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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
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Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  12:27:42  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
For reasons of my own, I have a question that I don’t have an answer to and am unsure about: what type(s) of entities count as “primordials”? Specifically, do mundane demons, devils, yugoloths (daemons) count as “primordials” either in a very broad sense or more specifically (i.e. Asmodeus is a “primordial” but a basic bearded devil is not)?

I’d be interested in the group’s views.

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5453 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  13:48:30  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well here's my own thoughts on the categorisation.

Primordials came in during 4e when WoTC did whatever they wanted, and a primordial is so if WoTC say so.


My personal view is somewhat more nuanced.

Deities. Powerful extra planar ideals fuelled by the worship of mortals on the material plane (their truename is shared widely and forms part of prayers and the exchange of belief power). They form their own mini planar realms on the outer planes of which they are the true masters. They do not have a physical form, but can form one or more avatars at the request of worshippers.

Quasi Deities / Demigods are super powerful beingsthat have not yet ascended to true godhood and are still stuck in a single material vessel (and can be killed). So Elrem the White Worm, Red Knight, Finder Wyvernspur, etc are all quasi deities and not primordials. They acquire their power through various means but also begin to share their truename so they can share their power through pacts with worshippers.

Then there are cosmic entities. For this categorisation you have to accept that planes are semi sentient. Cosmic Entities are those beings imbued by the planes themselves to embody the very essence of what that plane represents. Asmodeus is a cosmic entity, Lolth is a cosmic entity (after her silence and transformation, Demogorgon is a cosmic entity, the Lords of the Nine are cosmic entities

And lastly we have primordials. These are the everything else category. Beings of supreme power that rival or exceed quasi deities, but are not gods and not cosmic entities, their power is inherent and does not come from belief/worship. Your Elder Evils are primordials. It could be argued that Cosmic Entities are primordials for the outer planes and that would be fine, but a cosmic entity such as one of the lords of the nine, could be stripped of much of his power if he loses control of his plane (because Asmodeus demoted him).


At the end of the day what separates a primordial asmodeus from a pitfiend is purely the power level. I reckon given an infinity of time one could try and gather enough experience to acquire the same power as asmodeus but such trials will almost certainly lead to one's death. Asmodeus is infused with the power of the ninth layer of baator itself and adds that to his own not inconsiderable level of power. Maegara and the other primordials detailed during 4e FR are probably beings from the dawn of time (when raw magic suffused everything), making their existence unique and powerful, nothing gave them that power, they were born with it, it cannot be taken away or controlled by another being.



Just my thoughts, its a framework i tend to stick to for consistency.





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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 11 Jan 2021 14:20:52
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  14:28:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not the most well-read, on the topic, but my impression was that primordials were kinda like elemental versions of demon lords: powerful, unique entities, not divine but sharing some of the same abilities as deities, but also sharing some of the same abilities/features as their lesser, monster book entry kin.

It's really a tricky question because WotC has -- as with so much else -- been inconsistent and not kept things straight. They say primordials aren't gods -- but then some entities previously said to be gods are now officially primordials, and act exactly like gods, including giving spells. Then we have ones like that one in Gauntlgrym which seems to be just a souped-up elemental, nothing more. And then there's the ones that actually meet the vague definition WotC gave us...

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Jan 2021 14:29:55
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sleyvas
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Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  15:05:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very good question, and again its very unclear. I'm going to take a stab at it, and I'll admit it probably differs from what I've thought in the past because.... well, this is a hard question. I would almost take the idea that's been put forth with "gods" where someone says its like a template that can be unlocked on a being that's a "archfey"/"primal spirit"/"far realm entity"/"outer planar lord"/"Power of Light or Darkness"/"Mortal ascended to Immortality"/"Elemental Power".

So, perhaps being a primordial is an unlocking of this on a being. Some beings may have this "unlocked" at birth. Others may become an "ascended primordial", like what supposedly happened with the Batrachi Lord "Bazim-Gorag the Firebringer".

So, then the question becomes "what's the difference then between a god and a primordial?"... and MAYBE this is the source of the conflict between the two of them.

From 4e we know that primordials can grant divine spells just like a god, so I wouldn't make that the defining difference. So maybe the difference is in what's done with the soul of those who worship them, and how much they're affected by a lack of worship.

For instance, maybe gods have outer planar realms, and the souls of the dead are used to "fuel" those realms slowly over time. When the "soul" merges with the plane, perhaps there's some essence of it that goes back to where souls are created to "recycle" and create a new soul. Maybe this is a very "clean" process, but in order to achieve it, the soul has to be very "in tune" with the being that will eventually consume them. Gods can also create a separate body for themselves (an avatar) so that they can't be attacked directly, perhaps by somehow entering a plane that other beings can't assault (but maybe primordials CAN enter this plane as well). Gods become weak though without a regular influx of mortal worshippers, and eventually if they lose enough stored fuel, their realm will fall to ruin and "eat" itself. This removes a gods ability to interact with mortals, and it possibly forciby ejects them from the "strange plane" where they live and forces their body into the astral where they petrify.

