Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

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Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:39 pm

The Twin Cataclysms during the

involved two magically created disasters. The second of these of these was the Rain of Colourless Fire, which was a response to the Invoked Devastation.

The pictures of the Rain of Colourless Fire appear to show some sort of scaled up version of the Meteors spell.

Does anyone know any more about the Rain of Colourless Fire? Is it stuff pulled down from Greyspace?

Was the rain a bunch of rocks pulled out of The Grinder? Was any of it sucked out of the sun? Is there a bunch of adamantite or other special materials left behind where the rain fell?
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Khedrac » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:02 pm

To a certain extent I think we can rule out any physical objects being involved. The old 1st Ed Greyhawk Adventures book (with the beginnings of 2nd Ed) had a magic item "Wand of colorless fire" which recreated the effect on a very small scale.
The effect of the wand (iirc) was colorless flames 'burning' the targetted object.

From this I think we can say that the Rain of Colorless Fire was the same colorless flames raining down from the sky to burn the Suel Imperium into dust. Whether they were pulled down from above or created up high is a different question.

There's a further complication with the Rain of Colorless Fire and the Sea of Dust that it created - in some way the effect is being maintained (by Tovag Baragu - a set of stone circles that survived the Invoked Devastation). Presumably this "maintenance" is what keeps the Sea of Dust as dust and prevents nature (or anything else) reclaiming the region.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:47 pm

The Color(less Rain of Fire) Out of (Grey)Space?
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:40 pm

Agreed, the Rain of Colorless Fire wasn't a meteor shower. It was exactly what it sounds like: a rain of colorless fire. This is how it's described in the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set:

...the Suloise lands were inundated by a nearly invisible fiery rain which killed all creatures it struck, burned all living things, ignited the landscape with colorless flame, and burned the very hills themselves into ash.


In the Oerth Journal #12, Gary Gygax said it was his intention that the rain was created by a Baklunish deity called Dorgha Torgu, who had been swayed by the influence of the Elder Elemental God.

Swayed by the evil counsel of Vilp-akf'cho Rentaq, that alien thing which is called an Elder Elemental God, Dorgha Torgu bent dimensions and loosed unnatural elements in his charge so as to precipitate upon the Suel realm the near-invisible and unquenchable flames that consumed the land, burning even rock to powdery ash.


The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer describes the flame as emerging from a dimensional rift.

In retaliation, a cadre of Baklunish wizard-clerics, gathered in the great protective stone circles known as Tovag Baragu, brought the Rain of Colorless Fire upon their hated enemies. The skies above the Suel Imperium opened, and all beings and things beneath this shining rift in the heavens were burned into ash.


Here's one illustration:

Image

Now, granted, in this illustration from the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, it does look more like a meteor shower, but this image is an outlier, and I think what looks like solid fragments are actually supposed to be chunks of ash from the disintegrating buildings.

Image

4th edition's Monster Manual 3 includes a category of monster called an apocalypse spell. Certain spells were epic enough that the power behind them never goes away entirely. Instead, it adapts, growing smarter and becoming a living spell. One of these living spells is called the herald of colorless fire. It looks like this:

Image

Monster Manual 3 describes the Rain of Colorless Fire like this:

Legends tell of a colossal war that ended with the annihilation of an empire. After a long struggle, one faction used a mighty ritual infused with divine power to rain colorless fire on its enemy's lands. It turned an entire civilization into a sea of ash and dust. The downpour eventually ended, but the power remained in the motes of ash and dust, and soon heralds of colorless fire began emerging to wander the planes.


In fourth edition, the attack of a herald of colorless fire is considered to be both fire and force damage. In Greyhawk Adventures (for AD&D; this was written on the cusp between 1st and 2nd edition) the fire wand of the Suloise has the following effect:

The wand can summon a deadly “fire” to rain down in a 60’ cube from a range of up to 80 yards. The “fire” inflicts 5 points of damage per round to all creatures, regardless of protections, resistances, or immunities to normal or magical flame. Such damage cannot be cured by any spell less powerful than a heal spell. Furthermore, the fire will destroy buildings of less than stone construction, and will evaporate free-standing liquid to a depth of 1 foot per round. Objects exposed to the “fire” must save versus disintegration or be destroyed. Note, however, that matter is burned to dust and ashes, not vaporized.


