Religious tulpas of sapient cuil flux born from the dreams of a sleeping god.
Reach the Core. Anything you desire is at the Core.
Reach the Core and meet GOD.❖
In the dimension commonly referred to as ‘hyperspace’, there exists a number of living things far greater than that of our home dimension, ‘realspace’. The mysterious and anomalous laws of nature that govern the realm prove to be far more merciful to the evolution of life than the laws of our own, resulting in a majority of hyperspatial planets having the ability to sustain life.
Among these planets, one outshines the rest, serving as the very heart of a vast interstellar empire that stretches across nearly half of the known hyperspatial galaxy, an empire known as the GOLDEN DAWN COVENANT, led by a High Council composed of the largest species making up the empire. The planet is a wondrous place, filled with landmarks and features and structures that could never be found in realspace, composed of entire shells layered over each other, a vast majority of the inner planet having not even been explored yet.
This planet is aptly named EMPYREA.
The Dreamer has shaped Empyrea through subconscious will alone - the surface is mostly static and belongs to its creations, but its inner shells are abstract and chaotic, as susceptible to the Dream’s whim as sand is to ocean waves. They say that in the deepest shells, the ground shifts under you.❖
Empyrea is not a naturally occurring planet.
Millions of years ago, a being of unfathomable power fell asleep. Others call this being the ‘DREAMER’. The Firstborn call it God. The Dreamer drifted across space for a great period of time, dreaming as it drifted. As it dreamed, its dreams manifested into reality around it, encasing itself in the impossible like a shell. These shells began to accumulate over time, as the Dreamer dreamt entire environments, species of plants, animals, people, calamities, and the Firstborn. Shell upon shell, Empyrea was dreamt into creation. The planet itself was captured by a binary star system along its natural path, giving the very surface of the planet a source of light. This system is called SOMNISCIA.
The denizens of Empyrea, whether it be the Firstborn themselves or the Dreamborn, individual entities or species dreamt by the Dreamer, began to build on the planet. The Firstborn made the very outer shells of Empyrea their home, away from the chaotic dangers that lay within the inner shells where the Dreamborn and other unknowns and their legacies dwell. Over time, the Firstborn made their marks on Empyrea’s outer shell, erecting massive cities and structures from thought alone.
The surface of Empyrea is commonly referred to as “God’s Skin”. The surface of Empyrea, unlike the inner shells, remains relatively unchanging due to its distance from the core. The landscape and geography of God’s Skin has remained mostly the same throughout history, only affected by drastic events and trauma in the Dream, some of which are Calamities.
God’s Skin has numerous different places and biomes throughout it, reminiscent of a fantasy dream world that has fantastical places. Many of these places have been settled by the Aindivi Consortium, especially around areas of high flux density called ‘leylines’. Some Dreamborn settlements exist in God’s Skin as well, though not as many as the inner layers.
The Dreamer’s massive pool of flux courses through Empyrea like blood, seeping out from the Core and the inner layers out towards the surface of the planet like geothermal vents. Areas of the surface such as caves or fissures that this flux leaks out in large amounts are called LEYLINES.
Leylines are very important to Firstborn civilization; they serve as spawning grounds for newly awakened Firstborn and are sources of immense power for the Aindivi Consortium’s thaumaturgic empire, and many also serve as access points to the deeper shells of Empyrea. Leylines are also rich in deposits of an anomalous mineral called ‘Soulstone’ that is vital to the Firstborn’s thaumic technology.
Throughout the Firstborns’ history, leylines served as valuable strategic points. They are essential for a large thaumic infrastructure and many Firstborn who awaken in a controlled leyline will often join the faction controlling that leyline.
I awakened in the Solar Chasms. As I slowly crawled up the side of the chasm, blinded with light, I could feel my essence grow lighter with freedom. I was greeted by a Radias Curate who congratulated me on the completion of my ascent, and the beginning of my new life. I was confused and lost, but the Sodality showed me the way with a guiding light.
It would be the worst mistake of my existence.❖
When the Dreamer, a godlike entity, has a nightmare that causes it to even feel a slither of pain or fear, that trauma reverberates throughout the entirety of the Dream, throughout all of Empyrea. Terrible events or beings that are strong enough to cause the entire downfall of Firstborn civilization — and they have.
The Dreamer’s nightmares turned to reality are called CALAMITIES.
Most calamities are only found in the inner shells of Empyrea, and many still exist there to this day. Some, however, are powerful enough to affect the surface of Empyrea, or have arrived to the surface from the inner shells. They are terrifying entities that have numerous times caused the entire downfall of civilization in Empyrea, events and beings spawned from nightmares chilling enough to make even God feel fear.
The FIRSTBORN are a mysterious species born from hyperspace, hailing from a strange and chaotic world known as Empyrea. They are a type of organism unlike any other, made completely of cuil flux given life and thought through the mysterious will of the Dreamer, a sleeping god making up the core of Empyrea. They are completely psychic beings, every Firstborn capable of psionics which they call THAUMATURGY.
The Firstborn’s god and the core of Empyrea is the Dreamer. Having slept for an unimaginable length of time, its extant thoughts and dreams became reality and shell upon shell, created Empyrea. Over time, the spirit of the Dreamer, its vast mind, fractured into infinitesimal fragments. The collection of these subconscious beings, floating around like cells in a shared pool, is called the DREAM. These fragments cultivated until they developed free will and thought, and when they finally became aware of themself as an individual being separate from the gestalt, they then separate from it, birthing themself as a Firstborn from the Dreamer’s own flux. Essentially, the Firstborn are the Dreamer’s thoughtforms that become self-aware and will themselves out of its consciousness as a separate being.
A Firstborn’s first moments as a separate being are its most crucial. If the newly created Firstborn does not possess the resolve and will to prevent itself from merging back with the flux of the Dreamer, it will simply die, its being and mind absorbing back into the vast gestalt of the Dream. Should it have this resolve, however, its being will become its own, it will separate from the Dream. It will crawl out of one of Empyrea’s Leylines, a microcosm braving a macrocosm.
It will become a Firstborn.
I am real.
What is taken, shall be returned.
The truth of the matter is that there are a finite number of Firstborn in existence at a time; very rarely will the Dream actually create a new fragment from the Dreamer’s subconscious. Upon death, a Firstborn’s being will simply fade back to Empyrea, back into the Dream until they become aware of themselves again and pull themselves away from the Dream.
A Firstborn is a being that has lived many lives, simply reincarnated after death. While in the dream, their memories meld and fade away into the gestalt consciousness, only a few memories remaining with the reincarnated Firstborn, creating what is practically a new individual. At times, a Firstborn may suddenly remember aspects of their previous lives, and some can even bring themselves in a state of meditation to allow these memories to come forth in order to gain insight on something, an action called RETROSPECTION.
Memories from more recent incarnations of a Firstborn tend to be easier to remember. Grand Hierarch Raia’iri Radias has been rumored to have achieved ‘retrospective enlightenment’ in which they are completely aware of every previous incarnation of themself. In this way, they are very, very old, possessing memories that date thousands of years. They remember long battles, they even remember some of the worst Calamities to strike the Firstborn. They have witnessed it all, and because of this, they have grown cynical and scornful instead of enlightened, having witnessed the worst that sapient minds could ever offer.
I wonder if in any one of their lifetimes, Raia’iri was an exile?❖
The Firstborn are an interloper species, a very rare type of hyperspatial species that is able to exist in both realspace and hyperspace. Even hyperspatial species have a limit on the ECF they can survive in, but the Firstborn are an exceptionally rare interloper species that is able to exist in virtually any positive ECF. However, when the ECF is below 12‽, Firstborn begin to suffer adverse effects.These effects include pain and discomfort, and decreased physical ability that persist while within low ECF areas. Moving between sharp changes in ECF can be even worse; upon first entering realspace, particularly weak Firstborn have been documented to simply die on the spot from the pain.
For the Firstborn, living in realspace comes with pain. Most alleviate or even negate this pain entirely by binding themselves to baryonic matter - objects such as pieces of armor that help ground them to reality. Some, however, simply live with the pain. The former are Firstborn that are BOUND, and the latter are UNBOUND.
The flux that composes a Firstborn is able to physically interact with matter through instinctive metamanipulation, so long as the flux is touching matter. In this way, a Firstborn is able to hold objects and even wear clothing or armor, and the more mass they couple with in this way, the greater their physical strength comes.
The decision to wear armor or not comes with various tradeoffs. Firstborn who choose to wear armor are Bound, and Firstborn who do not are Unbound. The more Bound a Firstborn is, the greater their physical strength and durability and the less pain and adverse effects they experience from existing in a low ECF; however, being more bound also inhibits a Firstborn’s psionic abilities. On the other hand, having less armor means being physically weaker and experiencing more pain and adverse effects from existence in low ECF, but also being able to use psionic abilities at full power.
In a fantasy analogy, the Bound are warriors, and the Unbound are mages. More armor means more strength, more durability, less pain, but also less psionic power. Less armor means less strength, less durability, more pain, but more psionic power.
The additional benefit of being Bound is having a less noticeable psionic presence, as Unbound Firstborn tend to have very easily perceived presences. A fully Bound Firstborn will have no noticeable presence, but will not have access to any psionic abilities and may have severely inhibited senses.
Bound Firstborn tend to pursue more martial professions, whereas Unbound Firstborn tend to pursue study or thaumaturgy. I was a thaumaturge — it is an interesting art.❖
Interacting with matter in this way uses up a minor amount of the Firstborn’s flux. They can couple with matter to lessen the amount of flux they use, but lifting greater masses and having objects such as weapons or projectiles pass through their flux drains it. A Firstborn’s flux will naturally attempt to hold or slow down objects that pass into it, using up flux to do so. This means that weapons and projectiles can inflict a loss of flux on a Firstborn; a Firstborn will use its flux to slow down fast-moving small projectiles, and it will use its flux to stop slow-moving heavy objects such as hammers. Energy weapons such as plasma are as effective as ballistics are, as their flux will naturally attempt to reduce passing energy into a ground state, using up flux to do so.
If a Firstborn loses enough of its flux before regenerating it over time, it will die. Using psionic abilities will also drain the Firstborn’s flux. Going with another fantasy analogy, the Firstborn quite literally is its own health and mana pool.
