Getting to the Perilous Realm

Q. How do you get to the Perilous Realm?

A. Storytellers are always crossing back and forth between our world and the Perilous Realm, but when they’re asked how one gets to the places they describe, they can be pretty evasive.

The answer, unfortunately, is that there really is no tried and tested way to cross over into Story. People can search their whole lives and never reach the Realm, while others may slip across the border from our world (which Storyfolk call the Untold) with little or no effort. Sometimes, as they say in Zen, you have to leave the way to the way. The journey itself might be the story you’re searching for.

AlpinePath2However you set out, and for whatever reason, my only advice is to find your own path.

Some people, like Will in The Shadow of Malabron, find themselves in the Realm without having meant to go there. Some end up in the Realm against their own will. It would seem that the only thing necessary is that you are somehow needed in a story, or a story is needed by you. If that’s the case, then the invisible boundary that separates you from the Realm will grow thin and permeable, so that you will likely not even notice you’re passing from one world to another.

For each person who reaches the Realm, the passage is different. It could happen anywhere, not just in a forest or other mysterious, uninhabited place. It could happen to you while you’re crossing the street to visit your neighbourhood coffee shop, or even when you get up first in the morning and get out of bed. Suddenly, without warning, you will realize that the world is not the same world you were in a moment before. Now you are in a story, and you will have a role to play, a role you must see to the end if you wish to find your way home. For some, the story becomes their new life, and they never leave.

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