Q&A: What is the Polykhosm?

What is the Polykhosm?

The Polykhosm is the name I’ve given to the interconnected universe of ideas that I’m presenting to the world to explore through games and stories. It consists of worlds connected by a common timeline and setting, yet very diverse in their current and past states. By creating multiple worlds on which to base various games and stories, literally anything is possible.

Um, you do know that it’s spelled…

Yes, the “correct” spelling would be polycosm, not Polykhosm. Making a unique spelling helps to differentiate what I’m doing from what anyone else has done. Plus, there’s an in-universe reason why it’s spelled that way. Keep watching for clues.

So, what’s so special about the Polykhosm?

To start, the biggest difference between our universe and that of the Polykhosm is the presence of the Power. It’s an energy that, like light, is generated by stars. This energy flows along distinct lines that connect the stars to each other in complicated webs. Like light, the influence of a line of Power can be felt far beyond the physical location of the line itself. Also, again like visible light, the Power is often divided into seven Aspects, each with unique characteristics.

What are the seven Aspects?

I’m so glad you asked. The seven Aspects are Air, Water, Wood, Earth, Stone, Metal, and Ether.

Sounds like Elements. What about Fire?

Fire is not an Aspect, just as Aspects are not strictly Elements. Those who can manipulate Air, for example, do not simply move air around, but are able to influence the characteristics associated with Air, such as light or emotion.

Wait, what?

Each Aspect is associated with certain characteristics of reality. Here’s a handy breakdown:

  1. Air: light, emotion (yellow). This Aspect is most often associated with one’s perception of the world, including manipulating light to alter or cover what is perceived and replace it with what the wielder wants others to perceive. It can detect and manipulate the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Light can also be used to sense and shift emotions. It is related to Earth.
  2. Water: force, movement (blue). This Aspect involves the ability of objects and life forms to move or be moved. This includes both physically moving something and also giving an inanimate object the ability to move on its own. It is related to Wood.
  3. Wood: life, growth (green). This Aspect is connected with the ability of living things to grow and heal. Wood also associates with the spiritual nature of life. It is related to Water.
  4. Earth: mind, awareness (purple). This Aspect deals with understanding information and being aware of reality, including changing reality and which layer of reality something occupies. Earth can often uncover hidden knowledge and fundamental truths. It is related to Air.
  5. Stone: matter, structure (orange). This Aspect relates to the composition of matter and how all things are shaped and constructed. Stone also relates to an object’s relative location in space. It is related to Metal.
  6. Metal: strength, cohesion (red). This Aspect deals with the ability of matter to stay together rather than be torn apart. This is described by the attractive forces both within and between molecules. Metal deals with attractive forces such as magnetism and gravity. It is related to Stone.
  7. Ether: chaos, change (black/white). This Aspect deals with the ability of all things to change into something else, and includes things such as entropy and time. It is the only Aspect that is both related to all the others and related to none of them. While this Aspect is known as Ether, it is also (particularly on Thera) associated with fire, but it is not known as the Aspect of Fire.

That’s a lot to take in!

Yes, it is. I’ll be diving into more about all this soon. For now, just be aware that each Aspect has an associated color, characteristics, and relationship with one other Aspect. How all this works, and how it is perceived on the various worlds (did you notice the name of one of them?), is all part of the variety of the Polykhosm.

Wait! What does all this have to do with Spellweaving 101?

That’s a question for another time. Watch for more entries about each Aspect and how to use their unique Abilities in Spellweaving 101 and other games in the Polykhosm!