The Netherlayers

Article by Lord Galakrond and Sable Aradia (yes, you should probably worry about us).
In the beginning there was the Void. The Void had many traits but the most unruly and seedy trait it possessed was its Netherlayers. These layers are also known as the ████ of the Void.   No one really knows why the Void has Netherlayers. Maybe it felt like it needed something to keep its bottled emotions and deepest darkest fears in. Maybe the Void has always had Netherlayers? Or maybe the Netherlayers were conjured by its sworn protector and ally of the Void, me, when I discovered my connection to the Void?   I've discovered that the lower two layers are capable of being accessed by any Voidtouched, whether it's Sunny Bunny, or Melody Relody.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  If one were to burrow deep into the bowels of The Void, down to its darkest and emptiest spaces, one would find oneself in a realm of mind-warping madness that would be familiar to one H.P. Lovecraft, a Literomancer in an age when literomancy was feared and little understood. It is so far beyond the reality of the physical Realm as it is understood that its denizens can literally wound the mind to look at.   This vault of eternal darkness is the place where gods imprison Titans, angels banish demons, and the forgotten creations of bygone universes continue to lurk -- and in some cases, to plot revenge. Things that enter from the physical Realm cannot remain unchanged, and some of those changes are both impossible and disturbing. These are the howling caverns of madness that the Voiders simply call "The Netherlayers."

Geography

It is probably futile to attempt to describe the form of a place of primordial chaos and mindbending strangeness that completely defies the laws of known physics. But there are some clues in the mad scrawlings writings of Lord Galakrond, who likely has the most experience with the Netherlayers in living memory.  

The Pit

This "Pit" isn't actually a pit, but more of a large open landscape that has clusters upon thousands of floating pieces of rock. I don't know what—or even where— these rocks came from. But as I've done my experiments with it, I've noticed that I could manipulate these rocks, albeit with a lot of Literomancy, and temporarily cluster them into shapes and even a small chair that I've been able to use as a resting place.   With the help of my companions and the seemingly infinite, companions and demonic entities that peruse the Pit, I've been able to make a large cluster of the floating rocks into homes for the spawn. I've learned to take care of them, even if one tries to bite my arm off.   I couldn't truly estimate on my travels and research into the Pit the size of it. It is the Void, an ancient place of nothingness and everything at the same time. I've heard it talking to me, changing me as I do to it. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was first using this place for quick little escapes on my off time, but it's been quite a few years now.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The Pit appears to Void travelers as a sea of darkness, filled with tumbling rocks, like an asteroid field. Whether these are remnants of shattered worlds, or partially-shaped primordial chaos, no one can say. It is possible, with extensive Literomantic alterations, to shape and mold the Pit to serve one's needs, or to at least provide a more comfortable environment that somewhat resembles a reality that physical beings would be more familiar with.  

The Twisted Starscape

But I feel that the Void is trying to warn me of something. I don't know what it is, yet, but the Void is telling me to be careful. It certainly has shown me a lot in this place, and I want to explore more. I've had my eyes set upon a lower layer. While this one isn't as iridescent and black as The Pit, it looks like a bunch of stars. And after some much needed discussion with my demonic friends, I've come to know the lowest layer as the Twisted Starscape. They keep telling me not to go down there, I mean how couldn't you with a name like that, but I've agreed to take some of my demonic friends down with me for "protection."
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The Twisted Starscape is a warped cosmic field that seems to be as infinite -- or more infinite -- than the physical universe. Is this the primordial reality, before the reality we know took shape? Or is this a glimpse into what might have been or might yet be? Again, no one can be sure. What can be known is that this is an extremely hostile and dangerous environment to physical beings, and it should probably be avoided at all costs.

Ecosystem

The Pit

Society in the Pit isn't pretty either, most of the land is a "kill or be killed" Void-scape. Most of the freshly created demons that float around in the blackness around hardly ever get to be able to reach adulthood and have to be reincarnated as another demonic spawn from the rocks.   When I first arrived, when I was very little, I think 12 or 14, I started to act as these creatures "master." I made sure they knew who was in control of this Voidscape, using my specialized genre of literomancy (Horror) and warping some of the floating rocks around it.   With my new found companions, I start to set up my makeshift desk in a portion of The Pit for later visits into this Void.   Now on arrival, I usually have to deal with some sort of claw marks or some other feral problem, using the warped and twisted nature of the layer in this Void to heal the creatures, which seemingly have a higher pain tolerance than most Tome Knights.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The ecosystem of the Pit is as savage and predatory as a Darwinian nightmare. Demons kill, or are killed. Stronger creatures feed upon the weaker ones, and are sometimes reformed once destroyed. Pain is a universal constant, and most creatures go through their existence, which may last for milliseconds or eons, nursing unhealing wounds.  

