New revelations about the Dark Tapestry, Lovecraft, etc.


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Psiphyre wrote:
Isn't Rovagug more likely to be a deity-class Qlippoth, such as is the case with Asmodeus, Lamashtu & Sarenrae, who are deity-class/ascended members of their outsider races (devil, demon & angel/celestial, respectively)?

Off Topic: People keep making this mistake. Asmodeus is not an ascended Devil in Golarion (a being of that name is in other settings, but that's neither here nor there). He's a God and always has been. One of the oldest and mightiest Gods, actually. He's the patron of devils, not one of them anymore than Desna is a Varisian.

I now return people to their regularly sceduled cosmic horror.


Psiphyre wrote:
Isn't Rovagug more likely to be a deity-class Qlippoth, such as is the case with Asmodeus, Lamashtu & Sarenrae, who are deity-class/ascended members of their outsider races (devil, demon & angel/celestial, respectively)?

Asmodeus isn't an ascended devil. He was around long before devils. While Rovagug could pretty reasonably be an ascended qlippoth, it brings the question of how old Big R is compared to mortals and the Material Plane. Is he the biggest and best of the qlippothim, sent to eradicate mortality shortly after their infection of the material? Did he exist before mortals, brought into the multiverse because he was offended by Asmodeus' acts of creation?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:

interesting point about Dagon - I've always liked the 3.5 write/version of him FAR better than the somewhat weaker version Pathfinder currently uses. So if/when I use Dagon I tend to go back to the 3.5/Lovecraftian background.

Umm... the Dagon of 3.5 is nearly identical to the Dagon of PF. This isn't a surprise, as James Jacobs essentially created both. He and Eric Mona authored the 3.5 demon book (Fiendish Codex I - Hordes of the Abyss), and more importantly, the Demonomicon of Iggwilv article that went into great detail on 3.5 Dagon.

Both Dagons were originally proto demons (Obyrith in 3.5, Qlippoth in PF) who, after a new form of demon took over the Abyss (Tanar'ri in 3.5, plain ole' demons in PF), mutated into demons themselves. By becoming demons, both Dagons could then ascend to the rank of Demon Lord.

Also, both versions of Dagon are heavily laden with Lovecraftian themes. Just because they're demons doesn't mean that they can't also be alien abominations - in fact, I'd say their demon status helps them in that regard.

Liberty's Edge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Off Topic: People keep making this mistake. Asmodeus is not an ascended Devil in Golarion (a being of that name is in other settings, but that's neither here nor there). He's a God and always has been.

True fact! I like to think of it as that there are Demons who ascended to Godhood, but Devils all descended from Asmodeus. He was the first fallen, the baddest of the bad, and when Hell started forming souls into Devils, it picked the guy who fell so hard and from so high that it created two layers of hell to pattern them after. That's why he's the Devil King.

Also, going back to some of the first few posts: Elder Things! We know that city up north is theirs, and we can presume that they are the creators of the Vault that warred with the Aboliths. What other things in the Pathfinder setting have been ascribed to an ancient unnamed race that may have been the ETs?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
brreitz wrote:
What other things in the Pathfinder setting have been ascribed to an ancient unnamed race that may have been the ETs?

Lots of the weird ruins in the Mwangi Expanse.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:
Isn't Rovagug more likely to be a deity-class Qlippoth, such as is the case with Asmodeus, Lamashtu & Sarenrae, who are deity-class/ascended members of their outsider races (devil, demon & angel/celestial, respectively)?
Off Topic: People keep making this mistake. Asmodeus is not an ascended Devil in Golarion (a being of that name is in other settings, but that's neither here nor there). He's a God and always has been.

Which is why there is a slash between deity-class & ascended in my post. In effect, Asmodeus, Sarenrae & Lamashtu are deity-class (whether ascended or always been so) exemplars (NOT the D&D use of the term) of their respective outsider groups (devil, celestial & demon, respectively). He (=Asmodeus) may not have been a devil in the past, but he "is" so now, for all intents & purposes (which - whether overtly stated as canon for the setting or not - would tie in with deities not only influencing & shaping the beliefs of their worshippers, but also being influenced & shaped by their worshippers in turn - as seems to be the case for Desna, for example...).

