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In the vastness of space, delicate but clear streams of gleaming blue light traversed the black void splashed in a plethora of azure-colored clouds. Flickering dots of light blinked in the background. Even closer, ethereal yet visible beings floated and swam through this psychedelic cosmos harmoniously and around the centerpiece of it all, they sought to frantically impress a certain figure amongst them. In the midst of this showcase of starlight and psionic linings across the fabric of the universe lied Singul'Aren, idle yet very much aware of all praise and honor this host of psionic spirits. His body may have been frozen, but his eyes and tendrils across his head burned with divine fire, as his mind, the strongest of all, observed, processed, reached out, and touched the lives of scores of followers. The Allfather's head lied lifted as his body rotated on itself, taking the stance of a fetus. There was a perfect balance.

- Extract from Mind over Matter

They are beautiful... yet so... alien.

- A psionic user upon witnessing the Iluvii spirits

An Iluvii, also known as psionic spirit across the First Gigaquadrant, is an intelligent and usually benevolent entity of Essence that is the living embodiment of Psionic Eenergy, and an aspect of Order, the conceptual opposite of the more tangible Chaos. Iluvii spirits are collectively the greatest servants of the Iluvii Pantheon and of Order itself as a universal force. They are created spontaneously given the proper conditions given at their preferred habitat or at the whims of their masters, the Iluvii Trinity and the Nascent Ones known as the Krassio, thus spawning as a fraction of them and acting as an extension of their will. An Iluvii's appearance and intrinsic character reflect the creator's own nature, and their psionic potency and innate authority within the Iluvii Realm and realspace depend largely on the amount of power bestowed upon the maker. These spirits may be reabsorbed into the latter's own psionic signature at their whim.


Overview[]

As technical minions of godforms, most Iluvii lack self-will, at least as mortals understand it. Instead, they serve only to spread the aims of their masters, whether this means that they are used as living archives of memories, ancillary aids or their most common form: warriors in the cosmic war delivered between the forces of Order and Chaos. Iluvii spirits seemingly work tirelessly and relentlessly to accomplish their purpose, as each seeks to further the goals of the one who made them.

Psionic spirits have no physical presence. The Iluvii Realm is an abstract, parallel realm to the universe, meaning that it reflects a deconstructed version of the things that manage to get in and out, fundamentally opposing the laws of physics and the starships that navigate its oceanic depths do so by taking as skin or bubble of "reality" with them when they enter using a psi-drive. Instead of possessing a true physical form, the Iluvii project a form conjured from raw psionic energy that is essentially a lesser interpretation of their master's fundamental nature. Hence, they normally appear as cyclopean, harmonious spirits with gleaming energy lines that project their presence, status and allegiance to their maker.

Essentially, Iluvii spirits are creatures of pure thought and psionic energy that are native to the Iluvii Realm and inhabit it as its ecosystem and denizens. They are able to withstand the cold reality of the material realm, although they would need some manner of a focal point, some channel through which they can transfer their supernatural power from the Iluvii Realm and make themselves manifest in the worlds of flesh and blood. Over the span of gigaquadrantic history, the psionic realm has usually created rifts that have led to Iluvii incursions, usually the result of the breakthrough prayers of a world (or few, faithful individuals) that seek protection from the enemy of all things, and in some extreme occasions these spiritual guides sacrifice themselves to let the servitors of the Trinity come through like a heavenly rain. Only powerfully gifted psionic users like the Krassio, or akin to them, are able to create Iluvii spirits at will and still live. Such small-scale incursions are usually defined by a specific purpose or mission, for no Iluvii warrior or spirit guide will linger longer than its intended time, lest they will act in complete disobedience to their creators.

History[]

Dormancy Era[]

Since the beginning of time and space itself, the Iluvii realm blasted into existence just as the tiniest of minds reached awakened levels of psychic power. In ancient times, spirits who coalesced from the collective gestalt of civilizations that came and fell were the first to take notice of the Iluvii and colonize it. Physical beings were naturally deprived of accessing it and bask in its power until the Valader first breached the veil between both dimensions.

Since times immemorial, the Iluvii have existed, sealed within the vast expanse of their ethereal realm, for the Iluvii nurtured from the psionic gestalt of every sentient being, but it manifested as an empty and formless ocean inhabited by spirits that acted as endemic species to an enclosed ecosystem. During these ancient times, the Iluvii were often portrayed as ghosts, spirits, demons, whenever the veil between the psionic realm and realspace fragmented, although this never occurred on a massive scale like in present times.