The Twisted Starscape

There is nothing in Lord Galakrond's writings, nor any other record of the Void, that can even speculate as to how the "ecosystem" of the Twisted Starscape might work. Surely it has its own laws and cycles, but if so, they are incomprehensible to any vaguely human mind.

Localized Phenomena

I choose to keep my research hidden, I don't want the Nite Monarq or even the other Great Houses to discover this twisted place and shut me away from it. As hard as it may be. I've learned to harness some of the Void's voidyness to manipulate and even enhance some of the literomantic spells that I call forth. But I feel something inside of me has changed.   When I look in the mirror, my normal and forest green eyes have gone to a deep crimson; I've heard whispers from the beyond, calling me to come back—I usually assume these whispers to be my demonic companions attempting contact, but these voices are different and there are more everywhere; I've also noticed a perpetual inkyness and sometimes I even gain additional eyes at random.   I can't control these changes, but I do know that they are here. I've learned to listen more closely to the Void and, surprisingly, speak with it. While the Void isn't really a "person" like I usually talk to, it holds interesting conversations from time to time. It has told me a great many things, like how a bunny is also in the Void; there are more layers than the ████; as well as some hints to a more ancient being. While I don't fully know what it means by "The roots are growing as so the pages," but this appears to be a pretty common phrase that lingers in the recesses of my mind.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  Like all of The Void, one cannot spend any time in the Netherlayers and not be changed by the experience. Assuming one survives (which is unlikely) one who spends time here is almost certain to be Voidtouched -- and these sorts of changes don't tend to be of the "nicer" kind.   More than any of the other "layers" of the Void, the Netherlayers are likely to fracture the mind of anyone exposed to them.  

The Pit

After the Battle of the Warren and being free from necrosis, I've decided to look through my notes on the Pit during my time under necrosis. It's nothing but a bunch of necrotic and twisted thoughts. I've also noticed blackouts in the Void. But luckily when I'm under these moments, I've written my thoughts in this notebook. I don't know why I'm having these blackouts, all I did was visit the Twisted Starscape a few times. Surely my brain is stronger than it is led to believe. Maybe there is more of a threat than I realize, like The Company.   FIGHT THE COMPANY   FIGHT THE COMPANY   After my chat with the bunny, Sunny, and the comatose cat, Melody, I learned there was more to this Void than I realized. I knew a bunny existed before, but I never realized that there were an additional two other layers. I just hope that the Void's other layers, except from the ones that I've found, aren't as mind boggling.   DESTROY THE COMPANY, ATTAIN YOUR MEMORIES.   FILL THE GAPS, DESTROY THE COMPANY.   The Pit has gotten larger, more of the Demons are seemingly becoming more intelligent than when I first found them as well. While some aren't as blessed with this intellect like some of the others (Boodles and many more of my conjurations), I still help them when I can.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The touch of the Pit tends to bring out a person's darkest urges. The very environment is permeated with savagery and violence, and this leaves scars on the soul.  

The Twisted Starscape

MY MIND IS EVERYWHERE   THE NECROSIS WILL BE THE KEY TO WINNING THIS WAR!! NO ONE CAN SHUT LORD GALAWIGHT OUT OF HIS HOME! NO ONE!   MY MIND IS EVERYWHERE   THE VOID TALKS TO ME IN MY SLEEP, TELLS ME TO CONTROL THE DEMONS AND THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL ENTITIES OF THE TWISTED STARSCAPE.   MY MIND IS EVERYWHERE   HELP ME
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
 
