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"Material abundance without character is the path of destruction." - Thomas Jefferson

"A man's character is his fate" - Heraclitus, On the Universe, Fragment 121

“Let's explore. If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we will find something new.” -Voltaire

“Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall, Line 181-2

"A character is defined by the kinds of challenges he cannot walk away from. And by those he has walked away from that cause him remorse." - Arthur Miller

The underground roads | Are, as the dead prefer them, | Always tortuous. ~ W. H. Auden

envoy: c.1660, from Fr. envoyé "messenger," lit. "one sent," from L. in "on" + via "road." The same word was borrowed in M.E. to mean "a stanza of a poem sending it off to find readers" (late 14c.).

Hovea Pwca: A Welsh term indicating a hoax perpetrated by a hob-goblin or will o' the wisp called a Pwca

The pessimism of the mind and the optimism of the will. ~ Antonio Gramsci

Same shit, different shovel

When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue on her seat again. ~ Bhagavad Ghita

The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone, by questioning the society's values, can force it to change. ~Samuel Delaney

Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made - through disobedience and through rebellion. ~ Oscar Wilde

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. ~Lao Tzu

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~Jerry Garcia

Myriad Mnemonics

jennahamilton: you cant show me movies and television shows about ghosts and zombie apocalypses while giving me books with adventures featuring heroes fighting for the sake of the world and tales of demigods and wizards and then expect me to be content living in a world where you work at a job five days a week and come home at night to do it all over again until you die

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! In the interest of clarity - and sanity - the rest of this movie will not be in Polish!

It's so picaresque.

Myriad Minions: As if Dickens had written the Tales of the Arabian Nights.

"What's the venture?"

Aventuras quaerare: Literally, 'seeking adventures'.

Being a compendium of details and generalities on the grand refuge of the Myriad worlds.

  • Thaumata = Wonders
  • Theamata = Things to see
  • Mirabilis Incognita = Unknown Wonders

Project goals:

  • Build a sandbox: make a place with plenty of room to play.
    • options: RPG, CRPG, Fiction, Crafts
  • Don't throw away the toys you like just to make it more accessible.


Ours is not the only earth --there is another, a sister, a brother. It is known as Goetia, and it goes another way, not content to dwell in a staid physical universe. At it's core is a being of incomprehensible power, a being that is the source of all magic. Putting a name to the ineffable, it is called the Myriad, the Magos, and everything that is in the world grows from it, owes existence to it. And the creatures of the world nurture it in turn. Or claim too. Most exploit it, as all power is, now and forever. And none more so than mankind. The great sorcerers commune with the Magos through the auspices of their eidolons, and remake the world to their wont.

Although this can be said to be their world, this is not their story. This is the story of the workers, the menials, the minions, the underlings. Especially the underlings.

Starting Over

A gentle reminder that there exists a Starting Over page.





  • Sorcerers
  • Wizards
  • Plunder Barons
  • Heroes
  • Kings








Appendix N

Genres and Tropes






  • Simplify!
    • Sorcerers summon imps to fill their coffers to feed their Eidolons so that they might grow in power.
    • Power is the ability to make what you will become real.
  • Is normal armor useless in a world of ubiquitous magic?
    • Depends on minions carrying wands or other artillery.
    • Armor becomes less useful in proportion to how easily it is bypassed.
    • Magic armor shouldn't depend on material: cloth as good as steel if it's basically a force field.


  • Development Strategy: Come up with the story first, and see how much you have to change what you have already in order to accommodate it.
    • If it's a lot, then you'll have to plot out the rest of your stories as well. At least as far as the set pieces go
  • Portals: IF they exist at might be necessary to prepare oneself for a journey before entering. Including eating. The person so transported is apparently subjected to the hardships of a journey. It might take days. Could be exposed to extremes of temperature and weather. Could have something to do with the Thousand Year Road; traveling byways. Almost certainly, no one is certain where one passes through between here and there.

