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Sat Apr 02, 2022 12:29 am
What Are They?
Hollow are beings originally born from human souls. Just as human souls can turn into 'pluses' waiting for a shinigami to help them cross over to the Soul Society, hollows are former pluses that have lost their hearts to despair or regret. After their deaths however, they don't pass onto soul society - they are beings that remain in the human world, devouring both the souls of living and deceased humans. Typically, the Hollow home world is within Hueco Mundo, but are capable of passing over to places such as Earth and Soul Society.
How To Become A Hollow?
As previously mentioned, most human that die pass onto the Soul society after their deaths as souls. Hollows are to be considered the polar opposite of humans and souls. Although a lot of these spirits remain in the human realm after their deaths so they can aid other people, or fulfill a goal before passing onto the Soul Society. This may be in the form of helping a loved one through something from beyond the grave, or fulfilling their own personal problems that puts their heart to rest. As souls, they have very highly limited ability to interact with the living, being intangible and invisible to any other humans. Many spirits whom cannot cope with this become corrupted, drowning in their despair or regret; due to the impossibility of completing these goals. Due to this, they will often find themselves transforming into hollows.
The process usually takes as long as a year to complete, but their bodies end up becoming morphed into many different types of "creatures" that the hollow body has shown to have. The reason this takes so long is due to the "chain of fate" that protrudes from their chest, the chain slowly decaying over time the more regret and despair they fall into. When the chain is entirely gone, the victim will eventually transform into a being known as a hollow, becoming obsessed with consuming even the closest human soul or body - no matter relationships, bonds or morality. Under certain conditions, they process of transformation can be accelerated, even sometimes to the point where Hollows can emerge almost instantly after the human has died, depending on the circumstances. This is usually done through instances of incredibly strong despair or spiritual powers aiding that cross over.
However, there are many different types of "hollows" that can form, or a spirits appearance may even change before they are completely a hollow. Once the chain of fate has decayed enough, or totally, beings are capable of becoming things known as "demi-hollows". They are known as "jibakurei", an earthbound spirit which is in the process of devolving into a hollow. It usually takes a while for the jibakurei to evolve into a full hollow, but this process can be sped up by either forcing a hole in their chest to open, or by other spiritual means. They are usually only seen when a human steps on their territory, and are very, very hard to be tracked by shinigami and other creatures that use similar sensory abilities.
There are also cases such as the White hollow where the creature is created out of asauchi. While other cases of hollows being created with different types of "components" they are often rare and created with a specific purpose. If not failing most of the time as a result of the difficulty.
Appearance & Physiology
Hollows, essentially, come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn't exactly matter what size their bodies are nor what colour. In terms of appearance, a hollow can appear as anything out of the animal kingdom, insect or even plant-like all the way to something out of mythology. Hollows vary in size, though it tends to be fairly consistent among the various classifications of Menos Grande. Some hollows are no larger than common pets. Most common Hollows are about twice the size of an adult Human, though it can vary to a degree. Significantly large Hollows that tower over human-sized individuals and buildings are referred to as Huge Hollows.
All Hollows wear masks, which are formed from the hearts they had lost as humans. This mask protects the naked instinct which is left in a being after the loss of its heart, and obscures the original identity of the hollow. The masks of different hollows can differ greatly in shape and form, but are always white and skull-like. The mask can be shattered, temporarily allowing the hollow to regain its original identity, but it will regenerate after a short period once the hollow takes over again.
When a Hollow's heart is carved out during the hollowfication process by the hole in their chest, the lost heart becomes its mask and changes its outward appearance to what it looks like as a Hollow. The powers a Hollow wields are manifestations of its heart.
