"A long time ago, adrift between universes... A Kanohi Olmak meets a mysterious energy force, and spawns a multiverse. Seven planets, walled off from each other by glowing unstable Bluespace. A mysterious Eighth World. Seven cultures in a unique realm, some at peace, some in strife, others at war. All of it threatened by the Olmak Effect. People randomly disappear. Copies of them appear in other universes. Objects, homes, whole areas mangled as reality itself bends and breaks. Deaths increasing. All eight worlds — Central, with BZ-Koro and Wiki-Nui; Industrial; Tribal; Warzone; Shattered; Tyrant; Enlightened; and Enigma — will soon be torn to shreds by the Olmak Effect. Will a solution be found in time? Can the unraveling of existence itself EVER be stopped? This is the deadly danger of entering this world. Are you brave enough? Do you have what it takes? Dare you be citizen of the Aethion Expanded Multiverse?"
The Aethion Expanded Multiverse was invented by BIONICLE fansite BZ Power reference keeper bonesiii and Bionicle Wiki Biosecter01 owner Swert note Fellow BZP member Takuta Nui was also brought on as a leader after the first couple of episodes, but had Real Life issues to sort out shortly afterward in 2009 as a fan universe that anyone could set their fanfics in, and be considered "fanon" in that universe. Anything (characters, settings, objects, species, events) one person creates can be used by another.The two leaders of the project also write a series called The Cipher Chronicles, which helps to flesh out the story and solve some of many mysteries of the EM.In the BIONICLE storyline, an Olmak, Mask of Dimensional Gates, was sent drifting through interdimensonal space after an alternate version of Toa Tuyet tried to use it to escape after Takanuva defeated her. That's where the Aethion story comes in.The Mask came into contact with a mysterious energy source, causing it to split into forty-two fragments, creating the Aethion Expanded Multiverse in the process.The Multiverse consists of eight planets, each know by a English and Bionicle name. These eight planets are suspended in a field of energy called Bluespace, that disintegrates anything it touches.
Alarist, or Central, themed after the two main Bionicle fansites of BZ Power (a discussion forum) and Bionicle Secter 01 (a wiki). Alarist has two main continents, BZ-Koro (a large-scale village dedicated to discussion in public forums) and Wiki-Nui (an enormous city dedicated to cataloging information).
Tanuuk, or Tyrant, a Lethal Lava LandSingle-Biome Planet under the oppressive rule of a single species known as "Tyrants". Tyrant is inhabited by the ruling/upper class of the Tyrants, and slaves of many other species.
Izumal, or Enlightened, whose continent is almost completely made up of (protodermic) gold and silver. The planet is split into the supposedly-enlightened dwellers of the City, whose Nanomachines can accomplish just about anything, and the outcasts who live outside of it, most of whom survive by hacking.
Promathus, or Industrial, the center of manufacturing for the Multiverse, run completely by various corporations and unions.
Atohune, or Tribal, with a continent that is mostly jungle. The inhabitants of this planet are the most primitive and as a rule superstitious of Aethion, members of hundreds of different tribes.
Clysmax, or Shattered, a world that has split into six main elemental-themed fragments and several smaller shards, where a war between the Ice fragment and all the others has been waging for centuries.
Barrawahi, or Warzone, a rather desolate world that six major clans and several smaller ones fight over constantly
Enigma, a world that is hidden from view behind the Bluespace Ceiling. No one really knows anything about it, although there are some who claim to have visited it.
The forty-two fragments of the Olmak encased in totems, six to each world, allow beings to transport themselves to the corresponding totem on another world. There are also artificially-created Cargo Star satellites, which act as suns for the seven worlds, and teleport cargo from one to the other.However, the multiverse is unstable. Reality is unraveling, resulting the Olmak anomalies; floating Swirly Energy Thingies that suck in people or objects and teleport them randomly around the multiverse, copy them and send the copy into an alternate universe, or turn into pure Bluespace and simply disintegrate whatever they touch. They tend to create more Reality Shifts than usual around them.Reality Shifts are a phenomena throughout Aethion that causes different people to see reality differently, due to the different alternate timelines that may or may not have led to different outcomes. This is usually limited to the way a object looks, but may extend to historical events or the current location of a person note This allows different authors/artists to depict the same thing in different ways and still be considered "canon" .Here is the BZ Power discussion topic with links to a reference topic, PDF guide, and all (so far) written episodes of the Cipher Chronicles.
The Cipher Chronicles, various guides, and other "canon" sources provided examples off:
All Deaths Final: There are a few ways to cheat death (such as the Mask of Undeath or the Mask of Afterlife), but even they aren't permanent. For the most part, if you die, you stay dead.
