This exercise seems over the top, but for a fantasy writer, it is extremely important to explore unknown possibilities. “Universe” has a scientific context that is well known, but this is not it’s only use in fantasy language. Universe is but one kind of “Verse,” otherwise known as plane, dimension, or existence, and verses can be made up of several of these stacked in layers or envelopes. Valhalla / Midgard / Hel, Heaven / Earth / Inferno. I’m sure you get the idea, but the various cosmologies of earth’s myths and religions have many models to study and be inspired by.
|Photo by David Monje on Unsplash|
Universes in universes is a thing, and so there can be objects or places that have Demi Verses in or around them.
Magic itself is a kind of universal force, in some ways apart of nature in some ways not, in some ways a part of thought while being somewhat thoughtless in itself. There are many magical themes/guidelines and rules of spellcraft or priestcraft through which the concept of magic can flow, each with its rules and limitations as well as its eternal cost and implications for both wielders and affected.
Most fantasy settings have a low level of magic, being only slightly elevated above our own mundane world which has only its own sleeping sort of magic. You should explore magic in poetry, myth, song, and fantasy novels, especially the ones which inspire fantasy RPGs. Those who game should read, those who read should game, or so it has been put to me.
Dreams, gods, magic. The twilight of rationality where matter and energy become one simultaneous emergence out of glorious precision. Books do not write themselves (especially mine) and no story tells itself, so it stands to reason that a mythic creation should have mythic inspiration and a mythic author, with an audience of embodiment to hear the lay of it told.
If you have no use for gods or hard magic in your secondary world, then read on nevertheless, so that you can get the “believers take” on what religions teach. A world without faith and religion can exist, but it’s hard to imagine since wonderings about our origins do indeed seem to be hard-wired into developmental consciousness. If this is so for humans then why would it not be so for whatever it is lives in your story setting?
Here is an example.
Hyper / Multi / Exra dimensional crossover:
Pt A: The Gods – the outer shore
♾: Ankhara – the infinite sea
Pt B: The Mortals – the inner shore
What is the outer and inner shore? Between Infinity and Eternity, there is a diamond called awareness. The power of being is that you are, but being and not being are counted in that between. This concept of Now vs. Ever will be amplified in the next post, but for now take it as primordial mind which designed all, vs. being designed and compressed out of infinite/eternal vastness into a singleness of spacetime, a.k.a. Consciousness in now.
Ankhara is the “magick” of this Ezeoth storm world setting, and so represents a theoretical metaphysical super force with laws and means of applying them to will. Though the stellar bodies have an astrotheological connection with prehistoric myth (to follow in the next post) the gods listed in this post represent “new gods.” Entities that arose from the fallen theopolis called Ankhara, the older gods being thought to have perished or otherwise been deemphasized. The city of the gods, Ankhara, is where the force of magic gets its name.
Ankhara has several varieties, being symbolized and embodied by Five Sage staffs of discipline, representing Five Schools of Ankhara.
Pan-ele is Elemental (earth, wind, fire, water) – god of Power
Pan-meta is Meta-mental (telepathy) – god of Wakefulness
Pan-stella is stella-mental (heavenly names) – god of Mystery
Pan-crea is creative design (inspiration) – god of Art
Pan-exci is destructive design (domination) – god of Territory
Dreams and Dream Logic:
Magic is one thing, but being magical is very much another. Relics, items, and even people or places can become enchanted/ensorcelled, and such things are both natural and supernatural, displaying physical and non-physical attributes. The place that this kind of entity belongs is in a dream of deep sleep, one where universal imagery and developmental power is manifest in the unconscious.
Fantasy magic is the ultimate extension of dreamscape into landscape, transforming common matter into marvelous extensions of spirit and agony for the third eye to behold. Imagination is the throne of consciousness, the way that fantasizing is seat for unconsciousness.
The Spirit World:
Sometimes when a thing is dreamt and then comes to be, or even in some ways comes true, there is a mark on conscience and consciousness. Those who find themselves touched by superstitious omens or hard spirituality seek to have the sign read by one who knows the gods, the stars, the dreams, and so the way into the spirit world. That place in dreams where the dead are alive and those living transcend form.
It is form (embodiment) that we seek to define here, and where all form came from. It is not necessary for this section to be intricate, but it helps to have a well fleshed out cosmology/origin myth because of how people interpret prehistory. If literally than tending toward dogmatism, if figuratively, then tending toward spiritualism, if academically, then tending toward scholarship and so exploring the MonoMyth.
Theist, atheist, or agnostic, the way a world, culture, person sees it’s genesis helps to shape that world in powerful and mysterious ways. This exercise will thicken the psychic atmosphere of your world, imposing a dreamscape of myth and magic over a landscape of hard matter. Those who were gods look down, and those who think they are like the gods look up, and from such things do legendary dreams/ages blossom.