Lore Query: Ancient History, Ageless Planes, and the Myth of Saint Tresalyne

MlaanMlaan Member Posts: 6 Novice
edited September 2020 in Q&A
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?

(Much appreciated~!)

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?  

Comments

  • ParhelionParhelion Member Posts: 393 Fabled
    edited September 2020
    Oh snap. Bookmarking this.


    Edit:

    I'm super interested in this, as well as researching who and what used to live on the Astral Plane. There are obviously vernals attached to each sphere, as well as the remains of buildings and kingdoms of some kind.
    Her voice firm and commanding, Terentia, the Even Bladed says to you, "You have kept your oath to Me, Parhelion. You have sworn to maintain Justice in these troubled times."

    Yet if a boon be granted me, unworthy as I am, let it be for a steady hand with a clear eye and a fury most inflaming.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    edited September 2020
    Some thoughts just while reading through. Not really answers just thoughts

    • Weird thing, "Vernal Wars" says Dio knew about Celestia and Angels while "Aftermath" says the early Aquamancers discovered Celestia ("wrapped around the plane of water") and then gave it it's name (given they lived on the island of Celest which is kinda... appropriately hubristic). With "cosmic creches", Ecclesiarchical canon feels more... logical?
      It'd be an interesting topic to explore IC, one idea that already comes up is that maybe mortals in the basin didn't necessarily know the specific plane Dionamus worked with? Potentially none who'd even seen him made it to the basin, so all they had was stories passed along, then when Celestia was discovered by the early Celestians they combined the two together (mental image of Dio's angels being more like... the alien/horrific wings and eyes everywhere sort and coming from maybe a dead plane)

    • Afaik, the Edifices and Nexii are specifically distinct things? Edifices were like a massive battery that you drained to make a vernal god and that was kinda it. Nexii are for power storage and plane connections (city nexii particularly for this), but even with the wars and the like none of the cities actually raised a god from their nexus until Marylinth which was also the only time it's happened as Ascendants are different.

    • I'd say that the Eternal Flame being present on Astral doesn't necessarily mean too much regarding cosmic? Having a nexus specifically designed to pierce planes reaching all the way up to Astral makes me wonder if it's in someways similar to Ethereal and, while distant, somehow abstractly reflective of stuff on prime. Where like... unless they were destroyed it seems like there'd be maybe hundreds of cosmic creches out there somewhere?

    • "Aftermath" also indicates that gate-less/nexus-less planar travel is actually plausible. But it seems to be a lost technique/magic/etc, likely cause gates and nexii make planar travel way simpler so mortals haven't needed it since figuring this out.

    • My understanding is that yeah... the reality of the planescape was only actually learned about after mortals started coming back to the basin. Kiakoda, Mornhai stuff, and Ellindel all kinda point towards this.

    • I wouldn't be necessarily surprised if some pre-aftermath civilisations did discover some stuff, but it seems like the move to the basin and "Aftermath" is kinda starting over and fresh in a new world. So, there's also the possibility that this knowledge just never made it to the basin around "aftermath" times, maybe some civilisation of pyromancers was completely wiped out, planar travellers hit issues, etc.

    • I also wouldn't be that surprised if they didn't? There's a necessity aspect, vernal wars era mortals needed a way to fight the soulless eventually leading to D'Varsha creating the first edifice. From then on it seems like they were raising as many as they possibly could as fast as they possibly could? I imagine resources, research, everything would be focused on "how can we raise even more weapons and survive against the next soulless attack?". For something like, figuring out how to cleanse the seas, if it's a big enough problem it seems like it'd be easier to just ask a Vernal god to take care of it, or send another one who could? And a vernal might be able to just... yank the corruption out of the sea so no need to involve the water plane. 

      Which is why it kinda makes sense to me that it changes in aftermath. There's no more vernal gods to do stuff, for whatever reason there's also no more edifices, so mortals need to start figuring out stuff for themselves again, necessity leads to discoveries which we see in the guardian/wiccan/melder classes because we needed a solution to an issue and then we extrapolated on that.
  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 595 Mythical
    Mlaan said:
    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?  
    I might poke at these as I feel like it, but I feel like this one is actually pretty approachable. None of this is necessarily canon, but what I think is logical to consider.