So, if that's what "gods" are and what THEY do with souls, maybe primordials unlock power that doesn't require an influx of souls.... but without it they go into a torpor. Maybe primordials are less concerned with how someone acts in life, and more concerned with how the being dies (so for instance, they can reap souls sacrificed in a certain way.... whether that be by being consumed in a volcanic eruption, meteor crash, flash flood, or by having their heart yanked out of their chest). But primordials don't have a "realm" to which the harvested soul goes and slowly bonds, but they go into some kind of "extraplanar stomach" that just starts burning down the soul as fuel... and if you don't work fast, that person's soul may be consumed much quicker than a soul that goes to the outer planes (does that mean days, years, or even a century though?). Unlike gods, primordials don't have a locked away essence in some other realm that others can't get to and avatars. However, they may be able to "split" themselves into multiple lesser aspects (we see this with Timesus the primordial, and to a degree with Telos as he's able to be mined) of a material nature that can regenerate themselves, making killing them harder unless all of their material is found and destroyed. Like I was saying above, maybe primordials can access the place where the body of a god actually is, and maybe they can "steal a god's lunch" while there. Maybe this is what makes the conflict between primordials and gods happen, because primordials get less "juice" from a soul but can consume a broad variety, and a mortal can get more power out of a soul but they must work a lot harder to obtain only the RIGHT type of soul by having the person act a certain way while alive.

Anyway, that's just some ideas.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Demzer
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776 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  15:10:51  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Most of what follows is my personal interpretation loosely based on impressions from canon.

I don't think primordial is restricted by type but I think that run-of-the-mill outsiders should not count as primordials.

In my mind the main difference between primordials and other critters is the power level, primordials tend to be uber-powerful godlike beings. The difference with actual gods get a little blurrier but I think that worship plays a big part: as in "is the creature interested in being worshiped and does it actively rewards worship on large scale?" if the answer is yes then it's probably a deity, if the answer is no then it is most likely a primordial.

Another difference I personally see is in the origin. If the creature has a definite origin as, for example, being created by someone/something or being born due to the direct action of someone/something then it is not a primordial.

For a long time I thought primordials were Prime-bound but I don't think that's the case (or rather, they might be Plane bound to whatever Plane they spawned on).

Following these considerations, Asmodeus is not a primordial (even if he is extremely old) since we know he was a supremely powerful celestial at some point in the distant past.

Some of the deities are on blurry territory: Ubtao is supposedly a "converted" primordial and the four big elemental lords might be "transitioning" as they don't seem too involved with this whole worship thing of being a god.

Creatures like Dendar, Kezef and Ityak-Ortheel for me count as primordials as they have been there since the beginning of time and gods can't outright slay them despite all the trouble that they make.

Other outer planar creatures like powerful obyriths (Pale Night), the bosses of the original Baatorians (maybe Druaga?), the Oinoloth and the baernaloths and the elemental princes and princesses are primordials of their respective planes in my view.

Note that with this interpretation, some of the most primal (as in patron or patroness of some fundamental piece of the cosmic puzzle) deities like Shar, Selune, Mystra, Chauntea/Silvanus (or at least their original incarnations) started out as primordials and then bought into the worship deal.

Edited by - Demzer on 11 Jan 2021 15:14:17
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
742 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  20:44:15  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the primordials should not originate from the Astral Sea or the planes therein. They are the deity-like beings of substance and not ideas, so mostly elemental in nature, though you get into quirky gray area with primal instincts, thus the demons originally being sort of pseudo-primordial in 4E and having some of what are now the Cthulu-like Great Old Ones classified as primordials. I would argue the Great Old Ones are ineffable and beyond understanding (unlike the gods of the Astral), so that brings us back to just these powerful beings that are the embodiment of substance and matter rather than ideas, so elemental forces of the Inner Planes. That does open up the question of what the god-like beings of the Feywild and Shadowfell are or even primal spirits of the Material Plane, but I'd classify them differently myself, but its all murky, which from a mortal perspective is probably fine.

In my mind Great Old Ones, and probably Fey and Shadow lords should have warlocks and not clerics in 5E, but primordials and gods could have clerics, but that's my opinion. The murkiness allows almost anything to be true or multiple things to be true at the same time.

