By Greg Stafford, Published 20 Feb 2003.
I want to start off by re-informing everyone that people do not normally HeroQuest within the God World, Spirit Plane or the Essence Dimensions. That is, not normally in a hostile or aggressive manner since it’s so easy for a mere mortal to be entirely crushed out of existence. If someone belongs there then they fit, are welcome, and cause no disruption to cause them to be hammered into shape or cast out.
First of all, the three worlds are different from each other, and this is intentional. They, being the primal sources of magic, share their nature with the magic that they provide. They, being different, provide different magic.
The God World is of huge things. They are magnificent and grand, massively supernatural and beyond the normal reckoning of mortal people. Its realms are distinctly set apart from each other, and when one is there and finds a way to get to another ones of its levels that level is distinct and separate, and the person sees that the more powerful realms are rather much inside the lesser ones.
For instance, to find a way to Orlanth’s Treasure Box, where he keeps his Mystic Gateway, one will first have to get into the realm of the demigods, then get past that into the Great City of Orlanth, and from there into Orlanth’s Hall, from there into his private rooms, and somewhere in there is hidden the box that is sought. These have borders that can be discerned and are stable.
The Spirit Dimension is made of smaller bits that are distinct, but they are contained within larger and more powerful realms.
If one wishes to find Kargzant’s access to the Infinite Realm they can start at Waha’s Camp, which is surrounded by the Great Herd. Keep going, outside of that into the Happy Herding Realm, which lies in the Vast Plains of the Spirit. Wander on through that, and perhaps they will open up to the Infinite Flatland, whose outer borders fade away into the Infinite.
These regions are indistinct from each other, often overlapping and including the lesser within the greater. They tend to shift and meld at times, merging and offering no distinct boundaries. This is one of the great dangers of the Spirit Plane, for beings of tremendous magnitude can be anywhere.
The Essence Planes are abstract, generally appearing as if they are the inside of a room. To reach Solace one must go first to the Spell Plane, which might appear as a representation of the power of a spell. This might be abstract or geometric, always contains an emotional aspect of the power, and is inhabited by the energy required to power a spell. These spell nodes have links, a corridor or perhaps a cyclone or a wormhole, to a higher realm of the Saint/Founder Plane. This is behind a barrier that must be passed, and it would look like the palace room or humble cave where the saint resides. It almost always has the original copy of the grimoire or other sacred tomes that the saint made to establish himself as a saint or founder. These, in turn, are connected to the archetypal realm of the original, living runes. These are entirely abstract, and to be within them one experiences the presence and being of that specific archetypal rune power. The next level, that of Joy or Solace, has limits that are so vast that they are undetectable by normal mortal facilities and even by most immortal senses. To progress beyond his, to the Eternal Infinite, one must discern its boundaries and find the tunnel “upwards to God.”
Thus the divine magic comes from within the individual, as if it was within him. Its beings are huge, being gods and goddesses. The power is something you are.
Spirit magic comes from beings who are smaller and more personal than the gods. The spirit, often in a power item, is something you have.
Essence magic comes from understanding the abstract secrets of the world. It is something that you know. It manifests from the abstract as a spell, a discharge of energy to change the world.
I hope this is helpful.
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