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Author Topic: Ask the Loremaster: Cosmology  (Read 589 times)

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2009, 05:19:52 pm »
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Do all gods dwell in the heavens, or do some of the more demented ones like Corath set up shop in the Pits of Endless Strife?


No gods are in the Pits, see: LORE: Layonaran Cosmology

As for Balmati, ask Fenrir ;)
 

SteveMaurer

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2009, 07:40:27 pm »
Quote from: EdTheKet
(Souls) can be eaten, harvested for power, kept as a pet.

What is the functional difference between "eating" a soul and "harvesting" it for power?

Is an "eaten" soul actually destroyed or does it simply lie around in the stomach of the eater giving it power?

Do the characteristics of a soul affect the eater (i.e. does "you are what you eat" apply)?

How are Souls detected?   (There is no related spell presently in Layonara - is that merely a mechanical issue?)

How are Souls captured?  (ditto)

How are Souls eaten?   Does one have to be a particular race?

Do Souls have the ability to fight?   Retain use of spells, etc?

Is the Death Void part of the cosmology, or just an engine artifact?

If the Pits are populated with mortal races, what is the difference between Layonara and just another Pit?   Or is there one?

(that's enough questions for one session - don't worry, I have more. :D)
 

Dorganath

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2009, 10:01:25 pm »
Quote from: SteveMaurer
What is the functional difference between "eating" a soul and "harvesting" it for power?

Is an "eaten" soul actually destroyed or does it simply lie around in the stomach of the eater giving it power?

Do the characteristics of a soul affect the eater (i.e. does "you are what you eat" apply)?

How are Souls detected?   (There is no related spell presently in Layonara - is that merely a mechanical issue?)

How are Souls captured?  (ditto)

How are Souls eaten?   Does one have to be a particular race?

I think the answers to these would depend greatly on the creature(s) that are consumers of souls, whether they "eat" them for food or harvest them for power, and of course the nature of a "soul".  Since there's no way we could hope to catalog all possible creatures, there's really no way to give a single answer.  

The most well-known analog I can give on the harvesting aspect is to look at the common example of "demons" and how the more powerful demons have captured and absorbed a large number of souls, whether through hostile action or some sort of bargain (i.e. "sell one's soul for something"). Given the infinite array of Pits and possibilities for creatures within them, this particular mechanism is likely only one of many.

It's important to note that not all denizens of the Pits consume, or are capable of consuming, souls.

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Do Souls have the ability to fight?   Retain use of spells, etc?


Doubtful.

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Is the Death Void part of the cosmology, or just an engine artifact?
Mostly an engine artifact and a rather necessary one at that.  However, if the bindstones were not in effect, a soul would be pulled toward the Binding Void.  This interval could be interpreted as time spent in the "Death Void", though no such place actually exists.

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If the Pits are populated with mortal races, what is the difference between Layonara and just another Pit?   Or is there one?
Define "mortal race"...heh. It would be an inaccurate assumption that all Pit Dwellers are mortal.

As for the difference between Layonara and just another Pit, well...there's many. Layonara is a planet within a solar system (no, do not ask for a solar system diagram...it's just not happening at this time), that is part of a galaxy somewhere among countless other galaxies in a grand, infinite universe known as the Mortal Coil.  Despite the depiction, the universe is not tube-shaped or spiral-shaped, though in whatever Nth-dimensional, string theory mapping causes the various realities of the Cosmology to make visual sense, the Mortal Coil to spiral around the Binding and such.

Regardless, the Mortal Coil is what we, as residents of Earth, would think of as the known universe, with consistent (if sometimes weird) physical laws, an infinite (as far as we know) expanse in every direction, stars, planets, orbits, etc. The Mortal Coil also has magic, which messes with the above sometimes, but hey, it's home! ;)

The Pits, by contrast, are each their own self-contained environment, some likely look rather mundane, while others are probably strange beyond description.  There may be infinite (or infinite-seeming) plains of wildflowers as far as the eye can see with warm gentle breezes, singing birds and such.  Others may have floating "islands" of rock in a foggy atmosphere. Others may twist back around themselves, some may not have any land at all, some may be water from end-to-end without a bubble of air. Pits do not orbit stars. Pits are finite. Pits are not really "worlds".  Some are small, some are many times larger than Layonara.