Doesn't really matter. The Golarion pantheon is quite interesting in that there are gods that represent the pinnacle of a certain race/creature group (e.g. "dwarfishness" for Torag, "elfishness" for Calistria, "demonishness" for Lamashtu, "devilishness" for Asmodeus, etc. Apologies for all the "ishnesses" ;p ) without necessarily having been a part of the corresponding race originally (as some posts above have speculated for Calistria, amongst others).

But that's the way I see & interpret things in the setting. Yours may well differ. Which is why it's such an interesting setting, ne?

^^

--C.


I have some thoughts concerning the thread/theories above that refer to things mentioned in the 'Book of the Damned vol. 1';

Spoiler:
So according to the writings from the Book of the Damned, there was some kind of "Seal" before anything. The Seal basically spontaneously created "gods", Asmodeus and his sibling Ihys being the first and greatest of these. In the book it talks of how Ihys creates the first lifeforms that have souls and showed the others, after which this text follows;

"Yet soon invaders came, and the First discovered that theirs was not the only reality. Slipping through the gaps in existence came the primeval fiends, the lords of chaos, and the masters of the elements,each discovering the worlds orbiting the Seal and seeking to claim the potential and power there. Other visitors came to explore the realms of the First as well, beings claiming origins similar to Ihys and Asmodeus's younger brethren. These travelers brought knowledge with them of spheres beyond the Seal, strange and wondrous realms filled with primal beings and more frightening dangers."

The fiends, lords and masters all suggest demons, proteans and elementals. But the spheres beyond the Seal suggest something else to me, especially as later in the text after Ihys grants souls that return to him the choice of freedom some go off on their own. Asmodeus gets pissed and drags Ihys around existence where they "found new realms of madness and horror Ihys's loosed creations." Asmodeus then proceeds to give his brother a good talking to, where he "reminded his brother time and again how his actions fed the mad things that lurked beyond their worlds".

So this suggests to me several things brought up in the thread.

1. Obviously Asmodeus is powerful enough to take on any of the other gods (at least one on one), it specifically talks about him and his brother being the most powerful beings. Which would suggest he either did not need help with Rovagug... Or Rovagug is in fact a threat to a being at Asmodeus's power level, which suggests it is from the other realms of "frightening dangers".

2. Somehow souls having freedom to make their own choices instead of just returning to their source god potentially strengthens "the mad things that lurked", which I'm guessing refers to the elder gods/old ones. It also suggests to me that Asmodeus and the other "gods" somehow hold these things back.

3. The "Seal" is especially intriguing as it basically allowed everything to exist. But that original existance was not threatend by outsiders until a choice made by Ihys. Later in the text, Asmodeus destroys Ihys and his very being explodes outward.
As the essence of the gods was used to create/empower life (Serenrae was created by Ihys with a peice of him), I have two ideas about the Starstone. Either it's somehow a "piece" of the Seal or it's a piece of Ihys. Either way I believe it may exist on Golarian to somehow oppose the mad things beyond the spheres.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Panguinslayer7 wrote:

I have some thoughts concerning the thread/theories above that refer to things mentioned in the 'Book of the Damned vol. 1';

** spoiler omitted **...

While all your ideas are good in context, one thing you have to consider is how much the in-game Book of the Damned text can be trusted. It was written by a very disturbed angel, and is entirely from his point of view. I always took the Book of the Damned text with a grain of salt - I'm sure some of it's true (maybe even most of it), but I'm not sure I'd trust it 100%. So perhaps the seal that created Asmodeus and his brother was a metaphor?

My humble opinion.

On a somewhat related topic, there's something that bugs me about the Dark Tapestry (and the Material Plane in general): it's relatively young, as far as I can tell. Apparently the Abyss is the oldest known realm, with the Maelstrom only slightly less ancient. From the Maelstrom, all the other planes (Heaven, Hell, the Elemental Planes, the Material Plane, etc) spontaneously generated.

So why is this a problem? Because the Dark Tapestry, Great Old Ones, etc., are supposed to be unfathomably old. But in the cosmic scheme of things, they really aren't.

Maybe. Because in the Wake of the Watcher article, it implies that the Material Plane is actually quite old, and was only recently discovered by the "proper" gods. The Great Old Ones had already been in residence for a long time.

