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Felarya is a dimensionally unstable world, considered by many versologists as an anomaly and an enigma. One of Felarya's most striking trait is that ability to extend its dimensional currents infinitely in Lydus. It means, in essence, that Felarya can connect with random worlds for a varied duration.
For example, let's imagine you are in Felarya, walking in the jungle. Then you suddenly exit the forest to come across what looks like a shimmering desert in the middle of nowhere. You step on it and as you do, you change worlds, and if you step back, you are instantly returned to Felarya. If you choose to ignore and avoid it and you come back one day later, you will most likely see nothing but the jungle; the world has "disconnected" itself and returned to its previous state. Its inhabitants probably didn't even notice the process unless they saw this strange jungle that wasn't there yesterday. Several types of connection have been categorized so far. Their duration is very random, but rarely exceeds a few hours. However, some places exist in Felarya that are originally not from this world; they have been "absorbed" during their connections and never returned afterward. Still, these places can return to their original state at any moment, much as a volcano could awaken, and so vanish suddenly. Felarya itself is rarely fickle, though, and stays somewhat stable. There is still a chance that an original part of Felarya might suddenly vanish to another world, but it's a low probability, one in several billion.
The physical nature of Felarya, its origins, are a highly controversial topic, subject to much debating and heated discussions among mages and scientists alike. Phony theories and far-fetched speculations are rife. Othemites condemned a few of their authors for heresy and daring to say Felarya wasn't created by their god Oth.
Theory of Lathan Yarblek
This great and famous - but now deceased - scientist specialized in investigating dimensional phenomena across the universe. He literally fell in love with Felarya when he arrived here and vowed to unveil all the mysteries of its nature. His theories are widely regarded as solid and credible, though they have never been proven.
The Felaryan plane
Felarya, despite its initial appearance, is not a world in the sense of the word that we are familiar with. It's a closed pocket plane, with an ever-changing mass. The easiest way to picture Felarya is to think of it as a massive, flat disk. Forming a ring around the perimeter of the disk is a massive dimensional rift. This rift connects to the rift on the opposite side of the ring. Because the connection is instant and impossible to detect by any normal means, this gives Felarya the appearance of a spherical world, and it is indeed possible to circumnavigate Felarya, if you can survive the trip.
The next main feature of the Felaryan dimensional plane is the sky itself. Felarya has no “space” around it like a normal world would. There is no way to view it from space. The sky of Felarya is divided into layers, like the atmosphere of a normal planet, but at the point where you would enter into orbit on a normal world, is a massive dimensional rift in the sky of Felarya. Once you pass through this rift, you leave Felarya and appear at a random point in the empty space of the universe. For example, if you were to fly straight up in a rocket, you would eventually reach the rift and pass through. If you only looked straight ahead, it would appear to you like you’d simply flown into orbit and entered space. Upon looking behind you, all you would see is empty space, since you have left Felarya through the rift. Once you exit this way, there is no way back.
Of course, if Felarya has a vertical barrier to its plane, there must also be a subterranean one as well. The ground of Felarya is layered and structured similar to a normal planet’s. But if you were to dig down deep enough for many miles, you would pass through the subterranean rift. You would then appear several miles under the ground of a random planet in the universe. If you kept looking straight ahead, you would just seem to be digging like normal, but once you pass the rift, looking back would only reveal a wall of dirt. Felarya would be gone and you couldn’t go back. This scenario is highly unlikely though, since it would be nearly impossible for any living creature, or machine to dig that deep. Note that the image of a flat disk is only meant as a way to better understand this theory and Yarblek himself never said Felarya actually formed a disk. Some say Felarya is in fact shaped as a flat 42 faced polyhedron, some say that it has no shape at all ...
The Felaryan sky
One of the great mysteries of Felarya is the sky itself. It is a documented fact that Felarya has no “space” around it and is essentially a flat plane lying under a dimensional rift in the sky. This brings certain questions to mind, like, “How is there a sun?”, “How is there a moon?”, “How are there a day and night cycle?”, and so on.
According to Yarblek, the rift in the skies of Felarya shifts nearly as much as the world itself and observant people will notice that the stars and moons change sometimes, albeit rarely. For example, once in a while, Felarya will experience a Silvery Night. The rift in the sky actually aligns itself with a random star in the universe to use to heat Felarya. Something in the dimensional chemistry of Felarya itself actually controls, to a degree, where the dimension of Felarya will connect to real-space. This is why the rift in the sky always connects to certain sized stars and at a certain distance from them. This keeps Felarya at roughly the same temperature. The same principle applies to the night cycle. The rift will connect to certain sized moons, at a certain distance to maintain Felarya’s tidal cycle and so on. This control in the dimensional chemistry of Felarya could also explain why it seems that only human inhabited worlds get connected to Felarya. The plane of Felarya only seems to connect to worlds with a similar environment to its own. This is most likely a safety measure in place to ensure a natural equilibrium. Given the sheer size of the universe, and the possibility that Felarya can potentially connect to multiple universes… There would still be billions of compatible worlds, stars and moons for Felarya to potentially connect to. The big question is, of course, "what - or who - regulates all that?" Does Felarya have a consciousness of its own? To this day, nobody has found a satisfactory and rational answer.
