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Worlds of Ultima: Baja - Themes and Conventions

Discussion in 'The Baja Roleplaying & Event Alliance' started by WarderDragon, Jan 3, 2012.

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  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Worlds of Ultima: Baja – Themes and Conventions


    Since the inception of the BRPA, Baja has developed a number of unique themes that distinguish it from other shards and imitators.

    Tonight I will begin compiling these tropes and idioms for the benefit of Baja Readers. Enjoy.

    I. The World
    II. The Sacred Mysteries
    III. The Sacred Mysteries (Cont.)
  2. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Oct 9, 2008
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    The World


    Based on: Renaissance Europe.

    Contains elements of Science Fiction and Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy.

    “In ancient times, men built wonders, conquered the stars and sought to better themselves for the good of all. We are much wiser now.”

    Our world is best described as Low Fantasy, or Magical Realism. That is not to say there is an absence of magic or mythical elements. Quite the opposite. But what our theme does suggest is a culture that longs for a realistic, believable basis in which to ground our fictional universe. Humans are the dominant race; a xenophobic, fearful people whose protagonist empire shifts between enlightened rule and a fascist theocracy. Magic is a functional science that takes much more than it gives, and is based on real world Hermetic principles. The heavens are silent, but the Gates of Hell have been thrown open, with all manner of omnicidal horrors vying to devour the human race.

    Central to this theme is a certain sense of fatalism, and the fallen greatness of man. Forget the promise of hope, the promise of progress and understanding. Daemons and ancient civilizations from the stars all threaten to burn our world to a cinder. The Orcs and Beastmen of Mondain still wander, besieging the walls of our cities, and his curse still lingers over the land, promising undeath to those who are not dismembered and cremated. Daemonic cults spring up in each village.

    Morality isn't seen in black and white, but in evolving shades of grey. The heroes are seldom pure, and are plagued with the constant struggle between “what is right” and “what must be done.”

    There is a strong, abiding emphasis on Ultima Lore, something I find to be absent from the realms of Europa and Atlantic. But while we embrace it, and ground our fiction in the world upon which we are based, we are neither obsessed with nor beholden to it. (i.e. the direction of New Magincia and the Technocrat War.) The future is malleable. We are its authors.

    Our fictional religions are based more in real world philosophies, such as Christianity, Jewish Qabbalah, Hermeticism and the Pagan religions, as opposed to the D&D buffet adopted on other shards. (You will not find shrines to Talos and Chanteua on Baja.) But, in contrast to these other shards, the Heavens are silent.

    We avoid emulation of D&D and Lord of the Rings. High Elves, Dwarves and Halflings need not apply.

    Ultima Prime

    Sosaria once referred to the Kingdom later renamed in honor of it's recent Prophet and King, Lord British. (New Sosaria would later be used by those who disagreed with his rule.)

    At some point, the term Sosaria was misapplied to the world as a whole. But on Baja, it is still recognized as the name of the mainland, and as the archaic name for Britannia. Therefore Ultima, an unused term in the fictional universe of UO, has been applied to our fictional world: Ultima Prime.

    The main continents of Ultima Prime are: Sosaria, Ilshenar, the Land of Feudal Lords, the Land of Dark Unknown, Thule, Eodon and Ambrosia. (Pictured below.)


    The Universe

    Ultima Prime, as per Wing Commander (another Origin Franchise), exists at the far reaches of Kilrathi Space. Humans from the advanced Terran Federation (compare to the Star Wars Republic and Warhammer's Imperium of Man) cannot reach our world, their brothers across the stars.

    Yet Earthlings have found other ways to reach Sosaria for more than ten millenia. Moongates - the lost vehicle of an ancient race wiped out by Zog - have largely been responsible for the human resettlement of this world. It also explains how Earth's peoples, cultures and religions have found their way to ours.

    The Sun

    The Sun of Ultima Prime is said to be dimmer than the Star of Terra (Earth). Nocturnal beings such as Vampires are able to survive for long periods in the eternal twilight.

    The Moons

    There are three moons orbiting Ultima Prime: Trammel, Felucca and the Dark Moon.

    The Dark Moon - unique to Baja - is central to the Eastern religions of the Land of Feudal Lords. It is also of interest to Mages and Alchemists interested in the Dark Arts and Alchemy.

    Together, the Three Moons manipulate the tides and volcanic activity in an unpredictable and often dangerous manner. Sailors have described giant swells rising up in the middle of the ocean, and volcanic islands sweling beneath their ships. Venturing far from the mainland is perilous, and intercontinental travel is unheard of.


