The Cosmos is the multi-dimensional sum of Creation, comprising:
Kairos: The beating heart of the Cosmos. Described by Raphaël Proctor as a sea of latent graëlfire and by Gideon Drude as the primordial soup from which Creation springs. It is the seat of the Cosmic Will.
Cosmic Will: The formless sapient force from which all Creation originates.
Graëlfire: The fundamental cosmic substance conceived by the Cosmic Will. As well as creating the fabric of the Cosmos, graëlfire is the vital force animating all living beings.
Karisma: The vehicle through which the Cosmic Will evolves its awareness. The Cosmic Will manifests karisma into Kairos, from where it enters the Labyrinth to be carried along within the flux of graëlfire.
Karisma permeates universes when graëlfire in the Labyrinth bleeds into them through rifts. When immanent in the physical realm, karisma lodges in the souls of receptive mortal species. What characteristics or conditions permit some species to host karisma is unknown, but their number is infinitesimally small. Karisma may be ensouled through countless incarnations, observing and experiencing the physical realm until it ascends to the celestial realm. From there it finds its way back through the Labyrinth to Kairos, where the Cosmic Will absorbs it. This completes a process known as the Great Cycle. Karisma is a witness. Unlike a soul, it has no personality or character.
The physical realm: Countless universes with a myriad of dimensions created by discharges of graëlfire from Kairos. Universes are finite bubbles of space and time. Some contain matter and energy, others only energy.
The celestial realm: a hidden plane of existence that transcends physical space-time. It is the home of incorporeal beings called Aeons.
Labyrinth: A maze of supra-dimensional space isolated from the physical and celestial realms. With Kairos at its centre, the Labyrinth’s branching arteries traverse all dimensions of Creation, moving graëlfire around the Cosmos. It is accessed via rifts, and can be used to travel between universes. The Labyrinth is the domain of the Arkheïa, Lord Angelo.
Graëlflux: The flow of graëlfire circulating through the Labyrinth. It has daily ebb and flow, and a twelve-year wax-wane cycle. At the height of its waxing phase and during random flares, the strength of graëlflux can make the Labyrinth too dangerous to travel for months on end.
Rifts: Bridges across the Sunder that connect the physical realm to the Labyrinth. They open and close spontaneously and are invisible to humans. Graëlheem usually enter the Labyrinth by activating dormant rifts. Although they can open new rifts, doing so depletes their graëfire reserves.
The Sunder: a vacuous dimension of the physical realm that sheathes all universes, sealing them off from the Labyrinth and each other. A liminal limbo, the Sunder stands outside space-time. Rifts that collapse before connecting to the Labyrinth empty into it. The Sunder is the abode of rift-ghasts.
Elyzia: Home world of the Graëlheem and headquarters of the three known Arkheia in the physical realm. It is the domain of the Arkheïa, Lady Celestine.
Asfödel: Domain of the Arkheïa, Lord Luther. A liminal world, it is a nexus point of the physical and celestial realms. Asfödel is the destination of karisma-bearing souls in the afterlife, and the place where karisma abandons its soul host.
Sanctums: Pocket dimensions created by the Arkheïa as private retreats. A sanctum is a liminal no man’s land on the border between the physical and celestial realm.
Graëlstones: Also called Graëls – rarest matter in the Cosmos. Graëlstones are particles of graëlfire forged during a big bang when universes are created. Objects of great power, they tap into and channel graëlfire. They also receive and transmit telepathic waves. As well as being used as a weapon, Graëlstones are used by Graëlheem to open rifts into the Labyrinth. The Arkheïa employ them to implant ideas in weaker, mortal minds, to influence the development and affairs of karisma-bearing species.
Aeons: Near-omnipotent, incorporeal, celestial beings. They are direct emanations of the Cosmic Will and are spawned by it to oversee Creation. Belonging to the celestial realm, they are the highest authority in Creation. How many exist and how they are organized is unknown. The only Aeon who has ever revealed herself in the physical realm is Sophia.