To Do

See Arabian Nights
See Constructed World and Magical Land on TVTropes
See also Tolkien's views on what he called the Secondary World and Mythopoeia
See also The Wood Beyond the World as the credited originator of the Secondary World concept
See The World of Fantasy by Peter Wilkin
  • Recommended YA SFF novels
  • Great post on YA in SFF
  • Read your World Building section on the Reference page.
  • Read up on The Eleusinian Mysteries
  • Read up on the Greek Dark Ages for info on the founding of various [countries --are they countries?]
    • Governments need to be tinged with magic as well --the seeming by-products of their dependence on the sorcerers
  • Read up on the Primeval gods of Greek mythology
  • Read up on the concept of Culture of Honor
  • Read up on Dungeon Keeper and Overlord pc games
  • Read TV Tropes Forgotten Realms page
  • Create page for Glossary: (eliminate contents box; create alphabet links at top)
  • Page for Tower: to contain all associated notes; possibly just a section of Sorcerer page
  • Page for Stories?: Side stories that hve nothing to do with the main plot but are just side stories
    • i.e. The story of the twitterpated master of of an Ostrecht domain who holds a Rite of Seizure every five months (if ten month calendar). Adepts can't wrest control away from him. Frustrated, the adept apparent attempts assassination, trusting that the Eidolon is addled too, (and perhaps trusting in an old legend from the apocrypha with similar circumstances). Attempt fails, and adept eaten by avatar. Accomplice adepts flee to neighboring sorcerer who master-minded plot. He places them in pocket domain (similar/same as cube (6 x pocket domain)) Avatar appears (or heard but not seen) in the window of their hideout that night and burps up assassin-adept. Shades of Chun the Unavoidable.
  • Page for Mythology: Avatars, Magos, Oceanos, Selene, Hecate, Onsundran, Empty Alcove, Immortals, etc.
    • Avatar of the Magos (from the Poein): The story of the coming/creation of the minions, in which an Avatar (possibly Nemesis) appears [after a war of the underlings?|summoned by fallen underling?] and says "All these beings are your wards, in your service but not your slaves. Heed well my words, or feel full my wrath." Results in the Pacts (which closes with an agreement not to invoke the Nemesis against the Sorcerer).
  • Give the Lorewards some thought


  • garrison, billet, barracks: just some options for where the minions are quartered
  • The Parliament of Cowls
    • The sorcerer's governing body
    • Synod, while used by ecclesiastics, is of Greek origin and means meeting
  • Incantations
    • Ichthiot Balduzidor Thot
  • Lancers as Myriad version of knights or U.S. Cavalry
    • Cavalier also has its appeal; particularly to compliment the musketeer underlings of Ostrecht.
  • Bothros: pit
  • Megaron: sunken chamber
  • Torpor: induced in eidolons to diminish their influence on their own domains.
  • Domain, Demeine, Demesne; Enclave; Bailiwick; Estate
    • Bailiwick has sorcerers as custodians or stewards of the Eidolon's estate
  • Legacy: the (often quite dangerous) crap a dead sorcerer leaves behind.
  • Counts have Palaces not castles? Manors?
    • Argument for castles is in case the boundary fails. Palaces would be more Ephyrian/Phraecian.
  • Laboratorium: need a name for the sorcerer's workshop; atelier, foundry; altar, shrine, sanctum, sanctuary< (instead of lair, for eidolon)
  • Stigma: Skeins? Or some sort of taint/curse? A brand left on disorderly and disreputable underlings.
  • Marauder: to roam or go around in quest of plunder; make a raid for booty: Freebooters were marauding all across the territory. 1690s, from Fr. marauder, from M.Fr. maraud "rascal," probably from Fr. dial. maraud "tomcat," echoic of its cry.
  • Plunder
  • Parcel: subdivision of a bailiwick; alt. ward, tithing, manor, farthing
    • If Ward,then the sheriffs are wardens.


