New Universe: Godswar

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Czernobog
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New Universe: Godswar

Post by Czernobog » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:07 pm

Rewrite of an old thing I didn't follow up on.

Will be updated.

GODSWAR

THE HISTORY

Once, the world was at (relative) peace. The gods lived on the cloud-city pinnacle of Immutable Othrys, a mountain that rose from the deepest depths of the sea to the highest vaults of the sky, and mortal empires rose up, fell and collapsed as the march of history carried on. Then suddenly Ichor rained down from the heavens as land and sea convulsed. The gods then appeared, manifesting as vast animals and beings, putting the civilisations they shepherded on their very backs and inside their very bodies to preserve them as they began to fight for what reason only they knew. The Godswar has thus far continued two thousand years, and the Gods’ fighting has ruined the world. Who knows what may happen next in such a ruined world?

THE SCAVENGERS


There are many kingdoms, empires and tribes outside the gods’ domains. They are often quite civilised, but their greatest achievements are mostly scavenged from the Old World and they all live on the threshold of annihilation should the Godswar itself come their way. They greatly hate the gods’ pet civilisations and races, viewing them as the source of all their troubles and difficulties – which are many in such a hostile world.

THE GODS


They are the greatest of the Pantheon. The Godswar has killed the weak – many lesser Gods have been broken and consumed - their divine hearts feasted on for the victor’s benefit, the living light that forms their blood drunk in great feasts or dried up as ichor-metal on the ground, and their immense shades haunting like shadows the bleak wastelands where they bled out their last. But nine still live, fighting the others in complex battles fought on land, sea and air.

Hephastios, the All-Smith

Hephastios was always crippled – weak and lame, the other gods constantly mocked him and cast slights upon him even as they used his craftsman’s devices. So it is a surprise that he has survived the Godswar for all its continuation. He is cunning and smart in a way the other gods do not understand – a brilliant mastermind full of plots and secret stratagems known only to himself.

Hephastios, in his greatest body, is a vast mechanical centipede with thousands upon thousands of legs each the width of a palace, crawling with arcane machineries, machine-servitors flitting to and fro in the millions, industrial forges putting out great cannons and vast machine-monsters without cease, broadside cannons and mechanical maws on every surface. Dragonfly wings enable some degree of flight, while within, in a maze of industrial catacombs the size of a continent, whole nations tap his internal conduits for energy, food and power.

Areon, the Juggernaut Fortress

Areon is god of war and killing. He is the press of slaughter which leaves broken swords and arrows and carrion birds in its wake; the pitched battle which churns earth into mud and blasts trees to splinters; the savage charge of cavalry; the war-cry; the soldiers marching in formation and discipline, arrows cutting down onrushing troops like wheat.

He manifests as a vast fortress crawling over and through the earth, stopping for not even mountain ranges, leaving utter ruin ever in its wake. Batteries fire from battlements; lesser bastions prowl ahead as scouts, and alongside as protectors; armies venture forth to ravage the land, looting and raping and killing at whim.

Areon has killed and consumed many gods in the war, but the one deity he has spared is Istareth his counterpart; the goddess of Love. He broke her sybaritic pleasure-city but spared her last avatar, imprisoning it in the innermost depths of his fortress-being. None know why he has done so rather than killing her outright...

Tian, the Constellation Serpent

Tian is a god of wisdom and the high heavens, Marshal of the Undying Constellations, Maestro of the Celestial Orchestra, Keeper of the Three Books which contain all knowledge and arcane power. His strategy for survival, not being a good fighter, has been to go as high as he can – in his stellar domain, not even Phaeton can avoid freezing.

The form he chooses in this war is a great serpentine dragon with five claws on each of its four paws, made of brilliantly iridescent stars. In this he has secreted the great magical civilisations that existed at the beginning of the Godswar – rarely they involve themselves, but when they do their actions are tremendous.