    The Kingdom of Lord British and his Knights. Based on Renaissance England and Germany.

    The Kingdom of Trammel

    The Kingdom of Trammel is another term for Britannia, used to distinguish it from the Abandoned Lands. Trammel, the domain of Lord British, is seen as encompassing mainland Sosaria and the surrounding Isles. (i.e. J'helom, Moonglow, etc.)

    New Magincia and Nujel'm are recognized as being part of Britannia, though their peoples now contest that rule and have begun to cecede from the far-spanning Empire.

    The Abandoned Lands

    Another term used to refer to Felucca.

    Though it is not unique to our shard, there is a strong emphasis on the hatred and resentment placed towards Britannia in the Old World, or “the Abandoned.” Those people who remained their, fighting for their homes at the end of the Second War of Darkness (1999), saw the advent of Trammel as Lord British's retreat. Those who fought with the promise of protection watched as Minax razed their homes. Magincia rose up in rebellion, the Magincian Parliament and the Council of Mages forming a strong alliance. The Kingdom of Dawn and Avalon declared their firm independence.

    The Cities fell and became subject to Minax, or bands of marauders such as the Cartel.

    The True Britannian Faction, which has long been the domain of Baja's most unforgivable reds, has become another point of contention for those who choose to view the world through a fictional lens.

    Cities in the Abandoned Lands are given the moniker, “Old.” Ergo, Trinsic becomes “Old Trinsic,” and Vesper becomes “Old Vesper.”


    In Ultima, Serpents Isle was the domain of those who abandoned Lord British's Virtues, and Sosaria altogether; establishing a Kingdom of three main cities known as New Sosaria.

    In Ultima Online, however, these people (the Council of Mages) never rediscovered the continent (Ilshenar), and never left their mark there. This also led to a startling revelation.

    The Virtues, as those first explorers would find, were not the unique invention of Lord British. In fact, an ancient civilization, now believed to be more advanced in Magic, Alchemy and Medicine than we, established Eight Shrines to the Virtues, recognizing them as the embodiment of the Three Principles and the Universe. (The Godhead.)

    But in an act of hubris, the Ilshenari were wiped out in a single night. Those who survived, those who lived on the far edge of Ilshenar and outside its great cities, would become the Gypsies we know today.

    Ilshenar, as we will discuss in more depth later, is based on Ancient Israel and Persia.

    The Gypsies have, in large part divided themselves into two camps. The former camp, those who tend to remain in the mountains, have a religion more grounded in Judaism, with the Sefirot and the Tree of Life representing the Eight Virtues and the Three Principles. The Gypsies of the Lowlands, however, turned from their ancient rites, believing it to be part of the hubris that ended their ancestors. They have forgotten their ways, and have adopted a spirituality more in common with the pagan peoples of Yew and the Spiritwood.
  3. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    The Sacred Mysteries

    The Eight Virtues

    “Welcome, Avatar.”

    As the ashes of Mondain's vast empire were scoured from the earth, the Lord of Britannia conceived a vision of utopia, based on science and reason. One where man, united, could overcome the sorrows of his forebears and achieve spiritual perfection. It also required all mankind be brought into the fold or purged. He doubted this vision, and what it entailed, but then an angelic being visited him in the night and reassured him of his quest. This set of ethics, known as the Eight, forms the monolithic truth of all Britannia.

    The sacraments of Virtue are simple. Three principles govern the life of Man, and from these three principles spring Eight Prime Virtues. Together, these Virtues form an abstract concept known as the Infinite, an immanent force equated with Order, or God. It inherits these ideas, in part, from the Liturgies of Truth, the ancient, monolithic cult of classical Sosaria and the Priests of Ultima I-III.

    Yet all that we thought we knew about the Virtues was shattered almost a decade ago, when Gilforn and his expedition discovered the continent of Ilshenar. The Ilshenari, an ancient civilization that resembled the empires of Sumeria and Persia, who had once revered an Immortal God Emperor called the Ilshen, had erected Eight Shrines dedicated to the same Eight Virtues to which we adhere. The Lord of Britannia, it seems, had not invented the Virtues, but instead had adapted them from the ancient, primordial religion of these people.

    What had happened to the Ilshenari, and their Virtues?


    The Truth

    In the beginning, there was One. And that One, is Truth.

