Eberron versus Multiverse

tetrasodium

Explorer
There's a lot here to unpack... The idea that Godzilla is Japan's Barney is so entertaining that it is a must to meditate upon. On the flipside, OTOH, that Barney is America's Godzilla is enough to make Baby Jesus™ cry.

And, no, it was Gamera that was a friend to children everywhere (IIRC).

I do love me some kaiju.
Indeed, once you start looking at it things start to break down & there is too much setting specific stuff attached that the breakdown is just painful.

As to the silly khyber is eberron's "The Abyss"... This is what is in The Abyss is & a summary of what it contains. Eberron has a different role for demons than the settings that use The Abyss... That role is so different that the word "demon" in the context of eberron includes devils as both are children of khyber, busy with other stuff, & not in need of souls for the same (if any) reasons as in settings with The Abyss. All of that combined makes it silly to suggest that Khyber contains the river of blood/river styx since those are specific lore knots tied to the workings of demons that don't fit eberron. It's made more complicated because Khyber is not well mapped & many of the well mapped layers that exist within The Abyss conflict with stand alone planes within eberron's cosmology (risia/Shavarath/etc). It's certainly not helped that the demonlord/king/prince/etc of those layers of The Abyss are deeply tied into the lore of a setting that hinges on that incompatible role for the Children of Khyber. Many of those problems are even worse if you replace The Abyss with "The Nine Hells".
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
Indeed, once you start looking at it things start to break down & there is too much setting specific stuff attached that the breakdown is just painful.

As to the silly khyber is eberron's "The Abyss"... This is what is in The Abyss is & a summary of what it contains. Eberron has a different role for demons than the settings that use The Abyss... That role is so different that the word "demon" in the context of eberron includes devils as both are children of khyber, busy with other stuff, & not in need of souls for the same (if any) reasons as in settings with The Abyss. All of that combined makes it silly to suggest that Khyber contains the river of blood/river styx since those are specific lore knots tied to the workings of demons that don't fit eberron. It's made more complicated because Khyber is not well mapped & many of the well mapped layers that exist within The Abyss conflict with stand alone planes within eberron's cosmology (risia/Shavarath/etc). It's certainly not helped that the demonlord/king/prince/etc of those layers of The Abyss are deeply tied into the lore of a setting that hinges on that incompatible role for the Children of Khyber. Many of those problems are even worse if you replace The Abyss with "The Nine Hells".
They were not talking about your idea, but your Barney, Godzilla comparison.

And Khyber is Eberron's Abyss equivalent, same with being the Underdark equivalent. It does not matter what is in the Abyss, just the broad strokes.

Abyss collection of evil demiplanes homes to nearly infinite evil that spawns new demons and abominations constantly. Home to powerful Demon Lords.

Khyber collection of evil demiplanes home to nearly infinite evil that spawns new demons and abominations constantly. Prison to powerful fiendish Overlords. Also located under the earth with many of the Underdark aberrations taking up space there.
 

gyor

Hero
You everyone is worried about how this will effect the Multiverse, but what about how this effects the multiverse?

We have a cosmology that is a hybrid between the Great Wheel cosmology and World Axis cosmology, plus FRs demiplanes,
but they found a way to sneak in Eberrons planes as well.

If you find away past Eberron's defences, you can access the Great Wheels Material Plane, Outer planes and Ethereal Plane and Astral Plane and pure Elemental Planes, and Paraelemental Planes, and Energy Planes,
but also the World Axis Elemental Chaos, Shadowfell, Feywild, and Far Realms, and 5e's Border Elemental Regions, and the Fugue Plane and other demiplanes of FR including Evermeet, but also all the planes of Eberron like Irian, Fierna, Risia, ect... All as one single D&D multiverse. Plus they might slip the Blind Eternities of MtG into this cosmolgy somewhere. This is the biggest Cosmology of any edition of D&D.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
They were not talking about your idea, but your Barney, Godzilla comparison.

And Khyber is Eberron's Abyss equivalent, same with being the Underdark equivalent. It does not matter what is in the Abyss, just the broad strokes.

