History (Submitted by Four-Eyes)
What Does It Mean To Be Endless?
What are the beings who call themselves the Endless? Are they god, demon, angel, or faerie? Are they something else? The answer is... well, it's complicated. They are neither god, demon, angel, or faerie; and yet, they are somehow all those things as well... but also a unique breed unto themselves. According to texts recovered from the Order of Ancient Mysteries, the Endless are defined as simply patterns, ideas, and repeating motifs made real... like some sort of tulpa. They are said to be the actual personifications of concepts tied to sentient life and maybe that is the best way to describe them. The Endless simply are what they are. Going further, the aforementioned text further explains that each Endless represents not just one concept but its contradictory concept as well. With such broad power, it would be easy to call them gods but as the text is quick to point out The Endless cannot be seen as gods, for gods need to be believed in to exist and require faith to nurture them. The Endless will continue to exist whether we believe in them or not, for, as their name suggests, they are Endless.
There are always seven Endless. No more, no less. The Endless were likely always immortal and were never human despite their typically human appearance (albeit exceedingly pale), but it is known that should one perish, another Endless shall rise to fulfill their purpose (as was the case with Despair) or if their purpose should cease, the Endless will shift to fulfill a new purpose (as was the case with Delight/Delirium). Despite not being human, the Endless can mate with humans and bear offspring. In fact, it might be possible for the Endless to mate with any lifeform and bear offspring. Sometimes these offspring are special, like a demigod or a figure with mythical abilities, or simply immortal, but just as often they are mundane and rather unimpressive.
How did the Endless come into being? No one knows for certain, not even the Endless themselves. Ancient texts hint that there were only two (or possibly three) beings that predate the Endless. But who these beings were is anyone's guess. I have my theories, but those are simply that.
As mentioned above, the Endless are ideas, anthropomorphic personifications of concepts, but even so, they are all individual beings and have feelings, thoughts, and personalities all their own. All this combines with their powers and purview to make the seven Endless a rather dysfunctional family of seven siblings. Though they may appear in different forms, their usual form is that of a stark white humanoid. They can reflexively change their appearance to fit the expectations of others.
From eldest to youngest, the Endless are:
Destiny of the Endless
The oldest of the Endless, Destiny (or "Potmos," as some arcane texts refer to him) appears as a blind man dressed in hooded robes, carrying a large book. The book is chained to him, or he is chained to the book (depending on how you look at it) and within the book is written the layout of the "Tapestry," or the entire sum of existence, past, present and future. Destiny represents destiny and free will. Destiny seems to be the most possessed by his function and responsibilities, more so than any of the other Endless. He rarely demonstrates much personality or emotion.
Destiny's realm is named "The Garden of the Forking Ways", it's a labyrinth that represents life's journey. Destiny is commonly known to simply walk its paths, for he's the only one who knows its ways and as he walks it blindly he turns the pages of his Book. However, the Garden is not the only aspect of his realm, he also has a great house in which his gallery is located and where a great table lies. Those who come unto his realm do so under his invitation, and when he does invite, it's because the book says it was to be so. It seems his realm was the place where the entire Endless most commonly gathered.
Destiny's sigil is The Book of Destiny, its pages contain all the knowledge of all things, past, present, and future. It is chained to Destiny's wrists and he spends all his time reading it, which seems odd considering his blindness. The Book seems to have utmost power as it apparently cannot be easily destroyed or taken from Destiny.
Unlike most of his younger brothers and sisters, Destiny has no specific "followers", whereas individuals can be limited to feeling desire, despair or delirium... destiny is a path we all must take.
Death of the Endless
Death (or "Teleute" in arcane texts) appears as a spunky, attractive, level-headed young Goth woman. She wears an ankh necklace and usually has an Eye of Horus painted under one of her eyes. She prefers to dress and act casually, much to the surprise of many who encounter what they assume would be an ominous personage. Death is the embodiment of both life and death.
Death's realm is "The Light at the End". Despite what some people would think, her realm is not actually the place where the dead end up when they die, rather it is more of a pit-stop. Another interesting thing about Death's home is she appears capable of changing it at will, but will always include her gallery, a scrying pool, a bin full of umbrellas, and her personal quarters... and maybe a rather cluttered closet or two.
Death's sigil is the symbol of life, an ankh, which she often wears as a necklace. While the ankh is said to have immense power, it seems able to be easily replaced as the texts describe an instance where the Order of Ancient Mysteries conspired to steal her necklace to uncover its powers but found it worthless and when Death was next encountered, she had simply replaced it with an ankh bought from a novelty shop.
