We are the Guardians of the Multiverse, the Champions of the Planes, the Protectors of All Creation. We shall stand, united as one, against all who dare threaten the people of the Planes.
-The Neo-Demiurge, Aseik-Ilu of Heroes
Other Names: The Arcana Incarnate, Ethereal Stewards, Ascended Champions, Mortal-Gods.
Alignment: Neutral Good
One of the newest mystical entities to rise in the Multiverse, the Aseik-Ilu (translated as "Mortal-Gods") are an enigma. Its members, the eponymous Aseik-Ilu, are perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of this group, for they are both fully humans and yet fully gods: while they have the ethereal power of gods, most of them refuse worship from their followers. Despite the presence of ichor in their bloodstream, the Aseik-Ilu still die from old age (though this death comes far later than any known mortal races). And even though the first among them was a human, the Pantheon has chosen individuals from multiple planes, multiple races, as new members of this powerful group.
Many, even within the Pantheon itself, have speculated as to what exactly is the nature of the Aseik-Ilu. Some claim that they are a brand new generation of ethereal beings, with the power and abilities of the multiverse’s deities, along with the number and vitality of mortals. Others claim that the Aseik-Ilu are the latest and greatest example of human evolution: they have transcended their old, frail selves to become far more powerful than the rest of their brethren. A third hypothesis is that the Aseik-Ilu are not truly “gods” in any sense of the word: rather, they are simply super powered individuals who appear god-like to those with lesser abilities. Along with these, there are multiple other theories and beliefs concerning their dual nature. Surprising, the progenitor of the Aseik-Ilu, Neo-Demiurge Samuel Santiago has not yet revealed the truth behind these mysterious beings, though it is also not yet known whether this is due to ignorance on his part as well or because he has, for reasons unknown, decided to keep the answer to himself.
Whatever the real answer is, there is one thing that all of the Aseik-Ilu agree upon: they all have been granted incredible powers by the Neo-Demiurge and they are meant to protect the Multiverse from all threats. The best way to initiate this, however, has been debated many times and many Aseik-Ilu will choose their own Ways to protect their wards. Some will choose to become great leaders in a time of crisis, ruling for an indefinite amount of time before either leaving, arranging a new leader (or group of leaders) to take their place, stepping down from power to let others have a chance, or even ruling till their death and having an heir take on their mantle. Other Aseik-Ilu choose to work from the shadows, assisting those who need it and leaving with little to no trace of their involvement. Still others may choose to work with their mortal wards at a personal level, assisting them in their goals to continuously improve their world. Even then, there are still many other ways individual Aseik-Ilus have served and protected their planes. While there may be variation on to how and why an individual Aseik-Ilu will do this, the mission statement of the Aseik-Ilu is what allows for them to put aside differences and unite.
We are the perfect hybrid of ethereal and corporeal; we have the power of the gods and the freedom of the mortals.
-The Hecatomb, Aseik-Ilu of Self-Sacrifice
When potential Aseik-Ilu rise to join the Pantheon, they usually keep the traits of their race. For instance: a human Aseik-Ilu will still keep his/her human physiology and biology, while an elf will keep his/her elven traits. While there can be some changes—such as rune-like markings on skin or glowing eyes—these changes are not very common. One thing that is common for all Aseik-Ilu: once they achieve their apotheosis, their mortal lifeblood is combined with that of ichor, the “blood of the gods”. There are also changes on the molecular level, as the Akasha—the omniversal DNA—is awakened within their biological coding and they ascend to a higher form. This hybrid life stream is the embodiment of the Aseik-Ilu’s dual natures and helps them lead to a better understanding of what they are.
Due to the presence of ichor in their bloodstream, the Aseik-Ilu are far more physically durable and powerful than most other humans. They can run at speeds that could rival that of automobiles at least, heal from wounds and diseases far quicker and many injuries that would be fatal to mortals are nothing than mere distractions for these powerful beings.
However, this does not mean that Aseik-Ilus are invincible: the severity of a wound or disease determines how long it will take to heal, so something like a simple stab could heal in minutes while the loss of a limb might take days to regrow (if the said Aseik-Ilu cannot regain their arm). Theoretically, decapitation would be non-lethal, at least not instantaneously, but it is most likely that the head would need to be reattached to the body as soon as possible. Moreover, very few Aseik-Ilu, even ones of science and experimentation, desire to test such a theory out, on either himself or on a fellow Aseik-Ilu.
