Most of our species would be surprised to learn that the other side finds itself in much the same quandary; they too would like to strike through the mask from the other side, to experience the world of sight and sound, of touch and taste. For those who live in the spirit world, marvelous beings though they be, cannot experience the physical delights of corporeal existence, except in rare, tantalizing glimpses.
Those of us on the physical side of existence can occasionally experience a tantalizing taste of the spirit world in either of two ways. The first way is the act of dreaming, when our spiritual force, freed for a brief time from the sleeping body, can reach out to the world of spirit. The second way, the arts of prophecy and divination, can also give brief glimpses of the other side. This second way (reader, be warned!) is unfortunately also the province of innumerable charlatans, whose clever manipulation of gullible people gives all spirituality a bad name. The visions of the Hebrew prophet Daniel, for example, were almost certainly genuine (as verified by the Norn’s Council). Modern charlatans, however, use the brilliance of the Book of Daniel in order to collect money, with which they buy mansions, fine clothes, excellent cars, and the fine food that gives them their hallmark porcine appearance. The fact that their charades sully the image of the prophets they invoke, makes them very naughty people indeed.
Those who exist on the spiritual side can also briefly touch our world, chiefly by reaching through the mask through the medium of our dreams. Other forms of altered mental states, such as trances and hypnosis, also serve this purpose, but dreams are the chief means by which those on the other side contact us.
Throughout history, certain beings of the spiritual world, unable to resist the temptations of our physical world, have entered our universe through our dreams. One such spirit is called an incubus—a being that enters the dreaming mind and body of a human female and fathers a child through her. Sometimes, the woman is married, and the child is happily assumed to be the offspring of the father. In other cases, however, the incubus targets a virgin woman, who conceives and bears a child, sometimes called a cambion. This explains the fact that cultures across the world are replete with tales of virgins conceiving without having known a man. The resultant children are always remarkable in their abilities. Some possess the ability to cure the sick and handicapped with the merest word or touch. All children of incubi possess the gift of prophecy. Some among them possess the ability to travel freely from world to world, from universe to universe, from era to era. Children of incubi possess also the gift of magic, which is really just science carried to levels humans, with our puny intellects, do not as yet comprehend. All children of incubi are blessed with unusually long lives, while others, though not technically immortal, will live forever, so long as they do not receive a mortal wound. At a certain point, their aging process stops, and they live continuously, sometimes in the form of a wise old man, sometimes as a man of about thirty, sometimes as a mere stripling. The child of an incubus can be either man or woman. Among such females, many become those wise old women who never seem to die—because they don’t. Others live countless ages as lovely young lasses, breaking the hearts of countless young men, not usually out of spite, but because they realize that continuing a relationship with a man who ages, while they stay youthful and gorgeous, would be a crushing blow to the male ego.