While reading some of the archives of the Mimir.Net mailing list I encountered the "CMV Hypothesis". In short, it says:

Under the CMV hypothesis, Eladrin, Guardinals, Asuras, and Aasimar are all one race; Aasimon and Archons are not. [Galen, 1999 archive part 3]

After reading several posts about this hypothesis, I still can't figure out what 'CMV' is supposed to stand for. Web searching is confounded by a biology hypothesis of the same name.

So what does the "CMV" in "CMV hypothesis" stand for?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not in a position to examine the archives myself right now, but is there any chance there is a citation under that entry? Google is returning virtually nothing outside of viral pathology, and excluding those results produces mostly nothing. So it seems unlikely that this abbreviation was ever in common use, which would argue against this author assuming it was/would be. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Jan 29, 2020 at 18:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good writing practices would have defined any initialization or acronym (there is a difference) on first use. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Jan 29, 2020 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth OTOH, this is a mailing list, not an essay. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2020 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


Celestial, Mortal Variant

You can find the full planescape mailing list archive at archive.org. In it, there is an email from author Galen, dated 16 Nov 1999. It goes:

It is proposed that the Eladrin and the Guardinals are subgroupings of a single race, herein termed CMVs.

The next day, author Doug Meerschaert comments:

CMV? Wow... an acronym that he doesn't bother telling what it means... "Celesitally Mortal Vehicles?" (sic)

To which, author Michael Truman answers, the day after:

Mentioned in the original CMV post - Celestial, Mortal Variant.

It appears that the hypothesis assumes that celestials are initially mortals, who die and get re-incarnated as Coure, remain in that stage for 50 to 500 years, and eventually advance to some Mature form. Depending on which plane a CMV is in its Coure form, its Mature form becomes a type of Eladrin, Guardinal, or Asuras.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ How did you find that?! +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jan 29, 2020 at 21:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ ooh, I was looking to find a more complete mailing list archive as well, but I neglected to consider archive.org. Well-searched! \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jan 29, 2020 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I used to be a member of REALMS-L many years ago and I knew it was a large list. So I first googled for its archive, hoping to track PLANESCAPE-L after it. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Jan 29, 2020 at 21:31

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