Moreover, while the lethality of injuries may be reduced, pain itself is not. Therefore, while a Aseik-Ilu may survive the loss of a limb without cauterization, such an action while conscious would still be incredibly painful for the individual. Poison works in a similar way: while it is only dangerous in large douses, the pain and some of the physical damage of the poison would still be present. For example: if a Aseik-Ilu took a drink laced with a small dosage of cyanide, it wouldn’t be enough to kill her, but she would still feel the effects of the poison and her body would still be damaged. Some Aseik-Ilu have even said that such feelings have made them wish for death. This also ties into physical health: while Aseik-Ilu do usually have a bigger metabolism than most purely mortal races, they still need to care for their bodies, much like they did before apotheosis. Therefore, it is possible for some Aseik-Ilus to suffer from conditions that mortals face, such as obesity.
It should also be noted that an Aseik-Ilu's main powers and weaknesses also correspond to their Bound Words; what could be a mild annoyance for one Aseik-Ilu might be a major danger for another. Despite this, in general, the Aseik-Ilu tend to be able to exceed normal human expectations, with individual members having different strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the biggest physical factor of the Aseik-Ilus is their aging process: while the Aseik-Ilus do still technically age, they actually stop aging once they reach the prime of their lives. Afterward, they simply stay that way for the rest of the years to come. However, there are some Aseik-Ilu (either due to their species or having discovered a new power) who can change their age at will-something that has interested many scholarly Aseik-Ilu who search for age transformations. One thing is shared amongst all Aseik-Ilu though, the one thing that separates them from any other form of god in the Multiverse: no matter what, the Aseik-Ilu will one day die. While this does not have to be done through violent means, it has been explained before that one day, an Aseik-Ilu will die of old age, regardless of their race’s original method of dying. Therefore, a vampire who was once ageless would now die once they grew old enough. However, due to their creation being relatively new, no Aseik-Ilu has died from this way before. Moreover, it has been stated that a Aseik-Ilu’s lifespan is increased incredibly, to the point where a millennium will be considered a relatively young age for a Aseik-Ilu, akin to being twenty years old for a regular human.
Along with the physical aspects, mental abilities also grow with the power of Aseik-Ilu. Due to their dual nature, the Aseik-Ilu have the ability to call upon the great powers of the gods of the Multiverse. While it is impossible for an Aseik-Ilu to learn all of the powers available to them, especially since new Words are being created, each one has the ability to choose whatever Words they wish to bond with. As of yet, the highest amount of Words any Aseik-Ilu has achieved is four, though some Aseik-Ilus are attempting to find ways to claim more ambits of power.
Our mortality means we must continue our line-not just for pleasure or familial desire, but for survival. However, our transcendence has opened to the doors to other possible solutions than just simple reproduction.
-The Lesser Aseik-Ilu of Life Science
Just as with most mortal beings, the Aseik-Ilus can and do create more of their own. While many do this as a means to raise a family, and no Aseik-Ilu is required to propagate, such actions are an ultimate necessity for the survival of the Aseik-Ilu. Unlike many long-lived beings, Aseik-Ilus are able to have many children despite their long-age expectancy. Due to their powers, however, they also have other ways to create more Aseik-Ilu other than through traditional procreation:
· Procreation: As stated before, Aseik-Ilus can reproduce through procreation. While all Aseik-Ilu procreate through sexual means, due to them all of them currently being humanoids, there is a theory that Aseik-Ilu who are of species that reproduce asexually will be able to reproduce the same way. The Aseik-Ilu “gene”, as it’s called, is passed on… a little strangely: while most offspring of two Aseik-Ilu will usually carry the gene, there is a small chance where the gene will skip some generations. While this is the longest of the three main propagation tools, it is also the safest, as it has the least amount of risks involved.