For example is Ghaunadaur a god, primordial, or Great Old One or all three?
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sleyvas
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USA
10007 Posts

Posted - 11 Jan 2021 :  20:57:32  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

I think the primordials should not originate from the Astral Sea or the planes therein. They are the deity-like beings of substance and not ideas, so mostly elemental in nature, though you get into quirky gray area with primal instincts, thus the demons originally being sort of pseudo-primordial in 4E and having some of what are now the Cthulu-like Great Old Ones classified as primordials. I would argue the Great Old Ones are ineffable and beyond understanding (unlike the gods of the Astral), so that brings us back to just these powerful beings that are the embodiment of substance and matter rather than ideas, so elemental forces of the Inner Planes. That does open up the question of what the god-like beings of the Feywild and Shadowfell are or even primal spirits of the Material Plane, but I'd classify them differently myself, but its all murky, which from a mortal perspective is probably fine.

In my mind Great Old Ones, and probably Fey and Shadow lords should have warlocks and not clerics in 5E, but primordials and gods could have clerics, but that's my opinion. The murkiness allows almost anything to be true or multiple things to be true at the same time.

For example is Ghaunadaur a god, primordial, or Great Old One or all three?




You kind of hinted on something that I was thinking about myself above... not really a primordial thing... but rather, what makes someone able to be a warlock patron exactly? I mean, we have canonically this thing where one of the most well known and documented warlock patrons seems to be a seemingly not very powerful devil (in that he doesn't control a layer, etc..). I don't think they have ever really explored this in depth (unless they did so in 4e in some book or maybe a dragon article I haven't read). Still, I think we should have some kind of answer to it, because it seems to me like a path that some being chooses rather than becoming a deity... but then some deities seem to possibly be both deity and patron.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6105 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  07:22:34  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your answers. One small aspect of which prompts a follow up question: why would Oinoloth and the baernaloths be considered primordials? And one further, follow up question: on the assumption that Tyranthraxus is a yugoloth (daemon), would he be considered to be a "primordial"?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 12 Jan 2021 07:22:56
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
5453 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  08:53:13  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldnt consider the Oinoloths and Baernaloths to be primordials. You could categorise them as such if they became invested with the power of the plane they ruled, otherwise they are just powerful outsiders.

Tyranthraxus is an odd one. He was just a normal but senior yugoloth (i reckon in service to Malkizid and original leader of the trio nefarious).

At this point he's still just a powerful outsider in service to another more powerful outsider (i would class Malkizid as a cosmic entity).

At some point he becomes subservient to Bale, Myrkul, and Bane, then later gains power enough of his own to become independent again, is defeated, bound into a device and thrown in a lake. This lake may have been a pool of radiance or he may later have been released into a pool of radiance. It is at this point he gains enough innate power from the raw magic of the pool of radiance to possibly become classed as a primordial.


Before the pool of radiance Tyranthraxus was a powerful, but not super powerful yugoloth, certainly not powerful enough to rival a demi god (which is probably the starting point to consider something a primordial). After the pool of radiance he can possess anything and i wouldnt be surprised if he has additional powers he is not aware of himself. His classification as a primordial on power level at this point is debatable because he can possess powerful creatures like a bronze dragon or a storm giant, but is still defeated by 3 mediocre adventurers with the power of plot armour.
However, in his favour, Tyranthraxus is now a unique and immortal being which should also form the criteria for classification as a primordial. There should never be 2 primordials the same (or even vaguely similar), and it should never be possible to permanently defeat them.


So rough guide for Primordial classification. Is it unique. Can it be permanently slain. Is it on a par with a demigod in power. If the answer is no to more than one of these then it's not a primordial.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

776 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  09:44:41  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Thank you for your answers. One small aspect of which prompts a follow up question: why would Oinoloth and the baernaloths be considered primordials? And one further, follow up question: on the assumption that Tyranthraxus is a yugoloth (daemon), would he be considered to be a "primordial"?

-- George Krashos



Well, after checking a bit my Planescape lore (as most stuff on yugoloths comes from there) I retract my statement on the Oinoloth because it is just the title of the appointed head and any yugoloth can rise up to the position.

The baernaloths I consider primordials because, from what we know, they are powerful enough to create an extraplanar race of powerful outsiders that plagues existence (they created the 'loths), nobody knows what was before them and they don't care much for their creations or to be worshiped or even to engage in "daily" matters.

Speaking of the baernaloths, Apomps (god-creator of the gehreleths of Carceri) is the odd one and it's unclear to me if he really is a god or just has enough power to be considered one. In any case, he spawned an entire, immortal (gehreleths respawn like players in first person shooters) race of outsiders on his own, plaguing an entire plane of existence. So yeah, classes pretty high on the power scale.

Again, these are all my personal ideas based on the few criteria I highlighted before (incredibly powerful very old being, doesn't care for worship, we don't know an origin). And of course, on the 'loths, they are heavily based on Planescape material (there is really not enough Realms-only material to go about to characterise them otherwise, at least that I know of).

