Portals are devices created by the gods to connect their realms and dimensions together, and are the fastest and (arguably) the safest means of travel between the realms.

They are translucent vertical discs approximately 3-4 millimetres in depth and four feet in diameter, with the capacity to immediately and automatically grow in size to accomodate larger users (such as dragons or merchant caravans).

Portals are activated by a combination of genetics and intent, so all you have to do is touch one with a destination in mind and you'll be sucked in for the journey, assuming you have the correct genetic make-up (for instance, a Nymph could not travel to Zanarya? via portal because only Zanaryans are permitted there).

A journey actually requires two portals: an entrance and an exit. Since there are so few portals in existence (see the map of Elysia below for their locations), drawn carts and mounts are still vital as a means of long-distance transportation.

Portals interconnect into a vast "network" so that all the other portals are directly available from each one. Even those portals that are genetically locked are still connected to this nexus; they just don't open for anyone who doesn't have the genetic "key".

Due to their nature, it is possible for portals to be accidentally activated, and indeed this is how many humans have found Elysia in the first place. However, to use them properly, the portal user must think clearly of where they want to go. If someone enters a portal while distracted, they will not arrive at their intended destination, instead appearing at the portal closest to what distracted them.

In this way, it's actually possible to trick portals into helping you track someone down by delivering you to the portal closest to them, but it can also lead you into unexpected danger.

Portals in Elysia:

There is also a portal in the far north quadrant of Chandric Forest? which leads to Acantha, but this portal was not known to Elysians until 10,012 XA? and is now heavily guarded on both sides by agents of Xanth and Danae.

Portals in other realms:

  • Zanarya? has one portal located at the Temple of Farahij?. Zanaryans? must apply for travel documents before they're permitted through to leave their homeworld, and only Zanaryans are allowed through it.
  • Nirim? has no portal at all. The only way into or out of the dragon? realm is by teleportation? or on dragonback.
  • Earth's many portals (which are hidden in scattered cities) are being systematically deactivated to prevent further "accidents" but a few still exist, especially in ancestral lands such as Paris, France.
  • The portal to Xanth's Temple is opened and closed on Xanth's whim so that none may enter without her express invitation and permission.