    The Truth is the ancient, monolithic creed of classical Sosaria, before the ascent of Mondain and his reign of blood. It is the belief in one, immanent God, called the Infinite or the Truth, who reveals himself to man through a succession of prophets and cosmic acts. He is said to be the Creator and master of the Universe, who separated Order from Chaos and gave life to man.

    The Truth is considered to be an omnipotent, omnipresent being, and the font of all wisdom. He is a just, harsh teacher, and the evil allowed in the world is said to serve to strengthen the faithful. The Truth has no gender, and such anthropomorphic appellations are the result of man attempting to understand the unknowable. The symbol of Truth is the Sun.

    Those who adhere to the Truth abstain from various blasphemies, including raising the dead and attempting to create sentient beings. Idol worship is condemned. No remnant of the Temple of Truth remains, though some have noticed parallels between the Temples specifications and the dimensions of the Temple in Reg Volom.

    The Eight are considered to be the successor of Truth, and some see the religions as one, the Virtues being inspired and part of the Tree of Life. But there are others who see the Virtues as a blasphemous subversion.

    The Truth is based on the monotheistic religion of Ultima I-III, the ancient monotheistic religions of Atenism and Judaism, and concepts such as Ein Sof, the Sephirot and Qabbalah.

    The Tree of Life (Qabbalah)

    The Tree of Life is a concept in Hermeticism and Qabbalah.

    The premise is that eleven emanations, or Virtues, are associated with the Infinite, Ein Sof or God, represented in the form of a Tree. The concept is similar to the Codex of Virtue, and is sometimes used to represent the Virtues and the Principles together.

    Avatarianism (The Inquisition)

    Avatarianism is the belief in a coming messiah, the Avatar, who will free the world of the Guardian and usher in a new Golden Age.

    Based on the Eight Virtues and the Truth, Avatarianism is a recent development, but one that is quickly gaining a following in the northern territories. It emphasizes monasticism and faith, but in contrast to the Truth and the Eight Virtues, which emphasize the positive aspects of religion, Avatarianism emphasizes the negative. Its followers, filled with religious zeal, have been responsible for more than one crusade against “Heretics” and “Witches” in recent years.


    Avatarians abstain from magic, which is considered to be a corrupting influence stemming from tapping into the corrupted realm of Chaos. Avatarians also place emphasis on living a chaste life, and not giving into sexual sins. Women are seen as inferior, and are to remain subservient to their husbands. And Compassion has been removed from the list of Virtues, replaced with Zeal.

    It contrasts the Eight Virtues, the State Religion of Britannia, in it's emphasis on a messianic figure, as opposed to the Virtue that all might aspire to. It's purpose is to harmonize the Avatar fiction that has managed to slip into UO despite that characters absence from the world.

    Avatarianism is based on the Medieval Church, with special emphasis placed on the Inquisition and the Witch Burnings. It is also based on source material, the Ordo Malleus of Warhammer 40,000 and the Caelestis Templars of Silver Hand.

    The Machine

    “To fail is to be flesh, for only metal endures.”

    In the beginning, All was Chaos. And from that great, entropic black sprang Order, the one true principle governing this Universe.

    The Machine is the religion of the Overlords, and the Logos. It is the worship of Exodus, the Omnissah of the Machine God. It is the belief that invention, and the ancient technological achievements of man, are the ultimate expressions of Order in the Universe. The Machine is the belief that knowledge is the manifestation of the divine in Man, it's preservation the supreme goal of the Technocrats.

    The Machine is a monotheistic cult dedicated to the preservation of human knowledge and the reconstruction of it's lost technologies. It is one that believes human evolution has ceased, and that man, almost unchanged in the 30,000 years since his departure from Earth, has reached the pinnacle of biological achievement. The Machine Cult believes the next step of human evolution is man-made, that he must become the Machine, augmenting themselves with mechanical prosthetics and ancient technologies in the imagine of their Techprophet, Blackthorne.

    It is the belief of the Machine Cult that all invention, all the lost technologies of man, all machines and engineered items are Created Beings, an expression of Order. And all created beings possess a spark of their creator, a soul. To function, the machines must be appeased with libation and sacrifice. The energies of man must be focused, inspired, or are doomed to fail. This would seem absurd, but in a Universe where man's subconscious fears and desires impact the physical realm, the Machine Cult has a point.

    The supreme object of worship amongst this heretic cult is the Machine God, the immanent manifestation of the principle Order. Exodus is considered to be the Machine God's manifestation in the physical universe. Knowledge, it is said, is divine and revealed unto Man, His gift to the learned.


