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The 27 Realms of Existence

The 27 Realms is a concept introduced in the Brave New Worlds campaign that I have been running for Untamed Dice.  It represents a culmination of my work on campaign worlds and my practice designing the ones I have, as well as the events within some of them.  Among the multiverse is the potential for infinite realms.  At least there was.  Now there are but 27 Realms now.  The organization known as Far Sight keeps a close eye on them as much as they can, watching for the enemies of the multiverse.  The Lovecraftian horrors that transcend such limitations.  As Brave New Worlds continues we will learn more.  As we play other campaigns we will learn more.  Some have been described by me, and some in great detail, but not all of them have been named.  Yet....

1. The Realm of Many (Idhomlya)

The first of the realms is the one from which the axis of the multiverse balances.  In events understood by few, many realms crashed into one another.  This overlapping was tenuous, but eventually made permanent, with many of the base realms and their worlds being destroyed in the process.  but stability was achieved.  Now the world is known as Idhomlya and it is the home of many peoples, many gods, and the oldest mysteries.
  • Bael-Ur
  • Atlazan
  • Serpent Spine Isles

3. The Realm on the Brink (Preator)

The world of Preator is one ravaged by countless centuries of war.  Angels and devils first fought their war for millennia in Purgatory.  When the entire plane became too flooded by celestial blood and too weighed down by celestial bones it became a desolate and dead place, not even suitable for the continued war of moralistic entities.  Thus began the proxy war.  Empires and kingdoms would rise and fall and in the name of gods both good and evil wars were fought.  Always were celestial names invoked, some diabolic and others angelic.  Either way, blood was spilled.

On occasion, in the worst of mortal wars, angels and devils would come to the summoning of great spellcasters.  These would fight alongside their followers leading them to death and creating the great battlefield graveyards that now scar the face of Preator.  It was always said that, in the end, there would be no more.  Eventually an even greater power would come and judge mortals.  Those praising angels would be saved and those who did not would be punished.

It was right against wrong.  Until the Horsemen arrived in Purgatory.  The token regiments of angel and devil, both, were wiped out and heralded in was the apocalypse.  There would be no fight against the end, no great devils to lead the survivors in conquest of a land left behind by the holy.  There would be no salvation, no great heavens for the devout to live in eternal peace and happiness.  There would be only destruction, the end of all things.  In this realization angel and devil were forced to work, as one, against annihilation.

Grand celestials of moral certainty worked beside their ancient opposition, wielding weapons forged of  beings formed from the very concepts of order and chaos.  Structure was weaponized.  Demons were weaponized.  Chaos would wreck havoc upon the Horsemen and their armies, while order would create stability for angel, devil, and mortal alike.

But in the end, the Horsemen could not be destroyed and were merely locked away.  Now, as mortal generations move forward, they forget the point and need of truce.  New angels are born of virtue and new devils born of sin.  Only the oldest survivors of the War Penultimate truly understand the truth.  Only a handful of devils and angels work to keep some peace, to keep the war paused, lest the Horsemen be unleashed again.  For when the War Penultimate is over there is only one event left to existence: the end.

7. The Realm of Imagination (Earth)

The Realms are steeped in magic and myth.  Some see a harnessing of magical forces, utilizing spells or prayer to perform incredible feats.  Others harness the power that suffuses the Realms in their minds, creating vast empires and technological marvels.  The 7th Realm is a bit unique in that the creativity of the mind is a magic unto itself.  Imagination can harness the power of the cosmos to create, and the collective imaginations of those living there are what create other planes of existence and creatures out of myth.  You see, in the Realm of Imagination, one may trod the Yellow-brick Road, dine with a hatter or a hookah-smoking caterpillar, and even see the great contests of racing snails.  And these lands--Oz, Wonderland, Fantasia--are only some of those originating from the world called Earth.

9. The Realm of the Awoken (Earth)

10. The Realm of the Machines (Metreon)

The Realm of Machines is one of stark contrasts.  On the world known as Metreon, ancient structures can stand, preserved, alongside towering and bright pieces of the future.  Vast tracks of untamed wilderness hide resources and animals yet to be discovered or tamed.  Cities sprawl for miles and miles, with districts that would dwarf cities of other worlds.  Advancement on this world was much like other industrial worlds, until the advent of the computer lead to the robot.  Since then robotics dominate pushing the world forward in leaps and bounds, as the machines aid in labor.  Technology develops around bettering these machines and in other ways to help or entertain people, but less so in between.  There is relative peace on the world of Metreon, but secrets lie throughout the lands.  Computer viruses, whole ecosystems of robotic replicants, and zombie-like androids are background noise amidst cyborg gang violence, android activists, and political uprisings.

