I wanted to make the Megaverse internally consistent for the Nightbane game I ran back in 1999-2000, especially since
"The Dark" and the possibility of an equal and opposite
"The Light" makes a lot about what we know of The Old
Ones and other important things in the Palladium Megaverse a bit
more confusing. Here's a rough timeline of the Megaverse,
primarily as it relates to Nightbane, though by necessity it
brings in a lot of stuff from Rifts and the Palladium Fantasy
RPG. Bear in mind that almost all of this is pure speculation on
my part, and very little of what you see here is
"official," especially the various links to Atlantis.
(Unless the folks at Palladium decide they like it and make it
official...) I'm too lazy to type it up in nice prose and assign
specific dates, but at least this way it's short. See the legal
notices at the bottom, since essentially everything mentioned
here is the property of Palladium Books, I only constructed an
interpretation of how it fits together.
The Light is the ultimate force of good and
creation, The Dark is the ultimate force of evil and destruction.
They constantly work in cycles, the Light creating Megaverses,
The Dark eventually consuming them.
The previous Megaverse is in its last
days...the most highly evolved and powerful beings in this
Megaverse are The Great Old Ones.
The previous Megaverse collapses, thanks to The
Dark. The Great Old Ones somehow figure out a way to survive the
destruction of reality. (Think of Galactus from Marvel comics,
same basic idea.)
The Light creates the new Megaverse, and
imprisons The Dark so it cannot act directly. Its dimensional
prison is the Nightlands. The Light chooses not to intervene
directly in human affairs except in times of extreme crisis,
because it believes in free will.
The Great Old Ones spend eons adapting to this
new Megaverse, with its very different physics and laws of
reality. Magic is invented as a means for them to better interact
with their surroundings.
As various life forms evolve throughout the
Megaverse (Including Dragons, one of the earliest species to
evolve, and The First Race from Phase World), the Great Old Ones
spawn various offspring to better interact with this new reality
and its new beings. The most powerful Alien Intelligences are
created this way. Because they are created within the new
Megaverse, they are less powerful and a little less
"removed" from this reality than their creators.
The earliest ancestors of the Splugorth are
created. They will eventually degrade (by Old One's standards)
and become much more like mortals...concerned with material
wealth and power.
The Great Old Ones take special interest in the
Palladium world, as it is in a small pocket dimension. They
become fascinated by humanoids, and realize that, for some
reason, they are the most adaptable beings in the Megaverse.
(NOTE: This explains why humans and humanoids are everywhere and
seem to run the show, and why most vastly powerful non-humanoids
have so many weird hang-ups and problems that they can't dominate
The Great Old Ones and/or their spawn create
the entities regarded as "gods" to interact with and
generally bother humanoids. However, they prove too free-willed
and powerful for the Great Old Ones' liking. Some even turn
against them and become "good."
Demons and demonic beings are created by The
Great Old Ones and/or their spawn. Their spawn probably also
create many lesser beings considered to be supernatural evil.
Evil is thoroughly encoded into these beings, they are also
generally weaker and less willful than the "gods."
The Light does not like to intervene directly
in Megaversal affairs, but decides that since The Great Old Ones
do not belong in this Megaverse, it needs to give its native
beings a fighting chance against them. Angels are created and
given humanoid forms based upon the "elements"
considered the most important to the lives of humanoids. Air,
Fire, Water, and Earth. The Seraph/Seraphim are considered the
chief amongst these angels, since the discovery of fire is what
first gave most land-dwelling humanoids an edge over the beasts.
An additional type of angel is created, Angels of Spirit. These
are the most "humanoid" because they have a connection
to the humanoid spirit/mind/consciousness. They are meant to
communicate and interact with mortals, and hence have more free
will and independence.
Vampire Intelligences are created to cause
suffering to humanoids on the Palladium world and worlds like it.
The Great Old Ones give them stupid weaknesses to insure that
they will not completely overrun everything and deprive them of
A Great Old One or perhaps merely a spawn of
the Great Old Ones, named Ashmedai, falls victim to an
experimental power circle and is split into many tiny essence
fragments. They become inferior, "earthly," independent
beings, unable to reform and reclaim their lost power.
Xy falls victim to another power circle, which
turns him into the god Thoth.
With the help of angels, dragons, and gods,
beings on the Palldium world seal the Great Old Ones in mystic
slumber, and imprison them in the bowels of the Megaverse. The
weaker spawn of the Great Old Ones are too numerous and
insignificant to be included, but the Ashmedai are collectively
imprisoned because they were once an Old One. Unfortunately,
because they occupy such a nebulous area between Old One and
non-Old One, their prison is the weakest of them all.
The Angels of Spirit, intoxicated with power,
decide to become the new masters of mortals, now that The Great
Old Ones are out of the way. They feel that mortal beings owe
them for their help against the Great Old Ones and become
selifsh, cruel, and power-mad. As they have more free will and
independence than the other angels, their evil ways are
sufficient to change the basic nature of these beings of Light
and they become the Necrophim. The Light is apalled at this. and
since it created them, it arbitrarily banishes them to an astral
prison. (It couldn't bear to destroy its own children.) The Light
returns to its original policy of non-interference, leaving the
remaining good angels to their own devices.
Meanwhile, in The Nightlands, life has evolved.
