DIVA/META: A Map of the Stars
deucexm at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 21:06:29 PDT 2018
This one's long overdue. I do hope it helps.
Comments and questions are /most/ welcome.
A Map of the Stars: A DiVerse Alpha Meta-Thing
The DiVerse is a pretty expansive place, in both time and space, so it's easy to
get lost if you don't know where you are. What follows is a little snapshot of
how things currently stand in relation to the stories posted on RACC thus far;
although continuity is ever in flux, I do attempt to nail things down a little
more firmly where possible to provide points of reference.
The DiVerse proper diverged from 'traditional' history some time between AD
20XX-21XX, due to the direct interference of Eris, Goddess of Chaos (no relation
to the Greek goddess [probably]) who was setting the stage for a 300-year plan
(or less, but that's about how long it took) to get herself a new significant
other. The DiVerse's capital-P Pantheon is rather opposed to direct
interference as a general rule, so Eris was not in anyone's good graces for a
while after that little stunt - but she got what she wanted regardless.
The Pantheon also got a new Deity: Rosewood, Goddess of Design, the only Deity
to come from mortal origins. (Don't worry, though, she's Approved to exist as
such by the Source, who is the nearest thing to monotheistic God that the
DiVerse has. And who is also more or less the Writer's self-insert? The most
direct one anyway.)
All of this is a thing I refer to in my head as 'the Rosewood Saga' because it's
pretty much her story, from pre-origins to ascension to the Pantheon. And then
I asked the question 'but what happens next?' and thus was born the rest of the
There is still a great deal about the place that's vague and nebulous, that's a
mystery even to me; there are Things that hide in the darkness of space, and
even Things that hide in the space between this moment and the next, ready to
make their presence known at any moment. Though not native to the DiVerse, the
recently discovered 'Whisper' entity also has a significant effect on it in
later times - and perhaps earlier as well, if Dio the God of Time isn't as
watchful as he ought to be (or if he allows certain things to happen because
preventing them would be worse!).
Everything began with Rosewood. But as it tends to happen, the overarching
story doesn't just continue onward from there; it reaches back into the past as
well, because everything comes /from/ somewhere. Eris needed a new significant
other because her previous date - Parvait, Goddess of Destruction - turned into
the DiVerse's main antagonist, the bodiless entropic parasite called 'the
Devourer'. (Or did she? We'll see. She's gone for now, in any case.)
In Parvait's twilight moments, when reality was starting to unravel, All
Creation was undergoing a great deal of unexpected destruction - advanced
civilizations, entire planets, and even the stars themselves. In one such
civilization, populated by massive humanoids with the heads of jackals - we'll
call them Anubians and leave it at that for now - the unexpected came from magic
users meddling beyond their abilities, causing their host star to erupt out of
control, its fluctuating gravitational forces quite literally tearing their
world to pieces.
The last lone Anubian cursed magicians and magic with his last breath; but as he
was about to die, he was saved by Siguna, God of Sound, and granted a pair of
(completely non-magical we swear) glaives, in exchange for serving as the grand
architect of a new civilization that would rise one day. Then he got thrown
into space and waited to land, and then waited some more...
Ah yes, his name was Anakh. [Anakh the Jackal-God and the First Man]
Meanwhile, in the cradle of humanity - we call it Terra because it sounds
fancier and nicer than Earth, obviously - at various times from AD 600 and
onward, magic users get randomly shoved off the planet. The ones who aren't
killed outright for having strange powers are sometimes just pushed into Strange
Places to die on their own - and Eris is fond of making Things happen in Strange
Places, and so sometimes there are portals, and those portals lead to other
worlds. In one case a man gets pushed through and lands up falling through the
air toward a desert - and gets caught by Anakh. (We just call him 'The First
Man' and he's fine with that.)
The result of this diaspora was that humanity - specifically, humans with weird
powers - got shot through All Creation where they could get in contact with all
sorts of other weirdness, strange aliens and alien environments; and so while
there's a lot of 'humanity' in space in the DiVerse, it's not all original
Terra-before-spaceflight. Most of it is magic. Magic is a /very big theme/ in
the DiVerse; it's worked into the very fabric of the place. More on that later.
In addition to the forced scattering, a significant number of spellcasters left
of their own accord. These used a brand of magic that drew on their own
personal energy, in addition to (or instead of) the standard elemental planes or
other sources; called 'soulcasters', they were already viewed with disfavor by
the more scientific and clinical practitioners of the arts, as the results of
soulcasting tends to vary quite a bit from person to person. So rather than be
persecuted, potentially fatally, they escaped Terra en masse by means of the
very first aetheric gate - which was at that time a one-way device - and settled
on a planet they called Slate, half the galaxy away. (Not that such was evident
or indeed important at the time.)
