The Cradle series relates some info about the Way. It is described as blue, soothing, vast, etc. One book describes a map of the Way:
A hologram bloomed in the center of the room. It was a map of the Way. It started as a single blue light in the middle, shining like the core of a galaxy. Rivers of sapphire light snaked out from it, forming branches, until it was a tangled nest of blue with little white spots hanging on it like berries. The Iterations. She waved her hand through the light on the outer edge of the orb of branching lines. A cluster of lights shone...and two of the Iterations darkened from white to a swirling gray. Corruption in Sector Seventy-two… (Uncrowned, ch 1)
The author explains it more, online:
Will Wight: The influence of the Way anchors worlds in reality by providing structure. Consistent, recognizable rules. In some of these worlds, even forces like gravity or time work differently, but they do work consistently within the world. That's the influence of the Way. (Abidan Archives). The Way is the source of order. Its presence protects against the destructive and corruptive influence of chaos, and its nature sustains reality. (Excerpt from Will Wight’s blog)
Dying Worlds in the Way
The death of an Iteration is natural, a part of the Way. Death is meant to be the end; this is part of the cosmic order. Only when an Iteration lives too long does it becomes a danger. When a world's population drops so low that it weakens the influence of the Way, but not so low that the Iteration breaks into fragments, that is when corruption sets in. Chaos seeps into the world, infecting it, subverting the laws that govern reality.
At this point, the Abidan can destroy the remaining population, thus removing the Iteration's last hold on existence. But now the world will break into fragments, and those fragments are tinged with chaos. They might crash into other Iterations, infecting them, or combine to create worlds that are corrupted from the very beginning.
There is only one being capable of erasing an iteration from existence entirely, erasing it, without breaking it down into fragments of chaos. Ozriel, the Reaper of the Abidan. And he's missing. (Excerpt from Will Wight’s blog)
The Void & The Way
Q & A with the Author
Question: Is the Way universal, or can recognizable reality exist beyond it?
Will Wight: When the Abidan first started exploring the "shape" of the Way, they found it like a branching river, with Iterations like boulders in the stream. Outside the Way was the void: a hostile emptiness dotted with the fragments of broken worlds and populated by strange, unknowable creatures that sought to break rules and disrupt order.The farther you travel into the void, the more recognizable reality crumbles, until you cease to exist. Even these fiends of the void, incomprehensible nightmare beings, can only exist somewhat close to the Way, because existence itself is a function of order. However, when the Abidan organized, they determined that they would explore the scope and breadth of the Way. They followed each branch to its ending, until the power of the Way grew too thin to sustain them. Then they turned back. They found that the Way WAS finite. It had an end. They've mapped it like a three-dimensional spider web, like a branching skeletal ball. In and among its branches is the endless, infinite void. But their theory says that the Way should be infinite. There's no reason it should ever be contained, and indeed they've never seen it end; they've only followed it as far as they could. Some believe that the Way stretches across an endless cosmic darkness, and this is the only place it has pooled thickly enough to sustain life. Others believe that our Way is only one of many, and that there are other collections of reality out there. Perhaps an infinite number." (https://abidanarchive.com/events/1/#e172)
Question & Answer with Will Wight:
Questioner: Does the Void in the 'Void Sage' have any connection to the Vroshir 'Void'?
Will Wight: Ah, sort of, yeah. In the sense that the Void is just what they call the empty expanse outside of existence. And the Void Icon is the concept of non-existence or emptiness as reflected in the Way. So, its power does come from the Way, like any Icon does, so in that regard it’s not coming from The Void, it is coming from the Way. But you would be able to potentially, that is one potential use of the Void Icon is tapping into The Void. (Archive1823)
The Eledari Pact
A binding Abidan contract. An ancient agreement drafted by the first generation Abidan Judge, Makiel, Hound of Fate, and agreed upon between the original founding members of the Court of Seven Judges. This Pact both increases and restricts the powers of the Abidan. This pact is the tool that allows the Abidan Judges to control the power of the Way as they do. There are many rules in the Eledari Pact, but the most relevant one is the Abidan cannot use their powers to prevent the natural progression of an Iteration. They cannot interfere with fate.
More info at Abidan, Eledari Pact
An Iteration is a galaxy, or universe in some cases, with an habited planet. When a new Iteration forms that may be able to support life, the Abidan select a new population of human pioneers and send them to inhabit a suitable planet.
Splinters of Iterations, after they die, can be cobbled together after millenia, but brand new shiny worlds are only formed from Worldseeds, one of the rarest and most powerful and valuable magical treasures in existence. The Abidan only has three of them, for emergencies.