In the closing hours of the Tigris War, for example, the only contact the psionic masters known as the Civatrons had with the Iluvii Realm was that of spirit binding, allowing them to summon powerful entities from the psionic realm to help them in battle. In these times, they were known as 'Archons' or, in case of the most powerful summonings, spirits called 'Tetricus'.

The use of spirit summoning techniques increased in the advent of the Krassio discovery of the Chandras Galaxy, a cosmic body heavily imbued with the Iluvii Realm matter. The next record of the Iluvii Realm being key to a physical species was during the Tigris War, where the onslaught of the Congregation was on the verge of achieving unmatched slaughter and mass destruction--by destroying the galaxy. Defeated, depleted and in full retreat, the Civatron-Andross-Juvax alliance called the Cianju Alliance finally embraced what it had avoided for centuries. Entire colony ships, ark ships, and warships engaged in psionic energy in order to enter the Iluvii Realm.

As they entered the mysterious dimension, the entirety of the fleets that managed to come through the veil was almost immediately infused with psionic energy, the Iluvii Realm granted access to the Cianju Alliance's members, who proceeded to call themselves the Krassio, the "Children of the Stars".

When the fleets entered realspace again, the Krassio had become even more powerful than they could have ever imagined. Psionic Energy was their lifestyle, their technology, their belief, it was part of them as they were part of it. Bone and flesh were overcome by highly dense constructs of bodies, mind defeated matter. Bonding with Iluvii spirits became ever more popular, as both species communed as co-inheritors of what the Iluvii Realm had to offer. The Iluvii saw, in general, a hidden and dormant purpose within the Krassio, for their psionic might dramatically increased with every passing moment in the Iluvii, and their mastery of psionic essence augmented with each training session.

Xol'Etra Ascension[]

In what many call The Fall of the Krassio (actual name of an epic poem of anonymous authorship), the universe at large saw a tremendous awakening on behalf of the Iluvii spirits in the advent of the Xol'Etra rise to power. Although the general spirit populace of the Iluvii Realm welcomed the Krassio's ascension into what appeared to be a true apotheosis into godforms, a splinter group of powerful warrior spirits, who called themselves Xol'Etra, saw them as an affront to their nature. In reality, the Xol'Etra manifested a plethora of complex personalities and agendas akin to that of free-will and not spirits with simple-minded goals or instinctive intelligence. The Xol'Etra came to view themselves as the future gods of their perceived "awakening", a prophetic sentiment shared by the Iluvii overall in which they believed great psionic masters would rise to lead the Realm and its hosts to greatness and glorious purposes.

In the final hours of the Annihilation event that saw the Krassio greatly depleted and most of all, defeated from the rest of the Gigaquadrant, their remaining armies returned to Chandras to tend to their wounds and begin a slow recovery. It was then when the Xol'Etra stroke.

Never before had the Iluvii formed a military host, but the Xol'Etra, and their lesser Phar'Servia armies broke through the rifts of the psionic streams. What used to be streams of gentle currents adorning the galaxy with colorful ornaments turned into violent torrents as thousands of worlds had the shrouds of the Xol'Etra warriors descend upon them and claim their legitimate place as rulers and gods. The Krassio saw themselves flanked and surrounded. Even with their numerical superiority, the Xol'Etra were unable to stop the Krassio from breaking through their siege and escape into territories unknown (the Space in Between or the Endless space) with the heroic Master Kroc staying behind with seven Egismugals (tribes) and three Krassio armadas (known as the Primal Armada) to cover their escape. Led by Mayor Lagartoss, the survivors established within the small fringes of a luminary sector of the Endless space they called Beacon Sector.

Rise of the Iluvii Pantheon[]

As much as the Xol'Etra boasted in their newly established Xol Dominion, their rule would not last forever, as the Krassio would eventually return with a vengeance during the Great Psionic War, a mythical confrontation that saw the ascension of three particular entities into true godhood, Singul'Aren, Kroc (later known as Anur'Ctar), and Ynur'Vae. Make no mistake, the Xol'Etra's divine hold over the galaxy was real, for they had ritualistically merged their essences into conforming a psionic entanglement known as the Pharia, which would inevitably cause their downfall in part. The Iluvii were split and divided furthermore, as those detractors of Xol'Etra philosophies and their ruthless policy upon realspace arose in aid of the Children of the Stars, seeing that the cruel order established by their peers was putting a strain among the balance of Essentials so great that a war would happen inevitably, be it against other Essentials or against one another. Arch-spirit Kraitoss, leader of this freedom movement, charged alongside his warriors and the Krassio's allies in a war for the fate of the psionic essence itself.

