Concerning Souls and the Commerce Thereof
“For every birth of flesh ensouled, and of the fruit of seed, and every handiwork, though it decay, shall of necessity renew itself, both by the renovation of the Gods and by the turning-round of Nature’s rhythmic wheel.“
~ The Sacred Sermon, Corpus Hermeticum
While the Earthers of Sanctuary, and mortal beings all across reality, have myriad notions about what a soul is, most of them miss the mark completely.
A soul enters into existence from the unmanifested absolute — the Ain-Soph — which, though seemingly outside of reality proper, is still an aspect of the thoughts of the All.
From the unknowable beyond, this raw, unformed stuff of potential sentience, eventually coalesces into a soul, which cascades down into existence for the first time to incarnate within a physical form, live a life, then die. Upon dying, the soul becomes an unconscious, disembodied entity that drifts through the realms of reality until an organic conception occurs somewhere, providing a host wherein it can incarnate again. This pattern repeats for each soul a varying and unknowable number of times until it dies one last time and returns to unravel into the perfect grace of the realm beyond realms from whence it came all those lifetimes ago.
Between incarnations, a disembodied soul is completely unconscious and unaware, and imperceptible to all living creatures save magical beings and sorcerers, who can – with great force of will – perceive it as a tiny sphere of emerald-green light .
At the instant of incarnation, which is the transfer of the disembodied soul into an organic host at the moment of conception, the soul becomes sentient, takes on a distinct identity, and loses all awareness (except on rare occasions) of its previous and future incarnations. But there is another phenomenon that occurs at the moment of incarnation. This is where our interest lies. For this other phenomenon has profound ramifications – primarily because it provides a medium by which a being with sufficient knowledge and training, and adequate physical and mental discipline, can integrate their neuro-electrical field with the sub-atomic fields of probability – but also because it constitutes the commodity that drives the highly secretive soul-trade amongst the elite of the multiverse.
For during the moment of incarnation, a burst of a nigh-imperceptible material known as aetheric plasma is released. This extremely precious variation on the typical aether that surrounds the bodies of all living things, is only ever present at the exact instant a soul transfers into a new physical body. The natural purpose of the release of this aetheric plasma, is that it, locally and completely, nullifies probability in order to facilitate the instantaneous transfer of the soul across any distance in spacetime to the location of the new biological form it will occupy.
Effectively, for just the briefest of instances, the unconscious, un-incarnated soul has the power to entirely disregard all natural laws in order to traverse any distance across spacetime by totally erasing reality itself in its immediate vicinity.
Interestingly, this aetheric plasma transfer event also occurs on the other end of what is essentially a highly localized probability void in spacetime at the location of the biological conception. But that is a matter more suited to a discussion on the precise form of magic practiced by the Atlantean midwives.
Suffice it to say, the momentary bubble of absolute nil-probability or nil-reality generated at the instant of incarnation is the only known medium through which a sorcerer can integrate the deepest part of their own neuroelectric being (consciousness) with the constant flux of probability vortices that connect observer with observed in the consciousness-reality / perceiving-generating mobius loop of being. Only by this process can a consciousness-probability singularity manifest in which intention becomes momentarily indistinguishable from manifestation. These are the fundamental mechanics that drive all sorcery in the multiverse: the means by which, for just a moment, in a localized region of spacetime, thought and reality become interchangeable equivalencies.
In simplest terms, disembodied souls, which is to say, souls that are between lifetimes, are what make it possible to cast magical spells. They are the energy source of sorcery: the popular term used to describe the ability to willfully manipulate probability to transform conscious intent into manifested reality. For this reason, souls quickly became a highly coveted resource in the earliest days of the multiverse; and eventually – and perhaps inevitably – harvesting souls at the moment of death before they bleed off any of their precious aetheric plasma, and holding them in stasis (a highly specialized vocation know as reaping), has evolved into the foundation of a secret and incredibly lucrative economy amongst the very elite throughout all of reality.
In time, in response to demand for the bottled souls required to fuel the casting of spells, the soul-trading houses emerged to manage and deploy the reapers. And on the planes in proximity to Sanctuary (for it is essential – within the context of the finite intellectual capacity of most beings – to limit a study of the economics of multi-planar soul trade to a regional examination), the Valkyrie of Asgardian Helheim, the Keres of Olympian Hades, the Anubi of Heliopolian Necropolis… the Yamaduta, the Memitim, the Banshee and the Dullahan… became just a few of the known agents of the soul trade that came to know the favour of the gods and the fear of men.
