The Rational World (Earth) – A constellation of countries similar to the modern world we all know
Hazen – A constellation of semi-magical and magical realms
Some ignore everything about one another, whereas others are more knowledgeable about the realms that surrounds theirs
There is little contact between the Rational World and Hazen
There are some known bridges that lead from one world to another, such as the one in Eincyg on the isle of Modry. These bridges are rarely used because of all the people who have dared to cross the limit between worlds, most have never returned, and the ones who had made it back had lost all their memories since the time they had left the Rational World, and they could not recall anything at all about Hazen. In the past, armies had been sent. Curious journalists and photographers had willingly undertaken the adventure, but from the moment they stepped over the bridge a thick mist surrounded them, until all traces were gone, even on the gps they carried. One of the photographer had come back, but all the pictures he had taken were grey. It is commonly believed that the rules of physics that govern Hazen are different from those which are known in our world and that modern technology do not work there, as if all this mist that surrounds Hazen had suddenly transmuted into sand capable of blocking any mechanism. It is also believed that the notion of time and space may be different in Hazen. However all those are only conjectures, and conjectures and theories are something that do not lack even among scientists. Hazeness is considered as one of the big mysteries of the universe, at the same title as the Big Bang or the Black Holes. Something to do with quantum physics, some speculate, as well as Black Holes. But the thread has not been found yet, and may not be discovered anytime soon. And well, the world is quite okay with that. It has always been this way, and Hazen has never been a nuisance too big to bother. It only keeps a little part of mystery unsolved, but a layer of mystery is not a bad thing to make life more interesting and Hazen has been represented and imagined in many books and movies and songs. Some believe or wish it is the land of the dead…
That is not all though.
There actually are some interactions between the Rational World and Hazen.
It occurs mainly through a phenomenon called UnHazening.
Every once in awhile (it happens as irregularly as earthquakes) but not frequently a new land belonging to the realm of Hazen falls under the rule of the Rational World.
This is how it looks like for the inhabitants of Hazen. Months or years prior to the event, the haze that always surrounded their lands starts lifting. At first it is a slow process. People start wondering what is happening – especially in the realms of Hazen that have little contact or knowledge of the rest of their world. They have never seen the haze lifting, and it is quite a worry and a wonder. Some say the end of times is coming. Others that a prophet is announced. It is a great upheaval in their society. They start to see the ocean or a mountain where the landscape used to stop before. They observe it in wonder. And the haze continues to thin, further and further. Until one day they become entirely visible to the rational world, and they are literally swallowed by it. It usually happens to the places in Hazen where the magic has grown weak, the heart shallow and habits and traditions and dynasties stronger. The belief of people is not anymore strong enough to hold the mists. And when unHazening happens, people start to wither away. The strongest flee. Others die in place. Others forget most of their memories, and what remains in their mind is a muddle of ideas, becoming incapable of well-recalling or describing their world prior to unHazening. UnHazening does not only have dramatic consequences on people. It also affects the climate, the vegetation. Indeed landscapes of Hazen are quite creative and quite different to what we are used to see in the Rational World. Trees can be blue and yellow and violet and grey and golden, the grass orange and yellow and blue and silver. All this creativity withers, leaving in place only the trees that resemble those in the Rational World. The climate is usually fresh or mild, and it becomes warmer as the protective haze lifts.
When a realm falls to unHazening, it becomes a new virgin land to conquer for the Rational World. Most often it happens in the midst of the ocean, and the most powerful countries put their claim on the newly appeared island. Sometimes they manage to compromise among themselves to exploit the resources in cooperative togetherness and share the benefits, but other times the unHazened lands lead to war. Often these lands are gorged with various types of ores or fossil fuels or both. Sometimes they have an agricultural or fishing value as well. More rarely, the unHazening happens on lands contingent to Rational continents.
There are places in Hazen protected by the strong belief and mighty heart of its people, others protected by sacred buildings that were erected, others by natural powers in the stones, in the trees. It is not easy to interact between different parts of Hazen, because what is known as Shallow Hazen denies or rather ignores the existence of Deep Hazen. It is Shallow Hazen that usually falls victim of unHazening, and despite its broader and more extensive knowledge about unHazening and Hazening, Deep Hazen cannot properly warn them. If they did, they would be ignored, and anyway it wouldn’t be the right thing to warn them, because each man whether in the Rational World or in Hazen must follow his own journey through life and it is believed that each thing happens for a reason.
Only the most strongly skilled folk of Deep Hazen may travel through worlds without their memory being impacted a wiped away.
There are various speculations as why unHazening happens, and why the frequency of these events has increased in the latter years. The first reason is the weakening of the mind of folk living a too comfortable life in Shallow Hazen. Another one is the greed and expansionism of the Rational World that contrasts too strongly against the passivity and fatalism of Shallow Hazeners. A third one may be global phenomena induced by man such as global warming which thins and dries up the mists.
Usually, Shallow Hazen occupies the lands closer to the Rational World, and Deep Hazen is farther. However it is not always the case. For instance, the island of Cyg in the middle of the homonymous lake is a stronghold of Deep Hazen as well as one of the gates between worlds.
Another process known as Hazening can also happen, but it is not at all documented in the Rational World, because it has seldom been used throughout History. Hazening is the reverse of unHazening, it consists in drowning in Haze a region of the Rational World. When it occurs, all the machines and technology developed since the industrial revolution stop working. It is as if this region went three or four century back in time, without the basic knowledge that folk used to have at this time of how to survive in nature with limited resources. They become at a loss of how to survive. The survivors who learn to open their heart and their intuition slowly discover that even though they now must live in quite a primeval way, there are new things that they can learn to do, such as various kinds of magic. Instead of taking the car or the airplane for instance, they can learn to travel through the trees. But only a tiny portion of rational folk will reveal able to become knowledgeable in the lores of magic.