Tyranthraxus is an extremely odd one.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

snip on Tyranthraxus



I think you got your chronology mixed a bit and I'm not sure he was directly involved with the Trio Nefarious (going from memory, we know all three members of the Trio and they were nycaloths which are the lowest of the mightiest 'loths). So if I had to connect these 'loths I would say the nycaloths were serving him the first time around (c.ca -1200 DR) while he was busy dominating northeastern Faerun. Then the nycaloths get imprisoned, he gets owned by the Dark Three and ends up in the pools or goes underground or whatever until he starts causing trouble again in the 1300s and when the nycaloths are freed in 708 DR they are leaderless and dedicate themselves to vengeance on Myth Drannor.

Anyway back to Tyranthraxus, I know George doesn't like Planescape too much but as I already stated it's the best and most complete source on yugoloths. In Faces of Evil, The Fiends we find out the current Oinoloth "ousted" the previous one by telling him a secret that sent him onward to greater glories and this previous Oinoloth was named Anthraxus ...

Now, going into wilder speculation territory, considering we know there were several ...tyr... deities on Toril which ended up inside Tyr but we don't know about an eastern or northeastern one (the closest is Amaunator for Netheril as patron of law/justice), considering Tyranthraxus is "THE Possessing Spirit" and considering he was one of the Seven beings the Dark Three subdued and all these beings were at least demi-godlike in power ... what if Anthraxus possessed some kind of incarnation of a minor ...tyr... godling and went on to be the original lord of tyranny (or Tyr-anny ... ok this was a bad one ...) of a section of Faerun, only to be then subjugated by the Dark Three?

Going back to the original question.

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

And one further, follow up question: on the assumption that Tyranthraxus is a yugoloth (daemon), would he be considered to be a "primordial"?

-- George Krashos



By taking into account his yugoloth/daemon origin and his status as one of the Seven-Owned-by-the-Three, I would not consider Tyranthraxus a primordial but a yugoloth demigod (if Gargauth can ascend, why couldn't he?).

Edited by - Demzer on 12 Jan 2021 09:53:32
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  09:51:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Check the so saith Ed archives. He writes that there was a fourth member (and leader) able to possess other beings but the trio imprison him (presumably in netheril) shortly after their arrival. It doesnt definitely state its tyranthraxus but it's a close enough fit to be him.

Phaerimm drain magic would have ended that imprisonment and released him just in time for Bale to find him.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6105 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  09:51:34  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for your thoughtful and considered responses.

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6105 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  09:57:21  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Check the so saith Ed archives. He writes that there was a fourth member (and leader) able to possess other beings but the trio imprison him (presumably in netheril) shortly after their arrival. It doesnt definitely state its tyranthraxus but it's a close enough fit to be him.

Phaerimm drain magic would have ended that imprisonment and released him just in time for Bale to find him.



Can you point me to the year/page, Gary?

— George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

776 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  10:06:34  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Check the so saith Ed archives. He writes that there was a fourth member (and leader) able to possess other beings but the trio imprison him (presumably in netheril) shortly after their arrival. It doesnt definitely state its tyranthraxus but it's a close enough fit to be him.

Phaerimm drain magic would have ended that imprisonment and released him just in time for Bale to find him.



Oh boy ... searches are turning up nothing on my 460 pages-long file of compiled notes from the So Saith Ed threads, think I'm screwed.

The only issue I would have with that is in the fact that the Seven were supposedly all demigodly power-level so Tyranthraxus can't be just a souped up yugoloth / ex-Oinoloth by the time the Dark Three get him (and they went specifically after their targets, so he's got to have had a reputation by then). But without seeing the full passage from Ed I can't say.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
5453 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  10:19:33  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Trio Nefarious
- THO referencing a chat between multiple designers with Ed present likely in late 2009-early 2010,
quoted by WR in Qs for Ed 21/7/16
I recall overhearing an informal chat in one of the lounges at GenCon, involving Ed and several of the
company designers of the time, explaining something about the Trio to a licensee (computer game
designer?).
What was said boiled down to this:
The Trio Nefarious were actually FOUR nycaloths who had acquired ancient magic (devised by someone
else) that allowed them to "take over" the bodies of other nycaloths for short periods, putting the minds
in those bodies into comas. So they could use a borrowed body to fight or do some other dangerous
deed, and then discard it for another or for a return to their own. The magic that enabled them to do
this also protected their minds from some hostile mind-affecting magics (charms, illusions, and attempts
to influence or control), enabling them to withstand some attacks better than a "normal" nycaloth. The
three active members of the Trio had overcome the fourth, who was the smartest, leaving the fourth as
a comatose body they could all flee into, or take over permanently, if need be.
All three of them had made some sort of blood pact enforcing their loyalty to each other, and they spent
much of their time acquiring all sorts of magic items, so as to be walking arsenals of magic with ready
access to several hidden caches of magic, so they could take on most archmages and other nycaloths
and expect to prevail.
Aside from this cunning and magical augmentation, they were no different than other nycaloths, but
were thought by some human and elven survivors of encounters with them to be a more powerful sort
or form of nycaloth (hence the "greater" sobriquet).




