New revelations about the Dark Tapestry, Lovecraft, etc.


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Carrion Crown adventure, Wake of the Watcher, has tons of info about Lovecraftian elements in Golarion. Just a head's up: you have to be pretty familiar with the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, as well as HP Lovecraft's work, for this post to have much meaning for you.

Here are some conclusions I've drawn...

First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion. This has some interesting implications regarding the "countdown clocks" found in the Pact Stone Pyramid module. Maybe those clocks are counting down to when the Black Pharaoh returns? That would certainly be an epic event.

Also, it's strongly implied that the Elder Things had a hand in developing life on Golarion (just as was the case with Lovecraft's epic, "At the Mountains of Madness"). They were also at war with the aboleths. This leads me to a few guesses: first, the ancient city located at the top of the Crown of the World is actually an Elder Thing city. Also, the Vault Builders of Orv may have been Elder Things.

I imagine there are other implications hidden in this adventure as well.


I wonder if the humans were merely pawns in the whole aboleth/elder thing war, and if that was somehow the cause of the fall of Azlant? could the starstone have been the result? Was Aroden tainted by the Dark Tapestry?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I do so love implications like this.


James Jacobs wrote:
I do so love implications like this.

now you've got me wondering if the starstone was corrupted by the Great Old Ones. If that object was tainted somehow by the things living in the dark tapestry, that would mean that any mortal who used it to ascend is possibly tainted in some way as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:
I wonder if the humans were merely pawns in the whole aboleth/elder thing war, and if that was somehow the cause of the fall of Azlant? could the starstone have been the result? Was Aroden tainted by the Dark Tapestry?

Well, the fall of Azlant was directly do to the aboleths dropping a ton of meteors on Golarion. The Starstone was just one of the meteors that got plucked out of the sky, most likely entirely by accident. Thus, Aroden's apotheosis was both a matter of pure luck, and entirely thanks to the aboleths destroying his people.


Generic Villain wrote:


Well, the fall of Azlant was directly do to the aboleths dropping a ton of meteors on Golarion. The Starstone was just one of the meteors that got plucked out of the sky, most likely entirely by accident. Thus, Aroden's apotheosis was both a matter of pure luck, and entirely thanks to the aboleths destroying his people.

But we don't know if that's actually the case - records were destroyed and even the aboleth don't know all the details of that time. the starstone almost destroyed them as well as their uppity human thralls. what if the Elder things helped the humans break free from aboleth control as a means of revenge against the aboleth? it's certainly possible. these critters tend to plan out things that can take AGES (literally!) to come about. long life spans breed caution, and alien thought patterns aren't necessarily going to be linear. it might very well be part of an ancient revenge plan of a faction of Elder Things (and Mi-go for all we know) to use humanity to strike back at the aboleth.

And what if the starstone wasn't just some random rock? would a random star rock be able to turn someone into a god? we can posit two scenarios here:

1. the starstone was just a random bit of rock that somehow gained vast powers as a result of the aboleth's attention.
1a. in which case the starstone is possibly tainted by their outsider magics in some way

or

2. the starstone was already a source of power and the aboleth chose it for that reason.
2a in which case the starstone is certainly tainted by eldrich magics and is part of some unimaginably complex long term aboleth plan for reality.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:

Stuff

Oh I'm definitely not ruling out the possibility that the Elder Things were involved. In fact, in a strange sort of way, when the aboleths called down their meteors, they actually saved humanity. As you pointed out, that event wiped out the aboleth empire, which later allowed the humans to easily inherit the world. It also brought the Starstone, which went on to create Aroden, the "God of humans." Aroden did a bunch of important stuff, such as seal up the World Wound after kicking Deskari's butt, create Absalom, and pave the way for other humans (Iomedae, Cayden Cailean, and Norgorber to date) to become gods.

So again, in a way, the aboleths did humanity a huge favor. Obviously not on purpose. Could some other force (such as the Elder Things) have had a hand in this queer twist of fate? Certainly.

Regarding the Starstone, perhaps I mispoke (misposted?). The Starstone was already a powerful artifact when it was floating through outer space. It just happened to be among the meteors that the aboleths called down. This much James Jacobs has said on these boards. However, that leaves tons of unanswered questions - for example, what exactly is the Starstone, who/what created it, and was it mere coincidence that it ended up crashing into an inhabited planet? These are some of the big mysteries of this amazing campaign setting.

As for whether the Starstone is somehow tainted? Again, who knows. Maybe we'll learn the truth eventually, but for now, that's for individual GMs to decide.

