Umbrellas All the Way Down
Our world, except with funky holes in reality! (This universe/story was previously called Death and All His Friends if you’re confused)
Urban fantasy, mystery, horror
About the same as the real world's, at least in terms of Earth's history. Things like cults and conspiracies are much more common and out in the open, however, and supernatural phenomena is generally recognized as such (I go more into detail with these things in the Notes section). I'd say the only thing that's really changed the course of history is how common cults are, and how they sometimes cause other people trouble.
A notable dimension is the Umbrella, an unstable sort of “dimension zero” that fills in the gaps between all others. This makes it one of the most common to clip into, and also one of the most dangerous. It has very strong weirdcore/void vibes. One of the main antagonists, The Sandman, resides here with .
As stupid as this sounds, Quill and Cyrus started off as fan characters for a game I was really obsessed with at the time, Alchademy. Then Jack came along and it evolved into its own weird medieval fantasy thing. Somehow, over the last two and a half years or so, it wandered off enough from its original concept to get to here.
As for how the universe was created in-universe, no one actually knows for certain, just like in the real world. This universe does parallel modern times to a large extent, so scientific theories are the same. The Big Bang is a popular theory, as is some sort of god creating everything, etc.
The fundamental rule of this world is that the fabric of reality is very, very thin. This allows other dimensions to bleed through, which can affect pretty much every aspect of life. One can even fall through the cracks entirely into a new dimension. This is called “clipping” into other dimensions, whether intentional or not.
The thinness of reality is regarded as a scientific law like gravity or any other physics, though even in modern times it has proven very difficult to research. No one’s really sure how magic works in other dimensions; it’s most likely just science humans can’t understand and that bend our own laws of physics. Physics can vary from dimension to dimension, though they are usually more or less the same as earth’s.
Entities from other dimensions can be a lot of things. A lot of Lovecraftian sort of beings; eldritch angels, cryptids, that sort of thing. Supposed gods are probably just terrible eldritch horrors misinterpreted by humans. That isn’t to say beings from other dimensions are all evil and/or cosmic horrors; in fact, most aren’t. Most are, however, pretty apathetic towards Earth and humans (some like to cause problems on purpose, though. This is where our protagonists often come in).
Because there’s so many different dimensions and things that can exist, it becomes a fantasy kitchen sink sort of deal, though it generally leans towards a surreal or just straight-up horror vibe.
A final system that isn’t well known, but important to the story: beings, generally humans, can be sort of claimed by bigger entities. This usually happens when a particularly smart person is too curious for their own good, just has to know what’s going on, getting way over their heads with cosmic horrors and resulting in their corruption. These once-humans can also claim humans, etc., though the power is lessened the further you go down. These corruptions, as they are sometimes called, become puppets to whatever they stumbled into, and generally the more power of their host they tap into, the less control they have.
The overall function of objects is the same as in our modern world; however, it's often achieved in different, weirder ways, because of this world's connection to other dimensions. For example, sure, they have streetlamps like our world does, but they give off teal light and powered by ghostly will o'wisp flames. Most cities and shopping centers are multitiered, with mazes of sidewalks and ladders connecting different levels and shops from the outside. Everything is, in the end, the same objects with the same functions, but they lend a slightly otherworldly vibe to the environment because of the way they were all made.
An important thing to note is that all dimensions are at more or less the same level of technological advancement.
A quick rundown on the exposition and important characters of the series! Keep in mind I can’t explain all their motives and stuff because I don’t want to spoil anything; sorry if I’m sometimes vague.
The story follows Quill, a student who, in looking for a little adventure and experience in dimensional travel before she goes to college, joins Hecate and Co., Private Investigators and Interdimensional Odd Job-Doers(™). Our protagonists are hired by all sorts of people and other entities, dealing with cults, trying to prove the existence of Mothman, or maybe just convincing the eldritch horror that spawned in someone’s kitchen to leave. Our heroes don’t ask too many questions.
: The main character. She’s very adventurous and wants to become a detective or any other job that’d let her travel around the multiverse, and so works as an assistant to Hecate and Co. in the meantime. She’s smart but recklessly adventurous.
: Works for a major interdimensional organization that I unfortunately can’t say much about for the time being. He’s technically the boss of Hecate and Co., but they’re too busy to actually be around much.
: Started Hecate and Co. with Anthony. Technically works under said mysterious organization but it’s more or less their own business. Is generally on the side of good but has no qualms breaking the law in the process, and is in it more for the adventure.
