Hello, O Wonderful Gods and Vowels alike~!
I've been learning Celestian history lately, specifically this new guild lore for the Magisterium regarding the legend of Saint Tresalyne, and I was hoping to clear up some things that don't seem to add up between the fascinating new development and the already established lore. Obviously, I'm working from a flawed, player-centric reflection, but there are some facts that don't seem to be adding up.
Any chance You can correct me?
Myth: According to Ecclesiarchical canon, Saint Tresalyne was the first mortal to reach Celestia, a version of events supported by the (incredible) vision sequence viewed through the Tears of Tresalyne reliquary.
However: Dionamus the Healer was well-known to surround Himself with angelic hosts and wield the Light to heal and to harm. As a native of Alabellalum and a Vernal God of the White Shell, a city and nexus predating Old Celest, it is clear that Dionamus, as the patron God of His own city, had a close association with the cosmic powers of Celestia. This seems to unequivocally disprove the idea that Celestia was an unknown and unreachable place for mortals prior to Tresalyne's arrival. I understand that Tresalyne's relatively new and small culture did not have this knowledge, but our knowledge of historic cities and edifices predating this supposed discovery forces us to either accept that established lore disproves the Tresalyne Myth, or accept that Alabellalum was unaware of any way to reach it, despite their ability to create an Edifice of Power and access to a Divine intimately familiar with the plane.
Myth: According to the Ecclesiarchical canon, the Supernals of Celestia did not recognize what a mortal person was, and specifically did not know what a merian was when Tresalyne first arrived in Celestia, a version of events supported by the same vision sequence viewed through the Tears of Tresalyne reliquary.
However: Just as before, we already know a culture of merians that had access to and contact with Celestia; the merian of Alabellalum, and the Vernal God of the White Shell, Dionamus the Healer. Even if we assume that for some reason, their Edifice of Power was incapable of piercing the planes in a similar manner to the original Pool of Stars and that Dionamus refused to speak to the Supernals at all, Dionamus' strong representation and constant deployment of the angelic hosts of Celestia means that the angels were a well-known sight. Through Dionamus, mortals and angels were definitely within visual range of one another on many occasions (a fact also supported by the Tresalyne Myth, in that he knew the stories of angels from long-ago legends even though he lived in a time after the formation of Avechna and the cessation of Dionamus). Why are the Supernals and angels in Tresalyne's Myth unaware of the mortals they had spent so long actively protecting?
Myth: According to the Ecclesiarchical canon, the interplanar connections between Prime=Water and Water=Cosmic had to be intentionally aligned through great understanding and magic, indicating that the Pool of Stars could only connect to other planes due to the genius intellect of Tresalyne and the merians of the Celestine Church and College of Aquamancy.
However: In the account of Ladantine's journey through the Astral Plane, the only reason the party was able to escape the plane at all was that a manifestation of the Eternal Flame was found and recognized on the Astrophere of Sagittarius. As the discovery of the Astral Plane was literally occurring at that moment, it is impossible that this pathway was laboriously researched, constructed, and implemented into the nexus ahead of time, indicating that the Eternal Flame penetrated the planes all the way to Astral as an inherent characteristic of its construction. This suggests that though these Celestian institutions did learn how to use these connections, they existed before the merians discovered how to use them.
It might be asserted that the cosmic plane of Celestia was not connected via the Pool of Stars until the Celestines performed this alignment, but to refute that, we can refer to the Archmage Marinus Shervalian (who I will quote for later query), who claims that the Nyalia research facility discovered the other three significant cosmic planes. Even if we accept that these planes were first sensed and identified by the Nyalians on Prime, who did not have a nexus of power, it remains impossible to reach a cosmic plane from the Prime.
If we assume that they merely sensed each plane and merely informed the nexus-operators, the inability of each Imperial nexus to access the corresponding planes of other nexii demonstrates that the connection is made via the nexus itself and is not derived merely from knowing the way; knowing how to reach Continuum does not mean you can reach it through the Eternal Flame for example. This is further emphasized by Ladantine's escape from Astral; at no point is this genius-level intellect able to transverse from Astral to Celestia, a place with which he is intimately familiar.
Myth: According to Archmage Marinus Shervalian, Old Celestian Aquamancers (via Tresalyne) found the first pathway between an Elemental Plane and a Cosmic Creche, and discovered the Cosmic Planes of Shallamar, Continuum, and the Vortex.
Archmage Marinus Shervalian says, "Anyway, our job here, in what was the jewel of the Empire's research facilities, was to probe the aether, to attempt to find new planes and sources of power. In fact, it was we who discovered the Cosmic Planes of Shallamar, Continuum, the Vortex, and the Cosmic plane itself."
However: As before, many ancient cities had advanced enough planar sciences and powerful enough extraplanar magics to create Edifices of Power capable of raising Vernal Gods. These constructs were conduits of extraplanar power, so we can infer with relative safety that they were able to penetrate at least one plane beyond the Prime. Examples of these are the Ice Needle of Climanti, the Sacred Pyramid of Alin'Dor, the Crystal Spire of Lancenti, and the Black Coral of Glomborolum, all of which resemble modern Edifices closely enough that they are recognizable as potent and proven methods of the collection, refinement, and storage of incredible amounts of enough power to elevate a mortal into Divinity. It seems inconceivable that only after the entirety of the Elder Wars and Vernal wars, not a single one of these multiplanar constructs was able to be aligned to a cosmic creche. I am not so certain of my grasp of ancient Gaudiguch/Alin'dor lore that I can refute it completely, but I am confident that the Illuminati are represented as coming from Alin'dor.
Myth: According to Celestian lore, the merian of Old Celest were the inventors of magecraft, coming across the secrets of water-centric elementalism themselves, and refining it to found the College of Aquamancy.
However: For precisely the same reasons as the previous point, many cultures of powerful and savvy mages had risen, produced Gods, and eventually fallen, indicating that the study of magecraft was ancient and advanced beyond the scope of the relatively brief College of Aquamancy. (Similarly, I am confident that Alin'dor contained Pyromancers of some description). Not having emerged out of a vacuum, the merian of Old Celest would have descended from another culture of merians, inheriting their myths, oral histories, and styles in architecture, magic, technology, and social structures; to say that Celest invented Aquamancy is to say that their predecessors did not have similar magics, or at least that no stories about such were remembered.
And beyond the role of Saint Tresalyne in expanding our understanding of merian and Celestian history, I have a separate question that is nevertheless on topic;
Query: Why does Celest (New and Old) have such a strong fascination with seafaring?
Context: Merians can breathe underwater, rendering boats useless except as little more than cargo transport, and traditionally they have not much cared to make considerations for non-merians. There is no tract of water connecting the (then) Crystal Sea with the Inner Sea, and the only settlements accessible via the Crystal Sea to our knowledge were Magnagora and the Balach Swamp. Why did an Empire of aquatic, water-breathing people with no seafaring opponents and only one significant trading partner develop such a strong culture surrounding shipbuilding and seafaring?