Grand Lodge

Generic Villain wrote:


First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion.

Where?


Generic Villain wrote:
First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion.
Helaman wrote:
Where?

Page 66, the end of the last paragraph about Nyarlathotep.

Dark Archive

Helaman wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:


First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion.
Where?

I believe he's referring to page 66

Quote:
Certainly his influence can be seen throughout the history of Osirion, a culture he seems particularly interested in.
Quote:
and the Black Pharaoh (a humanoid form that has links to Ancient Osirion as well as to many modern witch cults)


Any new information regarding the Dominions of the black or Aucturn? And which Old Ones /Elder Gods are covered in the article? Thanks...!

Dark Archive

Albus wrote:
Any new information regarding the Dominions of the black or Aucturn? And which Old Ones /Elder Gods are covered in the article? Thanks...!

The included Old Ones/Elder Gods are: Azathoth, Bokrug, Cthulhu, Hastur, Mhar, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, Xhamen-Dor, and Yog-Sothoth.

I didn't see anything about Dominions of the Black or Aucturn anywhere, but I haven't read in a ton of detail yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

rooboy wrote:
Albus wrote:
Any new information regarding the Dominions of the black or Aucturn? And which Old Ones /Elder Gods are covered in the article? Thanks...!

The included Old Ones/Elder Gods are: Azathoth, Bokrug, Cthulhu, Hastur, Mhar, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, Xhamen-Dor, and Yog-Sothoth.

I didn't see anything about Dominions of the Black or Aucturn anywhere, but I haven't read in a ton of detail yet.

There's nothing mentioned about the Dominions of the Black OR Aucturn at all. There wasn't room in the article to get that detailed—more info on those topics must wait for another day.


Generic Villain wrote:
First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion.

Ooh. And this in the backdrop of Old Mage Jatembe doing his thing, along with Aroden doing whatever it took to become a God, not to mention the Shory sky cities.

Generic Villain wrote:
This leads me to a few guesses: first, the ancient city located at the top of the Crown of the World is actually an Elder Thing city.

Ooh x2. And weren´t the Kellids big-time Elder Ones worshippers, at least historically speaking?


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slightly divergent, but bear with me...

assume for a moment that the starstone was a source of immense (if unfocused) power. the aboleth decide that, for whatever reason, humanity needs a beat down. So here's this immense source of extra-terrestrial power already floating around up there in the dark tapestry...the aboleth, being efficient little slime beasts, decide to kill two birds with one stone (so to speak) - they call down the hell rock to smash their former servants AND leave open the possibility of getting their tentacles on a source of incredible power.

But they bite off more than they can chew. the starstone is power unrestrained - it does what the aboleth want...but it does it to a degree that also hurts the aboleth. which when you think about it is basically the starstone's schtick - it responds to...well, lets call it 'purity of purpose'. Or at least for the time being. Power unrestrained, power needed (or wanting) a focus. power without morality too for that matter. Aroden pulled the hell rock out of the sea and it made him a god. But why? Because he was true to himself and THAT sort of focus - inhuman focus and willpower - is what the starstone best responds too. And the other humans that rock elevated to gods - they were also inhumanly focused on their innermost desires. Sometimes that turned out well and sometimes it turned people into evil gods...but in any case it was power unrestrained until focused by human will sharpened to an almost insane degree. how you get there isn't important, it's the will and focus that matters.

so where's the lovecraftian angle? well think about it - Nylarthotep has always destroyed humans by basically giving them what they want, in most cases pure power. By giving humans access to an artifact of unspeakable power and allowing them to ascend to (literally!) god like power, he somehow advances the goals of the Great Old Ones. So from a certain perspective the starstone could be an insidious long term plot by the crawling chaos to encourage humanity to become gods and/or create massive chaos and unrest among human societies.

I apologize for the convoluted reasoning. it's hot as hell today and I think my brain is sweating.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:
[Starstone theories]

If that works for you, than go with it. It certainly could make for an interesting campaign.

Me? I think the Starstone was a complete accident. Maybe some trickster god from another planet decided it would be hilarious to create something that could transform men into gods, then chucked it into outer space and promptly forgot about it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's a tiny bit about Aucturn hidden in the adventure itself.

Spoiler:
Some mi-gos traveled to Golarion, but on their way, they stopped at Aucturn and picked up a cerebric fungus (a creature native to Aucturn, featured in PFS 35 from Season 1). The fungus turned out to be a fairly powerful oracle of the Dark Tapestry mystery. Players will get to meet the weird little guy - and probably have to fight him. That's the extent of the Aucturn info.

