The Astral Gods (アストラル神; Seikikami) are five colossal entities that occupy the samurai world. The Astral Gods are identified by the realms they control, with each of them controlling one realm. The Astral Gods are enormous and abstract nexuses of life itself, and seldom interfere with the "lower beings", or humans. However, on rare occasions, the Astral Gods have interacted with—and even bestowed power upon—the samurai.
The Astral Gods have existed longer than the samurai world itself. The first interaction with them occurred between the Arkōn Kanmon, known as the first samurai, and the Goddess of the realm of Empyrean, Galaxia. The existence of the Astral Gods then became legend, as very few samurai were ever considered worthy enough to warrant their attention.
The Hanshin (はんしん; Demigods) are humans that had the powers of the Astral Gods bestowed upon them. As such, they display extraordinary abilities, especially as warriors.
The first, and unarguably most famous Hanshin was the first samurai, the Arkōn Kanmon, who was endowed, or "blessed", with the special power to foresee the future, even centuries in advance, by the Astral Goddess Galaxia. After the death of the Arkōn Kanmon, there have been others who've received powers, varying significantly. Not all of the Hanshin receive their powers by choice, or are given beneficial powers. In actuality, some of the malevolent Astral Gods alternatively "curse" the ones they endow with power, often forcing their powers upon the receivers at a terrible price. Regarding this case, perhaps the most infamous Hanshin to have ever lived was the samurai that lived by the alias Yamiten, who received the power of immortality (and possibly something greater) by Thanatos, the Astral God of the realm of Gehenna.
Astral Gods and realms
There are five Astral Gods, and in effect, five realms. Although the Astral Gods are all powerful, the greatest of them all are the benevolent Goddess Galaxia, and the malevolent God Thanatos. Thus far, the three known deities are:
- Goddess of Empyrean; the highest heaven
- God of Eden
- Goddess of Limbo
- God of Orion
- God of Gehenna; the deepest hell