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Structure of the multiverse.

Cosmology is the study of the universe. The universe is divided into several planes of existence, sometimes known as realms, within which exist worlds and other celestial bodies. These planes are separated from each other by the Abyss, and separated from the Abyss by planar barriers.[1] At the edge of the Abyss is a membrane, also known as the periphery, separating the Abyss from the Void, which is infinite emptiness. This periphery marks the effective boundary of the universe, and the Elder Gods periodically 'revise' or restructure its contents every time they wake up from their slumber.

Because of the universe's planar structure, it has sometimes been described as a multiverse. However, the various planes of existence within the periphery are properly considered to only constitute a single universe. Other parallel universes such as uchronias do exist,[2]but as separate and distinct planar structures of their own across the Void.

Some worlds can be planets or moons that share the same plane of existence. For example, Zanaris is the moon of Gielinor, and the planet Kethsi is in close physical proximity to Abbinah. The terms "plane" and "planet" are occasionally used interchangeably, the plane taking on the name of the most prominent world that resides within it (e.g. the plane in which the planet Freneskae resides is referred to as "the plane of Freneskae" even though the two are distinct).

Types of Planes[edit | edit source]

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Planes come in several forms, whether they be coterminous planes, incorporeal planes or multi-dimensional planes. The shadow realm is conveniently all three of those, while other planes may be layered, such as Infernus, which consists of multiple planes stacked on top of each other.[3] All of the planes inside the multiverse can be separated into 4 different types.

  • The lower planes are the oldest worlds in the current revision, except for Freneskae, which is a remnant of the previous. All the worlds on this plane are unbalanced and often lean towards a specific element. It is on these worlds leftovers from the previous cycle are most obviously visible. An example of this would be Ancient Magicks, which were first discovered on these worlds. The currently known, lower-plane worlds are:
World Planar Alignment Creator
Freneskae Elder energy 1000 detail.png Balance Elder Gods
Infernus Smoke Blitz icon.png Smoke Elder Gods
Vampyrium Blood Blitz icon.png Blood Elder Gods
Leng Ice Blitz icon.png Ice Elder Gods
Shadow Realm Shadow Blitz icon.png Shadow Elder Gods
  • The elemental planes were created by the elder gods when they split up. The worlds on this plane have an obvious alignment with a certain element. Which element depends on which god or gods created the world. Occasionally the Elders would return to these older worlds to refine their abilities of creation. The currently known, elemental-plane worlds are:
World Planar Alignment Creator
Muspell Lava rune.png Lava Ful and Bik
Abbinah Smoke rune.png Smoke Jas and Bik
Yu'biusk Mud rune.png Mud Wen and Bik
  • The catalytic planes show a high level of sophistication. They were created when the elder gods had already learned much about the universe and were trying out new techniques for creating worlds. They combined familiar elements with other elements of the universe. The catalytic worlds themselves are divided into 3 different types. These are the currently known Catalytic worlds:
World Planar Alignment Creator Sub-plane
Ocularis Body rune.png Body Bik and something else Primordial plane
Teragard Law rune.png Law Wen and something else Primordial plane
Kethsi Mind rune.png Mind Jas and something else Primordial plane
Naragun Nature rune.png Nature Bik and something else Higher plane
Hallow Astral rune.png Astral Jas, Wen and something else Transcendental plane
Tarddiad Soul rune.png Soul Jas, Bik and something else Transcendental plane
  • The balanced planes were created last. They are capable of generating a steady flow of Anima Mundi. The worlds are created with the combined strength and knowledge of all the elder gods. It is here that the Elder gods created their perfect world and went to sleep. The currently known balanced-plane worlds are:
World Planar Alignment Creator
Gielinor Elder energy 1000 detail.png Balance Elder Gods
Zanaris Zanaris in night skybox.png Balance Unknown

All named worlds[edit | edit source]

