Walkers Profession in Shedim | World Anvil


Somewhere between worlds, there is the truth.  
— Walker Manifesto
  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.    

Travel Restrictions

Sometimes, Walking doesn't work the way it should. Magic is unpredictable and the winding ways between worlds follow their own inscrutible whim. Journeys that should take minutes can suddenly take days, or the reverse. Reliable pathways are highly prized and jealously guarded secrets.  
In places where the ward of worlds is weak, travel becomes easy. Some places are so filled with misery and death that dangerous things cross over almost by accident.

To Infinity, And Beyond

A few Walkers specialize in heading into the Beyond; a dangerous realm that lie past the Shadow, where gods and demons live. Going there follows many of the same rules as travelling between the Shadow and Prime, but the stakes are so much higher.  

Travel Pass

Some Walkers make deals with things beyond mortal ken for their Walking, trading anything from service to souls for their aid in Walking. On the plus side, Walkers so imbued can usually take short-cuts not available to others, such as creating keys to certain Gates on the fly. Mundies, mortals with no magic training, sometimes travel through these bargains.   Making such deals is not for the faint of heart, and it is never sure what exactly the alien minds of the Beyond want, or when they will collect.


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5 Dec, 2020 17:43

I'm hooked on this already :O I love this article so much. I especially love a system of gates and keys -- hiding a gate down in the Marianna Trench? Absolutely fantastic.

6 Dec, 2020 08:36

Thank you :D Gonna be fun to explore more

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
9 Dec, 2021 18:18

I absolutely love the concept of Shedim! You've always had a hand or the weird and the dark, and I love how you unearth the scary core of many of the fairy tales and folk tales that have become part of modern folklore! And as usual, formatting and art is always beautiful. I love the ominous vibe from the background picture, it's just perfect for the atmosphere.   I'm curious now: how do people usually start to walk? Do they feel strangely drawn to a place? Do they find a key by accident? What do keys usually look like? Are they literal keys or rather items that have some significance, somehow? Also, is there a map of gates or is that kind of knowledge kept secret? Can you detect/sense gates if you're a magic user?   Also, does it affect walkers when they are out of the Prime? Can they live there permanently, or does it do something to them? For some odd reason, my brain insists that such a foreign dimension must be unhealthy for humans (and monsters, while we're at it xD).   Lastly, I find it interesting that both Gods and demons dwell in the beyond. It reminds me of the fact that our word devil has its root in an old word for god (I think daeva is still realted to that) and that the working theory is that there was a religious schism at some point and the "old gods" became the new devils. Always really interesting to think about. Are those gods actually the ones we still know by name today? Yahwe, Odin, Zeus, or other pantheons like the babylonian/egyptian/indian ones? Or are they more cthulhu-like entities, completely alien to human minds?   I love how your worlds and articles always send the wheels spinning for me!

9 Dec, 2021 19:52

Hey, and thank you so much :D I'm really happy to hear you are enjoying it and could leave such a great comment, thank you!   Walking World is something most mages and witches do to some extent, so it's a magical skill... Walkers, though, are those who turn such exploration int their whole. In other words, it's a path you choose, after you become a mage... Usually. There's some exceptions, like those in the Lost article :D   (And there's more info about this in the First Walk article, too)   For your second question; I'm not sure. I think it depends on the exact realm, and it's inhabitants. I think they probably could live permanently in the Beyond, but it's unlikely due to things like... Food and drink, or strange environment, or hostile/weird inhabitants. Some realms would probably be inherently bad for your health, though, for all kinds of reason. Be careful about visiting the Beyond realm made from the echoed nightmares of nuclear accidents, for example!   Lastly, I think the 'gods' of the Beyond are more Lovecraftian, or more archetypical. So there might not be a Zeus, or Thor, but here might be gods that are Zeus-esque, mixing the traits of various thunder-god myths and so on. Most of them won't be people as such, but forces of nature, and vastly powerful spirits. But, I'm not quite sure yet, to be honest!   Thank you for the excellent comment and I hope you like the rest of Shedim :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.