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An Engel, not to be confused with an Angel (Aeternaborne), is a being, usually of great strength or influence, most commonly existing within Martial Space. Engels are usually capable of interacting with Thaumaturgy but often their power is derived from as-of-yet unknown sources. Engels are usually spontaneously manifesting, though not always. Moreover, they typically possess bodies existing within higher dimensions, often difficult or even impossible to conceptualize. Engels have properties that are unable to be understood. While rare, those attempting to perceive an Engel in its true form will invariably be rejected by the Lux Aeterna, a fatal event in which certain knowledge seems to cause ones soul to eject itself from their mind. Put simply, Engels are incredibly dangerous, highly powerful, and utterly mysterious beings whose influence throughout history cannot be understated.

To call them "gods" would not be inaccurate; in fact, to many, saying that they are not gods is heretical. The twin religions of Ibaradism and Kokoism regard all Engels as deific entities. To the secular, an Engel is simply a mysterious being, of which there are many. There are many interpretations of what Engels actually are, each of which accounts for most of the data while leaving out other data. Study of the Engels is a top priority. Unfortunately, study of these beings is obviously incredibly difficult.

History

The first known Engel is a machine-like entity located within Ventemir called The Administrator. Coming into existence in roughly 500,000 BCE, the Engels represent a relatively knew phenomenon compared to the much older Aeternaborne. The Administrator is the first and likely the most powerful of the Engels. The Administrator destroyed an entire galactic civilization as well as killing an Aeternaborne in 309,937 BCE, a feat not since replicated by any single individual except for the Administrator.

After the conflict, other Engels soon began coming into existence. In 230,888 BCE, Delyatu came into existence to defend the Vlanoans from extinction. This is the first instance of an Engel claiming a deific status as Delyatu described itself as "the goddess-protector of the Vlanoans." After Delyatu came Molonov, an Engel claiming to be an emissary of the all-powerful Ibarados, the chief goddess of the modern religion of Ibaradism. Titania was the last of the Engels to form in about 200,000 BCE.

Leviathan is the latest Engel to form, coming into existence sometime around the collapse of the Triumvirate in 210 CE.

Theories & Hypotheses

Engels are machine-like beings of ultra-high-technology created by an unknown civilization. While this civilization is entirely unobservable, there are potential civilizations that could have been the ones to create them such as the First Civilization. This would explain the common structures seen within these beings while also explaining their "machine-like" properties. Properties such as the possession of what appear to be gears, cogs, pulleys, tubes, and axles hint at a mechanical origin of the Engels. Some kind of four or even higher dimensional mechanical construct could be indistinguishable from an Engel.

These beings are immensely intelligent, however, they are fundamentally automata whose actions are guided by physical arrays of components versus code. This does not mean that they do not behave on the laws of computation, however. The Administrator has what appears to be a clock, suggesting that it can be a type of computer. The theory gets its name from the concept of "Apotheosis" or "becoming a god." The idea is that these beings are not deific in the slightest, but imitate the deific through advanced technology. The preferred theory of secular organizations and governments across Via Aylathiya, Apotheosis Theory remains the preeminent explanation for the existence of the Engels.

It falls short in the sheer number of assumptions that the theory makes. No Engel claims to be from a civilization or denies it, there is no evidence for this civilization as evidence about the First Civilization is sparse, and it assumes that these gears are physical rather than merely conceptual in nature. It could be that Engels only appear to have gears to intelligent beings but actually have no such properties (possible if the Engels exist according to "Common Theory."

Engels are conceptual beings whose similarities with machines is a defining characteristic but only coincidental. A conceptual being is a being that only exists within the minds of intelligent beings, having no concrete existence at all. Of course, there are decillions of so-called "conceptual beings" as any concept thought up by any being, even non-intelligent ones in many cases, qualifies. What makes Engels different is what kind of concept they are. An unknown quality about the concept of "Engel" causes a disturbance within the Lux Aeterna. This disturbance, existing in the noosphere of all Aeterna-connected life, will cause all of these beings to "hallucinate" the Engels. However, since the concept is so strongly believed, the Lux Aeterna will actually manifest the Engels in the universe, not as physical beings but as a sort of hologram.

Their behavior is determined by the conceptualization of them as is their properties. They do not strictly exist, their properties hypothetically able to change as the noosphere does. This means that they could have changed countless numbers of times and, because this change affects every single aterna-bsed intelligent being within Aylathiya, it would be impossible to recall any different behavior or properties on the part of the Engels.

The Common Theory of Engels is named for the common origin of the Engels among intelligent life. The experiment to prove this theory would be prohibitively expensive, on the order of the entire federal budget of the Boreal Federacy, one of the leading investors in research in this field. The reason the experiment would be so expensive is because it would require the brainwashing of every intelligent being in Via Aylathiya to substantially change the behavior of the Engels in a controlled manner, all while having the Dotsk, or some other non-Aeterna species, record the behavior of the Engels before and after the experiment. As of right now, the Common Theory of Engels has no evidence for or against it. It is known, however, that it is possible for collective conceptualizations to cause beings to come into existence (i.e. The Seekers).

Engels are near-deific entities created upon the destruction of the Great Unifier, an entity mostly detailed within some Kokoist myths as an enemy of the chief goddess Ibarados. The Great Unifier, also known as Kokos, is said to have ruled the previous universe, behaving as some kind of actor-director in a predetermined play originally initiated by Ibarados. Once this so-called "play" ended, Ibarados was satisfied and recycled the components of the play into the modern universe we see today. Kokos was said to have been divided into countless beings and scattered across the Cosmos. Some of these fragments would eventually make their way into Via Aylathiya, creating the Engels as their are known today.

The behavior of the Engels aligns nearly perfectly with Kokoist myth, down to their properties as machine-like beings, something not known until the 60,000s CE (the myths were written in the 20,000s). Since the writer of these myths was an Engel herself, called Titania, it is likely that the scriptures were based on self-observation rather than divine inspiration. A puzzling aspect of these myths are their parallels with [Echoes], a mysterious phenomenon many associate with a so-called "previous universe." It is unknown how Titania found out about these Echoes, as knowledge of them was restricted for most of history. The fact that their myths align so closely to what is shown in these Echoes has caused many to believe in Titania's testimony.

No direct evidence exists for a "previous universe;" the local cosmos exists in isolation. The Amaranth Echoes and other phenomena related to them are most likely not from any previous reality. The Kokoist view, of course, suffers from a non-testable theistic perspective. Experiments to confirm the identity of these Engels as fragments of "Kokos' original form" are impossible.

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