Beyond the Deep

This world is pain. This life is suffering. It is to forge you, make you strong and worthy until you can pass beyond the Far Deep and into the next world.  
— Excerpt of a sermon from the Qlippotheurgic Order
    The Far Deep is a distant land of strange and alien things, of mystery and legend. But what lies beyond the most distant parts of the world? What hides in the darkness of the deepest reaches of the caverns?      

A World Within

  Many believe that there is a world within this world and the Far Deep is the gateway to this world. This belief is sometimes apocalyptic, centering around the monstrous terrors that must lurk beyond. In other cases, cults have formed around the idea that a paradise awaits the faithful further past the darkness.    

Perspectives

 
Look around you: is this all there should be to life? Endless deprivation, eternal darkness, a world of stone and suffering?   This is not the true world. This is not life. We live in a Hell, condemned here by our sins and inadequacies. For that, we must suffer and we must make amends. Beyond this world lies another, beyond the Far Deep is the true world, the real world. A world of light and song. Take my hand; we will make the journey together.  
— The Qlippotheurgic Order Cult
  Some make pilgrimage through the Far Deep, believing the world of Araea to be either a Hell to suffer through or a transitory plane of existence. Others believe that the Far Deep exist as a sort of trial, where only the pure of heart can pass through to reach the paradise that lies beyond. So far, purity have proven ineffective at keeping the hungry beasts at bay.
The ancestors watch over us. They guide our path and protect us from evil. But the way you are living your life, you'll never join their ranks. You will pass beyond the Far Deep and be cast down into the darkness, forever away from your descendants. The only company you will ever have are the beasts of the Far Deep.  
  Other believe that at the end of the Far Deep is a world of monsters, demons and suffering. If such monsters make the region outside it their home, surely what lies beyond must be much worse. In some cultures, this has become a belief that there exists an actual Hell there where all the worlds evils are brewed and unleashed. Stories of heroes descending past the Far Deep to reach the hell beyond for either rescue or revenge are popular fairytales.
   
by Alyn Spiller
     

The Origin of All

  Others hold that there is neither a heaven nor hell beyond the Far Deep, but the primordial beginnings of the world - if not the universe. As the light of life grows dimmer the further from the Far Deep, to the barren and Blight-tainted Surface, it only stands to reason that the center of it all must be all that more alive.    

Perspectives

 
In those primordial waters is where life began. Before there was anything else, before life came to even the Far Deep, that was where it all began. The first waters spawned the gods and they in turn begun to fill the world with all the things we see before us. Only the Surface was beyond them, too far from the life-giving waters below - which is why we must never venture there. It is said that those who find the waters beyond the Far Deep and drink of it can become gods, themselves.  
  While the exact nature of what is in the center varies between legends, they agree that that was where life all began. Whether it was the World-Mushroom or the primordial waters that first spawned life in Araea, they believe this is where all of existence first crawled from. Many apocalyptic tales revolve around whatever it is there finally withering and the light of life flickering out forever.
It is in the unfathomable darkness where you will find the birthing place of all things. The life you see around you was never meant for this world, but an accident. The womb of worlds spawned the spirits and the spirits spawned the world around us. If͜ y̛o͟u s͘èek̢ the ͏tru̸th͏,̕ ͝l̀oo̴k̨ ̶t͜hȩre͏.  
— Excerpt from the Key of the Black Star
  Thaumaturgy practitioners hold that the world Spirits spirits are what waits beyond the Far Deep. While exact interpretations vary, with some holding it as a land of infinite darkness and malleable possibility to an actual sort of spawning organ, they generally agree that this is from where all spirits once came.
   

by François Launet

The Far Deep   Beyond the Inner Shell and human civilization lie the mysterious Far Deep. These caverns are at the furthermost depths ever explored and the landscape here is vast and alien. The caverns are larger than those in the Inner Shell and the life bizarre and dangerous. Every attempt to settle the Far Deep has so far met with destruction and every mystery discovered only leads to others.   Read more about the Far Deep
by James Combridge
   

Harorao Region

  An example of the extremes of the Far Deep, the Harorao is fecund in the extreme, covered in strange fungi and mushroom that grow as tall as a man. Such life always draw those to hope they can make a home or profit despite the dangers, while cults like the Madcap Berserkers see the region as nothing less than a holy land.   Read more about Harorao Region          

Spirits

  Spirits are ethereal beings beyond reality that lurk unseen and unheard in the world of Araea. They are facets of the true nature of Araea, born into alien shapes and with minds beyond mortal comprehension.   Little is known about these enigmatic creatures and few dare court their attention by learning more. If they spawn in the darkness beyond the Far Deep, it may be best if mankind never tread those parts of the world.   Read more about Spirits

Comments

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30 Dec, 2018 17:43

Sort of the opposite of mine ;) myth within, myth outside, multiple variations. Nice idea to have a hidden area inside and it really matches your world. I really liked the paradise one (positive things yay, though survival rates, not so yay). It makes a lot of sense for residents of such a dark place, to dream of somewhere better.   Does the stories mention anyone actually making it there? and in that case, why did they never send word back to followers and loved ones? and if they became gods, what would their abilities become and why didn't they change the world for the better?

