Saturday, March 1, 2014

World Building in 30 Days - Cosmology

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

“For Man to tell how human life began is hard; for who himself beginning knew?”― John Milton, Paradise Lost

“The type of nothing from which something can arise is truly something.”― John K. Brown

Today's article is a tall order. Kosmos & Logia - Study of World ie the study of the origin, evolution and fate of the world/universe.



i. Physical Layout

ii. Planes

iii. Creation - high level Truth

iv. Creation - Theories?

v. Historical

As a gamer at my core I have some of the D&D terminology in my head as I discuss this article. My players might use this terminology but their characters or any of my stories characters would not.

Physical Layout

The prime material plane, or that existence to which most characters would refer to as the "real world" is known as Ea-reth1. Yathe2 is the largest and oldest continent. The inhabitants of Ea-reth also call it the Old World. The southern part of Yathe was scooped off the face of the world in a cataclysmic event known as the Last Sundering. Five towers were built on Yathe early in the First Age. These towers were each home of one of the first beings, called Umbla. The Umbla have been worshipped as gawds and primordials by different races throughout history. In my mind they are more akin to Archangels or personified forces of nature than deities. More on that in a minute. Ovelesk3 is the other major continent. At one point an ice bridge connected the two continents. After the Second Sundering the ice cap receded and the two continents were no longer connected. Ovelesk is the home of mankind after the second sundering. During the events of the Last Sundering Ovelesk was split in twain (by drifting continents/magic?). The Northern and Southern continents are split by the Gargle Canal, a Red Sea like divide that measures 200 miles at its narrowest point.

Ea-reth - Early Map
An Early Draft

The world is round. The solar system is a binary star system with the primary star being named after Aeres the eldest Umbla and the secondary star Anu El, his wife. Ea-reth has four moons Abyss, Gerand, Tyr and Yero the remaining Umbla. Another seven planets make up the solar system with a total of twenty-one moons between them. Each planet and moon is name for a demi-gawd family.


There are two "mirror" planes/dimensions. The opening/closing lines from Tales from the Darkside the TV series4 and the battle with the Ring Wraiths at Weathertop and the Fords have always stuck with me. Glorfindel appearing as a shining light in Frodo's vision just screamed awesome to me. 4E's Shadowfell and Feywild contain elements of my view but never quite went far enough in my opinion. The concept of the etheric or ethereal plane from OD&D also contains elements of what is in my imagination. Simply put the things and creatures in the world consist of three parts. The corporeal or material flesh and bone, the spirit or soul, and the creative intellect or magical spark (animus). These three components exist simultaneously in each dimension and different creatures are composed more strongly of some of these elements than others. Fey creatures for example contain more magical energy, in most cases when they die they fade from the material plane and their magical energy returns to the Feywild. They also exist in both the Feywild and Ea-reth simultaneously. This accounts for their infravision and some Fey can manifest fully in one realm or the other allowing them to travel great distances. I will talk more about the effects of planes on the creation of undead and traits of some races in the race article. A +1 sword is imbued with power from two dimensions, a +2 sword is imbued with power of three dimensions. This existence in more than one plane allows it to hurt some creatures that are immune to only corporeal damage.

A quick note on the terms Shadow/Light and Above/Below as regarding planar travel. The planes are not places one can reach by simply walking to or sailing to via normal means. Nor do they exist in space. The terms Shadow and Light refer to their natures but should not be discerned to mean the plane of light is safe or full of tranquil bunnies. Neither should the Plane Above or Below be taken to mean the physical locale. The physical laws of Space and Time work only on the prime material plane. In this plane only Ea-reth and its orbiting heavenly bodies exist. Magical means are necessary to reach these other planes. The easiest to stumble upon is the Feywild due to its innate magical nature. Feycrossings open up at certain times of year, in odd places for inexplicable reasons. Next easily bumbled into is the Shadowfell. Strong negative emotion (fear, hatred, loathing etc.), bloody conflicts, and insanity can all be catalysts for causing a Shadowfall. Shadowfall's are places where the dark realm leaks over into the material plane. Undead and darker creatures can be encountered here. Ghost haunts are common indicators of a Shadowfall. Lastly, are the realms of the immortals. These planes are the hardest to reach. Similar to the Astral Sea, Abyss, Elemental Chaos and the Great Wheel cosmos from various incarnations of DND. These planes are dangerous to mortals without specific cautions being taken. These planes are not definable by human understanding and though any theory documented may be plausible it is impossible to map nor reach a destination multiple times. I will definitely expound on these matters in a future article.