There are significant barriers to cross in order to travel between the Mortal Coil and any one of the Pits. It is also quite difficult to travel between worlds within the Mortal Coil, though not quite as difficult as travel to/from the Pits.  By contrast, traveling between pits may be just as simple as walking through the boundary between them. Pit masters can, however, control who may pass.

Again though, it's worth reiterating that IC knowledge of the above is severely limited among most on Layonara, even among the wizarding set.  Generic knowledge of the Pits and the factors involved with travel (or summoning) between the Pits and the Mortal Coil...these things would be probably known to most Wizards over a certain level. Details of the Pits themselves, who and what lives there, the nature of the Pit masters, how and why they do what they do and so forth would only be available to those who have dedicated themselves to studying them (read: NPCs).

Among the non-academic/non-wizard set (i.e. 99.99999% of the population), the word "Pits" is probably used a lot like "hells", since that's a common mythological perception in the absence of any direct evidence or knowledge, and in fact, some may look like "Hell" and be populated by "demons" and "devils". ;)
 

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2009, 01:32:01 pm »
The only thing I have to add here is to this:
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Do Souls have the ability to fight? Retain use of spells, etc?

They do not have the ability to fight, nor do they retain spells, prayers, or items. All they can do is try to evade capture.
 

Shiokara

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2009, 01:12:04 pm »
I have some questions regarding the undead and their relation to the cosmology of Layonara. It has already been stated that undead are created with the Al'noth, not from any darker energy, but what is their place exactly?

When the undead is reanimated with the Al'noth is it only the al'noth used in its reanimation or is something, say a soul or idea of a thing, affixed to it?

If it is the first, then the undead are, in a sense, natural beings within Layonara's cosmology. This is because the idea of the undead, their potential, is able to be pulled from the All and Nothing and materialized into the mortal coil in the form of the undead (just like players and everything else as I understand it). It is suggested that the Mother may even have a hand in this as she seems to be the one that draws from, or interacts with, the All and Nothing.

The second is what I consider to be the more unnatural explanation--that the al'noth is used to affix something to the corpse in order to reanimate it. Let us reuse the idea of the soul, or idea of a thing, but one that has not yet reached the Thread to be recirculated to the All and Nothing. In this case Al'noth would be used to pull the soul backward, offsetting the natural pull of the Thread. In my mind this creates a much darker feel to the undead as they become tortured, suffering beings who feel the pull to the Thread, but exist on the Mortal Coil, unable to satisfy that pull due to some weaving of the al'noth--their natural progression has been ripped from them, and it is out of their hands.

This also raises questions about the Gods in the Heavens. In the first case, if the undead are created out of the All and Nothing, then it would appear that the 'good' Gods like Aeridin, Toran, and Vorax among others (and the teachings of Druids) would just be proposing the eradication of the undead because they seem unnatural to the mortal races on the Coil, even though the undead are actually just created the same way as everything else. This is, of course, entirely possible as those on the mortal coil, and even the Gods in the Heavens, barely understand anything about the Mother, and probably even less about the existence of the All and Nothing.

Under the second explanation things are a little different. The Gods who advocate the eradication of undead seem more merciful because in this case the undead really are unnatural and are suffering. Since they are affixed to the Mortal Coil, adventurers really are doing good when they kill them and allow them to return back to the Thread and the All and Nothing to be reused in some way when the time comes. One might even say that the reason the Gods advocate the eradication of the undead is because they have some relation to the Mother--perhaps she allows them certain privileges, such as the ability to call souls who worship them to The Heavens instead of having them fall to the Mother like the souls who don't worship deities do.

It has already been suggested that the deities have some deal with the Mother, it is not too far fetched that this might be one of the conditions.

On the other hand, let us look at a God like Corath, who advocates the undead and corruption. It states on lore that he believes his followers to be the elite of Layonara, so it is not too hard to imagine that he might think himself the elite among the Gods, perhaps he is even battling against the natural pull of the universe by advocating for the creation of undead as a means to show his power over what the Mother, or whatever power at be, seems to have set up. This makes his corruption far greater than just some corruption on the Mortal Coil, and instead makes it seam as though he is trying to gain a position higher than a deity. Where other Gods may strike a deal with the Mother so that they can call their fallen to them, perhaps Corath uses some means of force to rip his fallen back to him, away from the Thread's pull.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it interesting, and if not, thank you for enduring. ^^
 

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2009, 01:45:06 pm »
You've clearly given this some thought and also what consequences potential answers would give. I like that :)

To answer your question:
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When the undead is reanimated with the Al'noth is it only the al'noth used in its reanimation or is something, say a soul or idea of a thing, affixed to it?

