Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Spirit Realm: A Different Cosmology...

Good Evening:

While my thoughts on a Hollow Earth campaign started me down the path towards a decidedly non-D&D cosmology, I'm thinking that this would be applicable to a number of campaign ideas for the future. I'm sure this has been done before, and probably with a better set of explanations, but I'm still just feeling my way through this concept. In some ways, this mirrors the cosmology of some Real World religions, but with a decidedly adventurous bent to it.

In essence, the world is divided into two realms of existence, that of the physical world and then there's the world of spirits. Like the Physical World, the Spirit Realm is populated by a wide range of entities. Some of them are little more than the animals, the fauna of the spiritual landscape, while others represent various levels of sentience and self-determined focus. Power flows in the form of magical energies between the two realms through a border realm known as the Ethereal Realm. These energies are often attracted to and amplified by intense emotion, but are better directed through focused thought and meditation. The ideal worker of magic and spiritual energies must practice both in a sustained balance to be truly effective.

The Spirit Realm is ruled predominately by the Spirit Lords, beings of extreme power and command. There are several different breeds of Spirit Lords, each with different traits akin to those associated with the concepts of angels and demons. Some are very primordial and elemental, while others are very ancient and very, very alien. Much like humanity, there are many different kinds of Spirit Lords, each with different motivations.

Creatures of a magical or supernatural nature possess their abilities because of a close connection to the spirits. Spellcasters owe their power to the training and connection they share with powerful spirits, perhaps even Spirit Lords. Undead become corpses that are inhabited and animated by spirits from the Spirit Realm. Elementals, demons, angels, even fey are all simply powerful spirits of one type or another, fighting their battles on this plane as well as in their home realm.

I'm sure there's more, but this is what jumps out at me as I start considering this concept. As I continue to think about it, and seek input from others, I'm sure the idea will continue to evolve. I definitely look forward to seeing what comes of it.

More Later,

1 comment:

migellito said...

The first thing that popped into my head were kami.
And the excellent take on such a spirit world in the worlds of Miyazaki. The key thing, I think, is copious abundance of spirits and their influence, while keeping their true mechanics a complete mystery.

Personally, I would love to play a magic-wielder in such a unique and vibrant milieu.