No Post Note

So, while I did really wanted to make the third cosmology post this week, I simply did not had any time to do so right now. Instead, I wanted to discuss the differences between the different magic systems, and relating them to the cosmology I’m presenting, as inspired by the Riftwar Saga which I’ve decided to re-read. However, yesterday a friend of mine from the university has experienced a lab accident, and was taken to an hospital after suffering a serious damage to his hands. As such, I did not has the needed mental state to writer down any post for this week. Hopefully, all will be well, and I would make either posts up no next week.

Have a safe week, and let’s hope that all would end well.

Chapter 26: … Dancing in the Middle… (cosmology and powers, pt 2)

So lets continue in our journey, shall we?

Many names were given to the material world through the ages. The Fallen. The Phenomenal. The Flesh. Earth. The Universe. Midgard. Malkhut. Looking at the other realms of existence, Malkhut seems… normal. Sane. Sure, for the denizens of those realms the physical world is dreadful and weird, but even when you try to think about it more or less objectively, you must admit that Malkhut seems much more safe than the other, terrible worlds beyond the vale. It has no mad gods in it, no arch-enemies and dreadful beasts and beings beyond existence. Malkhut seems to be like a playground, like a chess board where the other powers play their games. A neutral spot. A safe spot.

That’s a lie, of course. There is no place safe in the Chronicles of Darkness. Malkhut is just as terrifying as the rest of the multiverse.

Malkhut is the world of Darkness- and as such, it must belong to the Darkness. It is known as Mara, the source of hate, the evil which exist simply to torment, twist and defile all that is holy. Some say that it was Mara who has created the world, by awakening Sophia from the primordial chaos. Others say she simply corrupted her work, giving birth to the First Powers and having the Wisdom chained by human greed. Whatever the truth, Mara is indeed one of the greatest powers of Malkhut, if not of the whole Chalice, birthing horrors simply out of the delight in bringing torment and suffering to the world.

If Mara were to be left alone, the whole world would have become an hopeless realm bound to destruction. Yet even in Malkhut, Mara is not without competition. Elohim is the greatest of those rivals- a lone deity who traveled through the universe, who took residence in Malkhut and put himself a goal to protect the mortals of the world from Mara’s taint. He is an heavenly tempest in the material world, a raw and primal divinity which express itself in the most direct and violent ways, with lightning and fire and storm and whisper. From time to time, he choose champions of his own, judge of old, which answer his will and enforce the laws of the divine upon earth.

While Elohim claim to be humanity’s protector and benefactor, mankind has found protectors of his own, ones not bound by mission or duty to anyone but protecting others of their kind. That legion of candles roams across the globe, lead by the original fire ignited by Marduk, which shows them their path through the night. Unlike other powers, Marduk lives in his people- moving from one generation to the next, leading the way to a better future, no matter the means. Yet, the light of Marduk’s candles cast dark, dark shadows, and in them people wear masks and rise knives, ready to make sacrifices in the name of a god they can’t even recognize with their twisted, broken minds. That’s Mictlantecuhtli, and where Marduk’s vigil walks, his deviant worshipers follows, murdering and butchering and celebrating the god’s terrible gifts.

Nature itself, however, is also alive- life itself keeps on fighting, growing, evolving and changing, adapting to the new challenges and grow beyond them. Eve, the Mother of All Life, is the representation of that primordial drive to grow and change, and through her humanity has discovered their own call to the wilds and experienced a change of their own. However, Eve by herself is a child- while she stands for all living things, there were older beings before, terrible abominations who knew no shape and from which only their memory was left behind.

That memory is Coatlicue, which maintains it in the Mnesis. There, the horrors lay in their sleep of death- until they are brought back to life, by devoured by the Children of Eve. Just as Eve has the power to make things grow, Kalma has the power of rot, bringing death and decay to wherever she walks. And of course, one can not speak about plagues without mentioning the dread Erra, even though his plagues are quite different. Where Kalma corrupts the physical world, Erra corrupts the metaphysical. The very laws of reality, natural and supernatural, fall apart before him, and his terrible contagion is one of the few things which makes the many powers of the world to actually stand together against the horror.

While all of those powers exist upon Malkhut, one is different by the fact that it is not satisfied with Malkhut, building Infrastructures upon infrastructures in an attempt to achieve a mission that none can comprehend- making earth into Heaven. That entity is Demiurgus, and it has crafted countless of servants in order to serve him in his endless mission, like a vast clockwork machinery which never rests. However, Demiurgus is fat from perfect, and while it is powerful mistakes do happen, from time to time. His servants fall from grace, as a strange signal sings through their minds, turning messengers into adversaries. That is the voice of Satan, the first of the angels to walk among men, and the first demon to return to god’s embrace- in exchanging for her becoming the ghost inside the machine, bringing Hell instead of Heaven.

