The story takes the following precepts as given. While they may be explained - often inaccurately, inadequately or incorrectly - by a character with some knowledge of the subject in response to a question posed by a less enlightened character, these precepts are not otherwise addressed in any meaningful way within the existing work.
1. The Human Will is an exertable, measurable force, subject to (and occasionally capable of superseding) Newtonian physics and the murkiness of quantum mechanics. According to Aleister Crowley, "Magick" is (paraphrased) the act of causing change in ones' environment in harmony with ones' will. Magick, thus defined, is a cornerstone of Among The Chosen- indirectly, as a core focus of the work is the inability rather than the ability of certain characters to excel in this discipline. The Holt-Rischmann Device (HRD) is the sole piece of manufactured technology capable of measuring the exertion of Will against the Ambient Energy Index (see below). That the Human Will is a force is obvious; the notion that the exertion can be accurately (or even adequately) measured is a key story element, and ATC's chief qualification as "occult science fiction."
2. Life out there began here. Approximately 22,000 years ago, a large number of Homo Sapiens and a broad variety of terrestrial flora and fauna were removed from the Earth by entities unknown via methods unknown. The "emigrated" organisms were genetically augmented to withstand higher levels of radiation and the long-term effects of microgravity to a far greater extent than modern Terrestrial Humans. Following a massive "Technological Extinction-Level Event," non-Terrestrial Humanity has re-evolved to the level of an interstellar society, with a technology level roughly ten years behind to five hundred years ahead of their terrestrial counterparts. The Human diaspora inhabits dozens of worlds and thousands of star systems, the nearest of which is several thousand light-years from Sol. While a detailed comparison of the genetic records of stellar Humanity and its "meta-Human" offshoots has conclusively proved a single point of origin for the species, at the time the story begins no conclusive point of origin has been established.
3. Ambient Energy - a sort of Quantum Aether that acts as a multiplier for the exertion of Will as a measurable force. The "Ambient Energy Index" is inconstant - strong in some areas of space, weak in others. Ambient Energy has a measurable impact on the ability to transition matter into Am. Ambient Energy is also a factor in certain Will-derived technologies, most notably the Biomagnetic Transfer System and its "fuel" source, the Transition Core. Areas of low AE are considered a hazard to FTL navigation. The origin and inconsistency of this "meta-stellar medium" remains a mystery - and frustration - to Human science. Holt-Rischmann hardware includes algorithms capable of giving "real world" numbers for recorded Will, regardless of the impact AE has on the exertion thereof.
4. Am. The colloquial (and historically incorrect) term for a "condensed" meta-reality, accessible by certain life forms and organic technologies. Am is a form of "hyperspace," the realm in which meta-relativistic travel and communication occurs.
5. The Veil, a localized "membrane" linking the prime material plane to "Pocket Universes" or "Annexed Realities." Long the subject of research by Stellar Humanity's best and brightest, the Veil is a sort of "reverse Am," or an "Am above" the "Prime" material plain. Localized in the gravity well of seemingly random planets and moons, "Veiled" planets give way to an entirely different universe when a "transition" is attempted. While in this reality Am is only accessible outside of the immediate mass influence of a stellar body, the Veil is only accessible WITHIN those bounds - more importantly, within the accessed "pocket universe," Am, in totality, ONLY exists within that specific gravity well. As all moons and planets with a Veil exhibit some evidence of a Human presence, it has long been assumed that this "fracturing" of reality is somehow related to the Technological Extinction-Level Event. That some planets have multiple "chained" pocket universes is offered as further proof of this, though the theories that adequately explain the mechanics - how one "annexed reality" could lead to another - have yet to find traction.
6. Language is an inducible, transmissible construct. ("Language is a virus from outer space," or "Language is a virus.") Stellar Humanity has developed a "lowest common denominator" language, with a grammar and syntax that can be accurately "injected" by skilled practitioners using a combination of visual, physiological and quantum stimuli. Transitional Voices will address the mechanics of this process at some point. Stylistically, Rhdodhe (the spoken and written language of stellar Humanity) is written as straight American English to date, and the story has been deliberately cut and paced to separate english-only speakers from multi-linguists. In the interests of readability and enjoyment, language will not become an obstacle for the reader until it becomes one for the characters.