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Outer Realms - part of the City - work in progress

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  • Outer Realms - part of the City - work in progress

    Hello everyone,

    Its been a bit since I posted some stuff, but I've been slowly getting back into the swing of things. I cranked this out over last couple days and was wondering how it sounds. For those that have read The City I have been building, this is part of the cosmology of the various realms, like Arcadia, etc.

    Let me know what you think.

    Outer Realms, their Border Marches and the Fallen World

    An Outer Realm is a different plane of existence from the Fallen World. There are said to be hundreds of these places, perhaps more with most rarely if ever touching the Fallen World. These places are only seen or visited by those who can transit between dimensions, a rare feat in of itself.

    Outer Realms are comprised of two parts, the border marches and the outer realm proper. Think of it like a sphere, within a sphere. When the outer realm comes into contact with another outer realm or the Fallen World, it is the border march that becomes the bridge between the two. This border march is also generally the place travelers arrive in when transiting to the outer realm via portals (gates, spells, and other such things). Few methods actually drop one into the actual outer realm. Outer Realms can be varying in size, from tiny little things, barely the size of a house to massive things easily the size of our own Earth. The smallest known are the Lairs of the Begotten and the largest ever seen is the mythical Creation. Some of these outer realms have been noted as being alternate Earths, places where ideas and events played out differently, for better or worse.

    No one is quite sure how the outer realms were created. Some believe that some of them have always been and some were created when specific events occurred (like the Sundering which possible created the five most well-known of the realms, Arcadia, Stygia, The Primal Wild, Pandeomium and The Aether (The Wyld = Arcadia, the Underworld = Stygia, Elemental poles = the Primal Wild, Malfeas = Pandemonium, Yu Shan = The Aether)). Some also posit that they can be created by the will of certain supernaturals, or powerful spirits. Others has theorized that key events in our history have created ones where the other side of the event played out, like the Nazis winning WWII, the US losing the War of Independence, dinosaurs not dying out, etc.
    Only a few outer realms touch the Fallen World with any consistency, and a rarer few that stay in contact on a permanent basis. Arcadia, Pandemonium, The Aether, Stygia, the Primal Wild, The Underworld, and Begotten Lairs all retain what seems to be a permanent connection to the fallen world. There are several outer realms that have tentative connections to the Fallen World at this time, and are accessible if the portals to their border marches are located, which can be difficult at best. Autochthon and the various mythical "heavens" such as Asgard, Olympus, and other such places fall into this category, though some have noted that the connections to Autochthon are becoming more stable, as if it’s coming into alignment with the Fallen World for some reason. Some outer realms only make contact with the Fallen World once in a while, at certain convergences or times of the year, like eclipses, or equinoxes, or when certain celestial bodies are present or in alignment, such as Hailey’s comet or when several planets are in alignment with each other, or when travelers are in specific spots in the world that hold mystical significance. The Black Ocean, Shamballa/Shangri-La, the Land of Worms of the Sta-au, and The Maelstrom are a few of these such realms. Some Realms exist only in stories, myths, legends, and theories, their connections seemingly completely severed from the Fallen World unless someone forces open a portal to them. Alternate histories, Avalon, Lemuria/Mu, Eldorado, Creation are some of these places.

    Travel between the Fallen World and the Outer Realms
    This is not as easy as one might think, even if the realm has basically a permanent link to the Fallen World, such as Arcadia. Gates of some type are need to move from the Fallen World to the border march that separates the two planes. These gates come in many forms and names with some being permanent affairs, such as Trods, Hellgates, and Wyldruns while others come and go depending on circumstances, such as Dark Waters and Ghost Fogs. These portals usually all require some form of activation to work, such as knowing the right rhyme for a Trod, or making a blood sacrifice of some type for a Hellgate. For those supernaturals who exist partially within a border march (Changelings, Exiles, Primals, etc), the location and activation of these gates is well known and activating a gate to the realm they are associated with is generally easier for them. For the more obscure realms, gates are no longer permanent though there are ancient gates no longer used that sit in lost places awaiting use for some rare few.
    Many learned occultists, both mortal and supernatural, and some scientists of the Decision Echoes Analysis Department of FEAR Corp, are aware of the existence of the outer realms, and many of these have access to the required means to open portals between the Fallen World and the border marches of the realms, if not the realms themselves. Using complicated occult rituals or high tech science mixed with mortal psi capabilities, a portal can be opened. These portals never last long, as they are not permanent (more on making them permanent below), lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few days before closing and requiring effort to reopen. As noted some realms are hard to connect to, with the more "distant" ones near impossible without great effort. Copies of portal rituals and people who can teach them are highly prized as are maps of locations of gates.