Abyss collection of evil demiplanes homes to nearly infinite evil that spawns new demons and abominations constantly. Home to powerful Demon Lords.

Khyber collection of evil demiplanes home to nearly infinite evil that spawns new demons and abominations constantly. Prison to powerful fiendish Overlords. Also located under the earth with many of the Underdark aberrations taking up space there.
There are certainly similarities, but those similarities don't make it "Eberron's The Abyss" because there are too many lore baseline incompatibilities. Despite both the state of Heorgia & Europe having mountains, roads, people who give birth to babies, houses businesses, sea/air ports, train stations, cities named the following (Athens, Augusta, dublin, east dublin, geneva, helena, manchester, Monticello, scotland, vienna). It would be silly to suggest that the state of Georgia is the europe of the united states. Having lived in one of those cities & been to many of them I can assure you that the comparison is absurd.

Why is calling khyber eberron's underdark, Eberron's Abyss, & Eberron's Nine Hells so important to you?



You everyone is worried about how this will effect the Multiverse, but what about how this effects the multiverse?

We have a cosmology that is a hybrid between the Great Wheel cosmology and World Axis cosmology, plus FRs demiplanes,
but they found a way to sneak in Eberrons planes as well.

If you find away past Eberron's defences, you can access the Great Wheels Material Plane, Outer planes and Ethereal Plane and Astral Plane and pure Elemental Planes, and Paraelemental Planes, and Energy Planes,
but also the World Axis Elemental Chaos, Shadowfell, Feywild, and Far Realms, and 5e's Border Elemental Regions, and the Fugue Plane and other demiplanes of FR including Evermeet, but also all the planes of Eberron like Irian, Fierna, Risia, ect... All as one single D&D multiverse. Plus they might slip the Blind Eternities of MtG into this cosmolgy somewhere. This is the biggest Cosmology of any edition of D&D.
Eberron & its planes are walled off from the other worlds of the not so "shared" multiverse of planescape & forgotten realms by plot armor. Also walled off with their own flavors of plot armor are Ravenloft, Darksun, and maybe ravinica. Eberron having its own planar cosmology & refusal to embrace absolute morality does not changethe absolute morality & planes of FR/Planescape because they are split by a wall of plot armor. It's only the silly X in eberron is just $totallyDifferentSpecificThing from $IncompatibleSetting silliness that assumes the setting on setting violence will be entirely one sided that throws a wrench in the mix by trying to force bits of an incompatible setting through that plot armor keeping them split.

You've given a bunch of excellent reasons not to be forcing the locations, planes, & cosmology of other settings into parts of Eberron & it's incompatible cosmology just because there is minor similarity if you overlook the massive incompatibilities. When MonsterEnvy is saying that Khyber is Eberron's The Abyss, he's also saying that eberron's demon overlords daelkyr & the like are in FR's The Abyss where they have a convenient river to follow out & atrivially swayed allies not bound by prophecy. All that says nothing of how Eberron's economic powers by extension have trivial access to the new plunderable world of FR among other things. The settings are too different in too many ways for them to simply merge by saying absurd things like "Waterdeep is just FR's Regalport" & other nonsenselike Khyber or the Blackspine is just eberron/darksun's underdark/TheAbyss/etc.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
There are certainly similarities, but those similarities don't make it "Eberron's The Abyss" because there are too many lore baseline incompatibilities. Despite both the state of Heorgia & Europe having mountains, roads, people who give birth to babies, houses businesses, sea/air ports, train stations, cities named the following (Athens, Augusta, dublin, east dublin, geneva, helena, manchester, Monticello, scotland, vienna). It would be silly to suggest that the state of Georgia is the europe of the united states. Having lived in one of those cities & been to many of them I can assure you that the comparison is absurd.

Why is calling khyber eberron's underdark, Eberron's Abyss, & Eberron's Nine Hells so important to you?
I'd assume because helps them understand that it does and how to use it in a game. Khyber is a usable way to access many of the same themes and tropes that the Underdark, or Lower Planes in other settings facilitate.