    Machinists, Engineers and Tinkers number amongst their innumerable followers. While the cult is considered one of the major heresies in Britannia, subject to the Inquisition, the Machine has gained a strong following in Minoc and Vesper.

    Yet despite their obsession with the mechanical, Artificial Intelligence is considered one of the highest blasphemies. The Great Exodus, constructed from the lost technologies of Terra, still remembers the Fall of Man, when the Men of Iron achieved sentience and rose up against him. All Machines, from the Overseers to the Machine Lord Blackthorne maintain a sentient, human mind, the true font of wisdom and the anchor of their soul.

    The Machine Cult is associated with philosophical Order. Though this would seem contradiction, as the Technoprophet Blackthorn founded philosophical Chaos, it is not. Blackthorne, it is said, came to understand Order. Or rather, he was made to understand it. It also has distanced itself from the followers of Minax, for all those who would spread Chaos and Oblivion are blasphemers.

    The Machine is based on the Overlords of Worlds of Ultima: Origin (UO2), Exodus and the Dark Core of Ultima III, and Blackthorne's Damnation, Ultima: The Technocrat War, and the Machine Cult of Warhammer.

    Abraxas (Gnosticism)

    In the beginning there was One, and the One was All. And All sprung forth from the One, called the Monad. From the mind of the One sprang awareness, Logos, and wisdom, Sophia, and from them sprung his emanations, a pantheon of personifications and Aeons known as the Pleroma.

    But Wisdom became separated from the Pleroma, and in Her loneliness, she sought to create a companion. In her hubris, she created the Demiurge, who believed himself to be the Infinite, and in turn he created the material realm. Chief amongst his servants, the Great Archons of this world, is Abraxas.

    So goes the creation myth of the Paladins, who adhere to an esoteric tradition that emphasizes meditation, contemplation, wisdom and personal revelation, called Gnosis. Paladin Gnosticism, as it has come to be called, is believed to have risen in response to, or rejection of, the monotheism of the Eight Virtues and the Truth, adopting the philosophical ideas of the ancient empires.

    The Paladins believe each person has a Spark of the Divine, a source of Inner Light, and at the end of time the Sons of the Light will return to the Monad. It is for this reason the Paladins have not abandoned their Temple of the Light, Luna, despite the world crumbling around them.


    In real life, Abraxas is a magical word in Gnosticism, as is said to be the name of the Great Archon, or sometimes the Demiurge itself.

    The presence of Abraxas, Kronus, the Shrine of Wisdom (Sophia), and Horus all suggest a Gnostic influence in Malas. Given it was in this period that Gnosticism and the Nag Hammadi scriptures were entering the popular consciousness, it is no stretch to assume that a developer at the time might have been aware of the concepts, introducing it into the lore. If not, then it fills a gap long left untouched.

    Paladin Gnosticism is based on Christian Gnosticism, one of the major heresies of the First and Second centuries.

    The Imperial Cult

    The Imperial Truth is a growing cult in the streets and underground temples of Trinsic and Britain, one that believes Lord Cantabrigian has achieved a sort of apotheosis, or Godhood.

    Lord Cantabrigian British, a youth from the world of Terra, is said to have discovered a talisman that transported him across space (and forward in time) to the world of Britannia. There, discovering magic in a time when most alchemists and witches were subject to torture and execution, he used his newfound powers to carve out an Empire of his own.

    Which was fortunate, considering Mondain would soon murder the father of the neighboring Empire, initiating a thousand year reign of chaos and despair.

    When Mondain was defeated, Cantabrigian, now recognized as the Immortal Emperor, embarked on a Great Crusade to reclaim, subjugate or annihilate all the lost colonies of Sosaria, uniting the land as one and renaming it Britannia in his honor. After three centuries of this, Lord British retired from his conquering to complete his “Great Work,” forming the Virtues and spread enlightenment through the land. It was also during this period, it is said, he realized a greater evil was beginning to flourish on the Void, thus he left the rule of his vast Empire to his High Council and disappeared from the world to stop this threat.

    The Lord of Britannia returned a decade later, during the period known as the Year of Shadows, to defeat Minax and build a vast tomb in honor of his friend, Lord Blackthorne. But he would not remain. With the Gem Shards now in his possession, Lord British declared that he would enter the Void and guard it for all time.

    The Faithful believe that Lord Cantabrigian has achieved a sort of apotheosis. Reverence for the Immortal Emperor is not uncommon, and whispers of his Second Coming are well known amongst the Virtuous, but the Imperial Truth has taken this to a new level.