Behavior and Attributes
Once a human soul has transformed itself into that of a hollow, the being is usually driven by an insatiable hunger for devouring others, either souls or humans in general to try and fill this void of hunger. Whilst some hollows can become quite aware of their targets or "smart" in the targets they aim for, most hollows will usually devour the first target they see, as their mindless hunger drives them to that point of desperation. Some, however, usually search for more potent or satiable souls and humans for them to devour. Whilst most hollows could be considered "evil" due to their unrelenting hunger and search for the eating of humans and souls, there are very few cases in which a hollow might obtain peace of mind or maybe even "broken free" of those shackles - upon achieving the upper levels of Menos.
Hollows can grow traits such as loyalty, or sadness, happiness, etc. Whether this is done through spiritual methods or through time, learning to satisfy their hunger or being born that way - there are plenty of ways in which hollows can consume their mindless beast attitudes, however remains a difficult task.
How To Kill A Hollow
Usually, there may be a special way to hurt or injure a hollow depending on the individual hollow in question. A lot of hollows have weak points that are often exploited by shinigami whom have studied them or can simply overpower them. All hollows have a single weakness: destruction of their mask, cleaving their "face" in two essentially. By doing this, the Hollow will begin to break apart and scatter into the atmosphere and the dead body will fade along with it. This is the only surefire way to kill a hollow, some may succumb to traditional injuries but as long as the mask remains there is a potential for survival.
When a shinigami has "killed" a hollow with their zanpakutō, they do not truly die. Once slaying a hollow, it is as if the hollow is being purified of their sins as a hollow and being turned into a plus, sent immediately to the Soul Society to live among the population there - being cast down to Hell if they did evil deeds while alive. If a hollow is to infect a shinigami, there is a chance they are capable of coming back as a vizard, if gone through the right procedures.
Alternatively, when a hollow is killed by a quincy, they are completely destroyed and cleansed. There is no plus being sent to Soul Society once a quincy has slain a hollow with their spirit weapon, they simply die and their body is destroyed forever. For this reason, the quincy are a scary thought for many hollows. There is also a problem when quincy destroy hollows as it has been said to "interrupt" or "throw off" the balance of the soul cycle. If a hollow tried to infect a quincy and becoming it's variation of a "vizard", the quincy would die in the process. Hollow reiryoku is considered to be poison to quincy, so they will often be destroyed upon entering them.
Powers & Traits
Similar to how Shinigami have Kido and other techniques, Hollows have similar ones that can be either unique or available to all of their race. Hollows are usually capable of gaining this energy for "powers" by devouring souls as a Hollow, then being capable of using powers like Cero and so on.
Soul-Body Separation: This is a simple racial technique that most, if not all, Hollows have access to. In essence, this ability allows the hollow to separate the living person from their spirits, forcibly dragging their spirit so they can either converse with their loved ones upon turning into a hollow or for more sinister means. Whilst a common racial ability, hollows are usually not found using such an ability as they normally hunt after pluses, rather than living human beings. If desperate enough, however, this can change and the hollow is capable of separating the human spirit from their body. This also means that it is possible for a hollow to extract a shinigami from their gigai, for whatever reason.
Acidic Touch: A rather passive and simple ability for all hollows. In essence, this is the first form of defense for a normal hollow, that if someone were to touch their skin they would be singed and their hands would be eroded and burnt as if acid was poured onto it. It is said this is extremely painful, and actually capable of letting the hollow's reiatsu into the victim's body.
Cero: This is a very powerful and extremely swift blast of energy that can be made by anyone infected by hollows. It has been shown my some Gillian-class hollows to blast even towns apart, their wide array of power being quite scary. As the classes of hollows goes up, the power of their cero is also quite unique and strong. Most cero of basic hollow have shown to be simply red in colour. A cero can also be shot from a variety of locations, each unique to the hollow in question; this can be the tongue, finger tip, fist or even eyeball if one wished.
Garganta: The method in which all hollows use to travel between different realms. When in use, a black rift literally tears open the fabric of space to pass through. The most common usage is to travel from Hueco Mundo to the living realm, but users whom are more adept at this could try and use it for different means. Normal hollows only use this as a method of transportation, though. Many of the reasons garganta is a very powerful tool is for it's utility and mass transportation which can hold endless numbers of "foot soldiers" or people within it.
