The Void is the source of much of the misery of the modern day, almost as much as of the misery of the eons of Aloria’s past; but in its ability to inflict immense death and destruction is a font of great power. It is the cause of a cyclical course of invasions into Aloria, aptly named the Void Invasions, where, through tears in reality, Demons and Void essence spew through, cleansing the world of all life it comes upon. Only two civilisations have ever withstood the onslaught of the Void; the Allorn Altalar, three centuries past, were brought to their knees but not destroyed, and the Regalian Empire, which survived far better than its Nelfin predecessor; all other civilisations, from the glorious Seraph to the intellectual Meraic, fell prey to the Void. The Void is a dimension outside of Aloria opposite to the Exist in much the same way that the realm of Death, Bintaar, is opposite to Binral, the Alorian plane, though how exactly the Void and Exist are related is unknown; all who have ventured out to investigate have never returned.
It is commonly understood that the Void exists in a separate plane of reality to Aloria, one that is normally separated from Aloria by means of the Veil, an intangible barrier that exists between different realities. Through actions committed by the Seraph over 7000 years ago, the Veil was torn, allowing the Void to come through and eventually end their civilization, though this account of history is undoubtedly incomplete and summarized. Scholars who have looked deeper into the events understand that the year count of 7000 years is only a rough estimate for the fall of the Seraph civilization, noting that the Seraph civilization lasted for hundreds of years, perhaps even a thousand years, after they first made contact with the Void.
The Seraph were a race of incredibly advanced beings both technologically and magically, though they seemed to strongly favor Magic. They appeared to be the true wielders of Primal Magic, an art long since dead in the world as the Dragons have kept their Magic to themselves. It is believed that the Seraph grew unsatisfied with the limitations of Primal Magic, restraining itself to obey the laws of the world that it was used in, and not allowing great feats found only in dreams. As such, they somehow devised a way to punch a hole through the Veil, and pull a large amount of Exist Essence through, then anchoring it to their world with their Primal Magics to in essence enslave the Exist to their will. This seemingly succeeded, but what they did not comprehend, was that the world of the Void existed in an opposite-pairing just like Binral, where the Void came through the same opening that was made for the Exist.
At first the leakage was small, but it appears that as time went by, the Void spilled forth more and more, until it became violent and deadly to all it touched, corrupting and driving mad anyone who tried to push it back. The first Void Invasion thus struck the Seraph, who probably held out for several centuries. As such, it cannot be concluded exactly when the Void came to Aloria, though most scholars believe 8000 years ago is a safe assumption. The Void has incidentally not maintained a constant present in Aloria, and seems to be present proportional to the amount of Magic that is used in the world. Indeed, after the Seraph Civilization was destroyed, life somehow persisted (exactly how is a topic of debate among scholars), and Magic was soon re-used by this second civilization, which was then also promptly wiped out by a Void Invasion.
The same occurred for the second and third civilization, as well as the fourth, the Meraic, forerunners of the contemporary Maraya; that the Void couldn’t- or didn’t- wipe out the Meraic entirely remains a topic of debate, though certain scholarly opinions have posited that a Void Invasion is not as much a strategically thought-out military operation as a rabid tide of Mage-seeking demons. That most other life on Aloria is taken with the Mages is considered simply collateral, as the Demons typically recede after the magical footprint has been wiped clean. After the Meraic, the Allorn Altalar were the fifth and final target, their empire destroyed, but without the finality inflicted on the previous four.
In a sudden twist of fate, the Void turned against itself; supposedly, a number of Arken rebelled, stopping the Archdemon in its tracks and destroying the original source of the Veil Tear. Magic disappeared from the world just like it always had following a Void Invasion, but the majority of the races living on Aloria survived, and it took much less time for Magic to return to the world, this time, far more controlled and contained than before. The Allorn Empire was still destroyed, but the world survived, and it seemed as though the final Void Invasion had been halted and others would be prevented from that point onwards. While the Void remains a major antagonist to the world, it remains equally a mystery since none have ever ventured into it and returned, and many of the entities from it remain very mysterious.
The Void is supposedly home to a number of entities, though not all entities are equally tempered. There exist entities that are purely malicious, but also kind-hearted entities, and not all entities are created equally. Supposedly, more entities exist in the Void that remain yet unexplored, but have only been peripherally spoken about by the Arken when they deemed it pertinent to speak on such matters. Still, scholars put very little stock into their statements, since Arken have often been found to deceive or twist facts for their own amusement. The entities listed here were scientifically verified to be real with factual information.
The Archdemon, sometimes also called “Father” by all the Arken, is the core identity of the Void. The best way to describe this, is that if the Void were a body, the Archdemon would be its heart, the physical representation of all living energy and being that exists in that reality. The Archdemon is an entity of pure malice that seeks to destroy all living things in Aloria in a blind rage. It does not speak, it does not reason, and it shows no mercy, and it is supposedly also immensely powerful beyond comprehension, though because Aloria is a relatively fragile dimension to the existence of such powerful beings, the Archdemon can only partially manifest in Aloria and affect the world through proxies. The Arken are in ways parts of the Archdemon’s soul split up into smaller remnants, so he can interact with the world by dividing his immense power. The Archdemon is sometimes also referred to as Behesael by the Altalar, who themselves recorded this name from Seraph writings, though it is unknown whether this is his actual name, and no Arken has ever referred to him as Behesael, nor does anyone know if he is actually a he, as he is more likely an a-gendered magical energy collective.