I would suggest that Georgia is the United States of America's state of Georgia. Sure Georgians and Georgians don't speak the same language for the most part, but they live places named the same thing! ;)
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
Why is calling khyber eberron's underdark, Eberron's Abyss, & Eberron's Nine Hells so important to you?
I am not the one who does that, the books do. I even quoted them saying so despite you not wanting to acknowledge it. This is the Eberron Settings version of those places mixed together, to create it's own thing.
Cause I just just as easily ask why your insistence that they are not at all similar is so important to you.

Also what Lore stuff is incompatible?
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
@Beleriphon Many of those cities are pronounced very differently despite being spelled the same(Vienna & Cairo I know for a fact). If you asked for directions to them from the next town over & used the european pronounciation you are likely to get a confused "Vee-enna... Where?... do you mean Veye-anna?" As for advice & understanding on how to use them, declaring that they are something else is the opposite of that end; but will like require waiting for either Exploring Eberron, An eventual planar sourcebook from Keith, or some other publication because what little there is about khyber is spread all over... Here's a start
Of all the lands across Eberron, the one that I find most mysterious is the vast underground realm of Khyber. I have read about the Underdark of Forgotten Realms and the Darklands of Pathfinder. There is not much detail about the realms. Nothing about its terrain, lifeforms, other denizens etc. Will these be addressed in upcoming future?

Khyber is a fundamentally different place than the Underdark. Here’s a quote from the Eye on Eberron article “The Inner Sun”:

Walk through the typical cave, and you’ll find what you expect to find: slick rock, stalagmites and stalactites, molds and insects. But there is more to Khyber than mundane matter. The proper passage in Khyber can take you to the Abyss, or to the furnaces of Fernia. The Vale of the Inner Sun is a similar place, a pocket of space loosely connected to the material world. The heart of the vale is only about a hundred miles in diameter, but it’s possible that the entire place is larger than Khorvaire.

Khyber isn’t just a set of caves; it is a different layer of reality. What you find going through one passage to Khyber may be completely different from what I find down a different tunnel just a dozen miles away. In the Forgotten Realms, the Underdark is a country that happens to be under the map. Khyber has a few of those—the lost kingdom of the dwarves destroyed by the Daelkyr, the realm of the Umbragen, the home of the Kech Ghaalrac—but you could still take a fork in the road and find something entirely different.

In other words, there’s not a lot of information about the terrain and lifeforms found in Khyber because there’s an almost endless array of it. You can find the realms of the Daelkyr and their aberrant hordes. You can find the Umbragen drow. You can find devious Derro in the ruins of Noldrunhold, or the Vale of the Inner Sun. The catch is that you can’t walk from the Vale of the Inner Sun TO Noldrunhold without passing back through Eberron; the two are on different planar layers.

Essentially, as opposed to being one more country, Khyber is a sandbox that can contain whatever the story calls for. The Vale of the Inner Sun in Dragon 414 is an example of one of the realms of Khyber… but you can make one that’s entirely different.

Will there be more information released about Khyber? I’d love to write a supplement containing a number of different layers of Khyber, and expanding on the Daelkyr, the Umbragen, the lost empire, and other Khyberians we’ve already discussed. However, at the moment I’m not aware of any plans for future Eberron support, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

I am not the one who does that, the books do. I even quoted them saying so despite you not wanting to acknowledge it. This is the Eberron Settings version of those places mixed together, to create it's own thing.
Cause I just just as easily ask why your insistence that they are not at all similar is so important to you.

Also what Lore stuff is incompatible?
Regarding that bolded bit... have you not been paying attention to the discussion you've been taking part in?... The FR/"default" lore has of devils needing mortal souls to create devils & the gods are a real tangible thing that you can metaphorically call up on the phone. A huge amount of lore is rooted in the foundations of those baselines. Not only are both of those things not true in eberron's baselines where demons refers to all children of khyber including the devil subtype & neither devil/demon nor celestial needs mortal souls to create more & do not directly serve rea ltangible gods you can call up on the phone. The fact that eberron shoots absolute morality in the face while FR & the "default setting" have huge chunks of lore based on those two things is just one more example.... The same is true of the fact that eberron has its own planar cosmology that breaks down (and vice versa) when you start importing too many of the baselines & cosmology from the other. If you don't understand or don't agree with these very obvious low hanging fruit incompatible baselines you can try to argue that, but you have not made any attempts to do so & repeatedly ignored them.

