30 June 2012

of Vorropohaiah and the Prison Carceri

Vorropohaiah, the Broken One, 21st of the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges. My favorite of the Demiurges, not quite sure why, but he is... so there! Well, maybe I should say a bit more as I believe this touches on some of my likes and dislikes and how they differ with regards to what i enjoy reading and what I enjoy writing.
    When it comes to reading (or roleplaying or anything I get to participate in as a viewer, reader, spectator and what not) I tend to like fantastical things: 

    Books: Wayne Barlowe’s ‘God’s Demon’ springs to mind; a meld of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ portion of ‘the Divine Comedy’ and a more modern ‘out-there’ sensibility, if that makes sense. Souls fashioned into behemoth-mounts, and used as currency and literally as building block; demons casting sigils of power, hellish landscapes. If you haven’t read this book I suggest it. I also suggest looking through Barlowe’s art-books ‘Brushfire’, ‘Barlowe’s Inferno’, and ‘Agares’, which just add so much life to his already-evocative world. Amazing stuff. 
    Game settings: Planescape, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Warhammer 40k, Deadlands. I think with the D&D settings, my choices are probably the most extreme ones. I love the concept and the infinite potential of Planescape – the character of the outer planes, how the land itself has its personality, how Arcadia is (without even looking to its inhabitants) intrinsically different to the Abyss or Mechanus. I was in love with Planescape for a around 10-years, with most of the games of D&D I DMed being in this setting. Favourite planes? Pandemonium, Carceri, (keep those two in mind, if you know what they are, when reading the story below) and the Abyss. Dark Sun is a setting I never had the pleasure of playing (blame my conservative RP group for that). I loved the concept of the dying world, of a place that had reached the end of history, and the sadness of a world in which all great events and leaders had come and gone and were so far in the past that they were not even myth any more. Perhaps the source of my love of deserts? Deadlands is another setting I love, that have never played in. I’m not, in any way shape or form, a fan of westerns, but weird west, as a genre, has always interested me, with Deadlands first and foremost amongst them. Finally, 40k. I’ve been a GW ‘fanboy’ for some years (though their pricing trends recently leave much to be desired…) I haven’t played a game in years, though still keep an eye on their models and fluff, and greatly enjoy the Horus Heresy series. The dystopian setting of 40k is something that I have always loved; the gothic atmosphere and general sense of desperation, the debilitating bureaucracy of it all. Great stuff.
    Art: Hieronymous Bosch. ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’. ‘Terrestrial Paradise, Ascent of the Blessed, Fall of the Damned, Hell’. ‘Allegory of Gluttony and Lust’. I remember these painting from when I was a very young child and they left a big impression on me. Also, Giovanni Piranesi's Carceri Della Invenzione plays a big role here too :)
    Movies: where do I start? There’s many to choose from, though for the purposes of this I’ll mention things like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, ‘Dark Crystal’, ‘the Fountain’, ‘the Cell’, ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, amongst many many others.

Something all these things have in common – they are fantastical to the extreme, often to the point of being completely unrealistic. Doorways to alternate planes. A hierarchal evolutionary history of demons. A psychic lighthouse that consume the souls of thousands of psychics every day just to keep navigators going in the right direction. An unending realm of caverns and howling wind. Literal representations of judgement and the apocalypse. On and on it goes.
Elyden, though a fantasy setting, tends to be pretty realistic. There are very few alien races (and I have often toyed with removing the non-human mortal races entirely, leaving only the otherworlders and halfbloods). Magic is very subtle, and more of a resource for use in archaic technologies (the so-called technarcana) and it is also something I am heavily leaning towards leaving entirely in the realm of a material resource, discarding the more traditional magicy stuff (hand gestures, arcane words etc., which I always hated), using it only as fuel for biomechanical implants and orthoses. No dragons, with most fantastical creatures just alternate version of earths fauna or, in the case of the aurochs and indricothere, extinct fauna. Thew closest thing to a dragon is a ‘wyvern’ which is about the size of a quetzalcoatlus, or a t-rex-sized raptor with large feathers (balaurs) or giant upright crocodile-like beasts (monitors). Undead I have always had a problem with and the closest I got is the penumbrally afflicted Sathep the Risen – ruler of Sarastro – a singular character.
On the other hand my love of the mind-bogglingly strange is present, more-so than anywhere else in the Prison Carceri; greatest (some might say most deranged) construct of the Demiurge Vorropohaiah; inspired as much by Dante’sInferno’ as it is by Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s ‘Carceri D’invenzione’ and D&D’s Planescape plane of Pandemonium.
An anomaly in another-wise realistic world? Perhaps. An indulgence amongst nations I’ve strived to ground in reality? Almost certainly. Hopefully it’s things like the Demiurges, Hetepheres the Sphinx-queen, the Archpotentate Malichar; and places like the Palace of Steam and Rust, Daekyn and, hopefully, the Prison Carceri that set this world apart from others.