Over countless millennia, within a theatre of constantly shifting territorial boundaries, and under the watchful eye of the Celestial Necropolis, which oversaw and regulated trade in accordance with the Binary Proclamation – and under the enforcement of the terrifying Knights of the Order of Oblivion, who enforced their edicts – the worth of the soul trade grew.
And so, as so often happen in matters of commerce, a tale of relentless conquest and consolidation unfolded, and in time, the numbers of trading houses diminished even as the power of those that remained increased.
And amongst the houses that were built yet higher on the foundations of those that had fallen, friendships became tenuous and trust became the only commodity perhaps even scarcer than the soul-derived aetheric plasma so coveted for the power it bestowed.
Concerning the Practice of Sorcery
By synchronizing the body’s natural aetheric field, vibratory frequencies, and bio-neuro-electrical field patterns in specific ways through refined vocalizations, postures, gestures and visual and auditory stimuli, a sorcerer can deploy the aetheric plasma transfer that occurs when a captive soul is released to incarnate to achieve very specific effects. For this reason, to a great degree, a sorcerer’s power depends not only upon the number of souls – and therefore the amount of potential aetheric plasma – they possess, but also upon the endemic amount of natural aether their body generates. Their knowledge of the triggering patterns of cues, thoughts and actions that will spell out the reorientation of reality they desire is also a factor.
Of course, because some beings naturally generate more aetheric resources than others, their capacity to wield more powerful spells – this is to say spells with greater range, longevity, substance and so on – is greater than a being with a weaker natural aetheric field. An Olympian, for example, has a much more robust aetheric field than does say a mortal sorcerer, and so is capable of deploying the same quantity of aetheric plasma from a released soul to much greater magical effect.
The capacity for carrying bottled souls, which nest quietly and undetectably in the sorcerer’s natural aetheric field, is likewise contingent on the amount of aether the sorcerer’s body generates naturally. Beings possessing greater aetheric resources are capable of transporting more bottled souls and hence – more potential aetheric plasma.
It becomes obvious here that possessing the required souls is only part of the equation when it comes to determining the extent of the magical power of a given sorcerer. A strong naturally occurring aetheric field is also essential to the effective practice of sorcery. For this reason, it is imperative that a sorcerer strives to strengthen the production, free flow and replenishment capacity of their natural aetheric resources through mental and physical fitness.
Mental fitness is typically achieved by way of meditation to develop enhanced capacity for the mystical awareness necessary to penetrate the inner probability vortices and transfer delta quanta (which is simultaneously both and neither thought and reality) across the moebius bridge spanning inner and outer realms (conception and perception). This phenomenon is characterized not only by absence of sense of self and perception of oneness with reality, but also by both a surge in natural aetheric production and enhanced, unhindered flow of aether throughout the body and senses. For this reason, sorcerers are, to varying degrees, disciples of holism. They comprehend the arbitrariness of being in a way that transcends the average mind’s crippling tendency to perceive its reality in fictional and arbitrary categories, boundaries and delineations.
Physical fitness is also desirable in that it strengthens the bio-neuro-electrical output of the physical form, which is also beneficial to the generation of aether.
It should also be noted that, physical objects known as talismans, which possess a modicum of trapped aetheric plasma from an incarnating soul, can absorb natural occurring aether from their surroundings. While the nil-reality effect of aetheric plasma trapped in a talisman is weaker, magical items can be imprinted with one or two spells that can be used repeatedly – so long as they can absorb sufficient natural aether – without the typical time, energy and knowledge typically required to cast a spell.
These magical items, which can be items of any kind but are typically articles of clothing, swords, armour, rings, amulets, musical instruments, wands and staffs, are often very old, incredibly powerful, and highly sought after by mortal sorcerers.
The term talisman as used here to refer to magical items containing imprinted spells should not to be confused with the Martian talismans, which are ancient items that were constructed in the realization engines by alchemical means.
Concerning Waveform Signature and the Planes of Existence
Variation in the vibratory characteristics of the subatomic strata of a given realm (known collectively as its waveform) is the reason beings on one plane of existence do not perceive beings or environments on another plane even though they may occupy the same region of spacetime.
Through acts of sorcery or by technological means it is possible for beings to alter their waveform and attune it to the definitive waveform of another plane of existence. By doing this they can achieve an array of results such as sending and receiving thoughts between planes; seeing, hearing and feeling things on other planes; and transferring the entirety of their physical being from one plane to another.
It is important to note that extra-planar travel, or transfer in any degree of phase variation from one plane to another, is made possible by way of conscious or technological alteration of the waveform of the physical body, and that this should not be confused with the practice of extra-planar projection.
