A note on taxonomy as it pertains to the Webweaver's Universe:
- Fae - Any fauna having been born with innate magical attributes (i.e. alicorn, phoenix feathers, pixie dust, etc.) but may or may not be magical themselves, or are, in fact, born with magical ability is considered Fae. This may or may not pertain to flora, as well, wherein the cases occur and are grown naturally rather than by magical means. Therefore, spectral mushrooms1 are considered Fae Fungi, whilst Ironvine, for as strong as it may be, is Mundane.
- Supernatural - Any flora or fauna having been made rather than born biologically with magical abilities or innate magical attributes are considered Supernatural (werewolves, vampires, angels, demons, etc.) This includes constructs such as golems and the undead. After all, a life contrived is still a life.
- Mundane - Any flora or fauna born without magical attributes, whom cannot utilize magic innately, without study and education, whom may still show or possess the aptitude to handle said magic outwardly are considered Mundane. Wizards, mages, and witches/warlocks (some, at least) are considered Mundane, while sorcerers are considered Fae.
- Imbued - Any flora or fauna so heavily influenced by magic, whether Fae, or Supernatural, or Mundane (see witches & warlocks), that physical attributes or innate magical abilities are enhanced or changed by external magic influences, such as Heartshards, are considered Imbued. Imbued are the most powerful, except in the cases of witches and warlocks (and some holy figures) whose magical capabilities are granted by an outside force, such as demons or angels.
- Aberrant - Any flora or fauna so heavily influenced by magic, whether Fae, Supernatural, or Mundane that physical attributes have been twisted, changed, or mutated are considered Aberrant. Aberrants are also extremely vulnerable to the influences of others and the properties of certain Heartshards.
- Universal - Any flora or fauna found on more than three consecutive worlds throughout any given time period, regardless of how evolution has enacted changes between those worlds, that possess the same physical attributes, same behaviors, and similar habits are considered Universal. The exception may be argued in the case of domestic livestock, as the prevalence throughout three or more worlds might be explained by early migration patterns.
Planes of Existence
While the question of a multiverse remains unanswered, it is worth mentioning that the Webweaver's Universe supports several planes of existence. These planes are defined by the presence of conscious thought, whether boundaries may or may not be crossed, and by how those "otherworldly" realms are handled.
- The "Waking World" or the physical plane - It is here that all physical life manifests and exists. It is influenced by biological life and can be influenced by other realms, whether physical or existential.
- The "Astral Plane" - A realm of space and time superimposed on the Waking World, where spiritual life manifests. Spirits of the Astral Plane have no physical presence, have never been born into the Waking World, and can, but rarely exist within it. They can influence time and space, and can exercise influence on the Waking World, especially in a few areas, such as the elements. Spirits from the Astral Plane, depending on how strong they are, can manifest spiritually, or at times possess living individuals in the Waking World for brief periods. (It should be noted here that "brief periods of time" is a relative term, as possession can last for many years under the right circumstances.)
- The "Veil" or the Realm of the Dead/Spirit Realm - Also superimposed on the Waking World is this, the afterlife. This is where the spirits of the deceased linger. Spirits of the dead cannot influence or manipulate space or time, but they can retain certain memories. For some, this can be akin to hell. They can (and do) influence the Waking World, often in the form of hauntings. The Supernatural, specifically the undead (i.e. vampires, liches, wights, banshees, etc.) are eternally linked to both realms, able to see them simultaneously. In some worlds, this breach of planes is problematic.
- The "Dreamscape" - Every living being which sleeps also dreams. Because of this, the Dreamscape thrives, fueled by virtually every conscious and imaginative mind which enters into it. For this reason, the Dreamscape has its own ecology and systems for defense. It is heavily influenced by the Waking World and can be used to influence other realms in return. The dangers in this are a cause for alarm, but the Dreamscape has at least two established mechanisms to counter said dangers. First, what happens within the Dreamscape can only be "echoed" in the Waking World. Therefore, if someone dreams of a horrific death by combat, they will only wake up with mild effects, such as aches and minor bruising. Stronger effects, such as broken bones and lacerations are certainly possible, but rarely recorded and highly unlikely. Second, most who enter the Dreamscape to influence it, or to influence other realms through it — be that by lucid dreaming, or "dreamwalking" — will eventually forget all that has transpired upon waking. For this reason, seasoned dreamwalkers have been known to keep diaries.
- The "Shadowlands" or the Shadow Realm - A vast, empty and mysterious plane of existence. To the untrained eye, the Shadowlands are void of any signs of life. Like a vast desert landscape, this realm remains enigmatic and misunderstood by most, but its powers seem to be accessible to those who can conquer the mysteries of darkness and light. In the Waking World, it would seem every shadow might be a gateway into this realm of everlasting twilight, but very few can actually utilize this power. Those who can, however, can use it to travel from point-to-point, hide, and even communicate with others in the Waking World across its broad, desolate landscape.
- The "Broken Plane" or the Shattered Realm - A plane of existence with a bleak, obsidian-like landscape. Demons and angels dwell here, or can, especially whenever they're awaiting ressurection. It is mostly the domain of demons, but since the two are intertwined so deeply, it is accessible to both.
C. B. Ash
Nice idea here! I can think of at least two of my worlds that could benefit from a Primer. Thanks for this! :D
Oooh, glad I could help! :D Thanks for coming by, too. I figured I'd just use it as a 'living document' and pop things in as they arise. Might mean some more organization down the road, but you know, it's all about the adventure!
Webweaver's Universe / Story
C. B. Ash
That is true! It is all about the adventure! :D And you're welcome!