Firstborn do not need to eat. What they are made of is what sustains them, and they naturally recover it from anomalous flow. Firstborn do not require sleep like most species do; instead, Firstborn will typically meditate and enter a trance for a length of time in order to relieve stress and recover from the pains of existing in a low ECF. Being in a trance also allows them to recover flux faster than they would when not. When in a trance, Firstborn are semi-conscious; they can still hear, feel, and see, but words are simply noise, touch is just touch without texture or location, and sights are just colored shapes.
Firstborn senses include senses of sight, sound-touch, and anomaly. Their senses of sight, sound and touch are perceived via a passive ESP. Unbound tend to have greater senses than their Bound counterparts, being able to see more colors, hear greater frequencies, and feel in greater detail due to their greater psionic ability. Bound Firstborn tend to be able to see less colors and have a lesser range of hearing; the most extreme Bound even cannot see color or may have tunnel vision. Since this ability is psionic in nature, anything that would disrupt other psionic abilities would disrupt a Firstborn’s senses except for touch. Firstborn also have cuilsight, allowing them to see anomalous flow and flux. Some Firstborn possess abilities that grant them additional senses, especially Firstborn that are espers. Instead of having separate senses of sound and touch, Firstborn perceive both as a sense similar to touch, felt where their essence comes in contact with the sound waves or felt object.
Many thaumaturges believe that the Firstborn’s innate senses are developed from our previous lives from our ancestor’s attempts to adapt to the world around them, so innate and used at every moment that they become core to us and are passed to our next incarnations. Of course, there have been instances of Firstborn who have awakened with no senses at all, though they are often quick to develop them. Being able to perceive the world around you is key to recognizing yourself, because a lack of information creates doubt, and perpetual doubt creates dissonance in the mind.❖
Anatomically, Firstborn seem fairly simple; they have no organs and instead exist as a mass of cuil flux. However, the qualities of their flux differs throughout their body. Liquid flux exists through their body as a thin web-like structure branching through the rest of their gaseous flux like tree roots, reverberating with anomalous flow and acting as the source of their consciousness.
A Firstborn’s mobility depends on how much mass they are bound to; the more bound they are, the slower they move and the less height they are able to jump. Firstborn move by ‘grabbing’ mass they come in contact with and moving using it as an anchor, like amoebas. Firstborn move fastest by using the ground to their advantage, able to run up to the running speed of a human. Unbound Firstborn can even fly due to having no mass, able to slowly hover and fly by ‘grabbing’ the air. As Firstborn become more Bound, their movement becomes more animate, using their armor to walk.
A Firstborn’s mind and body are one in the same. Their forms are self-contained systems, brought to existence by their own will and desire to exist as a self-aware individual. The Firstborn have a common saying that ties deeply into their religion: “As above, so below.” This statement maintains that the experiences of the Self greatly affects our perception of the Universe, and that our perception of the Universe greatly affects the Self. A Firstborn’s perception of themselves and their recognition of their own existence is their only wall against melding back with the Dream, aside from physical destruction.
What this simply means is that a Firstborn’s emotions greatly affect their physical form and abilities. If a Firstborn becomes depressed, they will become physically weak and lethargic and will begin to lose their perception of their own Self. If allowed to continue in this state, they may reject their identity altogether — if this happens, they will simply fade away back into the Dream. They will die.
For a Firstborn to exist, they must truly believe they are a self-aware individual.
For a Firstborn, mind and body are one. A Firstborn’s personality affects their appearance and abilities. A Firstborn’s personality is unequivocally vital to their life; if a Firstborn lost their personality, they will lose their willpower, and will simply die due to them being unable to sustain their own essence. It is vastly important for a Firstborn to never give up hope. And this does not simply mean giving up in a situation — it means to truly give up, to allow their mind to simply succumb to insanity or nothingness. If such were to happen, a Firstborn will simply dissipate just like an old thoughtform.
Never give up. Please.
A being of glistening prismatic light floated behind a workstation equipped with a large variety of tools; they wore little on their amorphous form aside from a white cloak gilded with gold, and suspended in a flux appendage stretched outward was a masterfully carved soul gem that refracted light into prismatic rays. It seemed to be very pure, and wonderful cut into the shape of a truncated icosahedron.
Is it time?
Yes. It is time to become yourself.
What is my name?
Your name is Verkel’il, ‘Gilded Loyalty Completes my Legacy’.
The being then embraced the soul gem in full, which began to glisten and glow in light as a section of the thaumaturge’s flux began to stretch over it, and then snap off as its own form. After a few moments, the soul gem hovered above the ground as it gently rotated in the air. The thaumaturge took the soul gem, and placed it into a golden mechanical body prepared just for it, setting the soul gem core within a specialized housing. The construct began to move, and it spoke:
“What is your command, master?”
“Find thaumaturges. Find them and bring them here, so that they can finish it when I am gone.”
The Firstborn are not just capable of psionics; they are psionics, cuil flux given thought sustained by its own will. Whereas in most psionics, sapient organic minds generate flux on its own, the Firstborn are a self-contained system of flux; they are split off of the already existing flux of the Dream, and they generate their own flux and being naturally once they become fully sapient, always in a state of consciousness.
The Firstborn call psionics ‘thaumaturgy’. They are born with an innate instinctual knowledge on flow manipulation. However, Firstborn lack the ability to expel their anomalous flow. They are in a constant state of shrouded flow, allowing them to be detected by psions at all times. Firstborn have aptitudes much like organics do, however they are limited only to ESP, metamanipulation, and metacreation. It is possible for Firstborn to utilize neuroinvasion or clairsentience abilities, but they cannot affect organic brains; they can only affect tulpas and other Firstborn. Firstborn are capable of rarely possessing aberrant abilities like other psions. A Firstborn’s aptitude grants it minor abilities simply as a side effect of the aptitude affecting the qualities of their flux. A Firstborn esper will have increased senses, a Firstborn manipulator will have greater control over held objects and a Firstborn creator will have a greater volume of flux.
Firstborn typically refer to flux as ‘essence’, which translates from the Raxxiri word ‘Aindivi’. The Firstborn place great cultural significance towards flux; it is the blood of God that flows through Empyrea, through them, and through their thaumic machines. It is Soul.
Flux is the most volatile substance in existence, yet is malleable to our will. It has the potential to be anything. A prima materia.❖
Normally, flux is invisible without the aid of cuilsight. However, as a Firstborn develops, their flux will acquire certain qualities that affect its visible appearance, simply determined by their subconscious thoughts and beliefs. The appearance and qualities of their flux develop in the first few weeks after a Firstborn is born, while they are still becoming used to existence as their own individual separate from the Dream. During this time, they may also subconsciously develop basic abilities related to their aptitude significantly more easily than other psions, depending on what they are exposed to, their forming beliefs, their environments, the people around them, etc. In this way, Firstborn born into certain factions or societies of other Firstborn can take on similar characteristics and appearances. For example, Firstborn born into a leyline controlled by the Radias Sodality and stays with the Radias Sodality may appear to be made of pure light simply because others in the Radias Sodality are.
As stated before, Firstborn typically develop basic abilities related to their aptitude during the first few weeks of their life; this is typically something simple and related to their appearance, such as a Firstborn manipulator of the Frigaria Coterie being able to remove kinetic energy from matter in order to freeze it, or a Firstborn creator of the Radias Sodality being able to generate large amounts of light like a laser. Firstborn are able to develop more advanced abilities, though typically Unbound take thaumaturgy to the extreme, dedicating much of their time to the study and practice of it. Bound Firstborn instead tend to focus on martial prowess, though may develop abilities to assist them in combat.
Neuroinvasive and clairsentient abilities hold a delicate spot in Firstborn culture. Because Firstborn highly value their own autonomy and free will, using neuroinvasive thaumaturgy on another Firstborn is considered taboo and is outlawed by the Aindivi Consortium. Outside of taboo use, neuroinvasion is exceptionally useful for affecting thoughtforms and other technology; some use it to 'hack' thaumic technology, and clairsentience can be used to diagnose or scan thaumic systems.
Rarely, it is possible for a Firstborn to have an aptitude in neuroinvasion or clairsentience. A Firstborn neuroinvader is capable of creating thoughtforms easier and can create more complex thoughtforms. A Firstborn clairsentient is able to detect the presence, purpose, and complexity of nearby thoughtforms.
Over the course of their history, the Firstborn have developed a unique form of technology in order to take advantage of the bounties offered by Empyrea and the Dreamer. Firstborn technology is psionic in nature, revolving around the harvesting of flux from Empyrea’s many Leylines and utilizing it to perform various functions. Most Firstborn believe thaumic technology to be divine, using their god’s divine energy to power the technology that runs their civilization.
The source of most power for thaumic technology comes from the planet Empyrea itself. In order to draw flux from a Leyline, a special device called a LODESTONE is used. Lodestones are carved from an anomalous mineral that forms in areas extremely dense in flux called SOULSTONE. Soulstone forms inside pockets in Leylines and other places in the inner shells of Empyrea. The quality of the soulstone determines how effective it is; higher quality soulstone with lower impurities is found in deeper shells of Empyrea. Lodestones vary in size; the lodestones used to harvest flux from leylines can reach incredible size, able to harvest massive amounts of flux.
Soulstone has the unique property of attracting free flowing flux towards it and storing it inside of a lattice like a capacitor. A lodestone has a core of octarine glass embedded into the soulstone core, allowing the lodestone to discharge stored flux into the octarine core and then through a rod of crystallized mana to be transported. When correctly configured, a cut of soulstone can also act as a battery.
In regards to appearance, soulstone appears like a gemstone when properly cut; when filled with flux, it will hum with power and can even emit light. Its color depends on what impurities it contains, and pure soulstone harvested from the deepest shells of Empyrea are known to be as clear as possible, changing color depending on the quality of flux it contains. Soulstone is widely valued, individual cuts becoming only more valuable the more pure they are due to how dangerous it can be to obtain them from the deeper shells of Empyrea.