I got this from the compiled pdf of So Saith Ed responses from 2010 - 2016


Tyranthraxus not being super powerful at the time of Netheril's fall is not an issue for me. The myth of the Seven is muddled enough that his inclusion might have been an error. He was the only one of the seven that survived to serve the Dark Three and Haask was pretty pathetic compared to the other 7. We dont know what activities he was involved in before the Fall of Netheril (Phaerimm drain magics could have released him from around -600 DR onwards depending upon the location of his imprisonment, giving him a good few centuries to wreak havoc before Bale et al caught him). Then he becomes powerful enough to lead an army and conquer several kingdoms in the east and battle the forces of Maram. Time does not do well for facts and their consistency and provide excellent opportunities for lore creation.



Plus i never liked the linking of Tyranthraxus with Anthraxus. Torm the thief and Torm the deity were never linked (as far as i know). Manshoon and Shoon the adventurer (the one with the buckler) had no link beyond the name and a possible distant familial link. Cyric and Cyruk were not linked. People like to copy names of famous people, maybe fiends do too.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 12 Jan 2021 10:20:33
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Demzer
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Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  10:21:13  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found it!

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13230 (15 January 2010 by the Lady The Hooded One, sorely missed on these boards)

I don't think it refers to Tyranthraxus as all the nycaloths were doing it and the fourth had been beaten and was just a husk ... so yeah maybe Tyranthraxus was the one that taught them how to do that.

EDIT: ninjaed

Edited by - Demzer on 12 Jan 2021 10:22:50
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sleyvas
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USA
10007 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2021 :  12:53:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Thank you for your answers. One small aspect of which prompts a follow up question: why would Oinoloth and the baernaloths be considered primordials? And one further, follow up question: on the assumption that Tyranthraxus is a yugoloth (daemon), would he be considered to be a "primordial"?

-- George Krashos



Tyranthraxus being a creature that possesses other creatures.... think on him as similar to Thayd as well, who according to Ed turned into a being that possesses others somewhat similar to a Suel Lich. Perhaps both were affected by trying to handle power that was beyond their ken and it destroyed their physical presence, but not their psychic one. To some degree, they've become something like a vestige, but one not trapped in the place where vestiges are trapped.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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PattPlays
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  21:35:38  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say this.

Gods change over time; we have many situations in Toril and elsewhere across time when gods have been multiple other gods, with and without some and other names and portfolios. However gods are (in my current favorite interpretation) representations of a certain concentration of energy that conduits to and from a greater complexity. For the case of Ao and the gods who deal with it for power, they collectively act as the code that attempts to manage a crystal sphere. When detached from a material plane and found in the astral, Gods in title and in purpose are representations of spiritual and philosophical roles across countless worlds of minds. God is a title that to me, represents being a part of the current cosmological narrative. Gods, like comic book superheroes, die and return and are absorbed and emitted like energy through chemistry systems.

Primordials do not represent anything in our current cosmological narratives. A Primordial is anything that remains from a previous attempt at reality. They can exist without a specific purpose in this reality, but the movement of chance and the constant involvement of self-obsessed gods (rightfully so, a being derived from the Astral and 'the way things are now' is going to feel that way) forced the Primordials long ago to find a role in either the continuation of this reality, its destruction, or the next one's inevitable creation.

To me, a primordial doesn't think of itself as anything special compared to this current world. It is one of many times reality has gone through this song and dance before. In its original universe, the entity could have been a wholly recognizable god being that we could understand from our perspective. Something happened to that universe (or rather that specific system of order, that something almost always having to do with the- or an equivalent to the Obyrith showing up) and somehow the godbeing survives into the next system. That process, either all at once or over countless time, must be either so traumatizing, maddening, physically violent or otherwise because once on the other end of it, the world that perceives them sees them as alien and unwelcome.

Doesn't always have to mean that every primordial is several cosmic universes old, just that you're from outside of the typical way things work right now. Primordials described as being from the Far Realm or the Inner Planes might just be primordials because when the gods of the new reality formed into our current Astral network and had no education on the existence of worlds outside their Heavens and Crystal Spheres. I see the War of the Obyriths as the placeholder for the end of "the" old cosmological order and the Dawn War as the start of our new cosmologicla order drawing a line in the sand between "us gods" and "everything else", thus the Primordial vs God duality that we often deal with now.

