Side note before I begin this week’s post: I’m doing a social media giveaway for a free eBook. The winner will receive an Amazon (US) coupon code for Hidden Memory, and you can enter by sharing my series on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tagging my account! The winner will be drawn when I receive my proof copy of Hidden Sanctuary, so enter by Monday, 6/27!
Of the Realms
Welcome back to another informative post regarding the realms I mention in my books. I began with an overview of the power and forces at work in the “Orientation” post. I recommend checking that one out first, as I will reference that information here.
While the realms all exist along the spectrum of physical/mystical power, their positions are not static. Each realm has a central governing force acting as an anchor around which it shifts. Aryanna is a physical realm, anchored by science and physics. With this anchor, it will never be a high magic realm. The limitation does not, however, mean mystical forces are unable to enter or influence the realm.
A realm’s movement can ebb and flow naturally, or it can shift based upon the efforts of the people living there. In a physical realm, the more people learn and leverage scientific advances, the further the realm shifts in that direction along the spectrum. The same is true for high magic realms, but often in much less predictable ways.
This movement is predicated upon the influence of a realm’s governing force. A high magic realm might have natural laws regarding the creation and consumption of magic. In such a realm, overuse of magic could push the realm toward the physical side of the spectrum as magic becomes depleted.
The movement of the realms facilitates the rare occurrences of interaction, which requires overlap and connection. Realms overlap when the movement of two realms brings them close enough along the power spectrum for their spheres of influence to “touch.” It could be anything from barely brushing the outer edge to occupying the same space along the line. So long as there is at least one point of contact, interaction is possible.
Because we are talking about the power spectrum and NOT about physical space, occupying the same place is 100% possible and does NOT convey any higher probability of interaction. For interaction to happen, a connection must be formed. Each time an overlap starts, there is a small percentage chance that the “friction” created will trigger a bridge to be initiated. The bridge is the connection making interaction possible.
When realms are connected, a pocket forms physically where people and creatures can pass. As two realms overlap more, the pocket can become more stable and visible. Then, as they drift apart, the pocket destabilizes until it finally fades and doesn’t return. During the initial and final stages, when the connection is unstable, the pocket can move, shift, or even split in the physical world, and many bridges never achieve stability.
A natural bridge, such as this, is how humans and dwarves came to live in Elaria. The dwarves fled persecution, while a few groups of humans explored and expanded out of curiosity or need. Some human explorers returned to Aryanna before the pockets faded, bringing along stories of the elves. However, the first elf to enter Aryanna found their essential connection to the world depleted to the point of pain, and no others attempted to cross over.
The arrival of the magai, in contrast, was not the result of a natural bridge. An artificial bridge provided the link between Scorcellen and Elaria. Using their magic, and certain spells learned through the ages, the magai stretched their realm’s sphere out from one point. They pushed it until the point touched another realm, then caused friction with their power in an attempt to force a bridge into existence.
The power expenditure was massive, and the attempts failed more often than not. For those reasons, the process became highly regulated in Scorcellen. The connection to Elaria was made, and all the magai arrived within a month. Then, the bridge collapsed, and Scorcellen’s sphere snapped back into its natural shape, causing ripples throughout the realm.
Thus are the ways the realms move and interact, along with a tantalizingly brief history. What happened to Scorcellen? What was Elaria like before the others arrived? I intend to continue this series with some of these answers in the future. For now, thank you for visiting, and I hope this helps explain some of the references in the Hidden Series.