A note from CubicleHermit

Posting this as a chapter since there's no glossary/appendix section. 

Spoiler tags to hide most details from Pt. II, and major plot points from Pt. I, but there may be minor spoilers.

World Map

The Etciv and Toyeri

(Full resolution map)

Empire of Feldaren

The largest nation in western continent of the Etciv, consisting of almost all human-occupied lands west of the Urbesi mountains. Founded around 1500 (Earth Calendar) by Marcus I "The Conqueror" having led the Apprentice's Revolt and taking over the City and Duchy of Feldaren.

Located in the relatively lower-mana central plains of the continent, Feldaren has lead the world in technical development since even before the Newcomers arrived.

Union of the Etciv

Founded immediately after the Wizards War, the Union of the Etciv is a semi-sovereign, federated group of nations comprising the Empire of Feldaren, as well as several smaller nations, mostly along the Eastern and Southeastern coasts (notably Celanon, Allowyr, Behele and Pandac) as well as the island nation of Wu and Chu.

Notable Western nations not part of the union are the Kingdom of Fenrik, and the Eastern and Western Urbesi mountains, all three of which enjoy observer status in the Union Senate.

The Etciv

The western continent, somewhat analogous in geographic position to North America although shorelines and climate differ substantially.

Home to the Union of the Etciv, as well the mountains inhabited by the Urbesi, as well as off the coast the unaffiliated island Kingdom of Fenrik.


Obdrest is a large island nation off the southwest coast of Toyeri.

A nominal absolute monarchy, Its present king is Philip V. In practice, the major noble families have significant power.


The human-occupied part of the Eastern continent; the name translates roughly to "Place of Men" in Old Imperial. Home to the the Great Kingdom of Kala and Penrose, and the slave-holding Priest-Kings' nations of Shir and Zir, and a number of smaller nations. Obdrest is a large island nation off the Southwest coast.

The two main languages are Old Imperial (unrelated to any Earth language) and New Imperial, which is closely related to Latin and presumed to have been brought from an alternate Earth


The Gate Between Worlds

This can refer to either:

The Gate itself - a magical portal which cycles between an apparently-infinite number of alternative Earths; it can be manipulated (somewhat) and can reconnect with worlds when a magical anchor has been detected.

Where the Gate is located - operated by the Brotherhood of the Gate, a small fortified town is built around the Gate to conduct research on its phenomenon and to keep it safe. The land around it was ceded to the Brotherhood by the Empire of Feldaren, and the town is nominally an independent territory.

Character Profiles
(more later)

Marcus Aurelius (Mark) Berg
Grade: 10th (pt.I), 11th/2nd-year (pt. II)
Birthday: Nov 11th, 1975
Relatives: Sammy Berg (brother), David and Judith Berg (parents)
Hair style: Dark brown, short and somewhat messy
Eye Color: Hazel
Height: 5'8"/173cm
Build: slightly heavy
Notable features: wears glasses
Likes: Video games, fantasy/SF novels, D&D, computers, bicycling
Dislikes: basically any physical activities besides bicycling or swimming
Strong subjects: Computer Science, History
Weak Subjects: English, Math (find it easy but forgets to do the homework)
10th grade elective: AP Computer Science
11th grade electives: Physics, Advanced Honors World History
Joel Leonard Ross
Grade: 10th (pt. I), 11th/2nd year (pt. II)
Birthday: May 4th, 1976
Relatives: Vince Ross (father), Christine Ross (aka Princess Christina, mother, deceased), Laura Ross (step-mother), April Ross (Half-sister)
Hair style: Light brown, medium-length, wavy
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 5'11"/181cm
Build: Athletic
Likes: Music, soccer, girls,
Dislikes: Hard work
Strong subjects: Science
Weak Subjects: none especially weak
10th grade elective: Chemistry
11th grade electives: Physics, Obdresti Literature

Elise Entéa Shevariet
(Pronunciation note: [ipa] shĕvɑɹi.ˈɛt; rhymes with "net")

Grade: 1st year (pt. I), 2nd year (pt. II)
Class (pt. II): 2-C
Relatives: 2nd oldest of 5 siblings, both parents living
Hair style: Black, wavy to mid-back
Eye Color: Dark Blue
Height: 5'7"/170cm
Build: Slender
Dream for the future: to get a government job and support her family
11th grade electives: Chemistry, Advanced Honors English
Clubs: Student Council (2nd year class representative)
Part-time job: Convenience store clerk at Jordi's

Violet Coniello

Grade: Middle-school 3rd year (pt. I), 1st-year (pt. II)
Class (pt. II): 1-B
Relatives: Parents, older brother
Hair style: Blonde, curly, below her shoulders
Eye Color: Hazel
Height: 5'3"/160cm
Build: Petite
Likes: Baking, Sweets, Dance Music
9th grade electives: Biology, Obdresti Literature

