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The Kurago

Put simply, the Kurago is the spirit world. Unlike many other planes commonly known to the Cefa'zisto such as the Celestial Realms and the Beneath, the Kurago exists irrespective of mortal thought and belief. It has existed before mortalkind, and will continue to exist after it, reflecting all that exists in the material world. A world of mystery, the Kurago is as diverse as the spirits that inhabit it. It is possible to travel through the Kurago and pass by locales as varied as miles upon miles of thick mist, to fields where lost spirits amble about aimlessly, to great cities of debauchery and affluence ruled by ghost-kings. The plane is lacking in color, everything is in shades of grey.

The parts of the Kurago that reflect the world of Jaern are the homes of the Jaernian nomad spirits: ancient beings who perished in the destruction of Torandor. While there is no substance to the Kurago it resembles the worlds it is parallel to. Reality has a reflection within the Kurago. The longer a building is in use the more it will appear in the Kurago. If a building is abandoned in the actual world its reflection will fade with time. Time after time, they reincarnate to guide Jaernian nomads, with the nomad's life and experiences eventually joining with the spirit as it returns to the Kurago upon the nomad's death.

Any living being who remains in the Kurago too long runs the risk of losing themselves, becoming lost without help and unable to find their way back to the material world… until their body fades away and they become a spirit themselves. Souls cannot survive withing the Kurago for more than 24 hours. After this time the soul will die leaving behind the spirit of the individual. This loss often time causes the mind of the being to lose some of its sanity.

The Outskirts

Someone who first enters the Kurago from the Cefa'zisto will find themselves in the Outskirts. This travel can be accomplished by falling off the islands of Itlan-Youali, using a particular portal, or other magical means. The Outskirts are mostly empty. While there is solid ground, there are few to no objects found here, with everything cloaked in a fog that reduces visibility to a mere 10-30 feet in front of you. The most that exists are crumbling stone ruins in an architectural style that doesn't resemble anything known on Jaern or Cahyali, past or present.

Here and there, “holes” in the Outskirts can be found that lead to the Kurago proper, but these are difficult to find and are often guarded by spirits known as Gate Guardians. Uncountable numbers of these spirits exist, and it is not known if they take the post up temporarily or are bound to wander and guard the Outskirts forever. Getting on the good side of a Gate Guardian and convincing them to help is often the only reliable way for a living person to access the Kurago proper.


A forested place within the Mists. By Andreas Rocha; used with permission.

The Mists

This term is somewhat of a misnomer from early days of exploration and inquiry into this mystical realm, as the Kurago Mists may or may not be actually cloaked in mist. Some places are, and some are clear as day. The Mists are believed to make up most of the Kurago, and the majority of spirits spend most of their time in this area. A living person can persist in the Mists almost indefinitely, provided they don't become hopeless or lost - there is no negative effect one experiences by spending time here.

Much of the Mists, especially its more “natural” locales, are in cool, desaturated shades, most commonly blue and purple. What mystical flora exists is often bioluminescent; adventurers have reported sights of flowers with glowing petals, or grasses with odd luminous bulbs on their tallest stalks. The fauna here resembles earthly wildlife, but can't really be compared directly.

The Delves

Even the spirits of the Kurago may not know much about the Kurago Delves. They are deep, dark places, reflecting what is most wild and unknown about the material realm - and, at the same time, holding perhaps the most valuable treasures and secrets the Kurago has to offer. The spirits that inhabit Delves are thought to be overall more hostile than those who live in the Mists, and rarely interact with the Cefa'zisto in a guardian-spirit capacity. When they do, it is not uncommon for these Delve spirits to force their minds over top of the mortal's, and become second lifers.

The Delves are detrimental to the living: without protection of another spirit or their magic, a mortal's body and soul will dissolve away into the fabric of the Kurago after about 24 hours spent continuously within a Delve, leaving only the spirit behind. These places are dark, but often don't have obvious delineations with the Mists. It is possible for a patch of safe ground to exist within an expansive Delve, or a small Delve to crop up within what is otherwise a bustling city in the Mists. Many spirits can sense the boundary somewhat intuitively, but the living cannot.