Arken are sometimes also referred to as Anchors, Arken merely being a more archaic Altalar word derived from the Meraic Aarkan, meaning ship-anchor or woodworking corner-fastening. The implication of the name is that Arken are what allows the Archdemon to manifest partially into Aloria without shattering the dimension, and this seems to be true on the surface, though how Arken came about is still largely a mystery. Arken are always born in sequence and have specified names. This is because Aloria is a dimension of emotions and feelings, which have an effect on the Demons as they venture from the Void where they lack emotions, into Aloria, where the laws of existence demand that they do have emotions. The sequence of birth among Arken is dictated by the strength of emotions, for example, Pride is the strongest vice in Aloria, meaning that the Pride Arken was the first born, followed by Fury, Betrayal, Lust, Greed, and so on. The power-index of Arken seems to also diminish the more there are born, beyond the Great Arken (some of the first born) there are also Lesser Arken (much later born), who are barely more powerful than normal Alorian Mages. It is theorized that Arken are still in the act of being born to this day, as new types are discovered every so often.
Arken have no set personality or mentality; though they come from a dimension of functionally nothing, their experiences are shaped by Aloria, making them almost ‘mundane’ to socialise with, almost to the point of being indistinguishable from normal people. Despite this, an Arken might for example live in a family their entire life and appear normal, only for it to kill the entire family one day and just wander off like nothing happened. Many often make a mistake presuming that because an Arken appears humanoid and acts like a normal person, that it can indeed feel remorse and pain the same way Alorians can. It is generally believed among scholars that some Arken can, if they want to, feel emotions the same way mortals do, but that the vast majority of them do not, and are generally just malicious towards the living as playthings. Some Arken do have good intentions towards the living, but usually go about them in very cruel or undignified manners, resulting in misery wherever they go. Many religions and cultures warn against these Demons and their children, the Silven, but they are not the only Demons to exist. The Arken seem to be motivated by their will to live, and some scholars have theorized that Arken, while originally in line with the Archdemon to destroy the world, have developed the uniquely mortal trait of self-preservation, and as such seek to prevent the destruction of their experiences. That being said, they should explicitly not be understood to be benign beings, as they still go about their plans in unusually cruel manners, and many of them still support the Archdemon, even if the majority does not.
Demon Lords are similar to Arken, but appear to be more independent and not directly related to the Archdemon. Demon Lords as opposed to the Arken (who live exclusively in Aloria) reside primarily in the Void, and are only called into Aloria by powerful practitioners of Karaamaatee, who allow the Demon Lord to possess them for a time as part of a bargain. Demon Lords are fewer than Arken, with a particular domain of power attached to them; for example, Ramat, the Demon of Fire, is known for its affinity to fire and setting things alight, while Ulat, the Demon of Forgetting, steals memories from Alorians. Demon Lords are immensely dangerous, and any novice of Karaamaatee (often also shortened to Karamat or Karamatology) should never attempt to contact a Demon Lord, as it will surely take possession of them and go on a murdering rampage until stopped. Demon Lords do not seem to owe allegiance to the Archdemon or Arken, but do have a lust for carnage and death, and seem to take glee in ending lives, and as such should be treated with even more cautiousness than Arken who are generally just capricious. As opposed to normal Demons, Demon Lords seem to be very intelligent, and have a personality of their own. The Void Ancients or Supreme Beings from the Void related religions are sometimes also considered Demon Lords, but their power is much greater than Demon Lords. As such, they have not formally been classified as a particular entity yet, and are probably an as-of-yet unmet entity type from the Void that has trouble manifesting in Aloria.
Demons are similar to Demon Lords, but much smaller in scope and weaker in power. They, as opposed to Demon Lords, also do not have personalities or even a base level of sentience, and more than one of any type seem to exist. For example, while there is only one Demon Lord of the Sea, Water Demons are very common, and multiple may be found in the same location. Demons are often captured by Karamat to power their demonology crafts, and while still posing a risk to the untrained, are far less dangerous. Demons as opposed to Demon Lords also mostly reside in Aloria like an afterbirth of the Void Invasion, lingering where once large Demon armies roamed or attacked. Demons can possess untrained individuals and become feral or hostile, some are not even aware that a Demon is inhabiting them until it is too late. A person with a Demon inside of them is called a Possessed (more about Possessed below). Demons are largely responsible for the corrupted fauna and flora found around the world, particularly in Drowda, where it infects a host and starts to corrupt it, altering their minds and behavior to become more aggressive and violent.
