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The Abyss (アヴィス Avisu) is a dimension that exists as the central source of power among every other dimension within the Dimensional Plane. Though the Abyss does connect to every dimension created by the Jurors, each individual dimension has it's own version of the Abyss to manipulate and alter. Every dimensional jurisdiction of the Abyss begins with the same form and same set of rules set by the Jurors, only the "characters" of the dimension it falls under can change the way this power is processed as long as it doesn't defy the Jurors' original intent for the "story" the dimension represents.
Every portion of the Abyss begins as a world bathed in golden light which accepts souls of the dead with open arms and peacefully guides them on their reincarnation. This sense of order is known as the harmony of the Abyss, and was maintained by the Baskerville Clan in the 1st Dimension for generations until the meddling of a curious Baskerville led to the distortion of the harmony and the dawning of a unique "story" for the Jurors.
Droplets of Light
As the harmony of the Abyss was of utmost importance, it was absolutely necessary for it to be protected and maintained. However, being the massive dimensional entity that it was, the Abyss wasn't able to protect the harmony of the Abyss itself. Therefore, The Core of the Abyss sent out extensions of her power in the form of the Droplets of Light, which would seek out individuals who had been reborn into their existences with an Abyssal distortion around their souls. Individuals with this distortion would have the Droplets of Light seep into their body and become one with their souls.
From this point, the Droplets of Light would trigger a sensation within these chosen few that would guide them to a colony of others who'd also been chosen to act as The Core's acolytes. With their bodies saturated with power from the Abyss, these individuals would become more Chain-like than human; thus becoming members of the Baskerville Clan. With the Droplets of Light now a part of them, the Baskervilles would be given the freedom to manipulate the powers of the Abyss, so long as they did everything in their power to protect the harmony of the Abyss.
The Rule of 100 Cycles
|“||The soul that loseth its corporeal vessel doth become light... and in tandem with the wings of angels... doth travel the world covered in gold. And when a hundred cycles have elapsed... the journey cometh to its end... and another journey doth begin anew.||”|
—Arthur Barma's explanation of The Rule of 100 Cycles
The Rule of 100 Cycles is the way that the Abyss deals with souls after they have been separated from their bodies because of a natural death outside of the Abyss. Originally, souls were embraced by the Abyss' existence as a golden paradise and were guided to a new vessel after one-hundred years have elapsed. This allowed souls to begin new journeys in life after being reincarnated, without having knowledge of their previous lives.
However, once the sanctity of the Abyss shattered when the Core of the Abyss began a new existence as the Intention of the Abyss, eventually leading to the Tragedy of Sablier, everything changed. As only human souls would be accepted for reincarnation, all Chains would be excluded and would forever remain trapped within the new hellish version of the Abyss. Additionally, as of all the humans dragged into the Abyss because of the Tragedy of Sablier, the Chain population skyrocketed, excluding hundreds of souls from The Rule of 100 Cycles.One human soul was also excluded from The Rule of 100 Cycles, but not because he had mutated into a Chain. This soul was none other that that of Jack Vessalius, the instigator of the Tragedy of Sablier. After getting caught in a confrontation with Alice, the Intention and the Core during the Tragedy, Jack was exposed to massive amounts of Abyssal energy both from The Core and from Alice's use of B-Rabbit's power. The amount of Abyssal energy that saturated Jack's soul made it seem foreign to the Abyss, and thus it rejected Jack's soul once the majority of Sablier fell into the Abyss. Jack was then left to roam the world, cursed with power of the Abyss that put Jack in a cycle of growing younger and aging perpetually, eventually destroying his soul forever and making it so he will never be reincarnated as part of The Rule of 100 Cycles.
The Baskerville ClanThe Baskerville Clan is a colony of individuals who'd been specially selected to act as Messengers of the Abyss. These people had an Abyssal distortion surrounding their souls, which would often attract disaster and misfortune and result in their casting out from society, due to superstition. The Droplets of Light would eventually be attracted to this distortion and guide the outcasts to the rest of the Baskerville Clan. Although their new lives as Baskervilles offered the outcasts a place where they could finally feel accepted, there was a more serious purpose behind their existence. Baskervilles were meant to devote themselves to their master, Glen Baskerville, and serve under him as they acted as guardians for the Chains of the Abyss. Furthermore, Baskervilles were meant to constantly guard the five Doors to the Abyss and their respective Keys, in order to ensure that no outside source ever came into contact with the dangerous powers of the Abyss.
