The dimensions of the Mortal Plane consist of four dimensions that all interact and connect in some way: The Astral, The Ethereal, Fairywilde, and the Ephemeral.
This is the dimension we all exist in. For those crossing into the Mortal Plane and any of its dimensions, the greatest potential threats are Mortality, and Enfleshment, for just as the other planes contain risks for visitors from here, those from there face risks coming here. In this case, those beings will find themselves given a fleshy form (save for Demons, who seem to be gifted to be more malleable) and are afflicted with mortality (they can have those fleshy forms slain).
Also, the immediate attention of Chicory, which is why the threats are a risk. The Ephemeral is the central part of the Mortality Plane. While for us it is nothing, for those traveling here, it could mean that they are bound to flesh, and so locked into the Cycle, and that that fleshy form will itself become mortal, and so subject to the same mortal risks we have.
This is the Astral Dimension, which sits just beyond the Veil.
When one astral projects one gains the ability to cross the Veil to this dimension, which is dangerous and risky even at the best of times. An astral form is a Spiritual form, always tied to a body by a thin, endless Silver Cord that if severed, will sever Body and Heart from Spirit, Soul, and Mind.
All manner of creatures make their homes here, but the most common are Phantasms, who in the Astral are the manifestations of the Ego of people of the Mortal Realms. Phantasms sometimes cross to Wyrlde, and are exceptionally dangerous beings, for they can sever that connection – or potentially rip a person into the discrete parts. They seek to sever the astral cords and use them to take over the body.
The Astral is difficult to remain in, it has a sense of magic and mayhem that do not match our own and is often thought of as a place of sheer chaos, filled with massive shapes and forms that seem as if they are planets connected by long rods, or floating globules. Vast beings and miniscule ones occupy this dimension, with castles that might fit in the palm of your hand or that might contain entire cities.
The Ethereal is like a vast space of thick pea soup. It is to this dimension that many beings shunt physical mass when they become Ethereal, crossing the Veil back and forth, and using it to move around without physical limits in Fairywilde or Mortal Plane. Of all the local dimensions, this one is the strangest, for it seems to be empty, and yet you can see everything there if you look at it out of the corner of your eye. You can pass through buildings and walls, and the denizens can scream and flee if they perceive you. The Ethereal is Immaterial, a way of wholly existing in between the spaces of things which are perceived as solid, and a counterpart to Spiritual.
The Ethereal is filled with wild and peculiar tornadoes, whirlwinds and changestorms. These are serpentine columns that spin through the dimension. They appear abruptly, distorting and uprooting ethereal forms in its path and carrying the debris for leagues. Being trapped in a change storm can change a person, and yet if they are using the power of the dimension, such as if they are passing ethereally, then those changes won’t be visible on the body. If they travel in the flesh, however, they can be, and it can be both painful and startling.
Many beings seem to have deep links to this dimension, and can see into it or walk through it, or somehow dwell across the threshold as liminal beings.
This dimension is a land of pastoral wonder, beautiful and magnificent, primal, and untamed. It is lit throughout with a soft light that is strong and joyful, with a light breeze throughout – always warm, never day nor night.
It mirrors and reflects the contours of the Wyrlde, but as if it were long before the God’s War, and with every step a new delight and wonder to behold. A sense of Awe permeates the entirety of the Fairywilde.
Let not this sylvan and bucolic land fool you, however. Time is not stable here, warping differently for each person, and memory is variable. This is not a realm that is safe or right and is dangerous for us.
The Fairywilde is populated by the Fae – dryads, satyrs, pixies, sprites, as well as things such as faerie dragons, blink dogs, displacer beasts, unicorns, and treants. They refer to the Fairywilde as “Faerie,” meaning the plane they come from.
The Fae are not malevolent, even the Fell Fae; they are instead quite alien to our ways of thinking, our value systems, and our brief lifespans. The Fae do not like people. Especially humans. Except, perhaps, as pets and curios, diversions, and delights, as zoo occupants and sideshow freaks – often with some aspect of them twisted.
The Fae do not seem quite right to humans of any sort – they are the obverse of us, the unreal made present, and are unnerving and peculiar. They shun the use of smithed and wrought materials, and seek simplicity and harmony, unless it is of exquisite make, and exceptionally beautiful.
The Fae live in different groups and gatherings called Courts among themselves. There are two broad categories of Fae: Fey and Fell. This is different from their Courts.
The Fey are aesthetically pleasing to look on and gifted with wondrous powers that allow them to carry a piece of the Fairywilde wherever they go. The Fell are not. Fells exist in many planes (especially the Shadow and the Nether), and some argue that Fells are not actually of the Fairywilde.
The Fae are governed by a series of Kings and Queens, who are known to all be related, who oversee the several Courts.
There are many different courts in the Fairywilde, and no two of them are alike.
It is not a place of cities so much as a place of individual whim, the persistent manifestation of whimsy and peculiarity.
Courts are fluid and flexible in their space and time – each is seemingly unending, and yet they all can be crossed and traveled among by those with the knowledge of how.
