Cosmology of the Might and Magic Universe and Ashan

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Cosmology of the Might and Magic Universe and Ashan

Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 22 2011, 19:57

Introduction

Of late I have been devoting a lot of time and attention to the question of Axeoth's relationship to Ashan and in doing so the question of what the relationship of Ashan's consmology is to that of the basic Might and Magic one? Regardless to whether of not Axeoth and Ashan are the same world, this question would do well to be adressed.

Dragon-Gods and Planes
In Ashan lore there are 7 dragon-gods, 2 of these are described as the primordial dragons, these are Asha and Urgash; who precede the other 5 dragons, who are described as the elemental dragons. Asha creates the world AND the elemental dragons, Urgash creates the demons only and the mythic age ends with an epic war 'faught at all levels of reality' which brings to an end the mythic age.

Might and Magic lore has 'at least' 7 planes, they are.
The Plane of Fire.
The Plane of Water.
The Plane of Air.
The Plane of Earth.
The Plane of Glory (where the portals of glory the Heroes III Angels come from go).
The Plane of Death (appears in the Heroes IV death campaign)
The Material Plane (boring old material reality).
The Fiery Realm (appears in the Heroes IV death campaign as the 'realm where the demons get their power from')

I do not believe that the gods of Ashan are really dragons, no that is merely the form that the inhabitents of Ashan depict them as, a situation which the dragons of Ashan are all too happy to oblige because it grants the sacred status. While the gods do not see any reason to upset the dragons because the dragons have to serve them somewhat in order to keep said status. Not all the inhabitants of Ashan even worship these gods as dragons, the orcs for instance worship Mother Earth and Father Sky. Does this mean that the orcs are mistaken or that there are 9 gods? No it doesn't; these gods are merely Sylanna (Earth) and Sylath (Air) in a different non-draconian form.

In 'reality' then each god is either the governing spirit of each plane or perhaps a 'reflection' of the consciousness of their worshippers cast onto the plane. The fundamental relationship between the gods and their planes can be depicted as follows.

Image

There are four fundermental contradictions that govern the Might and Magic Universe each of these played out within the sphere of the planes that lie between the two opponants. Each god has primary servants which he or she created and which are the primary executors of their will within the plane they rule. Each god and their primary and secondary servants is as follows.

Asha

Primary Servants- The Ancients
Plane- Material Reality
Secondary Servants- Various sentiant constructs, Heroes IV Order faction, Heroes V/VI Necropolis faction. Heroes V wizards to an extent.

Urgash

Primary Servants- The Creators
Plane- The Fiery Realm
Secondary Servants- Kreegans/Demons, Heroes IV Chaos faction.

Sylanna

Primary Servants- The Earth Elementals
Plane- Plane of Earth
Secondary Servants- Heroes V Sylvan faction, Heroes IV Nature Faction. Ashan Orcs. Green/Emerald Dragons.

Sylath

Primary Servants- The Air Elementals
Plane- Plane of Air
Secondary Servants- Free Cities of Ashan, pre-Falcon humans, Heroes IV Nature Faction. Ashan Orcs.

Shalassa

Primary Servants- The Water Elementals
Plane- Plane of Water
Secondary Servants- Heroes III Fortress, Heroes VI Sanctuary, Dragon Eels

Arkash

Primary Servants- The Fire Elementals
Plane- Plane of Fire
Secondary Servants- Heroes V Dwarves, Magma Dragons.

Elrath

Primary Servants- The Angels.
Plane- Plane of Glory/Life
Secondary Servants- Heroes V/VI Haven faction. Shining One's.

Malassa

Primary Servants- The Faceless.
Plane- Plane of Death/Shadows
Secondary Servants- Heroes V dark elves, Heroes IV death faction.

Meaing of Dragon Mythology
According to the Ashan Timeline the fundamental contradiction which precedes all the others is the division between Urgash and Asha. Because Asha and Urgash precede the other dragons we can determine that at the time of the 'Cosmic Egg' and the 'Void' there was unity between the Elements. Ashan is described as creating the Elemental Dragons AND the world at the same time.

Demons appear to have a rather extensive love-affair with fire, or rather with Magma. Magma and fire are however not the same thing, in a manner of speaking Magma is all the elements combined into a single substance. So the Fiery Realm is pretty much the Molten Realm. So the battle of Urgash against Asha is ultimately the battle of the magma against it's seperation into seperate elements, the result of which is the material world. The material world is originally empty space; the Void.