    Permanent Gates
    Actual physical gates between the Fallen World and the Outer Realm’s border marches exist. Doing a hopscotch on a forgotten chalk drawing while singing a tuneless song allowing u entry to the Hedge, to knocking three times loudly on the aged, crumbling rock wall beside the door carved with runes which will then open to the Underworld, these gates can resemble anything, indeed some just hang in the air, waiting for the right words or the right timing or event. Many arcane scholars have noted the location of a few gates, while those of the Hidden know of a great deal more, albeit mostly the ones associated with their own kind. Maps showing gates are rare but do exist, indeed Tobin’s “Doorways to Everywhere” is considered one of the greatest tomes of gate locations to exist, though its location is unknown, with many claiming to have seen it, read it and indeed even owned it. Partial copies exist in well-guarded libraries of many occult researchers.
    It should be noted that they are lost gates of ancient cultures that sit in forgotten places across the world. These ancient gates lead to realms not touched in millennia by human hand. To find such a gate and reactivate it might reap the finder untold riches, or untold horror, perhaps both. Arcane explorers are always on the lookout for clues to such places.

    The Outer Realms
    Distant Realms
    These realms are rarely seen anymore, existing now almost completely in myth, legend, tales and theoretical science. Portals to these realms are extremely complicated to create and almost as hard to maintain and generally can only be done with incredibly powerful means. Rarely a portal opens to the realm if conditions are just right, but this is about as rare as finding a field of 7 leaf clovers, in the middle of winter. Any gates that allowed permanent back and forth travel have long since been destroyed or have fell into ruin. Legends always talk about some still existing in lost places such as caves in the middle of nowhere or in ruins of old castles, but if they have been found, no one is talking.

    Avalon - Some say that on a perfect spring morning, when the mists are just right over the glass smooth waters of a certain lake in England, the isle of Avalon becomes visible. Songs are heard across the waters as the three sisters sing, and a pavilion is just visible, a figure lying upon a bed under it. This vision never lasts long, and those rare few who actually attempt to reach it find it vanishing as they swim or paddle across the waters. No one has set foot upon Avalon since the time of legends, though British arcane scholars do agree that perhaps if they could reach it and wake the sleeping king, then greatness would once again come to the empire. <<who is the sleeping king? Is it Arthur? Or is it somebody or something else? Perhaps it's some Lovecraftian avatar awaiting the right time, the human puppet of some other worldly god like Nyarlathotep>>

    Creation - The first world. A vast flat earth where the edges of the world stretched off into the nothing of chaos, unmade reality. Creation is a myth and legend, spoken of by few if any in the modern Fallen World. Racial memories of it sometimes emerge as dreams of glittering cities of magic and technology blended together, but these dreams fade quickly. Rare and ancient texts, scrolls and paintings sometimes depict it but these works are either lost to antiquity or locked away deep in a vault somewhere. No portals exist to Creation, and indeed at this point there are no spells known to be able to reach it. Rumors persist that the DEAD of FEAR Corp found a way to it, but no evidence has been presented as of yet. Strangely enough though there are a group of people who still remember it to an extent. The Flat Earthers. They are just overlaying Creation with the Fallen World without realizing it.

    Alternate Histories - These strange outer realms are formed at key cardinal points in history it seems, left to float off into the void. Some of these fade over time, dissolving back into the raw void, but others stay. FEAR Corporation’s Decision Echoes Analysis Department examines these Outer Realms, known as Echoes to them. They have several, mostly alternate Earth’s, from ones where supernaturals rule a post-apocalyptic world, to a zombie plagued North America, to a flat earth to other strange variations.

    Lost continents – Tales of sunken islands and forgotten places often abound, as well as lost continents. Three islands always seem to be major focus of discussions when talking about lost continents. Lemuria, Mu and Atlantis. While the Awakened have their own ideas of Atlantis and what it was, Lemuria and Mu are lost to myth amongst almost all. Some postulate they are all the same place, but others have noted they existed in different places. Atlantis in the Atlantic, Lemuria to the west of Australia and Mu in the waters of the Pacific, stretching from Hawaii to Easter Island. The modern Fallen World dismissed tales of any of the three as just that, tales. None of them are truly believed to have been real, at least not the advanced utopian kingdoms that many said they were.
    As noted, the Awakened know Atlantis, and in most other myths and legends from other supernaturals, these pan out. A place where magic was discovered and a mighty city was built to study it. Awakened often note that Lemuria and Mu are just other names for Atlantis and that they were all one in the same. Other arcane scholars who research lost places note that they are all different and at one point we could travel to them. In the modern Fallen World all three of the big names are just part of legend and there are no known ways to access them.