    The Imperial Cult is an adaption of the Virtues, and the growing fervor associated with Lord British in some circles. Inspiration also comes from the Imperial Cult and the God Emperor of Warhammer 40,000.

    The Pagan Rite

    “Do no harm, that is the whole of the Law.”

    In the beginning, there was One. And from the One, came Masculine and Feminine, the Horned God and the Great Goddess, who, in their union, birthed the Universe.

    The Pagan Rite is an umbrella term for the pleroma of indigenous, orthopraxic beliefs held by the early colonists, and the various revivals that have arisen in their absence. While there is no common, monolithic tradition from whence all these religions stem, there seems to be several common threads that unite them, including the personification of various themes in nature and an emphasis on ceremonial magick. All deities are seen as being children, or emanations of, the Horned God and the Triple Goddess, the latter of whom is associated with the Three Moons of Ultima Prime.

    Paganism almost died out centuries ago, but is experiencing something of a revival in rural regions.

    Ravenshire and the Paganism of Ilshenar are based on the modern Neopagan movement, which includes Wicca and Celtic Reconstructionism.


    “Do what thou wilt, that is the whole of the Law.”

    Thelema has gained ground in recent decades, a spiritual movement dedicated to excess and adherence to ones “Will.”

    It is a religion that sees the world on the cusp of a new age, called the Aeon of Horus, when the divine will reveal itself and replace the Aeons of Isis and Osiris. In that time, new forms of magic and religious expression will be discovered, and for the faithful, it will replace the dogma of both Virtuous and Pagan alike.

    The supreme object of worship within this tradition is a triune of three gods, known as Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit, also known as Horus. Babalon, the Virgin ***** and the Goddess of Pleasure, and Therion, the beast she rides, are also revered.

    Thelema is most popular amongst aristocrats and the magi, who have formed “Hellfire Clubs” in all the major cities of Britannia in which to propagate their orgiastic rituals and blasphemies. Ceremonial magic is central to their creed, and daemons are summoned to fornicate with the wives in hopes of impregnating them with the daemons seed. The religious icons and graven images of other movements are defiled in a shower of bacchanalia and sexual sin, believing that man must overcome the superstitions of the past, and overcome temptation through excess.

    Thelema is based on the real world movement of the same name.


    The Inferno. Pandaemonium. Hell.

    In the ages before man, when Angelic beings made war upon the Principalities, and the Old Gods were bound in the deeps, the Beast was cast out of the firmament, and entombed upon a barren world.

    Where he fell, a crater was formed, a vast concave that reached into the tectonic fires of this world and into the world below. Yet his eternal prison would not be his end. Instead, it would become a beacon, a temple, drawing the daemons of Chaos and their followers to him, all to worship their infernal master.

    In the lore of the Alchemists, he would become known as the Nameless One. But in the scriptures of the Book of Truth, he would earn a new name: the Slasher of Veils.

    He would have remained entombed, unable to touch the world, if not for man. It is said that during the Aeon of the First Emperors, long after the colonists had regressed into barbarism and superstition, that man would discover the Beasts prison, perhaps under the influence of his daemonic servants. Believing him to be the god of this world, the First Emperors erected shrines and temples upon the Isle, and committed blasphemies in his name.

    It would be sealed again, under the auspices of the Immortal Emperor, Lord of Britannia, who would lead a Crusade with Sir Cabrius and the Legion of Crux Ansata more than two centuries ago.


    In the Inferno, an Italian epic that has had more to do with our perception of Hell than the Bible, Hell is described as a Pit in which Satan, and the Fallen, are bound. Nine levels correspond to the nine sins, in which those who are damned are tormented for all time. The Seventh Circle, Violence, is where the violent and the murderous are visited with violence against themselves, poetic retribution for their crimes against God. It is surrounded by a river of boiling blood and fire, the Phelegeton, and guarded by the Minotaur.

    Sound familiar? It should. In Ultima Online, two stone minotaur guard the entrance to the Abyss, and rivers of fire surround the Beasts domain.

    Ultima: Underworlds describes the Great Stygian Abyss as a nine leveled, subterranean pit, with the Slasher of Veils bound at the bottom. Not convinced? Consider that a Bell, a Book and a Candle are required to open the Gates of Hell in medieval lore. In Ultima, the Bell of Courage, the Book of Truth and the Candle of Love are required to open the Abyss.

    Yes, the relics of Virtue are also associated with the Hell of Christian lore.

