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Friday, July 31, 2015

A Pangean/Retrospace Cosmology

With the recent release of Retrospace, a pulp science fiction expansion to Blood of Pangea, we wanted to reconcile these two very disparate, and yet closely linked, genres.  The following alien cosmology is NOT canonical by ANY stretch of the imagination, but might serve as inspiration still... 


Over the course of millennia, intelligent life arose on various worlds across the vast universe, and some of it, although few, possessed psychic ability.  Among these, some achieved such a high level of mastery that they acquired power over their very bodies, becoming effectively immortal and invulnerable...

As a side effect, these beings, called OMNI-SENTIENTS, became physical manifestations of their innermost natures, whether good and wise or wicked and twisted, with some, like the Six Black Names, being so utterly alien in outlook as to manifest nothing less than complete and utter madness and depravity!

Sword and sorcery and sci-fi are
closely related in many not-so-obvious ways...

These omni-sentients spread out across the universe, settling on various worlds and interacting with whatever intelligent life might reside there, becoming gods to some, devils to others, accounting for the deities (and demons) of Pangea and later epochs of this and other worlds.  This is the true source of the gods.    

Note here that if this idea seems to take the wonder out of any deities in a sword and sorcery world, understand that omnisentients are so psychically sensitive as to take on the persona so imposed upon them by their worshipers.  For all intents and purposes, these beings see themselves as the gods they are believed to be, down to the very foundation of their innermost selves...

Obviously, others will make contact with more technologically advanced worlds and manifest as cosmic life forms, which is more in keeping with a science fiction setting.  These will generally see themselves as the higher life forms they are and may or may not choose to involve themselves with interplanetary affairs, this being an excellent basis for adventures in both game systems!     


Psychic awareness sometimes emerges in animals having lower intelligence, and some of these ascend to a sort of sentience as well, becoming SUB-SENTIENT creatures that also manifest their innermost desires and motivations.  These become angelic or demonic entities, attaching themselves willingly, or otherwise, to the assorted gods and powers or acting as free agents.

Such beings appear to feed on psychic energy and are, therefore, drawn to omni-sentients or sorcerers who have the power to call and command them for short periods of time.

Pulp fantasy and sci-fi are two sides of the same coin...


What Retrospace calls psionics, Blood of Pangea calls magic, although there is a very real difference here, for while sorcerers will no doubt be psychically gifted, they have the power to call upon demons and other beings to work spells - and this is the case even when no such creatures are actually summoned!  

Ultimately, magic is more powerful than psionics because it draws upon other sources of power and thus allows for more varied magical effects, like actual shape changing, etc.    


At death, those who worship these beings will see their former consciousness taken up, or down, as the case may be, to reside with the greater mind (or the OVERMIND) they represent.  This is the afterlife of so many religions, each one being a true manifestation of the power imagining it.  Thus, we see the Hell of Set-Amon and the Great High Home of the Ostogothi Sky Fathers...

Interestingly, as all Sirians are psionic, all go to their respective Overmind at death, as do members of other races who join the Psion Order.  The great teacher Kenuba may or may not have ascended to omni-sentience, but is thought to reside in the Sirian domain, perhaps out of loyalty to his people.

It is important to remember here that the great Robert E. Howard collaborated with H.P. Lovecraft and incorporated his friend's dark blend of science/horror into his mythos.  We could do no less... 

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