“That throne, the one you say rules over the lands of reality? It is our right. We are eldest.”
- - The Ravenrii
The Obvia'Atra, better known as the Ravenrii, are an ancient race of celestial beings who exist to relight the branches of the omniverse each time one is destroyed, essentially recreating universes and reshaping life around Reality. Benevolent but cold creatures towards mortals, they were born from the First Light at the creation of reality. They are both immortal and timeless; one of the rare anomalies of Time.
The Obvia'Atra are the purest beings within the mortal domains, envoys of Kkia'Sihm and the five ascendant Fates from the Celestial Realm. Descended from Heaven and introduced into the realm of Reality at its birth, they are Kkia'Sihm's tools in the Game of Existence, as opposites of the dark Xhodocto. The Obvia'Atra also command the Empire of the Core, who act in their stead.
Imperious beings by nature, the Obvia'Atra are widely regarded with a mixture of approval, respect, distrust and even fear, as they are alien beings and their actions are rarely understood. They are related to the other immortal races, most notably the Xhodocto, who are their polar opposites and most hated enemy. They also possess ties to the Vyro'Narza, beings of time, as their paths have oft crossed each other in the past; and with the archaic Vi'Navitum, a race charged with the protection, among others, of the life that the Ravenrii create.
Within the realm of reality, the Atra are spread throughout the Omniverse across milliards of galaxies and universes - however, only few ever come into contact with mortal cultures. Ravenrii civilizations have often held significant power and influence amongst other races, as they've become involved in mortal affairs more than once and unlike their opposites, take a liking to mortal customs and society in general. Their orders are usually used to gather power in the name of their master, making it easier for them to interact with other races and search for Potentials: beings who will feature in the prophesized final war with Xhodocto forces. Curiously, the Obvia'Atra hold regard mortals with mild curiosity as opposed to hating or ignoring them as the other Immortal Races do.
Throughout the eons, the Atra have had many names, given to them by other beings and races as well as themselves. Their real name evokes their true nature but is unpronounceable to mortals and is a secret that has been lost to time. Only the highest of the ancient races called them by it, however, and their name in ancient history is usually recorded as Obvia'Atra, derived from an old tongue's Obviam Atrum, or against the dark. Other races have called them by many other titles through history, including the 'Lucians' (they are from the realm of Lucia); 'the Enduring' or 'the Eternal' (for their immortal nature); 'Hosts of the Hollow Thrones' (for their high claims but weakened state); and heralds of Light (for their related existence to enlightenment).
The start of the Ravenrii can be traced to the beginnings of Reality itself. Supposedly, in the early ages of existence, only the realms of Heaven and Hell existed, separated by endless limbo. Ultimately, two forces of unimaginable power emerged from the two realms: the core Essences, pure light and darkness. The former, The First Light, blazed a titanic blank space in limbo. The white abyss would later become Reality. Meanwhile its antithesis, the Dark Void, seeped from the Demonic realm and dampened the Light to create the "Greylands", a land where both life and death could coexist: Reality had begun. The Ravenrii were formed from the Light while Reality was still nascent, along with the Vi'Navitum and other heavenly entities. Out the Void, on the other hand, emerged the Xhodocto and the creatures of Hell. The birth of Reality marked the start of the Game of Existence, a never-ending war between Kkia'Sihm and Kamik'Shi, the Kings of Heaven and Hell, for the throne of the new realm. Since then, the Obvia'Atra have established dozens of civilizations throughout the ages, trying to drive Reality into Heaven's side of the Game. They have stopped Scourges in many universes and failed in others, each culture replaced with another after many quadrillions of years. Ancient Raven history is one that is rarely remembered and seldom ever mentioned, as the Golden Race guards the secrets of its past each time more fiercely than ever. After all, they say, those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it.
Modern Raven history began 18 billion years ago, when they were at the end of one of their many empires and existed as beings in harmony with their universe. They spread out from a beautiful homeworld, Alva-Es'riia, also called The Place of Light. Heads of a sprawling empire, the Raev Imperium, they lived in peace until records dated 16 billion years ago tell of the start of another vast war against the forces of Hell. Around 15 billion years ago, Kamik-Shi, in the form of a multi-potent dark creature that engulfed worlds known as The Darkness, advanced towards the homeworld along with a wave of Xhodocto.
