The Universe of Bleach Gotei

Not open for further replies.
The Universe of Bleach Gotei
Our Setting

Table of Contents
The Basics
Soul Society
Hueco Mundo

The Basics
Three Worlds
Our universe takes place across three worlds. Three separate dimensions that can only be crossed through supernatural methods.

The first is the World of the Living. The material universe and all that is in it, including Earth. All living humans reside within the World of the Living.

In addition, there is the Soul Society. The intended destination of all deceased humans. It is the home of the Shinigami, the Gotei 13, Rukongai, and the Seireitei.

Finally, there is Hueco Mundo. This is the sand-filled world of eternal night that is the natural home of the Hollows and Arrancar.

Separating these dimensions is a swirling, grey torrent of energy called the Void Between Worlds, or the Garganta. It also connects to other dimensions that are, in general, not accessible even through the usual supernatural methods. This includes Hell, which is the destination of all souls who have committed such heinous acts that they are locked away from the rest of humanity's souls for the well-being of all mankind.

Cycle of Rebirth & Balance of Souls
Souls naturally move about the various worlds as they pass from one life to the next. Mortals who die peacefully, as well as those purified by the Shinigami, see their souls move on to the Soul Society. Here, they live in relative peace and safety until they die again, being reborn into The World of The Living once more.

Mortals that die with their hearts full of regret, or with other unfinished business, often refuse to move on and instead linger in the mortal world until their pain becomes too great to bear. It corrupts them, turning them into a monstrous beast called a Hollow. These beasts devour human souls until they find their way to the plane of Hueco Mundo, where they and their siblings cannibalize each other in an endless attempt to sate their hunger.

The number of souls in both the World of the Living and Soul Society must be kept in relative balance, with Hueco Mundo as an outlier. Should the gap between the two worlds, even among souls who have died in the Soul Society and are simply awaiting rebirth on Earth, become too great, the worlds begin to collapse. This can start with violent weather patterns and tectonic events on Earth, with an unknown cataclysm at its climax, ending the existence of the World of the Living, Soul Society, and Hueco Mundo as we know it.

Typically, a glossary of unique terms is located in the back of a book or guide. However, we use these terms so often throughout this guide, and many other rule pages, that we feel it best to include early.

Reiatsu: Spiritual Pressure. Used as a catch-all term in Bleach canon, here it has a very specific meaning. Reiatsu is the weight a being exerts on the world around them by simply existing. By paying attention to and measuring Reiatsu, one can get an idea of personality traits or a shift in moods. It is, in a phrase, the essence of a being. The heavier the weight that is felt by others the greater the willpower and resolve of the person in question. Here on Bleach Gotei, your raw power comes not from lengthy sessions in the gym, but instead your own emotional, psychological, and spiritual development. Reiatsu can be used to convey emotion and sometimes even share simple ideas or memories, merely by flexing this sixth sense.

Reiryoku: Spiritual Energy. Very rarely heard in Bleach and largely lumped in with Reiatsu, here on Bleach Gotei it has also been given clear meaning. Reiryoku is the actual energy, such as the "stuff" that spells are made of when cast, that is used to fuel all actions of spiritual beings.

Reishi: Spiritual Particles. These are the building blocks for all Spiritual constructs, and compose the entirety of the Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. Spiritual beings such as Shinigami and Hollow are made of bodies comprised entirely of spiritual particles. While Earth and the beings that dwell there are made up instead of Kishi, Reishi can be found in small quantities, especially in places close to nature.

Kishi: Physical Particles. This is most closely akin to 'atoms' and 'matter' in our real world. These are the basic building blocks of all things in the World of the Living and cannot be supernaturally manipulated like Reishi.

Hakusui: Soul Sleep. On the body there exist two vital “pressure points;” this is the point from which all Reiatsu originates. It is expelled from this point and from the wrists as well, amplified by the Saketsu. If this point is damaged or destroyed it may result in a loss of supernatural abilities

Saketsu: Soul Chain. On the body there exist two vital “pressure points;” the Saketsu is one of these and it is the one that amplifies Reiatsu that is radiated from the body. Without it the spiritual being loses much of their supernatural strength, their Reiatsu, and becomes akin to a mundane human.

