Other Realms in Avernum

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AuthorTopic: Other Realms in Avernum
Agent
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Otherness-- higher planes, hidden cities, etc.

There are several higher (or lower) realms which are mentioned in Avernum. The Efreeti in Za Khazi Run says he is from the land of Efreeti-- I am not sure if it is called The City of Brass. Demons come from hell. The Land of the Dead is mentioned. Canopy is set in another realm.

What are the different other realms you have found in Avernum? I would imagine with three different races there should be some interesting ones.

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Law Bringer
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First of all, the commonly accepted name for the world is "Ermarian", referring to the entire collective of the caves and the surface. Unless you mean only the caves, in which "Avernum" would be correct.

"Hell" is quite probably a different dimension (or planet) entirely, since whenever demons want to overrun something in Avernum, they come through a portal. You'd think they'd have found some kind of physical way if they lived in the same world. Efreeti are apparently demons (or at least spirits) as well, so they'll likely live somewhere in there too.

TM has some interesting ideas about Rakshasi and their alternate dimension, which I can't quite remember right now.

Jeff himself makes mention of "the nether" in one spell description, which appears to be the origin of both demons and spirits. So the Land of the Dead is probably equivalent to Hell, or The Nether, or what you want to call it.

The Vahnatai lands, obviously, are another level (or set of levels) beneath Avernum - Avernum appears to have been a station on their journey underground, since they call it "their former country".

Then there's Bahssikavah (sp?), or lizardland if you will. That's probably a whole lot different from the Vahnatai lands, or the Vahnatai would have mentioned some encounters with them.

[ Saturday, April 16, 2005 07:00: Message edited by: Eyrin Fontramonn ]

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bahssikava is the place where the sliths came out after they were exiled. It's the location of the tunnel back to the homeland. It's not the homeland itself.

And I suspect that some clan of the vahnatai had contact with the homeland sliths -- that's what I keep insinuating in the scenario Bahssikava, anyway. I suggest that because the ruins in Bahssikava Deeps in A1 sound a lot like vahnatai buildings to me.

Also, I really hate the term Ermarian. It has nothing to do with the games, and it sounds ugly. I think it should be assumed to be an Exile thing and left out of Avernum. But that's just me.

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Shaper
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I agree that Ermarian is a poor name for the world. Perhaps Jeff will finally name everything in A4 and settle it.

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Law Bringer
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I don't have anything against Ermarian, and I'm usually against all the Arena rubbish entering common Exile/Avernum lore. The name is easily pronounced and goes against the cliche conventions of ending on an -ia (and the constant misspellings as "Ermaria" shouldn't really bug anyone). Why change a working system? :)

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Bob's Big Date
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Ermarian is convenient when disambiguating the planet from Earth or the Empire.

And I find it ironic that you consider it unwieldy, and yet are willing to accept a monarch named Ironclad.

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Shaper
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Who's Ironclad? Inside joke perhaps? Ermarian is a decent name its just there could be something better. I feel it should all be called the Empire. Didn't they claim the world as their own? So it should be then. Just because some cave dwellers and crazy alien-like creatures think they're cool doesn't mean the Empire isn't in control. ;)

[ Friday, March 18, 2005 22:36: Message edited by: VCH ]

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Yeah, but that leads to silliness like the Vahnatai living on Empire, which is obviously false. :P

And 'Ironclad' is the name of not one but (so far as I can tell) four monarchs who are generally taken as semi-canonical.

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Agent
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Back on subject with other realms. A few things.

1) Morog sends you to the deep caves. A kind of super deadly realm.

2) In A Perfect Forest-- you visit what appears to be a Nephilim space craft. There is a map of a globe and a pair of Cosmos Gloves. There is some indication that the Nephilim are not originally from Avernum. Edit: I think this is Nephilim because the key to use the teleporter to get into the ship is found on an undead Nephilim.

3) The Vahnati are not sure where they came from originally.

4) The only prehistoric ruins are of the Unicorns and the Ursagi. There are no truly ancient ruins in Avernum.

5) In a strange way, Avernum reminds me of both Darkover-- Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Witch World-- Andre Norton. Clingfire in Darkover is similar to quickfire.

6) All of the humanoids speak the same language. This may sound funny, but there is an idea of a language called basic or galactic-- it is based on the common sounds which humanoids are able to make.

7) Cats and lizards have different vocal structures than humans. Thus the common language of Avernum would have to be artificial or come from an ancient united civilization. There are ruins of a super civilization in both Slith, and Nephilim lands.

8) There is no indication of how humans or terrans got to Avernum. I think at some point there was an entrance gate or ship sent to Avernum and it got lost somehow. Humans lost or forgot their original technologies or they did not work and had to adapt to a new set of physical laws-- magic.

9) Human civilization suddenly expanded from a single point with no rival groups except for other humanoids and rebels.

Just my thoughts.

[ Saturday, March 19, 2005 16:21: Message edited by: Lord Baron Von Toast ]

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...b10010b...
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quote:
6) All of the humanoids speak the same language.
Not true. Obviously, the Vahnatai have their own language. So do the Nephilim -- there are papers written in the Nephil language in the nephil castle in E1/A1. And I'm pretty sure there were some obelisks in Slith lands with indecipherable words on them, suggesting a distinct Slith language as well.

Of course, many of the Nephilim, Slithzerikai and Vahnatai you meet do speak the human language, but their generally imperfect grasp of it suggests that they mostly speak it as a second language.

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Agent
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The idea behind Basic or Galactic is that there are a common set of sounds which all humanoids can produce. It is designed to be a universal language of diplomacy, trade, and war. For some reason-- the primary language has become a kind of basic.

Each humanoid species may have their own language-- but almost all species speak a common trade language.

I am not sure it would be possible for example for a Nephilim to effectively speak the mother tongue of the Slithzeraki very well. Understand the written language yes, but speak certain humanoid languages no. I think that Slith and Nephilim may hear in the higer and lower frequencies than humans. Also a human would not be able to hiss like a slith or roar like a nephil.

Some parties are composed entirely of Slith or Nephil. I do not think that they are necessarily speaking human when talking in the scenarios...

[ Saturday, March 19, 2005 05:59: Message edited by: Lord Baron Von Toast ]

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Law Bringer
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quote:
And 'Ironclad' is the name of not one but (so far as I can tell) four monarchs who are generally taken as semi-canonical.[/QB]
I've still got the number thirteen in the timeline at the encyclopedia. Drakey came up with that number I believe, so it might just be a different version...

Edit: By the way, "Nephilim Spacecraft"?! I just completed A Perfect Forest, and I never had a run-in with that bit... did I miss something?

Further Edit: Also, the language problem is one of Drakey's reasons for a Vahnatai creationism theory, if I remember correctly.

[ Saturday, March 19, 2005 15:21: Message edited by: I'm Late, I'm Late, For ]

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The Establishment
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quote:
Originally written by Lord Baron Von Toast:


2) In A Perfect Forest-- you visit what appears to be a Nephilim space craft. There is a map of a globe and a pair of Cosmos Gloves. There is some indication that the Nephilim are not originally from Avernum.

Are you sure you are interpreting this right? Is there any indication to believe the Spacecraft belongs to the Nephilim?

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Shaper
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The caves that Morog sends your party too were interesting. It would be cool to see a scenario set at that level of the caves. I suppose its somewhere just above the demon caves.

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I don't remember which of the games it was, but one of the Humans mentioned they spoke "English."

Vahnatai language: I'm a bit iffy in my meory of E2/A2: But it seems to me you had to learn their language, not the other way around. A few Vahnatai did speak a few words of "English." But before you could talk to them in earnest you had to go through training in their language--> I think a spell was cast on the party, if I remember right.

Slith and Nephil do have their own language, and they sometimes have problems speaking "Enlgish." The fact that they have co-existed with Humans for so long may explain why they have ended up learning "English."

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Shaper
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Very few slith or Nephilim actually now English to any fluent degree.

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Is there any proof that all demons come from the same dimension? What are demons anyway?

Does anybody know what Ermarians(sorry), with their various religious affiliations, believe happens to them when they die? What about ghosts?

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Rosy again
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Shaper
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It seems that every time demons are mentioned, there is portal involved holding them all back. I think most live in a single dimension. Others may have found there way into the Empire or Avernum over the years.

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Agent
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If you go by Robert Asprin-- a humorous fantasy writer demons are creatures from another dimension. Humans fear them and are their natural enemy. Phil Foglio one of the artists who draws for Spiderweb drew the Ahz character for the Myth Adventure series.

Basically, a demon in this game is a nasty creature from another dimension who needs to use magical means to get to Avernum. This means because they are from an elsewhere they will have weird technology, evil unexplainable abilities (mung demon) , and sometimes look like science fiction nightmares (infernal trooper).