So it all comes down to who you believe. According to demons and proteans, the Great Old Ones are relatively young upstarts. According to the afforementioned article, it's the demons and proteans that are newbies. It's a confusing issue, muddled by propaganda, philosophy and metaphor, and I don't know that there's supposed to be a "right" answer. If you're familiar with the amazing 2nd edition Planescape setting, this should all be familiar to you.

(To tie it all together, see what I mean when I say I don't 100% trust the Book of the Damned?)

Liberty's Edge

Reminds me a bit of the old WotC 3.5 book of Hell, which had the history of Asmodeus and Hell from the scribes of Hell. In it, Asmodeus managed to trick Heaven into giving him Hell and dominion over evil souls via confusing small print on a contract. The book also hints that big A got beat out of Heaven, which is where the "fell so hard he changed Hell from a 7-layer realm mirroring Heaven into the 9-layer realm it is today." It also mentioned that Asmodeus's true form is not that of a suave devil, but that of a broken and bloody angel, forever unable to heal.


I prefer the less biblical-overtone pseudo-mythology in my RPGs...
Especially since all that Hel / afterlife stuff was rather non-accurately ripped of from other traditions to begin with.


Shall I tell them? Some of us unfathomably old have the truth of such things from an objective viewpoint. Devils and demons and daemons and angels and gods all have their own twist upon such things.

Shall I tell the mewling little mortals? Shall I rattle their boneboxes to use the parlance of someone I once knew? Or shall I confuse them even more? Just remember, I always lie. Except when I tell the truth. The key is figuring out which one of the two will cause the most misery.

But what do I know of such things? I'm just an interloper.

Liberty's Edge

Set wrote:
Maeljw wrote:
The Eye being a result of the great magic and power released to stop him.

I like the idea of a connection between the Eye and Aroden's death.

Generic Villain wrote:
It's worth noting that Desna also resides on the Material Plane, though I don't think she's a native like Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu.

It's only (relatively) recently (as strange aeons go) that Desna has been a *human* goddess, with a humanoid appearance. Whatever shuddersome sky-crawling insectile thing, night black and slick with liquid starlight, singing mad songs and dreaming mad dreams beyond the range of human comprehension in the dark places between the stars, she used to be, has been wrapped up in a friendly butterfly-lady persona, over the recent millenia...

Far-Traveller from beyond the stars, mad-Dreamer of forbidden Dreams, we call upon you, Desna, Ia, Ia.

I love the idea of the Eye powering Aroden's prison or being a rift in space time caused by his death. As to the rest of your thoughts-

Stop that! Ick! I'm losing sanity points just thinking about it!
Now I'm going to be worrying about why happens when Desna emerges from her cocoon, on he day that the stars come right again...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I've hinted it here and there, but yeah—just as Lamashtu's a deity-level demon lord and Sarenrae's a deity-level empyreal lord, Rovagug is a deity-level qlippoth.

At least, I'm 99.953% sure he is. Once I'm 100% sure I'll put that in print. ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tegresin the Laughing Fiend wrote:
Shall I tell them? Some of us unfathomably old have the truth of such things from an objective viewpoint.

Okay, I think I know the truth now. You know the end of the Men in Black movie, when it turns out the whole universe was actually just floatin around in a little alien kid's snowglobe?

Tegresin = that little alien kid.

Dark Archive

Maximillian999 wrote:
Set wrote:
Far-Traveller from beyond the stars, mad-Dreamer of forbidden Dreams, we call upon you, Desna, Ia, Ia.

Stop that! Ick! I'm losing sanity points just thinking about it!

Now I'm going to be worrying about why happens when Desna emerges from her cocoon, on the day that the stars come right again...

'When' Desna emerges? Oh, too late for that, I'm afraid.

Aroden realized at the last what was happening and tried to stop it, but the future cannot be stopped...

Contributor

Generic Villain wrote:
Tegresin the Laughing Fiend wrote:
Shall I tell them? Some of us unfathomably old have the truth of such things from an objective viewpoint.

Okay, I think I know the truth now. You know the end of the Men in Black movie, when it turns out the whole universe was actually just floatin around in a little alien kid's snowglobe?

Tegresin = that little alien kid.

