Lands of Alba: The Other Place
Tir na nÓg. Annwn. The Western Lands. Avalon. Emain Ablach. Tech Duinn. Faerie. Lavondyss. The Lands of Autumn. Our myths and legends have as many names for the Otherworld as there are tribes to tell tales.
The Other Place draws from all of them, but is a thing of itself.
Leave your preconceptions behind, walk into the darkness, and return profoundly changed…
Every Albanni knows there is another world which lies just one step to the side from our own.
This is the world the Old Ones knew; the world they built their stones and straight tracks and dolmens to communicate with and influence somehow, a skill lost to the Albanni.
Those great stones mark islands, rising out of The Other Place, hills of normality around which the Albanni build their villages and communities. To stray too far from a stone marker, or from the paths between them known to the Keepers, is to risk becoming lost in The Other Place – you may emerge hundreds of miles from your home, or hundreds of years after your familiy and friends withered and died. And that’s assuming you survive what lives within The Other Place, and the places that can be accessed from it.
It is to the Other Place that the spirits of the dead go, on their journey onwards when they leave this world behind. Sometimes if you are quick, you can catch them in the borderlands before they go for good and have a chance to say goodbye – but there are creatures that dwell in the Other Place that know the value of life and death to the Albanni, and that they can oftentimes gain advantage by seeking out the newly dead…
It is the Other Place that lurks in the heart of the deepest woods, in the caverns unlit, in the barrows and dolmens, and in the dark night beyond the light of the campfire.
It is The Other Place where the monsters dwell, and where the Old Ones call their allies from.
The Other Place is like a vast sea, or a great moor covered in mist; within it there are a myriad of strange and alien kingdoms and lands rising like islands out of the Other Place, each with their own rules, their own laws, and their own peoples. A thousand worlds of legend, all true at once. Each community will have it’s own tales and stories of the things that can be found in The Other Place, and the people who have ventured in and returned – or not.
The Other Place is part of daily life for Albanni – in their communities and villages, to stray too far from the village stone is to risk falling into The Other Place, especially after dark. In The Northlands, every farmstead has a sacred stone for a hearth, and in the Fens Fenlanders have a village totem that serves the same purpose. No matter where in Alba you are, The Other Place presses close.
The walls between Alba and The Other Place are at their weakest at times of change; when the sun sets and rises, or at the turning of the seasons. Look to your charms and keep your animals and kin close when a full moon rises over the setting sun on an equinox…