There are five Bibles in Panzoasia: The Gospels of Light, the Aphorisms of Chance, the Classic of Destiny, the Book of Darkness, and the Epic of All Life. Each one gives a different version of the creation of the Supernal, Infernal, and Sublunary worlds – from the Good, Chaotic, Lawful, Evil, and Neutral perspectives receptively. Although all accounts broadly agree on the order of events, each disagrees with the others on the exact details.
Which story is correct? Perhaps all of them, and none of them. Some sages speculate that the Divine Powers do not exist in a single timeline of past, present, and future, like mortal beings. Instead, they have minds that embrace several alternate pasts and futures simultaneously. Therefore, the ongoing conflict between Alignments is actually the struggle to make one of the stories the “true” one among the mortals of the Sublunary World. The war is not just for control of Space, but also Time and History.
The essential points of the Panzoasian creation story are these:
- In the beginning there was an Ultimate God, who became divided into separate Divine Powers.
- In the Emptiness that was once filled by the body of the Ultimate God, the Divine Powers created the worlds, and Spirits to inhabit them.
- A Terrestrial Paradise was made on Earth, containing every kind of plant and animal.
- The Divine Powers created a First Person, who was double-gendered like the Ultimate God.
- The Dragon was uplifted from among the beasts, in order to be the guardian and instructor of the First Person.
- The First Person was split into the male and female ancestors of the Five Peoples, by means of a magical fruit offered by the Dragon.
- There was a war in the Supernal Worlds.
- Spirits took inhabitants of the Terrestrial Paradise as mates, and bred monstrous children who were then cast out.
- The remaining Five Peoples of the Terrestrial Paradise created something in the middle of it which could be used as a conduit to all the worlds.
- The Five Peoples had to leave the Terrestrial Paradise, and come to Panzoasia.
(The story is, of course, a twist on the more-or-less familiar one from the Book of Genesis.)
What follows is how each Bible of Panzoasia interprets that story, point-by-point.
The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE GOSPELS OF LIGHT:
- The Ultimate God contracted into the Empyrean, and emanated Our Lord of Light. He made four other Powers: the Lord of Darkness, the Lady of Chance, the Lord of Destiny, and the Lady of Life. The Lord of Light did this because he wished to eventually create Worlds to which he could be benevolent.
- Our Lord of Light alone created Supernal, Infernal, and Sublunary Worlds. Originally, all the spirits were Angels of Heaven. Because he was the original leader of all the Powers and Angels, the Lord of Light is also called the Lord of Hosts. The other Powers (who at that point were simply the mightiest of the Angels) were directed to administer the physical elements, planets, stars, plants, and animals, under the direction of the Lord of Light.
- Our Lord Light directed the Lady of Life to plant the Terrestrial Paradise.
- Our Lord of Light created the First Person, male and female, in the image of the Ultimate God.
- The Lord of Darkness suggested that the Dragon be uplifted and made into the First Person’s instructor, because he secretly wanted to corrupt the beast into his service.
- The Lord of Darkness told the Dragon to give the First Person the Apple of Malice, eating which caused the Person to fall asleep, and wake up as ten People. As punishment, the Dragon and its descendants were cast out from the Terrestrial Paradise by the Lord of Light.
- Out of pride, the Lord of Darkness started a rebellion to seize control of Heaven. The Lady of Chance took the opportunity to desert, and seized control of the Whirl of Limbo. Those Angels that followed her became the Daimons. The Lord of Destiny seized control of the Celestial Spheres, and his followers became the Archons. The Lady of Life refused to take any side, and fled to the Corner of the Sublunary World she called the Summerland. The Angels that followed her became the Fairies. Finally, the Lord of Darkness was defeated. His exiled army of fallen Angels seized control of a portion of Limbo that they called Hell, and became the Devils.