    We know what Spectre Isle is like now, but what exactly was the Isle the originally housed the first Celest like? We can infer it had at least some arable land due to the gardener, but it looks like it got rather heavily built up. Was there ever enough trees and marble/stone to account for all that building? Highly unlikely. The merians would have needed to develop some means of getting lots of building material to their Isle, and/or food that they couldn't necessarily grow there in sufficient quantities. You can see this mirrored in Bondero Bay questing - you don't need to get a boat to get Aloldyne to Vesucia, but you sure do need a boat to help the merian swineherd get pigs from Vesucia. Even if they had zero trade partners, there might still be plenty of need for boats.

    In the event of external conflict, it would be more difficult for most races to approach/invade such a island, except by boat. Merians being in a better position to shipbuild would also keep them at the advantage in a potential warfaring situation.



  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 595 Mythical
    Mlaan said:

    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.   
    I think it's fair to say there is a lot of lost knowledge out there - we like to think of civilization as only ever advancing (even in the real world), but whenever powerful libraries and cities are burnt down and history is rewritten to look at them unfavourably, knowledge of some variety is always lost. It's very possible some things were relearned over and over, and each time, it was thought to be discovered for the "first time".

    But I think it's also prudent to consider that different times and different eras called for different measures. In the wake of the Vernal Wars, mortals could just focus on surviving against the environment and lack of resources, rather than constant worry of being consumed. Mortal populations arguably moved around a lot less after the Vernal Wars - there was more time to contemplate exploration. We don't know the full differences between edifices of power and nexuses, but it seems safe to say that edifices of power were built primarily to be fonts of power first and foremost, while this wasn't quite the same pressing issue for new cities that didn't need to combat the soulless by raising vernal gods. I would imagine the modern nexii are far, far less efficient at maintaining and refining power than the old edifices, but that doesn't mean they are strictly inferior in every way.

    I'd also like to point out that the Transcendent Ice Needle of Climanti still does exist in some capacity - and while there is no visible way to connects to any planes, it actually does possess the unusual ability to transport you to a past era prior to Climanti's ruin. This is something significant that no nexus can do, and is a rather significant component of the Icewynd quest chains.

    I will also point out that the Great Trees of the Communes only intersect on Ethereal. They don't intersect on all planes. They have no reflections on astral at all, despite there being astralspheres that can align with the communes for the purpose of wild nodes. For a city nexus to be able to bypass intersections on adjacent planes and go directly to different layers is a very special property - one that might arguably have ripple effects. I doubt any of the nexus reflections on astral were actually built there - they seem to be more literal reflections that manifested on their own as the other lower planes were linked to the nexus and tuned to them, bent in a way that is not in the natural order. How or why? Well, that'd be more a matter that is anyone's guess.


  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    Jolanthe said:
    I think it's fair to say there is a lot of lost knowledge out there - we like to think of civilization as only ever advancing (even in the real world), but whenever powerful libraries and cities are burnt down and history is rewritten to look at them unfavourably, knowledge of some variety is always lost. It's very possible some things were relearned over and over, and each time, it was thought to be discovered for the "first time".

    But I think it's also prudent to consider that different times and different eras called for different measures. In the wake of the Vernal Wars, mortals could just focus on surviving against the environment and lack of resources, rather than constant worry of being consumed. Mortal populations arguably moved around a lot less after the Vernal Wars - there was more time to contemplate exploration. We don't know the full differences between edifices of power and nexuses, but it seems safe to say that edifices of power were built primarily to be fonts of power first and foremost, while this wasn't quite the same pressing issue for new cities that didn't need to combat the soulless by raising vernal gods. I would imagine the modern nexii are far, far less efficient at maintaining and refining power than the old edifices, but that doesn't mean they are strictly inferior in every way.