Like her brother Destiny, Death has no specific followers, for everyone is hers sooner or later, everyone sees her at their beginning and their end. That said, Death does on occasion choose the rare individual to earn a second chance, be gifted with immortality, or leave on Earth as a revenant spirit. An example of those who have been given special treatment by Death are the Dead Boy Detectives Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland.
Dream of the Endless
Dream (or "Morpheus," or about a thousand other titles in ancient texts) is the mythical Sandman, the bringer of sleep, dreams, and nightmares. Dream's usual appearance is as a tall, pale man with wild dark hair. His eyes are pools of shadows with glimmers of light within. More so than his other siblings (aside from Destiny), he is very concerned with fulfilling his duties, overseeing both conscious thought and the subconscious mind as well.
The Dreaming (or the "Od") is the most well documented of the Endless residences for all of us visit it often, for it is where we all go when we dream and the plane from which all psychic phenomena are drawn. Due to the necessity of it, the Dreaming is also the most diverse and expansive of the Endless Realms. Besides the dreamers who enter it every night, there are the many resident arcana: thousands upon thousands of creatures from Cain and Abel (Keepers of Mysteries and Secrets, respectively), Lucien the Librarian, Mervyn Pumpkinhead the Janitor, and a slew of dreams and nightmares including the Corinthian (nightmare), Fiddler's Green (dreamscape), and Dream's spies and scouts in the form of ravens. Of course, The Dreaming itself seems to be alive and is always changing, it's quite malleable especially to the caress of Dream's power.
Dream's sigil is the Dream Helm which he usually only wears when heading into battle or at a time when he wants to be seen as a fearsome god, however, Dream actually possesses multiple objects of power. Three to be exact. One of them is a sand pouch, that tool often associated with the mythical Sandman, the sands which he sprinkles over the eyes to induce sleep and dreams. And his most powerful tool is the Dreamstone, a gem of immense power.
Whereas the other Endless could not really be bothered by mortals or at least befriending them, Dream has sought multiple mortal lovers and gained several mortal friends as well. Wesley Dodds is one such example, receiving powerful mental gifts from Dream on a nightly basis. All natural psychics could be said as being touched by Morpheus, especially those gifted with the ability of Lucid Dreaming, which gives them great power inside the Dreaming (though only a mere fraction of Dream's own).
Destruction of the Endless
Destruction (or "Olethros") is described as a very large, robust man with red hair, who sometimes appears bearded and sometimes shaven. Destruction has purview over creation and ruin. He is said to have an immense passion for creative and constructive endeavors, but little talent (for it is easier to destroy than to create). His symbol is that of a sword. Little else is known about him, nor has anything new been written of him in quite some time.
The residence of Destruction is said to be called "the Fulcrum". Its actual structure does seem to change between visits but whenever it is occupied, the entire realm appears to be captured in a still moment between perfection and utter ruin, like a forest captured in a snapshot in the midst of a hurricane or a beautiful cityscape about to be consumed by a tidal wave. No matter what shape it takes, it will always possess a gallery and a scrying pool of some shape.
Though he's said to never be seen wielding it, Destruction's sigil is a sword.
Desire of the Endless
Desire (or "Epithumia") is a beautiful, slim, and truly androgynous being with golden eyes, capable of appearing as a man, a woman, or neither. They are said to have a vicious cruel streak, yet is written rather favorably in the texts of the Order of Ancient Mysteries. Desire is the twin of Despair. Desire promotes hatred as much as love.
Desire's realm is called "The Threshold", a colossal statue of Desire's body. Inside the immense effigy is a series of never-ending chambers and veins so impressive in scope that it is said that one could walk them until they grow old without ever once retracing their steps. Desire's private domain is located within the literal heart of the construct. Inside the cathedral of the heart are a gallery, scrying pool, and Desire's private residence and residences for their harem.
As Desire lives in a heart, so is their sigil a heart, whether figurative or literal. Desire often carries a lighter shaped like a heart or a glass heart token or places their hand over their heart when invoking their power.
Despair of the Endless
Despair (or "Aponia") is a short, obese woman with irregularly-shaped teeth and amber eyes. She is often depicted as naked in the texts I've found that include a sketch or portrait of her likeness. Despair has a cold, quietly intelligent manner, rarely speaking except in short, concise, and measured statements. She is said to have a habit of carving her flesh with a hooked ring that she wears. Despair is the only known Endless to have perished, somehow being killed many, many years ago, only to return in a new body with an only slightly different appearance and personality. Apparently, her original self was much more talkative. Despair controls hope and despair.