· Chimera Creation: Aseik-Ilu with the Beasts Word have the ability to create chimeras: creatures who are a hybrid between two or more animals. While these animals can procreate normally, many chimeras consist of creatures that cannot procreate (such as a spider and a horse). Due to this ability, some Aseik-Ilu have opted to create new people by using the chimera ability to combine the cells of sentient beings-sometimes their own and/or those of other Aseik-Ilu-to indirectly bring about new beings. While this can allow for a great amount of diversity, and is almost guaranteed to work (if the spell succeeds), there are some drawbacks:
o The Aseik-Ilu in question needs to have the Hybrid Chimera boon, if they want to undertake the task by themselves.
o The qualities from both parent species don’t always work well together (i.e. a fire elemental/water elemental chimera).
o Cells from purebred races are easier to use than cells from a hybrid or another chimera.
o While all cells from any biological sex can be combined to bring about a chimera, cells that come from females will only result in female chimeras. In order for a chimera to be anything other than a female, one of the cells needs at least one X- and one Y-chromosome.
· Covenantial Adoption: Aseik-Ilu can “adopt” mortal individuals and make them agortha in the process, perhaps even making them Aseik-Ilu later on. While this does allow for Aseik-Ilu to bring in new people into the fold, there are still the restrictions of adoption Aseik-Ilus have to face.
· Agortha: All agortha can become Aseik-Ilu-and most choose to do so. However, there is also the case that not every agortha will choose apotheosis.
· Transformation: Certain Aseik-Ilu have abilities to propagate in their own unique ways. For example: Jellax Aseik-Ilu have the ability to turn others into Jellax. As shown here, though, these abilities may be exclusive to a particular race of beings. Along with this, sometimes the transformation may only be related to a change of species, not the actual granting of the ethereal nature that comes with Aseik-Ilu apotheosis.
Covenantal Adoption for a Aseik-Ilu is on a higher plane than adoption for mortals. It’s a covenant between members of the Pantheon and the mortal they protect. It’s the formation of a bond between a Aseik-Ilu and a person or people they care for immensely. It’s an act of transcending normal bonds to create something that will last till the End of Days and beyond.
-The Patron Aseik-Ilu of Yanderes
The act of covenantal adoption for Aseik-Ilu is when a Aseik-Ilu will take on the role as a familiar figure for a mortal. While adoption can be a legal process, much like for mortals, covenantal adoption is… a bit different than just taking a non-biological child as one’s own. Rather, covenantal adoption is more akin to taking in a person into the Aseik-Ilu family. This can mean that a child Aseik-Ilu can adopt an adult couple as his “parents” or an adult Aseik-Ilu can adopt a mortal as a “spouse”.
Doing so creates a strong-sometimes unbreakable-bond between the chosen mortal(s) and their Aseik-Ilu. Despite the terms used, the actual relationship between mortal and Aseik-Ilu can be different from a mortal’s point-of-view. For instance: a Aseik-Ilu who has adopted a mortal “spouse” might act as more of a close friend and protector, a Aseik-Ilu who has adopted “parents” might act as a caretaker and a Aseik-Ilu who has adopted a “child” or “children” might act as more of a mentor who teaches about life. Due to this, certain relationships that mortals have can still be possible even with the adoption of a Aseik-Ilu. For example:
o An adopted “child” of a Aseik-Ilu does not have to renounce his/her biological parents/legal guardians (if they have any).
o Legal spouses do not need to divorce one another if a Aseik-Ilu has adopted one as a “spouse”. In fact, in most instances, the married couple will both eventually become adopted as well, if one is not adopted initially.
o “Parents” of a Aseik-Ilu can still have their own children-biological or adoptive-if they desire.
While adoption might seem like the perfect way to propagate, there are a number of restrictions, placed in order to make sure that a Aseik-Ilu couldn’t become too powerful in the relationship. The restrictions are:
· The Aseik-Ilu cannot adopt a biological family member: Due to how adoption can create more relative relationships, this is meant to prevent any form of incest.
· The mortal must be willing: Not allowing so could allow for Aseik-Ilus to create relationships that are completely controlling and/or abusive. Therefore, adoption creation falls under the Freedom of Choice Geas.
· The Aseik-Ilu must be willing: Just as a mortal cannot be forced to form this bond, a Aseik-Ilu must also be given the same freedom under the same Geas.
· Adoption cannot happen between two Aseik-Ilus: While Aseik-Ilu can form bonds and join together as clans; adoption is purely for Aseik-Ilu and mortals. The reason for this is equal parts adoption is a form of propagation and so that Aseik-Ilus can form stronger relationships with those they protect.