Plus: The soul of a deceased human that remains on Earth. These have their Soul Chain immediately visible as a literal, iron chain with a set number of links that slowly devour themselves. Long enough on Earth will erode all the links of this Soul Chain, resulting in a Hollow.

Zanpakutō: Soul Cutter. The weapon of the Shinigami, also carried by Arrancar. Only the Zanpakutō of Shinigami are capable of Soul Burial and the Purification of Hollows. Unlike Bleach canon, Zanpakutō are a natural manifestation that all Souls are theoretically capable of.

Konsō: Soul Burial. This is a simple ritual performed by Shinigami where they touch the pommel of their Zanpakutō to the forehead of a Plus, granting them immediate passage to the Soul Society. This process begins the memory loss that a soul experiences after their mortal demise.

Purification: Death by Zanpakutō. Hollows killed in this way reappear in the Soul Society as their former, human selves, as do those devoured by the Hollow.

Senkaimon: World Penetration Gate. The white-glowing portal of Shinigami, used to traverse between the World of the Living and Soul Society. These can be both natural portals and ones created by Shinigami magic.

Jigokuchō: Hell Butterfly. These butterflies can guide a Shinigami through natural and artificial Senkaimon. They are also used as messengers within the Soul Society, and to Shinigami on duty on Earth.

Asauchi: Blank Sword. These weapons are the empty vessel that a Shinigami will imprint on in order to assist with manifesting their Zanpakutō. Normally appearing as a katana, these are distributed to all Academy students very early on in their training. Unlike Bleach canon, our Asauchi are not created from Hollows.

Soul Society
Origins of Shinigami
As long as there have been Human souls, there has been a need to manage the flow of them between Soul Society and the World of the Living. As with any natural process, mistakes can be made and processes will fail to work as intended. Death is no different, and requires those able to act as its arbiters.

Shinigami are those stewards.

In one form or another, Shinigami have always existed. They may not have called themselves such, and they may not have been organized in the Gotei, but those who could manifest Zanpakutō and who used the Senkaimon to travel to and form Earth have always existed. With their power to pass on lost souls, and to purify Hollows of their sins, they ensured the smooth management of mankind's afterlife.

The Gotei itself came about gradually, over the course of millennia, with no exact dates known to most people. Many of the traditions of the Gotei came about more recently as well, embraced as samurai culture began to reach a Soul Society already dominated by Japanese customs.

Wandering Souls City
The starting point for all of Earth's departed.

Far from formally organized, the Rukongai is broken up first by sections named for the cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) and then further stratified by a District number that counts up the further from the Seireitei you travel, beginning with 1 and normally ending with 80.

Those sections closest to the center of Soul Society and the Seireitei, and therefore closest to the wealth, protection, and quality of life it provides, are considered the ‘upper class’ section. Here, the most successful businesses, the wealthiest traders, and most historically successful families own land and do business. The daytime streets are lined with vendors looking to catch the eye of Shinigami on patrol or choosing to spend their time outside of the Seireitei, and the side streets and alleys full of bars and restaurants reveal a vibrant night life.

As you travel further through the streets and narrows, past District 10, the Rukongai quickly shifts into a mix of markets and niche shops, often with second level apartments and a climbing population density. It is here, in this massive band, that most of the souls in The Soul Society live out their afterlife.

While births do occur, resulting in what are referred to as "Pure Souls", it is most common that households in the Rukongai are made up of patchwork families that periodically adopt new members for a variety of reasons. In this sense, many households follow the traditional Japanese take on society although there countless exceptions to this standard that dot the landscape. Due to the dominance of Japanese culture and customs, as souls lose their memories of their human life in the first one or two decades following their death, they tend to adopt the Japanese family name of those who have taken them in. This frequently includes a new, Japanese given name.

Each of these Districts makes up their own sense of community, often uniting resources and sometimes even systems of justice and politics to make up for the reducing influence from the Seireitei the further out one travels. By the time you’ve reached Districts numbered in the 50s or 60s, regular patrols of Shinigami have all but vanished and it would not be uncommon to only see them once or twice a year.

The Outer Districts are notable in that the law has almost totally shifted from the Seireitei to the hands of ambitious men and women who are willing to grab ahold of authority. ‘Might Makes Right’ is a common mantra and even a common way of life in these parts. Many are forced into living with small mercenary or bandit groups in order to meet their basic needs. Others are press-ganged into service as part of turf, and some migrate out to ‘lawless’ districts in order to escape the authority of the Seireitei.

