Legendary Realm

In Times Of Yore…

The Legendary Realm is one of the thirteen Near Realms in the Umbra. Fundamentally, the culture of the shapeshifters is derived from their records of past deeds, heroes and battles. Such an impact did these great deeds make that a realm in the Umbra was carved out to house their memories. This is the Legendary Realm.

The Legendary Realm is a place of myth and allegory. The great heroes of the past remain vigilant here, guarding the people from monsters and barbarians. Noble figures from the tales of the Silver Record still sit atop the thrones of millennia ago. The mightiest heroes arrive in this Elysian land to remain strong and skillful against the greatest battle of the End Times.

In recent days, though, darkness has fallen over the realm. In the center of the realm, amid a formerly prosperous kingdom, the Midnight Land has come from Malfeas to bring ruin to the realm's people. From the north descends the glacial Fimbulwinter to lock the land in shackles of ice, while from the South, the Great Dust brings famine and plague upon the land. Though the Realm is home to some of the Changing Breeds' greatest heroes, the challenges they must face are enough to daunt the Silver Record's greatest scions.

The Kingdoms

There are a variety of kingdoms in the Legendary Realm. Each is ruled by one or more shapeshifter heroes from myth, In the Legendary Realm, Gaia Herself imbues rulership upon the great. To become a ruler, one must perform great deeds that find their way into story and song. One must then pass all manner of grueling ordeals and trials. However, when one is fit to become a ruler, the land itself will blossom and burst forth into harvest, as a sign that a new lord has emerged.

Kingdoms often represent one or more traits. For example, a kingdom ruled by a Get of Fenris might be a land of valiant but headstrong warriors, while a Shadow Lord's kingdom might represent Pride or Cunning.

The Wylderness

Between the various cities and kingdoms lies the Wylderness, an ever-shifting landscape where the trees move and the paths are ever uncertain. In the Wylderness, monsters from myth and legend still roam, guarding enchanted caves and gleaming hoards of treasure. Many of these monsters and situations are allegorical — for example, in confronting a dragon sitting atop a pile of treasure, is one confronting one's inner terror or one's inner avarice. These perils test the true measure of a warrior — Garou are expected to be wise and honorable as well as valorous, and such traits can greatly aid one in overcoming these obstacles.

The Midnight Land

Not all legends are glorious. In the End Times, a little bit of Malfeas has found its way to the Legendary Realm. Formerly a fertile kingdom, the realm now known as the Midnight Land began to wither into a stony desert several years ago. The sky became perpetually black with ash and clouds, while the trees turned sickly and pale and the people died of plague. Finally, a great black castle — a projection of Malfeas itself — erupted from the soil followed by the ghastly, gargoyle-covered walls of an entire city. In this city, called the Third City by its Bane inhabitants, the undead walk the streets and depravities of all kinds are committed. Here, the Maeljin Incarnae have come to rule.

The people of the Legendary Realm fear that the Midnight Land will be the staging ground for an assault on the entire realm — and there is little to assuage their fears. Flights of Banes wing out from the twisted city, scouting the lands across the Wylderness. The werewolves of the realm are calling upon all the land's scattered heroes, but they may not be enough to withstand the might of the Maeljin themselves.

The Fimbulwinter

The Legendary Realm as a whole is gripped in winter, the great Fimbulwinter of the Last Days. The winter is less strong in the tropics, strongest in the polar lands, but it reaches everywhere, sapping the strength of the realm's inhabitants. Astrologers of the Realm, noting that the winter began with the coming of the star Anthelios in the heavens, commune with the spirits of the Aetherial Realm for answers, but no answers are forthcoming.

The Fimbulwinter is more than a chill of the body; it is a chill of the soul. Entire kingdoms in the north lie gripped in icy shackles, frozen solid and imprisoned in great glaciers that grind down from the ice floes. In the material world, shapeshifter Philodox note that generation by generation, the stories are forgotten, and thus the legends die. So does the Legendary Realm.

The Great Dust

In the south, the Fimbulwinter does not yet grip. But the realm suffers a bane perhaps worse still: the Great Dust. This famine swept up from the torrid veldts of the south, turning the grain to sand and withering the oxen and cattle. With the dust came plagues of locusts, swarming to the Midnight Land as if for instruction, then out to ravage the farmlands of the Realm.

Entire kingdoms have been laid waste, their farmers starving in the midst of brown desolation. The mightiest restorative magics cannot repair the blight, and the greatest of heroes are helpless in the face of starvation.

Odysseys and Homecomings

In recent years, moon bridges to the Legendary Realm have become perilous and exceedingly difficult to find. The way to the Legendary Realm is increasingly beset by Banes. It's as if the heroes of the Realm are being isolated within — or those who could succor them are being kept without.

Road to Survival on a Hero's Quest

  • To leave the Legendary Realm, one must undergo a form of the Hero's Journey. In some senses, any journey into the Legendary Realm must have a purpose, a beginning, middle and end, an obstacle to be overcome and a spiritual challenge to master. The Realm is not simply a place to pop into and wander through.
  • The time differential between the Legendary Realm and the material world is vast. Decades or centuries can pass in the Legendary Realm, while only days pass on Earth.
  • The spirits of the realm are eternal — more like embodied object lessons or ever-living "extras" than true beings. They are there to perform their specific roles in the play that is the Legendary Realm, and if destroyed, they will eventually re-form in the same or a different part.
  • Spirits bound to shapeshifters may enter at will. Other spirits must test their Gnosis.
  • The Realm embodies many earthly myths—for example, the epic of Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the journey for the Golden Fleece, the Quest for the Grail, the wanderings of Yoshimitsu, and even modern "myths" such as Casablanca and Pulp Fiction might be relived here. However, such stories are often changed significantly, and the outcomes are entirely in the hands of the heroes who play through them. Characters are certainly not destined to fulfill a role.
  • All Garou have access to Ancestors while in the Realm. This includes Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers. Silent Striders however are cut off from their Ancestor Spirits no matter were they go it seems.
  • Likewise, Mokolé add three to their Mnesis Backgrounds while present here.
  • Time spent in the Legendary Realm does not cause shapeshifters to disconnect from the physical world.
  • Unlike some of the other realms (the Atrocity Realm, the Battleground), combat and death are real here. Someone that dies in this realm is dead for good, though his spirit might be reincarnated as usual in a future shapeshifter.
  • Fetishes carried into the realm remain as they are, but other dedicated artifacts are reshaped into tools appropriate for heroes of myth. Generally speaking, this means no items above a Renaissance -esque level of sophistication are permitted to exist. For example, a Glock might be reshaped into a crossbow, a flak jacket might become a samurai's armor, and a pair of jeans might become woolen breeches.
  • After completing a sacred journey in the Legendary Realm, all participants are restored to full Willpower.
  • There is always "terra incognita" in the Realm, always something new to discover. Thus, the entirety of the Realm may never be mapped.
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