    El Dorado – The Lost City of Gold. This mythical place was claimed to exist by Spanish explorers who told tales of its existence, though modern research shown that the tale was merely an extrapolation of ancient tribal customs. Or was it. The Fallen World is full of mystical places and sometimes when danger occurs there places are torn asunder and placed away from prying eyes and greedy hands. The people of El Dorado saw the greed of the conquerors and enacted a great ritual, severing their city from the Fallen World to protect it and them. Initially the city remained connected, but as more and more explorers came searching, the tribal shamans kept severing the links till finally only 1 gate remained, hidden away from prying eyes. When the tribe that know of the gate in the Fallen World died out the city became myth and legend. In modern Fallen World the gate sits deep in an old cave network, illuminated in the day by a single shaft of light from an overhead crevasse, covered in moss, vines and dust. What has become of El Dorado itself is unknown.
    It should be noted that El Dorado is not the only lost city that has had a realm form around it as it drifted away from the Fallen World. Akakor, Houssa, Ys, and many others exist out there, lost waiting for the right person to find the portal to them and see what has become of them.

    Intermittent Realms
    These realms still have connections to the Fallen Realm, with active gates. While the location of the majority of the gates are generally unknown, some are noted and mapped with various factions holding them as assets.

    Autocthon - The rogue Primordial who sided with humanity in the Great War. In those final days of Creation, it saw the coming end of times, The Sundering. After laying its child into an egg in the world to come, the nascent God Machine, it recalled its people, sending messages out through its servants, the Alchemical Exalted. While large groups remained trapped in Creation when door was closed, most managed to get back to their cities within the ancient being.
    It should be noted that one of the primary reasons for the attack on Creation was to gather people. The population of Autochthon had been on the down swing for quite a while, with fewer soulgems being regenerated. The influx of the new souls allowed for jump in population especially with all the new births that occurred. The city states once again grew prosperous and new golden age was declared by many.
    Time passed. The city states grew larger. New cities were forged. Wars came. Life continued. Most ignored the continuing signs of Autochthon’s slowly dying body, but the signs were still there. The amount of soulgems became static again. More stillborn children than living were born. Resources began to get scarce and the larger city states wared upon the smaller, absorbing there populations and resources. Failing machinery, brownouts and an increased number of blasphemous mechanicals and bio-mechanicals kept occurring. Finally the remaining cities set aside their differences and came together in a great conference. They knew that Autochthon needed souls but the great engines that could open portals into Creation no longer worked. The conference gathered a group of dedicated Alchemicals and charged them with a mission. Find the God Head, commune with the Great Maker itself and see if it could provide an answer to their dilemma.
    The troupe set off on journey of discovery. While the Pole of Metal, the inner workings of Autochthon, was where they made their homes, the rest of the Great Maker was largely unexplored and unknown even after all the millennia that they had spent living within the ancient seemingly ageless primordial.
    They travelled deep into the body of the Great Maker, discovering many wonders.
    Within the Pole of Oil they discovered the strange kraken who mixed the lubricants of the Great Maker in a lightless realm of inky darkness. Amongst the toxic clouds of the Pole of Smoke they found the gas nomads, who lived in floating cities covered in crystal domes, harvesting the toxic clouds for minerals and fuel, drifting on the air currents generated by the machines all around that served as the Great Makers’ lungs. In the pole of Steam they marveled at the crystal coral colonies from within their traveling craft, built for them by the nomads of the Pole of Smoke. Within the Pole of Lightning they entered the majestic towers of the Prophets of Lightning to query them of their quest’s goal all while the massive essence capacitors absorbed the essence lightning that continually rained up and down the vast length of the pole.
    They fought many battles against foes both large and sublime, like the Harvester Gods that ravaged the dying machinery on the edges of the Pole of Metal, their bloated bodies of jury-rigged parts and machinery a testament to their ever hungry might as their moved slowly inwards from the edges of the pole. There were the toxic floating jelly fish of the Pole of Smoke, harvested by the nomads for food, whose acidic nature could cause irreparable damage to the floating cities if not harvested properly. The bloated oil whales of the Pole Oil, who would swallow the oils and lubricants and purify them, exhaling them from their titanic bodies through hundreds of vents along their backs. The crystal bats of the Pole of Steam, which normally eat the coral, but decided their traveling craft’s balloon envelope was just as good.
    After years of travel the troupe, lessened through battle, rigors, hardship, accident and happenstance finally breached the Pole of Crystal where the God Head resided. Pattern spiders of all sizes were here spinning and maintaining vast webs of crystal that stretched out across the vast sphere. At the center a massive column of crystal soared from top to bottom and jutting from the middle of it a single tower. The troupe entered the tower and found themselves in a simple large room where stood a pure and flawless crystal no larger than a melon. As they approached they felt the presence of Autochthon resound in their minds. They beseeched their god on how to cure it now that Creation had been destroyed. Autochthon showed them the Sundering. It showed them the Fallen World forming. It then showed them its child that had been left. Autochthon reached out to its child in final need.
