The SG&K Cosmology
Potential Spoilerish Material Ahead (1.1 Changes)
There are not real plot spoilers, but the information about the SG&K Cosmology does have spoilerish information on how the magic of my novel universes actually works. There are a number of deliberately included erroneous assumptions on the parts of a number of characters in my novels, and because of what the characters believe, information that I have here will contradict some things that are stated as "FACT" in my novels.
Continue reading at your own risk.
The Origins of the SG&K Cosmology
At times, I have been asked about the magic system behind my writing. have explained parts of it, but never given a full write-up of the system. Recently, a few readers asked me to include information within my novels, and this will be it. I will go back and add this to my already released novel, but it will not be immediately. I have quite a bit of data associated with the SG&K Cosmology. Some of it, I will publish over time, and some of it, I will never publish. As I add to the information in this Appendix, I will update the Revision above from its starting point of 1.0.
What is the origin of SG&K Cosmology? It all started as a custom set of rules for Paper & Pencil roleplaying games. The origins go back to the first half of the 1990s. While working on a couple of campaigns under their existing rule sets, a friend and I felt extremely constrained. Even the rule systems that were supposed to be open were extremely constraining. As a result, we started to put together our own game system and incorporated a cosmology that we could use to explain it and all game universes.
What is the meaning SG&K? SG&K is an abbreviation for Soul of Goodness and Kindness. The term goes back to the early 1990s, and it actually originated as a joke in a game. I and the other person behind the SG&K Cosmology were playing, and Amber Diceless Roleplaying campaign. We got into a whole shit storm of trouble in the City of Amber. We did not start it, but we finished it in grand style, wrecking a series of bars. When we were caught, one of us honestly said that we did not start anything; we just finished it. The other chimed in that we were 'Souls of Goodness and Kindness', to which the first agreed, and we spent the next several minutes explaining how Souls of Goodness and Kindness act. Just as a note, there was not much 'good' or 'kind' about it.
After that incident, the other players in our gaming group sarcastically called us the Souls of Goodness and Kindness, and we proudly used the name for ourselves. A bit later, when we started to create our own custom rule system, I started calling it the SG&K System as a joke name, and over nearly twenty years, it evolved into the SG&K Cosmology that I used when I started writing.
So in the end, underlying all of my books, I have a Paper & Pencil roleplaying rule set that I used to model my worlds.
The SG&K Cosmology is mine. It is what it is. This is a very basic description of the SG&K Cosmology, and it will not contain any of the underlying mechanics. I will probably never publish it in its entirety, but you can see parts of the mechanics reflected in the Circles of Coalescence.
As you can do with any game system, philosophy, or what have you, you can pick apart the SG&K Cosmology and try to point out flaws should you choose to. If you are the type of person that wants to pick apart my work and nitpick on what you see as the flaws, I am really not interested in arguing about it with you. There will be things in this description of the SG&K Cosmology that are vague. I may or may not go into more detail in future revision.
The SG&K Cosmology is a living thing. After more than a quarter century, we, the Souls of Goodness and Kindness, still discuss and play around with ways to evolve or improve it. After all, it is at its core a game system, and no game system is ever perfect, no matter what certain arrogant assholes may want to claim.
The Primal Powers
There are four and only four Primal Powers. They existed before anything else, and they will exist after everything else is destroyed. Each Primal Power is an infinite sea of single expression of a single concept. Each of the Primal Powers is completely inimical to anything and everything else.
Each Primal Power wants to make all things that is not itself into itself. The Primal Powers do not have consciousness in a form that humans or any other life form can understand, but each one does have an absolute purpose to be the only thing in existence.
Where each Primal Power comes into contact with another Primal Power or one of the Metaverses, there is borderland of constant destruction, as each Primal Power tries to consume what it is in contact with. The size of these borderlands reach universe level scales, and within them worlds and Realms, which I will explain later, form that have life, or unlife, that is tied to one of both of the Primal Powers at that borderland. These beings are the ultimate source of supernatural existences like Devils, Demons, Angel, Daevas, Asuras, etc., but they are not the source of gods. So-called gods are something different.
The Primal Powers can be divided into two sets that are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Light and Dark
Light, or The Light, and Dark, or The Dark are one set of opposed Primals.
Light is can be thought of as a pure expression of a form of illumination that will burn anything and everything to ash and burn the ash into Light.
Dark is the complete elimination of light in the form of absolute corruption. Everything it touches will be rotted into a sea of corruption from which nothing can ever rise again.
Order and Chaos
Order and Chaos are the second pair of opposed Primals.
Order is Law. Everything will be forced to follow the rules and Laws created by Order. In its ultimate expression, Order is absolute and unchanging to the point that nothing at all exists.
Chaos is constant and never-ending change. Everything is possible, and almost nothing is permanent. It can be seen as a form of corruption, but at it is core, it is all possibilities and no possibilities. It is paradox. It is insanity. It is Chaos.
Life and Death
Without Life and Death, there would be nothing but the constant conflict of the Primal Powers.
There are actually two Lifes and two Deaths. The first Life and Death came into existence because they chose to. Yes, they chose to come into existence from nothing. Is this a logical contradiction? Yes. You don't like it? Tough.
Life and Death can be considered Powers on the level of the Primal Powers, but they are not Primal Powers. They are Life and Death.