Tian has some degree of power over fate and destiny – commanding the Twelve Brothers of the Zodiac and all the other fixed stars, he can command them to alter their alignments to change the probability of future events. But this power has a limitation, every time Tian commands the stars, he draws himself tighter and tighter into fate’s restrictions, crystallising his own future actions and neutering his free choices more and more. Thus he does this only at great need.

Morodeus, the Necropolis Wyrm

Morodeus is god of Death. His avatar is a vast worm composed of countless tombs and symbols of death. In this crawling thing deep beneath the earth is contained his Underworld – a dim, grey, lightless realm with freezing black waters and pallid blue flames that freeze instead of burn, populated mostly by the creatures of death– ghosts, revenants, the Mum-yah of lost Iteru and the mysterious aphotes.

Some living humans dwell within this grim place, but even so they are not really strictly alive after so very long existing in a place where the energies of death are predominant. In any case their culture is morbid.

In the Godswar, Morodeus commonly fights with Geb-Nehma, with whom he contests the deep passages under the earth, but occasionally he rises to the surface, usually as a carrion creature after another god dies.

Geb-Nehma, The Gem-Warded

Geb-Nehma is a creature of earth and fire. He is a being of hard unyielding rock with lava flowing in his veins and many great gems growing out of his body, a waistcoat of diamond thorns to savage his enemies with. When he breaths, ash pours out sufficient to choke an army ; when he bleeds, the earth’s burning blood erupts outward to scar the foe.

In and upon the body of Geb-Nehma live humans adapted to existence underground – they are short and stocky, dwelling in his flesh and mining it for raw materials and minerals.

Gaein, the Life-Keeper

Gaein is a creature of life, pure and unyielding. Her great body is a massive elephantine behemoth-creature so large it could wade through the deepest oceans. Upon its back lies a rainforest crawling with all kinds of life, inhabited by belligerent tribes of primitive humans. Some think she cannot die – her principle is antithetical to death, to cessation, and so she cannot die like the other gods do. Some however speculate that her death is an inevitability even barring her violent destruction, as all living things sicken, grow old and eventually die. Who is correct remains to be seen...


Tiamet, the Sea-Queen

Tiamet rules the water. Deep in its depths she reigns, and she manifests herself as a massive continent-sized sea-creature – octopus and lobster and whale and shark and turtle merged into one immeasurably vast thing of chaotic, ever-shifting flesh. When she moves upon the land, the waves bear her inward. The human nations she preserves and protects live in her immense innards, using blood and bone and the strange flesh of gods as the basis of their magic and technology, continuous appeasing and avoiding the antibody-creatures that will consume them all if they bring too much attention to themselves.

Tiamet has survived mostly by using the waters as refuge – early on, other gods which could have contested her rulership over the seas were consumed by her and thus no other deities can contest her domain.

Quetzlun, the Storm-Father

Quetzlun rules in the high airs, a great stormcloud-serpent with great feathered wings and eyes of lightning. He fights commonly with Phaeton, and when he does the ichor both shed rains as fiery meteorites. He has kept some lesser divinities alive and unconsumed, and thus he has many servants for when he wishes not to involve himself personally.

Phaeton, the Day-Star

Phaeton manifests as a great dragon of fire and light between the realms of Quetzlun and Tian, the sun itself – which has led of course to disastrous winters and droughts below his station as he veers to and fro to partake in battle. His cities are built on massive plates of metal on his fiery flesh, prominences looping out from his wings and radiative sunfire the burning breath he inflicts.

Nihiliths and God-Shades: Echoes of the Divine

When a god dies, what is left behind?

For one, vast amounts of ichor explode outwards from the still-cooling corpse in a final eruption of divine power. The phosphorescent fluid swiftly coagulates into luminum, the strongest, most resilient and beautiful metal to exist. Vast fields of luminum, the size of countries, thus mark the spot where a god has died, and the cool nightly glow can often replace daylight. Gods shun large deposits of luminum, not even daring or deigning to look at them, and as such these places are used as refuges by deserters, secret bases by the god-civilisations and by the Scavengers as safe places.