  1. I'll have to read all this later, but I liked the intro so far. Excellent mention of your references/inspiration. If I ever get around to writing "Dead Reckoning" I'd think you'd like it. No magic, no dragons, just a crumbling landscape in the aftermath of an undead plague. The survivors are loosely western-like and their biggest adversary is nature itself.

  2. If Vorropohaiah is one of the gods of Elyden, then no wonder it's such an eerie-sounding, blasted place.

    This is fantastic and creepy. Keep up the excellent work, and keep us all posted, please!

    1. Thanks :) im planning on writing similar stories for the other demiurges, some major events and my favorite regions

  3. If all of the Demiurges are as strange and awful as Vorropohaiah, I cannot wait!

    Also, what's up with Hetephares? Is her title just that or is she literally a sphinx that rules a nation somewhere?

    1. Yep she's actually a sphinx, amongst the last of her kind. Crazy, very powerful and extremely paranoid of technarcana (unless shes the one using it). Her nation, Venthir, is a human one and wealthy from slavery and its vast proliferation of open cast gold & diamond mines.

      Maybe its time I wrote something more about her (she's one ofmy favorite characters)

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  5. Ok, a whole new bunch of questions have just been prompted by that answer.

    So first of all, Elyden has sphinxes? Cool! So where do they come from? Are they some of the scionic races I keep seeing references to? Are all sapient races scionic, or does that term not apply to all intelligent species? Are there "natural" inhabitants of Elyden that the Demiurges did not create? Or do I not correctly understand the term "scionic" in this context?

    Secondly... how in the world does a sphinx rule a nation? Did she seize control, or did the nation rise around her? Is she feared by her own people as a tyrant, or worshiped as a living god-queen, like Malichar seems to be for Korachan? Or is she just another queen, who happens to be an ancient, crazy sphinx?

    And how wide-spread are humans in Elyden? You've mentioned nations of other creatures at various points (bird men, serpent people, ogres, etc.) but do they inhabit the Inner Sea region alongside humanity, or are they mythical and far flung?

  6. thanks for the interest :) it does help me explore details that I might not have spent much time putting down to paper...
    so, please keep the questions coming as it might force me to ask questions i never thought to.

    yes, elyden has sphinxes, lammashtus, and griffins, etc., in some capacity. let me start at the beginning... they were the children of one of the Two-and-Twenty Demiurges, Arismaspi, the Noble Beast, 10th of the Demiurges. they were never numerous and in the millenia and ages since the downfall of the demiurges, most have either died out or become very few in number. the sphinxes were amongst the least-populated of these bestial races and were linked by a hive-mind that allowed them to communicate through their dreams.

    the scionic races are direct descendants of the demiurges (ie demiurge mating with a mortal. thoug hi wouldnt dwell on it too much, especially with demiurges like vorropohaiah...). the first scions are mostly dead now, being many thousands of years old. some scions born after the madness of the demiurges set in remain and are horrific monsters, chthonic beings born of bitterness and madness and tempered by the dwindling natural state of the world into beings of hatred and corruption (mostly).

    the mortal races (like humans, more on that later) were born indirectly through the hubris of the demiurges - originally the great creator (the father of the demiurges) placed 22 pods upon the mortal plane (elyden), each with 7 seeds - 4 female, 3 male - and in the image of each of the demiurges. There they would await the creation of the perfect world, at which point the great creator would breathe life into them. but the demiurges continued shaping the world after, bringing imperfection and causing the premature birth of the mortal races. humans, for instance, are the children of the demiurge avraham. Arimaspi's children were many and varied, though the most well-known were the eelyouhn and aiklah - leonine- and avian-featured mortals.

