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Mara and where they came from Thorey


(Ty_martinez) #1

So I’ve been thinking about the mara and where they came from. we know so far that The Mara didnt exist before the creation of heaven.
with that ive begone to think if the cycle of reincantion came in full swing following heavens creation it would mean and based on things said by adam in his most recent prep stream i would like to propose the theory that the mara are the cast off from a soul when its cleaned. From that part of the soul that is cleaned off during the reincanation prossess and given form it would explain how the mara came about and because it is a part of a soul and the soul being more or less an infinite power soruce from the fountain giving them their power. So what do you guys think how did the mara came about would love to hear others theories.

(Tarras_que) #2

From what I’ve gathered, the only process of shedding your karma is life itself, well living a good life. Once all your Karma is shed you achieve enlightenment and become one with the singularity. If you still are encumbered you are sent back to live a life befitting your current karma capacity (alliteration will set you free).

If the Mara are created by or are nourished by the shed Karma they act at cross purpose to their own benefit then. Enlightenment would strengthen them, yet they actively try to prevent it to a degree a helluva lot greater than the Gods are willing to encourage it.

My guess is that the Mara are immortal entities that feel threatened by the eventual singularity the Fountain would result in. As a reaction to the creation of the Cycle they actively try to keep the end of the mortal world from coming.

Wow I think I may have stumbled upon the Grand Cosmological Theory of the Court of Swords. If I’m right Adam’s a clever bastard. Not sure if I should post it, it kinda steps on Adam’s toes and it’s a huge twist on the story at large.

I’ll give a clue thought (I’m such a tease).
[spoiler] Let’s just say the events of the Primordial Arc are extremely significant to the world as it is now.[/spoiler]

(apepi) #3

I see the Mara as the inverse to the fountain, as soon as they decided “Lets make a fountain”, the Mara came. Because humans are not just a creature of ‘divinity’/enlightenment , but also the most horrible things as well. While the fountain is about unity, the Mara is about singularity. The Mara is about just yourself, and has aspects of greed, power for just oneself over overs and etc.

(seassnake) #4

This is a good theory! I love that idea that there’s some kind of Po landfill somewhere breeding mara

(Decidophobia) #5

Personally I kinda though of the Mara as being a by product of the Fountains soul cleaning process, like every time a soul is cleaned and then moved more into it’s next incarnation, the parts that are removed in the process are removed from the wheel of fortune and it settles around the wheel which then becomes the different Mara as it gathers in power.

If it is like that it can also be that the Mara can also be forgotten gods or beings from other planes an so on, that collect the discarded energy from the fountains process.

In this way it would also give a reason for how the world can get Divine Warlocks, using information given to heaven by Raziel (JP’s Warlock Aasimar), some enlightened being that doesn’t want the oblivion of joining the fountain and using the knowledge to give part of it’s enlightenment to others in order to remain powerful but without reaching true enlightenment. Just like how the ‘Mara’ give other they power away for a price.

(VyRe40) #6

There are precedents for this in fiction. This might be getting into spoilery territory for other media, so be warned:

One of the major threads of the Wheel of Time which I’ve seen discussed often enough is the fact that the big bad/forces of evil simply cannot and would not exist without the wheel turning the way that it does, with the forces of “good” to protect it. In effect, the great threat of the entire story is simply doomed to lose for all of time because their objectives are utterly opposed to their very existence.

Another immediate example to OP’s base theory would be Chaos from Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. Again, their very success is, in effect, self-destructive in nature. They are best served by steady stagnancy and unyielding opposition, for Chaos feeds on this endless cycle. The final victory of the Great Game simply ends the game, and Chaos would cease to exist. It is somewhat known within the universe that the best way to utterly defeat Chaos is to kill all sapient life in the galaxy… but barely anyone in the setting wants to “win” that bad.

