Domains

Scattered across the Penumbra are smaller pocket dimensions called Domains: zones that correspond to areas in both the physical Realm and the Near Umbra. They borrow energy and definition from their Near Umbral counterparts. From here, alternatives to reality become stranger. They deviate more from the rules of reality humans know, even as they show aspects of reality in ways imaginative, creative, and enlightened supernatural beings can understand. Garou can enter the limited reality of a Domain from the Penumbra.

Blights are isolated cityscapes — mixed realms where the Weaver and the Wyrm are both powerful. Weaver-spirits build and maintain these metropolises in Blights, even as Wyrm-spirits corrupt and destroy them. Some Blights are mockeries or parodies of existing cities, while others are suspiciously generic. All of them have one thing in common: The natural forces of the Wyld are nearly non-existent here. Blights are sterile, empty landscapes where Wyrm and Weaver spirits race to outbreed and overpower each other. The thicker the webs and walls of ephemeral buildings and city systems get, the more enraged the spirits of the Wyrm become. Of course, when either kind of spirit is destroyed, it’s only a matter of time before the spirit reforms to renew the endless struggle. If one side of this conflict “wins” (perhaps with the help of spirit-walking shapechangers), the Blight transforms into a spawning ground for either the Wyrm or Weaver.

Chimares are pocket realities formed by dreams. Some believe that for each dream of every sentient creature on Earth, there’s a reflection of it in a chimare; other spiritualists attest that only the most powerful dreams can become ephemeral in the Umbra. Either way, a traveler who manages to enter another person’s dream may give insights into that sentient’s mind. With enough spiritual might, a visionary may reshape the dream, alter its outcome, or influence the dreamer’s mind. A chimare can be a chilling nightmare or an idealistic paradise. Neither is real, but they’re dangerous enough to maim or kill the unprepared —or drive them mad. Mind mages are especially adept at manipulating chimares, and as such, they may act as rivals to packs of spiritually-sojourning werewolves.

Epiphs are bizarre realms that embody concepts, such as “the color blue,” “the number four,” or “the smell of cinnamon.” Garou tend to find them baffling, although Stargazers (and other werewolves with the Enigmas skill or a high Gnosis trait) may gain insights by meditating within them. A more complicated epiph may have animate spirits acting out philosophical or intellectual concepts, expanding the definition of the phrase “platonic ideal.” A traveler in an epiph could experience every variation of a concept, become a temporary expert in that concept, or even do battle against a particularly pernicious idea. All things are possible in the spirit world; some are just stranger than others. (Some werewolves attempt to regain Gnosis through meditation in an epiph; if they succeed, they not only gain temporary Gnosis, but also unexpected side effects, revelations, or even flashes of intuition.)

Glens are domains inhabited by spirits of the Wyld and suffused with pure manifestations of Gaia. A Glen is an idealized, perfect manifestation of Her natural world, at least for a particular biome. The inhabitants are typically intelligent animal-spirits or talking plant-spirits. Glens can serve as breeding grounds for Wyld-spirits, releasing them into neighboring dimensions or even the so-called “real world.” Sometimes an avatar of a Garou totem might retreat to a Glen to heal or meditate. Werewolves have been known to do the same thing — a werewolf who succumbs to the apathy and depression of Harano might retreat into the perfect surroundings of a Glen until he becomes fully spiritual and forgets his Earthly concerns entirely (see “Disconnection,” below). Red Talons (and Garou with high Survival) have an almost instinctive ability to understand and interpret events in Glens.

Hellholes are Wyrm-ridden domains that correspond to toxic waste sites, polluted areas, and places of extreme human suffering. They may be found floating in isolation between the Penumbra and Near Umbra, or they may be directly accessible from some of the most horrific toxic waste dumps, radioactive landscapes, or other spawning grounds of the Wyrm on Earth. A pack of shapechangers may be surprised when they step sideways from a hellish place on Earth and walk straight into a virulent Hellhole. Some of the most terrifying and toxic places on Earth persistas Hellholes long after they’ve been sanitized, cleansed, or fallen prey to radioactive decay on Earth.

Trods have significance to the fae, changelings, the Fianna, and their faerie relations. Many are accessible through places on Earth of significance to these capricious creatures, such as faerie rings and monoliths. Trods have a reputation for serving as hidden paths between the sacred places of the Earth, but only for those who hold the favor of the fae. Faeries and their kin may use a trod as a shortcut when traveling across the planet. However, interlopers may find themselves terribly lost, and some have become trapped in unpredictably winding paths or elaborate hedge mazes. The most distant trods border on the Near Umbra, where they reflect places on Earth that were once vital to the fae, even though they have long since passed from the physical world. If they’re even fully forgotten, they might even fade into the Deep Umbra and disappear. A particularly glib or clever Fianna may be able to gain the temporary favor of the fae while exploring, exploiting their distant ancestry long enough to travel across a trod.

Webs are areas where Weaver-spirits have thoroughly calcified and clarified an area of the Penumbra. They act as focal points for the machinations of the Mad Weaver. While Garou may risk getting caught in these webs, drained of their will (and Willpower), or enslaved by an army of spirits, spiritual heroes have been known to climb these webs to other realms in the Near Umbra dominated by the Weaver. As one would expect, Glass Walkers may find it easier to gain insights into the spirits here, possibly even controlling them long enough to gain information or insights. A Web can also be a simulacra or synecdoche of a similar place in the real world. A vast and uncaring corporation or organization may have an even more elaborate campus or office within a Web. Travelers tell of employees who are so demoralized in the real world that shadows of their office drones continue to labor within a Web, even as they sleep. More cautionary tales warn of Garou who were drained of their will (or Gnosis), processed, brainwashed, and forced to labor as mindless drones in these same Weaver constructs.

Wyldlings are rarer than Hellholes or Webs, even though the Wyld-spirits within them can be exceedingly powerful. As the world dies and the Apocalypse draws nigh, Wyldlings are drifting farther from the physical world toward the Near Umbra. Nothing is stable or permanent in these chaotic realms, and capricious forces of magic unleash unpredictable effects. As one would expect, Wyldling spirits gather there. Fortunately, the natural surroundings of Glens also offer some refuge for Wyld-spirits.

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