While Satan and Demiurgus wage war over the fate of the world, Raziel watch from the side. His very existence is a secret, one Demiurgus himself in not allowed to know- for his very existence in an anti thesis to the Machine’s mission. He, who was crafted by the God Machine, works in order to change his mission, granting to mortals the pieces of the map of the Black Sun so they would gain the tools to decide on their own to where their way would lead, and many angels walk the path of Raziel- avoiding both Demiurgus’s rigid tyranny and Satan’s unbound chaos.

But the angels which now serve Demiurgus were not the first. Other, older, failed prototypes have been engineered by him before, ones which were abandoned after proving themselves unreliable to his delicate works. Engineered from the flesh and blood of beasts and men, Semyaza, the Living Devil, the greatest of those early creations- and it swore vengeance against its maker, for granting it life which were never meant to be. Even earlier then those twisted creatures, the blood of Utnapishtim is still strong, as his seed was planted in the heart of mankind as he wage war against the god he helped to make, and which rose to destroy him in return. And demons and angels are not the only ones who dare to challenge Demiurgus’s superiority- mankind did it also before. Inscribing maps of ruined towers, Nimrod dares to stand against God’s might, enslaving angels and leading men to the age when mankind would no longer need the Machine, and would create a brand new Babylon out of the ruins.

Stranger powers still work at the edges of the Infrastructure, corrupting it for their own needs. Mastema have been an angel, once- but not anymore. More of a vampire than anything else, it devours lives instead of stealing them, and search to eventually eat Demiurgus himself in order to replace him. Samael, on the other hand, is an actual virus in the Machine’s structure, the outcome of Erra’s corruption upon the Infrastructure taking life of its own, creating a cover which devours angels from the inside out. Kali is the Divine Womb, which consumes the lives of demons to birth black feathered crows in order to fight Demiurgus’s influences. Laverna‘s origin is practically unknown- some think she was an early experiment of the Crafter who went wrong. Others think she came from outside of the Infrastructure, building herself a nest and taking parts of it to hide herself. Whatever the truth may be, the Cuckoo has since enveloped herself with stolen lives, covered with powers of monsters of all kinds. The most tragic of all is Libitina– for she was born from souls stolen and life burned. She is everything which Demiurgus has cast away, leaving her as the only one to mourn for those whose lives were ruined by the Machine and his rebellious children.

Even outside of the boundaries of the Infrastructure, Malkhut has magic of its own, burning through the network of Ley Lines which connects everything together. Shakti sits in the heart of the network, being the Source of all creation upon which witches and hedge magicians call in order to invoke their rituals. Hubal also burns with magical power, born from the regions where Shakti’s lines turn chaotic and unexpected, and from his bursts of power rise the djinn of old with all of their glory. Ages ago, Tenjin was born as a man was on the verge of describing the whole truth of the whole universe- when the powers behind their writing collapsed, shattering the codex and leaving Tenjin to spend all eternity in an attempt to put the pieces together.

Yet the ley lines support not only powers native to Malkhut- Abraxas, an old god of the Supernal, was bound to the Fallen instead of falling to the Abyss when Ahriman conquered the Supernal. He and his like now feed upon the Source of Malkhut and devour the powers of the Supernal, and grant strange powers to those who dare to invoke their names. Ptah is similar by the fact that he grants pieces of his soul to mortals in order to awaken them to the mysteries of the world- yet where Abraxas feeds upon the natural resources of the world and abuse his followers, Ptah has formed the Consensus in order to grant those who carry his avatars in them the control over the world. Yet, as different world views conflict, wars rise, leaving the Consensus scarred and shattered. In those dark voids, Amaymon lurks, luring souls into cauls of madness where their very soul is twisted and broken. And outside of those paradigms and networks of power, the great flow of life pass through the world, choosing those who would serve as pillars of their civilization and would carry with them the memory of humanity’s wonders and terrors. That’s Atum, and those who are touched by him are the sorcerers of creation, blessed by life and untouched by death.

Other forces have also found escape in Malkhut through the years, leaving their own natural realms out of exile, missionary zeal, or both. Michael travels the material, choosing those who would listen to the call to rise their hand and fight against Mara’s terrible darkness, while Vassago tempts those chosen ones to surrender to their zeal in exchange for terrible powers. Cheiron also devots himself to fight monsters- even though in other way, and for other reasons. Originally an humble being, the Healer has since grew into a titanic entity, who use his medicine in order to create heroes- and what better way there is to fight monsters than using their own powers against them?

