Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Guide to Spherewalking: Spherepaths

This is the first entry in The Guide to Spherewalking, one of the most frequently read texts in the Library of All Worlds. Entries in The Guide describe matters pertaining to spherewalking, gates, and travel between the spheres and realms.

Spherepaths: A spherepath, also known as a gatepath, is a particular sequence of realms or spheres traversed in order to arrive at a desired destination realm. Spherepaths trace the route from a realm of embarkation to a destination realm that is more than one gate distant from the place of departure. Spherepaths take many forms.

Many Spherewalkers commit 'paths to memory by brute force. Others use songs or poems for that purpose. (You never know if the drunken doggerel you hear in a Strangerside pub has such references in it.) Of course, for a price, members of the Keeper family in Everway can teach the most commonly used paths to frequently visited realms. Caveat emptor: some of the gatepaths the Keepers peddle are longer and more complex than necessary - with many expensive inns and wayhouses along the way.

The Snakering, Crookstaff, and Scratch families of Everway have proprietary spherepaths. More than one rogue has met their end trying to steal what they know. Fortunately, many other 'paths are recorded in scrolls and books. Inquire at the Cartographic Department in the Library of All Worlds to examine these, and compare their 'paths to the ones you know.

Walk the city of Everway, and you will find other 'paths hiding in plain sight. Carpets and tapestries, and even fine pottery and porcelain may display coded representations of spherepaths. Examine the geometric patterns of the temples in Everway, and you will find many more. Even the landscaping of the sacred grove outside the Library of All Worlds hints at such revelations.

Finally, a word about the use of codes and symbols in spherepaths is definitely in order. Cyphers, codes, and symbols offer information security, but at a price. Meaning can be lost; even worse, deception or misinformation can occur. For example, the Snakerings often encode gatepaths with logic bombs that confound Spherewalkers while they are in-transit between gates. Spherewalkers have been lost forever due to the conceptual slippage caused by their traps.

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