  • Myriad renamed to Mnemo?
    • Encyclopedia Mnemonica: The new wiki?
    • The idea: Myirad was the many made into one. Mnemo is the memory of the Magos; the world resides within its thoughts.
  • Do 'stars' fall often enough to be common?
    • Or starfish?
  • Forest where adventurers have been converted into giant undead warriors (Titans?) that stalk the phantasms that regularly appear there.
    • The warriors transformed by the forest itself? By dryad?
    • The warriors kill whatever they can? Or are they more like the guardian robots of Laputa?
  • [MAJOR RE-THINK] The Secret of the Sorcerers: Think through the possibility that Eidolons are secret.
    • To the unlearned world at large, sorcerers command magic by force of will and by a special communion with the Magos.
      • Yes, they amass magic items in their vaults and yes, it enhances their power.
      • But they mostly do it to keep it out of the hands of wizards and other undesirables
      • Also: shiny!
    • The Truth of the Eidolons, their existence, their territories, their origins
      • Hinted at by the existence of idols that protect villages in the forsaken lands
      • Echoes of the Eleusinian Mysteries
  • Wheel of Fate: 360 cards/days; 90 cards a season, with seasons as suits; rarely played with all cards; 12 cards each player, from which they draw 6;
    • Seasons: Ice, Fire, Sprouts, Leaves
  • Vault of Heaven: A transparent hemisphere that encompasses the here and now, thousands of feet above the surface. Sorcerers often walk the Vault, either above their domain or in areas of current interest.
  • Skeins
    • The basic coat is a coat of weft and weave: A Weftcoat
    • A more potent coat is a Skeincoat --a single long thread (?) meticulously entangled
    • Most potent is the Skin of Skeins --an aethereal thread, possibly made of the stuff of Fate, that melds with the wearer.
  • Goblin Faire [used in Lyonesse --rethink] :a faire held in the forsaken territories at summer solstice. Never been obliterated by a midst. All roads are open and war is forbidden during this time (by Wyrdmoot and Great Law).
  • Poszsop founded by sorcerers seeking Aerie Isles|to study Kolossi|to learn from the Wozaar
  • Nation, Realm, Domain, Province, Principalities: Three best words for Ephyria|Ostrecht|Nubunlund|Poszsop. Might require revising current set-up.
  • Tower as the place where the Eidolon Dwells: Tower because the smaller the human footprint the better. Forest surrounds tower for this reason.
    • Ephyria and Nubunlund don't hold much with the forests. They use gardens, and not very big ones. Both prefer their Eidolons to be more sedate.

  • The cavalry of Myriad, the troops that ride the Forsaken territories, are Lancers. Lancers may have knights as their officers of rank (generals)
    • Lancers: An institution supported by all the alliances|factions|countries? Troops from various countries intermingle and cooperate to patrol the lawless territories?
    • Cavaliers: Ultimately, a better name than lancers, which is too weapon specific.
  • Ostrecht of the Five Forests: Sorcerers as wardens of people preserves. Well, not that extreme, but with that sort of underlying principle.
    • An alliance of sorcerers is called a: circle, ring, connivance, coven (abiding by a covenant), league, order
    • League might work best for Ostrecht (or Nubunlund)
    • The five sorcerers reside in enclaves comprised of dark enchanted forests.
    • The Duchies of Ostrecht should be referred to as the Government of House and Hall: the royal houses run the government while the guild halls run the economy.
    • Read up on Gormenghast
  • Names: Voy, Yos, Wut, Anf
  • Culture needs some thought
  • Middle english for poems
  • Kinds of encounters: Flora, Fauna, NPCs, Monsters, Phantasms, Midsts, Delves,
  • Huzzar's of Wozaarg, the Aeph's (Archon, Tyrant, Emir, Prince) of Phraecia
  • Sorcerer who met Oddo when sorcerer was a boy.
    • A charm children can speak to compel an imp into service: "To raise alarm, speak these words to lay a charm, and thus this child keep from harm." Yeah I know it needs work.
  • Agents of a foreign eidolon invading another eidolon's tower are perceived as disease --anti-bodies are released. But they must first be noticed by a Eidolon roused by magical activity.
  • Lich: Somewhere on here I have mention of a domain/kingdom in the World Before; might be the only instance of a Lich-like being in my world.
  • Consider:
    • Ichor: properties, powers, other potential uses; effects of ichor loss.
    • Eidolons: how do they move? How can they be expelled? Where are they kept? Are they "tamed"?
    • Banks: Tattingers | Tensingers | Tellson's (Dickens)
    • Languages: Each realm have their own? Westphalia and Inverness share language; Scylla and Charybdis share; Utrecht has their own?
    • Engineers: Who repairs stuff. Artisans, craftsmen, masons (see Masonry)
  • Economy: What monetary standard? How do realms trade? What do they trade? What is the sorcerers money maker? Grain, wool, timber?
    • What about magic items? All in vaults? Remember that magic can be measured (uhls)
    • How do they move it about?: Wagon or cart or yak. The sorcerers have craeftsmen (its all about the minions remember) who can make passages that hold up for a short while. Scrapped:[Sleds,ferries, barge. Buoyed by two stout poles of mystical wood. Pulled across divides by tether. Must be summoned across the distances between realms?]
    • Roads as an agreement, a tether, formed between Eidolons. Sometimes the Sorcerers involved have no say in the matter. They quietly fume and publicly proclaim a new era of peace and cooperation. At other times, they are able to open (create) and close (destroy; or more like unsummon) roads as circumstances warrant.
  • Imps inventoried as possessions; includes a skein check and a review of the imps entry in the Domesday book.
  • Commoners are provided with simple wards against imps.
  • Mythology vs. Background
    • Underling mythology versus world Mythology.

