"There was no long-term, and trying to cling to one would only spoil it all."
This article contains spoilers regarding the ending of Worm and plot of the sequel.
Current known or inhabited Earths are not all specifically named in the Worm Universe. As of Arc 28, there were over a dozen Earths accessible from Earth Bet. Some contacted worlds are unknown to the general public and were classified. Over two years after Gold Morning, there were 47 cataloged Earths, of which nine were currently inaccessible.
There are many, many Earths that are not easily accessible. Each Shard resides on another Earth (or multiple Earths), linked through the dimensions.
Earth Aleph is the home to the Travelers. It is a world that diverged paths from the time of Scion's first appearance. This world has variations of everyone born before said appearance (about 30 years before the start of Worm), though anyone born after will not have a duplicate in Earth Bet. It is much closer to the world of the readers than other Earths, even Earth Bet, but it still has capes. However, they're much weaker than the ones on Earth Bet.
Earth Bet, also known as Earth B, is the main setting of Worm. It is believed to have diverged from Earth Aleph around 1982. It is the home world to Taylor and the majority of the other capes in the story.
Bet has dollar coins instead of bills, major terrorist attacks did not occur here, but the damage that people with superpowers did more than compensated. The Cold War fizzled out when Scion entered the picture and interfered with nuclear weapons testing. There are the remains of an abandoned base on the Moon that was being created by Sphere. Superhero comics are somewhat less popular and developed on Bet than in the real world. There was still discrimination against gay people on Earth Bet.
The existence of tinkers led to a tech boom, although this was severely limited by the difficulty of reverse-engineering tinker technology. One popular computer operating system was "OS360", which featured a "radial menu" acessed by drawing a circle in the center of the monitor. Smartphones often used menus based around concentric circles, and contact details could be sent from phone to phone by "flicking" them toward a person.
Some occurrences from the real world after 1982 were paralleled on Earth Bet. Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio were all famous on Earth Bet. Google Docs existed, as did free Hotmail and Yahoo email addresses. Smartphones were popular.
Endbringer attacks had devastated cities including Lausanne, Hawaii, Kyushu, Newfoundland, Moscow, Sydney, and Madison, Winsconsin, causing wide-reaching repercussions. The destruction of Kyushu led to large numbers of Asian immigrants to the US, a severe weakening of Japan and destabilisation throughout Asia’s pacific border. Attacks by Leviathan on sources of freshwater led to a water crisis, while other attacks led to economic damage, plagues, civil war and other crises. The destruction of port cities in Endbringer attacks harmed the shipping industry, although shipping ultimately continued.
Earth Bet had a population of roughly 6,979,019,555 in 2011, according to the Number Man.
Two years following Gold Morning, Bet was still undergoing evacuation and had been deemed uninhabitable. Threats included disease, pollution from abandoned chemical and nuclear sites, and lingering parahuman threats. Some areas experienced unseasonably cold weather, with contaminated snow and groundwater. American refugees travelled for days to reach a portal to Gimel, and faced screening from authorities before being let in.
Earth Gimel is an alternate Earth connected to Brockton Bay Bet, which seemed to have diverged from other human occupied earths roughly five thousand years ago. There were a rare few native settlements. It was an underpopulated world and was designated for evacuation of much of the East Coast.
As of two years after Gold Morning, there were five points of settlement on Gimel, with civilization growing outward from those points. It had been checked by thinkers to ensure that it was somewhat safe, but much of the planet was still unexplored. Due to the lack of, until recently, human development, the world had regular climate shifts unlike earth alph with its global warming and earth bets added endbringer destruction.
The American colony on Earth Gimel and associated territories became known as Gimel.US. It and the surrounding areas had a population of roughly 50 million. The major city established on Earth Gimel after Gold Morning was simply known as "The City".
Sometimes known as Earth C. A stagnant world of over twelve billion people united under one religion. This Earth, or at least factions of it, is currently at tension with Earth Gimel and other survivors.