In the closing hours of the Great Psionic War, the Krassio arose triumphantly from the fog of war, and the Xol'Etra were cast out into the Iluvii Realm, never to manifest again in realspace with the exception of some splinter groups who decided to join the godly triumvirate later known as the Psionic Trinity. At last, the Iluvii had been unified once again, this time under the strong leadership of unfathomable individuals risen from the ranks of the Krassio themselves, confirming a lasting theory that the 'perceived coming awakening' of the Iluvii would manifest with the Krassio, for the Krassio, and by the Krassio.

However, this also unmasked a truth that some Iluvii such as the Xol'Etra had seen coming for years. The Krassio's psionic potential, as great as it was, grew stronger and stronger, with their collective light shining over the psionic realm so immensely that the psionic spirits, no matter how strong or weak they were, could not hope to even fathom or measure. Certainly, the Krassio were still in their psionic infancy as powerful as they stood. Iluvii leaders such as Kraitoss could only speculate the true, raw power of the Krassio as a fully awakened psionic race. Were they to renounce to their mortality and become full-fledged Essentials, their power would resonate across all realms, including the material world. This power was already seen in the wake of the Iluvii Pantheon, which consisted almost exclusively of Krassio awakened individuals. Singul'Aren, Kroc and Ynur'Vae were the living testament of the things to come.

Into the broader Universe[]

Under the leadership of the psionic Trinity, a myriad of organizations and movements have begun to appear on the universe, what it is considered to be Min Laniakea, as the gods take the fight against their enemies and eternal rivals, the demonic races of Inferno and Chaos in general. Ever since their awakening and eventual enthroning, the psionic gods have waged an eternal and sacred war to safeguard one of the most crucial aspects of universal life and order: the mind. All of the minds in the universe innately, yet unconsciously, produce a gestalt presence within the Iluvii Realm that strengthens the latter's existence and, ultimately, any eventual exertion of its presence in realspace. To protect the mind is to protect their very home, and thus the Iluvii have brandished their swords and arms as self-named protectors of the Universe, alongside the gods' chosen armies, such as the Krassio or their political apparatus known as the Singularim Pact.

Additionally, the Iluvii have also taken unto the task of teaching younger races and mortals with psionic potential to join the fray or to at the very least protect themselves against the onslaught of those who seek to end all life or those that see psionic users as outcasts or even heretics to life. With this in mind, the Iluvii are guides and messengers within the canonized beliefs and tenets of Iluviism.

Iluvii in Realspace[]

Spirit Binding[]

What? This guy? Don't mind him, he's my guide.

- A psionic summoner to a commoner.

Since times immemorial, the Iluvii have had a relationship of bound honor or ritualistic binding with mortals and lesser beings. As long as the proper conditions are met, the Iluvii spirit will bind itself to the psionic user and assist him in any way possible. Many warriors and conjurers of old employed the warrior types of spirits, the Elenu, to help them beat otherwise impossible odds in battle, and even today Iluviism creeds seek to summon them as wardens of their temples or merely spiritual guides into greater focus and might within the vast oceans of the Iluvii Realm.

It is important to note that it is not considered possession, for such action, although not impossible for spirits, is considered anathema to the Iluvii. They seek to protect the mind of mortals, not control them, for there have been examples in the past in which imposed order has been used, and it has thoroughly failed to produce any substantial results.

Some Iluvii, twisted by their own hubris, have tried to establish their own cults by corrupting the teachings of their patron gods and into their own. These tainted spirits contend with those staying true to their spiritual code, and thus battles of heavenly proportions have been witnessed by ships or traveling mortals thanks to these incomprehensible dissensions. Some of the splinter Xol'Etra have managed to break their exile and have established themselves as gods of single systems or worlds, but most of these are swiftly turned from their disarray by the forces of the Trinity. If left unchecked, these renegades would succumb to darker paths the likes no one wishes to linger nor explore.