Radical Revision: A Possibility

Starting Over 1.1.11

Try not to despair
  • Possibly NOT Myriad.
    • No World Before then?
  • Magic Aether based: no eidolons
    • Magic rediscovered; vaults become batteries
  • No alliances, just domains
    • I'm down with this except for the Hyades
    • See Domains for more ideas on reorganizing countries/domains.
  • Pandemonium is central 'shared' city.

12.31.10 The Other Revision

Pandemonium plus Maps

note: lēmnískos ribbon; lemniscate infinity symbol

  • Myriad as places that never were; they were only dreamt in the mind of the Magos.
  • Sorcerers control maps --colonize them.
    • How do they stake their claim?
      • Place their tower?
      • Install an idol or Eidolon?
      • Discover the eidolon and tame it?
      • Mere ownership of a map? Can someone copy a map? Steal it?
    • Maps are initially populated by figments.
    • Who made/makes the maps?
      • People coming out of the endlessly or down the road or through the Lemnis gates.
      • The Imoiin/Imagi indigenous peoples?
      • Can anyone make a map of an area and then colonize it?
      • Does a boundary imply a territory imply an Eidolon?
      • What about blueprints? Maps of places such as buildings or cities?
    • adjacent maps? Different time periods of same area?
  • Overland travel?
    • Is there a Between?
    • Thousand Year Road?
    • Endlessly Wood: Yes. But no telling what map you'll come out on.
  • Eidolons don't fit as well in this concept. Not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Some maps (wildernesses/terror incognita) can't be colonized?
    • How are new maps discovered?
    • Are there atlases?
  • CONSIDER setting this concept aside for Fargo Yonder and a story about Surveyors.

12.27.10 Revision

This concept hearkens back to the London/Lemnis Gates/Bailiwick Urchins idea. Pandemonium is London.

  • Myriad is The Myriad, a more Weaveworld type concoction.
  • No Eidolons. Sorcerers use vaults and coffers, hence the need for plunder.
  • Sorcerers have cities/enclaves/colonies/domains in the Myriad that swear allegiance.
  • Pandemonium
    • is Earth(s) based OR is based in a between space, possibly the omphalos point [Omphalopolis?]
      • OR: Centrally located 'shared' city. No alliances; just domains
    • Pan is still floating escher city; or perhaps Piranesi after Giovanni Piranesi's Carceri etchings.
    • The bottom of Pandemonium is known as the Underbelly --a hive of scum and villainy.

Old Idea

Myriad is modern in the sense of the World of Laputa, or Wings of Honeamise; the main action of the story takes place on maps of the World What Was, the Gone Before, the Mnemosphere. A sample map might be "Inis 772" The time and place. Only certain times and places have been captured in this way. It's a troublsome idea, but a fun one. ADDENDUM: Adds unnecessary complexity into an already complex idea. The map idea could still work, but from our world, and in the sense of entering a memory.

  • Instead of years (772) it could be ages (Turnip Age)
    • Would maps be a kind of ground hog day?
    • Could anyone stay in a map? Could they change what's there? Wouldn't that mean a map could be colonized?
    • Perhaps a small area can be set up that allows a tiny section of the map to be changed?
  • Caretakers, outposts, even forts could be present in these memories.