    There is no indication that the Great Stygian Abyss is some sort of Afterlife, or Hell. (The Void, replete with Daemons, Chaos, and Dark Power is described as the place where souls go in Ultima lore. Sounds fun.) But it is a Hell, with thousands of trapped daemons, and a cosmic being that wishes to devour all sentient life and regain his ruinous powers.

    Abandon all hope, ye who enter this place.
  4. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    The Sacred Mysteries (Cont.)

    The Void

    The Aether. The Primordial Annihilator. Oblivion. It's names are legion. It's role is clear. It was here before Creation, and it will be here long after the last stars die.

    The Void refers to the universal, ethereal and often malign spiritual dimension that mirrors our own. It is the remnant of what was, the universe before Order, and for some, what it will become. It is the limitless ocean of spiritual, emotional and subconscious power, known as the Immaterium, from whence all Magick comes.

    The Void is not evil. It is the universal subconscious of all life. But the billions of sentient beings that have occupied the universe since time immemorial, their fears, their hatreds and selfish desires, has turned the Void, or Chaos, into a hellish dimension of entropic and chaotic energies, their fears manifest, giving rise to daemons and the aspects of sin.

    There is no time in the Void. It is the dimension we enter when we enter a moongate or wormhole, allowing us to travel hundreds, thousands or even billions of miles in short periods of time. But it comes with a risk. Each time we enter the void, we come under the influence of daemons, and those who linger too long return corrupted, mutated, or don't return at all.

    The Void is the Ethereal Void of Ultima, with influences derived from the Immaterium of Warhammer and the Fae of Coldfire.

    Theistic Chaos

    Chaos refers to the universal, malign spiritual force that inhabits, and is the Void.

    It is said that the fears, hatreds and desires of sentient beings has an impact on reality. Those subtle, subconscious desires can impact fate, while the greatest nightmares can give rise to sentient, ruinous powers known as Daemons. Stronger emotions, the collective will of a race, can grant apotheosis to an object of worship, or raise a psychic barrier around a world such as the one in Trammel. But can also give birth to Chaotic Gods.

    These ruinous powers, Virtuebane, the Shadowlords and others, seek to bring the whole of the universe under their domain, which in turn increases their own cosmic power. Daemons seek to overthrow the collective spirit of sentient beings, and therefore the Infinite, God.

    Followers of Chaos are distinct from the philosophical anarchism of Blackthorne, though as with its founder, adherents tend to fall to the temptations and promises of greater freedom associated with the overthrow of Order.


    “All things die. All things break down and decay. Nothing is spared the caress of entropy.”

    There are thousands of cosmologies. Who is God? How did the universe begin? How will it end?

    For some, Oblivion is desired. It is God, Nirvana, freedom from suffering and desire. It is where we will all return and unite with the Universal Soul. It is contemplated, meditated upon and accepted.

    For others, Oblivion is the End. It is the entropic energies that tear stars apart. It devours all. It is Chaos. It is Nihilism. All will be consumed.

    It is through this understanding that those who follow the Path of Oblivion claim to find enlightenment. It is a concept. It offers nothing to its worshipers. It cares about no one. This understanding frees them of moral obligations, of a conscience.

    The Meliak Clan of Magincia once worshiped Oblivion, as the personification of Death.

    Oblivion is based on the Order of the Ebon Skull on Atlantic.

    The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom (Virtue)

    The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom refers to a sacred compendium bound within the Void, accessible through magical means or astral projection. It is said to contain the wisdom of the universe, all sacred and alchemical knowledge, and the answer to all questions save one. (The Codex is silent on spiritual matters, and the unknowable.)

    Scholars speculate that the Grimoire is an ancient, lost “supercomputer” of a now extinct race, compiling all their wisdom and learning before doom fell upon them, as well as the instructions to rebuilding their lost technologies. Since the Immortal Emperor, Cantabrigian British, is the sole man to have looked upon the Codex, no one knows for certain.

    The Codex seldom appears in RP due to the potential for abuse.

    The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom is based on the Akashic Records, which also appears in Ultima lore.

    The Temple of Reg Volom (Truth)

    “Silent, powerful and beautiful, the ethereal warriors pose one of the deep mysteries on Ilshenar. Not even the greatest of explorers or scientists can determine the origin of these winged humanoids or manage to communicate with them. Some believe they have always lived hidden away from humans in a distant corner of Ilshenar. Others suspect they come from another dimension beyond the planes.”

    The Temple of Salmonis. The Temple of the Grigori.

    Reg Volom is the spiritual home of a cadre of strange, Angelic beings that inhabit the Temple of Light in Ilshenar. Nothing is known about these beings. We cannot communicate with them, and most mortal beings are unwelcome in their presence.