I have a very good idea about Tegresin's nature in my home game (or at least the one-shot game where I used him as an NPC). However I'm not sure that I'd define him in print anytime soon if I could possibly avoid it. :)

He knows a lot, he's ancient, full of a whimsy born of simply not caring about much, and utterly irredeemably evil. Fix up an origin based on that as you will. The most that has appeared in print was a bit on him and a linked item in 'Classic Treasures Revisited' and possibly some other stuff briefly in an upcoming book, pending the editorial pass over. Otherwise he's just been an amusing mouthpiece for me for in-character quotes in two books now.

Scarab Sages

Between the Elder Things and Mi-Go, I imagine many monster designers will be breathing a sigh of relief. With monsters created by aboleths and evil wizards off the table, they can now use these ancient aliens as their go-to origins, at least until Wes and company posts a new flow chart.

In regards to the Vaults of Orv, I got the sense that these were of Elder Thing origin from Into the Darklands, but I wouldn't rule out the K'n-Yani from Lovecraft's The Mound, which James Jacobs has mentioned was his primary inspiration for that book.

Sovereign Court

weirmonken wrote:
but I wouldn't rule out the K'n-Yani from Lovecraft's The Mound,

I think I'd be pretty comfortable ruling out Native Americans as the cause of just about anything on Golarion.


Todd Stewart wrote:
I have a very good idea about Tegresin's nature in my home game (or at least the one-shot game where I used him as an NPC). However I'm not sure that I'd define him in print anytime soon if I could possibly avoid it. :)

I thought Tegresin was pretty obviously a yugoloth, displaced from the old cosmology into the new.

Grand Lodge

Set wrote:


Aroden realized at the last what was happening and tried to stop it, but the future cannot be stopped...

Is that in the book or something you made up, because if its in the book? Thats terrifying and the Paizo guys deserve a large award, massive recognition for something VERY cool, which should be followed by years of therapy and rehabilitation.

If its just Set? Massive Kudo's to you for making my skin creep... now go directly to electro-shock therapy!

Dark Archive

Helaman wrote:
Set wrote:

Aroden realized at the last what was happening and tried to stop it, but the future cannot be stopped...

Is that in the book or something you made up, because if its in the book? Thats terrifying and the Paizo guys deserve a large award, massive recognition for something VERY cool, which should be followed by years of therapy and rehabilitation.

Nah, I just made it up.

The thing about Set? Set lies.


You get a short vacation and people talk about you being dead. That Iomedae was supposed to answer the phone till I'm back.

Did she declare me dead and take over my operation again?

Grand Lodge

Set wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Set wrote:

Aroden realized at the last what was happening and tried to stop it, but the future cannot be stopped...

Is that in the book or something you made up, because if its in the book? Thats terrifying and the Paizo guys deserve a large award, massive recognition for something VERY cool, which should be followed by years of therapy and rehabilitation.

Nah, I just made it up.

The thing about Set? Set lies.

GOOD lie mate - seriously good lie.

Lost a few san from reading it!

Shadow Lodge

So now we have the First Ancient Time, a world dominated by Aboleths and Elder Things, with a cosmology of qlippoth and... angels?

And that cosmological order was replaced with a new order, one of archons, devils, agathions, daemons, azata, demons, axiomites and their inevitable servitors, and proteans?

And what do the aeons have to do with the whole thing? Or perhaps the psychopomps are among the first races and the aeons are the usurpers?

So, my theory is that the multiverse was once angels, aeons, and qlippoth. Then, the axiomites and proteans arrived, are reordered everything--quite probably at Asmodeus' request. Containing Rovagug was the priority, Pharasma usurped the role of the Pleroma, and Sarenrae...defected?

Note that we haven't even begun to discuss the Dark Tapestry.

Sovereign Court

InVinoVeritas wrote:
So now we have the First Ancient Time, a world dominated by Aboleths and Elder Things, with a cosmology of qlippoth and... angels?

Qlippoth and Proteans. No real deities to speak of, really. Or at least the dominant races of this era are all famously atheists.

InVinoVeritas wrote:
And that cosmological order was replaced with a new order, one of archons, devils, agathions, daemons, azata, demons, axiomites and their inevitable servitors, and proteans?

If you hold to the Protean belief system the Axiomites came next, and their infection of order led to the Devils/Axis of Good, then the Daemons, then the Daemons made Demons. The Chaotic Good and True Neutral realms gets short shrift in the Protean system.

