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There are various spells that let Awakened mages go to the Twilight and Shadow realms. Some of them (Ghost Gate and Spirit Road) open a portal for anyone to step through. Also, werewolves can enter the Shadow realm by spending essence. There are also some spells that allow real-world items to turn into ephemera (ghostly objects) so you can use them in Twilight or Shadow realms. That hints that you can't use any of your "normal" items without turning them into ephemera first.

Suppose a mortal/mage stepped into a Spirit Road and found himself in the Shadow realm. Are all his clothes, weapons, armor, and tools left in the Fallen World? Is he now completely naked, unable to carry any objects with him into the Shadow realm? Or can he carry his belongings but not use them to interact with the Shadow realm in any way (e.g. to attack things or pick locks)? What happens in Twilight? Is it the same as the Shadow realm in terms of object relations?

What happens if we think the other way around? What if said mortal took an ephemeral knife from Shadow/Twilight realm and brought it back to the Fallen World? What happens to the knife? Will it be left behind or can he carry it around but not attack with it because its ephemeral and not physical?

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Twilight is a state of being, not a separate realm. Think of it as a phase of matter. Ephemeral stuff in the Fallen world is said to be in Twilight. Ghost Gate (Death 3) "transforms all who step through it into a Twilight state of existence."

Note that Ghost Gate does not create a portal through which things can return; it only makes material those beings who passed through originally (and presumably those who used a separate instance of a similar effect). Some effects, such as Sculpt Ephemera (Death 3) make it clear that material objects turned into ephemera lose their ephemeral modifications when they return to the material.

Although it doesn't explicitly say so, I would say that your possessions are temporarily transformed as well. Twilight Shift (Death 4) explicitly takes your possessions along, but doesn't imply that this is something special about that spell.

The Spirit Realm (or Shadow) has no Twilight. Native ephemera and visitors can affect each other. Presumably visitors' possessions are carried along with them into the Shadow. As noted in Spirit Road (Spirit 3), when ephemera from the Spirit World travels to the material, it arrives in a Twilight state (because it is ephemeral).

Regarding taking an ephemeral knife into the material, that depends on the situation.

  • If the character picked up an ephemeral knife in the Shadow and travelled through a Spirit Road (or Verge, etc.) to the Material, the knife would end up in a state of Twilight. Note that everything in the Shadow is a spirit, so the knife would have a mind of its own, however small.
  • If the character picked up an ephemeral knife in a Twilight state and returned through a Ghost Gate, the knife would stay behind in Twilight. He could not carry it or attack with it (although see below).
  • If the character picked up an ephemeral knife in a Twilight state and was subject to an effect that made ephemeral objects material, he would turn material along with the knife. Note that I know of no spell that does this to ghostly ephemera, so it would need to be Creative Thaumaturgy.

In any case, a material character subject to the Touch of the Grave (Death 2) spell can manipulate Twilight objects.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the point of Ghostly Objects spell, if you can carry items to twilight state without destroying them, why would you cast ghostly object on each item separately and not use ghost gate instead? Also does this mean that a soldier with ak-47 could step into twilight or shadow realm using these gates and shoot ghosts and spirits with his recently ephemeral bullets? \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Nov 27 '14 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VolkanUlukut - Ghostly Object is Covert, Lasting, and Instant, so it's better in cases when you don't need to go in person. You can use it to give things to ghosts or hide a cache of supplies or create a weapon to fight beings that have retreated to Twilight. And yes, a soldier could step through and shoot up ephemeral beings. With ghosts this might work out fine. Spirits are very powerful and the soldier may find that he can't keep up with the escalation. without powers of his own. \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Avery-Weir Nov 27 '14 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm adding the werewolf stuff here, rather than posting a whole new answer. The Rite of Dedication (WtF 1st Ed. p. 150) description explains that, normally, shapeshifting destroys clothes and entering the Shadow leaves normal objects behind in the material world. Thus the Rite of Dedication allows werewolves to tie 1 object to themselves per point of Primal Urge. (In an example, a set of mundane clothes is counted as 1 object.) A dedicated item changes size or merges into the skin, depending on your shape, and can be carried into the Shadow without issue. \$\endgroup\$ – mrae Nov 18 '15 at 4:01

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