Quandary wrote:
And weren´t the Kellids big-time Elder Ones worshippers, at least historically speaking?

Yes. In fact, those Kellids play a minor role in this adventure.

Spoiler:
An ancient tribe of Shub-Niggurath-worshipping Kellids built a stone menhir 2,000 years ago. That menhir is indirectly responsible for all the troubles in Wake of the Watcher.

Liberty's Edge

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Now you guys have me curious. In the article in Trial of the Beast about the Palatine Eye the history is described as the founder having disappeared in the Orsirion desert after being cursed by during the robbing of a tomb there. When he returned he claimed to have been taught ancient rights by some sort of angelic being.

Perhaps there is some sort of tie to the black Pharaoh in this? After all, when his home was destroyed they found it was built around an oddly shaped standing stone. Maybe some sort of menhir like those of the Kellids?


Speaking of Elder Gods and the Dark Tapestry Yog-Sothoth is mentioned in Kingmaker part, 2 River Runs Red at the Candlemere Tower. I wish you guys went into more detail about that through out at least that book.


Generic Villain wrote:


First, it's outright stated that Nyarlathotep, in his incarnation as the Black Pharaoh, had a hand in developing Ancient Osirion. This has some interesting implications regarding the "countdown clocks" found in the Pact Stone Pyramid module. Maybe those clocks are counting down to when the Black Pharaoh returns? That would certainly be an epic event.

Maybe this ties in with Nethys too? After all legend states that he was an Ancient Osiriani God-King who rose to divinity due to his mastery of magic. Perhaps Nyaralathotep helped him gain that power. His insanity could be because of that influence and not the omniscience that legend states. So Nethys could be the pawn of Nyaralathotep, or his simple existence could be part of Nyaralathotep's plans.


Mr. Quick wrote:
long excellent post about Narly and the Starstone

This actually led me to an idea I had for my campaign relating to the death of Aroden. What if the other gods killed Aroden?

Where did Aroden go? Maybe he was studying with his true master, Nylarthotep. Now this changed Aroden is about to return, no longer a god in their sense and more a nascent Elder God, an apprentice of Nylarthotep. His one goal is to unite humanity in worship of Nylarthotep at the expense of every other being on Golarian, mortal and god alike. The only solution for the other gods was to unite to stop Aroden, by any means necessary.

Now the gods couldn't release this knowledge, the chaos and loss of worship as their followers lost faith would be too much of a loss. So they keep quiet, a vow between all of them to keep it a secret (or maybe just a group of the gods. YMMV of course).

At the present site of Eye of Abendego the gods united to stop him, and after three weeks of battle, Aroden finally was defeated. The Eye being a result of the great magic and power released to stop him.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here's another implication in the Cults of the Dark Tapestry article. It's a subtle one, but fairly important.

First, you have to know that every plane has its own god and demigod residents. The Abyss, for example, is home to Lamashtu (a god) and numerous Demon Lords (each a demigod). Nirvana has Shelyn and Sarenrae (gods), as well as Kurgess (a demigod). Even the elemental planes have elemental demigods (Ymeri and her kin).

This article suggests that the Material Plane's gods are the Outer Gods (Azatoth, Yog-Sothoth, etc.), while its demigods are the Great Old Ones (Mhar, Cthulhu, etc.) This really adds a sinister element to the Material Plane, as its most powerful residents are uncarring, alien abominations.

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.

Dark Archive

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Maeljw wrote:
At the present site of Eye of Abendego the gods united to stop him, and after three weeks of battle, Aroden finally was defeated. 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. My thought that maybe he's not completely dead, but instead is trapped within the Eye (and might as well be dead, since he can't even contact his worshippers from in there). But is he trapped by choice (holding back some devastation), or design (imprisoned by another)?

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.


It's all lies! The Startone is part of the great Kobold Conspiracy! They look harmless to you? Well, look again! Soon it'll be too late! Too late!

<Gets handcuffed by the police, who also break his doomsday signs>

See?! Clerly the Kobold Conspiracy! Don't believe them!

On a related note, I am really enthralled by some of the speculations in this thread. I've always found the bare-bones version of the Starstone (shiny rock inside big cathedral that turns people in sky Chuck Norrises) rather lacking, but seen from this perspective, it turns much, much more intriguing.

Enough that I'm probably stealing some of these ideas for my next campaign.

