One of the 9 Worlds of the Midplane, Shiva or the Old Empire as it is sometimes called is the former domain of the Dragons of Gods. Following the Feud on Crown, the Shivan Dragons of Light lead by Bahamut used the Song of Creation to give Shiva shape out of the Sea of Chaos. During the War at the Dawn, many of the surrounding God Clans were slaughtered by Satan, and when the war with the Devils was over and the barrier was erected, the Dragon God Adam rediscovered the path to Crown and through it contact between the 9 Worlds was restored.
The Dragons ruled their empire from a pocket dimension called Ultima. This world was inaccessible to most of the rest of the Universe, requiring either intimate knowledge of its location coupled with a God's ability to teleport or the following of a complex route called the Dragon Road to reach it. From Ultima the Gods were able to observe their entire empire and could manifest wherever they wished. To maintain control of their empire they used a race called the Drow to create two servant races, the Gnomes and the Ogres. The Gnomes were engineered for supreme psychic abilities and cleverness, while the Ogres were engineered for brute strength and fighting ability. The Gnomes were given the title of Watchers, as it was their responsibility to watch over the subject races of the Gods, while the Ogres were called Knights and used as the military might for the Gods. These forces became called the Holy Order and were the enforcers of Ultima's will. Subject states were largely allowed to do as they wished so long as they paid the Gods their tribute. Should they fail to honor the Gods, they would be subject to destruction at the hands of the Holy Order.
Today two powers have grown from the corpse of the Old Empire. The All Union is made from many of the most powerful states of the Known Universe who are bound in a federation overseen by the Watchers and their SENTINEL Order. The All Union is centered on the planet Brunent with the SENTINEL fortress world of Rya nearby protecting it. The other is the remnant of the Holy Order which remains loyal to the sole surviving Dragon, the God King Crash. The Holy Order today is a theocracy based on the planet Akeron and is ruled over by the Holy Ghost who speaks with Crash's authority. The two have existed in a state of cold war for thousands of years.
The Holy Order eventually fell due to the actions of a group of Outlaws known as the Magnificent 7 who overthrew the Holy Ghost and even managed to kill the God King. This left the All Union as the sole superpower in Shiva and they quickly mobilized SENTINEL to bring the outlying powers to heel. Their progress was stymied by the war with the Vampire Horde and they suffered great losses at the hands of Drake. They spent the next 5 years in a massive rebuilding effort only to once again be confronted with an invincible evil in the form of the Bloodstone empowered Satan. He went on a rampage across the Universe, destroying countless worlds and killing trillions. Among the victims of his terror was the planet Rya. Drawn their by the power he sensed, he attacked SENTINEL and many died in the battle against him. It was only through the quick thinking of the Watchers that the Order managed to survive.
The North Kingdom Edit
The North Kingdom was used by the Gods as a laboratory for millions of years. Here they would bring other races and experiment on them. Many of the Childer Races had their starts in this place before branching out to others. The planet Volt is a rarity in that the Gods populated it with humans who they had experimented on, but it was abandoned for unknown reasons. In recent generations though, many super powered meta-humans have begun to appear on the planet. Prior to their eradication at the hands of the sarans, Avalon, the home planet of the Fairies was found there. In the Heroic Age, the North Kingdom was watched over by the god Drown. The human homeworld of Earth is also found in the North.
The East Kingdom Edit
The East Kingdom is the most powerful base of the Holy Order, ruled over by the Holy Ghost Zanko and the sarans based on the planet Kazan. The Holy Order itself is administrated far from Kazan on the planet Akeron, which the Holy Ghost uses to keep the location of Kazan secret. Here too is found the Ogre Republic centered on the planet Agnar (named for the goddess Agni who was honored as the mother of the Ogres), which is loyal to the Holy Ghost as the representative of the God King. With the destruction of Kazan, the Ogres have become the sole superpower in the East. The god of the East was Agni, who was the mother of the race of Ogres.
The West Kingdom Edit
The West Kingdom is the base of the All Union. Most of the great empires, including the Jehdan Imperium and the Elven are found in the West Kingdom. Of all the galaxies the West is the most stable and peaceful, though in ancient times it was the setting for the terrible Eden War which most of the races in the Galaxy fought in. After the fall of the Gods, the ogres attempted to step into their place. However, many Childer Races fled West away from the ogres’ influence. After the Fall of the Gods, the Elves tried to hold together their empire and came to war with the Jehdans for control of that part of the universe. It was through the mediation of the Watchers that a peace was finally brokered. The West Kingdom was watched over by the god Rudra, who amongst her siblings had the most hands off approach.
