How old is Erebus?
By - That_One_Guy_Wolf
The duration of the Age of Rebirth, Age of Invention, and Age of Ruin is left largely up to the players' actions. The Age of Kings is not worked out enough to say anything about it.
The Age of Ice was about 400 years.
The Age of Magic was much longer, perhaps several thousand years. Even the peasants of early Patria had natural lifespans close to 700 years, and the ruling class of sorcerers gained access to magics to extend their longevity further.
The Age of Dragons was far longer, perhaps millions of months. (I would not measure it in years, as "Years" did not exist before the signing of The Compact. Neither did days. The regular day-night cycle, the seasonal spring-summer-autumn-winter cycle, and the regular movement of Constellations were all created because The Compact required all parts of Erebus feel the influence of different gods in turn. Before that there were regions of constant daylight or darkness, of eternal summer or winter, and regions where conditions changed at random as territory was conquered and lost by different gods. The Phases of the Moon, however, were not set by The Compact and are referenced in the stories that take place during the Godswar. Kael did not come up with it, but seemed to really like the theory that The Moon is the Otherworld of Arawn. The Dark side is the realm of Death and the light side is the vault of Life which Sucellus would later usurp. Arawn's regular cycle of death and rebirth predates the Compact and the Godswar, as it started when he took the dominion of Life from Nemed before the original God of Life became the first human.)
Interesting... So I've known about everything up to the Age of Rebirth (apart from the question I obviously asked). However, even after some looking around on the old civfanatic forums, I haven't been able to find much about the Age of Invention, Age of Ruin, or the Age of Kings. Are those from some of the modmods?
Age of Invention shows up just after the Age of Rebirth. Three new godesses called the Matronae rise on Erebus after stealing three of the Gems of Creation and encourage their followers to destroy the faith of the old gods. Following their guidance, the Bannor set up the Crucible ( an artifact that drains all magic) and Carcer Judiciae, a prison for demons powered by the Crucible. Using their power, the Matronae offer new technology to their followers ( steam power, railroads,...)
Age of Ruin follows. Gosea ( a former sheaim mage) and Belphegor ( son of Agares and Bhall, and prince of Hell) plot to break the hold of the Matronae and cause the end of creation. They manage to break the prison, and unleash the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. We know that it ends with Belphegor defeated by Os-Gabella, but not really more than that.
Age of Kings, we only just learned about in magister's post \^\^.
All of those are based on the actuall FFH lore made by Kael. Only one of the modmods so far does implement stuff from those Ages , Magistermodmod.
Oh wow. That's' a lot. So the Crucible essentially makes mages useless and do nothing?
I've only recently started learning more about FFH Lore (starting with stuff from the civfanatics site, such as the Compendium, then into Oghma and Kael's Vault) and now I've read the big lore archive post in this forum but not sure where to go next apart from probably playing the actual mod.
yeah, once you're done with the lore dump in the reddit, the best is to play Magistermodmod
Would you recommend playing the Magistermodmod before playing the original FFH or play them in order?
Yeah, i'd start with original FFH to get used to the general mechanics before branching off to the various active modmods. You can get an overview of what's still running here :
Nice. Okay. Cool. Thank you so much. I assume it's different enough from base Civ 4 that it has guides/tutorials to help you along?
I've only ever played Civ 5. Never touched Civ 4. So this will be my first adventure into the breach.
there's not much in ways of tutorials ( though some of the scenarios can act as such). you can find some guides on the forum.
The basic mechanics are the same as vanilla civ 4, with some additional stuff on top (mainly magic, the armageddon counter, hell terrain and other similar things). If you're used to civ5, the major difference is the possibility to stack any number of units on the same tile, which is not possible in 5
Most of the details on the ages come from a document Kael asked to to help him edit last fall.
I'm not supposed to share it, but used a few excerpts in my modmod's pedia anyway and explained some basics in my modmod thread.
I meant to release a major update months ago but work has kept me very busy. I'm in the process of merging the latest MNAI update but haven't had time to work out all the bugs yet.
The Age of Kings section was almost empty except for a note saying I should ignore everything there. Kael said he was working on some new lore inspired by King Arthur, but hadn't gotten very far yet.
Technically the Crucible, the prison under Judicium, and the Matronae are not that closely related.