Negacion: Negacion is the technique in which hollows can rescue or "extract" allies from a battle. Opening a garganta from the sky, a ray of light will shoot down onto the targets, as a few moments pass they will be dragged up and into the rift. This is usually done by gillian whom are massive in size and can be commanded by other Hollow for easy "extraction" from dangerous areas.
High-Speed regeneration: Generally self explanatory, all hollows are capable of having the ability to regenerate their bodies in a timely manner. It is said that if they have taken drastic damage to organs and vitals, however, they cannot regenerate these easily which makes them still vulnerable depending in their individual characteristics.
Gillian-class Hollow, also known as Menos Grande, are considered to be the most common form of Menos, hence being referred to as Menos Grande. Their general appearance are huge monster hollows at least 2-6 stories tall, easily dwarfing even the largest standard hollow. Their main method of attack is usually a cero, but there have been shown to be a few unique menos grande, but gillian are the typically seen one. Despite being quite a few, they are scarce to appear outside of Hueco Mundo and so shinigami can go decades without seeing a gillian.
Their abilities are typical of a normal hollow, but considerably more advanced. As mentioned, their main method of assault can be based highly in their powerful blasts of red cero shot from their wide mouths. Atop of their powerful ceros, a garganta variation of Kumon is often used methods of travel among many gillian-level hollow. Other than this, Negacion is one of the only other abilities they possess as a hollow.
Compared to normal Gillian, there are a special class which can be considered a "evolution" step. These Gillian are usually identified by a unique mask which shows they are capable of evolving to the next level of Hollow, which is titled Adjuchas Menos.
Adjuchas-class Hollow is the second classification of hollows and less in number. Their size, in comparison to the massive gillians, they are rather small and less intimidating. However, their appearances do change rather drastically when you compare it to the Gillian whom all look very much the same. The Adjuchas have been found to not only have very many varying colours of skin and masks, but many varying personalities. This stems from things such as being timid, or violent - even to something like depressed. These are Hollows that are capable of being unique, having unique attributes, powers and even prove themselves to be smarter, stronger or even scarier than most others of their class level.
Adjuchas class are actually capable of commanding Gillian-class menos, as well. However they're not exactly creatures who fight in packs, if needed though they call upon and command lower class Gillain to help them. It is said that Adjuchas class hollows are capable of fighting on relative evenly footing with captains of the Gotei four-hundred years ago. The signature skills of the Adjuchas, on the other hand, are both very similar to normal hollows, but are actually known to have very powerful unique abilities. So just like the gillian class, adjuchas can use very powerful ceros to blast away opponents, as well as having access to things like garganta relatively easily.
The Adjuchas hollow also has a evolutionary step, just like the previous class. If the adjuchas continously devours hollows it comes across, they can make themselves stronger and stronger, merging these hollows with their own bodies. If they stop suddenly eating these hollows, however, they can become consumed by the thoughts of the consumed souls. This can tear them apart and actually demote their bodies back to being a Gillian class Menos Grande - most adjuchas will attempt to have a piece of themselves devoured to prevent themselves from regressing to that state.
Vasto Lorde-class Hollow These are considered the pinnacle of typical hollow evolution, and the number of them within the universe are said to be capable of being counted on two hands. They are hollows which are usually found to be extremely small, only akin to the size of an average human body and take on a humanoid figure. Their appearance is very different compared to other Hollows and each Vasto Lorde doesn't look the same, other than having a humanoid figure. The only trait required is that most if not all of their body is to be covered in their hollowed figure.
Atop of this, the Vasto Lorde are still extremely unknown, so it is hard to justify or gather a scope of their signature skills or abilities. They do have access to the typical garganta, cero and general hollow abilities - however they can also have unique and destructive personal powers, differing between each Vasto Lorde.
