Postulate of the Holosphere
The Postulate of the Holosphere is this crazy idea Archmage Zephyrus Raptorr had one day a few decades ago while kicking back in his solid platinum bathtub kept warm by his attendant steel golems. He wrote a book-length essay about it, whose introduction goes like this.
“It comes as no news to those who study the arcane arts that we live, not only in a universe, but in a multiverse. The multiverse comprises numerous planes of material – such as Toril, Krynn, and Oerth – and beyond these lie the planes of the elementals, and the planes of the gods beyond these, and so on, all bound together by Sigil and linked by the superplanes of the astral and ethereal. All this has been recognized on the civilized worlds since time immemorial. Scholars have even gone so far as to model the multiverse after a massive wheel (fig. 1) – a clumsy metaphor, but a useful one. This wheel, according to the academic orthodoxy, is all of existence; it contains all that ever was and ever shall be.
“In this necessarily slim volume I propose, tentatively, that the multiverse – immense though it be – though it contain the entire ambit of even the most well traveled magician – may not be all that exists. Indeed, it may be hardly a fraction. While scant evidence exists presently to support this assertion, I wonder if our entire multiverse might be only one of numerous “parallel multiverses” that exist without intersection, side by side yet unconscious of each other. There could be one multiverse, two, thousands, or even perhaps an infinite number. The multiverses are rocks in a rapidly flowing stream, and there is no known way to travel from one multiverse to another (or even to confirm another multiverse’s existence). This stream I call the Holosphere.
“The sage’s mind will immediately conceive of the objection that if there is no way to confirm the existence of other multiverses, then the existence of the Holosphere (as a union of more than one multiverse) is an article of faith, a chimera of an overactive imagination. Yet where in the worlds does Nature not work in multiples? There are many races, who live upon many continents on many planes. Why, then, might great Creation not have many multiverses? Why do we suspect that there is only one Abyss or Elysium, or for that matter only one Toril? There could just as easily be more – just downstream of us – invisible, inaccessible, but as real as we are.
“If such foreign multiverses do exist, it is difficult to speculate on what conditions might prevail therein. Must all the multiverses be identical? Could some be missing planes, or subsume extra planes? Perhaps some multiverses comprise only a single plane. Perhaps in some a great empire controls all the planes, while in others life never arose at all. It is a tantalizing vision. No less tantalizing is the question of how to conduct research into what has so far proven so resistant to all inquiry that the very notion of parallel multiverses has to my knowledge remained unbroached until now. Can we in fact swim the stream of the Holosphere, or rather hop from rock to rock, from multiverse to multiverse?
“This tome contains my speculations on the questions of the Holosphere. I begin by recounting what little evidence exists that our multiverse is not unique. I proceed to consider what arcano-empirical methods might succeed in detecting other multiverses, presuming that the astral superplane is most directly exposed to the stream – the rock’s granite coat, as it were. Finally, I consider what alternatives there are to the planar structure of our multiverse, what consequences the alternatives would have for the inhabitants of other multiverses, and whether some of the multiverses thus constituted would be easier to detect than others.
“The postulate of the Holosphere, sadly, does not admit of disproof. Though all avenues of inquiry fail, it will never be possible to disconfirm the existence of other multiverses. But it may be possible to confirm it. It is my hope that this treatise inspires mages from across our multiverse to attempt just that.”
Seth Mase ran across this essay by accident while going through the stolen equipment of a de facto adventuring party that formed after a Tournament of Skill went horribly wrong. It was in the possession of Maryam Fulani.
The Puncture appears to confirm the Postulate of the Holosphere.