    I'd also like to point out that the Transcendent Ice Needle of Climanti still does exist in some capacity - and while there is no visible way to connects to any planes, it actually does possess the unusual ability to transport you to a past era prior to Climanti's ruin. This is something significant that no nexus can do, and is a rather significant component of the Icewynd quest chains.

    I will also point out that the Great Trees of the Communes only intersect on Ethereal. They don't intersect on all planes. They have no reflections on astral at all, despite there being astralspheres that can align with the communes for the purpose of wild nodes. For a city nexus to be able to bypass intersections on adjacent planes and go directly to different layers is a very special property - one that might arguably have ripple effects. I doubt any of the nexus reflections on astral were actually built there - they seem to be more literal reflections that manifested on their own as the other lower planes were linked to the nexus and tuned to them, bent in a way that is not in the natural order. How or why? Well, that'd be more a matter that is anyone's guess.



    For some reason, this reminded me of the Glacier Sea and Shattered Earth. Along with like Daeiv ma'Mornhai, the nature of cosmic planes, and etc we kinda know ICly that there's likely more to the known planes than what we can currently access.
    We've primarily accessed the part of ethereal connected most directly to the basin through the forests, the parts of the elemental planes we primarily access are the ones connected to that part of ethereal, and, similarly, the cosmic creches we've accessed are connected to those parts of the elemental planes.

    Flip that around a bit, it's possible that people from outside the basin have made similar discoveries but because they're in different parts of the world it could just be a different part of ethereal, maybe there are connections to different parts of the elemental planes or even just different elemental planes, etc. Maybe even really different ways of using the same concepts (for example, the reasons why woodchems were developed in that other timeline).


    Wouldn't be surprised if it turned out nexii were adapted from edifices. An edifice had one job and did it, but it kinda seems like it was a massive amount of work and resources drawing on an entire org that is then ultimately channelled into one person.
    A nexus is much more of a tool for an entire organisation's benefit. They connect to planes, help maintain defenses, they make temporary ascendants (relatively recent), all while being a reservoir of power that the entire org can fill and draw from which seems potentially reusable where edifices seem like they aren't.

    Which again, necessity as a driver. The pool of stars came about after Aquamancers and Celestines became a thing meaning you had a large group of people who needed to be able to access power connected to the planes, an easier way to access those planes, etc. 
  • ParhelionParhelion Member Posts: 393 Fabled
    Its entirely possible that there's only a reflection of the Flame on Sag because when someone burrowed from vortex to astral, their travelling pushed a bit of the nexus into wherever it connected, like when you screw a screw into a board and splinters of wood crack outwards ever so slightly.

    It's a simplistic view but viable.
    Her voice firm and commanding, Terentia, the Even Bladed says to you, "You have kept your oath to Me, Parhelion. You have sworn to maintain Justice in these troubled times."

    Yet if a boon be granted me, unworthy as I am, let it be for a steady hand with a clear eye and a fury most inflaming.
  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 595 Mythical
    Parhelion said:
    Its entirely possible that there's only a reflection of the Flame on Sag because when someone burrowed from vortex to astral, their travelling pushed a bit of the nexus into wherever it connected, like when you screw a screw into a board and splinters of wood crack outwards ever so slightly.

    It's a simplistic view but viable.
    Or rather from fire to vortex? Like vortex was the destination, but astral was still slightly penetrated without anyone realising it - which is also why the city nexus reflections on astral are just these puny little things, and you can't even link to drain power from them or anything.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    New foresty headcanon. The city nexii were designed to connect to the planes and it's just pure dumb luck they managed to also attune the astral, so there was also a chance they could have intersected a node and tainted old Celest. :tongue:
  • EsanoEsano Member Posts: 5 Inept
    I'm just running off your post above, so if you've skipped over details this might be wrong already, but I don't think Dionamus necessarily found Celestia. We know that prior to Cosmic Hope Shallamar too was a bastion of the Light. There's no particular reason (except conservation of detail) to assume that these are the only two cosmic creches with Light-using half-formed. 