As Magma is drawn from Urgash's Fiery Realm itself, the result of Asha's victory is the 'jailing' of Urgash to the 'Fiery core' of the world, which of course means magma. Asha isn't able to banish him from material reality altogether, because she depends upon that magma to create new material elements.

Elrath and Malassa are more of a mystery. They are obviously elemental dragons, but they are also intimately linked to Asha because of her 'three faces' as described by Sar-Elam. Elrath clearly links to Life and Malassa by contrast must link to Death. Perhaps the answer is that in order to defeat Urgash she had to unite with one of the elemental contradictions, fundermentally transforming herself, Elrath and Malassa in the process.

Mortal Life then may be the result of this alliance, the means to establish a truce between Light and Dark, Death and Life respectively. That Urgash comes back on the stage as a result of the massive conflict between the Angels and the Faceless- the primary servants of Elrath and Malassa supports this notion. The severe weakening Asha suffers is due to the need to resolve the contradiction that she has embraced in order to win the conflict.

The stronger the conflict between Elrath and Malassa are then, the weaker Asha is. The less the conflict between Elrath and Malassa, the stronger Asha is. The less the conflict however between the elemental dragons, the stronger Urgash is. This comes to the question of magic.

Might and Magic as Divine Commerce
Magic is the expression of the conflicts between these conflicting powers. Magic is a sense divine commerce, the magician establishes contact with a particular divine being, trading them a substance called mana which he has generated from the extent of his consciousness (his knowledge) is exchanged for a concrete result. The nature of the results must reflect the present alliances of the god in question. In Heroes V they are.

Summoning Magic- Asha
Light Magic- Elrath
Dark Magic- Malassa
Destruction Magic- All four Elemental Dragons.

However all four forms of magic are actually available to everyone (except orcs I think), which means that essentially although it is neccesary to cultivate a 'relationship' to the gods in question, they are actually willing to 'sell' to anyone, even their sworn enemies! This is because they are sufficiantly desperate to get their hands on more mana than their enemies that because they reckon they are trading 'at a profit' it is perfectly acceptable to trade with their mortal enemies because they can do more 'good' with that mana than the harm the spell actually does. A heroes spellpower represents how effective the hero is at 'bargaining', pursuading their godly patron to 'hand over' a greater amount of 'stuff' for the same 'price'.

The form magic takes then in a game would represent in that time and place the balance between the conflicting gods, the stability of the situation and the extent the advantage is on their side.

Stable Situation favours god: Magic is not available from god.
Stable Situation dis-favours god: God is prevented from trading by it's opponant.
Stable Relationship is balanced: Both gods compete to offer their magic as a same branch of magical knowledge with their opponant.
Fluctuating Situation presently balanced: God desperately trades with everyone trying to gain any advantage.
Fluctuating Situation presently favours god: God offers magic only to it's servants trying to stabalise it's advantage.
Fluctuating Situation presently disfavours god: God loans magical spells to other gods rather than operating independantly trying to restore balance.

Having sold a bunch of spells our god and acquired a small hoard of mana, the god now has to spend the mana. What they spend it on is granting might to those heroes whose agendas favour their own interests. This can mean anything from giving them tactical ability, to helping them inspire their troops, negating spells or fixing seemingly random events in their favour. Granting magic is thus the divine equivilant of selling, while granting might is their equivilant of buying.

This is why heroes are so prone to 'unleveling'- mantaining a level 30 hero indefinately is prohibitively expensive in mana for the god(s) that favour them, so as soon as they have completed their tasks they are promptly demoted rather than allowing them to remain on the payroll.

Role of the Dark Messiah
The only god missing from the list of forms of magic is Urgash. The basic elemental dragons are unified into a single form of magic. Thus we can determine the situation in Heroes V is as follows.

Asha- Fluctuating Situation presently balanced
Urgash- Stable Situation dis-favours god
Malassa- Fluctuating Situation presently balanced
Elrath- Fluctuating Situation presently balanced
Arkash- Stable Relationship is balanced
Sylanna- Stable Relationship is balanced
Shalassa- Stable Relationship is balanced
Sylath- Stable Relationship is balanced

We can see that while Urgash is disfavoured in a stable manner, Asha is not favoured in a similar manner, else summoning magic would not be on offer. At present although Urgash and the demons can wage war in material reality, they cannot do so without expending magic or gaining might from another source- he has no mana currency.