The South Kingdom Edit
The South Kingdom is also known as the Galaxy of Terror. As with other realms, the South was littered with races created by the Gods, but for one reason or another most of them were deemed failures and abandoned. Many terrifying creatures like werewolves and monsters find their origins in the God’s experiments. Creeping in the shadows in the South were the Vampires, the children of Lilith left behind when Adam sealed her into Hell. The Vampires came upon a tribe of humans who the Gods had brought to the South Kingdom and passed their gift to them, thereafter dying out. In the face of the Gods these vampires remained in the shadows as well, not drawing attention to themselves. When the conflict with Shiva brought about the Fall of the Gods, the Vampires emerged and quickly seized control of the South with ambitions of taking over the other realms. However, they were noticed by Crash, and the God King crushed their dreams and wiped out the vast majority of them, afterwards using his powers to keep the Vampires contained. In the time of the gods, the South Kingdom was ruled over by the god Cloak.
In the days of the Dragon Gods, Shiva teemed with hundreds (presumably thousands) of space faring races. When Shiva was struck by madness and went on her rampage, countless worlds were destroyed and races completely wiped out. In the chaos that followed, surviving races swarmed out to fill the void left behind by the butchered.
Found throughout the Universe, there are about half a dozen races which are far and away the most common encountered. While individual exceptions exist within these races, as a general thing they are not able to generate Aura and do not show up on the SENTINEL Power Scale. Instead, their strength and influence comes from their sheer numbers.
Humans are far and away the most common race across the post Cataclysm universe, making up the vast majority of the populations of both the All Union and the Holy Order. The most powerful human state in the Universe is the Great Jehdan Imperium, a member state of the All Union that rules over an entire supercluster. Unlike the other major races, there have been rare instances of humans achieving notable degrees of power with some even managing to rival the likes of the sarans and the ogres.
Created by the Gods, the elves were seeded throughout the Universe and for eons ruled powerful kingdoms. They suffered greatly during the Cataclysm, and lost their position as greatest intergalactic power to the humans, who managed to quickly expand into the gap left behind by the slaughtered elves.
Like humans, the Sleen were a race discovered by the Gods rather than created by them. Unlike the humans, the Sleen were generally regarded with disinterest by the Gods and their culture was not profoundly influenced by them. Prior to the Cataclysm, the Sleen controlled an intergalactic empire of their own, and fortunately for them did not suffer that greatly during Shiva's madness.
Known on Earth as the Greys, the Zetans are a race of scientists and academics who seek ultimate knowledge. While the Zetans are largely a benevolent race, there is a faction of them known as the Greens who are malevolent and known to conquer planets and wipe out the indiginous populations.
The Xillix are a race of intelligent insects which resemble large humanoid ants. The tend to exist in planet spanning hives which are controlled by a Queen. All Xillix are psychically connected and as such community is extremely important to them. They tend to prize harmony and are not an especially aggressive race, but will react violently if attacked.
A catchall term for a large collection of related races who are not anywhere near as numerous as the other major races but are still found in the nooks and crannies of practically every corner of Shiva. Vampires, for instance, are a subrace of Monsters.
Besides the six major races, there are countless minor races which are rarely encountered. Some of these races possess a great amount of power and thus have disproportionate influence despite their comparatively low populations.
Sarans: A warrior race haling from the planet Kazan, the sarans have generally been associated with the Holy Order. Sarans are greatly feared across Shiva because of their Great Conquest thousands of years ago when they nearly conquered everything.
Ogres: A warrior race created by the Gods, the Ogres were once the sole military arm of the Holy Order.
Purrans: A demihuman race created by the gods. Purrans have catlike ears and tails.
Selakins: A demihuman race created by the gods by splicing shark and human DNA. The Selakins are extremely powerful, but also wild and uncontrollable.
Fairies: A childer race created by the God Clown. Fairies are known for their skill with magic and shapeshifting abilities. Thanks to a saran pogrom, their race was largely wiped out with the survivors rumored to be a mere 9.