George, I wonder what you think about my take on Asmodeus with what I've read and heard so far.
To me, Asmodeus was a godbeing alongside his twin brother. One brother is good and creates a race of intelligent life and is innocent and trusting and glorious. The other brother says nothing, and simply spends this time calculating. Suddenly, the expected something happens and the Obyriths show up. The good coatl/human/whatever god of creation and love dies so hard to inter-cosmic Evil that everyone forgets their name. The other brother, who would become Asmodeus, goes to the armies of the current cosmic order (the previous version, not our current angels- this would be a cycle ago if not several) and use the death of their beloved brother as cause to convince the forces of order that the only way to fight evil was to become evil- though more elegantly than that. That army descends to make disgustingly successful battle and claim the first hold against this iteration of demon-adjacent-evil and, in more legal dealings, claim that world and its population as property of he who would become Asmodeus. The same planet and people their brother worked so hard for, now existing as the cosmic realm of Baator to exist almost always in some way in countless D&D gameworlds.

Can you imagine if you and your royal brother built paradise and then when you died, your brother already had the inheritance papers signed to turn the property and civilians of your paradise into a literal beurocratic hell after scorching the entire surface of that world in fire and abyssal gore. Then, after helping to create a new cosmic order where most of the 'gods' from around that time have long since passed on, except Primus, your brother gets involved in some nonsense and becomes a god in the new, lesser version of the cosmic order that he may have sabotaged from the beginning- and STOPS the modern day version of the same threat that -you- died fighting against without his help. I blame Asmodeus for everything.

Jerk-brother planned all that from the start, and absolutely set his brother up to die. Sure, you can make the case that he saw what needed to be done to stop Chaos, but the aftermath of all those machinations is that thousands of years in the future, we have 4th edition happen, and Asmodeus gets to become an actual god. I call him a primordial because he shouldn't be here. He is in significant part responsible for the cosmos being in the situation where it 'needs' Asmodeus to be here. We have this current generation of mortal souls becoming Devils and Angels. We have these current gods (Azuth being as far as I know, a current day god as an extension of Ao's power or contributing to the emergent system associated with Ao) with their histories and relationships and purposes. However we also have Asmodeus- an alien from a past so forgotten that nobody knows the identity of the only being to ever have equaled him. Here he is, still around while his brother is gone. Lingering into this cosmological order and the next for all of us to have to deal with each time around.
A devil at his side may be a current part of the Astral network of souls and planar magic, as Asmodeus may be too depending on the year. But Asmodeus' connection to that network is criminal. Their access point is a constant ransomware on the safety and order of the cosmos- something from an older operating system that demanded it not be removed but infact be reincorporated as an integral part of your firewalls and security systems against other bad actors.


Primordials are anything that can and has played the game that the gods can't, because the gods can't think outside their systems. Anything that survives outside of that system, originates from outside of that system, left the system and returned- these are Primordials.

The elemental primordials may be in some way equally as old as the gods of this current time around, but because the gods were formed in the astral and the elementals were born in the inner planes, the gods will be naive when they first encounter them. And, well, dawn wars happen.

A primordial is a barbarian. "Someone who doesn't speak our language."
The gods may hate one another, but they know who one another are. You? They don't know you. So, throw a Primordial label on it.

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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Edited by - PattPlays on 13 Jan 2021 22:02:00
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PattPlays
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  21:59:57  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I wouldnt consider the Oinoloths and Baernaloths to be primordials. You could categorise them as such if they became invested with the power of the plane they ruled, otherwise they are just powerful outsiders.

Tyranthraxus is an odd one. He was just a normal but senior yugoloth (i reckon in service to Malkizid and original leader of the trio nefarious).

At this point he's still just a powerful outsider in service to another more powerful outsider (i would class Malkizid as a cosmic entity).

At some point he becomes subservient to Bale, Myrkul, and Bane, then later gains power enough of his own to become independent again, is defeated, bound into a device and thrown in a lake. This lake may have been a pool of radiance or he may later have been released into a pool of radiance. It is at this point he gains enough innate power from the raw magic of the pool of radiance to possibly become classed as a primordial.


Before the pool of radiance Tyranthraxus was a powerful, but not super powerful yugoloth, certainly not powerful enough to rival a demi god (which is probably the starting point to consider something a primordial). After the pool of radiance he can possess anything and i wouldnt be surprised if he has additional powers he is not aware of himself. His classification as a primordial on power level at this point is debatable because he can possess powerful creatures like a bronze dragon or a storm giant, but is still defeated by 3 mediocre adventurers with the power of plot armour.
However, in his favour, Tyranthraxus is now a unique and immortal being which should also form the criteria for classification as a primordial. There should never be 2 primordials the same (or even vaguely similar), and it should never be possible to permanently defeat them.


So rough guide for Primordial classification. Is it unique. Can it be permanently slain. Is it on a par with a demigod in power. If the answer is no to more than one of these then it's not a primordial.



