Somewhere between worlds, there is the truth.
Walkers are magicians, warlocks, witches, or otherwise capable humans who have unlocked the ability to walk between worlds. More often than not, this means between the Shadow and the Prime
, but some mad bastards venture well into the Beyond. There's little official business about it - nearly everyone in the Shadow can Walk, or they wouldn't be there.
For the most part, to Walk requires three things - magical talent, a Gate
, and a Key
. If you have all three, walking between worlds is a simple, if dangerous, matter.
Ways of the Walkers
Safety, secrets, sanctuary... There's any number of reasons to Walk.
Most Walkers are some form of magic-user, save for the rare few whose arcane ability is something raw and natural. For them, walking the worlds is a matter of fact - a facet of daily life. The further along the path of a walker someone goes, the more bonds of the Prime
they eventually give up. The Shadow, while not a pleasant place, is to many a higher place of being. Here, magic flows free and ancient, arcane feuds are indulged. Experiments, spells, and rituals all work so easy here.
On the other hand, just as many Walkers feel the pull of their real lives keenly. To them, magic is something they can use to reinforce their place in the real world, not replace it. The Shadow is a place to escape to, to plan from, or to recharge.
To monsters, the matter of Walking is both less and more complicated. Only some have the ability to travel as Walkers do, such as Vampires or Time-Eaters, while others can only do so when conditions are right.
As the Shadow bleeds into the world and a deep mist descends upon a lonely forest, the howls on the wind come from across worlds.
There's not much of a formal structure around Walkers. New spellcasters or awakened eventually find their way to the Shadow, pulled by forces of destiny stronger than any chains, and from there they tend to pick up the rest through either charity or indentured servitude. Other make bargains with things from the Beyond to unlock these secrets, trading freedom for power.
Tools of the Trade
Besides Magic and with everything else in order, Walkers require a Gate and a Key to be able to travel. Training comes quick, though finding the necessary Keys can require barter or force - many are in the hands of things that have no interest in whatever some Walker desires to do. Not all Gates are easy to reach, either; it is said there is a Gate to the Beyond somewhere in the Marianna Trench.