Locations In ShivaEdit
Ultima: Found in another dimension accessed by navigating the Dragon Road, Ultima was the planet which served as the Throne of the Gods. When the Shivan Dragons of Light gave shape to Shiva, they made Ultima their abode from which they could safely wage war against the demons. It would serve in this capacity during Adam's reign, but following his murder Strife lead the gods to a new home in the Midplane. Escaping her son, Eve fled back to Ultima where she would hide from the Elder Gods until Asura asked her to take care of Crash. Ultima was a beautiful paradise world, dotted with sparkling palaces which belonged to the Gods. It is unknown whether this was the planet on which they originated or if it was chosen by them. According to the mythology, this planet was where Crash’s mother Asura hid him to keep him safe from his father, Strife. When Crash and his siblings overthrew the Elder Gods to become the Lords of the Universe, Crash resumed the use of Ultima as the throneworld of the Gods. From then, he and the other Dragons created gleaming cities on the planet and lived in palatial estates. Slaves from all corners of the galaxy were brought to attend to them, and for millennia they would oversee their empire from their shining seat. When Shiva achieved a level of power beyond Crash and became corrupt, the final showdown between herself and her son Shine occurred on Ultima. The spot where Shine finally managed to seal his mother into the Bloodstone left behind a seemingly bottomless hole. When Crash reemerged in the Universe and sought the Bloodstone, he did not return to Ultima. It was only much later when he finally gained the Bloodstone that he returned. It was here that he had his final showdown with the saran Warrior-Born, Cain, and lost his life in the fight. Shortly afterwards, agents of the Jehdan Imperium arrived on the planet and recovered the shards of the Bloodstone which had been shattered by Cain.
Earth: The home planet of the human race, Earth itself spends the majority of the story ignorant of the inter-galactic Community. Many of the more powerful governments of Earth, however, are independently aware and regularly interact with the greater community of space, and had even managed to procure a status for Earth as a Protectorate of the All Union. AEGIS of the United States Government regularly interacts with and cooperates with alien agencies up to and including SENTINEL itself. It is only after the Horde follows the Magnificent 7 to Earth and takes it over that Earth finds itself rudely brought into the Universal Community. Following the defeat of the Horde, AEGIS opens itself up to the public and helps ease the transition of Earth from isolated Protectorate planet into a member of the All Union. After this Earth came under control of a single Republican government.
Arkem: Arkem is an artificial planet which floats on the border of the North and East Kingdoms. It is considered a way station for the seedier characters making their way across the Universe. It is widely regarded as a cesspool and a den of theives where the scum of the universe gathers. Given its precarious location, it is a favorite hideout for those on the run from the law. Despite the proximity of a SENTINEL base to it, it is large enough and easy enough to get lost in the crowd that even that elite organization is rarely able to find the people they’re looking for even when it’s known that they are on Arkem.
Kazan: Kazan is the third planet of the Kai system in the East Kingdom and the saran homeworld. There are seven continents spread over the planet separated by four seas. Water covers over 60% of the planet’s surface. Kazan suffers from drastic extremes in climate, from scorching hot in the day to freezing cold at night. Most of the planet’s land mass is an arid desert, with only a few locations which are able to grow crops and raise cattle. Around these areas are the main settlements of saran civilization. Outside the cities and settlements is inhospitable wilderness prowled by hellish monsters.
The atmosphere has a reddish hue, giving the sky a crimson color. Indeed most of the planet seems to be colored red. This is likely to have been caused by sediment from when a giant and highly radioactive meteor crashed into the Kazan untold millennia ago. It is thought that this meteor jump started the evolution of the beasts of the planet into intelligent humanoids. The crater left by this impact can be found on the Eastern continent. It is called Big Hit by the sarans and is regarded as a holy place. The Royal Castle of the Sarada Clan was built on the cusp of the crater on the shore of the massive lake which formed inside of it. The location of Kazan was largely unknown by the galaxy at large, since the sarans went undiscovered prior to Crash. He preferred to keep the source of his super soldiers a secret, and when the sarans overthrew him they saw little point to making their homeworld a target. Even into the rise of the Holy Order in the East Galaxy, no one outside the sarans themselves knew of the location of Kazan, instead the former garden world Akeron served as the center of the Holy Order’s government.