The Darkness was powerful, and faced with such a massive force the Imperium could not last long. The boiling conflict lasted billenia. Finally, with Xhodocto ships darkening space itself and Kamik’Shi himself over Alva-Es’riia, the Obvia'Atra sacrificed their planet with a devastating explosion of light, in the hopes of imprisoning their enemies forever. The attempt failed; the Xhodocto resurfaced billions of years in the future. The Obvia'Atra were spared, trapped in a state of suspended animation. They awoke to find themselves in a new universe, millennia afterwards. The ages of fighting against the Darkness before it consumed Alva-Es'riia are known as the Great War of Light. Excerpt for the Book of the Eons;
“He had come as the End, we knew, the End of this Life and the End of this Universe. His bloody darkness filled the skies, flesh turned to rock and water to blood. And thus at last he engulfed our world-but before he destroyed reality itself forever, we burst in Light as we never had before, and this last Light, we knew, would allow us to live on once again.”
Afterwards, records speak only of the Obvia'Atra's regaining of consciousness in a new planet, around a million years afterwards. However, it was the species’ best kept secret and was unpublished until now. The Obvia'Atra that awakened in the planet, now known as Centrus, are the Obvia'Atra of today. They began the period of Modern History.
The Core FederationEdit
Six billion and ten years ago, Obvia'Atra awoke after the Great War of Light, in what is known today as the galaxy of Xanthrus Spiral. With their minds sliced apart for the first time in eons, they quickly dispersed into seven small cultures called the Minor Empires. These constantly clashed over wealth and expansion, until in the year 43M, F.A., they united to create the Raev Federation, a larger, weaker and mortal-like nation. As the homeworld of their newborn Order, they chose planet Centrus, one of the many planets in which Ravens had regained consciousness and capital of one of the Empires. It was then that the loss of the Raven’s higher powers became clear: they became corrupt and gridlocked, eventually rioting and overthrowing their own monarchy. They replaced it with what any Raven of the times of old would have dismissed as a shameless sham of a government: one that was oriented toward business. Going from bad to worse, the race was splintered and their country smashed, dissolving into what no Raven had witnessed before: civil war. It was after the war ended, however, that a miracle occurred: the race’s minds were reconnected, giving some of their former traits back to them. The race grew peaceful and unified again, although they still did not recover their full forms. And so, the species reformed once again, peacefully, reinstating a government more like the monarchy so familiar to them in a new nation they named the Core Federation. The new Federation became their bastion of power, and their conquest of this new galaxy began. Within three billion years, Xanthrus and its satellites lay conquered. Eventually the full monarchy was reinstated, and the Federation ventured outside of their home galaxy for the first time. The CorFed, as it came to be known, became one of the most powerful nations the universe had seen. Embroiled in new alliances and fighting mortal wars, it sank its hooks into First Gigaquadrant society. The Federation expanded continuously, at a time holding several million worlds. It began to search, once again, for Potentials among its new allies, and aimed to crush their own enemies. When the Xhodocto revealed themselves to the Universe and almost brought about its end, they along with countless mortal races prevented it from happening.
Empire of IllumEdit
Eventually, however, the Ravenrii grew impatient with the CorFed, the first civilization in their history so embroiled in mortal affairs. On the eve of its six billionth year of existence, communications with the Federation went down. Months later, its galaxies were found abandoned and empty, the government effectively vanished. It was then that the Atra announced that the Federation was dead. In an obscure message broadcast from somewhere unknown outside of the Gigaquadrant itself, a new nation called the Empire of the Core presented itself to the Gigaquadrant’s nations, announcing the return of Ravenkind as well. Within days the Imperium of Illum contacted the intrigued leaders once again, ceding vast amounts of the Federation’s territories in the First Galactic Square under the Treaty of Galayru. The Great Cession, as it came to be called, arose because the Empire desired to leave the Gigaquadrant and its wars behind. This newborn civilization restored the Raven’s previous form of reign, united under a holy monarchy and Kkia’Sihm’s Host. A new dawn for the Ravenrii had begun.
However, the Ravenrii soon revealed that they were not the races within the Core civilizations, but rather, the Ravenlii and the Core races were. The Core Races were created by the Obvia'Atra.
Because the Ravenrii are a manifestation of Light itself and their connection to the rebirth of the universes is unbreakable, they are impossible to destroy. However; when in their weaker, physical forms their bodies can be damaged beyond repair, sending their essence back into their native Realm. Eventually, they are able to reform and return within another body. Despite the fact that they must possess enormous power to recreate universes repeatedly, shows of their strength are usually involuntary and they can go as far as pretending to be a mortal race in order to hide their true prowess. The Ravenlii are a good example of a race who hide the Ravenrii's true power, by posing as the race behind the Empire of the Core and Core Federation.