If you're an Asmodean/Sarenraean adherent, who believes that anything those two can agree on must be true, it all starts with Angels and Devils, then some other stuff happened. Couple'a swollen-headed egomaniacs, if you ask me.

InVinoVeritas wrote:
Note that we haven't even begun to discuss the Dark Tapestry.

Well, that's just more Material Plane, y'know?


You've also got the Saltwater (Tiamat) and Freshwater (Apsu) creation story as well. I'm thinking that with multiple planes of existence and the great amount of time that has passed, creation myths/legends/stories should be expected to be contradictory and different depending on who you ask.

Shadow Lodge

Don't believe all the hype that folks from the Outer Planes try to sell you. The Material Plane is at the center of the entire multiverse, which lends much weight to the seldom discussed theory that it is the oldest of all planes. And it's gods, the Outer Gods, are older than any of the other planes, much less the infant gods or other entities that reside within them.


I found it interesting that Pharasma's holy symbol is a comet in a spiral, while Yog-Sothoth's symbol is also a spiral (one which turns in the same direction).

Implied connection between the Lady of Graves, who oversees the biggest transitions a human can make, and The Key and The Gate, which holds sway over Time, Space and Gates?

You decide.


Tobias wrote:

I found it interesting that Pharasma's holy symbol is a comet in a spiral, while Yog-Sothoth's symbol is also a spiral (one which turns in the same direction).

Implied connection between the Lady of Graves, who oversees the biggest transitions a human can make, and The Key and The Gate, which holds sway over Time, Space and Gates?

You decide.

Noticed that too...

Which will make things interesting for the Pharasma Inquisitor in my CC campaign who is a Kellid to boot..

Contributor

cappadocius wrote:


If you hold to the Protean belief system the Axiomites came next, and their infection of order led to the Devils/Axis of Good, then the Daemons, then the Daemons made Demons. The Chaotic Good and True Neutral realms gets short shrift in the Protean system.

Mind you, it's not so much that CG and TN get ignored by the Protean view of history as it is that their view of history is largely weighted by 'who tried to shackle our reality' / 'who were we trying to eat' / 'who was trying to eat us' / 'what wonderfulbeautifulterrible things did we create/destroy'.

They didn't have as much conflict with CG and TN, so they don't much pay them mind in their mythology. CE and later LN, then to a lesser extent LG and LE get the most focus in their telling of the genesis of things.

Shadow Lodge

So I was reading over the entry to qlippoth again, trying to understand the connection between the qlippoth and the demons, when it struck me:

The killer app in this cosmology was the invention of mortal souls.

I gotta go back and read about the petitioners. It's because of the existence of mortal souls that we have all these different outsiders, that the qlippoth were pushed to the outskirts, that we have all this. And Pharasma had a central role in the creation and sorting of these mortal souls.

Find out how mortal souls were invented, you can get to the true secret of unraveling the multiverse.

Liberty's Edge

If the Material Plane predates the Outer Planes, I would assume the Inner Planes predate the Material Plane (Outer = thought and concept, Inner = element and substance, Material = A bit of both). I would also assume that the Positive and Negative Energy Planes predate all. Where does the First World fit in?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
brreitz wrote:
If the Material Plane predates the Outer Planes, I would assume the Inner Planes predate the Material Plane (Outer = thought and concept, Inner = element and substance, Material = A bit of both). I would also assume that the Positive and Negative Energy Planes predate all. Where does the First World fit in?

The First World is the "rough draft" created by the gods. It was deemed too unstable/chaotic, and so was scrapped. The Material Plane was the next iteration.

This too creates questions. First, it implies, again, that the Material Plane is a recent creation. It also notes that the gods created the First World, but never tells us who those gods are. Are they Desna, Abadar, Calistria, Asmodeus, and other ancient deities? If so, than that contradicts that article in Wake of the Watcher that suggests the gods just stumbled upon the Material Plane. Also, it would suggest that Azatoth, Nyarlathotep, et al, were either also created by those gods (unlikely), or migrated to the Dark Tapestry from... elsewhere.

Or were the gods that created the First World/Material Plane a more ancient pantheon? Perhaps ones who have since dispersed or retreated to as-of-yet unknown realms.

No matter what way you approach it, the Pathfinder cosmology doesn't make sense. You can't put it in a neat little package. Sort of like our own universe, eh? (By which I mean dark matter, string theory, the Higs boson, and those other issues that vex phycisists).


