She can't. If this small body... uses that kind of power... this body, which Lacie... left behind for us... will be destroyed.

—The Core of the Abyss, speaking with Jack Vessalius through Alice

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This article contains plot and/or ending details for Pandora Hearts.
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The Core of the Abyss is the microcosm of the universe, referred to as "the blueprint of the world." She was created and is controlled by The Jurors, who observe the dimensions as "Tales" from start to finish in order to make sure that each comes to a different end so that it can be preserved in "The Library."

The ultimate purpose of the Core of the Abyss is to be destroyed by Glen Baskerville, destroying the universe and thus bringing an end to the Tale. Thus, a representative of the Jurors guides the incarnation of Glen Baskerville corresponding to her time and dimension, not telling them of their true purpose. The incarnation of Glen is tasked with isolating the Core, only allowed to visit her under extreme circumstances. One of the main tasks of Glen Baskerville is to destroy the souls of any red-eyed children, as these are the only people unable to be perceived by the Jurors and thus capable of interacting with the Core. These people were dubbed Children of Ill Omen (禍罪の子, magatsumi no ko, lit. 'children of sin [which causes] disaster'), eventually made to face extreme prosecution even outside of the Baskerville clan.

Though usually referred to as an "it," (それ, sore, literally 'that') the Core is capable of human personality and emotion, as discovered by Lacie, a Child of Ill Omen. Though Lacie attempted to maintain her companionship with the Core, she was eventually forbidden by Glen. Thus, Lacie instead attempted to provide other companions for the Core, first in the form of two stuffed rabbits, then in the form of her biological children. The Core became the surrogate mother to her twin daughters, named Alice and the Intention of Abyss. After their birth, the Core bound herself to the Intention of Abyss's soul.

Her fear of further isolation following Lacie's execution caused the Core to retreat into the Intention of Abyss's body, causing the Abyss to grow dark and her power to be significantly diminished. This allowed for the Tragedy of Sablier, an event in which the "chains" which distinguish the material world and Abyss. Had the Tragedy successfully dragged the world into Abyss, the Core would be destroyed and the Tale made to end. This was a great trauma for the Core, causing the Tragedy to be engraved into the Law of 100 Cycles and made to repeat. In order to avert further tragedies, the Intention of Abyss destroys her body along with Alice and Oz, restoring the Core's power.

Jack Vessalius, the instigator of the Tragedy of Sablier, offers his body as a new physical vessel following the death of the Intention of Abyss before his soul disappeared from his still living body. As it was the Core's fear of loneliness that led to the Tragedy to begin with, the latest incarnation of Glen Baskerville, Leo, declared that the Core was not to be further isolated. He then promised to end the persecution and ritual sacrifice of Children of Ill Omen, acknowledging that they are not symbols of misfortune. Vincent Nightray, the last known surviving Child of Ill Omen, was given the role of her companion. The Core was then named.

Description

Appearance

The Core is represented as a light, amorphous mass when not inhabiting a physical body. This mass changes shape and is not always a coherent whole, though it is at times shown squishing or reacting to a physical embrace.

Otherwise, the Core takes the form of the physical body it inhabits. Originally, this was the Intention of Abyss, depicted as an short, adolescent girl with white hair. The Core's influence on the Intention of Abyss's human body eventually caused their physical body to break down. Their hands and limbs became distended, their sclera darkened, and the lower half of their body became a mass of tentacles with a dark maw.

Though never shown possessing the body which formerly belonged to Jack Vessalius, it is presumed her influence would have fewer ill effects on this physical form, due to Jack's body having gained many of the qualities of a Chain. Thus, it can be assumed she would look like a blond haired adolescent boy with green eyes, though it is unclear whether the body would age further after she possessed it.

Personality

The Core was not born with a personality and, prior to meeting Lacie, had no sense of self. Her entire existence prior spent in isolation, the Core did not understand the depths of her loneliness until forming a relationship with Lacie. Despite this, Lacie theorized the Core's loneliness had in itself created the Children of Ill Omen, likely in reference to the Abyss being unbound by time.

After learning the joy of companionship, the Core became terrified of solitude. Lacie's death caused the Core to grow obsessed with what remained of her in the forms of Alice and the Intention of Abyss. She hid herself within the Intention of Abyss's body, refusing to come out in any but the most dire moments for fear of causing her harm. The Core then became fiercely protective of the Intention of Abyss and, to a lesser extent, Alice, making it impossible for the Intention of Abyss to harm herself or for any harm to be inflicted upon her by others. The Core's fixation on Lacie and grief over her loss would remain at the forefront of her narration until the Intention of Abyss's death.