The fact that the books keep reprinting that line about the underdark even though FR & salvatore have since changed the underdark into The Drow of FR in the days since 3.5 when eberron was first being designed does not change the fact that "Khyber is a fundamentally different place than the Underdark.". Nor does it excuse you trying to claim that khyber is Eberron's version of "The Abyss" when The Abyss, it's layers, & its demon lord/king/princes hinge off a different baseline set of assumptions on alignment fiends gods & more.
 

ChaosOS

Explorer
I think the difference is whether you see it as a rough comparison that you'd put in one sentence versus multi-book description. As a topline summary I'd put on a 1 page handout, Khyber as lower planes+underdark is absolutely accurate. What you're upset about @tetrasodium is the 500+ pages of lore about the lower planes being dragged into being about Khyber, which I don't think is the point. If we're spending even five pages, let alone 500, on describing Khyber, they're wildly different.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
I think the difference is whether you see it as a rough comparison that you'd put in one sentence versus multi-book description. As a topline summary I'd put on a 1 page handout, Khyber as lower planes+underdark is absolutely accurate. What you're upset about @tetrasodium is the 500+ pages of lore about the lower planes being dragged into being about Khyber, which I don't think is the point. If we're spending even five pages, let alone 500, on describing Khyber, they're wildly different.
Exactly. Were it not for the fact that the line causes people to argue bringing those "500+pages of lore" into khyber as something not only entirely justified but entirely explicitly designed to happen because so many of those pages say they apply to all worlds & all $thing it would be a complete nonissue.
 

MonsterEnvy

Adventurer
I think the difference is whether you see it as a rough comparison that you'd put in one sentence versus multi-book description. As a topline summary I'd put on a 1 page handout, Khyber as lower planes+underdark is absolutely accurate. .
This is my entire point.

I am not talking about the itty bitty details I am talking about the big picture.

Of all the lands across Eberron, the one that I find most mysterious is the vast underground realm of Khyber. I have read about the Underdark of Forgotten Realms and the Darklands of Pathfinder. There is not much detail about the realms. Nothing about its terrain, lifeforms, other denizens etc. Will these be addressed in upcoming future?

Khyber is a fundamentally different place than the Underdark. Here’s a quote from the Eye on Eberron article “The Inner Sun”:

Walk through the typical cave, and you’ll find what you expect to find: slick rock, stalagmites and stalactites, molds and insects. But there is more to Khyber than mundane matter. The proper passage in Khyber can take you to the Abyss, or to the furnaces of Fernia. The Vale of the Inner Sun is a similar place, a pocket of space loosely connected to the material world. The heart of the vale is only about a hundred miles in diameter, but it’s possible that the entire place is larger than Khorvaire.

Khyber isn’t just a set of caves; it is a different layer of reality. What you find going through one passage to Khyber may be completely different from what I find down a different tunnel just a dozen miles away. In the Forgotten Realms, the Underdark is a country that happens to be under the map. Khyber has a few of those—the lost kingdom of the dwarves destroyed by the Daelkyr, the realm of the Umbragen, the home of the Kech Ghaalrac—but you could still take a fork in the road and find something entirely different.

In other words, there’s not a lot of information about the terrain and lifeforms found in Khyber because there’s an almost endless array of it. You can find the realms of the Daelkyr and their aberrant hordes. You can find the Umbragen drow. You can find devious Derro in the ruins of Noldrunhold, or the Vale of the Inner Sun. The catch is that you can’t walk from the Vale of the Inner Sun TO Noldrunhold without passing back through Eberron; the two are on different planar layers.

Essentially, as opposed to being one more country, Khyber is a sandbox that can contain whatever the story calls for. The Vale of the Inner Sun in Dragon 414 is an example of one of the realms of Khyber… but you can make one that’s entirely different.

