The Supernal Realms (or "Realms Supernal") are the higher "planes" of existence from which all magic springs.
The Realms Supernal are the platonic, symbolic, underlying "source code" of reality. Consisting of symbols, they express the underlying "Patterns" of the things found in the Fallen World. Together, these symbols of what Is form a cohesive whole referred to as the Tapestry. Mages often draw diagrams arranging the Supernal, Fallen, and other realms based on their supposed mystical connections, but these fall apart when others posit (and even experimentally verify) different relationships. When sorcerers try to integrate the perspectives of other supernatural beings, these maps degrade into convoluted, contradictory messes.
The Realms Supernal are not physical locations. Instead, they are all around us, but the Lie and limited human perception hinder mortals to perceive them in all its glory. Mages can see them - or at least catch glimpses of them - in the form of Mysteries, but even they are limited by their Path that allows them only to perceive a slightly skewed version of the Supernal, corresponding with the realm they connected with.
Five Supernal Realms are known to modern mages. Each is recognised as the home of a particular type of magic, is inhabited by a particular type of higher being, and is home to one of the Watchtowers which call mages to the magical Paths. While mana from all the Arcana is present in every Realm, each is ruled by two, the Subtle and Gross expressions of the Realm's essence. A third Arcanum is considered "inferior" in each Realm - its influence in that Realm is lessened, as it does not mesh well with the Realm's nature. Mages find it easier to draw down magic when dealing with their Realm's ruling Arcana, and more difficult when attempting to wield the inferior Arcanum.
- The Aether, Kingdom of the Celestial Spheres and Abode of Angels, home to the Watchtower of the Golden Key. Ruled by Prime and Forces; Death is inferior.
- Arcadia, Kingdom of Enchantment and Abode of the Fae, home to the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn. Ruled by Fate and Time; Forces is inferior.
- Pandemonium, Kingdom of Nightmares and Abode of Demons, home to the Watchtower of the Iron Gauntlet. Ruled by Mind and Space; Matter is inferior.
- The Primal Wild, Kingdom of Totems and Abode of Beasts, home to the Watchtower of the Singing Stone. Ruled by Spirit and Life; Mind is inferior.
- Stygia, Kingdom of Crypts and Abode of Shades, home to the Watchtower of the Lead Coin. Ruled by Death and Matter; Spirit is inferior.
Relationship with the Fallen World
The Supernal Realms were once intimately connected with the Fallen World, the "normal" plane consisting of the material world and the Shadow, but after the Atlantean mages ascended into the Supernal Realms, they shattered the Celestial Ladder, allowing the Abyss to separate the Realms from the Fallen World. This makes it more difficult and dangerous to draw down magic - a careless mage can tear a hole in reality, allowing the chaotic forces of the Abyss to manifest in the material world as Paradox. Direct contact to the Supernal Realms is often fatal, and one of the steps of Archmastery. Archmages shed their alignment to a Path and instead build their own, personal beachhead into the Supernal, called a Cintamani. Through Ascension, a mage can become a part of the Supernal and become a living symbol.
The mages who ascended the Celestial Ladder now dwell in the Supernal Realms, possessed of god-like power; these are the Exarchs, who seek to prevent Earthly mages from accessing magic altogether so as to keep their mastery over all. They manifest as symbols of oppression. The Oracles also dwell in the Supernal Realms; they seek to foil the Exarchs' plan and are thought to have created the Watchtowers. Their presence is more enigmatic.
Places where the Supernal manages to assert itself through the Quiescence are called Emanation Realms.