The Worlds of Azir

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On Impossible Gates

The Impossible Gate

The worlds of Azir are similar to our own world in many ways. The basic laws of chemistry and physics are roughly the same. Life is formed of exactly the same chemicals there as it is here, and has evolved in similar ways. Yet in other ways, the Azirian reality is fundamentally different from our own familiar reality (assuming that our beliefs about the nature of reality are even roughly correct). One of the rare events that shapes the nature of reality in the Azirian worlds is the formation of what is known as an "Impossible Gate".

The worlds of Azir are connected through various kinds of mysterious portals, collectively known as Impossible Gates. No two Gates are alike, but they all seem to disregard the laws of physics in our world. Perhaps some strange aspect of Azirian physics is responsible for this bizarre phenomenon. Fortunately, Impossible Gates have only been known to form between areas that have roughly similar ranges of gravity, pressure, and chemical composition on both sides of the gate. This suggests that the magical principle of Similarity may be involved in the physics of Impossible Gates.

Skirizai Siprit, the Mizarian pictured here, has just discovered such a gate in one of her many trips through the woods of her homeworld (Striezarait). Oddly enough, she could hear the distant sound of waves on a beach and a faint scent of salty water on the other side. Carefully peeking through to take a look, she suddenly found herself in the grip of a powerful force that pulled her off her feet! Impossible Gates can be hazardous if you're not careful to keep a grip on your own world.

The existence of Impossible Gates between the Azirian worlds has had a profound effect on the development of life. As these gates open and close at unpredictable times and places, each world follows its own unique evolutionary path, but all of the worlds are ultimately connected to the history of the others. Over the course of millions of years, human-like intelligent life has evolved along separate paths on dozens if not hundreds of distinct worlds. Occasionally, when a path from one world to another is opened, a small population from one world will find its way to another. The separate populations of human-like people have evolved into around 20 distinct species (including a few extinct populations), as shown in this chart.

  5         4         3         2         1         0 (million years ago)
+---------------------+--+---------------------------Tanja
|                     |  +-+-------------------------Sayana
|                     |    +----+--------------------Klathnar
|                     |         +-------+----+-----Kaltani *
|                     |                 |    +-------Lialia
|                     |                 +---+---+----Nelya
|                     |                     |   +----Yitha
|                     |                     +-+------Hlal
|                     |                       +------Miri
|                     +----+---------------------Ttanissyn *
|                          +-----------------------+-Nikta
|                                                  +-Neyasai
+----+-----+-----------------------------------------Verrilin
     |     +-----------------------------------------Binda
     +-----------------+--------------------Dhuli *
                       +---+----------------------+--Sangari
                           |                      |  +Kireethin
                           |                      +--Zireen
                           +---+---------+----Varinnoya *
                               |         +-----------Zoray
                               +-----+---------------Nithra
                                     +---------+-----Hralta
                                               +----Thruad *
*extinct populations

In addition to these species which have evolved naturally, Azir is also populated by created species, such as the Mizarian rat-people, and the raccoon-like Janarr. No one knows who created them, although evidence of their creation has started to become known. It is likely that the origin of these created peoples has been cut off by the closing of one of the many Impossible Gates that connect the Azirian worlds. Will Skirizai ever find her way back to her homeworld? Although the gate she has fallen through is out of reach, it remains possible that other gates exist on the new world she has fallen into.