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For an unknown reason, an infinitesimally small subset of zehuderan become something called an Ageless. Ageless souls can withstand resurrection indefinitely, as their souls never reach full saturation. Though these individuals possess the ability to generate an immense amount of planar energy, they have been banned due to this potential also giving them incredible destructive capability. More than one Ageless has attempted to overthrow the gods, and nearly succeeded. Nexusplane law dictates that any zehu found to be an Ageless must be destroyed.
When a zehuderan has been put through resurrection as many times as their soul is capable of withstanding, the zehu is either culled for a large deposit of planar energy, or chosen for ascension. Ascension is the involved procedure of ferrying a zehu into the Nexusplane itself. Beginning with a ritualistic execution of the zehu, and followed by a carefully guided passage into the Dark River, the process allows the soul to pass "under" the impenetrable barrier surrounding the Nexusplane. On the other side, a carefully timed ressurection will allow them to awaken inside the Nexusplane, alive. It is the final resurrection a zehu can experience; and this last life is their chance to live in the 4-dimensional realm of the gods, and take a shot at becoming a god themselves.
An automated system, developed largely by Sybar, to act in a god's stead for certain tasks pertaining to the planes and a god's created species. Autogods simplify things; taking on the tasks that are mundane and repetitive, or tasks that may require precision but not the abstract thought of a living creature. While a luxury for newer gods, they have become almost a necessity for older gods that own a portfolio of zehu and vast multi-planar empires. The Autogod is lauded as one of the greatest advancements in Nexusplane history. Sybar's tech-dev teams continue to refine and advance the Autogod, and have evolved it to the point that gods with more traditional assets barely need to handle their mortals at all. Some consider this a positive that allows the gods to focus their time and resources on what's important, and others consider it a tool enabling neglect.
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Described as a 4-dimensional space in which a massive river of soulmatter flows, little is understood about the Dark River. Exceedingly difficult to analyze and presumably impossible to visit with any means short of dying, the Dark River is named more after its concept than its physical appearance. It is assumed to be a river based on the tiny portion of it that is observable in physical space: the Darkfall, at the center of the Nexusplane. It is simultaneously the final destination and the origin of all souls. The term "Dark River" refers simultaneously to the collection of countless tributaries flowing into the Nexusplane, one from each plane, and the main channel that flows to the Nexusplane. All souls eventually pass into raging flow of the Dark River, where they rapidly lose cohesion and dissolve into raw soulmatter. The soulmatter flows through the Omniverse, from the tributaries to the channel, and passes under the Nexusplane to the Darkfall at very center. At the Darkfall, the soulmatter rises up to some myserious destination, unreachable by mortal or god. At that destination, through some unknown process, the soulmatter precipitates out. The soulmatter forms new souls that find their way into new life forms, only to eventually return to the Dark River again in an endless cycle of death and rebirth.
The series explores the 3rd and 4th dimensions. The planes, regardless of location or the laws of physics within their contained universes , are all three-dimensional. These three-dimensional planes are all adjacent, but separate, like pages in a 4D book.The Nexusplane is the exception, being a 4-dimensional space at the center of the Omniverse. 3-dimensional planes function with three dimensions of space like we are familiar with. The Nexusplane's fourth dimension gives it some very strange rules and make it behave very bizarrely for a 3D creature. For more information on how the 4th dimension works, we recommend [this description of Flatland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnURElCzGc0 )] and [this video of 4D blocks ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t4aKJuKP0Q )].
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When an ascended zehuderan amasses enough energy, they are able to become a god. Gods are creators and patrons of individual species that they design and seed upon the planes. Though the level of effort put into each design varies, the resultant species becomes the primary source of planar energy for its patron god. Wise gods will do what it takes to ensure their species becomes widespread and successful, as it results in mutual benefit.
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An umbrella term for any usual denizen of the 3D planes: a living creature that is a part of the life-death cycle, regardless of species. While the term technically covers all living things of any level of sapience, it's primarily used to refer to sentient creatures.
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The 4D space at the center of the omniverse, the Nexusplane is the very heart of existence. The gods dwell within it, the Dark River makes its final journey through it, and zehuderan are ascended to it. The Nexusplane is incomprehensibly immense, and much of it has been developed into a habitable place for gods and zehu alike.
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The Omniverse is the umbrella term that lumps together everything currently known to exist: all 3D planes, the 4D Nexusplane, the Dark River, and the cracks between the planes through which planar energy and soulmatter flows.
