Dominia and Its Walkers
Dominia and Its Walkers is an essay written by Richard Garfield, detailing the nature of the multiverse (then called Dominia) and that of planeswalkers. The essay was published in the Magic: The Gathering Pocket Player's Guide (1994).
On the Multiverse[edit | edit source]
Garfield imagines the multiverse as a vast beach. The sand shifts constantly, moved mostly by the tide and the wind, but also by the creatures that scurry across it or burrow beneath. Subtler effects, like compression or changes in temperature, also make their mark. Sometimes the grains cling together, weathering as a single stone until they are broken apart by some other force.
When each of these grains of sand is seen as its own world or universe, the Multiverse is the collection of universes (the beach). Usually, the inhabitants of a particular world have no interaction with the other universes; the live out their lives believing that their home is the “One World.” Even when some cataclysm on a nearby plane affects the surrounding worlds, the occupants of those worlds can blame the gods, or perhaps invent nonexistent natural laws to explain the changes in their plane.
On planeswalkers[edit | edit source]
A small number of the multiverse’s inhabitants are fully aware of the existence of worlds outside their home plane. These planeswalkers, often called wizards, have learned to travel between planes. Most have also developed secret methods of tapping the resources of the various worlds, and rich worlds are guarded jealously.
The simplest form of planeswalking is to travel between touching planes. If two planes in the Multiverse touch, a wizard familiar with both planes can usually travel from anywhere on one of the planes to some location on the other. Of course, experienced wizards can control where they arrive better than less experienced ones can. A planeswalker can also travel between worlds that don’t touch each other by walking through a potentially long series of intermediate planes that span the gap. Distance between two planes can be approximated by the number of intermediate worlds traveled through. Since travel between planes is rapid, even trips to extremely distant planes can be quick. However, if the region is unfamiliar, or the paths between planes even slightly unstable, the wizards may accidentally travel far astray or become lost. For this reason, planeswalkers traversing unfamiliar or shifting paths will take their time to make sure they are going to the correct plane each step of the way.
Even experienced planeswalkers cannot easily predict how he paths between planes will form and change. Some areas of the Multiverse remain in the same configuration for ages, and the paths that bind them shift only slightly. Others are in constant turmoil, making walking between worlds perilous. Some times a set of planes will crystallize, like sandstone on the beach; in these cases, travel between the united planes stabilizes, but the entire region may shift in relation to the rest of the Multiverse. Planeswalkers have been known to disappear entirely if the universe they currently inhabit relocates radically, or shifts free of the Multiverse itself.
On planes[edit | edit source]
Each plane has its own laws, though these can change as the plane shifts into new regions. Some planes have no domestic magic at all: wizards traveling in these regions must draw entirely on extra-planar resources. Others are so replete with magic that the occupants can be dangerous, even to wizards with the forces of many planes at their call. Planeswalkers who spend a great deal of time on a particular plane can often master the laws that govern it, allowing them to control the plane or at least tap its resources more effectively.
On mana[edit | edit source]
The resources of a plane can be called upon by lines which connect to that plane. These are invisible except to one who knows how to perceive them. The lines carried by a typical wizard will connect to many worlds of the Multiverse. The lines which provide wizards with raw energy for their spells, the mana lines or leylines, usually connect to the lands of the various planes. Lands in most parts of the Multiverse can be divided into five basic types, each of which provides energy for a different kind of magic (white, blue, black, red and green).
Lines will fade and become unreliable at great distances from the source; at extreme distances, they can vanish altogether. Extreme care is practiced by wizards that deal with these lines for any length of time. The others die out. The lines carry the power of worlds.