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A song from the sixties
(5/25/03 12:57 pm)
In the beginning all was what is now known as the Far Realms. There was one entity, Entropy, who would later come to be known under such names as Tharizdun, Lord Entropy, and the Dark Lord. At one point, Entropy created children, the gods of present times. The order required to systematically create these children was far greater than anything before seen, and it was infused in Tharizdun’s children. Being innately lawful, or at least more lawful than their current surroundings of the Far Realms, the gods set out to create a node of order in the mass of insanity, and so created the Great Wheel of the Multiverse. Tharizdun was angered that his children would act in such a manner so contradictory to his nature, and tried to destroy the Great Wheel. But his children, the gods, all banded together to defend their creation, and drove him out of the Great Wheel, sealing themselves inside of their new home. Before he was completely removed, Dread Tharizdun plucked out his own eye, and cast it into the primordial base Great Wheel, where it then split into the three aspects of the Elder Elemental Eye, positive, negative, and neutral, also sometimes called prime.

Tharizdun is a doting father, and mourns for his prodigal children. To be sure, some of his children did not join with the renegades, and aid their father in his attempts to tear down the Great Wheel and bring his lost sons and daughters home. Tharizdun can see and manipulate small amounts of the Great Wheel through his eye’s fragments as the aspect of the Elder Elemental Eye. But for Entropy to become fully formed in the Great Wheel, the only way is through the Astral Plane. There is the door which is guarded by the celestials in the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Beyond that door lies the prison, which is described in the Gord the Rogue novels. In effect Tharizdun has the tip of his pinky finger wiggling around in a little crack in the Great Wheel, but it is sealed off and bottled up many times over. But if all the barriers were removed, the crack would be weakened to the point where Tharizdun could shove his proverbial fist into the Great Wheel, and then enter in full.

The Theoparts were each created by one of the aspects of the Elder Elemental Eye, and when combined can rip the door to Tharizdun’s prison to shreds from the inside. But this artifact only exists in the multiverse as specific locations in time and space, and only for brief, seemingly random moments. Given the difficulty in capturing all three pieces of the Theoparts, the Orb of Oblivion was created by a mortal follower of Tharizdun, and will put a crack in the door from the outside, getting significantly larger as more of Tharizdun’s grandchildren, the Princes of Elemental Evil, aid the cause.

Chronos, one of the children of Tharizdun, set himself up as preserver of time, a dimension invented with the creation of the Great Wheel. Chronos is aloof from the other gods, and few remember his existence, as he is almost never heard from. He has a handful of mortal followers, chronomancers, who aid him in preserving the time stream and study the nature of social studies, history, etc. But when a group of Tharizdun followers learned how to accurately predict the times and locations of the existences of the Theoparts, and learned how to travel through time to get them, Chronos needed to call in extra muscle to stop them, as his followers were too weak, and his portfolio prevents him from taking direct action in altering the time stream.

And thus begins the post-RttToEE adventure. Mine will be a little different, of course, because mine involves Orcus and another twist on the time stream that changes pretty much everything, but tell me what you think of this before I get into IMC stuff.


A song from the sixties
(5/27/03 7:11 pm)
le bump

A boxing glove
(5/28/03 3:07 am)
Nice cosmology!!
I like it. :)

I have had worries (and my players have asked the question) about why the gods don't 'just stop' Tharizdun...if he truly wants to destroy everything.
It's tricky...if a cabal of all the gods (or whatever version you prefer) couldn't destroy T and had to settle for 'imprisoning' him instead, then he must be truly awesome - far more powerful than the other gods.

Your grand-scale description of how and why that might actually be fits well...and allows that the gods are not omniscient, at least as far as anything outside the Great Wheel is Big T.