World Inhabitants Description Type
Abyss Chthonians The Abyss is made of the detritus of previous universes. Binding-realm
Abbinah Aviansie Abbinah is a harsh place with little water and a shattered outer core consisting of floating islands, as well as a chaotic open core that is the only place where water can be found.[4] The islands move at high speeds, with only a few city-sized islands in stable orbit. From above, Abbinah is obscured by hurricanes and storms that rage across the surface.[5] World
Bobonosia (previously known as Jermyn) Monkeys, Mwanu Unknown Unknown
Britain Humans Unknown Unknown
Cheanannais Fairies, Pixies Rich in nature. World
Cosmic entity's plane Cosmic Being The cosmic plane is a small bit of land floating in what seems like nothingness. Unknown
Dream World Ethereal beings Unknown Unknown
Enchanted Valley Wood Dryads, Centaurs, Tree spirits, Rock golems, River trolls The Enchanted Valley is a world full of nature. The main area of the valley is surrounded by a thick layer of trees. At the centre of the main area lies a lake. World-shard
Fisher Realm Humans The Fisher realm consists mostly of grass fields and trees. Unknown
Freneskae Nihils, Muspahs Once considered a "perfect" world, Freneskae is now a dark wasteland. Its toxic atmosphere is riddled with constant lightning storms, and volcanic eruptions and lava flows mar its surface of bare rock. Its native life struggles to survive in the harsh climate, and as a result it is a world of constant warfare. World
Gielinor A high variety of species Gielinor is a mixture of mountainous, barren, forested, volcanic, snowy and tropical areas. Most of its cities lie in kingdoms, and others on numerous islands. Much of Gielinor is lush with water resources, enabling the existence of vast rivers and seas. There is also a large, destroyed continent to the north called the Wilderness. Known continents of Gielinor are the Wushanko Isles and the Forinthry site, which is today called the Wilderness. Tropical areas lie to the south, while the north is cold and icy. The south-east is largely a barren desert, the far west is a dense taiga forest, and the far east has a humid, marshy climate. World
Gorak Plane Gorak The Gorak Plane is a relatively small area, shaped roughly like a doughnut with grey clouds in it. Unknown
Hallow Icyene Hallow is a planet covered by vast ocean and speckled with hundreds of small islands. The transition from day to night in this world takes close to a year. World
Iaia Ilujanka Iaia is a planet inhabited by cold-blooded creatures. The world possesses three moons, a star and consists mainly of marshland. The star is not visible because the world is surrounded by a cloud of dust. World
Infernus Demons Infernus is a world devoid of any life and contains liquid fire and rocks. World
Kethsi Kethsians (formerly) Kethsi is a world of vast ruins and large, putrid swamps. World
Killerwatt plane Killerwatt The Killerwatt plane is a world consisting of small islands floating in nothingness. Unknown
Land of Snow Ice sprites, Snow imps The land of snow is a cold world covered with snow. World-shard
Leng Glacors Leng is a frozen and inhospitable world of the lower planes. World
Mazcab (previously known as Chantli) Airuts, Goebies Mazcab is a world mainly covered in reddish sand and rocks but with an abundance of water. Unlike most other worlds, Mazcab has a variety of biotopes such as jungles and deserts. World
Muspell Auspah A world engulfed in flames. It's kind of beautiful. World
Naragun Naragi (extinct) Naragun consists of what appears to be giant trees supporting shattered floating islands, which have leaves dangling from the bottom of them. Lights can be found dangling from the branches on the sides of these islands. World
Ocularis Stalkers Ocularis is described by its inhabitants as a large moon that moves at great speed through the cosmos. There, the first Stalker was born and spread across the moon, taking over as a giant living being, with the ability to see and learn[6]. World
Primordial realm None This realm is a specific part of the Abyss, which consists of the leftover "junk" that the Elders used to form reality. It is an empty realm aside from the seemingly endless fields of sacred clay. World-shard
Puro-Puro Imps, Implings Puro-Puro is a world consisting mainly of wheat-fields. Unknown
Renmark (destroyed) Centaurs, Ice sprites Renmark was a world of wild nature where the four seasons were in constant conflict. World
Runecrafting altars None Varies Pocket-dimension
Runespan Essence creatures The Runespan is an area of small floating islands connected to each other by magic. In the middle is a huge tower, the runecrafting guild. Pocket-dimension
The Shadow Realm Shadow cacklers, Shadow leviathan Shadow Realm is an expanding layer of the universe, filled with shadow. Layer of existence
The Spider Realm Spiders Realm is a dark, empty place divided in levels. Each of the levels are made up of gigantic spun webs which must be navigated across in order to reach the top. Unknown
The Spirit Plane Gorajos, Sinkholes, Gulega, Honovi The spirit plane appears to be a lush, wooded plane in which spirit shards are abundant. Unknown
Tarddiad Elves Tarddiad is a world covered entirely by trees. It also includes various crystalline features. World
Teragard Humans Teragard is a cold world covered in ice. At the centre of the world, is a rift to the Abyss known as the Schism. World
Vampyrium Vampyres Vampyrium is a world with a blood-red sky and many castles and fortresses. World
The Void None All of existence outside of the Abyss, void of anything. None
Yu'biusk Goblins, Orks, Ogres, Cyclopes, Ourg, Hobgoblins, Trolls, Fayrg, Raurg. It was originally a cool and wet place, covered in marshes, swamps, and other wetlands. Now it is a wasteland ravaged by war. World
Zanaris Fairies, Gatekeepers, Orks Zanaris is the moon of Gielinor. It is mostly covered in fungi, plants and forests. The normal laws of physics and logic do not apply on Zanaris; for instance, animals can talk and plants require no nutrients or sunlight to grow, and emit a faint glow. Moon

There are several worlds that have been described but not named, and there are also tomb worlds, which are worlds which have died.

Afterlives and Underworlds[edit | edit source]

Afterlives and Underworlds are regions in the cosmos occupied by the souls of the departed. However, the two terms are not synonymous.

