Content of the article: "Campaign Setting: The Infinite Plane. Part 2: The middle."
No substantial intro this time. If you missed Part 1 and can’t find it, check my post history. I might go back and set up links when I finish Part 3.
The Plane, now home to the first living beings who were neither Aboleths, Deities, nor Angels, sprung to life with a swiftness far outstripping the pace at which life had developed before. As it turns out, the more hospitable an environment is to life, the more delicate the forms of life that are capable of developing in it, and this increased pace was a product of that increased variety.
Slowly, the Deities constructed a new natural order: the purpose of the Angels was to shape matter as the gods would, expanding the edges of the Plane further and further outward, creating new space for the life that would arise on the Plane. The Aboleths, transplanted to the seas of pure water that now existed on The Plane, would continue in their apparent purpose of watching, and remembering, all that would ever exist. The Deities would watch the life that arose on the Plane, and by their individual discretion, nurture promising forms of life to grow. This was the most interesting development upon the Plane, as far as they were concerned: Growth. The life that arose within the Matter Streams had been been born in simple conditions, for singular purposes, be it Aboleth, Deity, or Angel. The life that rose upon the Plane met with far more complex circumstances, and thus could not often adapt perfectly to any one. To live on the Plane, as a creature so delicate as those prominent upon its surface, it was necessary to be capable of change, and thus not to be bound by any set, rigid nature.
Slowly, the Deities realized the weaknesses of their creation, adapting both the world and its inhabitants to be more robust, more consistent, and more virile. While the Deities shaped the landscape of the Plane, and created islands for themselves in the sky from which to watch the Plane below, however, something unforeseen occurred far beneath their feet.
Within an Angel, the simplest and most unchanging of the primal forms that arose from the matter streams, a change had occurred.
This Angel flew out past the edge of the plane, and under it, looking for a flaw in the Deities’ design which he knew he would find, for he had seen that flaw as it came into being during the formation of the Nine Spheres: a seam, where the folds of space met. Into this seam, then, he flew inside the Ninth and Outermost Sphere, and into further seams beyond, soaring through the dark emptiness of the Nine Spheres, where the light emitted from the Mindless Creator could not reach.
At the end of his journey, he hovered before a ninth seam, and sparing only a moment for a shiver of anticipation that he was helpless to hold back, into the First and Innermost Sphere he flew. He had gazed upon the Empty Devourer before, of course, in the primordial void, but here in the isolation of the First Sphere, it awoke something within his soul. From the material of his own form, cut away and reshaped, this angel created an outcropping of material affixed to the innermost seam, and there he sat and watched the Devourer.
As he sat and watched, as his form wasted away, the force awakening within his soul grew into a soft physical flame within his chest. Angels did not have names before this day, for they had so little thought and feeling of their own as not to request or conceive them, but as his soul changed and grew, this Angel knew he had a name. No, not a name… a title, befitting him more than any other. He was The Fallen, the angel who descended from the light of the Creator to gaze upon the Devourer from just beyond the inexorability of its hunger, fascinated by it. He amended this title only a moment later: He was The First of The Fallen, for he knew he would not be the last like him.
The force awakening within him, he came to understand, was an echo of The Devourer’s Infinite hunger… an empathy with it. This force, as he would come to understand, was inherent in the delicate forms of life upon the surface of The Plane, that the Deities has known of it for a long time and seen fit to name it. He did not know this name, but the name The First of The Fallen contrived for this force within him was the same as the name the Deities had conceived, for such was its proper name, no matter who would think or speak it: Desire.
From his flesh, now settled into a new shape, The First of The Fallen carved seven chunks. As he pondered Desire, and all that could be desired, and devised seven categories into which all desires fell. The chunks of his flesh, as he had the outcropping before them, he shaped into seven new beings representing these categories of desires, and in doing so, imbued the fundamentality of the desires they represented, and came to understand their names:
Sloth, The desire for a lack of things.
Greed, The desire for a quantum of things.
Gluttony, The desire to absorb, and to consume.
Wrath, The desire to release, and to express.
Lust, The desire for sensation, of flesh, mind, or soul.
Pride, The desire for a situation or a circumstance.
Envy, The desire for whatever others desire.
These were his children, the Seven True Desires.
“Gravity is Desire. Pursuit is Love. Consumption is Worship.” –The tenets of Desire, spoken by The First of the Fallen, and all subsequent worshippers of The Empty Devourer.
Yes, I know, ‘Gravity is Desire’ is taken from that one Stellaris event chain written by the fabulous Alexis Kennedy, but it was just too thematically resonant not to use. Anyway, there’s now going to be a third part, because as it turns out, the middle is this much on its own. Third part to follow soon.
- Campaign Setting: The Infinite Plane. Part 1: The beginning.
- Campaign Setting: The Infinite Plane. Part 3: The End.
- What, exactly, are Aasimar?
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