13. The Realm of Tyranny

The Realm of Tyranny, at first blush, looks like some other worlds where magics predominate.  Most of those worlds were lost or merged into Idhomlya, but not the world within the Realm of Tyranny.  And it is, perhaps, the differences in this world that made it incompatible, for lack of a better term.  Within the 13th Realm, things are askew compared to most other worlds, on a moralistic level.  Not just in what is considered right or wrong, good or evil, but the aspects of those that are intrinsic to the realm.  Where the 1st Realm's angels are saviors, the 13th Realm's angels hold whips to exhausted and starving slaves.  There are elves, dwarves, humans, and other like races, but these are dominating tyrants and conquering lords.  It is accepted and expected.  The heroes of the Realm of Tyranny are the goblins, the kobolds, and other slave races.  They do not live in the dark, but hide in it.  The adventurers of this realm don't enter caves and ruins to battle barbaric races for long lost treasures.  Instead those barbaric races have adventurers who go out to the sparse or ramshackle towns to liberate supplies to keep their people alive and build their own way of life deep underground.

14. The Realm of Light (Luxarrah)

Luxarrah: the land of light.  A world where peace has been known for countless centuries.  A world where the betterment of civilization led to the birth of a new race, one that remained in servitude for less than a generation.  A world of towering crystalline spires and beautiful hard light machines.  At least, it was once.  Now, the core world of the 14th Realm, is cast in shadows, vast and impenetrable.  Barely a century ago, by their reckoning, the great void engines fell from the sky.  Called Soul Forges by the children of light, these glassine monoliths, run by hideous monsters of darkness, burn the souls of the living and create terrible creatures made of void-stuff and the burnt out husks of sacrifices.  The land around them twists and dies.  Not the lights of Sol, Luna, or their children can peak through the darkness around a Soul Forge and, in the chaos that followed The Fall, the Umbrahae, the minions of night, broke as a tide against loose stone.  Now the people of Luxarrah stand in a diminished realm, on a ravaged world, around their last great city; completely unaware that this is but one of many similar events; things happening because of the beings known as Elder Gods and Great Old Ones throughout the Multiverse.

17. The Realm of Glass

Bad things happen in the Multiverse.  This is a fact of the Realms.  Evil arises, chaos reigns.  Whether it is in the form of tyrants and demons or exposure to Azathoth itself, great and terrible things grip every realm now and again.  In the 13th concepts of right and wrong are perverse, flipped on its head compared to most other ways of life.  On Luxarrah the minions of darkness seek to snuff out the gods of light and their children.  Even in the Realm of Many a race known as the Vox’kai travel from world to world subtly taking over and enslaving “lesser” races.  But in the Realm of Glass there was not simply one twisted race or invaders from beyond the Realms, the peoples of that Realm did it to themselves.  As magic and technology grew throughout the ages, the engineers and wizards began to develop greater ways for travel and eventually made it to other worlds.

Empires big and small were added into the ever growing coalition.  Trade and expansion were ever increasing, but so were the wars.  To blame what happened on one race or group would be easy, but all were to blame.  Stubborn selfishness led to extreme measures and eventually massive engines of war, enhanced by ancient and powerful magics, were employed throughout the universe.  In the end nearly all the worlds were transformed.  Their surfaces are now covered in sand and glass, plains of glass and lava as far as the eye can see.  Below, radiation mutates the creatures of underground realms.  And the cores of the world were scarred and hollowed out, in desperation.  The last remnants of great natural magicians now maintain a safe and healthy world in the hollow cores of these worlds, the people who survived setback by untold millenia.  And they have only themselves to blame.

21. The Realm of Heroes (Earth)

23. The Realm of Dust

The Realm of Dust is a place of harsh sun and stinging, sandy wind.  Life is sparse and grows tough in the vast deserts of the world.  What calamity befell the world is unknown to the people of today, and they don’t much matter anyways.  All that matters is advancement and good living, at least that’s what the folks of the Imperium would have you believe.  The laborers and frontiersmen, in fact most common folk, would tell you the opposite.  All that matters is surviving another day.  A paying job, a plate of food, and your own choice in your own matters.  On the verdant shores and small islands of the world the Imperium lives in luxury, blissfully unaware of the way of the greater world around them and the plights of most people.  Some might even believe that the Imperium will bring such advancement to everyone of the world one day.  In the desert trains of coal and steam race through the barren landscapes, bringing supplies to and from outposts, mining operations, and Imperium cities.  In those frontier lands you kind find all sorts of things you can’t find in the Imperium: hunger, pain, work, but also life, freedom, choice.  The Realm of Dust is a place of cowboys and early industry, but it is also a place of magic and dragons and the ruins of long forgotten civilizations dot the dry countryside.

27. The Realm of Resurgance

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