    The Fallen World had changed since the Sundering. Races, civilizations, and entire continents had risen and fallen over the eons since. The God Machine had grown on its own, seeping into the background, using its agents, known as angels, to cement itself in the Fallen World. It built vast bastions known as infrastructure to power it with essence and spread itself outwards across all of the Fallen World. Sadly its creations were not on par with its parent’s and its angels sometimes fell, becoming demons, who fought against the God Machines machinations. Though these wayward children were troublesome it didn’t deter it from its goals.
    Then the signal came.
    A clear and resounding tone from across the depths of the ether.
    For a full minute all operations of the God Machine stopped.
    A second minute passed as eons old protocols were checked and linked. On the third minute a line of communication was opened. The God Machine spoke one word to its creator.
    All contact was severed.
    Autochthon was left perplexed. This was not what it had intended. The God Machine had been designed to be ready to give its maker a way back to the Fallen World where it could gather the materials needed to replenish and repair itself. Autochthon seized the remaining Alchemicals that had come before it and imbued them with a mission. Go the Fallen World and find out what had happened. It gave several the ability to open a link from itself to a borderland that lay between it and the Fallen World, one that had lain untouched for eons. Three of the troupe went into the borderland, fell to the ground and merged to become a transfer station, a place where those of the Great Maker could cross into the border realm to forge towards the Fallen World. The others journeyed deep into the border realm to find the connection. Only one did. Limping back it linked to the transfer station and the border realm merged with the Fallen World.
    Autochthon had returned but the world that awaited it and its servants was beyond anything that they could have foreseen.
    The God Machine of course immediately sensed the border realm touching the Fallen World and dispatched angels to deal with anything that exited it, but locating said gates was difficult at best. It set into motion new infrastructure that would create a system to try to block anything of Autochthon from coming into the Fallen World, as it had its own plans for the Fallen World and the dictates and plans of its creator were not in sync with them. The problem with this is that Autochthon was vastly older and more capable at technology than the God Machine and all the infrastructure does is give a somewhat belated warning that a gate to the Junkyard has been used.
    A few Alchemical Exalted managed to push their way through into the Fallen World with some of the Autochthonians, setting up an enclave but it was destroyed by the God Machine’s angels once it was discovered, the incident covered up as a reactor overload. Tactics were changed, spies were sent to gather intelligence on the God Machine and its agents. They learned of the fallen angels, the demons, and so approached them, the enemy of their enemy. The demons were even less help than the angels, indeed the Unchained were perfectly happy to make sure that the agents of Autochthon were found by angels and would help to make sure of this. Autochthonian agents finally resorted creating small enclaves dotting the most heavily industrialized areas of the world, places where they would feel more at home in the Fallen World. Their purpose is simple. Gather intelligence and people for the Great Maker. In a world with hundreds of thousands homeless and in poverty with majority not really caring, the gathering of people was seen as easy. Each week a shipment of people are sent through the borderland back to Autochthon, destined to become part of the population, their lives given meaning and purpose in the minds and eyes of the Autochthonians.
    The border march of Autochthon is known as The Junkyard. This unsettling place is rare to find, appearing only in areas of massive industrialization and even then it is difficult to tell if one has briefly entered it. The gates into this strange place generally take the appearance of heavily industrialized zones with outlandish technology that seems to be a blend of super science and magi-tech from a video game. Walking into this area will lead into a vast chamber of overgrown machinery in a state of disrepair. Wires are everywhere, cogs, wheels, generators, as well as devices interconnected with them serving who knows what purpose. The ground is littered with mechanical debris and pools of various fuels and industrial lubricants. This machinery ranges from tiny to super massive, with some of it seemingly as big as a sky scraper. The landscape seems to go on forever. Paths can be easily found here and there and following them seems to lead deeper into the vast maze of machinery. As one moves onwards one will see more and more indications of failed and failing machinery. Skittering noises can be heard coming from the depths of the place and occasionally insect like shapes will be seen. For most this is as far as they will go. The sheer alien sense of the place causes most to flee back to the Fallen World.
    For those who are brave enough, or stupid enough depending on one's point of view, to venture deeper into the mechanical landscape, they will eventually be channeled into what seems to be a processing center, filled with people in uniforms of varying colors carrying out various tasks. Three Alchemical Exalted are always here on duty, keeping watch, and if the traveler doesn’t turn around they will be caught, processed and sent through the link to Autochthon to become part of the populace.
    The Junkyard is full of strange mechanical life. Cast offs of the constructs that existed in Autochthon, these entities now roam the junkyard looking for ways back to Autochthon, as well as spare parts and sources of power. As untold years passed these entities began to also prey on their own kind. In the modern age of the fallen world the unending mishmash of the strange mechanical world is as much their home as their hunting ground, and anything that enters their territory becomes prey.

