The 8th World
Spirits are creatures native to the astral plane and metaplanes. They primarily exist as purely astral forms. Though such entities can sometimes materialize and become tangible in the physical world, they dislike doing so, and their true home remains in the astral realms. Spirits have an existence deep in astral space outside the realm of metahuman experience, and theories abound as to why they can be bound by metahuman magicians.
There are six basic types of spirits. While these are not the full gamut of spirits that exist in the Eighth World, they are the most common. These are the spirits summoned by followers of the hermetic and shamanic traditions: air, beasts, earth, fire, man, and water.
Hermetic magicians summon the base elements of the world: air, earth, fire, and water, as well as the spirits of man. Shamans summon what they view as the natural spirits: air, beasts, earth, man, and water.
A shamanic spirit of clouds and storms has the same game statistics as an air elemental summoned by a magician. They are different spirits, as envisioned by the magicians who summon them, but their powers and abilities are the same.
The natural form of a spirit is its astral form. Most spirits also have the Materialization power, which allows them to create a physical form.
In astral form, a spirit exists entirely on the astral plane. While in astral form, spirits can only perform services that affect the astral plane or that directly affect their summoner through the magical link between them. Astral spirits can also manifest in the same manner as projecting magicians, and many of them prefer this to materialization if they need to interact with a physical person.
Spirits use the Materialization power to assume physical form when they must use a power on a target not present in astral space. Spirits in physical form are in fact dual-natured, interacting with the physical and astral planes simultaneously. Spirits dislike taking physical form because it makes them vulnerable to physical attacks.
As a rule, spirit forms are metahuman sized or smaller and tend to have an obvious ethereal or otherworldy nature (there is no mistaking them for real people). Materialized physical forms are not subject to gravity, though most spirits (except air spirits) stay earthbound or close to it (perhaps floating or hovering).
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