The Chandras Currents[]

While other galaxies might be full of skepticism regarding spirits and ghosts or regard them in fearful and scary representations, in Chandras the spirits chat with us.

- A common mockery in Chandras.

Chandras stands as a mysterious galactic body, normally a rumor among other gigaquadrantic communities due to most of its history being based on pre-modern history.

The galaxy's origins are enigmatic, as the first record of its existence dates back to the aftermath of the Tigris War, where the Krassio first discovered it. However, the late Krassio Host made astonishing discoveries once they started spreading their influence across the galaxy. The first and most obvious was that Chandras has a unique connection to psionic essence, enhancing the powers of a user ten-fold. The reason for this is unknown, as there are no records of any other galaxy in the universe with these traits, which despite superficial evidence of spontaneity, show incredible artificial essence manipulation as if the entire galaxy was just forced to merge its physical traits with the Iluvii Realm. Psionic spirits roam the galaxy, either alone or en masse, creating a unique galactic eco-system. Almost all of the space-faring civilizations have benefitted from the raw psionic essence at their disposal, developing reverse-engineered psionic jump drives for FTL travel, and even psionic shielding in some cases.

The Nascent Ones Dilemma[]

A Civatron in his proto-essential form leading two Greater Elenu spirits.

The Krassio are often considered as potential Essentials by scholars, due to their immense power in psionic energy but their self-restraint in general to mortality due to cultural reasons. Only the psionic gods of the Iluvii Realm stand as true Essential godforms, who address all matters concerning psionic gifted children or devotees. Needless to say, the gods favor the Krassio above all, and they use them as their most powerful enforcers and instruments of their will. Due to this, the existence and total population of the Krassio remains a mystery for other civilizations in the First Gigaquadrant, theorizing that their numbers are truly transfinite. Whatever the true extent of the Krassio influence is in the span of the Multiverse, all matters regarding the first Gigaquadrant are left entirely to their proxy military organization, known as the Singularim Pact. Beyond the already large armies of the Pact lies a host of countless Krassio that are deployed by the Iluvii Pantheon in defense of reality itself, waging an unending war against the forces of Chaos and other interdimensional horrors.

This creates what many sages and scholars in the universe, particularly those adept to psionic energy, to speculate about the Krassio's true purpose as a psionic race in the form of the "Nascent Ones Dilemma". They are arguably a naturally evolved species, their genetics widely altered to possess greater strength, dexterity, and intelligence. However, these quirks have quickly positioned them in the highest point of Iluvii echelons, for they were able to contend for supremacy from rival factions such as the Xol'Etra, and many psionic minds are very aware of their continuous, apparent non-stopping growth as an essential species. The name 'Nascent Ones' is one of religious and literal connotations, for in them rests a dormant power the likes the universe has ever seen in an Essential race aligned with Order, as well as the fact that they are worshipped as the Psionic Lords—demigods of surmountable power compared to the mortal races of Chandras.

Types of Iluvii[]

The types of Iluvii Spirits are organized here below, from the weakest to the most powerful.

Lalartu[]

The Lalartu, meaning simply "ghost", refers to the mere denizens of the Iluvii Realm that function as a mere ecosystem, only acting when the essence of the realm is in danger and thus are restricted to it. They offer no more intelligence than that of a programmed one with a single purpose. All of the wisdom any traveler or visitor may get from them is no more than words intended to fulfill their signaled goal.

However, when the boundaries of the Iluvii Realm is threatened by external forces, the Lalartu are known to lash out and amass like a ravenous horde in defense of their sanctuary, like a contingency defense force fully coordinated by the innate neural streams that fill the Psionic realm. They are, in part, the reason why the Iluvii Realm has not suffered lasting incursions from demons hailing from other realms composed of Essence, such as Inferno.

Lalartu[]

The Lalartu, meaning "Servitor", is the lesser form of constructed spirits by a skilled and mighty user. Psionic essentials such as the Krassio and perhaps other greater spirits summon them as aids and ancillary beings to their own existence. They are always bound to their maker, and will never depart their side. They will often seem to have a unique personality, but those who study the psionic arts know well that they are but manifestations of the master, multifaceted expressions of their own character and will. These forms of mental constructs do not possess any martial capabilities and they would normally risk erasing themselves from existence should they ever attempt to combat foes.

