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Background: The Astral

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Story 01

Space is filled with a substance. Or is this substance a space itself? It is a dynamic, living substance, or at least it behaves as if it was.

It is known as the Astral.

The Astral has a blue hue, evolves over time and moves just like any other living creature. If one could move far enough beyond it and look back, the Astral would probably look like a huge cloud several light years wide. But the Astral is so big that no one can know for sure. This is just an assumption, as the Astral will absorb anything and anyone which enters into its influence.

The Astral has both destructive and creative forces. Sometimes the Destructive forces overwhelm the Creative forces and a world caught in its power will break into pieces. However, this imbalance will trigger the balance of power, and the Creative forces will heal the world again. Many say that it is simply the course of nature.

Somewhere within the Astral, there once was a planet called Sarnaut. This planet was home to many different species which lived and evolved on it for aeons. So there is life within this living substance, life within life within life, fuelling evolution. The Destructive forces caused the planet to dismantle and shatter into several islands.

The islands are called allods by their inhabitants. With their populations separated by an inhospitable gulf between them, only the Great Mages knew the ancient secret of magical teleportation, allowing limited movement between allods and maintaining their grip on power. That was until the day that someone found a way to protect themselves from the Astral. History always taught us that tiny things are often the most important. This discovery allowed the shattered remains of Sarnaut to begin a new era with unrestricted Astral travel between the allods, giving ships protection against the dangerous forces that would otherwise consume them. This discovery enabled a new age of conquest and discovery as transportation through the Astral was made available to everyone. However, this also led to a new era of Endless War as factions fought for control of this newly liberated space. 

For people living on Sarnaut, travel, commerce, conquest, discovery of new allods, and conflict are all part of the day to day experience within the Astral. The Astral, with a life of its own, also continues to carry several tricks up its sleeves, including the lurking presence of the Astral Demons. The ancient history of Sarnaut has been consigned to the history books along with the planet, instead replaced with the new era of the Allods. Only one thing remains certain for all the millennia, the Astral is eternal and will outlive everything else.

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