Religion - the Simple Truth

Anrica arose from the Chaos in the Beginning and brought order to it. From Anrica sprang the Umbla. The Umbla further shaped Ea-Reth. This was done via intent, the 5 Towers, War, and accident. The Umbla merged/mated with the Pey and from them the Gawds were born. The origin of the Pey is a mystery even to the Umbla. Anrica created the first race, the Ancient Ones, and when Tima was born they awoke.

The Four Sunderings shaped the Ancient Ones into the Peoples of Ea-Reth today. The First Sundering was caused by the influence and proximity to the towers. The Second Sundering was caused by strife between the races and deliberant tampering by Gerand. The Third Sundering occurred when the Gawds responded to the unleashing of Gerand's creations. The Last Sundering was brought about by Seelian Coil's Citadels ripped power from the Towers and put an end to the Sunderings, nearly destroying the world. The Umbla and the Gawds withdrew from the world after this their power diminished. Their final act was to remove Taeltor from the world and turn its inhabitants into the Primal Spirits that prevent the Immortals direct involvement in mortal affairs.

Religion - Theories

Each Race, Church and Sect has its theories of how the world was created and who created their race.

For example, the dwarves claim Yero is Moradin, the forge lord. They say he fashioned the dwarves from stone and breathed life into them. They revere Anu El calling her the star hanger. They say that she collects the best in dwarven souls and fashions them into gems sewn into the curtain of night.

By way of truth the dwarves were part of the Yae5 a race that went north and were influenced by the tower Karnin. Karnin provided them hard demeanors, and a sense of law and order. During the Second Sundering the Yae split and two new races were born. Gerand spread lies and the Yae-Dwarv6 fought the Yae-Yant7 for food. The Yant proved more powerful since they were aided by Gerand. The Yant hogged the resources, grew tall and strong . The Dwarv soon found themselves hunted by the Yant. Yero took pity on the small and tough Dwarv. He taught them to forge and plant. He showed them how to burrow beneath the ground for safety. The dwarves never forgot the night sky, and soon found gems and veins of precious ore that reminded them of the night sky. They also never forgot their hatred of the giant kin. This is one example of how religion misconstrued the truth behind

History - Outline 1

First Age

· Creation

· Rise of the Umbla

· Shaping of the Lands

· Building of the Towers

· Birth of the Gawds

· Birth of Tima

· Rise of the First Race

· Dawn War

· First Sundering

1. It is a nod to Oerth/Aerth etc. of Gygax as well as a nod to Tolkien's Simarilion where at creation the words Ea were uttered
2. It comes from the KJV bible meaning pinned, pegged and was probably picked up subconsciously reading Exodus etc. Interestingly enough I also found it in the urban dictionary from 2010, meaning god-like. These are both interesting references as creation started here
3. Ovelesk is a play on words from Oval-esque. Originally it was a dream land that contained all things dreamt of by mankind and was roughly oval shaped in its infinity. As the word solidified and things took on a more realistic feel the world changed but the name did not
4. Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But...there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit... a darkside. The darkside is always there, waiting for us to enter - waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight
5. Yae - North in Ancient, Hard in Giant and Rock in Dwarven
6. Dwarv - Dwell in Soil in Ancient
7. Yant - Dwell on Soil in Ancient



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