Liberty's Edge

Maeljw wrote:
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...

I feel this way about many gods of Golarion. I'm not to worried about those mortals who have ascended (some part of their humanity remains, if for good or ill), or those who came into being spontaneously (they're a little too simple, a little to pure to be truly unfathomable). But that third category, those who came from someplace else... THEY worry me. Desna's no more an elf with butterfly wings than she is a human riding an elk. She's something old and terrible, and although she may be kinder than most who fly through the dark on ultraviolet wings, she is still beholden to none.

Calistria is even worse. Desna may be a mad dreaming butterfly, but The Savored Sting is a fearsome wasp, who's only recognizable trait may be her jealousy. Far more inhuman, far more deadly, and that the elves identify so readily with her only betrays their own inhumanity, even as they infect the human bloodline with half-blood spawn. More pleasing to the eye than the half-human worshipers of Dagon, but just as unnatural...

Of course, nothing need be said of Rovagug. He may be a destructive force from beyond present existence, but he's upfront about it.

I'm enjoying this thread greatly.

What other gods came from beyond? Erastil, I think. Pharasma, who is so impartial that she's already scary. There's whatever Dou-Bral into Zon-Kuthon out there in the black. Torag? Who else? What could they be up to?


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If we assume that the Starstone is power unrestrained by morality or even sanity, we can also further assume it's going to do...strange things...to the environment around it.

Which leads one to speculate just what is up with that cathedral in the center of Absalom. As I recall (and correct me if i'm wrong), Aroden built that cathedral as a place to keep the starstone. But what if he put that rock into that cathedral not to keep it safe, but to imprison it?

lets shift focus for a moment. Aroden raises the starstone from the sea and it makes him a god...but Aroden manages to not go completely bug eyed insane at the sudden influx of power (power without morality or restraint is generally considered 'evil'). Realizing that this hell rock can and will do this to damn near anyone it judges worthy (and Aroden has only a dim understanding of that process at best) he figures that the best he can do is lock it up until he can figure out what to do with it.

Aroden knows the starstone is somehow connected to the aboleth. it's reasonable to suspect that the starstone itself is somehow tied to the Dark Tapestry. it is power eternal, free and awesome and completely amoral. it turns mortals into gods. That cathedral isn't there to test people...it's there to keep reality safe from itself!

But even Aroden isn't able to contain the starstone. that rock is on a mission to turn people into gods and not even Aroden can stop it. maybe it's not actually sentient, but running something akin to a 'magical computer program' of sorts. We can discuss that later. The point is that the starstone corrupts Aroden's attempt to imprison it and turns the cathedral into the mysterious 'test of the starstone'. Maybe it's adjusting it's test so as to produce violent and insane gods. maybe it's refining it's process until it can finally find the ONE mortal it needs in order to complete it's mission and make a new god that directly worships the Great Old Ones.

Liberty's Edge

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Mr. Quick wrote:
Aroden built that cathedral as a place to keep the starstone. But what if he put that rock into that cathedral not to keep it safe, but to imprison it?

The Starstone Cathedral is another soft place in reality. The few that make it out, the few still clinging to sanity, tell of a place where magic and the laws of nature warps and bubbles, where the rooms shift and grow. "Bigger on the inside," they say.

Of course, everyone knows it has to be that way. You couldn't just have some pedestrian labyrinth or maze be the only obstacle to divinity, so Aroden created the cathedral as a means of keeping the unworthy out.

But what if that's not the case? What if the strange realms within are a result of the starstone's influence on reality? Without the cathedral to keep the deviation contained, the non-euclidean angles and paths might overtake all of Abaslom, transforming it into a nightmare city of pseudo-geometry and alien beings (some perhaps, once human)! How far might the starstone's influence reach?

Dark Archive

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brreitz wrote:
Mr. Quick wrote:
Aroden built that cathedral as a place to keep the starstone. But what if he put that rock into that cathedral not to keep it safe, but to imprison it?
But what if that's not the case? What if the strange realms within are a result of the starstone's influence on reality? Without the cathedral to keep the deviation contained, the non-euclidean angles and paths might overtake all of Abaslom, transforming it into a nightmare city of pseudo-geometry and alien beings (some perhaps, once human)! How far might the starstone's influence reach?

That's hot. Great ideas, guys!

What if the Starstone isn't actually a rock, but a fallen elder god, whose barnacle encrusted body lies chained within the Cathedral. Those who make it past the horrors conjured up by its unquietly dreaming mind to its shuddering bulk must carve from its flesh and attempt to consume its divine essence, stealing power from it (and, not coincidentally, keeping it weak and trapped) to fuel their own ascension into divinity.