Extra-planar projection is the phenomenon by which a being sends a duplicate of the envelope that is mind containing a body constructed from a portion of its aetheric energy to one of the proximal planes (most commonly the astral or dream realms). While the waveform of the projected aetheric body is attuned to the waveform of the destination realm, the physical body proper and the majority of that body’s aetheric energy remain (in an unconscious or meditative state) on the plane the being has projected its consciousness from.
As a rule, extra-planar travel is not possible within the realm of Sanctuary because it requires access of the consciousness to the null-point where probability can be manipulated. This being said, there is one exception. The Martian gatestreams, which were products of the lost Martian alchemy, do function within the sphere of Sanctuary.
Planar projection on the other hand is a common occurrence on Sanctuary. All humans project their consciousnesses to the dream realm during the sleeping state and many humans are capable of projecting to the astral plane when in a meditative state.
Concerning Aetheric and Biological Life
In general terms, there are two types of sentient beings in reality. Biological beings, characterized by the incarnation of a soul in a regular energy-matter matrix, and aetheric beings that are manifested from the focused thoughts and aetheric energy generated by a Demiurge.
All biological beings perpetually generate a toroidal field of aetheric energy (also called mana, qi, ki, or chi, prana, pneuma, lung, ruah…). Aetheric energy, which is more commonly referred to simply as aether, is unique in that it exists outside the standard perceptual range of most beings. Indeed, it constitutes much of the unaccounted for mass and gravitational force — called dark matter — in the scientific construct of the universe as understood by the indigenous beings of Sanctuary. It is also unique from other forms of energy and matter in that it: is responsive to, and can be formed and moulded by, thoughts; can manifest sub-atomically as either particles or waves; and can manifest as all other forms of energy and matter under direction of a consciousness.
The first beings to evolve in the early multiverse were extremely powerful, immortal, aetheric entities. Called the demiurges (the Olympian titans, the Norse giants, the tree-minds of Fey amongst many other classifications), these primordial beings learned over millennia how to deploy the copious and dense concentrations of aether generated by their bodies to create beings that would function as both servants and companions. In time these aetheric creations of the Demiurges known as Aetherics or Immortals, began to proliferate sexually just as biological mortal entities would. In time, the Aetherics also became capable of creating their own aetheric entities known as Aeons (angels) and Archons (demons). The Fey, which spontaneously arise from the inherent sentient properties of what mortals deem inanimate and unconscious phenomena are also aetheric beings.
In simplest cosmological terms there are five types of entities. Mortals are the only ones considered biological and therefore capable of possessing a soul.
Because all biological entities generate aetheric fields, powerful mortal beings capable of manipulating probability and possessing the requisite bottled souls required, can also conjure aetheric beings either using their own aetheric field or aether they have taken from another biological or aetheric entity.
Concerning the Martian Exodus, The Treaty of Jotunheim and the Eden Veil
In ancient times, before intelligent beings had even walked on Sanctuary, the Cronos Debacle had destroyed Tiamat, the fifth planet of the Sol system. The resultant reorientation of gravitational fields had moved the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim outward and, robbed of even of the scant, residual fluxing probability weak force made available by proximity to the Rim and channeled to them by the 22 equatorial and 22 meridial pyramids, the enormous realization engines at the martian core, had ground to a halt – never to come on again. Eventually, Mars began to dry and wither. Water had all but disappeared from the surface, and the Pharaoh, having become enamoured with the peculiar science practiced by the Earthers, had surmised it was leaving the atmosphere as well. Without magic, he hypothesized, it was only a matter of time before Mars would be uninhabitable anyway. Ever the consulate negotiator and merchant, he played this knowledge to Mars’s advantage.
As compensation for Mars’s incredible sacrifice, the Pentarchy expanded the relocated Martian Empire’s role as steward of Sanctuary beyond asylum from the Eden Edict to include exclusive rights to secretly acquire and export limited quantities of two of the most precious commodities in the multiverse: Sanctuarian denim, the nil-probability properties of which made it a remarkably resilient armour against sorcery, and Sanctuarian alcohol, which had a unique and powerful psychedelic affect on consciousness had never been replicated beyond the Rim.
