Realmsphere

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A Realmsphere, more precisely Aqshy.

Realmspheres are spheres of reality, coalescing and breaking apart within the Aetheric Void.[1b] Foremost amongst them are the Realmspheres formed by the eight winds of magic, for kindred energies are attracted to one another by cosmic law. These Realmspheres thus created became host to the Mortal Realms, the largest realms in the Cosmos Arcane.[1c]

Composition

The Perimeter Inimical of Golgeth.

Perimeter Inimical

The Perimeter Inimical is the layer of pure magic enveloping a Realmsphere. This boundary with the Aetheric Void is not always a literal barrier, however, but it always contains the purest and most lethal incarnation of its Realmsphere's nature.[4a][1c]

  • For example, it is said that Golgeth was an orb so dense it drew such arcane energies to it that its surface became so saturated with magic as to be entirely inimical to life. Inside Golgeth's core, however, a hidden world thrived.[8a]

Vault

A Vault is the rich gaseous swirl within which a Landscape hangs. More generally, it refers to the empty space located within a Realmsphere that is not occupied by the Landscape.[1c] It is the Skies of the Realms which are festooned with various sky-islands and sky-paths, a fact that is especially true in Chamon, where a dizzying variety of domains hang in the firmament, each linked to one another by portals and mystical bonds.[20a][3f]

Landscape

A Landscape, more precisely Hysh.

A Landscape generally refers to the landmasses present within a Realmsphere. Made of crystallised magic, these collections of landscapes redolent with arcane energy were once crushed together by cosmic forces.[1c]

Many Landscapes appear as huge plates of land that linger within their Realmsphere. These slabs of solid matter hang in the Vault and are often orbited by smaller satellite worlds. This standardising approach has its limits, however, since each Realm essentially has its own logic of form.[1c]

The arcane energies that compose each Landscapes are the least volatile at their centre. There, the omnipresent motes of magical energy are thin and the arcane powers are near imperceptible. It is there that the mortal races built their civilisations during the Age of Myth. Revenersingly, reality becomes more and more saturated with magic the closer one is to the Realm's Edge.[1a][1c]

Some Realms have notable differences:

  • Chamon: Unlike other Realms, which have one single and unified Realmsphere containing one single Realm, the Lands of Gold are akin to a constellation of various sub-realms hanging within Chamon's firmament.[3b]
  • Shysih: Due to the Necroquake, Shyish's energies are reversed, drawing inwards towards the core instead of pushing outwards.[3c]
  • Hysh and Ulgu: Hysh and Ulgu are inextricably linked, for shadow cannot exist without light, and they revolve around one another in an endless orbit.[1b]

Realm's Edge

At each Realm's Edge, where the Landscape encroaches upon the Perimeter Inimical of its Realmsphere, reality is so imbued with magic that even the gods can't sustain it.[3a] They are not always physical barriers, however, some can materialise as endless deserts or seas.[4a][1c]

Characteristics

The Twin Realms of Hysh and Ulgu.

Gravity

Within a Realmsphere, gravity is dictated by the complex interactions of the arcane energies that form the Landscape.[8a]

Day and Night Cycle

In the Cosmos Arcane, the day and night cycle exists because Hysh, the Realm of Light, and Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow, revolve around one another in an endless orbit.[1b] When Ulgu is in front of Hysh the Realms experience night, but when Hysh is in front of Ulgu the realms experience day.[5]

Realmstones

Realmstones, or Cursestones, are concentrations of raw magic, a disparate collection of substances that can be found in the Mortal Realms. They are amongst the most sought-after resource in the Realms and are of such value that a rich seam might start battles or call the attention of the gods.[9][10a]

Geomantic Pylons and Geomantic Lines

Within a Realmsphere, some locations gather a great amount of magical force due to powerful attractions known as Geomantic pylons.[18a] For their part, Geomantic lines are hidden lines of energy that thrum invisibly across the Realms.[19a]

Creation & Origin

After the destruction of the World-That-Was, various kinds of magic formed new realities of near-infinite scope and grandeur by clustering together, crystallising and combining with nebulae, cosmic dust and debris of Mallus.[3a][6a]

Duardin Realm-Craft

The ancient Khazalid Empire developed the science of realm-craft, allowing them to create new sub-realms. The untold amount of minor realms thus created were filled with rare gems and the Cosmos Arcane itself could be accessed and amended the desires of the Duardin.[2a]

Interrealm Travel

The various Landscape are linked to one another by portals and undiscovered mystical bonds.[3b] These pathways form unseen arterial networks both within the borders of a given realm, as well as one to another.[3a]

Following is a list of known forms that these pathways take:

  • Realmgates: Magical portals that allow one to traverse the Aetheric Void safely and come in many forms, from the more understandable gates and archways to more esoteric ones situated in mists, seas and skies. Their ability to transport people through the cosmos gives them enormous military and economic value.[5]
    • The most important of those are the Arcways, eight gates from each realm that lead to the sub-realm Allpoints, or the Eightpoints as it was renamed after Archaon conquered and made his base, the Varanspire, there. The Chaos Gods want to corrupt these realmgates so they all lead to the Realm of Chaos, allowing them to take over all reality.[5]
    • Sky-paths: The skies of the Mortal Realms are crisscrossed with mysterious airborne realmgates, named sky-paths, of varying sizes.[21a]
    • Corrupted Realmgates: Realmgates can be corrupted by the forces of Chaos to form corrupted Realmgates. These passageways can lead to the Realm of Chaos, to a Silver Tower, or even to the Aetheric Void.[1b]
  • Gnawholes: Highly unstable and totally unpredictable skaven-made pathways that allow the Skavens to bypass the need for Realmgates.[7a][7b]

Ecosystem

Weather

Weather in the Realms can be quite deadly, with strange elemental properties that threaten the lives and settlements of mortals.[3a] Among these are storms such as Pyre-tempests and Shimmerstorms which are known to plague the aerial trade ways used by the Kharadron Overlords.[11a]

Some Realms have their own, unique weather patterns. Some of the known examples are:

  • Aqshy has firestorms and searing winds.[3a]
  • Chamon has acidic rains, that test the ingenuity of its inhabitants, and poisonous fogbanks.[18b]
  • Shyish has boneshard hails, that can shred the flesh from the living in mere moments, and eerie winds that carries the souls of those unwary.[3a]
  • Ghur has savage storms that lash at the coasts of the realm.[3a]

Fauna, Flora and Creatures

Life in the Mortal Realms is incredibly diverse, being home to an uncountable amount of species. Some these species are unique to one Realm and can be found nowhere else in the cosmos, while others can be found in all of them, like rats. Independent of how rare they are, each species is adapted to their particular environment, which can be as simple as a different hue to a specialized diet, and even in some cases monstrous in form. This variety is found on more than just fauna and flora, but also the cultures of mortals which are greatly influenced by their realm of origin.[3a]

Wildlife is a frequent threat to the inhabitants of the Mortal Realms, specially in Ghur, home to the most dangerous predators and where every creature is constantly fighting and evolving to make sure they are not eaten. Even the lands of this realm is voracious.[3a]

There are many creatures inhabiting the Mortal Realms and these can be roughly divided into the following types:

  • Automaton: Constructs made with science or magic.[3d]
  • Beast: Mundane and monstrous animals that are usually of rudimentary intelligence.[3d]
  • Daemon: Hellish spawn that serve the Dark Gods.[3d]
  • Mortal: Sapient humanoids of the Mortal Realms.[3d]
  • Spirit: Strange spirits, magical creatures and the magical creations of spellcasters.[3d]
  • Undead: Creatures animated by Dark Magic and Necromancy.[3d]

Types of Realms

Mortal Realms

The eight Mortal Realms are by far the largest Realms in the Cosmos Arcane.[1b] These Mortal Realms are too vast for a human mind to comprehend.[1a]

The eight Mortal Realms are:

  • Aqshy, the Realm of Fire
  • Azyr, the Realm of Heavens
  • Chamon, the Realm of Metal
  • Ghur, the Realm of Beasts
  • Ghyran, the Realm of Life
  • Hysh, the Realm of Light
  • Shyish, the Realm of Death
  • Ulgu, the Realm of Shadows

Sub-Realms

Alongside the Mortal Realms, there exist a plethora of minor realms, demi-realms and sub-realms.[2a]

Following is a list of notable minor or sub-realms:

  • Allpoints: An inter-realm island that connects to all of the Mortal Realms through the All-Gates.[12a]
  • Halosphere: A self-enclosed glove of reality created by the Slann from an outer bastion of the Crystal Labyrinth of Tzeentch.[13]
  • Shadespire: Known as the Mirrored City it was once located in one of the Underworlds of Shyish, but was cursed by Nagash to stay between Ulgu and Hysh.[14]
  • Uhl-Gysh: Known as the Hidden Gloaming is a twilight demi-realm found between Ulgu and Hysh where Slaanesh has been imprisoned.[1d]
  • Blight City: Heart of the Skaven Under-Empire that reaches into both the Mortal Realms and the Realm of Chaos.[7c]
  • First Smithy: The First Smithy is the seat of power of Grungni. It touches many realms, yet stand apart from them all.[3e]
  • Fungal Asylum: Skragrott's sub-dimension accessible through a nameless Realmgate, found beneath Skrappa Spill.[16a]

Some sub-realms can be found within the Realmspheres of the larger Mortal Realms. They nonetheless have their own Realmsphere.

  • Sub-Realms of Aqshy:
  • Constituent Sub-Realms of Chamon
    • Spiral Crux: Once forged by Grungni only to be distorted by the machinations of Tzeentch, the Spiral Crux is the main sub-realm of Chamon and dominated by the Kharadron Overlords.[1e]
    • Hanging Valleys: A sub-realm found hanging in the Aetheric Void high within Chamon's firmament.[1e]
    • Golgeth: So vast and heavy is its Perimeter Inimical - the Metallostrata - that it attracts arcane energy and continues to build up and rage on its outer surface. Beneath the poisonous surface is a hidden world known as the Undervault where gravity and time fluctuate.[8a]

Sources