    the sphinxes and griffins were consciously created by arimaspi during the shaping of the world, like animals, but granted conciousness and intelligence. kudos on remembering the scionic races though and given the little information i gave, well-done figuring it out :)

    regarding a sphinx ruling a nation... in this instance she doesnt really. she's pretty loco. I'll post up an excerpt from the Encyclopedia Elyden detailing her history. though its pretty functional reading, nothing too fancy.

    finally, regarding humans... this is something im not too sure about myself and might change, so your feedback is welcome. as it is humans are by far the dominant race (not counting deformities and mutants) and probably account for 99% of sentient mortal life on the world. originally the two-and-twenty mortal tribes (each descended from the pods i mentioned earlier) were all distinct races - humans and avraham, the giganri (giants) and Ukarabarameel, dvergai and synchthonith, illidraen ('angels') and allaishada, etc. other demiurges (like baphomet, which i mentioned in an earlier entry) abandoned their race and sought the worship of humans which, as a more numerous race would grant them more power). during the many disparate ages humans became more numerous than the others (perhaps they bred quicker or were more adaptable or warfare and cultural conditions led to the decline of the others). the eventual rise of human nations in the 4th aage led to their exponential growth, pushing the other remaining mortal races (by then about half of the mortal races were as good as extinct) into obscurity. for instance, oghurs are an offshoot of the giganri.

    hope that answers your questions and pleaes feel free to ask more!

  7. This all sounds pretty well mapped out (pardon the pun). Am I to gather you've got a good handle on who each of those Two-And-Twenty Demiurges are as well as the race(s) that each one made?

    As to why humanity eventually became dominant, might it have something to do with age? Were all of the races "born" around the same time? If not, you've already indicated that they bred faster, or at least were better suited for war, but it seems like it might have been a vicious cycle involving the involvement of the Demiurges in question. I mean, if your god abandoned your race for another, I'd imagine that might cause a severe morale drop. Likewise, if you've got more gods joining your team as time goes on, it might well boost your own sense of pride, leading to more positive thinking, and eventually more children, perhaps? Granted, if some of the races weren't inherently social, that could have contributed as well. I've read Hetepheres's bio already, and her kind doesn't seem to have been terribly co-operative with each other.

    I wonder though, did the Demiurges have good relations with each other? I'd ask if they had personalities, but Vorropohaiah seems to have, and I'm assuming he isn't the exception. At any rate, if some of the Demiurges were more given over to despair or other forms of unhappiness and Avraham was pretty good to be around, might that have prompted some to abandon their children and join up with him (her... it? Do they even have gender at all?) and humanity?

    1. Note that you are about to become privy to information that few mortals have access to :p

      The 22 demiurges are all named (and have been given gender by the mortals, though these are little more than simple labels and i wouldnt be too specific with things like sex when refering to creator-deities). the respective mortal races are listed next to the demiurges (with the most simple commonly-known equivalent i can think of)

      Allaishada, the Resplendant (f) - illidraen (angels - relatively rare, mostly slain in an ancient war)
      Ashterath, Lord of Fang and Claw (m) - serapi (lizardmen - rare outside their desert-homes)
      Duruthilhotep, Pater of Light (m) - ifirmians (immortals - rare outside their homeland in the far east of elyden)
      Talantehut, the Shunned One (f) - valthas (undead - note that they were not always this way, only beocming like this after their mothers' actions. no known demesnes, largely solitary)
      Synchthonith, the earthwright (f) - dvergai (dwarves - semi-healthy populations in korachan where they are leather-clad engineers)
      Yaldabaoth, the One and Many (n) - lhaus (once adonic figures, they are now muscle/calcium golems who, like their father were obsessed with seeking the perfect body to last the ages - the race is largely extinct)
      Rachanael, the Hungry (m) - plagi (demons)
      Urakabarameel, the Wise (m) - giganri (9ft tall lanky ascetic giants. think basketball player physiques with elongated faces and delicate fingers. they are alchemists and gnostics - to the west of the black mountains)
      Baphomet, the Deceiver (na) - the forgotten (real name lost. they are mishappen bitter things, forgotten by the world as they were by their father)
      Arimaspi, the Noble Beast (na) - beastmen (regal, leonine features, with feathers and cloven feet. though lots of other bestial races too)
      Neith, Daughter of the Moon (Siella) (f) - pale androgynous humanoids
      Sybaris, Mother of Sin (f) - Shy (pronounced she) - 4-armed, red-skinned. multiple breasts (f), large curved horns (m)
      S’hith, Lord of Prophecy (m) - extinct (s'hith and nelchael are twins)
      Nelchael, the Dreamless Slumberer (m) - extinct (s'hith and nelchael are twins)
      Nergaal, Bringer of Sun and Rot (m) - unknown (but they worshipped the sun and revered the sick)
      Nyarloth, the Great Artificer (m) - Nyari (race is basically extinct with the 20,000 or so that remain in porphyr little more than nervous-systems encased in technarcane shells; the last twisted nobility of their kind, persisiting millennia after their nations end, served by wrtched human slaves
      Malachai, the Barren One (m) - al akhi (twisted, emaciated avian-featured humanoids with spike like feathers)
      Avraham, the Alabaster king (m) - humans
      Kharani, the Bloody-handed One (Arakhamé) (m) - keratin (crested humanoids)
      Achaiah, the Silent Witness (f) - deruweid (dryads)
      Vorropohaiah, the Broken One (m) - unknown
      Shibboleth, the Torrent (f) - unknown (by me)