Many viewed Mars’s new compensation by the Pentarchy as excessive and unfair, resulting eventually in the treaty of Jotunheim, which forbid Mars from trading the most precious resource of all — sorcery-fuelling souls: the currency of the cosmos. Exclusion from the soul trade and abandonment of the Martian soul trading houses, resulted in the virtual extinction of martian magic and sorcery in the span of mere decades. Now, the closest thing to Martian sorcery are the dwindling remnants of the ancient Martian alchemical talismans created by the imagineers in the long since silent realization engines: the sun-guns, the dreamships and the gatestreams,
And so, having relocated all signs of Martian civilization beyond Sanctuary Rim, the Pentarchy enacted the second part of its plan.
Five perpetually meditating Heliopolitan imagineers, using the last of the ancient Matian Realization Engines distributed in a pentagramatic arrangement about the asteroid remnants of planet Tiamat maintain a powerful illusory sphere about the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim. This glamour, which prevents outward looking Earthers from seeing the truth of their place in the multiverse, in time, came to be known as the Eden Veil.
A Whirlwind Tour of Regio Sanctum
“The infinite Mind of the All is the womb of universes.”
Turning inward to access the core of what is real, you can draw delta quanta from the probability vortices into your dice. Tapping into your aetheric field, you can transform conception into perception, imagination into manifestation, unreal into real. For you the fabric of reality itself is just so much clay.
This probability manipulation (what is more widely known as magic or sorcery) requires that you to explain how your bonuses and penalties manifest in gameplay. We have busy lives. Please be interesting!
Modes of Being
“Most perceive reality as matter. The wise see it as patterns of energy. And the wisest see it simply as the All.”
It is the one thing that is all things when it is not misunderstood by the delusion of ego to be many things.
It is that which transcends senses: nonsense. It is beyond description. It is beyond even conception.
Ain Soph has always been, always will be, and is the entirety of thoughts and things despite typical sentient incapacity to ascertain an All that is beyond the compulsion to
conceptualize, label, categorize and other wise delineate, obfuscate, and otherwise diminish and mar ultimate truth.
In common cosmic vernacular it is referred to as the All. Chaos and Order
Silent, vacuous nothingness and teeming cacophonic totality, the conception of Chaos and Order is this is the first bifurcation, the delusion of distinct consciousness projects onto existence. It is the first concept and designation. It is the fundamental binary that underlies all perceptions of the false multiplicity of existence.
As one might expect, a conceptual centre point eventually emerged in the cosmos as well. The conceptual notion of neutrality and balance between chaos and vacuity is embodied by the mandate of the realm of Limbo.
The Divine Five Forms
From the infinite possible tensions between the binary aspects of Chaos and Order, infinite, possible arrangements emerge. The first five arrangements are the only perfect ones.
Three-dimensional, regular, convex polyhedrons with congruent regular polygonal faces and the same number of faces meeting at each vertex, the five forms, the Pentagrammaton, are the allegorical letters that spell out the totality of reality. All structures of thought, energy and matter are derived from variations in the arrangements of these forms.
Demiurges They were the first sentient entities.
Having willed the malleable aether into structures that could house their minds, the first beings were driven by a passion to create. If Chaos and Void and the Five Forms were the first delineations of Ain Soph in terms of spacetime, then the demiurges were the first delineation of the Ain Soph in terms of mind.
They were thrilled to create life and know the sensations of heart and flesh. Their Prima Forma was the dodecahedron of aether, and from this they created themselves. Eventually, wielding all Five Forms, they created the world of matter and energy and all that resides within it. Using sorcery, they could consciously manipulate the proportions between Chaos and Void and organized and arranged the Pentagrammaton into all the structures of reality.
The Titans who, in time would found Olympus, the Giants, who would found Asgard, and Ialdoboath, founder of Heaven are examples of demiurges.
The first aetheric beings were crafted — sometimes lovingly, sometimes cruelly — from the aether of the bodies of their demiurge creators. Since those early days of the multiverse, the archons, offspring of the demiurges, have proliferated sexually just as biological mortals have.
Like the demiurges, archons do not possess souls, and so do not have a sense of connection to the Ain Soph.
Because they are comprised of aether, they are inherently magical and possess innate sorcerous capabilities exceeding those of the ensouled mortals.
In recent years they have grown increasingly fascinated by the technologies that have emerged on Earth in the absence
of magic. But, because archons, like their demiurge creators, lack souls, and therefore a sense of true connection to one another, they tend to be more cunning,
selfish and merciless in their conduct than mortals are. And, like their creators, they envy the mortals, not only because they have souls, but also because they can turn within and manipulate probability and reality itself.
The Ensouled (Mortals)
Mortals. The favoured ones — each of whom is a soul that has lived before and will live again after its current form dies and another is born. The envy of all sentient life for they possess a soul, which is a splinter of the All, the Ain Soph, the One Mind. And though their flesh — not of mystical aether, but the stuff of fallen matter and energy — makes them vulnerable and weak, they can wield the Pentagrammaton as the demiurges once did. Reality itself is a but a plaything to the awakened among them.
