D&D Planes, Cosmology, and Welcome to the Realm of Chaos

Delving back into Nerdarchy’s homebrew campaign setting Chimes of Discordia for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, I want to talk to about some of our D&D cosmology and our Realm of Chaos or the Chaos Realm. We have this Stranger or Traveler god that either was spawned from the Realm of Chaos or created the Chaos Realm with their birth. Like many creation myths the multiverse started out as chaos. Powerful beings that would come to be known as gods came forth from somewhere else, looked upon the chaos and brought order to it. They gathered up all of the chaos and cast it out and far away. That mass of chaos condensed and built up over the ages.

D&D planes fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons D&D cosmology

Building D&D planes

Until the Stranger/Traveler was birthed from it, all around it was the Realm of Chaos. It’s not known if it was already there or if it was the afterbirth of their emergence. This being found itself confined to the Chaos Realm. Even though it’s infinite, it was also confined by barriers to hem in the chaos. Over time this being learned to slip through the barrier and make its way back to the rest of our homebrew D&D cosmology.

The Stranger found themselves disconnected from roiling chaos and felt empty and alone in the quiet. So they began seeking a way to bring the multiverse back to its original state. For this they were going to need the assistance of the other gods. The only small comfort was our Traveler is able to pull small pieces from the Chaos Realm. These would become their offspring as it shaped them into powerful beings of otherworldly beauty and alienness. They would be known as Travelers.

Whenever discovered by the other gods or powerful mortals they’d be driven back into the roiling madness that is the Realm of Chaos — but not before wreaking havoc. Civilizations have risen and fallen due to the appearance a single Traveler from the Realm of Chaos. Many horrors have been spawned upon Ulthe-Ganya for the sake of what a Traveler would consider art.

Both the dread sphere and Karceen are good examples of this. Scholars debate other possible creatures that are a result of a Traveler visit.

The Traveler/Stranger themselves are capable of pulling beings and raw pieces of the Realm of Chaos forth but the urge is mostly resisted. While the Stranger is impulsive and whimsical they are also imbued with a godlike intellect and the ability see many realms and possibilities at once. The Stranger needs to keep their true intent secret from the other gods.

They have even pulled a long con on the gods by creating imbalance and conflict upon the world of Ulthe-Ganya in secret. This trickster being showed the gods how to create pocket dimensions or D&D planes to sweep away these problems so the gods could start over with less flawed mortals.

With each new dimension created the gods would unknowingly siphon off some of the power that maintains the barrier between the Realm of Chaos and the rest of the multiverse. The Stranger just needs a few more good pushes to see his plans to fruition.

Delving deep into our D&D cosmology

fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons D&D cosmology
This fan art of Viserys Targaryen looks appropriately mad and kingly at the same time, no? [Art by deviantart creator LEPPU]
There is one god that discovered the Stranger’s plan or at least that they weren’t being completely forthright. This god was the most noble and righteous of all the gods. He began following the Stranger, planning to discern their true intent. It was on this day the Stranger faced their greatest setback.

Finally they would be able to rip open a hole in the barrier. It would be like punching a hole in a dam, blowing the whole barrier out. As this god of righteousness and nobility bore witness he had to make a snap decision. Seal the hole, or worn the rest of the gods. If he left and warned the others it would be to late.

He did only thing he could conceive in that moment. He plugged the hole and sealed the barrier, but in doing so he was forced to look upon see that which should never be seen — the infinite Realm of Chaos. Through the combination of that and plugging hole with the last vestiges of his sanity this deity gave up his identity and would forever more be known as the mad god the Beggar King.

The Stranger in a rage set upon the insane god wanting retribution for thwarting their plans. Even in his altered state the Beggar King is one of the most powerful deities and nearly killed the Stranger without even knowing he was in a battle for his life. The Beggar King’s mind is fractured and sundered. In there somewhere is still the desire to protect the weak and less fortunate. Slivers and fractures of his former mind will sometimes bubble up to the surface and be imparted to his followers. For this reason the Stranger and his mortal agents are enemies of the Beggar King and his worshippers even if they are unaware of it.

Two mighty blows were struck to the Stranger and their plan on that day. The first, by infusing the barrier with his essence the Beggar King made it stronger than it was prior to the breach. The second, by attacking the Beggar King, the Stranger was grievously wounded. He has been nursing those wounds ever since. Now the Stranger’s worst fears are the Beggar King regaining his sanity or one of his followers getting a vision or portent that will lead the other gods to their plan and treachery.

Below you can find the seeds that were planted when we first started playing fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and decided to start building out our homebrew D&D campaign setting Chimes of Discordia.

Our original video where we discuss D&D cosmology

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My name is Dave Friant I’ve been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it’s always been a part of my life I’ve kept secret and hidden away. I’ve always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth.

Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I’m gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life.

Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG’s.

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Follow Dave Friant:
My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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