“There have always been, among mortals, two things expected of us. First, that we play by our rules. And second, that we bend them all.”
- - The Ravenrii
Due to their immense size, Ravenrii possess vast physical strength, and, predominantly, endurance: from the instant they arrive in reality, the only discernible change is growth. They even retain the figure achieved when they reach young adulthood forever, thus being eternally "young". The Atra are a Pure race, meaning that they have no Essence of their own. Their lack of a unique essence makes them virtual magnets for Celestial Energy, which follows them in great swarms. It is probably their greatest weapon and form of defense, letting them pass unscathed through other beings' energy shields and radars and neutralizing most when they approach. Making other beings' energies vanish when close to a Ravenrii is one of their most unnerving qualities. They have great control over their material surroundings as well-able to bend the laws of physics, they can warp space (and time, to a lesser degree), rip through universal fabrics to tranport themselves out of a universe and into another, and control the flow of Essence in the vicinity, moving it from one organism and into another or feeding on that pure energy itself.
The mental capacity of Ravenkind also stems from their supernatural nature. They have the ability to subtly influence the minds of those around them, carrying a sort of mental "climate bubble" around themselves. When in prime conditions, Obvia'Atra can dissolve into pure light and attempt to breach the minds of other beings, though some races, such as the Krassio, are trained to repel these mental attacks. Those that aren't can be subjected to visions, illusions, and in extreme cases, even a state of possession called Gilding. Gilded individuals have their minds completely replaced by a Raven's, though other than their eyes turning gold, there is no discernible change. Needless to say, it's been an important weapon in the their arsenal more than once.
BehaviourEditThe Ravenrii are, above all, imposing beings. They value life, beauty and strength above all else, and will often delegate all but the tasks they deem worthy to other races. They are creatures of grandeur and control, assuming the role of string-pulling aristocrats. Masters of deception, they’re known to do anything, even wage war, for the greater good. They are a proud and ancient people, and hold the mortal races in contempt until they prove their worth. They do have an underlying noble nature, as they are creatures of light, though they can be devious and adamant too.
The Obvia'Atra share a mind pool: every individual thought is shared, making strong feelings very limited and granting them the ability to confer with each other across the vast pool of thoughts. Because they aren't allowed to feel strong emotion, they tend to be perceived as cold and cynical beings. The truth is that this lack of emotion is actually a form of control-protection that keeps their will in check. The two things they are known to feel strongly are the extremes: love, for life and Heaven; and hatred, for the Xhodocto and Hell. Even these are fleeting, though, and the closest they can get to feeling anger towards anything else is sadness.
Ravenrii tend to be self-conscious and observant, keeping an impassive look while in the presence of others. They can understand and mimic emotion perfectly, yet they themselves never feel it strongly. Ravens are creatures of great presence, who more often than not appear as comfortable in war as they are in peace. They will use whatever advantage they have to get their way, from charm and pleasantry to overpowering force. Both charisma and wit are two of their favourite tools, as they allow them to be irresistible when they intend to and dangerous when they do not. When a Raven leaves his mask behind and speaks his mind, however, one must be careful to never step out of line, for a Lucian is as likely to stab one through the heart as he is to hand one the dagger. They truly are unpredictable beings.
“We cull, we refine, we select.”
- - Common Ravenrii saying
Ravenrii culture is rich when it comes to unique features. It revolves around the race’s values themselves, beauty and renewal chief among them. Their acceptance of a single, holy monarchic authority is firmly rooted in their minds, so that a crown has become an essential part of Raven life. Obvia’Atra rarely act alone, usually acting as a single unit. Refinement and culture is one of their fundamental components, the antithesis of Hell’s barbarism. Throughout history, Ravenkind have been one of the wealthier cultures of the omniverse. Because of this, they have no sense of greed. Work and effort aren’t guided by personal gain in the cultures of the Ravenrii, instead dominated by a sense of duty towards their cause. The people of Lucia are strong and adhere to a philosophy of strength, enforcing peace in whatever way possible. Ravens value truth over honor, security over privacy and stability over freedom, which frequently puts them on edge with the people of the mortal world. Law and order are utmost priorities; above all, they value peace-without it, they think, Reality can only fall into the claws of the Xhodocto. They will thus give everything they possess, even themselves, in pursuit of “the greater good”. Their actions are rarely understood by others, who assume they work only for themselves, though in truth they deem themselves not even as a part of life.
- The Arts
“We do not kill. We never kill. No - leave them alive, until wish they were dead.”
