Difference between revisions of "Research:The Broken Lands"

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The Dark Spirit Morgu (Modern: Marlu) looked exactly like an enormous gogor, and collected them as his favored pets, but the reason why is never explained in the source books. The invoking elements for the gateway in his shrine being Iruaric are strongly implying an ancient relationship with the Lords of Essaence. "Thro dyar K'mur" in particular is implying he was made to guard Empress Kadaena. This has some precedence in other books, such as the Inhabitants Guide (1989), where she has fire demons as bodyguards. In the Emer (1990) book she had an Ordainer bodyguard. It might also pertain to the vestigial text about her followers having fashioned the first of the Great Demons, which is a holdover from older I.C.E. source books where the demonic were created artificially by the Lords of Essence.
+
The Dark Spirit Morgu (Modern: Marlu) looked exactly like an enormous gogor, and collected them as his favored pets, but the reason why is never explained in the source books. The invoking elements for the gateway in his shrine being Iruaric are strongly implying an ancient relationship with the Lords of Essaence. "Thro dyar K'mur" in particular is implying he was made to guard Empress Kadaena.
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"Fire-demons are associated with destruction and typically serve the forces of terror. The mightiest of these creatures, the Flamesouls, are corrupted demigods in the service, whose avarice and hunger for hegemony led to their fall from grace. '''These vile, vengeful Demons serve Kadæna,''' although most were imprisoned on other planes at the end of the '''Wars of Dominion''', or were utterly destroyed. The few survivors retreated into the depths of the underworld in order to survive until they could regain strength and exploit new opportunities. They repose like a dormant curse upon the world."
 +
 
 +
- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34
 +
 
 +
"Fire-demons are associate with destruction and typically are summoned by the forces of evil. Their power comes from the depths of the earth and the energy of the sun; they love the day and fiery caverns. Driven by avarice for power and death, they are among the most fearsome of demons. '''The favored guardsmen of Kadaena,''' most were banished forever in the '''Final Conflict'''. But some were actually imprisoned within deep caverns, unable to return to their planes and yet unslain. They await the unwary who might free them and find death as a reward."
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 +
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 18
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 +
 
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"The citadel of ''Ahrenraax'' (Ir. the "Secret Claw") was located in the cool waters southwest of Emer. Stewardship of this volcanic island fortress was given to the Lord Ordainer ''Morloch'' (once known as Shuraax the Fire Claw, bodyguard of Kadaena)."
 +
 
 +
- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 63
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</pre>
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This has some precedence in other books, such as the Inhabitants Guide (1989), where she has fire demons as bodyguards. In the Emer (1990) book she had an Ordainer bodyguard. It might also pertain to the vestigial text about her followers having fashioned the first of the Great Demons, which is a holdover from older I.C.E. source books where the demonic were created artificially by the Lords of Essence.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
"The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; '''Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna.''' Wise but twisted in spirit, '''the servants of the Shadow''' offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era. The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era."
 +
 
 +
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 3
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 +
 
 +
"Theories regarding the origins and creation of Demons are plentiful and contradictory, but the most commonly accepted explanation is that '''they were created by the Lords of Essence out of that force itself,''' and they exist on some other plane, waiting to be called forth. '''Now, most serve the Unlife.''' Whether Demons are intrinsically evil in nature or not is another matter open to speculation, and it is doubtful that the answer is soon forthcoming, since few users of Essence who are not already servants of the Unlife are willing to risk summoning one of these terrors."
  
 +
- Cloudlords of Tanara (1984); page 8
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These excerpts are particularly important because the story of the Broken Lands is that Uthex Kathiasas discovered what he believed was a new source of power, and he was trying to give "physical form" to that power. In other words, the story very strongly implies that Uthex was attempting to forge entities out of the essence, and his work was corrupted under the subtle influence of forces of the Unlife. The Dark Shrine raises the question of whether the Dark Lords originated in Lord of Essaence experiments in the First Era, and were merely banished in the Final Conflict rather than first arriving in 1900 Second Era.
 