On the other hand, Lady Luck (or Tyche, as she is more commonly known), is a much more chaotic force, and she cares little for the well being of mortals- granting life in one hand and death on the other, depending on how the coin flips. When mankind was still young, Saraawati has granted a chosen lineage the gift of knowledge and the seeds for it to grow- and they pass it forward, from generation to generation. Meanwhile, Legba stands in the crossroads of space and time, connecting individuals to the greater whole and allow them to slide through the cracks of the universe itself. Still, not all of those beings are rulers- some are rebels. Being the product of envy combined with a curse which went out of control, Arachne has swore vengeance against those who has turned her to what she is, and with her accursed gifts she plans on taking down the whole corrupted system- even if it is the last thing she would do.

And stranger beings still lurk at the edges of Malkhut, bringing their own strange gods with them- beneath the surface, Tartarus commands countless terrible civilizations which have never saw the light of the day, other than in their secrets invasions to the surface for food, resources and slaves. Far above, roaming the skies, flying beasts hunts those who dare to cross the threshold between heaven and earth- lead by Tengri, the Aerial Terror. Go beyond the Sky Guard, and you’ll reach the empty דpace of Malkhut, the Firmament, which reminds that earth is merely one, single planet in a complex of thousands of empty worlds and shattered galaxies- but not all. Among those planets, some do contain life- viscous, curious, alien life, which has interest in Earth as either a colony, partner of a threat to their scheme. Amatsumikaboshi leads those dread civilizations of the stars, and he is yet to make up his mind whether Earth should be absorbed or be destroyed- even that it is likely that the people of Earth won’t favor either option.

Yes, Malkhut is indeed a populated, strange place- but it is not alone in its level of reality. It has a twin, a spirit to its flesh, a dark shadow which is cast by the divine light that burns inside of it. In the tongue of its own denizens, that realm is called Hisil, where primal spirits roam and hunt in a violent cycle, desperately searching for Essence to support their existence. The greatest in that spiritual hierarchy is known as Gaea, the spirit of the world itself, and which both supports the spirit world and devours it constantly. All spirits walk upon her flesh, drink her blood and breath her breath, and she devours them in return, drinking the essence from their hearts and put them into death-like sleep. On times when Gaea’s will has to be represented, she manifest herself in the very fabric of the world- people, plants and beasts are all candidates to her possession, becoming beings like the Claim, but different- incarnation of the world’s will, and wardens to its holy places.

While Gaea is bound to Malkhut, the connection is painful to both sides- Gaea is hurt when touching the Flesh, and she bleeds into it oceans of black ichor. The darkness is known as Erebus, which lives on the boundary between Flesh and Spirit, and in which the two mix together. He speaks through dozens of stolen voices, claiming whole lives to a darkness which knows no beginning or end. Drink from it, and you are his for all eternity. While Gaea is a spirit of tremendous power, other magnificent spirits exist in her realm- far above her, twin lights shine. They are her children. They are her parents. She called them into being. They formed her from the primordial nothingness. All stories are true, and they often contradict each other. Those are Luna, the Warden Moon, and Helios, the Glorious Sun, and while they are brother and sister to each other, their origin is different.

Luna was the one to give spiritual life to the desolated wasteland which Earth once was- or, at least, whatever remains from the dread disaster from which the mind of Gaea first awakened. Wild, unexpected and always changing, Luna has birthed countless of mercurial beings, kings and queens of the Shadow which can easily shape and control it to their will. Seeing them as a threat to the world which she helped creating (if not to her own power), Luna has chosen a champion to banish those dreadful creatures, trapping them in her own, loving embrace- until mankind brought them back to the world which belongs to them by right.

Helios, on the other hand, is a being of the void beyond, a lost star who gave life and radiance to Earth’s surface. Other void leviathans such as himself hide in the far stars, warded by Luna’s sword from devouring Gaea’s tender flesh. His radiance burns those who touch them- but while the unworthy stay burned, the worthy ones reborn from the ashes, cloaked with feathers of flames and their eyes shine with the cold light of the stars.

While both the Moon and the Sun guard Gaea from external threats, sometimes the greatest threats come from the inside- spirits lose their place in Hisil’s hierarchy, feasting upon concepts which are not their own and lose their place and meaning. That spiritual entropy and madness manifest itself in the form of Typhon– which feast upon the corrupted essence and rage against Gaea’s captivity. Yet some shattered spirits manage to escape both Typhoon’s storm and the rage of Hisil’s guardians, cloaking themselves with the body of the elements and intruding the Flesh in a form not their own. But that’s not the only corruption in Hisil’s structure- for there are places where Gaea herself is cut, and those Wounds fester and corrupts all that’s around them. There, spirits the most vile celebrate in the freedom of vice, bringing Hell to Gaea’s flesh. There, Tezcatlipoca watch its own reflection in the smoke, raising shifting champions to feast upon the hearts of his enemies, wearing his own form. The form of the Jaguar, long corrupted by the Wound’s touch.