Kurago Locales

There are a few locations within the Kurago that are stable, well known, and can be navigated to with enough care and effort.

Udath, City of Souls

Udath is one of the great gathering spots of the Kurago for souls, spirits, and nomads. Udath is a city of souls and spirits filled with towers. Four giant pyramid-like structures named the Pyramids of El help to stabilize the city in the Kurago, preventing it from disappearing and being forgotten in the mist of time and memory. Udath is the memory of the original city of Udath, a place on Torandor before the planet was destroyed. The spirits would not let the city die a second time, and thus the city's ruler, the Spirit King, built the Pyramids of El to preserve the city in the Kurago. The city is divided into three districts, and welcomes mortal visitors.

  • Grand Plaza: By far the largest district, and is residential for the most part. Spiraling towers dot the area and serve as homes. Music suffuses this district, and the place is often filled with spirits going about daily business like living folk. The Grand Plaza is also home to the Spirit King's Palace and the Pyramids of El.
    • Spirit King’s Palace: An immaculate domed palace, carved from spiritual energy to resemble marble and ivory. The palace has three floors and a multitude of rooms, and the Spirit King can always be found within the throne room surrounded by treasures. It is customary to come to the Spirit King bearing gifts.
    • Pyramids of El: These four pyramids surround the palace, firing off beams of pure spiritual energy that surround the city and prevent it from fading away, as well as preventing any dangerous Delves from forming within city limits. Inside are the Beating Hearts of El, powerful spirits that work to keep the Pyramids functioning. Only the pyramids' keepers, the King, and those invited are allowed inside the pyramids.
  • Market District: A fairly normal market district. Spirits and visiting nomads come here to trade their wares, and nomadic incants are plentiful and cheap here. Food and drink can be bought here - although the food is not quite as flavorful or nutritious as it is in the living world. Rumors abound that some spirits frequenting the Market District know ancient arts and incants that are hidden from mortal nomads…
  • The Binding Grounds: A place where Udathian spirits go to meet potential nomads. This place is a large ziggurat where the two enter and converse; the ziggurat was not always a binding ground, but was present when Udath was built. Its original purpose is lost to time. Those seeking to become nomads here may be subject to visions designed to test them and their bond with the spiritual world.

Udath was created by Noah Kauffman (Discord, bluekid). Find a more in-depth document on the location here.

The Scattered Mists

These areas of the Mists tend to reflect parts of Cahyali, particularly places which lie closer to it such as Itlan-Youali.

The Plains of Niya

A generally temperate environment, these plains rest not far from Izthecayan and the Nav. The plains themselves are flat, covered in strange weeds and small streams. It is said that the area is warm due to being the source of the river Smorodina before it dips underground and reappears in The Nav. The plains themselves are simple lands with a very low concentration of spirits wandering the area, though it is a pretty place to visit.

Minami Reflections

Hidden in the Mists, this area is a group of towns and villages which reflect and resemble various places in Cahyali's Abundant Expanse. The spirits of whole family lines will congregate in a single village within the Reflections, following the Abundance's traditions of ancestor worship. It is almost impossible to navigate the Reflections without the help of a Gate Guardian, or without the help of a spirit that has been in the Reflections for a long time. Each village in the Reflections tends to have a singular Gate Guardian, often a significant member of the constituent family.

The landscape of the Minami Reflections is a calm forest in a perpetual state of spring or fall, with trees that can range from normal sizes to giant trees the size of buildings. Strange spiritual fauna can be found, many of which are mythological beings from Abundance myth such as Raikougan yokai, Ruefang illuminated beasts, or Ulosian kupua. The woods are surrounded by fog, and strange rocky outcroppings. The villages here follow the traditional architectural style of the Abundant Expanse.

Families whose spirits are known to reside within the Minami Reflections include:

  • Kentarō family of Ryushu, Raikougan
  • Raiden family of Ryushu, Raikougan
  • Zuanshi family of Chongbai, Ruefang

The Skylands

A very open space, the Skylands seem constantly at twilight. The area is a vast sea of open orange and pink skyline. Not many things reside in the Skylands on account of its emptiness. Much of the life there consists of large bugs and electric axolotls. The void in the Skylands has no visible end. Few attempt the expedition, none ever return. The Skylands serve as the border between the Plains of Niya and the Minami Reflections.