Soulstone, octarine, and mana make up a great deal of any thaumic device. Soulstone acts as an attractor, battery, and vessel for thoughtforms, octarine acts as a lens that can project flux, and crystallized mana is able to conduct flux into itself and transport it into areas of lower flux density.
An individual soulstone cut can be called a SOUL GEM. Soul gems are widely used in thaumic devices, and are typically reinforced in a frame of metal to protect them.
Flux, when unaffected by the will of a psion, is difficult to sustain and manipulate. When outside of the vicinity of a psion, flux will dissipate from existence. However, certain materials and thaumic technologies are used by the Firstborn to manipulate flux for use in thaumic devices.
The Firstborn primarily utilize an anomalous material known as MANA in order to conduct flux. When in solid glass form, mana is capable of sustaining flux, allowing it to exist in a contained system. While conducted inside mana glass, flux will naturally flow towards lesser densities of flux. In order to transfer larger amounts of flux faster, a device called a condenser is used. A condenser uses a series of carefully cut octarine lenses in order to increase the density of flux, turning flux into a liquid form that the mana can conduct.
Of course, the Aindivi Consortium and the Golden Dawn Covenant control a vast stretch of territory outside of the Somniscia System, so methods have been devised of obtaining flux when away from the leylines of Empyrea. There are a variety of methods used to generate flux; one such method is to simply store flux in large soul gems to be used later. Another is for a Firstborn or psion to donate their own flux using a lodestone; many portable thaumic devices use this method to power them. Some permanent settlements harvest the flux generated from natural anomalies called ‘vortices’, miniature spots of lower ECF in hyperspace (and higher ECF in realspace). Negative energy is used to open the vortex, releasing a flood of flux that can be collected via lodestones. However, vortices opened in this way can become dangerous, stabilizing the ECF between realspace and hyperspace. To hyperspatial beings, the lower ECF can pose a danger, and to realspace beings, the higher ECF can pose a danger.
Of course, being able to harness flux using thaumic technology is useless unless it can be applied. To accomplish tasks using flux, the Firstborn use THOUGHTFORMS.
A thoughtform is a carefully created, semiconscious being that a Firstborn thaumaturge cultivates and splits off from their own mind into a soul gem. The creation of a thoughtform is very similar to how a Firstborn is born in the first place; the Firstborn begins to cultivate a second, extant personality and consciousness inside their own mind. They may give the thoughtform a certain level of ‘intelligence’ or conditions, and most importantly, can grant it psionic abilities and qualities such as senses or the ability to manipulate objects. Once the thoughtform is ready, it is given a will of its own, and the Firstborn thaumaturge attempts to separate it from its own flux and place that flux into a soul gem. If successful, the newly created thoughtform will inhabit the soul gem with its flux, like a miniature animal-like Firstborn. The process of creating a thoughtform is called ‘forcing’.
What a fool I was, forcing a thoughtform that advanced, when my will is already near broken.. A part of me went into Verkel that I didn’t want to part with. We are such malleable beings, hardly concrete.. What is the individual, then?
Who is Solorix? Who is Verkel?
Who is the thaumaturge and who is the thoughtform?❖
Thoughtforms are semiconscious; they are typically not self-aware and do not possess enough will or intelligence to maintain their own self-contained system of flux as true Firstborn do, and so require a vessel of soulstone in order to exist. They are also typically incapable of producing their own flux, requiring an outside supply of flux in order to use any ability they are created with.
Thoughtforms can vary in complexity. More complex thoughtforms are able to be more intelligent and can have more complex and powerful abilities and uses. However, more complex thoughtforms are more difficult to create, and more complex thoughtforms require higher purity soul gems as a vessel. The most complex thoughtforms are completely intelligent and even self-aware, though they can only be created by the most skilled thaumaturges and require the most pure soul gems.
Thoughtforms that are animated and meant to interact with the world are called CONSTRUCTS. Constructs are used by the Firstborn to complete a great deal of labor, allowing the Firstborn themselves to pursue more important machinations. Constructs have a soul gem as their core, and their purpose and abilities are specifically and carefully designed by the thaumaturge. Some constructs are designed for construction, given various metacreative abilities or telekinesis, whereas some may be made for combat. Constructs make up a huge portion of the Aindivi Consortium’s industry, essentially acting as drones and robots.
The uses for thoughtforms are incredibly varied, and many complex thaumic systems make use of multiple. It is even possible for very complex thoughtforms to create other thoughtforms less complex than themself; this capability of complex thoughtforms allows for the mass production of other thoughtforms, allowing the Firstborn to mass produce certain thaumic devices that are commonly used, such as thaumic engines or servitors. Thoughtforms may interact with each other in order to complete a task, something especially important for factories that assemble thaumic devices.
The creation of a thoughtform is an arduous task. Some very complex thoughtforms that have multiple complex abilities and functions can even take years to create, and for good reason; any gaps left in the thoughtforms consciousness and mind can lead to deviance as the gaps must be filled somehow, causing what can be equated to ‘glitches’ in a program. If a thoughtform isn’t complete enough, it may not have enough of its own will and completed personality to even survive inside a soul gem.
The soul gem makes up the core of a thoughtform, anchoring its flux to a physical vessel so that the thoughtform’s weak will does not cause itself to dissipate. If the thoughtform’s soul gem becomes damaged or isn’t pure enough, the thoughtform can ‘glitch’ out and is less effective. If the soul gem is damaged enough or is completely shattered, the thoughtform will dissipate and die. A thoughtform also may simply dissipate naturally; over time, a thoughtform will slowly lose its own personality and begin to dissipate if not interacted with. More complex thoughtforms will last significantly longer than less complex ones. Thoughtforms can last longer if they are ‘maintained’ by a thaumaturge by forcing it after its creation. To force a thoughtform, a thaumaturge simply interacts with it. For a very basic thoughtform, they may simply expose it to more conditions so it isn’t stuck performing monotonous tasks. For more complex thoughtforms, they may even talk to it so as to reinforce its personality. More complex thoughtform constructs that are able to observe the world around it last significantly longer than other thoughtforms.
Typically, carved soul gems meant to house more complex thoughtforms will have more faces. A low-purity soul gem meant to house a very basic thoughtform may be a simple tetrahedron or octahedron, whereas the most pure soul gems meant to house complex and more intelligent thought forms may be carved even into an orb or other complex polyhedra. Carvers have some artistic liberty when it comes to cutting soul gems — for Verkel, I chose an icosahedron beveled at the edges. It's a beautiful form.❖
Because a thoughtform is anchored to a physical vessel, they are more resistant to lower ECF than unbound Firstborn are. However, when exposed to a lower ECF, thoughtforms tend to glitch out and perform their functions and abilities at lesser power. They become more fragile and their personalities weaken and dissipate easier.
Many thoughtforms, especially more complex ones, are given names. Giving a thoughtform a name is an easy way of finishing off its personality and will, and is often the final act a thaumaturge will perform to separate the thoughtform from their own mind and place it into a soul gem. A name, after all, is a testament to one’s individuality. Even for Firstborn, the first thing that they typically do when waking from the Dream is to name themself. That was so long ago. It sounds so alien now.
Solorix. Solorix. Solorix. Solorix.❖
Most thoughtforms, when they are severed from a thaumaturge’s host personality, are placed into a soul gem to stabilize their form, as they typically do not possess enough personality and power to maintain their form like a true Firstborn can. There are, however, exceptions. Thoughtforms that are not bound to any soul gem and exist as free-floating flux are called ANIMA.
Anima can only exist under ‘supervision’; either conjured by a psionic ability and sustained by the psion’s flux and personality, or in the case of natural anima found in Empyrea, inside of leylines sustained by Empyrea’s flux. Due to their unbound nature, anima are often not used in thaumic technology due to their inability to be contained. Anime are more like animals; they are often used in certain psionic abilities as constructs, mainly metacreative ones, and they can be found naturally in leylines.
Most anima are constructs due to their mobile nature.
Sometimes, a psionically intensive feat must be performed using thaumic technology; warping massive ships, boring through huge amounts of stone, etc. Because a Firstborn cannot force a thoughtform that is stronger than itself, the power of a thoughtform’s psionic ability can be limited. This is where metaconcerts come in. A metaconcert is simply a combination of multiple thoughtforms that work together to perform certain thaumic tasks; usually, thoughtforms composing a metaconcert have the same ability and simply combine their powers, though some metaconcerts for complex abilities may have thoughtforms that perform certain parts of it. Metaconcerts are usually composed of multiple thoughtforms inhabiting a single, larger soul gem, or multiple smaller soul gems; utilizing multiples of smaller gems is flux inefficient..
An example of common metaconcertal thaumic devices are thaumic warp drives, which are composed of multiple complex thoughtforms with space-bending abilities.
In some cases, metaconcerts can be performed by Firstborn as well.
Thaumic technology is capable of performing incredible feats, however it has various downsides compared to the technology of realspace. The most significant drawback to thaumic technology is the inability for thoughtforms to perform rapid complex calculations like realspace computers can; solving complex math equations is difficult for even the most complex thoughtforms. In addition, thoughtforms sometimes simply forget details such as counted numbers; to alleviate this, etchings are used to store data, but it is still a drawback that thaumaturges must consider.
In thaumic devices and infrastructure that requires mathematical detail, the Aindivi Consortium imports alpha computers from the Visitant Administration; special visi-thaumic interfaces are designed to interface alphas with thoughtforms, allowing them to relay information to each other. This cooperation is essential for the functioning of the Omphalos, which requires computation.
Other minor drawbacks include the inability to generate a significant amount of flux in a portable, small space. Whereas solarium reactors can be used to generate vast amounts of electricity, with thaumic technology flux must be obtained from soul gem batteries or generated from permanent structures such as leyline lodestones or vortex reactors. Though portable technologies can be powered with the user’s own flux, more energy intensive devices such as warp drives and engines simply require too much power for a single Firstborn to keep up with.
Sustainers are thaumic devices that are used to prevent metacreated faux matter from dissipating. They utilize large ocatarine lenses and are supplied with a large amount of flux, pumping flux into metacreated structures in order to strengthen and sustain them. Typically, sustainers (and metacreated buildings for that matter) are only used in Empyrea due to the large amount of flux needed to use them.