31 Jan, 2019 10:41

Yes, as mentioned:  

Stories of heroes descending past the Far Deep to reach the hell beyond for either rescue or revenge are popular fairytales.
  But these are just myths and legends. There are no gods in Araea. What lies beyond is unknown, only in stories. And a lot of them are pretty ancient, so it's similar to our stories about king arthur. There's certainly stories of people coming back and doing things, but chances are they never happened. :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
30 Dec, 2018 21:34

Oooh, spooky. And very Lovecraft-esque. I love the image you have as well! But for the third perspective, it is kind of unclear who is speaking. Is it a priest? Also, is the Far Deep a bunch of caves, basically? Or is it a whole other dimension?

31 Jan, 2019 10:42

"Yes."   And it is the official line of the clergy in that city, yep


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Dec, 2018 00:43

Spooky article..But once again it is written so good that it makes me want to keep reading. Honestly, from start to finish it captured my imagination and made me want to keep on reading. Wonderful work. I really want to know more about the Qlippotheurgic Order Cult though !   Great article

31 Jan, 2019 11:07

Thanks! :D They're in the books to get an article all to themselves.


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Dec, 2018 06:42

Woah. Freaky. Love the myths and legends that surround how mysterious this place is, a place that they know exists but don't know what's down there, and how different groups/cults/religions have different beliefs on what is down there.   However, I am in agreement with a few other people, has anyone actually been down there? Even the mysterious supernatural places of our world have people that claim they've been there (Divine Comedy, anyone?).

31 Jan, 2019 11:09

[quote9Stories of heroes descending past the Far Deep to reach the hell beyond for either rescue or revenge are popular fairytales.[/quote]   That's as far as it goes. There's plenty of claims and stories, but unknown is pretty much baked into the whole thing as an essential part. There's no absolute, known truth about it.


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Dec, 2018 22:43

I love this sort of primordial creation myth implicit to all this, and the mixed fear and reverence of the deep which I am picking up. I'm glad to finally hear about this layer of your world!   Nobody has made it beyond the far deep, but what sorts of monsters have come from its utter depths? Do they leave the far deep or keep themselves to it?

Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

31 Jan, 2019 11:11

"Yes."   Stay tuned for an answer on that. :3 And a few articles.


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
14 Jan, 2019 18:27

Love the CSS choice! The layout is good and all the imagery and quotes do a good job of maintaining a consistent tone all the way through

31 Jan, 2019 11:15

Thanks! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
31 Jan, 2019 03:28

I'm including this one though I can't close to your level of critical talent. I noticed two things grammatically , well one is just kind of sentence structure.   " This belief is sometimes apocalyptic, centering around the monstrous terrors that..." this tells me they believe in the apocalypse cause monsters that's just me tho. What about their believe is apocalyptic? How did u intend the word to be interpreted? The second one is in The next paragraph. "Others believe that the Far Deep exist as a sort". Exists I think. That s is sneaky and ran off. Oh and then their is a double word in this sentence after thaumaturgy "the world Spirits spirits." Apart from that I really enjoyed the different perspectives about the far deep particularly from the sunkeb city. I also enjoyed the fact that many of these beliefs kind of match the culture which seem to match the environment. It's a nice touch of realism. Congrats on being featured! On to the next one.

12 Feb, 2020 11:45

Thank you so much <3 I'll keep that in mind once I finally get around to fixing up this article


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Jan, 2019 04:13

Awesome and scary, my favorite! (Is that cthulhu in the bottom corner of the title picture?) I had an idea like this, but not nearly to this extent! The work alone was amazing, even without the flawless pictures!

11 Feb, 2019 16:35

Thanks! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Jan, 2019 12:33

It's cool how there are weird cults associated with the Deep that actually have a kind of idealistic doctrine (belief in paradise, a better world beyond apparent reality). This cuts against the old cliché of the nihilistic death cult and gets you some interesting beliefs to explore.

31 Jan, 2019 14:11

Despite Araea being a pretty brutal world, where darkness and deprivation is the norm, it's not big on nihilism. When life pushes, people push back hard (and sometimes, crazily). So some people coming to the conclusion that they're actually in a Hell-dimension which they need to escape seemed like a real fun concept to toy around with, for instance. :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Jan, 2019 17:59

Oh man, I'll need to look at this page when I work more on my own mythic underworld - they're already so alike in concept! The tone here is quite strong and I'll need to try to differentiate my article from this really solid one.

31 Jan, 2019 18:41

Shoot me a link when you're done, I'm interested to see what you do with it. :D And I'm glad you like it.   Yours is likely to be different anyway, since this world everyone is already living underground, this is just *really* freaking deep underground :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
31 Jan, 2019 23:58

I've already got an article written, it just doesn't share everything about it since, well... my players haven't been there yet, so I don't have much fleshed out. But, of course, the deeper you go the crazier things get! That seems pretty standard to any giant underground world. I can shoot you the link, if you'd like.

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Jun, 2021 08:48

The World Mushroom! XD   I love the idea of those unknown depths with nobody knowing what's inside :D   The center better got some awesome monster, that's the only opinion I have about it :p

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
15 Jun, 2021 13:41

The Far Deep are at the very edge of what people know, and even it has only been glimpsed. Even then, people has to wonder... What's past even that :D   Not subscribing to the 'secret paradise' theory, huh? :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.