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Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

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elderbrain's picture
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Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

I'm not talking dragon or elves here. I mean individuals and creatures that have been around almost forever, like Draedens, the Old Ones, the Serpent, some Aboleths, Baernaloths, the Lady (of course)and the like. Creatures that know things nobody else knows. That saw the Planes and Powers forming. Who may have been around at the creation or even before! (Like the Spellweavers, who predate the formation of the Planes at least in 4E.)If you accept the chant, Jazirian and Ahriman (AKA Asmodeus) created the Great Wheel. What kind of secrets would these beings know?

sciborg2's picture
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

Where's the info about the 4e spellweavers? Thanks!

The 3e the Spellweavers had an empire that spanned the planes. As I recall, apparently they floated above landscapes and their power came from an unparalleled understanding of linguistics. They may have knowledge of everything from the Last Word to the origins of infernal Dark Speech and the celestial Words of Creation.

The LeShay preceded the current Multiverse, and their entire timeline was erased. Who knows what they might have witnessed? A time when Anthraxus was the greatest of the Baern? Their relationship to the Draeden is also likely to be an interesting one.

The Serpent is one of those things that has never been very clear, was a figment of Vecna's imagination or a being in itself?

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Hyena of Ice's picture
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factotums
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

The Elemental Lords would likely be a canididate-- the elementals would be one of the first races to be spawned in the Multiverse, probably before even the aboleths (who were the first or at least one of the first prime organisms) The Elementals would include the Protogenoi (elemental-like Gods and first generations-- e.g. the ogdoad, the actual Greco-Roman protogenoi such as Uranos, Gaia, Nyx, Erebus, Styx, Oceanus, Tatarus, Chronus *not to be confused with the Titan*, and Ananke. The Protogenoi would also include the likes of Chauntea, Shar, Selune, Beory, and Lunitari.
Those entities would have predated the Baernaloths, the twin serpents, etc who are beings of flesh.

elderbrain's picture
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

Sciborg2, the 4E Spellweaver reference is in their entry in Monster Manual 3. And yes, I forgot to mention the LeShay! Also the Obrilyths in 4E supposedly come from a destroyed universe of which the Shard of evil at the bottom of the Abyss is a fragment.

(As an aside, reguarding the Twin Serpents of Law: Doesn't the Rule of Threes require that there be another, as-yet-unmentioned Serpent? A Serpent that - perhaps - coiled around the Spire and can be seen above it to this day? Or maybe just Her dead skin, which She has shed for another form...)

VikingLegion's picture
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

elderbrain wrote:
(As an aside, reguarding the Twin Serpents of Law: Doesn't the Rule of Threes require that there be another, as-yet-unmentioned Serpent? A Serpent that - perhaps - coiled around the Spire and can be seen above it to this day? Or maybe just Her dead skin, which She has shed for another form...)

Now THAT got my gray matter churning a bit today. Interesting thought.

Hyena of Ice's picture
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factotums
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

One thing everyone should bear in mind is that the elementals were the first beings-- the Inner Planes were fully formed before the Prime or the Outer Planes, and the elementals came before the beings of flesh (which would even include microbes) The aboleth were the first mortal beings on the prime (other than maybe various types of microbes)
This, of course, brings up an interesting plot point regarding the elementals-- how do they feel about the beings of flesh being the dominant lifeform in the multiverse? How do they feel about the genies in general holding a higher status/dominance over the elemental planes? IMO, they likely resent this as a whole.
I think it's likely that among the wars and conflicts that rage on the Inner Planes would be fleshed ones vs. elementals-- both sides have their biased views (many outsiders-- including genies-- view elementals as lower lifeforms-- and one form of their bias stems from the superstition that internal organs are the source of emotions. Likewise, many elementals view fleshed ones the same way-- after all, they were here first. They were the first beings to build a civilization and written language. And in the minds of many of them, they are superior to beings of flesh. After all, fleshlings are not nearly as robust-- even among most outsiders, their bodies are more frail, they need to be surrounded in oxygen-rich air or water in order to live, and if you hit them in the right place, or make them ooze too much, they die. Not to mention that they are repulsive, stinking masses of undulating, oozing flesh. Although Ooze paraelementals don't find this disgusting at all-- on the contrary, they find fleshlings and their exudates to be quite delicious.)

Kobold Avenger's picture
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factotums
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

I never got what the Spellweavers were about, and I don't think I ever read that ecology article either. I know they were in MM2, but I remember them from one of 2e's Monstrous Compendium Annuals.

By briefly looking though the 4e MM3, I found it somewhat amusing that in 4e they introduced other varieties roughly corresponding to a power source with things like Spellweaver (arcane), Battleweaver (martial), Mindweaver (psionic), and Hexweaver (shadow), but never got why there weren't things like Prayerweavers and Spiritweavers.

As for really ancient beings, I'm sure some Vestiges do apply, though many of them are remnants of younger beings. Many of the Far Realm beings are quite ancient including possibly the "stars" as in the beings that certain Warlocks get their powers from, but the Far Realm is sort of outside the Multiverse.

Hyena of Ice's picture
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

^^More than "sort of".

As I said, the eldest beings (in this Multiverse) would be the Elementals and Protogenoi, preceeded only by the Draeden who preceeded the current creation cycle (in my works, they are beings left over from the remnants of the previous Multiverse, back when it was about 90~95% destroyed)
After that, the oldest beings would be the powers who created the progenitor races (quite likely the Protogenoi) I imagine the genies are quite ancient as well.

Samloyal23's picture
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Re: Exceedingly ancient beings in D&D/Planescape

Don't forget that the Far Realms have been said to have existed before the Multiverse, or at least before the Prime. That would make the oldest creatures of that locale older than anything in the known Multiverse...

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