The old school of thought tells us of a place within ourselves. A special place that does not touch, and will not be touched. It goes by many names and many terms. The most common is Astral, but also the Silver, or the Void Within is used with frequency within many other cultures.
It is not matter, but has many doors that many use nonetheless. Itís the place between all other things. The impossibility that holds together the possible.
Itís the line that divides, but also the line that binds.
Itís a place of dead gods, dead thoughts and dead desire. I choose to call it the Binding Force.
See the many fabrics of reality that we know. See the thing that lies in-between them all. See; and between all of them it is. It binds minds, it binds matter. It binds thoughts and reality. It is the sea all things swim in. A force used by many and abused by so many more.
What does this mean? And why should anyone care what this place is, since it equally claims to be nothing?
Let us surmise what we know:
The astral is everywhere, since we do not know anywhere thatís cut out from it (excepting the Shadowlie, which doesnít exist). This should be our axiom.
I would assume that since this plane has no other function, it has to be the universal glue that holds everything the senses tells us to hold true. And here we come to an unanswered fact about this planes theorems. What about the things the senses do not tell us of? What can possibly lie beyond the Astral?
What glues the glue, so to speak?
Here comes something interesting: Can it possibly glue itself? How can anything be the basis for itself? Is this the primal matter; an endless expanse of silver, holding little, or no energies except that of binding?
This question remains unanswered as of yet, but I ask your patience, as conclusions will follow after more evidence have been established.
The astral does not allow for any sort of divination except the seemingly random color pools that sometimes appear as a hidden oasis for many travelers. One can concentrate into these pools and see a specific location the astral allows a traveler to use as a portal. This is common planewalker lore. It seems that these colors are tied up to the different realities that exist. I have failed to understand the exact nature of these pools, but give me the chance to speculate:
They are the wounds of the astral. They are the holes in a grand body, which are coagulating with contact with the outside reality. The different colors represent the different ways of which anti-toxins it uses to prevent leakage.
A group of magicians that calls themselves mind-knights, or psionicists, claims the power of individuality over that of magic. They claim to draw their power from within themselves, from their own individuality.
I have seen strange manifestations from these students of the mind, and found one particular ability more interesting than not.
While some mages summon other-planar monsters and binds them to their will, and the divine agents calls for their godís servants, these psionicists summons a monster from the essence of the Astral, or more likely; binds matter with astral glue.
The psionicist can form these creatures with an anatomy they choose, but must for some reason give them a shape that resembles that of creatures the psionicist have encountered previously.
Does this imply that the manifestor cannot change a universal common order of things, or does it imply that she lacks the imagination to form bizarre anatomies? I, and I am sure many others in this room also can, attest to the latter fact as plain wrong. A mind-knight is a creature that toys with imagination as a tool.
I would on, this flimsy evidence, hesitate to draw a definite conclusion, but too see it as a hint toward a more interesting notion is inevitable.
If we draw conclusions based from the knowledge provided by the psionicists, or rather; the meta-creators, there exists a thought-pattern to the astral, which forces them to choose what they are allowed to create.
The color pools are rends in the fabric of the planes, and if they are in the process of being ďhealedĒ this could happen over such amount of time that it defies our observatory power.
And as is the nature of wounds on a living body: When something passes through a healing wound it damages the tissue again, making it more difficult to patch itself up.
But this forces another question of some interest: What is the blood of the astral? What is the thing that pumps through the opened color pools into the different planes?
The first thing that comes to mind is off course the silvery expanse that makes up the scenery on the astral. This silvery atmosphere is strange. Traveling through it doesnít require biological functions. It requires mental focus. One travels through the astral using the mind. This is a fact that should not be overlooked as to the nature of the silver.
If you draw this fact closer to my theory the silver is a thing closely related to the mind, or more specifically; to thoughts. What then happens when this silver leaks through the astral and into other planes?
The obvious answer presents itself: It sparks intelligent thought.
If this answer is correct, then the astral is the mother of our brains. It is the father of all thinking, and the urge to understand things that is not evident.
Before the worlds had creatures, when plants and simple beasts roamed endless plains in the drive to survive, something happened on the astral.
Maybe a great battle or a freak occurrence on the astral caused the first wound to open. When this happened the silver leaked onto the plains of the simple beasts and infected their minds with itís simple function: The function of thinking.
These beasts then evolved and used their newfound gift to surpass their brethren and accumulated knowledge of their surroundings to such an extent that they discovered the power to use the wound to travel into the astral.
Here they found the nothingness that sparked their thoughts, and seeing that it was nothing more then pure silver what happened then?
Did they retreat back into their world? Did they inhabit the astral as the first settlers, or did they simply go mad with the realization and focused all their newfound power to destroy and wound their thought-giver as much as possible?
I see the two latter examples as the most probable.
The first one could have happened, but then there would be only the one color pool and thoughts wouldnít spread to other parts of the multiverse.
It is more likely that they either settled it or went mad inside it.
If they settled in the astral, they could have seen the need for more people to help them quest for more knowledge and thought. They could then open more wounds in the astral and spark other races with intelligence, sharing their gift throughout the many worlds.
If they went mad and caused havoc the result ends much the same. They could have wounded the silver as much as possible, causing it to open more pools and spreading thoughts throughout the worlds, the result ending up as it has today.
Maybe the crazed Astral Dreadnaught is a distant cousin to these creatures, seeing their beastly shape, and their desire to feed on the astral traveler.
The astral is then the driving force behind the workings of the mind. It is not a collection of knowledge, but it is the spark behind our thoughts, the force that enable us to think. It is present within us all, and gives us the power to understand.
This power have built empires, and caused others to wither and fall. They have inspired artists and doomsayers on equal terms. It has not given us ideas, but it gave us the spark that got the ideas started.
To learn more about a city that lives in an astral wound check out Golgith, The Silvery City.