After Event-X, when so many cities were reduced wholly to rubble, Son Lomas became as a city trapped between being and unbeing, whereby it earned the name the “City of Ghosts”.
From a distance the city appears and vanishes in an instant, such that one will perceive either a jumble of abandoned buildings or a shimmering metropolis, bathed in an eldritch blue glow.
If one moves closer, one can see the moving lights of vehicles. Closer still, and the figures of people walking by on bustling sidewalks. If you stand in the right place, you may even be able to hear the city—however faintly.
Some have posited that Son Lomas is trapped inside a rudimentary time-loop, whereby its inhabitants are doomed to live out “the day before” in perpetuity. It seems more likely, however, that the city continues to experience linear time.
We simply do not know how.
“The Neverous Ether is a place-outside-all-places, an “Eternal Transience” through which all other worlds drift like pieces across the playing field of that great game called “The Conflict”.
Despite existing beyond, or “outside of”, what we would commonly refer to as reality, the Neverous Ether is nonetheless visible to those who visit, or more commonly, find themselves trapped there.
The “sky” of the Neverous Ether is a glowing, unearthly pink. A colour that carries with it all of the burdens of nostalgia and pain; such is the memory of the Ether, forgetting nothing. This humbling, sardonic sky is shot through with tendrils of purple cloud that twist and writhe like smoke. These are the thoughts and actions that exist within the Ether; the forces of soul and intention. Distant shining lights are visible, each one a gatewaty to a different universe.
The most notable structure to exist within the Neverous Ether is a long-abandoned shrine devoted to some unknown god.”
— F.D. Truman, “Foundations”
Those creatures that some would call “elves” but in reality are of fey-blood, spawned by the Great Tree in opposition to Lilith’s creation of the Vampire Tree, which birthed those called upir, or “vampires”.
Fey who have not forsaken their magic (see Choosing Mortality) are able to “join with the forest” by transforming themselves into trees: these are the Whispering Trees.
The trees are so named because when the wind passes through a grove of Whispering Trees you can hear the voices of the fey; speaking warnings, or riddles. If one places their hand against the bark of such a tree, it is possible to hear the voice of the fey who chose to transform themselves (it is possible this relies on the psychic ability of the individual touching the tree, though this is yet to be confirmed).
It is not unheard of for Whispering Trees to grant pieces of themselves to those who carry heroic blood, usually for the forging of weapons. These weapons are imbued with something of the spirit of the tree, often creating weapons of considerable power–especially against upir.
In the vast southern deserts of Gzewak, there is one they call Ela Jhatra, or, “The Singer”. As the winds weave and wind their way along the sandy slopes and dunes of this place it gives rise to an unlikely song.
Not merely some illusion of nature, the singing is at once melancholy and moving. Even the nomads who have trekked across the desert their entire lives frequently weep for the sound of the sad song.
Among the Yawehn, one of the largest nomadic tribes, they have dubbed the singer “Alanah” and tell a story about the voice is the spirit of a woman who was abandoned in the desert many ages ago. It is her spirit that is responsible for the singing, they say, as she walks up and down the dunes, eternally seeking her lost lover.
“The Changdalean Ethics were set more than 13,000 years ago by those who were called the High Priests of the Golden Temple.
Though this ethical framework is long-criticised, there is something to be said about the longevity and stability that has presided over the Changdalean culture and its people.
That primary decree of Changdalean ethics is that one must adhere to the “rules of god”, as determined by the High Priests of the Golden Temple. Thus, any action(s), that do not directly benefit the High Priests of the Golden Temple are viewed as inherently unethical.
This system is weighted towards inequality and, indeed, the High Priests (of which there are currently 7) are to be considered the force supereme within Changdalean culture.”
— Excerpt from “Instruments of God: Human Action and Heavenly Causation”, by “P.S.”
First perfected in the labs of the Axis Corp. and under the CEO, Sebastian Blake (entity class: red dragon), the quantum replicating nanobots were at first hailed as a miraculous scientific breakthrough.
The robots were capable of not only self-replication, but establish a neural web capable of adjusting their capablities to whatever task they had been given. If an error should occur at any point, all subsequent replications adjust accordingly.
