"numbers" is an exercise in giving individuals all the tools they could ever want or need in order to make everyone else's life hell, and hoping that they choose to use these tools for good instead, and slapping your knee in frustration when they use the tools for evil anyways
it's a story of massive proportions, spanning multiple timelines, alternate universes, mini-worlds inside of worlds, and thousands of characters. as it is open for others to create ocs in, there are important fanworks/fanocs that are integral to some storylines. it is extremely elaborate and takes a lot of time and dedication to get into. so i'll try to detail as much of it as i can, in as simple terms as i can here. i have a website here, but it's a bit out of date and needs some polish.
typical themes of numbers include love, care, second chances, growing as a person, becoming better, and refining your flaws. it is an incredibly violent, caustic, and cruel world, but it is only so cruel as to afford the worst of the worst a chance at bettering themselves. nothing in numbers is meant to be an allegory to something in real life - no race in numbers is intended to match up with the culture and depictions of a race in real life, nor are events, situations, themes, or ideals intended to be repeated in real life. numbers is hopelessly idealistic in the face of terror and cruelty, which is not always the answer in real life, and therefore numbers should not be taken as a bastion of instruction for how to deal with actual living dictators in nations today.
IN THE BEGINNING
to begin, numbers deals heavily with ideas of timelines and space-time bending. this is done via the magical properties of the fake element magninium, which comprises the "consciousness" of every creature. magninium, in enough quantities, is sentient. it can be used to both create life and perform spells, as one would expect any typical fantasy magic system. magninium is able to transcend time-space and form other timelines, based off of what is called the "main timeline." (most storyline takes place in the main timeline. most timeline information is background info). "magninium" and "magic" are interchangeable terms. gold, silver, and copper resist the nuclear fission-esque effects of magninium, and as such, are considered horrific materials, and cause great pain to any creature that comes into contact with them. as even plants and animals have magninium inside of them (if something is at all "alive", then it MUST have magninium in it), gold/silver/copper are rare and damaging to the environment as well.
all magninium was once consolidated in the primordial being singularity. lonely and alone, singularity split themselves into genesis and bereave, who then set off to bring the world into motion. genesis stole creation magic and used it to make a slew of timelines. bereave, left with destruction magic, grew resentful at this, and started taking apart genesis' creations to mock him. this ended with the creation of the main timeline, which was unusually stable. its stability caused genesis to split further into the "big three": marvin, primordial deity of time; petrichor, primordial deity of nature; and alphanumeric, primordial deity of technology. more detail about this is here.
in the main timeline, what follows are a series of hijinks. eventually, bereave grows frustrated and splits himself into the "inverse three": kismet, primordial deity of fate; terrene, primordial deity of earth; and cosmos, primordial deity of space. the big three and inverse three, together, are referred to as the "big six". this is the background information of how the world works.
numbers has an extremely elaborate, exponentially-scaling god system, called the god spectrum. each level on the god spectrum can near-endlessly create any quantity of individuals lower on the spectrum than they are. in order of greatest to least power, the level of gods are:
big six > magnitude fragments > fragments > gladar > harmonics/chaotics > lesser gods > demigods > immortals > mortals
as a brief summary of all: both types of fragments are shards of the primordial fusions. magnitude frags ("mag frags") are shards of singularity, but fragments ("frags") are simply shards of genesis or bereave. they are extremely powerful timeline warpers who seek to keep the timelines from collapsing in on themselves, out of a love for life and the belief that everyone deserves a chance for living. mag frags are so powerful that their mere presence is literally incomprehensible to most lower creatures. both types of fragments exist outside of the timelines.
within timelines, gladar are the most powerful kind of god. each gladar is made out of pure magic, and forms a body around its magic to protect its core. it is extremely difficult to permakill a gladar (if possible at all), and they are capable of fusing with one another. each gladar may create a universe of their own, which is linked to them and usually based off their interests or personality in some way. gladar are extremely hands-off when it comes to anything lower on the god spectrum than them, and typically look down on what they see as mortal-like behaviors. they live in what is called "universe core", an empty expanse of land that is millions of light years in diameter. due to its size, there are multiple gladic cities and factions. all gladar were made by the big six or each other.
within a gladar's universe, the harmonics/chaotics (h/c) are the most powerful gods. each universe typically has at least 10 in total (5 of each type), but there is no limit to how many there can be (although typically their numbers are even). their job is to regulate the universe so it continues to produce magninium that the gladar can feed off of. some h/c take a hands-off approach to this and act like silent guardians, while others are extremely active and well-known participants in a universe - it depends on the setup of the universe itself. harmonics tend to represent positive concepts, and chaotics negative, although this has no impact on personality or actions - a chaotic is not, for example, automatically evil or cruel. they create lesser gods. killing a h/c is difficult without silver, gold, or copper weaponry.
lesser gods are lower than h/c and are typically the most hands-on of the gods when it comes to mortal affairs. each lesser god has an affinity/representation (terms are interchangeable), assigned to them by their creator h/c, which they then discover on journeys of self-discovery. they may feel their affinity has changed over time, or have simply not refined it enough (a lesser of art may later discover they specialize in painting and will change their affinity to painting, instead, for example). they tend to form coalitions within universes to watch over and guard mortals, as rulers. they create dimensions, which is a broad term to describe the nations that form within universes. lesser gods may be injured severely, but killing one is difficult without silver, gold, or copper torture.