      had to spilt the reply in 2 halves.... part 2 coming soon

    2. part 2...

      their backgrounds and histories vary greatly; some like Avraham, Vorropohaiah, Nergaal, and Rachanael are pretty well-detailed (at least inm my mind if not on paper), though others are barely any more than a name and a few cliched' character points that need expansion.

      The same is equally true of their 'children', the mortal races, though not necesarily respectively (so for instance, whereas vorropohaiah is the demiurge i feel i know the most, his children dont even have a name yet, so its all pretty much a mish-mash. with regards to vorro and his children, they were largely abandoned by him in his despair and they (through theire questionable religious practices) allowed their race to dwindle to near-extinction. that, coupled with interbreeding with human slaves captured from the surface led to the races' dilution.

      your ideas on the spread of humans/dwindling of other races is pretty much spot on. most of the extinct or near extinct races are now so due to war and conflict, though many others dwindled following the despair/death of their demiurge parents. conversely, humans thrived due to the attention they warranted.

      the demiurges were like a family of 22 kids, basiaclly (think greek pantheon).some were allies, there was incest, friendships, rivalries, etc and were very much characterised by their personalities (indeed the mortal races took on those traits). despair is an emotion the demiurges know too well, and most of the dead one are no that way due to despair and bitterness. few had positive outlooks. i suppose its a reflection on the worlds character - corruption, despair, death.

  8. Nifty. And yet, despite the ascension of humanity, Avraham is not the lord of Korachan, which seems to be the preemminant human nation of the Inner Sea? The machine god is Rachanael, yes?

    Hmm... he created the demons it seems. Suddenly Korachan got a lot darker for me. What's life like there anyways? How did that Malichar guy get to be so old and powerful?

    And kudos to you for both using the term "demiurge" in the initial sense of the word, avoiding the common implications of the gnostic use of the term, and yet STILL having a guy named Yaldabaoth up there (who seems a little crazy).

  9. this is where the penumbra and the firmament (the shadow and the helix) come into play. basically the building blocks of life (the stuff the demiurges used to create the material plane) the shadow and the helix are what power the technarcane engines that proliferate the empire (emphasis on the shadow). racahnael and duruthilhotep are the masters of the shadow and the helix, respectively, and during the 5th age of life, the penumbra was in ascendence, making rachanael greatest of the demiurges ~(the only one truly still 'alive', if the term can be used- he possessing a corpse in gigantic throne-engine in the kharkharadontid desert. due to events in the 4th war that left many of the demiurges catatonic dreamers and their children dead, he rose to ascendence and humans (being the most populous race) were twisted to his ends.

    does that make sense? Ive been working in solitude so long its hard to say if anything is askew anymore!

    korachan is a pretty dark place. there is a huge class disparity with a massive lower class born into slavery who begin life as child-slaves, working in the manufactories and whatnot, and grow into work-slaves who are paid and life in appartments though who are not citizens and property of the state. they can buy their freedom though its not easy to do. freemen form the minute middle-classses of service-providers and merchants (who in turn can buy slaves), and the upper-classes are the ancient nobility known as the patricians, magnates, potentates and desposyni. think of a dark steampunkish dystopian dickensian london, with some roman empire thrown in for good measure (thouh thats mostly korachani peninsula, different nations - even those subjugated by korachan - have slightly ifferent characters, like venthir, which is has a larger middle-class and more freemen and whose slaves are traditional loincloth-wearing chain-gang slaves working mines and quarries.

