Ere and its associated cosmology is part of a larger cosmology known
only as the multiverse; an infinite expanse of space containing
trillions of planes, some that stand alone, many that have their
own associated cosmologies. For game rule purposes, the Multiverse,
at least the part of the multiverse in the immediate vicinity of
Ere, is treated as the Astral Sea in the default cosmology.
Between these worlds lies a vast, cold void called the Black. Most
planes simply float within the Black; their inhabitants able to
reach the Black simply by flying straight up (in which case, other
planes, their suns and moons can be visibly seen as stars). Other
planes are contained within a planar envelope which must be bypassed
in order to reach the Black.
But the Black
contains no air and is too cold for most natural creatures to survive.
Further, the distances between planes in the Black are, in most
cases, sufficiently large that light itself takes years, decades
of even millennia to travel the gulf.
Travel in the
Black is useful only for those that wish to move between planes
and their natural satellites, or that are capable of and wish to
remain close to but not on a plane.
Powerful and focused magics and a rare few creatures are capable
of accessing the metaphysical gulf between the planes. This place,
a world where the planes, their suns and moons can be seen a brilliant
orbs of light and power, is called the eternity.
can be crossed in the Eternities in matters of days weeks or months
at airship cruising speeds, but the environment is even more hostile
then the Black. Living or undead creatures that are not specifically
immune to the Eternity’s environment are destroyed utterly
within seconds of exposure. Creatures destroyed in such a way cannot
be resurrected, even by divine intervention. Luckily, the Eternity
resists entry by such creatures, making it impossible for creatures
traveling in planar envelope protected ships to accidentally fall
the Eternities is necessary to reach planes that do not have existing
planar gates, though some creatures can move through the Eternity
at the speed of thought.
Sea and Elemental Leylines
The Elemental Sea is an infinite expanse as large as the entire
multiverse; a world where the elements clash and coexist and clash
again. It is said the ancient origin world of the true demons exists
somewhere in this chaotic vortex.
Where the Elemental
Sea comes close to the Multiverse, elemental leylines form; places
where the balance of elements in planes nearby is skewed to one
or more elements over the others. At times, the Sea extrudes from
these leylines, creating planes formed of a single element.
into the Sea itself, but these elemental planes are often inhabited
by elemental creatures willing to trade, hire, or make war. For
game rule purposes, the Elemental Sea and associated planes are
treated as the Elemental Chaos in the default setting.
The Ere Cosmology
In a remote area of the multiverse, far from the worlds spanning
empires and planar wars that rage in other areas, lies the plane
of Ere and its local cosmology. Floating in the Black are its brilliant
sun, Ola-Hess and the four moons; forested Azelia, crystalline Gracellia,
harsh Mayana, and invisible Nubul. Concordant with Ere, at its metaphysical
heart resides the multilayered Well of Souls, which serves as it’s
afterlife and the source of it’s driving life force.
The Sun and Moons
The sun and moons of Ere are all (save Mayana) planes created by
the Greater Pantheon to serve as their domains. The moons and sun
orbit Ere in the Black and can all be reached by six hours of flight
in the Black.
Obscured from Ere by a planar envelope of brilliant light, Ola-Hess
is, once beyond the envelope, an expansive world of air and light.
Massive bergs of alabaster and diamond float in an airy void, eternally
lit by ever present, pure white light.
This is the
domain of Hessa, head goddess of the Greater Pantheon and creator
of the world, who dwells in a modest cottage upon one of the alabaster
bergs. Gravity is subject to Hessa’s whim, but she bestows
this power to any creature she allows to visit her world. Intruders
must contend with a down that is subject only to Hessa’s whim.
Hessa, there live on Ola’s floating bergs a number of ancient
and powerful beings of benevolence sufficient for Hessa to allow
them homes there. Many goodly ancient dragons come to this world
to live out their twilight years; in death becoming diamond bergs
unto themselves, blooming with flowers.
