The world of Arche – Its facets

When the Demiurge created the world with the four basic elements that it extracted from the Apeiron, it gave it a perfect tetrahedral shape.

Now, an eternity later, the world still keeps its shape, although somewhat erosioned since it disappeared.

Distinct living forms succeeded in each facet of the world, each more adapted to their environments.

  • Noah is the facet of the earth moon. It is cold and dry. Fire lies far beneath the earth, and only in some points rises forming volcanoes. There is air above the earth, and water is restricted to seas and some rivers. Noah is the facet more similar to our world, but with a cold climate all along.
  • Ignis is the facet of the fire moon. It is hot and dry. Here, fire has mixed with air. Only under earth can heat be withstood. There some few underground lakes, usually at great depths. Almost all great civilizations of this facet appeared in the colder underground tunnels and caves. The big exception was the great Trelo empire, which conquered all the facet and even reached out to Noah, and conquered it too.
  • Bris is the facet of the air moon. It is hot and wet. Floating earth islands and changing seas fly in an enormous air ocean and, in its depths, a fire abyss roars. The cultures natives to Bris have typically been very isolated, as the floating islands are impossible to leave except to some very specifically adapted creatures. Also, “gravity” in Bris is different. Things do not always fall in a direction perpendicular to the facet plane: if there is near enough a floating island or sea, things fall towards it. Bris inhabitants who have visited other facets found them strange; inhabitants of other facets who have visited Bris found it, at least, disconcerting.
  • Aquo is the facet of the water moon. It is cold and wet. A big ocean, with a few isolated islands. Rains and storms are common. And there is the Hollow. More or less in what would be the geometrical center of the facet, ocean dissappears, as if kept aside by an invisible spheric barrier. In the lower side of the sphere (up to, more or less, a quarter of its height) something has happened to water: it has transitioned towards a crystalline state distinct to ice. Under that crystal, the ocean can be seen. And above the crystal, somewhat unexpectedly, some great cultures have developed, always under the vision of huge ocean walls around them but never falling.



The world of Arche – Of trelos and humans: “Races” of the world

There are many species of living beings in the world. Biology studies and classifies them. One of the simpler taxonomies divides living beings by their number of composing basic elements. By this taxonomy, there are four classes (or domains) of living beings:

  • Elemental: Their bodies are made of only one element. Almost all the elemental kingdoms can be found in any of the world’s facets. This domain is divided in the following kingdoms, by the element:
    • Igneous: No Igneous Elemental has been found in Aquo.
    • Aereal: Uncommon in Ignis, but they can be found in all facets.
    • Earthy
    • Aqueous
  • Dual: Their bodies are made of two elements. This domain is divided in the following kingdoms, depending on the pair of forming elements:
    • Ignae: Mixes of fire and air. Specially common on Ignis surface.
    • Terrign: Earth and fire. Very common in Noah undergrounds, but found in the other facets too.
    • Ignaquo: Fire and water. Very strange, and very uncommon, beings. The few studied specimens have been found in Aquo’s Hollow.
    • Terrae: Earth and air. Very common dual beings, found in all facets.
    • Aeraquo: Air and water. Mainly found in the surface of the water zones of Noah, and through all of Bris.
    • Aquoterram: Earth and water.
  • Trion: Their bodies are made of three elements. Divided in the following kingdoms:
    • Terrignae: Earth, fire and air. Mainly found in Ignis, this kingdom stands out for containing the Trelos, builders of the greatest civilization of Ignis (and maybe of Noah).
    • Ignaeraquo: Fire, air and water. This kingdom encloses the living beings native to the crystalline surface of Aquo’s Hollow. Most of the species of this kingdom live in the depths of Bris, close to the fire abyss.
    • Aeraquoterram: Air, earth and fire. The Holls, intelligent amphibians who live through all of Aquo, belong to this kingdom.
    • Aquoterrae: Water, earth and fire. Can be found in most places of Noah.
  • Tetrio: Their bodies contains all basic elements. All the members belong to the Ignaeraquoterram kingdom. Can be found in all facets of the world. Humans belong to this domain and kingdom.

This classification does not finish at the kingdom level. After kingdom, usually comes element, that divides the kingdoms in function of the main element of the living beings. Then comes phylum, which groups them according to their internal organization. Then, class, order and family, every step grouping by shared characteristics. Finally, genus groups the more related species, and specie groups beings able to reproduce between them.

This is not the only possible classification of the living beings of the world. Some scholars consider that the elemental kingdoms do not correspond to enough real differencies, which causes confusion in the phylum, class and order levels. Some others, specially the followers of the Logy precepts, decide to completely ignore the elemental aspect and work a classification in base only to the differences observable down to the celular level. Those who follow the elemental taxonomy think that is stupid to ignore the existing knowledge about the elemental basis of the living beings. Those who follow cellular taxonomy think their results are more useful. There are some very advanced taxonomies, known only in the more advanced civilizations, that mix with great success both visions, applying an elemental taxonomy at the cellular level, and a non elemental taxonomy at higher levels of organization (save for the living beings that lack cells).

What is the world of Arche?

Like most roleplaying fans, I have had in my head several ideas to craft my own fantasy world for many, many years. Through the years these ideas have changed and evolved, and have been influenced by the great quantity of roleplaying games I have known. Now I am finally trying to round them up and work on them to actually forge a world and a roleplaying game in that world.

I call my idea Argué, Arche or Arché, but the world itself will probably be simply called “the world”. I follow certain classical Greek thinkers ideas, like those of Plato’s, Aristotle’s and Anaximandro’s, and I am heavily influenced by Alan Moore. The Arche is a mix of Plato’s and Aristotle’s world of ideas and of Moore’s idea-space.

It is a tetrahedral world created with the classical elements (fire, water, air and earth) (although I am seriously thinking about adding wood and metal). This elements are “equivalents” to our chemical elements: in the world of Arche, things really are made in diverse combinations of fire, water, air and earth atoms.

The being that created the world of Arche is the Demiurge (with upper-case). It created the world inert, but life appeared (despite its wishes) and, with time, developed a big diversity of sciences/arts/magics of distinct origins. Some of them are:

  • Demiurgy: The Demiurge gave a lesser version of its capabilities to some living beings, trying to find a solution to the increase of the imbalance. These demiurges (in lower-case) are able to control, alter and transform an elemental pair, usually two opposed elements, simply with their will.
  • Taumaturgy: Many living beings envied the powers of the demiurges, and were finally able to access it and create miraculous acts using the same rules that the Demiurge set up when it created the world.
  • Logy: There were living beings who preferred to get away from the powers gifted by an unknown entity as the Demiurge, and decided to create their own science studying the world from the ground up, and not from the Demiurge down.
  • Demonology: The study of beings similar to the Demiurge, and how to benefit from them. A hybrid art that employs knowledge from both taumaturgy and logy.
  • Epistemology: Not only studying knowledge itself, but the Arche as well.
  • Archelogy: Archelogists use epistemologic knowledge to explore the Arche looking for ideas and even trying to change aspects of the world by changing their “true forms”.
  • Rhetoric: Appeared in opposition to the dominance of the taumaturgy and the logy, rhetoric is the mastery of words to convince and affect others.

The living beings of the world of Arche are very diverse. There are beings made of only one element, like fire, air, water or earth elementals, that incarnate the main physical and metaphysical characteristics of their elements. There are also living beings of two, three and four elements, in diverse combinations and proportions. Not all living beings are equally sentient and/or intelligent.

These are the big basic traits that this world has had in my head all these years. Now we have to see how they evolve with their writing down.