The Pleasant Plain. A vast Plain that stretches for miles, often confused with the Summerlands by those from elsewhere, it is a realm of rolling hills and pleasant steppe. Mag Mell is always a lonely place in feeling and is the home of The Solitary Court. It is ruled by Puck, composed of those who owe fealty to none but themselves, and who grudgingly allow Puck to haphazardly rule them.
Solitary Fae are dangerous and potent and should be avoided more than others.
The Orchard of Golden Apples. It is ruled by Titania, the magnificent Fae whose brilliance and beauty is only marred by their alienness and is the heart of The Seelie Court.
The Land of Youth, and possibly the only true city in all of the Fairywilde as we understand them. It is ruled by Oberon, chief of The Sleeping Court. He is often called the Good Fairy, whose lusts and whims have ever been a challenge for those of us on the Mortal Plane.
The Wild Forest. It is said the trees here are so tall and that their tops are so broad, that one can enter the Wild Forest, and never see the stars or the sun – but you can always see the moonlight. It Is The Court Of Whispers, ruled by The Morrigans.
The Court between all other Courts and The Heart of Faerie. It is the heart of The Unseelie Court, ruled by of Arawn, whose stag horns wax and wane with the seasons, and whose court is filled with things around death and fate.
The realm of lakes and rivers, meadows, and flowers. It is ruled by the Court Of Trooping, beneath sweet Rhiannon, always moving with each season, forever following the path of Spring. It is said that a mortal who gazes upon Rhiannon cannot help but falling in love with her.
The Sinister Bog. It is ruled by Kernabog, whose rule is fierce, harsh, and bloody. It is almost exclusively filled with Fell, and they can surprise, for The Night Court is never as scary as it can appear.
Fae have strong attachments and fondness for Rowan Trees, Ashoka Trees, Hawthorn Trees, and Sal Trees, which they cannot find in Fairywilde.
They consider these things sacred and holy, and as most Fae are animists and animistic beings, this can have a lot of effect.
Fae also have a fondness for Mistletoe, St John’s Wort, selfless kindness, small harness bells called “sweet bells”, cream, fresh bread, sugar, honey, and falling in love.
Fae do not like and will avoid people who are wearing clothes inside out, Timing Bells (and clocks in general), four leaf clovers, marjoram, thyme, and burnt sage.
The Fairywilde is awfully close to Wyrlde, and the folk there like to keep it close and firmly attached, and so create a host of ways to pass in and out with strange rituals around the points of entry. The Fairywilde can be reached through these crossings fashioned by the Fae themselves, often as traps to lure new toys to play with. They cross mostly during Dusk and Dawn, avoiding other times of day to cross over. It is known to be the most easily reached of all the different planes, and the riskiest, for there is little they cherish more than new pets and fresh diversions – fey are immortal.
They like Mortality and very often desire it for themselves – Though the motivations for that are as varied and changeable as the uncounted number of Fae themselves.
Should you ever have cause to investigate a Fae place, when you approach do so from either the South or the East, and with North your guide, circle the site a time of three, either widdershins or sunward, occasionally moonward, before trying to enter, to avoid any Glamours or enchantments, or being sucked into the Fairywilde.
Also known as Fairy Hills or Fairy Forts, these are the stone circles, ringforts, hillforts, or other circular dwellings.
These remains are said to be either homes for fairies and other supernatural creatures, or portals to the Fairywilde.
Fairy Rings are rings of mushrooms caused by fairies and elves dancing around in a circle at night that are said to be locations where fairies congregate.
If any person who stumbles upon these festivities enters the fairy ring, they are forced to dance until they are driven insane, die, or pass out from exhaustion.
Some fairy rings will draw you into the Fairywilde, and there you will be lost and subject to strange experiences.
The Fae employ several tricks and tweaks that sometimes act to lure Mortals into their realm, or to give them a chance to abduct them, or sometimes just to avoid being seen. Perhaps the most obvious trick is how when spoken the names of much of this sound alike, and it is possible that ultimately all of them share the same name, and it is us who are confused.
Sickly or malformed Fae babies undesired by the Fae that are left in place after secretly kidnapping their actual baby.
A gift of the Fae that allows them to appear as if they are Human (specifically). It is a form of illusion that all Fae can perform.
A bespelled object often used by the Fae when dealing with people, a form of payment often far more than what is owed in order to encourage the taker.
Fairy gold is often leaves, stones, and similar otherwise worthless stuff that is bespelled or glamoured to appear to be actual coin.
It is often said that Fae cannot lie – this is not true – they do, and often, if it benefits them, but they often do not benefit from spoken lies, and they are crafty to avoid acknowledged debt.
It is Debt that has significant weight within Fae cultures, and just about the only seemingly universal trait they have.
Allows one to see through the Glamours that Fae use, which is a form of Fairywilde magic akin to our own. It is exceedingly difficult to make here, as we lack some of the ingredients.
It is often used by Fae to enable those they kidnap for slaves to be able to see.