Earth Zayin is an alternate Earth used as a refuge. Sleeper followed into this world, presumably through a portal near his home in Mordovia, and would later "subsume" it. The very fact that he entered Zayin causes everyone else to write off the whole dimension as a lost cause and hope he remains there.
Tattletale visited this world on a mission. There was a portal to this world from the City on Gimel in the Norfair span, post-sabotage it was scrambled, but another one is active in unspecified location.
Earth N was considered one of the corner worlds. It holds around 150 thousand people, with 90% within twenty-five miles of the portal, the others are spread around the globe in resource extraction camps.
Buildings in the main settlement, Wailings, are ramshackled, with cabins being the better ones, and infrastructure is lacking. Lord of Loss reins over here.
Locals are borderline hostile to unfamiliar capes.
It's likely that this is officially named Earth Nun.
A PHO post that made reference to "noon" may have been referring to this Earth. This post stated that one could easily reach the corner worlds from "noon".
Sometimes known as Earth S. A world with parahumans, but no superheroes. Non-powered people are treated like second-class citizens. There was a takeover on a global level by supervillians, a group called 'The Supreme'. Said villains are very well organized by their leader: Goddess.
A world dedicated to Australian refugees, with a population of just over two million people. The largest settlement was attacked by the Yàngbǎn with the intent of conquering the planet for the Chinese Union-Imperial, but their attacking force was annihilated by the Simurgh.
The world that was home to Fortuna. Eden's crash-landing tore a hole into this world, allowing her to cross over and encounter Eden directly. This world seemed to have a very low level of technology, and Fortuna was unaware that people with dark skin existed.
The Earth where Eden crash-landed, tearing holes to Contessa's World and Doctor Mother's World. Cauldron constructed their compound around her in Côte d’Ivoire. This world featured a number of monsters created by Eden's impact.
A nickname for settlements situatied on Earths that were relatively inaccessible and sparsely populated. Many of the small colonies on these worlds were dominated by Parahuman dictatorships. Despite being accessible directly from the City, Earth N was sometimes considered one of these,and in fact had several corners.
↑ 3.03.1Our best count right now, excepting areas we cannot fully access, is that portals, devices, and tears between realities are currently allowing access to forty-seven Earths. Six of those Earths have been blocked off due to implicit threats or are fundamentally inaccessible. Two more have been closed off at the request of their denizens. Earth Aleph, which most Earth Bet residents are or were familiar with, has been blocked off as well. - Excerpt from Glow-worm P.6
↑ 5.05.15.2"“Nine-eleven didn’t happen here. Endbringers did. They have one dollar coins in this America, not bills, and they phased pennies out. Um. There’s an installation on the moon, half-built and abandoned. I don’t know. Stuff is different.” - Excerpt from Migration 17.6
↑You follow the lame ass superheroes and villains we’ve got running around, and the three or four who’re maybe actually worth something. You’ve followed Earth Bet, all the stuff that goes on with the real heroes and villains. - Excerpt from Migration 17.5
↑There were capes in Earth Aleph, barely C-list by our standards. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4
↑Breakdown of Haywire's research says we can't get to alt. Earths that are too close to our own. Closest Earth to our own is Aleph, and deviation from that world started 30 years ago, the moment Scion arrived. Anyone over 30 was born in both worlds, anyone under 30 wasn't, or the odds are almost impossible (same sperm, same egg, same time of conception required to have the same kid, and that's ignoring all the environmental influences during the pregnancy, and everything post-pregnancy that shapes the personality.) - Excerpt from Interlude 19.y
↑Unlike the major players in the Cold War, the monsters he was thinking about weren’t so rational that they’d stand down with Scion in the picture. - Excerpt from Interlude 15.y
↑That's essentially it. Scion was stopping raiding groups and paramilitary groups in Africa and the Middle East, and then began to respond to weapon testing in much the same way. Scion shot down one test missile from a country away and then hit the launch facility. This wasn't widely publicized, but it did have ripple effects in terms of culture and America's military spending/focus. Part of Scion's motivation in doing so was to prevent a scenario where the shards couldn't find hosts (for much the same reason, he would have gone out of his way to stop, say, String Theory). Part was Norton's instructions. But the countries basically realized that it wouldn't work. - Elaboration on spacebattles by Wildbow
↑My point was that being GBLT in the setting isn't without occasional difficulties. A counterpoint to your general sentiment that the Wormverse is ok with gay people. I think making things perfectly ok and not mentioning the struggles & issues that a group goes through diminishes those struggles. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑I then got to watch Madison rattle off my very impressive sounding list of ways capes had changed the world. She cribbed almost all of my stuff; fashion, economics, Tinkers and the tech boom, the fact that movies, television and magazines had been tweaked to accommodate cape celebrities, and so on. - Insinuation 2.3
↑There's more to it, but Gearboy might not understand all the factors going into the crafting or maintenance process. He leans on his power for some things.
