Posted by : Victor Julio Hurtado April 06, 2014
This is the basic fluff for a campaign I am making. It is based on some texts I am reading on Musica Universalis which is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of music. This setting draws inspiration from numerous sources, one of them being Innistrad which is one of my favorite planes in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse.
I wanted to create a dark fantasy setting with an unique flavor, or at least interesting enough to want other people to use the setting for their own games. I am currently writing a wiki for my closets friends to read and comment as I develop the setting, but I wanted to share some of what I have written down so far.
No system selected yet for the setting. Let me know what you guys think.
Music of the Universe
The Music of the Universe (sometimes referred to as the Harmony of the Cosmos) is defined as the totality of existence. Within itself is contained the foundation of everything that is known; the sun, the moon, stars, planets, spirits, and every other aspect of life. Everything within the Music produces a melody that must always remain in harmony with the universe, otherwise everything would collapse leading to the extinction of the cosmos.
Within the Music resides Harmonia (often referred as The Harmony or just Harmony), an invisible entity responsible of incorporating, regulating, and balancing all aspects of the Music of the Universe.
The Struggle for Balance
Soon after the Music was in perfect harmony a strange force appeared which caused discord. Harmonia felt a change in the composition of the Music as this unknown, cacophonous being known as The Discordia, the raw representation of entropy, began to compose his own music.
The Creation of Spirits
The struggle between Harmonia and The Discordia distorted the very composition of reality and from their clash the world of Terra was created. Harmonia composed intangible beings who are known in the world of Terra as spirits. Their sole purpose was to weave the new elements into the Music while she continued to confront The Discordia.
Angels, Demons, and Men
Many beings came into existence since the struggle began, among them came the humans. Humans were beings composed of both law and entropy, order and chaos, light and darkness. They were the physical manifestation of choice and possibility, they could fully embrace or slowly become agents of order or of chaos.
A new conflict began as each force wanted to sway humans into either side; Harmonia to keep the balance, and The Discordia to decompose the Music and write it to its own accord. In response to this conflict spirits of light which could assume physical form came into existence, they were known as angels. Angels would embody the core virtues that would keep the world in order.
In return, The Discordia corrupted eight of the most powerful spirits which kept the music of the universe in perfect balance and descended to the world to oppose the angels. Those spirits became the first demons of the world, beings composed of pure entropy.
The Endless War
War raged in Terra between both angels and demons. During the war, angels were able to sway and inspire most humans to join their cause. Demons tried to do the same, however, they chose to corrupt humans to do their bidding or turn them into hideous creatures to aid them in battle. The battle continued for centuries as neither side yielded any ground and while those who fought were wounded, they would soon recover and rejoin the fight.
The archdemons saw no end to this war and together schemed to compose a composed a new theme that would end this war. Somnus, the archdemon of sloth, convoked a truce to distract the archangels while the other 6 archdemons weaved their new theme directly into the Music. By the time the archangels saw through the archdemons’ ploy, it was too late. The concept of death had been introduced into the Music. Humans were the first to experience the consequences of this new theme as they became completely mortal. While angels and demons were immortal they could still be slayed and upon their death their essence would return briefly to the Music before reappearing again into the world a few decades later.
Spirits of Death
Soon after the concept of death had been incorporated the first spirits of death appeared to integrate and regulate this new theme into the Music. To prevent The Discordia from corrupting these newborn spirits a powerful spirit came into existence to embody death and the concept of neutrality. This spirit was later known as Occasus, the angel of death. By the time Occasus claimed his dominion over death, The Discordia had already corrupted a powerful spirit of death. This spirit of death became the demon known as Murmuur.
The End of the War
Eventually the war ended and the angels won but they did not know what to do with the captured archdemons. The angels knew that if they slayed them, the demons would eventually return and so they had no choice but to cast them down into the bowels of Terra and imprison them there.To make sure the demons would not be able to escape Terra and corrupt the Music again, the angels created the heavens high above the sky. The heavens engulfed all of Terra so that in the event that the demons managed to find a way to escape their underground prisons, they would never make it out of the world.
