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The Nine Realms - A metaphysical expansion of the Umbra to match the Spheres

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  • The Nine Realms - A metaphysical expansion of the Umbra to match the Spheres

    The Nine Realms

    The concept of the Nine Realms is based on the idea that each Sphere gives access to a particular Realm, similar to how Correspondence gives access to the Digital Web, and Mind gives access to the Astral Realm. Each Realm connects to the others where they share similar conceptual space.

    I like the idea of this for several reasons. First, it provides a framework that for why the Astral Realm, the Digital Web, The Dreaming, the Underworld, and the Umbra all work similarly, but have their own unique rules. I also like how's it expands Magick to allow each Sphere to have its own world.

    Through these metaphors, we can provide personal journeys into the Biosphere when someone uses Life Magick to sense the world around them. Time becomes walking between the Shard Realms, looking into and reaching the past without affecting the present, or seeing the future of some other Earth.

    This is very much a work-in-progress. Some of the ideas presented here are more fleshed out than others. I look forward to your input and ideas on how to expand this alternate cosmology to the world of Mage, and the story ideas that it inspires for you.

    Prime



    Realm: The Dreaming
    Concept: Creation and Stories
    Conscious Experience: Identity
    Quintessence Flavor: Glamor

    Glamor and Banality map extremely well to Quintessence and Paradox. Paradox spirits become Ephemera warped by Banality. Paradox Realms are essentially Nightmare Realms.

    Many of the creatures of legend from Gods and Monsters can then be looked at as Fae, although few of them would claim that name.

    Structure

    Material Realm / Chimerical Reality —> Near Dreaming —> Far Dreaming —> Deep Dreaming

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    The _Material Realm_ is connected to the Dreaming through _Chimerical Reality_. Unlike most of the other Realms, The Dreaming does not have a discrete Gauntlet, but instead has a permiable barrier based on the incompatibility of the paradigms of the person trying to create a Magickal effect, with the consensus of the Reality Zone.

    Fae magic has a very creative and spontaneous nature, and so Reality Zones that are based on structure and practice would have a high banality for them. Mages have a wider array of paradigms, which allows them to interact with the raw Quintessence of the realm differently.

    Connecting to the Near Dreaming requires the use of a trod, which is a pathway to the worlds of the fae.

    Correspondence

    Given how Dreams are the simulations of the mind, it is possible that one could reach the Digital Web through them. It would also be possible to connect through a mathematically-based dream Realm.

    Time

    The Shard Realms are closely linked to The Dreaming. After all, how many stories start with “What would the world be like if _this_ were different?”

    Mind

    Again, Dream Realms provide the clearest connection to the Astral Realm of thoughts and concepts. The Deep and Far Dreaming are similar concepts as well, so would provide connections.

    Spirit

    Maya and the Supernal Realms are similar conceptual realms, and so the Silver Paths should be able to link to these places.

    Forces

    The Deep and Far Dreaming are places of eternal flux and roiling energy. This shares a lot of similarities with the Elemental Planes. Alternately, passing through the Material Realm is the easiest form of passage.

    Life

    As a Pattern Realm, the best way to reach here is through the Material Realm.

    Matter

    Knocker strongholds my have a connection to the the realm of Matter directly, but as a Pattern Realm, it is easiest to go through the Material Realm.

    Entropy

    The Roads of Balor lead to the Underworld.

    Correspondence



    Realm: The Digital Web
    Concept: Relationships , data, space
    Conscious Experience: Dimension
    Quintessence Flavor: Juice (See also _Digital Web 2.0_)

    Through the use of Correspondence, a Mage is able to reach through the Correspondence Point into the realm of data.

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    Data pervades our world, and Augmented Reality is already commercially viable. It is everywhere and nowhere.

    Prime

    Virgin Web is full of potential and almost infinitely malleable as the stuff of dreams. It is possible with the right knowledge to link the two concepts and create a connection to The Dreaming from one.

    Time

    The best conceptual parallel that I can think of between the Digital Web and the Shard Realms is the concept of the computer clock. It’s used to sync events and keep things orderly.

    Mind

    There should be many connections to the Astral Realm. It’s possible that one could go through the Icons or through a Sector that is tied to a particular concept.