Creates a situation where, even with Gearboy creating detailed guides and painstaking video tutorials that walk through how he repaired a simple hull breach in his robot suit, you could get metallurgists and robot designers working together as a committee and missing some critical detail like how ambient humidity during the weld impacts the cross-exterior conduction and complex stresses for the future, or even power-granted awareness of planetary gravity/rotation/tidal influences on nano-crystal matrices.
↑Think about it this way - you sit down to build something, you have a partial idea in mind, your power supplies the rest of the instructions and components. You get into the zone, you tinker away, and a lot of your actions become automatic.
The shard, meanwhile, is working in concert. They supply the ideas and the mental pictures, what's necessary and what's up to your imagination. Then, as you get underway, they assess variables like ambient temperature, radio waves, earth's superposition in the galaxy, the materials you're working with, fine tuning to an extreme.
People using a camera can't track all of the individual details, so they copy what they can, but the pieces don't fit together, the metal has superfine stresses and vulnerabilities they aren't aware of, the elements don't jibe, and it just doesn't work. - reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑Tinkers may think they grok what they're doing, but the reality is that they're letting their passenger use extraordinary senses, awareness, and inspiration to fill the gaps. They start working, they focus on aesthetic and on other effects, but all the while, the passenger is figuring out some other stuff behind the scenes, or tweaking reality. TL;DR is that tinkers can't pass on tips to humanity. Even Masamune, even Dragon. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑Point_Me_@_The_Sky: Does your computer have a camera built into the monitor? Mangled_Wings: Yes.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky: OS360? Mangled_Wings: Yes. I think. Point_Me_@_The_Sky: Draw the circle in the center of the desktop to open the radial menu. Hit ‘C’ and camera should be something visible. Open it, wait for your image to appear. You’ll want to be in costume. Hit space.
Mangled_Wings: It made a shutter sound. - excerpt from Glow-worm P.3
↑“Pass me your number?” Rain asked. His phone was as battered as he was, with a crack running down the case.
I thumbed through the concentric rings, put my thumb on my phone number and profile information, and then flicked it in Rain’s direction. “Got it,” he said. His info appeared on my phone, at the top edge. It was soon joined by Tristan’s, then Kenzie’s and Ashley’s, near simultaneously. Kenzie’s name was framed with colorful symbols. Chris’s and Sveta’s were the last to appear. - excerpt from Flare 2.7
↑In the chapter Taylor sees the Undersiders unmasked, she comments that Alec’s ‘pretty rather than handsome’ looks, along the lines of Justin Beiber, Marcus Firth, young Leonardo Decaprio, etc, etc, aren’t her cup of tea. So at the very least, between Taylor & Vista’s comments, we can surmise he’s famous for having girls squeal over his looks. Is he a singer/sometime jerkass actor, though? Could have deviated in this reality, sure.Comment by Wildbow
↑He was pretty, with a triangular face, light blue eyes and full lips pulled into a bit of a scowl. I pegged him as having French or Italian heritage. I could see where he would have girls all over him, but I couldn't say I was interested, myself. The pretty boys – Leonardo Decaprio, Marcus Firth, Justin Beiber, Johnny Depp – had never done it for me. - Insinuation 2.6
↑ Kid Win watched the white text scroll by with details on the connection's activity.
