The afterlife in the Edge setting

We left our old worlds, each of us. This is it. We can't go any farther. This is The Edge.
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The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Wed May 26, 2010 9:06 pm

What is the fate of souls after their bodies die in the Edge setting?

In my opinion the answer to this question could lead to some interesting consequences, especially as far as undead, resurrection spells and the like are concerned.
In fact, if you consider the everchanging connections between the Edge pocket Plane and the other Planes of Existence, it seems to me that any departed soul would soon find itself lost in the outer Planes shortly after it exits the Edge planar boundaries.
A similar thing would be true also for deities: in principle they should not possess any personal Plane of Existence, mostly because if they spend on them too much time they risk to lose tracking of the Edge pocket Plane. Assuming that deities are always able to reach their personal plane of existence and then return back to the Edge in my opinion is not a good option as well: it would drop the entire concept of "rogue deities" (i.e. stranded in the Edge pocket plane together with their followers), which seemed to me a central setting concept.
So, in principle, there should not be any "Asgard", "Niflheim" or similar place, at least not in the form of a separate Plane of Existence you find in most other settings.

Said so: where does undead people come from? Where do deities reside in the Edge? Is it still possible to resurrect a dead body or to speak with its departed soul?

In my opinion, if we want to leave unchanged most of the standard rules about dead and undead people, then we could say that both the Limbo and the personal deities' Planes are actually physical places located somewhere in the setting. Notice that such places do not need to be necessarily set on Thalassa, they could exist somewhere "among the stars" or in the Milky Way equivalent of the setting (as it was in many ancient cosmologies of the real world), or the like.

On a side note, it could even be possible that "unwanted" souls would be "thrown away" from the Edge pocket plane and sent to, say, the real Multiverse Limbo, the Ethereal Plane, the Far Realm and similar places. Being such the case, these souls should have a limted amount of time to trace back the planar link to the Edge, or they would lose it forever, unable to be resurrected, reincarnated or even turned into undead back in the Edge plane.

If we decide to limit the "resurrection" spell power in the setting than we could use the assumption above and say that every departed soul goes automatically to the Multiverse Limbo: once here they have a random amount of time to communicate or return back to the Edge (both as an undead or as a living being), losing forever this possibility once the extraplanar link is severed by the random motion of the Edge pocket plane in the Multiverse.
Please notice that this last suggestion could be in conflict with what already stated about the Moonstrike (how was it possible that the Moonstones produced such large amounts of undead people moslty overnight? Did the stones just turned the existing living beings into undead or did they summon already dead people?)

It seems to me that there are many questions to be answered, enough for a dedicated thread (and maybe, even for a poll). Any suggestion about these points?

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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Chimpman » Wed May 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Great Thread topic!

Here is my (as of yet) very simplistic view of the Planar make-up of the Edge setting. Picture two bubbles, one inside the other. The inner bubble represents the plane of existence where the Edge world is located. It doesn't com into direct contact with any other plane, except for the "outer bubble", although for brief periods of time "wormholes" will be formed (see below).

The outer bubble represents the plane of the "gods". For whatever reason, deity level beings can not fully manifest/cross over to the inner bubble, and so are trapped here. They can "push up against the boundary" and thus effect events inside the inner bubble to some degree, but they can never fully cross the border.

As the outer bubble comes into contact with other planes of existence, brief wormholes or vortexes are created between the outer plane and the inner bubble/Edge World. These vortexes pass through the outer bubble. Mortal level entities can pass through them without any trouble - in fact many never even know they are doing so, but deity level beings are always caught and pulled into the outer bubble rather than being allowed all the way through the vortex. Unfortunately these vortexes are one way, so deities can be pulled into the Edge planar complex, but can not use them to leave.

This would mean that all deities live on the same plane in this setting, although they could carve out vast expanses for themselves. I imagine that souls enter this plane when their bodies die, and can be pulled back from the dead from here as well - if we so wish. The implications for deities could be very great indeed. This might mean that deities have to compete for territory in the outer bubble, and so would need to gain followers from the Edge in order to fill the ranks of their armies in the afterlife.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 27, 2010 7:42 am

ok, so with have a "mundane plane" and an "esoteric plane". Each is finite in extent, but still pretty big (solar system sized, let's say). Mortals usually live on the mundane, but can visit the esoteric, while deities and souls exist only on the esoteric.

