The CyberRealm is young, as Near Realms go, having first arisen when humans began using technology in their day-to-day lives. The Realm swelled greatly, however, after 1800, as the devices of the Industrial Revolution cast spiritual shadows in the Umbra. Now, in the 21st century, this realm is a vast and powerful reflection of the Information Age. In the CyberRealm, the constructs of the Weaver have run amok, weaving a forbidding realm of steel, wire, and advanced technology.
It is divided into three distinct areas. The first, Spider City, reflects the future shock and inexorable pace of the postmodern cityscape. The second area, the Pit, is a bizarre underworld of discarded dreams. The third area, the Computer Web, is a place where raw data is embodied in spirit form. The CyberRealm is run from the Uptown area of Spider City. The powerful Weaver spirits that live here are opposed to the Wyld in all its forms. As such, they vehemently seek to foil the doings of shapeshifters, who strenuously fight for the Wyld's survival. Increasingly, the CyberRealm and its inhabitants are becoming a serious threat to the goals of the Fera.
Juice and the CyberEconomyEdit
Few things reflect the Weaver more than commerce, and so the spirits of this realm have instituted a complex economic system. The currency of the system is "juice": liquefied Gnosis that can be used to power Weaver machines, or simply be ingested. Juice is the lifeblood of the Realm. It is power and currency all in one. The lords of Uptown are the lords because they have the most juice. Lesser beings ceaselessly barter and haggle, beg and steal, and even kill for juice. When running in the CyberRealm, keep in mind that nearly every being the you meet has an angle to get some juice-—one way or another.
This city represents everything abhorrent to most Garou. It is a titanic glass-and-steel-and-neon construct embodying Urban Life in the postindustrial world. The city is a seemingly endless maze of concrete and chrome, plastic and glass. Its web-shrouded towers stretch up and up, seemingly for miles; the higher in Spider City you live, the higher your status in the hierarchy of the Weaver. The city itself is laid out in a vast web pattern, stretching far into a sky that's eternally the color of a television monitor tuned to a dead channel. Its upper levels blaze with a rainbow spectrum of neon, while its lower levels are shrouded in darkness. Weaver-spirits of all sorts scuttle like ants through the city's towers, alleys, hallways, and corridors, scurrying hither and yon on mysterious errands. In Spider City, technology reigns supreme. This realm houses technology inaccessible outside the realms of certain technologically adept sorcerers. Hovercars glide along elevated roads, and maglev trains cruise into gleaming stations. Robots powered by liquescent spirit-data, or "juice," prowl the hallways and corridors. In hidden alcoves, secret labs pump out all manner of bizarre and deadly weaponry. Spider City is divided into three levels: Old Town (street level), Downtown (the middle layer), and Uptown (the skyscraper-realm of the elite). Under all of this stretches the Pit.
This is the lowest level of Spider City — the "mean streets" of the realm. This place represents the worst of the Weaver. It's stagnant, decaying, and crumbling. The neon lights and fluorescent bulbs that illuminate more hospitable regions of Spider City are absent. Piles of garbage, offal, and filth litter the streets, and juice-rich travelers are almost certain to be accosted or attacked outright. The discarded plasm of a drained victim is tossed into the tunnels of the Pit. The lords of Uptown mostly leave this area to its misery, but occasionally send their Spider Patrol into Old Town, to round up victims for juice processing or simply as a display of power. The residents hate and fear the lords of Uptown, but for the most part are too fearful and disorganized to do anything about it. Mostly, they hide or wander in search of the next hit of juice. As Scar wanes, the powerful Banes of that realm have begun making inroads into the CyberRealm. Unsurprisingly, the Old Town has proven the most hospitable section for their agents (for now), and visitors here run the risk of encountering Banes as well as any hostile Weaver-spirits.