    Also yes, I've always assumed that nexii were developed from edifices, or at least that the terminology changed as people worked out ways of tapping into the stored power.
  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 595 Mythical
    Well, this seems to be the relevant text from the basic Vernal Wars history:

    Along with D'varsha and Juliana, Dionamus also came from merian stock, arising from the White Shell in the lost city of Alabellalum. Dionamus was perhaps the first to discover the higher planes, making a connection initially with Celestia, which was later the inspiration for the creation of the Pool of Stars in Celest. Unlike Kiakoda, who kept the existence of the fae secret even from the other Vernal Gods, Dionamus actively sought and received assistance from the Holy Supernals of Celestia. It is unclear why the Soulless never attacked the higher planes, though it is widely believed that the denizens of the outer planes were considered lesser food as their souls were only half-formed as Dynara never finished creating them before she disappeared. Equally likely, the Soulless could simply have forgotten or overlooked their existence during the Elder Wars and later in their pursuit to devour mortal kind.

    So... yeah. Hrm.

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    Yeah, I guess it kinda depends on your view of the Vernal Wars history? 

    It seems like it's a historic record that's at least been updated after the taint wars, it's also written in an IC fashion and there seems like there's a little conflict just with Aftermath. You could even maybe make an argument that imperial scholars ignored the disconnect and the link between Celestia and a vernal is kinda propaganda.
  • JolantheJolanthe Member Posts: 595 Mythical
    Saran said:
    Yeah, I guess it kinda depends on your view of the Vernal Wars history? 

    It seems like it's a historic record that's at least been updated after the taint wars, it's also written in an IC fashion and there seems like there's a little conflict just with Aftermath. You could even maybe make an argument that imperial scholars ignored the disconnect and the link between Celestia and a vernal is kinda propaganda.
    Well, let's also consider the fact that Dionamus was a Vernal God at the time, not a mortal. It's very possible he only got to Celestia through means only available to a god, leaving room for Tresalyne to still be the first -mortal-.

    The supernals not recognising mortals is a more confusing end, but it might help to clarify that half-formed generally avoid leaving their creches because that is the one thing that drives them to madness especially (and was a root issue for Grimbach and Dumaliel). So the supernals probably never left and acted in a more advisory fashion. They probably wouldn't see mortals in the same way they saw Dionamus. As for the angelic host itself - are angels immortal, or do they have their own sort of reincarnation cycle within the Light? Did every angel that left to fight eventually die? There's a lot more room for speculation and theorycraft there, and I think it could make a good Celestian publication after seeking a bit more TLC feedback, maybe.

  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    Jolanthe said:
    Saran said:
    Yeah, I guess it kinda depends on your view of the Vernal Wars history? 

    It seems like it's a historic record that's at least been updated after the taint wars, it's also written in an IC fashion and there seems like there's a little conflict just with Aftermath. You could even maybe make an argument that imperial scholars ignored the disconnect and the link between Celestia and a vernal is kinda propaganda.
    Well, let's also consider the fact that Dionamus was a Vernal God at the time, not a mortal. It's very possible he only got to Celestia through means only available to a god, leaving room for Tresalyne to still be the first -mortal-.

    The supernals not recognising mortals is a more confusing end, but it might help to clarify that half-formed generally avoid leaving their creches because that is the one thing that drives them to madness especially (and was a root issue for Grimbach and Dumaliel). So the supernals probably never left and acted in a more advisory fashion. They probably wouldn't see mortals in the same way they saw Dionamus. As for the angelic host itself - are angels immortal, or do they have their own sort of reincarnation cycle within the Light? Did every angel that left to fight eventually die? There's a lot more room for speculation and theorycraft there, and I think it could make a good Celestian publication after seeking a bit more TLC feedback, maybe.