That Asha is 'trading' means that Urgash is only being kept down by Asha's alliances with Elrath and Malassa. However because the other elemental dragons are in a stable balance while they are not, the relational situation favours Urgash (relative unity within the elemental dragons but division between Elrath and Malassa).

The Dark Messiah by his ability to wield the 'magic of Urgash' essentially set's up shop and establishes a mana income for Urgash which allows him to build an independant powerbase in the material world like the other gods.
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Postby XEL II » May 23 2011, 13:03

There is no Plane of Glory in canonical Ashan or old universe lore. You made it up. Fiery Realm is no a Plane, its a planet. And most of this text is from your imagination.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby Avonu » May 23 2011, 14:00

XEL II, don't be upset. It's nice fairy tale after all. ;)

ThunderTitan wrote:So, what's my Dragon-God sign?! And what does it mean for my personality and life?

Offspring of Urgash and Ylath (and don't ask me, how these two male dragons can have offsprings :P).

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Postby XEL II » May 23 2011, 14:31

But it's presented as if it was the "canonical information researched by Slayer". Idiocy, to be short.
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 23 2011, 16:20

XEL II wrote:There is no Plane of Glory in canonical Ashan or old universe lore. You made it up. Fiery Realm is no a Plane, its a planet. And most of this text is from your imagination.


I made neither plane up. The Angels of Enroth come from somewhere else, the name of where they come from is the Portal of Glory, hence why I call it the Plane of Glory. I could have called it the 'plane of someplace where Angels come from'. Would that be properly canonical for you XEL?

The Fiery Realm is described in Heroes IV as being the place where the demons/kreegans gain their power from (as in vitality, energy). Yet the Fiery Realm is later described as being a planet that has fallen under the dominion of these very same demons/kreegans. But without any power the Kreegans cannot conquer that planet; so the Fiery Realm must be more than just a planet.

The kreegans cannot draw this power from a normal planet (like Enroth or Axeoth) else Gauldoth wouldn't have been able to travel however many lightyears to get there by destroying the Angels Blade along the ley lines of Axeoth.

The simplest explanation which solves the most problems and is based upon all the canonical information is that the Fiery Realm is both a planet and a plane, that is the planet is or contains a portal to said plane. The ley lines allow Gauldoth to travel there because the ley lines are the means of transmission of this energy between planets. If the energy were native to the material universe, then there would be no uninterrupted one-way flow from said planet which would allow Gauldoth to travel there.

Yes most the text is from my imagination. You say that like it were actually a bad thing. Since when was I required to read things like a computer?

XEL II wrote:But it's presented as if it was the "canonical information researched by Slayer". Idiocy, to be short.


Only in your imagination XEL. I have never claimed that it were "canonical information researched by Slayer". Indeed the point of this thread is to present my present opinion as to how Ashan lore fits together with earlier lore particularly in relation to the place of the Ashan gods in the wider universe and reversely in relation to eachother in the light of that theory.

Indeed order to falsely present something as canonical information I would have to make a (fake) reference to a canonical source.
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Postby ThunderTitan » May 23 2011, 20:30

Avonu wrote:Offspring of Urgash and Ylath (and don't ask me, how these two male dragons can have offsprings :P).


A scythe to the head better be involved...
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Postby Avonu » May 24 2011, 8:07

IIRC in some versions it wasn't head where scythe hit.

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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 24 2011, 10:54

Moderators, can the above two posts of inane and irrelavant drivel please be removed from my thread.
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Postby XEL II » May 24 2011, 11:35

Moderators, can this whole thread of irrelevant made-up crap be removed from the Heroes VI boards were it doesn't belong?
Make you strong places to dwell and practice the evil of your arts. Build great monuments to stand through the ages and remind your followers of the task with which you have been charged. Use these halls of iniquity to perpetrate your schemes against the infestation that has taken the fields and lakes of this land from you, their rightful masters. Never forget the hatred that must finally overcome and consume mankind. Dwell in your dungeons and brood. - Sheltem the Dark

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Postby ThunderTitan » May 24 2011, 11:35

@Avonu

But "Scythe to the Head" sounds so much cooler...


Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:inane and irrelavant drivel


Wait, you mean to tell me that's not what this thread is for?! ;|
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 24 2011, 12:21

XEL II wrote:Moderators, can this whole thread of irrelevant made-up crap be removed from the Heroes VI boards were it doesn't belong?


I think you'll find that the whole of the Might and Magic universe is entirely made-up XEL II. Thus if you have a problem with 'made-up' then I really think you're in the wrong forum.