Extending this a bit, when a creature dies on the mundane plane, his soul is drawn into the esoteric plane. But when a creature dies on the esoteric plane, his soul (or whatever passes for a soul) is drawn out from the Thallasan planar system to the Outer Planes.

Two important consequences: Raise dead / resurrection will fail if not cast within (caster level) rounds of a creature dying on the esoteric plane (this applies to souls too, so immortals don't throw away their spirit warriors lightly). And second, A Thallasan deity can be "slain". At least, as seen from Thallasa, that deity no longer exists. Whether that deity is reborn as a mortal, arrives on an appropriate outer plane as a soul, or arrives as a full deity free from the Thallasan system, I'm leaving undefined.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Chimpman » Thu May 27, 2010 3:44 pm

That's a nice way of summing everything up Ash. I totally agree.

What kind of implications would this system have for other spells? I'm thinking mainly of travel spells (those which utilize the ethereal, astral, or shadow planes) and elemental summoning spells. The travel spells I'm sure we could just modify to make them use the esoteric plane rather than their original plane, however the elemental spells I'm a little stuck on.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Thu May 27, 2010 7:42 pm

The whole concept of the edge being divided into two sub-Planes sounds good to me. The only modification I'd make to what you wrote is to give freedom to deities and mortals to exit the Edge planar complex at will. Anybody powerful enough to cross planar boundaries would be set free to stay or abandon the Edge's planes, at its own risk. Any time they leave there is a time-increasing chance to lose track of the Edge's Planes, and they could fint themselves not able to return back anymore. In particular, deities would not leave these Planes because they do not want to risk losing the way back and all their followers.
This might mean that deities have to compete for territory in the outer bubble, and so would need to gain followers from the Edge in order to fill the ranks of their armies in the afterlife.
Extending this a bit, when a creature dies on the mundane plane, his soul is drawn into the esoteric plane. But when a creature dies on the esoteric plane, his soul (or whatever passes for a soul) is drawn out from the Thallasan planar system to the Outer Planes.
Mixing both concepts together, we could say that in the "esoteric plane" there is a constant struggle between deities intended to throw outside the Edge enemies and their incorporeal followers (the departed souls from the "mundane plane"). Deities would be forced to increase their followers on the "mundane plane" in order to replace soul losses in the "esoteric plane". Being such the case, I suppose that religion would be a pretty aggressive matter in the "mundane plane": atheists or agnostics would be literally chased everywhere by almost every cleric/priest, determined to convert them to their own faith! :mrgreen:

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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Thu May 27, 2010 8:07 pm

Planar Geography:

The mundane plane looks, to all intents and purposes, a lot like Earth's solar system. It has planets, a sun, and even an asteroid belt. (Exact details to be determined later.)

The esoteric plane, on the other hand, looks a lot like a vast disc with a hole in the centre. There is a sun in the centre of this hole. This sun bobs up and down over a 24-hour period, creating days and nights. A second sun orbits around the outside of the disc over a period of a year, creating seasons (and illuminating the rimward-side of hills and mountains). TORG fans will recognise this layout from Aysle, except this is on a far bigger scale.

The overall size of this disc is on a similar scale to Earth's solar system, extending approximately from something equivalent to Venus-orbit to Mars-orbit. Beyond this, both sunward and rimward, there are vast numbers of asteroids (extending approximately from Mercury to Jupiter-equivalent orbital distances), although the areas directly above and below the disc are free from asteroids. Both upper and lower surfaces of the disc are habitable, with gravity pulling towards the disc's plane. Gravity at the very edges of the disc is erratic, and gravity on the asteroids pulls toward the centre of each asteroid. Temperatures on the disc proper range across the full spectrum of Earth temperatures. The asteroids themselves are either too hot or too cold for unprotected humans, although various outsiders and elementals find homes there. Despite the fact that all souls live on this one plane, its sheer land-size compared to the mundane plane means it still has huge amounts of wilderness.

When creating a gate to the esoteric plane, the gate normally forms on whichever part of the disc happens to be closest, depending on the time of year.