    malichars story is pretty long. think of a reverse heroes journey, with him ending as the antagonist (though not really bad guy). he united the korachani city states as a mortal in -5 rm, became a powerful penumbrist, which prolonged his life, though he diesd during a pilgrimage of kharkharadontis (while looking for a still slumbering rachanael). he returned to life as an aehari (otherworlder) and, through help from the children of nyarloth constructed the leaden throne on which rachanael was interred, remaining as a ruler.

    regarding the term demiurge, keep in mind that one of them (urakabarameel) is a gnostic, so theres still a bit of that in ther somewhere. actually most of the demiurges are drawn from 'real-world' sources. nyarloth and duruthilhotep have loecraftian influences (in name, if little else). at the top of my head nergaal and avraham are real gods. nelchael and shith are angels (from whati remember, based on my b'day nelchael is my guardian angel, if youre into such things) etc.

    and yes yaldabaoth is a little weird. after losing his divinity he became obsessed with attaining immortality through whichever means possible and, cutting a long story short, made 6 clones of himself, one of which was found fossilised in kharkharadontis by imperial explorers and became the source for their vat-born cloning techniques and the ease with which their technarcane orthoses (basically crude bionics) work.

  10. With regards to gnosticism I meant that you avoided the specific implications that it gives to the term "demiurge" namely that of an arch-tyrant who happened to have made the world. I rarely see the term used otherwise in fantasy is all. You, meanwhile, have kept the initial meaning intact - a half maker, or half partial builder. Your guys shaped the world and the societies within with. As to the other references - yes, I picked up on Nyarloth and the connection to artifice, though due to the association with light and immortality, I did not pick up on Duruthilhotep (he sounded almost Egyptian themed, given their huge concern with living on after death and such).

    As for Malichar, that sounds quite interesting. I figured, based on the sparse details of Korachan's expansionist tendencies, sinister-sounding church and such, that he'd be a maniacal evil emperor. Then he showed up in passing in the Hetepheres entry, and seemed more... enlightened, I guess? So I'm very happy to see that you've made an "evil emperor" who isn't actually a bad guy.

    Returning to gnosticism though, I presume this means that Urakabarameel worshipped their father? Or does/did Urakabarameel view himself and his siblings as being the Archon-figures with their Father as the true Demiurgic figure? What does gnosticism mean when the gods themselves know their own origin? What prompted this belief?

    On that note, you've mentioned that the Demiurges were punished for continuing to shape Elyden more than they should have. What determined that they had gone too far in their endeavors in the eyes of their Father? Did they know they had transgressed against a greater design?

    And what does losing their divinity entail? What's the difference in scope between what the Demiurges could do initially and what they were capable of afterwards?

  11. Ive never been too keen on the dark lord antagonist, especially the sort with little backstory. Though Malichar may give off an aura of being a 2-dimensional dark lord (especially in his appearance (pale skin, often wears metal mask, long black hair, baroque armour, big capes) hes more than that, and the main emotions i wante to convey when writing him in the abandoned draft of the book ('the shadow and the helix' - detailing the build up to the great war at the end of the 5th age) was that of solitude and disappointment. there's little left to challenge him, there are few people who are his equal or who have persisted on the mortal plane for so long and theres a distinct sense of melancholia about him... though hes still a tryant, no doubt about it. but still, 4000-years of life makes you smarter than the average person and certainly more cultured.

    Urakabarameel is certainly one of the demiurges who respects and revered the great creator the most, and in this respect his gnosticism is a means through which he hopes to grow closer with the creator following the demiurges' fall.

    the demiurges' punishment might have been unfair. they were created and then let lose with little instruction other than create the perfect world. this they did, spectacularly, but as beings whose sole purpose was to create and build they could not stop and continued adding and changing and shaping, destroying the perfect world they had wrought. id say this was more of a compulsion than anything else and they knew what they were doing but could not stop themselves - what does a builder with nothing left to build do? id say he goes crazy and so thats why they continued.

    when the great creator punished them, stripping them of their greater powers (ie no longer able to create a world and mould its surface into mountains and oceans or detail the myriad intricacies of a rainforest, though still gifted monolithic abilities - its all still pretty sketchy and parabolic, if you know what i mean. i think to detail their exact abilities would be too constricting).

    anyway, after their punishment they were consigned to the world of elyden - greatest and most changed of the worlds they created - where they continued shaping, bringing more change, though this time more subtle, accounting for species variation etc.

    over time, once they grew accustomed to the mortal races that eventually appeared beneath thm (interestingly the mortal races- often called the demiurges' children - are pretty much the only creatures not directly created by them, though each tribe inherited its demiurge parents' traits and characteristics. i suppose you could say they were cloned from their respective 'parent'.