The process of reanimating something that is dead uses only the Al'Noth. No souls or ideas are affixed to the reanimated creature.

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If it is the first, then the undead are, in a sense, natural beings within Layonara's cosmology.

That entirely depends on what you consider natural of course.
If you consider that everything that lives must die to be natural, and that once a creature dies it is returned to the Great Cycle/Nature/Circle of Life then bringing something back to a sort of pseudo-life (aka unliving aka undead) is by no means natural, it is interfering with what would have happened with the remains.
After all, if no magic was applied to the remains they would have decayed, make their way into plant life and back into the food chain and back into living things.
Applying magic and animating remains to create unliving is therefore unnatural according to this thinking.

You can of course argue that because the Al'Noth is there, it is a force of nature, so using it is natural.  You can also argue this for forging weapons, making china, and nuclear fission (to name a few :) ). All of these, while using natural processes, are not considered natural by most.

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The second is what I consider to be the more unnatural explanation--that the al'noth is used to affix something to the corpse in order to reanimate it. Let us reuse the idea of the soul, or idea of a thing, but one that has not yet reached the Thread to be recirculated to the All and Nothing. In this case Al'noth would be used to pull the soul backward, offsetting the natural pull of the Thread. In my mind this creates a much darker feel to the undead as they become tortured, suffering beings who feel the pull to the Thread, but exist on the Mortal Coil, unable to satisfy that pull due to some weaving of the al'noth--their natural progression has been ripped from them, and it is out of their hands.

While we could have gone this way, this would have meant that undead/unliving will have a soul attached to them. By our current definitions of animated dead (like zombies, skeletons, ghouls, mummies) they have no souls so that would not have worked in our setting.
Again, it could've been a viable way of defining undead, but it wouldn't fit with other established concepts that we have.


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This also raises questions about the Gods in the Heavens. In the first case, if the undead are created out of the All and Nothing, then it would appear that the 'good' Gods like Aeridin, Toran, and Vorax among others (and the teachings of Druids) would just be proposing the eradication of the undead because they seem unnatural to the mortal races on the Coil, even though the undead are actually just created the same way as everything else.

Not only do they think the eradication of undead is needed because they seem unnatural, in their books they are unnatural.
And in addition to that, and just as important to good aligned gods is the fact that disturbing somebody's grave and then using that somebody's grandfather's remains to make a zombie of it is considered an evil act.

 
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This is, of course, entirely possible as those on the mortal coil, and even the Gods in the Heavens, barely understand anything about the Mother, and probably even less about the existence of the All and Nothing.
Barely understanding anything about the Mother is correct, nobody knows about the All and Nothing (except the Mother of course).

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n the other hand, let us look at a God like Corath, who advocates the undead and corruption. It states on lore that he believes his followers to be the elite of Layonara, so it is not too hard to imagine that he might think himself the elite among the Gods, perhaps he is even battling against the natural pull of the universe by advocating for the creation of undead as a means to show his power over what the Mother, or whatever power at be, seems to have set up. This makes his corruption far greater than just some corruption on the Mortal Coil, and instead makes it seam as though he is trying to gain a position higher than a deity. Where other Gods may strike a deal with the Mother so that they can call their fallen to them, perhaps Corath uses some means of force to rip his fallen back to him, away from the Thread's pull.

Interesting view on Corath ;) Of course the point about him ripping souls back from the Thread's pull to create undead is incorrect, but your other considerations about him make sense. I'll not go further there though :p
 

Drizzlin

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2009, 11:15:01 pm »
And what does better invisibility mean? Like you have no scent, do not leave tracks? How can you be "better invisibility"? I mean the only bad things about being invisible are...you still leave tracks, you can still be smelt, no one can see you (hehe), people can see you with see invis/true sight...

So in order to be a "better invisibility", which of the above differ?

