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Entropic Spheresby Patrick Sullivan
I like all the ideas posted so far! The Sphere of Vitality has potential. The Sphere of Integration has previously been suggested as the combined enemy of the entropic spheres. Sharon Dornhoff (whom many on here probably don't remember) actually suggested the Sphere of Stasis as the progenitor of the four spheres opposed to entropy.
Along these lines, David Knott's four paths to Immortality for entropics are fairly relevant.
I'll put forward another proposed system--note that I am in no way criticising the previous two layouts, just offering a third in the interest of promoting debate.
The Sphere of Integration was once in opposition to the other four spheres and waged a ruthless war of subterfuge and seduction. Its goal was the construction of a new multiworld order opposed to the entropic principles espoused at the time. Integration sought to bring unity from Dissipation, to reverse the flow of Corruption, to embody the Essence of being, and to upend Stasis, bringing about an utter transformation of the world, to be maintained forevermore.
The Sphere of Stasis strove against Integration, seeking to foil its progress at every turn. Stasis was tied to the element of Earth, the solid, staid defender of the status quo. Stasis sought to prevent further dissipation, but it was undermined through the corrosive forces of Corruption. Stasis would have continued its dominance, had it not been betrayed...
The Sphere of Essence was tied to the element of Fire, the unpredictable, sensate, and powerful force of light, heat, sound, and rage. Essence believed that the true nature of all was energy, and sought to release this essence. As a tree, an oak is nothing more than celluse blocking the view, but burn it, and it gives off a sweet perfume; it gives warmth; and it gives heat: this is the Essence of oak. Essence sought to control the process of Corruption, but it was robbed of fuel by Dissipation. When discord and entropy was nearing its zenith, new ideas came forth in the Sphere of Essence: could greater essential force be harnessed through cooperation, through Integration? Thus began the long civil war of Essence, in which those who betrayed their sphere founded the new Sphere of Energy.
The Sphere of Dissipation was tied to the element of Air, the distribution a dispersion of all. Dissipation fostered the division of brother from brother, being from being. Dissipation further sought to deny Essence, seeing uniqueness as antithetical to an underlying Essence. Dissipation was beaten back by Stasis's maintenance of order. As the war among the spheres intensified, some of the Immortals of Dissipation began to argue that the intrinsic uniqueness of all beings lay not in their isolation from one another, but in their own unique dreams and ideas. Integrating these dreams and ideas made it possible to achieve greater ideas than ever before. The traitors from Dissipation began deserting en masse, forming the new Sphere of Thought.
The Sphere of Corruption was tied to the element of Water, representing decay, erosion, evolution, change, and freedom from constraint. Corruption taught that all existence should be free, and that this freedom naturally brought betrayal, treachery, and self-seeking. The rules of the game were never meant to be kind, but the fittest survive and all is, by rights, theirs. Corruption constantly sapped the strength and will of Stasis, but it was both outdone and held in check by Essence.
Corruption was long an ally of Stasis, but it was a parasitic one, sapping the strength of Stasis at the same time it fought bravely against the forces of Integration. In truth, the Sphere of Corruption was so thoroughly enamoured of betrayal that its own downfall, along with that of its allies, came from within. An unknown immortal of Corruption appeared ages ago: a seeming atavism, a whale-like being similar to a race that had died out millennia before. Secretly, the new immortal, named Protius, brought with him dangerous and revolutionary ideas from the distant future. Sowing discontent, Protius began to spread his seditious version of the future, implanting in immortals of the tides, the currents, and the oblivious embrace of the sea the notion that combined essences could strengthen one another: he demonstrated the dangerous idea of harmony. Perhaps most ultimately treacherous, he managed to seduce the Ruling Hierarch of Corruption with his radical ideas and vision of tomorrow: a vision in which change for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, was the one overriding constant of the world. This Ruling Hierarch, Verthandi, recognised the validity of Protius's vision and set to work on a number of time machines, vehicles of war to destroy the forces of Integration, he told his allies. When the time came, many of the immortals loyal to Stasis, Corruption, Essence, and Dissipation gleefully took these chariots of war, these artifacts that they were convinced would be the ultimate weapons to insure victory over Integration. They were, however, deceived. Each of the artifacts had some secret and terrible power: not only were the immortals hurtled forward in time to a new world where they had already been defeated, but they were also all diminished. In power, and, often, in stature, they re-entered the world as shadows of their former selves. Though the betrayal cut to the bone, they knew that they had no choice but to wait and to nurture the knowledge that, one day, the world might again be theirs.
Now, the natural question is what will be the new order when the world is again changed? Do we keep cycling between the same forces, or are there always new ideas out their waiting? Was Wrath of the Immortals a precursor to the coming splintering, when those born of pure energy recognise that such an existence is superior and the natural answer is to transmute all matter through magic, fire, or whatever other means necessary? Did Khoronous prophecy the coming end of an era? Or did he simply acknowledge and acquiesce to its initiation?