It also means that because they are not from this world, they have no problem eating you for breakfast, or using you as an experimental animal.

It is not exactly stated whether this dimension is hell or similar some other nether-- lower realm in a parallel dimension.

[ Sunday, March 20, 2005 13:46: Message edited by: Lord Baron Von Toast ]

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Law Bringer
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I believe the BoE scenario "Demons" ("Daemons"?) explored the possibility of a "Demon" dimension from which they are summoned. It also theorized that demons are actually sane, civilized creatures prior to being summoned, which supposedly renders them utterly insane.

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Triad Mage
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Demons exist in some sort of Nether region, from which they can be summoned. More powerful demons sometimes escape and wreak havoc on the human realm.

With regards to religion, I would imagine that they have the same views with regard to Heaven and Hell that most people today do. There is no real worldly religion, since it's obvious that a god will work through whoever decides to call him (priest spells). The Anama and Church of Divine Lucre are the most widespread, at least on Valorim.

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Apprentice
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So, well yeah, I knew what your basic mythological/Exile demon was, but aren't they the souls of the damned or something (I could be completely mixed up here)? Do the games mention anything about that? We've cleared up whether there's more than one dimension. And ta, Aran, for the stuff about Demon (I'd forgotten that scenario).

But it is interesting that in the E/A series nobody but the Vahnatai go into what happens to you after you die. Also, because of what I'm about to say, I doubt, Drakefyre - with all due respect - that there is a Heaven, a Hell, or even gods. At least from your Empire citizen's perspective.

The reason why I'm finding all this troublesome is because of the possibility of ressurection in Ermarian. Okay, yeah, so this should clear it up; when you're gone you're finished, done. There's no afterlife because people who've been there and back have no tale to tell. In general that would explain, too, why humans worshipped concepts (money, abandonment of magic) rather than gods, because those were concepts which gave back to them during life - there is little faith, no promise of future reward. There are no martyrs. Everything good that comes of worshipping at a certain altar is immediate.

But don't Sliths and Ogres/Troglos worship idols? Is this because they don't have the power of ressurection? I doubt it, cause there are some powerful Slith wizards out there, not to mention Khazis, and I've bought spells from pagan Slith spellcasters which have been the same spells as human ones. And then how do you explain ghosts and other undead? Aren't they traditionally souls trapped between death and the afterlife?

While I realize ressurection is not available to your average Lorelei woodcutter, there are ressurected people. It seems to me you should meet at least some of them, and their stories should be out there, because I certainly don't think the act is commonplace enough for those who have gone under it to be treated completely as normal people. It seems to me there should be a whole culture shift around death in Ermarian (and other games where it's possible to ressurect people), but there never is. Something to just ignore, I guess. Oh well.

My game knowledge is a little shaky so I'm aware the above 'isn't there's' may all be bull.

Thanks for any replies,
Rosycat.

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Rosy again
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Shaper
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The Empire is the here, the now and forever. There is no after-life at least for Avernties or Empire citizens. They either fight to survive, or survive to fight for the Empire. Neither has time to worship any thing but power.

[ Sunday, March 20, 2005 21:21: Message edited by: VCH ]

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Resurrections are souls called back into their bodily form. Intelligent undead are trapped souls, while unintelligent undead are magically animated by a wizard/necromancer/etc.

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Agent
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I think that when a creature is killed they become a spirit. This spirit either stays because it needs some kind of help or is trapped or goes on to the after life. There are numerous examples of spirits who are still here because something has not been done. The party runs into them in several different scenarios. In Canopy the spirits pull your party into the afterworld.

I think there are higher realms because in Canopy you can summon angels. Although you cannot summon slith angels; there are slith avatars.

The afterlife in Avernum could be very interesting. The human afterlife is not described. However, there would also be a Slith afterlife-- based on Slith gods and ancestor worship, A Nephilim afterlife-- based on Nephilim shamans, and all sorts of other afterlifes-- I wonder what goblin heaven is like. How the different afterlifes interconnect and interact with each other could make for a very interesting scenario.

We may have a few visions of hell; the demons taking over Basshikava and enslaving the slith souls. However, because the party is a group of adventurers-- they would mainly run into the dark side of the afterlife-- e.g. they would be fighting evil.

There are other possibilities-- a Valhalla like afterlife for the Nephilim possibly, or even an Elysian paradise for the Sliths.

Just some thoughts.

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