Once, a vast wilderness has connected the Flesh and the Spirit, where beings of both sides could roam gradually from one to the other. However, with the fall of Mamber, it protector, it has collapsed into a thin membrane known as the Gauntlet. Among the many legacies of the ancient realm, the line of Mamber is the greatest- hunters who have slaughtered their own progenitor and became lords of the hunt, walking in the forms of men and wolf. While Mamber is dead, he keeps his eye open on his children- his mind lingers in their blood, and his howl is sometimes heard in the short moments when one reach through the Gauntlet to the other world. Still, as he is bound to the Gauntlet, he can’t intervene- no matter how painful it is to watch his own children butcher each other in the name of zeal and ideology, or when they rip from their very essence the touch of his beloved Moon. And from that conflagration of stolen auspices, a new deity rise- Diana, forged by zeal and puting herself a single target. To claw Luna right from the skies and take her place in the heaven.

While Mamber was the greatest among the denizens of the fallen Pangaea, others have roamed the ancient wilds, and those beings had great power on their own right. Among them, Moloch was one of the few to be able to match Mamber’s fury, even if for awhile. Chosen by the Sun just as Mamber was beloved by the Moon, Moloch couldn’t bear children to Helios, and instead developed a special rite used to steal Mamber’s line and sacrifice their blood to that of the Bull. But with the fall of the Great Predator, Moloch’s hunger knew no limits- and the Wounds corrupted his once majestic form and devoured it with love and fire, turning him into a principle of sacrifice. Once, Demiurgus tried to hijack Moloch’s essence, believing him dead and gone. Once, the gods of Law tried to subject him to their will, and use him as a basis to their civilization. Then, both sides have learned that Moloch’s fire burned as strong as ever- not before lost a huge chunk of their power to his hungry flames. They have never forgave him for that.

Yet not all of the old gods were as lucky as Moloch- many were broken and shattered, either by the jaws of the mighty Wolf or by those of his descendants. Those shards live still, trying to weave themselves back into form and shatter against and again- unless they come upon one chosen by Maher, the Scavenger, Chooser of the Slain. Once no more than a lowly god, Maher has feasted upon the shards of dead deities for so long, that he has become a dreadful sight to behold. The Hyena god now roams the Shadow, seeing himself as the future inheritor of Father Wolf’s throne. However, there are other contestants to the crown- Endymion, the Shepherd of the Night, was born to the Wolf’s blood yet chose the side of Man. Aiming to become the spirit of mankind, the Shepherd sing his songs to the night, gathering the wolves around him.. and drawing them to their doom.

While devoured by Gaea, Theia‘s spirit still remains, crystallized into the form of her envoys who aim to replace the line of Mamber and Luna with a reality which never was. Born from the unholy connection between the Moon’s maddening light and the fragile human mind, Lyssa grants dead visions to those marked by the moon yet not changed by it, visions meant to lead her mad oracles to take her place as the new Queen of the Shadow. Born from the rise of cities and civilization, Inari may have never seen the glory of Pangaea, yet she has plans to create it once more- one of urbanity instead of wilderness, and industry instead of hunt, and she brought a new line in her own image to help her with the mission and teaching them strange magics unknown to the spirit world.

The most surprising- and perhaps, the one with the best chances- of the contestants is Guayota. Once a Bodhisattva of the hunt, Guayota has devoured an aspect of Helios to become a greater being, traveling and learning as much as he could about the world around him. Discovering a relic of the past used to defy the laws of life and death and create a ladder to the heavens, Guayota has formalized a ritual used to purify the body and melt the mind, spirit and soul together, granting immortality to common men. Yet, that ceremony is only the beginning- soon, he plans on adapting it to the children of Mamber, and thankfully, he has enough faithful to start experimenting upon.

Just as foreign powers have found solace in Malkhut, other gods have found escape in its twin. Where the Dreaming kiss the Shadow, earth itself dreams in the Anima Mundai. There, the dreams of the world creep into reality, weaving stories into shadows, shadows into light and light into stories once more. Supervising on the cycle, Kssa delights in how the stories grow- and even though that thanks to his unpredictable nature few can trust him, all know that he is devoted to protect Gaea’s dream and soul. Sun Wukong, however, is even wilder- being born of a spark of the Furnace who fell into Hisil, he teach spirits how to become like man, and change their essence through alchemy of Fire and Shadow to allow them to take the bodies of the recently dead as hosts.

Still, those two powers, as wild as they may be, still have good intentions in their eyes. Apep, however, has none. Once a child of Luna who devoted himself to butcher and replace her brother, the Chaos Serpent was bound by the words of mortals to the souls of men. But even in his restless sleep, Apep keeps of scheming- for the touch of a far older, more terrifying deity burns inside of him. By infusing his essence in a mortal body, the Serpent can grant a form of immortality- yet it is nothing but a pale reflection of the miracle preformed by the gods of Law and Art, and those baneful mummies roam the world tormented by venom and poison which could never heal or kill them.

