Origins of the multiverse

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Zeromaru X
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Origins of the multiverse

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri May 25, 2018 3:12 am

I was reading the Blood War chapter in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and I began to wonder about this. I mean, what I like the most of 4e is the cosmogony stuff. The origins of the world and the subsequent Dawn War that pitted gods against primordials.

I know, however, that 4e did retconned out stuff of earlier editions in this regard, but I'm not familiar with the origins of the D&D multiverse in earlier editions, besides Io's myths in Monster Mythology and that Atropus story in Elder Evils.

Does Planescape explain the origins of the multiverse in any product? I'm really interested in this topic. It's for nerdish purposes :geek: :ugeek:

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 25, 2018 2:53 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 3:12 am
Does Planescape explain the origins of the multiverse in any product? I'm really interested in this topic. It's for nerdish purposes :geek: :ugeek:
I don't know Planescape that well, but the last two Spelljammer novels in The Cloakmaster Cycle give details about the first ever inhabited crystal sphere and how the Spelljammer was created to transport refugees from that sphere to other crystal spheres.

As Planescape followed after Spelljammer, I think it would share the same origin story. :)
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Seethyr » Fri May 25, 2018 7:04 pm

As long as it doesn’t include 6 stones of great power... the
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri May 25, 2018 7:11 pm

Seethyr wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 7:04 pm
As long as it doesn’t include 6 stones of great power...
And a blue skinned guy (perhaps a Planetar) with a Gauntlet of Power that wants to kill half D&D multiverse because there are too many Drizzt's clones... :lol: :lol:

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Seethyr » Fri May 25, 2018 7:50 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 7:11 pm
Seethyr wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 7:04 pm
As long as it doesn’t include 6 stones of great power...
And a blue skinned guy (perhaps a Planetar) with a Gauntlet of Power that wants to kill half D&D multiverse because there are too many Drizzt's clones... :lol: :lol:
Lol oh no, Thanos was an Arcane??

In all honesty, I would love to know the origin. The best of my knowledge is only bits and pieces about the Forgotten Realms sphere. I don’t know if this was something that went on everywhere or not, but they talked about a time of nothing when Ao called some of the gods into being. I believe I also remember lore about the aboleths being around in a time before but I could have dreamt that.

My guess would be that the multiverse is an accident that came from the chaos of the Far Realm. With so much randomness, the lawful nature of the multiverse came into being at random.
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by night_druid » Fri May 25, 2018 8:13 pm

One source of the early multiverse is the Guide to Hell (2e). In that story, there was nothing but roiling, primordial chaos. From this chaos arose early deities, some chaotic, other lawful. The early planes began to form in this time. The mightiest of the champions of law were the cosmic serpents, Jazirian, the feathered goddess of good, and Ahriman, the scaled god of evil. Together, they created the Outlands as the perfect balance of good and evil, law and chaos, the First Ring. They then established the Rule of Three, given their tripart nature (good, evil, and law). They then tried to dictate the center to the multiverse, with Jazirian favoring Mt. Celestia while Ahriman favored Baator. In their struggles, they tore away from each other, their wounds bleeding. As Jazirian flew towards Mt. Celestia, her blood gave rise to the couatls. Ahriman, lacking wings, plummeted and crashed into Baator, falling all the way to the 9th layer. His blood created the devils. Their power spent, other gods soon surpassed them, and they became a footnote in history.
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri May 25, 2018 9:05 pm

Oh, I remember that account of Asmodeus's origins. A friend of mine consider it a prime example of all that he considers wrong with 2e. :lol:

I also remember a version of Asmodeus's trial that is different from the one that they use in the Tome of Foes. Is that also from Planescape? It depicts Heironeus and Moradin judging Asmodeus instead of Primus.

Isn't the Battle of Pesh something from Planescape as well? I know about it for its 4e iteration, but I know Miska is from 2e.

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by night_druid » Fri May 25, 2018 9:22 pm

Heironeous & Moradin would have to have been 3e or later; 2e didn't have the gods intermingling nearly as much as they do in later editions.

Battle of Pesh was from the backstory of the Rod of Seven Parts, going back to 1e I want to say. The particulars came from the adventure of the same name.
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri May 25, 2018 10:42 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 9:05 pm
I also remember a version of Asmodeus's trial that is different from the one that they use in the Tome of Foes. Is that also from Planescape?
Neither are from Planescape. Planescape didn't even mention the name Asmodeus (it referred to him only as the Dark Lord of Nessus and made him a complete mystery, depicting him only as a dark silhouetted figure; I kind of like that better).

Guide to Hell was post-Planescape, published in 1999 after the Planescape line had ended.

The story you're mentioning, with Asmodeus on trial by the gods, is from 3rd edition's Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Elevating deities like Heironeous and Moradin to such prominence (or even Asmodeus and Jazirian) is a very, very un-Planescape thing to do, and you would never have seen anything like that in the Planescape line. Keep in mind that Planescape was a setting that assumed countless worlds and countless pantheons. A single-sphere intermediate deity like Heironeous and even a greater racial deity like Moradin simply aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Planescape operated on a much grander scale than mere gods.
Isn't the Battle of Pesh something from Planescape as well? I know about it for its 4e iteration, but I know Miska is from 2e.
The Battle of Pesh is from the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide. It was mentioned in 2e's Book of Artifacts and Rod of Seven Parts boxed set, but not in Planescape. 3rd edition's Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss was what made it into an important part of planar history.