An ‘etching’ is a medium of thaumic data storage. Etchings are very important, as they serve as a means of conveniently storing persistent data. Many thaumic devices are able to read, write, display, interpret, etc. data from etchings.
An etching is a paper thin wafer of octarine glass encased in a thin metal casing for protection. The wafer is covered in a thin mana powder coating that changes structure and forms various patterns when exposed to patterns of flux from a type of basic thoughtform called a ‘transcriber’. The transcriber is capable of interfacing with other thoughtforms and is able to read from and write to etchings; many thaumic devices feature a transcriber thoughtform in addition to their primary thoughtform.
Etchings of larger size are vertically stacked with more wafers, and sometimes horizontally if a great deal of data must be stored. The drawback to using etchings is that exposure to flux can potentially overwrite and corrupt the stored data. Etchings attempt to guard against this by having a thin layer of mana in the casing to act as a faraday cage to flux, conducting outside flux and then ‘grounding’ it to an octarine lens that normalizes the flux into a ground state that cannot affect the etching’s data. Etchings also have the equivalent of a read/write mode that modern data storage drives have, preventing the drive from being written to when it is in read mode only. Despite these defenses however, a large amount of dense flux flooding into an etching will still wipe it.
Etchings are how I’m reaching you right now. I’m glad you found these intact — in this dimension they have a drastically reduced lifespan.❖
The Firstborn make heavy use of portals for use in transportation. Firstborn portals work using a large soul gem housing a thoughtform able to manipulate negative energy. The frame of the portal is constructed of mana glass embedded with octarine pylons that spread the thoughtforms flux throughout the frame. When supplied with flux, the portal will activate.
Portals link to another portal. Links are typically made using etching data that correspond to a unique symmetric key. Many portals also have consoles that allow different keys to be loaded in so that the portal can change destinations.
There’s portals here too, but they don’t work like the ones back home. Technology here uses electricity, it’s quite strange.❖
The Firstborn invented ships and FTL travel fairly early in their history; the primary force that prevented them from mass colonizing all of hyperspace was the various Calamities that afflicted the Firstborn at various points in their history. Traditionally, Firstborn ships would appear ornate like their architecture. Recently, however, Firstborn ship hulls have taken inspiration from the utilitarian appearance of Visitant ships, instead opting for a sleek, round look.
Firstborn ships feature a wide variety of thaumic devices. Thaumic engines contain very basic thoughtforms that can produce thrust (typically gravitic), and Firstborn ships contain a thaumic device called a warp hypercore, an advanced thoughtform that bends space around the ship in order to travel faster than light, faster than typical realspace equivalents. Ships also contain thaumic devices that handle communications, weapons, computers and navigation, and more. Firstborn ships tend to have rounded, dome-like hulls. Corvette sized ships and larger may also have small portals.
In regards to power, smaller ships typically have a large soul gem used to store flux, and an emergency lodestone crewmembers can use to donate flux during emergencies. Larger ships have their own means of flux generation, typically a vortex generator. Stations throughout the Golden Dawn Covenant are available to recharge any ships’ flux banks.
Instead of possessing thick armor, Firstborn ships typically use thaumic energy shields.
Firstborn ships tend to not be very effective in realspace, primarily in part because they lack what outsiders call hyperdrives. The Aindivi Consortium sees no value in the exploration of realspace like the Visitant Administration does. If an exile manages to supply their ship with flux, they must still obtain a hyperdrive from outsiders, or a phase drive from the Visitant Administration.❖
The Aindivi Consortium and the Golden Dawn Covenant possess a vast communications network across Covenant space. Short range communication is completed using radio technology. Basic manipulator and esper thoughtforms simply transmit and receive radio signals using an antenna, which other thoughtforms can interpret. Long distance communication is primarily done using tachyons transmitted and received from stations or ships. All hyperspatial tachyonic data is sent with metadata containing the ECF of the location the data was transmitted from; because tachyons can be refracted by passing through gradients of differing ECF, this allows thoughtforms to simply perform a mathematical function to obtain the original data.
In some cases, thaumic devices called ‘data portals’ can also be used for long range data transmission. As the name implies, data portals are miniature (the actual portals often being microscopic) portals that data can be passed through. Data portals are the Firstborn equivalent of quantum communication, capable of being portable. However, their bandwidth is limited if they do not have much power and they are not used for network-based communication due to them being end-to-end. Their advantage over quantum communication lies in the fact that EMPs do not destroy them, and physical contact is not required to pair two data portals.
The Omphalos is the nexus equivalent of the Golden Dawn Covenant. It is specially designed to interface with the communication methods of the various unique species found in hyperspace, providing a wide network of communication across the entire Covenant.
Servitors are the Firstborn’s equivalent of a personal datapad or computer. They are typically small, floating constructs composed of various thoughtforms designed for various functions such as communication, data storage, and more. Servitors come in a wide variety of different models that are manufactured, and their quality also differs. Higher end servitors are more expensive, but contain more advanced thoughtforms with higher purity soul gems.
Most servitors come with thoughtforms that metacreate holographic screens that can react with a Firstborn’s flux to act as a touch screen, transcribers that can read and write data from and to etchings, and more. High end servitors can even have data portals and advanced thoughtforms that can be spoken to. Servitors can also come with aagma screens.
I had one that could turn invisible. The talking ones are good company for a lonely exile. Mine was able to tell how much essence remained in my control, giving a thaum value.❖
Over their history, the Firstborn have developed technologies designed for combat and war, whether it be against hostile Dreamborn, foreign species, or themselves. The Firstborn’s primary defensive technology includes armor, typically metal plating. Another defensive technology that Firstborn use are thaumic shields. Thaumic shields are shields, either held or bubble shields, that project psionic hardlight or other forms of energy shielding. Thaumic shields use up flux, typically from the user.
In regards to weapons, it can vary. Melee weapons are favored among Bound Firstborn, though ranged options such as various thaumic weapons exist as well. Choice of weaponry depends on what the Firstborn will be fighting; to combat other Firstborn, heavier weapons such as maces or mauls are preferred due to their mass. For other targets, blades can be used as well. Unbound Firstborn will typically use their own abilities or thaumic weapons. For bladed weapons, hardlight is popular.
Thaumic weapons that fire off metal slugs or plasma and lasers exist, though a weapon unique to Firstborn are emission weapons. Thaumic emission weapons fire off condensed orbs of flux that are given certain properties by thoughtforms, allowing for a huge amount of versatility. Common emission weapons include ignition weapons that ignite and slag metal similar to plasma or cryo weapons that can freeze matter. In addition, the means of firing the flux can vary too; a large orb could be fired, or rapid firing of small orbs. Emission weapons typically use up a lot of flux, powered by the Firstborn using a lodestone or from a soul gem battery. Firstborn emission weapons are typically constructed as a ring lined with octarine components and a lodestone to channel flux into a projectile, and a soul gem floating in its center that imbues certain qualities in the flux.
Another form of thaumic weapons are essence weapons, which changes the quality of projected flux to achieve some effect. The most common of these are soulblades. Soulblades are melee weapons composed of a hilt housing a soul gem with a thoughtform inside and an octarine lens which projects the thoughtform’s supplied flux into a certain shape, paired with a metamanipulative thaumic projector that suspends a uniform field of mana particles that locks the soulblade’s flux into a specific shape that can easily be moved around with the hilt. Soulblades are powered by the wielder’s flux or from a soul gem battery, and are imbued with unique properties depending on the complexity and rarity of the thoughtforms present in the primary soul gem in the hilt. The most basic, mass produced soulblades are imbued with metamanipulative cutting properties, but most soulblades are custom made by a thaumaturge, creating thoughtforms specific for each blade that possesses unique abilities and qualities in its flux.
Over the Firstborn’s long history, thaumaturges have carefully studied and developed thaumic technology, down to a science called ‘thaumaturgy’. Thaumaturges have given certain measurable units to flux and its flow that allow them to develop more complex thaumic devices.
The base unit of flux is referred to as a ‘thaum’ (⛤) , and is in many ways similar to units of mass. 1⛤ is equal to the capacity of flux that a cubic centimeter of theoretically pure, 55☉ soul gem can hold.
Common measurements of flux are: flux volume, flux density, flux voltage, flux conversion, capacity.
Flux volume is a measure of volume that a contiguous mass of flux takes up. The Firstborn measure units of volume in units similar to cubic metric units.
Flux density is a measure of how dense a particular volume of flux in, measured as thaums per unit volume (i.e. 16⛤/cm3). As flux becomes more dense, it becomes more solid, phasing into liquid and then solid forms.
Flux voltage is a measure of flux potential in thaumic devices and conduits. In thaumic conduits, flux will flow from areas of higher density to lower density.
Flux conversion is a measurement of how quickly flux is either being generated or consumed by an individual or thaumic device, measured as thaums per unit time (i.e. 12⛤/s). Flux conversion is a useful measurement for measuring the direct power of a psionic ability, as more powerful abilities will consume more flux.
Flux capacity is a measurement of a system’s limit on how much flux it can contain before flux begins to simply leak out; usually flux capacity is measured from either an individual or a soul gem. A soul gem’s capacity is explained later. An individual’s capacity is the maximum amount of flux they are able to sustain at once; for a Firstborn, it is how much flux they typically contain. For Firstborn, a higher flux capacity generally means a greater durability, as they have more flux to work with.
Soul gems have various measurable qualities to them. The most common is their capacity measured in thaums, which simply determines how many thaums of flux a soul gem is able to store within it at once. A soul gem’s capacity is dependent on its volume and purity.
The purity of a cut of soulstone is measured in a unit called ‘theurs’ (☉), similar to how the purity of gold is measured in karats. A single theur is measured as a 1/55th part of pure soulstone; it is measured in this way because 55 is the 10th fibonacci number. The purity of a soul gem is measured by both any impurities inside of it, and the volume of any inclusions. A fully pure soul gem would be measured at 55☉, though very few soul gems of this purity actually exist, only found in the very deepest shells of Empyrea.
