Survival and Travel in the Abyss


So what needs to be in your ‘Princess Tarassin Guaranteed Guide to Abyss Survival’? Lets deal with the physical first.

In an actual Abyss Realm, almost everybody who could survive living in Chaos can survive living there for a while at least. There is ground, there is air, there is gravity, there is warmth-ish. There is also food, if you have something to trade for it. But all that is only true in a Realm, ruled by a Queen.

Outside the Realms, there are small pockets of personal Realities, that can have some of the above, in varying degrees dependant on who’s personal Reality it is. They can be more difficult to survive in, due to the impermanent nature of them, and the fact that you are dependent on the will of the owner of the Reality to maintain it.

And outside that, there is nothing. There is no light, so you can’t see. Anything. You could be a hands breadth away from the border of a Realm and you could not see it. You would have no clue it was there. There is no gravity. No up, No down. There is no warmth. Literally none, Absolute zero. No natural molecular movement.

So at an absolute minimum, you need Shape Shift to survive in the open Abyss. Your body needs to be able to keep you alive when it is in the ultimate hostile environment. Think surviving in the vaccuum of outer space, and then make it a hundred times worse. Also consider how much energy your shapeshift capable body is going to have to use to keep you alive in that environment, and consider how hungry you will get. It takes a lot of energy to survive in the Abyss.

There is magic that can do the same job that Shape Shift does, requiring less food than Shape Shift, but requiring being able to actually do the magic. There’s a Sorcery form of this magic, and a Leyline based form of this magic, and I believe there is a Fae form oif it. What I am pretty sure is that there is no ritual version of it that doesn’t involve blood. There are ritual versions of it, but they all involve blood sacrifice.

So that lot will keep your body alive. But the Abyss is a hostile place for the mind too.

Loneliness drives you mad. Fact. Once you realise you are alone, that nothing else exists anywhere, that you are the last conscious entity in all existence, you go mad. It is basically inevitable. That is the Abyss. Whereever you are, you are alone. Whoever you are with, once you stop touching them, you are alone. Really stong minded people can suvive that as long as they stay awake, for a day or two. But the moment you go to sleep you are fucked. You go mad. It’s not quite as bad in a Realm, and its just about bearable in a personal Reality, but its not great.

There is a way to avoid this insanity. You need shapesift to do it. And the answer that has worked most often for the most people, and here I’m telling you that practically everybody does it this way, is that you have to accept a partial insanity that is manageable. The way to avoid the insanity of loneliness is to become two consciousnesses. Then you are no longer alone. You get your shapeshift to build a second brain somewhere else in your body, and you divide your consciousness between the two brains, and you become two entities sharing the same physical form. Schizophrenia is definitely the way to go.

Of course, if you’re already one of those lucky people that is possessed, or has an intelligent symbiote, then you’ve got it sorted already. But without some sort of multiple personality thing going on, you will pretty much be dead in no more than a couple of days in the open Abyss, because your brain will just shut down in despair. And its no good trying to do that shifting AFTER you fall in the Abyss. The stress of just being thre will totally fuck up any chance you have to get the shifts right, and do the mental separation. Basically, if you didn’t plan ahead, then you’re totally screwed if you end up there for any longer than about 6 hours. Perhaps twelve hours, if you get immediate help from a counseller and a top mental healing magician right after you get out. Otherwise, your brain will shut down anyway, because it doesn’t believe its excaped.


As we’ve established, the first time you end up in the Abyss, you are fucked, unless it was a planned visit. The likliood of surviving an unplanned loss of your Abyss virginity is very close to zero. Tie a rope round you and jump in the Abyss hole in Thelbane and you’d better have someone who can pull you back out, because without that you’re still dead. You won’t be able to feel the rope. You have no idea which way is out. You’re going to die.

Once you have survived being in the Open Abyss once, and the definition of surviving is that having got into it, somehow you got out of it again, and assuming you have mind that is powerful enough to process the change in you, then you are an official Abyss Survivor. First time in, no matter how long it lasts, you’ll be as useless as an ashtry on a motorbike. But second time and after, you will find that somehow, you can tell direction, and somehow you can move yourself. Assuming you don’t die of hunger, thirst, exposure of some other such, you will eventually fall into a Realm or a Reality. In the Brownwater Abyss.

The next thing you will be able to learn, and this is something that can either come through a personal epiphany or through someone else teaching you, is how to intentionally fall into the Abyss from the lands of the Creators. As in ‘existence’. Up top. Creation. The place often referred to as the Outside. Topside is basically floating on top on of Downside, and the membrane between them is thin. In some places it is so thin, even the uninitiated can fall in, like that Hole in Thelbane. Most places though, you need to intentionally fall in. With this level of ability, you are an Abyss Visitor.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention that you could get out again. That’s because at this level, you can’t. At this level, the only way you get out again is to make your way to the 12th Abyss, and beg permission from the Queen to allow you to climb out of that Hole. What you need to be able to leave the Abyss from the Brownwater later, at will, is the neat level of Initiaion which is called Basic Abyss. With that, you can come out of the Abyss almost anywhere in the Shadows of the Created worlds. Coming out in an actual Created world is not possible at this level. Created Realms themselves are too tough to break into.

The other thing you can do if you have the Basic Abyss initiation, is to travel to the next layer down – the Bluewater Abyss.

A requirement to achieve Basic Abyss is that you be a gestalt of a minimum of two distinct minds. You just can’t get it without that. And the next level of initiation after that needs a gestalt of at least three distinct minds. The would be Advanced Abyss. With that, you can travel down to the Blackwater layer, and return from the Bluewater or Blackwater layers. and also break out of the Abyss in some tougher places, like onto Rocks of Creation, or into Primal Realms, providing you don’t try and get too close to their actual Powers. You can also fall in to the Abyssal Waters with Advanced Initiation. Getting out of there again is not easy. It’s not dependent on any Initiation. It’s dependent on the Queen of the Abyssal Waters and her Court. You get out if they let you go.

The highest level of Initiation that I am aware of is Exalted, and I hve no idea exactly what else that lets you do. The Chaos Mother is that good. So is Queen Maré. I don’t know of any others that are.

Once final thing. No Power from any Created Powers exists down here in the Open Abyss. No Pattern, no Logrus, no anything. But inside the Realms of the Queens there is an exception. If the Queen of the Realm has Thelbane Logrus, then that Power exists within her Realm to at least the degree that she can use it. To my knowledge, all the Queens except Maré are initiates of the Thelbane Logrus.

Princess Tarssin of the 9th Abyss