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From the Book of Dark Tales...
 
From the Book of Dark Tales...
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Andraax  
 
Andraax  
SE 1782
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'''SE 1782'''
  
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 31
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 31

Revision as of 22:27, 24 March 2020

Warning: This page concerns archaic world setting information from the I.C.E. Age of GemStone III. It is not canon in contemporary GemStone IV, nor is it canonical for Shadow World as the details may be specific to GemStone III. It is only historical context for certain very old parts of the game and these things should not be mixed.

This is a research page for interpreting the Broken Lands in its original historical context. It is impossible to understand the Broken Lands without the Shadow World source books, as its basic premise is elaborating relationships from that world setting. However, it was also made with its own specific lore texts which were unique to GemStone III, which would be considered non-canonical in Shadow World. It becomes a matter of interpreting and guessing at the intent. The Broken Lands most likely also has more cryptic symbolic meaning relating it to the archaic death theology and mechanics of Purgatory, and should probably be interpreted as a spin-off story of The Graveyard.

The Broken Lands was introduced by GM Kygar in the I.C.E. Age in a few phases between 1992 and 1994, with the exception of the Sheruvian monastery, which was instead after the De-ICE by GM Sayzor in late 1997. What is now called the Lysierian Hills was built to be an idyllic contrast around a hidden portal to an exotic locale, which was then chosen to have an "Unlife invasion" theme, elaborating on the relationship between the servants of the Unlife with the Dark Gods in the Wars of Dominion.

Archaic GemStone III Documentation:

Related Projects:

The following research pages are interrelated with the subject of this one:

Shadow World

The world setting of GemStone III in the I.C.E. Age (Dec. 1989 - Sept. 1995) was set on Kulthea rather than Elanthia. This is the archaic Shadow World historical timeline, in contrast to the modern History of Elanthia. The story for the Broken Lands is "The Broken Land", but on the Wiki is labeled "A Popular History of the Broken Lands" (1993), and it is set in the context of Shadow World. This means the details and areas associated with the story must be interpreted in terms of the contemporary Shadow World source books. More subtly, it must be interpreted using books of an early enough date, as details first existing in later books would be apocryphal.

Methodology

The Broken Lands was developed late enough for Shadow World Master Atlas, 2nd Edition (1992) to potentially be relevant. However, the specific Iruaric glossary that was adapted and Iloura's shrine must have been from earlier books, coming instead from Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990). The Master Atlas Addendum in particular has some vestigial admixtures of the Unlife on Charôn, the moon of the Dark Gods, before that language was removed from later books. For explanations of paleo-history, crypto-history, and potential weaknesses of methodology, see Research:The Graveyard.

I.C.E. Source Books

These books are especially likely to have some degree of relevance to the story. The Uthex Kathiasas story is unique to GemStone, it does not exist in the source books.

  • Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989)
  • Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990)
  • Demons of the Burning Night (1989)
  • Quellbourne: Land of the Silver Mist (1989)
  • Creatures & Treasures II (1989)

Authorial Intent

Some information is recorded on the authorial intent of the Broken Lands, which helps constrain the range of possible interpretations. GM Kygar did an interview in the Kulthea Chronicle, Volume I Issue V, which was the September/October issue of 1994. In this he describes how the whole concept was formed before any of it was created. The Seolfar Strake is north of the High Plateau on the Quellbourne maps, unlike the post-I.C.E. Age maps which place the Lysierian Hills south of Glatoph. Kygar describes making this region as a contrast for the Monastery, and describes earlier in the interview that the Kral (Modern: Krolvin) were only added to the Seolfar Strake in 1994 because of combat mechanics needs, as opposed to the "natural-growth" approach that was used for the original parts.