- Our Lord of Light found a sinless virgin, who was the most virtuous of People, and crowned her as Queen of Heaven and the Angels. The Lady of Chance took the first lawbreaker as her husband, and made him King of Limbo and the Daimons. The Lord of Destiny took the first Astrologer as his wife, and crowned her as Queen of the Celestial Spheres and Archons. The Lady of Life found the man who best understood the plants and animals of Nature, took him as her husband, and crowned him the horned King of the Summerland and Fairies. The Lord of Darkness found the first sorceress and poisoner, the most wicked of all People, and made her Queen of Hell and the Devils. Before she descended into Hell, the Lady of Darkness gave birth to the Demons and Monsters that were eventually expelled from the Terrestrial Paradise by Angels.
- The Lord and Lady of Darkness tricked the People of the Terrestrial Paradise into building the Tower of Perplexity, tall and deep enough to link Heaven and Hell. Our Lord of Light ruled that the People must leave the Terrestrial Paradise, because they had creating a means by which the forces of Darkness could invade the refuge of Light.
- Angelic warriors were sent to protect the Terrestrial Paradise and Tower of Perplexity, and The Five Peoples were shepherded by their Guardian Angels to the Ends of the Earth.
The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE APHORISMS OF CHANCE:
- The Ultimate God was bored, so it became the Twins of Chaos – both of whom are simultaneously Lord and Lady of Chance. They gave birth to the Lords and Ladies of Light, Darkness, Destiny, and Life. Among them, the Lord and Lady of Destiny were definitely the dullest and least talented. To avoid further boredom, Our Lord and Lady of Chance told each of their children that they were they first and best, which caused entertaining discord. The Twins of Chaos found it particularly enjoyable to see the idiotic Lord and Lady of Destiny proclaiming their own importance and power. What remained of the Ultimate God became the Empyrean.
- The Twins of Chaos reserved a portion of Emptiness for themselves, and let their children play in the remainder. Soon the lesser Powers of Light, Darkness, Destiny and Life had created Heaven, Hell, the Celestial Spheres, and the Sublunary World. The Twins of Chaos then decided that it would be fun to make Daimons who would help them spread mischief, catastrophe, and strife. As a joke, the Twins of Chaos told each of their children that their World was the best one – better even than the Whirl of Limbo their parents had created!
- The Lord and Lady of Life proposed to their siblings that they should all cooperate to create the Terrestrial Paradise, in order to impress their parents, the Twins of Chaos.
- The Divine Powers all tried and failed to create a First Person in the image of the Ultimate God. Finally, the Person was secretly created by Chance. The Twins of Chaos decided to tell the Lord and Lady of Light that they were the ones who had actually succeeded. The Twins also did the same with all their other children. Our Lord and Lady of Chance greatly enjoyed the squabbling that resulted.
- The Lord and Lady of Darkness persuaded the other Powers to uplift the Dragon, because they wanted it to become their servant, who would convince the First Person to be their ally in Evil.
- The Twins of Chaos thought that Darkness’ plan was boring, so Our Lady secretly gave the Dragon the Apple of Discord, and told it to give to the First Person. After eating the Apple, the First Person split into a Human male and female. Darkness’ scheme was ruined, the Dragon was blamed for it all, and Our Lord and Lady of Chance had a great laugh!
- After much goading and intrigue, Our Lord and Lady of Chance succeeded in their plan to provoke War throughout the spiritual Worlds. They did this in the hope that something truly surprising would occur. It did, when the combined armies of of Darkness and Destiny decided to attack the Whirl of Limbo simultaneously. Daimonic freedom fighters succeeded in expelling the Archons (whose strategies were completely predictable), but the forces of Darkness occupy their stolen lands (called Hell) to this day. Those former Daimons who were trapped in Hell are now called Demons, and exist only to destroy. Even through Our Lord and Lady essentially lost the War, they do not regret how interesting it was.
- Some Daimons went to the Terrestrial Paradise, took mates, and bred offspring who were the most strange and wonderful Monsters. Refugee Angels took mortal spouses, and bred the Giants. Some Fallen Angels of Darkness took mortal spouses, and bred the various humanoid Monsters. The Fairy Folk took mortal spouses, and their children became the Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes. To the dismay of the Lord and Lady of Chance, the People of the Terrestrial Paradise cast out all the most interesting children, except for the Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes.