The Core is generally depicted as kind, but very afraid. She lashed out at those who attempted to separate herself and the Intention of Abyss, but is acknowledge as having done this out of care for her. Just before the Intention of Abyss died, she described the Core crying for her sake. Despite this, the Core was convinced by Alice to allow the Intention of Abyss's death, acquiescing out of empathy for the Intention of Abyss's wish to die. She rewarded Oz for killing the Intention, even going so far as to extend his and Alice's life so as to allow them to say goodbye.

History

Toward the beginning of time, The Core of the Abyss came into existence by unknown means. The Core existed something like a deity - being the macrocosm of all the dimensions that formed around her and the single constant dimension: the Abyss. Alongside The Core existed a collection of beings known as The Jurors, who were tasked to watch over each dimension, influencing each of them with the inclusion of unique qualities in order to provide different outcomes for each dimension. Truthfully, each dimension was a "Tale" that would be collected into "The Library" once it had reached its end, and in varying different forms The Core, The Jurors and the Abyss existed in each dimension.

In the 1st Dimension, The Jurors created a being known as Glen Baskerville, who had a direct connection to The Core and was destined to lead a group of other outcasts who had been chosen to act as Messengers of the Abyss, the Baskerville Clan. As a result of this connection, The Core would consistently experience a hiccup of power with each new incarnation of Glen, which would flow through Glen and distort the reality of someone close to them, resulting in the birth of a Child of Ill Omen. Children of Ill Omen, being created outside of the initial blueprint of the Abyss and possessing supernatural powers that could distort reality as it was imposed by the powers of the Abyss, were immediately shunned by The Jurors - who advised the Glens to drop their respective Child of Ill Omen for the apparent dangers they posed. Without question, the Glens did as directed, summoning forth the Chains of Condemnation using The Black Winged Chains, which would drag their Child of Ill Omen into the lowest regions of the Abyss to have their existence eradicated.

Lacie accessed the Abyss without a Key with her natural power as a Child of Ill Omen and approached The Core.

Eventually, a Child of Ill Omen named Lacie dove deep enough into the Abyss to discover its dark heart. Though Lacie was wary to approach the darkness, she could feel a lonely presence from within, and so she called out to it - but she never received a response. Once she'd returned to the 1st Dimension, Lacie asked her master, Levi about what she'd seen - to which he was unable to provide her with an answer, as such knowledge was reserved only for the Glens. After due consideration, Levi ultimately decided to tell Lacie the truth, taking her aside and explaining to her the existence of The Core of the Abyss, and how someone could disrupt the world monumentally simply by coming into contact with The Core. To further explain his point, Levi revealed that even though only the Glens were permitted to approach The Core in the most dire of circumstances, because of the distortion that is a Child of Ill Omen someone like Lacie could do so as well - making Lacie's own existence a great threat to both their world and the harmony of the Abyss, which is why she had to die.

Even though Lacie could accept what Levi was saying, she couldn't anticipate what Levi's true intentions were. In an attempt to console Lacie, Levi asked if she would be willing to help him with an experiment of his, revealing that he longs for change and would like to try and give humanity the power to control the Abyss. Lacie immediately shrugged off what Levi was suggesting, believing it to be impossible - only Levi hadn't meant that he wanted to take control of The Core, but rather he wanted to offer her a human vessel in order to observe how it could change the Abyss. To do so however, Levi revealed that he would have to impregnate Lacie prior to her Ceremony of Judgement, so that when she was dragged down into the Abyss by the Chains of Condemnation to be destroyed, her child would be born in the Abyss and carry on living outside of the grasp of the Chains of Condemnation to be taken as The Core's vessel. Horrified, Lacie attempted to distance herself from her master, only to come to a realization and question if doing so would stop The Core from always feeling so lonely all the time, which Levi confirmed. Even though she was reluctant, Lacie agreed to help Levi in his experiment for the sake of The Core of the Abyss.