The prison of Judicium was founded in the Age of Rebirth (before Auric sacked the Banner capital on his quest for angel's blood to begin his Ascension rituals) when the Fane of the Lessers was purged of demons. Basium fought Leif Lonke and the many demons possessing him upon the Throne if Hell. He bound him in the Lorem Diaboli, a great barbed chain of Carcerem (a substance that captures souls, which is the core of the Sawol Cavea dagger and of Basium's maul the Angelorum Cavea) and gave it to the Banner to guard. They build Judicium around it and hunted down many other demons to trap there too.
The Crucible was an artifact made in the Age of Magic by Velgyr, the autistic Dwarven student of Kylorin who represented Enchantment magic on the Imprimatur Council. When active it empowers both and unstoppable force and immovable object in such a way as to waste huge amounts of mana of all kinds. It could drain all the mana from the world if run indefinitely, leaving nothing on the plane of Erebus for mages to channel. The Banner found it in the ruins of the Clockwork City and eventually learned how to turn it on. They deactivate it yearly to recharge a few magic items, but generally want to let all magic die. There are some remote regions where magic is still somewhat effective (like the Deadlands where the intelligent undead Lilim are sustained by the magic of the Heartstone and the gate to the Otherworld), but in most of the word sorcery comes to be seen as nothing but silly superstitions.
The Bannor kept the Crucible at Judicium as they thought it was their most secure stronghold, guarded even by an aspect of Junil in the form if a shield dragon, but it didn't power the prison.
The document claimed that the Age of Invention is dated to when the Banner first activated the Crucible, although I'd personally prefer the lore from one of Kael's reddit posts that claimed that the Age of Rebirth ended and the Age of Invention began at the moment of Embarr's resurrection.
When Ceridwen grew offended at the public use of sorcery for practical and non-evil purposes, she attempted to remove the power of Sorcery from Creation. (The document placed this during the Age of Ice, but I think it fits better in the late Age of Magic, when Kylorin repented his evil ways and joined the rebellion against Patria and the united empire of man broke into multiple sucessor states.) The Archangel Embarr stood against her, claiming that once shared the secret of Sorcery was no longer within Ceridwen’s dominion, that the knowledge now fell within the dominion of Oghma, god of knowledge. She tore Embarr into three pieces, sundering his intellect, immortal soul and angelic flesh into separate parts which she scattered across creation. She could not destroy the providence of another god, but instead introduced a great many false ideas about magic, creating millions of false rituals, rumors and occult practices that varied from useless to malignant.
Brigit, Condatis, and Gyra gathered the pieces of Embarr together so that he could be resurrected at the end of the Age of Rebirth just as Sucellus was resurrected from his 7 pieces at the age's beginning. Embarr then helped them formulate their plan for recovering their respective gods' Gems of Creation, using the Masks of the Coven of the Black Candle. The Crucible was only relevant in that it made them more desperate to find the gems, as their power was quickly failing but the gems could provide them an infinite source of mana that could never be depleted.
The Masks of the Coven of the Black Candle are actually the Aspects of Esus, the seven greatest Angels of Deception apart from Esus himself and his archangel, whom the god transformed into artifacts for Kylorin's coven while helping Ceridwen blot out the sun. The Masks are such an effective disguise that not even the gods themselves have any idea who is wearing them. Esus himself wears one Mask in order to slip into Erebus and blatantly break the Compact on a regular basis without repercussions. I tend to think that the Masks are manipulating the Matronae, but all Kael would reveal is those wearing masks tend to wind up being worshiped by false cults.
Brigit acquires the Mask of Asmoday from the archmag's grave, recovers the Heart of Fire/Corundum Ardens from the Endless Ash, and takes on the new identity as Sarabride, Goddess of Vengeance. Condatis digs up Kylorin's mask from a vault the King of Patria hid near the Seven Pines, recovers the Ocean's Tear/Beryllus Abyssi from the Shimmering Depths (which had been mostl conquered by Hastur already), and takes up the new identity as Cliodna, Goddess of Dreams. Gyra convinces Barbatos to give her his Mask in exchange for a promise to euthanize him once she acquires the Ending Stone/Opalus Mortis, and fulfills this promise under her new identity as Morrigan, Goddess of Fate. These three "goddesses" are the Matronae, who come to be worshiped as 3 aspects of one mother goddess even though mortals can see the three of them acting together or separately. They do not really want to be worshiped, but see the cult that develops around them as a useful tool for displacing the faith in the old gods. They have adopted Cassiel's idea that the gods should not be active in Creation and believe that by eliminating all their worshipers they can use the Compact to prevent them from acting. To this end they carry out a genocide of all who refuse to renounce their belief in the old deities. Men are more inclined to worship the new goddesses whom they can see acting directly in the world, even though they don't answer prayers or grant miracles to any clerics. They can each only be in one place at a time and don't have armies of angels to carry their blessings, although Sarabride does have a few Seraphim in her service.
