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"Embrace the stillness of eternity!"
Some characters use the Power of Darkness
to show off how cool they are. Not this guy. When darkness isn't dark enough, the only thing that can properly express your morally dubious badassery is the Power of the Void—power
Of course, how this actually works
isn't always very clear. Which makes sense, really; how are you going to make cool fight scenes when a character's power is the ability to control, well, nothing? In many cases, apparently by giving him lasers, energy blasts, and various other powers that other characters already have, with minor cosmetic changes to show that they come from the Void. Other works are better about portraying this, involving powers like erasing objects and unfortunate people from existence, manipulating black holes, and draining Life Energy
. Powers over cold
come up often as well — this makes sense, since they are technically defined by a lack of energy. Sometimes, this also involves partial or total Cessation Of Existence
as a physical trait (in the partial case, functioning much like an Absurdly Sharp Blade
in that it "cuts" by removing physical matter
, and in the latter case simply sucks an object or person into nothingness)
For obvious reasons
, the Power of the Void is frequently the gimmick of Straw Nihilists
, Omnicidal Maniacs
and outright Eldritch Abominations
. It can also be the result of a Yin Yang Bomb
, however, in which case it is equally likely to be found in the hands of someone more heroically inclined.
Interestingly, Void is sometimes considered the Fifth Classical Element
(not to be confused with the Fifth Element
), particularly in a universe that uses the Void Between the Worlds
. However it's usually considered Non-Elemental
because it (appropriately) lacks elemental traits. It may even be an Infinity+1 Element
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- Void is the fifth and Infinity Plus One Element in the Legend of the Five Rings, but amusingly, it's not this trope (it's really more like "spirit," or what have you). Instead, we have The Lying Darkness, which empowers assorted ninja and the like in their efforts to steal the names and identities of good guys and bad guys alike. The only way to destroy it was to name it via a ritual - once it had a name of its own, it could no longer be the Lying Darkness, since it now had a truth attached to it.
- The page image is the card Damnation from Magic: The Gathering, but there are plenty of other spells that involve abusing the void.
- Also from Magic, the Null Rod.
- Gerrard: "But it doesn't do anything"
- Hanna: "No—it does nothing."
- There is a Starcraft/Star Wars crossover where Zeratul realizes that both the Light and Dark sides of the Force are the same psychic powers practiced by the Protoss (hence why Jedi are prone to falling to the Dark Side: without the Khala's discipline, they can't control it). By rejecting both, Jedi become able to use the very same powers practiced by Protoss Dark Templars, including making oneself invisible. A padawan practising this describes that while the Force feels warm, the Void feels cold and empty.
- In the Pony POV Series, this is both the Draconequi's most dangerous power and their greatest weakness. They can erase things from existence, including their own wounds, but they can't effect anything created by taking away or the abscence of something. Ice is one of the only things that can actually successfully trap them for any period of time and if someone's power comes from something like this, for example, despair, they can't effect them at all. This is even true for Discord, who is extremely powerful even by his species' standards.
- Luna uses this in Elementals Of Harmony. Faced with a physical manifestation of the element of Honesty that is damaging the universe by existing, she moves herself between it and the sun and unleashes a spell that turns her shadow into the truth of the heat death of the universe. She personally considers that spell to be Black Magic, and not in the Magic: The Gathering sense.
- In the Keys to the Kingdom series, the substance of the void is called "Nothing", and beings composed of it are called "Nithlings".
- The Nothing from The Neverending Story.
- In a Michael Moorcock story, one of the heroes encounters an area of the world that's a complete white void. After wandering around for a while, he discovers a Reality Warper that for various reasons wants to be one with the perfect void. The hero grants the Reality Warper's wish by shooting him with an arrow point blank; once the Reality Warper dies, the white void becomes a normal landscape again.
- In The Silmarillion, the Unlight of Ungoliant falls somewhere between Dark Is Edgy and the Power of the Void.
- The villain in Dragons Winter has command over the void. It's how he manages to bind Karadur's power.
- The Void is one of the five elemental zones in the middle of Xanth.
- The true villains of the Time Quartet series by Madeleine L'Engle are The Echthroi. Beings who want to spread nothing on spiritual level, destroying not just life and matter but souls, and ruining all existence from beginning to end. Their "true" form is described as being like a gash in existence or a streak of Nothingness which is so terrible it causes 'reality' to scream, even in space.
