Throughout Wyrlde, though especially within the Empire, there are compounds where people learn and engage called Tanjins. Tanjins are divided into several classes, mostly by age groups but not exclusively, and each class is led by a Pedant, and focusing on a particular aspect of what people need to know.
To help you come to know the world better, you are going to be given a Pedant, or a teacher, who will help to guide you through the assorted parts of the world. Different Pedants will guide you in different areas. Note that she does not know everything, and that she, too, has biases and prejudices; that she is a part of the World and is ultimately in service to one of the Powers (even if she did not choose it). She has her own ways. But she will help you going forward. The same can be said of the others – it always useful to be aware that there are limits to what they can tell you.
Not everyone can afford to send their children to a Tanjin, even though they are generally open to anyone – and many people don’t see a need to do so, so there is a higher than typical level of ignorance and illiteracy on Wyrlde.
In order to help guide you through this process, we have three Pedants awaiting, and they in turn have brought some folks to be with them.
Your Pedant for knowledge about the Wyrlde in general – the culture, history, and places — is an Ikon; a very powerful, chosen representative of a given Power That Is – named Arabesque.
For things related to the development of characters and understanding many of the rules, your Pedant will be the currently liminal faery lass who goes by the name of Tinghabel.
For Magic’s often ineffable nature and the difficulties in explaining it, your pedant is a grumpy, self important, irascible and indomitable Grand Master Wizard of the most prestigious College in all of Akadia – and she will tell you that himself. Her name (and no, not her True Name), is Rafael.
The three pedants that are here are not always absolutely aware of everything. They are the products of their world, and familiar with the ins and outs and subject to those same things for the realms and backgrounds that they have, from their heritage to their roles in the wider world.
Their perspective is the perspective of those who dwell in the Empire. They have all assured that they are doing their best to remain as unbiased as they can, but such work is inevitably going to have some bias on the part of the pedant who is teaching you.
I am Grand Master Wizard Rafael of Akadia, Grand Pedant of the College of Abjuration in Gateway, Member of the Mage Council, and close personal friend of the Great Wazoo. I have been asked by my erstwhile companions to elucidate you on the nature and fashion of Magic within the Wyrlde, and I deign to do so because I have been assured that you will listen close, listen well, and listen deep. Very well then, oh thank Heavens, the auditor left.
I’m Rafael. I, too, am an Incarnate. It is why several of us met. Where I come from, a place called Earth, I used to play a game that allowed me to be a wizard. Then I was attacked by a leper and the next thing I knew I was born a gal in a world and learned to be a wizard for real.
Memories get sucked into stone and brick over time, and you can feel them if you have magic. The worse the weather is, the more it seems to come out. The memories will be thinned by age, watered down by time until instead of terror and despair, the background is a disturbing melancholy, but…yeah. This was a world I could only pretend about before. Let’s tell you about Magic!
I’m Ting. Well, Tinghabel, but call me Ting. I am not much for formality.
While I am waiting for my friends to resurrect me, I was asked to hop in here and give you a bit of info on how things work if this was a pretend game. We all know it isn’t, but my Da in the Fairywilde says that games are a favorite thing of folks in Mortality, so I’m gonna do it that way.
There is a secret, though. One I kept my whole life, and probably this new one I have coming.
I wasn’t from here. Like Ara, I’m an Incarnate. I was reborn into this world and imagine my surprise to find I was only two and a half feet tall and had sparkly wings and my Da was a Fae Lord, of all things. Now, I wasn’t much for that when I was alive before, but I had a friend who was really into playing games that are a lot like what it is like to live here.
So, I will be using that to guide you, to help you learn, and hey, if we are lucky, maybe we will run into each other! Ok, yeah, I won’t remember because I’m dead right now, but it would be kinda cool to meet someone that I helped when I was dead.
And if we are both incarnates and from the same place, maybe we can compare notes. There are a lot of places though; mine had these big ole companies that ran everything and we had lasers and computers and err, um, sorry. I get distracted a lot in this life. Everything is so big!
I wasn’t going to talk about magic much, and you wouldn’t want to hear it from me, so I asked my Wizard friend Rafael to pop in when it comes to that part because he, like, gets all that stuff in a way I don’t and wouldn’t want to.
Me? Oh, my job is being a rogue, which had a really different meaning where I was from before – it was a place called “Earth”. They call me a corsair. I have a sometime boyfriend here, too, though he cusses me out a lot. He hangs out with a Cambion that does Reeve type work in a place called the Hollows over in Durango.
And with that all out of the way, let’s get you into the body you will be using this time around the Cycle…
I am Arabesque. I am the current Ikon for Antelle.
I will be one of your Pedants for your journey, sharing with you what I know and have learned of this cruel, crazy, wonderful world. The notes, comments, and content that comes from me about the world is meant to be listened to. Get comfy, cozy, snuggle into those warm blankets, and ensure your warm drink is by your side; it will be a long night for you…
I am a Witch. As an Ikon of Antelle, it is my duty to bring Her Word and Blessings to the world, and to ensure that she is represented among the people. I am her Chosen vehicle for Her will. Of all the many Powers That Be, she is closest to the annoying, bossy one called Chicory, and so I must deal with her a lot as well.
Welcome to the Wyrlde. Here the Powers That Be walk among us and they have a sense of humor, and the world is as deadly as it can get. Here, we are the interlopers. But we are not going anywhere and so we need to make the best of what we can.
I did not plan this. I am an Incarnate — I was reincarnated here, on Wyrlde, after an accident when and where I was from, and I retained all my old memories even as I grew up again in the outskirts of Sibola. My parents were simple folk, and my father passed away when I was only six. My mother and I went outside the city to live with relatives, but we were victims of a raid by Goblins, and I soon found myself apprenticed to a hedge witch who traded with both Sibola and Aztlan. It was quite a heady experience, let me tell you. The majesty of Sibola, the glorious flower that is Aztlan; it was a wonderful youth. I must stress something from my experience: Wyrlde is not my beloved home, not this strange place called Earth, not Caerlion, not Whorled – not any of them, nor any I haven’t met people from. The things you know from there, the reality you are familiar with; it means nothing here.
Our ship was capsized one fateful night, and Antelle came to me and made me an offer that would enable me to continue to practice the Craft, but I would be hers, body and soul, and her Tool on this plane. I accepted, and since have roamed the width and breadth of the world to gain much knowledge and insight.
One thing you should know immediately is that The Powers That Be of Wyrlde are not beloved by all and sundry. They are deeply resented, and faith is a precious commodity here. The Powers That Be are many, even after so many of them died.
Long ago there was an immense war, lasting for 500 years, between the Powers That Be, for who would have domain over the world. Their soldiers were us, the people, the ones who live in the muck and the dirt and who struggle to gain even the merest amount of power or material gain or knowledge. It was a cataclysmic time, and when it ended suddenly, the Powers That Be vanished and left the few survivors, so few, to fend for themselves. There were no clerical healers because the Powers That Be were gone. There was no blessing or guidance or divination – and for a hundred years the people of the world wandered and starved and died of thirst and deprivation in the event called The Bleak Journey, until finally they came to the place we call Sibola and began anew.
It was many years after that we saw miracles again, healing, and, of course, Ikons, like me, were chosen as the Powers That Be recovered from their labors. That is why I am here to speak on Her behalf – those who have faith must work to earn it among others. And they must do so even as others do the same. Including the Old Ones. This is the world in which you live now – you should embrace it and hope that you survive it. And if you do not, well, there are the seven levels in the Infernal dimension. Pray you do not end up among the Demons.
All things considered that seems like a great place to start: the Planes and their Dimensions.
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”Mae Jemison