Blind Essence is an even more watered down version of a regular Demon. Blind Essence has no identity and no real form like regular Demons, and does practically no damage to hosts. Blind Essence is generally the fuel used by those drawing from the Void for power, and it quickly dissipates when not used or wielded in Aloria. It can also be used to cause bodily Mutations, and can usually be sensed by Void Mages and Sorcerers if any of it is nearby. It can also build up in locations where Demons, Demon Lords, or Arken reside for longer periods of time.
A Sekter is a so-called Void Shade. What exactly Void Shades are is barely understood, though they are sometimes referred to as the Void Watchers, owing to the fact that they only show up when someone tries to reach into the Void. When such an event occurs, a Sekter prevents the person from pushing their conscience or being into the Void, and follows them back out of the Void into Aloria. This is not a possession per-se, rather, the Sekter seems invisible and intangible, only showing up at night when the person is asleep to haunt them in their dreams with the most horrifying and disgusting visions of death and decay and lifelessness. Sekters cannot be cleansed with Exorcism and the condition of being haunted by one is barely understood, many who are haunted by Sekters either go mad or die early, either of a heart attack from the stress of constant night terrors, or from sleep deprivation over fear of sleeping.
A Paraj is an equally barely understood being that has mostly only existed on the Suvial Isles. Paraj seem to somehow be an after-effect of massive Void Spells leaving behind some sort of Void-based ectoplasm that develops a sentience and growing intelligence the longer it lives and interacts with the world. Paraj have some mobility of their own as they undulate their way around the world, through primarily surviving by infesting hosts. Paraj, as a word, means parasite in the Suvial language, which is exactly how they like to live. Paraj need a host to survive, but make themselves alluring to a host by promising bodily and mental enhancements from the parasitic infection, albeit only giving it when it pleases the Paraj, and taking it away if the host is being unreliable or uncooperative. Paraj are not classical possessions, and can only be expelled from the host voluntarily, after which they will attempt to seek a new host. Paraj can be killed relatively easily while inside their ectoplasm state by simply burning the goop. The Paraj are considered holy to those who worship the Void as they represent exactly what the Void promises, evolution and improvement of the body with more power, and steeling of the mind with more insight.
Afflictions and Powers
Vampirism is considered the “tool of the Void,” as many Arken claim (beyond reasonable doubt) that Vampirism was made by the Archdemon. Something happened during the last Void Invasion that made the Archdemon no longer capable of manifesting into a physical form, so he created Vampirism to infect the living of the world through a seemingly more docile strain of possession so the Vampires could start wreaking havoc among the populations of mortals, softening them up for his eventual return. His eventual return never came however, and Vampires have largely carved an existence of their own in the world, though some still follow his will, and many worship the powers of the Void.
Mages and Sorcerers are the primary wielders of Blind Void Essence to fuel their powers and much of their Magic uses up fuel from the Void. Void Essence allows the Mages to suspend the laws of existence in Aloria, albeit for a time, and only locally, thus allowing them to do great feats. For example, the laws of reality dictate that the sun bathes the soil in light, but Void Essence can be used to twist that law of existence upside down, thus creating shadows and Darkness, the foundation of Darkness Sorcery. Void Essence is not inherently evil, as it does not even have sentience or a morality, though Void Mages are generally considered evil individuals, owing to the fact that Void Magic has allure to those wishing to use it for evil deeds.
A possessed individual is a person from Aloria who has their soul corrupted by Void Essence, either in form of a Soul-Bridge (where the Soul has a parasite attached to it) or Soul-Suppression (where the Soul is replaced by that of a Demon Lord). Possession is not always apparent, as some of the lowest possessed show barely any symptoms and may at best show a few Mutations and behavioral changes, while the worst possessed might rapidly physically mutate into a monster and become a carnage killing machine intent on death and destruction until it is destroyed. Possession is usually removed with Primal cleansing or other Exorcist mechanisms, and is highly illegal in most states. In Regalia, legally there is little mercy for the possessed, as the risks of a rampant Demon or Demon Lord are historically far too great to be allowed to exist, whether or not there may be a way to save them; in practice, however, many individuals seek to cleanse the possessed before the authorities can reach them.
Worship of the Void occurs in a number of ways. Despite the obvious destructiveness of the Void, many cults and religions have formed, seeing their cleansing apocalypse as creating a new world where those who aided the Void get to live like mutated and enhanced royalty and gods. Indeed, many who worship the Void see the Void as a means to unlock new evolutions for themselves into greater beings, a quest for power, or knowledge. While in theory dozens of Void Cults exist, two religions hold the majority of the worshipers, that being Cult of Evolution and Faith of the Dark Ancients.
- It is generally theorized that the Void is in fact a dimension of nothingness, with no sound, no color, no smells, no shapes and no awareness, a concept that is very strange to Alorians who understand the world through the senses.
- Some Arken claim the Void Invasions are only natural responses to the world abusing the Void, saying the Void screams out to be left alone. This poses interesting moral dilemmas for Mages and the role of the Seraph.
- Why exactly the Void seems so hellbent on death beyond the cleansing of Mages is unclear. Even entities unrelated to the crusade against the living from the Archdemon seem uncomfortably amused by death, but coming from a dimension where Death does not exist, Void creatures having such a fascination with it remains a mystery.