Despair dwells in the "Gray Room" alongside her legions of rats. This realm is filled with fog and countless free-floating mirrors. Inside these mirrors are people looking at themselves, feeling but never seeing Despair looking back at them.
Despair's sigil is the hooked ring with which she hooks hearts and pulls them deep into despair. However, she does not save the barbed hook of her ring only for those who fall into her grasp but on herself. Despair is masochistic and has been seen using the ring to cut up her face and even going so far as to pop her eyeball and leave humors flowing down her cheek.
Delirium of the Endless
Delirium (or "Mania") is the youngest of the Endless. Delirium appears as a young girl whose form changes the most frequently of any of the Endless, based on the random fluctuations of her temperament. She has wild hair and eccentric, mismatched clothes. Her only permanent physical characteristic is that one of her eyes is green with silver flecks and the other blue, but even those sometimes switch between left and right. She was once known as Delight, but some traumatic event caused her to change into her current role. Though it's hard to believe, Delirium influences sanity as much as she does madness, and is prone to the rare moment of absolute clarity.
Delirium's realm is the "Madness" and it is as strange as she is. The Madness is shown as a vast assortment of all sorts of colors, words and items and directions. It's said that one is only able to navigate it by focusing on Delirium and traveling towards the center. How one knows which way is the center is a little unclear, though... At the middle there is a broken sundial reading "Tempus Frangit," and the usual fare of gallery, scrying pool, and private residence.
Delirium's sigil is unshaped color.
Notable among Delirium's followers are the Shades: Rac Shade and Loma Shade, both who wear strange, colorful vestments of their station known as Madness Vests. These two use madness like a form of sorcery, changing themselves and the world around them.
The Axiom is a collection of ancient rules regarding the way the Endless must live their lives, giving them limits to their power. While it is unclear how the Endless know them or who gave them such commands, all the Endless know these rules.
1) Should an Endless spill the blood of their kin, harm will soon befall them as well.
2) Should an Endless give their devotion to a mortal, nothing good can come out of such a relationship (usually it means that mortal is doomed to die and/or suffer).
3) Should an Endless travel to another realm, they must show proper respect or find themselves unwelcome to return.
4) Likewise, an Endless shall treat all guests within their realm with due respect or disastrous ruin shall find them.
Each of the Endless also has a personal restriction defined in the Axiom.
- Destiny shall not record the existence of certain beings within his book. Destiny, likewise, cannot see or interact with these beings in any manner.
- Death shall live one day as a mortal every year. She does not know when this is to occur or which mortal life she will experience. Death simply wakes up in the body of a mortal, unaware of her prior existence as Death until the day has passed and then is either doomed to meet an untimely end or compelled to end herself to preserve the Axiom, at which time she steps out of the mortal's body along with their soul and takes them to wherever it is their soul is expected.
- Dream can never take the life of a mortal except in the instance of a dream vortex.
- Destruction's restriction is unknown.
- Desire cannot transgress an oath sworn by the First Circle, which goes something like "I swear by the First Circle, and the other side of the sky, and the sword, and..." You get the idea. There is no penalty to breaking this oath, it's simply metaphysically impossible for Desire to violate such an oath.
- Despair's restriction is also unknown.
- Delirium's restriction is another unknown part of the Axiom.
- Immortality: The Endless are ageless and nigh-indestructible.
- Metamorphosis: The Endless are able to change their appearance and clothing at will.
- Omnipotence (Limited): The Endless each have a personal pocket dimension in which they have supreme control.
- Sorcery: All of the Endless are naturally exceptional sorcerers. It is quite possible that they are the wellsprings from which all magical knowledge originates. When using sorcery which aligns with their personal purview of power, these personages find there is no need for sacrifice other than the release of the required essence to shape the effect. When performing feats outside their purview, the Endless must perform the required rituals, spells, or other magical requirements to fulfill the effect.
- Teleportation: The Endless can move from one pocket of reality to another without impediment, provided they have not violated the third rule of the Axiom.
Trivia and Notes
- Endlings are not a proper species. They are an umbrella term for marking any hybrid species with one or two generational connection to one of the seven beings known as the Endless. Some Endless can be remarkably powerful beings in their own right. Others are less powerful and still others inherit nothing remarkable.