The 8th World
Beyond the physical world lies another world, a realm just beyond the perceptions of most people. A source of endless speculation, conjecture and wonder, the font from which all magic springs, home to countless spirits and the birthplace of the Horrors – this is the world of astral space.
Astral space is a limitless region that coexists with the physical world. Though both realms exist on different planes, the astral and physical worlds are intricately connected and interdependent; neither could exist without the other. At the same time that the dimension of astral space mirrors the physical world, the astral realm functions as a world unto itself, subject to its own laws of reality. As a result of its paradoxical nature, astral space remains the source of much conjecture and speculation among even the most knowledgeable scholars and magicians across the world.
Astral space also serves as a gateway between the physical world, the netherworlds and the elemental planes. It is a cosmic fabric that binds together all worlds, the medium through which astral entities and magical energies travel. In fact, astral space is the means through which Adepts, Mystic Adepts, Hermetic Mages and Shamans draw on the magical energy that powers their abilities. Whether astral space is the actual source of that power or simply a conduit for magical energy is only one of the countless mysteries that the astral realm continues to hold.
Seeing the Unseen
To see Astral Space usually requires that a person must be awakened. After that Adepts or Mystic Adepts need the adept power, Astral Perception. While Hermetic Mages and Shamans can naturally see in to the Astral at will. Using Astral Perception will make the awaken person become Dual Natured, which means they now exist on both the physical plane and now have an Astral Form, so exist and can interact with both the physical world and Astral World. Dual natured critters, such as Ghouls, Hellhounds, Dragons, etc are considered to be able to see both planes at once.
The next step up from Astral Perception is known as Astral Projection where a person can separate their Astral Form from their physical form. This is only freely accessible to Hermetic Mages and Shamans. It frees the magician from their physical limitations and projects their very psyche into the astral. This allows them to move at the speed of thought. It is possible for non-magicians and the mundane to astral project if near an Astral Rift or with aid from a powerful Free Spirit with the Astral Gate way power, though this can be very dangerous for mundanes.
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