The metaplanes (or metaplane, depending on perspective) are a realm beyond astral space, only accessible by initiates. The actual nature of the metaplanes is abstract. There are planes that correspond to the hermetic elements (earth, air, fire, water), planes that correspond to the shaman domains (man, water, sky, land), the plane of death where the ancestor spirits reside, to even the Loa home of Guinee, and beyond.
There is wide speculation as to whether these are specific and individual planes, whether the same location simply changes depending on who visits, or whether the metaplanes even exist and the initiate is simply projecting into a dreamlike pseudo-reality of their own creation. Whatever any person's take on the metaplanes may be, there are two things that count above all:
In some shape or form, they exist...and you can die there.
Each metaplane, despite the ever-changing scope of the terrain upon any given visit, has a number of corresponding Places. Each Place is a landscape that commonly corresponds to human experiences. It can be a vague and abstract nebula of magical energies, or something specific and very realistic - and the same Place can look entirely different each time you visit it. Your character's appearance (along with any companions) may possibly change from Place to Place to ether fit into or starkly contrast the setting for any reason.
The astral is infinitely flexible. While there are several common Places known to metahumanity, there are even more beyond that are unknown or simply even not comprehensible by even an experienced magician.
These Places are where an initiate will travel to when they face their challenge on an Astral Quest. They may even travel across multiple Places across multiple metaplanes on a single quest (even the same place twice), if it the trial is complex enough.
Casual travel to the Metaplanes is not possible. If a magician projects into the Metaplanes without a clear goal or objective, they will face a number of random encounters before being able to return.
Common Places and ChallengesEdit
Key word 'common'. These are Places known to exist in each metaplane, but by no means are these the only to exist.
Place of Battle
- The challenge of this Place is battle. Generally in a setting with an opponent appropriate to the metaplace. This can range from a very mystical environment against a supernatural creature, to a mundane battlefield against a medieval knight.
- Whatever the setting, the opponent must be fought and overcome.
Place of Charisma
- This Place always involves a social situation of varying magnitude and depth. The task may range from calming an angry mob, to extracting information, to resolving some dispute between parties.
- The challenge is in resolving the situation through use of 'charisma', or social skill alone. It is generally failed if the situation falls to violence.
Place of Destiny
- This is where a person faces themselves.
- In a gesture of grand paradox, they have to do something better than their self. This challenge can be anything that involves what a character must face with themselves. Be it fighting, talking, crafting an item, or otherwise.
Place of Fear
- This Place pits a character against their worst fear.
- The fear can be anything, from a specific situation to a specific individual, to even a place. The challenge is for the fear to be overcome, usually through some display of courage in the face of danger.
Place of Knowledge
- This Place tests the mind.
- Anything from a rubrix cube, to a chess match, to the missing variable in a scientific formula. The challenge here is one that requires sharp wit and intellect. For shamans, this can also apply to more primal skills, such as survival in the wilderness, navigating a maze, or even a trick in flying.
Place of Magic
- This Place involves a magical challenge or task to be completed. Commonly overcoming some sort of danger through use of an ability related to magic.
- A duel, a spell formula, assensing a signature, calling or banishing a spirit, or otherwise.
Place of Spirits
- The challenge here involves confronting a spirit. Commonly, though not always hostile. For some, this could even take the form of the Avatar.
- The spirit must be negotiated somehow, usually through battle or banishment, or forcing it to yield after besting it in a contest.
The Citadel is the heart of magical energy in the metaplanes. As abstract as the planes themselves, this Place is the 'goal'. The endgame. This is where the traveller reaches upon the completion of their quest. The area and scene can take whatever appropriate shape. It is here that the traveler is rewarded with what they sought when coming to the planes, recieving whatever knowledge, skill, or otherwise.
The Dweller on the ThresholdEdit
The gatekeeper in the dark void. The Dweller is the figure, or entity that confronts a character and their companions when they attempt to access the metaplanes. The Dweller can take on any particular shape or form (A tour guide, a ferryman, an angel at the gates, an Avatar, a totem, anything really).
It has no set form, and may often change radically from meeting to meeting. The one consistent thing about it is that it knows everything. Everything about everyone that confronts it. Every hope, every dream, every dirty little secret, every hint of obscure information that was lost or purposefully forgotten. Especially the things that you don't want anyone to know. The Dweller knows. Even worse, it is often such best-left-unknown information that the character will be forced to confront in the Dweller's trial (it plays fair though, every person in the group gets a piece of their dirty laundry aired).
The Dweller is the first confrontation, the first step on the journey to the metaplanes, and cannot be circumvented by any means. If a group goes to the metaplanes together, they confront the Dweller and it's trial together.
Time on the MetaplanesEdit
Due to the unique nature of time and space in the Metaplanes, projecting magicians do not lose essence while in an Astral Quest (This saves a magician from the 6 hour limit of projecting, but does not prevent the other hazards of remaining immobile and unconscious for extended periods).
Reasons to Travel the Metaplanes
- If a mage makes something with an astral link back to themselves, they can travel into the metaplanes to "hide" the link there. If one wishes to find the link to try and trace the mage or some such, they must seek out the same metaplane.
- One can potentially learn metamagic techniques from their travels into the metaplanes, often finding themselves in a realm appropriate to the technique they wish to learn.
- If another mage has learned how to mask their astral presence with metamagic, a metaplanar journey can be undertaken to find the true aura that they have hidden.
- Elementals that have been disrupted (defeated in combat) will return to their plane to recover. The process can be accelerated if the summoner travels to the Elemental's metaplane to assist it.
- If a "Free Spirit" (A spirit who is no longer under the control of a mage) has become a bother, there are ways to combat them in the metaplanes.
- Their True Names can be discovered, which holds power over them.
- "Defeating" them will only throw them back to the metaplane they call home, but chasing them there and defeating them can kill them for good.
- If seeking to restore such a being if it has been defeated, one can seek out their metaplane and bring them back to the physical world.
- Obviously, given that SL lacks the ability to build hundreds of personalized planes of reality on a whim, use of IMs, emote RP and/or travel to whole other sims in SL must be used to facilitate metaplanar travel: be creative!
- For personal quests, feel free to use the above guidelines in writing out a story of what your character faces and accomplishes. For quests done in a group, feel free to have some person moderate the experience for the group. This is an open canvas to have fun with, go nuts.