But even the vast, seemingly endless sprawl of the Rukongai does have its limit. Beyond the furthest edges of The Soul Society, the streets turn to gently worn, dirt roads, fields, and thickening forests. Many farms dot the landscape to help keep the Seireitei, and the wealthy of Rukongai who can afford it, supplied with ample food.

Court of Pure Souls
From the outside, the stark-white walls of the Seireitei gives the impression of a fortress more than a home. It is a reflection of its most noted inhabitants: the members of the Gotei 13.

Once inside those white walls, however, a truly living and breathing city can be found. Some structures are made of the same Sekkiseki stone that gives the Seireitei its pure appearance, while others are more traditionally constructed. The Seireitei also has large residential districts, shops, bars, restaurants, storage for food and equipment, large fields, gardens, and even lakes. Additionally, it houses all of the facilities for all the Divisions of the Gotei, including their barracks.

Seireitei manages this great diversity by zoning itself off into various sections. This creates isolated areas for commerce, separate from residential areas, further separate from barracks for the various Divisions. Those residential areas can include single-family homes for wealthy Shinigami, sprawling manors for powerful Nobility, and even apartments for Shinigami whose salary allows them to escape the cramped living conditions of their barracks.

Besides expansive farmland, the Seireitei has everything it needs to function as a living, breathing city. A Shinigami or Noble could live a vibrant life without ever leaving.

Additionally, anyone is allowed to visit the Seireitei, though the guards at the four cardinal gates may exercise judgment in who they allow in. However, what distinguishes it from the rest of Soul Society isn't just the great wealth and prosperity of it, but who is allowed to permanently reside within its sacred walls. That includes, of course, the Shinigami themselves. However, it also includes all Nobility, from the Five Great Noble Houses to the smallest of Noble families.

Hueco Mundo
Origins of Arrancar
"Nature abhors a Hollow."

The process of taking a soul from its pure state to that of a Hollow is a natural one; a decay of a being, but is only possible during unintended circumstances. The lingering of a Plus on Earth, for example. It is not the intended destiny of a soul and, upon its creation, nature itself works to correct these supernatural abominations.

This can result in a Hollow undergoing a process where they regain some aspects of a proper soul. It is ignited when a Hollow breaks off at least a portion of their Hollow Mask, usually most of it, and undergoes "Shinigamification." The result is an Arrancar; a Hollow that takes the body of a human, yet retains their Hollow Hole and a fragment of their Hollow Mask. They also manifest an empty Zanpakutō.

The timing of this process is strongly related to the stage of evolution a Hollow has reached, in addition to their personality and mindset. The breaking of the Hollow Mask typically aligns with some emotional catharsis to trigger the transformation, but can also be performed on Hollows forcibly as long as they are close to that point already. If they are not, forcibly breaking a Hollow's mask will result in their death. Any Hollow can become an Arrancar, though the process is increasingly likely among Menos-class Hollows such as Gillians, Adjuchas, and especially Vasto Lordes.

Arrancar are the only known natural hybridization of Shinigami and Hollow.

The Desert
Separate from the World of the Living and Soul Society, which hangs in a delicate balance, exists Hueco Mundo. It is an empty, dead world of eternal night and an endless expanse of white sand. The dark sky, littered with wispy clouds, hosts an inverted and unmoving crescent moon at all times. The desert is littered with structures that look like thin, branch-filled trees. Upon closer inspection, it is revealed that those are constructed of a quartz-like, crystalline material.

The sand itself is made up of the countless Hollows that have died. Their Hollow bodies disintegrating into sand and being carried from any of the worlds back to Hueco Mundo.

The desert is endless, with the base Hollows, and Huge Hollows, that live within it avoiding each other and hiding within the rolling dunes. At a glance, the surface would appear to be calm, tranquil, and wholly empty, with Hollows rarely getting within a kilometer of each other, for fear of being eaten.

However, Hueco Mundo also has a subterranean portion that stretches beneath the endless desert above. Within it, trunks of those quartz trees can be seen rising from a stone floor, breaking through to the surface. Some holes in the desert allow sand to fall through, creating cascades of white glittering under the crescent moon. It is here, in the aptly named Forest of Menos, that almost all Menos-class Hollows live.
Not open for further replies.