The Cyber Wolves are the premier revolutionary group in the CyberRealm. They ceaselessly oppose the Uptown lords' greed and expansionism. This group, which is composed primarily of emanations and trapped shapeshifters, hides in Old Town, ceaselessly waging war against the Spider Patrol of the Uptown lords. Cyber Wolves are master scavengers, taking what technology they can scrounge and adapting it for their own use. Sometimes, this means melding the technology to their bodies. Certain shapeshifters have mastered the process of grafting technofetishes to themselves and others; they'll do this for outsiders, though for a high price. People visiting the realm must attune these fetishes to themselves normally, and they'll likely be suspect at best when they return to shapeshifter society. The CyberWolves will help shapeshifters, offering them succor and shelter, but typically expect something in return. Shapeshifters might be required to donate some of their temporary Gnosis as juice, or might be required to help the CyberWolves in a juice hunt against the Spider Patrol.
Above the wreckage of Old Town lies the middle tier of Spider City — the Weaver-dominated Downtown. The Weaver protects its own — pattern webs seal off the shafts and stairwells between Downtown and Old Town. The only way to get from Old Town to Downtown is to physically scale the webwork along the sides of the buildings. This is a hazardous endeavor, though; spider-spirits usually detect intruders' vibrations and mass to prevent such illegal entry. Downtown itself is a teeming urban wonderland. Unlike Old Town, Downtown is well maintained, well lit, and filled with conveniences and luxuries of every description. The lights of Downtown combine with the reflected lights of Uptown to form a weblike pattern of shadows shrouding everything in the city. Downtown is a seemingly endless bazaar of technological wonders. Computer terminals line the streets; fetish computers brought into the realm and hooked up to these computers allow their users to access the Computer Web. Automated maglev trains and hovertaxis serve the Weaver-spirits and emanations who dwell here. In kiosks, pubs, malls, offices and less reputable places, merchants of all stripes sell the latest technological toys. Being the "bestest with the mostest" is a way of life here; the emanations and spirits of Downtown want nothing more than enough stuff and juice to catch the eye of an Uptown lord and be "promoted" into the upper tier of Spider City. Weaver Constructs run most of the establishments of Downtown. They'll take orders for nearly anything an emanation requests, should that emanation have the juice to make it worth the Constructs' time. Potentially dangerous requests, such as powerful weapons, will be denied, and the customer flagged for investigation by the Spider Patrol of Uptown; however, juice bribes to one Construct or other are not unknown. The inhabitants of Downtown are many and varied. Foremost among them are human-like emanations that resemble the busy urban dwellers of the material world (right down to being affected by the Delirium). Weaverspirits of various sorts also dwell here, moving unaffectedly among the human-spirits with little notice from either group. Both "species" organize information, distilling it into juice and uploading it into the Computer Web. Everyone and everything in Downtown ruthlessly struggles for that all-important promotion. With the recent upsurge in Weaver aggression toward the Garou (and vice versa), the inhabitants of Downtown will not hesitate to betray any obvious shapeshifters in the Downtown area. Shapeshifters in Homid form who carry ID cards are treated as emanations; in any other form, though, they call down a patrol of Weaver-spirits on them. (The exception is Ananasi in Crawlerling form; spider- and cockroach-spirits scuttle throughout the realm, and one or even many more spiders typically go unnoticed.)
Above the rest of Spider City stands Uptown, the lofty home of the lords of the Sprawl. This luxurious penthouse realm is lit by the Pattern Web itself. It is thick with webs and filled with informational geomids storing raw data, to be accessed by the mighty Weaver-spirits who make their homes here. Uptown is heavily secured. Only those with ID Cards may freely access the elevators to Uptown; the guardian spiders that patrol all entrances to the area deter would-be intruders. One can attempt to climb the webwork along the skyscrapers, in a manner similar to gaining access to Downtown; this is exceedingly dangerous, though. Hovercars and helicopters patrol the skyways between Uptown's towers; the emanations that pilot them will not hesitate to pick off potential burglars. The spirits who live in Uptown are exceedingly alien. A few emanations dwell here, either as servants or as beneficiaries of promotion; most creatures, though, are geomids or powerful Weaver-spirits. To live permanently in Uptown, one must be "promoted" into an appropriate spirit-form. This involves having one's old juice drained from one's plasm and being reinjected with new, empowered juice. When this happens, the promoted emanation is reshaped into a new physical form. Juice for this operation is often acquired by capturing and draining the spirit-poor of Old Town. In past years, Glass Walkers had the run of Uptown; recently, though, the Weaver-lords of Uptown have met all werewolves with hostility. Glass Walkers entering the area will be met with the same resistance as Red Talons. Uptown is kept meticulously safe by the Spider Patrol, a brigade of net- and pattern-spiders who tirelessly guard the lords of Uptown. The Spider Patrol also acts as a police and espionage branch, scuttling down the webworks into Downtown to keep a multiclustered eye on the inhabitants.