It's important to note that compasses don't work in Felarya and people use a magic reference point to know which way is "north". Moreover, were-creatures whose transformations are related to the lunar cycle are oddly affected when on Felarya. This is because the number of moons Felarya has changes from time to time as the rift in the sky changes where in the universe it is connected to, and because the moons may be in different lunar phases. Thus were-creatures are always at a half and half stage, still retaining their sanity but getting some of the abilities of their were-forms and sometimes some funny and unwanted effects to go with them.
Connection to other worlds
Lathan Yarblek was the first to categorize the different patterns in which Felarya connects to other worlds.
- Stable connections: These are the most common, and most traditional types of dimensional connections, occurring naturally when two dimensional currents in Lydus link up. On the physical world, they appear as a swirling vortex-like aperture marking the entrance/exit. They appear very rarely on normal worlds, as the currents of those worlds in Lydus are far too short to connect to another, but they are quite a common occurrence on Felarya. They can last a few minutes or a few hours. Stable connections are also the main type of connection generated by artificial means, be it by a portal mage, or a portal generation device. Many groups of explorers around the universe peek into these portals, to try and study the worlds on the other side before the portal disappears. Enter at your own risk! One of the first rule of the MURCOWIH encyclopedia is to never take a portal if you don't know where it leads.
- Whiplash connections: These types of connections are a good deal less common than stable ones in Felarya. A whiplash connection is a sudden, violent connection between two currents in Lydus. These can be thought of as the inter-dimensional equivalent of a riptide. When they appear, anything within a certain proximity (some are bigger or smaller than others) gets sucked in as that point in space violently shifts. Their near-instantaneous nature also means that the exit usually closes behind you. It's basically the ultimate case of being in the wrong place in the wrong time. They are thankfully rare across the universe, although the proximity of an Astral storm make them more likely.
- Vanishing lands: These are arguably the most extreme type of dimensional connection. In a vanishing land situation, an entire region of another world becomes displaced, and transported to Felarya. Vanishing lands come in several varieties :
- Rebound connections: Where the land automatically returns back to its original location, along with anyone in it, after a certain amount of time. These are the most common types. Just don't panic and stay where you are, and you should be fine. Most of the time, people in Vanishing lands actually never notice the shift. If they do, it often gives birth to legends or tales of a an ancient, sacred vanishing forest. The amount of land that is transported can vary widely...from a few yards, to whole cities in some extreme cases.
- Exchange connections: In this situation, a piece of land from one world is completely exchanged with a piece of another. In these cases, the displaced lands do not return home, and become a permanent part of Felarya. These tend to be very rare though, and affect smaller areas than rebound connections. The Jungle Bowl is a perfect example of an exchange connection. Still, these places can theoretically return to their original state at any moment, much like how a volcano could awaken, and so vanish suddenly. In practice, it happens extremely rarely though.
Dimensional Pocket Storms
Due to the fickle nature of part of the land of Felarya, sometimes a large buildup of energy will cause a sudden ripple in the dimensional space of the areas around it, and create a rare phenomenon akin to a storm. The oddest thing is that, the more dimensionally unstable an area is, the less likely they will experience the storm itself, as it tends to emanate from it as a wave, or a dispersion system of some kind. Numerous theories have been made, but most of them are hardly conclusive or vague, as simply understanding the forces at work here is very hard. Dimensional pocket storms will warp the area, creating a variety of strange and interesting effects. People who have been caught in these storms speak of an experience impossible to describe with words, such as colors having a smell, sounds hitting you like a punch, and a general, overwhelming feeling of something being seriously wrong here.
Like the rest of Felarya, its atmosphere is also strange. The Giant tree is tall enough that life should be difficult or impossible at the top, as the air is simply not dense enough to support life properly past a certain point, yet life thrives up there. It is hypothesized that the magical effect of the soil, and presence of so many plants connected to it, create a localized expansion in the inter-dimensional film that surrounds all of Felarya, causing the atmosphere to expand. The most common theory for the reason of that expansion is that each molecule of gas emitted by plants contain residue magic which interacts in turn with the film, constantly pushing it away. It is thought that some form of equilibrium has or will be reached to stop a run away effect, with the pressure equalizing as Felarya is a closed system. The direct consequence of that is that the overall atmospheric pressure of Felarya is greater than what is found on most other habitable worlds, and that jungle regions, in particular, would exhibit greater atmospheric pressure than other areas. As a result, the maximum life-supporting height of the atmosphere is greatly increased, and a plant like the Giant Tree produces a massive effect on the atmosphere around it, enabling life to exist at greater heights than would otherwise be possible.
Moreover, it's interesting to note that areas such as deserts have a thinner atmosphere and lower air pressure, as those regions lack the extensive vegetation needed to expand both the volume and the amount of gas in the atmosphere. As these different pressure fronts meet with each others, vast storm fronts are created. These stormy regions are fixed, as the different air pressure zones are fixed, and thus appear as localized features, notably in the Great rocky fields and Torrential coast.
- Credits to rcs619 for the base text of the Yarblek theory, connection types, and many other ideas, to Archmage-Bael for the pocket storm idea, and to Anime-Junkie, CauldronBorn24, and Rcs619 for those thoughts about the Felaryan atmosphere.