Elenu[]

The Elenu, meaning "Warrior", is the backbone of the host that defends the Iluvii Realm. The first line of defense and the shock troops of their gods and makers, they traverse the veil of realities either to help mortals or to outright purge and destroy the enemies of all life and those who disturb the balance of the universe.

All Elenu are made for a specific combat purpose and therefore range in size and function, having high adaptability to change according to the situation's needs. The Elenu could focus on melee combat, mimicking Civatron warriors while doing so and they might also take the form of flying beings prepared to claw their way through enemy lines.

Vaalaa[]

People may refute their existence entirely but make no mistake... In our darkest hour, when we are in need of a miracle. When the skies fall down and the sun comes crashing down upon us, then you shall see them. Angelic beings of pure psionic might, ready to place themselves in the line of others with supernatural feats. They will be there in the red day, the sword day, and ere the sun will rise once again.

- A Radeon who believes in the Vaalaa


Ilati[]

The Ilati, meaning "Throne" or "Arch-spirit", is the abstract symbol of authority of a respective, powerful master of the Iluvii Realm, and they are holding the highest rank in the Iluvii hierarchy, second only to the gods. Only those who are powerful enough have an Ilati wandering the vast oceans of the psionic realm, particularly the Trinity. They are creatures of massive stature and colossal psionic might. Their intelligence is simple-minded and focused to exist solely as the glorious statement and manifestation of the god they are aligned to. Like cetaceans on the ocean and like reefs in the ocean floor, they are the focal point of worship and praise for their respective god, and thus will be walking temples of the latter's will.

The Ilati are also able to command the spiritual host of the Elenu and hold thousands of Lalartu as messengers and aids of their everlasting work to bring the word and whispers, as well as the hammer of judgment, of their patron gods. Each Ilati is an extension of their respective god, thus it is said that witnessing the appearance of one is to witness the might, beauty, glory and overwhelming presence of said deity. So far only three types of Ilati have manifested, each representing a god from the psionic Trinity:

  • Bringer of Order, the Ilati of Singul'Aren - Despite the acknowledging of their existence thanks to folklore and tales, the Bringers of Order are as elusive as their master, even acting in the same subversive way than the Allfather, whispering to mortals secrets to unlock more power, and thus more balance. It is theorized that they will only appear when the thin line of balance is endangered in great measure. Otherwise, they will simply join the chorus of cohorts upon cohorts of spirits that orbit the God of Balance in worhsip and awe, maybe even leading such a worship with new tunes and songs.
  • Great Warden, the Ilati of Anur'Ctar. - Perhaps the most active of the Ilati, they are often seeing leading legions of Iluvii spirits valiant charge after valiant charge against the horde of demons of Chaos. However, it is rare for a Great Warden to appear in realspace and before mortals, and to summon one as a psionic user not only speaks of the level of skill the latter has, but of how favored they are by Anur'Ctar.
  • Herald of Promise, the Ilati of Ynur'Vae. - The direct servants of the Goddess of Death. They are said to be made in the image of the Goddess, exotic yet beautiful, terrifying yet comforting; Heralds of Promise are referred with the "She" pronoun. They will often guard the gates to Ynur'Vae's paradise, recruit members to the Doting Blades order, and welcome those who entrusted their spirits to her, giving them access to the Promise, thus honoring their name.

Of the Ilati, there is one that is truly named "Arch-spirit", and he is known to be as old as the Iluvii Realm itself. Kraitoss, the ancient one, is a spirit held in high regard by the gods, left to his own devices, and ruler of a great tad of spirits that manifest into the universe through the agenda of the Xol Iluviist Order (XIO). Kraitoss aided the gods in defeating the Xol'Etra, his brethren, and now watches over the Iluvii Realm with a dedicated, restless eye.

Trivia[]

  • Unwillingly, The Valader used Sumerian lexemes as syllabic units for the name Iluvii Realm. However, it was not until the design of the Iluvii host when he realized of this coincidence.
  • Many of the names of the types of spirits are lexemes derived from the Sumerian language, a now-dead tongue.
  • Primary inspirations for the Iluvii are the Forces of Chaos from the Warhammer 40,000 universe by Games Workshop, the Valar from J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion, the Norse Gods from the icelandic manuscripts collected in the Poetic Edda, the Greek Olympian Gods from Homer's Illiad and Hesiod's Theogony.
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