There's a spell called rain of fire in the 3rd edition Epic Level Handbook, but its effect is much weaker.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:58 pm

Khedrac wrote:To a certain extent I think we can rule out any physical objects being involved. The old 1st Ed Greyhawk Adventures book (with the beginnings of 2nd Ed) had a magic item "Wand of colorless fire" which recreated the effect on a very small scale.
The effect of the wand (iirc) was colorless flames 'burning' the targetted object.


Interesting. Do you think the wand was invented by the same people?

Khedrac wrote:From this I think we can say that the Rain of Colorless Fire was the same colorless flames raining down from the sky to burn the Suel Imperium into dust. Whether they were pulled down from above or created up high is a different question.


I suppose so, but I'd still be interested in where the flames came from.

Khedrac wrote:There's a further complication with the Rain of Colorless Fire and the Sea of Dust that it created - in some way the effect is being maintained (by Tovag Baragu - a set of stone circles that survived the Invoked Devastation). Presumably this "maintenance" is what keeps the Sea of Dust as dust and prevents nature (or anything else) reclaiming the region.


That's very interesting, because Wizards of the Coast said that Tovag Baragu can teleport people to Edill, Gnibile, Conatha, Ginsel, and Greela in Greyspace! :)
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:07 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Agreed, the Rain of Colorless Fire wasn't a meteor shower. It was exactly what it sounds like: a rain of colorless fire. This is how it's described in the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set:

...the Suloise lands were inundated by a nearly invisible fiery rain which killed all creatures it struck, burned all living things, ignited the landscape with colorless flame, and burned the very hills themselves into ash.


In the Oerth Journal #12, Gary Gygax said it was his intention that the rain was created by a Baklunish deity called Dorgha Torgu, who had been swayed by the influence of the Elder Elemental God.

Swayed by the evil counsel of Vilp-akf'cho Rentaq, that alien thing which is called an Elder Elemental God, Dorgha Torgu bent dimensions and loosed unnatural elements in his charge so as to precipitate upon the Suel realm the near-invisible and unquenchable flames that consumed the land, burning even rock to powdery ash.


The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer describes the flame as emerging from a dimensional rift.

In retaliation, a cadre of Baklunish wizard-clerics, gathered in the great protective stone circles known as Tovag Baragu, brought the Rain of Colorless Fire upon their hated enemies. The skies above the Suel Imperium opened, and all beings and things beneath this shining rift in the heavens were burned into ash.


Very interesting. Do you think the dimensional rift would open up onto the plane that Dorgha Torgu lives on?

ripvanwormer wrote:Here's one illustration:

Image

Now, granted, in this illustration from the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, it does look more like a meteor shower, but this image is an outlier, and I think what looks like solid fragments are actually supposed to be chunks of ash from the disintegrating buildings.

Image

4th edition's Monster Manual 3 includes a category of monster called an apocalypse spell. Certain spells were epic enough that the power behind them never goes away entirely. Instead, it adapts, growing smarter and becoming a living spell. One of these living spells is called the herald of colorless fire. It looks like this:

Image

Monster Manual 3 describes the Rain of Colorless Fire like this:

Legends tell of a colossal war that ended with the annihilation of an empire. After a long struggle, one faction used a mighty ritual infused with divine power to rain colorless fire on its enemy's lands. It turned an entire civilization into a sea of ash and dust. The downpour eventually ended, but the power remained in the motes of ash and dust, and soon heralds of colorless fire began emerging to wander the planes.