    Yeah true, I was kinda assuming that at least some of the angels that went with Dionamus did actually make it back to report in but it is plausible that they just fought until they died and never made it back.
  • EsanoEsano Member Posts: 5 Inept
    Jolanthe said:
    Well, this seems to be the relevant text from the basic Vernal Wars history:

    Along with D'varsha and Juliana, Dionamus also came from merian stock, arising from the White Shell in the lost city of Alabellalum. Dionamus was perhaps the first to discover the higher planes, making a connection initially with Celestia, which was later the inspiration for the creation of the Pool of Stars in Celest. Unlike Kiakoda, who kept the existence of the fae secret even from the other Vernal Gods, Dionamus actively sought and received assistance from the Holy Supernals of Celestia. It is unclear why the Soulless never attacked the higher planes, though it is widely believed that the denizens of the outer planes were considered lesser food as their souls were only half-formed as Dynara never finished creating them before she disappeared. Equally likely, the Soulless could simply have forgotten or overlooked their existence during the Elder Wars and later in their pursuit to devour mortal kind.

    So... yeah. Hrm.

    Well that's what I get for making a quick post before work without checking the book myself! That seems pretty clear.
  • NeladahiNeladahi Member Posts: 19 Apprentice
    I'm not sure we can say that Dionamus found Celestia since we have no grounds that other Nexii have been connected to our current Cosmic Planes. In fact, with Alabellum outside of the Basin of Life (most likely), it's seems more logical to me that Dionamus had access to a separate but similar cosmic plane, much like Magnagora is tied to a plane that used to resemble Shallamar.
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,348 Transcendent
    Neladahi said:
    I'm not sure we can say that Dionamus found Celestia since we have no grounds that other Nexii have been connected to our current Cosmic Planes. In fact, with Alabellum outside of the Basin of Life (most likely), it's seems more logical to me that Dionamus had access to a separate but similar cosmic plane, much like Magnagora is tied to a plane that used to resemble Shallamar.
    Hm, he wouldn't have needed a nexus, just god powers to travel there like the Elders would have and even the first Celestian's to discover it didn't use a nexus to reach it. Also Mag is connected to the plane that was Shallamar but also afaik the names we have for the cosmic planes are what mortals gave them when they were discovered after "Aftermath". It's also what the histories claim.

    But that said, the idea that no angels made it back and the supernals never learned about mortals in all that time does seem weird and the possibility of other Celestia-like planes seems like it exists. We're also like... looking at thousands of years and multiple apocalyptic/cataclysmic events, having info that's wrong creep into histories makes it feel... more realistic? Or even have it turn up that the HCE "edited" things to create a link to a vernal for reasons while securing their power over the basin is like an interesting concept?
  • MlaanMlaan Member Posts: 6 Novice
    edited October 2020
    Some responses, some confirmations, some counterpoints.
    I really wish it was possible to learn anything about this stuff!

    • Weird thing, "Vernal Wars" says Dio knew about Celestia and Angels while "Aftermath" says the early Aquamancers discovered Celestia ("wrapped around the plane of water") and then gave it it's name (given they lived on the island of Celest which is kinda... appropriately hubristic). With "cosmic creches", Ecclesiarchical canon feels more... logical?
    This is very true! I would dismiss this as being the Imperial names for things, but we have independent verifiable proof that the Supernals call their home Celestia, just like the Gods do. The Island of Celest must have been named for the plane (Celest is not a very merian sounding word, after all!) just like the Celestines were. 

    • It'd be an interesting topic to explore IC, one idea that already comes up is that maybe mortals in the basin didn't necessarily know the specific plane Dionamus worked with? Potentially none who'd even seen him made it to the basin, so all they had was stories passed along, then when Celestia was discovered by the early Celestians they combined the two together (mental image of Dio's angels being more like... the alien/horrific wings and eyes everywhere sort and coming from maybe a dead plane)
    Dionamus' angels were passed down through art and stories, so Tresalyne did have a frame of reference for what an angel is. To my knowledge none of the cosmic creches copy-paste their denizens (angels v hedrons v nemeses are all very different) but maybe Shallamar (for some absurd reason) did have identical angels to Celestia? It seems unlikely that the Emanations would be so... uninspired, though. 