    The Black Ocean - This realm has an unknown size and presents itself as vast black watered ocean with no land that continues forever and a sun that never sets and is a constant wan orb in a cloudy sky. There is only one identifiable artifact in this realm and that is the vast ocean liner Leviathan, which slowly steams its way across the black waters under the dim sun. The border march for this realm is basically an ocean itself, though entry is rare, with a ship travelling on any body of water suddenly surrounded by mists and fog and then suddenly they are on the Black Ocean. Returning from the Black Ocean is only possible if one knowns the right spell to open a portal, though some have noted that ships on the Black Ocean will sometimes slip back through into the border march and then back into the Fallen World. The portals into this strange and desolate places are more frequent out in the open waters and are responsible for more than a fair share of tales of vanishing ships in places like the Bermuda Triangle. Usually the ship is lucky and ends up in sight of the Leviathan, and they are "rescued" by its crew and end up joining the passengers, their ship harvested for supplies. The black watered ocean has fish that can be caught, pale ugly things with tasteless flesh and occasionally gull like birds will be seen in the air, but up close the similarity is gone, the things having no eyes, just a bone like sheath where the head should be with a siphon like opening and long tongue with a pointed hollow end. Like the fish they taste bad, but can be eaten. Where the come from is unknown, but the Leviathan has become home to hundreds of colonies of these strange fowl, nesting in high places and the passengers have even take to breeding them in captivity for food, both the flesh and eggs.
    The Leviathan itself is a massive 1.5km long 1/2km tall ocean liner built in grand old days of ocean travel. (Yes I am nicking this from the 2000AD comic, it was too good to pass up). When it launched in 1928 it had nearly 30k crew and passengers on board for its maiden trip to the British Virgin Islands, then up to New York before returning home. It vanished as it passed through the Bermuda triangle. The most intriguing part about the Leviathan is that after it vanished, almost all knowledge of it vanished with it. Records of its building were burned, lost, or buried deep in forgotten vaults. Records and logs of it in port in England and the British Virgin Islands were expunged. Pictures were sought out, bought, burned and destroyed. Relatives of those onboard were made quiet through a variety of means, from bribery, threats, blackmail, murder, and even selective memory wipes depending on how important the relative was. By the end of the 1930 no record existed of the ill-fated super liner after from rare photos that were discredited as hoaxes. One person, a journalist and his film crew managed to hold onto a film and pictures they did of the ship setting sail from England. It was a full interview style film, showing the ship in port, various parts of the ship itself, from the upper decks to the lower decks and even the massive engine room. Interviews with crew, passengers and the builders as well as people on the docks when it set sail are all on the film. The complete collection of pictures and film reels comprises some 6 hours of footage and is one of the most comprehensive looks at the ship. When the cover up began, the journalist took his collection and proceeded to try to gather as much more information as he could. By the time the cover up was firmly in place, he had managed to accumulate dozens accounts, pictures, and short films on those involved including a full set of blueprints of the ship itself. Sealing all of the information into a heavy duty, water proof locker he had it packaged and sent to an address in the City. He then hired a hypnotist to blank his memory of doing it, but also to set a trigger command to make him remember it. When the people covering up the whole Leviathan affair found him they seized his copies and "blanked his mind" not realizing what he'd done, as he no longer realized it himself. He then took a trip to the City to join his fiancé and start a new job at one of the City's newspapers. Upon his arrival his fiancé questioned him on the locker, which he confessed he had no clue of, which he didn't, till he read the letter attached which was the trigger phrase. Now remembering it all, he put the information deep in storage in the hopes of being able to one day shed the light on the mysterious ship and its fate.
