The Entities are a race of multiversal creatures larger than Earth, and the source of parahuman powers.
Goals and MethodsEdit
In order to learn a means by which to prevent the heat death of the universe, the Entities disseminate 'shards' across worlds with sapient life. Shards are fragments of the Entities capable of retaining information and maturing as a means of learning and are distinctly alive. Nearly all of an Entities Shards are distributed bar a few 'vital' Shards. Through this process, knowledge is acquired across many intergalactic societies; knowledge which can then be granted to the next set of hosts, forming the basis of the superpowers seen in Worm. This process of distributing and re-acquiring Shards is known as The Cycle. Similar Shards exist in the Entities in clusters with similar attributes or functions. When a superpower is given to a human all of the Shards necessary to form the superpower are sent as a group.
As the Entities approach new planets, they look into the future to observe how Shards shed from their mass will interact with the local lifeforms. Modifications are then made to the Shards in response to the observed future, in order to make them compatible with their soon-to-be hosts. This is the origin of the Manton Effect. Modifications are also made to prevent the Shards from being used against the Entities. One such alteration is the inability to remember the Entities following a trigger event and was done using Imp's Shard. Another inhibits Contessa's power from affecting Scion or the Endbringers.
The Shards are spread across Earths in many dimensions and are targeted towards specific individuals. However once the Shards are cast off from the Entity they are largely independent, capable of finding a host most suitable for them; this is shown when a Shard intended for Aisha's father hops over to her instead. Once a host is chosen, the Shard is sequestered in an alternate, barren Earth where it processes the complexities of the power and serves as an energy source. By doing so the Shard remains safe from damage, with its only connection to the host existing through the Corona Pollentia. During a second trigger event, the Shard networks with other Shards and draws on collective information to bypass the restrictions and save its host.
The Shards are capable of maturing and grow through experience and use. Given time and enough new information the Shards can split to form sub-Shards, as demonstrated by Taylor & Aidan. These enter non-parahumans near to the original and allow access to new powers but retain similar features to their parent Shard. This is shown through Aidan, who -like Taylor- also has Master powers. Sub-Shards explain why parents and children have similar powers.
Dimensions are separated into groups according to their similarity to each other, with Shards capable of accessing parahumans across these similar dimensions. By grouping them like this the Entities maximize the amount that can be learned without re-hashing the same experiences over and over. Dimensions are chosen according to the degree of strife, long-term viability of the host, and population of the planet.
They travel through space as multi-dimensional organisms comprised of both organic matter and inorganic matter known as Shards/fragments. Typically traveling in pairs, these titanic beings exist in forms as large as moons or planets, with the sole goal of finding a means of preventing the entropic death of the universe. The pairs can be broken down into the Warrior and the Thinker. The Warrior is presumably more powerful than the Thinker, whereas the Thinker is capable of abstract thought, imagination and planning. It is stated by the Entity known as Scion that 'he' is incapable of completing his cycle without his partner, as he is incapable of refining Shards by himself. The validity of this statement is suspect, as a third Entity is known to travel independent of a partner -although it is smaller- and Scion implies some degree of individual growth when initiating Gold Morning.
The Entities' life cycle is like that of a virus, infecting hosts, where they will mature and divide, then destroying the host planet in order to launch themselves to a new planet so they can do it again.
An example of growth can be seen it Taylor's Queen Administrator Shard, whereby initially Taylor's subconscious summons bugs to herself whilst suffering under the effects of Bakuda's bombing. After she has been through several battles her insects are capable of producing tethers of silk- a sign of how her creative problem solving skills have influenced the maturation of her Shard.
Division occurs when a Shard is nearly fully matured, leading to the formation of a sub-Shard, as mentioned above.
The Entities only destroy the planet once 'critical mass' is reached. At this point the Entities recollect their distributed Shards -similar to what Glaistig Uaine does- killing the hosts. What determines critical mass is not explained in the series.
Abilities and PowersEdit
In their natural form, Entities had an ability to navigate between alternate versions of a world; if they grew large enough, they could extend into multiple worlds at once. They could absorb starlight and radiation for energy, as well as consuming prey for food.