I've been reading through my last entries in these pages and they seem to be getting worse as I dive deeper into the Twisted Starscape, but I need to know more. Maybe the necrotic infection in my body is wearing off when I'm in the Void? Yeah, it has to wear off— it just has to, right?   During one of my last inspections of the Twisted Starscape. This also took place after my revival at the Battle of the Warren. I noticed there was a large gash from the "border" of the Pit and the middle layer of the Void. I like to call the middle layer the "Labyrinth" but i don't know what Sunny was calling it. I think the Void was speaking to me at that point. Or was that some of the Chthonics?   I've also noticed that with my "touched" traits have been appearing on an off, a skull keeps flashing in my mind. I know not if this is a trick being played by the Chthonics or if this is merely another image of that "tree" Sunny had spoke of. Could that have been the object when the Void told me "The roots are growing as so the pages," or is my mind playing more tricks on me?   MOAR RESEARCH   Another blackout occurred and I have the strangest urge to figure out more of the Twisted Starscape, more than I've ever done. I need to figure out why the Chthonics are there. I need to know.   NEED TO KNOW   FIND THE TREE   FIND THE TOME   CLAIM THE IRON TOME   More of these flashes from the Void are giving me a major headache. I've slowly started to be able to "ignore" them as much as I can. I think this is a side effect of being touched by the Void? Or this is a possible side effect from being in the Twisted Starscape for so long?   Another phrase keeps repeating in my head from Sunny. I didn't mean to overhear it, but I feel like it needed to be overheard. "Mind the tentacles."   MIND THE TENTACLES   MIND THE TENTACLES   MIND THE TENTACLES   I've come to the realization that Sunny might be adopted/raised/or blessed with traits like the Chthonics. More research needs to be done.   MORE RESEARCH   MORE RESEARCH   MORE RESEARCH   FIND THE CHTHONIC BUNNY   FIND THE CHTHONIC BUNNY   FIND SUNNY   My fellow Voiders Anonymous have not yet assumed— or at least I don't think they assume— I know of their Chthonic heritage.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The Twisted Starscape breaks the mind. Period. There has never been a person who has been exposed to this part of the Void who has not returned with some form of permanent madness. Strangely, there has always been a small fraction of humanity who think there are some amazing occult secrets to be mined from the lunatic rantings records of those who have been exposed to it, and they pour through those works, seeking to unlock dark and powerful magic.   The most terrible thing about this, however, is that they might be right. The Twisted Starscape seems to grant knowledge of things one could not otherwise possibly know. Trying to decipher the relevant bits of knowledge from the flood of insane babblings disconnected thoughts expressed by someone who is Voidtouched in this way, however, is almost impossible until after the fact; even for the Voidtouched.

Fauna & Flora

In my travels into the place known as the Void, I've seen some pretty strange things. Personally, I've deemed the places that are in the lowest lair, as some of the inhabitants have called it... "The ████ Of The Void." I didn't know what else to call it, so I continued to call it that. I've come across two of these inhabitants in the ████ so far.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  If the writings of the Void Prince can be correctly interpreted, the inhabitants of the Netherlayers tend to fall into one of two categories.  

Demonic

The small conjurations that I've been able since I was younger have been coming here. My good friend Boodles is one of the inhabitants. I love that little abomination, although, most of these "demons" seemingly take the form of interpretations of the other such houses. I've also began to classify some of these demons, but with each passing hour, there seems to be more and more.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The Pit seems to be home to the creatures that humanity in the Realm refer to as "demons." Their forms are at least somewhat comprehensible, if twisted and strange. They are likely the source of legends of many malevolent spirits from many different cultures. While most of them are violent and savage by nature, the Giver of Names insists they are not all malevolent. Likely, they were all once inhabitants of previous physical realities, and have now been banished to this dark and chaotic plane because they no longer fit the reality that is. Some of them resent this and seek revenge, but most only try to survive.  

Chthonic

My first time looking into the Twisted Starscape, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with joy, but also caution. I didn't know what was going to be here, just like I didn't know what was going to be in the Pit.   I took a handful of the demons with me for my own protection, one of them being Boodles, my imitating avian with several eyes and strange marking on his feathers.   It didn't take us long to discover the secrets of the Twisted Starscape, but it wasn't what I expected. The Twisted Starscape was home to several large and otherworldly beings that I've only imagined and written about in my writings, but seeing them floating, drifting, and speaking to our minds... I didn't know what to do other than reach out to them and offer myself to be someone they could trust. Someone that could help them. I wanted to be their leader or partner for their plans. Like I was with the demons.
— Lord Galakrond, The Book of Necrosis
  The Twisted Starscape is inhabited by beings that Lord Galakrond refers to as "Chthonics." The word implies that these are Underworld beings who have never been physical. Often they take on less frightening forms and appear to seers, shamans, and mystics, and they may even serve as Underworld guides or as psychopomps. When seen in their true forms, their shapes bend or break the limits of what a mortal mind can comprehend, and even shift, change, and melt to suit their purposes, or for no reason at all.   Among these "Chthonics" are powerful and eldritch beings, those who might have been included among Lovecraft's "Elder Gods." Sable Aradia speculates that might mean that the "Eldritch" should be considered a third class of Netherlayer inhabitant, but since these classifications are all arbitrary anyway, and since Lord Galakrond has made more exploration of the Netherlayers than any other living Literomancer, she defers to his judgment.  

