrive on Abeir-Toril as time passes.

...And The Other Force That Is The Unmaking Of Life
All the while, across the multiverse occasionally a crystal sphere comes to an end. This is the creeping, ever present force that is antithetical to the goals of Life of the Ubergod. This is the Antigod - the force for Nothingness that exists at the core of the universe. Its heralds, the obyriths, advance from crystal sphere to crystal sphere, preparing everything for total annihilation. Some say it was they who destroyed the first world of the humans, and they have their sight set on Abeir-Toril next...

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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