There are several different Realms present where other worlds exist. Some of these worlds that exist are easier to get to than others. Most often, worlds that exist in one Realm will have more communication with other worlds in the same Realm. Communication and travel between Realms is often difficult, even when certain criteria are met.
Some theorize that there may be nested Realms within a single Realm, giving it dense layers and making the overall Realm “thicker” than originally thought. These nested Realms are sometimes referred to as sub-Realms within one of the major Realms.
Every now and again, the Realms “touch” or “overlap” a little, giving the impression of ghosts interacting with inhabitants of any given Realm. Sometimes, the places where these Realms touch is permanent. No one is entirely sure why or what could be anchoring the Realms together in one particular area. Many have suggested a World Tree, mountain, or pole is running through each Realm and this is the reason why the Realms overlap in certain areas. As for why they touch, some have suggested that each Realm “drifts” and “expands”, sometimes causing contact or overlapping between the two.
Much contact between worlds and Realms is attributed to the Blue Heaven Road, a construct involving technology and magic to make traversing the Realms possible. The Road was shut down for a time, then mysteriously started working again. No one knows why or what could have caused it. Some theorize due to misuse of the Road and it is a punishment from the Gods. Others remain unconvinced of this, citing that there must be another reason as to why the Road was closed. With some Gates fully functional and others only able to send small packages, scientists and scholars cite differing views as to the true cause of the malfunction. A true determination of what could be causing these problems is still under debate.
One notable example is the Castle located on Caselien in the Barony of Chalcedony. There are reports of ghosts being seen and voices being heard. Instruments are said to go haywire in the area and there are stories of pilgrims jounrying to the site to never return. Many posit that the Castle is where at least two Realms overlap and what is seen and heard is from two Realms touching.
The known main Realms are as follows:
The worlds of Caeruleus Aether — there are many, but only a few have any bearing on our story — have a different history, yet each one is intertwined with the other. There are alliances between countries that spread beyond their own countries and onto other worlds. It’s not unusual to find natives of one planet on another.
Each world orbits a solitary star in its own system and see their own set of constellations and planets. The length of their day, week, month, and year is different, as is their technology. While there was likely fighting between each of the worlds, this has ceased for the most part, likely due to alliances formed and the trade of imports and exports between worlds.
Each world is connected by a series of gates located on various “hot spots” on each planet. The gates are variously referred to as Heaven’s Road, Caeruleus Aether, or Blue Heaven. Despite popular belief, they are not powered by technology per se, but by the natural power surrounding the gates found in these hot spots. This natural power has been referred to as magic, environmental factors such as natural gas or coal, or spiritual power. The gates themselves seem to be made from a specific stone in a variety of shapes, all of which resonate when activated. Many have commented that when the stones are active, a very precise tone is heard, and some believe that these tones are what determine what world you will travel to.
Technology is a splendid thing and can help define a culture. While purists will have trouble with how I handle technology in my universe, I see it as a way to explore different, fantastical, and perhaps older forms of technology. There is steam, water, and digital, among others.
I don’t believe that the level of technology dictates how old a world is, either. Many believe — perhaps desperately so — in Atlantis, a prehistoric super power. I’ve taken similar inspiration and applied it to Caeruleus Aether. So, don’t mind the artistic liberties.