· The agreements of an adoption must be fulfilled: While the agreements can be very lax, they still must be honored by all present.
· The Aseik-Ilu cannot adopt abstract subjects: Even though Aseik-Ilu can become Patrons of certain people/places/ideologies/etc., they cannot adopt such things. The reason is that most adoptions are seen as showing that the Aseik-Ilu has formed the bond with only the person/people, making them the Aseik-Ilu’s and the Aseik-Ilu theirs. Adopting these subjects would prevent other Aseik-Ilu from becoming fellow Patrons. Aseik-Ilu can, however, adopt a large group of people, such as the residents of a city rather than the city itself.
Specifically, for the adoption to be fully consummated: it must go through this step-by-step process in order:
1. The Aseik-Ilu must reveal his/her true self and nature to the mortal in question.
2. The Aseik-Ilu must reveal what the adoption will mean for both parties. Afterward, the Aseik-Ilu must let the mortal choose whether to go through with the adoption.
3. If the mortal agrees to the adoption, the Aseik-Ilu will then move onto the next phase of the adoption. If the mortal doesn’t agree, the Aseik-Ilu must accept the decision and move on. Attempting to force agreement is seen as a violation of the Freedom of Choice Geas and will be treated as such.
4. The Aseik-Ilu and mortal will discuss what they expect of each other from the adoption. Depending on the parties present, the nature of the adoption can be very lax, very strict or anything in between. After the parties have come to a compromise, the next stage of the adoption can begin.
5. After the conditions are set, the Aseik-Ilu creates a personal geas between all parties of the adoption. This cements the adoption as official and allows for the relationship to begin for the Aseik-Ilu and co. If anyone, Aseik-Ilu or mortal violates the tenets of the relationship, the adoption is considered null and void (unless both Aseik-Ilu and mortal state they want the adoption to continue). Along with this, if the adoption violates any of the Universal Geasa, it is immediately considered null and void, regardless of the desire from the parties who formed it.
While the nature of all adoptions is depended on the individual groups who form such bonds, there are some trends that have surfaced within the Adopters Community:
· Parent: Many Aseik-Ilu who adopt parents tend to treat them as mentors and guardians, who care for the well being of the Aseik-Ilu. Many times, the parent(s) will be available to help the Aseik-Ilu, granting them a place to rest and recuperate, as well as somewhere they can be safe from enemies. In return, the Aseik-Ilu will take care of the parents later on, especially if they are in their golden years. As time goes on, the Aseik-Ilu will come to respect and care for their adopted parents, forming a bond that seems almost like the parents adopted the said Champion.
· Spouse: A spouse tends to be the Aseik-Ilu’s source of personal protection and dedication. While the relationship need not be romantic or sexual in nature, some Aseik-Ilu will take on their spouses as an eventual dating/marital partner-or at least friends-with-benefits (in some cases). Similarly, the Aseik-Ilu’s spouse will be a source of support and care, making sure to make time for them and help them with problems they may have.
· Child: Most child adoptions are very similar to legal adoptions. The Aseik-Ilu may also act as a mentor and will care for the child as his or her own. Some Aseik-Ilus may even go so far as to declare (one of) their children as their heir in the Pantheon. Ex: An Aseik-Ilu of Fire might have an adopted child as the next one to take on the title. In return, the child also learns from the Aseik-Ilu and helps them to integrate into society (if they are in a foreign place).
· Uncle/Aunt: These relationships are similar to those of parents, but they tend to be complementary to the Aseik-Ilu own parents (whether biological or adopted). For example: if a Aseik-Ilu parent(s) are staunch liberals, their uncle and/or aunt might be strong conservatives. If the parent(s) believe in more traditional marriage roles, the uncle and/or aunt might lean more towards egalitarian marriage forms
We do not hold ourselves above the necessity of order and government. Like all other beings, we have structure and leadership. And just like the mortals, we still debate over how the balance of freedom and control should be implemented.
