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  1. #1
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 16 May 2003, Gary Foss wrote:

    > One of the things that I`ve been finding increasingly
    > interesting/amusing about BR is the possibility that the Battle of
    > Deismaar "awakened" the Land itself. Call it Aebrynis, call it Gaia
    > or the consciousness behind the Land`s Choice, the campaign setting
    > itself can be used as a sort of ultimate NPC.

    Yup! I`ve been toying with that one for years. Actually, I always
    thought the planet`s consciousness preceded all other sentient life, and
    in fact is what made Deismaar possible -- even necessary.

    The version of the concept I`ve liked most is that Aebrynis was no
    different from any other habitable planet in the universe until a giant
    energy being came there, and began the extremely slow process of creating
    offspring. Its "body" and "biological" processes are what constitute
    magic and spurred the development of so very many deeply strange (and
    otherwise impossible) kinds of living things, a remarkable proportion of
    them sentient. Bloodlines are sort of its genetic material, sorting and
    re-sorting itself into different combinations; eventually, after long
    enough, all the blooded people will be drawn together into another
    Deismaar, at which point they will explode and in so doing create a second
    child of the planet`s resident energy being. Won`t the Gorgon be surprised!


    Ryan Caveney

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  2. #2
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 16 May 2003, Gary Foss wrote:

    > One of the things that I`ve been finding increasingly
    > interesting/amusing about BR is the possibility that the Battle of
    > Deismaar "awakened" the Land itself. Call it Aebrynis, call it Gaia
    > or the consciousness behind the Land`s Choice, the campaign setting
    > itself can be used as a sort of ultimate NPC.

    Yup! I`ve been toying with that one for years. Actually, I always
    thought the planet`s consciousness preceded all other sentient life, and
    in fact is what made Deismaar possible -- even necessary.

    The version of the concept I`ve liked most is that Aebrynis was no
    different from any other habitable planet in the universe until a giant
    energy being came there, and began the extremely slow process of creating
    offspring. Its "body" and "biological" processes are what constitute
    magic and spurred the development of so very many deeply strange (and
    otherwise impossible) kinds of living things, a remarkable proportion of
    them sentient. Bloodlines are sort of its genetic material, sorting and
    re-sorting itself into different combinations; eventually, after long
    enough, all the blooded people will be drawn together into another
    Deismaar, at which point they will explode and in so doing create a second
    child of the planet`s resident energy being. Won`t the Gorgon be surprised!


    Ryan Caveney

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  3. #3
    Birthright Developer
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    The version of the concept I`ve liked most is that Aebrynis was no
    different from any other habitable planet in the universe until a giant
    energy being came there, and began the extremely slow process of creating
    offspring. Its "body" and "biological" processes are what constitute
    magic and spurred the development of so very many deeply strange (and
    otherwise impossible) kinds of living things, a remarkable proportion of
    them sentient. Bloodlines are sort of its genetic material, sorting and
    re-sorting itself into different combinations; eventually, after long
    enough, all the blooded people will be drawn together into another
    Deismaar, at which point they will explode and in so doing create a second
    child of the planet`s resident energy being. Won`t the Gorgon be surprised!
    Wow - that sounds pretty similar to Earth X - which had some ideas I'd planned to nab for a future Planescape campaign.

    The Earth of Earth X is basically a sort of cosmic womb, containing the growing fetus of a godlike being, who would eventually grow to maturity, and destroy the planet in the process. The planet was "inseminated" with this creature thousands of years ago, and the races on the surface were altered - given so-called celestial seeds - so that they'd be able to unknowingly protect the planet, and therefore the creature within, from intrusions from other alien races.

    Drawing the line that the "celestial seeds" are similar to bloodlines or magic, the scenarios sound pretty similar. Of course, there might a difference between a creature that gives life and one that is eating up the planet from within...
    Jan E. Juvstad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Fri, 16 May 2003, Mark_Aurel wrote:

    > The Earth of Earth X is basically a sort of cosmic womb, containing
    > the growing fetus of a godlike being, who would eventually grow to
    > maturity, and destroy the planet in the process.

    Hadn`t heard of it, but I clearly see the parallel.