    Yet we have been able to infer something of their nature. The Ethereal Warriors, or Watchers, seems to be similar to the beings mentioned in the religions of ancient Terra, and are the primordial opposites to Devils. The beings use an ancient language, known as Enochian, and seemed to be concerned with preventing Daemons and the forces of Chaos from spilling into the mortal realm. In that, the Ethereal Warriors are servants of Order, watching over the Temple.
  5. WarderDragon

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    The Void

    The Time Lord

    The Time Lord is a cosmic, angelic being of ambiguous origin who appears to be associated with the concept of Order. He values the well being of the universe, including all sentient life, and opposes those who would bring Chaos and Disorder. He has command over the Angels and Ethereal Warriors, and his enemies are the Daemons of the Void.

    The Old Ones (The Harrower)

    “Oozing and surging up out of that yawning trap-door in the Cyclopean crypt I had glimpsed such an unbelievable behemothic monstrosity that I could not doubt the power of its original to kill with its mere sight. Even now I cannot begin to suggest it with any words at my command. I might call it gigantic — tentacled — proboscidian — octopus-eyed — semi-amorphous — plastic — partly squamous and partly rugose — ugh! But nothing I could say could even adumbrate the loathsome, unholy, non-human, extra-galactic horror and hatefulness and unutterable evil of that forbidden spawn of black chaos and illimitable night. As I write these words the associated mental image causes me to lean back faint and nauseated. As I told of the sight to the men around me in the office, I had to fight to preserve the consciousness I had regained.” - H.P. Lovecraft

    In the infinite expanse that is the Universe, there exists beings of such foulness that they can only be described as mockeries of the natural law. The Inconceivable. Alien beyond comprehension, their sole existence is an affront to all reason. We could speak of painfully dissonant noises and nauseating colours, ichor-dripping vermiform tentacles and abyssal yonic voids, or complex mathematical geometries, but those are mere superficialities. Monstrous and sick though these stigmata are, they do not define the abominations; they are merely among some of the more common symptoms of their underlying wrongness.


    The Great Old Ones are a race of eldritch abominations, gibbering behemoths and ancient aliens nested deep within the mantle of the world, who have remained there since the dawn of this world. These beings are incomprehensible in their dimensions, and care nothing for humans, who are little more than insects to be devoured.

    For more than a million years has the Harrower slept beneath Sosaria, his psychic emanations reaching out across the void and touching the nightmares of man, driving them into despair and madness. One of these was Khal Ankur, who, driven insane, murdered his wives, and had his children and servants entombed alive with him. He is said to have skinned his first wife alive, and used her living flesh as the cover of his Tome of Eldritch Lore, the Necronomicon.

    A thousand years have passed since then, and now the Harrower stirs. Warping the minds of those within Ambrosia, the Lost Lands, he has caused the genocidal war between the once enlightened Ophidians, and their arachnid counterparts, the Terathans. He has also come to control the minds of the Bestial Primarchs, giving rise to the Champions such as Semidar and Neira, who have founded cults based on the lore of the Necronomicon.

    The Harrower and Osreidon appear to have been inspired by Cthulhu and the Lovecraft Mythos.

    Angels (Ethereal Warriors)

    The Grigori, or Watchers, are cosmic beings who appear to have been created to protect sentient life from the Great Old Ones and the Daemons of Chaos.

    Devils (Slasher of Veils)

    In Ultima, Devils are distinct from Daemons, though the distinction is not clear. It would where Daemons are a manifestation of concepts, a true spiritual evil, Devils are a living, breathing, sentient race that occupies the lowest pits of Hell.

    Devils are said to be the progenitor of the Gargish race, the latter of whom has cast off the hellish trappings in an attempt to achieve enlightenment, Virtue and adherence to the Greater Good.

    The Slasher of Veils is classified as a Devil.

    Daemons (Virtuebane)

    Where Devils are sentient beings, who evolved along with the rest of life, Daemons are the manifestation of sin in the spiritual realm, born of the nightmares men dream.


    Each Daemon possesses a sin, which is his power and that which nourishes him. Astaroth, therefore, is the Archdaemon of Hate, and Faulunei, Cowardice. Virtuebane, born of Pride, was drawn to the Pride of the Magincians, whom he devoured in his reign of blood.
  6. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni BRPA

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Order (Stoicism)

    “Virtue is sufficient for happiness.”