With her new knowledge of The Core, Lacie once again dove into the Abyss - this time into its deepest regions in order to meet The Core. Lacie greeted The Core happily upon her arrival and revealed twin black rabbit dolls which she had brought with her. Lacie gave one of the dolls to The Core, which it played with briefly, saying that since they both would have identical dolls they would always be connected to one another. Shortly afterward Lacie had to leave, but she promised The Core that the next time she came to visit, she would bring another friend with her. As an effect of the Abyss' power, the rabbit dolls were given life - a joint consciousness shared between two bodies - and despite the fact that the rabbit doll could only observe events as they unfolded between the Abyss and the 1st Dimension as time passed, it still satisfied Lacie's promise to The Core that they would always be connected to one another.

A pregnant Lacie visits her old friend, The Core

Close to twenty years later, Lacie returned to the dark heart of the Abyss with her doll, greeting The Core and mentioning how long it'd been since they'd seen one another. Unfortunately, Lacie also admitted that it would be the last time they could see each other in such a way - which made The Core "sway" with discomfort - though she revealed that she'd be delivering her child in the Abyss very soon and asked that The Core seek it out and make friends with it in her absence. Lacie then put down her black rabbit doll beside The Core's own doll and left the Abyss, leaving the doll to enter a state of repose.

Not long after, Lacie was dragged down into the depths of the Abyss by the Chains of Condemnation, where she gave birth to twins while she was being destroyed. The Core wasted no time and immediately embraced Lacie's children, both of whom she'd named Alice. While happily cradling the children, The Core made them age instantaneously, both becoming adolescents mere moments after their birth. While The Core took one of the twins as her vessel, becoming The Intention of the Abyss, the other twin took one of the black rabbit dolls and left the Abyss of her own accord. Unexpectedly, the moment that The Core joined with The Intention, the harmony of the Abyss shattered, and the golden paradise which it had once been became a mutated and hellish dimension of uncontrollable pain and suffering.

Satisfied with her accompaniment, The Core remained dormant within The Intention - who, over time, began to copy the doll, Oz's, habit of visiting the 1st Dimension by switching bodies with Alice. Soon after Alice's induction to the Baskerville Clan, she encountered a man with whom her uncle Oswald had been acquainted to, named Jack Vessalius. Upon witnessing Alice's encounter with Jack, The Core, speaking through the Intention, retrieved a fragment of Lacie's soul which she'd saved from the Abyss because it was a collection of her thoughts and feelings toward Jack. The Core offered this last piece of Lacie to Oz, asking him to take it to his body in the 1st Dimension and deliver it to Jack. Though Oz was successful, his actions deluded Jack to believe that Lacie had become one with the Abyss rather than being killed.

The Core intervenes in the conversation between Jack and the Intention.

With his own dark agenda in mind, Jack asked if The Intention could sever The Chains of the World, which Levi had unintentionally revealed to Jack would drop the entire world into the Abyss, pretending that he wished to do so in order to truly be with The Intention. Seeing the danger of the situation, The Core stepped in and possessed The Intention, telling Jack that such a thing would be impossible because using her power in such a way would be foreign to Alice's body and would destroy her. Furthermore, The Core admitted that her mere presence had been wearing Alice's existence down, and so she wouldn't allow any further damage to be inflicted on the body which Lacie had left behind. Realizing that he was speaking to The Core, Jack attempted to address The Core personally, only to have her retreat back into The Intention's subconscious. After reviewing what The Core had told him, Jack instead suggests that The Intention creates a Chain capable of severing The Chains of the World, which The Intention happily agrees to do by molding Oz's second body into Oz the B-Rabbit.

The clashing of B-Rabbit's and The Core's power

Soon enough, Jack succeeds in opening one of the Doors to the Abyss in order to form a Contract with Oz the B-Rabbit and severs The Chains of the World. What Jack hadn't anticipated was that Oswald could mend The Chains using The Black Winged Chains. With his plan gone awry and Oz low on power, Jack rushed to The Tower to ask The Intention to refuel Oz so that he could sever The Chains of the World again. Unexpectedly, Alice tricked Jack into revealing what he'd done - as she could hear Oz screaming in agony and had lost contact with The Intention - which ultimately lead her to one conclusion. Alice grabbed a nearby pair of scissors and stabbed herself in the heart in order to sever Jack's connection with The Intention. As her life faded, Alice met her sister in their mental junction, where The Intention revealed that Jack's hold on her could never be stopped so long as she had her memories of him. Intent on having Oz destroy her memories of Jack, The Intention used Alice's corpse to make a connection with Jack, then projecting herself in order to reach Oz - only to be stopped dead in her tracks when addressed by Jack. Fortunately, Alice's soul carried on, diving into Oz's body and claiming it and his powers as her own so that Oz himself never had to hurt anyone again.

