Endless Blue – Week 52 – Elsewhere: The Anathematic Ethereal Shadow   1 comment


Elsewhere — The Anathematic Ethereal Shadow

Elqua is remote, practically isolated from the metaverse of  cosmological ethos.  Not just a pale blue dot floating silently in the cosmos of stellar eternity, but a shunned pariah in the growing complexity of the multiverse.  Such abstract sophist concepts as portals to other dimension or astral travel are unknown among the philosophical thinkers of the world.  There is nothing beyond the mortal coil; there only exists what is seen and touched.  This unrelenting mentality has endured unaltered for many of Elqua’s Ages,  from before the Bronze and on into the Verdant Age.  But it was during that green age of prosperity that this naive understanding of the world — indeed, the universe — was shattered, when the realm known as Elsewhere made its first overt actions into this world and forever changing Elquan history.

These otherworldly events where the catalyst for the change in the Verdant Age, corrupting its bounty and beneficence into the excruciating misery that has since become cast as the Age of Verdigris, the time of tarnishing and decay.  The canonical dogma that had been pontificated over and over to the mass populace began to show the cracks in the charade of its facade, and the infinitesimal worm of doubt was able to burrow its way into the minds of the few free thinking sages that remained unindoctrinated by the Stern Lady’s eponymous Word of Law.  There, the worm spread, be it festering in the thoughts of the doubtful or flourishing in the minds of skepticism, and led many of the denizens of the water world to embrace the path of atheism, to the Godless.

Alignment Along the Orrery of Existence

The native waters of the Endless Blue are as lost in the planar universe as they are oblivious to it.  Adrift in the ocean of  the cosmos, marooned on a tiny spot of infinity, forgotten by the boundless horizons, Elqua bobs and crests on a sea of obscurity.  It has no links to the upper or lower outer planes, no ties binding it to the realms of law or chaos, and only a scant few tiny fissures in the fabric of reality lead to a single inner elemental plane.

The elemental plane of water borders on the prime world of Elqua, though passage between the spheres is rare and difficult.  The massive tojanidas, avatars of nature’s grandeur first migrated from the true endless blue to the Elquan seas in the prehistory of picean life.  What few portals still remain between the two wet origins are the jealously guarded domains of the Tritons, deistic majesty made manifest by the gods of the civilized and primitive races alike.  But it is from there the gods of the pisceans reside.  Save the Source, which is the center of the world, the stern goddess Olyhydra, the sinful gods of the Yaun-Teel, even the totemic spirits of the primitive races dwell in the oceans beyond.

But despite this metaphysical singularity, this solitude among the multitude, another existence is intrinsically linked. At the same time extant and latent, this other place, this elsewhere co-exists with all of the seas around the Known World.   It is another world existing in the same spacial position that the waters of Elqua flow, but unseen by anyone.  At least, not by those pisceans on this side of the planar boundary.  Those nebulous intelligences on the other side are quite aware of Elqua and her Fluid Nations, and have been watching for eons.  That is, until they found a way to make contact across the ethereal border.

On the Other Side

Elsewhere is a mixture of darkness, insubstantiality, and hostility, a churning morass of negativity and opposition, a spectacle reflection of the comprehensible world of Elqua.  It overlaps the ocean world, co-existing yet not occupying the same space.  It mirrors the water world, with corresponding analogs for everything common and mundane on Elqua, only slightly off.  And everything there is antithetical to life in the Endless Blue.

Even the very waters filling the Elsewhere are dank, cold, rank… Everything is tainted by a causeless atrophy, cloudy and corrupt, like decay without the suppuration.  And the insatiable, unyielding cold…  It is a cold of absolutism, the lack of not just warmth but light.  Not even the heat of chaos emerges from the constant stagnation of energy.  Anathematic to life, to light, it festers there, just on the other side of sight.  It is the intangible Ethereal plane, the occluded plane of Shadow, and the annuling Negative Energy plane, frozen solid by a dry, utter cold of oblivion.  And there are intelligences here that have their own motivations, setting forth machinations upon the pristine world of Elqua.  These taskmasters were the otherworldly benefactors of the Kraken, who bolstered the monstrosities to the state of Great Squids, unleashing them upon an unsuspecting and ill prepared world.

Where Shadow and Light Meet

While any spot on Elqua is both here and there in the Elsewhere, there is also a definite though undefined border between the two.  The Border Ethereal, also known as the Penumbral Curtain, is the shore where the endless blue that holds Elqua and the murky naught of Elsewhere meet.  A paradoxical mix of contrary and same, of reciprocal and opposite, congruent and contradictory.

The seas of Elsewhere are viscous, cloudy thicknesses, tainted currents and obscured waters, where linger dark, twisted shadows of everything that exists on Elqua.  The counterparts there hate light and the living, their indistinct forms blurring into the foetid, milky waters.  But the closer you approach the Penumbral Curtain, from either side, the more like the mirror world the plane becomes.  It is a case of proximity over polarity, where the closer a piscean is to something in Elsewhere, the more like its normal Elqua counterpart it appears.  At a distance Elsewhere seas are a poxed molasses of viscosity; but the water against the naked eye are as clear as the Elquan tropics.

Whispers Across the Gulf

Despite their closeness, Elsewhere and Elqua do not interact.  So disparate is there co-existence that they two might as well be separated by the whole of creation.  Nothing in all of Elqua has been able to pierce the Penumbral Curtain and gaze into the miasma that is Elsewhere.  However, Elsewhere has gazed long and longingly at the pure, clean environs of its co-habitable plane. Over time, the umbral minds where weary of simple glimpses and made a concerted effort to make contact.  The so called “whisper across the gulf”, the first contact of the powers of Elsewhere with the deranged Kraken took on the mantle of the Adumbrate Luminary and led the eclipse of the Known World with the united forces of krakenkind.

How this is accomplished is a mystery that most sane pisceans would shrink from, the terrible fear of what else is somewhere out there, so very close, so very near.  It is this very same phobia that has made the Ruins of the Kraken Empire, and specifically the Maw, verboten to every rational sapience alive.  Even the secret-covetous Kouton avoid the area like the plague, flying in the face of accusations of conspiracy with the Great Squid during the Occupation.  Heresay alludes to those whispers having gone silent, as if cut off from the world of Elqua in mid thought and bringing about the severance of Kraken into the vermin of the Ceph.  Others foretell that where once the alien overlords of Elsewhere once spoke, they will emerge once the secret to crossing the Penumbral Curtain is solved.  But what is most feared is that all this will come about, should there be ears about the Maw to listen for the soft, septic whispers from across the gulf.

Reacting to fear with totalitarianism, the Stern Mistress has decreed here acolytes shall patrol the cordon of the Maw, preventing entry of the Ruins from outside and stop escape of whatever from within.  Their mariners take this duty as sacrosanct, and these rangers of the waves are prepared to hunt down trespassers across the oceans of Elqua if need be to ensure that the apocalyptic entities of Elsewhere never again flex their influence in the Endless Blue again…

“Ever do They lurk, Ever do they listen,
Ever do They seek an ear among the currents glisten.
Ever do They watch, Ever do they gaze,
Ever do They seek a way to corrupt and to raze.”
— part of the first Free Olypiad’s commencement.

One response to “Endless Blue – Week 52 – Elsewhere: The Anathematic Ethereal Shadow

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 103 – The Source | Endless Blue

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