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The Nine Emanations of Creation - by Histerron

Once, there was only one.
It was everything and the only thing.
We call this the Monad.
The First Emanation: Change
Then a difference came, one became two halves.
One starts, the other ends.
An Ember burning and the cold dark of the Void.
Light and dark, is and is not.
The Second Emanation: Existence
Existence spilled out from the Ember
It spread out in all directions,
yet it always fell into the Void.
Like the flesh of the apple, from stem down to blossom.
A vast sea of existence stretched in every direction.
The Third Emanation: Thought
The Ember and the Void vibrated against one another.
The first thought slipped from the Ember.
That thought fell into the Void,
and two more thoughts spilled from the Ember.
Again and again, until the sea filled with endless thoughts.
The Astral Sea was every thought that would exist.
The Fourth Emanation: Ouisa
Then the ouisa was created.
The ouisa defined things, differences.
They could be something else.
The thoughts were drawn to each other.
Like to like. They clustered and formed the first Moleks.
These Moleks floated in the Seas.
The Fifth Emanation: Will
  Next came the breath, the will to live.
And all things willed to become somethings.
Within the Moleks, new forms were born.
They were different from one another,
Yet all similar within each Molek.
These were the first beings, the celestials.
Each Molek became one of the Outer Planes.
  You could say eternities passed,
But time does not exist for such a universe.
If it did, we could call it an ancient sea of thoughts.
New thoughts were constantly released by the Ember.
Some thoughts weighed heavy and sank low towards the Void,
Others light and floated high.
The Sixth Emanation: Quintessence
Then quintessence fell throughout the sea.
The Moleks gathered it to them.
Quintessence made thoughts real.
They could be more, create anew.
Quintessence gave the power of creation.
And they hungrily gathered the quintessence
Until little remained floating in the Seas.
  With powers anew, the Moleks built new beings.
They built light and sound,
substance and airs, warmth and cold.
And the Moleks took on forms like bone and flesh.
It was new and different. Solid but made of thought.
  And the Planes set their will upon their new universe.
Benevolent and dark, indifferent and obsessed.
Down deep by the Void, darkness made a crack in it all.
From the crack came an abomination of imaginable size.
Not of this universe, it spilled in through the crack.
It was hungry, corrupting, and dragged Moleks down to it.
And it poisoned the Moleks. The worm had no name.
We would have called it Evil.
  The Lower Planes fell onto the worm's skin and it infected them.
They twisted and warped grotesquely.
Dark thoughts became darker,
shedding all but hunger, hatred, and destruction.
With each plane added, the worm grew
and reached higher towards the Ember.
This would be its greatest meal.
  The many Planes fought the worm,
but it only grew more powerful as it devoured.
And the creatures on the worm's surface multiplied.
A chaotic horde was growing and building towards the Ember.
The celestials vowed to stop them.
  One powerful, true to their word, but ruthless Plane, the Helleons,
Swore they would never stop until the horde was destroyed.
Meanwhile, the scholars of every plane searched for an answer.
Somewhere there must be a thought that could stop this.
It was a Helleon who found one.
A terrible thought with a terrible price,
And the universe would never be the same.
  One from each plane came together to make a sacrifice.
The one Helleon left behind her realm.
Helleon was falling down to the worm.
Her plan could not save her realm.
Those saviors gathered in a ring near the void.
Their work pulled at threads of existence not yet touched.
They gathered the fabric of reality and energies beyond existence.
  The Hellion watched her realm fall to the worm.
The bodies and minds of her people twisted cruelly.
She felt an unbearableness in her chest never known before.
It was consuming. It was pain. It was heartbreak.
And with a snap, the Circle of Saviors broke reality.
And it ripped through the worm destroying it.
  The corpse of the worm was sucked into a ring.
The Planes, corrupted and twisted fell into it as well.
It was not perfect, some planes escaped,
others fell into it that shouldn't have.
Where the Circle of Saviors had been was now a ring of evils.
A revolving torus in the nearness of the Void.
It was sealed, a barrier that would hold within
The remnants of the worm and its fiendish creations,
and keep without the power of the celestials.
  No one knows what happened to those sacrificed.
Were they locked within the ring?
Or fell in death into the Void?
But when the worm's lifelessness broke apart,
Some of it did fall into the Void.
The Seventh Emanation: Dust
And out from the Ember came the Dust.
But it did not spread through the old seas.
The torus of the worm's prison spun so fast,
It created a vortex that sucked all the Dust downward.
A cyclone of Dust marked a barrier from the realm of thought.
This barrier of the Inner Planes kept out both fiend and celestial.
  This Dust was not the quintessence that gave shape before.
This was material, a physical existence without the need of thought.
Wholly new and strange, all the Planes looked upon it.
Deep within the chaos of elements, a new seed formed.
It was wholly material. It was rigid.
New laws of reality ruled it,
Laws that did not exist elsewhere.
The Material Realm was created.
The Eighth Emanation: Ethereal
  From the Ember ached a force.
Invisible and untouchable.
Lasting and malleable.
Pain and joy, fear and anticipation.
It filled all the new creations,
Yet did not touch them. It was incorporeal.
It was Ethereal and mysterious.
  The swirling chaos of Dust was endless,
But there was calm within
Where the Material Realm had formed.
The light of the Ember shone through the calm.
It was so bright upon the Material Realm,
that a crescent reflection arched between them.
