The Megaversal Timeline

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.

Before Recorded Time

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 Beginning of Time

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.

The Rise of Sentient Beings

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 Rise of Humanoid Civilizations

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 large territories.)

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 humanoid playthings.

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.

The Time of Chaos on the Palladium World

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.

Prehistoric Earth

~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 civilization.

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 beings.

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.

Historic Earth

Nightbane eventually carve out a niche on Earth as the earliest known civilizations are born. The Wanderer is born.

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 imprisonment.

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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Copyright © 2002 The Metallian
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