Werewolf the Apocalypse Rage Across St. Louis
“Earth’s Shadow”; the spirit world directly surrounding the physical world. Many, but not all, terrain features have reflections there.
Just beyond the Gauntlet lies the unfettered splendor of the spirit world. The area of the Umbra closest to the Earth Realm is called the Penumbra. The Penumbra is the most common Umbral destination of the Garou, who travel here to fight evil spirits bent on corrupting creatures or locations in the physical world. The Penumbra, or Earth’s Shadow, is a gray, hazy, phantasmal world lit only by the radiance of the great Celestine, Luna. Luna’s Umbral phase corresponds directly to the phase of the moon in the physical realm. Helios is not present, although some ambient sunlight can be found in places during the day. The only other celestial object to share the Penumbral sky with Luna is the Red Star — the sullen star that many werewolves call the Eye of the Wyrm, the harbinger of the Final Battle.
Likewise, the Penumbra contains the spirit material that corresponds to the physical matter of Earth. The only material objects that appear in the spirit world are those with large amounts of spiritual energy. Matter that endures the passage of time on Earth gains a spiritual representation in the Penumbra. Old trees and old buildings have counterparts on the Penumbra; recently built structures and newer vegetation do not. Wyld, Weaver and Wyrm energies become tangible in this Realm. Wyld-spirits move through natural areas, Weaver webs emerge from technological equipment, and Wyrmlings scuttle through graveyards and polluted areas.
Interestingly enough, spirit is more “real” than matter in some ways. The spirit of an object can often endure the loss of its physical body, but the physical body cannot withstand the loss of its spirit essence. If an old oak tree is chopped down on Earth, it may linger for a long time in the Umbra. If a living tree is destroyed in the Umbra, however, its earthly counterpart will sicken and die. Similarly, the spirits of extinct species such as dire wolves linger on deep in the Umbra, but if all the eagle-spirits in the spirit world were destroyed, the eagles of the physical world would soon follow.
Penumbral streets and forests seem eerily deserted, for most sentient creatures do not manifest on the Penumbra. Only spiritually advanced people appear here. Sometimes Garou travelers see the spirits of humans who are deeply ensconced in the Periphery. Although attacks on these Penumbral reflections do not cause any lasting harm to their physical counterparts, they can make a person highly uncomfortable, much as if haunted by a painful memory.
The Penumbra is filled with Domains — small zones that correspond to areas in both the physical Realm and the Near Umbra. These areas borrow energy and definition from their counterparts in the Near Umbra, allowing them to manifest in the Penumbra and the Gaia Realm.
• Blights: Blight Domains are mixed Weaver/ Wyrm areas that appear as polluted, web-ridden cityscapes.
• Chimares: These individualized Domains are places of dream, open to every being that dreams. Like dreams, they can be gently euphoric or unspeakably horrific.
• Epiphs: These peculiar Domains represent abstract ideas or concepts, such as “low” or “seven.” Most Garou cannot comprehend Epiphs, although the Stargazers claim to have gained great insight by mediating in such places.
• Glens: Glens are Domains where Gaian and Wyld energies still run strong. They appear as vigorous, primal manifestations of the natural world, and they are often inhabited by sentient trees and talking animals.
• Hellholes: These Wyrm-ridden Domains correspond to polluted areas such as toxic-waste-dump sites in the physical world. Even areas of heavy air pollution can become Hellholes. Hellholes are inhabited by Banes, and Wyrm-creatures scuttle through these Domains en route to the Gaia Realm from the Near Umbra.
• Trods: These Domains of faerie energy appear as faerie rings and monoliths. These areas mark the spots that were sacred to faeries in the days before the Weaver’s encroachment drove them from earth. Sometimes, faeries can still be found at these sites.
• Webs: Areas where the Weaver encroaches on the Penumbra are called Web Domains. Webs correspond to large areas of technologically advanced cities, and Pattern Spiders and Net-Spiders inhabit them.
• Wyldings: Areas where the Wyld still reaches Earth are fewer than Web areas. Some Wylding
Domains exist in the Penumbra, but most are in the faraway Deep Umbra. Nothing is stable or permanent in these constantly shifting zones, and magic permeates die air. Appropriately enough, Wyldling spirits congregate here.