There are different names for varying purities of soul gems, more pure soulstone being found in deeper parts of Empyrea:
The Firstborn are a people with a vastly rich culture. As an alien species originating from hyperspace, the culture and customs of the Firstborn are vastly different than our own. The Firstborn are divided among various factions and societies that practice different customs, and there are some Firstborn who simply live on their own. The cultures of these specific societies will be explored in a further section, but for now we can delve deeper into commonalities between all Firstborn societies.
To start with, Firstborn place great emphasis on their free thought, due to the fact that they awaken from the Dream by recognizing this very thought. Most Firstborn, because of this, think highly of the concept of the individual rather than a collective. Culture and religion place significance on individual growth.
Firstborn culture also places importance on the act of reincarnation. Given that Firstborn can recall memories from their previous lives, this fact has rooted deeply in Firstborn culture and religion. The Firstborn call their set of previous lives their ‘lineage’. Most interpretations of Firstborn religion believe that the path of reincarnation ends in ultimate enlightenment, though what ‘enlightenment’ means differs among the different sects of the religion. Regardless, a Firstborn’s lineage is very important to them; it is the journey of their soul. The act of retrospection can gleam insight on present challenges the Firstborn must face.
The Firstborn do not possess any concept of gender. To an outsider, Firstborn personalities may seem to have masculine or feminine aspects, but these are simply aspects of a Firstborn’s personality.
Firstborn, being asexual beings, do not develop sexual relationships, however Firstborns with very strong bonds with others may appear romantic to outsiders.
Because of the existence of thaumic constructs that can perform menial labor, Firstborns often choose to devote themselves to higher callings; elite warriors, priests, artists, philosophers, statespeople, thaumaturges, etc. are some professions that Firstborn choose to dedicate themselves to. The only profession that requires further explanation is the arcane craft/art of the thaumaturge.
A thaumaturge is a Firstborn devoted to the study and development of thaumic technology or abilities. They are highly learned and skilled individuals that practice various aspects of thaumaturgy such as soul gem cutting, ability development, thoughtform forcing, and device or construct assembly. Thaumaturges tend to specialize on certain subjects of thaumaturgy — some specialize in cutting soul gems to masterful cuts, others forcing thoughtforms of varying complexity, others creating the frameworks and chassis of thaumic devices or constructs. Some thaumaturges do not pursue the material aspect of thaumaturgy at all, and instead further develop their own psionic abilities in order to control the world through their own will alone. Most thaumaturges operate similarly to how renaissance scientists and alchemists would, studying in private workshops while working on their esoteric machinations, some delving deep into religion or philosophies
As with any developed society, the Firstborn have varying superstitions stemming from their religion or culture. One superstition that runs rampant through Firstborn society (and actively spread by the Radias Sodality) is that realspace is an unholy place that can permanently damage a Firstborn’s essence and even end their lineage. Though both of these superstitions are false, many Firstborn still believe them, especially the Radias.
Firstborn are inherently awakened with some knowledge of language from their previous selves, typically flowspeak languages but sometimes other languages as well, though some words may be missing from their vocabulary.
The method that Firstborn use to natively communicate with each other is called FLOWSPEAK. Flowspeak can only be used and interpreted by other Firstborn (and, with practice, other psions and beings that can sense anomalous flow). Flowspeak works via the simple manipulation of anomalous flow, reverberating it into different patterns and forms similar to sound waves. Different patterns of this flow make up Firstborn language. Different languages and dialect exist using flowspeak, though the flowspeak language known as Solish used historically by the Radias Sodality has become the lingua franca of the Aindivi Consortium. In realspace, flowspeak becomes weaker and more difficult to hear.
Of course, the Firstborn must resort to other means in order to communicate with those other than their own species. The production of sound waves is a relatively simple metamanipulative task, and is used by the Firstborn to produce sound. When the Golden Dawn Covenant was formed, a joint linguistics team of various hyperspatial species was formed in order to create a new common language called ‘Raxxiri’, existing in a wide variety of forms that can be interpreted by different languages. Raxxiri words can be translated to and from flowspeak patterns, the touch-based language used by many other hyperspace species called ‘Aagma’, and spoken words. Devices exist for the encoding and decoding of Raxxiri to different mediums, such as thaumic devices that translate spoken Raxxiri words into Raxxiri flowspeak and vice-versa. Many Firstborn simply choose to use a small thaumic device called a ‘flowtalker’ to directly translate their flowspeak into audible Raxxiri words, foregoing the need to learn to speak; with etchings transcribed from data collected by Visitant linguists studying the language of realspace species, it is possible to configure these devices to speak languages such as Galactic Common as well.
Many of the same qualities in spoken language can also be found in flowspeak. For example, Firstborn have different voice sounds and tones in flowspeak, which typically translate to spoken speech. When speaking, Firstborn tend to sound almost ‘electronic’ and echoed and usually sound andgrogynous.
Some of the Dreamborn found in the inner shells also utilized flowspeak, some of them intelligent. Some of them could perceive patterns in flow in a very clever way, and were able to evade attacks from our thaumic abilities by sensing patterns in the flow that even we could not make out.❖
Flowspeak has applications other than language. Since the Firstborn perceive anomalous flow in a manner similar to how we perceive sound, there are also patterns of flow that are particularly pleasing to them. Similar to how we devised music, the Firstborn devised a system of music that is perceived via flow. This music can be recorded into etchings by thaumic devices, and can be played back in a similar way. The Frigaria Coterie produces the Consortium’s finest musicians, and many use thaumic devices to alter flow to produce interesting patterns, similar to how electronic music is produced. Various genres of flowspeak also exist; one, called ‘soulsinging’ is simply music produced by a Firstborn without the use of any thaumic devices, like singing. Thaumic music is made using thaumic devices, similar to electronic music. The Firstborn also have instruments; these instruments use movable etched octarine prisms inside a mana rod to produce certain music patterns of flux that passes into it, with different instruments being able to produce different types of ‘sound’.
Any being capable of sensing anomalous flow has to capability of understanding flowspeak, and those with fine flow manipulation skills can even engage in flowspeak. All psions can hear the beauty of flow music, however - it is a strange, otherworldly tune that speaks not to their ears, but to their souls.
The Firstborn’s number system developed from the most basic shape found in anomalous flow; the spiral. The Firstborn have carefully studied flow and devised a number system using the golden ratio as its base, called a ‘phinary’ number system.
I will not explain the intricacies of a phinary number system, as they are fairly complex. Just know it exists.
Firstborn society is rich with art and literature, and one Firstborn faction — the Frigarie Coterie — even centers their entire society around art. Art can exist in variety of different mediums; for visual art, sculptures are very popular, and many artists make use of psionic abilities to produce art. Literature is also popular; the Firstborn historically have a writing system that utilized tablets of clay mixed with mana dust to allow them to be shaped by flux easily, but more modern literary pieces are simply recorded in etchings, where they can be shared and accessed thaumaturgically and through the Omphalos. Music and art that can be stored in data is also stored in this way. Artists that desire a more permanent data storage method for their art can go through a process of ‘petrifying’ an etching, which hardens the malleable mana dust coating inside the etchings into glass patterns. Petrified etchings can last extremely long times and cannot be wiped by exposure to high amounts of flux, but new data cannot be written to them, they can only be read from.
Firstborn art explores various themes; many of them are religious, but some can be secular.
How Firstborn dress (if at all) depends on certain factors, such as whether they are Bound or Unbound, and the faction they come from. They also dress depending on whether they are exiles or not.
Firstborn have varying options for what material their fabric is made of. Firstborn most enjoy lightweight fabrics that can flow easily.
Because Firstborn are by nature amorphous beings, their fashion can vary wildly, and is rarely bipedal. For most occasions, a Firstborn will be either without clothes or wearing very light clothing that can flow easily as a fashion statement. The type of clothing can vary; Firstborn in the Radias sodality often wear lightweight and translucent or gilded sheets that allow their light to shine through. Firstborn in the Umbria Camarilla typically wear opaque sheets or strips that are often accented with purple or vantablack. The Firstborn of the Frigaria Coterie take fashion to the extreme, dressing themselves in elaborate flowing sheets of art or objects that make them look like intricate statues, turning themselves into mobile works of art. Those in the Conflagria Khanate take a much more utilitarian approach and instead simply wear their armor, which may be decorated, and their armor sets may incorporate different types of ferozic fabrics or adamail. The Terrax Ashram forgoes fashion and simply choose to wear the stones and plants of Empyrea that are important to them.
Many Firstborn also choose to wear ornamentation and jewelry, which is either attached to their clothing, armor, or simply suspended in their bodies. The Firstborn, in part due to the importance of cutting soul gems to their empire, quite often engage in the trade of precious gems. Unique gemstones exist in hyperspace that do not exist in realspace, and many gemstones are etched with three dimensional engravings inside of them. The Firstborn also value precious metals such as gold, and gild much of their other metals with it. Some Firstborn (the very wealthy kind) will also wear ‘decorative’ soul gems, which are thaumic devices which serve no purpose other than aesthetic, projecting unique patterns of light or other effects; soul gems in this way will often be high purity, even if it isn’t required for the thoughtform.
Armor, of course, is also worn by Bound Firstborn as not only defense, but as a fashion statement. A Firstborn’s armor is very personal to them, and so they typically decorate it. This can include gilding the metal, engraving it, studding it with precious gems, etc.
Of course, for an exile, beggars can’t be choosers. Firstborn exiles are often stripped of their armor and often must settle with wearing the armor of other species, typically giving them a bipedal-like form. With time, perhaps, they can make this scavenged armor their own.
The Aindivi Consortium and the Golden Dawn Covenant have a significant economic infrastructure that the various member states as well as private entities take part in. Because of the cultural significance of gemstones in Firstborn culture, the currency of the Golden Dawn Covenant are actually specially engraved gemstones called LITHI (🞜) .
Lithi are small cuts of precious gems that are exchanged as currency, similar to coins or paper bills. Each lithi is 3D etched with relevant artwork similar to how coins have heads on them, containing etchings of important historical figures. Each Lithi also has a small petrified etching filled with mana that acts as a serial code, allowing for a thaumic account of the currency so that it can be digitally tracked over the Omphalos. Each Lithi also has an aagma engraving on its surface that denotes its denomination.
The Lithi is split up into various denominations, each denoted by a color, meaning Lithi of the same denomination can be made of different minerals, though they are generally of the same worth.