"The second approach is to come up with a concept or a 'main thread' and then to allow an area and the creatures to grow up around that concept. I think of this as a 'natural-growth' design, rather than addressing some specific need. Most of the Seolfar Strake, Monastery and areas beyond the Monastery are of this design concept. Because they are 'natural-growth' design, they do not always address the needs of every character class or type. I don't see a problem with that, and make no apologies for it. If there are 'gaps' in the area or creatures, then those gaps can be filled by other areas and other creatures.

When I started on the Seolfar Strake, I decided to have a natural sylvan setting in the foothills of a mountain, along with some buried ruins that contained a gate to a more remote and exotic locale. After looking at the Quellbourn map, I decided on Seolfar Strake as the location, since that was a previously untouched area of the island. Having a general idea of the setting and situation, I then had to search for a theme to justify it all. I read through a lot of background material about Kulthea, looking for a good plot to have it all revolve around. I settled on an Unlife invasion theme, but wanted to add a twist that had not yet been explored. The background material made it clear that the Unlife and the Lords of Charôn had worked together during the Wars of Dominion. I selected that as the theme."

- GM Kygar; Kulthea Chronicle, Volume I Issue V (1994), page 18

This "background material" has no modern analog in the world setting of Elanthia, so the "theme" of the Broken Lands is highly archaic. In the following paragraph he describes the additional background material that is not canon in Shadow World or Rolemaster. These include the legend of Uthex Kathiasas itself, the modified Iruaric glossary (1994), and the Temple of Darkness Poem (1994). The purpose of the Monastery in preventing the servants of the Unlife from exiting the Broken Lands is particularly interesting, because the legend implies instead that it was hidden so that it could not be found.

"Anyone who has not read the additional background material about the Monastery and areas beyond that are in the Tomes of Kulthea should do that. The legends and information that I came up with are not official RM material, so the only place you will find them is in the Tomes. Reading those should explain the exact history and plot of the area, though it does not give you every possible detail. Only after I have written a history and background foundation for an area like this, do I actually start building. I think the effect in the Seolfar Strake works. The approach is quiet and sylvan, with nary a hint of the dark struggle that takes place within the mountain. The Monastery itself fits the historical purpose for which it was designed, and that was to guard against intrusions of the Unlife through the gate that is located there. By reading the history and then really exploring and looking at the Monastery itself you can easily get a feel for the centuries of dedicated labor that the monks served. You can understand how their increased isolation from the rest of the world made them lonely and restless. In the end, they succumbed to the very powers that they were set to guard against and became servants of the very powers that they opposed. It's a tragic tale I guess." Kygar smiled a little.

"In any event, given that tale it was easy for the creatures to develop themselves. The wild creatures in the outer Strake are natural for that setting. The spectral monks and monastic liches in the Monastery are a very natural result of the history of the place. The general abilities of all these creatures are pretty natural."

- GM Kygar; Kulthea Chronicle, Volume I Issue V (1994), pages 18 & 24

Kygar then went on to explain that the Broken Lands itself is designed as an extension of the Monastery story, and that there is unifying theme and purpose behind all of it. He explicitly says that there is more to it than its surface meaning, and that you have to dig into the background to understand what it all means. Though part of what he is talking about is the dome puzzle which no longer exists.

"The area beyond the Monastery is an extension of the story. It was all developed in the same way. There is a theme and tale behind all of it, and in light of that theme it all makes sense. I don't want to go into Man'Ta Pn'Tairken in too much detail because there are some (hopefully) neat things there for people to discover on their own. I can only encourage people to look beyond the surface. Dig into the Tomes and find the stories that give it all meaning. My areas and creatures are more than simple conglomerates of game mechanics. They have purpose and reason behind them, well most of them anyway, and by understanding that reason you should be better able to discover how to deal with them." He chuckled to himself. "Hmm, that was a pretty long answer."

- GM Kygar; Kulthea Chronicle, Volume I Issue V (1994), page 24

Empress Kadaena

Empress Kadaena is at the heart of all the hidden meaning of the Broken Lands. In the First Era of the Shadow World history, the Lords of Essaence weakened the barriers between worlds with their portals, including Portals on the moon Charôn. Many thousands of years later these dormant portals on the moon interacted with the comet Sa'kain. This was what allowed the Dark Gods to first enter, or perhaps return, to this plane of existence in the Second Era. It was also what allowed the servants of the Unlife to begin appearing on Charôn. These dark forces eventually unleash the Wars of Dominion.

