Humanity has always had a tendency to think that the tiny area it occupies represents all of existence.
The original hunter, gatherer tribes believed that their forest was all there was. The first civilizations that emerged in isolation thought they were alone. Then we believed that our world was the only planet in the sky. Even when we discovered there was an entire universe around us, we felt that must surely be the limit. Finally we opened our minds to the possibility that there were other universes, perhaps an infinite number. A multiverse.
Unfortunately however even the multiverse still didn’t prove to be the end. How could it be? If new universes are constantly being created and each universe is expanding, then logically there must be a place they are being created from, and a space that each universe occupies and is expanding into.
The void as it would come to be known, by those unlucky enough to visit it represents the space outside of all universes and multiverses, and is where they all originate from either directly or indirectly. No one is quite sure how the void functions or if there is yet another space beyond it. For now however it would seem this strange chaotic place represents the limit of our understanding.
In the void there are no rules or laws of physics as we would know them. It is at a base level, literally nothing. However ironically it is for this very reason that it became the fountain of life.
Our own universe is governed by laws, as are all other realities, though obviously not all universes have the same laws. In our reality we know that a cat can’t suddenly turn into a Tyrannosaurus Rex, that a building can’t magically pop into existence as it would defy the natural laws, and that entropy will affect everything in the end. Therefore whilst life is possible in our universe, there are extreme limits on where it can form and what it can be.
In the void however literally anything goes. There is no cause and effect, no up or down and therefore no limitations on what can and can’t happen. Realities of any kind can just pop in and out of existence. Many of these universes however are not able to form properly. It is known that some universes are brought into existence by the will of the creatures that could exist within them. (Who are able to affect their past due to the lack of time in the void.) In some cases that will might be strong enough to bring a whole universe around it into existence properly, in others however, only for a second before it fades again.
It has to be remembered that the law of cause and effect does not even apply to most universes, never mind something as vast as the void. Again in the void there are no rules and therefore each universe doesn’t even need to have a beginning in the conventional sense as incredible a thought as that might seem.
It is believed by some that the void may not be actually be empty, when universes are not popping in and out of existence. Instead all realities that could potentially exist are present in the void, but as invisible, ghostly apparitions. One of the few travellers to be trapped in the void for a short period of time without any kind of protective suit, said that she could feel something constantly tugging at her from all directions. Hands, claws and goodness knows what else. She could even hear screams some of which were aware of their situation, others however sounded more like echos. Either way she described it as the most terrifying experience of her several hundred year long life.
If this theory were correct then only a tiny fraction of apparitions in the void are able to actually manifest and become proper universes, whilst others are able to reach a half way point and become ethereal beings, who are a step up from the ghostly apparitions, but are still incomplete. Ethereal beings often fade in and out of existence, and are constantly in danger of descending back into apparitions permanently at any point.
Ethereal beings at least have been encountered by the few visitors to the void. Sometimes ethereal creatures aren’t even aware that they are ethereal, and believe they have always existed, only to get a nasty shock when their world starts to collapse around them. Other times they cling onto life at all costs, but end up being driven insane by the nightmarish state they are trapped in. Some of these ethereal beings have been known to try and drain the life energy from other members of their kind, or young, vulnerable worlds and realities to stabilize themselves. In some cases this can work, but they often end up becoming twisted caricatures of the creatures they would have been, and the life forms they have drained.
Other ethereal beings have been known to try and enter existing realities and become a part of them. This is difficult however as all realities have at least some kind of defense, though those without a higher power are the easiest to infiltrate. In a very few instances these ethereal beings can live in the universe they invade, but in others their presence can end up causing disruption as it is unnatural, as was the case with the Devourer, a being that entered our reality billions of years ago. Despite its ominous name. (Which was obviously given to it.) The Devourer did not intend to hurt any of the creatures in our universe. In fact had its reality been able to form properly, then it would have gone on to be a great hero in its timeline. Sadly however its body disrupted the natural laws of our reality, which meant that disasters and upheaval would follow it everywhere it went.
Fortunately not all realities come into existence this way. Many universes are created through what is known as a stable time loop. Here a life form, or sometimes a natural phenomenon travels backwards in time to before its universes existence and creates it. These types of universes are ironically often among the most stable.
Other universes meanwhile simply split off from the original that was created and again are often more stable than the original that birthed them. This type of collection of universes together is known as a multiverse. An Omniverse meanwhile is when several different collections of universes gather together to form essentially a super multiverse. Certain universes may gravitate towards one another for protection. Others meanwhile are created by what we would call deities.
Now deities can come in all shapes in sizes in the void. Some are creatures that simply spring into existence. It’s not just universes as we would know them that can emerge from the void. Individuals, single worlds, even landmasses can and do just pop randomly into existence, and in some cases remain so as a totally different type of reality or being than any we could imagine.
In many instances these singular beings of the void will create other worlds, or realities to inhabit. Other times they may be forced to create them in order to anchor themselves to existence. On some occasions they may simply create them as experiments.
The “gods” themselves meanwhile may be vastly powerful beings who don’t belong in any universe, or they may be an ethereal being whose universe doesn’t form, but is able to will itself into existence by absorbing the power of various other ethereal beings until it has not only stablised but developed the power of what we would call a deity itself, and can either create, or even bring other ethereal worlds, beings and whole realities to life and redesign or rewrite them however it sees fit.
Other deities meanwhile can spring up in universes themselves. Beings as mundane as humans can end up becoming gods if their society advances to the point where it reaches a level 5 civilization, which is able to harness all of the energy in its own universe and create realities of its own.
Type 5 civilizations are exceedingly rare. In fact none has ever existed in our own multiverse, but again across the endless void. Anything is possible.
Not all “gods” or “deities” are interested in creating. Many of them simply want to rule or control existing universes. Not all higher powers are malevolent in this respect however. Many of them can serve as protectors of the universe, worlds, or multiverse’s that they take over from anything else in the void. All universes have natural defenses to some extent. They will all repel something that is unnatural such as an ethereal creature, but there is no denying that those with some kind of higher power are better protected overall.
Our own multiverse was the creation of a higher power. Whilst it would be wrong to say that the Creator has done well by us, at the same time we can be grateful that our creation was helped along by another being. As difficult as our history has been, it is still better than to be trapped in the nightmarish state of the ethereal creatures.
We have only scratched the surface of the void. There are universes and gods out there that go well beyond our understanding. The fact that any member of our species has managed to explore the void in any way, is itself almost unbelievable. It’s doubtful any species will ever have a full understanding of the void however. For now it seems to be the limit for all species, but if history has taught us anything, it is to never assume that we are either at the center of existence, or that we can even begin to understand how insignificant we are.