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Overview

The Lux Aeterna (also known as Unreality, Falsespace, or just The Aeterna) is a plane of existence, known for being the source of Thaumaturgy. The Aeterna is most infamous for being hazardous, which is a result of its extreme and unusual properties. Consequently, there are few permanent inhabitants of The Aeterna. It is also well known for its large number of aberrations and mysteries, especially those in relation to Thaumaturgy. Throughout history, The Aeterna has been referenced in many ancient mythoi, and is the subject of constant study.

The Aeterna is a relatively large plane, thought to be 280 thousand light years across. It is not shaped like a sphere but as a wrinkly membrane. Large portions of it are cut off in relatively disconnected pockets of space. The ambient color of the Aeterna is a faint purple. Unstable or otherwise compromised areas, typically disturbed by high-energy events, have also caused The Aeterna to seap into the physical universe. A notable example of an event is Sydiah's Hinterlands, a region of the Aylothn galaxy.

Pylons

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A Pylon is a manifestation of consciouness within the Aeterna. Every sapient individual (occassionally even artificial intelligences) has a corresponding Pylon In The Aeterna. They manifest as a glowing white orb that appears to move aimlessly throughout space. While uncomfirmed, the working hypothesis is that every individual, past, present, and future, have a corresponding Pylon.

Pylons are critical to Thaumaturgy, as it allows a user to channel Aeternal Energy to realspace. Pylons are located all across The Aeterna. Each Pylon has a different "weight" or size, which is directly related to one's ability to channel Aeternal Energy. Individuals with considerably high weights are known as Magi. Extensively using Thaumaturgy causes one's Pylon to grow in weight. The larger the weight, the more energy that can be channeled.

A Pylon gaining weight too quickly may cause Thaumaturgic Insanity, an anomalous condition incurable by physical means. The process is slow, taking many decades for most people. The onset of this disease is harmful, as those effected exhibit unusual physical and mental characteristics. The severity of such effects vary from person to person, but all become extremely unstable. After a certain point, the mind of a person breaks down, resulting in the mental disorder. Mania, hallucinations, and occassional delirium are common. Additionally, symptoms mimicking Ganser syndrome, dysmetropsia, and memory distrust syndrome. ae Pylons may also 'shatter' following the overuse of Thaumaturgy. When shattered, Magi lose control of the flow of power, rendering any Thaumaturgic usage impossible unless it heals. Irreperable shattering is often characterized by the complete death of the Magi in question, as their bodies begin behaving much more like material in the Aeterna. These exotic forms of matter are largely incompatible with the physical universe. The afflicted individual often physically distorts into strange shapes. These shapes are often physically impossible, causing them to fly apart in a burst of energy or, sometimes, to collapse into a singularity. The few survivors of shattering usually develop Thaumaturgic Insanity. Sufficiently large Pylons shatter and cause rifts between the Aeterna and realspace. Such is the center of the Wane of Reality. Overuse is relative to the size of one's Pylon, with smaller Pylons being easier to shatter. As such, this phenomenon occurs less commonly amongst proficient Magi.

Aeternal Energy

Aeternal Energy is a constant, invisible presence of energy unique to the Aeterna. It is thought to have existed since the Aeterna's creation following the Cosmic Primordia. Aeternal Energy is responsible for numerous things, and many have believed that it is the cause of background denegeration.

Cores

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The Aeterna is a host to independent entities, called Cores, within its boundaries. Cores hold the appearance of large, white wisps of light which flicker and move quickly. It is thought that these Cores manifest from high-energy events, though this is not entirely proven. Most Cores are found floating aimlessly, typically around large coagulations of matter. It is thought that there are quintillions of Cores in The Aeterna, appearing and disappearing over many years. Independent Cores are hazardous due to their high energy and sporadic movements. Their speed and energy may also result in damage to vessels or people.

Occasionally, Cores merge with one another, creating a conscience with multiple minds. If this happens often enough, a unified sapient core may appear in its place. Such Cores are immune to the degeneration of The Aeterna, being able to thrive for many millions of years. Sapient Cores may combine with others as well, resulting in a collective conscience of two or more Cores. The largest of these have the equivalent of billions of minds in a single body.

Aeternaborne

Main Article: Aeternaborne

The Aeternaborne are sapient individuals who are created from the combination of many Cores. While lesser, non-sapient Cores disintegrate outside The Aeterna, Aeternaborne may survive and wander near rifts. They usually have a long lifespan, though they also disintegrate if given time. If an Aeternaborne leaves, they have a longer lifespan depending on how many Cores make it up. They typically hold an innate affinity for Thaumaturgy, and are thought of as dangerous or enigmatic. Surviving Aeternaborne have hardly been studied due to their rarity. Additionally, an Aeternaborne may not safely return if they adapt to realspace. If they do, an Aeternaborne may become trapped, being unable to leave without great difficulty or external help.