Others

Void Polypore
The Pit also appears to be the source of Void Polypores, a kind of fungus that feeds on Void essence. They are a widespread organism on the "Demonic Spawning Rocks" of the Pit, but otherwise, only seem to be found growing on the bodies of the Voidtouched. Lord Galakrond actively cultivates them; the other Voiders seem to practice regular sunbathing as a method of preventing infection.  
Void Nuggies
A number of moldy chicken nuggets that fell into the Void at the feast following the Second Word War became infused with Dark Literomancy, grew arms and legs and mouths, and became sentient. These Void Nuggies might be considered a naturalized lifeform, which spawned in the Pit and were granted additional abilities by the Chthonics. An armed conflict is currently being fought with the nuggies on one side and the demons and the Voiders on the other, as these decidedly malevolent beings seek to escape into physical reality.

A universe warped by gravitational wells

Paths of the Labyrinth leading to the Netherlayers by Placidplace

A purple eye in a greyscale face, peering through a hole in the universe

Madness of the Void by Placidplace

Alternative Name(s)
The Anus of the Void, the Hole, the Void's "No No Square," the Butt, the Abyss; Sublayers - The Pit, the Twisted Starscape
Type
Dimensional plane
Location under
Owning Organization
Contested By
Inhabiting Species
Lord Galakrond
Character | Jun 7, 2022

The Pit

An asteroid, dimly illuminated by a distant sun

Free-floating rock in the Pit by CharlVera

Asteroids in a field, with a pink and purple blast from a pulsar behind

Demonic Spawning Rocks of the Pit by Gam-Ol

An asteroid, faintly illuminated by a distant galaxy

A rock in the Pit, near the Twisted Starscape by CharlVera

 

The Twisted Starscape

Stars and galaxies in purple and white swirling into a black hole

The Twisted Starscape by Placidplace

A galaxy disappearing down a black hole

Wormhole in the Twisted Starscape by AlexAntropov86

A black hole, warping a swirling purple nebula

A black hole in the Twisted Starscape by Placidplace

 

Demons

An illustration of a demonic creature with multiple eyes, big claws, and a maw of pointed teeth

An illustration of a demon of the Pit by 23973043

A demonic looking goblin

An imp or servitor demon by TheDigitalArtist

A disturbing creature with a moth and oversized teeth as a face

Moth Demon by Geralt

A demonic, lumpy face in red mist

Elder Demon or Djinn by TheDigitalArtist

A dark angel with cosmic weirdness

Fallen Angel by V_M

 

Chthonics

A faceless demonic creature crawling on the ground

Chthonic Creature by Mysticartdesign

A walking virus monster

Virus Creature by CDD20

A multi-eyed pterodactyl creature in a starscape

Pteradactyl Chthonic by JCoope12

A dark monster that is all teeth

Chthonic Creature of Teeth by Hudelschnupfe

Single-eyed monsters with radial tentacles

Lovecraftian Chthonic Creatures by Fz_3d

 

Flora?

Spectral images of mushrooms in darkness

Void Polypore in its natural environment by Cadop

A gif of Voidnip, which resembles cannabis flowers growing on tentacle stems
Voidnip by Eli Kwake
 

Literomancy

A young man with a bloody wound on his chest and an evil expression throwing void magic at the camera

Lord GalaWight facing off against the Mother of Bunnies at the Battle of the Warren by Missi & Sable Aradia

A woman summoning a demonic creature

Dark Arts - A woman calls on a creature of the Netherlayers by Waldkunst

 
An animated badger covered in mushrooms
Galakrond by Melody Relody
 

Related Articles

Voidtouched
Condition | Jul 6, 2022
The Book of Necrosis
Document | Jun 7, 2022
Void Polypore
Species | May 19, 2022
Void Nuggies
Species | Jul 10, 2022


Cover image: The Netherlayers by Placidplace

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