I like the 'peel the onion' idea you present that the gods may be the big fish here (from the perspective of the PCs etc.) but this is really only the small pond - the vast and unknowable ocean (the Far Realm) lurks outside.
Of course mortal experience and knowledge is wholly contained within the bounds of the many planes of the Great Wheel - it is all of reality as far as mortals are concerned, so they rightly cannot comprehend that something lurks outside their reality that truly can destroy everything (at least from their perspective).

Consider it at least partly stolen! :)

Grumgarr - who loves it when someone supplies an answer to a tricky player question...even if he's not going to reveal 'the truth' for quite some time.

A song from the sixties
(5/28/03 3:44 pm)
IMC, one of my players has sold his soul to Orcus. So at the apex of the releasing ritual in the Recovered Temple, he will jump into the nimbus with the orb, thereby halting Tharizdun's release and bringing Orcus back to his full power (Orcus is currently in his undead god state, not the junk in the BoVD). At this point, Chronos will take the party out of the timestream, and tell them how this event was never supposed to have happened. As previously described, a group of Tharizdun followers had discovered how to find the Theoparts, and went through time to look for them. Chronos assembled a crack team from the timestream to stop them, including such names as Vecna, Raistlin, and Kord, all before they became gods). However, while this team did stop the followers of Tharizdun, they accidently left a future copy of the Orcus' Skull Rod (Can't remember the exact name) on the negative shadow plane, where Orcus' feable soul was residing. Using this Wand of Orcus, Orcus was able to regain enough power to affect the Prime, enough to interrupt the Tharizdun-releasing. So, basically, the party needs to go through time to prevent any number of things, any of which would prevent Orcus from having the power to interfere with the ritual.

Does all that make sense? :rolleyes

But at this point, there's multiple roads I could take. I could have Chronos not fully divulge to the players what's happening, as it would result in Tharizdun's release. So Chronos could give them some souped up story. Is Chronos mad, or just so obsessed with time's sanctity that he will do whatever it takes to preserve it, even if it means its own destruction with the release of Tharizdun? What are some other twists that could be applied here? Or could Chronos ask the party to -make sure- that the other, "crack chrono squad" actually leaves the Wand of Orcus in the correct location for Orcus to find, thereby ensuring Tharizdun is not released, preserving time?

Ahhh, it's like Back to the Future 4-83, all combined!

Eltern :rolleyes

A song from the sixties
(5/31/03 2:11 pm)
Re: Tharizdun
I like it too - sorry I haven't been about lately to give you some feedback on it. I've also had some musings as to why a coalition of gods couldn't destroy Tharizdun, and this is excellent stuff. I especially like the way you've tied the Elder Elemental Eye into Tharizdun - I wish I'd seen this before my players met Lareth, but there's still Varachan to clue them in on it :)

I think it would be neat if the "crack" in time and space was guarded not only by the solar, but by a baatezu as well (is this a balor or a pit fiend? I forget which just now). It would emphasise how big a deal the prison is.

I like Grumgarr's feedback about the Far Realm being the vast unknown beyond the Great Wheel, instead of some obscure corner of it; it gives the pseudonatural template a lot more punch, although I suppose you'd have to figure out how it relates to Limbo, which is the realm of pure chaos. I think this is where nasties like chaos beasts and gibbering mouthers come from, but they also seem like ideal creatures for the Far Realm. There are also questions of "what does it mean when we summon these things?" Does the crack widen just a little bit? If thousands of mages cast Summon Monster of these things at once, would enough of the Far Realm enter the Great Wheel to crack it right open?

I also like the echoes of Tolkein in this too - the Door to Everlasting Night, through which Morgoth was thrust and which is perpetually guarded by Earendil, the morning & evening star, etc etc.

Another question: what role does Istus play in all of this? Chronos is in a unique position because of his participation in the time dimension - maybe Istus is the only other deity who can perceive and understand the doings of Tharizdun, but cannot speak of it either, except through obscure hints and lies. Maybe the gods have almost a sort of geas or blindness when it comes to all things Tharizdun-ish, which would explain why they aren't slapping down the Doomdreamer more personally than through their PC servants...

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