Guide to Planar Gates [53 AC]

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Jul 23, 2020
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Kine Lidomast
Guide to Planar Gates


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1. a doorway, gate, or other entrance, especially a large and imposing one.
Synonyms: doorway, gateway, entrance, way in, way out, exit, egress

Portals. World-gates. Death doors. Void-holes. All similar definitions for a synonymous construct - A spell-spun doorway between dimensions, locations, or otherwise. Used to travel between, within, and around the planes into pre-set destinations within other locations. Although some have been built or manifest by Planestriders of our era, we have found portals to be few and far between in nature, and impossible to study. Not because these portals are far too unusual to touch or grasp conceptually, but because there is no material to associate these portals with. However, I believe I have a conceptual grasp on planar gates and their functionalities, and it's with this grasp on the gates that I share how portals could possibly work in our world, so that magic's misty haze over information is lifted in it's veil, if only somewhat.

When talking about a portal, one must familiarize themselves with the concept of folding, and stacking. Imagining the planes as a sheet of paper is the simplest way to describe them, as that is what they are to our world. Overlapping invisibly, they exist in simultaneous harmony with our own plane, the Plane of Balance, where all of them can interact, enter, and battle one another freely, expressing their powers through ambient manners; Thunder striking our mountains, tsunami engulfing wildfire-laden forests, and the endless march of death and age that plagues all creatures.

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(This would be an accurate representation of the Plane of Balance, but it is missing something.)

All of these are threaded through and into our world naturally, but there are specific places of thinness; These are where these planes of planar interaction overlap greatest. These places can be natural, created, or manifest through other manners, but the most visible ones - And easiest to tap into, as the elves of ancient times have done - Are the locations of the runes. Great death in the Battle of the Sinking Swamp created an environment for death to fester and grow, creating a powerful location to tap into necromantic energies. This is a thin spot, as one would describe, in the planes. A weakness in the fabric of our reality, and these weaknesses are existent everywhere, including other planes. These places of weakness are called Similarities or Similarity Points.

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(A representation of the Plane of Fire and Plane of Water, alongside their Similarity Points,
with the Plane of Balance between them.)

Our plane is uniquely laden with these Similarity Points, and these points are innately linked to other locations in these worlds; The Similarity Point between the Fire Plane and our own is a boiling volcanic waste, for example - I've seen it myself as a planestrider, anyways. The other similarity point between our plane and that of water would be the western statue of the Kraken, where the similarity point merely lies just off the coast. When one would arrive to the other plane, they would find their surroundings to differ very little or very much - Where as you may be atop a cloud in the Air Plane, you could be sat in a small alcove in the endless caverns of the Earth Plane.

They both, however, have identical 'coordinates'; Your altitude does not change from when you were in Enarion to when you arrive in the Air Plane, and your relative point does not change upon entering the Earth Plane, only your depth. It's through these Similarity Points we are able to travel or best invoke the powers of these planes, and they are conveniently marked by the Runic Keystone; Any sorcerer familiar with the Pact Trial would know that they need to summon a creature across the planes to battle and take from them their essence .. These Similarity Points are the only places one can perform such summons.

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(A representation of the essence of the Planes of Fire and Water travelling to the Plane of Balance
to be diffused into the world along with the rest of the elements.)

However, this still does not explain portals in and of themselves. Portals are present in many places; The portal to Zhul, for example, is a public-access portal (at the moment) into the refuge realm that Zhul has made it's home in. Similarly, there are portals to the Life Plane present in the Shrine to Evkarik, the Spirit of Wolves, and are often used for the trials a walker must undergo before being gifted their powers. These are two prime examples of different types of portals, and so below, there is a dictated list of different forms of portals and their functionalities or methods of access.

However, something important to note is that portals can in fact grow unstable. This can cause portal leakage, which will forcefully infect the location around the point of similarity with the effects or nature of that plane. Glacial ice and frosting mists may form around an unstable portal to the Plane of Water, or in the case of a specific kind of portal, Voidal infection can cross over and take root. Portals can also, similarly, be placed in unwise locations that may make them unable to be entered by proxy, such as placing a portal at the bottom of the sea. Though it may be a point of similarity, anyone attempting to go in would receive horrendous amounts of water blasted directly into their face as if by a massive spout.

