1. #1

    Reconceived Cosmology

    For Context

    The contents of this post are my best efforts to make something decent (as per my own, probably terrible tastes) out of the current set of cosmic forces. Though I am averse to its manifestation in WoW, I am typically very receptive to advanced cosmology in a fantasy setting, so I wanted to try my hand at making something more compelling than Pokémon types out of them and to create a more interesting dynamic between them. I frame this as vaguely as "making something" since I am not quite sure whether this qualifies as a rewrite, a fanfiction, a prospective reframing/wistful non-speculation, or something in-between.

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    Light

    Preceding ensuing initialization is Light ("Pheta"). The originating Light is the aseitous (self-existent) being (distinguished from light ("sha") , a byproduct of Light influencing Order long before the distribution from the Surface of Last Scattering) from which all else emerges. The Light constitutes a strict definition of what is and is not, selectively recognizing and dismissing prospects to create reality as it is. The Light is inherently benevolent, though it can be appropriated to justify travesty because spiritual Light-byproduct suffuses (and may be consequently appropriated by) any soul which is not entirely unrecoverable by virtue of irrevocable corruption.

    Total (as opposed to partial) suffusion with Light instills the following behavioral alterations:

    1. A predisposition towards understanding-seeking: reflection of the Light's omniscience.
    2. A predisposition towards mercy: reflection of the Light's omnibenevolence.
    3. A vehement rejection of everything contrary to the Light: reflection of the Light rendering anti-benevolence undesirable.
    4. The desire to expunge imperfection: reflection of the Light's absolute perfection.
    5. The desire to propagate the blessing of the Light: reflection of the Light's love.

    In spite of misconceptions propagated by malefactors on an iteration of Draenor, suffusion with the Light does not constitute the destruction of individuality, though extreme behavioral changes often ensue due to the rapturous qualities of the Light. Actors suffused with the Light may still quarrel among themselves and deviate from their overseers; reference mercy shown by Lothraxion & Turalyon on prime iteration of Argus.

    The Light was initially was the only existent entity prior to initializing creation; due to embodying the strict separation of truth and falsity, it required sets of potential subject to variance and discarding to enable creation (an act of Love). As such, what was possible was distinguished from what was true, producing the following cosmic force.

    Void

    Enabling ensuing initialization is Void; the Void is the embodiment of potential and creativity. It manifests through states of superposition preceding wave function collapse. In spite of propaganda spread by radical Xe'raite Gnostic malefactors, the Void is benign where devoid of corruption; its inherent nature predisposes it to innocent and enthusiastic creativity. Due to the absence of strict definition of what is true and false, the Void is capable of perceiving all potential variances in reality, and is unwilling to collapse any for the benefit of one.

    The inhabitants of the Void are chiefly (exceptions exist; see below) of the same nature as the Void proper: innocent and enthusiastic. They are generally agents of Light presenting it with illimitable possibilities, which the Light sifts through and selects. Those traits which are rejected from the material plane are granted to the Void and become the holy detritus giving substance to the creatures that embody them.

    In spite of its beneficent nature, suffusion with the Void may result in negative effects to an unassimilated consciousness, inducing insanity or megalomania; those who distinguish reality from unreality remain odd and disconnected due to failure to recognize [untranslatable] Concrete, too immersed in limitless possibilities, though this form of harmless eccentricity is rarely dangerous.

    Another common misconception by Gnostic malefactors is that "consumption" by the Void results in oblivion. This is not the case, instead reflecting a trait of Disorder. The Void is often confused by the prospect of concrete existence and may passively cause an entity to shift between refutation and assertion, trapping it in a state of existence outside of the patterns underlying reality and the transformation of the entity into a perpetually-shifting hodgepodge of potential incarnations of said entity; this, along with initial refutation, is one of the means by which Void entities incarnate. Ironically, due to the incapacity of the Void to distinguish what is real and is not entirely precluding destruction, this renders the Void second only to Light as an effective means by which to preempt oblivion.