The actual "name" of the Broken Lands is the Man'Ta Pn'Tairken, which is Iruaric for the "Home of Broken Lore". Iruaric was the language of Kadaena's servants, an extended family known as the K'ta'viiri or "Lords of Essaence". The monsters in the Broken Lands were originally named in Iruaric, and it is the language used in the Dark Shrine. It was also used originally in the crypt in The Graveyard.

Charôn

The Wars of the Dominion and the Unlife are mentioned all the way back in The Iron Wind source book of 1980. "Empress Kadena" and the "Lords of Essence" exist in the 1984 books, but they were not wedded yet to the "K'ta'viir" of Spacemaster or a language called Iruaric. In the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) the Dark Lords of Charôn are not defined yet as a pantheon, where the moon Charôn is instead associated with servants of the Unlife. There is reference to underground caves and tunnels, but the relevant details are not given until the Master Atlas Addendum in 1990.

"Charôn is considered an evil presence by most Kultheans, who believe that the orb is a haven of strange, otherworldly beings and presences. Once again, superstition is not without a basis in fact, for Charôn is indeed a gate-world which hovers on the boundary between dimensions. Beneath the shining icy surface are myriad caves and tunnels - hiding places for the unspeakable. It is shunned by the Lords of Orhan. When Charôn passes close the inhabitants of the Great Moon are especially vigilant."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 17
- Tomes of Kulthea #1046

In the Jaiman source book of 1989 these evil otherworldly beings are "servants of the Unlife." These servants were able to leave Charôn on the Night of the Third Moon in the 1989 books. It is an idiosyncratic point in the 1989 books that Kadaena, in spite of having been dead for over a hundred thousand years, is sometimes still described as the leader of the forces of Unlife in the Wars of Dominion.

"Dark cults worship Charôn. They consider the zenith to be a time of particular importance, a time when servants of the Unlife are able to leave their home on Charôn and come to the Shadow World. ... The Amulet of Charôn is listed as an NPC because it has schemes, goals, and powers of its own, and should be treated like an NPC by the GM. This device is an ancient artifact dating back to the Wars of Dominion at the end of the Second Era. It was a tool created by the servants of Kadæna as one of their many plots of subversion - the prelude to all-out war."

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 46-47

"Dark cults worship Charôn. They consider the zenith to be a time of particular importance, a time when servants of the Unlife are able to leave their home on Charôn and come to the Shadow World."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 37

This is the vestigial text which survives in the Master Atlas Addendum, where servants of the Unlife are still associated with Charôn, whereas there is now also a pantheon known as the Dark Lords of Charôn. The Dark Lords were the ones primarily responsible for the Wars of Dominion, whereas it was the servants of the Unlife who were in the books prior to 1990. This is the context for Kygar's theme of the two factions working together in the Wars of Dominion. Of special note is that in the Master Atlas Addendum the forces of Unlife are "imprisoned" on Charôn instead of banished off-world into "the Void."

2,000 SE - First appearance of servants of the Unlife.

6,450 - 6,825 SE - Wars of Dominion. Even the Lords of Orhan come to Kulthea to join in combat against the legions of the Unlife. After centuries of strife, the dark forces are destroyed or rendered ineffective, and the the Unlife is driven back into the Void. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that it cannot re-enter the World at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Gates of the Void.