Though the burden was great, the Baskervilles would be allotted moderate access and control over the Abyss' flows of time (which could otherwise force a human to grow younger or age greatly in mere seconds, or deposit them in an era outside of their own). Baskervilles were also permitted to enter the Abyss as they pleased without needing to worry about the absorption of Abyssal energy, as Baskervilles' bodies are more comparable to Chains than humans already. Finally, Baskervilles could form Contracts with the resident Chains, taking them as lifetime companions without the need to worry about being dragged into the Abyss; as this was the only natural way to form a Contract.
However, thanks to a man's unrealistic dream, the Tragedy of Sablier occurred, and the Baskervilles' purpose and control of the Abyss changed forever.
Read More: Baskerville Clan
The PathThe Path, in a generalized sense, is the spacing that exists between the Abyss and the dimension populated by humans. As such, whenever a person or Chain wants to gain access to one of these two dimensional planes, they Black Winged Chains, both of which open portals that allow direct access to the Abyss.
Despite The Path acting as a natural barrier to keep order among the dimensional planes, since the second breaking of the Chains of the Abyss by Jack Vessalius, the strength of The Path has weakened greatly. With every moment that the Chains continue to shatter, irreparable cracks continue to spread across the sky of the human dimension. Thus, Chains are allowed to escape freely into the human dimension from the Abyss without the apparent need to worry about The Path closing off once again.
Governess of the Abyss
|“||There was a "nucleus" that ruled all but... we never could have imagined it would have an ego of its own. It should not have come to pass.||”|
—Oswald's opinion on the creation of the Intention of the Abyss
Meanwhile, the other twin was ejected from the Abyss, and because of their connection, the Intention could switch places with her twin sister and visit the human dimension. Despite this and the accompaniment of numerous Chains, the Intention still hated the burden that she endured as governess of the Abyss. Thus, when the opportunity presented itself through the arrival of and Illegal Contractor named Kevin Legnard in her domain, the Intention begged Kevin to end her suffering and ultimately destroy her so that she didn't have to be the Intention of the Abyss anymore.
For this reason, it is mandatory for each incarnation of Glen to cast the Child of Ill Omen accidentally created from their Abyssal energy back into the Abyss. This is done by the Black Winged Chains, which pass judgement on the accused and will summon The Chains of Condemnation from the dark heart of the Abyss to drag the Child of Ill Omen into the darkness they came from. Here, the Child of Ill Omen would then be obliterated for their crimes against the harmony of the Abyss and safety of the worlds. As the Abyss itself had destroyed the Child of Ill Omen, their existence is excluded from The Rule of 100 Cycles.
Read More: Children of Ill Omen
Since the Baskerville Clan's fall from grace during the Tragedy of Sablier, possession of four of the five Doors to the Abyss has been taken by Jack Vessalius and given to the organization, Pandora, and the four noble families that are in charge of running it.
Read More: Doors to the Abyss
The Keys to the Abyss
To access one of the Doors to the Abyss, one must have that respective Door's Key to the Abyss. The Keys to the Abyss in their true form appear as orbs of light crafted from the power of the Abyss, however in order to keep the Keys safe they are often hidden within everyday objects. Using the Keys to the Abyss is the only way to open the Doors to the Abyss, though the Keys have additional abilities apart from this. A Key can be used to isolate the power of the Black Winged Chain it corresponds with and thereby prevent the flow of power to all Contracts formed through the Black Winged Chain. Additionally, if the Key is destroyed, all Contracts formed using that Key will nullify until the Key's reformation. Finally, Keys can also open a sacred door called St. Luca's Gate, which cannot be opened by any other means.
Read More: Keys to the Abyss
The Intention's Domain
The Intention of the Abyss' Domain is located within the dark heart of the Abyss, being where the governess of the Abyss resides. To begin with, this area didn't differ from the rest of the heart of the Abyss, being just a void of darkness where the Core of the Abyss existed alone. This all changed after the Core met a young Child of Ill Omen named Lacie.
After Lacie was dragged into the Abyss by the Chains of Condemnation, the effects of the Abyss sped up her pregnancy so that she gave birth to twins within the dark heart of the Abyss. As the twins weren't bound by the Chains of Condemnation, only their mother was destroyed, and the Core cradled the two in its "arms" in Lacie's absence. This sped up the growth of the twins, and so when they were in their early teen years, one twin was ejected from the Abyss, whilst the other was taken as the Core's corporeal vessel. This shattered the harmony of the Abyss and gave life to the existence of the Intention of the Abyss, who remodeled the heart of the Abyss to suit her own needs.In its new form, the Intention's Domain appeared in similar design to a playroom. The Intention's Domain was complete with a black and white tiled linoleum floor, elaborately designed windows, couches, curtains and a very high ceiling. Additionally, numerous Chains accompany the Intention within her Domain in the form of dolls alongside Cheshire, who also often spent time alongside the Intention. As it is located in the very center of the Abyss, the power concentrated there is immense and was claimed to be the most powerful in the entirety of the Abyss by the Intention of the Abyss' Dolls. In addition, The Intention's Domain also resembles with Alice's room design which she "living" in The Tower during her life as a human. The Intention's Domain has been destroyed once before. Shortly after the Tragedy of Sablier, when Kevin Legnard was with the Intention, [[Vincent Nightray|Vincent]] and Gilbert arrived in the Intention's Domain thanks to Vincent's existence as a Child of Ill Omen. Vincent antagonized the Intention enough that she broke down in tears and completely tore apart her Domain, sending her Dolls, Vincent and Gilbert elsewhere in the Abyss while Kevin struck a deal with the Intention. Later on, the Intention would reform her Domain exactly as it was, which has been undisturbed since Vincent's departure from the Abyss.