When they brought the gems into creation they also introduced a sufficient source of mana to let mortal mages effectively channel death, water, and fire, although Sarabride (Brigit) hates sorcery and established a corps of witch hunters to try to eliminate any such mages.
Embarr is the one responsible for the technological advancements of the Age of Invention. Although the mortal followers of the Matronae certainly make good use of the inventions, they are not the only ones.
The document says that many date the Age of Ruin to the birth of Belphegor, but that it more properly started when Gosea escaped from hell. Gosea died in the Age of Rebirth and was in Camullos' hell when Basium fought and lost his battle against the God of War. The Matronae rescued him, but in their haste they left the Angelorum Cavea behind. Gosea took this weapon and used the many demons within to help her escape hell (which was easier than usual as the upper layers of hell had been emptied in Basium's assault) and battle to free all the prisoners of Judicium. The strongest demons she freed help her summon Belphegor, using Flauros as his host.
The Unraveling, including the four horsemen, were locked away at the signing if the compact. Belphegor and his lieutenants conspire to release them after he seduces Sarabride and defeats Cliodna (Condatis).
Belphegor's brutal rape of Cliodna is what inspires Gabella the Lightbringer to stand against him. The Sheaim had long since ceased to exist, as they depended of magics that were impossible with the Crucible active. Gabella had found some solace in the drug Jeteye, and was living as a homeless junkie near the docks of the Bay of Laurus, where Cliodna had her greatest temple. Over the course of many years Cliodna and Gabella had become friends, although it is doubtful either knew the other's identity. The rape of her only friend awakened in Gabella a righteous indignation stronger than anything she had felt since Aeron had tried to rape her. It broke her out of her addiction and of her suicidal depression, sending her on a path to avenge Cliodna and free her adopted son Flauros from his thrall. She reclaims her Mask from the Tapestry house where she had left it, and seeks Basium in the Sepulchur of the Matronae. She asks for his maul, but he tells her he lost it and suggests using the Lorum Diaboli instead. She speaks to Morrigan there too. She offers to use the Ending Stone to finally let Gabella die, but she chooses to live instead. She then acquires the Lorum Diaboli and eventually faces Belphegor in an epic battle. Since she was wearing her Mask at the time, Kael said she will likely become the center of a new major cult even though she tries to eschew
Woah. Okay then. Wow. That was a lot of information in a very brief amount of time.
I was vaguely familiar with the Black Candle, I believe from the reddit posts Kael made a while back regarding them. What did you mean by them being the Aspects of Esus though? I wasn't quite sure what that meant.
I also didn't know much about Belphegor apart from the tattoo description about Lore of Prespur.
I did have one other big question about magic based on what you said about Ceridwen and it's mostly a point of confusion just from my readings getting confusing. I know about the Divine Soul, I believe it's called, and stuff like that. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
But how do people access magic? Ceridwen taught Kylorin about it, or gave him the ability to use magic? Is anyone in the world able to use magic, given time, and having blood of kylorin makes it stronger? Do the gods have any control over who can cast magical spells? Are clerical spells entirely driven by the gods, or do they have any hint of normal magical gifts?
From the history document:
The gods also created seven aspects of their dominion. The role of the aspects is to tend to the gods' dominion in creation.
The aspects are:
Father of Worlds (Amathaon)- Who turn the primal world into a land of beauty and wonder.
Wild Huntsmen (Sucellus)- Who train the strong and purge the weak.
Ifrit (Bhall)-Also called the smokeless fire- Who reward those willing to sacrifice everything for their passion.. Ifrit have no corporeal form and inhabit those they bless (albeit briefly, since those they possess are usually sacrificing their life for a cause).
Anchor of Creation (Kilmorph)- Who are to bind, keepers of the foundation, guardians of the Wishstone, imprisoners of the archangel Odio.
Executioner of Hell (Aeron)- Who were to execute those that defy the gods, but now they execute any they are called to kill.
Cipus (Dagda)-also known as “the Pillars of Creation”- Who enforce the physical laws.
Root of Fear (Mammon)- Who feed worry and fill future thoughts with horror.
Beacon Knights (Junil)- Paragons of order and heroism.
Historians (Oghma)- Recorders of all that happens.
