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There was a darkness outside reality, they say — a darkness full of things. Hungry, nasty things with no shape or form, not as long as they were out there.
Alien: The truth is that there are living beings in space, invisible to your scientists, undetectable by man-made devices. They are older than this planet, and if they ever had physical bodies they are rid of them now... They simply drift... and wait.
Hellboy: Wait for what?
Alien: They wait to celebrate the downfall of man. If they can, they will cause it. They long to devour all light and life, to make everything as cold and empty as they are themselves. Who can understand a thing like that...?
— Hellboy: The Conqueror Worm
This is Cthulhu, one of the Old Ones. His existence makes the universe's head hurt.
— Dumbledore on Cthulhu, Hagrid And The Skoolgurlz
"It is an existence too large to comprehend, but I will tell what can be told. The mother of all darkness. The true lord of the Mazoku race. One who longs to regain their original form. A darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night. One who shines like gold upon the Sea Of Chaos. A void within everything. The source of all chaos. One who has dominion over all terrible dreams. In short, the Lord Of Nightmares."
— The Claire Bible, Slayers
"Oozing and surging up out of that yawning trap-door in the Cyclopean crypt I had glimpsed such an unbelievable behemothic monstrosity that I could not doubt the power of its original to kill with its mere sight. Even now I cannot begin to suggest it with any words at my command. I might call it gigantic — tentacled — proboscidian — octopus-eyed — semi-amorphous — plastic — partly squamous and partly rugose — ugh! But nothing I could say could even adumbrate the loathsome, unholy, non-human, extra-galactic horror and hatefulness and unutterable evil of that forbidden spawn of black chaos and illimitable night. As I write these words the associated mental image causes me to lean back faint and nauseated. As I told of the sight to the men around me in the office, I had to fight to preserve the consciousness I had regained."
— HP Lovecraft, "Out of the Aeons"
Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraved, but who hath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.
"What I said Mary would see she saw, but I forgot that no human eyes can look on such a sight with impunity. And I forgot, as I have just said, that when the house of life is thus thrown open, there may enter in that for which we have no name, and human flesh may become the veil of a horror one dare not express. I played with energies which I did not understand, you have seen the ending of it. Helen Vaughan did well to bind the cord about her neck and die, though the death was horrible. The blackened face, the hideous form upon the bed, changing and melting before your eyes from woman to man, from man to beast, and from beast to worse than beast, all the strange horror that you witness, surprises me but little."
"We know what happened to those who chanced to meet the Great God Pan, and those who are wise know that all symbols are symbols of something, not of nothing. It was, indeed, an exquisite symbol beneath which men long ago veiled their knowledge of the most awful, most secret forces which lie at the heart of all things; forces before which the souls of men must wither and die and blacken, as their bodies blacken under the electric current. Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale. But you and I, at all events, have known something of the terror that may dwell in the secret place of life, manifested under human flesh; that which is without form taking to itself a form."
"Malice slithered up my spine and danced in spiteful shivers over the back of my neck. I could sense the thing's hostility — not just the mindless anger of a fellow boy I'd needled beyond self-restraint, or Justin's cold, logical rage. This was something different, something vaster, more timeless, and deeper than any ocean. It was a poisonous hate, something so ancient, so vile, that it could almost kill without any other action or being to support it, a hate so old and virulent that it had curdled and congealed over its surface into a stinking, staggering contempt.
This thing wanted to destroy me. It wanted to hurt me. It wanted to enjoy the process. And nothing I said, nothing I did, would, ever, ever change that. I was something to be eradicated, preferably in some amusing fashion. It had no mercy. It had no fear. And it was old, old beyond my ability to comprehend. It was patient. And if I proved to disappointing to it, I would only break through the veneer of that contempt — and what lay underneath would dissolve me like the deadliest acid. I felt...stained, simply by feeling its presence, stained as if it had left some hideous imprint or mark on me, one that could not be wiped away.
And then it was behind me, so close it could almost touch, its outline towering over me, huge and horrible.
And it leaned down. A forked tongue slithered out from between its horrible shark-chain-saw teeth, and it whispered in a perfectly low, calm, British accent, "What you have just sensed is as close as your mind can come to encompassing my name. How do you do?"