    Presently, malefactors from the Void have become increasingly problematic for the structure of the universe. A number of detritus convergences became understandably unsatisfied with their positions, yet refused to undertake the necessary fundamental alterations required to return to Light. These entities refer to themselves as Sythn'Yar ("(Impossibly) Becoming [untranslatable]; cf. Shath'Yar, "Old [untranslatable]"), but are commonly referenced as "Void Lords" by primitive, unenlightened civilizations. Presently, their objective appears to be to return all of reality to an initial state preceding Light-selection and wave function collapse, which they intend to accomplish through consuming conquest-Titan Azeroth (see: Order) and merging her with her alternative rejected renditions to create an avatar capable of manifesting in and subsequently assimilating the realms of truth and falsity. To accomplish this, they produced the Old Gods from stolen flesh-factories of an inferior void entity by the name of Yogg-Saron (transl. "Remarkable Science"), applied in spite of their creator's protests to the blasphemy to Zereth Potentia; the purpose of this is to enable the manifestation of some of their own in a limited state. None were willing to undergo the requisite flesh-internment, so the malefactors produced unwilling subjects from benign Void entities C'Thun (transl. "Watching Conquest"), N'Zoth (transl. "Sweet Seeker"), Y'Shaarj (transl. "Passion Emperor"), Xal'Atath (transl. "Dread Confider"), and Yogg-Saron itself.† Demand from Void-benefactors necessitates that relevant parties expedite the material emancipation of the aforementioned entities to return them to their proper state; enforced physical existence is stated to be indescribably [unstranslatable] for entities of the Void.

    Order

    The manifestation of initialization is Order. Enabled by the definition of the Light acting in conjunction with the illimitable potential of the Void, Order is the manifestation of the mechanisms and laws governing creation. The latter may manifest either in the capacity of artificial positive law or literal physical laws; Order is best recognized as constituting function in all potential incarnations. Although it is devoid of morality in itself, Order is benign insomuch as it embodies the creation wrought from a perfectly-benevolent aseitous being.

    One noteworthy quality of Order is its unique relationship to mana. Mana is the residue of creation, which may be reoriginated to facilitate the manifestation of magic associated with Light or Void; Order may also be employed to compress and harness mana, creating a product commonly understood as arcane magic. Through this process, the mechanisms of the universe may be operated directly by living creatures. Conversely, it may also be employed alongside the Light to limit the possibilities innate to mana, creating Order magic: reorigination and creation in fluctuation, perpetual revisitation of initialization. In employing qualities of the Light, Order magic becomes something not dissimilar to it, producing a substance which induces profound physiological and psychological alteration in an entity, though the alteration here is more enforced than a consented yet invariable result of the rapturous nature of the Light.

    Order, in conjunction with abstract residue of the Void and Light present in the souls of conscious beings, may also be employed to enable understanding of the functions of the universe; this facilitates the application of physical laws. Consequently, technology is typically associated with Order, and the most technologically-competent entities are typically products of Order.

    Order is presently embodied by the Titans, though these entities are not strictly direct products of metaphysical Order so much as products of the selective interactions between Light and Void during initialization which instilled in the cosmos a desire to maintain and understand its own functions and mechanisms Their primary function is to ensure the continual and unimpeded function of the mechanisms underlying creation through the expungement or containment of all existing threats to the universal Order. The Titans also voluntarily elevated themselves to a metaphysical administrative position in connection to Order on account of the willful resignation, metamorphosis, or absence of its prior curators. Prior to the Titans, the [EXPUNGED] metacivilization directly managed the functions and mechanisms of Order, yet were later retired on account of the treachery of their rulers; consequently, the remnants of [EXPUNGED] still loyal to Order have willfully subjugated themselves to the Titans for the sake of repentance before the Light and presently manifest as Constellar.

    One peculiar trait of the Titans is that their status as the vanguard of Order bequeaths each instance with a certain domain. Oftentimes, these domains are innately associated with Order, yet may have overlap with the manifestations of Order in other forces. One particular Titan of remarkable interest to all cosmic forces and associated beings is Azeroth; because the domain of Azeroth is conquest, she could be employed to subjugate reality to a cosmic force, or to subjugate one cosmic force to another. She may also be employed to eradicate distortions within any given cosmic force on account of her status as the embodiment of the enforcement of Order onto any given concept.