The angels ascended to the heavens and the demons remained deep underneath the earth, trapped in their hellish prisons. During this period of peace human kingdoms flourished and prosperity seemed like it would last forever, until the demon Miseria appeared. During the centuries of imprisonment, the wailing of the archdemon Guttur began to crack the foundations of its own prison and mass earthquakes plagued the human lands. From the cracks sipped Guttur’s essence along with its cries and from them, a new demon appeared. Guttur recognized her as his daughter and named her Miseria, the archdemon of sorrow, first of her kind.
Instructed by Guttur, Miseria tried to free the archdemons but only managed to weaken their prisons. Though still imprisoned, the archdemons were able to spawn lesser demons which spent decades carving lairs and tunnels before finding their way to the surface. Hell became a very literal thing: there are now actual cracks in the ground where demons dwell and from them they spring forward to menace mankind once again.
Decay of Balance
The increase of demonic presence in Terra tipped the balance towards The Discordia — something the archangels noticed too late and had no choice but to abandon tending to the needs of mankind and focus all their attention towards Harmonia.
The Silence of the Heavens
The archangels held an angelic conclave to explain to the other angels the dire situation in which they suddenly found themselves in. The archangels along other powerful angels - but of lesser rank - began to sing in order to provide strength to Harmonia and prevent the Music from collapsing. Seeing this, the remaining angels couldn’t help but wonder what had become of mankind now that the archangels were unable to brake song and descend to Terra to aid them.
Humans were fighting the demons as best as they could but without the help of the angels they would eventually succumb to the corruptive force of chaos. Angels could not descend to help them since the seven gates which led down to Terra had been permanently shut by the archangels.Metatron, an angel who served the archangelSanctus on The Fields of Caritas was the first to do what many angels believed would be sacrilege; He became a mortal by renouncing to his Immortality and giving back most of his angelic essence to the archangels. This sacrifice allowed Metatron to forcefully descend into Terra. Metatron’s actions inspired six other angels who followed his steps and descended. Those who remained returned to their heavenly duties.
From Terra, those on ground saw what they believed were shooting stars. Mankind soon found out these ‘shooting stars’ were actually angels who had descended from the heavens in human form (from that point onward whenever humans saw a shooting star they would make a wish in the hopes that it was a descending angel and it would grant them their wish.)
Metatron called himself - and the host of fallen angels that came with him - Mattara, ‘Keepers of the Watch’. For centuries, the mattara helped mankind in their struggle against the demons. Though they were long lived, Metatron knew they would one day perish just like humans did, thus he established the Keepers of the Watch. The order would be led by the descendants of the Mattara until the demonic hordes were repelled back into the abyss.
Legacy of Metatron
By the time the first generation of mattaras perished only Metatron was still alive but had not been seen for decades. Sensing a shift in the Music, Metatron left the Keepers of the Watch to seek a way to ascend back to heaven and open the seven gates. After his century long absence, Metatron returned to reveal that although he failed on his mission, he had a vision in which he received a song composed by the archangels for mankind (mankind dubbed the song Musica Universalis). Metatron instructed his people to spread this song to all the corners of Terra before balance was lost forever. After issuing his orders, Metatron resumed his quest to find a way to open the seven gates and disappeared once again.
In addition of delivering the song, Metatron also left a set of instructions for mankind to follow. Some of the most notorious mandates were:
Perform the songs thought by the Mattara each dawn.Be compassionate among one another. Be merciless against evil.Bury the dead at least 7 feet underneath the earth so may the earth spirits protect the soul before Occasus comes.Once buried, perform the Canticle of Peaceful Rest.Oppose slavery.Do not bargain with demons or mischievous spirits.Avoid the arcane arts for they are they tools of evil.
The song mentioned the strife between Harmonia and The Discordia and the current decay of balance. But not all was without hope, the song spoke of promises that earthly beings would be able to ascend to Heaven in the afterlife as long as they lived a harmonious life and/or fighting the evils that plagued Terra. Occasus and his servant spirits would come and take the souls of those worthy up to heaven. Those who ascended would patiently wait near the seven gates until the archangel themselves would open the gates for them.
Glimmer of Hope
The heroic deeds of Metatron and his Mattara inspired mankind to strive for survival and to oppose chaos at all costs. Now it is up to each man to provide balance to the Music or be accomplices of its destruction.
What do you guys think?