Clubs: Tennis club for PE


Gwendolyn (Gwen) Mallory
Grade: 2nd year (pt. I), 3rd year (pt. II)
Class (pt. II): 3-A
Hair style: Dark red (magically enhanced), wavy to upper back
Eye Color: Green
Height: 5'5"/165cm
Build: Athletic
Distinguishing features: freckles
Dream for the future: to become a great actress

Student council (3rd year class representative)
Fencing club (Captain)
The Troupers (student theater group

Cory Nement
Grade: 2nd year (pt. II)
Class: 2-A
Hair style: Dark brown
Eye Color: Dark brown
Height: 5'7"/172cm
Notable features: wears glasses
Electives: Physics, Advance Honors Chemistry

Clubs and out-of-school activities:

  • Fencing club (Vice-captain)
  • Nationally-ranked with épée and dueling sword, former Juniors champion

More characters without profile yet:

Amy Lee
Amy is a second year student, and a close friend of Kai Matsumoto and Jack Allard.

She is a member of the girls' track club, but does not run competitively.

Anne Adler
11th grade student at William Jennings Bryan High School, honor student, and member of the girls softball team. Attends sports camp over the summer.

Childhood friend of Mark's, and knew Joel in elementary school before his family moved. Now a year ahead of Mark.

Deceased after [Ch.7], as she had an aortic dissection in the hospital, after being hit by a truck while out running.

Diane Cho

In Pt. I, Diane was a third-year student at Queen Sara, and the outgoing student council president.

In Pt. II, Diane is a first-year college student.

Jack Allard

Jack Allard is a second-year student at Queen Sara Memorial Academy, and Kai Matsumoto's best friend.

He is on soccer team, and has a younger sister named Tika who is a new first-year student.

Kai Matsumoto

Kai is a second-year student at Queen Sara Memorial Academy, and Jack Allard's best friend, as well as a close friend of Amy Lee.

He is Legatus Hina Matsumoto's nephew, and a member of the Fencing club.

Martin Greenbaum
10th grade (in Pt. 1) student at William Jennings Bryan High School. Possibly an even bigger nerd than Mark, but more comfortable about it.

President of the "Action Movie Appreciation Society."

Mina Fremis

Mina Fremis is a 2nd year student; she is an international transfer from the Great Kingdom, and on a scholarship.

Theresa (Tess) Hahn

Tess is a first-year student and Violet's classmate and best friend; they both are members of the tennis club.

She is the acting first year class representative and running to take the position for the full year.

Anson Gramm

A third-year student, Anson is the student council president.

Ran on a platform of relaxing the dress code, which has been adopted.
Neil Hayward
Neil is a second-year student, and the current student council Vice President. He was not previously involved in student council as a first year, but was encourage to run by Anson and defeated Elise for the position.

He is also the vice-captain of the soccer club/team, and comes from a wealthy family.

Special Agent Helen Delgado

Special Agent Helen Delgado is an officer in the US Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service; she has chief responsibility for the security of the US side of the Gate and the anchor which allows it to open.

Richard Hull
Richard Hull is a foreign service officer in the US Department of State who was tasked with increasing trade relations with the Empire of Feldaren/Union of the Etciv when the opportunity presented itself because of the mission to retrieve Joel.

He was the second American through the Gate in 1992, setting up the trade mission in Feldaren. He is effectively a charge d'affaires rather than an ambassador, as the US government as a whole does not officially recognize the Gate, or the world on the other side of it, as physically existing.

Special Agent Thomas Morgan

Special Agent Thomas Morgan is an officer in the US Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service with extensive experience with personal protective duty.

He was the first American through the Gate in 1992, to set up security arrangements for the trade mission.

Tika Allard

Jack Allard's younger sister, a new 1st year student as of Part II.

New friend of Violet and Tess; she did not attend the lower school.

Galen Alcorn
A first-year student at Queen Sara.

More Places

Queen Sara Memorial Academy

A coeducational, selective independent school (partially-state-funded) in the suburbs of the City of Feldaren, roughly 10km south of Riverside Station. Serves grades 7-9 in the Lower School and 10-12 in the upper school.

Admission is by competitive examination, or sponsorship by certain affiliated entities including the Imperial Ministry of Education.

Named for Queen Sara of Penrose, who led the Great Kingdom during the second Slave War, and who donated the initial endowment in thanks for the young men from Feldaren who died in the war. Moved to its present location, started receiving some state funding (primarily for scholarships) and became co-educational, after the Wizards' War.

Total enrollment of about 1600 (650 in the lower school, 950 in the upper.)

Head of School: Dr. James Mittari
Dean of the Upper School: Henry Jerdew

William Jennings Bryan High School

A (fictitious) highly-selective, co-educational 7th-12th grade high school located in Manhattan, NY, with students commuting in from all 5 boroughs.

Named after William Jennings Bryan, a progressive 19th and early 20th Century US politician from the US great plains.

Inspired by real highly-selective public schools in NYC.



About the author


  • California, USA

Bio: Amateur SF/fantasy writer. Professional computer geek. Something of a grouchy old man, but mostly harmless.

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