The Astral World (幽界 Yūkai?), also known as the Afterlife or Netherworld, is a realm in the macrocosmic trinity of Berserk, overlapping the Physical World and Ideal World. It is the plane in which ethereal beings reside – the World of Spirits.[1] More precisely, the realm is home to numerous creatures of legend on its surface layers, as well as profound forces of nature near its deeper strata.

Story[edit | edit source]

The spreading of Holy See doctrine resulted in the forsaking of spirit shrines.

At one time, humans were able to keenly perceive and interact with astral entities, even erecting shrines in reverence of certain spirits. However, following the widespread propagation of Holy See doctrine, people began clinging to the "rigid world",[2] no longer believing in the ethereal and consequently rendered unable to perceive spirits of the Astral World.[1]

The Great Roar of the Astral World brings about the merging of the astral and corporeal realms into one global Interstice, with astral creatures of myth taking physical form worldwide as living legends.[3]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Astral World is multi-layered, beginning at a shallow layer, in which creatures of legend reside, and expanding downward into the depths of primordial forces.

Shallow Layer[edit | edit source]

Main article: Interstice

The Interstice is a shallow layer of the Astral World where the realm intermingles with the Physical World, allowing a number of astral creatures to take form in the world of man. As a result of this close connection to the material plane, it bears a similar scenery to corporeality, deriving its shape primarily from ethereal bodies of the Physical World.[1]

Qliphoth[edit | edit source]

Main article: Qliphoth

Qliphoth is a layer of the Astral World that is home to creatures created from the dark recesses of humanity's collective thoughts. Such residents of this realm include trolls and ogres.

Divine Domain[edit | edit source]

The layer of the Astral World in which the angels of the God Hand conduct sacrificial ceremonies.

As the Astral World expands downward, the landscape becomes markedly different from that of the Interstice, unimaginable in comparison. In this deep layer, there exist ethereal beings so profound and dissimilar from most others as to be considered divine. Such beings include angels, demons, and gods of polytheism.[1]

Abyss[edit | edit source]

Main article: Abyss

The Vortex of Souls is the surface of the Astral World's abyssal layer[4] – a swirl of collective consciousness and evil.[5] The Abyss beyond the Vortex, what some might call Hell, is the deepest known layer of the Astral World. Most entities, clad in the ethereal body called ego, are unable to traverse this deep without losing their individuality.[6]

Passages[edit | edit source]

Road of Elves[edit | edit source]

Elfin roads allow for the perception of shallow astral strata.

A "road of elves" is any benign passageway into the Astral World's superficial layers. On some occasions, such as a full moon night when the presence of magic is most manifest,[7] these roads open, connecting the astral to the physical. Elfin roads allow humans to perceive shallow astral strata and are known for being the means of ingress children use to trek into astral forests.[8][9]

Road of Dragons[edit | edit source]

A "road of dragons" is any passage which links the Astral World's deepest layers to the Physical World. An example of a dragon's road is the beherit's ability to create temporal junction points,[9] in which the God Hand can manifest from the depths of the Astral World.

Known Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

Various creatures of legend exist within the Astral World.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 24, "Astral World"
  2. ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Night of Miracles"
  3. ^ Berserk, Volume 34, "Creation"
  4. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (2)"
  5. ^ Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
  6. ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  7. ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Familiars"
  8. ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Desires and Memories"
  9. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 39, "Great Gurus"
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