Despite being an overwhelming being, it is extremely rare that an individual hollow would reach this state. Many hollows attempt to reach this level of power to no avail, and will often theorise about reaching the level through different means. An adjuchas of great power could potentially even match a vasto-lorde despite lacking the evolution step - it should be clarified that one will not usually reach this state without an intervention of fate or a great level of dedication towards it.
Cero & Bala: An iconic ability of hollows. Where the user gathers reiatsu and fires it off as a blast. Traditionally, it is shot from the mouth until higher levels of power is acquired. The higher a hollow climbs in this field the more powerful, precise and faster a cero or bala can become. Those who reach into the depths of this skill can demonstrate attributes such as faster charging and unique variations of the cero and bala.
Untrained: Almost no ability to utilise cero and any attempt will be more likely to explode in their face. For the untrained hollow, it is typically completely unwanted by the user.
Beginner: At this level a basic cero can be utilised but that's about it. A user of cero at this level will not have the ability to manipulate it meaningfully. At this level the hollow is unlikely to be able to loose more than a single cero within a post.
Adept: At this level, the hollow has some proficiency. This is when a hollow can begin to experiment with how they use their cero and bala, albeit in minor ways. This is more usual for bala due to being smaller and easier to create. A hollow of this caliber typically use their energy blasts more efficiently, due to their greater level of experience.
Advanced: A hollow of this level begins to show a decent level of adaptability such as trying to manipulate the course or trajectory of their bala, firing them off with multiple paths and timings to attempt to hit their target in a more meaningful way. Additionally, if they have any unique properties such as a trait that makes attacks more explosive, these unique properties could be incorporated into their cero.
Elite: By this level, the hollow's level of control over their cero, the amount of energy they can output, and how often they can use their cero are all forces to be reckoned with. They can cause significant damage to the environment with their use cero, and any unique properties they would have towards energy attacks can express itself in their cero and bala. They likely have a range of unique techniques created off this ability.
Master: Reaching into levels untouched by most. Hollows of this level find cero as simple as throwing a punch. Their control is exquisite; doing things like turning the cero into a contained beam of destruction, making it stop at a certain point, or effortlessly firing off a wave of bala from every point on their body to name a couple of examples.
Grand Master: If a hollow develops their cero and bala to this level, they will realistically be unmatched in the field, only met by fellow hollows of this level. They understand the root principles behind how cero works, how to output it, how to make that output stop, and they understand these things on an instinctual level. Essentially, whatever kind of cero they conceptualise they could realistically do on a whim with no prior practice, or minimal in the case of an exceptionally powerful technique. Each hollow with this zenith will develop their own intimate understanding of it, and so hollows will certainly vary.
Evolution Stage: Unlike other races, hollows do not possess any greater release form. They do not have anything to unlock a temporary shift to greater heights, at least not innately. By feasting on souls a hollow is able to grow though, evolve and ascend through the levels and it is by ascending these levels of evolution that an hollow will gain greater power, not temporarily but permanently. They exist in a constant state of increased power based on where they sit on the evolutionary chain.
Untrained: You barely constitute as a hollow at this level, in the process of becoming one, there are no benefits at this level until a soul would undergo complete hollowfication, being at this level will also make all hollow skills be unable to advance past untrained until transformation into a hollow.
Examples: Jibakurei, Tsukirei or a Fuyūrei that is close to becoming a hollow through encroachment.
Beginner: A hollow of this level is likely newborn or a generic hollow that has yet to evolve much, probably due to malnutrition in the way of ingesting souls. They see a 100% increase to their overall abilities however.
Examples: Newborn Hollow ie. Demi-Hollow or generic hollow ie. Fishbone D.
Adept: An 'evolved hollow', not yet breaking into the realm of a Menos Grande but the hollow is a leg-up over it's generic peers that exist in the world. They see a passive increase of 200% to their abilities by existing at this level.