Gravity on Kazan is also extremely intense, and the flora and fauna of the planet have evolved to be extremely hardy to deal with it. Kazan is also subjected to terrifying storms of incredible destructive power. The sarans were one of several intelligent races which inhabited the planet, but these others were wiped out or bred into the saran population. This is suggested by the fact that modern sarans are smaller and more intelligent than their marauding ancestors.
Akeron: Akeron is the capital planet of the Holy Order and was the center of power in the Eastern Kingdom during the reign of Agni. In the Modern Age, it is the meeting place for all the Holy Warlords who administrate the Holy Order’s empire, though the Holy Ghost himself is rarely there. The planet itself is administered by priests from the myriad races of the Holy Order, many of whom have been brainwashed to serve the Holy Ghost without question. Akeron is covered with temples dedicated to the Holy Dragons, which are filled with arcane technology. In the time of the Gods it was a glittering world, but after the Cataclysm the gleaming marble turned grey and dull. In the Palace Temple there is a massive statue of Crash, at the base of which sits the throne of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost prefers to stay on Kazan largely to keep the sarans under his thumb, and rarely appears on Akeron in person. Instead he projects himself into meetings through telepathy or holograms.
Agnar: Homeworld of the Ogres, it is named for their patron God, Agni. Agnar is dotted with sprawling cities with imposing architecture, all meant to express the glory of the Ogre State. From their creation, the Ogres were forged into a warrior race completely dedicated to the cult of the gods. The culture given to them by Crash was one of rigid stoicism and spartan discipline. Ogre art is very stark and simplistic, with everything in their cities having a very art deco feel.
Soohn: Soohn is a planet populated by humans who possess unrivaled physical power and the most open Aura network achieved by that race so far. In ancient times humans from all over the Universe noticed that some were reaching a higher level of evolution than others, initially becoming great conquerers or leaders on their worlds. Over time though, they decided to recede from their civilizations and upon meeting others like them congregated on Soohn, where they devoted themselves to self perfection. They would keep on eye on other human worlds for emerging superhumans of their level, usually taking them as children and bringing them to Soohn where they could fully develop. Soohn itself is known as an unpspoiled paradise planet where the people live a pastoral existence. It is the also the home of giant beasts of incredible power (like the gigantic bovine Behemoth), who serve as inspirations to the humans of the planet and around whom they've based their disciplines.
Volt: A planet in the North Galaxy with a human population that was apparently transplanted there and abandoned by whoever moved them millennia ago. It is figured that this was likely done by the Gods who experimented on the population and then lost interest for an unknown reason, as the names of the 12 Heavenly Dragons are occasionally invoked by the populace. The culture of the planet is currently similar to Earth in the late 20th Century, with the exception of the diverse population of super powered meta-humans. The guardian of the planet is an Omnian who calls himself Sovereign, and rumor has it he is THE most powerful being in the Galaxy.
Rorok: Rorok is the planet where the Champion of the Universe, Dio, had his greatest victory. In order to commemorate it, he built the Frehm Arena which would orbit the planet. Every 5 years he would host a tournament here to name a successor to his title.
Seere: Seere is an arid desert planet. It is habitable in that it has a breathable atmosphere, but it is considered unpleasant enough and has no real resources that anyone ever goes there. When Ernie Hammer fled prosecution by the Watchers, he hid himself on Seere. It was not until Cain crashed on the planet that he found himself with company, and even then it was very brief. The planet is worthy of note only because it was the hiding place of Ernie Hammer, and the place where Paladin Squad 0 fought and were killed by the Magnificent 7.
Rya: Rya is the home planet of the Watchers and the Headquarters for SENTINEL. The planet itself is in the same system as the planet Brunent, the Headquarters of the All Union. While Brunent was created to be a beautiful garden world, Rya is mostly small and bleak, having been devastated by Shiva's rampage. Since then, the Watchers heavily fortified the planet. It is now a fortress, completely covered in blue steel with defensive rings at its poles. On the face of the planet is a giant yellow and white Crest of Shine.
Brunent: Also called the Gleaming White World, Brunent is the capitol of the All Union, and the meeting place of it’s member states. The planet was specifically set up by the Watchers to appear as Paradise to the member States of the All Union and to demonstrate the power the All Union possesses.
