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As all Supernal Realms, what constitutes the Aether has been changed over the years. Mages who know of these changes debate whether this is a result of the Supernal itself changing, or if mortals have developed to the degree that they can see more of the Supernal during their Awakening than before. As access to the Supernal is impossible, the debates are mostly academic.
Around 5000 BCE, the Aether was a realm of melted earth, constantly burned by lightning and erupting flames, dominated by a singular gigantic storm, referred to as the Mother Storm. Within the center of that storm, light and calmness lay, which formed a heart of lightning. The would-be Wise had to eat this heart and take a piece of its power into himself to Awaken.
The Aether is a place of unbound creation, of magic in its purest, of energy and destruction and rebirth. The physical nature of Aether is that of chaos. Its described as a great burning landscape, rent asunder with lightning and fire and motion, where thunder roars and wind howls as they and every other force in physics battle for supremacy. Surrounding and infusing this storm of energy is the power of magic. Mana falls from the sky like rain, and the air is charged with resonance and the potential for mighty spells and works of arcane power. The power of Aether is such that it can be felt in the air as one travels there. It seeps into the skin, pervasive and infectious, making everything appear clearer, sharper, brighter, and more beautiful. Aether's energy makes things seem more real than they are in the Fallen World, more idealized like they should. This majesty is both inspiring and heart-rending, evoking both joy and fear in the hearts of mortals. Within its confines, the Watchtower of the Golden Key reaches high into the heavens, calling for mages to come.
According to the Obrimos, those who draw on it most for their strength, the Aether is the place of creation. The power of Prime spills forth into the universe from the Supernal Fires that burn there; they're responsible for the birth of the other Supernal Realms and the Fallen World. On the pentacle, they place Aether at the apex, for so it should be; position the Fallen World in the center, with the Abyss separating it from the pentacle’s lines, and according to these mystics, a pattern can be formed. Stygia and Pandemonium form the nadir of the design as they represent the Underworld beneath and darker than the Fallen World. Adjacent to the Fallen World are the Primal Wild and Arcadia, as they are the most similar to the material realms, and so positioned beside them, but separated by the Abyss. Over those five rest The Aether, source of creation, only below and acting as a conduit for the primal light and truth. Other mages dismiss these claims as typical of the Obrimos, elitist and arrogant. It’s more likely thought that Aether, Pandemonium, and Stygia are the parent realms, while Arcadia, Fallen, and Primal Wild, are the younger realms. So, like a plant that needs energy from the sun (Aether; Forces), nutrients from the soil (Stygia; Matter), and most importantly room (Pandemonium; Space). This is better example than that of the Theurgists.
Arcana of AetherEdit
Forces are the Gross Arcanum of Aether; dynamism and energy constantly suffuse Aether. Lightning rips through the skies, while the ground burns with a supernatural intensity. Winds of impossible speed rip through Aether, changing in speed and direction, and the sky blazes with bright light. From this roiling maelstrom of energy stems the Arcanum of Forces. This Arcanum impacts on the Fallen World through the myriad forms of energy present here; heat, electricity, light, motion, gravity, sound, and nuclear radiation.
The subtle expression of the Aether, the Arcanum of Prime represents the raw power and potential of magic. The Aether is a realm of creation, and heavily saturated with magic, and so it is infused with the prima materia, the energy of magic and the fire of creation, this is represented through Prime. In short, the Arcanum of Prime deals with the essence of magic itself. It interacts with the Fallen World via the various forms of pure magic to be found there: Mana, Hallows, and the enchantment of objects, resonance, and tass.
Death - InferiorEdit
Aether is a realm of constant creation; even the destruction wreaked by the fire and lightning of the Arcanum of Forces is merely a tool, a means to clear away the old and make room for the new. In this environment of creation, growth, and beginning, the powers of decay and endings hold little sway. As such, the Arcanum of Death, as it deals primarily with such forces, is restricted to those who would draw their magic from this realm.
The Angels, the Celestial Host of Heaven as they are sometimes known, are the principal inhabitants of the Aether; glorious, powerful, and terrifying, the Angels embody their home superbly. The beings are said to be so awe-inspiring, so beautiful, and so terrible that to look at them risks burning the eyes, and their voices resonate with the power of thunder. They are the denizens and the guardians of Aether, and their power is magnificent and fearsome to behold. The Celestial Hosts are often referred to as angels, but if they are such, they aren't the beatific, benevolent winged spirits that the word invokes today. Rather, they are the Old Testament angels, the wrathful destroyers bringing the ire of Heaven down upon blasphemous mortals. Their manifestations are uniformly striking, beautiful, and alien. Whirlwinds of fire or peacock fans of burning eyes are as common as winged humanoids, androgynous and unearthly. Close to the Prime as they are, the divisive nature of gender is alien and base to them.
Though other lesser members of the Celestial Host of Aether are believed to exist, the Angels are the most powerful and famous of them. It is believed by some that the Angels represent the Ideals from which their lesser brethren are born, just as the Fallen World harks to the Ideals of the Supernal Realm. These lesser denizens all have their collective purpose, but little is known of the nature of that purpose, and it's debatable whether or not these myriad entities can all be understood by any single mage without unlocking the Final Key. It has also been believed that the Celestial Hosts are the positive side of the question of the possible future of an entire human population being Awakened with the Wisdom to handle it.
The craft of Supernal Summoning identifies two types of being that can be called from a Supernal Realm; manifest beings of the Gross Arcanum of that realm, and recondite beings embodying the Subtle Arcanum. The Angels of Aether are no exception. Those that can be summoned are divided as follows;