Friday, September 18, 2009

Pellatarrum: Gods

Or lack thereof, to be accurate, because there are no gods in Pellatarrum.

You see, I've always been fascinated with the concept of clerics who somehow get their powers from worshipping an ideal rather than an entity, and wondered if it would be possible to extrapolate that abstraction further. Is it possible to get spells from worshiping an alignment? What about a plane? Or energy?

The people of Pellatarrum do just that. Remember that the Positive and Negative Energy Planes serve as sun and anti-sun. They are visible reminders of life and death which sweep across the face of the world daily, and clerics naturally channel positive or negative energy. From there it's a simple, natural step to the Church of the Light and the Cult of the Dark.

What exists on those planes? The PEG is the source of all souls (much like the Guf of Hebrew lore) but it's not like you can really interact with them in any meaningful way short of high-level magic. They are soul-stuff, and you... aren't. It's like trying to to have a conversation with a bacterium; there's a huge metaphysical divide which cannot easily be breached.

The NEG, of course, is simply rotten with stuff you can interact with, but none of it is healthy. Undead, intelligent undead, incorporeal undead, powerful undead, and of course entropy itself all wait for you with cold, grasping hands.

There are angels and demons of a sort, though. The enigmatic Xag-Ya and Xeg-Yi are there as well, doing... whatever it is they do. For all we know, they could be planar janitors or interior decorators. The point being, any time the GM needs something angelic or demonic to appear, you get these guys. They aren't really good or evil per se, but they are incarnate energy of either creation or destruction, so they fill basically the same roles,a nd without the mess of alignment afterwards!

But still, that leaves us without suitable extraplanar shorthand for good guys and bad guys, doesn't it? For that, we need only cast our gaze upwards at the Elemental Planes.If you need good guys, then Djinni fit your bill, and their counterparts the Efreeti make dandy villains. The Chaotic Neutral Marid will hopefully satisfy Jeff Rients' passion for chaos frogs, and the Dao are greedy bastards.

What to do if someone casts "Summon Monster" and needs a celestial or fiendish critter? Use the "elemental creature" template from the Manual of the Planes instead. A fire element scorpion will certainly get someone's attention!

Another nice benefit this has is that it puts the Gray -- those who worship nature, the land, or seasons -- into a position of increased usefulness. It's handy to be able to rebuke or control elemental creatures when spellcasters are summoning them willy-nilly.

So there are no gods in Pellatarrum. (Druids and elemental clerics get their power from the elemental planes themselves.) There are, in fact, no Outer Planes at all. The Ethereal and Shadow planes do exist, but they're coterminous to the Prime Material (which in this case is the infinite disk of Pellatarrum and nothing else) and as such don't really merit a special "place" on the map. Souls come from the Positive Energy Plane, and when they die they go...

Well, it depends. And that's a subject for another post.

1 comment:

Ricochet said...

Oh this just keeps getting better and better. A flat earth with supernatural entities? Bliss!

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