The god-heart, the crystalline seat of divine power, is also consumed by the victorious god; as otherwise the slain deity could regenerate corporeal form in little more than a year and a day. When this life-force is consumed, the heart turns black and becomes a nihilith – an obsidian grave-marker which begins boulder-sized, and growing with perverse vitality, may eeventually become a mountain-sized monolith of jagged obsidian rock. Nihiliths can defend perfectly against any use of a god’s powers, making them ideal sources of armour and defencec against divine sight – in addition, weapons made from nihiliths can wound gods permanently, and even kill them totally without chance for regeneration or reconstition.

The last remnant is a god-shade, a vast titanic ghost, a shadow that blots out the sun for hundreds of miles and raises horde after horde of mindless, restless dead wherever it travels. Eventually after some decades they break apart and eventually become little more than shreds of powerless malice (in a process that can take centuries) but when the greatest god to die (Iapetion, the Plague that Eats) fell, his god-shade lasted a full millennium before it ultimately dissipated.

Godspawn

The Godspawn are unique and poweful creatures, each the only one of its kind, forged with pure divine power by a specific god or gods. There are many in the world – the Twelve Brothers, the Four Elemental Kings, the Seven Eidolons of Virtue - and many ignorantly worship them as gods themselves (it is rumoured that enough worship can catapult them into actual divine status). Godspawn typically outlive their dead fathers and mothers, sometimes unchanged and sometimes radically altered, mostly negatively.

Nephilim

Nephilim are self-propagating races created by a single god or gods to fulfill a purpose. There are many in the world – the Phosphorides of Tian who shepherd the stars, the brass-clad Myrmidons of Areon and the Empyreals of Phaeton. When their patron deity dies, some of these races are instantly exterminated, guttered out like candles while others still remain practically unchanged. How and why these things happen is unknown.

Godbloods

Sometimes a deity possessing a human or clad in human shape bears or sires a child. When that happens, a Godblood is born. Godbloods have great powers derived from their divine parents, and many change destinies and transform the world. Curiously, when a deity dies its Godbloods do not weaken – on the contrary, they seem to increase in power significantly, and often decide to avenge their fallen parents.

Magic

The Low Magic

Before the War, magical energy fell from the stars as astral rain. It formed rivers, misted in the air, formed lakes and pools. Tian and his nameless sister (now fallen, alas!) shepherded this energy and guided it where it could do little harm, teaching mortals to control it using lengthy rotes and mind-numbing hermetic formulae.

Then the Godswar came – the great earth—storms and ley-blasts distrupted these flows and the Low Magic became much more erratic – stronger, but harder to control. Many mages destroyed themselves using spells they once used without fear – many others discovered they could instinctively grasp this power, using it to set themselves up as tyrants.

The Low Magic has seven disciplines each with seven degrees of mastery (Novice, Initiate, Apprentice, Disciple, Magus, Sorceror, Master). These are:

*Illusion: The control of minds and perceptions.
*Conjuration: The creation ex nihilo of matter and living beings.
*Alchemy: The modification of existing material substances and objects to suit desired purposes; the creation of magical items,
*Elementalism: The control of the elements of fire, earth, water and air for desired purposes.
*Namecraft: The manipulation and alteration of True Names to change an object or being; the use of sympathy to attack from anywhere and cross vast distances instantaneously.
*Necromancy: The reanimation or control of the dead, the manipulation of living tissue and control over shadows and darkness.
*Animation: Giving life to inanimate materials and objects to use as servants; the creation of golems and location-spirits.

The High Magic

The High Magic comes directly from the gods. It is a mortal use of their power to reshape reality on a much smaller scale. High Magic is limited to the themes and powers of the god that it channels. To use High Magic does not require divine tuition or permission, but to use it allows the god you channel to eavesdrop on your actions for a period after you use it. When a god dies, its power may no longer be channeled by High Magicians except for those in a ten-mile radius around a Godblood of that god. The average High Magic practitioner is more powerful than his Low Magician counterpart, but the spells he can channel are often more limited than those the Low Magician can use (no one person can make regular use of the High and Low Magics himself at the same time. The two mindsets involved are fundamentally incompatible, and the energies themselves react explosively when intermixed.)
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.