Will there be more information released about Khyber? I’d love to write a supplement containing a number of different layers of Khyber, and expanding on the Daelkyr, the Umbragen, the lost empire, and other Khyberians we’ve already discussed. However, at the moment I’m not aware of any plans for future Eberron support, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
Yeah this sounds like the Underdark and Abyss being mixed together. Which is ultimately all I was saying, but you took offense at it.
When MonsterEnvy is saying that Khyber is Eberron's The Abyss, he's also saying that eberron's demon overlords daelkyr & the like are in FR's The Abyss where they have a convenient river to follow out & atrivially swayed allies not bound by prophecy.
No I am not. Khyber is LIKE the Abyss and Underdark put together. But it's not the same thing.
 

Mirtek

Explorer
This is my entire point.

I am not talking about the itty bitty details I am talking about the big picture.


Yeah this sounds like the Underdark and Abyss being mixed together. Which is ultimately all I was saying, but you took offense at it.

No I am not. Khyber is LIKE the Abyss and Underdark put together. But it's not the same thing.
Coincidentally Khyber is a very good point for where Eberron could have one rare connection to the wider multiverse, maybe even the actual Abyss. E.g. if there's not demiplane in the dephts of Khyber that holds an unreliable portal to an lesser known abyssal layer.

Basically Khyber's way of messing with his sibling's barrier to shield Eberron from the rest of the planes. Maybe even a small attempt to escape from within Eberrons coils.
 

The Glen

Adventurer
* I don't know what it is in mystara... If it's the same with serial numbers filed off, then alll the more reason the actually different versions not be called the underdark. If it's different then that's more evidence for why it should have had a different name not so ladden with lore from another setting
Mystara's underground has numerous names largely because its not continuous. The most popular is the world below, but also has the broken lands and the shadow elf lands. Mechanically it was much more dangerous than the underdark because it was geologically unstable and large pockets could shift or fill with poison gas without notice. Like The shadow elves vs drow it was similar in concept but radically different past appearance in terms of actual function.
 

FaerieGodfather

Born in the Soul of Misery
When you pour every dish you make into the kitchen sink, the only flavor you get back out is dishwater.

I know D&D has had a "multiverse" since before I ever learned to play, but I wish to the great homogenized Christ that they'd stop it already. If a published setting has a cosmology of its own, stop trying to explain where it belongs in the cosmology of another published setting-- it doesn't belong anywhere.

Absolutely none of these settings benefits in any way from being shoehorned into the others.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
When you pour every dish you make into the kitchen sink, the only flavor you get back out is dishwater.
The D&D multiverse isn't a kitchen sink though. It's more like a Golden Corral Buffet.

You can just stick to the section that has fried foods. Or you can go to the section that has salads.

But if you want... you can have salad AND fried foods... and pizza, and ice cream, and prime rib.

Just like with Eberron, the inclusion of any other D&D world onto the meta multiverse in literally no way impacts those individual settings... unless you want it to.
 

FaerieGodfather

Born in the Soul of Misery
Just like with Eberron, the inclusion of any other D&D world onto the meta multiverse in literally no way impacts those individual settings... unless you want it to.
If that were true, why did WotC bend over backwards to shoehorn all of the 4e core races into every single published setting? If something is official, players expect it to be available.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
It would probaly be best just to leave that stuff in planescape products for those that want to use them. Some people just like those things and are going to use them anyway. I doubt most Eberron players that feel that way are going to play planescape anyway.
 

PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
And yet, here we are. 4e didn't try to force Eberron into some universal cosmology, but 5e is.
Like it or not, it's been this way since the very beginning. Keith himself said as much.
A few thoughts on all of this...

Eberron has always been tied to the multiverse. Page 92 of the original Eberron Campaign Setting says "Eberron spins within its own Material Plane, enfolded by three coexistent transitive planes: the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Plane of Shadow, just as in the core D&D cosmology (see Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide)." WotC stated long ago that it was officially possible for people to travel to Eberron from other settings by using those transitive planes. You may not have noticed, because it's the default assumption of the setting that no one ever does... just as page 232 of Rising From The Last War establishes that the default assumption of the book is that "contact between the worlds and planes beyond its cosmology is impossible."