Some changes to my earlier post:

A soul that dies while within the domain of its deity (roughly a planet-sized area for a greater power) is not lost to the Thallasan deities, but is recaptured by that deity (well, nearly always; dramatic licence occasionally causes one to be lost, prompting possible adventures). The same goes for mortal followers of that deity; they still die, but raise dead does not suffer that exceptional time limit if they die within their deity's domain. Souls and mortals that die on the esoteric plane far from their deity's domain are still lost though. This makes deities far more defensive in nature, since those lost in an attack are effectively permanent losses.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Sat May 29, 2010 7:32 pm

Very good material, Ashtagon! :)

Wow, the Esoteric Plane surface is really huge! I estimated it is some 150 million times the whole Thalassa's surface (300 million times if we take into account both faces of the ring)!

I would like to give a few geeky estimates of how large it is:

Even if we assume that it contains the soul of every intelligent being who ever lived on Thalassa I estimate that such a place is 1 million to 10 million larger than the required surface: by comparions with real Earth, it is estimated that 110-115 billion humans ever lived on our planet from about 100'000BC, about 15 times the current global population. Thalassa will likely be less populated than present Earth, but it possesses many more intelligent races, not accounting dead civilizations and intelligent beings who lived there long before the first human ever arrived on the planet. We could be conservative and estimate that the intelligent being who ever lived on Thalassa are 1500 times its current intelligent population. This would account for 10 million years of (not necessarily continuous) intelligent presence on the planet.

So, we have that the whole Esoteric Plane (both sides) is 200'000 times larger than what it is really needed to host all the ever existed souls. We can suppose that actually most of the extra space is actually filled by some kind of "esoteric wilderness", which separates the spotty deities' dominions.
Just to give you a figure, if we say that these dominions are evenly distributed over the Plane's surfaces, and that each dominion has the same surface of the whole Thalassa (so a pretty huge area, to say the least) then each dominion is surrounded by 200'000 "wilderness elements", each of them having the same surface of Thalassa. If they are placed like a square with the deity's dominion in the middle, then the square has about 450 elements on its side, which is the same distance to cross in order to reach the next neighbouring deity dominion. Such distances would not change much if the deity's dominion is 10 or 100 times larger than Thalassa's surface.

Said so, distances between dominions are so vast to be travelled that we could state a few assumptions:

- Physical movement in the esoteric plane is not the only way to move: there should exist some mean of "esoteric travel" pretty similar to teleportation which allows souls and deities to swiflty move across the Plane.

- Any claim for "vital space" or war among deities for territorial gains is pointless, given the sheer amount of wilderness available. On comparison, the real bottleneck is Thalassa and its solar system, which can provide just a limited amount of souls through time.
For this reason, deities could war among themselves in order to subtract followers to their enemies in the Esoteric Plane or to weaken such enemies so they would lose effectiveness in getting new souls from the Mundane Plane.

- There is so much space that it is possible that many, many ancient deities (with their following of extinct races' souls) are actually hidden or dispersed inside the Wilderness, unnoticed by newcoming deities and souls. They could suddenly "discover" or be "discovered" by modern deities and start a crisis (what if the old deity decides to reincarnate some of its souls in the Mundane Plane to start a new breed of followers?) or a collaboration.

- For the same reason, it is very likely that every new deity who enters the Esoteric Plane will be unnoticed until it starts to manifest itself on the Mundane Plane. Even when noticed, it could require a long time to track its location in the Esoteric Plane wilderness. This would make difficult for resident deities to get rid of immortal newcomers before they get too strong to resist the attempts to be thrown outside the Edge pocket world.

- The wilderness could host "Esoteric Creatures" i.e. beings who are native to the Esoteric Plane and not coming from the Mundane world. there could be a whole ecology of them, ranging from "animal-like and plant-like" souls to "intelligent-like" spirits. Most of them could be neutral towards deities and their followers, while others could plunder over them.


That's all! :) Please note that these are just my rambling speculations about the whole thing. If you don't like them they could be dropped or modified as you like.
Last edited by LoZompatore on Sat May 29, 2010 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Sat May 29, 2010 7:47 pm

Wow, I didn't realise quite how massive that disc was. But I see no reason to run with this ball and see how far we can go with it.