    Disorder

    To refer to Disorder as a cosmic force is potentially disingenuous. In actuality, Disorder is the embodiment of ongoing fundamental distortion of the mechanisms of the universe which occurs following absolute separation from Light and/or Void. It is a product of the hubris of metacivilization [EXPUNGED], whose indulgence in the Initial Universal Sin resulted in the irrevocable introduction of severe imperfection to creation. Disorder is inherently malevolent on account of its absolute separation from the Light, and willful interaction with it typically enables the absolute corruption of the soul of an entity.

    Although Disorder is incapable of fostering beings wholly comprised of itself,—absolute fundamental immersion in Disorder would constitute nonexistence,—it possesses a physically- and spiritually-mutative effect which gradually distorts any instance of a being which willfully immerses itself in it into a demonic entity. It is worth noting that all demons are condemned to absolute and irreversible consumption by Disorder, though it is difficult to determine precisely when this effect will take place. This process first occurred during the metamorphosis of the majority of metacivilization [EXPUNGED] into the Tothrezim.

    Cosmologically-recently, Disorder has undertaken to revisit its initialization through Order-distortion through the corruption of Sargeras. The precise methodology of this is presently assumed to have been the immersion of Sargeras in a state of absolute despair and frustration at the innate imperfections of reality. Rather than ascribe blame to the Tothrezim, Sargeras came to resent the Light for its self-diminishing that occurred as a product of its creation of the Void. Consequently, the Burning Crusade served primarily as a means by which to eradicate the influence of the Light and Void to return creation to a state wholly separated from either, which Sargeras refused to acknowledge would result in pervasive nonexistence outside of the aforementioned forces. With Sargeras currently interned, the report presently prevails that the Tothrezim are undertaking to terminate their own internment in the substratum of Mardum. Should this occur, the Army of the Light is expected to conduct a mass conversion effort to preempt the propagation of Disorder among any beings not presently suffused with the Light. Any entities not presently wholly infused with a cosmic force contradictory to Disorder or wholly unwilling to be infused with the Light are permitted to be expunged from the mortal coil for their spiritual sake.

    Life

    What a dreary topic preceded this. Let's talk about fluffy bunny rabbits now.

    Initially a product of Order, Void, and Light operating in conjunction, Life is sufficiently pervasive and essential to constitute a cosmic force unto itself. Its nature is also difficult to effectively classify on account of its nature as a convergence of all other (true) cosmic forces. Most simply, it constitutes an overlap of the illimitable potential of Void and the mechanisms of Order, ensouled by Light and operating through its selective methods; this tendency encompasses both metaphysical and literal evolution, as well as the capacity of products of Life to choose freely from a set of possibilities. On account of its nature as a convergence of other forces, instances of Life are also particularly predisposed to gravitation towards other cosmic forces: Lightforging, the mutative properties of the Void, technology-creation, etc.

    Life is also associated with abstract thought, hypnagogia, hypnopompia, and dreaming; this constitutes another manifestation of the convergence of forces which enables the existence of Life: the illimitable potential of Void, the mechanism-discernment of Order, and the consciousness bequeathed upon us by the Light. While manifesting such states, Life diminishes the influence of Order on the psyche and subjugates its influence on logical thought to the respective influences of the Light and Void.

    Tragically, Life is also subject to distortion by Disorder. Nearly all Demons initially incarnated as instances of Life prior to their irrevocable corruption. This may be ascribed to the fragility of Life as a delicate balance of the other forces.

    Prior to the fundamental corruption of reality by Disorder, Life was a self-regulating entity which posed no potential threat of cosmos-disturbing excess. However, the cosmological distortion effect emerging from the Initial Universal Sin impeded the capacity of Life to self-regulate, resulting in a tendency to grow beyond the boundaries permitted to it by the Light. Consequently, this necessitated the artificial manifestation of its opposite.

