The Woven Worlds
The Ethereal Realm
“Live as long as you can. Make your life fulfilling. Because, when you die, you will look back at your life and regret everything you failed to accomplish.” ~Ectonis, the Ghost Seer
Within existence, there exists three realms. Sages also agree that life has three main pieces…the body, the mind, and the soul. There exists a realm for each…material, dreaming, and ethereal, respectively. Existence is said to be a fusion of the three realms sandwiched together.
The ethereal realm is the most mysterious of the three realms. Within the ethereal realm, there exists the soul. When one dies, the body decomposes, the mind vanishes, and the soul transcends.
Because one can only access the ethereal realm through death, little is known about this mysterious realm. What little is known is from the wails of ghosts, the gibbering of specters, and the decrees of wraiths. Insubstantial undead exist only in the ethereal realm, but end up somehow breaking the realm barrier and transport themselves into the material realm, be it from the help of outside forces or from the sheer will of the spirit itself.
The ethereal realm is a world without color, a world in black, white, and varying shades of gray. The ethereal realm is a haunting and eerie sight, an exact replica of the material realm, where the souls of the realm feel sadness, anger, longing…watching existence and the living creatures in it live while the ethereal spirits can not. A barrier around of the souls of the living prevent the ethereal realm from interfering with the material realm, and prevents the beings of the material realm from viewing the spirits of the ethereal realm.
The Raven Queen is known to have a connection to this specific realm, but the exact extent of this connection is unknown.
Immortal organisms enter the ethereal realm, but for only a very short time. Immortal souls have a natural affinity to bypass the material-ethereal barrier, and thus reincarnate. Elemental organisms do not have souls, and thus, can never exist in the ethereal realm. Constructs do not have true souls, and can never exist in the ethereal realm either. Undead are a very special case.