While all of that covers the Shadow of Earth- like Malkhut, Hisil grows further, far beyond what any mortal mind could recognize. There, countless other Gaeas, Lunas and Helioses roam, form worlds within worlds which are all subjected to the same three principles- creations, stasis and destruction. And like anywhere else in the Shadow Beyond, those principles show interest in Earth’s fate, and how it could be manipulated for their own needs. They are Epona, wild and free entity which brings wild creations wherever she walks, Ariadne, which weaves the structure of civilizations and maintain order and dogma using spider-like kin, and Shiva, whose dance brings ending to all and which rise demons of corruption and decay from the forms of men. Countless worlds have already been destroyed as the three started their endless war- but Earth has lasted longer than they expected, for its gods seem to be much more resilient than it seems. If it is enough to stop their struggle once and for all is yet to be seen.

After the travel in both Malkhut and its Shadow, only one direction is left- down. There, by going through the swirling mists of Neter Khertet, one could find a strange deity in its exile, forced away from its place by the acts of greedy gods. That’s Anpu, the Jackal and Guide of the Dead, which roams the Twilight and protects souls in their journey to whatever fate the Afterlife has for them. When those souls claim bodies not their own, ones which yet host the shadow of the dead, Anpu claims them as his priests and messengers, overseers of the mysteries of life and death.

Keep going in those misty lands- until you reach a gate. Its doors black as ebony and basalt. Its hinges are made from bones and ivory. That is the door to the Great Bellow- one which you must pass if you wish to keep going down. Reach to the gate- yet it is locked, and you have no key. It seems we have to stop for now, and wait for someone who can unlock the closed door to come. Don’t worry- death is patient, and soon enough we’ll have the keys to continue on our journey.

Sleep for now, and let death’s shadow to cover you.

 

 


 

Well, that’s what we have for this week! Apparently there are way too many powers in the physical world than I have expected, so I have to break this post into three parts instead of two. Oh well. Thankfully, I had enough time to make this post. Next week should be the last one, unless I miscalculate again the volume of both the Underworld and the many mysteries hidden in the Lower Depths. Hope you liked it!

Chapter 25: As Above.. (cosmology and powers summary, pt 1)

Welcome to the World of Darkness. I’ll be your guide.

We start at the top- the source of all that is, was or will be, a perfect crystal of light and divinity commonly known as the Empyrean. The Empyrean is the Unmoved Mover, pure potential which was there before everything else, which existed even when nothing else did. It is the source of all souls, from which they drip slowly to creation, a divine light which becomes trapped in flesh. Nothing can survive inside of it but powers the most pure- legions of angels sing in there, granting visions for prophets and choose saints to fulfill the will of heaven. In the depths of that perfect crystal, resides Or Ein Soph, the nucleolus of creation, and the pure will of the world.

The Empyrean itself is surrounded by an eternal flame, fire so hot which bursts from where the fabrics of existence touch the unachievable perfection. In that fire, the Furnace, the perfected will turns into action, and the perfected stillness turns into movement. The world constantly moves toward the Empyrean, trying to change and become more and more like it- a perfection which can never be achieved, but is forever desired. That flame is guided by the principle which dictates the evolution of souls, Ahura Mazda, and its is served by its loyal, ever burning qashmalim. Two paths of fire connect the Furnace to the world- one if falling down from Heaven, like a meteorite, called down by the first human who knew despair- Prometheus. The other goes up, a warm pillar of flame which brings light into the endless chill, as it guides those who are lost back to their home- Elpis.

With those two powers, the Furnace constantly attempts to change the world- but it doesn’t always succeed. Sometimes it fails- spectacularly. While some of those mistakes die out by themselves, sometimes the flux and chaos generated by them lingers on and on. The worst of those mistakes is Pandroa, a cloud of ash which covers the material and slowly attempts to chock the fire out- and it is not the only one. From earth, a line of liquid gold rise, a bridge between humanity and the divine forged by countless desires and passions of man to become a god. Metatron is that golden awe, and the path of alchemy twists and turns around the ever burning flame of Ahura Mazda, attempting to capture it in a cage and make it its own- yet without success. Outside of the cage, a single red spark keeps on glittering with rage. Iblis serves his mission by challenging the authority of Ahura Mazda, corrupting qashmalim into shaytan so the world would have an adversary, serving as its foil and guarantee it would always continue to improve.