    • Afaik, the Edifices and Nexii are specifically distinct things? Edifices were like a massive battery that you drained to make a vernal god and that was kinda it. Nexii are for power storage and plane connections (city nexii particularly for this), but even with the wars and the like none of the cities actually raised a god from their nexus until Marylinth which was also the only time it's happened as Ascendants are different.
    I've seen no evidence to suggest an Edifice is different to a Nexus; it's seemed to be a colloquialism to me so far. The Pool of Stars 1.0 was an Edifice, and it raised Princess Marilynth. The Pool of Stars 2.0 is a nexus, and it raised Ayridion. Edifices and Nexii are both collectors for power which pierce the fabric of the planes (I can't be convinced that the Ice Needle of Climanti did not in some way connect to the Glacier Sea). 
    • I'd say that the Eternal Flame being present on Astral doesn't necessarily mean too much regarding cosmic? Having a nexus specifically designed to pierce planes reaching all the way up to Astral makes me wonder if it's in someways similar to Ethereal and, while distant, somehow abstractly reflective of stuff on prime. Where like... unless they were destroyed it seems like there'd be maybe hundreds of cosmic creches out there somewhere?
    The fact that there is a Nexus extrusion passing through Elemental, Cosmic and Astral, combined with our knowledge of the planes as layers, suggests that the connection did extend to Astral already. The history of Lusternia does confirm the latter part of your point - there were thousands of cosmic creches, most of which have been devoured by Soulless. 
    • "Aftermath" also indicates that gate-less/nexus-less planar travel is actually plausible. But it seems to be a lost technique/magic/etc, likely cause gates and nexii make planar travel way simpler so mortals haven't needed it since figuring this out.
    Definitely; there's room for all sorts of amazing stories in the background. Players right now can tesseract between planes, if they have a way of finding an anchor on their destination plane.  But we can see and sense the connections of a nexus to other planes, and we don't need to put any more thought towards opening the way than we do for stepping through a rift, demonstrating a connection between the planes similar to a rift. 
    • My understanding is that yeah... the reality of the planescape was only actually learned about after mortals started coming back to the basin. Kiakoda, Mornhai stuff, and Ellindel all kinda point towards this.
    • I wouldn't be necessarily surprised if some pre-aftermath civilisations did discover some stuff, but it seems like the move to the basin and "Aftermath" is kinda starting over and fresh in a new world. So, there's also the possibility that this knowledge just never made it to the basin around "aftermath" times, maybe some civilisation of pyromancers was completely wiped out, planar travellers hit issues, etc.
    The Vernal Wars and the formation of Avechna occurred countless ages ago, and many civilisations rose and fell since then, most of them achieving great heights in magical research up to and including creating Vernal Gods. It is not possible that none of these people discovered a single plane beyond their own. The modern Basin understanding of planar travel would definitely have been almost nil after the Vernal Wars, and they rebuilt slowly while fighting off Soulless monsters, but the outer planes are essentially timeless and their denizens are immortal. 
    • I also wouldn't be that surprised if they didn't? There's a necessity aspect, vernal wars era mortals needed a way to fight the soulless eventually leading to D'Varsha creating the first edifice. From then on it seems like they were raising as many as they possibly could as fast as they possibly could? I imagine resources, research, everything would be focused on "how can we raise even more weapons and survive against the next soulless attack?". For something like, figuring out how to cleanse the seas, if it's a big enough problem it seems like it'd be easier to just ask a Vernal god to take care of it, or send another one who could? And a vernal might be able to just... yank the corruption out of the sea so no need to involve the water plane. 
    I simply don't believe that a culture doing enough research and gathering enough magical power (that has to come from somewhere!) to raise a Vernal God could fail to tap into a single source of power. They certainly didn't raise Divines with rockeater powerstones, so if they had no access to the lifeforce energy of Ethereal, the infinite Elemental Planes, any fortunately placed cosmic planes or the Astral Plane beyond them, I don't see how it would be possible to build the Edifice, fill it with what scraps of power they could find, and raise a God before the Soulless ate their city. 