-The Aseik-Ilu of Byronic Heroes
The main home of the Aseik-Ilu is Gennahar, a plane crafted by the first Aseik-Ilu after they became the Arch-Pantheon of multiple Shards of Heaven and fused them together. Gennahar consists of various other planes, all interlocked with one another, which are ruled by the same hierarchal government: the Arcana Deliberative. The Deliberative takes care of the various red tape, political issues and internal problems of the Pantheon. While the Deliberative does hold power over the entire Pantheon, it isn’t an absolute power, as there is still flexibility as to what a Aseik-Ilu does on his/her home plane. Altogether, the Deliberative is structured into three main circles, referred to as the Arcana Triune:
· The Supreme Arcana: A council of thirteen figures who act as the leaders of the Deliberative. Their main job is to discuss the various issues that come into the Pantheon and vote on which policy is the best.
· The Major Arcana: The various leaders of each of the Aseik-Ilu Houses. Altogether, the Major Arcana deals with how each House is run, as well as handles any possible infraction between the Houses. If anything happens to the Supreme Arcana, the Major Arcana takes over temporarily.
· The Minor Arcana: The various special ranks and roles that each of the Houses have, which are used by the Major Arcana to help make sure everything runs smoothly. They rule as temporary Supreme Arcana if anything happens to both of the other rulers.
Along with this, there are also other groups that make up the government on Gennahar:
· The Juggernauts are the judicial authority of the pantheon. Unlike the House of Order, they do not act as the police force of the Pantheon and its territories: rather, they are the judges of the Aseik-Ilus. Their job is to put forth judgment when a Aseik-Ilu is convicted of crimes against the Pantheon and the planes.
· The agortha are the less powerful champions of the Aseik-Ilus. While they do live the same as the Aseik-Ilus, their powers are severely diminished: very rarely, if ever, do agortha have more than one or two Words. Despite this, the agortha are not defenseless against the Aseik-Ilus: many of them altogether could defeat many a Aseik-Ilu. The agortha are created when a Aseik-Ilu uses their power to share some of their ether with that of a mortal.
· The Houses are the various lodges of Aseik-Ilus that represents what each type of Aseik-Ilu stands for. Each of the Houses has different values, different application qualities, and different general ambits.
· The Factions are a combination of political parties and sub-cultures for the Aseik-Ilu: each of them has different agendas, goals, attitudes towards how the Aseik-Ilus should interact with the planes, and beliefs as to what exactly the Aseik-Ilu are and should be.
Even though the Aseik-Ilu have total political control in Gennahar, their power varies from plane to plane. Also, while all Aseik-Ilu have to respect the Universal Geasa, their interactions on their home planes is up to the individual Aseik-Ilu. Some of them come together to protect a home plane; others choose to protect it alone. Some Aseik-Ilu will take on a position of great power; others prefer to be wandering legends, appearing only when others need them.
Even the interactions between the Aseik-Ilu and the people of their home planes will vary. Some Aseik-Ilu will choose to work with their people, while others will choose to keep to themselves. There have been just as many stories about Aseik-Ilu who will assist the residents of their home planes in any area that deals with their ambits, as there are tales about Aseik-Ilu who only help and run.
The great restrictions that are placed upon the Pantheon as a whole: no matter the alignment, title, House or type of the Aseik-Ilu, they must not break these Geasa, lest they suffer the consequences.
- The Aseik-Ilu of War
The Universal Geasa are a set of seven geasa (supernatural restrictions and/or obligations), created at the time of the Pantheon’s formation. They act as the Pantheon’s greatest protection against themselves and the corruption that could happen if they were left unrestrained. Generally speaking, the Geasa are not meant to “clamp down” on the Aseik-Ilu: rather, they are meant to provide a way for the Aseik-Ilu to interact with the planes while also insuring they don’t abuse their powers. However, even these Geasa are imperfect, as a few Aseik-Ilu have been able to use logic as a way to defy them. Regardless, they have altogether kept the Pantheon from both tearing itself apart and/or becoming the very evil they have fought against.
The Universal Geasa get their name from the fact that, upon creation, they affect all members of the Pantheon: even members of the Houses of Chaos and Ambiguity must adhere to them. When a Universal Geasa is violated, all Aseik-Ilu will be aware of who violated the Geas, where they are, and which Geas was violated. After this, the Aseik-Ilu are bound by the Geasa as well to take in the deviant Aseik-Ilu for punishment. After they are given punishment for breaking the Geasa, they are also assigned a demotion: a mark against them, which last for at least a year. If a Aseik-Ilu earns seven demotions, they are to be stripped of their power and sent back to their home plane as a mere mortal. Despite their variety, each Geasa is seen as an equal violation.
