Crossroads Geographic Location in The Morning Realm | World Anvil


These are old magicks, apprentice. Enter these roots, and you will find yourself in the Winding Woods. Heed these words. Engrave them upon your mind.   Do not follow the roads. Not even the trails. They only lead to your demise.
Honor the mist. Do not look at it, do not wander into it. Let it pass in silence.
Ask with your heart, not with your words.
If you must choose a direction, choose left.
  The Crossroads, also called the Winding Woods, is a realm of gateways and portals located somewhere in the Chthonic Realm. It resembles a dark forest at night, with four paths that stretch out eternally in each their direction.   All long distance teleportation routes through the crossroads. The arcane nature of the Crossroads empowers such magic, enabling a mage to travel much further with much less strain. Modern teleportation magics work so quickly that most never notice they passed through another realm, much less the Underworld itself.


  The Crossroads are lifeless. No birds chip in the Winding Woods, the only sound is the near unaudible crackling of arcane energy. The actual roads in the Crossroads do not lead anywhere. Following them will cause you to get hopelessly lost. Although the experience of the Crossroads is the same for everyone who enters them, nobody has ever seen another person while in the Crossroads, even if they cast a spell to enter that realm at the same time.   It is not safe to remain long in the underworld. Those who dally will find it increasingly hard to remember themselves and even find their form start to slip. They may suffer from exhaustion or soulsickness on their return to the material plane. Staying too long in the Crossroads causes one to be unable to return, though it is not known what exactly happens to those who are lost.   Everyone who knows of the Crossroads has heard a story of a monster stalking, always seen just beyond your peripheral vision. The story goes that when the monster is far away you can hear its loud noises, like the howling of the wind. But when the monster is near, it makes no sound at all. Though this story is unsubstantiated, it may point to some sort of phenomenon unique to the Crossroads.  


  Anyone who enters the Crossroads finds themselves at the center of the roads, regardless of how they entered. From there, they may travel the woods to find the portal they wish to exit to. Portals of all kinds can be found in the woods of the crossroads.   The most obvious are the ancient mirror-gates left behind by the Old Ones. Older still are what appear to be puddles; pools of arcane energy that connect to foreign realms. Even the trees themselves are portals, unlockable by druidic rootwork magic.  

ITN Sigil Stones

  The Imperial Teleportation Network routes from portal hub to portal hub through Sigil Stones. Sigil Stones are waist-high stone pillars that jut out of the ground. The Sigil Stones are covered in carved runes to attune each of them to a ITN portal.


  The Wayshrines or Auidara dot Elven territory. Once scrying pools, the Wayshrines now also serve as nexuses of transporation for the powerful. In the Crossroads the Wayshrines appear like small fountains of bubbling water.


  Celestial teleportation is a lost art. Saint Heroes of the Temple of the Twelve would travel across the realm with a mix of prayer and celestial navigation.

Dreamwalker Poppies



TypeChthonic Demiplane


  The History of the Material Realm is reflected in the Crossroads. There comes a time for each great civilisation where they, too, discover the Crossroads, and leave their mark upon it.   ITN Sigilstones — 101 IE. Argosian Empire.
Wayshrines — 426 WE. High Elves.
Stars — 112 WE. Dwarves.
Dreamwalker Poppies — 13 WE. Dark Elves.
Mirror-Gates — Late Spoken Era. Old Ones.
Trees — Spoken Era. Druids.
Pools — No record. Unknown.


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Jan 10, 2022 21:29

This reminds me at once of the forest between worlds in The Magician's Nephew, which is the first of the books of Narnia. Is that your inspiration? Although this is of course a much darker setting than that, where the tiredness of the realm is a misfortune rather than a blessing as in that one, and there seems to be something lurking in the darkness.   Oh, but in reading this I have been left terribly curious about the archeology section! I can barely understand it. That section alone fills me with questions: 1) Does this mean the druids created the countless trees of that dark forest? Does that imply that they can teleport all through the forests of the world via the trees? For if the whole place is now a forest, that suggests that the druids were the most exuberant in placing connections through the underworld. 2) What are the dreamwalker poppies? Do they teleport people into dreams? This could be a great point to have another hover-over providing a sentence of information. 3) How do people use the stars in the Winding Woods to teleport? How do their spells reach them?   That you called the Winding Woods the Underworld is fascinating. Type: Chthonic Demiplane, Location: Underworld! Is this the only underworld of the setting, or do you plan to write more? I have a love of demiplanes, and I am curious to know more.

Jan 10, 2022 21:49 by Annie Stein

The Magician's Nephew is 100% a huge inspiration for the Crossroads. I added the pools in it's honor.   A huge thank you for this feedback, it's very useful! I definitely should expand upon the archeology section. As for each point:   1) That's absolutely correct! Druids connected the trees in their world to the crossroads through rootwork, and as they've travelled it's grown from a handful of trees to a grove to a forest. Druids can travel between any two trees they know in the world, provided they know how to use rootwork and are powerful enough mages.   2) The dreamwalker poppies are opiates, drugs that are numbing, mildly psychoactive and very much sedatives. I absolutely should add a tooltip to explain how they work. Usually they don't fully transport someone, but instead allow for something more along the lines of scrying or astral projection. I imagine it isn't very good at teleporting from one city to another, but could get you to a demiplane.   3) The stars are exalted spirits, and the Suns are gods. The dwarves were historically very religious and I imagine they teleported through a mixture of prayer, divine magic, and astronomy.   This is the part of the Chthonic Underworld and yes, I plan to write more about the Underworld and the Demiplanes, there's just so much to get around to! I know that other than the Crossroads, there's the Abyssal Rift; an ancient wound in the underworld, and I think the Afterlife is also believed to be here, but I haven't decided if anyone alive has definitely gone there. You may like to read about the Cosmology of the world to see how it all fits together   Demiplanes however are more like gaps in reality than a realm of their own, usually where things are maybe bigger than they really ought to be or the properties of the world is off. They tend to happen in places with a lot of magic.

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