    It is unknown what caused the Leviathan to cross over, though the triangle is known for its disappearing ships, especially in a world of darkness and supernatural. When it first arrived the crew attempted to keep the information from the passengers, but after no land was sighted in a few days the passengers started to wonder. After a week the crew finally informed the passengers that they had no idea what had happened. The owners of the liner and the crew discussed the issue for days on end till finally the decision was made for the ship to continue its course, which should put it in North America. And thus did the weeks turn to months, which became years, which became decades. The crew took wives, had children, and trained them to be crew. New recruits were taken from the passengers when needed. The rich 1st class passengers became the rulers of the liner, with the 2nd class becoming the "landed" gentry, business owners, go-betweens and similar functionaries, and the 3rd class and steerage the labor and underclass. Services sprung up in the lower decks, ranging from stills making alcohol to places of ill repute to even farms of mushrooms in the dark rooms. Some took up fishing from the lower portholes and access decks. Food was rationed and eventually portions of upper rear deck were converted into farms for livestock and easy to grow crops. People died. Old age, accidents, violence and suicide. The rulers created a police force that meted out justice without mercy, especially on the lower decks. The entire upper forward deck became a massive open air market linked with the zoo and on deck gardens. The first class and officers, and those with connections to them, lived like royalty while in the city like buildings of the top deck, enjoying the meager sunlight and fresh air. Second class was housed in the lowest of the top deck buildings and first sections of the deck along with the important crew members. Thirds class and steerage, along with the lowest of ranks of the crew, lived in squalor like slums that they built in the vast holds of the ship, filled with buildings on the walls and catwalks everywhere.
    The bowels of the ship, where the holds of materials were located that were being transported, were largely sealed off, and even after close to a hundred years, a vast portion of the bowels are still empty and unexplored, home to feral dogs, cats, rodents, and even people. Some the cargo holds were broken into but most sit sealed, their goods still awaiting use. The aft of the ship where the engine room sits is sealed off with heavily locked doors. Rumors say only the captain, the chief engineer and the members of the ruling council have the keys and what lies within it is unknown.
    In 1935 the first new ship was spotted, a small sloop. It was brought along side, the crew and passengers integrated and the ship completely salvaged. After that lookouts constantly scoured the horizon for signs of ships. Others were found ranging from small sailing vessels to large cargo ships. Some were abandoned and derelict, adrift on the black waters, others had survivors on them. All were taken and salvaged.
    It has now been just over ninety years since the fateful day. The Leviathan has a population of close to 50k within its decks, most crowded into the lower decks living in squalor. Weirdly enough no one has seemed to voice the one question that should be asked. How can there still be lights, power, heat, and indeed the engines running, pushing the great ship slowly across the black waters, when it should have run out of fuel within a month of it leaving port. The vast engine room is sealed, with only a rare few permitted access and the captain and his officers say nothing. The lower decks tell tales of demons, strange leather clad things known as "Boilermen" who prey on them, taking victims to the engine room for some purpose. The truth is unknown. What keeps the ship powered? What are the boilermen? What caused the ship to cross over? Unlike the comic, there is no way for the Leviathan to be brought back, as it is now a permanent fixture of the outer realm itself, some saying that it was the Leviathan that created it.

