Welcome to the first installment of another ongoing series on this blog. In my lore posts, I will provide a primer on the universe of the World Spectrum novels — its history, its nations, its technologies, and more. I will start big and work my way down to relatively small things, like the nations and cities.
We’ll start with the universe itself, the actual spectrum of worlds.
The world spectrum:
The spectrum of worlds, often shortened to “world spectrum” or simply “the spectrum,” is a vast multiverse of different worlds, each separated by their energy level.
A world’s energy level affects nearly every aspect of reality: temperature, the amount of life a world can support, the weather, the power of magic, and even the speed at which events seem to take place.
Traveling to another world within the spectrum seems to change the flow of time itself. Only careful measurements by ancient scholars spreading themselves out between different worlds determined that time is not altered by energy level. It simply seems that way because everything else is.
On a low energy world, events seem to play out in slow-motion. Likewise, on high energy worlds, life blurs at fantastic speeds. Even evolution is impacted. On high energy worlds, species can evolve new adaptions in weeks or even days, rather than over the course of generations.
Though much study of the spectrum took place in ancient times, there is still a great deal about it that is poorly understood, and scholars and theoretical wizards debate endlessly over its true nature. For example, some believe that all worlds in the spectrum occupy the same physical space and are kept separate only by their energy, while others believe that each world is a distinct physical location unto itself.
The spectrum of worlds is believed to be infinite. Conventional wisdom has it that the spectrum simply spreads on without end in both directions, eventually reaching incomprehensible plains of pure energy at one end and nightmarish void worlds at the other.
Some dispute this, believing that there must be an end at some point because it would eventually reach a state where reality is nothing but energy, or completely devoid of energy. This would effectively prevent distinct worlds from forming after a point, ending the spectrum for all practical purposes.
Counter theories argue that the spectrum may eventually distort the rules of reality beyond human comprehension, allowing for worlds we cannot conceive of, or perhaps that the spectrum alters in some crucial way at extreme distances. For example, lower spectrum worlds may exist through a kind of anti-energy that is inimical to the energy of familiar worlds.
However, this is all theoretical, because there are only three worlds that have been visited by humankind: the home world, Barria; the high energy jungle world, Tyzu; and the nearly lifeless low energy world known as Sy’om.
No humans who have attempted to travel beyond these worlds have returned alive. It is assumed that they were unable to survive the alien nature of those worlds.
Certainly, even Barria’s neighbor worlds, Tyzu and Sy’om, are incredibly alien to the point of being only barely habitable. Sy’om is an icy wasteland, and Tyzu’s wild storms and deadly predators claimed many lives in ancient times.
Humanity’s only information about Sy’om and Tyzu comes from the ancient war known as the Liberation. Humans relied heavily on the powers of these alien worlds to defeat their brutal creators, the Old Gods, though that was so long ago that it is no longer known exactly how or why these powers were able to bring down the Gods.
One of the last acts of the Old Gods was to place a seal upon Barria, preventing the human rebels from reaching or drawing power from the other worlds. As a result, no human has seen Sy’om or Tyzu in seven thousand years, and the spectrum has been all but forgotten by the average human.
But as the world is consumed by war, the only hope may come from the alien energies of Sy’om and Tyzu. It will take a reckless, daring mind to discover the secret to once again wielding the powers of the spectrum…