Shatter Geography

Parallel and Deviant Geographies

The Corpse and the Shatter share many locations.
These are called parallels. A derelict building in the
Corpse’s Detroit might be a noisy, packed apartment
complex in the Shatter, with additions and decorations
that can’t be seen from the other side. In the Corpse,
millions of people live around the Great Lakes, but in
the Shatter it’s a frontier, the Wild Lakes, populated by
adventurers determined to cut independent lives out of
the land. Sometimes (but not always, as the Wild Lakes
shows), new construction in the Corpse gives birth to
a parallel feature in the Shatter, but never vice versa.
Shatterlanders employ hedge geomancers to predict
these events.

The Shatter also features locations that don’t exist
anywhere in the Corpse: regions where the world folds
and stretches. Quivira-Cibola is one of these places,
lying as it does along land and water that doesn’t exist
in the Corpse.

Perhaps the most important difference between the
Shatter and Corpse is that the Shatter is not a single,
unified realm. You can’t take a plane from Quivira-Cibola
to the Shatter city of Yuzhou, China. You have to travel
through the Corpse or find a series of Woundgates to
take you there. Some Shatter realms are the size of a
house, but most are dozens to thousands of miles across.
A few of them loop back on each other, or appear to be
infinite, but grow less hospitable as you leave established
territory.

Subtle Places

The occult realms and states of being known to
supernatural beings exist in both worlds, but manifest differently
in each. Aside from the practical consequences,
these variations have also affected what occultists believe
about everything from the Astral Realms to the
Underworld.

Twilight

The state of being known as Twilight
does not exist in the Shatter. Ghosts and spirits are visible
wherever they appear, and powers that manipulate
Twilight don’t function. Most spirits in the Shatter are
content to slumber because its magical energies keep
them well-fed, though strong emotions nearby may rouse
them. Ghosts aren’t welcome, and are usually driven to
the Underworld by exorcists and Sin-Eaters.

Astral Realms

The Astral Reams are the same in
both worlds. In fact, it’s one of the few subtle realms that
the Corpse and Shatter share. For this reason, psychics
and dream-shaping sorcerers are valued messengers
between worlds. In a Woundgate chronicle, the Ocean
Oroboros (see Mage’s Astral Realms) is red, and thought
to be a manifestation of the Wound.

The Shadow

The so-called Shattershadow is not
a pervasive region but a series of geographically distinct
sub-realms that spirits call their own. Any spirit can
enter the material Shatter without effort, but material
inhabitants can’t enter the Shattershadow without
special powers. They can’t pass or step past, as if the
location was a knot in space. The Shattershadow and
Corpse’s Shadow do not interact. Furthermore, there
are no twisted spirits — what werewolves call magath
— in the Shatter, though there are monstrous avatars
of everything conceivable.

The Hedge

Bloodthorn is a hated plant; it grows
without soil or water in hundreds of different shapes, set
apart from other plants by its deep red color. The only
way to kill it is to cut the root that extends all the way
back to the Scarwall. When it grows about as large as
a cottage, you can find a path to the Hedge within. It’s
thought that the Hedge is actually part of the Scarwall,
some malignant growth or tunnel within it, as the True
Fae are believed to live within the Wound.

The Underworld

The Corpse and Shatter share the
same Underworld but in the Shatter, the land of the dead
is a material place. Every large realm has an Avernian
Gate to the Underworld (see Geist: The Sin-Eaters)
that in theory, anyone could approach, but Kerberoi,
Sin-Eaters, and a number of customs prevent this from
becoming a common practice. For centuries, many Shatter
societies have built labyrinthine tomb complexes in
front of the mounts of Avernian Gates; foolhardy tomb
robbers occasionally violate them, and criminals have
been known to hide in the upper levels.

The Uttermost Realms

The most remote places
— the Realms Supernal, Arcadia, Abyss, and more —
are believed to lie within the Wound. The True Fae are
believed to dwell on an island at the heart of the sea
of Worldblood, and the Realms Supernal are said to be
completely submerged. The Abyss clings to its semantic
roots as the Babylonian Apsu, the Primordial Sea, and
is believed to be the Wound. Its denizens are infectious
agents preying upon an injured Creation.

Shatter Geography

Sol Invictus amikaligula