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Okay. This is yet another theory that came up during discussion with a friend, I offer up for further discussion, debate, and dissection.
The fundamental question it grew from: Why can't the Malfeans die?
We ended up envisioning it something like this.
Before creation, there was merely the wyld. Where nothing can be: the only definition you can have is the absence of a given thing. (refer to the Shinma: the uber-powerful entities in the wyld that are defined by what they are not).
Thus, Creation is created to offer definition and form, to allow existence: the definition of disparate concepts, from which the Primordials can define themselves in relation to, asa greater version. The creation of something seperate from chaos, which they can then reference and define themselves from, allowing existence.
To put this in perspective: For The ebon dragon to be thought of as 'the shadow of every living thing', you need to have the concept of 'living' 'thing' and 'shadow', and all the ideas an associations tied to it. Creation provides these concepts, thus providing something for the ebon Dragon to define itself as being alike to, yet greater than.
Creation has it's rules, and so forth, for internal self-consistency and definition: To redefine it is to redefine the benchmarks, the concepts, that the primordials draw from to define themselves.
So.. we could say that the primordials are second level creatures drawing on 1st level definitions.
What do I mean by that? Okay. Let us consider the Humble square. What is a cube? a three-dimensional expression of the two-dimensional square. It is a square, but in more than 2 dimensions. So the primordials are akin t othings in creation, the way that Cubes are akin to squares: they are defined the same way, but in additional layers and dimensions that do not exist in a world with less dimensions.
Right. Now if we think about how this could be arranged.. we can think of it in terms of layers. THink about a system of spheres. The outermost sphere is the 'Primordial' layer, existence in 2-levels. The next sphere in is the 'defuinition' layer, creation - existence in 1-level. Within that sphere, there is Elsewhere.
Now, Why put it in this silly, purely theoretical diagram? To think of it like this.
A Primordial is on the second layer, and - having more dimensions, more freedom, can do pretty much whatever it wants to the layer beneath it. THey can't break it, however, or permanently defy the concepts within it, because to do such would be to change them, and thus change themselves. Which defeats the point of the exercise. If it wants to appear on the next layer in, It can, but is normally perfectly safe, as to kill it, you need a weapon that can interface with both layers. It mocks you.
Everything else is on the inner sphere, and Death.. well. This is how I visualise the rules for 'Death' working.
Step 1. When sommething has something happen to it that the tapestry of fate defines as 'death', It's destiny ends, and the files on it are appended with the word 'dead', or something to that affect.
Step 2. 'Dead' things shouldn't be here anymore: Spirit of the thing is moved Down a layer, into the 0th olayer - elsewhere, and assessed to see what happens next.
If it's the spirit of a DragonKing, it is Reincarnated.
If it's the spirit of a Mortal, Scrub Memories: it is Reincarnated.
If it's the spirit of a Spirit: Wait X, then restore to it's sanctum.
and so on.forth. Additionalactions are p[resumably taken based on what the file says: You can almost see it as, 'THe clerk stamps the file 'dead', makes a few notes, and dumps it in the out tray: the out tray is the death-function's In-tray, who reads it and does what he's been told to do.'.
Now, If we consider the Exalted - and more to the point, the Five Magical Materials. I would posit that these are 2-layer substances:
So. If we get the Primordials into creation, where they are within the rules they have to obey, to preserve their own definitions: and we hit them with a weapon that bypasses their second-layer get-out clause. Thus, they get the 'dead' flag, are removed from creation.. and fed into the 'reincarnate' ruleset. Which goes..
And is still hanging. this is a very complicated problem, and is eating up most of the Metaphorical 'dead' clerk's time: so much so, that he's letting things pile u pin his In-tray, and has had to get extra-space.
So, when someone dies, they go to the same 'pause' state: and if they have enough drive to stay alive.. that, plus their resonance with the structure of the underworld, keeps them there, against the feeble pressures of an overloaded error-handling module. So to speak. :)
So. Consider. Before the death of the first primordial: nothing. Afterwards: the Labyrinth, the mouth of the Void, and the upper levels. The place only existed when the first Primordial died: and nothing was created there. It is reasonable to assume that the Underworld is the collected, compressed, death-associated spirit of the Malfeans. The Hekatonkhire might be the remains of their souls.. the flora and fauna of the underworld, perhaps, the remains of their demons, and other strange things.
Now, For shadowlands: If we consider that Like calls to Like - that is, something that is alike another thing has a connection to that thing. What are the resonances of the dead essence of the malfeans? Well, Death-aspected: probably in the nature of their death - Violence. Probably quite angry.. tormented.. plus the residue of whatever resonances the malfean drew from.
So.. Let's say someone is tortured to death. THere is a sympathetic tie to the essence of the Malfeans. Is it not likely that a little of that essence might be called? Is it not possible it might stay there, a trace of malfean essence, much as the Things that Live in the Corners are a trace of Yozi Essence left behind from when they were present in an area?
And if more and more deaths occur there, like the greasy print of a hand that regularly visits, the traces of malfean essence accumulate... until the amount of Underworld essence, the essence of the underworld, that is left behind appraoches the amount of creation's essence remaining: Thus we have a place that is part of creation, and part of the underworld, with the comingled essence of both: Simple Sorcerous rules of Similarity, Sympathy, and contagion will form a strong bond. We have a shadowland, caused by the founding principle of Like calls to Like.
But this is why the malfeans cannot die: For they cannot be handled by the 'reincarnate' principle(and since we can suspect that any 'superuser' powers the Primordials have - such as, say, adding new clauses to the reincarnation drive - requires you to be a primordial: the malfeans d onot fulfill that definition anymore. The yozi's, meanwhile, have no inclination t omake the change - if they even can - because apart from anything else, it could change their own natures.). - Molikai
Um. I added breaks to the paragraphs indicated in the Modify field, as reading it through without them was difficult. But gotta say even with the breaks, this is a little heavy for your simple old uncle to wrap his head around. --UncleChu
I've gone through it, cleaning up and elaborating. That help any? - Molikai
- Yes, much clearer. The "Like to Like" thing was tripping me up, but this is all a little clearer. Exalted's metaphysical cosmology was always the roughest for me to grasp in entirety... the whole Celestial Bureaucracy had me punching my pillow in pre-adolescent frustration. But I take pleasure in the fact that Primordials ARE ultimately incomprehensible. I also find analogies to computers are helpful (like the superuser reference, or the system hang Ignore Process). But yeah, all in all, I getcha now, it no longer looks like a drunken midnight entry! :) Pretty cool ideas. --UncleChu
For the record, I don't drink more than about one shot every three to six months. Sleep deprivation, now, that's another subject entirely. :) But yes. We thought it was a pretty good scheme. has some interesting Ramnifications, too. - Molikai