Member No.: 5
Joined: 18-June 08
Nodes are a place where the ambient quintessence that suffuses the universe pools. Here there is far more quintessence then there are things which need it and therefore the quintessence spills out into the world. Because the quintessence isn't being used elsewhere it can be tapped by mages to fuel their magick. Also untapped nodes leak quintessence into the environment, this quintessence forms into physical objects called tass. The tass of a site resembles the site itself. So the tass in an orchard node might form in the shape of fruit, a node in a cave might give off crystaline tass, a node in a lab might suffuse the chemicals of the lab into tass, etc... By those who know Prime magicks tass can be used to power spells, form wonders, or potions, etc... Because of the power involved nodes are often hotly contested by the mages in the area and sometimes even by other supernaturals such as werewolves, who use them to fuel their own magick.
Chantries are the gathering places of mages. Sometimes a chantry is on a node, although not every chantry is, on the other hand if a node is found a chantry is usually founded around it. Chantries are the meeting place where the local mages meet to discuss things related to being a mage. Every chantry is different from others, but most are quite different on the outside then they are on the inside. A chantry may be small appearing as nothing more then a house, or even a van. If the mages involve know correspondence then the inside may be much larger then the inside. Some chantries are massive possessing an umbral reflection where the best and brightest of a tradition are able to practice their magick. The chantry of the local mages is usually as well guarded as it can be. Chantries are important to the local mages not just because it's a place for mages to meet, but it is also a place where they can perform magick. Within the walls of a chantry the local paradigm matches the will of the mages who tend to it, so within a tradition held chantry tradition magick is coincidental. A tradition held chantry may resemble almost anything on the inside, however the decor and theme are strongly influenced by whatever tradition is dominant at the chantry. In the case of the Technocracy chantries are referred to as Constructs. Constructs often resemble various types of science labs or machine shops.
Sanctums are a small section of reality where the local paradigm conforms to the mage's paradigm. Within a sanctum a mage's magick is coincidental, and magick which does not conform to her paradigm is vulgar. Not every mage has a sanctum, however most mages who have been in the same area for a while develop one. A sanctum forms in the place where the mage most often performs her magick. Over time this sacred space takes on the feel of the mage's paradigm until such time as reality deems it a sanctum. A sanctum can be anywhere, but it must conform completely to a mage's paradigm, and the mage must have practiced her magick there often. Good examples are: an Etherite or Virtual Adepts lab/computer room, a Celestial Choruster's church or the sanctum at the church, a Verbena's sacred grove, an Akashic's dojo, a Technocracy lab, etc... A mage's home often becomes her sanctum, especially if she practices magick there often enough.
The Umbra is the spirit world which exists parallel to our own. The Umbra has many layers and mages with the right spheres can access all of them. In most cases accessing the Umbra requires access to the Spirit sphere, as the mage must pass through the Gauntlet/Shroud which divides the many layers of the world from each other. Unless otherwise stated all magick is coincidental within the Umbra. The local paradigm seems to be set either by the spirits (who are very excepting) or some other force (which doesn't seem to care). The Umbra contains countless realms however the main layers are as follows:
The Near Umbra: The Near Umbra makes up the reflection of the near Earth realm. Everything within the Earth's atmosphere has a reflection within this realm. It is a realm of nature and emotion. Here things are more real based on their spiritual impact rather then their physical one, so it often times looks very different then it's physical reflection. For example buildings which have not been around long, and have no spiritual impact may not be reflected in the Near Umbra (many any unweary mage has stepped across the gauntlet in a high rise only to plummet to her doom). The Near Umbra's time is the opposite of ours with our day being it's night and vice versa. The spirits of the Near Umbra are the representatives of objects, nature, and humanity, they can be dangerous or helpful depending on their nature and the mage's actions. Unless bound to a contract of some kind the spirits are not bound in anyway to assist mages and therefore should be treated with caution. Werewolves and other shapeshifters also seem to be able to access this realm, providing one more danger to the unweary mage.
The Deep Umbra: The Deep Umbra is the Umbra which exists beyond the Earth's atmosphere. This part of the Umbra is not easy to access. The Deep Umbra is separated from the Near Umbra by a barrier known as the Dream Shell. The Dream Shell can only be passed through by Master level Spirit magick. However the Dream Shell possesses another major danger, the Avatar storm. Recently a massive storm in the lands of the dead leaked over into the Umbral realm attaching itself to the Dream Shell. The Avatar storm as it's been called flays avatars who try to pass through it. This causes massive but surviveable damage to Master mages, but causes fatal damage to Archmages. The only exception being when an Archmage makes her pillgrimage across the Dream shell for the first time making the journey into the Deep Umbra a one way trip for those who are beyond Masterdom. Little is known about the Deep Umbra as virtually none of the mages who remain on Earth have ever been there.
The Dark Umbra: The Dark Umbra is also known as the Shadowlands. The Shadowlands are the lands of the dead. Here dwell those souls who have failed for whatever reason to pass on to the next life. The Shadowlands are a land of emotion and memory, but only human memory. If something was destroyed in the physical realm, but was much thought of, or had a deep emotional impact on people, then it will have a reflection in the lands of the dead. Because of this what buildings there are, are a hodge podge of various different structures from different time periods. The lands of the dead were once much more populated, then something happened and a gigantic spirit storm swept the land. The storm destroyed countless souls, and forced others across the barrier between worlds and into the physical realm. This storm still rages and can destroy the avatar of any mage who gets caught in it unprepared. Because of this the Shadowlands are almost empty, and mages rarely visit it anymore without a good reason for doing so. Those mages who wish to brave the Shadowlands must also possess Entropy 2 in order to align her pattern with the death essence of the dead lands.
The Digital Web: The Digital Web isn't so much a spirit realm as it is a massive correspondence point. The Digital Web isn't a virtual world, it is the virtual realm. Here all forms of virtual information from phone calls, emails, to the whole internet, and much more have their reflection. The Digital Web was discovered by the Virtual Adepts and they are in many ways the unquestioned masters of this realm....at least for now, as technology improves sleepers are gaining more and more control over the realm. The Digital Web is accessed using the Correspondence sphere. Correspondence 2 allows a mage to send her senses into the Web, Correspondece 3 allows the mage to go into the realm herself, and finally Correspondence 4 allows the mage to bring others into the web.
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.