From there, Alice attempted to destroy The Intention's memories with the power of B-Rabbit, only to have The Core intervene. Believing that Alice intending on harming The Intention rather than just destroying her memories, The Core refused to allow Alice to proceed. Even so, Alice carried on with her attempt, but the clash between The Core and B-Rabbit's powers resulted in an explosion that tore apart The Intention's memories and separated Alice from her own memories by transporting her to the Abyss - memories which were later saved by The Intention. With The Intention safe, The Core faded back into her subconscious, while the majority of Sablier dropped into the Abyss.

Plot

Sablier Arc

When Oz was drawn into The Hole while wandering through Sablier by memories, he ran into the memory of Glen Baskerville. Glen's Jabberwock tried to attack, but Glen settled it down, stating that Jack was not his enemy. After Jabberwock retreated into Glen's body, he stated that the power of the Abyss was in disarray and that the golden world of the Abyss was now covered in a layer of darkness. Glen asked whether this was because of the Intention of the Abyss, stating that such a thing did not exist in the beginning, rather there was a Core that ruled all, though the Baskervilles never thought that it would gain an ego of its own. Glen then states that such a thing should never have happened.

Swan Song Arc

With the destruction of the 1st Dimension on the rise after Jack managed to sever The Chains of the World for a second time, Alice ventured back in time alongside Oz, Gilbert Nightray and Ada Vessalius in order to stop Oswald - who had taken control of Leo's, the present Glen Baskerville, body in order to kill Lacie before she ever met Jack - thereby preventing The Chains of the World from ever being broken. When it seems as though Alice is in danger, Cheshire takes her in his arms and flees the scene, where he and Alice formulate a plan to make contact with The Core of the Abyss in order to save The Intention before it's too late.

Although the two are attacked by Oswald before they can reach The Tower, Cheshire fends Oswald off so that Alice can proceed. Storming into her old room, Alice attempts to make contact with her past self, but to no avail - something which she had anticipated given that people from the future who are not Glen or a Child of Ill Omen are unable to influence the past. Fortunately, Alice is confident that The Core of the Abyss should be able to hear her no matter who she is, and so Alice instead attempts to address The Core. As The Core possess the past incarnation of Alice, Alice reveals that she'd come to save Alice (The Intention), demanding that The Core allow her to meet with her sister in the Abyss. Confused, The Core asks what Alice means by "save". Confirming her intent, Alice states that she's going to save Alice (The Intention) from The Core, only to correct herself by saying that she's going to save Alice from The Intention of the Abyss itself.

As The Core attempts to decipher what Alice means, a large crack spreads across the floor underneath her. The Core tells Alice that she's not sure what she means by "save", wondering if Alice is trying to say that she can no longer be with The Intention. Confirming this, Alice explains that her sister can't handle The Core's power, and that because of it both The Intention's body and mind are on the brink of collapse. The world around The Core starts to crack as she insists that Alice is lying to her, but Alice stands strong and reveals to The Core that she's telling the truth - as The Intention imparted her wish directly onto someone she'd known (Xerxes Break). Alice then admits to The Core that she'd seen it in the junction shared between her and her sister, she laid witness to The Intention crying painfully because of her burdens as The Intention. The Core, now screaming, tells Alice that The Intention's body was left for her by Lacie, and she'd always taken proper care of it to ensure that it doesn't break. Attempting to get through to The Core, Alice tells her that no matter how important she may believe it is to her, there isn't any other way, as The Intention's already worn. Outright denying Alice, The Core breaks down, covering her face and crying while the world cracks all around her. As she cries, The Core mutters about how if The Intention wasn't allowed to be with her anymore, then she'd have to go back to being alone.

The Core has entered a crazed state, summoning some of The Intention of the Abyss' Dolls as she proclaims that she won't hand over The Intention, because she wants them to be together forever. Only then does The Core wonder whether taking Alice as well and uniting the two sisters would cheer up The Intention. Determined to obtain Alice as well, The Core sends the dolls after Alice, only for them to be stopped before they can reach her, as they're shot down by Gilbert, who'd been sent by Oz to help Alice. Gilbert asks Alice what's going on and what exactly she did to make all this happen, prompting Alice to explain that since she'd heard them talking about how they needed to get to the place where The Intention is, she thought that she'd try and separate The Core from The Intention. Hearing this, The Core goes off on a tangent, insisting that she's going to take The Intention and ordering Alice not to get in her way. The Core easily overpowers both Alice and Gilbert with lengths of chains, leaving Gilbert laying on the floor unconscious while an unconscious Alice is suspended with black material reminiscent of tar that's been generated by The Core. As The Core coils around Alice, she invites Alice to come along with her so that they can be together forever.