    Spirit

    There are documented connections to the Umbra related to the Pattern Web and the Cyber Realm.

    Forces

    By formatting a Zone to mimic the environment of the Elemental Realm, it should be possible to create a connection.

    Life

    Possibly by formatting a Zone to mimic the Biosphere

    Matter

    With the ephemeral nature of the Digital Web, the Crystal Realms may be the hardest to access directly, but a mage might use the same techniques to connect with the other Pattern Realms.

    Entropy

    The Trash Sector is listed in _Digital Web 2.0_ as having connections to the Underworld.

    Time



    Realm: Shard Realms
    Concept: Possibility and causality
    Conscious Experience: Continuity
    Quintessence Flavor: maybe Sekhem?

    Given how the the Undying are sort of unmoored from time, and how their Sekhem is related to their connection to their past, this is a possible connection. I’m not super familiar with the system or the lore other than what is on the Wiki, so I may be completely off-base here.

    Description

    Shard Realms are described in various the World of Darkness books. They are essentially alternate Material Realms, where something is different. To use this extension, we take the concept of time from a one-dimensional concept leading from the past to the future to a three-dimensional construct.

    Many works of fiction use the “alternate timelines” model, and that is what we will use to extend the realms of Time. We’ll extrapolate from there, mapping them to our three familiar dimensions of length, width, and height.

    Our regular world only travels in one direction along the length, moving from the past into the future. To get the width, we consider the other possibilities for each moment. Do you turn left or right? Once those choices are made, the worlds diverge, becoming more and more distant as we travel along the length.

    Height is a little more esoteric, but we can think of the height component of time to be different initial conditions of the universe. Like how different would the universe be if π were equal to 3, or space were non-Euclidean? By traveling through this third dimension of time, we can get to some really strange places (much like the Deep Umbra).

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    The Material Realm is just one small point in 3-D timespace.

    Prime

    If we are able to connect to the moment of Creation, it would be possible to connect to the source of the creative energy in the universe, but this is difficult and dangerous. Perhaps there are Ages of Wonder that have a strong enough connection to The Dreaming to make passage possible.

    Correspondence

    There are places where Time and Space become reversed, such as inside of the event horizon of a black hole. Also considering that the Shard Realms are basically “what if” scenarios, it’s generally pretty conceptually similar to the Digital Web in that way already.

    Mind

    I can’t think of a good connection to the Astral Realms from the Shard Realms. Any ideas?

    Spirit

    The closest spiritual connection that I on think's are to travel to Shard Realm that never experienced The Sundering, since the Otherworlds would not be separated from the Material Realm. Then one can simply reach the world desired; however but this world be difficult.

    Forces

    Connections to the Pattern Realms would be difficult directly due to the ephemeral nature of time.

    Life

    Connections to the Pattern Realms would be difficult directly due to the ephemeral nature of time.

    Matter

    Connections to the Pattern Realms would be difficult directly due to the ephemeral nature of time.

    Entropy

    By traveling the threads of Time, and finding where they are most similar, one is able to approach the concept of Fate. By traveling the common threads of the Past, one is able to access the memories of a world gone by which is just a short hop to the Underworld.

    Mind



    Realm: Astral Realms
    Concept: Ideas
    Conscious Experience: Thought
    Quintessence Flavor: Chi?

    The Astral Realms are well documented. Just check out the Wiki for more information on the High Umbra.

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    Close to Earth, the Astral Realms show things and places in idealized almost Platonic in form.

    Prime

    Dreams and imagination are directly connected to ideas. Many connections should exist to The Dreaming. Finding them may still be difficult.

    Correspondence

    A realm of Mathematics or one of connections would lead to the Digital Web.

    Spirit

    Realms of honor, purity, atrocity, and defilement touch on the Umbra.

    Forces

    The Elemental Planes can be reached by finding the Epiphanies related to a specific type of energy.

    Life

    Down in the Vulgate, where the more recognizable creatures crawl, one can connect with life, but up in the spires one can find birth and blood.

    Matter

    In the Inventium, one has a deep connection to Matter. Perhaps in the piles of inventions, one can find a portal to the Crystal Realms

    Entropy

    Humans have contemplated Death and Fate since our earliest days.

