Cosmology

A rare knowledge concering the "Worlds other than these". Where do ghosts come from? Or Faeries? Or Spider Aliens? What is this "Bleed" that the Harbingers mutter about?

A starting character may not begin with Cosmology unless the character's backstory justifies it. Even then, a starting character may not begin with more than three ranks.

Cosmology in the this context refers to knowledge of Earth's (and indeed the solar system's) parallel, adjacent and nearby dimensions. Depending on who you might learn about such things from you will likely use different terminology and probably also different philosophical opinions about these. The metaphysical implications of the existence of each may also impact your worldview.

Much like Linguistics, choose different areas of knowledge depending on your level of Cosmology:
Dot One: One area of knowledge
Dot Two: Two areas of knowledge
Dot Three: Four areas of knowledge
Dot Four: Eight areas of knowledge
Dot Five: Sixteen areas of knowledge

Below is a list of areas of knowledge, but first, a key to the attached explanations:
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

Aliases—
Not every culture understands other dimensions in the same way. This will give just a few of the possible names given to a dimension.

Distances—
While many parallel worlds are associated with and are influenced and/or influenced by specific locations in the physical world, the corresponding distances between the real and world in question may be nearly exact, variable (dilated or contracted) or no detectable relationship. For example, the Shadowlands is nearly exact in terms of distance, while the Dreamlands is a world altogether separate.

Features—
Specific features (for example, a building or a mountain pass) may be direct reflections of the features in the real world, however, features from the real world may have no or partial reflections or there may be features entirely local to a specific world without any obvious reflection in the physical world.
Example one, obvious reflections: most buildings have an obvious reflection in the Penumbra that often appear as glowing blue wireframe structures occupied by Pattern Spider spirits.
Example two, no reflection: A brand new house that has never had an occupant or been emotionally relevant to the workers who built it will probably not have a reflection in the Shadowlands.
Example three, no physical world causal link: A palace of Odin, Norse God and father of his Pantheon exists in the Dreamlands, but it has no bearing on a "real" structure in the physical world.

Proximity—
Specific dimensions may be directly adjacent to the physical world or travelers attempting to go there may need to pass through other dimensions to get to them. Also, sometimes certain dimensions may only be adjacent to another dimension in specific locations.
For example, to get to the Deep Umbra, travelers must pass through the Umbra and to get to the Umbra, travelers must pass through the Penumbra.

Native occupants—
Each dimension often has animate beings (which may or may not be considered "alive").
Examples: the Astral Plane is occupied by animate emotions, conceptual ideas, and archetypal concepts or other creatures that occupy the minds of humans such as, a manifestation of jealousy, working inventions that have no existing prototype, and a walking talking embodiment of humanist philosophy.

Subrealms—
Some dimensions have mini-dimensions within them. These bubbles may be persistant or temporary and typically are only accessible through the primary realm. Example: The Dreamlands generate personal realms for many humans whilst they are dreaming. Travelers passing through the Dreamlands may pass through them without noticing the border or they may be obvious "bubbles" that may be peered through from the outside, or the membrane surrounding a personal dream realm may be al but impenetrable forcing travelers to go around it.

Dangers—
A list of some notable dangers travelers may face.

Related Abilities—
Cosmology relates only to the "shape" and metaphysics of dimensions. It will help you to negotiate terrain, prevent becoming lost, help keep tabs on someone moving on the other side of membranes and study barriers and features. Other secondary or primary abilities may be especially relevant to a given dimension.

Without further ado:
Some areas of knowledge (dimensions, realms or planes)—

The Penumbra
Aliases: The Velvet Shadow, Spirit World, the Never-never, beyond the Guantlet, Animus Mondi, proximal mid-range Aetheric dimensionality, etc.
Distance: The Penumbra nearly parallels the physical world. It is separated by a kind of dimensional membrane sometimes called "the Guantlet", but distances are only rarely distorted significantly.
Features: Some features may vary or differ completely. Example: a Bane Scar may appear in the Penumbra, but the real world will only show a polluted or emotionally viscious
Proximity: physical world adjacent, though special powers are needed to clearly "spy" on the physical world. Portals may be found here to access many other dimensions, especially the Umbra (the Ways).
Native Occupants: Spirits, werewolves, banes, reflections. Spirits are animate embodiments of things and creatures in the real world (such as flora and fauna and sometimes even inanimate objects). In human occupied areas of the real world Weaver spirits are some of the most common, in particular Pattern Spiders which, in theory, help to "solidify" reality. Werewolves are technically half spirit which allows them ready access to the Penumbra. Most werewolves are associated with Wyld spirits and react violently to Wyrm spirits. Banes are a kind of Wyrm spirit that sometimes attack and posess humans (but typically banes require an "in", such as an insanity or drug use). Banes are born of decay, corruption, pollution and negative psychology and seek to perpetuate and increase these things. Reflections, in this context refer to physical beings that "shine" through the guantlet. Reflections of beings are more pronounced depending on the metaphysical "weight" of the being generating it. Most humans have only very faint glows, but mages for example, often display idealized representations of themselves.
Subrealms: Pocket realms exist thoughout the Penumbra, often supported and tied to leyline nexii, nodes or cairns. These vary in size, function, occupants and danger levels.
Dangers: Many occupants are harmless unless provoked, however others are large, powerful and actively hostile. Certain locales offer environmental hazards as well, for example, a place that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption may continue to burn with spirit fire for years afterward.
Related Abilities: Spirit Lore, Garou Lore, Dreamspeaker Lore