Aspect of War (Camulos)- Chaotic forces that empower those they inhabit with great martial skill.
Glory (Nantosuelta)- Powerful forces that bind a ruler to his kingdom, and are passed through generations.
Seven Sisters (Cerdiwen)- Strange women from other worlds.
Dovoveo (Sirona)- Keepers of remote lands where there is no war and age is fleeting
Masks (Esus)- Who hide all that is done by the one they possess.
Jinn (Tali)- Keepers of the seven winds. Often work to release anything that is bound. Able to shapechange into a variety of forms but they have the feet of a rooster in every form.
Norns (Arawn)- Who ensure that none escape mortality.
Phoenix (Arawn)- Who provide the gift of life, health and eternal youth to those they inhabit.
Marid (Danalin)- Keepers of the deepest parts of the ocean, rarely seen on land. Can call hurricanes and control the tide.
Aquilan (Mulcarn)- Who bring great blizzards with them.
Note: Agares created no aspects of his own, but would later corrupt all of Amathaon's aspects. The Fathers of Worlds would become The Unraveling.
Personally I don't think it makes sense for the Phoenixes to have been aspects of Sucellus until after his resurrection. It was previously canon that the Phoenixes were born at the start of the Age of Rebirth, one from each of the seven fragments of Sucellus's body which were scattered when he was slain by Mulcarn. I don't think the Huntsmen fit with Sucellus's more peaceful and plant oriented version of his original sphere either. My suggestion would be for Sucellus to have created the Seven Seeds, which at his resurrection became the eggs from which the Phoenixes hatched, and that the Huntsmen were originally mortals whom Cernunnos elevated to angelic status when he himself was raised to godhood. I tend to think the Norns could be fine as aspects of both life and death under Arawn. I also think that the Aspects of War deserve a more unique name; I'm partial to calling them "The Agonists." Some could be Protagonists, other Antagonists. Being an Aspect of War says nothing about one's alignment, only one's martial prowess and propensity to escalate conflicts to major wars. Capria, Magnadine, Orthus, Surder, Arak the Erkling, and Makhai the Ogre were all Aspects of War.
The document did not make it explicit that the Masks of the Coven of the Black Candle were in fact the same masks that are True Angels and the Aspects of Esus, but when I mentioned my suspicion Kael quickly confirmed it.
Kael said most of the Aspects would rate a level 5 on his magical power rankings, about on par with Kylorin, but a few may be stronger or weaker than that.
That thread seems to say that Ceridwen gifted men the ability to use magic, but elsewhere Kael had explained that what Ceridwen did was to share the secret of Sorcery.
Sorcery, in FfH2 terms, is the art of consciously and intentionally channeling mana to produce specific magical effects. Kylorin was the first mortal to use sorcery, but many had used magic before him. There had already been many magical savants who had great affinity for some sphere of magic and who intuitively produced effects greater than possible for most well trained mages. The distinction is that they did not understand the mechanics of how they were doing what they were doing. Often did not even suspect that they were the cause. Laroth was able to drive whole cities into a religious frenzy, making them give up their wealth to him and often driving them to self harm or even suicide, but did not know that he was causing this until Kylorin told him. Henry Ghouls (Perpentach) drove his abusive father to suicide and made a whole asylum neglect their most basic physical needs without knowledge of sorcery. Barbatos's natural affinity for Death was enough to for him to lead an all out assault of Arawn himself in the realm of the dead before he had a clue how sorcery worked.
I assume Kylorin had a natural affinity for all 21 spheres of magic (although no other mage has ever had affinity for more than 3 spheres, and more than 2 is very rare), but he still needed Ceridwen's teaching to understand how to use it. (I actually tend to think everyone has affinity for all the spheres, but that in most people it is too weak to be useful. Kael said that this is the view of one of the greatest Amurite theorists, and is probably true, but is considered heretical by all the major mage guilds and religions.) Kael said an archmage gifted in one sphere could, with sufficient practice, manage to cast spells in other spheres, but they would never be as strong as those cast by a lesser mage in his specialty. A gifted Adept could cast a spell better than an Archmage with the wrong affinity. Generally only those whose constitutions are wildly unbalanced in favor of a spheres can learn to use it well. Being too balanced between opposing spheres may make channeling very difficult, as Kael said Arak the Erkling has great natural affinity for both Sun and Shadow but that their conflicting natures prevent him from effectively casting any sort of spells.