1🞜 equals ~$3, or 6 Px.
The varying member states of both the Aindivi Consortium and the Golden Dawn Covenant import and export various trade goods that they specialize in. Within the Consortium, the Radias Sodality primarily exports thaumic devices, the Umbria Camarilla exports soul gems, the Frigaria Coterie deals in art, and the Conflagria Khanate deals in weapons, armor, and rare soul gems.
Within the Golden Dawn Covenant, the Consortium engages in trade with private entities and other member states such as the Visitant Administration. The Consortium primarily imports alpha computers from the Visitant Administration, and exports various thaumic devices and precious gems.
Firstborn names are actually complex patterns of flowspeak, but these patterns can be translated to Raxxiri words. Firstborn names are chosen by the individual Firstborn, and typically translate from a phrase important to them. For example, there is a Firstborn exile from the Umbria Camarilla named Tenalore, which translates to “The Final Night”. Another name, Soliam, translates to “Sunrise Over Dark Days”
A Firstborn’s choosing of a name is an important event called a ‘Naming’. A Firstborn’s name reflects the sum of their qualities and personality as an individual, self-aware mind. For this reason, a Firstborn will often consider their name very carefully — some Firstborn even go almost their entire lives without choosing a name for themselves.
A Firstborn’s Naming has certain significance depending on the society the Firstborn lives in. In the Radias Sodality, a Naming carries a religious significance and involves a full day of celebration and prayer. The Umbria Camarilla, though caring little for religion, will often throw parties for Namings. In the Frigaria Coterie, people will often create works of art related to the chosen name and gift them to the Firstborn. In the Conflagria Khanate, a feast is held and a weapon is gifted to the named Firstborn by their leader. In the Terrax Ashram, a Firstborn will often ‘listen’ for names that they believe fit them by carefully listening to the gestalt thoughts of the Dream itself, carefully meditating within leylines to tune in on the trace flowspeak patterns found within; these names tend to be difficult to translate into Raxxiri.
Every Firstborn is born with an innate yet hazy understanding of the Dream - cloudy memories of the day they pulled themselves out of it, separating their own mind from the greater gestalt. Yet among all those hazy memories, one thing remained; the presence of something greater, the host personality that formed the root of the entire Dream: the Dreamer.
The varying sects of Firstborn religion are collectively known as ONEIROISM. In the religion of Oneiroism, the Dreamer or the Dream is the central figure of worship, referred to in Raxxiri as the Aindivith (“Prime Being”). Varying societies and cults of Firstborn interpret the religion and the Firstborn’s free will in different ways, forming various sects of Oneiroism, and most of them are based on varying philosophies and personalities. There are five major sects:
Harmony through structure and order.❖
The sect of Seiraism espouses the ideals of order and structure in life. Seiraists believe that their separation from the Dream was done as a means of escaping the natural chaos that is the Dream, and that lives naturally strive towards order and structure in order to achieve inner harmony. Seiraists usually advocate for hierarchies of things; leaders and subordinates, the World and the Self. This means that Seiraists often organize as a collective, and believe in the power of the collective over the individual. They also highly value justice and law.
In their views on the Dreamer, most Seiraists (including those in the Radias Sodality) believe that the Dreamer created the Firstborn into the Dream as a test in order to prove their right to exist as a free individual free from chaos, separating themselves from the chaotic gestalt and into a homogenous, orderly mind.
The main body of Seiraists is the Radias Sodality, which has a codified hierarchical structure of power.
Perfection through creation and knowledge.🜄
The sect of Teleioism espouses the ideals of perfection, creation, and knowledge. Teleioists believe that creation, the seeking of perfection, and the attainment of knowledge are the ultimate pursuits for the Firstborn’s free wills. For Teleioists, a life of discovery leads to the betterment of the self, that every Firstborn separated from the Dream has the potential to become anything. Teleioists’ approaches to challenges are often methodical, and to find an answer they will typically try to understand what leads up to it. Teleioists are also the most understanding to change.
In their views on the Dreamer, Teleioists can differ. Some believe that the Dreamer is an artist of sorts, allowing each Firstborn mind to shape itself until it is complete enough to where it can leave the Dream, and then begin its path of perfection. Some believe that the Dreamer created the Firstborn in order to spread art and knowledge. Regardless, most Teleioists believe in one thing true: that knowledge, perfection, and creation is the ultimate expression of a free personality separate from the Dream. Because of this belief, many Teleioists are very skilled, becoming artists, historians, thaumaturges, etc. in order to pursue perfection.
Most Teleoists also believe that a Firstborn’s lineage is also a greater path to perfection, that the actions taken in one life serve to greater perfect the next lives in the lineage.
The main body of Teleioists is the Frigaria Coterie, a high society of Firstborn dedicated to higher pursuits such as art, history, literature, and thaumaturgy.
Freedom through action and emotion.🜂
The sect of Catharticism espouses the ideals of freedom, action, and unrestrained emotion. Catharticists believe that they separated from the dream with a free will of their own, and they are damn well going to use it. They value the presence of their emotions, and do not restrain their joy, their anger, nor their sadness. They believe that change is taken through action; in many ways, Catharticists are seen as (and often are) impulsive, and at their worst, rash. Because Catharticists also greatly value individual freedom, they may also be seen as rebellious by some, especially by Seiraists; however, the two can find harmony in justice with Seiraism’s value of honor and Catharticism’s value of justice.
Catharticists believe that they honor the Dreamer by exercising their free will without restraint. Many Catharticists also choose to honor the Dreamer and show their piety through battle, especially those in the Conflagria Khanate. Most Firstborn of the Khanate believe that their connection to their god becomes stronger the closer to Empyrea’s core they reach, due to the greater challenges that come with venturing deeper and deeper into Empyrea.
The main body of Catharticists is the Conflagria Khanate.
Growth through acceptance and community.🜃
The sect of Empyreaism espouses the ideals of acceptance, community, and tradition. Empyreaists seek acceptance and coexistence instead of action and change, and believe that whatever nature and the Dream decides is best for the world, relying on the innate wisdom of the Dream itself. Empyreaists believe that their separation from the Dream is a more natural process, like learning to walk. Empyreaists also believe in the idea of community; that everything is codependent on each other.
Many Empyreaists believe in the Old Ways, an ancient set of traditions commonly held by historic Firstborn, influenced greatly by the initial state of the Dream. They commonly choose not to pursue intense thaumaturgic development that might disrupt the natural order. They commonly believe that everyone is born with a destiny that they will learn to follow in order to coexist with the world.
Though Empyreaism is often seen as a pacifist sect due to its reluctance to act and emphasis on coexistence, nature is also instinct, and many Empyreaists are perfectly fine with being fierce when they are threatened, and even aggressive in some circumstances.
The main body of Empyreaists is the Terrax Ashram.
Power through opportunity.☿
Kairoism espouses the ideals of self-ambition and the attainment of power through opportunity. To Kairoists, the end often justifies the means, all in the pursuit of power for the self. Kairoists take the concept of their free will and individuality to extreme and selfish ends, believing that existence is by nature an uphill battle against the Self. By attaining power by taking opportunity, the Self protects itself from the cruelty of the world and others, believing that not doing so will only allow others to do the same. Kairoists often do not hold the same views of morality as most may, and some even stoop through means that others may consider taboo in order to find opportunity and attain power.
Though at its extreme, Kairoism could be considered evil, at its basic forms it is not inherently so. Kairoism has a base philosophy of self-determination and freedom from the limitations brought forth by society. Kaiorists hold a very cynical worldview that may cause others to view them as distrusting, though Kairoists only choose to confide in others that they truly trust.
In their views on the Dreamer, most Kairoists do not worship it, instead only seeing it as a malevolent or neutral force, or a force that can be manipulated, much to the disdain of many worshippers of the Dreamer, especially those in the Radias Sodality.
The main body of Kairoists is the Umbria Camarilla, a cabal of power, politics, and intrigue where the underhanded way is the only way.
Oneiroclasm is a minor cultic religion that is quite the opposite of Oneiroism. Oneiroclasts believe in the liberation from the cycle of a Firstborn’s lineage and freedom from the Dream, through the ultimate goal of the destruction of the Dream, an event known as the Oneiroclasm. They believe that a Firstborn’s identity is solely their own, and not the identity of the Dream. Oneiroclasts may believe that mortality is a gift, rather than a curse.
Oneiroclasts often attempt to take measures to prevent their return to the Dream, such as by attempting to live extremely long lives or even developing certain forbidden thaumic technologies that can interfere with the process of their essence reforming into the Dream.
Most Oneiroclasts believe that the Oneiroclasm is achievable through the death of the Dreamer itself; they believe that if they were to reach the core of Empyrea and destroy the sleeping god, then they can sunder the Dream itself and finally be liberated from the cycle.
The main body of Oneiroclasts is called the Cult of the Shattered Dream (Virnari Onei’rek), a secretive organization that works covertly in the Umbria Camarilla that frequently organizes expeditions into Empyrea with the ultimate goal of destroying the Dreamer. Being affiliated with the Cult of the Shattered Dream is strictly outlawed in the Aindivi Consortium, and cult members are frequently exiled for their actions, hunted down by the Radias Sodality. The Cult of the Shattered Dream is also hunted down by the Cult of the Waking Dream, followers of a religion with starkly opposite goals:
Xypnism is a minor cultic religion, similar to Seiraism but taken to its absolute extreme. Xypnists believe that the Dream is the ultimate place of belonging and unity for the Firstborn, and they believe that ultimate unity can be achieved by reaching the core of Empyrea and waking the Dreamer up from its sleep, causing all Firstborn life to be joined with the Dream in an ultimate unity, a fully realized gestalt godmind that can achieve anything the collective desires. This event is called the Grand Unity.
The main body of Xypnists is the Cult of the Waking Dream (Virnari Onei’zalix), a secretive organization of extremists working covertly within the Radias Sodality and frequently organizes expeditions into Empyrea. Association with the Cult of the Waking Dream is outlawed in the Aindivi Consortium, and cult members (unless they are in cahoots with the leadership of the Sodality) are exiled. They are hunted by the Cult of the Shattered Dream.