    Order is the principle in which Law, and Virtue, are the guiding principles that lead man into a state of bliss and utopia.

    The philosophers of Order, called Stoics, were a group concerned with the interaction between cosmic Fate, the domain of God, and human freedom. It was their view that man has a Will, and that it, in it's most innate form, is good and is in accordance with nature. It is only through ignorance that man is led into misfortune and sin.

    The principle, popular amongst scholars and rhetoricians of the ancient empires, was embraced in Britannia as the guiding principle upon which it is based. It was the belief of Cantabrigian, Lord of Britannia, that an ordered government and an ordered people, reliant on Logic and Virtue, would be able to create a utopia of their own.

    Order teaches that reason and fortitude are sufficient for overcoming destructive emotions, the source of all misfortune. It is from this that we derive the idea of Stoic calm. The clear and unbiased philosopher, it is said, free of anger and jealousies, is able to understand the true nature of the Universe. Order, as a school of thought, is also conflated with notions of the Leviathan and the Social Contract, the idea that man relinquishes absolute freedom in exchange for protection and justice.

    While order is a non-theistic, it's character does not exclude supernatural or religious views.

    Order is based on Stoicism, Platonism and the philosophies of Thomas Hobbs.

    Chaos (Epicurianism)

    “Do what thou wilt, that is the whole of the law.”

    The most fundamental principle governing Chaos is that there is no Law.

    There is no divine order, no morals, and that all rules and auspices are the invention of man: a fickle and avaricious creature who seeks to enslave himself and those around him.

    Blackthorne, and those who followed him, sought to create a canon of their own: a rejection of the superstition and perceived injustices of previous generations. In his view, there is no God. There are no morals. There is no soul, and there is no consequence for sin.

    Man should sin, Chaos dictates, for through rejection of morals can man expunge his base urges and become a more enlightened being.

    Yet Blackthorne did not perceive his utopia as one of barbarism, and evil. It was his assumption, and the assumption of his followers, that without laws, governments or superstitions, the evils of this world would cease to be. He was a great patron of the arts and sciences, and believed these higher leanings would continue to be the highest principles of his utopia.

    Chaos is based on Thelema, Epicurianism and the philosophies of Friederich Nietzche.

    Balance (Daoism)

    “To understand ones opposite, is to achieve balance. To maintain balance, is to achieve harmony.”

    Balance is the principle in which there is a dualistic, cosmic order of opposites in the universe, and that to be, one's opposite must also exist: Good and Evil. Law and Chaos. Male and Female.

    The philosophies of Balance are diverse. There is no monolithic tradition, no single founder, though it seems to be most popular amongst the Monks of Mt. Sho. The Druids, however, see Balance as the maintenance of Nature, personified, and are less concerned with notions of Good and Evil.

    Balance is based on Daoism.

    The Ophites (Daiosm)

    The Ophidians of Ambrosia are a race of sentient, mutant serpents concerned with the tenants of Balance. But where Balance is a non-theistic principle that can be adapted to multiple religions, the Ophidians worship a trinity of three cosmic beings known as the Great Earth Serpents: Chaos, Order and Balance.

    Similar to the Gnostic Ophites of Earth, the Ophidians believe the Earth Serpents to be the bearers of knowledge and enlightenment. This enlightenment, however, is viewed with horror, when it is realized their beliefs also include cannibalism, human sacrifice and a certain apocalypticism associated more with with the followers of Oblivion.

    The Ophites are based on the Gnostic sect of the same name, Thelema, and the worship of Set.

    The Tiberian Virtues

    The Tiberian Virtues were a system of ethics and principles that arose early on Baja, as a rejection of what was seen as the “haphazard nature” and religious theism of the Virtues. To that end, a new system was devised, based on the principles of Compassion, Reason and Discipline.

    Named for their founder, Tiberius, the philosophers of Tiberianism were great scholars and academics, distinct in their humble brown robes, acting as heralds, arbiters, judges and recorders of wisdom and learning. Their temples, erected in Skara Brae and the Kingdom of New Grimswind, were long considered repositories of human wisdom that rivaled the great libraries of Dawn and the Lycaeum.

    Tiberianism became popular amongst those who rejected the Virtues, but did not embrace the hedonism or moral absence of Chaos. It was most popular amongst the Rangers of Kaer O'Rourke, and some noble families in Trinsic, but it never quite caught on in the north.

    The Tiberians are based on the various philosophers and rhetoricians of Greece, and copies of the Tiberian Prime Virtues can be found in most RPC Libraries on Baja.
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