It's power grows as it slumbers fitfully, wracked in torment as so much of it's essence has been stripped from it and devoured, to fuel the unworthy elevation of lesser creatures. If too many decades (or centuries) pass without powerful aspirants fighting their way to its sleeping form, and carving power from it for their own use, it may awaken, and the world, starting with Absalom, may be doomed.

With Aroden dead, only Iomedae and Norgorber remain cognizant of this danger (Cayden is actually somewhat unclear on the events of that night, as he was mad tripping at the time), and each encourage their most powerful followers (or other hapless patsies, in the case of the latter) to take the Test of the Starstone, knowing that even those who fail subtract from the power of the Sleeper, as they destroy the blasphemous constructs of its dreaming mind, and weaken his defenses for the next lucky contestant...

(Indeed, Norgorber isn't above manipulating those he doesn't want to succeed to go in ahead of his chosen, to 'soften things up.' This hasn't always worked out as he expected, as Cayden's unexpected success seriously messed up his plans...)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
brreitz wrote:


But what if that's not the case? What if the strange realms within are a result of the starstone's influence on reality? Without the cathedral to keep the deviation contained, the non-euclidean angles and paths might overtake all of Abaslom, transforming it into a nightmare city of pseudo-geometry and alien beings (some perhaps, once human)! How far might the starstone's influence reach?

The cathedral in Shadow Absalom holds a gate to the Material plane where the Starstone would be. So the shadow of the Starstone is a gate back to reality from the shadow it casts...is the real Starstone a gate to the Reality behind the Material?

(Naaah--it's the Shining Trapezohedron, folks!)


brreitz wrote:


But what if that's not the case? What if the strange realms within are a result of the starstone's influence on reality? Without the cathedral to keep the deviation contained, the non-euclidean angles and paths might overtake all of Abaslom, transforming it into a nightmare city of pseudo-geometry and alien beings (some perhaps, once human)! How far might the starstone's influence reach?

I like the idea of the starstone being largely dormant...but dreaming. And if like calls to like, then maybe all that really needs to happen to trigger a massive reality implosion would be someone getting a hold of a copy of the King in Yellow. Imagine the results of someone putting THAT play into an opera house and triggering dread Carcosa's arrival in Absalom!


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brreitz wrote:


Of course, nothing need be said of Rovagug. He may be a destructive force from beyond present existence, but he's upfront about it.

Or maybe he's some kind of liberator out to free the world from the bounds of time and space, being and non-being. Is he even a he, or more of an it? Is there a literal body locked in a literal prison somewhere, or is Rovagug just a natural tendency towards entropy?

Did the gods lock away a mega-tarrasque, a devouring mouth eating at the roots of creation, or did they somehow contain entropy itself and its prison is being? And was that a good idea? Maybe on some fundamental level things need to fall apart and by locking Rovagug up they somehow broke the nature of reality.

Definitely not canon, but I could see Rovagug as a kind of bliss in oblivion, annihilation of self sort of thing with chaotic good clerics that want us to achieve blessed unity through ego death. :) Maybe Desna is some kind of co-emanation of the same universal principle that seeks to destroy personal and emotional ties and logic (through travel and dreaming) in the pursuit of the same end. Rovagug destroys the chains of flesh and Desna destroys the chains of thought. Together they end us and take us and obliterate us and bind us and sunder us and free us to infinite potentiality in a shapeless nuclear void of nonbeing in being and being in nonbeing.

Asmodeus could then become the very principle of self who holds the key to their, and our, prison in that identity is the antithesis of nonbeing. He's self and will. Maybe he has a co-emanation in Erastil or something like that. Asmodeus is self and will created in themselves, where Erastil is them imposed from without by convention and society.

Of course you can also flip those and make Asmodeus and Erastil the liberators from the formless anarchic chaos. Choose your own enlightenment. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Set wrote:
With Aroden dead, only Iomedae and Norgorber remain cognizant of this danger (Cayden is actually somewhat unclear on the events of that night, as he was mad tripping at the time)

I'm no longer sure we can trust Iomedae (and we could never trust Norgorber). Who's to say that Aroden's plot was beneficial to society, or even mankind? Even if he is the benevolent architect of the human race, perhaps his student knows more about his death than she lets on. Who knows what sinister secrets shatter your mind as you break your mortal bonds and ascend to divinity?