demigods are created, either intentionally or by mixing two types of gods together to produce a child. they can die, but as long as their bodies were not "terribly" damaged, they will literally respawn later at certain locations (usually their home). the amount of damage a demigod can take depends entirely on their fortitude, will to live, and personality. typically, demigods arise when a lesser god and a mortal produce a child. much debate occurs in universes about whether or not to consider demigods gods or mortals.
immortals are mortals who happen to be unable to die of old age. there is nothing particularly else that is unique about them. they can die in any other way (sickness, murder, choking, etc), they simply do not have a natural cap on their lifespan. they have some advanced healing properties that prevent the buildup of scar tissue. usually they're caused by magical anomalies during birth, but can be "blessed" into a bloodline.
mortals are akin to the typical everyday human. they exist in vast quantities and mostly serve to produce magic for the universe subconsciously. "zombies", while not technically alive, would be considered mortals on the god spectrum.
i won't delve too deep into how this can vary per timeline, but consider all of this canon to the main timeline.
click the spoiler for a graph depicting how the RMU (raw magninium units) scale with the god spectrum. note: harmonics/chaotics are not drawn on it, because i forgot to add them in, but they're closer to lesser gods than they are to gladar.
(click the image for fullsize! or click here!)
LIVING IN NUMBERS
numbers has an extremely large amount of sentient races - over 30. i will not be detailing all of them now. but, for some basic information, they are split into three groups:
the pony races, which interbreed within each other freely and produce hybrids easily; the dragon races, which also interbreed within themselves and are climate-based; and the non-pony races, who encompass literally everything else.
most races are ungulates of some sort (for example, the giraffe is a race in numbers). the average height of all the races is around 7 feet tall, and lifespans range from 200-1,000 years for a mortal. dying of old age is actually caused by one's inner magninium literally exploding out of their body, which causes the body to dissipate and the magninium to float into the Dead Zone of a universe. immortals do not have this internal clock countdown of magic explosions.
there are four available sexes: male, female, anbinary, and sexless. males can reproduce with females and anbinary individuals, females with males and abinaries, and anbinaries may produce with males, females, and anbinaries. sexless individuals typically have a unique way of reproducing.
sexuality and gender are not common topics, but this is due to the fact that numbers is a society that is so open-minded that the thought does not cross their minds. no clothing, behavior, etc., is gendered, and so when greeting someone or introducing someone, it is required to inform them of your pronouns and your name. most characters would be considered bisexual (or bi with a preference) of some sort, although most are in same-sex relationships.
death, in all universes, is regulated by the death harmonic and decay chaotic. there are two zones, which act like transparent layers on top of each other: the Life Zone and the Dead Zone. they are superimposed states - the death harmonic and decay chaotic exist in both at the same time, but it is rare for anyone else to. those in the dead zone can see those in the life zone, but can only interact with them if they are powerful ghosts. ghostly objects may appear in the dead zone, like buildings that were torn down or natural structures that no longer exist, and these can be superimposed partially inside or on top of structures in the life zone.
one may live on in the dead zone as long as people in the life zone remember them, and as such, festivals to honor the dead are common in all universes. there is often a struggle of teaching about prior dictators or warlords to children as part of an education, as doing so feeds the memory of them and therefore strengthens them in the dead zone, but imparting the knowledge of the past is integral to not repeating its mistakes.
any level on the god spectrum may be of any race (so a giraffe harmonic is possible) but restrictions may apply due to faction or universe structure. frags/mag frags/gladar do not have assigned "races" and may present as any mix of the races as they so please.
if you are so inclined, you may find information on races here and here. the amount of info on these pages may be lacking; forgive me for being a lazy content creator and not updating either of those often enough.
dimension - a term used to describe what a nation consists of in a universe. a broad term, since it can encompass a lot of different meanings. in a universe that is mostly submerged underwater, a dimension may be a pocket of breathable air in the universe. in a space-themed universe, a dimension may be a planet. in another universe, a dimension may be a series of islands. so on and so forth.
realm - subsections of a universe. each realm has its own set of dimensions and lesser gods. travelling between realms is not impossible, but usually requires more finesse than travelling between dimensions. think of a realm as a large bubble that encompasses smaller bubbles, which are the dimensions, and that the large bubbles float next to each other. that's the right idea.
universe - gladar create these. consider them small pockets of reality where gladar make all the rules. wanna make a universe where everyone has legs for arms and arms for legs? a gladar could do it easily! typically, a gladar will only have a single universe at a time, but can create more or reset their universe if it evolves past their tastes. a universe will naturally strive to protect its gladar - animals will flock around them, it is near-impossible for those born in a universe to harm their gladar, and the earth itself will catch the gladar if they fall. a gladar can invade another gladar's universe or destroy it, although both of these things are culturally frowned upon.
arcane magic - the most common type of magninium - a stable isotope. 90% of magninium is comprised of this type, and most gladar are made of arcane magic. arcane magic creates sentience in large enough quantities, and there is some arcane magic in everything.
black magic - magic found in bloodstreams, diluted with plasma and blood cells. it runs in the blood of mortals and is considered your lifeforce; if you run out of black magic, you die.
fell magic - the most unstable of the three types, and a caustic isotope. all beings have a spark of fell within them that can be considered a soul of sorts. this fell cannot be accessed and used like black or arcane magic. fell magic does not allow for bright colors in life, and the fell gladar - so named as they are individuals completely comprised of fell magic - are all grayscale and react harshly with the arcane world around them.
as a reminder, this is a VERY watered-down and basic description of numbers. there is an incredible amount of detail that had to be skipped to give what is honestly a very bare-bones explanation of several key aspects of the world as a whole. numbers is, quite literally, living, breathing fiction, and as such it's hard to distribute it in actually bite-sized pieces.