The Pit extends far under the rest of Spider City. Originally, this area was used as the dumping ground for cast-off technology, failed experiments, and other refuse. Now the Pit lies abandoned, a vast graveyard of forgotten artifacts and crazed inventions from every period of human history. Weird golem-constructs lie forgotten and web-covered next to bizarre congeries of gears and broken da Vinci-esque devices. The place is a seemingly endless labyrinth of tunnels and corridors, dimly lit, with only the occasional fluorescent bulb to break the darkness. It stinks of battery acid and waste products. Living refuse is likewise tossed into the Pit. The Pit is the final destination for "flawed," weak spirits: broken or wounded Weaver-constructs and Umbral travelers trapped in the realm often end up cast into the Pit. Their fate is a tragic one: they are typically rounded up by opportunistic Gnosis-scavengers and broken down for their "juice." Likewise, Banes occasionally enter the Pit to cannibalize what they can. The Pit is a spawning ground for all manner of strange spirits: hybrid constructs of flesh, metal, and plastic; weird conglomerations of discarded parts that somehow begin to act and move. Some shapeshifters speculate that a mad Weaver-spirit, cast down from Uptown, has taken up residence in the Pit and begun spinning these creatures. No one truly knows. Ratkin have a rite, the Bolthole, which allows them to access this area. A few high-ranking Bone Gnawers are likewise thought to have the means to access the Pit.
The Computer WebEdit
The Computer Web stretches its silvery filaments high above the rest of Spider City. A recent construct, the Web is the spiritual reflection of the innumerable nodes and connections of data in Earth's real-world computers. Every computer on Earth connects to the Computer Web. The Web appears like a gigantic, glowing spiderweb. Along the web, globular nodes gleam in the night sky — Umbral embodiments of data clusters. Each of these nodes represents a miniature environment — literally a self-contained electronic world. The strands of the web represent the various connections between linked computers. There are several ways to access the Web. The easiest is by plugging a fetish computer into a Downtown computer. The second way is by using an informational geomid bound into a technofetish. A shapeshifter possessing such a fetish may "jack" themselves into the Web directly, via any computer. The third way to access the Web is by touching any computer screen in Spider City and using one's Gnosis. Finally, a shapeshifter can access the Computer Web by climbing the right web spun by an orb-spider in Uptown. Some of the strands link directly with the Web.
Macro and Micro LevelsEdit
The Computer Web is divided into two distinct sections, the Macro and Micro Levels. The Macro Level consists of the external structure of the Web itself. Along its length, geomids and net-spiders scuttle back and forth, transferring and altering data as need be. To move along the Macro Level, a shapeshifter stands on a strand, visualizes the area she wishes to visit, then attempts to will themselves to the desired local. If successful, she's transferred to her destination with blazing speed. Ananasi, who are quite comfortable here, do not have to test their Willpower to travel along the Web, Along the length of the Macro Level are various data clusters, some obvious, others difficult to see. Cockroach- or spider-spirits are good guides for finding a particular data-cluster; as well, various inhabitants of Downtown can be bribed for directions with juice. A skilled shapeshifter can use their understanding of computers to navigate the Macro Level; if they fail, however, she might end up hopelessly lost. To exit the Macro Level, a traveler must simply return to their entry point, then will herself out. They may also find any of a number of exit strands that transport them back to Spider City. The Micro Level consists of the multitudinous dataworlds themselves. This level may be accessed through a series of doorways into the data-pockets. Doorways resemble informational geomids; to enter, a shapeshifter must touch a doorway, concentrate on entry and and will themselves in. Once inside a data cluster, visitors will be confronted by daemons, Weaver spirits bound into the cluster. Visitors who provide proper pass codes are allowed entry; others are denied or attacked if they attempt to force their way in. Each data cluster is different, and each is a world unto itself. Most are labyrinthine chambers filled with liquid juice, daemons, and net-spiders. The appearance of a data cluster depends on the data in question; a heartfelt love e-letter might be downright pleasant, while a Pentex file or kiddie cyberporn cluster will appear accordingly repulsive. Some data clusters are open for visitation by the residents of Downtown, acting as lounges or recreation areas. Exiting the Micro Level transports travelers back to the Macro Level. To leave, a shapeshifter must exit the original doorway or create a new one.