Unless you slept through that presentation.

Cayden might be the only mortal to retain what we would call "sanity". He recalls nothing of his moment of ascension, just a vague feeling that he was somehow improved. Out of all the once-mortals, he alone still thinks and feels like a human does, and knows that horrors beyond imagining lurk outside the gates of reality. Unfortunately, he's completely ill-equipped to deal with such a threat, as his plan boils down to "when it comes through the rift, stab it!" Poor Cayden. Poor us!

Unless it's all an act...

(Or perhaps Calistria really was behind Cayden's ascension, picking a target who embodied both the denseness required to be her perfect pawn and the tenacity to achieve her goals - both traits of the perfect adventurer. As for why, Calistria doesn't seem like the type to share so much as a grain of sand, much less the entire world.)

Liberty's Edge

Samnell wrote:
Did the gods lock away a mega-tarrasque, a devouring mouth eating at the roots of creation, or did they somehow contain entropy itself and its prison is being? And was that a good idea? Maybe on some fundamental level things need to fall apart and by locking Rovagug up they somehow broke the nature of reality.

I do really like the idea of Rovagug and Desna as the ultimate freedom from body and mind, with Asmodeus and Erastil as the slavery of self and society (or the other way around!), but if you want a somewhat more cannon apocalyptic force that just might be what frees all, look no further than that giant skull moon.

Groetus is already up there in the rankings of sheer terror. A moon (A MOON) shaped as a giant skull, with little but

Spoilder for Beyond the Vault of Souls:
the crystallized souls of atheists
to keep him at bay. When the end time comes, he (it?) will crash into the Boneyard, before moving onto the Material Plane. And nothing is going to stop it.

But he is explicitly not evil. Whatever he's going to do, it's all part of the grand design of the Great Beyond. Perhaps he'll free the petitioners of the Boneyard, and shatter the illusion of self and mortality. Maybe the "end of the world as we know it" is just that, and the world to come is a better world (if no less evil or good). And we'll have Groetus to thank for it.

Or it might not be so great. There might just be a lot of screaming and death instead.


brreitz wrote:
lots of good stuff

I don't think the Old Ones really want to obliterate everyone in the world. well..ok, they do but the Great Old Ones want to do the obliterating. They also want a nice big, healthy and fat population too 'cause some of them are gonna wake up hungry after that long nap. Letting Groetus destroy everyone/everything kind of gets in the way of the whole 'eating everyone alive' deal.

so in an odd way, the agents of the Old Ones might also end up working to save the world.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mr. Quick wrote:


I don't think the Old Ones really want to obliterate everyone in the world. well..ok, they do but the Great Old Ones want to do the obliterating. They also want a nice big, healthy and fat population too 'cause some of them are gonna wake up hungry after that long nap. Letting Groetus destroy everyone/everything kind of gets in the way of the whole 'eating everyone alive' deal.

If the star-spawn of Cthulhu are any indicator, the Great Old Ones are all about slaughtering entire worlds. Based on their Habitat/Society info, they land on planets to "...wipe them clean of indigenous life in preparation for the eventual expansion of the Dark Tapestry to replace all that exists with its strange realities."

The Great Old Ones also care nothing for mortal worshipers, whose only reward will be to witness their world's destruction, being some of the last to die. So I would say that Groetus and the Great Old Ones have the exact same goal: wiping out mortal life. The Great Old Ones don't really need to "feed" on mortals - they just want to kill them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding Rovagug, I think he fits neatly in the "Outer Gods" category, along with Azatoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Nyarlathotep. Heck, maybe he's a localized avatar of Azatoth?

An interesting thing to consider about Rovagug is his power compared to the other deities. Remember, it took many gods (Sarenrae, Asmodeus, Zon-Kuthon, et al) to bind R - not kill him, just bind him. A coalition of gods had to work together to take on the Rough Beast, and he managed to permanently kill many of them in the process. That begs the question: if R is that tough, how do other Outer Gods compare? (Assuming, of course, that I'm right in calling him an Outer God).

Asmodeus, for example, is one of the oldest and most powerful gods in the Great Beyond. Was he really no match for R on his own? Or perhaps he was feigning weakness - after all, he now holds the key to R's cage. Regardless, this doesn't bode well if, say, Azatoth decided to eat Golarion.

Dark Archive

Generic Villain wrote:
Asmodeus, for example, is one of the oldest and most powerful gods in the Great Beyond. Was he really no match for R on his own?

