Astral Plane

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The Astral plane is a place of inchoate dreams and potential. It is part of, and incorporates, The Dreaming, the Fae Realms, and the Never-Never. The Astral is considered one of the Fundamental Realms that straddles all realities in the multiverse. It can be accessed from virtually any demesne. A skilled traveler of the realms can dip in and out of the Astral plane and quickly move from one ideological node to another, emerging great distances away from their origin in reality. This sort of travel requires great willpower and clear mental focus.

The Astral is the forge of the universe, from which all things-- men, planets, and gods-- are made. It is in the Astral that the walls of the multiverse are the thinnest, and where it's easiest to slip between the realms of one dimension to the next.

It is filled with a substance called phlogiston, which coalesces into physical matter in response to focus and willpower. Supernatural and magical entities that attempt to project themselves into realspace convert this phlogestein into ectoplasm, and in turn shape it into a construct. Some constructs are crude and flimsy, falling apart with minimal effort; others are so thoroughly duplicated that they appear indistinguishable from the genuine article. This construct is sustained only as long as the entity is physically capable of maintaining their focus and the energy needed to be corporeal. Extremes of energy, force, magical effort or metaphysical effort can cause the construct to cease to exist, reverting back to a formless state. Ectoplasm is chemically inert and electrically neutral. In the material universe it evaporates into nothingness in seconds without a strong will maintaining its structure.

The Astral incorporates a vast demesne called The Dreaming. It is where mortal ideas percolate and where their minds venture when resting. The souls of the uncertain departed linger here, as well as strange beasts and creatures of uncertain disposition and ambition. The Astral is infinite and the Dreaming is not, but one would be hard pressed to find a clear border between the two. Much of the Astral is populated by 'Ways', or pathways that are relatively predictable (though not totally constant). Ways can be mapped and help inexperienced navigators rapidly proceed through the realms. Not far from the borders of the Dreaming is the Fae Realms, and the Fae are responsible for a great deal of the mapping of the known Ways.

Unlike the burning energies of Hyperspace or the cold emptiness of Nullspace, the Astral realm is not overtly hostile to life or mortals. However, there are predatory spirits and rare creatures capable of harming souls and spirits, or even using cracks in the universe to project themselves into reality.

The Astral is on the road to everywhere, and everywhere leads to the Astral.