: Co-founded the detective business, and is bit less chaotic than Cyrus. He’s cold and sarcastic, but cares a lot about the rest of the team. He and Cyrus are polar opposites; it’s anyone’s guess how they became so close as to practically be siblings.
: Gets into trouble often but has a heart of gold. Bit of a mysterious character and separate from the PI agency. Seems to have a strange involvement with multiple other dimensions and entities, most notably .
DAHF is intended to be a cartoon, and so is often episodic, but here’s the more important/recurring antagonists:
: The big baddie of the Umbrella. His motives are unclear, but he and Jack seem to have a hatred that runs deeper than opposing goals. Doesn’t often interact with the protagonists directly; instead, he sends Azazel or other minor antagonists out to do his dirty work. Overall an extremely mysterious character.
: Works for the Sandman, but is much more neutral-leaning in terms of xyr good/evil alignment. A loose canon and often causes a lot of trouble for the protagonists, but is a generally likable character nonetheless.
And then there’s this guy, the first of many, many other major entities that’ll cross paths with Quill throughout the story.
: A corruption of an entity known simply as the Void. He's a puppet to a being that essentially feeds off intrusive thoughts. A bit of a wild card.
To clarify, Earth is the only dimension humans are found on and really the only dimension they can live on for long periods of time. There’s weird little creatures and eldritch horrors in abundance on other planes, but humans in this multiverse are just as alone as we are.
Ever heard of the London Necropolis Railway? It was a railway line that started operating in 1854, for the sole purpose of carrying corpses and mourners from the city to a cemetery over thirty kilometers away. In our world, the railway closed in 1941, but in this universe it never fell out of practice, and in fact became hugely popular across the world. There are hardly any small, accessible graveyards, certainly none erected after the 1800s; only massive necropolises that you can get to only by taking a long trip to the middle of nowhere by train.
There's a whole subculture dedicated to finding places where reality is especially thin and exploring them, similar to urban explorers in our world.
This world doesn’t have to worry about what to do with trash. It is firstly in a better ecological state than ours; but also, when scientist Dr. Agate Lovelock discovered a way to reliably clip into the Super-Sargasso Sea in the 1950s, all trash since then has been transported there. (If you’re unaware, the Super-Sargasso Sea is an urban legend, a dimension where all lost things supposedly end up.)
I apologize that you're not able to view The Sandman's page! It’s unfinished, but I figured it was about time I explained what the hell is going on, so it’s been moved into a little holder Universe for the foreseeable future, alongside some other unfinished minor characters.
Our protagonists live specifically in Helston County, Washington state (Washington is, obviously, a real place. Helston County is not, at least to my knowledge). They go to various other dimensions, though, and sometimes even other counties!
A bit of a clarification: most humans are aware that these eldritch beings and whatnot exist, but it is exceedingly difficult to research specific dimensions or entities. Because of the nature of eldritch concepts, other dimensions, and that sort of thing, there are a lot more cults and conspiracy theorists (or perhaps the same amount, but they're just more out in the open. Who can say?). Cults and conspiracies are much more widely accepted as beliefs in this earth.
It would be practically impossible to say you don't think other dimensions or entities exist; the conspiracy/cult part comes in, though, because it's also very difficult to prove the existence of specific entities. For example, of course everyone believes in cryptids, but can anyone actually prove that they've met Bigfoot? Obviously there are cosmic horrors out there, but have you ever had a run-in with Death in particular? And many people have encountered with ghosts and the like. It's just that it's difficult to provide solid evidence for anything specifically, and people have a hard time explaining the phenomena they encounter. At least in this reality, if you were to run screaming from the woods raving about monsters, people would take you a little seriously.
Religions that are more widely accepted in the real world, such as Christianity, exist in pretty much the same form; though many think God must be some sort of eldritch being, they still generally regard Her as they do here. No one's actually met Her (and so most are wholly unaware that She's a She, for one thing), so it's still a lot of speculation as it is in real life.
Music, namely Hawaii: Part II by Miracle Musical and The Normal Album by Will Wood, but I have a lot of inspirations in terms of music; Neil Gaiman (mostly Good Omens and American Gods); Terry Pratchett; weirdcore and voidcore; The Magnus Archives, Welcome to Night Vale, The Sheridan Tapes, and possibly every other fiction podcast you have ever heard of; Gravity Falls; Scott Pilgrim