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 9
- Tomes of Kulthea #1015
- Tomes of Kulthea #1016


"Even the Lords of Orhan descend to Kulthea to combat the legions of the Darkness. The Unlife is driven back and imprisoned on Charôn, all of its powerful servants destroyed. Many valiant Loremasters and Sages are killed, however. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that the Unlife cannot re-enter the world at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Portals."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 13

"The Void" is discussed in more detail on Research:The Graveyard. The shift to replacing it with the word "Portals" is emphasizing their origins in the Lords of Essaence.

c. -15,000 - -10,000: Althan civilization begins to evolve into a unique combination of technology and 'magic' (the Essaence power). Society also polarizes, with the Essaence aepts (mostly the K'ta'viiri) becoming a privileged upper class. A number of Portals are constructed on Kulthea (and several on Charôn); these gateways allow direct access to a selected few of the parallel dimensions. Althan scientists master techniques for opening and closing such gateways, sometimes using artifacts such as powerful crystals.

c. -14,500: First reappearance of the comet Sa'kain. It returns every 1500 years, though the proximity to Kulthea varies dramatically with each pass: sometimes brighter than Orhan in the night sky, sometimes all but invisible to the unaided eye. Its presence coincides with violent Flow-storms and serious disruption of the Portals.

...

c. -250 - 0: ... Indeed, large areas of Kulthea are laid waste as the Uruths destroy the remaining K'ta'viiri, using channels of raw Essaence. The backlash from this power destroys or damages many of the ancient Portals, leaving them 'open' without control. Strange creatures and destructive demons of the Void begin to enter this universe through the broken Portals. ...

c. 0: The final conflict of Utha and Kadaena takes place on Kulthea. Kadaena is beheaded by Utha himself, wielding a weapon known as the Soulsword. By a last effort of Utha, the Flows of Essence are altered to imprison the intruders: by placing the 'Eyes of Utha' at the poles, he prevents further influx of the strange and hideous creatures. While it was always believed that Utha caused the Flows to shift dividing the world into hemispheres, that was merely a side-effect of the crystals which he placed at the two poles of the planet. Their real effect was to insulate Kulthea from the radiations of the interdimensional rift, and thus inhibit Demonic incursions from the Void. ... A secret cabal is formed at this time; led by none other than Utha's son Daenku, it is made up of eight surviving rebels and calls itself the Ahrenreth (Ir. "Secret Circle"). Their mission is to ensure the safety of the Eyes of Utha and to continue to close errant Portals (or 'Shadowgates'). These Portals, though severely limited by the Eyes of Utha, still allow demonic beings limited access to Kulthea.

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 10-11

The comet Sa'kain returns in 1900 Second Era, interacting with those same portals on Charôn. Thus, the Dark Gods arrive in this universe through the broken ancient Lord of Essaence portals on Charôn, which were opened and closed with powerful crystals. This is highly suggestive for the Broken Lands, where a shrine of Morgu uses Iruaric, which naively makes no sense as a severe anachronism.

1900: The Comet Sa'kain returns, passing very close to Kulthea. The Third Moon (Charôn) passes through the long, fiery tail of the comet, and the Essaence of the comet's tail interacts with the gates of the moon. New creatures and beings (they are eventually called the Dark Gods) are transported into the Kulthean universe - and a presence of unspeakable evil arrives on Charôn.

c. 2000: First appearance of servants of the Unlife on Kulthea.

c. 4000 - 6450: The Dark Gods begin systematically gathering evil creatures into a host of darkness.

c. 6450: Another close passage of the comet provides the necessary energy to open the way for hordes of demonic servants. Volcanic eruptions, flow storms, and earth tremors rock the planet, destroying fortresses and cities. The Dark Forces are ready.

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 12-13

Vruul

Empress Kadaena was the "Queen of Evil" who invented the gogor, which were re-named "vruul" after the I.C.E. Age in GemStone III. These were one of several examples of Kadaena making malevolent artificial constructs as servants. Gogor are essentially gargoyles made of flesh. They slumbered for thousands of years in urns of foul dark fluid until dark priests woke them up in the Second Era. There is a typographical error on page 37 of the Master Atlas Addendum that says "See Parts IV & V (Demons)" for minions lurking below Charôn, but Part V is actually the section containing Kadaena's constructs.