The Nav

The Nav is a simultaneously chilly place but not too cold. It seems divided in half, one part bound by Izthecayan while the other bound by the Mirkwood Forest. The Nav itself seems to be a mixture of the two. Strange spirits reside there, many appearing as small dragons, deer with great antlers, or all manner of birds.

Mirkwood Forest

The Mirkwood Forest is a mysterious place. While it is not a delve, it is fairly dangerous. Some who enter never leave, becoming lost for eternity. In a place like the Kurago, where one cannot die, eternity is eternity. There is one somewhat known resident of the forest, though she has no known name, only responding to “The Witch.” She claims to have been in the Kurago for many thousands of years.

Asphodel Plains

Not much grows here except miles upon miles of asphodel varieties, including onionweed. The river Phlegethon runs through these plains, creating a dangerous crossing in an otherwise peaceful and somewhat dull place.

The Great Delve Expanse

The Great Delve Expanse is a large stretch of delves connected across the Kurago that go on infinitely. They are some of the harshest environments in the Kurago, with many spirits viewing taking a journey through such places as enlightening experiences that further connect them to their spiritualistic past.

The Obsidian Canyon

The Obsidian Canyon is truly massive. No location on any of the material planes matches its size and scale. Nearly a mile and a half deep, and forty miles wide, none have ever found where it begins, nor where it ends. Also none know how it came to be, as the area is made of brittle obsidian shards rather than any sort of dirt or stone. Being near the canyon is said to slowly drain oneself. Spirits who enter the canyon sometimes are never seen again as they are slowly eaten away by the delve. The only saviors in this waste are the xoloitzcuintli, dogs made from fire, that traverse the delve as guides for the lost.

Izthecayan, The Eternal Blizzard

On one side of the canyon, a massive snowstorm rages eternally. Due to its proximity to the canyon, massive shards and miniature mountains of obsidian cover the land. The winds are sometimes so strong, it’s known to lift people into the air before dropping them onto sharp obsidian shards. The combination of these shards and the deep snow make walking through the area treacherous. In some cases the wind itself seems to almost have a consciousness, pushing back specifically on those trying to walk through. No one knows if it is the effect of a delve, or a potential curse on the area.

The Desert of Set

This harsh land surrounds the city of Duat, isolating it from the rest of the Kurago. The long desert contains many lost spirits, broken down outside the safety of the city, lacking all willpower to continue. The desert itself is one of the few natural ways to tell time in the Kurago, if one could exist. At different intervals of time, the desert shifts between four styles of disasters. First is an extreme drought, followed by a raging sandstorm, followed by a great flood of rains, finally met with an earthquake that cracks the ground and drains the flood. The cycle then begins again at drought.

  • Duat: A small city sitting within the Desert of Set. It is a safe haven within the Delve, though not without its secrets. Given its closeness in appearance to Dahabu, much of Dahabu’s history is literally buried beneath the city. The gate guardian of the city is a hyper-intelligent baboon named Thom. He is attempting to find a way to remove the Delve that covers the Desert of Set, but has had no success so far. The city itself is most similar in appearance to the many small towns that make up the Kharshi Collective. Or rather, it is the Kharshi Collective if it was landlocked.

The Flaming Rivers


Phlegethon runs on the other side of the Skylands, somewhat near the Desert of Duat. It covers the area in between, known only as the Asphodel Plains. The river is not a river of water, but of very runny lava. The source is unknown. Spirits have tracked it for miles, but never find its origin point.


Unlike Phlegethon, Smorodina is a river of water. The river is simply constantly on fire due to the source of the river having an almost infinite supply of strange oils that burn eternally. Running underneath Izthecayan, some believe it to be the reason the chilly place suffers many cracks and shards. The heat transferring between the two extremes would break glass easily, so obsidian also could break easily. Smorodina only becomes aboveground in The Nav. It is best to avoid the flaming river, as it smells of rotten egg shells due to the burning.

Writer's Note: More to be added! If you run in the Kurago and develop any new major locations, please let the Story Board know.

settings/planes/kurago.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/02 00:58 by quiddlesticks