The Universal Geasa are:
· Freedom of Choice Geas: An Aseik-Ilu cannot take away a mortal’s free will or ability to choose in any way, legal, moral or otherwise. This does not mean that Aseik-Ilu in political power cannot impose policy that is more restrictive (such as pro-life or pro-gun control policies), nor can they bring justice on someone who does break any form of moral or legal law. Rather, it means that Aseik-Ilu cannot use any powers at their disposal (ethereal, political, etc.) to take away the free will of another.
o Example: A Aseik-Ilu with the Fire Word threatens to burn anyone who doesn’t give at least $20 to charity once a month.
o Note: This also applies to when the majority of people ask for the Aseik-Ilu to leave them and their society. If this happens, the Aseik-Ilu must comply with these demands.
· Faith’s Conquest Geas: An Aseik-Ilu cannot force, coerce, persuade or encourage mortals to worship them. While allowing cultic worship to continue-if it forms-is allowed, but greatly frowned upon, the intentional creation of such practices is forbidden, due to how the Aseik-Ilu are all Free Divinities and therefore not only do not gain any power from cults, but doing so is not supposed to be possible.
o Example: A Aseik-Ilu of War requires those under her power to pray to her whenever they go to war.
· Peoples’ Power Geas: An Aseik-Ilu cannot take any position of power not freely given to them by the people. While it is okay for a Aseik-Ilu to try and convince others to support him, and take such a position when most of the people allow/desire such a condition, forcing mortals to accept the authority of a Aseik-Ilu as absolute is forbidden.
o Example: A Patron Aseik-Ilu of America requires for her subjects to recognize her as the “true” leader of America, either discarding the old government or keeping it as more of a status symbol.
· Innocent Blood Geas: An Aseik-Ilu cannot intentionally harm an innocent person. Even though collateral damage might be okay, attempting to truly kill innocent people is not allowable for a Aseik-Ilu, especially when they are nothing more than bystanders. This also applies to other forms of violence, such as assault, robbery and rape.
o Example: A Aseik-Ilu uses his power/authority to justify robbing a person’s home.
· Champions’ Favor Geas: An Aseik-Ilu always must make sure to take care of the mortals within their territory. Even though a Aseik-Ilu is not required--nor is expected--to take care of every problem, major or minor, within their territory, they also cannot ignore problems they themselves can help.
o Example: A Aseik-Ilu on a stroll sees a kidnapping, but chooses to ignore such an action.
· Egalitarian Order Geas: An Aseik-Ilu, along with anyone associated with them, shall not be discriminated on the basis of race, class, ethnicity, species, sexual orientation, political/religious views, or anything else of the like. The only exception is alignment: only individuals of any of the good or neutral alignments may be allowed to join the Aseik-Ilu (evil individuals are either ignored or, if they have done actions to deserve so, are to be imprisoned on Gennahar’s prisons).
o Example: The leader of a House forbidding a new Aseik-Ilu to join on the basis of her being right wing in politics.
· Unite as One Geas: The Aseik-Ilu, while they may have disputes or disagreements, will never go into outright lethal activity or war amongst one another. While violent behavior is allowed in the Arena, and sparring is okay (even encouraged), outside Aseik-Ilu cannot betray one another. Moreover, if there is trouble that threatens the whole Pantheon, the Aseik-Ilu must band together to defend themselves.
o Example: A member of the House of Chaos attacking and beating a member of the House of Order in Semani on the basis of the latter greatly insulting the former.
It should be noted that the Geasa themselves are not controlled by anyone: like all geasa, the Universal Geasa will manifest itself when a Aseik-Ilu does violate its spirit, rather than its letter. Moreover, there are exceptions to these rules that make it so that the Geasa don’t activate. For example: if a Aseik-Ilu was to return to a society they were driven out of, due to them realizing said society was in danger and they needed to be warned, the Freedom of Choice Geas would not activate. Another is that if a Aseik-Ilu accidentally wounds an innocent civilian while fighting, the Innocents’ Blood Geas won’t be violated.