Mother Sydiah is one of the most recognized Aeternabornes in history. As the leader of Sedrua, she has used her abilities to expand her empire in the name of The Aeterna. One of her most notable feats was creating Sydiah's Architects, Aeternabornes which served under her. They were responsible for making Sedrua, building many structures and populating countless worlds as the empire expanded. In an attempt to re-enforce her empire, Sydiah attempted to use a great amount of power. It instead triggered a large Aeterna Cascade, returning her to The Aeterna with no way out for millennia. This is known as the Wane of Reality, an event which started Sedrua's downfall.

Aeterna Cascades

Since natural rifts are extremely rare, most Aeternaborne exit through events named Aeterna Cascades. These events are caused by a Core creating rifts, subconsciously channeling Aeternal Energy in a way similar to Thaumaturgy. This allows an emerging Aeternaborne to leave the Aeterna. If a large collective conscience attempts to leave the Aeterna on its own, the co-responding Cascade may emit large amounts of energy. This is especially true with any Cores which have the conscience of thousands or more. The energy caused by Aeterna Cascades may disintegrate the Cores, scattering them back to The Aeterna. Ones which survive this are regarded as the strongest of Aeternabornes.

Dangers

As mentioned, The Aeterna is a very hazardous place for most operations. Matter from realspace quickly degenerates. Most matter dissipates shortly after degeneration, effectively absorbing it into The Aeterna. The same is applied when material from The Aeterna is brought into realspace. Lifeforms are affected similarly, though some remain in a state of constant degeneracy. This has made close study of The Aeterna almost impossible without the use of Magi.

Magi are the only known exception to The Aeterna's dangers. With great proficiency, a Magi may be able to partially protect themselves by channeling a large amount of Aeternal Energy. They must maintain a high concentration and flow to prevent degeneration. They remain the only known group of people capable of surviving The Aeterna's largest of hazards.

Travel while difficult, has been achieved with the aid of Magi. Travel between The Aeterna and realspace may cause anomalies between arrival and destination points however. Instances of non-euclidean travel are more than common, though they are known to be uncontrollable, resulting in unpredictability. Even with the help of Magi, spatial or gravitational anomalies may poorly impact any surveyors. In many instances, it has resulted in the death of those attempting to traverse The Aeterna. As such, it is not reliable to travel around.

There have been countless reports of hallucinations, extreme disorientation, and dissociative episodes within The Aeterna. Even with protection, these effects can manifest. After long-enough exposure, one may lose consciouness, causing them to be ejected from the Aeterna into realspace. Additionally, one's ability at channeling Aeternal Energy may worsen, eventually making them dampened or useless. The hostility of The Aeterna has led others to believe that nobody is truly secure from the hazards therein. There are no documented cases of permanent harm done by existing within the Aeterna.

Notable Related Locations

With The Aeterna always changing, there are no permanent notable locations. In reality however, there exist many points which lead to or are related to The Aeterna. These will be listed with notable characteristics and go as follows:

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Suvaren Field
Holo's Ring
Description The Suvaren Field has been known to hold many areas related to The Aeterna, most notably the supermassive black hole at the center. For reasons unknown, it holds a remarkable presence in The Aeterna and is observed to display psychokinetic and more broad anomalous effects. Holo's Ring is a very large megastructure under the control of the Neo-Terran Intergalactic Hegemony. It was created by the Triumvirate Civilization to research the mysteries of the Aeterna. The Ring allows for a form of Runic Thaumaturgy to be practiced near to it. The usage of runes in the region has contributed greatly to the success of the inhabitants.
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Sydiah's Hinterlands
Fojura
Description Sydiah's Hinterlands is a region of space in the Suvaren Field, which is most notably affected by The Aeterna. There exist many weak points of real-space, known as The Cracks of Reality, which allow The Aeterna to more or less leak in from its realm. These cracks, while inaccessible from the outside, allow content from inside The Aeterna to spread all across the universe. Sydiah's Hinterlands are most prominent in the Suvaren Field, though other regions may also contain identical phenomena. Fojura is a very notable place linked to The Aeterna. It is located deep in the Suvaren Field, near Bakeyatalla and other prominent sites. It was originally thought to be a standard black hole until its true hazardous nature was revealed by Sedrua. It is known to directly affect the conscience, sapience, and psyche of any individual, no matter how powerful they may seem. These effects include the admission of mental disabilities, given a long enough exposure. Powerful Magi can dampen but not completely stop the effects of Fojura. Most notably, Mother Sydiah, as well as members of the Chosen of Sydiah, have shown great concern for Fojura and its potential.

