The Metaphysics

Imagine the Earth as a crystal globe hanging over an endlessly deep sea. This is no ordinary sea; this is the Collective Unconscious of humanity, filled with fantasies and inchoate images of the world. Now shine light from above, the Light which God wished into existence in the beginning and which has never gone out since, bringing ceaseless life to the universe. Where there is Light, there are shadows: multicolored shapes swimming in the waves, taking on the forms of great heroes and deadly villains, nightmares and dreams come to life.

These then are the Realms.

Each Realm is a reflection of a particular part of the Earth. The supernatural people and creatures within these Realms enjoy great power and strength... so long as they are within. On Earth, their powers fade before the powers of the Sun. They persist; they can still exert some degree of strength, but to survive long, they require talismans that link them to their Realm and allow them to replenish their energies.

Realms are often dreamlike: they bear little geographical relationship to Earth, for if you were to ride a mile in one, there is no guarantee you would emerge onto the Earth an equal mile away; you might have gone nowhere, or you might emerge on the other side of the country. Within, they have places that might seem infinite, such as the Black Forest, or might change as suddenly as turning a corner from Winter into Spring. They connect to Earth through 'Lacunae', border places that connect both realities.

There are several classes of creatures that should be addressed:

* the Supernatural. These people were never human; they are born in the Realms. They are strongest in the Realms, but weakest in the real world without talismans, making them quite reluctant to emerge.

* the Half-Blood. Both human and supernatural blood flow in their veins. Less strong in the Realms, but far more capable in Earth, they often serve as emissaries and messengers between the other Realms and with the secretive Magi, people of Earth who have been initiated into the mysteries of the Realms.

* the Magi. Purely humans, but they have heard and seen enough of the Realms to be able to access them without assistance. They often use their relationships with the supernaturals and half-bloods for their own profit and gain.

* the Ordinaries. Most humans have no particular relationship or knowledge of the Realms. Faced with incontrovertible evidence of the supernatural, they are likely to panic, attempt to pass it off as a freakish but explainable occurence, or take it in stride as just another example of the wonders of London.

* the Cryptids. These are beasts born in the Realms, that sometimes escape into Earth: the jackalope, the chupacabra, the Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, et cetera. Creatures of dreams, they usually stay far away from humans but may be drawn to magic, the better to bask in the energies they find so scarce on Earth.

These are the known Realms:

* Unterwald: a reflection of central Europe and parts of russia. Characterized by steep mountains, dark forests, and the occasional quiet, small village surrounded by farms worked by nervous peasants. Home of vampires, werewolves, and a variety of European sprites and elemental beings.

* Tir na Nog: a reflection of Ireland. Characterized by deep forests and craggy hillsides, cold blue lakes and dank marshes, and fairy palaces spun of crystal and bone. Inhabited by the Aos Sidhe.

* Tian: a reflection of China. Characterized by rice paddies, stretching plains and sudden twisted mountains with angular trees, much as one might see in brushwork paintings. Inhabited by a multitude of creatures and persons but under the rule of the Jade Emperor, it is isolated, and the intrusions of foreigners into its cosmology are resented, circa the Opium Wars.

* Yamato: a reflection of Japan. Similar to Tian, but owing to its gateway nature between China and the West, its rulers have been forced to turn their gaze outward. Unlike Tian, there is no one Emperor; instead, dragons live in the rivers and major bodies of water, dividing the Realm into provinces, each dominated by one house of yokai. These are generally henge (animals that can transform to human-like forms) like kitsune, tanuki, bakeneko, but also ogres (oni) and goblin-like tengu and the kappa.

* TODO(lynx)

(from Greywolf)
Possible other realms (for the sake of mention, not necessarily that a campaign should VISIT all these places).

Atlantis: Unfortunately, not only is it an other-realm, but it IS underwater as well, which makes it doubly inconvenient to visit for land-dwellers.

Australia: Alcheringa, AKA "Dreamtime."

Egypt: Duat -- the "Land of the Dead," but also the realm of mythic Egypt, centered upon an extradimensional branch of the Nile.

Central America: Xibalba -- the Underworld, ostensibly reachable by caves in the ground, featuring a great city ruled by ancient Mayan gods, full of all sorts of trials and traps for the unwary. Also Tlalocan (an Aztec paradise) and Mictlan (Aztec land of the dead, likewise with several trials and tribulations) might figure into the geography somehow. "Aztlan" is another arguably mythic domain that might warrant some name-dropping. :)

South America: El Dorado (city of gold).

Ooo. Here's a "List of Mythological Places</b>" in Wikipedia. :)

Some Realms have fallen into the Deep Dreaming and are known of, but not easily reached. While they can be explored, artifacts and people brought from these places will oftten be next to powerless in on Earth.

* Yggdrasil: home of the Norse gods and jotuns and related mythology.

* Olympus: home of the Greek gods.


Jared's PC: given Supernatural disadvantage (must keep talisman close at all times or suffer stamina penalty and loss of powers), powers are stronger at night and weaker in the daytime
- talisman is likely to be worn as a collar/choker necklace and look like a small ball or pearl, called a hoshi no tama ("star ball").

Discussed: receives Arcane Background: Magic (shapeshift, illusions (obscure with small burst template), ...?) and Kitsune Magic Affinity which reduces maintenance cost for shapeshift and illusions to 1 point/hour.

Starting money: $500

Metal-ribbed fan: $150, treat as rapier (Str +d4 damage, parry +1, weight 3)


Proprietor of the boarding house is a witch. She will secretly collect hair from the girls boarding there and add them to dolls kept in her private lab, which will allow her to monitor their status and locate them if they are missing.

8 girls in the boarding house total, so I need to come up with 6.

Miyuki - PC
Niamh - PC
??? - Mad Scientist/Inventor
??? - Noble
??? - Selkie
??? - Aos Sidhe
??? - Smart
??? - Werewolf
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