Asmodeus is far too fond of his own butt to risk getting in a slap-tickle with Rovagug. He also has a minimum of eight Archdevils perched on the edge of their seat, quivering with anticipation for the slightest sign of weakness on his part, eager to tear him down.

Sarenrae did the big fight because she was the only one at the time with the unique combination of power, position and *willingness* to risk everything to get this job done.

Had Iomedae been around, or Gorum, I could see either of them also diving on, but, of the old gods, Abadar, Pharasma, etc. many of them are quite fond of their own existences, or think themselves above such things, etc. Self-sacrifice isn't a big thing on Calistria's plate, for instance, and she might be willing to help, but, like Asmodeus, she'll 'help' from back there aways...

The timeline isn't entirely clear on how the battle really shook out before the final fight. It's entirely possible that Torag got in there and he and the Rough Beast smacked each other around furiously for a bit before Torag got dropped, and dragged to safety by his half-dozen dwarven demigod family members, while Sarenrae tagged herself in to cover their retreat, all the while Erastil is firing arrows like Hawk the Slayer, and Urgathoa, who had to do *something* in her existence to warrant having the Strength and War domains, was throwing a hundred incorporeal undead through his body, draining hundreds of strength points per second, attempting to drive him towards the prison...

Other gods that died during the conflict might also have provided a solid motivation for more 'protect my own ass...ets' minded gods like Asmodeus and Abadar and Calistria to throw support from farther back, out of direct melee range with Rovagug.

And, qu'elle surprise, none of the surviving gods seem terribly interested in chatting about those who valiantly died in that battle, since it's in their best interests to have humanity remember *them* as the big, damn heroes, and not waste any tears of Whats-His-Face, the Halfling God of Courage, Oaths and Forthrightness, who, uh, lived up to his portfolio, at least.

Liberty's Edge

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If Rovagug really is that powerful, he might be the only thing that could stand up full-out Old One assault on the Golarion pantheon. Which may very well be why they've kept him locked up, nice and tight, waiting for the first salvo to breach the walls of Outer Sphere.

Leaving behind the concept that the deities we've come to know and enjoy are merely "somewhat more likeable" Outer Gods or servants of: Perhaps the Outer Gods and their ilk are just as alien and unknowable to the gods as they are to mortals. Rovagug might be a weapon that they strain to contain in preparation for that final battle (one that, if prophecy speaks true, would end the world). Big R might also be the first one of the Outer Gods to make planetfall, requiring every deity to step up and bind him. This may well be why the gods have a tentative peace - should they ever engage in true war against one another, the survivors would stand no chance against what would arrive next.

(Except, perhaps, for Asmodeus, who holds the key. Sneaky devil.)

The last act of Groteus may indeed be a merciful one, if the world has fallen to the unspeakable things from beyond. A final blow to eradicate the invaders, cleaning the slate for something new.

Liberty's Edge

Set wrote:
Had Iomedae been around, or Gorum, I could see either of them also diving on, but, of the old gods, Abadar, Pharasma, etc. many of them are quite fond of their own existences, or think themselves above such things, etc. Self-sacrifice isn't a big thing on Calistria's plate, for instance, and she might be willing to help, but, like Asmodeus, she'll 'help' from back there aways...

I do think that the newer gods, the ascended and those that sprung into existence fully-formed, would be more likely to dive in and risk it all. Especially Iomedae (who would do what needs to be done) or Gorum (who's just FIGHTFIGHTFIGHT all the time). But the older deities, the ones who came through from the Great Beyond ages ago, they're survivors. They may well have outlived their world (or worlds), and they may well have encountered the Outer Gods before...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
brreitz wrote:

If Rovagug really is that powerful, he might be the only thing that could stand up full-out Old One assault on the Golarion pantheon. Which may very well be why they've kept him locked up, nice and tight, waiting for the first salvo to breach the walls of Outer Sphere.

Well, what I'm saying is Rovagug is an Elder God. In which case, he definitely wouldn't protect Golarion from other Elder Gods (unless we're veering away from Lovecraft and into August Derleth territory... which I really hope doesn't happen).

Grand Lodge

Some of those survivors could be Elder Gods who may not be terribly concerned about us and our existence. However, they may find us useful in their never ending war against the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones. If they have to destroy world, ANY world, to keep it from falling to the enemy then so be it. On an infinite, cosmic scale the lives of uncountable souls on a billion of billions of worlds are meaningless. We are not even ants but microbes.

The only reason that they do not destroy us off-offhandedly is because some of us may reach the levels of power that allows us to join the fight or at the very least hold off the inevitable into the far distant future.

