Laws of Form in The Discontinuum | World Anvil

Laws of Form

The Laws of Form codify the physical and mystical rules that govern existence within any specific realm of the discontinuum. This includes the relatively well defined properties traditionally seen within an evolution as natural "constants" of nature as well as a range of more subtle parameters affecting the interaction between consciousness and matter. These rules define the limits of a system of expression which they call "magic" on Earth Zero, where their operation happens to be very tightly circumscribed by their local Laws of Form.   The range of conceivable Laws of Form has been shown to be governed by a factorisation between the extended limits of the landscape of string theory (which itself provides over 10272000 degrees of freedom) and the dimensions of the so called meta imagination space. Interestingly, this number is much bigger even than the size of theĀ Monster group which determines the number of realms within the discontinuum. What this means in practice is that all possible Laws of Form are not expressed in reality, even over the whole discontinuum.   Dr. Emerald Rydene has also shown that there is no fixed relationship between the Laws of Form and the realms of the discontinuum. Nothing, other than the specific history of the interactions between its dimensions determines which Laws of Form may be expressed within the discontinuum or even how they may spread and change.   The most succinct expression of any one instance of the Laws of Form, can be encapsulted within Tokens known as Binding Rules. The handling of Binding Rules and their trading between realms is a highly dangerous action.  

Temporal Sequencing

  The progression of time within any realm is the single most important of the Laws of Form that govern its existence, determining as it does the manner in which many of the other laws may or may not be expressed. A fixed linear sequence in which processes are observed to change in a measurable way and where the future moves into the present to be fixed in the past is the form that defines an evolution. Of the other possible forms, the following types have been identified in one or more of the realms known to the Stability Council.  

Borrowed Time

  Borrowed time is the closest to evolutionary time. A coherent and fixed progression allows for a kind of history but it is built from a patchwork of periodic drivers "loaned" from other realms. These sections may include jumps between different day and night cycles affecting astronomical projection with the borrowing rules varying from realm to realm. The Autumn Country is an example of a realm where borrowed time applies. In that case the laws of form stick together days and nights in a superficially conventional way but always keeping a perpetual autumn and with phases of the moon that shift unpredictably. Yet, for the inhabitants there is a relatively stable flow from moment to moment and temporal records do maintain a sort of continuity.  

Tidal Time

  Tidal time is a modality where a linear architecture of events can be periodically subject to revisions affecting the entire sequence. The name is drawn from an analogy suggesting that a tide sweeps over history and leaves behind a rearranged landscape in which much is drastically changed and yet to the careful observer some key features can be identified as echoes of the previous iteration. The forces causing these tidal shifts particularly affect archetypes that are in relationships with multiple evolutions and are believed to be due to the stresses caused by differences in these interactions. The Fey Court and The Green World exhibit this behaviour. The Stability Council has recorded two tides affecting the Fey Court and so describes their current historical line as iteration 3. The Fey themselves, are sometimes able to hold on to shadow intimations of their life and roles in previous iterations of their history and their own word for the tides affecting their timeline is a "Shudder".  

Multidimensional Time

  This happens when time progresses along two or more axes simultaneously. It is very hard for dwellers in the evolutions even to understand what this means but Tidal Time is perhaps the simplest example, where the passage of the Tide is orthoganal to the passage of linear time. More complex cases abound, deeper in the Discontinuum, involving three or more dimensions. It is a serious mathematical endeavour to even categorise the possible expressions of time in these places and little progress has been made, so that the term multidimensional time embraces many and varied possibilities.  

Chaotic Time

  Chaotic time exists in realms found deeper in The Discontinuum, including some of the Water Worlds and much of the Fever Dream. Chaotic time is very dangerous to dwellers from the evolutions. Here time can run backwards leading to negative entropy events. Chaotic time and multidimensional time can be combined in complex ways.

Cover image: The Discontinuum by DMFW with Midjourney


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