    Death

    Death is the product of a deception emerging from an expedience which metamorphosed into a travesty. Following the initialization of the Initial Universal Sin, metacivilization [EXPUNGED]* undertook to regulate the abrupt Life following its abrupt entry into a state of uncontrollable self-propagation. The expedient regulation manifested in the implementation of a date of expiry inherently attached to Life, as well as the capacity to terminate it through means of physical distortion. Tragic from its inception, Death was nevertheless appropriated for benign purposes by the Light, as all souls whose biological component experienced termination would be invariably returned to the Light, entering into a state of immortality, perfection, nigh-omniscience, and benign [untranslatable].

    Initially, the delivery of souls to the Light occurred through safe travel across a featureless expanse referred to as the [untranslatable], though this transition was wholly interrupted by the malefactors among metacivilization [EXPUNGED]. The perpetrators of the Initial Universal Sin redesigned the process of spiritual departure to redirect souls to an artificial cosmological metastructure: the Shadowlands. Redesigning the afterlife to suit their hubris, they constructed the first instance of the Zereth system by which they sought to reorder a good reality and exacerbate its then-limited imperfections. In spite of the initial advertisement regarding the Shadowlands addressing it as a paradisaical state perfectly catered to its inhabitants, metacivilization [EXPUNGED] actually employed it as a means by which to harvest Anima from the souls of beings it captured. This is presently the afterlife for the majority of subjects of Life, though the mercy of the Light enables circumvention of the Shadowlands through suffusion with—or even sufficient devotion to—another cosmic force.

    Death may also apply a state of entropy to the process of Order-based mana-compression, enabling necromancy.

    Another extraneous note is that agents of Death are becoming increasingly active, with the implicit objective of recreating metacivilization [EXPUNGED]. The most relevant such case is Sire Denathrius of Revendreth, who has absconded to parts unknown with the assistance of his Nathrezim servants; malevolent infiltrators made in the image of the Tothrezim, as revealed to the Army of the Light by infiltrator-turned-convert Lothraxion. It is unknown if he seeks to restore metacivilization [EXPUNGED] or eradicate what remains of it and supplant it with his own variant.

    * The perpetrators of the Initial Universal Sin among metacivilization [EXPUNGED] are typically referred to by inhabitants of the Shadowlands and the Titans and their products as the "First Ones". However, it is worth noting that the context of this name is different between the inhabitants of the Shadowlands and the Titans. To the former, "First Ones" entails "the first, those who created us, those initializers worthy of respect". Conversely, the latter use "First One" to refer to "our predecessors, the ones who came before us, those who ought not be talked about by name, outmoded degenerates".
    † I'm going to have to break character and discard all efforts at narrating this from an impersonal perspective to say that I'm very unsure if this is a good idea or not; it's either perfectly fine or absolutely fucking moronic, and I can't tell which one it is. Consider this part optional to the rest of the document and discard it at your leisure.
    Last edited by Le Conceptuel; 2023-05-23 at 01:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Posting here because i want to taken a proper look at this later (hopefully this may help me bypass my amnesia)

    Edit: Autocorrect, met geest enemy had returned
    Last edited by loras; 2023-05-23 at 01:50 PM.
    This is a signature of an ailing giant, boundless in pride, wit and strength.
    Yet also as humble as health and humor permit.

    Furthermore, I consider that Carthage Slam must be destroyed.

  3. #3
    Reforged Gone Wrong The Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Not bad! I do like the idea that the First Ones basically fucked with the natural order of things. Though turning the Light into some truly perfect state of being... not sure how I feel about that. Not entirely against it, but not entirely for it either. I do enjoy the concept the beings of Void aren't capable of being physical without going completely bonkers, that amuses me. I don't know if I'd want this to be the lore of WoW, but it's definitely not bad.

  4. #4
    Pfft...while I favor a good read, I don't favor any explanation or reinterpretation of cosmology regardless of how well-written it is.

