Masters of the Aether
Nebulon and the Void
The Hunger of Darkness
Even though Nebulon have played huge roles in the history of civilization, so much is still unknown about them - and Nebulon don't quite understand everything either. Perhaps the biggest mystery of the Nebulon is a phenomenon that they only know as "the Hunger".
All Nebulon, no matter where or when they were born, eventually feel this hunger - one that they cannot sate, no matter how much their microstar absorbs. It is a hunger for nothingness: for the Void itself. Some Nebulon describe it as the sudden urge to escape the Aetherion, while others feel an intense desire to sniff out raw sources of Void or Void-based magic.
Regardless of the reason, the Hunger gives a Nebulon two choices. Ignore it by sheer force of will, pushing the occasional urge aside, or give in and expose oneself directly to the element of Void.
Those Nebulon who choose the second option have to undertake a long journey: finding Void wherever it might be hiding. The element is rare, especially in its pure form, and Nebulon have been known to search the whole Aetherion for years and never find a good enough source to sate their hunger.
When one finally does find raw Void by chance, the hunger is finally sated, but the Nebulon will never be the same. The Void that their microstar absorbs lingers in their bodies permanently, mutating their physical forms in sometimes grotesque ways.
Eventually, though, the Hunger will return...
Note: the Hunger only stars to occur during the mid to late Aetheria stage. Wee babes don't know what it's like (good for them).
When a Nebulon exposes themselves to the Void to sate the Hunger, it permanently alters their physical appearance in sometimes extreme ways.
These mutations, labeled Void-Touched, are all Rare or Legendary because of the difficulty a Nebulon has in finding enough Void to sate the Hunger. Legendary traits only appear after repeated exposure or after a huge quantity of raw Void is found.
Images and full list of traits TBA!
Mutant Horn. An extra horn randomly sprouts from the Nebulon's body.
Mutant Eyes. The Nebulon sprouts additional eyes. These eyes remain even in Terran form. They do not have to be on the face.
Cursed Eyes. The eyes become empty orbs, either white or black. They can ooze liquid aether.
Mutant Fins. Extra fins sprout from the Nebulon's body asymmetrically.
Runic Markings. Voidal runes appear on the Nebulon's body.
Savage Talons. The Nebulon's talons (if it has them) grow extremely long and sharp claws. The claws are venomous.
Voidmarks. The Nebulon's aethermarks, either partially or completely, become voidmarks.
Tendril Mutation. While small face tendrils are a normal trait, these tendrils can sprout from anywhere, not just the face, and in significant amounts.
Venom Spines. Poisonous spines sprout from the Nebulon's body.
Split Skin. The Nebulon's skin becomes pitted and scarred by vein-like seams and cracks.
Twin Mutant Horns. The Nebulon has a second pair of horns somewhere along its body. These horns can produce their own microstar.
Twin Tails. The Nebulon's tail bisects into two identical tails. More tails are possible.
Toxic Aura. A permanent haze of toxic fumes surrounds the Nebulon, emanating from the microstar. With some effort, the Nebulon can suppress the effect.
Rogue Microstar. A secondary microstar forms, like the Binary Microstar trait, except this microstar orbits the body, away from the horns. Its magic is unstable and unpredictable.
Mutant Wings. The Nebulon sprouts an additional pair of wings. This is in addition to the extra wings that ancient Nebulon already can have.
Twin Heads. The Nebulon sprouts an additional head. It is either identical to the original head, or has slight differences, like an alternate eye/microstar color.
Polymorph. The Nebulon gains a body part or some other anatomical feature that Nebulon do not normally have: ears, feathers, velvety fur, etc.
Maw. The Nebulon gains a horrific maw full of rows of sharp, gnarly teeth.
Eldritch. The Nebulon gains long feelers or tentacle-like protrusions from its body.
The Final Voyage: Crossing the Verge
While a Nebulon can go many hundreds of years between episodes of the Hunger, it never truly ends, and some believe it only grows stronger with age. For most of a Nebulon's life, crossing the Verge is but a distant dream.
But legend tells of Nebulon so ancient and so powerful that the Verge itself could give way before them. Whispered words speak of the ancient wyrms who have touched the Void - and some who have even returned. But upon returning to the Aetherion, they are forever changed...
These traits, called Voidal traits, are unique to Arcania Nebulon who have crossed the Verge and physically entered the expanse of the Void. They are Mythical tier: only a handful of Nebulon will ever have these traits.
The Corrupted Microstar
All Nebulon who have entered the Void itself (and survived) either choose never to return, or eventually resurface in the Aetherion. Exposure to the raw nothingness of the Void creates a unique and permanent phenomenon: the Nebulon's microstar turns black.
A black microstar, corrupted by the unfiltered Void, reverses its function: it absorbs and swallows all elemental energies that it comes into contact with, destroying the energy forever. The Nebulon still appears to be able to survive off of it, but extreme effort must be taken if the Nebulon wishes to not destroy everything it comes into contact with.
Along with the black microstar, a handful of auras are also uniquely available to these Nebulon.
In a few cases, instead of the microstar becoming corrupted, it simply winks out of existence. Normally this would kill a Nebulon (and likely does most of the time), except for some reason these Nebulon still thrive. It is thought that the microstar's energy somehow turned inside-out, becoming internalized within the Nebulon's body itself.