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Cosmic Hourglass

The multiverse

Written by Endrise

Everything begins somewhere...
— Lane Palmer

The Cosmic Hourglass is the term used to describe the entire cosmological model. It encompasses every known world and puts them in their respective place amongst each other.

While it is unclear how accurate it is, many use it as the baseline depiction of existence.

Hourglass Cosmology

Different Worlds, different rules

Every world works on different rules and different principles, though many do share elements with one another. Most known places are hospitable to a degree, some more than others, but that is where it often ends. From there, everything changes.

One world might not have the same gravity or lack it entirely, depth pressure may not exist or perception of time and space behave differently. Emotions can influence how people see reality. Magic can be stronger or even dying is impossible.

One may need some time to adjust to these new rules while travelling. But give it enough time and most will adjust to the new surroundings they end up in.

Travel Between Worlds

It is not an uncommon sight for beings of all worlds to try travelling between realities. Many individuals travel between worlds, either through abilities they possess or structures built by other people. Gateways, portals, spells and even natural phenomenon that weaken the borders.

The thing is, these things are difficult. The borders of existence are tough, requiring either intense force or knowledge of its weak points to bypass them. Even if one could break these barriers, one could get tossed anywhere across the multiverse. An idea that, for anyone with some understanding of existence, is a very dangerous situation to be in.

Maps

  • Cosmic Hourglass

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The Realms of the Cosmic Hourglass


The Inner Sphere

At the core of the Cosmic Hourglass lies the first worlds. Born at the dawn of existence, these are the crossroads for many other realms. Here one might find influence of all other worlds, put together in a melting pot of cultures and societies.

Fabulae

Many consider Fabulae the center of the cosmos, the first world ever made by the Celestial Fasma herself. It is diverse in its appearance and ecosystems, home to species both native and foreign to the realm.

This makes it the center of attention for many things. From wars that changed the world several times over to interactions not seen anywhere else. A home to some of the most historical events in all of existence.

Ethereal Veil

Wrapped around Fabulae is the Ethereal Veil, the world of the dead. A realm born from the living’s essence where all souls go before they move onto their next lives. One of intense emotions and preserved memories.

It is also the realm of the gods, living amongst the souls that pass through. Sitting amongst their homes, each one providing their blessings and curses to their following from the Ethereal Veil's safety.

Faelands

The disk world known as the Faelands is home to the Fae. A place where magic is more common than any other force, warping it into a fantastical place where anything goes. Ruled by the courts of sunlight and moonlight, dividing the world in two.

It is a place where the mundane does not exist, where imagination goes wild and almost anything can happen.


The Upper & Lower Planes

Beyond the inner sphere lie the upper and lower planes, the respective homes of Angels and Demons. After banishing the Great Will and Crawling Chaos to the corners of the cosmos, their influence warped itself into new realms. Now in an Eternal Cold War, they bring havoc upon the rest of the Cosmic Hourglass by trying to spread their ideas of either chaos or order.

Angelic Realm

Home to Angelkind, the Angelic Realm resides at the highest points of the Cosmic Hourglass. Some might see it as an orderly paradise, consisting of several circles ruled by the Cardinal Virtues, each one making it their own realm. Though others may beg to differ.

Under the command of the High Seraph and the Great Will, it seeks to push the rest of existence into stagnating order. One may then see the true cogs Angels play in the hierarchy of the Angelic Realm.

It is a realm ruled under an iron fist, with an unified goal to bring order to all of reality. Whether other worlds agree upon it or not.

Infernal Realm

In this plane of existence, chaos reigns supreme. Home to Demonkind, it resides at the lowest point of the Cosmic Hourglass. Many consider it a place where freedom is absolute, only limited by the rule of the Aspects of Sin. Each one of the mighty fiends ruling over their own layer with their own methods of doing so.

At its depths lie the Great Overlord and the Crawling Chaos, seeking to plunge all of existence in absolute chaos. Laws are mere suggestions here, enforced only by the mightiest amongst them. Anything else is as free for them to choose as they please.

The Infernal Realm is a place where order comes to die, united in their ideal to spread this unbound chaos further.


The Elemental Pillars

To avoid the Great Will and the Crawling Chaos from tearing the entire cosmos apart, the elemental chaos was split up into four realms. These worlds act as the shackles that keep the two entities at the edges of existence tied there for all eternity. Though these primal worlds have to deal with the incursions of countless Demons and Angels trying to break their creators’s chains.

Plane of Air

A realm where there is no up or down, only the vast emptiness of the sky. Home to floating islands and raging storms, where people live in floating cities and traverse via massive Airships.

It is a world in a constant arms race for resources, fighting over what little they can gather. A constant chase to improve their technology, to survive a realm of thunder and lightning.

Plane of Fire

One of the most inhospitable places in the cosmos, brimming with volcanic activity, smoke-filled air and rivers of fire. Anything not able to handle the heat burns up in seconds or asphyxiates in mere seconds.

People live in walking cities designed to harvest the raw minerals from molten rock. Only a few sapient species may call this realm their home.

Plane of Earth

A realm consisting of cave networks large enough to develop their own weather. Ever-shifting walls brimming with ores and minerals, making it rich in materials of any kind.

A lot of prehistoric beasts survived here, leading to an ecosystem of megafauna and flora thriving. Its natives learned to tame these beasts, helping their civilisations survive the depths.

Plane of Water

A world that lives underwater, held together by a weave of currents flowing through them. The only solid ground one may find here are floating reefs, with only a few air pockets for outsiders to breathe in.

Life adapted here to an aquatic existence, from larger sea life to more sapient Merfolk. Either by working together to survive, or becoming the top of the food chain amongst the waves.


Other Realms

There are a few other realms that people are aware of but don't fall under any of the previous categories. Either they border on the edges of reality, exist between its walls, or people are not even sure where they are. All they know is these places exist somewhere.

The Void

Known as the space between worlds, the Void is weird even by the standards of the cosmos. Neither time nor space work here, causing anything caught into it to exist outside of both. Though all realms need to pass through it to traverse between worlds.

Nobody is sure how exactly this world works. The only thing people know of it is that by crossing through it countless times, it has awoken something within it. Something that seems fascinated by the material world.

Celestial Realm

Meanwhile, the Celestial Realm exists beyond the borders of the known universe, described as the space beyond worlds. An endless night sky covered in infinite stars, home to the world-creating beings known as Celestials.

Few people traversed to this realm or even witnessed it by themselves. Only a select few know how it looks, and even they question the truth of what they saw.

The only certainty is that it exists beyond on a scale greater than anything else.

Ashen World

Nobody is sure where the Ashen World lies in terms of cosmological scale. Some assume it to be within the Hourglass's borders, others believe it to be a world bordering on this one. All we know is that it exists.

Built out of the fragments of other worlds, it seems cobbled together in its creation. The work of a young mind, inhabited by ideas rather than functioning worlds.

The only thing consistent through all of this is one name shared around: Ornella.




Cover image: Location - Cosmology Cover by Endrise

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