Fast-forward some several hundred years - a little after the Rosewood Saga, give
or take - and the civilization on Slate has expanded and advanced considerably;
and lying at the corner of three nations is Salon DYAL. [The Makeover* / The
DYAL Goes to Eleven]
Upon learning of the war the Pantheon wages against the Devourer (but knowing
nothing of Parvait, as no one speaks of her), Rosewood declares the
non-interference policy 'kind of dumb' and offers a variety of ideas, one being
the Quickening: a grand scheme to accelerate the technological development of
the remaining worlds that weren't destroyed during the Devourer's rise. After
some debate, the plan is allowed to proceed in a limited fashion; not all worlds
receive the Quickening, and not all at the same time.
This rapid advancement period is collectively known as 'the Steampunk Arc' of
the DiVerse, and contains lovely things like [Jetbird Leone and the Black Mamba
Kid] as well as the as-yet untold tales of Unu Nilium, Dharm Stadtium, Cynthia
the Metal Mistress (and bartender), Dread Pirate Seraya, Chesterfield the
Clockwork Rocket Koala, the Invisible College, I mean the point is there are
crazy and ridiculous things happening and they are quite legitimately within the
bounds of reason thank you very much.
In the early transition to the grand space opera that is the latter... half, I
guess, of the DiVerse (there's a lot of material there to work with), the
Devworld becomes a thing - a virtual world aligned with the aetheric plane,
where you leave your body behind and put your soul into a game world - only half
of which is a game, the other half being Rosewood and Eris's classroom for How
to Leave Your Limited Body Behind and Become a Magical Shapeshifter 101 (and
higher levels thereof). This other half is not immediately evident; it's a fun
surprise. [Pick-Up Team]
Anyway, everything else I've done thus far is in the space opera section, or
what I refer to as 'the Nameless arc' of the DiVerse; both because the poetry**
refers to that name, and because the societies are more focused on what an
individual does on their own, rather than whose bloodline they belong to (with a
few exceptions). Name means little; actions mean everything. Thus, 'Nameless'.
(Taken literally in some cases.)
The big territorial blocs in the Nameless arc are the Nilium Collective
(adjectival: 'Nilian'), a peaceful but technologically advanced society founded
by Unu Nilium; the Laurel-Giovanni Combine, a hypercapitalist collection of
megacorps in a constant state of information warfare and espionage and political
shenanigans (internal and external); and the Gray Empire, a bunch of jerks. I
kid. They're not all terrible, but they have a reputation for being willing to
go to extremes (and actually going to them) in pursuit of their goals.
In terms of actual chronology:
[SYSTEMIC] begins in Nilian territory and leads into Imperial space, and ends up
triggering a major event in the DiVerse: the shutdown/restriction of the
aetheric gate network that pretty much everyone uses for space travel. Also a
few other things.
[Captain Calamity] will involve tech developed in the wake of the A-gate network
shutdown, so it comes after SYSTEMIC. It begins on a world that's being
absorbed by the Nilium Collective (nicely, of course) and goes all over the
place, I hope. Big plans, much transhumanism.
[Royals] is set in one of the rare independent sectors, and has no specific
chronology to speak of; at this point it's self-contained, apart from the
obvious Pantheon meddling.
[Tales of the Holy Mountain] is actually a far-future sequel to Pick-Up Team,
the two goddesses being Shift Divers (graduates of How To Leave Your Limited
etc.) but otherwise also has no specific chronology as of yet, though once more
is written about interactions with outsiders, that may change.
[The Perfect Fit] is the teaser piece for and therefore the prequel to [The
Harvest of Stars], the bulk of it taking place in the L-G Combine.
[Time Enough for Tea] obliquely - very! - references characters from the Harvest
of Stars, so it comes well after that. Or well after what's been written now,
anyway. It takes place on Viverde, a world aligned with the Nilium Collective
but on the Imperial border and also right up next to Weird Nasty Void Space.
You don't want to mess with WNVS, usually, but someone has to.
[What You Love] is more of a character/mood piece, so it doesn't really 'fit'
any DiVerse time per se. It's applicable just about any time though, if you ask
* The Makeover was written back in 2012, and was only available on deviantArt
until recently when I decided to finally get around to reposting it where people
actually read my stuff.
** 'From the evolution of the second humanity is brought forth the third; the
Nameless, traversing the Void between worlds old and new.'
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