The Wicked CityEdit
- Main article: Wicked City
This domain adjoins the CyberRealm in those areas of the Near Realms that overlap the Middle Kingdom. The Wicked City is the domain of Mikaboshi, who is a mighty Incarna native to the Yomi Realms of the Middle Kingdom. Mikaboshi is a ceaseless foe of the hengeyokai, particularly the Hakken Garou. His realm, the Wicked City, is a bizarre, baroque caricature of a futuristic Eastern city as it might appear in a dystopian future. In the Wicked City, Weaver and Wyrm-spirits ruthlessly perform the bidding of Mikaboshi, ever seeking to expand the Yama King's influence over the rest of Spider City. Mikaboshi has cajoled or coerced several Kumo (Eastern Ananasi goblin-spiders) to his service. These beings act as seneschals and guards for the Incarna, tracking and cruelly disposing of intruders whom Mikaboshi deems overly threatening or for whom he has no use. Cunning and malevolent, these spidershifters prefer to use deception and guile (and, when necessary, poison) over outright violence when disposing of the Yama King's foes.
The CyberRealm may be accessed through the normal moon bridge routes. Getting into the realm, though, is quite challenging. Weaver-spirits — drones, geomids, and pattern-spiders — relentlessly prowl the paths leading to the realm, challenging any "intruder." Ananasi, however, are freely permitted to enter, and they may petition the guardian spirits to let others in with them. A shapeshifter can use the Computer Web to exit the realm, but this is a difficult operation. The shapeshifter must enter a Micro Level data cluster, create a doorway out, use their Gnosis, and use their knowledge of computers from there. It is easier to get to the Near Umbra than it is directly to the physical world, but not by much. Some spirits believe that deep within the Pit lie tunnels that lead out into the Near Umbra. As well, certain Weaver Constructs in Downtown can wrap characters in webbing and smuggle them out of the realm, but the price is heavy, and there's no guarantee they won't be betrayed to the lords of Uptown.
- Weaver-spirits are at 150% of their usual Essence in the CyberRealm; thus, a Pattern Spider would have 23 rather than 15 Essence.
- Conversely, Wyld-spirits have only half normal Essence in the CyberRealm.
- On the Micro Level of the Computer Web, a shapeshifter may change their appearance by using their Gnosis and knowledge of computers. The Garou may change their form to whatever shape is desired, so long as mass does not change by more than 50%. A Garou who shifts into another of their five forms loses the false shape upon so doing.
- Time flows much faster in the Computer Web than in the CyberRealm.
- Cyberfetishes attached to a Garou do not regenerate; if damaged, they remain so. Also, each technofetish applied increases the difficulty of the Garou's shapeshifting.
- Navigating through the Computer Web is a matter of understanding the Web itself. The better your understanding of computers and enigmas, the better off you are.
- Garou must touch a juncture and use their Willpower to shift between the CyberRealm's Macro and Micro Levels.
- Glass Walkers who activate the Cybersenses Gift gain as many senses as they have current Gnosis.
- A Garou "killed" in the Computer Web loses all current Gnosis and is reborn in the Pit. She also takes a health level of aggravated damage.