Caprinda – The Origin Realm
At the beginning of all things there existed but a singular space. It was from this space that all things formed, not by the hands of a deity but through an explosive act of nature. The foundations of existence were put in place and from that the first souls were cultivated, souls which would eventually turn into life. However, while souls existed in an eternal state, life was limited. When a soul had used its time in Caprinda in the form of life, it would move on to some place new based on the deepest intent held within. Expired lives were converted into new realms and thus existence expanded.
As the other realms were shaped into their unique forms, Caprinda continued on as a mundane universe. Concepts such as magic and the supernatural were merely fantasy and religions were totally baseless. What changed that status quo was the fact that the realms were more thinly divided than one might initially think. The abstract concept of magic spread from Almaar and became real while Auroria and Ilis gave leverage to believers of gods. These influences are what turned Caprinda into an abnormal space where first-lifers endlessly attempt to understand the fractions of other realms which come to them.
While the respectful may refer to Caprinda as ‘the origin realm’, there are many who prefer to call it ‘the idiot’s realm’. By all accounts a rather unfair title as it refers to the ignorance of those living their first lives. They could not possibly have the perspective of the souls who have moved on to the other realms yet they are looked down upon for trying fruitlessly to understand things like Demons and magic. With how expansive Caprinda has grown to be, many worlds in the realm will never even be exposed to such things. If they are then even the tiniest hint of information can shape the direction of an entire planet, something which many unbound find quite amusing.
Almaar – The Fantasy Realm
Each of the realms beyond Caprinda was born from the intent of souls at the moment they experienced death. The intent which created Almaar was ‘freedom’, the want to be unbound from the limitations of the first life. The fantasy realm was shaped by a collaboration of dreams and fictional worlds that the souls had particular affinity to. The logic and conventions of Caprinda were discarded as Almaar became a place where imagination could be true and the unbound could immerse themselves in a true fiction.
That is how magic first came to be, as an illogical product of fantasy which works because enough souls wanted it to. It was something that should have never left Almaar, yet the space between realms was hazy for many of its residents. Caught up in their immersion, they did not realize when they went past the edges of the fantasy realm and into others. These oblivious wanderers, known by names such as ‘the unwaking’ and ‘the absent’, were responsible for bringing magic to the rest of existence.
While those outside of Almaar were happy enough to make use of magic themselves, they still understood the potential threat posed by the unwaking. They were still trapped in their fantasy, never recognizing the potential harm that their actions brought. Reality was little more than a playground to them, an extended roleplay where nothing had true consequence. Even now, they care not what they destroy or even if they are destroyed themselves. Because of this, many have attempted to uncover ways of keeping Almaar closed off, yet no method has managed to permanently overcome the power of imagination.
Auroria – The Glory Realm
Auroria is the realm which was forged by the intent to fight. An intent held by the souls of warriors, of those who bore great aspiration and by any who struggled for their lives. Their reward is this realm of glory, where they might wield their wills in an effort towards higher greatness. Competition is law and those with no motivation to prove themselves against others have no place here. Buildings are constructed higher and the arts made more refined in an endless effort to create personal pinnacles. Then, when there is no more room left in which to build, all is torn down in a great war where warriors clash to prove who’s mightiest. In the aftermath, those slain are revived to train more and live in frivolity and merriment until their war zone is built anew.
That isn’t to say the residents of Auroria are eternally at odds, however. Unity is seen as a great thing here as the minds of many can produce things far greater than the mind of one. The less experienced will be tutored as their elders want nothing more than to see the potential of the vision of others. All are respected, for all have something unique to bring to the realm. Bringing one’s ideas to light could serve as inspiration to bolster the further improvement of another. To those of this realm, elitism is synonymous with stagnation, which they act to avoid at all costs.
Altum & Ilis – The Demon Realms
Altum is the realm born from the intent of destruction, crafted by the immoral, degenerate souls who spent their lives harming others. It is no crime to live for one’s self, yet the Demons of Altum are the ones whose success only came at the cost of others. They are the hateful who drafted enjoyment from seeing others struggle and squirm. Upon the end of their first lives, they were left with this realm of desolation where trust is a dead concept. A place of unmatched violence where they attempt to subjugate the only company they have; each other. Because of this, there are no such things as settlements or civility in Altum, for such efforts are only made by suckers.
Of course, it did not take much brain power for these Demons to realize the futility of endlessly clawing at each other. The issue was that they all simply had too much pride to do anything else. They needed beings who were weaker, more submissive, so they turned their focus to the other realms. They clawed their way out of Altum with the intention of dragging slaves back with them. Their primary target remains Caprinda as first-lifers have the hardest time defending themselves but they do invade Almaar and Auroria on occasion. Those of Almaar tend to see the invasions as little more than an event while the warriors of Auroria welcome the challenge.
