Portals: Inter-dimensional travel made hard


They are places where the barriers between the various planes of existence stretch thin. Where the bottom of the world drops out and reveals the Other. Different cultures call them by many names. Those who have encountered one knows how difficult they are to describe.

The sensation is similar to a sense of dread in the pit of your stomach. Sometimes it is heralded by pinpricks behind the eyes, or an irresistible urge to stare at an ordinary object without knowing why. Anyone who has ever passed through and returned can taste them in the air.

Boundaries between worlds. Dimensional rifts. Portals, mirrors, gates, doors, spatial anomalies. You may stumble across them, roaming the world. Or perhaps you would seek them out? It’s not unheard of, finding a map to such a strange location. It is possible to stumble through a portal, in fact. To find that you have traversed the barrier and are now in a world not your own. A stranger in a perverse, twisted landscape. To them, your world is the alien plane. And similarly, a gate might be found that takes you home… If the one you came through does not offer a return trip.


LIBRO PORTAS

BEING A COLLECTION OF INFORMATION THAT THE ACCURSED ARCHMAGE ALPHISAN ILLEGALLY COLLECTED FROM INTERPLANAR BEINGS, AND FOR WHICH HE WAS CRUCIFIED ON THE SALT-TREE, AT THE GREAT CROSSROADS OF ANTINALLIA

THE WORLDES THAT BE CONNECTED TO THIS PLAYNE OF EXISTENCE

Here being the liste of worlds that I have wrested from the tight lips of beings too wretched to have their naymes etched in this fecund ink, lest they derive Arcane Power from such things. There is moste certainly more to be found, though I mayke no promise to their easy discovery. Some of the findings herein required the judicious usage of spells that contact the dead; such clayms are hereby warned to be unverifiable but rumored. Tayke this as thee will.
  1. Golden Forest of the Seelie Court.
  2. Winter Abode of the Unseelie Court.
  3. Underworlds / Negative Afterlife.
  4. The Infinite Marketplace.
  5. The Source of all Magic.
  6. Heavens / Positive Afterlife.
  7. Eternal Wasteland.
  8. The Great Lobby / Neutral Afterlife.
  9. Land of Mirrors.
  10. The Wondrous City of Doors.
  11. The Draconic Spires.
  12. Shadowlands and the Obsidian Pyramids.
  13. Realm of the Deep Ocean.
  14. The Elemental Realms.
  15. Nymph and Satyr groves.
  16. The Serpent-Mother Chasm.
  17. The Hall of Mighty Deeds.
  18. Hedonistic Palace of Desire.
  19. Cosmic Graveyards.
  20. Gloomlands of the Dark and Monstrous.

THE PORTALS, AND METHODS THEREOF TO BREECH THESE SECRET WORLDS

Such methods of travel are difficult at times to locayte, but any avid reader of mine will be willful enough to seek them out. All the more prepared as well, given that my previous work, INSTRUCTIONES EX LIBROS contayned many illustrated maps and spells that would assist a fellow scholar of the Arcayne to locayte such portals. Furthermore, the portals seem to be a constant thing, rooted in the sea of thought and given shape. Thus, the same portal might be found in two different locaytions - nay, a hundred locaytions! Such is the way of gaytes, and their treacherous nayture.
If this book is missing from your library, conjure one of my many servants at any authorized book-publisher and its occult knowledge may be yours for only twenty-seven gold pieces! Such a price is heresy in the world of knowledge.

[1] Golden Forest of the Seelie Court
  1. A ring of brightly-colored saplings.
  2. A rogue breeze flitting through the forest, giggling madly.
  3. Think of an eternal autumn while resting on a tree stump.
  4. Sleep in the broken hollow of a tree that was split by lightning.
  5. Beneath a babbling brook, hidden by a large, smooth boulder.
  6. A one-and-a-half foot tall door, standing upright in a clearing.

[2] Winter Abode of the Unseelie Court
  1. Freeze to death in an isolated forest.
  2. A circle of fallen icicles, impaled in the snow.
  3. In a frozen lake, beneath a layer of bloody ice.
  4. In the dark gloom of a rocky forest cave.
  5. Chant a prayer to a Lady of the Unseelie Court while you spill blood on a thorn bush.
  6. Rose petals scattered to a cold wind.

