Introduction to Allods Online: What is the Astral?
Space is filled with a substance, or else this substance is space itself. This substance is in motion, evolving over time, absorbing anything that enters into its influence and behaving as if it were a dynamic, living organism. It is known simply as the Astral. If one could move far enough beyond the Astral, and look back upon it, some believe it may look like a massive, blue cloud, stretching across light years. It is so immense, however, that no one can truly know.
The Astral is both a creative and a destructive substance. At times, entire worlds are caught in the tides of these forces, and torn apart among them. Other times, this destruction will trigger a balance, and the Astral will nurture and heal that which it has destroyed. This is simply the course of nature, or so many believe.
Somewhere within the Astral there once was a world called Sarnaut, and it was home to many peoples who lived and died and evolved for aeon upon aeon: life within life, within the living Astral. When the tides of destruction shifted, the planet shattered into countless islands. The shards of this once thriving world were called allods by their inhabitants.
Separated by the gulf of Astral between these shards, only the Great Mages knew the ancient and secret art of magical teleportation. This afforded them uncontested control over any and all movement between the allods, until an accident uncovered a way to protect travellers against the Astral. History teaches us that tiny things are often the most important.
With the discovery of unrestricted Astral travel, the crumpled remains of the Sarnaut society began to rebuild. A new era of conquest and discovery emerged as Astral transportation was made available to everyone. However, this was not without consequence. Ancient factions and new allies began fighting for control over this newly liberated space, and the allods descended into an age of endless war.
For those who once lived on Sarnaut, travel and commerce, conquest and conflict, and the discovery of new allods are all part of daily life. The Astral, with a life of its own, continues to hide unimaginable perils, with the lurking Astral demons an ever-present danger to those who would venture out into the Deep Astral.
The cultures of the shattered Sarnaut have been consigned to history books, replaced by this new Age of the Allods. Only one truth remains unchanged: the Astral is eternal, and will endure long after all else has faded and died.