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The Cosmology of Valara
Valara was created by the combined efforts of the Paragons of the Realms. Desiring a neutral world where each Paragon would be given free reign, Valara was seated in the center of the universe, directly between the Realms of Essence and tethered by ethereal chains to the four outer Elemental Realms and the Veil. The Essence Realms of Life and Death contain within the sphere of their influence the Elemental Realms and the Veil. The Elemental Realms are composed of Fire, Water, Stone, and Air. The Veil is composed of mirrored shells known as Ereholme and Nurholme, which act as buffers to the outer Realms.
Each of the outer Elemental Realms is connected to Valara through ethereal chains of power. These chains were forged by the Paragons to hold Valara in stasis and to connect Valara to the Realms. In exchange, the chains radiate streams of Essence and Prime Magic directly into the core of Valara.
In the forging of the ethereal chains, a power fluctuation caused a rip in the cosmos which brought forth the Veil and the Realms of Ereholme and Nurholme. Scholars speculate that the Veil is the reason the ethereal chains are rendered invisible to normal mortal eyes. Scholars believe that magic cast under specific conditions, especially when in conjunction with strange phenomenon, will render the chains visible, although the visibility is fleeting. Other scholars posit that a state of madness is required to see the chains and to look on them in any other state would be to render a rational being insane.
The Veil’s primary purpose is to filter the influence of the Elemental Realms and serve as a buffer to prevent the denizens of the Realms from crossing in to Valara. It has been noted that during specific times of the moon phases the Veil appears to weaken and the Elemental Realms slip into Valara. The most noted visible example of this occurrence was discovered in the northern portion of Isilla and manifests as a series of ghostly lights, hovering at the edge of the horizon.
The Paragons of the Elemental Realms often exploit the weaknesses in the Veil to send vassals to Valara and attempt to set up a foothold allowing for a direct pathway from their home Realm. These are not open portals but seem to resemble a type of magical teleportation that scholars do not understand. The footholds that are established are usually created from and reflect a specific element. These footholds can be destroyed using the opposing element, which counteracts the presence of the original element.
While the Elemental Realms seek to influence Valara by creating footholds of specific Elemental energy, the Realms of Life and Death do not intentionally establish similar connections. The flow of energy between the Realms of Life and Death and Valara is slow to gather, however if left undisturbed or unnoticed this energy can concentrate into reservoirs. In the last 3000 years, only a few of these repositories have been discovered. At the site of each, a temple dedicated to the appropriate Paragon has been established. These temples seek to use the reservoir of energy to establish a more meaningful connection to the Paragons and the Realms.