As written, an attack on a rival deity is almost pointless. That attacking souls are lost forever while defending souls can be brought back. There's no shortage of esoteric plane real estate. It's not hard for a deity as a last resort to simply flee his domain and set up shop elsewhere. The esoteric plane is big enough that simply finding his new base would take considerable time.

Important limit on spells: Spells that have a range generally defined as "anywhere on this plane" instead have a range broadly equivalent to an area the size of the Earth. This *especially* applies to divination spells. Maybe it can be relaxed for transportation spells though. Perhaps gate can open a doorway between arbitrarily distant parts of the esoteric plane, as long as those points are outside a deity's domain (exception for big-league divine servants, who can freely gate to the heart of their deity's domain). Visitors would gate to the edge of such a domain, then use slower means to complete the journey.

What does this size imply for esoteric plane adventures? You've certainly got enough real estate there to have Heaven, hell, and everything in-between.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Sun May 30, 2010 12:01 pm

On reflection, the disc should be revised. The total distance from inner edge to outer edge should be more on a par with the diameter of the Earth-moon system (0.005 au, or 768,900 km)., with the middle at 1 au from the central sun.

This gives us 722,729,058,648,112 km². For comparison, Earth has 510,072,000 km² total area, making the esoteric plane's total area a little short of 1.5 million Earths. That's still plenty of room.

ETA: Double that area. I forgot to take into account the underside as well as the topside.

Also, that central sun moves at shockingly high velocities. Assuming the sun reaches 45° above horizon at midday, that's a journey of 4 au per day (I'd rather the sun's noontime angle be a bit higher, but my trigonometry fails me for calculating the distance). For comparison, light travels at 173.14 au per day. The outer sun probably moves at a fair pace too.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Chimpman » Sun May 30, 2010 8:40 pm

There is quite a bit of information here since my last post - I'm not going to comment on it piecemeal, but just wanted to say I'm loving these ideas! So far there's not a single one that we can't work with.

I'm ambivalent to the actual size of the ephemeral plane - just as long as it's big. I love the idea that deities might "become lost" on the plane, or find a suitable hiding spot, and especially that unknown deities might be rediscovered by accident.

I have a few more ideas that I might share a bit later. I want to try and formalize them a bit first - perhaps draw a picture or two as well.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:06 pm

Spells that rely on the various planes, and how they are affected...

There is a section of the plane of Shadow connected to the T-prime plane. Spells that rely on shadow function normally. However, there is no known pathway between this part of the Plane of Shadow and the rest of the Plane of Shadow.

Spells that rely on the Astral Plane as a connection to elsewhere, or as some kind of oubliette or safety deposit box,do not function, as there is no actual "Astral Plane" connection; spells that transport you into the Astral Plane (as opposed to through/past it) simply fail. Spells that would transport you past the Astral to the Great Wheel planar system generally fail; any such success should be a once-in-a-campaign event that would astonish mortals and deities alike. In the case of "oubliette" spells, variant spells that create a "nullspace oubliette" can be researched that instead use the Plane of Shadow.

There is a "border ethereal" plane (using the concept from 1e Manual of the Planes)that corresponds to the boundaries of the T-prime plane. Spells that involve the Ethereal Plane make use of this region. However, there is nothing that corresponds to the "deep ethereal". Spells that use the ethereal as some kind of oubliette fail; Thalassan variant spells that place the objects in a "nullspace" region within the Plane of Shadow can be researched. Spells that would normally involve travelling into the deep ethereal in order to reach a prime plane location faster will fail, as there simply isn't any accessible deep ethereal; Thallasan variations that instead use the Shadow Plane can be researched. There is also no way to use travel through/past this ethereal in order to reach any of the Inner Planes.

----

Outer and Inner Planes: There is no conventional access to these. Thalassa's esoteric plane fulfils the role of both of these. The realms of the deities have already been described in this thread.

At each of the four cardinal points of the esoteric plane's disc, there are huge planet-sized regions with environments hospitable the each of the four primary elemental types.

T-Fire is a blasted volcanic landscape, full of volcanoes. Rivers of lava flow freely here. The air is breathable, and while uncomfortably hot, is no worse than the hottest deserts on Earth.