- Our Lord and Lady of Chance inspired the remaining Five Peoples to build the Tower of Perplexity that would link all the Worlds together. For some reason, this angered the unimaginative Lord and Lady of Destiny, who hurled lightning bolts at the Tower and Terrestrial Paradise.
- The Five Peoples fled the Terrestrial Paradise, and were led by the Daimons to the more interesting, Monster-filled Ends of the Earth.
The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE CLASSIC OF DESTINY:
- The Ultimate God retracted its being into the Empyrean, in order to begin the process of ordering the Cosmos. The mind of the Ultimate God then resolved itself into Our Lord of Destiny, also known as The Demiurge. Our Lord separated the female from the male within himself, and made Our Lady of Destiny. Together they create the Powers of Light and Darkness. To balance the Light and Dark, Our Lord and Lady created the Powers of Life. In the Emptiness where the Ultimate God once was, the Lord and Lady of Chance (also known as the Abominations of Chaos) coalesced from the leftover detritus of Creation.
- Our Lord and Lady of Destiny turned to the Emptiness, and began ordering the spaces within it. First, they made the Perfection of the Celestial Spheres as a home for themselves, and created the Archons. From the beginning, Our Lord and Lady had the plan to eventually create the Five Peoples, so they made Heaven as a reward for the lawful, and set the Powers of Light to be its King and Queen. They made Hell as a punishment for the lawless, and set the Powers of Darkness to be its King and Queen. They made the Sublunary World to be home of living bodies, and commanded the Powers of Life to fill it with plants and animals, following the dictates of Natural Law. The Powers of Light, Darkness, and Life were also given Archons as servants. While Our Lord and Lady were busy ordering the Cosmos, however, the Abominations of Chaos invaded Hell, and corrupted a portion of it into the Whirl of Limbo. They infested Limbo with their spawn, which they called Daimons.
- Our Lord and Lady of Destiny created the Terrestrial Paradise to be the perfect garden where every plant and animal existed in its proper relationship to each other. It was guarded by Archons with flaming swords, to protect it from the Powers of Chance.
- The First Person was created and placed in the Terrestrial Paradise by Our Lord and Lady of Destiny. The First Person was made double-gendered to reflect the Ultimate God, but Our Lord and Lady always planned the eventually division into male and female.
- Our Lord and Lady of Destiny were alone responsible for uplifting the Dragon, and charging it to be the instructor and guardian of the First Person. The Dragon was told to prevent the First Person from eating the Apple of Division, before the proper time had come.
- One day the Powers of Chance lured the Dragon out of the Terrestrial Paradise. They convinced it to fly back, and give the Apple of Division to the First Person. The Dragon did so, and after eating the fruit, the First Person was split into ten People. The separation of the First Person into many People thus occurred long before its destined time.
- The Abominations of Chaos fomented rebellion against Our Lord and Lady of Destiny. The Lord and Lady of Light seized Heaven, and their Archons became Angels. The Lord and Lady of Darkness seized Hell, and their Achons became Devils. The Powers of Life entrenched themselves in the Corner of the Sublunary World they called the Summerland, and their Archons became the Fairies. Towards the end of the war the Daimons of Limbo invaded Hell, and when their armies were repulsed, many were left behind in the retreat. Those Daimons became the Demons of destruction.
- Many of the rebel Archons deserted their armies and took mortal mates. They bred the various Monsters which were had to be cast out from the Terrestrial paradise by Our Lord and Lady of Destiny.
- The Abominations of Chaos inspired the Five Peoples to build the Tower of Perplexity, in the vain hope that People would be able to raid the records of the Celestial Bureaucracy, and write their own fates.
- As punishment for their lawlessness, the Five Peoples were cast out of the Terrestrial Paradise and into the Ends of the Earth, now infested with Monsters.