  12. Cloning seems to be a bit of a running motif in Elyden actually, which is something you don't see much of in high-fantasy worlds. Yaldabaoth cloned himself, the mortal races, or the initial entities at least, are sort of cloned from the Demiurges, and I recall that there was a race of clones somewhere. Or the children of cloned entities who interbred with each other. Something like that. Clones are present as a doable thing by at least Korachan. Etc. Heck, one could make a case for another clone in the idol-machine-thing Baphomet's servants made, which turned against him.


    Does cloning tie into the use of the umbra/shadow/incarnate? That seems to be the substance more focused on the material, no surprise given its name, judging by the fact that one Rachanael was the best at its use, and has managed to "survive" all this time.

    Speaking of the Boss Machine himself, is he actually any better off than the other torpid and comatose Demiurges though? Does he do more than change the world through his dreams? And why was he so hungry? Does he care about the empire that Malichar has made?

  13. well spotted :)

    it started out as a coincidence (probably through my fascination on the subject and its 'rarity' in fantasy settings) though once i noticed it realised it could be one of the subtle motifs of the world, alongside corruption and decay (which, without too much of a stretch, can all be linked together).

    the lhaus (which i described as muscle/calcium golems) are the mortals i think youre refering to and are the children of yaldabaoth - like father like son i suppose!).

    as you touched on above, the penumbra is associated with the material (and electricity, which is symbolic of cold) and change; whilst the firmament is the domain of the spiritual (and magnestism; symbolic of warmth) and constancy. umbra (a concentrate of the stuff that looks like pitch or oil) can be refined and has a myriad of applications. intrinsically, its a silly mutagen that gives me an excuse to exercise my obsession with cloning, biomancy, cloning, mutatuons, etc. there's a disease called aepathy that causes its sufferers to attract the penumbra, casusing their cells to mutate and grow erratically (cancerous), leading to tumours and disfigourments and a debilitating illness that slowly consumed the body. though the art of technarcana, these cells have been readily examined, resulting in a breed of vat-born Set (a penumbral title, comparable to magister or sorcerer) who are penumbrally-sensitive, able to detect it easily, though they rarely live long due to the mutations they suffer (technarcane implants and orthoses help them, though cannot stop the inevitable). aepathy has also been isolated and used to grow aepathic flesh in vats, which form the basis of various machines an tools, most important of-which are the siphon-engines - large pylon-like machines that surround the larger cities built in the worst regions of elyden. they serve two purposes - 1) drawing the penumbra from the air where it is collected and 2) processed into umbra, which is used for various other things, including fuel (the other main source of fuel is soul-stones... something for another post, perhaps :p). thus penumbrally afflicted regions are somewhat of a pro/con; lots of birth-defects and disease, though the potential for great wealth if they can process the stuff.

    rachanaels hunger for worship is, at its most simplistic level, a result of his punishment alongside the other demiurges (everything goes back to that with these guys) and the only way he could deal with it was feeding his ego. as the master of the penumbra (its main proponent and experimenter in ancient times) he was able to share its secret with his worshippers, leading to the korachani empire gaining a technological advantage over other humans. this in turn allowed the empire to expand, bringin more people into the church of the machine, thus giving him more worshippers.

    something i may not have mentioned or stressed is that the world is very old and the present day is tens of thousands of years removed from the birth of the mortal races. civilisations have come and gone since then, with years of ruination bordering the various mortal ages. this is the fifth age of life (or the early 6th, depending on what period im writing/blabbing about) and the demiurges are largely forgotten or dead by now; those who dream adding to the worlds' corruption and decay. the average person knows little about them and only enlightened scholars know most of what ive mentioned about them, and the latter would be persecuted by the bureau of censors for their blasphemous knowledge. rachanael is by far the major demiurge, though others (such as baphomet) are undergoing a renaissance of sorts.

