Liminal Realm Myth in Kelunbar Forest | World Anvil
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Liminal Realm

"I was merely walking through the forest, the same as I always do, checking on an old oak tree that I consider a dear friend of mine, when suddenly I found myself in a place that wasn't where I was. I wandered in that place for hours. Nearly got eaten by a pile of moss. When I finally came out I was several miles upstream from where I'd gotten lost."
Remi-Rutof, Bumer

A Lost Space

In Kelunbar there are legends of a space called the Liminal Realm, all sharing the common theme of someone seeming to stumble upon a place that wasn't there before, entirely by accident. These spaces are often described as being foggy and confusing. Directions seem to change, the plants and animals there all seemed warped in some way, and insanity seems to set in on those that linger too long.   Unfortunately, nobody seems to know how to get into these spaces, and nobody seems to know how to get out. It is also unclear whether or not there is one large Liminal Realm, or several smaller ones. The spaces where people seem to pass through into a realm are called doors, but the same door seems to never work twice. Someone who has entered a Liminal Realm also often seems never to find one again.  


In the rare tale where more than one person has accidentally stepped through a door into the Realm, it is often told that one or more people go insane while they attempt to escape. Those that tell the tale are frequently left with the sense it is more than just the confusing directionlessness of the Realm, but that Realm itself has a presence that presses in on the mind.    Stories of this insanity tend to have similar symptoms: hallucinations, forgetting the real world, difficulty navigating, and loss of speech. Those that go insane also never seem to leave. 


Many people in Kelunbar don't believe that Liminal Realms are real at all. They believe that they're used to explain away the disappearances of friends and family, or that the person describing their experience accidentally ate the wrong species of mushroom for lunch.


Some residents of the forest have dedicated their lives to attempting to find doors liminal realms. They often believe that these spaces hold great spiritual wisdom, and entering will help them attain knowledge or power.   As far as they are aware, it is impossible for a door to open in the same place twice, but a few suggestions have been made by these folks on how to find one.
  • Doors are more likely to be open on nights when at least three of the six moons are full
  • Doors often exist where circles form. The gap in a tree trunk, a vine connecting two trees, or a cluster of rocks could all become potential doors.
  • Doors are more frequent in places with reflections, making locations near water much more likely. Areas where the forest seems to mirror itself are also likely to become doors.


A few rumors have spread across the forest that Tebinstot-Fero, the Rooter Founder, never truly died, but instead stepped into a liminal realm. It is the rare creature that stumbles both in and out of a realm, but a few have said that they met Tebinstot there.    It is widely agreed that Tebinstot, according to his wishes, was laid to rest at the site where the Sequoia Stump gifted him his staff. Most who hear about encounters with him in the liminal realm dismiss it as insanity, visions, or even mischievous spirits that may be trying to trick people.

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Cover image: by Scott Webb


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17 Feb, 2021 22:35

I like the idea that some people believe this folk hero never really died, and instead, people that go to the liminal space can talk with them!   Typo: "Is far as they are aware," -> As far as they are aware,

Char Mulder
20 Feb, 2021 17:59

Whoops! Thanks for the catch.

Time Bender
22 Feb, 2021 03:45

Haha, I love the line, " ...or that the person describing their experience accidentally ate the wrong species of mushroom for lunch."! It made me smile. Overall, a great piece of work!

Char Mulder
23 Feb, 2021 17:38

Thank you! I really liked that line so I'm glad someone else appreciated it.

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
28 Mar, 2021 05:40

Very intriguing! What I wonder is if the opposite sometimes happens. Where someone from the liminal realm accidentally ends up in Kelunbar. Also if you don't mind, the first sentence under Seekers seems to miss a word. It ends with: ... attempting to find doors liminal realms. I feel like the word to is missing from that sentence.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.