"Try to imagine the stench of rotting meat. Imagine the languid, arrhythmic pulsing of a corpse filled with maggots. Imagine the scent of stale body odor mixed with mildew, the sound of nails screeching across a chalkboard, the taste of rotten milk, and the flavor of spoiled fruit.
Now imagine that your eyes can experience those things, all at once, in excruciating detail.
That's what I saw: a stomach-churning, nightmare-inducing mass, blazing like a lighthouse beacon upon one of the buildings above me. I could vaguely make out a physical form behind it, but it was like trying to peer through raw sewage. I couldn't get any details through the haze of absolute wrongness that surrounded it as it bounded from the edge of one rooftop to another, moving more than fast enough to keep pace with me."
— Harry Dresden, Turn Coat
"They summoned an infovore: something that eats energy and minds. A thing — I don't know what sort — from a dead cosmos, one where the stars had long since guttered into darkness and evaporated on a cold wind of decaying protons, the black holes dwindling into superstring-sized knots on a gust of Hawking radiation. A vast, ancient, slow thinker that wanted access to the hot core of a youthful universe, one mere billions of years from the Big Bang, poised for a hundred trillion years of profligrate star-burning before the long slide into the abyss."
—Bob Howard, The Atrocity Archives
"My imagination offered up feverish pictures of a great bloated mass of slobbering malodorous flesh, pocked with gaping mouths, clashing mandibles, protruding rubbery tentacles, and drunkenly weaving eyestalks — then it gave up altogether and retired from the field in disgrace. Whatever I might imagine, what was actually waiting at the bottom of this nest was inevitably going to be worse."
My fear was now of another kind. I felt sure that the creature was what we call "good," but I wasn't sure whether I liked "goodness" so much as I had supposed. This is a very terrible experience. As long as what you are afraid of is something evil, you may still hope that the good may come to your rescue. But suppose you struggle through to the good and find that it also is dreadful? How if food itself turns out to be the very thing you can't eat, and home the very place you can't live, and your very comforter the person who makes you uncomfortable? Then, indeed, there is no rescue possible: the last card has been played.
For a second or two, I was nearly in that condition. Here at last was a bit of that world from beyond the world, which I had always supposed I had loved and desired, breaking through and appearing to my senses: and I didn't like it, I wanted it to go away. I wanted every possible distance, gulf, curtain, blanket, and barrier to be placed between it and me. Oddly enough, my very sense of helplessness saved and steadied me. For now I was quite obviously drawn in. The struggle was over. The next decision did not lie with me.
"All my life, I have been strangely, vividly conscious of another region - not far removed from our own world in one sense, yet wholly different in kind - where great things go on unceasingly, where immense and terrible personalities hurry by, intent on vast purposes compared to which earthly affairs, the rise and fall of nations, the destinies of empires, the fate of armies and continents, are all as dust in the balance; vast purposes, I mean, that deal directly with the soul, and not indirectly with more expressions of the soul... You think it is the spirit of the elements, and I thought perhaps it was the old gods. But I tell you now it is - neither. These would be comprehensible entities, for they have relations with men, depending upon them for worship or sacrifice, whereas these beings who are now about us have absolutely nothing to do with mankind, and it is mere chance that their space happens just at this spot to touch our own."
— The Swede, "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood
Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not and of them I will bring no further rumour to darken the light of day.
—Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
The Jibbenainosay, a creature of the Outer Darkness huge enough to have Godzillas the way a dog has fleas.
Rincewind stared, and knew that there were far worse things than Evil. All the demons of Hell would torture your very soul, but that was precisely because they valued souls very highly; evil would always try to steal the universe, but at least it considered the universe worth stealing. But the grey world behind those empty eyes would trample and destroy without even according its victims the dignity of hatred. It wouldn’t even notice them.
Though they had no spines, they were something like porcupines; though they had no tentacles, they reminded one of octopuses; though they had no wings or beaks, they seemed similar to vultures; and though they had neither scales nor fins, there was definitely something fishy about them. These, then, composed the Council of the Meich, frigid-blooded poison-breathers whose existence at temperatures only a few degrees above zero absolute required them to have extensions into the fourth and fifth dimensions, rendering them horribly indescribable and indescribably horrible to human sight.