T-Air is a vast rift in the disc. There is an occasional asteroid, including some as large as small countries, but there is a definite break in the integrity of the disc. Some travellers (those with patience enough to walk or fly) use this break as a means to travel from the top to the bottom of the disc. There is one significant "landmark" - a narrow bridge which varies from 10 to 100 feet across, that spans the entire gap in the disc. This bridge is known simply as "the causeway".

Close to the disc proper, gravity follows the usual rules for the disc. Close to the asteroids, down is toward the centre of that asteroid. Elsewhere, gravity that makes everything fall toward the causeway.

Over the entire esoteric plane, there is a subtle magical effect on gravity. Anyone who is aware of it can attempt a DC 10 Spellcraft check to activate a feather fall effect. This can only be activated when falling, and each such attempt requires a full-round action. As such, it can only be attempted on a fall of at least 600 feet.

T-Water is a vast bottomless ocean. Swim deep enough, and you will come up on the other side, although the deepest depths suffer from incredible water pressure that will likely kill non-elementals.

T-Earth is a vast rocky moonscape. There is air of course (just as there is over the entire region close to the disc), but there is no natural plant or animal life. Most life takes place on the surface, where a full variety of earth elemental life exists.

Genies: There are none. Not native to any "outer" or "elemental" plane anyway. Deal with it. There may be some on the mundane plane as refugees-in-common with regular mortals.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by eldersphinx » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:10 am

Ashtagon wrote:The esoteric plane, on the other hand, looks a lot like a vast disc with a hole in the centre. There is a sun in the centre of this hole. This sun bobs up and down over a 24-hour period, creating days and nights. A second sun orbits around the outside of the disc over a period of a year, creating seasons (and illuminating the rimward-side of hills and mountains). TORG fans will recognise this layout from Aysle, except this is on a far bigger scale.
:ugeek: Actually, the Aysle set-up was to a certain extent a gaming in-joke - a poke at all the world maps in JRPGs and bad fantasy novels where east not only wrapped to west but north also wrapped to south. This sort of topology is easy enough to handle in two dimensions with a computer, but try to map it onto a continuous three-dimensional object and you're forced to conclude that the residents of most of the Final Fantasy worlds live on a giant donut.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:27 pm

I made some modifications to the nice model for the Esoteric Plane Ashtagon suggested, in the hope to simplify a few issues.
Here is the picture:
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the high resolution version of this picture can be found here

A few comments:

First of all, I substituted the 2D-disk with a 3D body, namely a torus (a donut). In my opinion this would let the inner sun to stay immobile in the center of the plane, lighting up the rimward half of the donut. Moreover, this would allow for climate zones induced by latitudes: there will be two "polar rings" at the top and at the bottom of the dount, and two "equators" in the most rimward and outward regions of the donut.
the torus has the same surface of a disk with a hole in the middle extending from the inner real moon orbit (earth orbit - moon orbit) to the outer moon orbit (earth orbit + moon orbit). This means that if the large radius of the torus is placed at 1 Astronomical Unit from the Inner Sun, then the small radius of the torus is 75000 miles.
As Ashtagon pointed out, such a surface is extremely large indeed: deities' dominions should be very separated from each other by vast amounts of wilderness and uncharted territory.

In order to let the Inner Sun to produce a 24 hours night/day cycle I suggest an alternative solution by placing a rotating dark emisphere which surrounds half of the star and dims its light so to generate "nights in the rest of the system. The emisphere would make a full rotation every 24 hours, of course. I suggest this solution for the day/night cycle because I think that the dark emisphere could represent another surface to be populated by darkness-loving creatures.

The rest of the system is basically the same: I placed asteroids inside and outside the donut, and a belt made of icy comets outside the External Sun.

I placed the four elemental-like enclaves along the dount, each one separated from the others by a 90° angle. I also included the Graveyard of the Gods already cited in other threads.

I suppose that deities and departed souls could inhabit every part of the system, not only the torus. Deities could have estabilished their dominion on a asteroid, on the shading Emisphere (a pretty large structure of its own), on a comet or even over one o the two suns.

Do you think these modifications are suitable?

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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:12 am

I see some problems...

