Prima Materia (Latin: First Matter) is an important substance featured in the Chaos storyline of the Zombies mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It is described to be formless primeval substance regarded as the original material of the universe.
Long ago, Prima Materia was harnessed by ancient civilizations to create wonderous empires. Mining deep into the Earth itself, these civilizations would return to the surface with as much Prima Materia as they could carry. No leader of mankind such as emperors, kings, or priests could resist the power of Prima Materia, as with it, all of their societies and kingdoms would prosper. However, the more they used Prima Materia, the more greedy they would become; benevolence would turn to violence, and peace turned to war. The power of Prima Materia consumed them all, and the leaders soon neglected the citizens of their own societies. One by one, each of the leaders' reigns would come to end; their civilizations would fall.
As time went on, more of humanity would succumb to the greed of Prima Materia's power, and soon the substance would be reduced greatly. However, the substance's expiration was not enough to temper humanity's desires; it was so powerful that it could create an endless supply of that which they desired, which caused most to believe that it was too dangerous, as he who held its power would have unending power. Nine individuals of men of science, philosophy, and reason brought together to form the Nine, and protect what remained of Prima Materia and keep it safe, for mankind could not be trusted with this dangerous knowledge. As the further humanity progressed throughout time, the more boundaries of discovery were pushed, and man found new ways to end themselves. When these discoveries were made, the Nine would arrive to secure them, preserving them outside of humanity's reach. Over the centuries, the collection of Prima Materia would grow, its existence soon drifted into legend and myth, where it became an object of mankind's ultimate pursuit.
The Nine would rotate their supply of Prima Materia and its knowledge between their ranks, allowing each to hold its power for a short period of time. Due to their status as mortals and normal men, they would be persuaded that they were wrong from keeping their knowledge private. They would soon decide to unveil their knowledge to the world, allowing their information to become public and to represent a beacon of humanity's intelligence and potential. However, this decision would be flawed, as their beacon soon revealed itself to be a harbinger; wars were fought and destruction reigned, forcing the information to become private once again. Despite this outcome, the Nine still had hope in humanity, believing that among the billions of lives on the face of Earth that there were a few that could prove worthy to harness the knowledge and power of Prima Materia.
The Nine would soon use their Prima Materia to create various relics known as Sentinel Artifacts, which require a key to activate them. These artifacts, when activated, would invoke trials to test the worthiness of individual humans. These trials would allow the individuals inside of them to experience lengthy battles for worthiness, changing the environment around to the trial's requirements and turning those who are not participating in the trial into undead creatures. However, once a trial is activated, those who activated it are locked into it until completion or death. When a trial is completed, the environment and undead creatures return back to normal whilst also having no effect on time. Completing trials provided by the Sentinel Artifacts gives the worthy who have completed the trials access to pieces of Prima Materia's knowledge that the Nine wield. This knowledge comes in the form of a vision of an item or location.
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