And there's nothing irrelavant as to how Ashan does or does not fit together with the rest of the Might and Magic universe.
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Postby Qurqirish Dragon » May 24 2011, 13:29

All of you (and I do mean all), please remain on topic. Take your personal fights elsewhere.
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Postby Mlai » May 24 2011, 15:10

I liked everything about the planes and the primordial gods and everything... but the bit about magic as currency seems forced. It doesn't seem necessary. Magic in HOMM is not in need of some sort of overarching explanation.

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Postby ThunderTitan » May 24 2011, 15:53

Qurqirish Dragon wrote:All of you (and I do mean all), please remain on topic. Take your personal fights elsewhere.


I'm pretty sure this topic pretty much embodies the reasons for what you're referring to as "personal fights"... and i was kinda trying to make a point about how it's gotten way past the point where it needs to be taken seriously enough to cause a fight.
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Postby Avonu » May 25 2011, 8:27

Qurqirish Dragon wrote:All of you (and I do mean all), please remain on topic. Take your personal fights elsewhere.


And the topic is...?
I ask seriously, because if it about Cosmology of Ashan, then Slayer has been told dozens of dozens time and proven that he is wrong.
If it is about possible connections between NWC's universe and Ubisoft's universe, then also see above statement.
If it is a fairy tale - then isn't Campfire better place for it?

Also, this topic isn't named "My version...", "My point of view...", even in Introduction there is no word it is Slayer's imagination of Ashan Cosmology (which if he read some lore about HV and HVI news, he would know how this cosmology really looks).

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Postby Mirez » May 25 2011, 9:02

Avonu wrote:And the topic is...?
I ask seriously, because if it about Cosmology of Ashan, then Slayer has been told dozens of dozens time and proven that he is wrong.
If it is about possible connections between NWC's universe and Ubisoft's universe, then also see above statement.
If it is a fairy tale - then isn't Campfire better place for it?

Also, this topic isn't named "My version...", "My point of view...", even in Introduction there is no word it is Slayer's imagination of Ashan Cosmology (which if he read some lore about HV and HVI news, he would know how this cosmology really looks).

this one,
either tell him in a constructive manner how he's wrong or don't post in this topic.
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 25 2011, 21:27

Mlai wrote:I liked everything about the planes and the primordial gods and everything... but the bit about magic as currency seems forced. It doesn't seem necessary. Magic in HOMM is not in need of some sort of overarching explanation.


Forced.... hmmmmmm. Well actually replay the first dialog of the 3rd Haven mission of Heroes V (The Trap 1).

Priest:
Lady Isabel, your might as a warrior is impressive but your knowledge of the arcane is limited. To fight these demonical abominations, you must learn something of the magics of Elrath.


The Priest draws a clear connection here between the god Elrath and magic, presumably he means Light Magic. Indeed the Light is used by Haven characters as a synomyn for Elrath. But regardless what this character reveals is an explanation for the previously untouched issue of the nature of magic in that Might and Magic universe. An issue which given that magic is a gameplay mechanic has never (in my knowledge) been adressed before.

In the Warhammer universe for instance the nature of magic is ultimately fickle, random and above all dangerous. This is because it is based upon the fickle winds of magic as it's ultimate source.

The Might and Magic Universe however appears to veer towards the opposite extreme, magic is basically orderly, predictable and altogether safe, at least to the person casting the spell. This predictability fits with a basically clockwork system for magic.

Yet magic is also rather deeply personal in the sense that it depends upon an individuals personal abilities at magic and advanced magic requires a specific focus, which is generally somewhat exclusive of other focuses.
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » May 25 2011, 21:59

Avonu wrote:Also, this topic isn't named "My version...", "My point of view...", even in Introduction there is no word it is Slayer's imagination of Ashan Cosmology (which if he read some lore about HV and HVI news, he would know how this cosmology really looks).


The reason that I don't add such phrases is that they are wholly unnessesary. They go without saying. When a person honestly writes something they obviously cannot write anything other than their point of view.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jun 2 2011, 15:03

Slayer of Cliffracers wrote:The reason that I don't add such phrases is that they are wholly unnessesary. They go without saying. When a person honestly writes something they obviously cannot write anything other than their point of view.


Yeah, like when they write 2+2=4... totally just their point of view...
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Postby Slayer of Cliffracers » Jun 4 2011, 19:02

ThunderTitan wrote: Yeah, like when they write 2+2=4... totally just their point of view...


It is indeed just their point of view.

But it's a point of view that happens to be correct.
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