The Astral World (幽界), also known as the Afterlife or Netherworld, is a realm in the macrocosmic trinity of the Berserk universe, overlapping the Physical World and Ideal World. It is the plane in which ethereal beings reside – the World of Spirits. 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.
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", no longer believing in the ethereal and consequently rendered unable to perceive spirits of the Astral World.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Vortex of Souls is the surface of the Astral World's abyssal layer – a swirl of collective consciousness and evil. 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.
Road of Elves
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, 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.
Road of Dragons
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, in which the God Hand can manifest from the depths of the Astral World.
- Accursed Spirits
- Sea God
- Four Kings of the World
- God Hand
- Idea of Evil
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 24, "Astral World"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Night of Miracles"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 34, "Creation"
- ^ Berserk, Volume N/A, "God of the Abyss (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Familiars"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Desires and Memories"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 39, "Great Gurus"