- The Void is one of the five elements in The Sovereign Stone trilogy, and Void mages can mimic the powers of any other element, so long as they're used for destructive purposes. However, Void magic is inherently inimical to life as we know it, so if you're not undead (or Dagnarus), using it for anything powerful will cause you to break out in lots of deeply unpleasant sores, and can kill you under some conditions. Most Void mages are consequently either sparing with their power, or totally insane.
- In Marie Brennan's Doppelganger series, the Void is recognized as an element in its own right; however, witches can't perform any magic associated with it (although they can use any of the four classical Elemental Powers). It eventually turns out that this is because void magic is associated with movement (e.g., dance—the other elemental powers are associated with song), which is not the domain of the witches but rather their doppelganger halves, who they've been killing off. A few witches' quest to fix this drives much of the stories' plot.
- "Unmagic" from the Circle of Magic books. Mage characters are horrified by it, saying it's the absence of all else - light, magic, existence; a blight as much as magic, and it drives users to lose hope and feeling. The antagonists, who are indeed losing their sanity but not their sense of purpose, use it to get past guards and warding spells to assassinate people in plain sight. Lark says it can also be used to collapse distances and let people walk between places quickly... if they can bear it.
Live Action TV
- In the Heroes season 3 episode Angels and Monsters, Noah and Sylar are sent after Canfield, a man who has the power to create "Vortexes" into which things disappear forever. Noah tries to make Canfield eliminate Sylar (who by this time has copied Claire's regeneration power, making him extremely difficult to kill). Canfield uses it to kill himself instead, refusing to become a murderer.
- The purple Core Medals in Kamen Rider OOO run on the desire of nothingness. Which is why it sought out The Hero Eiji, whose lack of desires allowed him to become OOO, and why Dr Maki, desiring an end to everything (i.e., making everything nothing) is a suitable vessel.
- Furthermore, their powers work in the aforementioned way, split down the middle: Eiji's powers as Putotyra revolve around An Ice Person, while Maki's The End of the World as We Know It plans factor into his Yummies once he becomes a Greeed, as they annihilate people's desires.
- In the Stargate series, the most powerful generators they use to run their advanced technology revolves around harvesting zero point energy, by using their zero point modules. Which they techno-babble explain by taking energy from space itself, they eventually run out of power somehow though... A lot of the show's pivotal plots involve finding or using these generators.
- Zero Point Modules tap into Pocket Dimensions and drain the void-energy stuff from that Pocket Dimension. Each ZPM is connected to a different Pocket Dimension, which does eventually run dry.
- They also try to harvest zero point energy from the universe itself and later an alternate universe, neither of which went very well due to tendancy to cause massive explosions.
- Well, it wasn't so much the fact that it caused massive explosions (okay, maybe it was), but the fact that the zero-point energy extraction from an entire universe causes weird exotic particles, that defy the laws of physics, to be created. They can, among other things, cause a very large explosion (destroying 5/6ths of a solar system!), and rip a hole in the fabric of spacetime itself (destroying an entire reality).
- Dungeons & Dragons has several Prestige Classes that are based around the idea of using emptiness as a weapon, as well as the Binder PC class, who channel the power of entities that have been banished to nothingness, not to mention the infamous sphere of annihilation - picture a tiny singularity that runs on Rule Of Cool rather than more traditional physics.
- In the Oriental Adventures suppliment, Void is officially introduced as a type of Elementalist Magic, and there is a Prestige Class that specializes in it.
- The Neverborn in Exalted. According to some theories, Creation's version of the Void wouldn't even exist if not for them. By extension, the Deathlords and the Abyssal Exalted. Interestingly, in Exalted, the Power of the Void is closely associated with Necromancy, to the point that anyone who can use one can generally use the other to some extent.
- Needless to say, this is also true in Wraith: The Oblivion, where the force the Neverborn serve is tellingly called "Oblivion."
- The Nephandi from Mage The Ascension employ Qlippothic magic — whereas common Sphere/Sephirothic magic is altering and manipulating parameters of reality, Qlippothic magic is active negation and destruction of reality. An Akashic martial artist might use his knowledge of Correspondence* to leap over a distance of seven leagues. His Qlippothic counterpart would create a similar effect by destroying the space between him and his destination with a punch*. Sephirothic Prime is concerned with essence of existence. A Nephandus specializing in its Qlippothic counterpart can expel things from reality just as easily as a mage igniting a candlelight.
- Mage: The Awakening has the Scelesti. The Abyss is a twisted, hateful reflection of reality created when some pretty significant magical screwups occurred and reality got some new holes torn in it. Scelesti are mages who have reshaped their souls to draw on the powers of the Abyss to corrupt spirits, negate magic (or make it go out of control), and generally make the world worse in any way they can.