Older Idea

Myriad is poking through into the real world. Real world could be alternate earth, could be modern day earth, could be our earth during another age (turn of century).

  • Different regions in different places on the planet.
  • No one knows what is going to happen --which world will survive or if both will need to adapt.
  • Not everyone can enter Myriad lands.

The World Discussion

  • Continent, Sphere, Plane, Terrene, Nousphere, Milieu, Instance?
    • Whatchamacallit if new continents keep rotating in?
      • Old world, New World, Gone Before
      • Also: The Eidolon's migrate, forcing colonization of the New World.
      • The Great War was fought because some sorcerers sought to enslave their Eidolons (remember the cuffs from the original story?) and make them stay within Gondwyr.
    • Thesaurus: Permutation
    • Aeon is from Gk. aion "age, vital force, lifetime," but in science it is the longest division of geologic time , containing two or more eras.
    • Epoch is greek: Gk epochḗ pause, check, fixed time, equiv. to ep- + och- (var. s. of échein to have) + -ē n. suffix
    • Event, Advent, Emergence, Efflux,
    • Derivation, Variation, Variant; Permutation; Innovation; Evolution, Revolution;
      • All of the above? Scholars determine if this advent is derivative, a mutation, evolution, revolution, devolution?
    • Whoa. Wow. What if THAT explains the road? What if all these variants drift off to the east --out of Myriad and into worlds of their own? Myriad as the source. What if the Magos itself is beyond the pale?
      • Any remaining domains are absorbed back into the Magos, as are all Eidolons and all magical artifacts. Or at least, the memory of them remains.


  • Chekhov's Gun: I'm sure this is an established variation but, but Chekhov's Gun of Tangential Discharge: Introduce the thing that allows them to use/acquire the thing.
    • It seemed more clever when I was thinking of the particular instance.
    • Instance: Underlings botch a pilfer and now everyone's looking for them. They need a way out of town. They have to free a stable-boy who is particularly talented with soe particular enchanted Orochs; perhaps he's gone on a wild ride through town with some other boys in an illicit chariot race, and it's been the talk of the town ever since.
    • The "Chekhov moment" would be hearing about the illicit race before the heist. After the rescue, their chariot awaits.


  • The overarching plot revolves around the idea that the Wyrd of the World must change if the world itself is to survive.

Older but still newish

  • From the poor undomained sorcerer story opening: The Pundit of Penury Lane
    • Basic gist: how one becomes a sorcerer on Myriad (by way of introducing the world);
      • Bumbling wannabe inadvertently acts as catalyst for some power bent on ill doings.
    • As he effects repairs to it, he talks absentmindedly to his poppet about the necessity of summoning an imp
      • It might be their last chance
    • Occasional glances at homunculus, a crafted being of wood and clay. His regrets over hocking his sculpting tools.
    • Explains how he's never trusted imps, that because they look like children/street urchins it is easy to forget that they are creatures of the aether, wholly other, and not to be trusted.
  • Encounter: a something using chalk or sharp stone to inscribe diagrams and formulas on a huge slate wall.
  • First sources: go back to the genesis of the "sorcerer summons imp" idea and figure what the crucial parts of the idea are. You're to far away from that idea right now. Slay your darlings.
  • My best openings so far:
    • New sorcerer. Old (blind?)sorcerer explaining that all he learned in school is bunk. Well not "all", but best to start from scratch. You'll have to start over as an apprentice, Fortunately I have an opening, having recently banished my apprentices to the middling earths. Start long will that take? Usually it takes a period of nine to thirteen years...but seeing as I only have three hours available this afternoon, that will have to suffice. Explains that sorcerer is largely servant of Eidolon. New sorcerer keeps interrupting, old sorcerer says hush, there isn't much time.
      • Some rules: Don't trust your fellow sorcerers, or anyone else for that matter. Summon all the minions you can. You'll need them. You'll know when your Eidolon will let you summon a new one.
      • Go ahead and summon your first: (speech about summoning a fearsome ally from the nether). How'd you do? I got something. A Ghent? A Furrilous Blek? A Morvant? It seems to be a boy. With a stick? An imp? Well, better luck next time. Now to seal the deal with a pact. (Three items.)
      • New sorcerer says, listen, I don't mean to be disrespectful, i know you can reduce large swaths of anything into cinders within seconds, but you need to tell me what I've gotten myself into here. Oops, time's up. The wall explodes. Old sorcerer says: You're probelm now. You'll need to stop them. Me? What about you? What about me? I've already been dead for two and one half days. My time has gone. it's your time now (and indicating Foddr) And his."Wizards" steal Flinder Box.
    • Sorcerer talking to Penny: "One of the most base summonings a sorcerer can perform is calling forth an imp from the Nether. You see, my dear, sorcerers need assistance in many of their tasks. It's not that we lack power, it's that there are many doings that are beneath us, or simply not worth our time to address personally."
    • The travelers at a stone circle (I just like that imagery.)