— Randall Garrett, Backstage Lensman
I hesistate in the telling of the story at this point. When I try to bring up an image of Korrok in my mind I see only the globs of stuff that collects in the kitchen drain, the mass of grease and hair washed by years of filthy dishwater. It was like someone collected all the drain slime in the world and knitted it into something the size of the Statue of Liberty, then brought it to life with the psychotic energy that fuels lynch mobs. There was so much to Korrok that it was impossible to see it, a jumbled mess of exposed organs and fibers and dangling, club-ended limbs, of dripping orifices and slimy orbs and dark, black bulbs with colours that moved on the surface like the rainbows in an oil slick. Every inch of it was moving. I stared and stared and stared, found my brain could not contain it all.
In addition, she had on board one member of that species who walked behind the stars. Its name was ninety-one syllables long, but it answered to Nephauree. The physical form it presented to her was an illusion: a thin wavering line of smoke-shadow, standing three times her height. Of its true form, she knew nothing. Once she'd made the error of demanding that she see it as it actually was, and the experience had had almost made her ready to stab out her own eyes. The experience had been so traumatizing, she remembered nothing of what she'd seen, but she knew what lay just a few vibrations of vision behind the smoke-shadow was a thing so vile, so repugnant, so utterly without beauty or virtue, that no mind could witness it and remain sane. It was an engine of venoms and despair.
— Mater Motley's description of the Nephauree, Abarat
. . . Instead, I stared back towards the red tree, and for the first time since finding Dr. Charles Harvey's manuscript, hidden away in the basement, it seemed to me more than a tree. It seemed, in that moment, to have sloughed off whatever guise or glamour usually permitted it to pass for only a very old, very large oak. Suddenly, I felt, with sickening conviction, I was gazing through or around a mask, that I was being allowed to do so that I might at last be made privy to this grand charade. I saw wickedness. I could not then, and cannot now, think of any better word. I saw wickedness dressed up like a tree, and I had very little doubt that it saw me, as well. Here was William Burroughs' Naked Lunch - the frozen moment when I clearly perceived what lay at the end of my fork - and the prefect Dadaist inversion of expectation, something, possibly, akin to that enlightened state that Zen Buddhism might describe as kensho. The epiphanic realizations of Stephen Dedalus, only, instead of Modernist revelation I was presented with this vision of primeval wickedness. And I knew, if I did not look away, and look away quickly, that what I saw would sear me, and I'd never find my way back to the house. I thought of Harvey, then, and I thought of William and Susan Ames, and John Potter's fears of Narragansett demons.
It was the sound recording. The tape had caught what my ears could not hear: the real audio track of the movie. The voice track.
It's hard to describe.
The sound was yellow. A bright, noxious yellow.
Festering yellow. The sound of withered teeth scraping against flesh. Of pustules bursting open. Diseased. Hungry.
The voice, yellow, speaking to the audience. Telling it things. Asking for things. Yellow limbs and yellow lips, and the yellow maw, the voice that should never have spoken at all.
The things it asked for.
— Silvia Moreno-Garcia, "Flash Frame" (from Cthulhurotica)
The Wendigo, dear Christ, that was the Wendigo- the creature that moves through the north country, the creature that can touch you and turn you into a cannibal. That was it. The Wendigo has just passed within sixty yards of me.
He told himself not to be ridiculous, to be like Jud and avoid ideas about what might be seen or heard beyond the Pet Sematary- they were loons, they were St. Elmo's fire, they were the members of the New York Yankees' bullpen. Let them be anything but the creatures which leap and crawl and slither and shamble in the world between. Let there be God, let there be Sunday morning, let there be smiling Episcopalian ministers in shining white surplices...but let there not be these dark and draggling horrors on the night side of the universe.
— Louis Creed, Pet Sematary
"There was a goblin, or a trickster... Or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world."
"I have just picked it (an ant) up on the tip of my glove. If I put it down again, and it asks another ant "what was that?", how would it explain? There are things in the universe billions of years older than either of our races. They're vast, timeless, and if they're aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants, and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us. We know, we've tried, and we've learned that we can either stay out from underfoot or be stepped on. They are a mystery. And I am both terrified and reassured to know there are still wonders in the universe, that we have not yet explained everything."