    "Heavens" - There are many heavens, places where man has thought the gods lived and existed. Asgard, Mt. Olympus, Shamballa, Shangri-La, etc. These outer realms and their border marches have existed for thousands of years. The entities that populated them, and in some cases still do, traveled to the Fallen World and were worshiped by the humans there. What these entities were is unknown as this time, as contact with them is extremely limited. Arcane scholars have postulated that they could have been powerful spirits, ascended awakened, Begotten who has transcended, perhaps even left of god like beings from Creation or mayhap the nightmarish Primordials. In the modern Fallen World nights there are rumors of people who are in contact with these beings even today, possibly even by-blows of them and mortal women. Scions of some sort.

    Hollow Earths – Avatabar, Pellucidar, Skartaris, and other names have been given to the possible inner or hollow earth that might exist. Legends, myths, and tales abound of a strange inner world, though most modern science disproves it at this time. Still there are portals out there to the inner world, if one can find them.

    The Land of Worms – This strange realm exists in places of desolation and rot. It is primarily the territory of the Vampire Bloodline known as the Sta-Au and forms seemingly on its own. Not much is known of the Land of Worms.

    There are of course other intermittent realms out there, places equally of wonder and terror, like the Maelstrom the so called Birth Place of Storms, the endless dead city of Metropolis the First City, the red wastes of Barsoom, and the steamy, swamp jungles of Amtor to name a few.

    Permanent Realms
    These realms have more or less a permanent connection to the Fallen World, they and their border marches becoming part of our myths, legends, and stories. These realms always have active gates across the Fallen World, a fair number of them charted and known by those that use the border marches of the realms, if not the realms themselves.

    Arcadia and the Hedge – Home to the Fae and the changelings, also known as the Lost.

    Stygia and the Cemetery – Home the Reapers.

    The Primal Wild and the Savannah – Home to the Totemics and the Primals.

    The Aether and the Archipelago – Home to the Seraphs and the Exiles.

    Pandemonium and the Wasteland – Home to Daemons and the Taken.

    Begotten Lairs – Strange, twisted mini realms created by the Begotten out of the Primordial Dream where they hunt their prey in dreams.

    The Underworld – The lands of the dead, often travelled by the Sin-Eaters.

    Last edited by Walksforever; 03-12-2019, 10:22 PM.

  • #2
    It has been a while. In fact, it's been so long that all of your older content seems to have vanished. Where can I find it?


    • #3
      It's there .. if you look under my name it should be there .. I can pop something in it to refresh it back to the list if you like. What did you think of this stuff?


      • #4
        Frankly, I think it might need a little more structure, and integration into the existing Chronicles of Darkness cosmology. Mage has backed off of the notion of there being Supernal Realms, per se; what you have instead are:

        1. The Supernal World, which is like the original World of Darkness's Penumbras, but split five ways rather than three: it's a fivefold overlay of the Fallen World.

        2. Supernal Verges, where the connection to the Supernal World is strong enough to have manifestations that are noticeable even to Sleepers.

        3. Supernal Emanations. This is as close as you're going to get to what were previously known as “Supernal Realms”: these are otherworldly realms that embody one of the five kinds of the Supernal: so, for instance, you have Yggdrasil, which is a Primal Wild Emanation. Each Emanation is connected to a Supernal Verge by an Iris, which as the generic term for “a gateway to somewhere else”.

        Now, there are theoretically more than five kinds of Supernal imagery; it's just that these five are the ones to which mages Awaken. When a mage achieves Archmage status and/or Ascends, he has the option to “tune in” to some other viewpoint of the world. With this, he can potentially track down Verges and Emanations that don't fit the five Paths that regular mages are limited to. IMHO, this is where you'd find the “Heavens” to which you refer: in ChroD items, Asgard, Olympus, etc. could be considered Supernal Emanations belonging to Pantheons distinct from the five Paths of Mage. Which, yes, suggests the possibility of “Awakening” to a Pantheon instead of a Path, with the result being more akin to a Scion Visitation than a Mage Awakening.

        Another thing that ChroD has changed its that there's no longer any conflation between Mage's Arcadia and Changeling's Arcadia: despite sharing the same name, they're clearly and unequivocally not the same place. Heck, Mage's Arcadia isn't even a place.

        Now, I tend to think that the imagery of Mage's Arcadia aligns fairly well with the imagery of Changeling's Arcadia; and an Acanthus visiting the Faerie Realms is likely to see a lot with her Mage Sight while there. But the Fae that her Mage Sight reveals to her aren't the Gentry or even the Huntsmen that inhabit that Realm; nor are the Thorns that her Mage Sight reveals the same Thorns that are found in the Hedge. And Mage's Arcadia isn't the only Supernal World that you'll find in Changeling's Arcadia: you can find all of them there. In fact, if any of them was absent, Changeling's Arcadia would be a Lower Depth. With this in mind, you should probably make it clear that the rest of your Permanent Realms are not Supernal, either. As with Changeling's Arcadia, each may resonate more with one Path than the others; but all are present to some degree.

        The Lower Depths are a kind of outer realms that are defined by what they lack. The Inferno, from the eponymous book, is a Lower Depth; the demons from that realm lack a certain humanity and seek it out from there Fallen World. The Strix are also said to hail from a Lower Depth which they call Dis. There are others; and the “Lower” you go, the more everything starts to fade away until you're left with a vast nothingness.