  • Sorcerer acquires hero as lieutenant. Introduces concept; keeps imps from having to be the heroic ones.
  • Our sorcerer has lost his creepies; needs to restore his vats to working order to grow some new ones.
  • Serious questions to answer:
    • Sorcerers name and history


In the 2nd century BC, Crates of Mallus devised a terrestrial sphere which divided the Earth into four continents, separated by great rivers or oceans, with people presumed to be living in each of the four regions.[65] Opposite the oikumene, the inhabited world, were the antipodes, considered unreachable both because of an intervening torrid zone (equator) and the ocean. This took a strong hold on the medieval mind.

The Minions of Myriad

The Essentials

How it begins
  • What's a powerful sorcerer to do? He has enough on his hands, marshaling his lands, keeping the various nobles from warring on one another, and waging surreptitious war upon his fellow sorcerers. He needs all the help he can get. Sure he has apprentices, eldritch beasts and carefully crafted homunculi, knights and heroes, all at his command --but what he really needs is someone to do the dirty work. And that's why the powers that be created the lowly imp.
  • Imps are the perfect minion when one has a daring task, or a dark place that needs exploring, or pesky monsters that need a good staving off, at least until a hero can see to it properly.
  • They're quick, they're clever, they're completely expendable.
Blurb bits
  • Myriad is a world in the making. Powerful magic wielders are creating it out of the magical essence known as the Magos. Myriad is a world of magic. The last magic world that will ever be. For magic has been scoured from the cosmos by a terrible and mysterious force. Now the
  • There are powerful and mysterious beings known as the Eidolons, they slumber and as they dream the world of Myriad comes into existance.
  • Oddo is an Imp. When he's conjured out of the [Nether], he's prepared to work for his sorcerous master as imps are bound to do, and as he has done countless times before. It's a grand life, being an imp. Imps are sent on many a daring task, exploring dark places, battling monsters, seeking out artifacts of power and magic. But this time, he and his crew of fellow minions are going to stumble on an ancient secret that threatens
Sorcerers and minions

The basic premise is that these are the stories of the imps --the not-so-faithful minions of the not-so-noble sorcerers. Less widely known is that the sorcerers are both minion and master to the enigmatic Eidolons, who are busily dreaming the world back into existence.

  • The essential bit is that these little guys are having to save the world while sorcerers and heroes, dukes and counts, are busy vying for power.

The imps are created beings, imbued with certain magical properties woven into the fabric of their being. They look like children of various ages, although they sometimes are possessed of certain tell-tale physical traits.

Imps are conjured from the Nether, a conglomeration of aether infused with the magical power of the Magos itself..


  • Exploration
  • Weirdness
  • Mystery
  • Sense of Youth:
    • Summer
    • Playfulness
    • Faithful dog companion
  • Fight!

Somebody has to do the dirty work. That falls to the lowest of the minions, the Underlings. This is their story.

Best of the Baddies

  • The Ilk of Ick
    • The Goos of Ooze? The Ooozes of Goo?
    • Ick and Ooze|Goo could be elder being type slimes
  • The Gibbering Gahks | Gahgs |
  • The Chthon
  • Carrion Kings | Queen
  • Wizards: Toadies, Dregs, Villains (former sorc. apprentices),

The Practicalities

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