    Spirit



    Realm: Umbra
    Concept: Spirit
    Conscious Experience: Morality
    Quintessence Flavor: Gnosis

    The Umbra remains as written. This is the most well-documented Realm.

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    Close to Earth is the Penumbra. We all know what it is.

    Prime

    By traveling through the Maya, the Supernal Realms, or Hy-Brasil one can connect to The Dreaming.

    Correspondence

    The Digital Web can be reached by climbing the Pattern Web.

    Time

    Surprisingly, other than the Shade Realm of Time, I have no ideas here.

    Mind

    By ascending from the Middle Umbra, one can reach the Astral Realms.

    Forces

    There are many ways to reach the Elemental Planes, including Djinistan, following spirits of elements, entering flames while stepping sideways.

    Life

    There are many ways of connecting to the Biosphere, including Hollow Earth, Pangaea, Wolfhome, etc.

    Matter

    The Crystal Realms can be reached with the guidance of a material elemental, the Shade Realm of Matter, and many others.

    Entropy

    The Shade Realm of Entropy is likely the safest connection to the Underworld, but there are others.

    Forces



    Realm: Elemental Planes
    Concept: Elemental
    Conscious Experience: Senses
    Quintessence Flavor: Vanilla

    The Elemental Planes represent realities dominated by energies. Closest to Earth, this manifests as lights being brighter, fires burning hotter, lightning splitting the sky. As one travels deeper into the Elemental planes, matter is replaced by energy. Chaos and motion abounds, and without protection, a mortal body would be unable to adapt to the chaotic forces assaulting them.

    Like the other Pattern Realms, one is able to travel not just in the three spacial dimensions, but also in scale. By expanding one’s focus, one is able to travel the cosmic threads of gravity and see the scale of the galaxy, or scale down to the internal of atoms and experience the realms of the nuclear forces.

    The denizens of this Realm are truly alien, and may not even acknowledge mortal travelers. This does not mean that one is safe. Quite the contrary. Elementals may be attracted to sources of energy to subsume. Large dragons, like rivers of light, roam the reaches of the interstellar space. Swirling vortices of color and sparks float though what would otherwise be a solid mass of roaring fire stretching to infinity.

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    Close to Earth, the Elemental Planes emphasize the dynamic parts of the World. Gravity is strange. Light glimmers, and fires burn bright.

    Prime

    Energy doesn’t dream, but creation and destruction are but two sides of the same coin. It’s possible that roads could exist, but they would be few and difficult to find.

    Correspondence

    Energy fields pervade space, and those that have Dark Energy as a part of their paradigm would see it as possibly defining space. It is possible to use the electrical nature of the Digital Web to possibly follow a connection.

    Time

    Energy travels in waves. Those oscillations come at a steady pace. An enterprising mage could use that fact to follow or forge a link to the Shard Realms.

    Mind

    I have no idea about connections to the Astral Realms.

    Life

    I have no idea about connections to the Biosphere.

    Matter

    The Elemental Planes of Fire or Air would have connections to the Crystal Realms of Earth and Water.

    Entropy

    Portals to the Underworld would be possible in the areas of high Entropy such as Black Holes.

    Life



    Realm: Biosphere
    Concept: Living bodies
    Conscious Experience: Embodiment
    Quintessence Flavor: Blood

    By reaching inward, a mage can connect to her own Innerspace, or to those of others. It is possible to scale down to travel inside of a creature, but a weary Life mage knows to be cautious of the body’s natural defenses, as well as parasites, bacteria, and viruses.

    Once this metaphysical connection is made, a Life mage can travel out to the Biosphere. At this level, ecosystems are represented as shifting masses of the creatures and plants that exist within it.

    I had the thought that the connections to the other Realms could be connected to the different chakras, (by combining the connection to the Static Realms). While I think that this could work pretty well, I worry that I simply do not understand their real meaning, and I would rather get some input on that idea first.

    Connected Realms

    Close to Earth, living creatures burn bright. Their state of health and presence are difficult to ignore.