        Then there's the matter of the Fallen World. According to Mage's cosmology, the Fallen World is merely the latest iteration of reality. Reality has been revised time and time again, each time resulting in a new timeline with its own history and its own laws. These revisions are never perfect, so far as we know — though to be fair, if there ever was a perfect revision, we'd never know it: we know about the older iterations of the Fallen World because they've left remnants in the current iteration. Mage refers to these earlier iterations as “the Time Before”, and puts a special emphasis on the fact that somewhere in the earlier iterations there was a “pre-Fallen World” that's occasionally referred to as Atlantis — although that's a term that's not used much in the newest edition of Mage.

        I mention these iterations because it could tie into the notion of the Continuum that's at the heart of the Trinity Continuum: the nature of a Talent's abilities is that they can tap into a neighboring reality to bend probability in this one. This Continuum of Alternate Realities (not just Histories) means that if a Talent ever learns how to access his full potential, he could become the ultimate reality hopper. It's also possible that Creation is a wildly Alternate Reality of the Fallen World.


        • #5
          Also, Mage makes a distinction between the Realms Invisible, which include the Shadow and the Underworld (and, presumably, the Hedge) and Astral Space, which it sometimes refers to as “Inner Realms”. Astral Space is a “soulscape”: you can variously think of it as existing inside your soul or if your soul as being an extension of it. In general, you project your consciousness into Astral Space instead of visiting it physically, though there are (as always) exceptions. Paraphrasing a quote from the last Harry Potter novel: “of course it's all in your head; but why in the world would that mean that it's not real?”

          Astral Space includes peoples' dreams; and in Changeling 2e the Hedge has been modified so that it's now intimately connected to these dreams: you'll find objects in the Hedge that you can use to enter dreams. The Primordial Dream that's home to the Beasts' Lairs is also located in Astral Space. And from an Astral Space perspective, the Supernal can be thought of as the innermost core of the Astral Realms, albeit cut off from the rest of Astral Space by the Astral manifestation of the Abyss.

          I've got a personal hack for Demon that adds another Astral Realm to the list: in effect, port the Digital Web from Mage: the Ascension by defining it as the soulscape of the God-Machine. In keeping with Demon's naming of things, I call it — or at least that portion of it that the God-Machine dominates, Heaven.


          • #6
            I knew about the new thinking with Mage and their Arcadia, so this was going to be more inline with the Lost's Arcadia. It fits a wee bit more square peg to round hole when I actually slot it into my CoD (using the hammer a few times of course).


            • #7
              Consider replacing the Cemetery with the Underworld. The original Book of the Dead suggested the possibility of Stygia being in the deeper reaches of the Underworld; and while that's been ditched where Supernal Stygia is concerned, it could still work with your notion of there being a non-Supernal Stygia.


              • #8
                That's what I originally was going to do, and been thinking I might go with that. I am thinking I will pull the outer realms stuff from the City for the time being, maybe include it as appendixes or "supplements" to the main document in the end.


                • #9
                  That said, my main point wasn't so much about what shouldn't be considered Supernal as it was about what should be: [b]Scion[/I]'s Overworld maps nicely to “other parts of the Supernal”, with different mythologies (called “Pantheons” for historical publishing reasons) serving the same sort of role that the Paths serve in Mage: with Olympus, Asgard, and so on being Emanations of their respective mythologies, with Terra Incognitae being there equivalent of Supernal Verges, and with Axis Mundi connecting these “Supernal Verges” to their “Emanations”. As well, the various Guides and Followers from Scion are very similar to the “Supernal Entities” of Mage. Finally, Mage/Archmage/Ascended roughly parallels the Hero/Demigod/God arrangement that Scion uses — though maybe it's more like Demigod/God/Primordial. That is, Scions are to Mages as your Taken et al are to the Lost.


                  • #10
                    Well I agree that it needs reworking before I finalize it .. I will concentrate on the main City stuff for the time being and toss ideas into this as I go. I do have a fairly extensive write up of the "hedges"of Pandemonium, Aether, Primal Wyld and Stygia.. all good ideas and even a partial system of powers and such for the Taken, Primals and Exiles. But I think I am over extending and getting side tracked from the main item itself... I need to get it with the cannon factions done and written with the 2e rules in place properly. Did you get a chance to read over any of the City by chance?