Zeta Reticulans, Pleiadeans, Martians, Atlanteans and Earthers (Sanctuarians) are examples of mortals.
The Soul Trading Houses
“Lucifer’s United Hells has annexed Hades from Olympus. Loki’s Helheim, with the assassination of Ialdoboath the Demiurge, has acquired the enormous sole trove of Heaven.
The balance of power between the soul trading houses of Regio Sanctum is as twisted a nest of serpents as it’s ever been!”
Once an emerald paradise of rolling hills and forest glades vibrant with woodland creatures, the realm of Fey has fallen into a quiet gloom since Emperor Arawn’s treaty with Lucifer.
The sentient, subterranean mycelial network, increasingly dissatisfied with Arawn’s intoxicated hubris is encroaching upon the surface world. The reapers of House Fey, the banshee and their Dullahan, have also grown discontented with Lord Arawn’s petulant, ill-tempered rule.
Think English countryside meets Alice in Wonderland.
Always gothic and grim, but at one time highly respected, the Olympian realm of Stygia, and its capital, Hades, had declined in influence by the time it fell to Lucifer’s United Hells. The murder of the city’s ruler and namesake at the hands of General Tyr of Asgard, and Lucifer’s audacity at moving the capital of what he now called the United Hells to Hades, was more than the Olympian emperor Zeus could bear.
Fed by the tributary of the interdimensional Sea of Tears known as the great river Styx, Hades’s Port of Plutonia is strategically significant in that the hills about its shores intersect directly with both the Dream Realm and the Astral Plane.
In terms of architecture and feel, think Prague or Rome. In terms of conduct and attitude of the Olympian Empire proper, think United States of America.
Bright, sterile Heaven in all its arrogant, bureaucratic, elitist, isolationist glory sits on a soul trove that is the envy of Regio Sanctum. But there are rumours that Heaven’s emperor, Ialdoboath the Demiurge, Wayward Son of Sophia, has been
assassinated. There is no way of knowing, for aside from his/her booming telepathic voice, “God” — as he (or is it she?) likes to be called — is invisible and intangible to the senses. But if he or she is gone, then Heaven’s wealth of souls falls, by decree of the Treaty of Jotunheim, to Loki’s Helheim.
Helheim is a barren wasteland of blistering winds as icy cold as its ruler’s frigid heart. The recent relocation of the metropolis of Valhalla to Helheim has not made Loki Odinson a popular leader, but his recent acquisition of the guf (sole- trove) of Heaven has changed all that. Already though, his alliance with Lucifer is strained.
Think Arctic wasteland.
The throne world of Emperor Thoth being located on the world of Hod, within the magicless realm of Sanctuary, is a testament to the esteem bestowed upon the golden realm by the Pentarchy, As per cosmic convention, Heliopolis is serving its 22,000 year term as seat of the Celestial Necropolis, which provides oversight of the soul trade and enforces the Binary Proclamation.
Think the movie The Ten Commandments.
Lucifer Morningstar, Once of Heaven, Champion of Free Will, Prince of Light, now prefers the title Curator over Emperor. His domain, the United Hells is a veritable utopia of art and culture. The Paris of the Planes, The Earther, Andy Crowley, had once called it. Hades Prime, capital city of the United Hells is the shining bright centre of art, literature, music, fashion and entertainment in the Regio Sanctum sector of the multiverse.
Think all the best things about Paris or New York.
Except for their white featureless egg-shaped realmcraft, the Greys have long forgotten what it is like to use technology. Powerful telepaths, and masters of magnetism and gravity, the Zeta Reticulan civilization prioritizes uniformity and efficiency. Their sole indulgence is music conceived five-dimensionally and performed telepathically. They pursue and proliferate this art with all means at their disposal and believe it is their civilizations sole purpose to raise other species to a mental capacity to appreciate 5D song.
Think Art Deco, all in white.
The Proximal Planes
The proximal planes are the planes accessible to the minds of the mortals of magicless Sanctuary. Though it is forbidden for beings from magical spacetime to interact with Earth mortals, these proximal planes – where disembodied forms can meet and interact – is often exploited as a work-around. The dicewielder of legend, Andy Crowley, honed the craft of probability manipulation in the proximal planes where he had discovered he could not have any experience that would result in his death there.