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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Heretic » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:22 am

Hory shit, Czernborg, you're back from the dead. Thought we lost one of our members to the fates of the internet.

My college finals-fatigued eyes are telling me that this is some sort of divine post-apocalyptic setting where the pantheon plays a more political role in the mortal realm. Is this so?
Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.
-Joseph Campbell

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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Invictus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:11 am

One of your cooler setting ideas from back then, now made cooler!

Lots of setting questions incoming too, of course, but here's one to start with: it seems like most of the Gods let their supplicants live on them. Is that what you mean by their domains? Do the gods have their supporters control large swathes of the world or are they more like mobile, self-contained countries?

EDIT: the gods took up their faithful at the beginning of the war to protect them, they're all the size of countries, derp.

In fact everything's more or less the size of countries, I note. That might create problems of scale where the rest of the world is concerned - how is the whole ball of wax not a ruin after two thousand years of country-sized godzillas throwing down with each other?

Also the effects of luminium deposits are a bit puzzling. They're basically congealed ichor which is the spilled blood of gods, right? What makes gods avoid them instead of lapping them up?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Czernobog » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:10 pm

Invictus wrote: In fact everything's more or less the size of countries, I note. That might create problems of scale where the rest of the world is concerned - how is the whole ball of wax not a ruin after two thousand years of country-sized godzillas throwing down with each other?

Also the effects of luminium deposits are a bit puzzling. They're basically congealed ichor which is the spilled blood of gods, right? What makes gods avoid them instead of lapping them up?
I'm thinking at least some of the gods could have TARDIS-like insides (one keeps the entire underworld contained within himself, at least). So some might be the size of large metropoli from the outside, but be these massive continents inside.

I'm also thinking the world could be a fair bit bigger than Earth - it's probably flat for one at least.

As for luminum fields, ichor created by god-death is subtly different from living ichor, and this makes the gods avoid the former.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.

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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Invictus » Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Hmm, it never does say gods benefit from drinking each other's ichor, does it? Only the true life-force within the heart matters, which would make sense as why gods tend to protect their hearts with the biggest and most badass bodies possible. The bit about a god's ability to regrow its body from its heart seems to mean that all these mountainous warforms are ultimately replaceable, even though they might represent the bulk of a god's fighting ability. In that vein, you neglected to mention what happens to a god's corpse outside the ichor though.

And what of the domains of gods? If a god of one aspect of the world dies, what happens to that aspect?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Czernobog » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:26 pm

Invictus wrote:Hmm, it never does say gods benefit from drinking each other's ichor, does it? Only the true life-force within the heart matters, which would make sense as why gods tend to protect their hearts with the biggest and most badass bodies possible. The bit about a god's ability to regrow its body from its heart seems to mean that all these mountainous warforms are ultimately replaceable, even though they might represent the bulk of a god's fighting ability. In that vein, you neglected to mention what happens to a god's corpse outside the ichor though.

And what of the domains of gods? If a god of one aspect of the world dies, what happens to that aspect?
I'd say that the whole body spontaneously explodes into ichor when a god dies "properly" (i.e. the heart gets eaten and the life energy within gets consumed).

As for gods and their domains, I'd say that they act to promote their domains and manage them; these domains can still exist without them, but...unregulated. Gods may also be able to be replaced, perhaps by sufficiently evolved Godbloods. That's what I've worked out so far.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.

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Re: New Universe: Godswar

Post by Invictus » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:57 pm

Here's the thing: in the absence of any follow-up content I could continue to ask questions piecemeal to get piecemeal answers out of you. It's an interesting universe which is interesting in that FULLMETALWAR way, the type which makes me want to write up one of these for each of the gods because I can see the ideas coming along pretty easily. But for the very same reason, I worry about the substantiality of the setting when all you've got is a bunch of killy elements on a poorly-defined canvas.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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