Planescape didn't delve much into Big Mysteries like the origins of the multiverse. It did have something of an origin myth in the Hellbound: The Blood War boxed set (The Dark of the War, page 8: The Founding Myth). The quote was from an in-game text called The Book of Derelict Magicks
Hellbound wrote:In the beginning, primal forces raged back and forth across the playing field of the unformed mass of Being. Their struggles twisted and deformed the whole scope of existence as Each sought to be the guiding force for all that was. Good wrestled with Evil, and Law with Chaos, while Neutrality, the field for which They fought, lay between. But They were too evenly balanced, and None could gain an advantage over Its foe. And then Law combined with Good and Evil, as did Chaos, and the war entered a new stage. They raised Their power in these new combinations, but still no resolution came forth, and the war rolled on.

Eventually, They paused. They saw that Their struggles had achieved nothing, and knew that something new must come. And so They created Their minions, creatures that could serve Them and work as their agents in the primordial struggle.

One force created the baernaloths, creatures of sagacious wisdom and unbridled cunning. The baernaloths consulted among themselves for a time beyond imagining, seeking a way that their patron might triumph over the rest of creation.

In their wisdom, the baernaloths created the race of yugoloths, setting up the entire caste system and structure of the creatures so that their patron force would gain ever more adherents, followers who could act with power to carry out the edicts of the baernaloths.

And thus arose the only race that seeks perfection. Other races claim that their goal is to achieve this ideal state, but these unfortunates allow mistakes and are tainted by their weak philosophies. Only the yugoloths truly court perfection, and only the yugoloths have a chance of realizing this goal.
Obviously this is supposed to be a biased, pro-yugoloth source and not the objective truth, but notice how it deals with vast cosmic forces rather than gods. The gods as we know them today probably didn't exist in these ancient times. It's a larger setting with a inconceivably vast scope of history.

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Big Mac » Fri May 25, 2018 11:19 pm

night_druid wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 8:13 pm
One source of the early multiverse is the Guide to Hell (2e). In that story, there was nothing but roiling, primordial chaos. From this chaos arose early deities, some chaotic, other lawful...
...The nature of Chimpman is irrepressible! :P
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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat May 26, 2018 3:01 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:42 pm
Planescape didn't delve much into Big Mysteries like the origins of the multiverse. It did have something of an origin myth in the Hellbound: The Blood War boxed set (The Dark of the War, page 8: The Founding Myth). The quote was from an in-game text called The Book of Derelict Magicks
Hellbound wrote:In the beginning, primal forces raged back and forth across the playing field of the unformed mass of Being. Their struggles twisted and deformed the whole scope of existence as Each sought to be the guiding force for all that was. Good wrestled with Evil, and Law with Chaos, while Neutrality, the field for which They fought, lay between. But They were too evenly balanced, and None could gain an advantage over Its foe. And then Law combined with Good and Evil, as did Chaos, and the war entered a new stage. They raised Their power in these new combinations, but still no resolution came forth, and the war rolled on.

Eventually, They paused. They saw that Their struggles had achieved nothing, and knew that something new must come. And so They created Their minions, creatures that could serve Them and work as their agents in the primordial struggle.

One force created the baernaloths, creatures of sagacious wisdom and unbridled cunning. The baernaloths consulted among themselves for a time beyond imagining, seeking a way that their patron might triumph over the rest of creation.

In their wisdom, the baernaloths created the race of yugoloths, setting up the entire caste system and structure of the creatures so that their patron force would gain ever more adherents, followers who could act with power to carry out the edicts of the baernaloths.

And thus arose the only race that seeks perfection. Other races claim that their goal is to achieve this ideal state, but these unfortunates allow mistakes and are tainted by their weak philosophies. Only the yugoloths truly court perfection, and only the yugoloths have a chance of realizing this goal.
Obviously this is supposed to be a biased, pro-yugoloth source and not the objective truth, but notice how it deals with vast cosmic forces rather than gods. The gods as we know them today probably didn't exist in these ancient times. It's a larger setting with a inconceivably vast scope of history.
I was searching something like this, thanks. :mrgreen:

You know, 4e has a similar story, with the alignments fighting among themselves and creating the baernaloths and yugoloths way before the Dawn War started. I wonder if the creative team at the time just adapted that myth to the Dawn War lore...

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by lesh » Sat May 26, 2018 1:21 pm

Planescape also has to unite different creation myths, I think it's possible that some powers existed at the beginning, for example Greek protogenoi, or Ptah, Ymir etc. and the ''unformed mass of Being'' was similar to the Ethereal plane and Limbo (and the Battle of Pesh of vaati vs. obyriths would then happen before the inner and outer planes separated).

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Re: Origins of the multiverse

Post by willpell » Sat May 26, 2018 5:01 pm

I remember hearing that the Wind Dukes of Aaqa were among the first few beings that existed in the multiverse, other than the Obyrith demons who they eventually ended up going all-out in war with.

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