Now I'm thinking that Erastil is perhaps an aspect of Nodens.Hmmmm


DM Wellard wrote:
Now I'm thinking that Erastil is perhaps an aspect of Nodens.Hmmmm

Hmm... Maybe. But Calistra makes a fantastic (and terrifying) version for the Great God Pan.

Sovereign Court

Generic Villain wrote:


The First World is the "rough draft" created by the gods.

The First World predates the gods. It is, as they say, godless.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cappadocius wrote:
The First World predates the gods. It is, as they say, godless.

Sort of. The First World got its first major exposition in Sound of a Thousand Screams (volume 6 of Kingmaker). It's described as the god's rough sketch of the Material Plane that was ultimately discarded. So, while it definitely doesn't predate gods, it is, as you say, godless.

Grand Lodge

Tobias wrote:

I found it interesting that Pharasma's holy symbol is a comet in a spiral, while Yog-Sothoth's symbol is also a spiral (one which turns in the same direction).

Implied connection between the Lady of Graves, who oversees the biggest transitions a human can make, and The Key and The Gate, which holds sway over Time, Space and Gates?

You decide.

Ok... mow y'all are creepin' me out


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InVinoVeritas wrote:

I gotta go back and read about the petitioners. It's because of the existence of mortal souls that we have all these different outsiders, that the qlippoth were pushed to the outskirts, that we have all this. And Pharasma had a central role in the creation and sorting of these mortal souls.

Find out how mortal souls were invented, you can get to the true secret of unraveling the multiverse.

Its evolution baby

I am strongly in favor of view that souls were product of spiritual evolution, maybe as byproduct of evolution of sentience. It think that elder things, including aboleths do not have soul as such.

I would divide the entities into a few oders of being:

Primordial: Entities that are as old as the universe or older (remnants of previous universes is common trope). Here be Outer Gods and possibly a few unique things. Qlippoths and proteans might be partially in this category in the sense that the very first of them could been spontaneously spawned during the formation of their corresponding universes - Abyss and Maelstrom. In a similar vein powers of the First World might belong to this order and be ancients at the same time, like many other deities that appeared into existence with their respective planes.
Elder: Entities that are older than souls. Aboleths, elder things, Great Old Ones, qlippoths and proteans of later generations. Some gods not qualifing as Great Old Ones due to their extraplanar origin and not so malevolent nature.
Ancient: Entities that were around when souls just emerged or appeared shortly (cosmologically speaking) after appearance of souls, including first creatures that had souls - older than humans and most demihumans but having more or less human-like sapience (from the wide perspective differneces between elf, human and serpentfolk sapience is negligible). Oldest celestials, daemons, devils, fey, serpentfolk (or not - they may be oldest ancients or don't have souls at all and thus qualify as elder).
Mature: These are creatures with age comparable to humankind. As demons seems to be younger than daemons and devils I would put them here together with most common humanoid races - humans, orcs, goblinoids, halflings, etc. Elves might also qualify unless they are ancient, hard to say as the line dividing those two orders is quite thin.
Young: Anything that is clearly younger than humankind. Aasimar, tiefling, half-elves and half-orcs as races descendant from crossbreeds, gillmen, morlocks.

The universe as currently known might be result of mixing of multiple realities: material world, a few separate multiplexes of outer planes.

I doubt however, that inner planes are older than material plane - they might be a kind of "downpour" of purified elements from the material plane.


Helaman wrote:
Tobias wrote:

I found it interesting that Pharasma's holy symbol is a comet in a spiral, while Yog-Sothoth's symbol is also a spiral (one which turns in the same direction).

Implied connection between the Lady of Graves, who oversees the biggest transitions a human can make, and The Key and The Gate, which holds sway over Time, Space and Gates?

You decide.

Ok... mow y'all are creepin' me out

Then my work here is done.


Tobias wrote:
Helaman wrote:
Ok... mow y'all are creepin' me out
Then my work here is done.

Meh, mere 1d3/1d20 Sanity lost and you call it done?! Come back and scare the sanity out of the rest!


