The Abyss

I looked upon the Abyss, and shuddered. It was as if I was looking into a pit so deep, so blackened and choked by darkness, that it must engulf the entirety of the world.
— Unknown occultist
  At its very core, the Abyss is the mirror of existence. What exists in the other planes, exists in some twisted form below.  

An Obsidian Sea

Everything is mirrored and twisted in the Abyss, from the cosmos, eldritch beings, and gods, to the stones, dirt, and lesser creatures living beneath them. Seldom are these beings easily recognizable as mirrors— they are often more akin to grim mockeries. Consider a smooth grey stone, for example. Its mirror is a gnarled and corrugated thing marked by a blueish hue, rather than a smooth grey stone. The landscape of the Abyss is similarly warped and altered, appearing wholly unfamiliar to one who resides in another plane.   When something is changed in another plane, the change is reflected in the Abyss. Be it a new home built, an earthquake that changes the landscape, or the death of a being— an equal and mirrored change will show in the Abyss. The opposite cannot happen, however— if something changes in the Abyss, it will not alter the other planes.   The Abyss is connected to the material plane through shadows and darkness— which is why those who spend far too long in the dark often succumb to tchaotikloux.  

A Dark Mirror

Sapient beings have sapient mirrors— even humans. Mirror humans are known as kla'nar, shadowy figures who float from their hips, dragging and bloodying their feet as they do so. Sapient mirrors of lesser beings— such as humans— are mere puppets, who move as their counterpart moves, without a choice.   They are often either bitter or reserved as a result— living in hatred or acceptance of their circumstances. When more powerful beings intervene— or particular occult rituals are performed— mirrors may be severed from their other selves, and can act freely. Free mirrors may live solitary lives, or form new societies that are entirely unique to the Abyss. It is not uncommon for spiteful mirrors to pursue their counterparts to enact revenge— one with a free mirror may hear them whisper in the dark, and would be wise to avoid complete darkness.   Mirrors of greater beings are independent, and go about their own lives as they see fit. Some, even, attempt to merge with their counterparts, becoming an entity more powerful than they were as separate beings.

Crossing Over

It is more difficult for mirrors to perceive other planes than it is for their counterparts. This often requires certain rituals, insight, and power. The number of those who perceive another plane are few, and even fewer for the lesser beings among them. It is much easier, however, for mirror entities to cross over at the behest of other beings— though due to the strange nature of the Abyss, those who summon mirrors will often become afflicted with curses.   Those from other planes will be able to perceive the Abyss without much effort— requiring merely insight to do so. Those attempting to perceive the Ascent will concurrently perceive the Abyss, as the two share a similar structure— each containing myriad existential levels. Those who wish to more easily perceive the Abyss may simply stare into the dark for an extended period of time.  


Curses are unique to the Abyss, though what they truly are is unknown to even the most learned occultists. Some believe they are mirrors of disease— others say they mirror some common being from the Ascent, while some say they are mirrors of weather phenomena. Regardless of what they are— they are often a byproduct of particular eldritch magics. Curses afflict whatever entity brought them into their plane, and can have a wide variety of negative effects. The deeper one reaches into the Abyss, the worse the accompanying curse will be.  


Particularly powerful beings do not possess mirror selves— such as Ul'jvot, whose being already encompasses all of existence.


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 Apr, 2021 02:41

Another awesome article, as always. I love the theme of mirrors you used, and how everything in other planes is mirrored in the abyss. Makes me wonder why changes in the abyss dont effect other planes however.   My favorite here is the depth you go into about sapient mirrors, with free mirrors forming societies or exacting revenge on those they were tethered to. It's a cool idea and I can only imagine what life is like for them.   I'm a tad confused on curses. I love the concept. My confusion comes from how they manifest. Is it literally just exposure, like walking into the abyss will curse you. This is almost implied with being theorized to be mirrored weather, yet it seems you make a point to say they mainly only happen when eldritch magics are used. I guess my question is why do they suspect its weather being mirrored if it mainly happens when magic is used? Idk. Maybe I misunderstood? It's not a big deal. I still enjoyed this look in the dark, which by the by, is also just an awesome touch. Your not even safe from your own shadow it seems.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
13 Apr, 2021 06:45

Thank you! I do want to touch on sapient mirror societies at some point in the future...   As for curses, perhaps I could have explained them better— but I purposefully want to keep them vague. It is *not* exposure, however, though it could be. Thus far the most noted way to gain them is through summoning or Abyssal Aegis spells. I also left that vague so I can play around with curses as a larger concept without being pinned to a single source. Folk suspect it's weather or something else because they simply have no idea what it actually is— and since it doesn't only come from magic.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 Apr, 2021 07:04

Ahhh so it's so unknown people kind of have to guess and spitball it and hope they're right. That makes alot of sense, actually. Somthing like that certainly would be hard to make sense of. I got you. That works beautifully.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
13 Apr, 2021 18:37

Yeah! A lot of eldritch things are like that, there's just no easy way to know. In some cases, there's no way to comprehend.

22 Apr, 2021 11:49

Reading this gave me the shivers. The idea of sapient beings having mirrors in the Abyss is just chilling. I love the quote at the beginning - it really sets the tone of the article. I would definitely not like to visit here.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
22 Apr, 2021 16:38

Thank you! And all you have to do to avoid it is avoid the dark...easy, right?

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