Geography in the Tapestry

From OakthorneWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

The Tapestry is a grand network of different lands which are connected by quasi-mystical paths known as "threads."


[edit] Realms

The Tapestry is primarily comprised of realms -- distinct segments of terrain and climate. In realms where the landscape is conducive to settlement, the term “realm” is almost always synonymous with the state which has taken root there.

[edit] Threads

Realms are connected by “threads” -- a euphemistic name for the roads and other means of travel which connect realms. A given thread always connects two realms, though some uncommon threads, called “Slipthreads,” are one-way journeys only. Most can be passed freely by anyone, but some require a “shuttle” -- some kind of key item or condition which must be possessed or met in order to walk the thread.

Threads can take a lot of different forms. Roads or “Ways” are a very common type of thread -- travellers must be careful not to stray from the road, lest they find themselves lost in one of the connected realms. “Gates” and “Passages” are less common, but hardly unknown types, consisting of openings or tunnels that connect between two different places, be it a large towering archway that opens from a desert into a forest or a tunnel in a tavern’s root cellar that goes back 50 ft before opening at the mouth of a small cave by a mountain pool. Finally, there are rarer (or possibly just less commonly discovered) Strange Threads that require very specific shuttles to activate, such as a scarecrow in a particular field in Vashtinral; walking thrice widdershins around it causes the walker to emerge from a different corn field in Beldenshire.

[edit] Access

No special skills or abilities are required to walk the threads of the Tapestry, beyond simply the knowledge of where the relevant threads can be found and possession of whatever shuttles might occasionally be needed to make the trip.

[edit] Navigation

While the geography of the Tapestry is non-contiguous in many cases, the heavens above the Tapestry all share the same features -- a sun during the day, and a moon against a background of stars at night. Because the sun always rises and sets in the same direction, the concept of direction was created by wise sages in ancient times to facilitate navigation. Hence, one can reckon which direction is North, East, South, and West in any given realm, though such reckoning may go a little haywire while walking along a thread.

[edit] Fringes

There are three known ways that the terrain of a realm can be contained along its outer limits, also called its fringe. Most common are barriers, which are just places where the realm’s topography becomes impassible, such as vegetation growing so thickly that it cannot be moved through at the edges of Hanar. Boundaries, meanwhile, are places where attempting to press forward beyond the edge of the realm leads to confusion and somehow turns the traveler back towards the realm they mean to leave, or somehow leads the traveler back into the realm from its opposite side. Finally, there are brinks, where the land simply stops abruptly, giving way to a starry void cut off by a clear, thin, elastic, permeable membrane.

There is technically a fourth type of fringe which can join two realms, though the term "fringe" is generally not applied in this case. A border is a particularly wide overlap between the edges of two realms . Wider even than most ways, sometimes running for many miles, borders are very easy to find and cross, facilitating casual travel between the connected realms. So easy is this crossing that realms which share a border are said to be “threaded” to each other.

[edit] Viewpoint Differences

Living among the often not contiguous geography of the Tapestry’s realms has led to certain differences in attitude about the nature of space from those commonly held here on Earth. The first of these is the nature of the world: the Tapestry gets its name from the similarity in the way the weft threads of a tapestry weave back and forth between the warp threads, creating unseen connections between disparate portions of the overall work on the tapestry’s backside.

The second major difference is the certainty possessed by inhabitants of the Tapestry that they could visit any given realm if only they knew how to find a connecting thread and which shuttle unlocked it. This applies equally to relatively mundane places as well as mysterious places like the Raven King’s Mistyholt and other realms of dream, spirit, and legend. Even the Prison would seem to someone from the Tapestry to be just another realm, even if the threads which connect it are mysterious and secret. Such realms are "other" in that they are of a strange nature and may have bizarre effects upon visitors, but they are not "other" as in existing in some other reality or on some other plane -- all of reality exists within the same Tapestry of realms and threads that the Woven inhabit.

The third big difference is the certainty possessed by the various peoples of the Tapestry that they have not seen everything yet. Here on Earth, there is a certain cynicism that we have seen it all and explored everything there is to explore on our beautiful planet. Whether or not this is hogwash, it's just a fact of life that while, yes, we may not have a super detailed survey of the life resident in every square mile of these United States, for example, enough is known that we're pretty sure there aren't any major surprises awaiting discovery. Sasquatch, we're fairly sure, are a legend.

Contrast this with the Tapestry, where new threads are discovered with enough regularity as to be a part of the general rhythm of life. True, that many of these are just new gates or ways between distant realms, bringing the entire weave of the Tapestry closer together, but new realms are also discovered now and then. Further, there are a number of wild realms that cannot -- or have not -- been settled for one reason or another. These serve as both a natural boundary for the nations and empires of the known Warp, as well as a frontier for explorers and pioneers. New settled realms with new peoples are rather rarer, and are much more of an event when discovered, but, again, such discoveries are not unheard of.

Indeed, the peoples of the Tapestry could be said to believe in Manifest Expansion, a certainty that the Tapestry will continue to unfold onto new vistas and surprises; it is in the nature of the Weft that it be so. This idea is so deeply rooted that it colors the concept of time in the Tapestry, which is the fourth major difference between Earth and the realms of the Tapestry. Written, accounted history is a relatively new development in the Age of Reason; most histories in the Age of Mysteries were oral traditions. The various arcane age monsters and nightmares that preyed on travelers in the wilds and on the unwary in settlements during that dark time kept kith, kin, and kind from developing the wherewithal to focus on things like learning and academic study. Thus, for the Woven, there is a sense that rather than time and history being linear, time is more of an outward-expanding spiral; the real measure of history is the expanse of the known realms. With every new realm that is discovered, that history moves forward. Each newly-discovered realm is both changed by its new found proximity to the known weave, and changes the rest of the weave by its presence. Thus does the Weft wind back and forth, bringing beauty, surprise, and change to the relatively stable realms of the Warp.

Personal tools
Game Calendar
Chillos' Campaigns
Greg's Campaigns
Josh's Campaigns
Ryan's Campaigns