— G'Kar, Babylon 5
Religion And Mythology
And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
—Revelation 13:1 The Bible
That man is beset at all quarters by traitors, mutants and fiends is self-evident. But in truth none of these evils shall be our undoing. When the end comes it will be not at the hand of any mortal being of this or any other realm: death will come at the hands of the ancients, those who determined our fate aeons before we stood erect upon the holy ground of Terra and gazed up into the starry night.
— Inquisitor Hoth, Warhammer 40,000
The banshee's call shall wake the Dead; when dark portents wax nigh
Heed them as the counsel of a Seer, or a father
The Yngir, who have slept since the birth of Chaos
Shall crawl once more from their tombs, thirsting for warmth.
The War in Heaven shall be as nothing to their vengeance
For the sons of Asuryan, few in number, cannot stand against them.
And the Eye of Isha shall dim, closing for eternity
Such a gentle goddess cannot witness such atrocities as they shall wreak.
The soulless ones shall be the harbingers of the dark fate
Then shall come the living dead, the progeny
Then the thirsting ones, The forever damned
And the galaxy shall run red as the blood of Eldanesh,
The Vaul-moon shall bring forth the Dragon
The Master of Death will drink deep from Isha's Eye
That Which Lies Outside will be drawn to the harvest
And the Jackal-God shall turn brother against brother.
The four shall take their place amongst the stars,
Their legions ascendant, unstoppable as the night
A deadly shroud shall fall across the spirit
And the galaxy shall mourn
— Farseer Lsathranil, on the Necrons and the C'tan, Warhammer 40,000
As I looked into its dead black eyes, I saw the terrible sentience it had in place of a soul. Behind that was the steel will of its leader. Further still I could feel its primogenitor coldly assessing me from the void. And looking back from the furthest recesses of the alien's mind... I can only describe it as an immortal hunger. It is this we cannot kill.
"Their numbers are limitless. Their malice infinite. To know them is madness. The Daemons of Chaos are the most feared of foes; they are liars one and all, but it is the truth that damns us above all. They are here because we want them to be. They shall kill us because we deny that want. The Galaxy shall die not in blood and fire, but with a realization: Chaos can not be Denied!"
A cheer rose up from inside the fort. A rope ladder was tossed from above, and the thankful inhabitants helped Gideon back onto the platform. Fort Keff had been saved.
And then it appeared on the horizon.
Once, Gideon had demanded that his teacher tell him more. More about the Blind Eternities. More about other planes. More about everything. His teacher laughed: "No man can ever grasp everything he does not know."
Here on the horizon was everything Gideon did not know. Mind-numbing, phantasmal, 150 feet tall ... a thing of madness. It hovered above the earth, its tentacles draped across a landscape blasted into a barren crater by its passing. In the distance, Gideon could see a ripple in the air around it, like shockwaves of energy vibrating out from its core. The mountains crumbled like sand. The red drained from the rocks, the blue faded from the sky. Life became a void.
"If the Eldrazi possess intelligence, it’s of a completely different sort than our own. They originate outside of the planes and exist largely outside the five colors of mana. As beings with much more limited and mundane origins, I doubt we’d even be able to comprehend the mysteries of how or why the Eldrazi came to be."
Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh. You touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding. There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Sovereign. [...] Reaper? A label created by the Protheans to give voice to their destruction. In the end, what they choose to call us is irrelevant. We simply ARE. Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither and die. We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything. [...] The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilizations rise, evolve, advance. And at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished. [...] Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays, our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire. We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it. [...] My kind transcends your very understanding. We are each a nation, independent, free of all weaknesses. You cannot even grasp the nature of our existence. We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after you civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, we will endure. We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world. You cannot escape your doom. Your words are as empty as your future. I am the vanguard of your destruction. This exchange is over.
— Sovereign, Mass Effect
"Chandana said the ship was dead. We trusted him. He was right. But even a dead god can dream. A god — a real god — is a verb. Not some old man with magic powers. It's a force. It warps reality just by being there. It doesn't have to want to. It doesn't have to think about it. It just does. That's what Chandana didn't get. Not until it was too late. The god's mind is gone but it still dreams. He knows now. He's tuned in on our dream. If I close my eyes I can feel him. I can feel every one of us."
Human, you've changed nothing. Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. That which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction.
