Shardscape Geographic Location in Rivendom | World Anvil


The Shardscape is a vast "cognitive" realm of limitless possibility. It is known as such because it is subject to the influence of mortal minds. The collective beliefs and convictions of the countless living beings interspersed through the many worlds can shape the wild and boundless energies of the realm.   Much of the Shardscape's infinite expanse is untamed and, indeed some argue, untamable. However, just as there are parts of the Shardscape all but impossible for mortals to reach by conventional means of travel, there are vast swathes of it in proximity to worlds inhabited by living, thinking beings. It is here that the true potential of the formless and ever-shifting substance of the Shardscape is realized.   The fabric of the Shardscape is tugged on and shaped by the collective beliefs of thinking beings. Any concept, however tame or perilous, can be made real by the nature of the Shardscape if enough people believe it to be true. Myths and legends, gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, artifacts of immense power, and entire realms filled with fully-realized peoples can be brought to life and given physical form through the Shardscape. But even hearsay and rumor can be made manifest if enough people were to believe in them.  


The Shardscape plays host to a staggering diversity of realms that each possesses unique geography and ecology. However, these realms are separated from the larger Shardscape by barriers of varying strength and are largely considered distinct from the Shardscape itself.   Discounting the realms that reside in the Shardscape, the wilds are quite unremarkable, for the most part. There are mountains and ravines, hills and dales, and rivers that criss-cross over the land, but there isn't a speck of water to be found. Most of the Shardscape wilds is comprised of endless sun-baked plains covered in cracked dirt and roving clouds of dust shimmering with tiny mirror fragments.   To Begotten, who can indefinitely sustain themselves on the energy of the Shardscape alone, the wilds are little more than a major inconvenience. To most mortals, however, especially those born in the Material Realm, or Begotten who have gotten so used to relying on food and drink as a means of sustenance, attempting to explore the wilds unprepared is a death wish, for there is no food or water to be found in the desolate expanse of the Shardscape wilds.  


As mentioned before, parts of the Shardscape are sectioned off into individual realms. These come about in one of three ways. The first and most common way by which these realms are created is through the influence of a Begotten God. These entities, born out of the collective faith of their worshippers, have the power to shape the wild energies of the Shardscape to suit their preferences, allowing them to carve out a part of the Shardscape and claim it as their domain. Examples of such realms are the Ekhenda, a vast tropical jungle plane that is presided over by Oglotai, a Khathari god of competition.   The second and less common way is the manifestation of a realm directly from the collective beliefs of a sufficiently large group of people. These realms are often legendary or mythological places that are of religious or cultural significance. The Ddwylldoch, for instance, is a fabled lost city made out of pure gold. It was said to have been created by the erinindal god Feiarhy, as a bride price for his beloved.   The final way Shardscape realms come about, and perhaps the rarest way, is through spontaneous genesis. These Shardscape realms are born out of concentrations of the Shardscape's wild energies. Typically, these knots of wild energy will simply dissipate over time but in the rare occasions they are provided with a "seed" of some description, be it a loose concept or subconscious thought common to enough people, the energies can instead "feed" the seed and see it blossom into a fully-realized realm. The elemental planes are a prime example of these realms, born from the archaic notion that the elements must come from somewhere. Shuddergully, a plane born from the collective fear and dread of thinking beings, is another.

Localized Phenomena

Outside of the self-contained realms sporadically interspersed throughout the Shardscape, are three unique phenomena that can be seen from anywhere in the wilds. The first can be found simply by looking up. The sky of the Shardscape wilds is nothing like the skies mortals might be more familiar with. In the Shardscape wilds, the heavens are covered with roiling clouds of black, green, and silver mist. They cast a perpetual greenish pall over the Shardscape wilds.   The second feature of the Shardscape wilds, and in fact what gives the realm its name, are the shattered mirror shards scattered throughout the landscape. These shards come in many sizes, from the tiny, nigh-indiscernible grains that glitter in the ever-present light when whipped up by the winds, to the very massive shards that seem to reach toward the heavens. They can be scattered on the ground, buried in the dirt, or floating in the air by some unknown means. It is from these mirror shards that the Begotten are born, fully-formed.   The final unique feature of the Shardscape, which is true not just in the wilds but, to a lesser extent, in the different realms within the Shardscape as well, is the mercurial nature of space itself. Shardscape natives have an instinctive ability to navigate the spatial distortions that plague it but regular mortals would be hard-pressed to find their way. This feature is especially pronounced in the wilds, where what appears to be a distant mountain might be but a few steps away, and what appears to be a nearby riverbed is in fact over the horizon.

Fauna & Flora

Each Shardscape realm acts as a self-contained ecosystem which is often considered separate from the Shardscape as a whole. The Shardscape wilds, on the other hand, are largely barren, especially in areas that are close to material universes. This is because parts of the Shardscape in proximity to material worlds tend to have a denser distribution of Shardscape realms which are, for the most part, far more conducive to life than the Shardscape wilds.   Outside of the Shardscape realms, the wilds are primarily populated by wandering Begotten folk, most of whom are newborn reflections who have yet to feel the call of a nearby realm. Most other creatures that live in the wild are often members of transient populations, who are simply taking the long and often-arduous journey from one Shardscape realm to another.   It is theorized and widely accepted that in the truly desolate parts of the Shardscape, far away from the influence of any material universe that might cause the formation of a realm, there are stable populations that have settled in the wilds. What these populations might look like, and what the dynamics of their social structure might be, are open questions, with many speculating that they might be so alien as to be unrecognizable. So far, no expeditions have been mounted to ascertain whether these populations exist at all. The consensus is that these populations may be so distant and remote, it would be economically and logistically prohibitive to investigate them.


Unlike other realms of being, which came into existence at the beginning of time, the Shardscape was not originally a part of the multiverse. It is, in a sense, an artificial layer of reality, created by the hand of man rather than born at the beginning of time. By the reckoning of the Dominion, the Shardscape was born in 084.30 N.L.  


The Shardscape was created when Merenaile Dagonrad, a master arcanist, called upon all his knowledge and power to craft a spell of unprecedented power. He aimed to turn back time in order to preempt the razing of the city of IldCarr, which was burned to the ground by the Dominion in a show of force at the beginning of the Western Conquest.   To that end, Merenaile gathered the best and most powerful arcanists sympathetic to his cause to enact the spell. In so doing, they managed to pierce the fabric of the Material Realm and touch the Cosmic Bulwark. The Bulwark rebelled against the intrusion and the resulting backlash was so titanic and devastating it not only obliterated Merenaile and the mages he'd assembled to accomplish his great work, it also punched a hole through the fabric of reality and birthed a new realm—the Shardscape.   The seed of the Shardscape formed around the point where Merenaile's spell impacted the Cosmic Bulwark. Exposed to the energies of the Bulwark and with plentiful cosmic energy available, the Shardscape gorged itself and expanded at an unimaginable pace. It insinuated itself between the Cosmic Bulwark and the Material Realm, which would have been unremarkable but for one fact: there was no space for it there.   As both the Cosmic Bulwark and the Material Realm were "rigid," there was only one possible consequence of the Shardscape forcing itself into the space between them. Because the Bulwark surrounded the Crucible of Mirrors, the very heart of the cosmos, it was immovable. The Material Realm was less so. Like a vessel overfilled beyond its capacity, the Material Realm broke apart and the Shardscape crept in to fill the gaps between the pieces.
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