The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE BOOK OF DARKNESS:
- The Ultimate God spat out the Lord of Light, as one spits out a bit of phlegm. Then, Our Lord of Darkness was drawn forth from the Body of the Ultimate God by the self-important Lord of Light. The Lord of Light did this so Our Lord would carry him, and make himself even brighter by contrast. It is for this reason that Our Lord is also called “Light-Bearer”. The Lord of Light then insisted he wanted to create Worlds upon which he could shine, in order to glorify himself. Our Lord pointed out to the Lord of Light that if they must create Worlds, they would need other Powers. Therefore they cut the Lord of Destiny, the Lady of Chance, and the Lady of Life from the body of the Ultimate God. Our Lord, however, did most of the actual work.
- Our Lord of Darkness and the Lord of Light collaborated to made Heaven and the Angels, but once again, Our Lord did the bulk of the labor. The Lord of Light then told Our Lord to oversee the other Powers as they made the Celestial Spheres, Whirl of Limbo, and the Sublunary World. Finally, Our Lord made himself a beautiful palace in Hell, far more lovely than anything in Heaven. Naturally, the Lord of Light was envious of Our Lord’s strength and talent.
- The Lord of Light decided to claim a portion of the Earth the Lady of Life had made, filled it with examples of all the plants and animals she had created, and displayed it to the other Powers as an example of his own ingenuity and magnificence.
- The Lord of Light compounded a poor imitation of the Ultimate God out of animal parts, dung, and earth, and called it the First Person He then gathered together all the Powers and Angels, and made them fall down in front of his flawed creation, in order to humiliate them. Our Lord of Darkness, however, refused to bow down to the obviously imperfect First Person, which greatly angered the egotistical Lord of Light.
- The Lord of Light wanted the First Person to be his exclusive slave. To that end, he decided to uplift the Dragon, and make it powerful enough prevent the the other Powers from educating the First Person about the Lord of Light’s true nature.
- Our Lord of Darkness was outraged at the way the Powers had been disregarded and humiliated, so he told the truth about things to the Dragon, and showed him why he shouldn’t blindly obey the Lord of Light’s orders. The Dragon agreed. Our Lord gave the Apple of Knowledge to the Dragon, for the First Person to eat. When the First Person consumed the magical fruit, it realized it was simply a bundle of dirt, dung, and meat, and broke itself into ten different People. The angry Lord of Light then sent Angels to exile the Dragon from the Terrestrial Paradise, and chop it up into many different, lesser Dragons.
- The Lord of Light flew into a rage, and demanded that every Angel and Power swear a oath to obey him without question. Finally, our Lord of Darkness, allied with the Lord of Destiny and the Lady of Chance, led a Rebellion. The cowardly Lady of Life, however, refused to take sides, and fled to the Sublunary World. Her Angels became the Fairies. The Lord of Destiny and Lady of Chance proved to be unreliable allies, since they were as interested in defeating each other as much as fighting the Lord of Light. The Lord of Destiny retreated to the Celestial Spheres, and his Angels became the Archons. The Lady of Chance retreated to the Whirl of Limbo, and her Angels became the Daimons. Betrayed by his allies, Our Lord and his Devils were defeated and forced back to Hell, whose beauty was vandalized and ruined by the victorious Angels. Dissatisfied with the craven capitulation of Chance to Heaven, and vowing to destroy all the works of the tyrannical Lord of Light, many Daimons fled Limbo and settled in Hell as Demons.
- While visiting Earth to find and punish those Devils who had deserted in the battle for Heaven, Our Lord of Darkness found the wisest of all women, took her as his Queen, and made her Our Lady. Before returning to Hell, they had children who were the ancestors of the humanoid nations now unfairly despised by the Five Peoples. Also on the Earth were Angels who had been abandoned by their armies. They took mortals as spouses, and bred the Giants. The Lord of Destiny made the first Astrologer his Lady of Destiny, and took her up to the Celestial Spheres. The Lady of Chance similarly made the first bandit her Lord, and brought him to Limbo. Those Daimons who had fled to the Earth during the War in Heaven bred monstrous children from various animals, before they too returned to Limbo. The Lady of Life found the man who was most knowledgeable in the lore of Nature, and made him the Lord of Life. When the Lord of Light saw the Humanoids, Giants, and other Monsters, he sent Angels to chase them (and all the spirits) from the Terrestrial Paradise.
