Thursday, 12 July 2018

Travel between Settings

There are infinite Planes and Spheres in the multiverse, all possibilities caught and bubbled from the roiling chaos of everything else. They are the rafts of pattern amidst Everything. They are the worlds on which stories are told.

Spheres are stories. When a character leaves the world they are from, they sign away their rights to that tale. For most, it isn't a bad deal: the majority of stories for natives involve working a long, hard life only to retire and die. The majority of roles are walk-on features. Some people have sacrificed their parts in grand and incredible dramas to see what else was out there. Many such people are sorely disappointed.

Parallel worlds exist, but you'll struggle to see them: when viewed from a cosmic scale, worlds that are similar up to a point of historical divergence tend to look the same. Their "wavelengths" collapse into one another, manifesting as a single world in the material sense. The parallel worlds are there, still, but the only sure way to reach one is the long way around: go back to the divergence and do things differently.

Travel between the worlds is often accidental. There are endless soft-spots and fuzzy borders, where there aren't enough living souls to pin the usual laws of reality in place. There are deserts of glass shards that join up reflections, from just out of view of the mirror. There is woodland so dense that when you get to the heart of a thicket, a full rotation on the spot has more than three hundred and sixty degrees in it, more than four cardinal directions to walk in. There are doors which open to the wrong world when the weather is a little queer.

Travel between worlds on purpose is often confusing. Time doesn't play well with different continuities, as though it struggles to keep so many things in mind at once. Golden Barges are a popular method of travel, but every culture builds them differently (and each is insistent that theirs is the "normal" kind). The one thing they have in common is a weird non-relation between their internal and external dimensions. Roll three times on the table below with a d3 and d6 to generate one on the fly.

The Engine…
The Appearance…
The Quirk…
Great Golden Ship with glass bubbles
Impossible for sphere-native souls to look directly at
Auto-Cartographic Realizer
Enormous rectangle of metal, featureless but for a door
Sings to sooth itself on long journeys or periods alone
Revelation Drive
Folding silver yacht, only visible from certain angles
The intelligence that is the engine’s functionality is evil
Great brassy bullet with submarine port-holes
The intelligence that is the engine’s functionality is a sop
Discordant Thought Engine
A perfect sphere with freakishly ideal dimensions
Has a long list of things that the engine may require to work
Spatial Re-Philosophizer
Rusty, battered, and extremely unflattering design
Has “favourite worlds” it will try to revisit
Recurrence Loop
Long, sharp and thin, with an array of antennae
Smells foul and makes any land it lands on infertile
Blocky and bulky, with many added shapes welded on
Has an interfering spirit trapped in the interface-system
Fractal Surfing-Hull
Glittering and iridescent, like an inverted oyster
Can only travel to planes and spheres of a certain kind
Chaos Ingestion
Like a classic Galleon, but with a weird metal shell-top
Has the potential to explode if left inert for too long
Parallel Chronovore
Organic golden shape, like a grown boat
Will vanish into its own paradox forever if left unobserved
Elysian Reality-Wurm
Tree-like, but sticky with black ichor
Is actually a proto-sphere of its own, waiting to grow bigger
Profound Disconnection Engine
Dagger-shaped, with landing gear as its hilt
"Plays up to look cool" when there are other interdimensional ships near
Platonic Equator
Something like a helicopter and a solarium at once
 Prone to tearing open chaos-dimension portals when the engine goes wrong
Satrian Crab-Power
Huge and gloriously steampunk
 Is almost always coveted by intelligent beings throughout the multiverse
Hallucinogenic Reality-Broker
Impossibly dark and squat, with bat-wings
 Is almost always feared by unintelligent beings throughout the multiverse
Aneristic De-Entropifier
A great flapping ray-shape, always hovering off ground
 Generally erodes the quality of reality in places it has spent too long
Possibility Combuster
A hellish machine of chimneys and fire-grates
 Has some bizarre set of creatures living on-board, always just out of sight

There are places where the Planes and Spheres naturally intersect, cities and monuments that are interplanar by their very nature. There are also places that just plain don't believe in other worlds.

Magic from one world may just not work on another. If you visit the same place by two different means, you may end up in two different places. If you find a way home, it won't really be the same place.

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