This setting is clearly designed with games like Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, Amber, Lords of Olympus, Everway and Planescape in mind. This is not a complaint about any of these settings, but rather an expression of how much I love them all, but that I don’t actually own them, so I’m just sketching out something that I would play with.
There are seven threads that tie the universe together, each extending infinitely through the substance of reality, and each touching countless worlds along its path. They share a common root, starting in a common world that stands at the center of all things. Each has a destination as well, albeit one that is infinitely far from its source. There is no way to simply traverse the distance, but there are beings of power who can circumvent that distance.
The city-state of Argent lies at the center of this web. Each way begins here, and the people and families that live here have raised up a golden city at this crossroads of worlds. Magic, science and wealth exist hand in hand on the streets of Argent, all under the watchful eye of the great families who rule the cities and the ways beyond.
The first Way is a grand staircase lined with doors that open on myriad worlds. It begins in the highest tower of Argent Palace and continues forever, changing its nature and shape as it goes. It ends at another tower, a great dark tower that looks out upon the landscape of the last world.
The second Way is a tree with worlds suspended from its branches. It begins as the great forest that surrounds Argent in two directions, with dark and mysterious ways hidden in the spaces between trees. Over its distance, it changes – in places one walks upon branches the size of cities, in others, the trees surround gates or pools of water, in others, the path goes within the great tree itself. At its end, one comes tot he very top of the tree, and may look out on a canopy that is wider than the world, under a forgotten sun.
The third is an unending road that wends between crossroads, changing from a dirt track to a superhighways as it goes, often with no clear indicators of when one has gotten on or off the road. It beings at the gates of Argent City, and its terminus is a great cliff, overlooking an ocean of fog, though there are some who say that is a false end, and that there is merely a road that has been turned.
The fourth is a great river, ever flowing, ever shifting, born from a spring at the center of Argent which fills its canals and flows out to irrigate the surrounding farmland. It is an inconsistent, unpredictable way, and the route between two points is not always the same. Some say that the River has a consciousness behind it, and left to its devices, ti will take you where you need to be. It terminates in a great waterfall that plunges out of sight, or at least it seems to. If it continues further, none have ever returned from discovering it.
The fifth is a secret.
The sixth is found on the sea and stars beyond Argent harbor as one passes from sight of the Great Lighthouse. It is possible to sail beneath the skies of a million million worlds, if one but knows the way. It ends upon a forbidden shore, far beyond all that is known.
The seventh hides behind every mirror, rooted in the palace’s Chamber of Mirrors and proceeding through mad reflections of every world that is passed. This is the least predictable of the Ways, full of dangers and misdirection, It terminates at the great black wall, a mirrored surface the size of a world which reflects nothing.
While each way is infinite (or close enough to be indistinguishable) , they are far from identical. The nature of the travelers, worlds, powers and secrets found upon each way has a distinct flavor and style. These differences are reflected in the style and nature of the keepers of each way – the members of the extended family given responsibility to study, watch and (when necessary) police the Way they keep. Each group naturally considers their own way to be the pre-eminent ones, and the matriarch of the family seems happy to fuel these rivalries.
More to follow
I remember you making a comment a while back about the power of roads and paths. I see some of that has borne and is bearing fruit here.
I’m going to go ahead and guess that the 5th is an infinite tunnel system that becomes the subway systems of a million different worlds.
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Sorry to necro the thread, but I’m just now catching up on my blog reading.
This is amazing, and I want to play in this setting! Hell, I’d love to help WRITE something in this setting.
Also, I have to say: you floored me when I got to the Fifth Pathway.