A travel portal is a magical point-to-point gateway that allows a Cymry to instantly transit from one place to another. As evidenced by the damaged portals located in some of the cylchs around the world of Gaia, ancient Cymry managed to connect these portals to distant worlds. They require an immense amount of training and power to open one and control it.
Except for the Travelers’ Gates (detailed below), portals cannot and will not open accidentally!
Creating a portal takes an incredible amount of energy and training to accomplish. Portals exist for this RPG to facilitate character interaction and to lessen actual travel time in certain situations.
There are three types of travel portals: Anchored Portals, Traveling Portals, and Travelers’ Gates. All three types are simply referred to as portals or geata (Old Tongue for gate).
Portals can be constructed and anchored in place for reuse. These are most often found in homes, keeps, holds, and garrisons. The anchor can be almost anything. The most common are doorways, trilithons, and miniature cylchs situated in a room. The room the portal is in is usually warded and trapped to prevent malicious intruders from leaving it.
Portal anchors can be as simple as four tiles set in a square or a pentagram laid out in stone, marble, or tile in the room’s floor.
Some keeps, holds, and homes have small embrasures that act as a portal anchor. These embrasures are not distinguishable from other such insets.
There are no flashing neon signs that say “Here is the keep’s portal.” Cymry that have not been trained to recognize a portal’s energies would not be alerted to its presence. It would simply be another odd nook or cranny in a home or castle that is likely riddled with odd nooks and crannies. In fact, they would not be able to enter the room or embrasure without the key to the wards.
Likewise, portals are not advertised by a home or keep’s residents and owners. This is not something the Cymry would like for the world at large to know about.
This type of portal is opened on an as-needed basis and closes soon after the Cymry has passed through it. Like anchored portals, opening a traveling portal takes an immense amount of training, control, and power. Most Cymry that travel to a certain place frequently takes the time to construct an anchored portal. Those that frequently use traveling portals have an arcanely charged object that they use to focus the energies needed to open it.
There is an exception to the accidental use of portals. Many of the ancient cylchs which dot the lands of Gaia contain portals. No one knows how the cylchs came to be, they simply are. The majority are simply warded areas that act as a safe haven and are noted by a blue or white glow (sometimes pale green) emanating from the stones. Likewise, the menhirs of those that have become Shadow Traps or taken on a dark influence for other reasons tend to be dull or emit a sullen dark aura.
Almost all cylchs are built around mounds or hillocks that contain an ancient spring, natural fountain or well, at its center. Sometimes there are concentric circles of menhirs of varying heights, sometimes there is only one circle of joined and capped stones.
Some of these ancient portals will draw in a Traveler from another realm or world. It is a one-way trip and usually a one-time event (i.e., that particular cylch will not draw in another traveler).
Before you run amok wanting to create a super Traveler who can impart vast knowledge and bring Aereth up to speed technologically, it doesn’t work that way. You need to read the Traveler’s document.
Portal anchors can be anything that will enclose the portal itself. When the gate is not open, a person can walk through or across the anchor as if nothing is there. A Cymry would feel the energy.
An active portal manifests as a shimmering cluster of gold crystals with a bright golden glow at its center.
How Portals Work
First, the Cymry has to know where they want to go and be able to see that place’s chalon. With the chalon of where they want to go as a focus, they can then call up the ritual and energy to open the portal and step through it.
How do they use portals to go somewhere they have never been? In general, they cannot do this. They have to know the chalon of the place they wish to travel to. If there is someone available that has been to the place before, a Moonsinger can use mind-seeing to learn its chalon. She can then use the same technique to impart the place’s chalon to the Cymry needing to travel there or, if trained, can open the portal herself.
Like with warding, there are set of elements that must be present in the ritual used to open a portal or activate an anchored portal. However, the actual actions and motions will vary from person to person. The most common is a specific set of gestures used, often in conjunction with an arcanely charged object (yes, a wand can be used, but that’s silly). Most of the Cymry will use something always carry with them such as a crystal, a ring, a dagger or a sword.
Chalon means many things to a Cymry. Primarily, it is the soul or spirit of a person, animal, place, or thing.
Portals are used for almost instantaneous point-to-point travel. There are, however, limitations…
A portal’s energies in and of themselves will not trigger the arcane sensitivity of those individuals with that ability. However, an individual might sense the wards IF the portal is warded or trapped.
The Cymry (or another suitably powerful enough arcane user) must know where they want to go and know the energy signature of the portal or place on the other end. They cannot step into a portal and blindly wish to go somewhere and magically get there.
Portals cannot EVER be used accidentally. No one can step into a portal and whoops, wind up in an unknown Cymry’s bedchamber! A conscious effort must be made to effect a transfer.
Portals can be warded against intrusion and even exit. A Cymry can transfer to a portal and become trapped. They would have to have the key to the Wards or have been attuned to them to leave the portal site. Unless the Wards are set as a trap and block the Cymry’s ability to return to their point of origin, they would be able to escape by going back.
While there are numerous portals around Aereth with the majority being in Cymeria, not every Cymry knows the location of every portal. In fact, a majority of Cymry do not know that there is such a thing as a Travel Portal.
Portals can only take small parties. They cannot be constructed large enough to bring armies through. It would require too many trips and, in the end, exhaust or even kill the Cymry performing the transfer. Having more than one Cymry opening a portal to the same place at the same time tends to cancel out one another. Legends say that in the ancient past, Grand Covens could open a field of portals, but modern Cymry have been unable to accomplish this.
The overwhelming majority of anchored portals are constructed inside a building or other enclosed area, usually within a small alcove or embrasure which can easily be warded against intrusion. Similarly, some Cymry like using a natural shallow cave as a portal embrasure.
No Cymry that is less than a 7th Degree Adept can construct an anchored portal.
Constructing an anchored portal requires a tremendous amount of energy and is not something any Cymry can accomplish alone. They need at least three other persons who trust them enough to allow themselves to be put into a sort of trance so the Cymry can call on their energy. It is easier done with other Cymry who have at least 5th Degree training because they will know how to aid the senior Cymry with their own energies.
The Cymry must be at the point of origin and have a way to know physically where the point of destination is. Most often, a portal will be opened to go somewhere that the Cymry has been before and still has a sense of the energies of that specific location. There are Moonsingers that can use their abilities to see the portal’s destination or even access it from the mind of another and impart that knowledge to the worker. Far-Seeing and Mind-Seeing take a tremendous amount of discipline and energy and is not the first choice for seeking out a portal’s destination location.
Currently Known Portals
Stormholm Caer: The Stormdanovich fortress has numerous anchored portals, all warded against intrusion. A public portal is located in the Guardhouse Tower. The room it is located within is warded and trapped.
Caer Arcanus: Located in a warded chamber just off the great hall.
Penhallow Manse: There are two warded portals inside the Manse, one in each lighthouse tower.
Warder Holds: For future ease of interaction, we will assume that most Warder holds have at least one anchored portal, however, the only one they have access to at Stormholm Caer is in the Guardhouse Tower which is warded and trapped. They cannot arrive and just stroll around Stormholm Caer.
Mathian Council: The cavern where the Council meets has a warded portal for the use of members.
Other Locations will be added as game-play requires.