Google docs – pages of technical stuff, the boy was adding notes on gold wiring, shortform notes on antigravity, 3D crystals. The next page the boy visited, five minutes later, was an email account. - Sentinel 9.4
↑"Very few school email addresses, mostly throwaway accounts from hotmail and yahoo," -
↑"Is your phone really a priority?" Trickster asked.
"Yeah," Rory said. "Yeah it is."
"Then you should have known better than to use it here," Trickster said, shrugging.
"Give it back," Rory turned to glare at ‘me'. At my swarm-double.
Trickster chuckled, "Never really got that smartphone craze. People go gaga over the things." - Colony 15.8
↑As stated in Legend’s pre-battle speech (early in arc 8) there’s almost always grievous losses but they aren’t always the same sort of losses.
You have the events that left the world reeling: Lausanne, Hawaii, Kyushu, Newfoundland, Moscow, Sydney. The attacks that left major areas uninhabitable or unrecoverable, with wide-reaching effects on the rest of the country/region/world.- Comment by Wildbow on Colony 15.5
↑In this setting, for example, Japan isn’t a world power and it’s still dependent on international assistance 12 years after Leviathan’s visit to Kyushu.
But even there, where do you say, “Ok, that’s the sum total of the damage done”? The disaster at Kyushu, the number of refugees seeking living space/work and the pressures on the rest of Asia’s pacific border might have led to some more unrest and tension. Some friction, some ‘small’ wars, infighting and intermingling. Refugees and immigrants. Many settle in major cities across America because President Bradley’s Preservation Act gives them a hand in getting on their feet.
Do you factor that last point into the damage as well? Lung comes to Brockton Bay in part because of the booming population of Asian immigrants (which hasn’t yet set down roots). Bakuda was born to a Westerner mother and Immigrant father. Do you count the damage they’ve done?- Comment by Wildbow on Colony 15.5
↑But that’s only the major hits, the broad strokes of the brush and all the repercussions/spatter that follows from that. Attacks end in other ways, for example. Legend mentions mass loss of life. There’s economic damage that follows from that, disease and explosions in the population of vermin when a quarter million people die in a concentrated area.
There’s the deaths of countless heroes, and how that biases things further towards the general villain population. If the selfless throw their lives away for the greater good and it’s primarily the selfish (or the very powerful) who are left, how does that skew things?
And I should stress that weak points aren’t necessarily just areas which are geographically vulnerable. There’s places where there’s ongoing conflict (like we might point to the middle east over the past decade), places where it takes little effort on the part of the Endbringer to deal maximum devastation (ie. a nuclear power plant, military bases) and spots where a great many resources are invested (be they great minds collected in one place or major projects like Dr. Gramme’s major projects in trying to save the world). Did anyone else catch the mention of the water crisis? Leviathan isn’t always attacking cities, and the world has only so much accessible freshwater. - Comment by Wildbow on Colony 15.5
↑The best case scenario is that Earth’s population drops steeply over twenty years, until it settles to forty-eight point six percent of where it currently stands. Three billion, three hundred and ninety-one million, eight hundred and three thousand, five hundred and four. Give or take. - Interlude 14.y
↑@ Boosher – a big part of what was being talked about in other similar articles was the threat of bandits, bad weather, the wasteland and chasms, unstoppable robot armies, the food shortages. - Glow-worm P.1