Etc. The abstract theory of “evil” in fiction as it commonly recurs in magical settings tends to revolve around this idea that evil cannot exist without good, and thus its ends are very often contrary to its own existence, which is partly why many stories often resolve with the antagonistic being or forces doing something in pursuit of their aims that inadvertently sets them up for failure.

(CPaulGallagher) #7

I think it’s less likely that the Mara are shed karma, or elemental divinities that chose not to join the Arcana. @AdamKoebel has mentioned a few time that the Old Gods are not anthropomorphized (and the same goes for the Arcana, too) in the way that we as viewers tend to think of them as. Those that chose not to join the Arcana became more absorbed in their elements (to wit, Agni mentioning that when she returns to the elemental plane of fire she would not remember the things she remembers as an individual in Utrix’s Sanctum).

The Arcana are depersonalized, but have an identity, and their purpose is to cleanse souls of their Dharma, reincarnating them according to their Karma, until they “ascend” to enlightenment and unite as Being with the Fountain, away from Becoming of the material world.

What is “Becoming”? Dharma. The Mara strive to upset the work of Heaven and prevent the wheel from turning; they seek to preserve Becoming and never to Be. The things that they offer are material wealth, power, etc., and in exchange they pluck the hapless, villainous souls from the wheel - they peddle Becoming to preserve Becoming.

For the Mara not to have existed before the great cycle of reincarnation means that they are tied to it, they are an offshoot of it. When there is a force that calls for all to be joined in Being, the Mara arise as the counterforce, the gravity of Becoming.

The Mara are the shed Dharma of the world, becoming stronger and more potent the closer the world of Becoming is to the undifferentiated Being. They are the activity of the world opposed to the static nature of the Fountain.

In this way, they mirror the tower by sowing destruction, but they are its opposite in that they lead not to the star, but an inversely static Becoming that is the opposite of Being. They are irascible and incomprehensible in truth because their goal, if achieved, would result in their own undoing and a uniformity that, through its antipody with Being, would paradoxically lead just as certainly to the unity of Becoming. Thus, they are ever striving, perhaps even ever winning, but they will never win.

(Tarras_que) #8

Clearly the gods are anthropomorphized to a degree (well the significant ones), since we have “witnessed” it. Notably in the Primeval Arc. Maybe there is just a lot of confusion since the Arcana have been referred to as gods, but they really aren’t, they are “dumb” conduits humans use to access the Fountain.

Also just because the Mara, as they are now, didn’t exist before the creation of Heaven that doesn’t mean that they sprung into being wholly new afterwards. They could possibly also be a faction of opportunistic gods or demi-gods from before heaven. I’m sure there were plenty of pissed off gods that didn’t get invited to the new party.

(VyRe40) #9

Adam’s discussed that anthropomorphism before - it’s often an abstract incarnation of a being within the interactions of the prime material, though in reality the gods exist as something beyond that. Within the context of the primordial arc, the mountain was both the literal mountain and the man - as he would say, it’s metaphorical - and the drowning of the mountain was a representation of the river itself flooding and eroding the physical place. He’s also mentioned that Agni’s “true form” within the Fire Plane is a further abstract construct incapable of sending message to her own father in that state, etc. It’s all very fluid.

In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mara had nothing to do with the ancient gods. Adam is big on those philosophical abstractions of religion and the nature of evil/oblivion/entropy, and the corruption of gods into darker entities is a very common western concept that clashes with the eastern philosophies he’s dug into for CoS.

Going simply by Adam’s personality and wealth of media immersion as a creator and artist, I’d bet on him straying away from those tropes of “old gods gone evil”. Much of CoS already strays heavily from western philosophies at the higher levels anyway.

I have some other thoughts on the origins of the Mara in its entirety, but I think that many of the “power players” among the Mara were likely all “human” once, going by what we’ve seen and know. It would fit as a concept in philosophical rejection of the cycle of enlightenment and its ultimate dissolution of enlightened beings into raw energy (becoming one with the fountain).