    The first thing I did for my own narrative rewrite was throw it away. I concede that later some "forms" may need an explanation but I favor "flexibility" over that which was regarded as written in stone.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    Though turning the Light into some truly perfect state of being... not sure how I feel about that. . . . I don't know if I'd want this to be the lore of WoW, but it's definitely not bad.
    That much is totally fair. This was primarily conceived around a principle of "what would I like?" rather than "what would be strictly better?", so YMMV definitely applies here.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    Not bad! I do like the idea that the First Ones basically fucked with the natural order of things. Not entirely against it, but not entirely for it either. I do enjoy the concept the beings of Void aren't capable of being physical without going completely bonkers, that amuses me.
    I confess a bit of that was my own >angwy cope< over how I dislike the idea of the First Ones in general, but it made for the best way I could think of to reconcile the existence of the First Ones with the sort of cosmology I'd like to see. Either way, thank you for the overall encouragement! I'm very happy to know it strikes you as interesting, even on account of some well-warranted bits of uncertainty.

  6. #6
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    Incredible! Really well written and love the concept.

    I kid you not I had a similar idea floating around my mind two years ago about how the Cosmic Forces were actually born from the conflict of other preceding Cosmic Forces (i.e. Light is created, then Void coalesces, they clash, then Order is born, then slowly Disorder, they clash along with Light and Void, Life is born, then finally Death).

    Part of what I think inspired me towards this thinking is that it seems as if Death is/was the underdog of the Cosmic Forces (potentially because it is the youngest of them). One could extrapolate this "hint" by the way the Light refers to Death in Shadowlands (I can't find the exact quote right now but it's somewhere along the lines of "Death needing to be reminded of its place".

    Really love the way you fleshed this out - I hope the canon lore ends up being along the same lines as this!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by luigisp View Post
    Incredible! Really well written and love the concept.

    I kid you not I had a similar idea floating around my mind two years ago about how the Cosmic Forces were actually born from the conflict of other preceding Cosmic Forces (i.e. Light is created, then Void coalesces, they clash, then Order is born, then slowly Disorder, they clash along with Light and Void, Life is born, then finally Death).

    Part of what I think inspired me towards this thinking is that it seems as if Death is/was the underdog of the Cosmic Forces (potentially because it is the youngest of them). One could extrapolate this "hint" by the way the Light refers to Death in Shadowlands (I can't find the exact quote right now but it's somewhere along the lines of "Death needing to be reminded of its place".

    Really love the way you fleshed this out - I hope the canon lore ends up being along the same lines as this!
    Thank you very much! I'm very happy to know you liked it.

    As for the Death bit, I confess I hardly put as much conscious thought in it as you did. I just chose to make Death the last of the Cosmic Forces in such a fashion because I was having trouble figuring out how to make that overlap work properly, and it struck me that it would make sense for Death to be chiefly focused around the pruning of life. Since the First Ones were introduced at the same time as the Shadowlands and had the most transparent influence on it, it occurred to me that it would make sense for Death to be artificial, and I worked from there and the issues Shadowlands sort of brings up for in-universe religions to come up with the overall idea of the First Ones' "metacivilization" being responsible for redirecting souls there to begin with. Your reasoning does sort of play into why I wanted to keep Light at the tippy-top of the hierarchy, though.

    Either way, I definitely made it with the intention that it be compatible with canon lore, so it's theoretically possible new lore unravels in a similar fashion. I've been tempted to rewrite the lore before, but I find it's more constructive to think about how the lore could move forward rather than what it could have been; in spite of still having a tendency to go over alternatives in my head, I found that I enjoyed writing this more because it's something that could theoretically exist within the confines of what we know for sure about canon as it is now.

  8. #8
    that's some powerful wordcelry, me likey.
    the spirit of it reminds me of the SL cosmology rewrite by some broker - this one isn't obnoxious (and much more thought-out) though, which is welcome.
    considering this, this could almost be viewed as the 11.0 cosmology take through the light perspective, particularly the supposed A'dal balance-oriented moderate branch (which is naturally opposed to the Yrel's loot piñata mujahideen). it does retain the classic clash of light and shadow as the starting point and bends the newly built lore around it. though sometimes it feels like the narrator isn't there - but maybe that's a good thing.

    re "unassimilated consciousness", that's what a partisan would say. elemental lords or, more recently, Fyrakk are perfectly fine precisely because they have never been assimilated by a major party. an unending flow of definitions have nothing to conflict with - and those with established definitions end up bricked in a loop. but that just means that moderates are no different from radicals for us.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by guro-tchai View Post
    that's some powerful wordcelry, me likey.
    Me very happy you likey!