- - The Ravenrii
Ravens are particularly disgusted by darkness, which they view as the equivalent of ignorance. Their worlds, thus, are kept in a perpetual state of daylight using mirrors of the natural light of stars. Their architecture is a stunning style. In olden times, their cities were deemed some of the largest in the universe, and some of the first to have light. As in Heaven, their buildings are impossibly tall and glimmering with golden rays. In modern times, most of their settlements are sprawling world metropolises. They build their edifices with the lightest materials they can find, each style changing as their cultures are born and fade. Today, golden glass and silver metals are used in most of their cities in the Empire of Illum.
The Raven arts are very diverse, fighting styles being one of the lesser ones. Ravenrii culture stresses learning and intelligence over brute force, as the Obvia'Atra themselves dislike fighting. Brutality is never allowed, particularly when there is life involved, although some do find war and politics entertaining. As an absolute rule, however, Ravenrii will never kill. Poise and self-control, although always used in public, are often forgotten when the Atra are among their kind. Forms of art like Illarendil, literally “light-shaping”, are unique to Raven culture because they stem from abilities only the Ravenrii have. Nevertheless, some Obvia’Atra are fascinated by the mortal races and cultures, building all sorts of stadiums, safari worlds, opera houses and other entertainment venues where foreign performers are the main feature. In the kingdoms of Ravenkind, society is never overrated.
Originally, the Ravenrii were believed to have been a monotheistic culture. However, at some point in history the existence of their minor gods was revealed. The Atra believe in the existence of two Supreme Beings, who embody everything right and wrong in the universe: Kkia'Sihm, King of Heaven, and his counter part Kamik'Shi, Lord of Hell. Each has his own set of follower deities, minor in respect to them. These are known as the Fates, of which there are twelve in total. The Ravenrii adore Kkia’Sihm and his faction, while they abhor those from Hell. Their practices are, however, completely unlike their opposites’, as they hold zealotry in contempt and instead simply follow the word of their deities in their normal life. They believe that every living being, light or dark, has an opposite. Raven religion is one of the more dominant in the history of the universe, the other being that of the Xhodocto’s, as it has affected the outcome of more events in history than barely any other.
Biology and AppearanceEdit
Soon to be removedIn their true forms, Ravenkind are immaterial beings. This is what grants them their power over the material world. When within reality they must always occupy a body to subsist, though they can leave their own for short periods of time. Each obtains its own body when it enters Reality, which is what other beings see when they observe a Raven.
Even in its corporeal form, an Obvia’Atra is an impressive sight: they can be more than twenty feet tall, broad and shimmering. How they reproduce is not known, though they claim not to breed at all, their kind having been “born” from the Light. The reason for there being both male and female Ravenrii, as there once were both male and female Xhodocto, is also a mystery.
Atra are aesthetically attractive to most humanoid species; sleek, strong and exotic in appearance. Their striking beauty, in part due to their Heavenly nature, is heavily embellished by the previously mentioned mental climate bubble that they carry with themselves. The combination makes them irresistible to creatures of any sex and almost any race.
The gender differences between female and male Obvia'Atra are very pronounced; male Atra are strongly built and heavily muscled, while Obvia'Atra women are slender and light. While in the species' lowest form, the differences also include different shades of skin colour; males usually have strong shades of blue, while females are light blue, cyan or turquoise. The race's skin colour can be used to determine the bloodline of every Raven. The most uncommon Obvia'Atra, those with turquoise skin, are usually attributed to the noble families, for instance. Their smooth skin, enveloping their inner biology, permits them to absorb energy from sunlight. This membrane can have alternate colors depending on the form of the Obvia'Atra in question: while in their descended form, it is blue; in their ascended one, varying tones of gold and bright cyan. They can also consume normal food, though it is thought of as an unnecessary commodity. Ravenrii have no internal organs nor blood, have golden eyes with no pupils and great domed heads.
Their “wings”, sprouting from their upper backs, are actually horns that look like feathers. An armor of ivory-like horns is spread upon their bodies, curling around their arms, legs, and head. The horns are in fact growing Astralite formations, made of the purest and hardest element known to Ravenkind. On their heads, it creates a set of stunning, crown-like antlers called a corona. The formations grow indefinitely, so it is the oldest Ravenrii who have the greatest armours. Astralite, nicknamed “Angels' Ivory”, is as sharp as a blade and a dozen times harder than diamond, able to cut through all but the densest of objects. Their natural armour provides Ravens with insurmountable protection. Curiously, although Astralite is highly prized for its properties, those few individuals known to have obtained it through history have been cursed with misfortune. It can only be assumed that they did terrible things to obtain it.