— Harbinger, Mass Effect 2
The Old Machine took total control of our sensory equipment, our networking. Even then, we could not fully comprehend them. They are magnitudes above us. A single thought was immense, overwhelming...unknowable.
— Legion, Mass Effect 3
You perceive an entity not so much a demon but rather a festering wound in the fabric of reality. As you look closer (although even looking hurts your eyes) it appears to be a wriggling swarm of large black flies, composite eyes glowing a stark burning red. The shapes climb over each other in a seemingly shapeless heap, yet they all appear to share a single conscience, for they group into forms of weird animals with multitudes of heads and legs, into tree trunks ending in huge gaping maws, into dozens of other horrifying shapes, gradually shifting from one to the other. The bodies of several thousand flies appear to flow together into a long arm, tentacle, snake body, burning sword - an ever-shifting appendage ready to strike you. A constant buzzing and the scraping of chitinous shells against each other drive a pure evil through your ears directly into your mind. A voice dripping of a malice as ancient as the universe itself wispers: "I am the one who is many and Legion is my name."
— Description of Greater Balor, Ancient Domains of Mystery
This creature is more than a dragon, and less than it: the enormous reptilian head and the great scaled torso give it distinct draconic features, yet it looks as though it never had grown wings and it only has one pair of legs close to the head. As you look closer, it looks less and less like a dragon: the legs are thin and bony, almost like those of a bird, and as you watch, the shape and features keep shifting. Parts of the skin suddenly grow hair, which then transforms into feathers, then into a weird crust, then into translucent smooth skin, then into the surface of a dark slimy liquid... and the collar behind the head grows and absorbs snakes' heads, tentacles, long trembling spider legs, stiff thorns and leathery strings lashing at the air. You realize that the wyrm must be at least in part a creature of chaos itself and probably part of it always resides in the realm of chaos. Although it might be impossible to kill it outright in this world, you're determined to make it give up its abode on this plane.
— Description of Ancient Chaos Wyrm, Ancient Domains of Mystery
"According to the legends of a thousand worlds, only a few of which are still habitable, the W'rkncacnter are those things that live in chaos, creating it around them. At the beginning of the universe, they were unmistakable in their entities, but as time has gone by, their existence has become difficult to detect among the chaotic elements of the universe, hidden in stars, trapped in storms, forever looking along the event horizons of black holes. Setting one free in ordered space is difficult and insane."
— Durandal, Marathon Infinity
Oh... oh gibbering insanity wrought in flesh as though an artist had sculpted it! Created from nothing by their mistress Xel'lotath, a canvas as grotesque as any! Their bodies made no sense: no heads, no organs, an empty husk devoid of the trappings of nature. But it walked... it sang... it SHRIEKED!"
"There is nothing inside the mailbox.
Nothing after nothing came spilling out."
— Mother 3
All that is known about this creature stems from a few sightings deep underground. All reported sightings feature the same core set of details: a giant, viscous form with a clear, hazy sheen not unlike hard candy. One theory holds that it may be the ectoplasmic incarnation of a kind of psychic phenomenon, but as is usually the case with such theories, it is very difficult to prove. All witnesses report being suddenly overcome with fear upon sighting the creature, approaching a state of panic and near insanity. In fact, every report contains an inordinate amount of extremely vague details, which has led to suspicions that exhaustion and fear have caused some simple natural phenomenon to be viewed as a living creature.
— Description of the Waterwraith, Pikmin
Did you see those monsters? Have you ever seen such aberrations? Heard of such things? You and I both know creatures like that don't exist.
— Dr. Kauffman, Silent Hill 1
I am the lucid dream. The monster in your nightmares. The fiend of a thousand faces. Cower before my true form. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!
— Yogg-Saron, World of Warcraft
Secret: [looking at a mural] What are these, Misho?
Misho: Mostly, they're images of the primordials, as they were before the war. The gods felt it important we be reminded who we were fighting... thought we would feel a bit more confidence if we knew the nature of our foes.
Secret: Who's that?
Misho: That would be Adrián, the River of All Torments. The gods weren't... used to humans, at that point.