[3] Underworlds / Negative Afterlife
  1. Die alone, unloved and without anyone to care for your corpse.
  2. Spend the night in a freshly-dug grave with a coin in your mouth.
  3. In the bottom of an ancient crypt, buried under two feet of dirt.
  4. Wait in the dark until you feel a cold breath on your neck, and then speak any words aloud.
  5. Bury the bones of an innocent child under an abandoned hearth, and then attempt to leave.
  6. Dig up an empty grave, and keep digging until you find a trapdoor in the dirt.

[4] The Infinite Marketplace
  1. Ask a merchant to see the goods they keep in the back, twelve times.
  2. Steal a key from an urchin who stole it from a merchant; use that key to open a door.
  3. Hire a knowledgeable caravan-driver to take you “to that realm where I might purchase the world.”
  4. Win a game of dice after wagering the deed to a piece of property you own. Bury your winnings under the floorboards of your store and check back the next day.
  5. A mysterious, plain door nestled between two opulent storefronts. 
  6. Commit suicide after losing everything to immense debt.

[5] The Source of all Magic
  1. A dusty tome in the back of a wizard’s library.
  2. Cast the same spell every day for seven years.
  3. Destroy a magical item that required at least ten years to create.
  4. Have your body destroyed by a spell during a wizard duel.
  5. Step over the point where four leylines intersect.
  6. Rupture a font of magical power, and sink into the arcane wound.

[6] Heavens / Positive Afterlife
  1. Die while surrounded by loving friends and family.
  2. Find true enlightenment while kneeling in a holy place.
  3. Complete a holy pilgrimage to at least fifteen holy sites.
  4. Inside the bell at the top of a cathedral or blessed belfry.
  5. Inside of a small music box in an abbot's house.
  6. Buried under the grave of an angel.

[7] Eternal Wasteland
  1. A door that is buried beneath a specific section of dry, cracked earth.
  2. Have your corpse tossed into the desert to be desiccated.
  3. Think of eternal calm while a sandstorm devours you alive.
  4. Inside an empty waterskin that dangles from a dead tree. 
  5. Buried at the bottom of a dry well in an abandoned, empty village.
  6. Pour out all of your water on the salt flats, and scrape away the slurry that forms.
[8] The Great Lobby / Neutral Afterlife
  1. Contemplate your life without any strong emotions as you die.
  2. Resist a devil’s temptation and wrestle with an angel, and then look to the north.
  3. Consecrate a door with a half-hearted blessed.
  4. Pray to the great consciousness, and submit to the overwhelming sense of mediocrity.
  5. Live an ordinary, mundane life without any real creed or belief.
  6. Find a place where there is no sound, and empty your mind.

[9] Land of Mirrors
  1. Inside a naturally-formed, door-shaped slab of perfectly smooth, reflective pyrite.
  2. Step into a moonlit body of water that is perfectly still.
  3. Shatter a manmade mirror with a natural mirror, then peer into the shards.
  4. Close your eyes and sit in the dark with a mirror before you, and haggle for passage with the entity inside.
  5. Unlock, open a door and then step through and do it again in reverse without ever looking at it directly.
  6. Pour quicksilver into a basin and use it to scry for a door.

[10] The Wondrous City of Doors
  1. Open 10,000 unique doors in your life. The 10,001st door will lead to the city.
  2. Install three doors back to back, then walk through all three backwards.
  3. Die in a tragic, door-centric accident.
  4. Visualize any of the doors you have seen in the Wondrous City as you open one in your home world.
  5. Rip a trapdoor out of the floor and nail it over a window, then open and crawl through it.
  6. Find a door that someone else has used to get to the Wondrous City and walk through it with the City in mind.

[11] The Draconic Spires
  1. Bury a freshly-slain dragon-corpse and return six years, six days and six hours later.
  2. Curl up in the empty shell of a dragon egg.
  3. Be carried over the horizon in the claws of a winged dragon.
  4. Any door that has seven dragon teeth planted beneath it.
  5. A secluded mountaintop where all lesser predators have been chased away.
  6. A stretch of land that has been scorched to black glass by dragonfire.