The First Life and Death
At a point where all four Primal Powers were in conflict, Life and Death came into existence because they chose to. Brother and Sister. Husband and Wife. Allies and Enemies. They are the source of all existence as we know it. From their will the Metaverse was born, the First Metaverse that is.
Life and Death have two forms. One is Human and the other is Dragon. Because Life and Death have a natural Human form, somewhere in every universe, in every multiverse, in the First Metaverse, Humans will always come into existence. Yeah, you guessed it, we are created in the image of Life and Death.
Our Earth is just one tiny, little, pissant flyspeck of a world, in one tiny, little, pissant flyspeck of a universe in the First Metaverse. Or maybe it is the Second Metaverse. There are many copies of our Earth in many universes in both Metaverses, after all.
In the early part of the existence of the First Metaverse, there were Avatars of Death and Children of Life, who were born among the various Human races in the infinite universes. They were the chosen representatives, the weapons, the antibodies, of Life and Death. They were used and abused to fight the incursions of the Primal Powers. Their very lives were cursed and tragic existences. Their deaths could be seen as a release from suffering.
Shit happened, and they aren't around anymore, but that is a story in and of itself.
The Second Life and Death
Way, way, way back in the early existence of the First Metaverse, the Second Life and Death were born. They went through really bad shit and eventually became a new Life and Death. They left the First Metaverse and created the Second Metaverse. Their story is part and parcel of why there are no more Avatars of Death and Children of Life.
Trinity and the Trinity
Trinity is an Elemental (explained further down) level Power that comes directly from Life and Death.
The Trinity refers to Mana, Psi, and Ki, which are the three sub-Powers that can be extracted from Trinity itself. They are Amalgamate (also explained further down) level Powers.
Elemental Powers come in two broad flavors.
The first flavor is what you can think of as the 'hard' Elements. Those are Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and their sub-Elements such as Metal, Wood, Electricity, Mud, Steam, etc.
The second flavor is Spirit, Void, and the Ideas or Concepts that arise from the two. These are things like Love, Hate, Fear, Compassion, War, Peace, Killing, Murder, Healing, Swordsmanship, Conquest, etc.
Elemental Power and Name or NAME are sort-of interchangeable terms. A Name or NAME is just that, the name of something, but it is a single sound that embodies the Concept and Idea of what it describes. To speak a Name, is more or less to use an Elemental Power. Think of it as Words of Power in a fantasy setting. Names and NAMES are dangerous things.
The Amalgamate Realms are the parts of the Metaverse where worlds like our Earth and most fantasy and science fiction worlds exist. They are a watered down composite that arises from the interaction of all the Elemental Powers. Nothing is pure. Nothing is Elemental. Everything has Amalgamated into a mass Power. It is often referred to as Essence, but Essence is really the Amalgamate mass combined with Trinity.
Essence varies from universe to universe. Pure Essence is Trinity bound with the complete Amalgamate glop that is the core building material for that universe.
Essence comes in as many flavors as there are Elemental Powers and combinations of Elemental Powers, but when referred to simply as Essence, it means the whole conglomerated mass. Essence can also be heavily tied to a specific Elemental Power, such as Fire Essence.
You can also have Mana Essence, Psi Essence, and Ki Essence, which are the individual parts of Trinity tied to the Amalgamated glop of the blend of Elemental Powers that makes up a particular universe.
The Structures of the Metaverses
The First Metaverse exists with Life and Death, and their respective Realms, at the very center. Everything else grows outward. The Elemental Realms cluster around the Realms of Life and Death. The Amalgamate Realms spread outward from there.
The Second Metaverse was deliberately created with the Amalgamate Realms in the center. The Elemental Realms, which are obviously much stronger surround the Amalgamate Realms. As for Life and Death, no one really knows where their Realms are, or if they even Realms of their own.
What is a realm? A Realm is basically a universe or third-par sub-universe, but the Name Realm itself is an Elemental Concept.
Each universe, this includes Elemental Realms and the First Metaverse Realms of Life and Death, consists of three sub-Realms. So a 'universe' could really be called a 'triverse'. The sub-Realms are the Realms of the Body, Mind, and Soul. There are places in my books where I used other names for the three, but basically, they amount the physical, mental, and soul, there is really no other name for it. Just as a note, the Soul is where emotion actually exists.
The High Men (1.1 Changes)
The High Men are the direct children of Life and Death in the Second Metaverse and their descendants. In the dawn of the Second Metaverse, as people always do, they had friends and enemies, fought, built nations, destroyed nations, and left their stories and legend behind for future generations.
At birth, the early generations of the High Men were already Transcendent beings with nominally infinite lifespans, but over the hundreds of trillions of years that have passed in the universes of the Second Metaverse, all the members of the early generations have disappeared. There are still races with traces of High Man blood that still call themselves High Men, but none of those surviving remnants have a clue as to what the original High Men were.
While they did not see themselves as "gods", many of the original High Men are the templates of many of the gods and pantheons that have been come and gone among the near infinite universes of the Second Metaverse. Many of the "gods" that appear or will appear in my novels are beings that are imitations or recreations of the High Men.
For now, this is about it. Like I said at the beginning, this is a very basic description. I will expand or revise this at times as I write more books, but I'm not about to commit any schedule on that. I will add to this write-up as I feel the need to. When you see me release a book with a new Revision number for this appendix, you'll know that the content has been updated.