The Starstone may have been a weapon that the Elder Gods used to strike down the Aboleths and foil the plots of the Great Old Ones in our particular patch of reality for now. It also has the side effect of empowering the locals to fight their own battles. Or not.

Either way, the odds are not in our favor.

SM


My take is that the Outer Gods have very little interest in humanity, puny and beneath their notice. Migo would have a vested interest in humanity as slaves/guinea pigs and Nyarlethhotep will tinker for his own amusement. Yes the Black Pharaoh is the most well known incarnation but there are many more. Maybe the Starstone was guided by Migo to destroy the Aboleth to protect their "experiment" on Golarion?
Any thought given to Golarion being a Dreamland with path ways to a more mundane waking world?

Grand Lodge

StarMartyr365 wrote:


The Starstone may have been a weapon that the Elder Gods used to strike down the Aboleths and foil the plots of the Great Old Ones in our particular patch of reality for now. It also has the side effect of empowering the locals to fight their own battles.

SM

It is, quite simply, Chuck Norris's left nut.

Sovereign Court

brreitz wrote:

I'm no longer sure we can trust Iomedae (and we could never trust Norgorber). Who's to say that Aroden's plot was beneficial to society, or even mankind? Even if he is the benevolent architect of the human race, perhaps his student knows more about his death than she lets on. Who knows what sinister secrets shatter your mind as you break your mortal bonds and ascend to divinity?

Unless you slept through that presentation.

Or maybe we CAN trust her ... as she offed the evil betrayer Aroden just before he could complete his sinister plan.


And what if starstone is kind of divine egg - looking for the best possible host for the new deity, possibly Outer Godling, or ancient deity destroyed or dormant that is to be reborn. Each and every ascension being test drive... Already failed by Aroden. A few thousand years of Aroden's existence is long in human terms but might be just a blink for cosmic entity waiting for its time.


Has anyone read the scenario Spawn of Azathoth? In that fragments of a certain Mad Sultan would periodically slap into planets and grow into vast beings shattering the host planet...hence our asteroid belt...Maybe the Starstone is a Seed?


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Generic Villain wrote:
Well, what I'm saying is Rovagug is an Elder God. In which case, he definitely wouldn't protect Golarion from other Elder Gods (unless we're veering away from Lovecraft and into August Derleth territory... which I really hope doesn't happen).

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)? After all, the Qlippoth are BIG on destroying the Material Plane (if only to get rid-off the source of the impure demons that are running about in THEIR [the qlippoth] most perfect Abyss...). The Qlippoth are also rather primordial, & so would've been around for at least one of their own to ascend to godhood at the time of all the ancient (& still extant [not extinct] - or at least some of them, anyways) gods like Sarenrae & Asmodeus et al.

And before anyone makes the comment that the similarities between the qlippoth & elder gods+great old ones, James has stated in another thread (somewhere) that the two (or three, really...) groups are unrelated - at least in the sense that the qlippoth are native to the Abyss &, hence, are Outsiders, whereas the Elder gods & Great Old Ones are native to the Dark Tapestry &, hence, the Material Plane (i.e. they are not outsiders).

Rovagug (for me, at least) always seemed to be more of an Outsider than a Native... (& so imprisoning him in a pocket dimension on the Material Plane would seem a more effective prison than one in the Great Beyond close to his home-turf...).

Just my two cents.

And until more information about Rovagug is released in an Adventure Path or until the release of the Qlippoth volume of the Books of the Damned (did I get the name of the series right?), we're all free to speculate & come up with awesome "What Ifs" about him & his relation to all things Lovecraft. (And, yes, I know that he is worshipped by the Gugs, so he does have some link to Lovecraft...)

So carry on everyone. ^^

-- C.

Grand Lodge

Spacelard wrote:
Has anyone read the scenario Spawn of Azathoth? In that fragments of a certain Mad Sultan would periodically slap into planets and grow into vast beings shattering the host planet...hence our asteroid belt...Maybe the Starstone is a Seed?

Still going with Chucks left nut.

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)?

Never thought of that, but it does make sense.

Of course, once you reach godliness, the lines dividing creature type start to blur. It may be possible that Rovagug is like Dagon, an outsiders with heavy ties to the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones.

Also, Chuck Norris is an Outer God. He makes all the other Outer Gods look like Inner Gods.


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.

Granted, i'm sure there were copyright issues preventing Paizo from using that original back story...but nothing says I can't use it in MY game.

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