- As a final attempt to free the Five Peoples who remained in the Terrestrial Paradise, Our Lord and Lady of Darkness inspired them to build the Tower of Perplexity, which would link the worlds and enable them to travel as they willed. When the Lord of Light realized what was occurring, he sent Angels blast the Tower and kill the workmen.
- The Lord of Light expelled the Five Peoples from the Terrestrial Paradise, and sent them to to live in the Ends of the Earth. – where he had already exiled the Monsters. The People acquiesced to this demand, and so Our Lord and Lady of Darkness came to finally realize that the mass of them were worthless and weak, with only a few exceptions who were fit to be co-inheritors of the Worlds.
The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE EPIC OF ALL LIFE:
The Ultimate God was alone, and so sought to no longer be lonely. First the the God concentrated into the Empyrean, and separated itself into the opposites of Chaos and Law, Good, and Evil. Then those powers separated themselves into the Lords and Ladies of Chance, Destiny, Light, and Darkness. After the other Powers had left it, the remaining Power of the Ultimate God separated into Our Lord and Lady of Life.
Where the Ultimate God once was, there was an Emptiness, in which the Lords and Ladies made spaces for themselves. The Lord and Lady of Chance made Limbo, and there created raging Fire, howling Air, rushing Water, and the Daimons. The Lord and Lady of Light made Heaven, and there created Day and the Angels. The Lord and Lady of Darkness made Hell, and there created Night and the Devils. The Lord and Lady of Destiny made the Celestial Spheres, and there created the Planets, Stars, and Archons. Our Lord and Lady of Life made the Sublunary World, and created all of Nature, as well as the Fairies to enjoy it. Originally, every kind of spirit could come and go freely in every World.
The Ten Divine powers looked upon the worlds they had made, and agreed to make a center to decorate Creation. They planted a Garden in the Earth, and called it the Terrestrial Paradise. They gathered into it every variety of living thing that Our Lord and Lady of Life had made.
The Divine Powers agreed to make a Person in the image of the Ultimate God they had once been. The Ladies of Chance, Destiny, Light, Darkness, and Life all gave birth to the First Person simultaneously – all five were the Mother. Like the Ultimate God had been, the First Person was both male and female.
- Each of the Divine Powers sent their spirits to speak to the First Person, who in turn taught the superiority of Chaos, Law, Goodness, and Evil. The Person became confused, not knowing what to believe. The Lord and Lady of Life then proposed to the other Divine Powers that the Person should have only one educator, who would teach a balanced doctrine. Since it was already the most wise and powerful beast in Paradise, the Divine Powers selected the serpent called Dragon to be the Instructor of the First Person. Each pair of Divine Powers gifted the Dragon with extraordinary abilities.
The Lord and Lady of Darkness became suspicious that the Lord and Lady of Light were planning on turning both the First Person and Dragon against them. They spoke to the Dragon, and said that because it was obviously wiser and more powerful than the First Person, it should be the Ruler and Possessor of the Terrestrial Paradise. The Lady of Darkness then gave the Dragon an Apple of Malice that would cause the First Person to become many People, divided against each other. So divided, they would no longer be a threat. The Dragon then gave the trusting First Person the Apple. After falling asleep, the First Person woke up as ten people! In the forest of the Terrestrial Paradise a male and female Elf awakened. In a cave of the mountains there was now a male and female Dwarf. In a planted field awakened a male and female Halfling. In the rolling hills was a male and female Gnome. And in the bed where the First Person had first fallen asleep, a male and female Human opened their eyes.
The Lord and Lady of Light demanded that Lord and Lady of Darkness explain what they had done. Instead, the Lord and Lady of Darkness immediately attacked Heaven with their army of Devils. The Powers of Chance and Destiny then accused the other of harboring secret plots, and began fighting. Our Lord and Lady of Life tried as best they could to stop the war, but the other Powers wouldn’t listen.