    Prime

    Correspondence

    Time

    Mind

    Spirit

    Forces

    Matter

    Entropy

    Matter



    Realm: Crystal Realms
    Concept: Structures and Form
    Conscious Experience: Touch
    Quintessence Flavor: Vanilla

    The Crystal Realms, like the other Pattern Realms, are more recognizable than their more esoteric counterparts. Close to the Material Realm, objects seem to shine. Water sparkles, metal gleams, and even dirt takes on a reflective quality. Venturing outwards, one finds worlds dominated by a particular material, be that silicone with glass and quartz, or iron. More complicated materials have their place within the Crystal Realms.

    Farther from Earth, one can travel inward by reducing scale, where crystal structures can be seen directly. Molecules become tangible things. Elementals of electrons move about, changing the structures around them.

    On the higher levels, planets, stars, galaxies, and larger.

    Connected Realms

    Material Realm

    See above.

    Prime

    Leylines encircle the Earth, and these magical Rivers could reach into the Crystal Realms.

    Correspondence

    An endless plane of silicone could lead to somewhere into the Digital Web.

    Time

    A realm of clockwork would have connections to the Shard Realms.

    Mind

    I'm open to ideas?

    Life

    When moving about the molecular level, Life and Matter become indistinguishable.

    Spirit

    So many places! Basically anything found here, could have a similar representation to the Umbra.

    Forces

    Lava, ice, and other energetic material. Get in close enough, and matter and energy are interchangeable.

    Entropy

    A world of dust would connect with the Underworld.

    Entropy



    Realm: Underworld
    Concept: Fate and Death
    Conscious Experience: Memory
    Quintessence Flavor: Pathos?

    This is well described in Wraith. The Underworld is the memory of the world. Relics are memories with emotional connections, and Fate is simply memories of the future.

    Connections here are difficult though. The mortal mind to easily slips away from Death. Most of the ways here require at least a symbolic death.

    Connected Realms

    Close to Earth is what Wraiths call the Skinlands, where the pall of Jhor hangs over the world.

    Prime

    Memory and stories go hand in hand. Places with a strong emotively connection will collect stories, and have corresponding places in The Dreaming.

    Correspondence

    Computers and phones are becoming more and more important to society, so Relic Computers are starting to appear, and with them a connection to the Digital Web, up through the Trash Sector.

    Time

    Memory and looking back in time very conceptually similar. Following Fate forward too.

    Mind

    I don't have to many good ideas here.

    Life

    Nope. Not sure.

    Spirit

    The Far Shores connect to the Supernal Realms.

    Forces

    The Tempest could have connections to the Elemental Plane of Storms. Good luck finding them though.

    Matter

    No ideas. Help?

    Conclusion

    Thanks for reading all of this. I realize that it's stronger in parts than others. I really like the concept though. I hope that others can help be fill in the gaps, and expand it into a more fully realized alternate cosmology, and make Magick more multidimensional.
    Last edited by Ustice; 05-19-2019, 11:23 AM.

  • #2
    Interesting. Was there a Time entry? I'm not sure if I missed it or not.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
      Interesting. Was there a Time entry? I'm not sure if I missed it or not.
      Yes, the Shard Realms of 3-D timespace. Sorry, about the formatting. All of my formatting was erased when I pasted this here. It took me days to put even this together. In retrospect, I should likely have focused less on the connections between the Realms, but I have always found them fascinating in the source material on the Otherworlds.

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      • #4
        Ah. Cool.

        Would timespace be 3 or 4 D? I admit my grasp of temporal science is rusty.

        (Also, when I first saw the title, I thought this would be about the Norse myth realms, which would also be a fascinating creative exercise.)
        Last edited by No One of Consequence; 05-19-2019, 02:35 PM.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

        Comment


        • #5
          Spacetime, as described in General Relativity, is 4-dimensional, with 3 spacial dimensions, and one dimension of time.

          What I'm referring to as timespace is 3-dimensional is just 3 time dimensions. Merging the two concepts requires 6 dimensions: physical location in some coordinate system being three (like length, width, and height, but heading, elevation, and distance work just the same), and the three time dimensions as described in my original post. (hopefully the updated styling makes it easier to locate)
          Last edited by Ustice; 05-29-2019, 10:23 AM.

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