The next month I spent on the Aethronomicon, reading up on the Realms of Magic. They are bubbles in the Immaterium, made of imagination and stray thoughts. Each realm is an infinity, and an eternity. Heaven and Hell are real, and found there. So is Never Never Land, Wonderland, Oz, Gotham City, . . . New ones appear as quickly as a post can go viral.
Realms, and their inhabitants, are vital for what’s called invokation. See, your mind has only so much magic it can produce – enough for a good sized fireball. If you want to produce a powerful spell, you have to find a power source. Realms and their inhabitants are power sources. You jab one of your “appendages” (more on them later) into a realm, maybe make contact with an inhabitant, and magic flows. down the appendage into your mind, down into the 3D world into your brain, and out in the direction of whatever you want to smite.
That is, so long as the inhabitant or realm is willing to let you drain some of their magic. It’s their lifeblood, and we vampires are asking for a donation. We usually have to make some sort of a deal, and we ALWAYS have to be on good terms with our “donors”.
You can also, according to the book, create your own personal realms, which no one will know about but you. Ancient wizards did it all the time. This is incredibly useful. Counterspells, the greatest tool of the combat wizard and the spellhammer, consist of figuring out what realm their opponent is drawing power from, tapping into the realm themselves, and convincing the realm/inhabitant not to supply any power to the enemy, because they stink and kick puppies and so on. This only works if you recognize the realm and can push an appendage into it. A realm unknown to the wizard cannot be accessed by the wizard, so he’s stuck hoping his force field is strong enough.
I have since learned that modern wizards no longer do this, relying on existing realms, because going into the Immaterium and creating realms is INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS and seriously stupid. You can get lost and never find the portal back home. You can bump into and accidentally enter a realm, most of which will be “inhospitable” to your flesh and blood components.
But I needed this kind of advantage. I was a middle class kid who would never see the inside of a magical college, who would be hunted down for daring to dabble in Rich Man’s matters.
Creating a realm is freaking easy and bloody difficult. You go into the Immaterium and recite a story. Sort of like creating Never Never Land by reciting Peter Pan. Only YOU have to write it. In Kethrik, aka Dragon Tongue, aka magic language. The Ars has an appendix of 600 words of Kethrik ( because that book has EVERYTHING), but it’s still a burden working with such a small vocabulary. Yes, Prof Seuss wrote a book using only 30 words, but it was for pre-schoolers. This one was for adults, and the more detail the more powerful and useful the realm would be.
Getting into the house, I positioned myself over the magic circle and chanted. Fun Fact: the circle doesn’t need to be visible, just there. And you don’t need candles – they are only there to prevent things in the circle from getting OUT. Conjured demons, for instance.
As my chant came to an end, I found myself pulled – not upwards, but in an indescribable direction. And into an indescribable location. Everything looked like spider webbing covered in cotton candy, with the strands all stretching out to a vanishing point. Look in a different direction, and they all stretched to a different vanishing point. Up, down, left, right, all the same. I reached into my pocket for my notes and took a breath.
And discovered my pants were gone. The spell had moved me up the dimensions, but not my belongings. I would learn later that this was normal, and only magical items could come with you into the Immaterium, but at the time it was a shock. I would later find out that I can’t take anything but my physical body into the Immaterium. I have to recite my realm building story wiithout notes. I have to recite a 20+ page description of a realm and it’s major inhabitant(s) FROM MEMORY, or ad-lib on the fly. Did I mention I have trouble giving book reports?.