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If you want my opinion, Azathoth really did create the universe. The Material Plane came first (empty), then the Positive and Negative Energy Planes (creation/destruction), the Elemental Planes (substance), and the Transitive Planes (space-time connections/relationships; Yog-Sothoth's purview). The Maelstrom was next, as a place where everything (creation, destruction, elemental substance, space-time) mixes together, to be used as a resource for filling the rest of the universe. The other Outer Gods and Great Old Ones (and probably some ancient deities and other beings) are members of Azathoth's Court with specific assignments/interests (aeons would probably qualify, as well). I'd say the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones are not insane/malevolent to mortal life as much as disinterested and thinking/working on such a scale that mortal life is either ignored or considered an irritation.

The first change in this cosmology was the creation of life (Shub-Niggurath's purview), to include sentient beings (probably Nyarlathotep's purview). Aboleth, dimensional shamblers, elder things, mi-go, etc. are probably what drove the rise of the proteans, qlippoth, axiomites, elementals, genies, etc. and the fracturing of the Maelstrom into the Outer Planes.

The creation of mortal life, to include sentient mortals, was probably the next big change. How this was accomplished is still a bit of a mystery, but one possible scenario is that a group of beings (later known to mortals as gods) created the First World as a laboratory/preserve for their efforts. This may explain why the First World is so compatible for most mortals, but changeable in ways the Material Plane isn't; it could also be why many dieties have ties to the First World, but "abandoned" it (after releasing mortals into the Material Plane?). Mortal souls and petitioners caused the Outer Planes to react to a new paradigm (most significantly in the Abyss with the rise of demons); souls and petitioners may be why mortal life was created in the first place (as a source of power for the gods, after the failure of the titan experiment).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Planar theories

All cool ideas. Alas, based on what I've read, the universe's age goes from the outside in. The outermost layers are the Maelstrom and Abyss, which are the oldest. "Nested" in these are Outer Planes such as Heaven, Axis, and Abaddon, which are the middle children of the planes. Inside these Outer Planes are the Inner Planes - the Elemental Planes, Positive/Negative Planes, and of course the Material Plane. These are the youngest. This information comes from "Pathfinder Chronicles - The Great Beyond." There's a section called A History of the Planes on page 5.

I think this is the "official" stance. But the thing is, having one actual answer is sort of boring. That's why I really liked the article in Wake of the Watcher that suggested the Material Plane was older - it throws everything on its head. So we have the "official" answer, and that's fine, but there's also hints that it may not be the true answer.

This is also why I like the suggestion that there's something beyond even the Maelstrom/Abyss. This mysterious outer-outer plane is alluded to by the god Zon-Kuthon, who was possessed by a being from this mysterious realm. It's also the origin of the undead devourer monsters, according to Todd Stewart's coverage of them in "Undead Revisited."

So yeah, official answers are fine, but I prefer my reality to be multiple choice.


Generic Villain wrote:

All cool ideas. Alas, based on what I've read, the universe's age goes from the outside in. The outermost layers are the Maelstrom and Abyss, which are the oldest. "Nested" in these are Outer Planes such as Heaven, Axis, and Abaddon, which are the middle children of the planes. Inside these Outer Planes are the Inner Planes - the Elemental Planes, Positive/Negative Planes, and of course the Material Plane. These are the youngest. This information comes from "Pathfinder Chronicles - The Great Beyond." There's a section called A History of the Planes on page 5.

I think this is the "official" stance.

Not exactly. This is "official" in-world stance of Powers-That-Be and the thing that characters learn when they invest skill ranks into Knowledge: planes, this is what Outsiders will tell you when asked to tell the story from the very begining: Proteans and Qlippoths claim to be oldest and that everything else is byproduct of Maelstrom/Abyss. Deities claim to be the creators of the world. Asmodeus claims to be the one that written down the first rules for the universe. Fey claim that the First World was the first draft of the creation. And so on, and so on. None of the speakers is interested in hinting the possibility of the universe being something larger and independent of them. And Outer Gods are so alien and on a scale so different than anything that they are completly uninterested in speaking to mortals about their version of events. Actually, the very notions of speaking or maybe even being interested may be meaningless to them.


Generic Villain wrote:
This is also why I like the suggestion that there's something beyond even the Maelstrom/Abyss. This mysterious outer-outer plane is alluded to by the god Zon-Kuthon, who was possessed by a being from this mysterious realm. It's also the origin of the undead devourer monsters, according to Todd Stewart's coverage of them in "Undead Revisited."