Around the Furnace and its golden cage, sparks of the fire burn in the darkness, creating the ancient stars which guide the world. In those sparks, the starry desolation known as A’aru, the blueprints of creation are written to craft the world’s Fate, the Scroll of Ages, Djehuty. Countless ancient races were born from Djehuty’s cold and maddening light, an order which was born from chaos, and which prospered before the laws of man has reached out to bind it to their will.

All of the stars are steady and still, anchored to their place by the powers of Heaven- with a single exception. One star roams wildly through A’aru’s desolated space, disrupting the plans of Fate and change the principles of creation. They call this erratic star Sodpet, and it is the only spark in there which was not ignited by Heaven, but by earth- and stands as a reminder for how low could fall those who challenge their place in the world. A lone staircase leads to that starry void, made out of bones and looking like a spine of some ancient and terrible beast slayed centuries ago. This is the Bridge of WillSutekh, and only those who are worthy to grasp their Will against the Law can walk upon it to reach beyond their place and touch the heaven.

Falling down from A’aru, the light of the stars is gathered and captured by five proud watchtowers, which direct it into a powerful lens made out the very fabric of creation. The symbols of creation are carved into the lens, symbols of time and fate, mind and space, life and spirit, force and truth. When ignited by the light of the stars, the symbols are brought into life, shining with dazzling glow as they bring meaning to the primal divinity of above. That gentle world of symbols is called the Supernal, and it the middle of a pentagram formed by the five watchtowers stands Sophia– the origin of the world, which gave meaning to the chaos and brought existence from nothingness. Sophia may be powerful, but it is also gentle- she is trapped, bound by ten barbed chains which cut into her flesh and wound for all eternity. Each of the chains is held by a symbol- one which was not written by Sophia as she spoke the world into existence, but was forcibly carved into the lens by the hands of greedy men.

Those symbols create a new set of words, written above Sophia’s, creating the Lie. A king rules above Sophia, watching her as she suffers and calls souls to ease her pain and teach them the secrets of the world- in order to whisper to the same souls, and slowly corrupt them to his will. Ahriman use the lens in order to rule the world, and he keeps on trying to force Sophia to his will so she would reveal to him the last incantation to rule heaven and earth- yet she refuse. No matter how great her pain is, if Ahriman would get his way, the world would suffer more.

However, the victory of Ahriman did not came without a price. A crack goes through the once perfect Supernal, disrupting the symbols and the flow of souls through them. That’s where Azrael sits- and those souls who pass through the crack are scarred by his hatred toward the shattered truth. Trying to minimize the damage, a lone figure walks among the symbols, fixing them and tying them together. She is Ananke, and through her actions she turns patterns into fate and connects individual actions into the greater whole. Circling the Supernal, a great serpent is coiled around the Watchtowers. This is Ryujin, and from his blood the dynasties of magic and the elements were born years ago, to rule a kingdom which never existed.

Once, in a time which never was, the light of heaven has flowed undisturbe from the lens and into the world, giving it meaning and substance. Now, a Gate stands in the light’s way, filtering it so it would fit the will of Ahriman and maintain the Lie he tells to the world. The Gate, however, is not governed by the king- a lady of darkness and void sits at its edge, all by herself, silent as the nothing from which she came. She is Hecate, and she is the one responsible for Ahriman’s rule. He fears her, more than anything else- but he can’t act against her- for if she were to open the Gate, his Lie would vanish, taking him with it. He owes her everything, yet he could never trust that mysterious power, which has never told him why she decided to lend him her hand and put him on the Throne of Heaven. Hecate, on the other hand, guides sorcerers of her own toward wisdom- by stealing it from those who gained it.

After leaving the Gate, the few chosen rays of light has to cross a tremendous blackness, the shadow of the terrible darkness which was before all else. That void is not a natural part of the flow of souls- it is an accident, or more exactly, a sabotage. That fracture is an Abyss in the structure of the world, where the fabric of existence was shattered to allow the outside to crawl in. Inside the fracture, countless impossible worlds lurk, singing voiceless melodies like angels with no face. Governing this chorus of dread, Ialdabaoth constantly curse the world which summoned him into existence, granting him the paradox of existence without existence.

A secret war is waged between Ialdaboth, the true will of the Abyss, and Hecate, the usurper which shattered time and space and took over the countless paths and bound them all to the same goal. A war is waged in the Void, as Ialdaboth choose guardians to serve his will, and Hecate’s messenger, Enshu, enforce her will through strings and headhunters. And as the two battle, others seek their own place in the madness of the Abyss. Centuries ago, Hermes has managed to escape the plans of Hecate and her delicate strings, opening a path where others could follow. Mahakala, however, chose a different path- shattering his mind and soul so it could exist anywhere and everywhere, and as such escape both Ialdaboth and Hecate- even though perhaps the price was too much than he could handle.