It is to note that the Firstborn in a single faction do not always follow the sect the faction was founded in. Though in the Radias Sodality you must follow Seiraism or face expulsion of the Sodality, in other factions it isn’t so cut and dry. For example, Empyreaists exist outside of the Terrax Ashram and Firstborn that follow other sects could be in the Frigaria Coterie. Though some oppose each other ideologically; for example, the hot-headed and impulsiveness of most Catharticists would likely be at opposition with the ordered and structured ideals of Seiraism.
A single sect isn’t the only choice. Many Firstborn choose to borrow aspects and philosophies from different sects, for example a Firstborn that believes in absolute freedom for the self and power at any cost might borrow ideas from both Kairoism and Catharticism and simply identify with both, or a Firstborn that believes in the order and structure that comes with traditions and the old ways may combine aspects of Empyreaism and Seiraism.
The Firstborn’s concept of religion is largely inspired by the Color Pie, which assigns various ideologies and worldviews to colors, and similarly allows a combination of different colors. When designing your character, feel free to pull inspiration from the Color Pie.
One day long ago, two best friends embarked on a journey of enlightenment together, each seeking to consolidate their individual Lineage into a uniform soul with no lost memories or experiences.
Their names were Raia and Kanus.❖
The Aindivi Consortium is a confederacy of the largest Firstborn factions in Empyrea, an attempt from the varying factions to create a semblance of a unified world power, as tenuous as its existence is due to strife among some of the member states. The population of the Consortium is fairly low compared to other nations, as only around a million Firstborn are in existence at a time.
The largest and most powerful faction making up the Aindivi Consortium is the Radias Sodality (Virnaria Radias’seraphis), a large and highly structured religious order of mostly Seraists. The Radias Sodality is composed of a strict hierarchy of different Firstborn, greatly valuing the structure and order that Seraism espouses.
Raia became corrupt and cynical from their enlightenment, having experienced the worst the world had to offer..❖
The Umbria Camarilla (Virnaria Umbria’xexil) is a loose confederacy of various gang-like factions called syndicates that operate within an area of Empyrea blanketed by darkness and nightmares, composed mostly of Kairoists. The Camarilla is a faction filled with politics, intrigue, and under-the-table grabs for powers between the various figures within the different syndicates. The different syndicates are headed by a Sovereign, who elect a Grand Sovereign to rule for ten years or until death, whichever comes first (for most Grand Sovereigns, typically death). An individual in the Umbria Camarilla may work for one of the syndicates or as an individual living in syndicate-owned land, merely a pawn for someone else’s game.
The position of the Umbria Camarilla in the Aindivi Consortium is extremely tenuous given their inclination towards crime and their religious views being antithesis to those of the Radias Sodality. Despite all of this, the Umbria Camarilla remain in the Consortium through a variety of under-the-table political moves, but most importantly, their vast control of the soul gem supply vital for the Consortium’s vast infrastructure of thaumic technology. The Radias Sodality certainly despises the Camarilla, but reluctantly allows their presence for the good of the economy.
The current Grand Sovereign of the Umbria Camarilla is Oryx’bam (“The 25th Night”), a skilled mastermind who keeps careful check to make sure the odds are in their favor, moving pieces into perfect placement.
The Frigaria Coterie (Virnaria Frigaria’solistra) can best be described as a large high society of skilled individuals such as artists, writers, musicians, thaumaturges, etc. Most of the Firstborn in the Frigaria Coterie are Teleioists, and seek perfection as a way of life. In the Aindivi Consortium, the Frigaria Coterie plays an important role; the Frigaria Coterie produces a great deal of art that is popular among the Golden Dawn Covenant, and the Coterie also produces a great deal of other art such as literature. They also have the largest libraries and data banks in the entire consortium, and have in their ranks highly skilled thaumaturges. The Frigaria Coterie is also one of the few factions that has a small number of Dreamborn in its ranks, and other species such as Visitants are even in the Coterie in minor numbers.
The Frigaria Coterie is led by a large organization of 233 individuals called the Curator Congress, which take up various tasks related to the functioning of the Coterie and more. Curators will often commission massive art projects, thaumic projects, and more in the pursuit of leading the Coterie closer to perfection. The leader of the Curators is called the High Curator, and helps to organize the Curators and resolve conflict. The Frigaria Coterie is a meritocracy of skill; to become a Curator, there must first be a vacancy, such as through a Curator’s leave or death. Then, each Curator must nominate another person to fill the vacancy. The nominees then participate in what amounts to a contest of skill similar to a talent contest, where the Curators will judge each individual based on their level of skill and their ability to contribute as a future Curator. The High Curator is chosen in a similar manner, through a contest among the Curators following a vacancy. In this way, becoming a Curator takes a great deal of socializing and political gaming, as the Curators are extremely nepotistic, opting to nominate their friends and patrons to fill a vacancy; this can also be the case with the skill contest, as curators may judge an individual with a low score despite having high skill if they simply do not like them.
The Frigaria Coterie also has a number of organizations called guilds, which serve as interest groups for Firstborn that practice varying crafts. Guilds will often lobby the Curator Congress to represent their members, and many Curators will give patronage to skilled individuals within a guild, sponsoring their work and commissioning them. Many members of the Coterie will belong to a guild, with each one having its own structure and political climate.
I had many associates in the Thaumaturges’ Guild of the Coterie; the thaumaturges there could get so political sometimes, though it got them many patrons that helped the guild grow to what it is today. Many of the thaumic devices we use everyday were invented by members of the guild.❖
The current High Curator of the Frigaria Coterie is Gelia Naela’farris (“Every Frigid Fractal is a Masterpiece”). Gelia is greatly famous across the entire Consortium for their vast skillset, attributed to the great clarity in which they recall the memories of their lineage. They are a masterful thaumaturge that uses their skill in thaumaturgy to create masterfully unique works of art. Though few of their pieces are for sale, the few that circulate through the market can be worth many millions of Lithi. Gelia is also a host of the Emerald Spire, and their spire events are well known for being hosted in many beautiful and often unexplored parts of Empyrea, which an expedition team sponsored by the Emerald Spire works to secure before each event.
The sad reality of the Frigaria Coterie is that its leadership, the Curator Congress, is typically elitist and spiteful, straying from its origins as a meritocratic organization to one that is purely nepotistic.
There are rumors of secret societies existing within the Coterie.
The Conflagria Khanate (Virnarias Conflagria’bellis) is a militaristic confederacy of different war tribes led by a singular person known as the Great Khan for the Khanate’s entire history following the unification of its different war tribes following aggression from the Radias Sodality. The Conflagria Khanate’s position in the Consortium is greatly contested by the Radias Sodality due to the majority of Khanate being catharticists, and the numerous wars that have been waged between the Sodality and the Khanate, as well as their outright rebellious nature to the laws placed forth by the Sodality. The only reason they remain is because of their military might that could damage the tenuous peace between them and the Sodality if threatened, and their frequent expeditions into Empyrea that bring back high purity soul gems and artifacts that are highly valued by the rest of the Consortium.
Members of the Conflagria Khanate are called Cinders, and typically choose the path of elite warriors that join the Khanate to express their will and desire to fight for a common purpose and the challenges that come with it. Firstborn that wish to join the Khanate undergo an initiation that involves an expedition into Empyrea, and the varying war tribes within the Khanate typically lead based on a system of mutual respect for each other Cinder of the Khanate. In the Khanate, orders are not given, only calls to action, and disputes are typically settled by battle. Most Firstborn in the Khanate are Bound.
The war tribes of the Khanate are each led by a Khan. Cinders of the Khanate love challenge, and the war tribes facilitate this love for challenge by holding frequent expeditions into inner Empyrea. The Khanate has led some of the deepest expeditions in all of Firstborn history, and these expeditions yield great rewards; high purity soul gems, artifacts of lost Dreamborn civilizations, legends, challenges, stories and heroes. Legends and stories are retold frequently throughout the Khanate, and the dangers of these expeditions produce the strongest, most elite fighters in the entire Covenant. The Great Khan will take a small portion of an expedition’s yields as tribute. Sometimes, the Great Khan will host games and contests among the different war tribes; duels, animal fighting, and expedition contests are common, and the winners of the events are highly regarded among the Khanate.
The Great Khan of the Conflagria Khanate is Kanus Furia’sidari (“Fury Unites the Strong and Grows the Weak”). Kanus is a figure of legend across the entire Consortium, having united every single war tribe and acted as the leader of the unified Khanate for all of its history. They have waged numerous wars against the Radias Sodality and is an incredibly capable elite fighter, having been cemented as a legend for venturing to the fifth shell of Empyrea and returning with incredible bounties and wealth — alone. They are known for their strength and fury, yet cares deeply for each Cinder of the Khanate as if they were a part of them. Kanus is the Khanate, and the Khanate is Kanus — without Kanus, the Khanate would surely dissolve, though they haven’t died. Not yet. Kanus is greatly beloved by the Cinders of the Khanate. Many consider Kanus to be the stark opposite of Grand Hierarch Raia’iri Radias; whereas Raia has grown cynical from the experiences of their past lives, Kanus only desires to experience more of life.
Kanus became enriched by their enlightenment, having experienced the best the world had to offer.❖
The Conflagria Khanate is outright rebellious against the laws placed forth by the Sodality, especially religious ones, using the leverage they receive from their incredibly strong leader, rare expedition yields, and military capability to essentially do as they please. The Khanate never allows one of their own to be exiled by the Sodality, no matter what; almost all of the former Cinders present in the Fringe are zealots, having gone to realspace of their own accord for their own reasons, whether it be self-exile, searching for something, or simply for the challenge. The Khanate usually welcomes them back to Empyrea with open arms — so long as they have a good story to tell from the experience.
Thaumaturges of the Khanate have invented and produced a great deal of the Consortium’s military devices and weapons such as emission halos.
The Terrax Ashram (Virnaria Terrax’olis) is an ‘unofficial’ part of the Aindivi Consortium. Though their existence as a unified people is not official, they still hold a little bit of sway in the Consortium. The Terrax Ashram is a collection of Firstborn monks that live in the second shell of Empyrea. They are composed of Empyreaists that commonly believe in a simple life free from industry and the vast thaumic infrastructures that the other factions possess. They worship the planet Empyrea itself and its bounties, choosing to bind themselves to rocks, stones, plants, and other minerals. They choose to live as naturally as possible, and because of this many others consider them to be primitive compared to the more advanced societies of Empyrea.