Underworlds are unique to a specific world and each world has only one.[7][8] When someone dies, they are usually drawn to the Underworld of the world they consider to be their home.[7]

Afterlives are the nigh-infinite demesnes of the deceased accessible from within an Underworld. They are places of pure spirit shaped by the beliefs and expectations of the souls that inhabit them. By and large, a soul goes to the afterlife they believe they should go to, regardless of how their moral character may be perceived by others.[8]

Known Underworlds and Afterlives[edit | edit source]

Alternate realities[edit | edit source]

Besides the main worlds, RuneScape has alternate realities. There are worlds that are not just parallel to Gielinor but to multiple planes and planets. The currently known alternate realities are as follows:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The structure of the multiverse shares commonalities with the Nine Realms of Norse mythology. This includes the idea of homeworlds for different magical creatures as well as primordial, elementally themed worlds.
  • Since the release of RuneScape 3, the use of the term "planet" has become significantly more common indicating that one or more galaxies exist in the multiverse. Though the term "galaxy" has yet to be used in-game, the term has been used in the news updates surrounding the Tuska World Event.[9]Furthermore, in the motion comic video The Origins of Gielinor, the Elder Gods are shown creating a galaxy.
  • Freneskae is described as being on the opposite end of the universe as Gielinor. This may indicate that the universe may have a finite boundary. In the real world, there is also a boundary on what is observable in the universe though this is mainly due to limitations of the speed of light.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Submerged Statue, "One of a Kind", RuneScape. "It is the power of the Dragonkin to fly between the worlds. Beware the Dragonkin! Beware! The Stone of Jas calls them, and they can pass the planar barriers to seek each False User. No other mortal beings should have this power to fly between planes. And yet... there is one other creature with the power you describe. It flew high above me and then vanished through a hole in the sky."
  2. ^ Mod Rowley. "Lore Corner-Answers!." 17-Jan-2017 19:30:20. (Archived from the original on 23 November 2017.) Lore Discussion Forums.
  3. ^ Jagex. Mod Stu's Twitter account. December 12, 2017. (Archived from the original on 30 October 2019.) Mod Stu: "Bear in mind that there's also coterminous planes, incorporeal planes, multi-dimensional planes like the shadow realm. Infernus consists of multiple planes stacked on top of each other, for example. Also, there can be and usually are multiple worlds on the same plane."
  4. ^ Armadyl, "The Bird and the Beast", RuneScape. "Abbinah is a world of floating islands. Like any race, we need water, and the only source is at the core of our world."
  5. ^ Mod Raven. 'Runescape Multiverse' by 'gamez-x'. 1 June 2016. (Archived from the original on 1 June 2021.)
  6. ^ Grondaban's stalker notes, RuneScape. "Ocularis was once a rock hurtling through the cosmos at incredible speeds, the sheer size of the rock warped the gravity of the surrounding worlds as it orbited the universe. The moon for a millennium was dormant, a sphere of rock, littered with chasms and craters; it was there in the depths the first seeker became to be. Out of sheer luck or some divine power the 'father', as they call him, was born. N.B.: I say 'father' loosely, the Stalkers seem lack[sic] any form of gender. Like a cancer he spread, clinging to walls and gripping to the rocks. Multiplying in a way that I can only explain as metastasis, as if the moon was birthing a growth itself, within minutes it was consumed. Through power and chaos what was once a world of stone was now a world of living flesh. With a silent shriek, the stone shattered within him, churning molten rock the being reformed the stone with it's flesh into a living working brain, but the brain could not see, or hear, or think... the neoplasm was not living. A battle of static energy fought for dominance in the stone brain, with each spark signalling a sense. The brain could not decide which was the important - which one was the correct sense that a living organism needed, if it could only choose one; by the power and glory of Zamorak, it was chaos and survival of the fittest that decided the outcome. The winner was clear, just looking at the Soulgazer in the front of me, it is staring right at me! The brain needed to see, to observe so the flesh tore away from itself, twisting and ripping into a ball of living flesh; an eye: all seeing, all watching... learning? With the father's new-found ability to see, the husk did as it did before. It lay dormant, waiting in a quiescent state for the moment to cultivate, continuing to travel across the universe but observing and learning with each passing moment."
  7. ^ a b Book of the Underworld, written by Thaerisk Cemphier, "Missing Presumed Death", RuneScape. "It has also come to my attention that this is only the Underworld for Gielinor; there are separate ones for each world. Most people considering Gielinor as their home will pass on to this Underworld, but some with different home worlds may go to their own." Reward
  8. ^ a b Death, "Nomad's Elegy", RuneScape. "there is one Underworld per world. Gielinor's Underworld is separate from say Tarddiad or Freneskae. But whilst there is but one Underworld, there are many afterlives. Perhaps as many as there are people, or at least as many as there are beliefs. The afterlives are places of pure spirit, or will, and they are shaped by their inhabitants and their unconscious expectations. An evil man, believing himself good, might end up in a paradise whereas a good woman wracked with terrible guilt over a harmless crime." Post-Quest Dialogue
  9. ^ Jagex. "Tuska Falls: Quick Lodestone Teleports." 6 July 2015. RuneScape News. "After a month-long battle, Tuska's reign of galactic terror has been brought to an end by Gielinor's Godless."