Magic grows stronger and stronger through the Hazen realms, and weaker on the border between Hazen and the Rational World, and still weaker in the Rational World. It needs much more energy and skill and strength of mind to perform the most basic act. However, even in the Rational World, the intensity of magic potential varies from place to place, and there are places mainly in wild nature or in the underground of old cities where this magic potential grows a bit stronger, allowing for naturally-skilled individual who are born on the “wrong” side of the border to explore their skills and maybe decide to undergo a journey to the land of magic.
There are countless numbers of magic systems, of which some rely on the heart only, some on intuitions only, and some are a mixture of both. The people who perform some kind of magic of the heart must have a cleared emotional baggage, they must be in touch with themselves, in touch with their deepest feelings (the more powerful the magic they want to perform, the deepest must be their self-knowledge and acceptance). Therefore, the most powerful magicians of the heart are usually kind and wise people. But they are also quite fatalistic : they accept the decrees of fates without intervening in the least bit, for they have developed a compassion so deep and so great that they can empathize will all human beings, even with the worst dictators. They fully understood that the aim of life is not to be comfortable, but to journey toward one’s true self, even if this path involves wars, betrayals and deaths.Therefore, many of them have little impact on the world, except in the place where they live. They can have an impact on the heart of other people, but only people open enough to let them in and watch and cherish their deep wisdom.
The way of acting of magicians relying mainly on intuitions are more contrasted. They cannot be truly evil in the human definition of this term, for they must be open-hearted to some degree at least, but they are more prone to bouts of anger and even ambition if they perceive their ruledom to be for the good of others. These magicians may use their knowledge to solve conflicts among themselves, to punish or even to intervene in the affairs of the Rational World. The few episodes of Hazening have been brought about by Intuit Magicians, as a punishment to the futility and cruelty of human beings in the rational world.
These Intuit Magicians sometimes behave as Gods since thanks to their strong power they can watch the happenings of the world and under the right circonstances they can act to reward or punish. They are the ones who can bring change about the realms of Hazen and can bridge the distance between Shallow and Deep Hazen.
In Shallow Hazen magic is much more elementary, more of a prayer to the Gods or a superstition, and the way of life resembles to that of the aborigines or the amerindians. There is quite a lot of simple wisdom, in the tilling of the earth, in the relationship between people. But there may also be conflicts, wars, jealousy and vindictiveness.
The magic systems are countless and not all of them are documented. Each can be used in many different ways :
Telepathy through the intuition – knowing the thoughts of others. It can be used to communicate through a distance, or to listen to or influence the thoughts of someone else who is less skilled or unskilled in telepathy
Telepathy through the heart – knowing the feelings of others. It can also be used to bond with animals and to a lesser extent tree
Tree-traveling through the intuition – guessing about the life and thoughts of the tree, and traveling from an old tree to another old tree which are related in a way or another
Tree-traveling through the heart – feeling with the tree, feeling for a short instant a oneness with nature and the old wisdom of the tree allowing one to use the channel between two kind-hearted trees
Material shaping through the intuition – metals and stones and woods can be forged in magical ways (moonstone, lacestone, etc.) and buildings can be erected from these materials or from living trees by using the force of hands and the power of thoughts
Weather controlling through the intuition
Stealth through the intuition – making your body silent and almost invisible by shaping your thoughts and those of the ones you encounter
… to be developed
A magician can be skilled in some forms of magic and quite unskilled in others…
Even in Deep Hazen, not all people are skilled in magic, and those who are skilled have skills of various degrees.
The World is on the verge of collapsing.
The people in the Rational World behave as if they were the last generation to live on Earth as we know it. They exploit people and resources and nature shamelessly, wage wars among themselves, manipulate their citizens as much as they dare, open the way to technological improvement which will allow to dominate and control and manipulate even more in the future.
More and more realms of Shallow Hazen are falling to the rational world, as well as ice melting over the banquise, which constantly opens the way to new possibilities, new resources and prevent people from questioning their way of life. There is too much going on for them to follow thoroughly the biased news they watch on tv or read on the newspaper. Most are enclosed in their prejudices, in their background that taught them to seek control over themselves and over their surroundings, to seek their own comfort and happiness without caring about the broader world. The people who are unlike them, more intuitive, more heart-guided, suffer for being called naive or idealistic. It is hard for them to have confidence in themselves. There is little hope for them in this world governed by the cold iron of logic and profitability. Most resign to their fate. Some try to do some activism, to give a small meaning to their life through art for instance. And a tiny portion are actually inspired enough and manage to pull further their inner boundaries and they start to discover more to the world than what they were taught.
Meanwhile, Deep Hazen is divided. Or at least a part of Deep Hazen curses the passivity and the lack of courage of the other part of Deep Hazen. Under the leadership of a charismatic magician, they claim that it is their responsibility to act to protect Shallow Hazen which is entirely falling out of the protective mist, that it is their responsibility as well to protect Earth from destruction.
And so a scission occurs, and the Intuit Deep Hazen start to act on their own. They intervene to educate the weakest parts of Shallow Hazen in the ways of magic. They intervene in the rational world and they start a campaign of Hazening. One after another, peripheral regions of the Rational World collapse to the haze (a slow process though).
Once the Rational World will understand this new threat of Hazen, they will surely not stand cross-armed, even though there is little they can directly do against Hazen and Hazeners. The interest on Hazen science and knowledge peaks up.
This novel follows the stories of people in Deep and Shallow Hazen, in unHazened Shallow Hazen, in Hazened Rational World, and mostly in the Rational World (which looks like our world with some real and some invented places). It tells stories of self-discovery, of journeying toward one’s true self, of the power of love, of intuition.