Please educate yourself on the difference between them dictated below.

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  • Voidally Infected Portal
The basic gateway between worlds; These portals are simplistic and rather 'basic' for their functionality. They do not show their destinations, and are often partially unstable, prone to causing nausea, illness, injury or otherwise upon using them, but they are reliably usable in the manner that they are effectively doors to other worlds or places. Walking through these is like walking through a portal to receive a surprise on the other side; Whether that be a sword to the face, or spontaneous fall. These portals can have any number of effects, conditions, or locations.

  • Two-Way Portal
These portals are more so akin to simple passageways between worlds than really being portals; They are the most reliable of all the portals, as they cause only minor sickness upon use, and are usually set up and connected on both ends by a specific person. These two ends usually are the safest points of connection - And by proxy, similarity - allowing for safe travel. This can be hazardous should someone find a particularly exploitable portal. These can be transparent, conditional, or specific, but are (once again) the most reliable, always.

  • Specific Portal
These portals, once opened, only allow passage to individuals of certain specifications, or perhaps don't even allow passage to living creatures at all. These can have a myriad of conditional effects, such as only permitting objects, or only permitting living creatures (thus stripping a creature of their objects upon passage) and more, being the most hazardous but also the easiest to predict in natural form. These can be any other type of portal similarly - Conditional Portals and Specific Portals are commonly combined to create extremely secure gateways, but all of that specificity is extremely difficult to pull off magically.

  • Conditional Portal
These portals only activate with a key, certain condition, or specific natural occurrence, dictated upon the creation or random manifestation of the portal. Such conditions are typically ones needing to be met by the user, such as being from a certain race, or entering the doorway in which the portal is set at a specific time. Conditional portals require activation, and remain activated for a maximum of one minute - Typically. Once activated, anybody could use this gateway, even without filling the criteria specified previously for it's activation.

  • Transparent Portal
These forms of portals are akin to windows into other dimensions; Solid, but not able to be passed through by any means, these are portals that cannot be entered, exited, or similar, and only function as a port-hole view into another world. Impassable portals are different from normal portals where they can often show the location or destination of the portal's linkage, but it is still similarly unreachable. Most often, these portals are one-way viewing, and those on the other side cannot see in.

  • One-Way Portal
This final form of gateway is likely the most dangerous of them all; Not because of the possibility of getting stuck in another dimension, but because of the idea that it may very well be bringing something else into our own plane. These portals are one-way, and will only accept creatures entering through one side and not the other. An example of this occurrence was a portal to the Underworld, opened aside the Airon, which would continuously pour with demonic imps and creatures of the hell-realm without our own people being able to go in to stop their advance.

A possibly unique condition exclusive to voidal or planarly-infused creatures .. is that most (if not all) portals, for them, function as a Two-way Transparent Portal. They do not need to meet Conditions for a portal, they cannot be kept out by a One-way Portal, and they are able to reach in to Impassable Portals. This, however, is only a theoretical ability - Unconfirmed by my studies.

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In conclusion, portals are unstable gateways that can be harmful, helpful or outright useless to those curious to use them. Although Planestriders may be capable of utilizing any of them as they wish, they can often cause horrific disfigurement if you enter the wrong plane - Or they can lead to great safety and tactical advantage, placing troops or transporting goods instantaneously across worlds. Keen eyes may notice I did not address the idea of portals going from place to place in our own Plane of Balance, or the creation of portals;

That is because the very concept is impossible. No two places in the Plane of Balance are identical save for the Towers of Balance and Runestones, which are exclusively unique at the time of writing this guide to portals. Furthermore, I don't believe the knowledge of portal creation is best publicized yet, as there is no need for it in the current climate of general planar instability we already have.

Should the idea of portals become further developed, and the balance of the world completely restored .. and should more Similarity Points show, I will attempt to distinguish them in further writs. Please anticipate further rambling on this topic.

Thank you, dear reader, for giving this writ purpose.
Penned by the Scholar, Kine Lidomast
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