Arkheïa: Embodiment in the physical realm of a lesser order of celestial beings. Arkheïa are emanated by Aeons to be guardians of mortal karisma-bearing species. As celestial beings incarnate in a physical existence, Arkheïa are powerful liminaires. They exist betwixt-and-between the physical and celestial realms, belonging fully to neither one nor the other. Their dual nature is both a strength and weakness. Whilst wielding god-like powers, they are corrupted and weakened by long contact with the material realm. Although bound to the physical realm, they cannot linger in it for long and must retreat to their sanctums to cleanse and renew their strength.
Three Arkheïa are known of – Angelo, Celestine and Luther. They were the emanations of a single Aeon. How many others exist or have existed is unclear. It is possible additional Arkheïa are guardians of other dimensions. Arkheïa are supposed to act as one, however Angelo exceeded his mandate by trying to put himself above the other two in the hierarchy.
Sigil: A geometric design of interlocking concentric circles representing the multiverse. It is the insignia of the Arkheïa, and worn by them as a ring. Graëlheem wear the sigil as an amulet attached to a chain around their neck.
Graëlheem: Long-lived but mortal human-like species genetically engineered by the Arkheïa from Elyzia’s indigenous race to supply the ranks of Chosen. There are four clans of Graelheem: the Proctors, the Kemps, the Drudes and the Reeves. The Arkheïa eliminated a fifth clan, the Grigori, when they violated their vow of non-fraternization with humanity.
Graëlheem possess telepathic powers enabling them to manipulate graëlfire through the medium of Graëlstones. They can harness graëlfire as a weapon or channel it into a protective force field. Though they cannot read thoughts, they are able to project their own into the minds of others – a phenomenon known as mind speech. Graëlheem can extend their awareness outside their physical bodies by projecting their corona or releasing their semblant.
Corona: An aura-like exo-sense that, when projected, feeds impressions of aspects of the outside world invisible to the five physical senses. These impressions are received and processed by the subconscious mind of a Graëlhim or Arkheïa. Coronas are invisible to human eyes unless charged by graëlfire.
Semblant: A manifestation of a Graelhim’s soul which Graëlheem can temporarily will outside their physical bodies to conduct remote viewing reconnaissance, or to travel beyond the physical realm to the Arkheïa’s private sanctums. Rift-ghasts can briefly project a semblant outside of the Sunder in order to feed.
Chosen: The paramilitary corps of Graëlheem selected to serve as agents and messengers of the Arkheïa. Chosen travel between universes through the Labyrinth to do the Arkheïa’s bidding and are bound to the Arkheïa by covenants of loyalty and obedience.
Graëlgarth: Headquarters and barracks of the Chosen. The principal Graëlgarth is in Celestina, the capital city of Elyzia. Other Graëlgarths are located in the regional capitals of Elyzia’s five fiefs.
Soul: The evolving self-consciousness of a sapient, mortal being. Only souls of karisma-bearing species survive death, and then only temporarily.
Greyling: The soul of a mortal karisma-bearing being,when abandoned by its karisma on Asfödel. Greylings waste away within weeks.
Rift-ghast: A killer ghoul created when a mortal karisma-being is caught in a collapsing rift. Marooned in the Sunder, they project wraithlike semblants through rifts into the physical realm to feed off the graëlfire within living creatures. Described by Lena Dubois as being like Eskimos fishing around an ice hole.
Indigenous Elyzian Nation: Karisma-bearing humanoid species of the planet Elyzia. One of their tribes, the Kaspars, is a mandarin-like class that serves as the Arkheïa’s functionaries.
Liminaires: Any being that exists in a liminal condition – a phase of in-betweenness on the cusp of two states of existence. Liminal conditions can be physical, temporal or psychological.
Liminal stages may induce altered states of consciousness in those entering them. They have the potential to release psychic forces that are catalysts for metamorphosis, transformation or transmutation.
Liminal conditions of mortals are temporary, but Arkheïa exist in a permanent liminal state.