NEPA Known World
The Five Spheres
The multiverse-the combination of all known planes-is made up of five ingredients: Matter, Energy, Time, Thought and Entropy. These are the five Spheres of Power.
A Sphere is not the same as a plane. A Sphere of Power does not exist as a place; characters can never go to the” Sphere of Matter,” for example.
Instead, a Sphere is an ingredient. Every plane is made up of all five Spheres of Power, but each plane contains a different balance. Planes that have a high proportion of Energy tend to be more magical than those dominated by Matter, planes dominated by Time more orderly than those with a large component of Thought in their make-up, with any area that comes under Entropy’s sway soon crumbling into decay.
The Sphere of Matter is closely related to the element of earth. Its purpose is to withstand destruction and decay. This sphere stands for sturdiness and stability. Matter is the building block of all things. Rich in variety, Matter is easily mutable to any form. Matter is opposed to Time’s efforts to cause change and provides Thought with existing order.
The Sphere of Energy is closely related to the element of fire. Its purpose is to create more energy and activity. Energy is dynamic and highly active. It seeks to alter and transform things, consuming Matter, speeding up Time, and exciting Thought to release more energy. Highly temperamental, Energy is also very creative, channeling magical energies to bring new things into being. Energy is opposed to Thought’s efforts to control it and seeks to transform Matter at the highest possible level despite the ravages of Time.
The Sphere of Time is closelyrelated to the element of water. Its purpose is to promote change in all things while remaining unchanging itself and to maintain the flow of time. Time is everywhere, ebbing and flowing, recycling the lessons of the past to remind the present. It is a creative, shaping force causing change through aging and rebirth. Time is opposed to Matter’s efforts to withstand change, consumes Energy over time, and teaches Thought the lessons of history.
The Sphere of Thought is closely related to the element of air. Its purpose is to understand all of existence and to make all other Spheres its tools. Thought is the very essence of self-consciousness. It is realization, philosophy, and understanding. Thought seeks to analyze and understand everything in order to manipulate the other powers of the multiverse. Thought opposes the chaotic excesses of Energy and attempts to gain control of Time to create form and order in Matter.
The Sphere of Entropy is not related to any element. Entropy is the weakening of the fabric of the multiverse: rot, weathering, disintegration. It seeks to bring all things to a stop, causing oblivion. Its purpose is the ultimate destruction of the multiverse. The four other Spheres of Power oppose Entropy but cannot destroy it, since to do so would unbalance reality and bring about their own destruction as well. At the same time, Entropy itself can not exist without the presence of the other Powers, so it seeks first to subjugate before bringing about oblivion. Entropy seeks to destroy Matter, dissipate Energy, stagnate Time, and stifle Thought.
The multiverse is best served when there is balance between the Spheres of Power. If one Sphere should ever gain an overwhelming dominance over the others, all would suffer, for balance between all the Spheres is necessary for harmony. Thus, while each Sphere constantly strives to advance and grow, the other Spheres try to maintain the balance by retarding or countering an opposing Sphere’s growth.
Spheres and the Immortals
Each Sphere is a source of power. Every Immortal is a servant of one, and only one, Sphere. In order for a character to become an Immortal, he or she must first gain the patronage of an existing Immortal. That Immortal is the servant of one specific Sphere, and if the character attains Immortality he or she will become a servant of that same Sphere.
Immortals belonging to the same Sphere have a common interest-the preservation and advancement of their Sphere. But they’re not a tightly-knit team of co-workers. In life, they belonged to different species, different character classes, different alignments. They’ll work together for the benefit of their Sphere, but they may be simultaneously plotting against one another for the advancement of personal plots and private interests.