Other forces have also found their place in the Abyss, being exiled from the rest of creation or children of the dread Ialdaboth. The tree of souls, Yggdrasil, grows in that ancient darkness, while the dragon Nidhogg sleeps beneath it, feeding on souls to fill its constant hunger. Mania, the lady of madness, have formed a world inside a world, the Bardo, where every vision is true- and from there, she inspires those with a broken mind to create wonders and terrors undefined by the laws of reality. Yet, the Void constantly attempts to disrupt Mania’s work and to dissolve her Bardo back to the primordial chaos from which it was created. Abaddon, the the first and foremost in the armies of the Abyss against her, bringing lose to creativity and drains inspiration back to the Void. When Ahriman took over the Supernal, he threw many of the old rulers of the world to the Abyss- and the greatest among them, Jalandhara, rose to lead them and find a way out. Itzpapalotl, the queen of stars, has spawned a lineage of starry eyed demons to serve her and make sacrifices in her name- even though that eventually, they rose to defy their lineage by wearing a new face upon their own. Even among the other residents of the Abyss, Khonsu is a despised being. A prince of time and defilement, it search to devour the world and replace it with leaves of itself, and awakens unnatural hunger in his devoted to better serve him. The most cunning of those forces is Loki, who use the Abyss to lie people who have never been into existence, and decieve death into life.

At the other end of the Abyss, the light which survive the darkness coalesces into the collective soul of humanity, taking the form of a great mountain which rises from each individual soul and ends at a crown of five citadels of light- and one citadel of darkness. The mountain is the Astral, and just as souls trickle down from it into mankind, so does mankind reach through it back to the heaven from which it was banished. Around the mountain, the great serpent known as Python is coiled, resting in a deathlike sleep from which it suffer since Ahriman stabbed it with the spear of the Abyss. Its venom drips into the Astral, awakening individuals to futures which are yet to happen and grant similar psychic abilities beyond the reach of the body.

The mountain may have once been pure, but now a taint covers its side, being born from humanity’s most perverted desires and thoughts- the Purgatory, where souls come to be forged by the fires of desire, which is ruled by Naamah, the Queen of Succubi. If it was left alone, the taint would have spread through the Astral ages ago- but on the mountain’s side, a far older force has found a place inside the soul of mankind in exchange for hunting down the spreading miasma. A city is carved into the Astral, Ulthar, the city of cats, which is ruled by Bast, known as the King of Cats, the Nameless Cat or even just simply as the Cat. Ages ago, she sacrificed her life and soul while battling a being darker than the darkness itself, and in honor for her sacrifice her mind found solace among the people she wished to save- and she keeps on choosing her new champions in the battle to purify mankind from its own vermin. The shadow of the mountain is a terrible place on its own right, containing every horror that humanity has every denied to exist. On the border of the Unconscious, the two faced Janus stands vigilant, making sure that the horrors stay on one side and souls on the other- and when they do mix, he makes sure to cut them into two faces, just like his.

The mountain itself is, in truth, hollow- caves connect it to the world outside, a labyrinth which contain mankind’s older fears. Those who wander into those caves may end up crossing the Wall of Language which separates the Astral from a much older world, a vast wilderness of formed from the nameless dread which lurks in the heart of every hunted. There, Sedna, the Dark Mother of all monsters, hunts and births countless horrors. While she rules the ancient lands of the Primordial Dream, that was not always the case- once, Behemoth was the lord of the wilderness, a beast which its hunger knows no end and which brought terror without purpose to all. Sedna, however, slayed the beast, and its still living flesh keeps rotting and growing as it feeds the Mother’s dream. Sedna herself is found under the constant watch of Heracles, the ancient hero who challenged her for an eternal battle, immortalizing himself by slaying her children.

But fear is not the only thing in the Primordial Dream. Perun runs wild as a living storm, a symbol of faith against Sedna’s fear. He raise children of his own, taking the features of the very horrors the Mother loves so much in order to defeat them using their own tools. Yam, on the other hand, is a power of gluttony born of human greed. Wishing to become the Dream’s new ruler, he spreads as mechanical cathedrals of want harvest the very land for raw resources for him to devour. In the primordial lands, Daucina sails freely- originally coming from outside of the Dream, the primordial nomad and fool challenge his fears by uncovering the mysteries hidden underneath them. An hurricane travels through the dream, and its winds whisper every secret fear which was ever told. Guabancex sits in the eye of the storm, and her winds slash as anathema to the spawn of Sedna. Only one structure stands in the Dream’s eternal wilderness- a Temple built by those who has transcended their own fear, becoming bodhisattvas free from suffering. Varayogini stands in the heart of the Temple, embodying the path which leads souls to become free and untouched passion, unbound by Sedna’s eternal fear.

