“The multiverse is filled with wonders. The raw creation stuff of the Elemental Chaos contains endless possibilities, just like the belief of mortals forms the Astral Sea in infinite ways…”
— Asmai, Genasi Scholar
“Yet another world had forsaken the ancient gods… No more would anyone send a prayer to Ra, Osiris, Isis, Thoth, Set, or any of the others.
His conscience reached out into the endless starry expanse of the Astral Sea, and felt a turbulence, as venerable Nut and Geb finally joined the ranks of the dead divine corpses floating about aimlessly.
Not for the first time, Anubis felt disturbed, even threatened by the course of events in recent eons. Already, he saw the power of the Pantheon fading, and his own realm crumbling.
As a power of transition to another state, he understood well: It was time for him to find a new place in this multiverse, before his essence, too, would be destroyed like the others’.
He walked out to the empty shells of divinity, and decided to give up his divine existence, for a new and sacred duty awaited him in this place. An ancient oath came from his lips, as he bound himself to the shells.
From then on, he would be known as the Guardian of their sanctity.”
The Mulhorandi/Egyptian Pantheon already faded into obscurity on many prime worlds. Anubis, guide into the afterlife, saw as more and more of his allies faded from existence. He decided that these gods should not be forgotten and should get their due respect even in their death, so he proclaimed himself guardian of all the dead gods.
He and his minions walk the corpses of dead gods floating in the Astral Sea, and slay any who dare to defile the remains of the Gods. A particular thorn in Anubis’s side is Tunarath, the githyanki city built in the petrified body of a long-dead god.
The powerful immortals known as the archangels (sometimes called The Seraphim) were once servants of the gods, who gained their independence, a stronghold, and a small host of servant angels of their own as a reward in their endless efforts against the primordials at the Dawn of Creation. The archangels do not usually serve only one god, but divinity as a whole. They do favor, however, deities who are good or at least cooperative.
- Gabriel is the Grand Herald of the gods, and the most powerful of the Archangels. He is also responsible for selecting souls for birth, and has influence on the lunar tides and waters of the world.
- Raphael is a healer and sage, and it is said that for those who come to his fortress he either heals any injury or answer any question.
- Michael is a warrior of great strength and has a inspiring personality, and he is said to have never lost a battle. Many titan lords and even a few primordials fell to his powerful sword.
- Uriel is an introverted mystic, and he rarely stays in his stronghold, instead wandering the planes searching for signs of the ‘end of the world’. When that time comes, it is said that he will be responsible for gathering all existence for some form of Final Judgement. Rumor holds that Uriel also has the power to bring final death to immortal souls.
- Samael is a loner and mercenary, and has few contacts to the other archangels. His tactical skill is valued by many deities, and he serves them willingly for the right price and as long as elemental creatures get hurt in the way. His army is a small squadron of powerful immortals with unique powers.
Most of the time, the archangels follow their own agendas, but when the Astral Powers are threatened, they join their powers to crush their foes. Traditionally, Samael is not seen as a part of The Seraphim by the other four, but when need arises, they call upon him and his tactical genius.
The illithid reputedly have their origin in the Far Realm, but unlike other farspawn, illithids also have a mortal, worldly part in their physiology, as their tadpoles are implanted into humanoid bodies. Maybe its their partly mortal origin or their psychic power, but some mind flayers openly give worship to the entity known as Ilsensine.
While not the creator of illithids, Ilsensine sees mind flayers as the entities most worthy of dominating the universe. Ilsensine is obsessed with gathering knowledge of all varieties, and its ganglia stretch to every corner of existence, tapping into all the knowledge of the universe. [*]
God, primordial, or horror of the Far Realm… No one exactly knows what Ilsensine is, where it comes from, or what it looks like. Rumors abound, yet still more and more creatures with psionic powers give credit and even worship to this powerful enitity of mental might.
The Caverns of Thought
In the middle of the Astral Sea lies a dominion known by the local githyanki and planewalkers as ‘Center’. Rocks and nondescript badlands slowly rise towards a column of stone in the middle parts of the dominion, the Spire. This Spire is reputed to be infinitely high, and old planewalker rumors hold that Sigil floats atop of it.
In all of Center, the ground is highly morphic, and responds well to transmutation and teleportation magic. Rifts and portals to other astral dominions, to the World and its mirrors, as well as the Elemental Chaos and its Abyss are common, which makes the location very valuable, but also highly dangerous to travelers.
Ilsensine resides in Center, and his realm is known as the Caverns of Thought. In close proximity to the Spire, huge cavern mouths and small crevices lead down to a network of tunnels filled with mindless thralls working the tunnels and defending them against intruders.
Those who can withstand Ilsensine’s mental dominance, which rises with every step deeper into the tunnels, and defeat its collection of thralls from all races and places of the planes, have told of uncounted riches and magic artifacts discarded by the thralls, who no longer have any need for them.
Those who succumb to Ilsensine’s will are never heard of again.
The Cranium Rats
In the planar metropolis of Sigil, a very special breed of rats dominates the sewers and catacombs below the streets. These rats have relatively huge brains which sprout from their heads openly. As soon as some of them gather in one place, these rats develop special mental abilities and psionic powers to defend themselves. Cranium rats are said to be a creation of Ilsensine, his personal spies in the City of Doors, working towards goals only understandable by their master.