The monks of the Terrax Ashram practice a more basic and natural form of thaumaturgy called druidry using uncut, rough soulstones found in the second shell. They carve symbols important to them on these soulstones called ‘runes’ and simply incorporate them into their body as stones among the other, more mundane rocks found throughout their body. The rough stones can only hold basic thoughtforms, but multiple are placed together in one Firstborn body in order to carry out certain functions.
The Terrax Ashram also practices a unique construct creation technique, in which they take extant, non-sapient personalities present in the Dream and draw them out into rough soulstones in order to create animal-like constructs called ‘spirits’.
The Terrax Ashram worship Empyrea deeply, and have developed a flowspeak language called ‘primordic’ based off of careful observation of the trace flowspeak patterns from the Dream that can be detected in leylines. Though this language is simplistic, it allows Terrax monks to listen to the world itself if they meditate deeply enough, gleaming words and primal phrases from the great gestalt of the Dream itself. Some forms of Terrax druidry allow manipulation of the flow and flux of Empyrea itself, allowing monks in conjunction with runes to perform feats such as transmitting long-distance flowspeak messages across different leylines. Firstborn in the Terrax Ashram typically name themselves by listening carefully to the planet, and their names may be long and complex, depending on how carefully the Firstborn listens. For example, a monk with extraordinary listening skills may be named something like Raxol’ikir Avosiv’axila’i Tivis Alopi’hero Civiko’divi (“The Names of God Whisper Soundly Through Cracks of the Dying Land”).
Due to the seclusion of the Terrax Ashram, monks becoming exiled by the Consortium are fairly rare. Sometimes, however, it does happen — usually in the event that an example must be made by the Radias Sodality, who sometimes makes efforts to suppress the Ashram for their considerably different religious views. Exiles in this way are typically desolate due to their distance from the object of their religion, Empyrea. They typically cherish their Empyrean stones highly, as it is the only thing left of Empyrea that they have.
There exist a large variety of minor factions present in Empyrea which are not a part of the Consortium.
The Aix Transposition is a large multistellar megacorporation led by a Dreamborn director named Visari. The Aix Transposition offers a large variety of services such as transportation and technology.
The Dream can create not only landscapes in Empyrea, but also organisms. A DREAMBORN is any organism that is not a Firstborn, but was conjured by the Dream. The term Dreamborn is an incredibly wide label and can make up all sorts of plants, animals, people, species, and even other godlike entities. If it is an organism or species created by the Dream, then it is a Dreamborn.
The Dreamborn are vastly important to Empyrea. Entire species of Dreamborn plants cover its surface and inner shells, and Dreamborn species and individuals of both animals and intelligent societies can be found in its surface and especially its inner shells. The kinds of Dreamborn that can be found vary wildly; most intelligent Dreamborn tend to be individuals simply created by the Dream incapable of reproduction, but sometimes the Dream manifests Dreamborn capable of reproduction and the creation of different species, and even societies. They tend to appear weird, and their biology can vary; Dreamborn can be entirely organic or they can be synthetic, or even energy-based, or any combinations of the above; they can completely defy any preconceptions of biological life.
Most Dreamborn societies have not developed as much as the Firstborns’ has, primarily due to the danger of the inner layer, and their inability to create thoughtforms for use in thaumic technology. Some advanced Dreamborn societies do exist in the inner layers, however, vastly different than the Firstborns’ societies, and the ruins of long gone Dreamborn empires can be found in the inner shells of Empyrea.
Playing a Dreamborn
Playing as a Dreamborn is a possible player option. Most Dreamborn are non-interlopers, meaning they cannot exist in realspace; however, rarely a Dreamborn can be an interloper. When playing as a Dreamborn, your origins, appearance, etc. are largely up to you due to the vast possibilities the Dream can conjure. However, because they are likely an interloper, they will typically have biologies more compatible with realspace, and their power level will be more similar to other species. You can use the Engineered Lifeforms lore as a start.
Most Dreamborn do not naturally develop psionic abilities like Firstborn do, though some specific species or individuals can have innate psionic abilities, and any Dreamborn can develop abilities later on. The types of abilities they cannot develop or have an easier time of developing depend on their biology.
In order to play a Firstborn character, you must first pitch a character to me (PrivateNomad) for approval. If I approve your character concept, then you must make a psionic character application and any psionic ability applications for your Firstborn. Because Firstborn are naturally psionic, this part is mandatory. I will happily work with you on your character if you ask for help. You do not need a psion application for a non-psionic Dreamborn.
Empyrea — The Firstborn’s home planet, a planetary anomaly dreamt by a sleeping god at its core called the ‘Dreamer’.
The Dreamer — The sleeping god at the core of Empyrea, and the figure that is the figure of worship of most Firstborn religions. It is believed that reaching the core of Empyrea allows you to join the Dreamer and become a god-like figure.
Leyline — Special areas around Empyrea where the Dreamer’s flux flows through. Very important area, as the Firstborn are born in leylines, and the flux inside leylines can be harvested.
Calamity — An apocalyptic-level event or entity created by a nightmare reverberating through the Dream, with disastrous consequences. Many have completely demolished Firstborn civilization in Empyrea.
Firstborn — Fragments of the Dreamer’s subconsciousness that have become self-aware entities and separated themselves from the Dream into their own self-sustaining being.
The Dream — The gestalt collection of the Dreamer’s subconscious will that shapes Empyrea and its fragments of its consciousness.
Lineage — An individual Firstborn’s sequence of reincarnations.
Retrospection — A meditative act in which a Firstborn attempts to recall memories held by a previous incarnation of themself.
Bound — A Firstborn that bounds their being to physical material or objects such as armor. The more Bound a Firstborn is, the greater their physical strength and durability and the less pain and adverse effects they experience from existing in a low ECF; however, being more bound also inhibits a Firstborn’s psionic abilities.
Unbound — A Firstborn that does not bind their being to physical material or objects such as armor. Being less bound means being physically weaker and experiencing more pain and adverse effects from existence in low ECF, but also being able to use psionic abilities at full power.
Thaumaturgy — What the Firstborn call psionics, both when it is practiced as an art and when it is practiced as a science and used in thaumic technology.
Thaumic Technology — The Firstborn’s psionic technology.
Thaumic Device — An individual device made from the Firstborn’s psionic technology. It may be composed of different elements such as lodestones, mana conduits, octarine lenses, and different soul gems housing varying thoughtforms.
Soulstone — An anomalous material found in Empyrea that has the ability to hold and retain flux outside of the direct influence of a psion or Firstborn.
Lodestone — A device which serves as a flux attractor, absorbing nearby flux into a thaumic battery or device.
Soul Gem — A cut soul stone that is inhabited by thoughtforms for use in thaumic technology.
Thoughtform — A tulpa created by a Firstborn for use in thaumic technology.
Construct — A thaumic robot.
Anima — A thoughtform that does not inhabit any physical vessel.
Etching — A flat wafer of octarine and mana that serves as a data storage medium.
The Omphalos — The Nexus equivalent of the Golden Dawn Covenant.
Servitor — A personal thaumic device that can serve a wide variety of uses such as translation, data storage, entertainment, recording, and more.
Thaum (⛤) — A unit of flux measurement.
Theur (☉) — A unit of measurement for soul gem purity.
Thaumaturge — A Firstborn that creates thaumic technology or develops advanced psionic abilities.
Flowspeak — The Firstborn language, inaudible and instead using anomalous flow.
The Aindivi Consortium — A loose collective of the Firstborn factions.
The Golden Dawn Covenant — A vast hyperspatial empire composed of various species governments such as the Aindivi Consortium and the Visitant Administration.
Dreamborn — Any organism created by the Dream that isn't Firstborn.
Firstborn cannot be cloned through traditional means; when they die, all traces of their body and consciousness return to the Dream. However, there is another similar option: playing the next incarnation of your perished Firstborn. Your Firstborn will be born again in Empyrea after some time, and will have lost most of the memories of their previous life. However, through roleplay, some of these memories can be recovered. They may be an entirely different character with a different personality, abilities, name, etc. Why they would even return to the Fringe as a new person is an entirely different matter.
Of course, there are followers of Oneiroclasm that have developed means to evade their return to the Dream entirely...
Exile is not the end.
Having been found guilty of some sort of heresy or crime by the corrupt leadership of the Radias Sodality, you have been sent through a large thaumic hypergate called the “Event Horizon”, stripped of all your honors and left with nothing but a ship and perhaps a few belongings you were able to sneak with you. You passed through the hypergate and were slingshotted through space itself, appearing at some unpredictable location in Realspace. The pain of reality in realspace burned your very soul, forcing you to muster the willpower to simply keep yourself from dissipating into unexistence.
What was your life like before your exile? Why were you exiled? Was it just? Where did you appear? Did you appear in the Undercrypt, or some other place in the Fringe? How long ago was your exile, or did you just appear in realspace?
As an exile, you are cast out of Empyrea, the Aindivi Consortium, and even the Golden Dawn Covenant. But exile is not the end. You must brave the dangers and the unknowns of the Fringe. You must adapt, and perhaps even thrive.
You must find a new life now.
Carve your own path.
Despite the Radias Sodality’s stance of realspace being unholy, some venture into it anyways; these Firstborn are known as ‘zealots’. Some go on missions sponsored by the Consortium; they may be tasked with recovering lost and stolen artifacts that have found their way in realspace, or hunting down people that have escaped from justice. They may be there for entirely different reasons; perhaps they seek something from realspace, seek it enough to leave everything behind for it. Or perhaps they just got lost.
Regardless of your reason for going to realspace on your own, you are a Zealot, and must find your own way in this strange new world. Will you recover stolen artifacts and lost secrets? Will you hunt down dangerous beings? Or will you simply reject it all, and carve your own path?
When creating a zealot, have a goal in mind. Are they looking for something, searching for someone? I will happily work with you on giving your characters achievable goals and aspirations.