Chains (Stabilizing Force)
|“||The Abyss is the "beginning" of everything... but it is the "end" of everything as well. This world is protected by "Chains" so the Abyss won't drag the world into itself with its power.||”|
—Levi explains the Chains of the Abyss to Jack
The Chains of the Abyss are yet another extension of the Abyss' power in the form of invisible chains that wrap around the world and prevent it from being engulfed by the power of the Abyss. The Chains of the Abyss were the most well-kept secret among the Baskerville Clan, with no outside source knowing of them until Levi revealed their existence to Jack. Despite the Baskervilles' knowledge of the Chains, Levi admitted that the concept was even abstract to him, elaborating enough for Jack to understand that the destruction of the Chains would bring about the end of the world
Thanks to Jack's obsessive nature for Lacie, he approached the Intention of the Abyss and had her create a Chain capable of severing the Chains, Oz the B-Rabbit. Jack was successful in his attempt to destroy the Chains, as the Chains continuously shattered after being exposed to Oz's power. Thankfully the Black Winged Chains managed to mend the Chains enough to prevent the world's fall into the Abyss - though Sablier's Chains could not be saved, and so it was lost during the Tragedy of Sablier.
However, Jack returned after one-hundred years and once again used B-Rabbit's power to sever the Chains within Reveil. Oswald returned to earth as well through Leo, though rather than begin mending the Chains, Oswald allowed the Chains to continuously shatter. Oswald had realized his mistake, and so instead he intended on traveling to Sablier with Vincent Nightray as his Child of Ill Omen to gain the aid of Jury and travel back in time to kill Lacie before she ever met Jack. This would mean that Jack would have never come into contact with the Baskervilles and likely died on the streets of Sablier, saving the Chains from ever being broken.
With the destruction of the Chains, disasters have progressively been overtaking the land. At first, an explosion of light shot into the sky, triggering earthquakes that soon became constant. Most recently, the sky over Sablier has been splitting as the barriers between the world, the Abyss and the Way weakened. Therefore, Chains have been manipulating this weakness, crossing over to the human world and going on murderous rampages without having to worry about The Way closing on them.
Read More: Chains (Stabilizing Force)
Chains (Species)As the Abyss is a dimensional plane that has powerful energy drifting off of The Core, anything that enters the Abyss with a physical form absorbs this power. Though the process takes time, eventually the Abyssal energy that had been absorbed will mutate the body beyond recognition and transform it into a Chain. This process is not restricted to humans or other living creatures that find themselves in the Abyss, as life can also be given to inanimate objects after prolonged exposure to Abyssal energy.
While Chains often benefit from their mutation by gaining unique supernatural abilities meant to aid them in battle, there is a downside to becoming a Chain as the process removes a living soul from The Rule of 100 Cycles. This being said, once a Chain has died, its soul will not be guided along an extensive journey and reborn after one-hundred years, the soul will simply be obliterated and cease to exist.
Originally, Chains were only meant to come into contact with the Baskerville Clan. The Chains would form Contracts with the messengers of the Abyss, aid them in battle and act as a life-long companion to the Baskerville they're Contracted to. Unfortunately, since the Tragedy of Sablier this order has been disrupted. Hundreds of souls fell into the Abyss alongside the majority of Sablier, with every human and object transforming into a Chain sometime after entering the Abyss.
Although the Abyss had already become broken and chaotic, the stresses placed on it by the Tragedy of Sablier made the separation between the human dimension and that Abyss weaker. This allowed Chains to access distortions in The Way and sneak into the human world briefly and form what came to be known as Illegal Contracts with nearby humans. These Contracts maximized the Chains' power, but also set a time-limit on how long they'd be allowed to remain in the human's realm; not to mention increase their hunger for human flesh with each progression of their Contractor's Incuse. The solution to the burden of Illegal Contracts was the Carcere, invented by Jack Vessalius. The Carcere allowed the blood exchanged by the Contractor and Chain to be absorbed without the Contractor having to physically accept the Chain's blood into their own body, thus taking in the Contract's burden in itself and creating the "Legal Contract".