  14. I gathered that the world is pretty old. The Korachan empire alone is thousands of years old, and from what I gathered was one of the newer civilizations to arise in the Inner Sea region. Vorropohaiah's Carceri is massive, but has barely been affected by time, and the truth of it seems almost lost, certainly not widely accessible, as though it were so old that even as a mythic place it was nearly forgotten. So yeah, I gathered that it took at least thousands of years between the building of at least the Carceri and the dawn of the Korachani era... and the Carceri seems fairly young by the standards of Vorropohaiah's works of art. When you have gods that have died, presumably of natural causes, I just assume the world is old as hell.

    Though what is behind the renaissance of some of the (seemingly more sinister) Demiurges? I mean, ok, Rachanael makes sense - he's the dude with the biologically-rooted, life-extending, techno-magic knowledge and he's hooked up to a huge lead throne (life support system?) and is the patron god of Victorian Steamdoom Rome. But what about the others? I mean, Baphomet seems to have perished, replaced by a mechanical version of himself that was less of an asshole. Actually, the ending of that one story is a bit ambiguous as to what actually happened with him. What did happen between the original and the copy? And I gather Allime is the Father?

  15. baphomet is a relatively new entity, not one of the original two-and-twenty, a usurper arising from massed worship of a mysterious capriform idol by the abandoned children of abufihamat and other mortals (namely humans). this worship was a result of abufihamats unwarranted yearning for quantity over quality in his worhisppers. his greed was ultimately his fall and he grew weak and torpid, allowing a new entity - baphomet - to gain sentience around the idol and eventually possess the vacant body of abufihamat, effectivelyr eplacing the old demiurge - a form of transmigration.

    regarding the resurgence in demiurge activity - i can only blame their unity with the world and their ability to sense its growing corruption and the inevitable end that will follow - those strong enough or at least concious enough want the strength to weather the storm for they far what will become if the wrd truly succumbs to full corruption/maddness. those who can want to stem the dreams of their weaker sibling to try and stall the inevitable. the more selfish just want to amass as many followers - willing or not. who knows what will happen though.

    refering to the age of the world... i wouldnt want to venture a guess (the demiurges can get touchy about their age...) but mortal history started around a quarter ofa million years ago. the age of steel, dominated by the korachani empire begins in 1 RM the unimaginatively titled Reign of Malichar), about 1,500-years into the 5th age and ends in 4008 RM following the war for the shadow and the helix. recorded history goes back to about -1700 RM, whre it begins anew following a great war (history repeating itself, never...) that saw most of the non-human mortal races extinct or at least greatly dminished. before that, things become sketchy and more like prehistory in the real world, even though there were empire far grander and larger than the Korachani empire in such ancient times.

  16. So... let me get this straight.

    Baphomet 1.0 went dormant long ago. But a statue of him endured, prayed to by the people that hated him. Eventually, this statue gained a soul, Baphomet 2.0 who seems to be less of a dick. So... this accidentally created, incomplete, user-friendly spirit AI clone managed to posses its own source-god's comatose body... replacing the original in the process? Do I have that right?

    Yeah, Elyden rocks. Only there could an accidentally created ghost-robot become potent enough to transmigrate to posses his own corpse, thereby becoming a full blown demi-god.

    By the way, Duruthilhotep's immortal "children"... are they basically elves? Because you've got two common tropes down for them that overlap with elves in the brief description you gave. Just curious.

    Also, Urakabarameel is the "gnostic" Demiurge... but does this mean that the Oghur (what's left of his children) are enlightened, spiritually aware giants, or have the traits of their parent not trickled down to them in this regard? Because if so, that's maybe the most hilarious subversion I've seen here yet. No fantasy setting I've encountered has the OGRES as the fonts of wisdom and spiritual awareness.

  17. thats basically baphomet in a stripped-down simplified description. sounds a bit silly hearing it like that actually, come to think of it.

    i wouldnt call the immortals elves per se, but i guess they fulfil the same role - graceful, wise, undying race. very few in numbers and the children of the primogenitor of magic (firmamentism). they are extremely insular and xenophobic, and are little more than badass guardians of the so-called 'meniscus' - the font of the firmament on the material plane (its penumbral counterpart would be the black fountain in Daekyn, beneath the sepulchral palace where rachanael resides in Kharkharadontis)

    sadly the oghurs arent the actual children. the children are the giganri - the wise, enlightened ones. the oghurs are corrupted offshoots of the main race though theyre far from being mindless beasts. they have a true civilisation to the south-east of the inner sea called cyhlagharr, which is a militocratic kratocracy and they thrive on slavery. curiously the land they live in is penumbrally active though their bodies (and wills) are strong and corruption is more stable amongst them - leading to cyclocephaly and hydrocephaly, rather than random corruption. indeed, those suffering from cyclocephaly (who are not debilitated by the condition) have risen to become an influential caste of merchant-lords and sorcerers.

    but then again, giants are usually bestial and barbaric, rarely alchemists seeking gnosis and ascetic enlightenment either so I guess your comment holds up about the subversion.