    > the races on the surface were altered - given so-called celestial
    > seeds - so that they`d be able to unknowingly protect the planet, and
    > therefore the creature within, from intrusions from other alien races.

    That`s another good idea. IMO, in Cerilia that role of "the antibodies
    of the land" would be taken by the Gheallie Sidhe -- the health of the
    planetary being lies in mebhaighl, as measured by source potential levels;
    growth of the non-elven races is therefore a direct threat to it.

    Along those lines, one of the other crackpot theories I`ve had about
    Cerilia is that none of the sentient races evolved there naturally. The
    giants and elves had been there as caretaker spirits (of inorganic and
    organic matter, respectively) for a very long time, but they never needed
    to take fixed physical form until the dragons showed up, fleeing a magical
    war they were losing on a far-distant world. Having arrived thinking they
    were preparing their last stand against their pursuing opponents, the
    dragons` first order of business was to create an army. They wanted
    creatures who would be smart yet naturally loyal and dependable, good at
    combat, resistant to damage, magic and poison, capable of bearing heavy
    loads, good at engineering, and subterranean so as to better withstand
    sieges and move about in secret, yet biological rather than constructs so
    they could reproduce on their own. In other words, dwarves. With the
    assistance of giants and elves to enable them to give real, biological
    life to rocks, the greatest dragon mages made the first Cerilian dwarves,
    the first sentient mortal life on the planet. They built their mountain
    fortresses, bred their armies, and prepared magical weapons of power for
    the final battle -- but their enemies never arrived.

    After a thousand years or so, it became fairly clear their enemies were
    never going to attack, so the dragons got back to their normal routine.
    This involved a great deal of large-scale magical research. Having
    created life once already, they were naturally keen to try again; but the
    giants and elves were not happy with the results of the dwarf project, so
    they had to go it alone. Without the powers of those races, the dragons
    could not again create life or sentience from scratch, so they were forced
    to work with existing, moderately advanced creatures, and work slowly to
    Uplift them (in the David Brin sense). All the other sentient races, such
    as gnolls, orogs, humans, goblins, etc. were raised up from existing
    critters (dogs, pigs/badgers, apes, ???), and used as servants.

    Eventually, the dragons got back to their true passion -- politics -- and
    started using their servant tribes to struggle for dominance. Some of
    them decided to teach magic to their servants to improve their power
    bases, but discovered their pets strangely unable to handle most spells.
    Somehow -- perhaps by learning a secret from the elves, or putting some of
    their own essences into their creations, or even by putting the essences
    of unwilling elves into their creations -- a few dragons created the first
    bloodlines in mortals. This enabled them to teach their servant races
    true magic, which gave those dragons a decisive advantage over their
    rivals, and incidentally increased the fervor with which their creations
    quite logically worshipped them as gods. Deismaar was then just the final
    and most spectacular battle of the last of the dragons` many civil wars,
    which so completely annihilated their society that the only dozen or so
    survivors of their race (who had lived only by not being there) swore off
    politics forever, and went away into the wilderness to hide and think alone.

    > Drawing the line that the "celestial seeds" are similar to
    > bloodlines or magic, the scenarios sound pretty similar.

    Yup! And the uplift theory of dragons and bloodlines I just mentioned has
    some accidental similarities with the creation of the Dragaerans from
    Stephen Brust`s "Jhereg" novels. I guess it`s just sort of what happens
    when you mix fantasy and science fiction. =)

    Oh, incidentally, this theory explains the racial ability modifiers of the
    human subraces: there are real biological differences between Anuireans
    and Rjurik and Brecht etc. because they are the products of slightly
    different intentional breeding programs by their draconic "gods".

    > Of course, there might a difference between a creature that gives life
    > and one that is eating up the planet from within...

    I should hope at least some! OTOH, the "Aebrynis creature" in my theory
    doesn`t care one whit about the fates of individual humans, either. But
    it`s not ever going to leave (only its children are), so it probably cares
    slightly more about sustainable development, and may get really irritated
    or really sick if human technological progress goes too far. Perhaps it`s
    the planet-creature`s immune system which prevents Renaissance technology
    or gunpowder from appearing.


    Ryan Caveney

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