↑• Earth Bet has been deemed uninhabitable. Contrary to popular belief, radiation is not a major concern. However, many industrial sites were either destroyed or have weathered the last two years of neglect poorly, with chemicals leeching into groundwater and settling in valleys. Terrible numbers of deceased humans and other living species have led to other health concerns, particularly in previously heavily settled areas that received heavy damage. There will always be those who attempt to hold onto what we have lost, and many persist in trying to maintain some existence on Bet. However, new incidents arise on what seems to be a weekly or twice-weekly basis, with one in three having to do with powers, the powered, untended tinker technology, masters, and lingering threats. We may one day return to Bet, as some groups have fervently expressed a desire to do, but we have a great deal of work to do before this is possible. It may not happen in our generation or our children’s generation. Be aware that if you choose to return to Bet (and most authorities agree you have the fundamental right to do so) you may have to re-apply for entry and you will very likely be putting your well being in peril. - Glow-worm P.6
↑The deviation point seems to be nearly five thousand years ago. Several teams are working on analyzing the sites where humans settled, looking for the cause of extinction. - Excerpt from Imago 21.5
↑ 41.041.141.2Earth Gimel has been partially explored and checked by thinkers. There are no guarantees. Except for some rare indigenous colonies, it is unsettled. Gimel has five major points of settlement, with civilization finding its foothold around these points. The City, as of yet unnamed, is the primary US point of settlement and one of the primary waypoints. The City is a megalopolis with a commonly cited population of fifty million. A rough map (one month out of date) here. - Excerpt from Glow-worm P.6
↑We each settled into chairs. The metal was cold- even though it was only September, the weather was turning. There was a gravity to the seasonal change that I couldn’t remember ever experiencing back home on Bet. - Excerpt from Torch 7.2
↑[A18 11:11:47] Moonsong: And your family? Your parents? I liked them when I saw them. [A18 11:12:00] Cap: alive. we’re in the city. they’re trying to come to terms with things [A18 11:12:35] Cap: things are really coming together like crazy. new skyscrapers every day, new stores. good and almost like a city in Earth Bet but it isn’t really home [A18 11:15:08] Moonsong: It isn’t. We’re in the city too. [A18 11:16:17] Cap: You and your folks? they’reokay? [A18 11:17:40] Moonsong: They’re good. Dad is taking a shot at mayor or councilman. We’ll see what happens - Glow-worm P.2
↑You should know, Scion just hit Dalet. It’s ugly. Getting worse with every attack. - Excerpt from Imago 21.4
↑Earth He was under attack. Western Europe and Northern Africa, minus the English speakers. - Venom 29.9
↑Mordovia bubble hit. Sleeper has been roused, last tracked en route to Zayin portal. Casualties unknown. - Extinction 27.3
↑One Earth was already lost to us, destroyed by Scion in the first day he'd been traveling universes. The South American refugees who had fled through there would be either eradicated or reduced to such a small population that it barely mattered. Earth Zayin, too, was gone, subsumed by the Sleeper. - Cockroaches 28.5
↑The largest settlements that remained, the most obvious targets. There was one in Zayin, but the Sleeper had followed the refugees in there. Even if it still stood after Scion's visit, there was no helping any of the refugees there. - Venom 29.9
↑Sleeper. I could see him, sitting on a lawn chair on a balcony, reading a book out loud to himself.
More trouble than he was worth. I let him be. - Speck 30.4
↑The last big convoy of materials and trucks were from another Earth, and they’re part of what’s being held hostage. The delivery folk from Earth-K aren’t budging because they aren’t abandoning their delivery, even though they’ve been told they can go. The government from United States of K is getting upset because their people aren’t home, workers aren’t conceding anything else, and construction groups aren’t either. - excerpt from Flare 2.3
↑Earth Mem has been partially settled by others from Bet. We are currently trying to establish some kind of communication and link.
For novice explorers and those looking to settle new territories, we would encourage Gimel and Mem as largely safe options. - Glow-worm P.6
↑Maxtag: Tattletale took on a new mission that’s taking her to Earth N. She’ll be busy for a short while. - Glow-worm P.7
↑Earth N was not a very populated Earth. This settlement and the surrounding area were more or less it, with a few stations at key points around the globe, harvesting the most accessible resources that lined up with what we knew about from other Earths.