1 - The outer half of the torus is in a near-eternal night, having light from the outer sun only for a couple of months at a time. As placed, the outer sun won't really give enough energy to warm those areas properly.
2. Giving the plane a 3-d cross-section destroys the plane of air's causeway feature as a usable concept.
3. The marginal extra warmth the outer sun provides was intended to create seasonal effects over the entire disk. With the inner half obscured by the disk itself, the inner half of the disk will never be affected by the outer sun; there will be no seasons on the inner half. For the outer half, the seasons would essentially be "twilight" and "night".

Climates...

Ironically, as written in the original draft (with the disk being very wide at 0.7 to 2 au from the sun), there would have been distinct climactic zones.

Perhaps there is a way to merge the two ideas...

* Take a tin of tuna. Cut off and discard the top and bottom circles. The resulting cylinder is the approximate shape of the disk. It's still essentially flat. 75k miles tall, 1 au radius.
* The inner sun has the day/night sides you suggest. In addition, it also wobbles; it is not perfectly centred (and yes, the whole concept was gravitationally unstable from the start). This wobble is what generates the seasons on the inner surface.
* The outer surface is warmed by a pair of suns. These suns directly opposite each other, so that the three suns form a straight line. They orbit at a distance of 1.5 au from the inner sun (math may need checking). That orbital distance means that each of them individually illuminates about 1/4 of the outer surface at a time. (If we were keeping any pretence to real physics, the closer distance would require the outer suns to be about 1/4 the energy output of the sun, putting them firmly into red dwarf territory.)
* The outer suns also move astonishingly fast. They complete an orbit in 48 hours (that's about 0.018 light speed). This effectively creates a 24-hour "day" on the outer surface, with a given spot on the outer surface being illuminated by one sun then the other on alternate days. Just for fun, let's make the two outer suns different colours from each other.

I strongly want to maintain the concept of esoteric plane as a thin surface - a literal "plane", if you'll pardon the pun (and one apparently no one else saw). Changing that would ruin the causeway as a major geographical feature.

How thick a plane? In most areas, it would be about 20 miles thick from outer to inner surface. Mountainous areas will be thinner, and the oceans will typically have depths that make it thinner. Toward the plane of air region, it thins out to an extreme level (a few yards) before petering out to nothing save for the causeway.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:49 pm

1 - The outer half of the torus is in a near-eternal night, having light from the outer sun only for a couple of months at a time. As placed, the outer sun won't really give enough energy to warm those areas properly.

2. Giving the plane a 3-d cross-section destroys the plane of air's causeway feature as a usable concept.

3. The marginal extra warmth the outer sun provides was intended to create seasonal effects over the entire disk. With the inner half obscured by the disk itself, the inner half of the disk will never be affected by the outer sun; there will be no seasons on the inner half. For the outer half, the seasons would essentially be "twilight" and "night".
You are right. I didn't think about the effects on the outward surface of the torus: the eternal dusk/night could not be a very suitable feature of the esoteric plane (although such a region could be populated by evil or dark-loving incorporeal creatures, who knows).

Anyway, I like the suggestions you made, here is an updated sketch of the esoterical plane with a couple of minor add-ons on my side:

Image
A full size picture can be downloaded here.

As you see, I implemented all Ashtagon's suggestions, but I added two more rotating dark emispheres to the external suns: this would allow for a much slower speed of the external suns, as the day/night cycle would be given by the emispheres. Instead, I would use the two external suns to give seasons also to the outward surface of the solid cylinder.
Let assume that both external suns are distant enough from the cylinder so to lighten about half of the external surface each (this would be possible only if they were placed at infinite distance, but atmospheric reflection could give light also to non directly lit ares). If we say that the two external suns make a full revolution around the cylinder in a year (I would not care too much about giving realistic physics, as we are describing an "external" Plane of Existence, which likely has laws of its own) then every point on the external cylinder would be subjected to four different 3-months seasons:

- A "red sun" (warm) season where the red star is high in the horizon
- A "red/green" (cold) season where the red sun is falling below the western horizon while the green sun is about to rise above the eastern one
- A "green sun" (warm) season where the green star is high in the horizon
- A "green/red" (cold) season where the green sun is falling below the western horizon while the red sun is about to rise above the eastern one

If you like we could say that the external suns take two years to make a full revolution, and that we have both a yearly warm/cold alternation and a longer 2 year periodicity under two different suns.