    Climanti has Ice Shield tower things that were employed to force Zenos back and keep Him at bay - wouldn't it just make sense for their Edifice to connect to the Elemental by way of the Glacier Sea, where they could have learned to bring that power to bear and manipulate the cold through their schools of magic? 

    • I'd also like to point out that the Transcendent Ice Needle of Climanti still does exist in some capacity - and while there is no visible way to connects to any planes, it actually does possess the unusual ability to transport you to a past era prior to Climanti's ruin. This is something significant that no nexus can do, and is a rather significant component of the Icewynd quest chains.
    The Ice Needle is very interesting! Its partial destruction and countless millennia of disuse and the machinations of Soulless to twist time is in the region definitely something that bears looking into, but its obvious that this quality was not present in the Ice Needle in ancient times. 

    • I will also point out that the Great Trees of the Communes only intersect on Ethereal. They don't intersect on all planes. They have no reflections on astral at all, despite there being astralspheres that can align with the communes for the purpose of wild nodes
    The Commune trees are notably Not Edifices - they are essentially Aspects created and gifted to Ellindel by the Tree of Trees, which is itself a Great Spirit in a similar vein to Maeve in that it is made up of all trees (as opposed to specifically all oaks). We know that these are versatile natural stores of power that do not harm the world around them or damage the fabric of the planes the way that Celest-developed nexii do - they were specifically created to connect Prime to Ethereal so that the forests could use the Prime to heal the Ethereal, and use the Ethereal to heal the Prime.  

    • Wouldn't be surprised if it turned out nexii were adapted from edifices. An edifice had one job and did it, but it kinda seems like it was a massive amount of work and resources drawing on an entire org that is then ultimately channelled into one person.
    • A nexus is much more of a tool for an entire organisation's benefit. They connect to planes, help maintain defenses, they make temporary ascendants (relatively recent), all while being a reservoir of power that the entire org can fill and draw from which seems potentially reusable where edifices seem like they aren't.
    I don't see any evidence that an Edifice had one job, or that the Nexii are veritably different in purpose. Looking to Climanti - the Ice towers had to be powered by something; the presence of the Ice Needle is an obvious answer to that.  I maintain that ancient civilisations desperately needed power, which an Edifice would connect them to - they may not have used that power to develop elementalism and heal the harms of the world, but they had to have power to raise Gods (which would be the necessary goal that survival demanded of those societies due to the world being a Soulless hellscape). 

    • I'm just running off your post above, so if you've skipped over details this might be wrong already, but I don't think Dionamus necessarily found Celestia. We know that prior to Cosmic Hope Shallamar too was a bastion of the Light. There's no particular reason (except conservation of detail) to assume that these are the only two cosmic creches with Light-using half-formed. 
    We do have confirmation that Dionamus was connected to Celestia. Cosmic Hope was a very advanced planar science discovery at the modern end of the Empire's timeline; the Empire was old at that stage, and already built their entire society around the Light religion of Celestia. The inclusion of the Emanations, who by all accounts represented compatible ideals (Truth, Beauty, Duty, Compassion, Honour) would have been vital to the stability of the Empire, and the people's understanding of the Light as a system of religious belief. Magnagora was notably different to Old Celest in their expression of that Light faith - they had Fatalists instead of Celestines for example, who practiced the teachings of the Emanations while still accepting their place within the Light. I think it's important to remember that The Light does not equal Celestia; it's a religion based on the synthesis of a variety of cultural elements that grew organically on a tide of social revolution, entrenched political power and world-changing scientific advancement. 

    • and I think it could make a good Celestian publication after seeking a bit more TLC feedback, maybe.
    Unfortunately, I've just been advised that seeking admin feedback is not considered an appropriate channel of communication for this sort of inquiry.
    Since the information does not exist in character, and no true research or discovery can be conducted without admin intervention, I don't think it's possible to get an answer here. 
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