Champions of Atlanta
Dimensions in General
Dimensions, or planes, or realities, etc. refer to alternate realities that coexist with the historical, persistent reality jointly and consistently experienced by Man. These other dimensions may be effectively permanent (like our ‘core’ universe) or temporary (with lifespans as short as relative microseconds). Permanent realities are called Major Dimensions and temporary parallel universes are called Minor Dimensions. The total of all major and minor dimensions is collectively referred to as the meta-universe or, colloquially, the multiverse.
The Three Realms and the Astral
The meta-universe is broadly grouped into three categories traditionally called Realms; the Inner, the Outer, and the Qliphotic. There is also the Astral Plane, a special case.
The Inner Realm: Roughly, those universes where the laws of physics and strength of magic are largely similar to those of our universe. The specifics may vary (heavy objects may fall faster than light objects; fire will not burn unless magic is nearby; etc.) and the causality may change but these universes are similar enough to our own that we can recognize them and navigate them even if we need assistance.
While the number of dimensions in the Inner Realm may not be quite infinite there are at least billions of separate universes within it.
The Inner Realm has a few ‘areas’ or ‘sections’ such as the Billion Universes of Istva’Tha Vhan or the Congeries of Skarn the Shaper.
The Outer Realm: As you travel further and further from the Inner Realm dimensions you transition to the Outer Realm. The laws of physics and causality grow more and more strange and variable, magic tends to grow stronger (although specific dimensions may have…. unusual… rules for magic). Some of the dimensions of the Outer Realm are easy to access (such as the Elemental Planes or the Shadow Dimension) while others are ‘remote’ or hard to access (the Frost-Bound Kingdom or the Lost Dimension of Arataxes).
The Outer Realm is as large as the Inner Realm, if not larger. The Elemental Dimensions dominate the portions ‘closest’ to the Inner Realm while other meta-structures include the Sorcerous Realms (dimensions inhabited by a variety of powerful beings that sometimes grant magical powers to mystics of the Inner Realm) and the Tangles (a dimensional ‘maze’ of thousands of intertwined dimensions)
The Qliphotic Realm: Far beyond the Outer Realm dimensions that have much resemblance to our Inner Realm world are the Qliphotic Realm dimensions: strange, alien dimensions full of creatures very alient to life as we know it. A chaotic, sprawling mass of dimensions the Realm itself is difficult to understand or navigate for all but the most skilled (or the most reckless). Scattered in the Qliphotic Realm are the abodes of creatures of great power, some of whom will grant mystics power.
The Astral Plane: All three of the Realms exist within and among the Astral Plane, a sort of overarching dimension that the rest ‘float’ within. Most interaction with the Astral Plane occurs ‘within’ a particular dimension; mystics and others can project all or part of themselves into the astral and then travel about within their own dimension. Some others, though, have the strength, skill, or talent of traveling between dimensions in the Astral Plane.
While the ‘local’ Astral Plane within a particular dimension is relatively calm, like the ocean close to the beach, the ‘deep’ Astral is home to currents, eddies, and other similar things caused by the movement of the dimensions and other causes, largely unknown.
As mentioned above, the various dimensions change their relative ‘positions’ relative to each other over time. This can make travel between and among particular dimensions easier or more difficult.
Specific Major Dimensions
Here is a brief list of notable major dimensions:
Faerie: This Inner Realm dimension has been ‘close’ to to Earth’s dimension for centuries, so close that not only is travel between the two dimensions easy there are a few natural portals between them.
Faerie is noted for having a large number of sentient races, a strong magical aura, and for having variable time.
The Dream Zone: While individual dreams are a form of minor dimension (see below) they all exist within a dimension called the Dream Zone. Some adepts, psychics, and others are capable of entering the Dream Zone and then entering, and even affecting, individual dream worlds.
Shattered World: From popular book written in 1996 titled ‘Shattered World: A Memoir of My Trip to Another Dimension’ the anonymous author claimed to have been transported to an Inner Realm dimension where North America was divided into over 20 nations and that the rest of the world was likewise dominated by a large number of smaller nations, all embroiled in various low-level conflicts and wars. While a large number of people view the book as fiction at least one supervillain claims to be from this dimension.
The Dread Dimension: This outer realm dimension is home to the 8 powerful beings collectively called the Sheerruth; malevolent entities willing to trade mystic power for various promises and pacts.
Specific Minor Dimensions
Here are a few examples of minor, or temporary, dimensions.
The Vanishing Man’s Parlor: The Vanishing Man was once famously interviewed in his ‘parlor’, a space he called a ‘pocket dimension’. He claimed that he had ‘constructed’ it with his powers and that he was forced to rebuild it after his powers were siphoned away and then recovered. Amazing Man II stated it ceased to exist when the Vanishing Man died.
Dream Worlds: A large number of sentient beings that dream create a sort of ‘pocket dimension’ when they experience strong or vivid dreams. While the precise mechanism of this process is unknown, what is known is that such worlds all exist within the Dream Dimension and they they only exist while the dream lasts. The Silver Mage states that such worlds are actually a ‘feature’ of the Dream Zone, not of the individuals.
There are some places that are technically not separate dimensions but are very similar in how they are reached or how they interact.
Cyberspace: Some paranormals (and at least one mystic) claim to ‘enter and leave’ cyberspace and describe it in ways very similar to how dimensions are experienced.
Sentient Minds: Just as some psionics can sense, interact with, or enter the Astral Plane some are able to perform similar feats with the minds of individual sentient beings, as if their mind was a separate ‘universe’. The villain Nighthag, in particular, described this experience in great detail.