CITY OF PHOS
Stranded and lost to time, Phos is a beacon of light and source of hope for all trapped in the depths of the Everdark. Those trapped in this forsaken realm never stray from its walls, as venturing beyond those walls is almost certain death. The city itself is Greek-esque in appearance, but whether that means they are ancestors or descendants of Greece itself is not known. Even to the people themselves, they are not sure, for so long they have been lost from the eyes of Kronos. What they do know is that only one God remains in their lives and his name is Helios.
Merciful and ever present Helios bestowed a part of himself within the city, "The Great Light", to watch over and protect the people from the Everdark. When all the other Gods abandoned the people, he took pity and gave them one final hope to cling to. It is said that should the people survive the long night then they will be returned back to their own world. Years? Decades? Centuries...? Some dread to think it could be millennia before this will happen. Until then, wait they do, and survive they must.
The Everdark is a never-ending ocean of black marbled with veins of energy. In all directions, for as far as anyone can tell, it just goes on and on. A great big empty barren void. and the swirling maelstrom of smoke with a consistency like water. However unlike water, it is dispelled by light. Its thickness makes it difficult to breath, but with enough effort, a Guardian is able to cast enough Light to create a pocket of clear space around themselves to pass through it. Such efforts take great effort and strain and are only ever attempted by the most powerful of Guardian's, if at all. To anyone else, it is a death sentence. While the darkness itself isn't what kills you, it's what is inside that will do that.
Being exposed to EVERDARK drains you of your life energy, but if the beings within get into contact with you, then they will take it all. These are the Skiá.
The Guardians are the last line of defence against the Everdark. They possess immense power over Light and channel it through their body to repel and disperse the Everdark wherever they find it. Without their protection, we all would have succumb to the Everdark centuries ago. They can come from any class of citizen that shows potential and they spend their whole lives training in the outer temples. It is a great honour to be chosen for this sacred duty, and when a potential Guardian is discovered, they come destined for initiation into the Guardian ranks. On the day of their 16th birthday, they are taken to train in the outer temples so that they can give their life to the service of the city.
Light is an energy that can be drawn from deep within a person's very being. They channel it and harness it through great effort, and can form it into tools and weapons. While low level Light is little more passive and appears as a bright mass, a more power Guardian can begin to harden it into a physical tool to solve problems. It can cut through physical matter, as well as pass through a physical surface and then grip it. This versatility can allow for very creative uses, such as creating a stairway of light to access hard to teach areas, or even unlock a gate that has been barred from the other side. As a weapon, it can be used to attack and destroy the very soul of a person, passing through their physical body and severing a spirits bound to this reality. Thus effectively killing a person. This can be traumatic to witness and should only be performed in extreme cases, the sight of seeing a spirit being severed from this plane can affect you on a level you can't quite describe. A part of your being becomes damaged in doing so, like your very being is aware of this unnatural act. It has been known to drive Guardian's mad, and often execution is the only cure. This is extreme, but a Guardian who no control over mind and body can be an extreme threat that can threat the lives of those around. A Guardian who has lost control has to be exterminated at all costs immediately.
Nobody is quite sure what the Skiá are or where they are from, but they inhabit the Everdark, drawn to life but repelled by light. Any soul who is unfortunate enough to find themselves stranded in the swirling thick black of the Everdark will never be seen again - not alive anyway.
The Skiá have been here longer than we have. While they are formless at first, the longer you look at them, the more they begin to take on a more recognisable form. It appears different to everyone, but all feel drawn toward them. Compelled to follow the glowing manifestations before them. While they cannot interact with the physical world, they can however ineract with your spirit. It will pass through walls using the shadows to move, seeking out the energy it needs to feed upon. Once it takes hold of you, it drains you of yourself, till only an empty husk remains. You and the Skiá become one. It develops a more humanoid shape. The light of your spirit glows brightly through its chest and head. This is when it is at its most dangerous. It can now physically interact with the physical world. Destroyed walls, extinguishing flame. Killing all it encounters. Adding more to itself, growing in size until it becomes a disturbing manifestation of the lives its claimed.
The 4 outer temples of Phos both act as training houses for Guardians to strengthen their spirit and also acts as the first line of defence . Within the temple walls, a Guardian can expect to spend the vast majority of their time training how to harness their spirit and mould it into Light. It is essential they learn to channel it both through their body and their weapons to be as effective as possible. Should the Guardians fail in their duties, then the citizens they swore to protect are in danger of falling to the darkness.