For humans of Earth, the serene beauty of the quiet realm is the reward for mastering meditation. One can never come to harm on the astral plane, which certainly imbues the sense of serenity for which it is so well known.
Peach-pink skies above, tall golden grass in wine-coloured soil below. It would be easy to lie around and watch inverted- mountain islands float in the sky – except that all the arcane knowledge of the Astral Library of Alexandria beckons!
Think peach skies, pale gold plains of grass, soil the colour of red wine. Inverted mountain cities float in the sky.
When the humans of Sanctuary sleep, they enter the plane of dreams. In its indigo tones and hallmark frost-like silver dust, dream-selves – distinct and entirely different personas from their counterpart waking-selves – defend Sanctuary Rim from sorcerous threats from the wild of magical spacetime.
Think a wintery dusk in blues with a dusting of sparkling frost on everything.
The Magicless Worlds of Sanctuary
A spherical speck of existence containing four planets rimmed by a belt of asteroids around a middling yellow star, Sanctuary is the one place in the multiverse where consciousness cannot penetrate inward to the probability vortices at the heart of reality. Because mind is prevented from reaching the delta quanta that churns beyond the moebius bridge, probability manipulation — also called magic or sorcery — is not possible there.
While the name Sanctuary is applied to the region in general, it is most often used in popular vernacular to refer specifically to Malkuth, the third world in the system as it is the only world that remains inhabited to a significant degree. Technically speaking though, the region of Sanctuary also contains the planets Hod (Mercury), Netzach (Venus), Malkuth (Earth), and Geburah (Mars).
The perfectly spherical event horizon between non-magical spacetime of Sanctuary and the magical spacetime beyond is known as Sanctuary Rim. This boundary is marked approximately by an asteroid belt comprised of the remains of the planet Tiamat, which was destroyed in the Chronos Debacle.
The first planet of Sanctuary system is the throne world of Thoth, Emperor of the Heliopolitan Dynasty. It is the access nexus to the plane of Heliopolis. The honour of having the throne world placed within Sanctuary Rim is bestowed by the Pentarchy upon Heliopolis as it is the plane currently presiding over the Celestial Necropolis.
The second world of Sanctuary was rendered uninhabitable during the Cronos Debacle. Prior to the destruction of its biosphere, a remnant of its glorious ecologically minded civilization evacuated to a subterranean enclave, called Atlantis, in a mountain beneath the Aegean Sea on Malkuth.
Ruled by the ecological wisdom of the council of twelve Atlantean Midwives, the daughters of Venus are, like the Martians, stalwart protectors of the innocence of Malkuth.
Also known as Sanctuary Proper, Sanctuary Prime, Terra, Eden, or Earth, the third world in the system is the only planet with a significant population. Its cosmological significance cannot be overstated. Its inhabitants, called Earthers or Edenites by beings of magical space, are oblivious to the fact that their world is the only place in all reality where magic
does not work. Indeed, it is a most heinous crime to interfere in this world’s affairs.
Seat of the Martian Dynasty until the Great Exodus and the conjuring of the Eden Veil in the mid nineteenth century.
In the past, Martian Alchemy, made possible by the ancient Realization Engines, which drew fluxprob weakforce from the event horizon between magical and magicless spacetime, rendered Geburah a lush green world.
The Imagineers, now lost to antiquity, fed their thoughts to the Realization Engines to create the legendary Martian talismans: the dreamships, the sun guns, and the gatestreams. With the destruction of Sanctuary’s former fifth planet, Tiamat, and the resultant shift in the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim, the Realization Engines eventually failed, the Martian alchemy faded, and the red world died.
More recently, because it is easily observed by the Martian Dynasty, which has been relocated to the four largest moons of Chesed, the Prison for Gods was constructed on Geburah. Cronos, Prometheus, Seteth, and Sisyphus are notable inmates there.
Called Jupiter by the Earthers, this enormous world is not part of Sanctuary as it exists outside Sanctuary Rim, but it is relevant to a discussion of Sanctuarian affairs as it is the new home of the displaced First Martian Solar Dynasty. It is generally uninhabited with the exception of the training arenas of the Geburan war priests.
Four of Chesed’s moons became the seat of the First Solar Martian Dynasty under Pharaoh Garuk Motenkhamen IV after the Great Exodus. Memphis Nova I is the throne world of the
Dynasty. Memphis Nova II is the headquarters for the Martian Merchant Empire.
The mysterious realm between realms is associated with the element of air and the purple of mid-point between redshift and blueshift of spacetime. Its sole resident is its lord: the enigmatic Banjoman. Its hallmarks are its symbol, the ouroboros, its purple mists and its ceaseless moaning winds.
