I think it's time to introduce the concept of the metaphysical realm as Tall Tales understands it.
The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that it will be described in a number of different ways and those ways will sometimes conflict. This is because the blog editors have different perspectives on what the realm is and filter their information through different worldviews. As far as Benedict is concerned, there are two realms, the physical and the spiritual, and a thin veil between them. Jackie does not believe they are separate, but that humans have somehow become blind to what surrounds them and must rely on extraordinary means to access the truth of reality; wherever it is people go after they die, if they do not linger as ghosts, is a more complex concept. Matteson believes in at least three realms, a physical, a metaphysical overlaid on it, and something beyond both where souls go after they pass on and probably where angels and demons originate.
There is some truth to all of this, at least enough truth that all of their approaches work. As the Lexicon states, there are at least three realms, and the non-story text will be using Matteson's labels. They are not as separate as Benedict and Matteson believe, but they are more distinct than Jackie believes.
The fundamental nature of the Metaphysical Realm is that it serves as both a spiritual realm and an astral plane. It is the common ground of all human thought, and anything that enough people have imagined or believed or feared lurks there. It has its own tides and weather, as the fabric of the Realm itself is manipulated by ongoing changes to the collective human psyche. Beings that reside in the Realm can be altered by changes in how humans perceive them, and some degree of their relative power is based on the amount of power mankind ascribes to them.
How and why mankind can or should have this power is a mystery that will be revealed eventually as the characters continue to interact with it. But the point is that they do, and the most notable and powerful spirits have a habit of knowing this, and as such they curate their images very carefully. If they can influence how mankind see them (and they can, with effort), they can set their own course. As such, a great deal of inter-species drama in the Metaphysical Realm is focused largely on manipulating mankind and the hold each spirit has over some group of humans or another. Influence within a given fae court would never acknowledge the role of any outside forces, for instance, but the more clever fae recognize that allowing a demon or Spirit of the People to manipulate mankind's perception unchallenged is akin to begging for lost favor.
In future posts we'll explore a bit more about the history and development of the Realm, both in-world and out, as well as some of the more notable forces within it. But for a basic introduction, I think this will suffice for this week.
What is this?
Worldbuilding Wednesdays is a real-world blog, written by Tim McLaughlin, that gives a little peek behind the curtain of Tall Tales. That includes the process of creating the story and world, influences, world rules, and even the occasional story.