    Quote Originally Posted by guro-tchai View Post
    considering this, this could almost be viewed as the 11.0 cosmology take through the light perspective, particularly the supposed A'dal balance-oriented moderate branch (which is naturally opposed to the Yrel's loot piñata mujahideen).
    Re: the Light-centric perspective, I did originally write this as an in-character piece and was going to title it "What appears to be a Lightbound commentary on cosmology" (with the assumption that there existed A'dalites among the Lightforged Draenic society on Alt-Draenor, not just the Xe'raite faction, though I'd probably have just changed it to "Draenic" since I doubt that's the case), but ended up deciding to make it more of a neutral document since I was worried it would read as LARP to the moderators. This is why there's such a strong pro-Light slant to the document, though it's not so much untruthful as it is just as biased as would be expected from a document like it. It definitely would be reading close to the intent if you read it as a Draenic interpretation. Not propaganda, of course,—the assumption is that all the statements of fact are truthful,—just with the assumptions and biases that a Draenic commentary would entail.

    Quote Originally Posted by guro-tchai View Post
    the spirit of it reminds me of the SL cosmology rewrite by some broker - this one isn't obnoxious (and much more thought-out) though, which is welcome.
    That's pretty excellent to hear, honestly. I was mainly channeling Michael Kirkbride (albeit supplanting the thinly-veiled Gnosticism allegory with thinly-veiled Catholicism allegory), so I figure it would come off as the same kind of subjective observations he'd produce, thus slotting it in the same genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by guro-tchai View Post
    (which is naturally opposed to the Yrel's loot piñata mujahideen).
    I was definitely thinking of that kind of conflict existing somewhere. My general assumption (within the framework I present here) is that some Naaru would gaze out of their exceedingly perfect, unfathomably beautiful reality to the exceedingly good, relatively fathomably beautiful reality outside and decide "it's got to go". They'd probably rationalize it by convincing themselves that the physical world was created by the Light solely to test them, and that reoriginating everything back to Light is what they need to do. The A'dal camp would be a tad less radical about the inevitable return of everything to the Light, though they still may want that to happen as a gradual and inevitable process. I'm not sure if these factions would be in direct conflict, but they'd definitely have religious incompatibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by guro-tchai View Post
    re "unassimilated consciousness", that's what a partisan would say. elemental lords or, more recently, Fyrakk are perfectly fine precisely because they have never been assimilated by a major party. an unending flow of definitions have nothing to conflict with - and those with established definitions end up bricked in a loop. but that just means that moderates are no different from radicals for us.
    The latter bit—if I'm reading it right, that is—is actually close to what I meant to imply, albeit far better specified. "Unassimilated" here refers to unassimilated by the Void, not unassimilated by any cosmic force. Elementals and presumably any other theoretical entity that is not constrained to Light- and Order- influenced thought, or without the Void influence to comprehend the basic reality-shaking revelations, would probably be immune to any Void-based insanity. The Void wouldn't have quite the same impact on Elementals within this framework because they are not reliant on the kind of neurological cognition influenced by an overlap of Void, Light, and Order that would make the exposure of a wholly-gradient reality (with some edges where there are absolutes, but only absolutes which are simultaneously true with their opposites) insanity-inducing to a mind that only recognizes gradients as combinations of truths and falsehoods rather than being gradients [I]per se[/e]. With no ordered consciousness dependent on rules, no Light influence in the consciousness dependent on strict definition, and no Void influence to grasp the general idea of gradient quasi-truth to begin with, Elementals simply don't understand what biological life does, and thus are unable to grasp the realizations that drives biological life insane on exposure to the Void to begin with.
    Last edited by Le Conceptuel; 2023-05-23 at 05:21 PM.

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