Examples: Shrieker, Numb Chandelier, Grand Fisher. Metastacia.
Advanced: The first stage of the Menos Grande, the Gillian. So many souls have been consumed of both plus, hollows and maybe even a shinigami or two in the sheer overwhelming amount of spirits that constitute the hollow. A Gillian will demonstrate a 300% increase to their overall capabilities.
Elite: An adjuchas, having broken out of the Gillian stage and overcoming the mass of souls that make up your being to become a hollow that has made you reach the peak of what one expects to see in their lifetime. An adjuchas will show a 500% increase to their overall capabilities and will certainly require measures to handle them.
Master: The greater stage of hollow evolution, the final level that is classified. Those are the Vasto-Lorde. A hollow that has ascended to this level is a monstrous threat that requires absurd levels of power to handle, their very presence can force captain's to need to go out of their way and use the full extent of their power. A vasto-lorde has a passive 750% increase to their overall capabilities.
Grand Master: Beyond finality. There is not a classification to describe what kind of hollow you are. The sheer disparity between a Vasto-Lorde and whatever this evolution is pales. The hollow will certainly need an opponent to not mess around for they may quickly find themselves in deep water. Hollows that have transcended to this level display a passive 1000% boost to their overall capabilities.
Hollow Power: This skill is the crux of the Hollow's ability to utilize their individual abilities. With a low level in this skill, a Hollow may find their unique abilities either barely function, or actively work against them. On the other hand, a high level user of this skill will display control over these abilities which is versatile and refined. This skill does not govern the universal abilities that all Hollows possess, however, and so this is not a guaranteed path to strength.
Untrained: Hollows at this level can be expected to have little, if no control over their abilities. It is likely that they are an active danger not only to others, but to themselves, and any application of their abilities can be assumed to be indescriminate in its effects. Even activation of their ability to begin with may prove to be all but impossible.
Beginner: At this stage, a Hollow no longer has to concern themselves with self-harm through usage of their abilities. However, they are still not capable of applying them in more versatile ways, and one could likely understand their capabilities quite easily.
Adept: This is the point where a Hollow's abilities begin to gain more elaborate functionality, versatility that requires a higher understanding of their abilities and their functionality. Their control has reached the point that they are capable of doing more than simply directing their abilities, but it would be unreasonable to expect any serious manipulation.
Advanced: Hollows who reach this level of Hollow Power are now at the level where they can develop their powers in genuinely unique ways, and they will not lose control of their abilities short of exceptionally unruly applications or outside interference. They are capable of manipulating them to a fine level, avoiding collateral even with what would otherwise be potentially devastating techniques.
Elite: Being the peak of most Hollows' abilities, this level contains those who have all but mastered the realistic application of their powers. They can control nearly any facet of their abilities with little effort, and they can likely improvise with said abilities to such a degree that it borders on the development of new sub-abilities.
Master: Hollows at this degree of mastery are those whose powers, in a way, have reverted back to being outside their mere control. Unlike those at the Untrained level, however, who simply cannot meaningfully influence their own power, those at the Master level are simply so exceptionally skilled that their abilities are second nature. They do not need to even think to apply their abilities to the world around them, and can likely even infect the abilities of others if they are of a similar nature.
Grand Master: A Grand Master of Hollow Power is a Hollow whose powers are simply a suggestion, who can develop such an extreme array of techniques that even the most skilled opponent would struggle to understand the true limitations of their ability. These abilities are all connected by the core of the Hollow's nature, naturally, but a Hollow who has reached this mastery has such a flawless grasp of their abilities that they do not even need to wonder if they can or cannot achieve something. If it is within their capability, they already know exactly how to do it.
Mask Protection: Hollows will not die unless their mask is destroyed, this includes their regeneration factor where they will recover as long as their mask is not destroyed. Additionally, the mask of a hollow will have its durability scale off this skill unlike their body which scales off the general skill, the conversion is 1:1 ie. Advanced Mask Protection will mean the mask itself has Advanced Durability.
