We’re here at last: Day Thirty, the final day, the last post of Loremageddon 2019! And, in appropriate fashion to this closing hour, I’m focusing on lore itself as it exists within the Twin Spirals. First we’ll do a brief rundown of Canno’s Planelords, but then it’s into all manner of lost and disappearing knowledge. One last time at the end of an era, would you follow me below the asterisks?
Snippet #1: The Planelords (World: Canno)
Perhaps it was Urzen who formed first, or maybe Tunekiri; Velshat is also a strong contender. The Planelords who rule all Canno’s demons cannot now be sure which of them emerged from the spiritual dimension’s emotional sea upon the earliest dawn. They spent long centuries alone, and when the gods found and bound them at last, each was fully formed and close to the ruler of a plane already.
Urzen, who rules the Plane of Flesh, accepted his bonds most readily. “I prefer to spend my time finding lovers and losing my wits,” he once told a demonologist. “Besides, I just had to take one look at the way mortals treat prostitutes when they’re not sanctioned; after that I decided I’d rather be legal.” This statement, at once flirty, reasonable, and concealing considerable bitterness, is typical of the Seventh Plane’s master as well as the domain he administrates.
Tunekiri would doubtless rule the Sixth Plane in perpetuity whether the gods sanctioned her reign or not. She took several centuries to complete her accord with the Cannoan Pantheon. This was not because she disliked the idea of working under divine rule, but because as the quintessential Demon of Bonds, she desired an ironclad contract with legal stipulations and protocols for every single contingency she could imagine. She then required a final decade to scribe methods and underlying logic for adding new rules to address anything she couldn’t imagine.
Of all the Planelords, only Heldag and a demoness now scoured from all remembrance, the Planelords of Malice and Power respectively, attempted to resist the Pantheon’s dominion.
The Pantheon smote the Lady of the Eighth from her throne first, facing a dire struggle. They shattered the rebellious Planelord only after a full day of vicious battle that pushed many of the burgeoning deities to their limits. As a final punishment for her sins, they erased her name from all her works, from every archive, and from all minds–even their own. By this baleful decree, they denied her soul’s scalded shards any hope of feeding on the emotion her primordial power might still inspire. Even though some few scholars unearth new clues to her legend now and then, their awe will never reach her–making it even less likely she shall ever resurrect from her shattering. She is known only by her dread epithet: the Forsaken Blade.
Among the surviving demons of power, a prophesy exists. It vows that the Forsaken Blade shall one day return, and bring everlasting agony on those who dared steal her birthright. Should that day come, there will be hell to pay.
The Pantheon gave Heldag the chance to kneel, but being spiteful by nature they refused, and so Stahrich destroyed them with a single vicious sweep of his hungry greatsword. Heldag sometimes reemerges as a starving, flickering wraith on the Second Plane’s most pathetic outskirts. The other demons of malice avoid them, treating them as a cursed being whose manifestation brings ill fortune.
Otherwise, Urzen and Tunekiri retain their posts. Shelch rules the Plane of Destruction; it is less so a discrete Plane than a large number of planar shards which explode far more than necessary. Velshat rules the Plane of Chaos, which he has organized into just the sort of madhouse one would expect. Kathreek rules the Plane of Malice; her spite, unlike that of her predecessor, is now the same in essence as that of a rebellious teenager. Ossenu rules the Plane of Withering, and openly dislikes how busy Canno’s people keep him.
Ai-ten rules the Plane of Presence, and does her best to keep everyone’s spirits up; she’s the most active of the Planelords on Canno itself. It’s unknown who rules the Plane of Power; demonologists believe the current Planelord is so ashamed at being under the gods’ authority that they refuse to let their identity be known.