Sorry Ed, I try to leave you alone!

Quote from: EdTheKet
Please post any questions on the new cosmology here. I will make this a running thread and update questions/answers.


3) How does Greater Sanctuary work now, as in D&D you walk the ethereal plane?

This is one of the things the new cosmology and D&D differ greatly as there is no ethereal plane. You can consider it as some kind of better invisibility, you not walking another frequency for example.
 

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2009, 02:10:50 pm »
Updated LORE: Greater Sanctuary

and better means it's harder to dispel (e.g. Invisibility Purge doesn't work against it).
 

Drizzlin

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2009, 05:55:34 pm »
Quote from: EdTheKet
Updated LORE: Greater Sanctuary

and better means it's harder to dispel (e.g. Invisibility Purge doesn't work against it).


Well not being able to dispell it would make it better...*grins* Thanks Ed.
 

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2009, 06:01:16 pm »
Quote from: Drizzlin
Well not being able to dispell it would make it better...*grins* Thanks Ed.


Not by Invisibility Purge anyway. It's not supposed to be an "I Win" spell and is dispellable (unfortunately not by anything that's coded in NWN I believe, but on GM quests, rest assured).
 

Aerimor

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2009, 08:01:19 pm »
So if I read this correctly, even though you may mechanically run invisible in plate on a horse through the middle of a group of bats, dark elves or PCs in game; reality is that any unstealthy individual moving with G sanct or Invis past creatures with exceptional hearing should be -expected- to be detected?
 

Dorganath

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2009, 08:14:53 pm »
Maybe not "detected" in such a way that would allow them to target you (though potentially, which would explain the bugginess of both spells ;) ), but perhaps alerted to your presence.
 

EdTheKet

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2009, 06:43:47 am »
Quote from: Aerimor
So if I read this correctly, even though you may mechanically run invisible in plate on a horse through the middle of a group of bats, dark elves or PCs in game; reality is that any unstealthy individual moving with G sanct or Invis past creatures with exceptional hearing should be -expected- to be detected?


Indeed, alerted to your presence.

And also, to pass through them you'd need to push them out of the way. You're not able to pass through matter after all, you're "just" invisible.

*then mutters something about NWN mechanics and limits thereof*
 

Acacea

Re: Clarifying note on regeneration
« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2009, 11:28:39 am »
What else would you call energies drawn from the upper frequencies? Upper energy? High energy? Light magic? Just kind of a wording thing, there.

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Since D&D cosmology went out the window, and the negative/positive energy with it
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: Clarifying note on regeneration
« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2009, 11:55:56 am »
High frequency energy? Low frequency energy, Layonaran energy (I imagine this is just as toxic to a low frequency creature as their energy is to Layonarans), Strife or Pit energy, etc.

And unless I misread something, healing does not come from energy of the higher and lower frequencies. It's straight Al'Noth.
 

Acacea

Re: Cosmology FAQ
« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2009, 12:59:16 pm »
It was less an inquiry (people call it all sorts of things) than just meaning that it's still around in different forms, heh.
 

EdTheKet

Re: Clarifying note on regeneration
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2009, 01:08:42 pm »
I moved your post to a more appropriate thread.

Quote from: Acacea
What else would you call energies drawn from the upper frequencies? Upper energy? High energy? Light magic? Just kind of a wording thing, there.

Nobody can tap on higher frequencies for their energy without help or guidance, or through very unique and highly powerful situations (e.g. think WLDQ events. In any event, creatures from lower frequency realities are at the moment called shadows, and those from higher frequencies radiances. I do however, reserve the right to change this nomenclature at any time (or rather, when I'm at the point in my things-to-do-list to flesh this out further).

(Side note: spells like Negative Energy Ray do not in fact, use negative energy, it's "just" a way of using the Al'Noth)
 

EdTheKet

Re: Ask the Loremaster: Cosmology
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2010, 04:56:45 pm »
LORE: Layonaran Cosmology has a new map.

Credits to Rasterick for this!
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: Ask the Loremaster: Cosmology
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2010, 05:32:45 pm »
Dude. Awesome new look. Like the eye of the Soul Mother.
 

Gulnyr

Re: Ask the Loremaster: Cosmology
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2010, 07:07:06 pm »
Very cool.
 

 

anything