Untrained: At this level a hollow's mask is quite brittle, easily damaged they are at a very high risk of it being destroyed in battle. Their regeneration factor is slow, however a hollow could still see all their wounds healed after a couple of days pass.
Beginner: Around this level is where a lot of weak hollows sit, usually the kind that can be cleansed by low-level shinigami. All wounds can typically be healed within a day assuming their mask is still intact.
Adept: A bit on the stronger side. This is where most hollows will require the shinigami to have a bit more in the way of firepower to kill them, their wounds can heal in their entirety upon leaving combat though the drain will make it difficult to reengage.
Advanced: At this level, hollows begin to see some quirks. An example of this is that a hollow might develop a specific resistance to something ie. the mask is difficult to cut compared to blunt force trauma or they are able to gain a resistance to fire-based attacks which impact their mask. Regeneration-wise the hollow will begin to heal in the heat of battle, being able to regenerate limbs after a short period of time although substantial and/or consistent damage will wear down the stamina.
Elite: The highest level of survivability that most hollows will show, these are the ones that may showcase immunities to a specific type of damage or anything of that sort. Limbs can be repaired instantly in the midst of a fight, and damage can be repaired quite quickly otherwise. Likewise though, regenerating is still quite the drain on energy and a hollow may find it difficult to engage in drawn out fights if they consistently take damage.
Master: Beginning to reach into the realm beyond a simple hollow, this is where the hollow demonstrates variations. An example of this could be that the hollow conceals their true mask and has a faux one to draw attention somewhere on their body, an immunity could expand out to tangents such as fire branching into lava, heat or other factors beyond just fire.
Grand Master: This is the summit of being almost immortal amongst hollows, your mask is beyond reason in the way of durability and you likely have many things which make it difficult to actually destroy it. Those of this calibre would require beings of exceptional of power to even attempt to put them to rest and cleanse them.
What Are Their Origins?
Part I. The basics.
The first hollows came into existence before living and dead were separated, before the Soul Cycle was created. In this world they indiscriminately attacked and devoured souls, consuming them until the formation of what was the first Menos. At this point the Soul King came into existence, the killing of that first Menos with his power and from that corpse resulted the massive desert that became the sands of Hueco Mundo after the Soul Cycle was created. Since then the desert of Hueco Mundo has remained a purgatory-esque realm where the hollows gather and call home.
Part II. Kingdom of Hollows.
In the vast realm of Hueco Mundo, there has been various attempts at different hollows to vry for power and establish kingdoms, lairs and territories. Oftentimes creating groups and packs, some greater hollows are able to establish civilisations and there are quite a few in the long history however many of these kingdoms were known to form and disappear after a few centuries. After Baraggan Louisenbairn rose to power as one of the original Vasto-Lorde and established his kingdom there were few hollows that could oppose this empire and those that could would usually agree to avoid interacting out of concern for mutually ensured destruction.
Part III. So Long Hollow Kings.
This kingdom lasted up until the point of Sosuke Aizen's appearance and his subsequent creation of the Espada, since then the realm of Hueco Mundo has not seen a lot of control by the Hollows after the downfall of Aizen, instead being controlled by various Arrancar or Demons after the establishment of Shadow Fall. In the four-hundred years it remained under the thumb of various rulers and many hollows were used as footsoldiers in their armies.
During World War 4 this dynamic was broken when Shadow Fall was pushed out of Hueco Mundo by Nagato Tengan, an Arrancar that was eager to reestablish the Espada and seize control of the realm. Succeeding in removing Shadow Fall from power but failing to establish dominance and creating a power vacuum.
The hollows have been free to roam without any other individual to rule or guide them, Hueco Mundo has become a unruly group of various packs roaming and terrorising the realm.
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