Monday, 7 April 2014

The False Moon War: Prologue

Each of the infinite number of universes has its own unique set of laws, properties and energies which sets it apart from all others.  The warmth of gentle sunshine upon a child's face, the vigour of life and the tendency of objects to fall down, rather than up, are manifestations of some of the many mundane laws which bind this universe, making it "normal" to a native observer.

Other universes are governed by laws which seem paradoxical and bizarre to the non-native observer.  However, the inhabitants of such dimensions find these as commonplace as gravity and time.

In the space between the parallel planes is the Realm of Chaos.  Because this non-dimension is populated by entities made of energy, rather than matter, it obeys a set of different laws.

Only the god-like Old Ones had the ability and desire to travel from one universe to the next.  In pursuit of their enigmatic Great Plan, they created dimensional gates, where parallel planes were bridged by conduits through the Chaos Realm.

By means of these portals. the Old Ones brought into being another form of energy previously unknown in this universe:  Magic.

The friction between the incompatible realities creates a potential, much as amber rubbed with wool will produce tiny sparks of lightning.  At the dimensional gates, this potential is manifested as the Eight Winds of Magic.

In the time of the Old Ones, this potential was measured and controllable.  They taught their first servants, the amphibian Slann Mage Priests, to channel and control the winds to perform great works, which would have otherwise been impossible within the constraints of this universe’s laws.  In the eddies and vortices of the winds, other energies, such as Dark Magic, gradually accumulated like dust in the corner of a room.

Those with the ability to manipulate one or more of the Eight Winds and other magics are the great mages.  They are rightly to be feared and respected.  However, magic and wizardry only represent a bending of the natural rules of this universe. 

The universe's native laws cannot truly be broken.  An enchanted floating castle will eventually crash to earth.  In time, “eternal” beauty and youth bought with the blood of innocents will fade to reveal a face made hideous by decay. 

A magic user is wise to remember that the universe will inevitably correct any aberrations in its order.  Sometimes this will take aeons, but sometimes, particularly when the boundaries have been pushed too far, the correction will occur suddenly with a calamitous detonation.

Beyond natural laws and magical influence, a third set of laws exist.  These are truly universal.  That is to say, they hold sway in any time, any dimension, any universe.  These Metalaws cannot be measured or directly observed, but they are real, potent and they will endure until the last universe is snuffed out in cold infinity. 

The Metalaws have names, like Virtue and Evil, Good and Bad, Luck and Destiny.  Many others exist, but all follow this rule – they are paired, like the opposing sides of a coin, or  a bickering husband and wife bound together through eternity.  They are opposite, but cannot exist apart.

These pairings can merge and interact.  It is possible to know Good Luck or Evil Destiny.  Analysis of all possible combinations with the new science of mathematics reveals an interesting pattern.  The number six (and its derivative, three, and its multiples (2x6, 3x6 and so on)) governs all that is, and all that can be, in any part of the multiverse.

The Law of Six is the reason why mystic cubes made of bone, ivory or stone are revered by all races.  They are used to scry knowledge of the future and truths which cannot otherwise be known.

The King and Queen of the Metalaws are Balance and Bias.

King Balance dictates that Good Luck will find balance with Bad Destiny elsewhere in the multiverse.  For every lucky rabbit foot there will be a vengeful rabbit.  This is an immutable law. 

The Metalaws bow to King Balance's ruling. 

His queen, Bias, is  generally subservient to his edict.  However, on occasion, she will skew the distribution of the Metalaws across the multiverse and thus allow unusual and implausible happenstance.

In the case of the Spawning of Bob, the great Queen had pushed her snoring husband firmly out of bed.  At her behest, the coin of Luck and Destiny was spinning on its axis, and refused to fall either way.

This kind of thing is endlessly frustrating to soothsayers and statisticians alike.

to Chapter 1

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