... is very scientifical.
Staff member

Veins of a Living World

. . .

Reality is not without its flaws. Not this one, nor the last.

For all that they were gods amongst gods, in the infant universe crafted under their care, the Immortal Kings could only imitate the perfection they coveted. The creation of an entire universe, accomplished with unprecedented precision; it was the greatest act of a dying age, a scream of defiance that it was not their fault. Though they could rewrite the laws of existence themselves, their creation was imperfect. A given, surely: for Creation obeyed laws and worked from constants defined by a product of fallible men. But the Kings, with the ingenuity of their foregone age, and limitless potential within Creation ahead, expected as much.

Theirs was a power infinite only by the conventions of mortals, and though they were higher than gods, their power was still harnessed by minds more like men than Immortal Kings. When the pillars of existence began to wane, Corruption appeared as a consequence. When one of their own fell to it by attempting to wield it, they could no longer contain the problem, and so began a war that lasted from a time of their fall, to mere decades ago in modern Altera. Thereafter, while the Immortal Kings waged war, they created what would become the gods to protect their creation. Whether first came the Figments or the thoughts of men is unclear, but it is known that the gods were imparted their divine essence and power from the Immortal Kings, having bargained for it to be better able to aid them in their war.

The mortals they would rule over were beings which at first were in the image of the Immortal Kings, before the gods began to create their own life. Knowing the terrible power which the Immortal Kings wrought, they sought to bind the creative essence of mortalkind to different pursuits. A trick of the light: arcane, instead of technological might, and the destruction of those who strayed too far away thereof.

Essentia, that from which the Immortal Kings writ the universe, permeates the worlds, coursing through them like veins of immaterial ichor. Essentia could be described as “essence,” or more accurately as “unbridled potential in nascent, immaterial form.” Each world has these veins, existing in minor form across the length and breadth of each and every one. But, it pools in places where the most vast enchantments from the Immortal Kings were laid, their purpose unknown and incomprehensible. Essentia is usable by both divine and arcane magic, for the distinction lies not with where their power is derived. The effects of Leylines are felt on casters of sufficient power: their magic feels sloppier and ill-contained. Like an incontinent old man, magic seems to seep out from the vessels which bear it in places of two or more overlapping Leylines.

In the time of the Immortal Kings, they used leyline crossings to host impossibly vast and comprehensive defensive warding. Shielding the worlds from the sight of Queen Grief for a time, allowing two generations out of every three as a general rule to enjoy peace, before having to reclaim their grandfather’s weapons to fight a new Corruption War. This cycle carried on for years beyond the comprehension of mortal men. When the Immortal Kings finally sacrificed themselves so Queen Grief might die in turn, the gods took claim over the Leylines instead. It is within them that their Divine Wards are anchored into the world, permanent defensive structures to keep out the worst that a vast and unforgiving cosmos of abandoned toys could throw at Altera.

Divine practitioners are simply forbidden by their patrons from interacting with Leylines. They will perhaps receive a warning at most, with the minimum result being that the gods will simply not allow their spells to be cast if they can sense their blessed’s intent. Arcane magic is different, and those who ponder on the secrets of the Leylines almost always are met with failure, for the comprehension of it is beyond the average understanding of the contemporary mage. Those who specialize in such magics, however, are another tale to be told elsewhere.

The gods themselves possessed a greater strength, and so can make greater use of Leylines. They are able to channel their power through these crossings, like flames along a spider’s web, imprinting their influence over an area to a greater degree than they could elsewhere.

The history of the Leylines, a temporary measure against the greatest foe that ever rocked the universe laid by the Immortal Kings, is a long one, and they have been used in countless ways for good and ill alike. But now, ancient bastions of infinite energy that they are, they have been abandoned like so many things by their original creators. Perhaps they were not meant to be used for so long without repairs to their framework, and all of Altera sits on a slowly deteriorating explosive of infinite energy?