This rainbow became reality, a reflection of the Materials.
And in the nearness of the Ember,
Creation grew wild and capricious there.
  The Material Realm blocked the radiance of the Ember,
Leaving it half in shadow, without light.
The Material cast a shadow towards the Void and
In the darkest umbrage, darkness became reality.
A realm of the Material's shadow.
  The breath of the Ember was forever flowing
It moved through all of the new creations.
New things grew from the Laws of the Materials.
They were unlike anything before. And from the Astral Sea
They gathered their own thoughts to them.
Material life had begun.
The Ninth Emanation: Time
The first tick of time sounded from the Ember
And throughout all the new creations.
As the Materials are split between light and shadow,
So these new lives would be born for a time and end with death.
Some lives were made of both the material and the ethereal.
The ethereal brought them passions, hates, fears, and joys.
And it brought great pain and heartbreak.
The material would die, but the ethereal would live on.
Joy, love, pain, and heartbreak would be eternal.
  The act of the Circle of Saviors
Gave birth to one last place, unlike all others.
Somewhere past the Void, but before the Ember,
A realm formed. It was very much like the Materials.
But it was wholly outside of any known realities.
It could touch them all and yet be protected from all.
  The Material Laws there were rigid,
Yet they could be changed with a thought.
Changed by the thoughts of just one.
An enigmatic figure of no name or face or voice.
It wore a mask and it carried a weight on its heart.
So she was named the Lady of Pain.
  This is a world outside of worlds.
In the sky is a ring, a torus,
Containing the magnificent city of Sigil.
Here, every being could coexist.
Why it exists, the Lady may never explain.
  And time ticked forward.   The new Material Realms would give birth to so many new forms.
It was astounding to watch as they endlessly created and died.
The Fiends found that they could influence these new creatures.
The creatures could accept gifts of knowledge and power from the Fiends.
And the creatures could use magic to connect to the realms of the Fiends.
The Celestials would not allow the Fiends to corrupt these new lives.
  The Celestials spoke to us within the Material Realms.
They gifted us with knowledge and little bits of their power,
Only tiny amounts could pierce the barrier between realms.
The Celestials found that the least of them, younger lesser ones
Could use magics to enter the Material Realms.
And when the devout thought of the greater celestials,
Those gods could see, hear, and know of the world
through their devout's eyes, ears, and minds.
  And time is ticking forward.   The Gods and the Fiends still wage war upon each other.
But the Material Realms are equal grounds for them.
A place to be won or lost.
  The rocky corpse of what was once the worm
connects the Lower Planes across its lifeless surface.
Across it, the River Styx runs with the old blood of the worm.
The Fiends lay locked within the Lower planes,
but they can roam the Lower planes.
The Lords of Hell remain bound by a promise
That they made under a different name.
A promise that none can recall making.
They seek the destruction of all the endless demons of the Abyss.
  The Gods offer guidance and power to the mortals
For service to the gods, and to keep them in our minds.
Giving the god's eyes and ears in a realm that refuses them.
They can project minor aspects of themselves onto the worlds,
ghosts compared to their actual greatness.
They offer everlasting life to mortal minds.
They made the psychopomps, races of creatures who escort the dead
Across the Ethers and Seas safely to the Outer Realms.
  While the Gods have not grown in numbers since time began,
The less powerful beings of all the Outer Realms multiply.
They visit the various realms, literal hands for the gods.
The Fiends do the same, but we must open the doors for Fiends into our realms.
  And all beings can have a house
In the Outlands that surround the city of Sigil.
None can defy the Lady of Pain.
No mortal, nor god, nor fiend.
Neither mind, material, nor soul.
And she answers none of her mysteries.
  The shadow beneath the Materials Realms fell,
Overrun by creatures that love the shadows.
It traps lost souls, hunted for sport, food, or currency.
The psychopomp's numbers have grown much smaller,
While the dead grew in greater numbers.
The dead grew numerous and so many were lost.
Then the Raven Queen came to the ShadowFell.
She has opened doors for the lost to pass through
And onto the outer kingdoms that awaited them.
  The Feywilds above the Materials flourish unendingly.
They are lost in an abundance of life and creation.
Above is bright, seven suns that almost never all set.
And under stone and water, the other half of their world
Is hidden in a twilight that never ends.
Great joy and brooding, gay, fey, and wild.
They live a life far from any end,
and having none of the meaning
that an end gives to life.
  The Shadow, the Ether, the Material, and the Wild
Lay like seeds within the core of an apple.
The core swirls, an elemental cyclone of chaos
With every manner of matter and force within it at once.
The breath of the Ember even brings life to these inert elements.
Stones, waters, lights, sounds, fires, and cold are
All made living without flesh, blood, or lungs.
Here, there are worlds both alien and elemental to us.
  The mysteries of the Ethereal wait for us after death.
Our mortal lives will be forgotten,
But our ethereal soul will live on again,
Reincarnated back into the material worlds.
But some of the devoted do not get forgotten.
These mortal lives travel to the realms of the gods.
They continue their past mortal existence into an eternity
By the gift of a god, or a fiend,
Or an outsider that lies between the two.
  And time continues to tick...
NOTE: I've written versions of this three times. Tonight's rewrite I'm definitely happiest with. Still too long. But it hits a lot of key differences from the standard D&D cosmology.

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