Read More: Chains (Species)
The Black Winged Chains
Though Chains are now considered to be feral and bloodthirsty, there are five Chains that differ from the rest of their species; tasked with guarding the five Doors to the Abyss. These Chains were Raven, Owl, Dodo, Gryphon and Jabberwock, and they were meant to protect the Doors to the Abyss currently in possession of the Nightray Dukedom, Rainsworth Dukedom, Barma Dukedom, Vessalius Dukedom and Baskerville Clan respectively.
In the beginning, when the Baskervilles possessed all five of the Doors to the Abyss, each of the Black Winged Chains were Contracted to Glen Baskerville (being handed down to each incarnation of Glen Baskerville through various Succession Ceremonies). As such, the Black Winged Chains share numerous abilities to help Glen stabilize the harmony of the Abyss.
Each of the Black Winged Chains could access The Way and cast judgement on those who have been accused of crimes against the harmony of the Abyss. If found guilty, the Black Winged Chains can summon forth the Chains of Condemnation (chains that exist within the dark heart of the Abyss) which would ensnare the sinner and drag them into the darkness of the Abyss. Once there, anything ensnared by the Chains of Condemnation would be torn apart by the darkness of the Abyss and removed from The Rule of 100 Cycles, never to return to the human realm again.
As the maintenance of the harmony of the Abyss is the true objective of Glen Baskerville, each of the Black Winged Chains is also capable of mending the Chains of the Abyss should the need arise. Unfortunately however, the Black Winged Chains lack the ability to regenerate the Chains of the Abyss that have already been broken. This is why only Sablier fell into the Abyss one-hundred years ago rather than the whole world, as Oswald had the Black Winged Chains mend the Chains of the Abyss, knowing that the Chains severed around Sablier could not be saved.
Read More: The Black Winged Chains
The HoleThe Hole is a location within the previous state capital, Sablier. The Hole is the space left behind when central Sablier was dragged into the Abyss during the Tragedy of Sablier. As this part of Sablier was directly dragged into the Abyss where it stood, the veil between the Abyss and the human realm weakened greatly, allowing Abyssal energy to flow from the center of The Hole.
This energy appears to people as a thick black fog that envelops those curious enough to venture into The Hole. After this, the black fog will show people echoes of the past that have been preserved by the power of the Abyss. However, as the people experiencing the black fog are drawn deeper and deeper into The Hole, their bodies accept more and more Abyssal power as they descend. Eventually, these people will become more feral and mutated like a Chain, without fully becoming one themselves. Thankfully, Pandora's Sablier division consistently keeps these Residents of The Hole at bay, so that the people living in poverty within Sablier aren't exposed to this form of power from the Abyss.
Since the destruction of the Chains of the Abyss at Reveil, The Hole no longer appears to be empty. Instead, the echoes of the past have projected Sablier as it existed one-hundred years ago in the form of a black city, signifying that the Chains' destruction is progressing quickly.
Read More: The Hole
Chains of Condemnation
Using the blood of someone tied to the accused to act as a witness, the Black Winged Chains are able to summon forth a seal unique to each of the Chains and pass judgement on the accused. Should the accused be found guilty of their crime, the Black Winged Chains will summon the Chains of Condemnation, which will then ensnare the accused and drag them into the dark heart of the Abyss. Here, the darkness surrounding the accused will envelop them and tear apart their very existence; ultimately killing them and making it impossible for the accused to ever return to the 1st Dimension or the Abyss.
Only one known instance is known where a being brought down into the dark heart of the Abyss was not harmed. Alice and the Intention of the Abyss were born in the dark heart of the Abyss when their mother, Lacie, was being destroyed. Though they were inside Lacie's womb, the twins were not effected by the Chains of Condemnation because they were not guilty of the same crime for which Lacie had been condemned for.
- The Abyss (in its present state) is meant to draw inspiration from Wonderland, a place of nonsense that Alice falls into after chasing the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's original novel.
- In the original One-Shot version of Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts, it is shown that the species of Chains were originally meant to be called Abysses.
- Coincidentally, the Intention of the Abyss' Domain and The Junction connecting Alice and the Intention's minds bear significant resemblance to one-another
- Angels have often appeared in the mythology of Pandora Hearts (such as St. Bridget, St. Luca and Fianna), however the connection between angels and the Abyss has never been touched upon. Although, in Arthur Barma's explanation of the Rule of 100 Cycles he claimed that a soul is guided into a world bathed in golden light in tandem with the wings of angels. This may mean that angels guide souls along their one-hundred year journey for reincarnation, however this remains unconfirmed as of yet.