The Umbra
Aliases: True Umbra
Distances: Distances are extremely skewed in the Umbra. Moving five feet may correspond to thousands of miles in the physical world and vice versa. Well known and established paths through the Umbra are called Ways by Mages and are known by many names by other beings, but they are rare. These Ways tend to be slightly less dangerous than wandering the true Umbra. Time is known to contract or distend in portions of the Umbra as well, though this phenomena is nearly impossible to predict, much less do anything about when it does happen.
Features:
Proximity: The Umbra is adjacent to the Penumbra on one side and adjacent to the Deep Umbra on the other side. Horizon Realms are found along the border with the Deep Umbra.
Native Occupants: Spirits, werewolves
Subrealms: Many pocket realms are found here, though some move or "phase out" at times. Notable realms include Arcadia and the Hollow Earth as well as the realms of the various Celestines and Incarnae of the Wyld, the Wyrm and the Weaver.
Dangers: Exceptionally powerful spirits are more common, consensual reality has little bearing here, becoming lost is almost certain eventual death.
Related Abilities: Spirit Lore, Garou Lore

Arcadia
Aliases: Faerie
Distances: The topology of Faerie has little bearing on the physical dimension as most of the Trods that lead to it were lost in the Middle Ages. Time and Distance are both distorted and it never works the way mortals are inclined to believe.
Features:
Proximity: Faerie is largely considered lost, though some changelings and werewolves insist that it moves through the Umbra somehow.
Native Occupants: Seelie, Unseelie, Wild Fae, Mythic Beasts
Subrealms: Summer, Winter. Respective homes to the Courts of Titania and Mab.
Dangers: Faeries are notoriously devious and prone to manipulating mortals. Warning— Do not accept "gifts" from Faeries as they are a debtor's society and while many are bound to tell the truth, it is never the complete truth and faeries that are intelligent and capable of speech are skilled in lies of omission and leading people to conclusions. They also have little patience for mortals who wish to pin them down with exhaustive questions to deduct the truth.
Related Abilities: Faerie Lore

Horizon Realms
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

The Deep Umbra
Aliases: The Vast Unknown, The Great Void, Outer Umbra, Beyond the Outer Gates, etc.
Distances: While some who are aware of this outermost layer believe it to be the reflection of "Outer Space", others insist that it is something different altogether. Both agree that it is vast in the greatest conceivable sense of the word.
Features: Largely empty, but cold and inhospitable. Environmental protection is a necessity and is prone to failure.
Proximity: Though rare and forbidden portals exist in nearer realms, most travelers never venture here with good reason, but if they were to go there, typical routes take you through the Penumbra and then the True Umbra before meeting the Horizon. The Hoizon is like the Guantlet, in that it is a dimensional membrane of sorts, however it is much, much thicker and less pliant, particularly for things that came from the outside.
Native Occupants: Void Engineers, Nephandi, alien spirits and unspeakable horrors, including perhaps some of the Great Old Ones and others still worse…
Subrealms: Little is known about realms beyond or within the Deep Umbra as very few who venture there ever return and if they do, their sanity is usually in question. Less than credible sources speaking of unthinkably distant and alien realms. Most of what is spoken of about it is only hypothesis.
Dangers: Alien menaces, harsh and unyielding environs, insanity, becoming irrevokably lost. The Council of the Traditions forbid trafficking with anything from beyond the Outer Gates or even venturing here.
Related Abilities: Alien Lore, Void Engineering, Mythos Lore, Shadow Lore

The Shadowlands
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

The Tempest
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

The Astral Plane
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

The Dreamlands
Aliases
Distances
Features
Proximity
Native Occupants
Subrealms
Dangers
Related Abilities

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