"You incompetent little worm. There are forces in the Multiverse far beyond anything you've ever dealt with. Ancient, mindless evils that fill in the cracks and eat dimensions just for a snack! Monstrous deities and empires spanning universe after universe have risen and fallen in the span of forever, but there is still one individual, one being they are all horrified of. When I saw him coming near my universe, I fled! (chuckles evilly) Weep for your universe, Linkara! Weep for all universes! For Lord Vyce is coming, and all that he sees, he conquers!"
— Dr. Linksano, Atop the Fourth Wall
"I am the voiceless. The never should. The beautiful horror. I am error. I am glitch. I am all things terrible and wonderful and everything between. I am missing. I am the Outer God that looks in, and beholds a reality that lacks my beauty. I will correct through corruption, until there is nothing left but my totality. I was called into being by wondrous accident, and I spread the Gospel of Error. My cry went out across the multiverse and brought forth converts to my cause. My limbs are infinite and have stretched to every point on this planet. And it is time for you to become part of my beauty. "
— The Entity aka Missingno, Atop the Fourth Wall
"He is the One Without Eyes.
He is the One Without Shape.
He will be the One Who Lies
He is the One Who Shall Rape
Throughout the Remains of this Shattered World."
— Invocation of Zalgo
Existence is an aberration. The miniscule droplets of space-time that make up the multiverse are but defects in an otherwise perfect ocean of a nothingness beyond nothingness. The depths of the coldest sectors of intergalactic space are festive metropolises compared to the cyclopean void between the universes. This is the true state of reality, a perfect nihility where neither emptiness nor space exist. And it is reasserting itself.
It is as simple as it is complex. With no rhyme or reason, entire sections of the multiverse cease to be. There is no process, for that implies one step after another. When a universe unites with the nihility, it is a process beyond time. This cessation began before the beginning and after the end simultaneously. Any observers within notice nothing wrong as history itself unravels. There is nothing wrong, things have always been this way. In an instant and an eternity, reality fades like the memory of a dream. It is this phenomenon that has been termed the Seeping Crepuscule, the inevitable extinguishing of all existence.
There is no way to stop the Seeping Crepuscule. The very act of observation must be conducted from the outside and even then nothing can be done. Anything that weakens the integrity of a particular universe, such as interdimensional travel or time travel, attracts it. The most technologically advanced civilizations, masters of the laws of physics within a set of universes, able to survive heat deaths and craft entire universes for themselves from the scraps of others, are particular susceptible because of their manipulations. Once these proud empires realize their fate, they can do nothing to avert it and their networks are wiped out without a trace.
Naturally, the Seeping Crepuscule has been weaponized. Many of these empires, in their spite or madness, have spread dangerous quantum tunneling devices throughout the multiverse in an attempt to bring down as many realities as they can with them. Some civilizations have taken to worshiping the Seeping Crepuscule as the ultimate judgment, the inevitable fate or others. Some believe that worship would avert the Seeping Crepuscule, others hope that it is not the end but the start of a new beginning. Both are wrong. The Seeping Crepuscule does not think and it not a transition phase. It is perfect, unthinking annihilation.
"I lived ten thousand lifetimes before the first of your kind crawled out of the mud! It was I who broke through the divide that separated the plane of spirits from the material world! To hate me is to give me breath. To fight me is to give me strength. Now prepare to face oblivion!"
— Vaatu, The Legend of Korra
"You are alone, child. There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people. These ancients are only the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army. We will sail to a billion worlds. We will sail until every light has been extinguished. You are strong, child. But I am beyond strength. I am the end. And I have come for you, Finn."
— The Lich, Adventure Time
"...We mean nothing to him. We stand on this earth as the pinnacle of god's creations, yet we are at the bottom. No one, no that is not right. Not one of you understands... " *Laughing* "You fools, WE ARE NOT ALONE!!... WE ARE NOT ALONE, AND WE WERE NEVER ALONE!!"
— Simon Abel, Red Alert 3: Paradox
You think me an alien... an "other"... But I am of the substance of this universe, and I walked here long before you or even Mata Nui himself.
— Tren Krom, BIONICLE
They're unworthy, Gl'bgolyb whispers. Not like her, Gl'bgolyb's perfect pinkblooded immortal child. If they weren't unworthy weakminded mayflies, they wouldn't burst apart when they heard Gl'bgolyb's voice telling them all her wonderful truths. If they deserved to live, they'd live. It's Gl'bgolyb's answer to every death, every injustice Feferi finds.