Snippet #2: Lost Mythologies (Worlds: Canno, Creation’s Fringe)
No matter the world, the same process repeats when time runs long enough: a true event becomes distorted as the original records are lost. On Creation’s Fringe this has been the case for the Three Queens of the Apocalypse, deities ranging from Mirtulla to Anek and Bulok, and countless tales about empires with names like “the Dominion of the Starry Gauntlet” or “the Eternal Recant”.
On Canno, meanwhile, the Age of Splendors has become so steeped in rumors and folklore that historians either tear their hair out searching for a proper lead or fall prey to the craze themselves. The Tresar archaeologist Indror Bessala famously went mad searching for the Tomb of Emperor Kardos Sidra. Kardos was a legendary conqueror who Indror believed had lived just after the Age of Splendors, unifying Taifen until he died of old age and his unworthy sons threw away his triumph. The problem? Kardos was the invention of the ilbaret playwright Nassa Dessel.
“I just wanted to explore Tresamer’s well-known patriarchal dysfunction through a hypothetical story in which they actually ruled Taifen,” Nass explained in her later years, having heard of Indror’s madness. “I agree it’s ironic that Indror latched onto it as ‘lost history’ but I really wish he hadn’t. I don’t like to think of anyone hurting themselves over actors on a stage.” Indror, hearing of this in his turn, launched into a frothing tirade against “that deceiving ape-spawn whore!” The story he’d constructed appealed more to him than the reality he lived in, and he thus rejected the latter.
On Creation’s Fringe, meanwhile, it’s hypothesized that some of the tales about Mirtulla must refer to true historical events. There are mentions of the Frost-Goddess in the oldest fragments–of which a four thousand year-old slab of granite is the most ancient example–and even in these, she’s referred to as predating all known history. Scholars during the Krunweil Iron Electorate refer to her as “Mirtulla, whose cold is always primordial”, which seems to stem from some even-older mode of address.
At least in the latter case, most historians believe these represent mortal attempts to ascribe meaning to the void where none exists.
Snippet #3: Faded History (Worlds: Canno, Creation’s Fringe)
Though it obviously blends into the above entry at the utmost extreme, there’s usually a clear distinction between an incomplete history and a myth; the latter can no longer be verified, whereas there are many ways to collect evidence for the latter in a universe like the Twin Spirals. A psionic with enough practice in opening themselves to the outside world can read the memories imprinted upon a ruin found among fungal towers and spore-colonies deep below the Fringe’s surface. Either they or a mage can summon the lingering spirits of bygone eras.
But of course, each ruin contains only the memories pertaining to it. Each spirit remembers only its own perspective, assuming that it even remembers that completely. The further in the past an event lies, the less likely that either these supernatural methods or the steadier grind of archaeologists and cultural anthropologists will construct a whole truth. Thus, the concept of “Faded History” developed–one coined by the Marrowscour scholar Bakro Shazrin.
Faded History is self-explanatory: there’s enough lingering that one can gain a reasonable understanding, but not the whole picture. Like a painting bleached by time or a sculpture worn with decades of wind, rain, and snow, it’s not always possible to reclaim what was lost. Canno’s people suffer less from this phenomenon. Though their own empires rise and fall just as the Fringe’s do, Canno the planet remains stable. Its continents keep the same places, its landmasses are disrupted or displaced only by direct mortal agency.
On the Fringe, the ruins comprising an archaic city may have been split wider and wider over time. The oldest exist as no more than isolated buildings scattered in ten thousand tiny caverns deep underground; by the time one catalogued them all, a Marrow Wreaking would change their order yet again.
Perhaps that’s why the Fringe’s people live so firmly in the present: it’s all they’re allowed to have.
That’s it. Loremageddon is finished for this year. I’m thinking that due to the more eldritch nature of the month in general, and the absence of holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas that require me to budget time for family, I’ll likely run Loremageddon 2020 in October next year. For now? Let me know any closing thoughts in the comments, leave a like, and share this lore with any you believe might appreciate it. Otherwise, you could always follow me on Twitter–I’ve been fairly busy there today!