“It is our life-force, the reason why we are alive, the reason for our existence, our actions and our thoughts. It is a way of thinking, an uncontrollable current that runs though us all. Light and dark, everything is borne out of pure Essence.”
- - Unknown
Essence is a phenomenon that relates to both consciousness, in that qualia are attached to patterns of Essence, and "supernatural" forces that can be utilised by conscious beings.
Essence can be defined by its ability to avoid the conventional laws of physics that restrict other natural "material" phenomena, a feat which it achieves by virtue of some unique properties. It is not quantum-mechanical in nature, so it is not made of discrete particles and thus is not subject to quantum or thermodynamic limits. Its interactions with its surroundings are not limited to being symmetric - an Essence action need not have an equal and opposite material reaction - and so it can circumvent conservation laws.
Equally if not more important, however, is that Essence behaves like a non-material substance that can be utilised by conscious material beings to influence their environment. This process starts with the interactions within matter that make up consciousness, particularly in living brains or synthetic minds, which become naturally correlated with corresponding Essence patterns, known as "souls".
With the right skills or training, the Essence in souls can be used to interact with, and thus exert control over, further Essence. The mechanisms behind this usually involve the emission of particles (often biophotons) which quantum-tunnel into hyperspace, forming complementary patterns in that Essence-rich realm that can extend further than they could in realspace. Anti-Essence technologies, such as yrsalimus, take advantage of this by disrupting these pathways. Some consciousnesses even move partly or entirely to hypermatter or Essence in the process of Ascension.
This control is what is responsible for Essence "abilities" or "powers", such as extra-sensory perception and telekinesis from direct transfer of information (ESP is from the outside world to the consciousness, while telekinesis is in the other direction), precognition from non-quantum fields' nonadherence to the arrow of time, and teleportation by moving the body through hyperspace without having to traverse the realspace between the origin and end point.
Materialised Essence Edit
Materialised Essence is matter that has been connected to Essence in such a way that said Essence will be responsive to mental commands directed through the matter, and can take advantage of both Essence's freedom from, and matter's adherence to, conventional physical laws. The most common materialised Essence is fluidic Essence, which is often known as (pure) energy (sometimes capitalised) although this is technically incorrect and can often cause confusion with the physical concept of energy. Fluidic Essence can be easily produced by many Essence users, usually by channeling hypermatter, and often takes the form of glowing gas, liquid, or beams of plasma.
Solidified Essence is significantly less common and is usually produced by Essentials for the benefit or detriment of mortals. There are three main categories of solidified Essence, classified on the basis of how they can be used.
- Aneumetrites specifically violate conservation laws. The excess quantities can be either contained within the crystal (as in antigravity aneumetrite, which produces excess momentum and so can be used for reactionless propulsion or free energy) or emitted as particles.
- Metavlitites are minerals in which Essence is arranged to give them arbitrary values of material properties such as heat capacity, elasticity, susceptibility, conductivities, and phase transition and failure points. Some metavlitites even have combinations of properties that would normally contradict each other in regular matter, such as metal-like crystals that have high reflectivity and malleability but almost zero electrical conductivity. Due to its nigh-invulnerability, Gyronidium is a particularly sought-after metavlitite for use in armour and spaceship hulls, but for the same reason can only be worked using Essence, while Shidium is a multipurpose metavlitite well known for its use by the Zazane.
- Veneficites allow individuals to utilise Essence by assimilating into their bodies; they usually have aneumetrite and metavlitite features to aid this purpose. Holomatter is a benign veneficite that provides access to Chronoscopic, while Chaotic veneficites corrupt the body in the process of Descension.
Division and Variations Edit
Essence is divided into several "Energies", named for similar reasons as fluidic Essence. Each Energy is believed to be a result of "pure Essence" being filtered through an Essence-based consciousness, thereby being influenced by the consciousness in terms of the abilities that it is focused on. Although Essence is only directly known from the Energies that manifest themselves in reality, the study of these Energies for many millennia has resulted in the model of "pure Essence" being created.
The different Energies fall into three categories: Chaotic, Celestial, and Elemental. Most of them have associated Essentials, godforms, and Planes of Existence, although there is no rigorous structure to these associations. While the reasons are unknown, many Energies also have particular colours associated with them and their materialised forms.
The Elemental category is further divided into Elemental Energy and Chronoscopic. The distinction between the two is that Elemental Energy itself is contained within the four-dimensional universe and hyperspace, while Chronoscopic is five-dimensional and capable of manipulating 4D worldlines and timelines. While Chronoscopic has Vyro'Nazdea, the Vyro'Narza and the Vyro'Ralza, and its materialised forms are associated with gold and green for "light" Narza-associated Essence and red, purple and black for "dark" Ralza-associated Essence, Elemental has neither Essentials nor materialisations.
Elemental Energy is the most common Energy, found in all life across the universe; it is one of the most well-known Energies and has therefore been known by numerous other names by thousands of other civilisations across the universe and throughout history. It is based around the principle of balance, to the point that using it to go to any particular extreme is harmful for the user and its surroundings alike.
Regional versions of Elemental Energy originate from other universes. One of these is Descension Energy, associated with Vaxal Myraad and the Aichatharna, which no longer follows the Elemental principle of balance for it was corrupted by the Accursed Quinquennium.
Mana Energy is the name given for an Essence, primarily of Elemental origin, that is focused on a particular planet and its biosphere, and is accessed by beings associated with that biosphere by accumulating the Essence in their body over time. Examples include Earth's mana, the Kavideon mana used by several Zarni subspecies, and the Aerzan Essences.
Celestial and Chaotic Edit
The Celestial and Chaotic Energies are described poetically as "light" or "good" and "dark" or "evil" respectively (primarily due to most complex life being incapable of thriving within the influence of Chaotic Energies). Most Celestial and Chaotic Energies come in pairs, with the two Energies in each pair being polar opposites and nullifying each other upon physical contact.
The primary Celestial and Chaotic Energies are Mystic and Chaos respectively. The three other pairs are Life and Death, Dream and Nightmare, and Psionic/Pharia and Demonic. These are all summarised in the table below.
|Mystic||Ultimate One||Various||Blue-purple||Atlantica Realms, Heaven|
|Chaos||Xhodocto||Various||None||Arx, Equilibrium, Erebus, Insomnia, Tangent|
|Life||Krathazhrukhal||Vi'Navitum||White, gold, blue||Erratsactum|
|Death||Angazhar||Xi'Arazulha||Red, aquamarine, black||Shard|
|Dream||Sonhadromerith||Thoi'olerthae||Blue-white, gold||Realm of Dreams|
|Nightmare||Shu'rimrodir||Shu'olerthae||Red-purple, black||Nightmare Region|
|Psionic, Pharia||Singul'Aren||Xol'Etra||None||Iluvii Realm|
|Demonic||Angazhar||Samut'angar||Red, orange, black||Inferno|
Practitioners of Essence Edit
Almost every living being in the universe is thought to possess some form of Essence. When a creature uses any Energy, it is incorporated into their soul, flowing through their bodies via specific points known as "meridians" and "subtle bodies" in a complex structure. Almost every culture in the universe has its own perceptions on Essence, nearly all wielding Elemental as it permeates all of reality, and has different uses and groups. The varied forms of Essence have sometimes gone to the extent of defining entire cultures throughout history, as is the case, for example, of Psionic Energy. This page concerns universal societies.