The Spirit World is a land beyond our mortal plane, the only other plane in the world of Crossroads. It is a strange and hard-to-navigate place, particularly to those who have never experienced the strangeness it offers. It is where the souls of the dead go when they pass on, or where the linger when they refuse to. It is the world of the spirits, the beings of myth and legend of the people on the mortal world. Nobody’s quite sure if the myths are born from the spirits, or if the spirits are born of the myths, and the spirits certainly aren’t in a hurry to find out. It is a mystical place, where powerful spirits and godly avatars walk in flesh, but reshape the world to their whims.
The Spirit World is always there, on the other side of the veil, a reflection of the mortal world, but shaped by thoughts and beliefs. The collective belief of the people living in an area will actively alter the shape of the Spirit World around them. If they truly believe there is a being, or a place, in the world beyond this one, that belief will slowly make itself true. Every place on the material world exists as a spirit version on the Spirit World, but not every place on the Spirit World exists on the mortal world, these extra places inserted between real places, or sometimes existing on top of them, the two separated by nothing more than going around an obstacle in a different way, or by walking through a threshold backward. On top of such strangeness, the geography acts strangely there, two points sometimes being closer on the Spirit World than they are in reality, sometimes further apart. An important point to note is that going to the world in one place may be dramatically different than going to it in another place, the beliefs of those living there altering the landscape such that it’s almost it’s almost unrecognizable as the same plane.
Planar Traits Edit
- Objective directional gravity: Gravity works in strange ways on this plane, usually following the same rules as the material world, but sometimes shifting unexpectedly or behaving strangely in some places.
- Erratic Time: Time on the Spirit World is a strange animal, sometimes moving faster, sometimes slower, seemingly at random. It averages out to about the same, but an unlucky traveler could spend a few minutes on the spirit world to find a week has passed on the mortal world, or may spend a week on a spiritual journey, only to find they’ve only been out of body for an hour or two. While on this plane, signs of time are similarly unreliable, the sun rising or setting arbitrarily, the stars emerging while the sun’s still up, the moon roaming through a dozen phases, some not even possible, in the space of an hour.
- Infinite Size: Every place on the mortal world has a spiritual mirror image, but there are infinitely more places to go on the spirit world than on the mortal one, some places occupying the same spot, merely accessed separately by going left around an obstacle rather than right or in some other, seemingly arbitrary way.
- Divinely Morphic: The spirit world is affected by the actions of those on it the same way the mortal world is. However, many powerful spirits can alter the landscape dramatically with seemingly no effort on their part, particularly in certain parts under different domains. For example, an earth spirit may not be able to reshape the clouds, but may be powerful enough to raise a mountain.
Visiting the Spirit World Edit
There are two distinct ways to access the spirit world.
- The first is through projection, separating your soul from your body and sending it to roam the plane for you. While on the spirit world in this way, you can move, act, and change things freely, but what you do on the spirit plane cannot come back with you and you cannot leave things behind. For example, retrieving an item from the spirit world, or delivering an item to it, would be impossible using this method, though you could slay a spirit or speak to an important spirit in this way. This method is also safer, as when your soul is reduced to 0 HP you instantly snap back to your body, unharmed but unconscious for one hour after the ordeal.
- The second is physical travel. You move bodily to the spirit world, bringing all your belongings and your body with you. This can be accomplished through the use of a natural portal, such as those found in certain caves, or by using a spell to shift yourself there. While on the plane in this way, you are physically, completely present, and can interact with the world and take or leave things as you desire. This method also allows you to travel through the plane, though such a prospect is unreliable without a proper guide.
The Spirits Edit
There are many different kinds of spirits living on the spirit world. Native denizens of the spirit world are outsiders, beings made entirely of belief and the stuff of the spirit world itself. These spirits can be divided up into various groups.
Spirits of Life: These are spirits of creatures that are alive, or have been alive as long as they continue to dwell in the minds of the world. The Named Animals fall under this category.
- Spirits of Herd These are the spirits of animals that are largely prey to other animals, like buffalo or mice.
- Spirits of Hunt These are the spirits of animals that are largely predators of other animals, like wolves or eagles.
- Spirits of Wood These are the spirits of plants of all sorts, such as trees or flowers.
- Spirits of Ancestors These spirits are human souls, converted into full outsiders after lingering on the spirit world.
Spirits of Nature: These are spirits of fundamental forces and substances, the building blocks of the world, and they can be formed from anything. Some can even be formed of multiple elements.
- Spirits of Earth These are spirits of earth, stone, dirt, and metal.
- Spirits of Flame These are spirits of fire, heat, and the sun.
- Spirits of Sky These are spirits of air, wind, and weather.
- Spirits of Water These are spirits of oceans, rivers, and rain.
Spirits of Soul: These are spirits invented wholesale by the minds of humans to represent pure alignment, good, evil, law and chaos, or sometimes more than one at a time.
- Spirits of Evil These spirits take the form of demons, devils, and other monsters.
- Spirits of Good These spirits take the form of angels, celestials, and other sacred creatures.
- Spirits of Law These spirits take the form of constructs, machines, and insects.
- Spirits of Chaos These spirits take on shifting, fluid forms, like blobs, swarms, or pure energy.
Playing in the Spirit World Edit
The spirit world does not have a human population, beyond the spirits of the ancestors, and they’ve forsaken their humanity. Still, spirits of the dead from every culture can be found here, wandering the reflection of the world they knew in life. Some are twisted into monsters by regret and sorrow, others, simply lingering to see the fruits of their labors. Others have long since their role in the tale of the world come to an end and are trapped, unable to move on any further.
The most common non humans in the Spirit World are the shadow people, who easily outnumber the lingering dead. The shadow folk are born from beliefs, like all those born on the Spirit World, but they are born from beliefs about other humans. The shadow folk are the manifestation of human beliefs about themselves, their neighbors, about the populace of distant lands, made from stereotypes and misunderstandings, but just as often shaped by outside observance and undeserved flattery. These people are also a part of the Spirit World, and their understanding of it makes them seem all the stranger. The shadow folk inhabit lands over where their source material is to be found, but the spirits of the dead from that realm may find their shadows almost unrecognizable.
Adventurers in the Spirit World can be from anywhere, from any culture, from any time in history. Modern souls visit, but the spirits of the ancestors linger on, doing deeds and continuing their adventures in the afterlife. Some hold ancient traditions of combat, using primitive weapons or ancient techniques, others use more modern developments. Shadow folk behave similarly to their human counterparts, but often use slightly different techniques or abilities than them.
Technology works the same on the Spirit World as it does in the material one… for the most part. Compasses usually work fine, but the shifting nature of the plane makes them poor tools for navigation, and they will sometimes spin uselessly in spirit places that don’t exist on the material world. A gun will fire normally most of the time, but powerful spirits can do things like stop the fire from reaching the powder, or bend the metal barrel, or conjure a gust of wind to deflect the shot. Even melee weapons are sometimes unreliable.