The Crossroads

I was lost for words my first time too. In fact, even now, every time I pass through here, I still can't find the proper words to describe it. My father once best described this place as if we lived at the heart of a bustling nebula...well provided it wasn't overly transparent. I agree.   Every time I come here, I feel breathless and like I can forget about all my troubles and worries. I feel lighter than I've been. I don't know what it is, but just being here, I feel at peace...until the inevitable mana fatigue hits. And believe me, it hits harder than an uniil rushing you at full speed.   Nonetheless, this place, where all earths, skies, the celestial, and the divine all cross paths is a testament to what the Gods can do if united.  
- Aviinzil, Inur. Mortal Year 2015

A realm purely ethereal yet entirely corporeal, The Crossroads is the plane of existence where every plane in the Universe links to. The Crossroads was created and worked on by every deity ever known, making it the first and only Creation in the Universe brought unto reality by unity of the divine.   The plane's development is estimated to have begun around 10.5 billion years ago and technically completed around 214,000 BCE, making it the longest plane to take to reach complete development, aside from the Mortal Plane. The Crossroads is sometimes referred to as the Celestial Realm or Plane.

Where All Worlds Meet

Linking all Planes of Existence together, The Crossroads is where one must pass through to travel between planes. After the Mortal Plane, the Crossroads is the most well known of the Planes, as inside the realm, linking every plane are the gateways.   The gateways are the most prominent object found in the Crossroads. Each gateway, also called portals, lead into a specific realm. Each gateway has a sibling gateway and each sibling is always and only a pair. No gateway can lead to any other gateway other than its sibling. Each gateway is distinct from one another: one gateway may be made of complete stone, and another made of wood. Each gateway also has a unique design. This is to aid in identifying a gateway as there are no signs in the Crossroads.   Gateways can be activated two ways: the first and the traditional method is via mana. Any mage can activate a gateway by simply transferring a small amount of their mana to the gateway's "offering stand." Each gateway has an offering stand, except for those found in the Mortal Plane.   The second is a method for those that are non-mages (those born without the ability to manipulate mana). This method is done via a special "tag." These tags store small bits of mana, but can only be used within a limited amount of time as the mana stored will dissipate in the plane if not used quickly enough. Every plane has its own distinct tag, and withing each plane, each tag is also distinct, depending on the issuer.

Gateways in the Mortal Plane

Since the Mortal Plane, rather, those living in the Mortal Plane are to never be informed of the other Planes of Existence, gateways are hidden and can only be activated via Spiritual Magic. Gateways are not easily located, and a human may stumble upon one without ever knowing. Gateways in the Mortal Plane are less than doorways, instead resembling more of rifts, a tearing of the fabrics of the Plane's reality.   To identify and open a gateway in the Mortal Plane, one must, first of all, know where the gateway is hidden. One such hidden gateway is located at the tip of Mount Olympus. After finding the location of a gateway, a Spiritualist can then open the portal into the Crossroads.   Sometimes gateways in the Mortal Plane are found by humans. Should one stumble upon a gateway, they may find themselves attempting to open it. Fortunately enough, gateways can't be opened by mortals.   It's still unknown how gateways disallow humans to open them, but some believe that gateways contain some form of "spiritual detectors." This idea suggests that gateways can perform "Soul Recognition," a spell that spiritualists can cast to identify a person by reading their mana signature. However, this would imply that gateways are living and contain mana, which shouldn't be possible in the realm.

Almost Absolute Neutrality

The Crossroads is a place where mana is near absolute neutrality. Scientifically speaking, the realm scores a 0.08 on the Devriin'kel Neutrality scale, the lowest of the known realms except for the Twilight Domain. Mana, by an unknown and unseen force, is nearly completely neutralized in the realm. When mana is neutralized, or in this case, nearly neutralized, the property literally nearly ceases to exist. For mages or anything that possesses any mana, this results in their mana pools being "drained."   When a place is near absolute neutral, an effect is produced on living beings containing mana. Mana fatigue: a state in which a mage or living being reaches under 1/10 of their mana pool's capacity. In more extreme cases, if one prolongs their stay in the realm, it's possible for one to experience mana exhaustion, a state in which a mana pool's capacity reaches under 1/20 if its capacity. Mana exhaustion can be fatal if left untreated.   This phenomenon is intentional, acting as a protective safeguard against any and all beings that would seek to harm or control the plane.

Inspiration for many Arts

The Crossroads is a plane like none other. Most people describe the realm as a state where ethereal meets corporeal, a place of undescribable aesthetics and beauty.   Naturally, the realm has been a primary attraction for those in the arts. From musicians to artists to writers, many of the greatest figures of the arts have mentioned the plane to be a place of great inspiration for them.
There are some things that are simply too much for words alone. There are some things that can only can be described with the strokes of a brush.
- Vikral, Hanul. Where Divine Crosses Earths. mortal year 1931

A Realm Void of Control

Similar to the Mortal Plane, in the sense of divine neutrality, The Crossroads belongs to no faction. Some make the argument that the plane belongs to Faction of Neutrality, but that would imply that any pantheon belonging to the faction has control of the realm, which none do.

Hidden Gateways

There exist gateways that cannot either be reached or opened by traditional methods. Some gateways require a Divine Crossroads Map, a map that only deities are allowed. For the better, these gateways are hidden for a variety of reasons.   Some gateways are not revealed unless a ritual performed. These gateways are the most mysterious of all, hidden even from a Divine Crossroads Map.

Cover image: Winter Door by APetruk


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8 Jun, 2020 03:14

Very nice, reminds me of Sigil - the City of Doors and the Concordant Plane.

Featured Articles in the Shadow War across Creation by Graylion

12 Jun, 2020 03:39

The art is beautiful and the lore enriching, quite a nice thing to see on this site.