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by on September 21, 2022
//Quick lore dump before I head back in to work for the night.
Hello adventurer! If you are reading this document, that means you are one of a brave few! Of countless adventures across our plane, you have chosen to assist our noble organization in the exploration of the plane known as the Astral Highway System, or, Subspace in less formal terms. For this, we are ever grateful. With your help, we can learn much more about this mysterious, seemingly nonsensical realm, and possibly find some use for it. However, if you plan to adventure into that most treacherous of planes, then there is much you must know.
Who are we?
The Equestrian Society of Extraplanar Exploration was founded by a stallion named "Feverous Gust" in 1675. In his personal journal, Mr. Gust sites the reason for doing so as "Having a passionate desire to explore beyond our own existence, and to make contact with the inhabitants of other planes." Today, our goal is two-fold. Firstly, we hope to find, and map out planes of existence beyond our own. Some of which you may have already heard of. Our second objective is to assess the threats that each plane poses to our own, and do what we can to ensure the safety of our plane, and all who inhabit it. Though we are few in number, we are the best at what we do. With our expertise, we can help keep our world safe from what lies beyond the boundaries of our existence.
What is the Astral Highway System?
The Astral Highway System is a plane intertwined with our own. It is a seemingly nonsensical realm which does not obey the same laws of existence as ours. It is similar to the Astral Plane, but we do not believe it to be within the confines of the Astral Plane. The Astral Highway System consists of various 'highways', which can be accessed by certain doors within the system, and our own plane. It is believed that each sentient creature within our plane has a highway within the system which is affected by their thoughts, and dreams. As such, it may be possible for someone to enter another's dream if they were to enter said person's highway during said dream. The system comprises of 5 known layers, but it is believed that there may be more. Currently, beings can only travel to the same layer, or a layer one above, or below their current layer.
What are the layers of the Astral Highway System?
Layers are listed in descending order.
Layer 0: The Material Plane. Not a part of the Astral Highway System, but connected to it. Our plane of existence. Doors that exit back to the Material Plane are colored light blue, and feature no symbols.
Layer 1: The first layer of the Astral Highway System. Most highways here are relatively safe, and easy to navigate. This is where the highways affected by sentient creatures can be found. Doors into this layer are colored light blue, and are marked with a star.
Layer 2: The second layer of the Astral Highway System. Highways in this layer and below do not feature highways affected by beings from the Material Plane. Highways here are typically harder to navigate, but are generally safe to travel. The possibility of encountering Astral Entities here is low, but you should be vigilant. Doors into this layer are dark blue, and are marked with a square.
Layer 3: The third layer of the Astral Highway System. Navigation is difficult, but not impossible. Encountering Astral Entities is fairly common. Use extreme caution when entering a highway in Layer 3, or below. Doors into this layer are red, marked with a triangle. Traveling below this layer is not advised.
Layer 4: The fourth layer of the Astral Highway System. Topographies in this layer are mostly nonsensical, and near-impossible to navigate. Astral Entity encounters are frequent, and often dangerous. It is advised that if you end up in a highway in this layer, or below, you look for an exit to Layer 3 as soon as possible. Doors into this layer are purple, marked with 2 horizontal rectangles.
Layer 5: Currently, there is only one known excursion into this layer. As such, information on it is scarce. The first, and only exploration into this layer was conducted in 1881 by a 20 man team, lead by Lord Statham Ridgewell. Only Lord Statham, and 2 of his men returned. One of the men was taken to an asylum, where he later died of mysterious causes. The second was hospitalized due to severe malnutrition, and severe injury. He passed 2 weeks after his return. Lord Statham returned to his estate, and an interview with the lord was scheduled for the following day. That night, one of his servants found that he had taken his own life, and left a note behind. It read "No mortal mind should know the unspeakable horror that lies beyond those doors of purple oblivion. 17 men lost their lives in our vainglorious pursuit of knowledge, and renown. I am consigned to hell, and I can only hope god may forgive me for my thoughtless actions which doomed them all." If you ever find yourself within this layer, we hope your death is quick.
Conduct within the Astral Highway System.
As an adventurer, you must posses a license to explore the Astral Highway System. You may ask your superiors to be able to take the licensing exam whenever you feel you are ready to do so. Once you are licensed, it is advised that you begin your exploration with short excursions into the first layer. After you have acquainted yourself with travel in the first layer, you may wish to begin exploring for longer periods of time, or to explore deeper. Please note that time within the Astral Highway System does not progress like our own. It is advised you bring a piece of equipment which keeps track of Equestrian time with you on your excursions.
As an adventurer, your primary focus is to document, and catalogue your time within the plane. However, in the off-chance that you encounter a civilian in the Astral Highway System, your priority is to safely escort said civilian back to the Material Plane. You are to proceed directly to an exit from the plane as quickly as possible. If you are found to have taken the civilian further into the plane with you, you may face disciplinary action, and potential criminal charges.
If you are ever lost within the Astral Highway System, refer to this passage.
"Those who wander. Those who are lost. Those who have strayed from the path. Look to the light of the blue torch. For it shall lead you to salvation."
If you have any further questions regarding the Astral Highway System, speak with other licensed adventurers.
Good luck, and thank you.
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