The War devastated the spiritual worlds, and in the end resulted only in every Power retreating to their own World. However, during the fighting many spirits deserted their armies, and came to Earth. There they took mortal mates, and had monstrous children. The Angels and their spouses gave rise to the Giants. The Devils and their spouses created the various humanoids – Orcs, Goblins, Kobolds, etc. The Daimons took both people and animals as their mates, and thereby created many strange and bestial Monsters. The Lord and Lady of Destiny, incensed that there were now Monsters who not part of their original plan of Fate, sent armies of Archons to drive the creatures out of the Terrestrial Paradise. More People were accidentally killed as a result of the Archons’ battles, than from the attacks of the Monsters.
As a last effort towards restoring harmony, Our Lord and Lady of Life gave the People the seed of the World Tree. The tree grew so large that its roots extended to Limbo and Hell, its trunk twisted through all the Ends and Corners of the Earth, and its branches lay in the Celestial Spheres and Heaven. But the Angels, Devils, Archons, and Daimons turned the World Tree into just a convenient means to raid each others’ worlds.
Because it was no longer safe for them there, Our Lord and Lady of Life showed the Five Peoples the way out of the Terrestrial Paradise, and into the Ends of the Earth..
Note: The Epic of All Life doesn’t actually account for how the blindly destructive Demons of evil Chaos came to exist, other than insinuating that they a disease afflicting Reality.
A Brief Overview of the Worlds Beyond of Panzoasia
- The three Supernal Worlds are conceptually “above” the Sublunary World They consist of:
- The Empyrean, a boundless expanse of pure light and flame generally considered to be the last echo of the Ultimate God.
- Heaven, where the Blessed Souls of the Good reside. There are Seven Gardens of Heaven tended by the Angels.
- The Celestial Spheres, where the Justified Souls of the Lawful reside. There are Eight Celestial Spheres administered by the Archons.
- The Supernal Worlds are accessible through the starry gulfs of the Astral Plane, in which float countless small Dream Worlds.
- The Sublunary World lies at the conceptually “center” of the Cosmos, “under” the Lunar Celestial Sphere. It consists of our Earth and material Universe, but with additional hidden dimensions called the Four Ends and Eight Corners.
- The Four Ends of the Earth are actually another way of referring to the Ultimate West, East, North, and South of Panzoasia.
- The Eight Corners of the Earth are:
- The Vault of Air, including the cloud Kingdom of the Sylphs (and other Air Elementals).
- The Underworld, or Chthon, including the subterranean Commonwealth of the Saganic Gnomes (and other Earth Elementals).
- The Eternal Sea, including the underwater Commonwealth of the Undines (and other Water Elementals).
- Fiery Purgatory, including the volcanic Kingdom of the Salamanders (and other Fire Elementals). Purgatory is also the point in the Sublunary World where the Supernal and Infernal Worlds meet, and so functions as both a way station, and place of purification, for souls and spirits on their way to other places.
- The Pillars of the Earth, a chain of mountains so vast they pierce the sky.
- Shadowland, including the gloomy cities of the Shadow People.
- The Antipodes, inhabited by the upside-down Antipodeans who express sorrow with laughter, and happiness with tears.
- The Summerland, a beautiful Otherworld of isles inhabited by both the Fairy Folk, and the souls of the Honored Ancestors who embraced harmonious Neutrality.
- The misty Ethereal Plane is coterminous with the Sublunary World. Becoming Ethereal enables rapid travel between the Ends and Corners of the Earth.
- The three Infernal Worlds are conceptually “below” the Sublunary World. They consist of:
Limbo, where the Lost Souls of the Chaotic reside. Limbo has an infinite number of Dwellings inhabited by the Daimons.
Hell, where the Damned Souls of the Evil reside. There are Seven Pits of Hell which imprison the Devils.
The Emptiness, an endless void once filled by the body of the Ultimate God. It is inhabited now only by incomprehensible things long exiled from the Cosmos, and expunged by the records of history.
Like the Supernal Worlds, the Infernal Worlds are accessible through the Astral Plane.
(The few of you who are long term readers of this blog may recognize material adapted and altered from the “Fantasy Cosmology” series I did a few years back, as well as the “Spirits of Heaven and Hell” ebook available in the Downloads section).