In fourth edition, the attack of a herald of colorless fire is considered to be both fire and force damage. In Greyhawk Adventures (for AD&D; this was written on the cusp between 1st and 2nd edition) the fire wand of the Suloise has the following effect:

The wand can summon a deadly “fire” to rain down in a 60’ cube from a range of up to 80 yards. The “fire” inflicts 5 points of damage per round to all creatures, regardless of protections, resistances, or immunities to normal or magical flame. Such damage cannot be cured by any spell less powerful than a heal spell. Furthermore, the fire will destroy buildings of less than stone construction, and will evaporate free-standing liquid to a depth of 1 foot per round. Objects exposed to the “fire” must save versus disintegration or be destroyed. Note, however, that matter is burned to dust and ashes, not vaporized.


There's a spell called rain of fire in the 3rd edition Epic Level Handbook, but its effect is much weaker.


I guess that the Rain of Fire spell and the Fire Wand of the Suloise could be things that date back to the Twin Cataclysms?
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ghendar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:41 pm

What is "Greyspace?" is that some kind of Spelljammer thing? If so, then no it didn't come from Greyspace because Spelljammer was years away from existing when Gygax first wrote about the Invoked Devastation.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:18 pm

ghendar wrote:What is "Greyspace?" is that some kind of Spelljammer thing? If so, then no it didn't come from Greyspace because Spelljammer was years away from existing when Gygax first wrote about the Invoked Devastation.


Greyspace is what Jeff Grubb named Oerth's planetary system in the Spelljammer boxed set. Although Spelljammer wasn't yet created when Gygax first wrote about the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire, Gygax did already imagine that Oerth existed in a system with a sun, moons, and other planets.

In context, Big Mac's just asking if the Rain of Colorless Fire came from outer space, not specifically if it came from outer space as the Spelljammer setting envisioned it. The answer, regardless, seems to be no.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Khedrac » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:19 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Khedrac wrote:To a certain extent I think we can rule out any physical objects being involved. The old 1st Ed Greyhawk Adventures book (with the beginnings of 2nd Ed) had a magic item "Wand of colorless fire" which recreated the effect on a very small scale.
The effect of the wand (iirc) was colorless flames 'burning' the targetted object.

Interesting. Do you think the wand was invented by the same people?

Oops - see ripvanwormer's post for the correct item name.
This is a good question and sicne there is no record of colorless fire being used before or since then I have to go with "probably" - I don't like this answer but the only other one I can come up with is that the wand is older than the Twin Cataclysms (and could have been created by either empire) and the Baklunish found how to reproduce the effect on a much bigger scale.

Big Mac wrote:
Khedrac wrote:From this I think we can say that the Rain of Colorless Fire was the same colorless flames raining down from the sky to burn the Suel Imperium into dust. Whether they were pulled down from above or created up high is a different question.

I suppose so, but I'd still be interested in where the flames came from.

This is definitely a "make up your own mind" one - in one sence the fire came formt he spell, but where the spell pulle dsomethign already existing in Greyspace down to Oerth or created it from scrath is undefined. I would go for the second because of the existence of the wand! As I see it the Baklunish didn't just make the fire cover a large area they went for a large volume (i.e. down from the stratosphere) to catch any flying Suel; (with the Suel having "Power Mages" I would expect them to have had quite a lot of aerial infrastucture).

Big Mac wrote:
Khedrac wrote:There's a further complication with the Rain of Colorless Fire and the Sea of Dust that it created - in some way the effect is being maintained (by Tovag Baragu - a set of stone circles that survived the Invoked Devastation). Presumably this "maintenance" is what keeps the Sea of Dust as dust and prevents nature (or anything else) reclaiming the region.


That's very interesting, because Wizards of the Coast said that Tovag Baragu can teleport people to Edill, Gnibile, Conatha, Ginsel, and Greela in Greyspace! :)

And in one of the Living Greyhawk adventures Vecna teried to use it to bring his forces through time. The Navel of Oerth (another name for it) is a very, very powerful site.
I forget where I read abut the "maintenance" effect.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:44 pm

Khedrac wrote:This is a good question and sicne there is no record of colorless fire being used before or since then I have to go with "probably" - I don't like this answer but the only other one I can come up with is that the wand is older than the Twin Cataclysms (and could have been created by either empire) and the Baklunish found how to reproduce the effect on a much bigger scale.


