Thursday, February 28, 2013


One of the common tropes in sci-fi and especially in fantasy is the idea of realities and dimensions beyond our own. HP Lovecraft wrote several stories with bizarre and oftentimes horrific realities bordering just outside the perception of man. Star Trek has the beings known as the Undine, also known as Species 8472, who were from an dimension called “fluidic space.” Star Wars has the Charon from a place called “Otherspace.” Dimensions like the planes of reality have long been a staple in Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying games. Even in comic books, alternate realities and dimensions play a part in many titles from X-Men to Dr. Strange to Superman.

I’m adding in some of these touches to my campaign, which has been hinted at in other posts; primarily in the form of the Illithids. These squid-headed invaders nearly brought charted space to its knees until they were repelled by the combined might of several galactic powers. This alliance helped to pave the way to the creation of the Galactic Concord. It has been postulated by some researchers that unlike the more widely accepted theories that they hailed from a nearby dwarf galaxy (like the Yuuzhan Vong), that they instead hail from another dimension. Their forms of technology blend genetic engineering and psionics in ways undreamed of by any other species in the galaxy. This theory is backed up by the accounts of some of the Ith-Kon (from the Dragonspace setting) and other freed Illithid slave races who tell of being either uncomfortable in this reality (if they came with the Illithid from beyond) or talk of the mind-warping horrors they witnessed under the rule of the Illithid. The researchers backing the theory that the Illithids are invaders from outside our reality also point to the startlingly high rates of mental disorders among those that have been held captive by the illithids. While many of these disorders can be chalked up to PTSD, the amounts of severe paranoia, schizophrenia, hallucinations, and other severe disorders along with the high suicide and murder rates among those affected has yet to be properly explained.

The accounts from Ith-Kon talk of traversing into this dimension from a place they call the “Far Realm”, in which the laws of physics are seemingly either non-existent, or changeable by the application of intense psionic forces the likes of which have never been witnessed in this reality. They talk of strange beings that shift between forms, undulating masses of flesh, tentacles, and teeth that float through the space of the Far Realm, living towers of flesh and bone, floating islands covered in plains of eyeballs, and places where geometry is so alien that it would break the minds of most beings in the galaxy. The accounts of this Far Realm are as wide and varied as to be unbelievable. Plus, skeptics point out that even though the technology of the Illithid is very alien, much of it appears to be an advancement of the tech of the Gene-Splicers. Not to mention that the bio-tech of the Yuuzhan Vong and Tyranids is very alien as well, but neither of those species are suggested to being outside of our reality.

Another possible example of beings from outside our reality are the beings known as Dimensional Horrors. These terrifying beings have only been caught on vids a few times and have so far only been found in Stoneburner ruins. It has long since been theorized that the Stoneburners developed a way to teleport across vast distances to colonize other worlds. Dimensional Horrors appear to offer evidence that the Stoneburners accessed other dimensions parallel to our own to travel the stars, and may possibly still exist somewhere in this other dimension. The Dimensional Horrors appear to act as guardians of Stoneburner ruins, but it is possible that they are things that have escaped this other dimension and destroyed the Stoneburners. The horrors are able to disappear and reappear across significant distances, and are unlike any other form of life seen in the galaxy. This supposed teleportation isn’t psionic in nature either, so the means this is accomplished is unknown.

Some of the beings from Tau Ceti C have been rumored to have the ability to travel space and time, and supposedly other dimensions as well. Their studies into time travel have been documented, but as far as anyone in the galaxy knows, have been fully unsuccessful in actually facilitating time travel. Still, there are tales of a mysterious being known as “The Traveler” who appears to be from Tau Ceti C that has appeared before several starship crews usually in the midst of some strange space/time crisis. These crises have all been written off as strange gravitic events, and the Traveler as nothing more than traders from Tau Ceti C that happen to be in the right place at the right time at best, or charlatans and frauds at worst.

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