As noted in the Timeline, the Golden Plane was created by Manovelar some 2 million years ago, to be a place where the various sentient, sapient races of the world at that time could live without fear of death.
Manovelar suffused this world with its power, creating a place where the peoples can achieve almost any effect they wish at will. When moving back into Midplane however, they are only able to take a few of these, and as such the various peoples and creatures of that world tend to exhibit the same sets of abilities when interacting with Midplane.
Manipulation, Timelessness & Society
The major unintended side effect of the creation of a plane such as this is that it has caused serious stagnation of its peoples. In a world where almost anything can be created by simply desiring it, and anything changed through the snap of a finger, there has been no need to invent technology.
Instead, they have frozen technologically, staying at a roughly late medieval period of advancement, and simply gaining anything they need through the use of manipulation.
Perhaps more interesting though is the primary difference between the Golden Plane and everything that exists in Midplane and its plane; namely that creatures of the Golden Plane never age beyond their species' natural most healthy age. Anything moving to it de-ages to that point.
This has created a situation where tight population controls are enforced in almost every peoples, and death only occurs through some form of intentionally giving up of life. This does not need to be violent, by dint of their manipulations.
Some choose to be reborn as children, some transfer themselves from physical form into beings of energy (and what happens to them is currently unknown - perhaps the Triumvene know, but if they do, they aren't telling), and some simply choose to not exist anymore.
The other aside of this is that individuals can get extremely old, to the tune of tens of thousands of years. The result of this, combined with advanced abilities to avoid almost any illness, sickness or disease through manipulation, has allowed many members of the peoples of this place to become, if not wise, then at least incredibly knowledgeable.
Wealth & Trade
The very concept of wealth itself has taken on a new meaning, as a result of any "thing" being able to be had with almost no effort. The limits to this are essentially ones of scale - there's no limit on the number of castings a creature can give, but there's still hard limits on the amount of Cohesion they can use in a single casting. Using more than that causes the same side-effects it would in Midplane. However, on the Golden Plane, Cohesion replenishes instantly. This creates a situation where a creature can't, for example, create an entire city immediately just by snapping their fingers, but they could certainly create a hundredweight in gold by simply wanting it and manifesting it.
Instead, wealth on the Golden Plane is measured by creativity and fun, joy and novelty. In a place where material possession and time, (through the absence of enforced death) are essentially meaningless, the peoples of the world have created a version of life centred around art. There are plays which last a hundred years, symphonies which last decades, and paintings which stretch for miles, taking years to fully examine and appreciate.
Perhaps one of the strangest pieces was a piece of performance art, where over the course of ten thousand years, a Squank lived as every part of a pond, from the water in it, to a frog, lily pad, thousands of forms of bacteria and a heron which once drank from it.
It was widely acclaimed as novel, and soothing to watch, if possibly lacking in ultimate refinement and excellence.
In a similar way, trade has evolved quite differently to Midplane, thanks to a total lack of material possession determining value. Instead, trade exists to transfer services still, but not goods. So a person might trade their talent for music, for the services of someone else as a sculptor. A Squank might trade a tear of their memories for a song created to immortalise it. An Azodin might trade their roar in the performance of an opera in return for an Octophele's knowledge of the life of a creature in Midplane.
Such are the trades that are made. Equally interesting is the concept of the Manipulatively Enforced Contract, or MEC. MECs are legally binding, as with any normal contract, but have manipulations tied into them, so that should they be broken, the breaker might for example spend the next thousand years as an amoeba, or have to serve the other party for one hundred years, or in extreme examples, simply give up existence.
These contracts are unbreakable and enforced immediately, their penalties being woven into the fabric of the plane itself.
Known as the Man of Stone of First of the Triumvene, Manovelar was the creator of the Golden Plane, and acts as its protector. It can regularly be seen interacting with the creatures of this place, and as such is a God of a form, but not in any way which requires faith. Much like postmen, Manovelar simply exists.
However, Manovelar isn't the most forthcoming creature with regards to its aims. As such, various religious cults have grown up around it, aiming to influence or win favour with it. As far as anyone can tell, none have actually succeeded, but thanks to their lifespans, it's not stopping anyone from trying.
They've got a lot of time to figure it out.
More broadly, no-one has any real idea why the peoples who were brought to the Golden Plane were saved from death, and why others weren't. It may have been some form of favouritism, or just random chance. Certainly Manovelar isn't giving up its secrets.
Whilst Manovelar might be the most active of the Triumvene on the Golden Plane, the existence of the other two, Crahurnian and Garrian, is known to the beings here. Neither visits, but Crahurnian has let it be known that the legends of both other creatures are true.
Garrian is currently sequestered somewhere in Midplane, although where isn't known. Some of the creatures of the Golden Plane are hunting it down, attempting to make contact. Crahurnian is known to reside on another plane, which the Golden Plane cannot reach through manipulation. How travel to that place is achieved isn't known to anyone here.
Ghost Stones & the Chevaliers d'or
The Ghost Stones are well known to the peoples of the Golden Plane. A number of them got together and created a group known as the Chevaliers d'or, protectors of the Ghost stones. They have dedicated themselves to ensuring the stones and the axe Gavelloran are never united, as they (possibly alone) know what the stones and axe were built to do.
Its current leaders are:
- Shovan, Octophele, 1.38 million years old, oracle
- Pherenia Nimary Jorinie Saralim, Disapperature, 158,000 years old, High Queen of the Disapperatures
- Memories Yet to Arrive, Azodin, 369,000 years old
- Zeemar-Loya, Kinisepath, 39/257,000 years old, traveller
- Norvat-Regar, Kinisepath, 56,963,000 years old, healer
- Eaweri, Uffrith, 67,000 years old, politician
- Heyayee, Squank, 161 years old, diplomat
The Chevaliers d'or have a presence on both Phyverse and Midplane. In the case of the latter, it takes the form of the Knights of the Gold, who are rumoured to be long-since gone, but continue in secret. On Phyverse they're known as the Stonerunners, and considered an esoteric sect.
Suggested Further Research
- The Belgariad & The Elenium book series' by David Eddings
- Harry Potter as an examination of magic limiting societal growth
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - book
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman - book and film
- The Tempest & A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare
- The Q episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin