Chronomancy and petitioners

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Last seen: 11 months 6 days ago
Joined: 2020-02-18 11:09
Chronomancy and petitioners

I'm new to the forum, and kinda new to D&D multiverse in general. I'm happy that I've found this forum, and that there are still people, who read old source material. 'Cause (I hope I'm wrong) in my opinion most of modern stuff in fantasy is either necromantic skeletons of past settings without soul (5e materials on old settings, or lack thereof) or disrespectful to source material (WAoS for example), or something colorful and cool on surface, but bland underneath (when I think about Ravnica it's usualy "Sigil, but boring").
As you can probably see I'm not native English speaker and I'm quite sensitive about the topic. Please, forgive me bad English and that emotional talk. To the problem:

Do the petitioners have their own lifelines?
I'm DM in a campaign/metacampaign which mixes Spelljammer and Planescape whith Chronomancer's Temporal Prime (AKA "demiplane of time") . There are some serious time travel plots going on in the background, though the players haven't got to the dark of things yet.

To remind: every plane has it's own timestream, and every living creature has it's own glowing "lifeline" in the Temporal Prime. The more influential someone's life is, the thicker the his/her lifeline. When someone dies the lifeline doesn't just end, because one can influence others even after death. Instead it slowly gets thinner and thinner as it fades out (when it is very thin it's called "ghostline").

If I understand corectly, when you travel planes, then your timeline goes through several timestreams. If you go back to time when you haven't been born, the lifeline extends to that moment, but is visible only in those moment when you are visiting the past.
You cannot meet your past self. You can't even be THERE (doesn't matter the distance). There simply cannot be two version of you in the same time without reality trying to get rid of you.

The existence of petitioners seems to contradicts the law of time, because they can "live" in the same time as "their" ghostlines are getting thinner on the same or other plane.

Do I get something wrong? Can petitioners be considered not important (I doubt it) to time or they are important, but they are considered to be different people, due to their lack of past memories? Do you have any theories?
Thanks for any help.

Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-07-26 19:14
Hmmm, I don't think the

Hmmm, I don't think the timelines of petitioners has ever been brought up in canon.

Also sorry I am not sure I quite understand the issue with petitioners - what book are you referencing when you talk about timelines getting thinner or going invisible?

D_E's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 2015-11-17 18:59
A couple of points

1) I'm not sure if the after-death ghostline counts for the purposes of doubling.

2) Given that only the timeline of the traveler's current plane is visible, I suspect that the rules are "wrong" when they say that people only have ghostlines after death. I suspect that planar travel should also leave a ghostline in the original plane, since it also removes an individual from one reality and inserts then into another. Petitioners would therefore have a true lifeline on their new plane, and a ghostline on their original plane. A Petitioner that formed on the same plane they died on would have a normal-looking lifeline.

3) Petitioners don't seem to do much, so their lifelines probably do look more like animal or plant lifelines. Only the most exceptional Petitioners would have a truly normal-looking humanoid lifeline.

4) Maybe Chronomancers don't leave Petitioners.

Jem's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2006-05-10 19:50
Bearing in mind that I have

Bearing in mind that I have never played with the Chronomancer setting, I would say that it sounds like the ghostline is strictly a function of the effects that someone's life had on the world around them.

I would say that petitioners are rather like someone reincarnated: same soul, different state of being. Life is important, and the change from life to death marks a significant change of existence. The soul is still there, but a petitioner has a different, spiritual body. Either they have their own timeline, starting from the moment of death, or they don't have one and are in some way freer. Death does supposedly free one from many bonds.

Now, I would say that living people are in some way more important than petitioners. For whatever reason, the gods seem to think that the finite lives of people living on the many Prime Material worlds are important enough to minister to, and even petitioners who go through the massive changes required to become creatures like archons or devils are often still expected to serve, or protect, or tempt, or otherwise deal with, living mortals. For some mysterious reason, life is special. For many gods it's one reason why killing is bad even though an afterlife exists.