Origin of the Planes
There has been much discussion as to the nature of the outer planes already done in the Manual of the Planes, which is largely correct in terms of assumptions and assertions concerning the organization and nature of the divisions and placement of the planes. So, here we will discuss only briefly the Variable String concept to the origin and sustaining of our existence; that string being the impetus for our gods to take action in this part of our universe and create the heavens and the earth we know so well.
The Variable String
It is said there is a strand of pure energy, full of all the potential of life and death, of matter and flux, and of all the elemental and magical power that can be reached, streaming like a great spinning storm through the eternities. This so-called Variable String is said to have crossed through the outer, inner, and material planes many times and brought in its wake great changes. Sometimes, changes are easily contributed to the presence of this vast flow of energy. More often, though, far subtler alterations or correlations occur. The subtlest of these is known by very few learned and ancient scholars: the string returns to certain places more often than any other. Our gods, in their earliest eons, became aware of the Variable String and saw in the heavens a place where the string often came to rest. Knowing the string would return often to provide energy, they determined to undertake their greatest projects in that place of power. What great thing did the gods determine to do? To incorporate themselves in the heavens and bear children to carry in their arms. They determined to create us. When the string passed their home far away, they organized the outer planes around this place of power and began to infuse its energies into their great undertaking. They established the eternal order of their new homes in the outer planes around the vast astral cloud where the string came often. Within the flowing astral, they established a place where sentience could begin to take hold and where the spirits of their children could dwell. This, they called the ethereal plane, a cloud within a cloud. Then, coexistent with the ethereal, in a manner that cannot possibly be understood by mortal minds, they created the material plane from combinations of pure elemental matter, a place where the spirits could inhabit physical bodies and interact. This physical world we call Arat’, the hearth of our people and the home of our raising, was created in the expanse of the inner heavens, just one of many celestial bodies that is home to each god and ancestor. This world is the heart of our gods’ great labors, the focus of their effort and energy, and (according to certain studied masters of ancient knowledge) the source of their eternal power. For the effort and connection that they establish in this core of energy deposited by the great Variable String, they are imbued with great power. Thus, the old phrase: “The great gods do love us as their creations, but also as the source of their own continued existence.” So, in this droplet along the path of the string, the gods have come to build a great project and great power and we owe them our very beings. Even so, they are ever grateful to have us as their children and followers.
Droplets & Streams
One might ask, then: if we are but a droplet along the vast strand of the Variable String, could there be other such droplets? Indeed, from the studies and travels of arcanists and philosophers, a plethora of other worlds within our solar system, our material plane and perhaps even other material planes have been touched, seen, and even visited. In fact, within our very own stellar cloud, we find that there are homes for angels and devils, archons and demons, as well as other strange races and people most of us will never know. These are other children of the gods that serve for them the same purpose as we, in their own way. The other supposed distant droplets are not all known by a name or in detail, but can be accessed, it is said, by following the unseen streams left by the string on its last visit to our own. Strange things have come to us by these streams, but few of them take hold here. We are an island in the sea of the eternal void, though there is so much to our own island that we rarely see beyond our own shores.