The Vault Supernal is a desolate region of the Shardscape where the final remnants of dead worlds wander in an eternal limbo. Despite the relative remoteness of the Vault, many begotten cultures know of its existence—be it directly or through myths and legends. It is known by many names such as the Realm of Dead Gods, the Celestial Graveyard, the Stillmarches, Neverburn, and Annihilation, among others. It is a place feared and revered in equal measure and for good reason.
The QuietusMain Article: Quietus The underlying nature of the Vault Supernal and the beliefs, myths, and legends associated with the region combine to produce a potent haze of death-aspected energies that permeates the entire region. This haze, known primarily as the Quietus, varies in density throughout the region. Its effects are proportional to the local levels. In some areas, the Quietus merely exists as a vague sense of malaise that pervades the atmosphere. Where the Quietus concentrates to such an extent that it becomes the dominant force in its immediate vicinity, it can take on a physical form, typically as a frigid black mist.
GodstombsMain Article: Godstomb Across the Vault, gigantic, city-sized spheres of pure deadiron wander aimlessly through the Quietus. They are the once-beating hearts of stars, turned cold and hard by the passage of unimaginable lengths of time. One way or another, they fall into the Shardscape as the worlds they once inhabited silently die and dissipate back into the nothing from whence they came. They are drawn to the Vault by their nature and the collective belief of the Begotten that the Vault is their rightful place of rest. With the arrival of each Godstomb, the Vault roils, welcoming the dead star into its embrace with a writhing envelope of Quietus. The morbid epithet for the dead stars originates from a belief that the stars themselves are the source of the Quietus. It is believed, as evidenced by the myths of some of the more proximate cultures to the Vault, that the stars contain the corpses of dead gods. These corpses are thought to retain some of the vast power they had in life, their fractured divinity seeping out of them in the form of a cruel miasma that blankets the entire region in a pall of death. Though no convincing evidence of the veracity of the tales has yet to be found, the leaders of Yronroost—one of the few settlements that thrive in the Vault—are adamant that there is no truth to the legend. To this end they cite the city's centuries-long excavation of a Godstomb, which has thus far failed to unearth anything even remotely resembling the corpse of a god.
Gravitational AnomaliesDue to the presence of the Godstombs, gravity in the Vault is not the reassuring constant it is in other realms of existence. While the Godstombs themselves do not seem to interact with one another gravitationally, they possess a powerful attractive force that can ensnare objects and other entities that are not sufficiently guarded against their pull. The complex interactions of each nearby Godstomb's pull on nearby objects, however, can lead to dramatic and unique gravitational effects. For instance, assuming that one is impervious to the effects of the Quietus, a person can leap from the surface of a Godstomb and land the surface of another Godstomb many miles away as long as the surrounding Godstombs are in the right position.
TombcallsA Tombcall is the name given by the Vault's surface-dwellers to the phenomenon that arises when a low-altitude Godstomb passes overhead, temporarily reducing or, at times, outright reversing the direction of gravity. Though viewed largely as an inconvenience, Tombcalls have a potential for widespread destruction. Strong ones can damage the structural integrity of buildings due in part to the tidal stresses caused by the Godstomb passing overhead and in part as a result of the earthquakes that typically follow. Particularly low-flying Godstombs can do worse. They can tear chunks out of the earth as they pass overhead, ripping buildings from their foundations and uprooting anything insufficiently fastened to the ground. Should the Godstomb be flying low enough, these objects are pulled all the way to its surface, where they are typically obliterated by the high concentrations of Quietus that surround Godstombs. These events inevitably result in dramatic losses of life but are called Grand Summons or Grim Raptures by the more fanatical of the Vault's inhabitants.
RealmhusksMain Article: Realmhusk Realmhusks, as the name suggests, are the remnants of dead Shardscape realms. They dot the landscape of the Vault, staggering in their variety, from castles and cityscapes to forests and plains. Even so, they are all similar in the single most important way: they are devoid of native life. Any creatures, entities, or phenomena—natural or otherwise—that may have once thrived in these realmhusks would have long ceased to be before the realmhusk arrives in the Vault. What little life that does manage to find its way into a realmhusk typically takes the form of one of the Vault's many scavenger inhabitants. They comb through realmhusks, hunting for the slim pickings therein.
TombsongThe term "Tombsong" is the name given by the Vault's eschatological cults to a peculiar phenomenon that can be observed in the proximity of certain Godstombs. Tombsong manifests as a rhythmic scraping sound that appears to issue from the interior of certain Godstombs. It is expressed most strongly by the Godstomb known as Tumāg, or "Herald" in Sutsumāk, the language of the Architects and is believed by some to be the lingering malevolence of gods forgotten, the last dregs of their will and existence cursing the world of the living in impotent envy and rage.
Realm of Dead Gods, The Celestial Graveyard, The Stillmarches, The Blindwastes, Neverburn, Stillbreath, and Annihilation among other things
Related Tradition (Primary)