On 2035 this was demonstrated as the Axis had the bots reassemble an entire fallen skyscraper. Beginning with less than 5,000 nanobots, it was estimated that over 2.704814e+300 were replicated within the following 12 hours in order to achieve this feat. The experiment was succesful.
This technology was quickly adapted to mass-commercial teleportation. It is important to recognise that teleportation conducted in this way does not provide continuity of consciousness.
After the Netherous Cataclysm, the nanobots were spread in vast numbers across multiple time-periods and dimensions. Adjusting to the post-Cataclysm reality saw them augmenting, combing and recreating chimeraic creatures, weapons and slaves. The Dictator is known to employ an endless army of self-replicating slaves known as the Thoughtless.
The robotic steeds of the Knights of the Verdant are an example of nanobots reclaimed by Axis Corp. remnants, and as such are capable of being adjusted and controlled within set boundaries to avoid unintended consequences.
Quantum Replicating Nanobots are classified as an Omega-class weapon.
It serves us not to compare the tactics of the Tel-Ur to anything we have seen in… conventional warfare, for indeed their tactics incorporate, combine and improve upon virtually every succesful military tactic ever undertaken.
Further, they are born with an innate ability to wield any weapon. Instinctively they know how to operate fighter jets as well as swords. They can command large-scale military operations as well as grapple with an enemy on a muddy battlefield. In extreme cases, they might even be prompted to unleash an Omega-class weapon.
Combining human knowledge about the nature of space-time, as well as Betwin’s “Theory of Inexplicable Matter”, it quickly became simple to transmit wave-based communications across vast physical distances.
From time to time a radio hobbyist will stumble across these transmissions, in the form of what many call numbers stations”. In fact, far from being the transmissions of government agencies, many of these number stations are in fact fragmentary, temporal anomalies* from the distant future, or the distant past.
Far from being limited to number stations, however, such transmissions have also been known to contain music, words and ambient noise from distant places, times and dimensions.
It is believed that by utilising this technology we may eventually be able to directly communicate with those who share “dimensional space” with us; which is to say, beings that dwell in the 4th, 5th, 6th (etc.) non-Euclidean dimensions.
* Due to the nature of these communications it is unlikely that they align with any proposed temporal framework. As such these transmissions are considered merely a novelty, and thus are of little interest to the Department.
The Vatari are a species of alien humanoids with the ability to both read and, perhaps more concerningly, control the minds of others. Although the particular method is still being researched, these powers seem to arise from an unknown section of the forebrain that does not exist in most other human-like species.
The Vatari’s abilities at mind-reading and mind-control are virtually unmatched. They are capable of entirely attaining control over another mind and thus can force it to perform any act. Similary, one may not guard against their personal thoughts or secrets while in the proxmity of a Vatari.
Most psychic protection methods (including those advanced technologies designed to block and limit similar abilities) are useless against the Vatari. Brain-foggers (both living and machine) and psychic mirrors have no effect.
Thankfully, the abilities of the Vatari can be protected against in far more practical ways:
- Solid Objects – Solid objects, particularly walls, with a density no less than 2400 kg/m3 are capable of protecting against Vatari abilities.
- Long Distances – The Vatari are unable to maintain any form of psychic control at a distance over 750m. In reality this number may actually be as low as 500m.
- Velvet – Velvet fabric is perhaps the most effective deterrant of all. For reasons that are entirely unknown, velvet not only prevents Vatari mind-incursions, but also creates a feeling of discomfort for the Vatari in question.
“And they knew from the first that this strange mountain and the stones that came forth from it, engraved with the words of God… that metals would adhere weirdly to the stone and thusly prove, beyond doubt, the existence of invisible forces.
Wherein thusly they built a temple on the mountain and by means of experimentation, carried out across 12 generations, they created something in the shape of a great unlikely geometry, which, when placed in position would present the precise application of forces required to steady it in place and hold it there, a few lengths from the ground.
And they knew no other god but that invisible force that invisible force that linked and repelled the metal and the stone.”
— Harrold’s Guide