The universe featured in Chaosrise is based on a world created by an independent online roleplaying community that we've been part of for over 14 years now (not too actively anymore though), which, now that I think about it, is about half of our entire lives - wow!
Many characters are based on ours or our online friends' OCs (with their heartfelt permission), and many of their independent stories can be found around the web, one of the examples being Mirage Noir visual novel that's in development - or niziolek's comics.
Why "independent"? The main premise behind the world in question is the idea of Multiverse - a hypothetical set of infinite parallel universes and an infinite amount of possibilities they create. Some of them may share common traits but can exhibit them differently, ultimately leading to completely (or slightly) different scenarios.
This is why, while our stories may stem from the same source, they are always to be treated as at least partially separate. Some places and beings can share striking similarities but can have a bit different names and characteristics; many of them can be inspired by other settings from various video games, books or movies. Universes, settings and characters in those stories (including any future projects that we develop) may share similar background... but are never the same.
Now, there is also an interesting twist regarding the multiverse pictured in this... well, multiverse. Obviously, it could seem that it has no clear "direction" in the strict sense of the word; nevertheless, after exploring some greater part of the hyperspace, a curious correlation can be observed. When going in a specific "direction", one can come across worlds with increasingly unstable physical laws. If going in the opposite direction, one will find themselves in worlds governed by a kind of superior symmetry.
It is assumed that the first "direction" should take one to the world of Original Chaos; going in the second direction, one should eventually reach the world of Original Order.
Zanchuu is a relatively small artificial universe created eons ago by incredibly advanced species... long extinct now, but from an evolutional perspective, their descendants are yōkai - another highly advanced race gifted with a wide set of supernatural abilities that can often vary between individual members. Probably simply due to lack of sufficient scientific understanding, most of lower races refer to those powers as "magic" (even despite sometimes possessing some of them themselves).
A considerable part of Zanchuu, and a structural and energetic core of it, a sole foundation of its existence, is a giant cone - The Pylon of Light, which not only works as the world's "sun", but also serves superior beings as a means of traveling between Platforms - a long-distance teleportation device, so to say.
Around the Pylon circle five Platforms - pieces of land so giant, they can be considered equivalents of small planets. They are (from bottom to top, assuming the default perspective): Terra, Eden, Apeden, Raevona and Sky Citadel.
Diverse in climate and life forms, the first Platform is the most similar to the Earth we know, ruled by humans who, during the events of Chaosrise, are only starting to develop first muskets.
At the edge of the Platform, vast void turns into a lake. In the midst of steep rocks crowning the barren land, there looms a stronghold under which a colossal beast burrows through the fruitless ground, preying on anyone and anything that dares approach.
The fortress, unreachable and undiscovered by humans, is inhabited by yōkai and their slaves: dark elves, a race born after years of genetic experiments overlooked by the castle's sovereign - Zanchuu's prominent ruler's daughter and Terra's Overlord - Aria Ighaan.
They say that once there was a beautiful garden here - now it is nothing but an endless desert, most probably a result of some long-forgotten war. Scorched, hot and desolate, it is mostly populated by yōkai that wouldn't care for the heat anyway.
Eden is the only Platform in synchronous rotation with the Pylon, with its always-closer half so hot, it is impossible for any life to take place; the farthest edge is where the huge Maoz tower stands, governed by the only non-yōkai Overlord - a mysterious undead named Artaud. Once human, he was the only mortal being to master the art of necromancy as far as to escape death himself, attracting the attention of Zanchuu's immortal rulers soon after.
A place that Eden might once have been: a paradise of green, blooming with life so vibrant and evolving so quickly, it will probably never be possible to discover and describe all species dwelling in the immense forest that covers this Platform.
Albeit vivid, it is not as beautiful as it may seem at first glance - the damp jungle, its flora and fauna, are deadly for any non-adapted visitors, and the only intelligent race that lives there are elves, naturally resistant against millions of diseases and parasites this environment has to offer.
The Overlord of Apeden - one of the oldest living (and therefore not exactly sane anymore) yōkai - Satsuki Kyasuminerai, is worshipped by elves as their Supreme Empress and her status among them is that of a god, mostly due to the fact that thousands of years ago she helped save the race from complete destruction by transporting them from Terra, where humans led a mass slaughter against them.
The entire Platform is a gargantuan megapolis, state-of-the-art as far as technology is concerned; however, it is nowadays mostly abandoned, as in recent centuries yōkai notably reduced production of artificial organisms that served them and ran the place. Transferring most of their resources to Sky Citadel and countless space stations, they left the entirely expanded city (which would be inefficient to develop further) to rust.
Noire Ighaan, a hedonistic Overlord of the Platform and twin sister of Aria, withdrew soon after, nowadays only occasionally overseeing Raevona's deactivation, most of the time acting as her father's right hand, governing Sky Citadel.
The upmost Platform has been the seat of Zanchuu's Overlords since the dawn of time, and remains this way as currently the main base of operations and residence of most yōkai and creatures that serve them (mostly, but not limited to, highly-modified humans).
Little is known about this carefully guarded place, but those few outsiders who had a chance to visit described Citadel as one of the most beautiful - and at the same time, advanced - places they've ever been to.
The name of the stronghold derives from its incredible height; the Platform itself is entirely mountainous and structures of which Citadel consists often reach higher than clouds.
One of the closest known universes to Original Chaos, its laws of physics differ greatly from the ones Zanchuu knows. It is said that yōkai (or rather, their ancestors) originate from Abyss, but beings that inhabit it nowadays are so different, only the most powerful ones would ever be able to assume a form physical enough to exist in less "chaotic" worlds - it works the other way around too, of course.
It's never been described how the different laws of Abyss' physics could affect more "orderly" beings, as none of the few explorers have ever returned sane.
That's it for now!
If you liked what you read, let us know whether you want to find out a bit more next time - maybe about the game's characters, for example <3