Ilis, the sister realm of Altum, was born from the intention of guidance. In a similar vein to Altum, the souls which made Ilis were ones which stood above others in life; royalty, figures of government and the like. The difference being that those of Ilis actually acted towards the benefit of their domains rather than seeking out immature means of affirming that they were better than others. Despite this difference, however, the Demons of Ilis initially faced an issue which mirrored that of Altum. They all saw themselves as leaders and not workers, thus proper hierarchies and society could not be established.
The solution they came to was more elegant than that of their Altum counterparts. They wouldn’t force those of the other realms to serve under them, they would make them want to. While this existence has no true deities, the Demons of Ilis only saw that as a vacancy. They spread hints of their existence throughout the worlds of Caprinda and turned themselves into the gods which first-lifers believed in. They conditioned the minds of those mortals to believe that Ilis was the promised land they would go to when they die and with that intention in their souls it became so. Upon their deaths, their souls would naturally come to Ilis where they would happily serve the gods they believed in.
The Demons of Altum and Ilis obviously believe themselves superior to their counterparts, though it cannot be argued that those of Ilis are more justified in that thought process. Those of Altum scramble desperately for slaves while those of Ilis just lie back with no need to prove themselves. The Altum Demons, unable to stand or accept this, have attempted to make war with Ilis countless times. While they might drag a handful of servants down with them during these efforts, they have yet to leave a mark which would concern the Ilis Demons.
Thelasi – The Abyss
You have likely heard the tale of a Dragon who was slain by a warrior or perhaps a band of heroes. The Dragon who held captive a princess in a tower or who was terrorizing the local village and stealing their livestock. No matter the reason, these stories usually end with the Dragon being slain. It is a scenario well-known to those of Almaar, who have replayed it time and time again while emulating their favorite fictional protagonist. Yet, what they never consider is the possibility of that Dragon having the same soul every time.
It pains one to think what a soul like that must feel. Drawn upon to act as nothing more than a foe to be fought and overcome. Then, until it is needed again, it is placed back in darkness. The soul, though it could not feel the senses and sensations of the bodies it was repeatedly bound to, had sentience nonetheless. It was aware of its existence, though it could not exist as other things did. All it knew was the darkness. That is why, when the intent of this soul grew strong enough, it manifested as a realm of deepest darkness.
The Dragon realized that its situation had changed. No longer was it in the cycle it was bound to, it had been freed. Yet, it wondered if there were other beings like it, trapped in an eternal cycle of never seeing, feeling, or anything. Perhaps they, too, wanted to reach the salvation it had found. Driven by that sole thought, the Dragon began to control the darkness and push it out further. It shaped the darkness into life, life which could overcome the boundaries it soon reached. It seemed, however, that even though the beings created by the Dragon could go beyond the limits of darkness, they were not powerful enough to pull everything else in.
The Dragon then recalled the forms it had when it was still stuck in its cycle. The shape it knew without ever seeing it or feeling its shape, the one ingrained into its soul. It had an idea; it would combine what it had learned about the other realms from the lives it had sent out with that form to create more powerful emissaries of its will. The Dragon continues to work on this concept, slowly grasping more and more about the things which exist outside the dark. Things which have failed to convince it that the darkness is not a better option.
The Walkways are the spaces between the realms manifest, where souls go when they have no strong intent to draw them to any definitive place. These winding, extra-planar streets are the home of the lost where simple, quiet peace prevails above all. Any who attempt to disturb this peace, for example the Demons of Altum, will find themselves facing the Wardens, living manifestations of the Walkways themselves. These Wardens are crushingly powerful, to the point that not even a warrior of Auroria would dare to test their mettle against one.
It should be noted that it is not only beings from Caprinda who end up coming to the Walkways. A once-visionary from Auroria might find themselves here if they lose their motivation. An Altum Demon who has lost their malice and is left only with cold, irredeemable regret might come here as well. For examples such as these, the Walkways can either be passage to new intent or their final station. Eternity is too long for one existence to have, which is why the Walkways lead to the edge of all realms.
A soul which goes over the edge will have all of the lives they lived and all of their experiences wiped from them. Whether that soul contains one lifetime or a million, it will be cleansed all the same. The soul will become new once more and be allowed to truly start fresh and live a first life again. Another chance for the visionary to be inspired for the first time, the one way for a hateful Demon to find redemption. It is said that only those who are truly ready can find the edge of the realms, when it becomes their strongest and most absolute intent.