Because of the magical nature of the Nightlands and its role as
dimensional prison for The Dark, these beings are extremely
adaptable and have natural defenses/offenses against The Dark.
Thus, the Formless Ones are born.
~25,000 years ago: On Earth, the first major
human civilization rises in Atlantis. They discover magic and
develop many wonders, as chronicled in Rifts: Atlantis. (I chose
25,000 instead of my first guess of 14,000 because in the
Nightlands book come Lost Race ruins are dated as being over
20,000 years old...)
The Atlantean dimensional crisis wreaks havoc
upon the world and the Earth is somehow brought
"closer" to the Nightlands as a result. The bizarre
connection and correspondence between the two begins here.
Vampire Intelligences and a few mythological beings, including
werewolves, are brought to Earth as well.
~21,000 years ago: Atlantis vanishes.
Some surviving Atlanteans scatter across the
globe, helping other struggling humans and teaching them various
things. Nothing they do can compare to Atlantis, but they do
learn to build nonmagical (?) pyramids in memory of this lost
Other surviving Atlanteans travel to a distant
dimension and a planet virtually devoid of magic energy. They
develop a highly technological culture, and eventually give birth
to The Mechanoids.
A relatively large group of Atlanteans end up
in The Nightlands, where they become known as The Lost Race. They
decide to stay there despite the darkness because the magic
energy is fairly strong and they are able to rebuild their
civilization more easily. The dark land also seems like an
appropriate place to do penance for their grand mistake.
~10,000 years ago: A new civilization rises,
and quickly gives birth to Molek and his ilk. Molek, for unknown
reasons, somehow manages to "get through" to The Dark
and becomes warped by its energies. He becomes a living emissary
of The Dark, the ultimate evil/destructive force. He brings
others into his cult, and the Baa'l are born.
The Light does not want to become involved
directly...it has become more firmly convinced of this since the
incident with the Necrophim. It does not want to rely too
strongly on the angels, because it is afraid of a repeat of that
incident. However, it cannot bear for The Dark to run unchecked.
The Light realizes that The Dark is merely giving power to those
who contact it, and using its power through them. It decides that
the humans should merely be given the tools to help themselves,
and creates The Guardians, who, despite their power, are
basically humans and not artificial constructs. The Angels are
not informed of this, having had no contact with The Light for so
long, but can sense the energies of The Light within these
A big war erupts, and civilization is
destroyed, but the Nightlords are banished to the Nightlands and
are trapped there. They have a war with the Lost Race, which they
win, and then beat on the Formless Ones. Many of the last
surviving Formless Ones and Lost Race members merge, (Magically
or "the natural way"? Who knows?) and become
Nightbane!!! They then escape to Earth. A few "pure"
Formless Ones still exist as Reshapers, some "pure"
members of the Lost Race may exist as well. The life essences or
blood of the defeated Formless Ones, and the evil energies of The
Dark are used in all sorts of arcane and alchemical ways to
create the various evil minions. (Thus leading to the myths that
they were enslaved or bound into evil forms.) The early human
civilizations, utterly destroyed by the war, must begin again as
the ancient civilizations we all know from history.
Nightbane eventually carve out a niche on Earth
as the earliest known civilizations are born. The Wanderer is
The Nightlords discover the prison of Ashmedai
and offer a deal, "Serve us and become whole again."
They take it. Of course, the Nightlords have no intention of
fulfilling their end of the bargain, but even the more skeptical
Ashmedai don't particularly mind, since anyhting is better than
The Nightlords free the Necrophim, and the
majority feel beholden to them and serve them, especially since
The Dark severed the connection with the Light that would
normally allow it to arbitrarily dispel or imprison them.
The Nightlords encounter the Namtar and they
become minions as well. (Here's a tentative origin story for the
Namtar...I haven't quite decided if I want to use it yet: The
Namtar were a spacefaring race of genocidal insects, well-known
as cold and clinical butchers. Because they developed the ability
to create fake bodies early in their evolution, they were very
versatile beings and excellent spies. The information they gained
on other races allowed the Namtar to slaughter them more
efficiently. Eventually their crimes caught up to them and a
coalition of many races came together to fight the Namtar. The
Namtar were almost hunted to extinction themselves. Eventually,
only a few ships worth of Namtar were left, so they paid a mage
to open a dimensional portal through which they could escape.
This mage did not want to see any race, not even the Namtar,
wiped out completely, so he agreed. However, he also realized
that the Namtar and their technology were too dangerous to be set
lose on some unsuspecting dimension. This mage was vaguely
familiar with the Nighlands, so he knew it was ruled by evil
beings and that they had erected a protective barrier
around it that prevented non-living material from being
transported to it. Therfore, he opened a massive portal to the
Nightlands in space. The ships flew through it, and were
immediately disintegrated when they reached the Nightlands. Many
Namtar were killed, but a significant number survived to be
discovered by the Nightlords. The Namtar, deprived of their
technology and everything else, realized that their best bet for
survival was to ally themselves with the Nightlords. The
Nightlords realized that the Namtar's ability to create
"Hollow Men" was very useful, and kept them on as
minions. Fortunately for Earth, their exile to the Nightlands has
caused them to lose almost all of their technological savy.)
1895 AD: A horde of demons invades the
Nightlands, as the demons feel the Nightlords are upstarts. They
are soundly defeated.
March 6, 2000 AD, 6:02am EST: Dark Day.
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