Sea of Tears
More of a pan-dimensional network of ocean-wide rivers really, the Sea of Tears is known for the element of water and the grey of mid-point between black and white. Accessible only by the gatestreams of Martian alchemy, the Sea of Tears is the domain of the Martian Merchant Empire. It has secret ports on Sanctuary Prime beneath the Great Pyramid, and in the Venusian enclave of Atlantis.
The highest governance in the cosmos. The Pentarchy is a council of five powerful cosmic entities selected by invitation to serve 2,200-year terms. New members are invited by means of unanimous consent of the five sitting council members. Every 22,000 years, the Pentarchy is responsible for appointing which planar empire will preside over the Celestial Necropolis.
Council members are sworn never to disclose their membership on pain of banishment to Limbo by the Knights of Oblivion,
The Pentarchy’s council chamber is said to be less than the span of the electron orbit of a Hydrogen atom and is located in the core of a cold, dead planet of solid iron larger than a red giant star.
Currently, Heliopolis presides over the Celestial Necropolis, which is charged with ensuring fairness in the execution of affairs of the multi-planar soul economy. The sitting authority in the Celestial Necropolis is also responsible for enforcement of the Binary Proclamation by way of the Order of the Knights of Oblivion.
The city itself is the span of worlds and is a potpourri of the architectural styles of the realms that have presided over execution of its mandate.
Hod, the first world of the Sanctuary star system and throne world of the Heliopolitan Emperor Thoth, is an access point to the Necropolis.
In a cosmos vibrant – some might say mad – with the practice of sorcery, Sanctuary was a reprieve. It was hallowed as a place where the cosmic elite could meet on a level playing field and find common ground. In the magical impotence forced upon one in the unique, inaccessible probability structure of Sanctuary, tolerance amongst gods was possible. The typically hair-trigger impulse toward spellcasting could be mitigated, reason could be brought into negotiations, and agreements could be made. In the beginning this was just important. Then it was essential. Eventually it was sacred.
Over time, The Binary Proclamation was developed to preserve what had become the diplomatic heart of all reality.
The Binary Proclamation consisted of two edicts. Both named from the indigenous culture of Malkuth.
While the Earthers, knew nothing of true magic, they did within their rich cultures, whisper of gods and wizards, angels and devils, dragons and fey, which had indeed wandered – though impotently – into and out of the realm of Sanctuary and the Proximal Planes, and thereby into and out of Earth’s history.
Magical beings from beyond Sanctuary Rim would sometimes interact with sleeping, meditating, entranced or chemically intoxicated Earthers while their souls peeked into the proximal planes: the dream realm, and the astral plane. But in nearly all of these cases, Earthers write these interpretations off as dreams, daydreams, visions, or other such phantom encounters with no basis in reality.
The first edict of the Binary Proclamation, the *Eden Edict*, is enforced to prevent interference in non-magical space and to keep native inhabitants of Malkuth unaware of the magical reality beyond Sanctuary Rim. It states simply that, inhabitants of Earth are to be prevented from knowing of the sorcerous forces that run rampant across the wider multiverse and that beings from magical spacetime must never interact with them.
Enforcement of the Eden Edict is overseen by the five wizards and gods who serve in secret on the high council known as The Pentarchy. This group maintains a vast and powerful spell — referred as the Eden Veil — about the sphere of Sanctuary so that humans looking out into the multiverse see only the illusion of barren, uninhabited space.
The Binary Proclamation’s other edict, the Reaper Edict, proclaims that killing to acquire a soul distinctly for the purpose of powering magic is the highest sin in sorcery.
Policed and enforced by the powerful Knights of the Order Oblivion under the authority of the High Court of the Celestial Necropolis, violation of the Reaper Edict is punishable by the madness of the deathless solitude brought about by eternal imprisonment in Limbo, realm between realms in the thoughts between thoughts.
The effect of the two edicts of the Binary Proclamation has been that, except for a few occasions, which had been dealt with abruptly and possibly rather too harshly, Earthers know next to nothing of magic, or of the vibrant sorcerous bedlam just beyond their doorstep.
Over the millennia, aside from the Mars problem, which stems from feelings that Geburah (Mars) has been given unfair access to the rare riches of (Malkuth) Earth, most among the elite have over time, come to accept the legitimacy of Pentarchy’s management and enforcement of the Binary Proclamation — even if interference in human affairs by way of the proximal planes continues to be a common practice and statutory grey area.