All There in the Manual: The 100-page PDF guide provides a ton of backstory and information about characters, settings, etc. that the Cipher Chronicles only brushes on. There's also a weapon's PDF, and a BZ Power Reference topic. It takes a while to catch up, but each Cipher Chronicles episode is written so that you can just jump in if you want to.
The Alliance: The five Allied Fragments and the various Shards on their side.
Alternate Universe: The entire multiverse, plus the alternate versions of this that Kyn's 'clones' are trapped in.
Alternative Calendar: Characters simply use "Day X of Year Y", with years being measured from 0 to the present. The story picks up at year 500.
Always Chaotic Evil: Many organizations (such as five of the major tribes on Barrawahi) are evil, but the beings in them have various degrees of honor.
Applied Phlebotinum: Protodermis, if properly purified, can be manipulated into having almost any power or attribute you want. In fact, everything in the Multiverse is made of it in one way or the other.
Convection Schmonvection: Handwaved, the Tyrant's Glowsteel is super-heatproof, and limpets have naturally heatproof shells. As in Bionicle, biomechanical beings are tougher as a rule and can survive things such as exposure to intense heat that humans could not.
Good Is Not Nice: Team Cipher works with some pretty evil people, and many of them aren't so good either.
Gravity Screw: Onu-Clysmax, being riddled with tunnels of various sizes, has artificial gravity generators on ever surface, leading to tunnels and caverns with people and buildings on the "walls" and "ceiling" as well as the floors.
Grey Goo: Averted with Izumal, they have perfect control of their nanites (good thing, too, because nanites have pretty much every BIONICLE and EM-specific power).
Hacker Cave: The hackers on Izumal live in macrochip house covered in computer equipment.
Light Is Good / Dark Is Evil: As in Bionicle canon, each being has a certain degree of inner moral Light/Shadow. Meditation and focusing on good/evil can eliminate the other, giving someone certain light or shadow based Elemental Powers. However, it is possible to be dark-aligned and still be good, or light-aligned and still be evil.
N.G.O. Superpower: Their are two large corporations and their respective client companies and contracted union that run all of Promathus.
No Delays For The Wicked: Aside from having much more advanced technology, the Tyrants' hold on their slaves is aided by the fact that very view Olmak Effects sweep across their continent (this both saves their buildings possessions from being destroyed, and takes a way of escaping from the slaves).
Odd Name Out: Every fragment (or shard)'s English name is based on the element it is themed after (Ta-Clysmax=Fire Fragment, Ko-Clysmax=Ice, etc.), except for Onu-Clysmax, which is referred to as the Cave Fragment. This is done so readers will not wrongly infer parallels between Onu-Clysmax and Earth.
Portal Network: Each planet has six Olmak Totems, one for each other planet. Each totem teleports its user to the corresponding totem on the other planet.
The Power of Rock: Tyrant Knights gain different powers depending on what musical instrument they are playing.
Reed Richards Is Useless: While Clysmax isn't that advanced, it does have some better technology than the rest of the EM (barring Izumal).
Justified for Izumal: They don't consider anyone else enlightened enough to handle their technology.
Reality Subtext: Makan overhears a debate in one of the BZ-Koro Core Dimension Storyline and Theories forum plaza over whether Acid was a proper element in that universe or not, a topic that has been brought up frequently on BZ Power.
Reality Warper: Reality Shifts cause different people to see the same physical event/object differently, by showing them the different alternate timelines that co-exist in the EM.
Religion of Evil: Most outsiders would consider the Shadow Heart, the ideology that the Shadow Honor clan on Barrawahi lives by, this way. They view it as a devotion to The Sacred Darkness (albeit one that still believes Dark Is Evil).
"It is a moral principle. A way of living. The Shadow Heart is the mind-set of every true Shadow Honor warrior. We do not fight, nor do we conquer, for mere financial gain, for personal pleasure, for the pride of owning land and slaves. We do not war for the love of war, or embrace peace for the love of peace. Our brothers are not our brothers for their shapes or their powers or how useful they are to us."
"Nay, the Shadow Heart is the devotion that we all share to the beloved darkness inside us."
Single-Biome Planet: Tanuuk, Atohune, Promathus, and Izumal all have singular gigantic continents with the same ecosystem.
Sure, Why Not?: A lot of minor details (other elements, combo elements, masks) were suggested in the BZ Power discussion topic and approved by Bonesiii.
Title Drop: In the quote at the top, from the first guide.