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Limbo (or Abyss) is the term used for the transmundane layer that exists to catch things that fall through the cracks of the world.[1]Others lurk inside limbo, as well as people who have had their connections to the world completely severed or when whatever harvests the soul of the dead refuses to take them and drops them in. It is also known as the Abyss to Others.

A lot of Bogeymen are born here. It is later confirmed that their anger and hatred eventually boil over and allow them to surface. It still has a hold on them, however, and can take them back. Practitioners who fall through the cracks no longer have their powers, but retain their knowledge.[2]

FormationEdit

There are many theories to how Limbo came to be. Eva states that it is the ground-level of the world, where it all began. Zoey Artana theorizes that each manifestation was once a demesne, and it was attached to some vital process of reality.  Through this vital process, it came to devour other demesnes and objects, and it swelled in size.  It connected to other such areas, and formed the backbone for what might otherwise have been the original void.

Void was an endless storm of everything under the sun, a great elemental grinder to churn up all which fell into its reach, but over time it became more civilized as other demesnes and Gods also fell into Limbo when forgotten or the ones who maintained them pass on, becoming part of it and determining the rules. The gods sleep in the walls and bring logic while demesnes bring memories of their masters.

Despite the nature of Limbo, it fulfills an essential need the universe has, the need for healthy entropy.

ManifestationsEdit

The DrainsEdit

Also known as the Sewers or Compost Heap, it is a manifestation, where the sky above is nothing but sheer darkness that has a weight and presses down, making you want to crawl in the mud beneath your feet. Bits and pieces of things from the real world could be found there too. It's a constantly evolving maze that's only growing as more and more things fall through the cracks, but the different parts are connected to one another via tunnels and small lights.

The ForestEdit

A floral manifestation connected to nature The Forest is where the Faceless Woman arose from and where Midge vacationed.

The TenementsEdit

A manifestation of steep vertical surfaces that look like apartments, the air is thick with choking dust, fog, and darkness.  The bottom disappears into darkness and fog for  a good kilometer or five, red and orange lights around that flicker violently. The windows are spaced too far apart, or clustered, and took different forms as sections of building had fallen and somehow jammed together, like a game of Tetris. Anything that looks easy is a trap and the hand holds are riddled with insects, broken glass, or other obstacles, while the insides are nests for Others and Bogeymen.

The LibraryEdit

A manifestation that occurred when the Hillglades House fell through the cracks, stairwells and bookshelves lay along every wall, books filling them as water and dirt flowed in along the sides, streaming along the surfaces, turning what had been conventional novels into sodden messes. This manifestation of the abyss is aggressive, actively targeting and attacking those within it and shifting around at inopportune times, changing the landscape. The books are either empty or hold things you don't want to meet. Anyone making noise within the library is subsequently attacked by the Others or a giant set of hands.

The Outskirts Edit

The area Blake arrived at.

The Machine Edit

The area Chain man came from.

The Box Store Edit

An area Green Eyes explored.

The School Edit

The area the Schoolmarm came from.

The Manor Edit

The area Diary Girl came from.

RulesEdit

Inside any manifestation certain rules hold true, such as cardinal directions. You are what you eat and lose your sense of Self. Its entire purpose is to break down whatever falls in and, if you want out, the only way is to go through by changing, adapting, eating, and getting stronger. It forces you to deal with either a manifestation of your past (shadow of memories), present (visions), or future (dreams), usually one or the other and the forms can vary, but never normally all three.

When attempting to have someone conform using traumas of their past, it may manifests as a black version of some aspect of their memories. These solid entities aren't actually Others, but parts of the people in question that they have been trying to run away from. Most people flee from it, others kill them and essentially get rid of the memories that composed them in the process, but it is possible to accept them.

Likewise, when sleeping the person can see a possible future and then take actions to confront or reject it, or rid themselves of the need for sleep to abandon them as well. A person with visions of the present can choose to ignore them or run away from them as some times it is easier to remain in Limbo rather than face what awaits in reality, but they can backtrace their steps to receive the full message and learn what they need to do.

By cooperating with Limbo, it provides an avenue of escape should the person in question be able to reach it. However, it will still have a hold on them and can pull them back.

