As a storyteller I've been doing some thinking about the Nature of the Shattered Gem; the consistancies and inconsistancies within our established lore. And the question that has been nagging at me the most of late is where our characters exist within the depicted multiverse? (I blame Lore Denin and Trebr Drab.) What implications would it have on our place in the storyline? The common perception we have is that when the Stranger (Avatar) brought his weapon down upon the Gem of Darkness; he broke it into hundreds (perhaps thousands) of small pieces and inadvertantly spawned countless parallel worlds trapped within each broken shard. (Think the microverse on the cats necklace depicted at the end of Men in Black.) This of course causes a chain reaction some refer to as the Breaking and others as the Shattering. Continents rose and sank. Volcanoes erupted. Mountains crumbled. Civilizations were lost. The world ended as they knew it. It was the Apocalypse. And our characters are the children and grandchildren of those few who somehow managed to survive. But we also know that before the Gem was shattered (spawning the numerous parallel worlds we currently inhabit) that there was a world depicted as being 'trapped' within the Corrupted Sun Gem. You can see it in the introduction. This we know to be Ultima Prime. We know that because Mondain was capable of manipulating Ultima Prime via the Gem. The established lore points to this. The introduction points to this. But we know this master world was not trapped within some physical barrier (i.e. Cat Necklace Analogy) or separated from the True Universe; but instead could be accessed from Earth by the Stranger and existed alongside numerous similar worlds. (i.e. Pagan.) You could leave Ultima Prime. You could enter it. You could build a rocket and fly to and from it without bumping into a glass barrier. The world within the Gem was no more than a representation of the world Mondain had conquered. (And for all we really know the Sun Gem might have been tied to the world long before Mondain.) So if Ultima Prime isn't (or wasn't) trapped within the Gem (...being able to look upon Jupiter through a telescope doesn't trap Jupiter within); can we infer that our worlds aren't physically trapped within pieces of broken glass either? (i.e. Cat Analogy.) That instead we inhabit parallel universes that border Ultima Prime; and that the broken shards are merely windows that (like the greater Gem) have a power over these reflected worlds? I think this would be consistant with what we know about the Gems recovered from the Shadowlords; the karmic messages we receive suggesting that the possessor has a certain power and influence over these parallel worlds like Mondain had over Prime. This would also have other implications; whether we could one day visit Pagan or be forced to confront the Guardian. Discuss.