We could also arrange things differently, adding a fourth sun to the external or to the internal orbit and change orbital periods accordingly. Having four suns of different colours (maybe two in the inner orbit and two in the outer orbit) could led to associate them with the four elements. Elemental-like domains would be placed in the inner or outer surface of the solid plane accordingly to the associated sun. Or maybe, we could place the elemental-like domains in the sunward surface of the emisphere which rotates around every star. This would leave the solid cylinder to non-elemental spirits.

Here are a couple of alternative sketches. Let me know what you think about them ;) :

Image
A full size picture can be downloaded here.

Image
A full size picture can be downloaded here.

A final suggestion: if the inner sun(s) rotate(s) on a circular/elliptical orbit then the very center of the esoteric plane is empty. Such a place could be filled with a special and "forbidden" location, where the very essence of the over-god who created the pocket plane can show itself. Such a place would be very difficult to reach even for other deities and it would represent the pillar of the whole pocket plane (esoteric and mundane).

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Ashtagon
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:22 pm

ok, let's call these #0, #1, and #2 for reference.

#0 has an unforeseen issue that slipped my mind. It effectively makes the asteroids "above" or "below" the actual planetary surface. My intention was that they would form a kind of extension of the planar surface, as if the extreme ends of it were literally (in geological time) crumbling away, perhaps with deep crevasses extending out to have some continent-sized areas almost broken off, and other "islands" floating in geo-stationary next to the plane proper.

The fix for this is to have the asteroids above and below the plane formed by the orbits of the suns, rather than above and below the habitable surface of the cylindrical plane. This fix also means we don't need to worry about exactly how much extra heat those asteroids are getting from the suns.

As I understand it, the outer suns orbit slowly over a one-year period, and their night-shades spin around their respective suns, creating local night-times.

(Considered and rejected: It occurred to me that we could associate the two outer suns with positive/negative energy respectively. Problem is that this creates awkward interactions with divine domains on the outer surface of the esoteric plane.)

I'd rather keep the elemental plane analogues on the esoteric plane's main disk. This allows us to associate particular mundane plane seasons with specific elements, as Thalassa's orbital location corresponds to the location of a particular elemental plane analogue on the esoteric plane.

I'd also prefer to drop the idea of the overgod having some kind of domain at the "centre" of the esoteric plane. That puts limits on such a being, and also promotes the idea of a campaign focused on travelling there, which distracts from Thalassa itself. If the PCs deserve to be in the overgod's presence, it is because he willed it essentially, in which case they can simply step through the right portal (if he doesn't just snap his fingers to sidestep that). They shouldn't be able to get anywhere near him simply by flying there in a sky ship.
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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by LoZompatore » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:55 pm

From what you said above I supposed that version #2 (the one with the four suns) was the preferred choice for the Esoteric Plane, so I went along with this disposition. Let me know if you meant the version with three suns, instead.
I modified the solid ring introducing jagged upper and lower vertical boundaries on the solid cylinder, moving asteroids over and under the cylinder. I canceled the previous asteroid rings (although we could keep a few larger ones acting as ways to keep track of time) and I kept the outer cometary ring, as it seems to me a good place for outcasts and reclusive beings.

Picture below summarizes the actual sketch:

Image

A full resolution picture can be downloaded here

I also made a sketch of the planar geography of the whole pocket Plane, the picture can be seen below:

Image

A full resolution picture can be downloaded
here

As you noticed, I modified the Mundane and Esoteric Plane disposition from a "concentric" one to an "upper/lower" one. In fact, we already stated that planar wormholes happen on both sub-planes, so there is no real need to have the esoteric plane surrounding the mundane plane. Moreover it was introduced the concept that the "elemental reserves" on the solid ring of the Esoteric Plane have some kind of influence on Thalassa as the planet moves along its orbit. So the upper/lower disposition of the two sub-planes seemed to me a more effective one.
Last edited by LoZompatore on Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The afterlife in the Edge setting

Post by Ashtagon » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:30 pm

I should have clarified... the version i favour is as you describe, except for there being three suns (a single inner sun that wobbles around the centre to create seasons).
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