For anyone who has read Abel’s Legacy, or who is likely to, I want to introduce the synthesis and ultimate goal of the entity/concept that I have labelled the abyss.
I wasn’t sure whether to capitalise it or not, because it was little ephemeral by design. At the moment it is all in lowercase but I guess if you’re reading the book and it’s capitalised then ta-da I was overruled by someone.
In Abel’s Legacy I use the abyss as the fountain of magical energy that Abel and his compatriots use. I didn’t want any attention drawn to the issue of religion, as I think that might have detracted from the message. The abyss is a reservoir of energy; when you ask for some the abyss simply requires payment. This means that no spell or ritual can be performed without a payment being made, severely limiting the scope of positive practitioners. Which is why practitioners refer to themselves as warlocks; the trope being that warlocks are basically wizards, except they use dark forces.
I would argue that an energy source cannot inherently be good or evil; just because the rituals require payment and not simple devotional behaviour does not mean that the abyss is in any way ‘ungodly’. The abyss is natural. What natural force would give you everything you wanted and not ask for anything in return?
This is what makes Abel different from his old master, Richard. Richard uses other people to make the payments for his rituals; he uses unsuspecting individuals and doles out the payments on them with little regard for how that will affect their lives. Abel is determined to limit the suffering of others as best he can, and to that end takes on the payments himself, or uses fully informed outsiders.
I was worried that this story might become something that deals with the concept of the end justifying the means; I’m glad it didn’t. Because that isn’t the point at all. The point is that it is how we use the energy/power/influence etc that we have, not what the energy is or where it comes from. A real world example might be that nuclear is not necessary good or bad; if it’s in a bomb it’s inarguably bad but if it’s in a power plant then the energy it outputs is incredibly useful and therefore it’s good.
Concluding: the abyss isn’t bad. The abyss isn’t evil. It is not a deity. I don’t even know if it’s sentient. Newtonian physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The abyss is simply a force of nature.