The Mandala of Petals

In Omphalos, they speak of the ‘flower of creation’ or the ‘mandala of petals’. Omphalos is the core, the center, the most real place in all of creation. Beyond that are thousands of tiers of ‘petals’. Worlds or universes, each with their own physical laws, histories, kingdoms, etc. As one travels outwards from Omphalos, things become progressively less real.

In general, those zones are referred to as ‘that which is’ (the most ‘real’ layers), ‘that which may be’ (places like the elemental realms and worlds of symbolic creation where humans would fear to tread) and ‘that which may not be’, the petal-worlds at the very edge of the mandala, full of horrors and terrors and things heavily influenced by the great (but not empty) void surrounding the flower of creation. That is ‘what is not’ and all the awful things that could not exist in any reality with physical laws and sanity dwell there.

Omphalos, the city, is also tied to each of the petals or worlds in a way that even the gods don’t truly understand. It is entirely possible for someone with the right knowledge and a certain amount of bravery to travel to any of the petal-worlds by simply finding the right door in the city, opening it at just the right time of day, while speaking just the right words or wearing a particular color, etc.

These passages to the outer worlds are called ‘Ways’ and those who ramble them called ‘Wayfarers’. They have a guild of sorts providing passage to and from various worlds and realities for those with the resources to hire them. They are also always looking for new Ways, though doing so can be fatal. But their guild offers a huge bounty for finding a useful new Way.

Dark rumors in the city also suggest that the Wayfarer Brotherhood knows of certain places of power and darkness out in the far edges of creation that give them power. Or that they are in league with the shadowy collection of thieves and burglars in the city who call themselves the the Dancers, for reasons of their own.

The Mandala of Petals

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