What It’s All About: The Spheres
Comprising the entirety of the Mystaran multiverse are the Four Spheres, set against the Sphere out of phase. Those Four Spheres, set within this current Age of Life, are Matter, Energy, Time, and Thought. Within the elemental planes, the four prime elements, Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water, correspond to Energy, Matter, Thought, and Time, respectively. The Sphere out of phase, Entropy, has no elemental analogue, save the primordial chaos itself, and represents the sum totality of the previous Age, wherein Entropy held the mastery over Life, and was presumably diverged into governing spheres of its own. As druids and those that attempt to unravel the mysterious omens of the Norns and of their Mother Urt are loath to make such proclamations, it is left to the theories of academics to decide. But assumedly, phases of Life and Entropy have proceeded through the ages of the Prime. When the Four Spheres of the current age fall by degrees out of balance, when one or more spheres have the mastery over the others, the sphere out of phase gains in power. It’s is one of imbalance, chaos, the end of all fueling energy, all stable matter, all constructive thought, and the very progress of time. The Age of Life will end, and an Age of Entropy begin, when this balance ends and the keepers of that balance, of the 4 set against the 1, forget their charge. These keepers are the immortals, and their goals and motivations are as varied and complex as the mortal lives from which they ascended.
Immortals’ Roles on Mystara
The two primary goals of an immortal are largely contradictory, but essential- they must continue to strengthen their respective sphere of influence, All immortals are each affiliated to a particular sphere, from which they draw their power. The second, for those within the Sphere of Life and its four primary elements, is the maintenance of balance between the 4 and the 1. In over-strengthening their own sphere, for example, and neglecting the greater Balance of the 4 and the 1, an immortal inadvertently gives power to the sphere of Entropy, whose strength grows through dissonance among the 4. It is therefore the role of Immortals of Entropy to create discord, imbalance the spheres, nurture enmity and strife among the other 4 spheres, and hasten the next Age of Entropy.
What Immortals Are
What Immortals Are Not
Read on carefully, as much of this might be considered apocryphal at best, blasphemous at worst- Immortals are NOT gods. Though across the known alternative multiverses there exist primordial beings, whole-formed in domains of power, the immortals are not such beings. Though the oldest known immortals have unknown dates of ascension or mortal identities, they have all, at some point, had to tie themselves to one of the 4 and 1, and thus limit themselves to a single domain of influence. As gods are not typically defined as having upper limits, of being limited to such degrees, the Immortals, though often ascribed the title of god, power, or the like, are not gods in the academic sense- Incredibly powerful, yes, but not without upper limits or boundaries.
It’s one of the most argued philosophical subjects of Mystara, a veritable chicken-and-egg ouroboros of the highest caliber- do mortals require the favor of Immortals, is our existence predicated on their esoteric inputs, or do they need us, bound to form and function only by our continued obeisance? Some would argue one, some the other, and both have valid points. Others contend that the standard has shifted over time, that the rules have been progressively rewritten, and in fact show signs of amendment. What is for certain is that mortals revere Immortals, have constructed mythologies and traditions around them, and patronize others to join them in worship of their Immortal. Those of the laity receive boons that can be variable- good fortunes are seen as signs, as are calamities, and the comfort of knowing that there is indeed a greater power, and the possibility of a greater state of being to come. For those of the cloth among the congregation, they exchange reverence for the ability to harness divine magic. See Magic of Mystara for a more detailed input of the magic phenomenon.
Immortal Counsels & Families
In life, mortals possess ties of familiarity, of friendship, of family. Such relationships carry into immortality. By personal relationship, a shared cause or goal, or common cultural ties, Immortals affiliate themselves with others. Omens and sign of such unions can be revealed to augers, such bonds can be proclaimed and signified by worshippers and later confirmed by Immortal omen, or by varying degrees are created by mortals themselves and thus retroactively binding to the Immortals themselves (see the Keys of the Spheres under Worship).
Saimpts of Renardy