Just then, the world outside of The Tower shatters as The Core brings Alice to the dark heart of the Abyss once again, generating a field of power that will tear apart any existence that attempts to approach and throw them into the time vortex of the Abyss. Though all seems lost, Gilbert manages to enter the dark heart of the Abyss alongside Alice and The Core, where he urges Alice to wake up. Guided out of her slumber by Lacie's melody, Alice sees that she and Gilbert are now in a distorted version of her room in The Tower with The Core wrapped in Chains and some of The Intention's Dolls orbiting around her.

Gilbert shoots a few of The Dolls, prompting Alice to question what's going on - to which Gilbert asks if Alice really doesn't remember how The Core brought them there during her rampage. The Dolls question how Gilbert managed to get there on his own, as he's supposedly not meant to be there. This makes The Core speak up about how The Intention's wish is simply Alice, and so she asks Alice to join with them and become one; justifying that doing so would finally cheer The Intention up. Enraged, Gilbert steps forward with Raven's power, ordering The Core to shut up - as Oz had left him in charge of Alice and so he won't allow The Core to just do as she pleases with Alice. Upon hearing Oz's name, The Doll's ask who Oz is as they worry that someone else may be coming. However, The Core assures The Doll's that no one else could possibly be coming, since they're inside a black storm raging within the Abyss, and to approach it would result in the scattering of their existences. Although The Doll's are overjoyed, Gilbert insists that Oz will come for Alice, asking Alice for support on the matter.

Alice agreed with Gil and tried to help Gil fight against the Dolls. While the Core laughed manically in the chaos and send her Dolls to Alice once again, Gil use his chain to destroy the Dolls. Gil knew that it will be difficult task to protect Alice from the Core since he is losing stamina. The Core began to call Alice and Alice suddenly declared that she had enough. She yelled at the Core that even if she brought her (Alice), Alice (Intention) will not get any better. The Core rebuffed what Alice just said but Alice tell the Core to listen to Alice (Intention). She tell the Core that if Alice (Intention) is really dear to her, she should listen to what she (Intention) want to said. The Core ignored Alice's request and repeatedly said that she doesn't want to be alone again. To Gil and Alice's shock and horror, the Core reveal a big hole from inside her chains as she stare with a mad expression. The Core began to reminiscence the first time Lacie met her and said her name in a sad tone. She immediately began to attack Alice and Gil as the two dodged her attacks. While the Core continued to her attacks, she tell herself that without Lacie by her side, she felt so cold. With tears in her eyes, The Core sadly declared to Lacie that she doesn't want to be alone; she call for Alice once again as the Intention sleep peacefully inside her.

Quotes

To Alice
  • "Stop... Stop... it. Don't hurt... Alice..."
  • "Alice is the precious gift Lacie left behind!"
  • "I don't want her to go...I don't want to be all alone again..."
  • No...No...No...I don't want to be alone again"
To The Intention of the Abyss
  • "Alice...from now on we will never be apart!"

To Lacie

  • "L..Lacie"
  • "Lacie...I feel so cold. Without you, I don't want to alone... Alice"

Appearances

(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.

Trivia

  • Although the Core of the Abyss is fused with the white Alice, it was revealed that the Core views the world from within the Alice she became the Intention with, and as such, the Core can intervene, taking over Alice's body if needed in order to speak through her.
  • Oswald thought nothing of The Core of the Abyss because he didn't think it could develop its own ego, though after its fusion with Oswald's niece, creating the Intention of the Abyss, Oswald viewed it as an abomination, hating it for destroying the peace of the Abyss.
  • It has been shown more than once that the Core cared deeply for Lacie due to her friendship ridding it of its loneliness. After her death, this same fondness was displayed for Lacie's twin daughters since they are all that Lacie left behind after she died and the only physical proof that she ever existed. 
  • It's been recently revealed that Children of III Omen are created by the Core on a whim and because of this, Jury has no power over them. Hence why she is so adamant on their destruction.
  • The Core could be based on the White King from the Looking through the Glass novel.

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