[12] Shadowlands and the Obsidian Pyramids
  1. A door containing precisely eleven corners.
  2. Obsidian formed into a perfectly flat, circular surface.
  3. A ravine or gully where both sunset and sunrise on either horizon are visible from within.
  4. The base of a man made pyramid at dusk, when the wind is still and the night is moonless.
  5. Think of shadowlit terraces as you open a door that has soaked up direct moonlight for ten years.
  6. Drown in sand at precisely midnight.

[13] Realm of the Deep Ocean
  1. Any deep, dark abyss of water where the pressure increases and the bite of cold water chills the bones.
  2. Diving headfirst into dark water with fear in your heart.
  3. The heart of an isolated cove, where the ground simply falls out.
  4. At the bottom of a lake where more than one child has drowned.
  5. Falling over twenty feet off a boat before hitting the water. Only applies on the open sea.
  6. Get lost in a coral reef while the living rock tears your flesh from the bone.

[14] The Elemental Realms
  1. Crawl into a fireplace after the fire has just been extinguished and chase the smoke as it flees.
  2. Knowingly drown yourself in a shallow body of water.
  3. Let a wind storm carry you off the ground, and enjoy the gusty whirlwind.
  4. Be buried in a metal coffin and starve to death with the taste of bloody iron in your mouth.
  5. Pass through a natural archway made by a bent, but still-living tree.
  6. Step over a spot where lightning has struck flat ground twice.

[15] Nymph and Satyr groves
  1. Hold a bacchanalian orgy that entices a nymph or satyr to arrive, and be invited to follow when they depart.
  2. Pour out two jugs of wine and an offering of poetry that emphasizes hedonism.
  3. In a loud, seedy, lusty establishment that uses curtains instead of doors.
  4. Nestled in a secretive corner of a winery or alcohol cellar, where the owner would never look.
  5. In a quiet, secluded grove that has served as the bedding place for over five lovers at once.
  6. At a nocturnal soiree of rich hedonists, conjured up by loud moans.

[16] The Serpent-Mother Chasm
  1. In a viper-filled pit that has claimed the life of three or more adventurers.
  2. At the top of a jade ziggurat that overlooks a serpentine river.
  3. In the center of a twisting, writhing mass of snakes mid-breeding.
  4. Offering up a wineglass full of venom to the Serpent-Mother.
  5. Being fatally wounded by snake venom and walking down a flight of steps.
  6. Sitting in the dark and listening to silence until the soft slither of an adder can be heard.

[17] The Hall of Mighty Deeds
  1. Perform a mighty act of valor out of raw selflessness, but perish in the attempt.
  2. Defeat one of the Hall’s many envoys in a fair wrestling match.
  3. Outdrink a famed hero, and then step through a door that leads to a privvy.
  4. Live an honorable, bloodthirsty life and die by the blade in combat.
  5. Train in the wilderness until your ancestor spirits open a gateway.
  6. Hidden in the back of a tavern known for its cheap drinks and sturdy tables.

[18] Hedonistic Palace of Desire
  1. Expend gratuitous amounts of money without anything to show for it, and then purchase a house filled with a hundred doors - one will lead to the Palace.
  2. Purchase an invitation from an extraplanar masseuse.
  3. Swear fealty to the Lord of Excess, and serve for twenty years as a servant in the Palace Minor.
  4. In a treasure vault filled with enough coin rests to plate the walls solid, gleaming gold.
  5. Die of a heart attack in the pursuit of raw pleasure.
  6. Ingratiate yourself to a rich fop whose father once visited the Palace.

[19] Cosmic Graveyards
  1. Find a gravestone with a mouth on it, and place a single obol inside.
  2. Dig up a grave on a night where the rain is strong enough to wash away the dirt, and say a silent prayer to the Watchers above.
  3. Have your body and mind (but not soul!) obliterated by a magical banishment spell.
  4. Locate the door hidden in the stars.
  5. Fully realize the vastness of space as you push through a door for the last time.
  6. Catch sight of the red moon that invokes madness, and resist its wicked thrall.

[20] Gloomlands of the Dark and Monstrous
  1. Die alone in a dark cave.
  2. Discover mental breakdown in a rotting cell.
  3. Be devoured by a feral beast in a disease-filled swamp.
  4. Attempt and fail suicide to avoid a worse fate.
  5. Lose your way in a dark valley choked by fog.
  6. Slip and plummet from atop a tower; survive the initial impact long enough to see death approach, but die before he arrives.

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