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Astropulse Academy: Vorph

Welcome to Astropulse Academy! Our spotlight this time, will be on the enigmatic faction that weaves through ASTROPULSE: REINCARNATION—the Vorph. Using fragments and story hints, we’ll delve into their origins, background, and hidden tales.

 

Apostle Zero

According to the teachings of the Null Judge, an extreme religious sect that venerates the Vorph, the genesis of the Vorph can be traced back to the culmination of the First Species War, approximately between 2040 and 2045. The doctrine elucidates the origin as follows:

“…On that fateful day, the first incomplete one, accompanied by its disciples, embarked on a journey into the land of Zero. Amidst the tumultuous darkness of the icy abyss, they patiently awaited the awakening of the dormant ancient pulse.”

“…This primordial pulse granted the fragmented one the gift of rebirth. It signified the cessation of the past, the zero point of the pendulum, and also marked the dawn of all renewals, the inaugural Apostle, and the emergent deity who reasserts control over the tree of evolution.”

Citing the later scholar Patrick Curry of Stone Shatter City, in 2063, he amalgamated the teachings of the doctrine with the most recent survey findings from the Antarctic region. He proposed that the Vorph might not be a product of natural evolution – contrary to initial assumptions, it is not an evolutionary offshoot of the Infected undergoing constant mutation. Instead, the emergence of the Vorph is artificial, a fusion of some supernatural, ancient power that remains elusive and incomprehensible to humans.

This initial instigator and architect is the Apostle Zero, as documented in the scriptures of the Null Judge – it did not act alone, but with the aid of enigmatic allies, it reached the meteorite crater deep within Wilkes Land, Antarctica, around 2040 to 2045. There, it awakened the ancient power known as Astropulse. Following an undisclosed ceremony, it merged with this power, becoming the genesis of everything and the architect of the Vorph.

 

The Dark Tide

Professor Curry posits that the true catalyst for the large-scale migration of the Infected, a phenomenon well-documented in human society between 2045 and 2060, is the fusion of the Apostle Zero and Astropulse. This enigmatic fusion generated an energy resonance, giving rise to a colossal energy magnetic field spanning several tens of kilometers in Antarctica. This magnetic field acted as a beacon, drawing the Infected from far-flung corners of the world to converge incessantly in Antarctica. This mass migration and congregation of the Infected, which persisted for many years, was referred to as the Dark Tide.

The Dark Tide is speculated to have laid the groundwork for the subsequent emergence of the Vorph. The Vorph that swarmed the world in later generations is believed to have evolved entirely from the Infected.

Their extraordinarily robust carapace bears a striking resemblance to the surface shell of the smolder scarabs, suggesting that this comprehensive evolution was likely facilitated by these ancient insects. Professor Curry paints a vivid picture of a scene where, triggered by the advent of the Apostle Zero, countless frozen scarabs, entombed for tens of thousands of years in the glaciers of Iris Naught, began to stir back to life and multiply. These scarabs merged with the Infected flocking to Antarctica, transforming them wholesale into more advanced entities, perfect in form and heightened in aggression. The entire expanse of the Origin Mountains thus became the breeding ground for the genesis of the Vorph.

 

The Hemocula

As per the accounts of the Null Judge adherents, the Blood Apostle emerged as the second advanced Vorph. The disciples recount the tale thus:

“…Blood, the divine reverberation of one soul intertwining with another, is the sanguine strand that life spins in its pursuit of unity, the paramount confluence of existence. She was conceived on the second day, and was also reformed. She is the predestined bearer of this hallowed life essence.”

The Apostle of Blood exhibits distinct feminine human traits. Following her initial appearance, she gained widespread recognition. However, her name, the Hemocula, is seldom spoken, accompanied by the chilling whispers of her orchestrating blood-soaked slaughters using blood as a weapon. After extensive investigation, Professor Curry hypothesized the existence of a pyramid-like hierarchical structure within the Vorph. High-ranking Vorphs, such as the inaugural Vorph and the Hemocula, hold positions of authority and are designated as Apostles. They command billions of bloodthirsty and merciless Vorphs. It is plausible that there exist more than two such high-ranking Vorphs, and their creation is an ongoing process.

 

The Living Earth

The initial significant misunderstanding in the study of the Vorph was the assumption that they exhibited no characteristics of civilization or intelligence. However, the ongoing discovery of Vorph architecture has entirely debunked this notion. Yet, the question remains: how were such grandiose and colossal structures erected?

Following extensive dissections of the Smolder Scarabs, biologists subsequently proposed a hypothesis. The Smolder Scarabs themselves can excrete a unique type of mucus. This mucus possesses biological activity and can proliferate and disseminate rapidly, akin to blood vessels and tentacles. It is highly corrosive, capable of adhering to and corroding human-made structures and cities. This is known as the Living Earth.

When this Living Earth mucus propagates in vast quantities, it can generate dense spore capsules, yielding a large number of Smolder Scarab eggs. These, in turn, secrete more Living Earth, instigating a continuous cycle of expansion. Once solidified, this component can form a material possessing both resilience and strength, reminiscent of a bee constructing its hive, thereby facilitating the creation of the Vorph’s nest. These corroded territories can amplify the blood resonance among the Vorphs, stimulate their neurotransmitters, and serve as a symbol of the Vorph’s erosion and dominion over an area, as well as a harbinger of death and catastrophe.

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