Just like the Primordial Dream hides inside the mountain, another dream hides outside- swirling like a mist around the Astral, a dream of another, more beautiful world, born from the radiance of children’s souls and the hopes of the innocents. The Dreaming is indeed beautiful, but many fear that it is constantly dying since the day that mankind learned reason and removed innocence from the equation. Danu, however, does not plan on giving up without a fight- and she constantly battles to maintain the Dreaming so humanity won’t be lost. Noble spirits of fae nature once filled the Dreaming, travelling freely between the worlds of flesh and fantasy- but Danu has closed the gates, trapping many on the outside and forcing them to live in mortal flesh.

But the Dreaming is not only about dreams- it is about nightmares too. Where the Dreaming touch the Primordial Dream, and the ancient stories of mankind mix with the unspoken imagination of children, beings made out of nightmares are born- the Unseelie Court, ruled by the insidious Erlking. Go deep enough into the Dreaming, however, and you’ll find dreams so ancient that Danu herself had to defeat in order to take over the Dreaming- and those dreams have never stopped fighting back. Balor is the greatest of those ancient terrors, sending his armies of fey to possess sleepers to his own goals. Also old, even if not as malicious, is Galatea– once inspired by the the Furnace and awakened in the dreams of her lover, she brings life to the inanimate and movement to the still. However, none can ignore the gaping wound in the heart of the Dreaming- the Gap of Reason, it is called, the gate between the Dreaming and the Astral. In this gap, sits Nabu, and to his touch the spirits of the fae are corrupted by banality.

Floating above the Dreaming, one could find the shattered Kingdom of Hope. Once, it was a beautiful realm, ruled by Amaterasu– but then, came the Darkness, bringing Itztlacoliuhqui, the killing frost, with it. The Darkness shattered the realm and bound Amaterasu, weaving Tsukuyomi in order to reflect the light of hope and keep it inside. Yet Amaterasu keeps on fighting, and her light breaks through the prison of Tsukuyomi and the frost of Itztlacoliuhqui, bringing hope even in the darkest night. Above the ruined cities of the Kingdom, an endless Storm rages, spitting fire and lightning against the darkness. That’s the manifestation of Susanoo’s rage, and he is willing to do anything in order to defeat the Darkness once and for all.

To the feet of the Astral, one could find the great Celestial Ocean, the remains of the original Astral before the water has started to recess. Lately, however, the water starts to rise again, and many fear that the dreams of Nature are going to drown the human soul once more. Still, there is hope- for inside the Ocean, Thalassa sings, calling souls to adapt to the rising tide and learn how to survive. The Astral also fights back- Cybele rage against the Ocean, and earth rise higher to block the water, summoning a song of her own. And in the depths of the Ocean, Rahab has plans for the coming tide.

Once a dread power of spiritual nature, Rahab has found solace in the vast Ocean, experimenting on human souls to make horrors and drowned hosts, while birthing beings which steal the organs of man and replace them with themselves. Rahab’s hunger, however, knows no limit, and it feeds both upon the current Astral and on the leftovers of the old one- for if one were to cross the Ocean, they would get to the shattered lands of the Monarchy. Ruled by draconic beings, the Old Gods are now the only ones to find residence in those ancient, pre human soul, lead by the dread Kur. The rest were left in the Astral, their hearts were eaten and their legacy overtaken by the usurpers.

Both the mountain of the Astral and the Primordial Dream inside of it stand upon a great, entangled coil called the Skein, which is formed from every dream every human has ever had, and through which human minds reach out to the world of souls. Inside that maze of dreams and false mirages, one could reach a lone dream which was never dreamed, from which the Skein is weaved and in which every dream is contained. Pasithea rules that dream, and she is willing to weave dreams into truth and turn reality into an hallucination- as long as the price is to be paid, of course.

And from that mess of endless threads of mind and thought, the material plane is weaved- which is a good place for us to take a break from our journey.

The show ends here. Please, come again.

 


 

Well, that was an hell of a work! I’ve actually planned to finish the whole cosmology in one post, but apparently my cosmology is way too rich and detailed to do so 😛 Anyway, here you have a list of all the existing Major and High- Intermediate Powers. Notice that in some of the cases I have used names which I’ve used before for other entities, so consider that this list overrides any previous one. Also, that cosmology contains not only canon material, but also homebrew, fan made and my thoughts about WoD/Exalted crossovers, including a lot of material which exist merely as a concept or perfectly unwritten. I hope it would not be too complicated, and that you have enjoyed our first part in the journey to the Chronicles of Darkness 😛

Being Sick Sucks (No Post)

So, I got sick in the last 4 days. Nothing serious, don’t worry, but enough to paralyze any bit of creativity I may have and stop me from doing anything beneficial. As such, there is no new blog post this week. Hopefully, I’ll feel better next week and have enough time to work on the new post.

 

Have a nice weekend, all!