Knights of Oblivion
Fearsome, and powerful beyond imagining, the Knights of Oblivion stand some 12 ft tall and wear the garb of the imperial guards of Heliopolitan Emperor. Humanoid forms with the heads of jackals they are armed only with the Ankh, which empowers them to banish entities to deathless stasis in Limbo where the remain fully conscious of the passage of time for all eternity while the roaring winds of the purple realm rend their constantly regenerating flesh from their bones.
Everything about the knights communicates one simple message. “Do not violate the Binary Proclamation.”
Agents of the trading houses, Reapers harvest souls from the dying. Traditionally, Reapers (or psychopomps as they are
also known) are aetheric entities indigenous to the plane of their soul-trading house, but increasingly, the convention of demonstrating planar allegiance has diminished. Free agents are becoming more common. There has even been word that contractors are beginning to turn up.
Treaty of Jotunheim
In ancient times, before intelligent beings had even walked on Sanctuary, the Cronos Debacle destroyed Tiamat, the fifth planet of the Sanctuary star system. The resultant reorientation of gravitational fields moved the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim outward and, robbed of even of the scant, residual fluxing probability weak force made available by proximity to the Rim and channeled to the enormous Realization Engines at the Martian core, had ground to a halt – never to come on again. Eventually, Mars began to dry and wither. Water disappeared from the surface. Without magic, the Martian Pharaoh determined, it was only a matter of time before Mars would become uninhabitable. Ever the consummate negotiator and merchant, he played this knowledge to Mars’s advantage and proposed his empire’s exodus from the red planet.
As compensation for Mars’s incredible sacrifice, the Pentarchy expanded the relocated Martian Empire’s role as steward of Sanctuary beyond asylum from the Eden Edict to include exclusive rights to secretly acquire and export limited quantities of two of the most precious commodities in the multiverse: Sanctuarian denim, the nil-probability properties of which made it a remarkably resilient armour against sorcery, and Sanctuarian alcohol, which had a unique and powerful effect on consciousness that had never been replicated beyond the Rim.
Many viewed Mars’s new compensation by the Pentarchy as excessive and unfair, resulting eventually in the treaty of Jotunheim, which forbid Mars from trading the most precious resource of all — sorcery-fuelling souls: the currency of the cosmos. Exclusion from the soul trade and abandonment of
the Martian soul trading houses, resulted in the virtual extinction of Martian magic and sorcery in the span of mere decades. Now, the closest thing to Martian sorcery are the dwindling remnants of the ancient Martian alchemical talismans created by the imagineers in the long since silent realization engines: the sun-guns, the dreamships and the gatestreams,
And so, having relocated all signs of Martian civilization beyond Sanctuary Rim, the Pentarchy enacted the second part of its plan.
Five pyramids distributed in a pentagramatic arrangement about the asteroid remnants of planet Tiamat maintained a powerful illusory sphere about the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim. This glamour, which serves to prevent any outward looking Earthers from seeing the truth of their place in the multiverse, in time, came to be known as the Eden Veil.
Martian Merchant Empire
From the secret subterranean port beneath the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Martian dreamships bear the fortunes of the Martian Merchant Empire from magicless Malkuth. With exclusive permission to export Earth alcohol and the magical armor known as denim, the First Solar Dynasty of Garuk Motenkhamen IV has grown rich and influential.
The wealth of Geburah has fueled the development of a military that has come to be feared and respected across the planes. And her service to the Pentarchy as protector of Earth is unflinching.
Prison for Gods
With the degradation of the flux-prob weak force after the destruction of Tiamat, access by consciousness to the probability fields became such that magic became just as impossible on Geburah as it was on Malkuth. After the Martian Exodus, the now uninhabitable red planet became
the perfect place to imprison powerful entities who threatened the tenuous civilization maintained by the Pentarchy. Under the watchful eye of the Pharaoh from his new throne worlds just beyond Sanctuary Rim, the Prison for Gods, operates as a deterrent to would-be tyranny across the multiverse.
Atlantean Council of Midwives
Last survivors of the second planet, Netzatch, the Atlanteans thrive now in a subterranean enclave in a mountain beneath the Aegean Sea on Malkuth.
When the Cronos Debacle obliterated Tiamat, the shockwave gave only minutes for the Atlanteans to evacuate. The best, brightest, and most just were selected to cross through the spatial nexus into the Atlantean enclave that had been hastily prepared. The ecologically mindful Atlantean society is administered by a council of twelve midwives. They now maintain their secret presence on Earth, and always, they stand at the ready to assist their brother society of Geburah in the stewardship of Sanctuary Prime.