test content
What is the Arc Client?
Install Arc

Does Yggdrasil = The Green?

I'm going through Champions' lore for a tree based hero, and I found a little blurb about their version of Yggdrasil in The Mystic World book. In it's brief description it sounds a bit like The Green from Swamp Thing, and I was wondering if this is the Champions equivalent and/or if there are anymore sources for info on Yggdrasil?

Comments

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited February 26
    One can draw parallels between the Green and Yggdrasil, in that both are created by the collective life-energies of plants on Earth; but in practical terms they have significant differences. There are no known manifestations of sapient "elementals" in Yggdrasil, as there are in the Green, since Earthly plants lack sapience. The dimension is innately incomprehensible, and instinctively hostile, to animal life such as our own.

    The description of Yggdrasil on p. 42 of The Mystic World is the most thorough source on it in any published Champions Universe book. Since it's relatively brief, I don't think there would be any harm in reproducing it here for interested CO players.

    Yggdrasil is most simply defined as the Astral Plane created by plant consciousness, but this requires some explanation. Plants possess no consciousness in any human sense, but they react to their environment and to each other. An individual plant’s “mental” field is much weaker than a human’s, or even an animal’s, but there are an awful lot more plants in the world than there are sessile creatures! Yggdrasil, the ash tree supporting the world in Norse myth, supplies the most popular name for the dimension created by these massed “mental” fields.

    Unlike Faerie, which grew from human ideas about Nature, Yggdrasil is truly a realm apart from humanity. A wizard who enters Yggdrasil — physically, astrally, or clairvoyantly — finds nothing comprehensible in human terms. Sight and sound do not exist in Yggdrasil. Something like touch, taste, and smell exist in this dimension, since plants react to tissue damage and chemicals, but even these senses register in ways alien to human minds. Just learning to interpret the sensations of Yggdrasil can take years.

    Yggdrasil is deadly. Humans who think plants are placid and gentle don’t know much about the vegetable kingdom. Plants compete with each other, as individuals and as species. The trees in a forest strive to overspread each other and claim a greater share of precious light. Different species secrete chemicals to attract or repel insects, or to boost or inhibit another species’ growth, a vegetable diplomacy known to every master gardener. Parasitic plants slowly, vampirically feed upon their hosts. Forests and fields are places of silent, ruthless war.

    Yggdrasil reflects this war. Human visitors to Yggdrasil encounter the psychic equivalent of chemical warfare, parasites burrowing into their bodies, and even less comprehensible attacks, all driven by passionless, relentless hunger. Yggdrasil doesn’t ignore animal intruders: to the spirits of Yggdrasil, animals are fertilizer that needs to stop moving. Visitors must leave quickly or go mad... or maybe not leave at all.
  • ericrightshow82ericrightshow82 Posts: 467 Arc User
    Thank you for the info!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited February 27
    All of that said, IMO it wouldn't be unreasonable in comic-book terms for a person, artifact, or the like to be connected to and draw power from Yggdrasil. That could be a possible source for the powers of various official plant-manipulators whose origins aren't specified, such as Oak, a member of Philadephia's Liberty League hero team; the Irish hero Evergreen; Leafmaster, a member of China's state superteam, the Tiger Squad; and Junglemaster of the South American superhero team, the Victory Brigade. (All mentioned in Champions Universe.) But science-based origins are also possible, with the human/plant hybrid supervillain Thorn (Champions Villains Volume Three) being the outstanding published example. His experiments could almost certainly create another botanical humanoid like himself. Besides Thorn, Teleios would be the most likely Terrestrial geneticist to create such a being.

    The alien Hzeel have conquered a race of mobile sapient plants, the Prylenish. Their royal family escaped to Earth, and are currently working incognito as gardeners at Ravenswood Academy. Prylenish have the power to change their form to resemble other beings, such as humans, by "growing" into the new shape over several days. They also have a natural empathic bond with plant life. A hypothetical "super" Prylenish might have superior versions of those abilities, or other superhuman powers. The Prylenish receive a couple of paragraphs of description in Champions Beyond, and their royal family is detailed more in Teen Champions.

    Unknown to humanity, some two million years ago, the asteroid belt in our solar system was a planet, inhabited by sapient plant beings known as Phytians, created through Progenitor experiments. A Phytian equivalent to a technological supervillain discovered some hidden Progenitor devices and tried to use them to blackmail his world, but accidentally destroyed it. It's possible some remnants of Phytian technology and even biological matter persist in the asteroid field. See Champions Beyond for a little more on the Phytians.

    From what you related about your proposed character, you might find something useful in the description of "Botanoworld," a dimension conquered by Istvatha V'han, as per Book Of The Empress p. 174:

    In Botanoworld, a first sphere dimension that’s about one-fifth the size of Earth’s reality, animals larger than great cats haven’t evolved on any world V’hanian personnel have discovered, and they’re never very numerous. Instead the dominant lifeforms are all botanical. Many of them would seem like “ordinary” plants to Humans (sessile living things that create their own “food” from soil, water, and sunlight), though their sentience would come as a surprise (assuming Humans could even understand their speech). But others are wholly alien — plants that have evolved the ability to move, even fly. None of them are exactly “plantmen” in the sense used in some Human fiction, but across the dimension planet after planet has seen sentient plant species evolve and create civilization. All the civilizations have one thing in common: a deathly fear of fire. Starting a fire is a capital offense in many of them; using fire as a weapon in war is the equivalent of launching a nuclear bomb. As a result, Botanoworld’s technology has evolved in very different ways from that of most dimensions; it’s much more “organic” and doesn’t “mix” well with other dimensions’ technology.

