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Cosmologyby Marco Dalmonte
Ok, time to explain a bit more of my cosmology. This doesn't take into account the origins of the Old Ones nor of the Outer Beings. What I'm giving to you is the history of the universe as told by the Cult of the One God. This is not the TRUE story, however (I'll tell u that in a later time). Note that I have borrowed many things from Clive Barker's masterful novel "Imajica".
"In the Beginning, three things existed in the universe: Chaos, Vacuum and the One God. Then the One God discovered the Craft and with his power he gave Order to Chaos and put Life into Vacuum. This way, the first planets were created and the tiniest and most primitive lifeforms moved the first tentative steps on those worlds. Time passed, and the living began to know the Love and the Power of the One God, and they started worshipping him as Hapexamendios. Then Hapexamendios decided it was time to create a companion, and using the Craft he took Chaos and gave it a shape, then took Life and breathed it in the shape. Thus the First Goddess was born, and Hapexamendios named her Tishalullè. She was devout to the One God, who taught her how to use the Craft and they ruled the universe together.
"However, after a while the First Goddess began to envy the power that her Husband had over his Universe, and she craved the absolute power for herself. From her malign thoughts the seeds of Evil were born, and they infected many of the living species in the universe, who, mislead by her obscene promises, sworn fealty to Tishalullè. In reward for their loyalty, she taught to the most vicious the secrets of the Craft, and these became the First Generation Immortals. With them, the First Goddess plotted to overthrow the First God, since Death was not known to the people who lived in the Universe. But Hapexamendios foresaw his mistress's plans, and so he gave birth to his beloved Son, the First Sorcerer, who would have helped him in his battle against the Immortals. But Tishalullè and the Immortals managed to trick the One God and they created the Barrier, later called the Vortex, where they imprisoned the One God, hopefully forever.
"But they had not taken into account the First Sorcerer, Sartori. Once grown to full power and having achieved the mastery of the Craft, he challenged the First Goddess, still weakened by the creation of the Barrier, and managed to slay her. From her womb Death came out, and the living became Mortals, while the Immortals, who knew the power of the Craft, were safe from its touch. Thus Thanatos was created.
"The Immortals came far too late to help the Mother of all Troubles and gave chase to Sartori. To hide from the mischievous beings, Sartori created his own hideout, the massive Tower of the Hinge, very close to the Barrier, where his Father laid prisoner. Sartori knew the way to free the One God from his prison, but he also knew he did not have the power to perform the ritual after the taxing battle with the First Goddess. He also knew the Immortals would have tracked him soon, so he started taking drastic measures. Foreseeing his doom, the First Sorcerer created the Shadowmaster and sent him to the ND to guard the secret that will have allowed him to open the gate where his father had been imprisoned. Since the First God was the linchpin that made the universe one, when the first Immortals confined him beyond the Barrier with the help of Tishalullè the Universe was shaken. But when they came and together killed Sartori (who had fled outside the Hinge to meet them and avoid they discover his hideout) the fabric of the Universe collapsed and the Multiverse was formed. Then the Immortals, without a leader, divided and vied for supremacy, allying themselves to one another and forming the Spheres of Power. The First Generation Immortals who still live today are three: Thanatos (who however didn't participate in the Betrayal or the Murder), Ixion (who led the Immortals against Sartori after Tishalullè's demise) and Kal-hoven (who left the Multiverse after the formation of the Five Domains and is believed dead).
"But Sartori's plan had only began to work. He had cast a powerful spell on himself, and when slain, his body began to reform in the secret chambers of the Hinge. Unfortunately, he did not foresee the breaking of the Universe, and as the universe collapsed and was divided into the different Domains (Planes), so was his life essence, so tied to the Universe itself. For this reason, now there are Five Sartori living in the Five Domains, but only the one living in the Outer Plane of Yzorderrex (where the Hinge lies) knows the truth.
"But Sartori was no fool, and he arranged for his rebirth. So we all believe the time will come when all the Sartori will reunite and together they will find the Key to open the Barrier and free the One God once more. That day we will be by his side and will finally become part of the Craft. That day the oppressive reign of the Immortals will end, and the new Reign of the One God and his followers will begin anew!"
Note 1: the Craft is not just Magic, is something more powerful and now forgotten. Magic is what is left of the Craft after the division of the universe and the formation of the immortal Spheres of Power.
Note 2: IMC the Nightmare Dimension has its own Elemental Spheres and Ethereal plane, but NO Astral nor Outer Planes whatsoever. The Dimension is a seemingly never-ending flat land with many different terrain types and kingdoms (called Domains), each ruled by its own Column (a most powerful being of near-immortal status). However, all beings swear loyalty to the one true Immortal of the ND, the Kal-hoven (or Nightmare Lord) and to his henchman the Shadowmaster (Kai-hevek). What is most frightening to the Immortals of the Multiverse is the knowledge that their powers are strangely warped in the ND (reduced and altered), and that the Kal-hoven is somewhat similar to them, but belongs to no clear Sphere of Power (the same applies for the Shadowmaster).
The truth is, the Nightmare Lord is a creature as much old as the oldest immortal. He belongs to the first Generation Immortals, but he never took part in the creation of the Immortal Factions (spheres of power) since he left the Multiverse before their creation. He established himself as the sole ruler of the Nightmare Dimension, which he saw fitter to his (nearly insane) mind and there he still stands, sole ruler of the whole Dimension. The Shadowmaster is, on the other hand, a being created by the First Sorcerer (Sartori), a powerful demi-immortal entity who was defeated long ago in the battle that created the Multiverse.