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A section of the Nexusplane that was sealed off after the battle between the gods and the first Voidblade. Eventually it became the prison/dumping ground of the Nexusplane, and things deemed unsavory ended up being sent on a one-way trip to it. Nobody who is thrown in there ever seems to return.
Phasing is the term for movement in 4D space. It can intersect with 3D objects but moves between them in a 4D direction. It's the only way, aside from dying, to move out of a 3D space as a 3D creature. It is possible to phase or be phased by things other than yourself with the correct means.
Planar energy is a supernatural, 4-dimensional form of energy that infuses everything within the Omniverse. It has its own energy cycle separate from 3D energy, based on the cycle of life, growth, experience, and death. Living beings generate it, and it gradually flows into the Nexusplane. The gods feed on the energy, use it as a currency, and spend it to create life and seed new worlds and planes with it.
Planes, not to be confused with dimensions, are 3D parallel universes that exist within different "slices" of the 4D Omniverse. Each plane contains a universe unto itself. Time is not different between universes, but the arrangement of space is: each plane has its own worlds, species, energy, and rules. They are separate, yet parallel, and connected by the Nexusplane, Dark River, and the cycle of planar energy that flows through them all. Most planes have been seeded with life by the gods, though the number of species, complexity of life, types of ecosystems, level of technology, and diaspora of populations varies.
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Every time a zehuderan soul passes through the Dark River, it absorbs energy for as long as it can keep itself intact. The more journeys a soul endures through the river, the more delicate and frangible the soul becomes. This is called "saturation." In order for a zehu to continue existing, they must be resurrected before their soul dissolves into the surrounding soulmatter. The final stage of a zehu's life, before ascension or final death, is when the soul is saturated enough that it can stay intact just long enough to journey cross into the Nexusplane one last time.
The thing that separates life from non-life, the soul is the part of a living thing that generates planar energy. Upon death, the soul separates from the physical body and flows into the Dark River. An individual soul then melds with the others into a conglomerate liquid called soulmatter. The soulmatter recycles and forms new souls, which are infused into new living things to complete the cycle over again. All living things have a soul, and all living bodies act as the vessel.
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The tell is a physical manifestation of a zehuderan's planar abilities, similar to a birthmark. It's typically used as a visual indicator of the energy level, as the tell's effect weakens as planar energy is spent. Upon energy depletion, the tell disappears entirely, only to return once energy begins to regenerate. Tells usually, though not always, manifest as a portion of the zehu's body glowing with the color that their powers manifest.
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An ancient weapon forged in the cracks between the planes and capable of immeasurable destruction. It has been outlawed and the knowledge of its creation destroyed. Only one Voidblade has ever been forged; it granted a zehu the power to single-handedly slaughter countless gods in a mad rampage. This event brough an end to the Golden Age of the Nexusplane. The aftermath of the conflict was so catastrophic that the entire region was sealed off and became the Pariahlands.
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An umbrella term for any sufficiently large, self-sufficient, and separate location within a plane that can or does house life. Planets, moons, asteroids, artificial structures of immense size, even an entire plane that exists as a single thin, gaseous mass can be considered a world if it is a single, life-supporting, and individual unit.
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A rare mortal who, through a poorly understood phenomenon, has a soul stable enough to withstand ressurection. While in the Dark River, these souls draw planar energy from the surrounding soulmatter, drawing it into themselves and amassing supernatural power. This power can then be channeled and redirected into new forms, causing internal and external effects. These abilities make zehu very distinctive both physically and in ability. The mechanism behind the creation of a zehu is not fully understood, but is extensively utilized by the gods to generate planar energy and ascend mortals to the Nexusplane. Usually shortened to "zehu".
When a zehuderan comes into being, the planar energy that they generate takes specific forms within their body. Along with granting increased durability, reflexes, speed, and strength, the energy will manifest as a "tell" and give the zehu some form of supernatural power that is often, though not always, elemental in nature. Elements are not restricted by the traditional western earth-fire-air-water, or eastern wood-fire-metal-earth-water, but can include forces such as magnetism and gravity, energy such as electricity and sound, as well as other natural or chemical substances. These powers nearly always have a color that is present when the tell or power manifests. This color is specific to the individual, and has been found to be a useful distinguishing characteristic between similar power types. The mechanism behind which power element and color manifests in a zehu is unknown, but they are outside of anyone's control and do not change. The powers, however grow in strength, intensity, distance, duration, and breadth as the zehu's planar energy pool grows. Ageless zehu that have a massive energy pool may find their powers branching out and developing new, tangentially related abilities.