Welcome, welcome! Come in, you can leave your shoes off or on, it doesn’t matter. Watch out for the ramen cups on the ground over there, I think the flies nesting in them have begun basic ritual practices. I know, it’s exciting- the dawn of a civilization! I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring them with me if the jailors raid my place, though. The flies eat interlopers.
Oh don’t worry, there’s no pin boards with string in here. Just scooch your way around this cabinet, and- aha!
It’s a secret room!
You’re not impressed. Well, okay then. Have a seat, let me pull up the display for you. Now-
Don’t touch anything! You fool, you could DOOM US ALL!
I’m kidding. Now, you see that sphere in the center? Right. There is no sphere. That’s the main issue with reality. All the rules of reality and the universe seem to span from a central point, an original blueprint, perhaps. But this blueprint does not exist. So instead of parallel timelines and worlds diverging, all these worlds are operating on their own logic.
Since the worlds rely on their neighbors for stability, this is an issue. For example, in our world? We have gravity, and you can see the color of magic when I speak it . Our neighbors might not have gravity, and magic might be invisible.
Oh, this affects us greatly. Now, it’s easy to think of worlds like planets- and that is the true form of a full world. But the way they interact is like bubbles- without popping. You like video games, right? It’s like spheres, but without collision. Like, they can intersect each other. Okay, maybe the bubble metaphor was useless.
Now, when the worlds intersect, the rules of the worlds are combined. If our neighbors followed the same rules as us, this wouldn’t affect us at all. It would be nearly impossible to tell when we were intersecting another universe, even through magical means.
Maybe think of the worlds like being different colors. It’s not as two-dimensional as the light spectrum is, but bear with me. If you mix red with red, what do you get? How about red with blue? Good, you passed kindergarten.
Now, the places that are purple are going to be what the jailors call ‘anomalies.’ Things that don’t match up with the ‘real world.’ The jailors think magic is a part of this, but magic is an inherent part of our world. Theoretically. The rules here aren’t normal for our world, or even the world we’re intersecting. But they might be normal for a purple world.
Anyways, the Three Portlands is a ‘purple’ area. Now, the intersections are temporary, as the multiverse is always shifting. But ‘temporary’ can mean a lot of things. We know that the Three Portlands has been around for hundreds of years. There’s no sign of it disappearing. In fact, it might exist until the end of time. The shifting of the multiverse doesn’t happen on the fourth dimension- as a matter of fact, it can’t, since not all worlds have a fourth dimension.
Seriously, never go to a two-dimensional world. I was puking up blood for weeks.
Now, here’s the trickier part. Everyone has their own ‘bubble.’ Typically, it’s going to be a slightly different shade than the world itself. It’s actually quite rare for anyone to have the exact same shade as the world, perhaps maybe two or three per world. ‘Everyone’ refers to everyone sentient. Sapient? Well, anyone who can think and feel. Kinda. Maybe you could see these bubbles as souls.
If you’ve got a soul close to the color of the world, that means you follow the same rules as everyone else. If you jump off a cliff, you will die. Or, at least, break your legs. There’s a little wiggle room for miracles- the mother lifting a car off her baby in an adrenaline rush. A sudden creative inspiration. I used to think that it was the difference in shade that affected free will, but I was mistaken. I don’t know all the rules for people with the same color as the world, but… I’ll get to them later.
It’s far more obvious when your soul is different than the color of the world. You don’t follow the rules. We know a couple of people like this. No, not your friend. He’s a different kind of different.
You might be able to say that his color is ‘brighter’ than the colors around him. That’s why he’s able to change things- his color leaks out farther, or he has a bigger bubble. In fact, I know that you guys can change the colors of objects, too. It’s just a little easier for him, and he doesn’t use magic to do so.
But the weird ones are the ones the same color as the rest of the world. These guys can’t be changed. They also have an odd effect- if something an odd color sticks around these guys for awhile, their color will fade, and get closer to the shade of the world. Without exception, every world has these guys at some point in their timeline. Yeah, yeah, for those of them with a timeline. You know what I mean.
Anyways, I think these guys are part of what holds up the world. No, no, killing them won’t- ugh. You’ve got to stop thinking so three-dimensionally. As long as they exist at some point in history, the world’s fine. Okay, fine. If you go back in time and murder their grandfather, then sure. Reality might collapse.
But don’t expect the world to let you do that. They’re part of what holds up the world, so their existence is a rule of the world.
Now you’re asking the right questions- why do the worlds need to be the same color? Short answer- they don’t have to be the same color, they have to be every color.
Like a what?! Sure, a strobe light. Except without the strobing, just light. All at the same time, and at every level of brightness. Uh, a different kind of brightness than your friend. Sort of.
Theoretically, the multiverse would be fine if there was a world of every color, so long as they never touched. But- oh, yeah.
Yeah, the multiverse is kind of fucked right now. You see, we can see the cracks forming on our world- yeah, that’s the one under the Denny’s takeout box, just shove it on the floor- but these cracks are stemming from the center of the universe, where there’s supposed to be a sphere. The world of all the worlds does not exist, so everything’s fracturing. There’s far too many intersections, oddities, and overeager mages. Yeah, magic users can mess with colors, even if they’re a ‘normal’ color for their world.
And- oh. Um, excuse me.
What? Oh, if that bell and light are going off, that means there’s been a shift in reality somewhere. It could be a time traveler, some mage gone mad with power, or maybe even that thing under Yellowstone. Yeah, I don’t know- but believe me, I’ve tried.
Say, do you have a lighter? Could I borrow it? Thanks… I know, I shouldn’t really do this inside, but it’s my way of coping. I need to burn every last bit of my work, or else I’ll get confused later. Here, give me that crowbar, I need to smash- hey! Give it! I need that! Ugh.
You can forget everything we just talked about, by the way. Oh yeah. Completely irrelevant now, the rules of the universe just changed. Hm? No, the universe isn’t screwed. Why would it be?
Uh, I didn’t say that. Well, if you think I did, your bubble’s probably a weirder color than mine.