On the Oinoloths, I think the transformation rituals those Night Hags do must completely changing the Yugoloths into something violently unnecessary and horrifically different to the point where Primordial is simply said to keep oneself feeling safe in assuming their evil is as far removed from your own as possible.
And if the Night Hags can 'create' primordials, then the Baernoloth are best left undiscussed.. I have had a theory for a few months that the Baernoloth watch dying cosmos through holes somewhere in the bottom of Hades.. watching innocent godbeings from countless worlds who survived the destruction of their realities slowly turn mad from the vast emptiness of time. Imagine if they could have plucked these drowning beings of untold power and population from any of these dying worlds but instead waited and waited for the worst possible result and then let in the vile and corrupted Obyrith into the cosmos.. You can never tell with a Baernoloth.

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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LordofBones
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Posted - 14 Jan 2021 :  11:25:13  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Oinoloth has nothing to do with the night hags. The current Oinoloth, Mydianchlarus, is an ultroloth.

As for the altraloths - which are what transformed yugoloths are - I don't see why they should be primordials. The yugoloths consider them freaks and only acknowledge them for their power, and they have nothing to do with being uber-ancient god-things. The most powerful yugoloth around is a purebred 'loth - the General of Gehenna. The master of the Tower Arcane and his predecessor are purebred arcanoloths. The Lord of Khin-Oin is an ultroloth.

Likewise, I can't see Asmodeus as being literal evil Yahweh. Asmodeus is a fallen exemplar of law tainted by evil, and he's not even a native of Baator; the Ancient Baatorians all ascended long before Asmodeus fell. He's the Lord Below, a great schemer still haunted by the loss of his consort, the ruler of the baatezu and the guy who holds on to his seat by being smarter than everyone else; dude shouldn't be this super-special evil version of Big G because it just cheapens him.

WotC basically uses primordial as a nebulous, catch-all, poorly defined term; that's why the elemental rulers of the planes (Kossuth and company) and lumped in together with IO the Dragon of All Colours.

Also, Tyranthraxus and Anthraxus have literally nothing in common except for being 'loths. Given that high-tier loths tend to have disease-themed names (Anthraxus, Diptherius, Mydianchlarus, Cholerix, Typhus, Bubonix, Cerlic aka Charon) and really couldn't give two coppers about icky mortals, I doubt Tyranthraxus actually was a 'loth.
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PattPlays
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Posted - 14 Jan 2021 :  13:45:22  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yugoloths are such an unexplored facet of D&D..
recently, at the very least. As to be expected of the middle lower planes I suppose.

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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ElfBane
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Posted - 14 Jan 2021 :  14:27:44  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are we going to bring RW into this? If so, then that means primordials are "first", "original", there at the "Beginning". Anything created later would not be.

Primordial
ADJECTIVE
Existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval, (especially of a state or quality) basic and fundamental.

ORIGIN
late Middle English: from late Latin primordialis ‘first of all’, from primordius ‘original’ (see primordium).
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Baltas
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Posted - 15 Jan 2021 :  23:18:39  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

The Oinoloth has nothing to do with the night hags. The current Oinoloth, Mydianchlarus, is an ultroloth.

As for the altraloths - which are what transformed yugoloths are - I don't see why they should be primordials. The yugoloths consider them freaks and only acknowledge them for their power, and they have nothing to do with being uber-ancient god-things. The most powerful yugoloth around is a purebred 'loth - the General of Gehenna. The master of the Tower Arcane and his predecessor are purebred arcanoloths. The Lord of Khin-Oin is an ultroloth.




Well yes, being an Altraloth, is not needed to be the Oinoloth, or high ranking Yugoloth/Yugoloth Arcfiend.

would note though, Generals of Gehenna's status as a "purebreed" Ultroloth, is actually questioned in canon, specifically in Dragon Annual 2 (1997), in the "Pox of the Planes" article:
quote:
The General of Gehenna
Not much is known of the General except maybe for the hushed whispers one hears in the pubs of Sigil. Questions naturally arise as to whether the General is, in actuality, an ultroloth or altraloth. Sages who study fiends assert in cautious whispers that the General simply could not be an ultroloth. How else could he single-handedly manipulate the Blood War unless he possessed skills and abilities far beyond those of his other ultroloth brethren? And so the General remains an enigma to this day. Almost nothing is known about him personally. Perhaps the only thing that can be said is that he is the Blood War.


And while other sources say the General of Gehenna is an Ultroloth (even the first Ultroloth) who rose to power on his own merit, and a "paragon Ultroloth"..let's remember these is presented as an -in-universe presented information, often by Yugoloth's themselves.
Yugoloth's, also are noted to be liars, and the fact even the vast majority of Yugoloth's believes a lie, is quite fitting.
Along with the fact the General of Gehenna is quite enigmatic, little even meeting him. Which could well hide the fact of him being an Altraloth (intentionally or ot)
So I think at least it could be a possibility.

