A Cosmology Primer
A Note from John:
This primer is not intended to be a complete reference, and will magically vanish when the actual rulebook and descriptions are put in place. It is also not intended to give you too much information on headers, although some information can be derived.
Once upon a time there was the First Patron whose words gave shape to his imagination and formed the Written World. Though the First Patron is gone, his teachings remain as words to live by. The Priest of the Word study these teachings (and those of the Greater Patrons) in enormous libraries that can be found in every city of the world.
Science is more often referred to as the Laws of Science, though mostly because those who study it are a wordy bunch. Science is different from ritual magic in that, if proper techniques are utilized, there is little risk of losing control of it. So saying, for some odd reason most Men of Science seem prone to taking shortcuts.
Craft, witchcraft, or witchery, is an attunement some people have with the natural forces of the world around them. It is the “power” behind a witch’s skill. People with the craft are exceptional healers. Harbalists with the craft excel far beyond those without.
The power behind both elementalists and ritualists, magic is metaphorically believed to come from the spaces between the lines formed by the Word. In other words, magic is the exception to the way things would normally work. Magic is inherently difficult to control. With small amounts (elementalism), there is little risk. With greater amounts (ritualism) the risk is higher and the control required is greater.
The Fairy Mists join together all the wild places of the world. They connect to the dreaming and hence exist to some degree in the minds of every person who dreams. They are a thing, a place, a concept even, of unpredictability. The Mists alter distances, allowing passage to far off places in the blink of an eye, or making years pass in an instant. They also allow for travelers to move between the mortal realm and Fairy.
Fairy is a strange place, thought to exist somewhere within the Mists. Almost nothing is known about the place itself, and most consider it only in relation to the beings that come from there. While travel through the Mists is possible and frequently done, travel by a mortal to the Fairy realm has never been recorded.
Fairies themselves are as chaotic as the Change Winds. From one to the next they are almost so different as to defy description. There seems to be two ranks among fairies. There are the more powerful fairies, typically called lords or ladies, who tend to manipulate things in one way or another, and there are the lesser powerful, common fairies, who don’t seem to care much about what goes in the world around them. Most fairies tend to be playful, although their games tend to be lethal to those who can die.
The Slumberlands are formed from the dreams and fears of every being on the
Written World. Dreams, and hence the Slumberlands, connect everyone. Similar
to Fairy, the Slumberlands are unpredictable and chaotic, and things are rarely
exactly as they seem (though, just to remain unpredictable, sometimes they are).
Dreams can often give great insight, but they should rarely be taken literally.
However, dreamers known as Sandmen can exert some control over the Slumberlands.
The Slumberlands refer to all dreams and all dreamscapes, but it also refers to the Dreaming World that is not in a distinct being's Dreamscape, that part of Dreams that connects all beings and is truly the raw stuff of Imagination.
The Slumberlands are made up of the fears, joys, imaginations, insecurities, and every other emotion and dream and mightmare of those who ever have or who are now dreaming, a chaotic changing place. Normal nightmares are as much a part of imagination as dreams are, and indeed, people can learn much from their fears and insecurities. But beneath the Sands of the Slumberlands are the dark, primeval Night Terrors - what many call Nightmares (with a capital N) - and these are a horrifying madness that try to consume the light of imagination; it is this Terror that the Sandmen oppose.
These horrible creatures come from a hostile land the Priests of the Word call Anathema. They are a true bane against the Written World, seeking without exception to destroy it. There is no dealing with a demon.
Death is a tricky thing on the Written World. Typically, when a person dies the body remains where it fell. A death strike may be delivered, and the body may even appear to be as a spirit for a time.
Sometimes, however, the body isn’t ready to “give up the ghost”. In some cases this means the body will return to life on its own. Those who return thus from death have no memory of their time spent as a corpse.
It is also the case that a body might animate as undead, and this occurs with enough regularity that there are precautions against it. In this case, it is best to remember that what stands before you is no longer your friend - that the undead do hunger for the essence of the living.
Most graveyards are prepared by the church to prevent the rise of the bodies kept therein. Most graveyards are also circled by a strong fence, and this is not usually built with the intent to keep bodies out. The graveyard in Cottington is fairly new, and has neither fence nor ritual protection. Still, it’s a good habit to bring the bodies of the departed to the graveyard.
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