Makiel leaned forward. Inside was a ball of life and potential, a picture of hope and power, a condensed pearl of raw existence and authority. With the physical eye, it was hard to perceive it as anything other than a ball of light, but Makiel recognized it as one of the most valuable objects to ever exist. A Worldseed. Even the Angler scrambled forward to clutch at the box, desperate to put her hands on this jewel of impossible value. With disgust, Makiel realized she probably wouldn’t even use it, just display it to visitors as another part of her gaudy collection. The entire Abidan Court only had three Worldseeds to their name, and it was their fate to be used for true emergencies. There was very little a Worldseed could not do. (Uncrowned, ch 17)
Source — Excerpted from Will Wight’s blog
Any universe that the Abidan recognize as capable of sustaining human existence and living out a complete life-cycle. The Iterations are described as fruits that hang from a vine that links them all together; this vine is known as the Way.
Every Iteration has a destined progression. A world is born, it lives out its existence, and then it quietly dies, breaking into fragments. These fragments float through the void, crashing and combining randomly until they form into a new universe.
They are called "Iterations" because the thousands of universes currently in existence are thought to be different versions of the same original world or worlds, spun out in different combinations again and again for eternity. Even the Abidan Judges do not know when this cycle began.
On its own, an Iteration should exist for billions of years, except for a certain underlying requirement: each Iteration is anchored to the Way by sentient consciousness. As long as humans📍 are around, the world is tethered to the natural law and order of the Way. The fewer humans there are, the looser that connection becomes.
When humanity dies, the world dissolves.
📍The Abidan definition of "human" is pretty loose, but never too far removed from the humanity we know.
List of Iterations
Listed in alpha order by name, if known, with brief info
- Asylum Sector 21? — Setting for Elder Empire Trilogy. Prison for Elders/Class 1 Fiends
- Commandment #246 — attacked by Vroshir
Around the planet, war raged. Vroshir defended their ships’ retreat with protective workings, barriers, guardian beasts the size of moons, and shields that could block exploding stars. . .Color-swirling portals bloomed in front of the ships as they prepared to leave through the Void. (Bloodline, prologue)
- Cradle #110 — Birthplace of founding Abidan and later, of Ozmanthus Arelius
- Fathom #119 — attacked by Vroshir, in Reaper ch 14
- Harrow #217 — Destroyed, collided with Limit. All survivors quarantined on Scour
- Haven #002 — Abidan vault, where Vroshir Angler stole Makiel’s cache of scythes. Also, where Duraman The Mad King was imprisoned and escaped. (Bloodline, ch 5)
- Jester #247 — attacked by Vroshir Silverlords
- Limit #216 — Where Ozriel was last seen when he stopped the The Mad King’s attack, and took away his most-treasured construct. (Bloodline chapter 8). Limit collided with Harrow.
- Oasis #129 — 200 years after Ozriel took away his construct, the Mad King destroyed Oasis with a scythe forged from Makiel’s scythes (Bloodline, ch 8 and 20)
- Outpost #01 - Oversight. Headquarters of Makiel’s First Division: the Hounds
- Sanctum #001 - Headquarters of the Abidan organization, except for Makiel’s HQ
- Scour #213 — Quarantine area for Harrow and Limit survivors
- 986 Iteration #986 (nameless) — Where Pariana of the Titans saw Suriel defeat four Vroshir(Underlord prologue)
Few Worlds Left
The longer the battle raged, the less stable the Iteration became. Stars winked out from the distant stretches of the universe, galaxies collapsing and fading to nothing, crumbling into the Void. Gravity and reality held less sway, dreams became real, people vanished as though they never existed. (Bloodline ch 18)
The Vroshir, with the Mad King and his Fiend reaping away, destroyed thousands of worlds:
From ten thousand worlds before Ozriel’s departure, they would be reduced to.. . a hundred, perhaps. Even her Presence couldn’t speculate on the total number of lives that would be lost. At least those taken by the Vroshir would survive, but the Mad King and his allies would capture only those who could benefit them in some way. Most would perish. And some of the worlds they lost would be vital ones. (Bloodline ch 20)
The entirety of The Way, as known by the Abidan, is divided into sectors. A sector contains up to 10 iterations, and each iteration usually has one inhabited world. The magic systems within a sector may work in similar ways, with unique differences.
Sector 11 spans across all three series of books created by author Will Wight. It is considered one of the most important sectors.
Iteration-110: Cradle is a huge planet. It is the setting for the Cradle Series. Additionally, it is the birth place of the Reaper of the Abidan, Ozriel (nee Ozmanthus). Cradle is also the birthplace of the original founding members of the Abidan organization, who built the Labyrinth
Amalgam is the setting of the Traveler's Gate Series.
Birth place of current Phoenix of the Abidan, Judge Suriel
Iteration-217 : Harrow is destroyed upon collision with Iteration-216 : Limit. It was initially scheduled for demolition but Ozriel the Reaper and his scythe are missing. The infected of the disaster were quarantined to Iteration-213 : Scour.