Edited by - Baltas on 16 Jan 2021 00:26:57
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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 17 Jan 2021 :  04:36:59  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You kind of hinted on something that I was thinking about myself above... not really a primordial thing... but rather, what makes someone able to be a warlock patron exactly? I mean, we have canonically this thing where one of the most well known and documented warlock patrons seems to be a seemingly not very powerful devil (in that he doesn't control a layer, etc..). I don't think they have ever really explored this in depth (unless they did so in 4e in some book or maybe a dragon article I haven't read). Still, I think we should have some kind of answer to it, because it seems to me like a path that some being chooses rather than becoming a deity... but then some deities seem to possibly be both deity and patron.


-When you get down to it, this is what Chosen more or less are...Just very souped up and (in some cases) minus the major drawback in some kind of debt being owed.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Edited by - Lord Karsus on 17 Jan 2021 04:38:50
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LordofBones
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Posted - 17 Jan 2021 :  06:09:21  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

The Oinoloth has nothing to do with the night hags. The current Oinoloth, Mydianchlarus, is an ultroloth.

As for the altraloths - which are what transformed yugoloths are - I don't see why they should be primordials. The yugoloths consider them freaks and only acknowledge them for their power, and they have nothing to do with being uber-ancient god-things. The most powerful yugoloth around is a purebred 'loth - the General of Gehenna. The master of the Tower Arcane and his predecessor are purebred arcanoloths. The Lord of Khin-Oin is an ultroloth.




Well yes, being an Altraloth, is not needed to be the Oinoloth, or high ranking Yugoloth/Yugoloth Arcfiend.

would note though, Generals of Gehenna's status as a "purebreed" Ultroloth, is actually questioned in canon, specifically in Dragon Annual 2 (1997), in the "Pox of the Planes" article:
quote:
The General of Gehenna
Not much is known of the General except maybe for the hushed whispers one hears in the pubs of Sigil. Questions naturally arise as to whether the General is, in actuality, an ultroloth or altraloth. Sages who study fiends assert in cautious whispers that the General simply could not be an ultroloth. How else could he single-handedly manipulate the Blood War unless he possessed skills and abilities far beyond those of his other ultroloth brethren? And so the General remains an enigma to this day. Almost nothing is known about him personally. Perhaps the only thing that can be said is that he is the Blood War.


And while other sources say the General of Gehenna is an Ultroloth (even the first Ultroloth) who rose to power on his own merit, and a "paragon Ultroloth"..let's remember these is presented as an -in-universe presented information, often by Yugoloth's themselves.
Yugoloth's, also are noted to be liars, and the fact even the vast majority of Yugoloth's believes a lie, is quite fitting.
Along with the fact the General of Gehenna is quite enigmatic, little even meeting him. Which could well hide the fact of him being an Altraloth (intentionally or ot)
So I think at least it could be a possibility.



The thing is that altraloths are made via pacts with the night hags, which I doubt is the case with the General. The idea that the General is the very first ultroloth and remains an ultroloth is, I think, consistent with the yugoloths - where the baatezu and tanar'ri are 'mutated' into archfiends, the 'loths are so pure in their evil that it takes an outside force to 'advance' them. The big movers and shakers of the 'loths don't have tentacles or horns or tails or giant floppy dongs, they're the elders of their respective kinds.

That said, the altraloths have their limits. Typhus is a blithering idiot with the common sense of a lemming outside of 'hit stuff to kill it', Xenghara has MDD, Anthraxus lost his staff and his throne to a 'common' ultroloth and now has to beg for divine scraps, Bubonix is deluded enough to think that the General couldn't crush him like an ant. Only Charon and Taba came out of their deals smelling like roses.
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PattPlays
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Posted - 17 Jan 2021 :  10:19:05  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You kind of hinted on something that I was thinking about myself above... not really a primordial thing... but rather, what makes someone able to be a warlock patron exactly? I mean, we have canonically this thing where one of the most well known and documented warlock patrons seems to be a seemingly not very powerful devil (in that he doesn't control a layer, etc..). I don't think they have ever really explored this in depth (unless they did so in 4e in some book or maybe a dragon article I haven't read). Still, I think we should have some kind of answer to it, because it seems to me like a path that some being chooses rather than becoming a deity... but then some deities seem to possibly be both deity and patron.


-When you get down to it, this is what Chosen more or less are...Just very souped up and (in some cases) minus the major drawback in some kind of debt being owed.



Chosen are strange. I read that they have a minimum power level that of some like, insane cr angelic creature or a certain Power status.

Also, anyone want to talk about primordials and Jublex's 4e lore or being older than Demogorgon or something? Yeesh that makes Ghaunadaur more complicated on their "god vs primordial" status.

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


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