Jehda: Center of government for the powerful Great Jehdan Imperium, Jehda is the throneworld of the Washai Royal family. While in its past Jehda was a harsh planet, it eventually became a garden world renouned for its beauty. Even today the planet is well known for its tranquil scenery and lavish cities. During the war with the Vampire Horde much of the planet was devastated, but when Princess (now Empress) Tei returned following the defeat of Drake on Earth she set about restoring Jehda to its former glory.
Omnius: A planet that was once deep in the West Galaxy, Omnius was a home to ancient beings of incredible power known as the Omnians. Unlike their contemporaries, the Gods, the Omnians were highly xenophobic and possessed a stagnant society. The planet possessed a uranium core that became increasingly unstable over the eons, periodically poisoning the Omnians. However, unlike the Universe of Neon where this core exploded eventually exploded, wiping out the Omnian race with a few exceptions, in Shiva Omnius was destroyed by King Crash himself after the Omnians dared to defy the Dragon Gods. Thus passed one of the most noble civilizations in the early Universe.
Arus: An idyllic planet in the West Kingdom that is the legendary birthplace of the demigod, Gaia. In ancient times, his mother Allura escaped to there after being exiled by her father from a neighboring planet. Taken in by the royal family of Arus, she gave birth to the God King's son. Gaia would go on to become a great hero, but was eventually tricked into releasing the dread beast Karkas, a Leviathan which slept beneath Arus. Driven to protect his home from destruction, Gaia managed to defeat the beast at the cost of his own life. However, because of the Holy blood in his veins, he did not truly die. He was brought to Ultima by Crash to heal, and inducted into the Dragon Pantheon as a full god. A cult worshipping Gaia sprang up on his home planet, and he would return there many times over the eons to check in on his beloved home.
Zexx: The pleasure planet. Zexx is a hub of all manners of hedonism and debauchery throughout the galaxies, and is known to cater to almost all tastes.
Balance of PowerEdit
Balance in the Shiva was an interplay between three forces: the All Union, the Holy Order and Outlaws. The All Union and Holy Order existed in a state of cold war, the All Union representing Peace and Order for all races, the Holy Order serving King Crash, the last of the Gods. Outlaws did not exist as a unified force, but generally represented those who wanted nothing to do with either Crash’s or the Watchers’ versions of order. In terms of power the Holy Order had more powerful races at its disposal, namely the sarans and ogres, whereas the All Union had far greater numbers.
Instead, those who chose the Outlaw lifestyle generally did so in pursuit of freedom to live how they wanted. For some (most) this was the freedom to better their situation at the cost of others with no regard given to the law, but for others it was more a desire to have adventures and not be under anyone’s thumb. While Outlaws did not and indeed COULD not band together as a unified force, taken as a whole they represented a great risk to the security of both the All Union and the Holy Order. While it was standard procedure for the All Union to hunt down dangerous Outlaw groups and eradicate them, the Holy Ghost was fond of using Outlaws to destabilize the All Union. If the AU was always on its heels against Outlaws, they would be too distracted to interfere with the Ghost’s own plans.
After the final destruction of Crash and the Holy order at the hands of the Magnificent 7, Outlaw groups grew more bold. This, combined with the new encroaching threat of the Horde, who Crash had always kept in check, did not give the All Union time to exploit its position as the sole remaining super power. Indeed, the fact of the existence of the Magnificent 7, who were all of S-Class power or beyond, presented the Watchers with a group of Outlaws even SENTINEL might not be able to subdue. Prior to the rise of the 7, Outlaw groups of comparable power existed, but generally stopped short of doing things to provoke the full wrath of the AU or the Holy Order. That the 7 had dared to incite and succeeded in crushing both the Holy Ghost AND Crash himself deeply alarmed the Watchers and they mobilized SENTINEL to counter this threat.
What they failed to realize was that the 7 were not ambitious, but rather reactive. The Holy Order had hurt & stifled them and they reacted by destroying it. They initially had no qualm with the All Union, but in trying to capture them they forced the 7 to defend themselves leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. They came to be regarded as dangerous and utterly insane by even other Outlaws, who were mystified by the 7’s defiance of whoever challenged them no matter who it was.
Initially the influence of the All Union was limited to the West Galaxy, but after the defeat of the Holy Order and the Horde, the rest of the universe became open to them as well. They quickly expanded into those North, South and East offering peace & stability. By the time of the Satan Crisis, the AU had become a significant power in the Universe. Unfortunately with the new opportunities, Outlaws gained power as well.