Each of the members of the species was made up of many cells, or Shards. Different clusters of Shards maintained different abilities. They could tear chunks from others of their kind if they were exposed or weakened, absorbing their Shards and thus growing larger.
They possessed some control over heat, cold, electricity and mental manipulations. When they were large enough, they were capable of drawing all the heat and energy from countless worlds at once and focusing it with such intensity that it destroyed a planet, shattering with such force that the explosion echoed through the channels they used to extend into other realities and shattered those worlds as well. They were able to reorganize themselves, forming protective shells so that fragments of themselves would survive this blast and be thrown into space.
Entities originally communicated by having each of their Shards express the same concept at the same time, with each Shard contributing a different nuance to the message. This was a violent affair involving almost every Shard turning the full force of their different capabilities outward, expressing the message across different wavelengths and forms of energy.
Later, they would transmit similarly nuanced signals across "channels formed of the very foundation" of specific universes, so that it would not accidentally contact the wrong world. This could convey more information than an entire planet of sentient beings might in a century.
One drawback of this primary method of communication was that it grew quieter and less nuanced if an Entity gave up it's Shards.
Another method of communication they used was to exchange Shards coded with memories and knowledge.
A third method was by "rubbing and crushing against one another"; this physically transferred Shards to the other Entity, "bloating" them with new Shards and knowledge. This transfer was less a form of communication than a trade; the knowledge and abilities transferred away in this way was lost, although they could be regained by reuniting with one's partner. It was possible to sacrifice too much of oneself this way.
Originally, they would blast fragments of themselves into space, which would then take root on other worlds. Later, Entities employed gravity and space-warping to steer themselves.
At full size, Entities controlled all the powers they would eventually give out, plus more; each Shard was capable of producing countless powers, and was deliberately limited; they only expressed anything close to their full abilities in very rare cases. Entities could draw on all this power, as well as those Shards they chose to keep to themselves.
However, Entities were not omnipotent. It would have been a grave mistake for them to allow Artificial Intelligence to be created without strict limitations being placed on it. If their Vital Shards were seperated from one another, they would die.
The Entities originally lived on a planet of gray sludge, where they had evolved the ability to move between universes to the different versions of that same world. Over time, this ability allowed them to breed until they choked out almost all other life on their world in every universe. They would then devour each other as well until there were only a few left, then retreat to a handful of worlds while life replenished. This occurred over a hundred and seventy times without variation, and each time the cycle would be shorter, with some realities left permanently barren.
In time, one of the Entities realized that there was only so much time left before every version of their world had been rendered barren, and proposed the species leave their planet. One last war was fought, and in the end there were only two Entities left, each so large their bodies covered numerous worlds. They formed their bodies into numerous fragments that were themselves smaller Entities, then leeched away all the heat and energy from all versions of their world and used it to shatter the remaining habitable versions of their planet and launch their fragments into space like the seeds of a dandelion.
The early ancestor of the Warrior Entity first landed on a small planet with caustic acid rain, filled with plant life. Another Entity landed on the same world. The two parasitized the plant life to survive and reproduce, and experimented, using their abilities to nourish and protect the plants and seeing which ones survived.
The two devoured the plants and took back their Shards, forming once again into two singular Entities. The second Entity suggested to the ancestor that the two attack each other, in small, measured ways, and then recombine their Shards and attack each other again so that they might find the combinations that survived and discard the rest. After experimenting like that as well for a time, they destroyed that world as well, sending out countless fragments of themselves to other worlds.
The Warrior's ancestor landed on a world with advanced technology. The Entities learned of gravity-warping technology, and were studied in turn by the species. Some of them sought to rule; those they had bonded with lost the war, and the Entities were rooted out. They formed three larger Entities, who destroyed the planet and fled, offspring scattering in every direction. This time, they controlled their paths with gravity and warped space.
The cycle repeated over three thousand times, and they grew more powerful each time. At some point, a few hundred cycles ago the Warrior's ancestors began travelling in pairs together. Each had slightly different attitudes and capabilities, so that they could compare different ways of doing things.