Greyhawk Adventures says that "This wand may have been the device that caused the destruction of the Suel Empire, or it may have been created to reproduce the event."

It's possible, I suppose, that the wand produced the initial effect and Tovag Baragu amplified it and directed it to the sky above the Suel Empire, but since the effect is repeatedly said to be at least partly divine in origin, I think it wasn't produced by a wand. More likely, the wand was created later by spellcasters seeking to imitate it.

Khedrac wrote:I forget where I read about the "maintenance" effect.


Greyhawk Adventures, page 99. "Player characters might be allowed to gather the impression that Tovag Baragu maintains the Sea of Dust's present condition, but they ought not to be able to do anything about it until they reach extremely high levels, if then."

Big Mac wrote:Very interesting. Do you think the dimensional rift would open up onto the plane that Dorgha Torgu lives on?


I think it's not quite as simple as, for example, a rift opening to the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Colorless Fire. My impression is that the Colorless Fire was alchemical, in a sense; that is, it was a combination of elements that, combined in the proper proportions and with an appropriate catalyst, became the colorless fire of the cataclysm. Perhaps a demiplane might have been created as a sort of calcinator where the colorless fire would be produced in preparation for its release. Perhaps that demiplane still exists.

Dorgha Torgu's spheres of influence are given as "material dimensions and material elements." He is said to have the power "to move into the material dimensions and
the surrounding plane, compound elements to form things thus." Since the release of the Rain of Colorless Fire he was stripped of much of his power; he was once a greater deity, but is now only a quasi-deity. He no longer has a domain in the planes, but instead wanders the Material Plane as an outcast (although the Prime Material might always have been his home plane).

Big Mac wrote:That's very interesting, because Wizards of the Coast said that Tovag Baragu can teleport people to Edill, Gnibile, Conatha, Ginsel, and Greela in Greyspace!


Tovag Baragu can open portals into virtually any time, place, or plane of existence, but Greyhawk Adventures states that the pattern of gates within it are governed by the cycle of the moons and planets. "Each circle is linked to a particular moon or planet and operates only when it is visible in the sky." Magical items, such as the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar, can also influence what portals open, as can certain spells and rituals.

Vecna Lives! states that Tovag Baragu serves as "a gate to other planes, worlds, and times. When activated, Tovag Baragu exists in all times and planes."
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:59 pm

So, the "Empire" referenced in 4e about the colorless fire stuff is from Greyhwak? Interesting...
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:35 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:So, the "Empire" referenced in 4e about the colorless fire stuff is from Greyhawk? Interesting...


Yes. Although it's written about vaguely enough in the Monster Manual 3 that it could also refer to how Bael Turath turned Arkhosia into the Desert of Desolation.
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:02 pm

Cannot be. The Desert of Desolation of the Nentir Vale was a gradual thing that happened over the years. Is more likely the defiling magic of Dark Sun (wonder if they did that intentionally, to make room for DMs who wanted to use the defiling magic mechanic). Also, in the end Arkhosia won (a Pyrrhic victory with the emperor dead and most of the Jewel cities destroyed, but the dragonborn won). The Suels were obliterated, for what it seems. They cannot won against the colorless fire.

So, this is just another Greyhawk reference in Nentir Vale. Not the first time something that happened in Oerth affected the Nentir's Vale world (I'm looking at you, Vecna).

I wonder if that means that somehow the Suel Empire extended into the Nentir Vale's world at some point (planar magic or whatever).
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Re: Did the Rain of Colourless Fire come from Greyspace?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:32 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:I wonder if that means that somehow the Suel Empire extended into the Nentir Vale's world at some point (planar magic or whatever).


Possibly. From the Ashes mentions that the ancient Suel possessed a portal called the Null, "a universal gate to all known planes." Alhough, Monster Manual 3 indicates that the heralds of colorless fire began wandering the planes after their creation—perhaps they used the Null to do so.
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