A Chart in the Manifold universe is a magical object that can transport sapient beings and the matter connected to them between two worlds. A chart in the Manifold universe is one of these worlds. Charts have many extraordinary properties, as outlined below. A set of complete Charts is called an Atlas. The idea of Charts and Atlases was taken from the mathematical concepts of manifolds and how mathematicians describe them.
Properties of Charts
- An inanimate Chart cannot be damaged or destroyed. Once its creation is completed and its powers bestowed, its existence is permanent. If made of a flexible material, it will retain most of the properties of that material, including the ability to fold, to bend, to crease, etc., excepting properties that would allow it to be destroyed.
- Charts made of living beings are likewise indestructible and thus immortal, but come with additional properties.
- First, if the Chart was made from a youth of the species, the youth will continue to grow as normal for its species, but once it reaches peak maturity its age will freeze.
- Second, when the Chart reaches maturity (but not before), it will no longer require intake of food, air, or other source of chemicals or energy, nor will it excrete any waste products. It becomes perfectly immortal. It can survive any formerly-harsh regions, where others of its species cannot, without any damage to itself whatsoever.
- Third, if the Chart discovers its true nature (which will come automatically at maturity, but can be shown to it before), it can activate itself any time at will, since it is always in contact with itself. Additionally, it may travel to its respective represented area of the Manifold, taking with it a bubble of reality from its own world, protecting any comrades from the harsh environment of the Manifold. It may banish this bubble, but since it is perfectly immortal, it is itself still protected.
- Charts may only be made or unmade on the Manifold, with one exception. The item to be made or unmade a Chart must be taken to the Manifold for the magic to be cast and may not be created remotely. The one exception is the duplication of a preexisting Chart. A Manifold denizen may duplicate a Chart onto another suitable form of inanimate or animate matter, not necessarily of the same form as the source Chart, if the denizen, the source Chart, and the product material are all connected and within 50 meters of each other.
- The Chart is activated by a member of a sapient species touching a specified area of the Chart and exerting its will to activate it. This area is always marked but may not be marked obviously. The creature activating the Chart willfully specifies what other matter is accompanying it on the journey besides its own body, but this matter must all be connected.