The physical world upon which we live is only one of many planes that co- exist at once, all layered across each other and comprising reality. The additional layers of existence lie just beyond most mortals' reach, and even out of reach of most supernatural beings. Comprising of the realm of the dead, the realm of the Abyss, the spiritual reflection of the physical world... All of these layers and more are collectively called the Umbra.
State of the Umbra on Haven:
Forces throughout the world have been set in motion, causing the planes of the Umbra to begin merging together. While once layered and seperated by the thin protection between each realm called the Gauntlet, the individual realms of existence have begun fusing together with their neighboring areas. The result is a twisted mashup of spiritual and magical layers overlapping each other, ultimately colliding into a single layer of pure chaos. The Umbra, in all of its various forms, was never a safe place to traverse under the best of conditions for the average traveller. With this overlay, many new entities have begun springing forth and populating the various locations that were previously undisturbed. The Shadowlands have begun overlaying portions of Arcadia, the Penumbra merging with every other layer in the viciinity, and so forth. The combinations are as numberous as the layers themselves. No two locations are meshed exactly the same. During all of this turmoil, many inhabitants of the Umbral layers whom were previously stranded in the physical layer of reality, have been inextricably pulled back to their native Umbralscape by the sheer force of the merging. Some have gone willingly and welcomed the chance to cross over to their home realm, while others rail against this development even now, striving to find ways to cross back to the material plane. Whatever the cause, this coalescing of realms into a single Umbral layer likely spells trouble for the denizens of the plane, and it is only a matter of time before the dangers of this new Umbral realm flow into the material plane once again.
Accessing the Umbra:
Garou: Stepping Sideways
Vampires: Auspex 5 (Astral Projection)
Mages: Spirit 3 (Step Sideways), Spirit 4 (Control Gauntlet)
All Others: Ask a Mage with Spirit 4, and other ways [In Progress]