"Once the skies were blackened with thousands of these winged beasts, but that was in the First Era, when Kadaena ruled. It was thought that those few Gogor who survived the Conflict had perished over the stretch of time, but the world is not so fortunate. Guided by hints millennia old, the dark priests searched deep in lost caverns and the ruins of ancient citadels. They found crypts, and within them row upon row of stone jars, seven feet tall, their lids sealed. Sleeping within each, submerged in a foul but nutritive fluid, was an unspeakable beast-servant of the Queen of Evil, waiting through the long years until needed again. Some did not survive the eternity of suspension, but many darken the skies of Kulthea again."

- Shadow World Master Atlas (1990); page 34

Gogor are "black as midnight" with tough hides and leathery wings. They have green glowing eyes allowing them to see in complete darkness, powerful claws, and have an extremely good sense of smell. It is not included in their GemStone creature description, but they have long poisonous prehensile tails. This is depicted on the statue in the Dark Shrine, though oddly those have blood red eyes.

>look relief
The image is that of a dark beast with leathery wings and blood red claws.  The inscription below the image is in a strange language, and reads "Marlu lyxatis kort.  Thro dyar K'mur."

[Lo thal ta shin.]

You feel a tingling sensation run through your body and suddenly you see...

[Dark Shrine, Chapel]
Here, surrounded by dark frescoes presenting frightening images of terror, foul beasts and macabre rituals, confronted by the huge, ghastly statue that dominates the center of the chamber, the sense of evil is a palpable force that threatens to smother and consume all that it can.
Obvious exits: northeast, northwest.

>look statue
The statue is large, over twelve feet tall.  The central figure is a huge, hideous beast with black skin, leathery wings and large red claws.  It stands atop a pile of skulls, surrounded by three smaller figures, with pointed tails, blood red eyes, and small, leathery wings.

The Dark Spirit Morgu (Modern: Marlu) looked exactly like an enormous gogor, and collected them as his favored pets, but the reason why is never explained in the source books. The invoking elements for the gateway in his shrine being Iruaric are strongly implying an ancient relationship with the Lords of Essaence. "Thro dyar K'mur" in particular is implying he was made to guard Empress Kadaena.

"Fire-demons are associated with destruction and typically serve the forces of terror. The mightiest of these creatures, the Flamesouls, are corrupted demigods in the service, whose avarice and hunger for hegemony led to their fall from grace. These vile, vengeful Demons serve Kadæna, although most were imprisoned on other planes at the end of the Wars of Dominion, or were utterly destroyed. The few survivors retreated into the depths of the underworld in order to survive until they could regain strength and exploit new opportunities. They repose like a dormant curse upon the world."

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34

"Fire-demons are associate with destruction and typically are summoned by the forces of evil. Their power comes from the depths of the earth and the energy of the sun; they love the day and fiery caverns. Driven by avarice for power and death, they are among the most fearsome of demons. The favored guardsmen of Kadaena, most were banished forever in the Final Conflict. But some were actually imprisoned within deep caverns, unable to return to their planes and yet unslain. They await the unwary who might free them and find death as a reward."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 18


"The citadel of Ahrenraax (Ir. the "Secret Claw") was located in the cool waters southwest of Emer. Stewardship of this volcanic island fortress was given to the Lord Ordainer Morloch (once known as Shuraax the Fire Claw, bodyguard of Kadaena)."

- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 63

This has some precedence in other books, such as the Inhabitants Guide (1989), where she has fire demons as bodyguards. In the Emer (1990) book she had an Ordainer bodyguard. It might also pertain to the vestigial text about her followers having fashioned the first of the Great Demons, which is a holdover from older I.C.E. source books where the demonic were created artificially by the Lords of Essence.