- Anima: Beyond Fantasy presents the Etrien Gnosos which is this trope with Face Monster Turn added; and played straight with Ildabaoth Veda (bonus points for being both a Creepy Child and a white haired pretty girl).
- In the (currently in Spanish only) Arcana Exxet one of the subschools of magic (appropiately named Void) lets the player use the power of the Void.
- The Dark Eldar in Warhammer 40000 have access to a weapon called the Dark Lance, in the 5th edition, they have a flyer which has a beefed up version called the Void Lance, these Voidraven Bombers also have a bomb, called the Void Mine which first creates a protected sphere, to utterly annihilate everything in it. Nobody knows for sure what the "darklight" these weapons fire actually is, altough it's theorized to form around black holes, warpstorms and other celestial phenomena of great magnitude. It is extremely volatile (pure darklight seems to behave like antimatter) and merely looking at a darklight beam can leave permanent scars on your retinae.
- "Void" is one of the types of heroes in Ascension: their abilities focus on removing your own cards from play, which is nifty for thinning out your deck.
- Homestuck takes place in an RPG Mechanics Verse where Void is one of the known elements, "the essence of lack or nothingness." Void is specifically an Aspect of destruction or obfuscation of knowledge and seems tied to the Furthest Ring. Heroes of the Void are also expected to embrace nothingness to become something. The Heroes of the Void seen so far all have used (or will use) their powers for passive Psychic Block Defense against scrying and omniscence. One Void player was turned into a blank slate with no interests, giving him the potential to be a Renaissance Man. Unfortunately, his abilities (plus some encouragement from Meulin encouraging his Stepford Smiler nature) ended up driving him insane. The last of the three may be channeling it in her Fenestrated Portals, which seem to cut through the timeless void outside the universe. Furthermore, her class as a Rogue allows her to steal an object's nonexistence, essentially giving her the ability to conjure objects from nothing.
- Psi-Max, of Goblins, seems to be capable of invoking this power to create areas of pure oblivion. Interestingly, not only are the objects (and people!) that fall into these erased, they are retroactively removed from time- people remember a reality where they never existed, and seem to have no awareness that anything has changed.
- Minmax, after finding a sword that replicates any inorganic substance it touches, caused it to replicate one of these oblivion zones. It can no longer change, but it can cut through anything, and nothing other than him can affect it— to the point that when he drops it, it hovers in midair, impervious to gravity, until he decides to draw it, at which point a portal forms allowing him to grab it no matter how far away it is. (Apparently, it's powered by his inability to understand that it shouldn't be capable of existing.)
- The villainous Void, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, has the power to send objects and creatures to an "endless black void" at will. He also teleports by traveling to this void and back.
- Sailor Nothing has this as her power. It manifests as dissolving the enemies she fights into sheer nonexistence, and when she uses this power, it requires her to suppress all emotions and thought, and feel nothing.
- The Fear Mythos features the Quiet, which is perhaps the most dangerous of all the Fears. It is a vast, sentient nothingness that devours entire universes, and one day it will arrive in ours...
- Kingdumb Hearts mocks this. Xemnas thrusts out his hand to demonstrate "the power of nothing," and nothing happens.
- In the Mata Nui On-Line Game, the Makuta makes himself out to be affiliated with "the Void", and being the embodiment of the power of destruction. This was all that was known about him for a while, but later story material revealed he had just been bluffing. Though this wasn't a complete lie, as his power is Shadow, which is seen as the absence of light, he did turn himself into a giant sucking vortex at one point, and he does greatly enjoy destruction.
- King Minus from a short animated sketch on Sesame Street, had the power to make things disappear by touching them. Including himself.
- One reason for this trope's prevalence is that some sects of Zen Buddhism emphasize emptiness and void, especially emptying the mind.
- Alain Badiou's philosophy argues that all of existence follows axiomatically from the necessary existence of the Void, because in the terms of set theory the power-set of the Void is not the Void itself.
- Inverted in some theories about black holes in real life. In this case it's too much matter in a single place that causes a gravitational pull rather than the vacuum effect that is associated with a void.
- However what is inside a black hole—the singularity—cannot be defined as matter or energy anymore. It has mass and size, but that is practically all that can be described of it. Defining its nature is so far impossible because the laws of physics break down and stop making sense when observing it. The calculations have been described as having "infinite infinities"—which makes no mathematical sense.