EscapeEdit

Some ways to escape include:

  • Visiting places where it’s closer to the real world than others where you must:
    • Conform: Cooperating with the forces driving Limbo in some way, you become sensitive enough to possibly find a way out, although most who do no longer desire to leave.
    • Adapt: Green Eyes stated that in one part, you have to swim against a current for a while without a chance to surface, meaning you must  change enough to resist the current and breathe underwater.
    • Become powerful enough: Some parts are guarded by really strong things that eat you if you're too weak or make you agree to carry something back.
  • Have someone visit Limbo and pull you out: This is the only way to get back to the material world while maintaining your sense of Self, but practitioners usually only seek out the worst monsters since finding someone specific is difficult. Pracitioners can open a way by using a circle and sacrificing something valueable to it that they will never get back.
  • Become a Bogeyman: Filled with rage and malice, Bogeymen bubble up into the material world.

Named ResidentsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The idea of integrating with your shadow, repressed feelings and desires harkens back to Jungian philosophy.

References Edit

  1. Losing touch with reality.

    Too much me given away.

    “What… what happens?” I ask.

    “You go where anyone goes, if they slip through the cracks.“
    [...]
    “It changes from place to place, urban area to rural. But it’s the spiritual equivalent of rock bottom. It’s where people like Dowght might go or be chased off to by locals when the imp is done with him, or where things like the goblin you fought might dwell, if they weren’t quite strong enough to hold a territory. Dark places, dog-eat-dog, unpredictable, hard to navigate. The spirit analogue to the deep wilderness.”
    [...]
    “Sometimes there’s shit,” she said. “Sometimes fire, sometimes a garbage dump or a lightless pit or it’s a frozen wasteland without any light to go by… like I said, it varies from place to place. It’s a place defined by the misery and self loathing and desperation of those who dwell in it.” - Excerpt from Conviction 5.3
  2. Wildbow:
    On the layout of the Abyss - yes, it's all interconnected. Blake (and Green Eyes) starts out in the Outskirts, very close to the Drains. Had he taken another path, he might have made his way to the box store, or into the edge of a city/urban Abyss area. Or he could have gone further into the woods and ended up in a place similar to where Midge went.

    Who you are, how you go, and where you are when you go determine where you end up. You're not going to go to a place where you'll immediately think "Oh, I'm in the Abyss"- it'll be similar to where you were when you dropped in. If you pass through from a wartorn area where people are lost, desperate, and trying to survive, you're going to find yourself waking up in a place where the city is all ruins, everything's burned, and 'bandits' are prowling around - and it steadily becomes apparent the bandits aren't limited to very scarred/mutated humans. Or you could end up in a series of buildings that are perpetually on fire.

    By this metric, Blake goes from an area of wilderness of the sort you find on the periphery of a big city, trash strewn with hints of civilization or outlying buildings, to the outskirts. Except, you know, horrible.

    When Hillsglade House fell to the Abyss, it connected to some similar regions, tapping Others more fitting for the Library than the School (Schoolmarm), Manor (Diary Girl), etc. Normally areas of the Abyss don't form so blatantly, but more as places are forgotten or lost.

    Some places will be lost or abandoned (say, a small town struck by natural disaster and neglected by neighboring states or countries) but won't become Abyss so much as they trend that way over time, with more and more monsters and horribleness appearing over time, as Others find their way in (where there's a great deal of easy prey and easy living, until competition gets fiercer) and the Abyss gets more of a hold. Places can be pulled out of this 'sinking' state, but it's hard.

    You can die and get ground down in the abyss, that route is available, but it's hard. If you fall from the tenements you're liable to land in another area with all limbs broken, but still be alive, as things come after you. If you get eaten alive, you might get partially torn apart, partially digested, and shat out with some semblance of life. There's also a whole tract of things in the Abyss that collect living things, whether it's to dress them up like a doll and add to a collection or keep in cages, to snip pieces of for later snacks. They do this because the life and emotion of living things is serves them like a campfire might for you or me. So, you know, you can die and probably will get ground away (or transmuted into something nonsapient) eventually if you're not very tenacious, but actually getting there is hard and it's fraught with peril of the 'now I'm in a cage for the next decade' kind. - Finished Pact a couple of days ago, quick review and questions regarding the Abyss inside (Wildbow, Reddit.com, 2018-05-29)