Who says that they're referring to the same thing? >:)

(it's open to interpretation, intentionally so. Plus that way gives DMs multiple options without having to overwrite anything)

There's also the gods having arrived from "elsewhere" in some descriptions. The axiomites arriving from "elsewhere" in their and the protean origin legends. And there's the Hell legend that clearly talks about other realities distinct from those of Asmodeus and his brother. It's not defined what that might or might not have comprised. Other planes or other realities unto themselves distinct from the generally defined nested shell cosmology mortals are familiar with. And of course, the proteans have a distinction between the Maelstrom and the deep of the Cerulean Void, with the very open possibility by their telling -as confusing as their words can be- of this local cosmology being one shore of a very, very vast ocean with depths and currents and other radically different distant shores.

But I'll have to refer you to my comments when I mentioned the origins of the devourers. "That would be telling..."


Drejk wrote:
Fey claim that the First World was the first draft of the creation. And so on, and so on. None of the speakers is interested in hinting the possibility of the universe being something larger and independent of them. And Outer Gods are so alien and on a scale so different than anything that they are completly uninterested in speaking to mortals about their version of events. Actually, the very notions of speaking or maybe even being interested may be meaningless to them.

it's entirely possible that mortal (and most immortal) minds are simply incapable of understanding what conditions were like when reality was first created. first there was Nothing, then there was Everything. And then out of the Everything arises the Place and Time and Space start to form. who knows how it all happened? I'm sure all the big and powerful types will claim to know the Truth. And maybe they all do know a bit of what really happened. But reality didn't get settled down until much, much later. it's very possible that several creation myths are all literally true, at least as far as the beings who saw them understand the sequence of events.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tegresin the Laughing Fiend wrote:


There's also the gods having arrived from "elsewhere" in some descriptions. The axiomites arriving from "elsewhere" in their and the protean origin legends. And there's the Hell legend that clearly talks about other realities distinct from those of Asmodeus and his brother. It's not defined what that might or might not have comprised. Other planes or other realities unto themselves distinct from the generally defined nested shell cosmology mortals are familiar with. And of course, the proteans have a distinction between the Maelstrom and the deep of the Cerulean Void, with the very open possibility by their telling -as confusing as their words can be- of this local cosmology being one shore of a very, very vast ocean with depths and currents and other radically different distant shores.

I forgot about the "Deep Maelstrom" and axiomites. Also forgot about the very old gods showing up from "elsewhere."

But yeah, I completely agree that it's best to leave questions like these unanswered and open to interpretation. If we were given one 100% definite answer, that would shut the door on an almost limitless number of other possibilities. Again, it's that philosophy that helped make Planescape so enjoyable. Ambiguity ftw.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:


it's entirely possible that mortal (and most immortal) minds are simply incapable of understanding what conditions were like when reality was first created. first there was Nothing, then there was Everything.

And then of course, some smarta** (aka me) will ask "Well if there was Nothing, what came before Nothing?" To which the answer may just be an infinite amount of Nothing, strethching back for all eternity. Or perhaps, there was a whole different incarnation of the multiverse than the one we have now. One so alien that the current gods/mortals can't even fathom it. Maybe that proto-multiverse was wiped out entirely, its component pieces shattered in a sort of planar Big Bang.

But of course not everything was lost from that antedeluvian time. Things that we call Azatoth, Yog-Sototh, and Zon-Kuthon managed to survive the appocalypse. They squirmed into remote corners of the new multiverse and were largely ignored by the upstart gods that were busying themselves with "creation." But they're waiting for something. When the stars are right...


Generic Villain wrote:
Mr. Quick wrote:


it's entirely possible that mortal (and most immortal) minds are simply incapable of understanding what conditions were like when reality was first created. first there was Nothing, then there was Everything.
And then of course, some smarta** (aka me) will ask "Well if there was Nothing, what came before Nothing?"

When there was Nothing, that includes there not being time. So there was no before. And, sort of, Nothing was also not "before" Everything.


Generic Villain wrote:
And then of course, some smarta** (aka me) will ask "Well if there was Nothing, what came before Nothing?"

i'm sure you could, but the answer is 'nothing'. as in...nothing. No up, no down, no light, no dark. A void in every sense of the word. hence my earlier comment that mortal brains simply lack the equipment to process what something like that means.

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