Devout clerics often have some natural affinity for their god's sphere. Sometimes prayers are answered without direct intervention from the god of his angels, if focusing on the object of the prayer caused one to use his own affinity subconsciously.
Before the gods left Creation at the signing of the Compact, those who spent significant the time in a god's direct presence often developed powerful affinity for that sphere. The children of those with affinity often inherit the same affinity, although it tends to diminish somewhat with each generation may skip multiple generations. Longevity has also dwindled the further each generation gets from the gods. Those who lived directly in the presence of the gods (like the Elves did with Sucellus, or the Aifons with Danalin) were practically immortal. In early Patria even human commoners could expect to live longer than do the elves born in the current age.
It may be that simply spending sufficient time near a mana node, particularly during one's earliest development, could result in developing affinity for that mana. The gods themselves could be seen as the ultimate mana nodes (or rather the penultimate, after the Gems of Creation). Whenever a god manifests in the world, some of their mana becomes more available for channeling. Arawn was said to have cut himself off from Erebus to limit the sources of death magic available to necromancers. When active in Creation, he could not prevent the likes of Barbatos or Maolisa from using the death mana he may have wished to send only to nearby clerics that were fighting against the undead.
Mortals are limited to channeling mana from their current plane. They and cannot pull their power source from another world, but when near a portal connecting planes together they can draw on the mana that seeps through. Angels, demons, and elementals have a greater ability to draw mana from their native planes even when acting in Erebus. Gods may prefer to send angels to perform miracles for their clerics rather than just send enough mana for the clerics to perform the miracles with their own affinity, lest that mana be siphoned off by sorcerers acting contrary to the god's will. Channeling large amounts of mana of one type does however tend to make the mage's will and personality start to align more with that of the god who presides over that sphere.
At the height of Patria, the pubic still associated even sorcerous magic with divine blessings. Since magic was so widely assumed to come straight from the gods, so anyone with affinity was called Godtouched.
I suspect Kylorin inherited his all his affinities from his father, Finner. We don't know much about Finner except that he was the greatest mortal hero from the era of the Godswar, that he was entrusted with the Godslayer, and that he was the only human who was allowed to witness the signing of the Compact at The Seven Pines. That implies that he had very close proximity to all the gods at the same time, which could have awakened affinity for all 21 spheres within him. He never learned sorcery to let him use such affinities effectively, but still could have passed the gifts on to his son.
Most people with magical affinities have ancestry that can be traced not to Kylorin himself but to various participants in the Godtouched Rebellion.
Gastrius, the Kylorin's greatest student of Metamagic, had a natural talent for awaking magical affinity in others. He ruled a small duchy of scholars. Humans from all over Patria came to study there, as did some Elves and Aifons. Many studied magical theory only in an academic sense. Few had a natural aptitude to wield it and the Heron Throne (controlled by Soqed Hozi, the greatest master of Law magic) exercised strict control over who was allowed to be trained in spellcasting. Kylorin needed Gastrius's power to conduct the Ritual of the Endless Night, but knew Gastrius would not aid him willingly. He thus recruited Alexis and her vampires to capture him. The public was led to believe rumors that he had been illegally training an army of mages to attack Patria and had launched an unprovoked attack against a Patrian phalanx, but in fact the phalanx were disguised Vampires who attacked him unprovoked. Only in desperation during the attack did Gastrius begin the unsanctioned Awakening of magical potential in all those around him. Gastrius was captured anyway, but many awakened mages escaped and had children who inherited their talent. The Heron Throne never regained its monopoly over who could teach or use what magic, as much as Soqed Hozi tried.
So correct me if I'm wrong, I'm trying to simplify it down a little bit. I know it's definitely not a perfect fit because the two are inherently very different, but it's a reverse of like, Dungeons and Dragons classes (spell wise), wherein Sorcery is the innate ability to use magic in that game and Wizards have an understanding of how the magic works and what it does through rigorous study. In Fall From Heaven, Sorcery is the form of study and everyone else just kind of has the power without full understanding. However, you can't merely study, you also have to have an affinity which can be gained through many different ways, such as those you listed.
In addition, after Amathaon's Aspects were corrupted by Agares, did he create new ones or is Amathaon simply without aspects at this point?
edit: reread one of those threads and removed a question
I take it you're suggesting that for the Skyrim reference? To amend the high level chronology of the ffh setting to squeeze in a reference to another setting. The main cost to such an heavy-handed reference is to reduce immersion of the player. I don't see what the benefit of this change would be, could you elaborate?