The green forest moon Azelia is ensconced in a planar envelope of
mist. Beyond the mist, it is a world of towering forests beyond
even the scope of Ere’s magnagoth trees, verdant fields, and
crystal clear lakes.
From a city
in the canopy of one of the great trees, Sylph rules the world created
by Sylph the first, watching over the races and forest peoples she’s
nurtured and the beasts left behind by her predecessor. Every plant
and tree and animal is her spy within the woodland realm here, alerting
her to intruders so that her wrath might be visited upon them.
fields and lakes of Azelia are home to an abundance of flora and
fauna, many alien or extinct to Ere itself. Wild fey and terrible
beasts also make the moon home, using any means necessary to slip
between the worlds to visit mischief or terrible horror on the people
Seen from Ere, Gracellia presents a gleaming white planar envelope
that remains geostationary to Ere at all times. In reality, it is
a world of two parts, ruled over by the two brothers, Denaii and
half of the world, which always faces Ere, is a vast mountain of
crystal, lined with metal ore that rises from a white cloud that
obscures everything below the crystal. In the central spire, in
an efficient city of clockwork, lives the god Denaii and his chosen
champions and servitors. Within the city, there is always the sound
of work and training. Light foundries, heated by Ola’s light
focused though the vast crystal spires, are in continuous use, pumping
out fine and functional crafts, tools and machine parts. Training
centers, attended by races never seen on Ere, work day and night
on perfecting their fighting styles and themselves in the process.
In Denaii’s realm, the body does not tire and never needs
sleep, only meditation.
On the other
side of the cloud veil, seemingly hanging below the crystal –
or the crystal hanging below it – is a haphazard city of brick
and stone and steel on a sandy island, in the midst of a white ocean.
holds court from within a grand hall that changes daily from a fancy
ballroom, to a mead hall, to a desert pavilion, to anything in between.
In the city, almost anything a visitor can hope for is sold or performed
in some shop or salon or inn, bed are always comfortable and food
is always delicious. Not food, drink or other substance has any
effect the imbiber would consider adverse; strong drink never causes
hangovers, food never causes weight gain, or causes enhanced muscle
gain, and it is impossible to be poisoned by imbibing too much of
This part of
the realm is inhabited by the rabble that Pandemos naturally assembles
around him, which is necessarily diverse.
The Red Rock Moon, Mayana is the natural moon of Ere. It’s
surface; a hazy landscape of red cliffs and deep canyons, is visible
from Ere with the naked eye.
No gods hold
their domain on Mayana. Volcanoes and towering mountains instead
provide homes for savage monsters of earth and fire affinity which
vie for scant resources and territory. The only signs of civilization
are the homes of exiled efreeti and planar displaced dwarves that
dot the landscape.
seeking to hide their workings from the gods sometimes place their
lairs on Mayana in hopes of not being noticed in their works.
Invisible against the sable backdrop of the Black, Nubul is a sphere
of dark water, wrapped around a core of dark iron.
It was created
shortly around Saint’s Landing by Sefar, this was once her
domain, where once dozens of small islands were home to the servants
of Sefar and to a variety of exotic aquatic creatures. Since her
loss, the plane has gone dark, the islands had sank and the creatures
have been twisted into dark reflections of their former selves.
It is said
that Kayda resides within the iron core of Nubul; unable to leave,
but still capable of reaching out to his followers.
The Well of Souls
Alongside the metaphysical space Ere occupies lies the Well of Souls,
the afterlife of the world and the driving engine of the world’s
life force. It is divided into several layers, which the souls of
the dead pass through on their way to the center – the Source
of All Souls (more to come).
The first level of the Well of Souls is the only one that can be
reached (with extreme difficulty without dying) from Ere, the Spirit
World (or Afterworld) is a reflection of the material plane of Ere.
Whether the reflection is positive or negative depends on if the
day or night aspect of the world the one entered.
The day aspect
of the sprit world is where those that die with light hearts find
themselves. It can be accessed with powerful items or rituals only
under the light of the sun.
of the spirit world is ever bright and cloudless and natural features
of Ere exist as grander, more beautiful versions of themselves.