  18. Re: Baphomet - sorry, but no. Baphomet is amazing! I've never encountered something that bizarre in a fantasy setting. It's grand!

    Wait, so the hungering Machine God, who is the archetype for a race you've referred to as being essentially demons, sits at the font of the physical embodiment of the spooky flesh-altering darkness magic? No wonder he's in such good (comparative) condition.

    As for the Oghurs, yeah, no that's still pretty innovative. Usually in fantasy setting you're lucky if you get them with occasionally human level intelligence. Them actually having a civilization, being able to struggle through their mutations, and having an entire merchant caste is fantastically unusual. I like these guys! They sound pretty cool... in a hardcore, "probably wouldn't like them as much if they were real" sort of way.

    What prompted the Oghurs to become the people they are though? The Giganri are pretty rare I'm assuming, or are they all dead and only the Oghur endure in their place?

    And how did the immortals become immortals anyways. I mean, they didn't emerge immortal, did they, much like the undead race weren't always undead?

    1. hehe... is the comment about rachanael sitting on the black fountain sarcastic? soudns sarcastic to me as in, he's sitting on teh tumor/cancer-causing wellspring and oddly enough he's one of the more sprightly demiurges? well, he was the figurehead of the penumbral movement in ancient times and all most basic penumbral knowledge was passed down to the mortals through his teachings ages ago, so he knows how to manipulate it, and the sepulchral palace/leaden throne are a gigantic engine to further filter the stuff.

      yeah i like the general idea i have for the oghurs. i imagine a huge army of corsairs and slavers and big gladiatorial arenas to keep thier savagery sated in a moderately humane way.

      the giganri are actually one of the most numerous non-human mortals, and occupy the the region galled gnoth in the north-western portion of the large map that i made (possibly not labelled in the last version i posted. i have a more recent version with better labels so ill post that when i chance to) though the people of the inner sea, conditioned by centuries of imperial subjugation, have becoem quite xenophobic so dont trade much with the giganri, which is fine with them - less distraction in the pursuit of their art.

      youll have to ask someone who knows more about the immortals... wait, im the only person to ask? ah crap... all ive revealed in my research is that through the teachings of duruthilhotep they became masters of the firmament and those who remain are the result of a great choir (ritual) that left them 'immortal'. the majority of the race wasnt given this luxury and are now dead (or are they? their home is another continent, so ther's lots of room for a remnant culture)

  19. Not sarcastic, no - just suddenly the big, to me, mystery of why this one guy is doing so, comparatively, well has just been clarified to my utter satisfaction. I mean, I thought it made sense that he was still alive and well-ish because he was awesome at the magic that would let him remain alive, but surely other Demiurges would be able to cling to their existences as well. But now he's got the wellspring of that type of magic right beneath him, so it makes way more sense - he has the knowledge AND the resources.

    You could knock me over with a feather though - the giganri are still around? Huge! I figured surely they'd all be dead or something if they were a living offshoot. Nifty!

    With regards to the immortals, gotcha loud and clear.

    Are all of the races mostly humanoid?

  20. the giganri are probably the 2nd most numerous mortal race at the moment (at least in the areas that i've mapped out - who knows what i come up with for other places.

    theres a dverg region just north of Korachan, who were granted the land during a political faux pas during an ancient papal war and have lived there since

    nyarloths children have a nation just to the south east of the large map ive made (on the same continent) they gave malichar the tech to build the leaden throne over the black fountain.

    the lhaus (children of yaldabaoth) still exist (sort of) in the west of Kharkharadontis, just under cyhlagharr. though theyre weird so probably dont count. there a few shy city-state scattered around but theyre insular and not very powerful. the keratin and plagi still remain in small numbers in karakhas and kharkharadontis, respectively (and the plagi, being rachanaels children are not very pleased with him...)