The Shialwyn Ny Cachliadh, or “Gates of Eternity,” are one- or two-way portals, usually under the direct influence of the Fae, that act as gates between the Dreaming Lands and Baeg Tobar. They take the form of non-descript objects that tend to be hidden in plain sight: an arch of stone, a small rabbit hole, a tide pool, etc. Those traveling to and from the different worlds have described the experience of traveling through one of these gates as “jumping into a frozen pond…upside down….” Because some of the Gates have been forgotten about over time and are left unguarded, it is not uncommon for travelers to suddenly find themselves in strange lands with no way to return.
Certain gates are more heavily guarded by the Fae than others due to their sensitive placement or destinations. Some of these gates lead to places that are incredibly inhospitable or important and sacred to the Fae. They will usually require a key, most likely something odd and completely unrelated to opening a door of any kind, and are generally protected by a fierce guardian. These sentinels are normally Fae champions drawn from the Ainghid Fas, so they have no problem dispatching trespassers and annoying fools looking for the passageways. These guardians take their jobs very seriously and do not look kindly upon those who challenge their authority. There are a few extremely polite guardians who will set up warnings or traps to ward off the unwary. These types are usually a bit more patient in their duties, but they are not averse to killing a particularly persistent intruder.
The Shialwyn Ny Cachliadh do not have the ability to open and close in the traditional sense. They are always open, allowing the Aiemer to flow freely throughout all of creation. There are spells that can be placed upon the gates to prevent people from passing through, but the Aiemer cannot be blocked in any way, shape, or form.
This eternal flow tends to allow the magic of the Dreaming Lands to seep or bleed into the mortal realms, ultimately mutating these worlds and providing them with new and wondrous variety. The Fae of the Sidhe’Lien look on this “Seeping” as a blessing – not only for the Duine, but for the Fae as well. The To’Sidhe’Lien, however, see this “Bleeding” as a slowly building cataclysm, leeching the magic from their world and slowly killing the Fae. This problem is the single greatest dividing factor among the Fae, the key contention that has sparked numerous conflicts that have boiled over into the Dying Lands.