History

There is currently no reliable method to date the Aeterna. Current understanding places it at sometime after the Cosmic Primordia, during the creation of the Azurade. Shortly thereafter, the Azurade filled the empty plane with matter and energy. In the first moments of the universe, when it was far hotter, the boundary between realspace and the Aeterna was blurry. After several microseconds, the plane stablized and cut itself off from the main universe. It expanded at a slower rate than realspace, lending to its smaller size. A small number of rifts formed, although these were microscopic in scale.

Little happened in the Aeterna for the next several billion years. When the first sapient organisms came into existence, activity resumed in the Aeterna. The activity of the first lifeforms and, consequently, the first Magi sent shockwaves through the Aeterna. The first sapient life forms triggered numerous Aeterna Cascades as they disturbed their Pylons. At this point, the Pylons began to move about as they do to this day. The Cores began stirring as well during this period. This took place at an indeterminate time in the deep past.

The Cores likely coalesced to create Aeternaborne as they do now; however, concrete evidence for them predating 750 million years has not been found. As matter flowed into The Aeterna, it disintegrated, though fragments remained and exhibited unusual characteristics. As the number of sapient individuals increased, the Aeterna became more chaotic. As sapience in realspace came to be, so did sapience in the Aeterna. The first Aeternaborne were likely contemporary to the first civilizations.

The Aeterna underwent many large Cascades, with several more happening until the most recent one in 129,591 BCE. This would be the creation of Mother Sydiah, a result of billions of sapient Cores. She went on to extract other Cores from The Aeterna, creating Sydiah's Architects and establishing Sedrua. Aeternalism was spawned from her faith in her origins, as Sydiah believed it was like a heaven or oasis. Her followers grew in numbers, expanding Sedrua until the Wane of Reality created rifts and trapped Sydiah in The Aeterna. With Sydiah's Pylon shattered, she could not leave The Aeterna. Instead, she existed in a state of perpetual degeneration. Many Architects followed Sydiah through the rifts, causing their deaths in the form of sacrifice. Overall, 28% died during the Wane of Reality.

In Sydiah's place remained her Hinterlands, a series of growing rifts connecting directly to The Aeterna. These rifts were very much hostile, wreaking havoc in their proximity. As such, many Architects died, as they either failed to contain them or sacrificed themselves as previously mentioned. Sedruan sectors had to deal with them on their own, using technology in an attempt to close the rifts. Perceived inaction from Sedrua caused mass distrust in its government, eventually fueling the need for change. Novel Aeternalism was founded by those now in distrust of the dominant relegion. They thought of the Aeterna as less of a heaven and more of a land for the worthy. This belief evolved and made variants of its own in the following millennia. From then, Sedrua entered into a state of decline. Sedrua's fall from grace caused most other governments within Aylothn to stop taking advantage of the Aeterna.

Around this time, the nations of Via Lacrimosa became the forefront of research into the Aeterna. With a far more naturalistic view of the plane, various organizations took advantage of its energy in different ways. Most notably, the integration of Thaumaturgy with technology. Numerous weapons, megastructures, and even settlements became integrated with direct connections to the Aeterna. In 17,809 CE, Hal Drusus II became an entity known as Mars. From the Aeterna, this entity still governs the Neo-Terran Intergalactic Hegemony.

By the War of the Final Transition, The Yohjan Confederacy began to employ Magi while the Commonwealth began using it by the time of the Eclipse. Eventually, Scientific discoveries created Eidolite, and allowed Hardlight to be produced in significant quantities. Further research refined the understanding of The Aeterna, with many nations unlocking its history. Pylons, Cores, and remnant materials were studied alongside historical documents, revealing its nature to many people. Later on, Aylothn's Totality happened, with Magi being used in its highest quantity of any war of the Common Era. The War of the Ancients passed with similar use in Magi.

Upon the turn of 99,678 CE, Mother Sydiah re-emerged from The Aeterna. It was with the help of Itrian Ustya, Thonde Eflein, and Rinnaq Jostoynia did she get free. Upon her re-emergence, Sydiah punished Vurilia Jiutopati for bringing Sedrua away from her ideals. She believed that his inaction with isolationism is what caused its downfall. As a result, Vurilia became trapped in The Aeterna, held by the forces of unreality. Currently, he is thought to be undergoing constant degeneration.

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