But with roughly one hundred and fifty thousand people settled on this world, ninety percent of them within twenty-five miles of the portal, it didn’t take much clout to control it. Lord of Loss and his clique managed that.
Things weren’t as nice as they were in the megalopolis. Roofs were often corrugated steel. I saw houses with additions that were plywood with plastic tacked to them. Others were best described as cabins. It marked a stark contrast from a city where vast quantities of materials had apparently been arranged and even brought to key locations before Gold Morning.
The stores were basic, and any design beyond the bare bones had clearly been tacked on after the fact. A long lineup outside of a larger building made me think of a soup kitchen or other kind of rationing.
There were two people with visible injuries in the loose crowd that we’d joined. People from the train station. They were young, they might have been friends, and one sported a black eye, while the other had a cut on his cheek that extended to his ear. The injuries hadn’t seen enough attention- left to heal with the weight of the skin pulling the injury open, it would scar into an open line.
Both those two and roughly half of the remainder looked like they were denizens of Earth N. Their clothes and hair reflected the same standards and ideas that the buildings did. A lot was being done with very little, and that little was already a bit worn around the edges, strained by hard living and a lack of infrastructure. I saw clothes which were clearly less than two years old, yet worn. I imagined they had been washed with hard scrubbing in water outdoors.
[...] I’d been here before, but it had been in the winter, and I barely recognized the place now. I’d seen other places like it, and it had always felt strained and desperate - excerpt from Torch 7.8
↑He wasn’t the only one who seemed to notice, but he was the most blatant about his reaction. Instant hostility. A glare.
Even the low-level hubbub of the street and the workers on the street changed, conversations dropping in volume, others stopping talking to see why. - excerpt from Torch 7.8
↑Exploring the uncharted is exciting, but if you aren’t equipped, you can come to harm, even if the world is uninhabited. One ex-Bet government (which shall remain unnamed) sent one expedition to Earth Achat. The Europe of that world was home to an invasive species, which grew as a tubular mold in dark, shadowed spaces, particularly in forest. Eating food exposed to the spores these molds created causes stomach cramps that progress to reflexive vomiting over the course of two to five days. The vomiting then lasts another two to five days, causing death by dehydration for any who don’t receive care. - Glow-worm P.6
↑Do not travel to inhabited worlds. Absolutely do not make first contact. [...] a family traveled across Earth Chamesh and happened across a settlement we were currently talking to. Much confusion and concern was had and we are still recovering. - Glow-worm P.6
↑He existed in Earth N, in the corner world ‘Q’, and other scattered realities. - Excerpt from Black 13.7
↑ 74.074.174.2Cote D'ivoire, early 1980s, alternate earth with doors to Contessa's world and to Doctor Mother's. They limited access to the doors and later built the complex around her.
Cauldron capes were explicitly more stable. Case 53s (barring Shamrock, Madison and Dealer C53s) all had a reason for being dropped where they were, with individual programming.
The world carried on with rather a few more monsters in it. There was no time travel involved. Contessa's world was just backwards in many respects (and much colder overall). - Spacebattles
↑there is a world not far from us which is at constant war. there are tears in reality they can use to reach us and they have a lot of incentive to do so. they have parahumans too. there is a theocratic state which is more distant but they have some parahumans too. there is a world of monsters like Weld and his irregulars. there are others, smaller. there are probably others who we haven’t been told about. - Glow-worm P.8
↑Earth N. Lord of Loss’s Earth. It had been Marquis, before Marquis had vacated. Deader and Goner had controlled territory there too, off of one of the portals. An Earth of a dozen corners, where the settlements were spread out and hard to reach, so a bunch of the ‘corner worlds’ were on the same Earth. Which in reality made sense, when so much vetting had been necessary, to watch for invasive species, disease, and hazards. - Heavens 12.1