The idea is there that it COULD be possible, but it has absolutely ALWAYS been there: from the very beginning, Eberron had its own unique cosmology, but that entire cosmology was still part of the broader system of astral/ethereal/shadow. This simply calls that out more clearly, in part because it allows us to clearly say "This book is based on the assumption that contact with other settings is impossible." Again, the NEW aspect of this is to clarify that if you want it to be an aspect of your campaign, you're changing the default assumptions.

Likewise, the fact that this means that Cyric and Bane exist somewhere in the universe is utterly meaningless in Eberron. This doesn't mean that "Gods definitively exist", because as others have pointed out, the people of Eberron wouldn't identify the "gods" of FR as gods. The Vassals of the Sovereign Host believe that their deities are omniscient and omnipresent. The idea of one of them taking a physical form is pointlessly limiting; that's not a GOD, it's a powerful angel or an overlord. They would view the worship of such beings as a Cult of the Dragon Below; note that the Cults do worship coherent entities such as the overlords and daelkyr. And that's the point: the overlords have always been presented as beings that have the POWER of gods in other settings, but the answer of the masses wasn't to worship them, it was to bind them in spiritual chains. So yes, Rising acknowledges that the multiverse exists (as Eberron always has) and that therefore the gods of other settings exists; this doesn't change the critical facts:
  • Those beings have no ability to influence Eberron unless you, the DM, choose to change that.
  • As the default assumption is that they cannot and have never influenced the setting, they are absolutely and entirely unknown to the people of the setting.
  • Those beings don't qualify as "gods" by the definitions used in Eberron, and the gods worshipped on Eberron do not follow their model. Eberron has always had beings that use the same rules as gods of other settings: those beings are the overlords, and rather than being worshipped, they were imprisoned.
Rising presents a clearer explanation of the principle presented on page 92 of the first Eberron book: Eberron COULD be connected to other settings if you want it to be, but the default assumption is that it's not. Beyond this, one of the core principles of Eberron is that canon is merely a starting point and that YOU decide what's true in your campaign. Ultimately, each DM decides if the Sovereigns are real, and each DM decides if Eberron is connected to the multiverse.

A few other minor points while I'm here...
  • The default assumption of Eberron is that spells such as commune don't reach the Sovereigns directly, but rather connect you to a celestial that also believes in the Sovereigns. By default - and again, it's up to the DM to decide the truth - there's no absolute proof for or against the existence of the Sovereigns.
  • The statement on Page 228 that "Some sages believe the moons are connected to the planes or are physical extensions of the planes" is 100% talking about the planes of Eberron. The sages have no concept whatsoever that there might be other planes, because the default assumption of the book is that contact with worlds and planes beyond its cosmology is impossible. The idea that the moons are tied to the planes of Eberron isn't new. There are (or were) thirteen moons and thirteen planes, and the giants specifically destroyed the thirteenth moon to sever ties with Dal Quor.
The only thing that I feel IS overstated is the statement that the Progenitors DID create the creatures of Eberron being presented as absolute fact. The rest of the book presents the idea that the Progenitors may have been metaphorical, and that is still the default assumption. The primary point of the section was to concretely say that despite default 5E stating "All orcs are tied to Gruumsh" and "All Elves are children of Corellon" that this does NOT apply to Eberron—that the elves and orcs of Eberron are part of EBERRON and have no ties to the multiverse beyond it. As others have called out, Rising does point out that the drow of Eberron were created by the GIANTS, not by Lolth OR the Progenitors. As with the Sovereigns, it's up to the DM to decide if the Progenitors truly existed, and if so, what they actually were. What's important is—just as has always been the case—Eberron is a part of the multiverse, but it is an isolated part that has its own cosmology and that has no contact with the rest of the Multiverse unless you, the DM, choose to change that.

(Oh, and since it's been a while since I've been here— Hi! I'm Keith Baker, creator of Eberron.)
Also if that isn't enough, the dragons of Argonessen worship the Draconic Pantheon of the Great Wheel in addition to the Progenitor Wyrms and the Sovereigns and Six, so that ship sailed a long time ago.
 

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