"The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna. Wise but twisted in spirit, the servants of the Shadow offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era. The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 3


"Theories regarding the origins and creation of Demons are plentiful and contradictory, but the most commonly accepted explanation is that they were created by the Lords of Essence out of that force itself, and they exist on some other plane, waiting to be called forth. Now, most serve the Unlife. Whether Demons are intrinsically evil in nature or not is another matter open to speculation, and it is doubtful that the answer is soon forthcoming, since few users of Essence who are not already servants of the Unlife are willing to risk summoning one of these terrors."

- Cloudlords of Tanara (1984); page 8

These excerpts are particularly important because the story of the Broken Lands is that Uthex Kathiasas discovered what he believed was a new source of power, and he was trying to give "physical form" to that power. In other words, the story very strongly implies that Uthex was attempting to forge entities out of the essence, and his work was corrupted under the subtle influence of forces of the Unlife. The Dark Shrine raises the question of whether the Dark Lords originated in Lord of Essaence experiments in the First Era, and were merely banished in the Final Conflict rather than first arriving in 1900 Second Era.

From the Book of Dark Tales...

"Once She whispered and life was death
Gogur arose, his wide wings spread
Talons to tear and fangs to feed
The skies were darkened with dread."

Andraax 
SE 1782

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 31


Morgu, Cruel Master. Guard the Dark Queen.
Spirit born of death.

- The Temple of Darkness Poem (1994)

"Lyxatis" is most likely a glottalization of "lyx arulis", meaning "dread seer", so figuratively "Morgu lyxatis kort" means: "Morgu, gogor master." It seems highly likely that the use of "lyx", meaning "dread", is playing off the poem at the beginning of the constructs section. "Spirit born of death" would be playing off "life was death" in the lines where Empress Kadaena is implied to have made a high leader of the gogor. "Gogur" in turn is conspicuously similar to "Morgu." "Thro dyar K'mur" literally means "Guard dark Lady", which is "Dark Queen" in the poem. There is no Queen of the Dark Gods in Shadow World.

Black Hel

Wars of Dominion

Death

Major Sub-Texts

Grand Design

Location

While the Broken Lands is commonly taken to be "The Moon" of the Dark Gods for some obvious reasons, this is somewhat dubious and seemingly contradicted by the Uthex Kathiasas story itself. It might be interpreted as a huge underground cavern of Charôn with a subterranean mountain range, or it might be interpreted as one of the parallel worlds that was accessed from the Charôn portals, perhaps even Charôn as it exists in another reality. Charôn is a gate-world hovering on the boundary of other realities. There are several possibilities that could be considered plausible and it is not obvious which is right.

The Moon

"Charôn circles Kulthea at 190,000 miles (note that it is also inside the orbit of Orhan) and is quite small: 350 miles in diameter. It is a featureless rock ball with a silvery grey appearance. An interesting aspect of Charôn is its polar orbit. This is quite an unusual situation and suggests that Charôn was not always a satellite of Kulthea. It may have once been a large, stray asteroid caught in the Shadow World's gravity well, or some body from outside the system.

Because of Charôn's unusual orbit, it and Orhan rarely conjunct; fortunate considering the tidal and meteorological disruptions, and the strange and bizarre Essence aberrations which occur during those periods."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 17
- Tomes of Kulthea #1046


"The surface of Charôn is a frozen waste; there is no atmosphere, and the exterior is encased in a solid coating of ice which Kulthean Astrologers think to be as much as hundreds of feet thick. But under that coating of ice, Charôn is heated from within by volcanic orces, creating a (barely) livable environment in the thousands of caves and tunnels. It is here that the Dark Gods survive.

The Third Moon is a sphere 350 miles in diameter. Even though it has a massive core, it only has enough gravity to barely maintain a small hold on objects. Thus, the caverns and warrens have the added disorientation of there being almost no perceptiable 'up' or 'down'. Any poor unfortunates who are transported suddenly to Charôn will find themselves in a totally alien world.

The caverns of Charôn are populated by all manner of monstrous creatures, awful travesties of life summoned to guard the passages of the Third Moon. GM Note: See Parts IV & V (Demons) for details of lesser creatures who might be lurking in the corridors of Charôn."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 37

Parallel World