    Botanoworld has one significant advantage for Istvatha V’han: its version of Yggdrasil (page 142) is particularly large and “rich” in certain resources... and it’s very, very easy for V’han or her people to reach via Botanoworld. They still haven’t found a really good way to exploit it, since sentient animals have difficulty remaining sane and alive in a dimension manifested by sentient plants, but its promise is so great they keep trying.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • ericrightshow82ericrightshow82 Posts: 467 Arc User
    This is all fascinating.

    The idea for my toon is it is an avatar created by the collective consciousness of Yggdrasil to protect nature from human influence (pollution, deforestation, etc.) It doesn't speak and is barely autonomous, but draws it's power from plant life. Does this seem like the sort of thing Yggdrasil would be used for?
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited February 26
    If it would make for a character origin you find compelling, I would say go for it. B) It's not unheard-of for mystical energies from the human-spawned Imaginal Realms to sometimes "leak" into Earth through nexus points between the dimensions; and for those energies to even imbue things here with life and sentience. I don't see why such a nexus point couldn't form to Yggdrasil. However, the character you describe seems rather limited from a role-playing standpoint. If I may suggest, perhaps a human could stumble into a dimensional leakage and be transformed. A blended human-plant personality might develop the motivation you ascribe to it, but still retain enough intellect to interact with other characters.

    There is another possibility inherent in the setting. The San Sebastien Swamp outside Vibora Bay unites all the living creatures within it in a huge collective consciousness. This consciousness is intelligent, and can focus itself in animals or plants within its confines, perceiving through their senses, controlling them, even speaking through them. The Swamp has a benevolent personality, and considers itself the guardian not only of its own territory, but of the city of Vibora Bay.

    When the San Sebastien Swamp feels the need to take action beyond its confines, it creates a large humanoid avatar primarily made out of vegetation, but also including rocks and mud, and sometimes small animals. Local legends call it the Skunk Ape, for its general shape and size, and also because it can emit a cloud of noxious gas which debilitates others by its stench.

    A Skunk Ape is intelligent and self-willed, although it shares the personality of the Swamp and can communicate telepathically with it. The SSS can create more than one Skunk Ape at a time, although that requires great expenditure of energy.

    Perhaps a Skunk Ape, or something similar created by the Swamp, develops a more independent personality and wants to interact with the wider world. Or if you want it to be as mentally limited as you described, some accident or battle may have damaged its mind, perhaps by severing its link to the SSS, leading it to wander off.

    The San Sebastien Swamp and the Skunk Ape are briefly described in Champions Universe, but given significantly more detail in the Vibora Bay source book.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,307 Arc User
    Intriguing. A Skunk Ape in-game might use some of the toxic attacks, in a manner similar to the human/skunk hybrid Captain Mercaptan (yes, another one of mine). It's really useful, and kind of fun, to take down entire swarms of baddies with greenish gases. A Skunk Ape should also, I would think, use the Swinging power with the Vine effect, if you can afford it (I think it's sold in the Q store, but am uncertain on this point).
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
    Get the Forums Enhancement Extension!
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,723 Arc User
    Interesting. What interactions, if any, are documented between San Sebastian Swamp and/or Skunk Ape and Therakiel or the various supernatural mobs in VB?
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited February 26
    Therakiel essentially created San Sebastien Swamp. He imbued the swamp with intelligence, as part of his overall scheme to enhance the mystical properties of the region, in order to make it the site for the final war between Heaven and Hell. The Swamp itself has no memory of this and neither knows nor cares how it came to be.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,893 Arc User
    Also check the size on this map. San Sebastien Swamp is as big as Vibora City.
    ChampsWiki
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My characters
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    Officially, San Sebastien Swamp is two to four miles wide, and ten miles long. Not the Florida Everglades, but pretty substantial. The consciousness of the Swamp is protective of the city of Vibora Bay, which it has been known to refer to as its "baby sister." (See VB pp. 111-12.)
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,893 Arc User
    so I guess that means that the urban sprawl of Vibora is so great that Vibora is also around 10 miles long?
    ChampsWiki
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My characters
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    VB is a good-sized city, and center of a sizeable Metropolitan Statistical Area (core city plus suburbs economically linked to it). It's also growing pretty fast. In 2002 the incorporated city of Vibora Bay had a population 810,000, and a MSA of 2.78 million. In 2010 (last year of published official figures) those were 877,000 and 3.02 million respectively.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,723 Arc User
    How much of the population increase is due to rising numbers of undead and intruders from other dimensions? ;) I don't think I'd want to be a census worker in VB!
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    Well, there's book VB, and then there's MMO VB. :p In the former the supernatural is far more discreet and less obtrusive than the latter, which exaggerates the threat to satisfy the constant stream of transient "heroes" looking for identifiable bad guys to beat up.

    For those interested in relatively realistic role-playing, it's less stressful to not take what you see in CO too literally. ;)
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,893 Arc User
    well the playable areas of VB in CO is only the small core area, maybe the supervillains don't bother with the rest because it's less interesting to them?
    ChampsWiki
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My characters
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    *Shrug* If finding a rationale like that makes the game more enjoyable for you, then of course you should use it. For my part, I've stopped stressing over such things. As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of the tabletop version of the Champions Universe, which differs from the MMO CU in many subtle and a few large ways. So I can always fall back on that when I feel the need for it all to make sense. :p
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    Also keep in mind that any creature from folklore can have real existence on Champions Earth, due to collective belief over long periods causing them to manifest. Hence any legendary plant-being, such as Greek dryads, or Japanese kami, can be used in the game (and have been written up in various published Hero PnP books over the years).
Sign In or Register to comment.