Mountains are taller, lakes are clearer, and forests are more lush.
Seasons come and go in the day even though night never falls.
The day aspect
is populated with corporeal spirits of the recent dead, spiritual
representations of nature, and mighty versions of natural animals.
Many sapient inhabitants build structures on the site where similar
structures exist one Ere, but towns and cities are never accurately
reflected in the spirit world.
The night aspect
of the spirit world is where the spirits of the suffering and black
hearted dead find themselves after death.
of the spirit world is shrouded in eternal gloom and night, the
sky overcast and moonless, often drizzling lukewarm rain. The natural
terrain of Ere exist as tainted and more stark versions of themselves.
Mountains are steeper and unforgiving, bodies of water are polluted
and silt laden, and forests are wilted and groan ominously. Seasons
come and go in the night, even though the sun never rises.
The day aspect
of the spirit world is home to the corporeal spirits of the recent
dead, spiritual representations of dark emotions, and shadowy, dangerous
versions of natural animals as well as all manner of undead. The
sapient inhabitants of the night aspect built dark fortresses to
fend off the other dangerous beings of the world.
rifts between the two aspects are rare and when they are discovered,
day inhabitants rally to guard and conceal them and night inhabitants
fight for control over them, hoping to escape into the daylight.
by and devoted to a god might be plucked from the spirit world to
become a servant or excarch.
Spirits of the dead who no longer feel tied to their old lives,
or who accidentally stumble upon entrances into them discover the
second layer of the Well; the White Ways.
The Ways are
a twisting and infinite series of paths, tunnels, overlapping bridges
and caverns that connect the Afterworld to the Court of Souls. Weak
spirits and spirits resigned to or certain of their final fates
eventually sink or pass into the walls or firmament of the Way and
into the Inferno or the Source of All Souls. Spirits that are unsure
of their fate, or refuse to accept it and are strong enough to resist
the pull of the Inferno and Source must wander the Ways, fighting
the inhabitants until they find the entrance into the Court of Souls.
Some such spirits never find the entrance and wander the Ways eternally.
of spirit beasts and other discarnate beings stalk the Ways, preying
on travelers, as do agents of the Court of Souls d the Bone Clan
who seek to prevent or at least hinder mortals from breeching the
Court of Souls.
discarnate beings destroyed in the White Ways are instantly drawn
to the Source or the Inferno.
choose to live in the White Ways and those that do are a hearty
and stubborn lot who live in structures built off of or into the
Court of Souls
Beyond the White Way lies the large planar frontier called the Court
of Souls, ruled over by the Celestial Bureaucracy from the city
of Rigseneda. Here, those spirits that have managed to pass the
White Way and avoid being drawn into the Inferno of the Source have
a chance to live new lives or to petition for the chance to pass
through the Discarnate Gate and become one with the Source of All
In the Court
of Souls, a spirit’s memory of it’s past life and fetters
fade swiftly, usually within a few months. Within a year, the spirit
is not recognizable as it’s former self. Most spirits that
enter the Court, however, do not last that long as they instead
petition the Bureaucracy in Rigseneda.
the ruling of the Celestial Bureaucracy is final and has one of
three outcomes: The petitioner is sent through the Discarnate Gate
to become one with the Source and eventually be reborn, the petitioner
is sent through the Flame Gate into the Inferno, where they will
be tested and tormented by the Keepers of the Inferno until they
are purified of their flaws and deemed worthy to enter the Source,
or the petitioner may become indentured into servitude to the Court
of Souls until such time they have ‘paid’ for their
passage into the Discarnate Gate. These sentences are enforced by
the Bone Clan.
of the Bureaucracy are fallible beings, however, and their decisions
can be swayed by impassioned pleas, lucrative bribes, or substantial
threats on the behalf of or against the petitioner. The wheels of
the process move slowly though and it usually takes more than a
month for a petitioner to be sentenced.