|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- 1 Mechanics of Domains
- 2 Known Domains
- 2.1 The Trench
- 2.2 The Sick Village
- 2.3 The Merry-Go-Round
- 2.4 The Field of Worms
- 2.5 The Corpse Roots
- 2.6 The Tenement Block
- 2.7 The House
- 2.8 The Mortal Garden
- 2.9 The Theatre
- 2.10 Night Street
- 2.11 The Realm of the Great Beast
- 2.12 The Anthropocene Era
- 2.13 The Forest
- 2.14 Wonderland House
- 2.15 The Processing Line
- 2.16 The Furnace
- 2.17 The Necropolis
- 2.18 St. Bleedings Centre for Wellbeing
- 2.19 The Monument
- 2.20 The Colony
- 2.21 The Prison
- 2.22 Martin's Domain
- 2.23 The Distortion
- 2.24 The Panopticon
- 2.25 Oxford Street
- 2.26 The Ocean
- 2.27 Hill Top Road
- 2.28 The Precipice
- 3 Mentioned Domains
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
Mechanics of Domains
The precise details of how domains work are unclear, but some things are known.
In most domains, people do not need to eat or sleep, and cannot permanently die. There are some exceptions, most notably the End's domains. Domains can also manifest fake people to be used as set dressing to make the fear of the real people more acute, for example, in The Processing Line only about 1 in 100 people are actual pre-change humans, or The Realm of The Great Beast, where to proportion of real humans to fake ones are even bigger.
As with all post-Change places, time and space are warped in domains. Neither their location nor the amount of time that passes in them is consistent, and their size fluctuates.
Each domain is nominally tied to an entity, although this is not a strict alignment. Domains are shaped by the fears of those inside them and can warp into forms that don't fit into Smirke's 14 categories. Each domain is shaped by and feeds on a specific personal fear, rather than the more abstract categories of the entities.
Many domains have an Avatar or Monster who runs the domain. They are immune to the influence of the domain and help to torment the inhabitants, and seem to have some control over the domain and those in it. However, they are not necessary to the domain- some domains have no visible avatar, and the death of that avatar does not stop the domains functioning or free its inhabitants.
The Trench is a Slaughter-aligned domain which presumably feeds off the fear of being forced into battle, this domain takes the form of a WW1-style battlefield in which the inhabitants are forced to fight each other in increasingly brutal ways, only to be reborn to return to the war upon death. Each side sees the others as literal monsters, so there is no peace possible. A well-dressed man with a poppy is seen unaffected by the carnage and may be the Avatar, although this is not confirmed.
The Sick Village
The Sick Village is a Corruption-aligned domain which possibly feeds off the fear of outsiders spreading disease, this domain takes the form of a small English village ravaged by a fungal blight. The inhabitants wear masks and leather coats to hide their infection and have set up an inquisition to purge outsiders and traitors whom they blame for the plague, burning them at the stake in the village green. It is not known if this domain has an avatar.
The Merry-Go-Round is a Stranger-aligned domain which presumably feeds off the fear of identity loss. It's a massive carousel – the riders have no faces, and must physically tear them off each other and wear them to have any kind of identity. Those who do have them sit atop the horses and exalt in being a person until the horses descend and bring them into the crowd who tear their faces off again. Not-Sasha made her home here, and appeared to have taken the role of an avatar, until her death.
The Field of Worms
The Field of Worms is a Buried-aligned domain which possibly feeds off the fear of being trapped without options. It's a large field in which the inhabitants, seemingly those who were desperately poor before the change, are trapped in tight constricting tunnels, with only a faint glimpse of the sky providing light and false hope. They slowly, painfully try to drag their way to the surface, but whenever they get close rain pours down the tunnels, pushing them further back. It is not known if this domain has an Avatar.
The Corpse Roots
The Corpse Roots is an End-aligned domain which possibly feeds off the fear of knowing how you will die. No exact physical description is given, but it includes roots the victims are forced to walk down while seeing their upcoming deaths. Once they reach the end of their root, they die- for real, unlike other domains. Its avatar is Oliver Banks.
The Tenement Block
The Tenement Block is a Desolation-aligned domain which feeds off the fear of having one's home destroyed or violated. It is a shoddy, dangerous tenement block which is constantly on fire, with the fires going out just long enough for the inhabitants to repair before the fire takes everything away again. Its avatar was Jude Perry until her death.
The House is a Lonely-aligned domain which presumably feeds off the fear of being forgotten, or forgetting your loved ones. It takes the form of a huge, nondescript house filled with fog, that warps the memory of those inside it so they slowly forget the people they love and dwell on tragic memories of their past. It is not known if this domain has an avatar.
The Mortal Garden
The Mortal Garden is a Flesh-aligned domain which presumably feeds off the fear of being trapped in a irreparably-flawed body that reflects one's own worthlessness. It takes the form of a garden where victims are buried and have their bodies twisted and cut into fleshy "flowers" that give form to their body dysmorphia and self-loathing. Its avatar was Jared Hopworth, until his death.
The Theatre is a Web-aligned domain which presumably feeds off the fear of the loss of control that comes from addiction and addiction recovery. It takes of the form of a stage where, under the guise of a play, a victim is impaled with hooked strings and manipulated by an entity called "the Spider" in much the same way as a marionette. They are forced to relive events that spurred on and aggravated their substance use while the Spider manipulates their body and taunts them. The play culminates in the victim being forced to consumer tiny spiders in the form of their previously-used substance or substances. The Spider lets them suffer for a time, before the curtain falls and the play starts again.
Night Street is a Dark-aligned domain which feeds off childhood fears of the bogeyman. It is a pitch-black suburb in which children are convinced they are being hunted by various monsters while their parents ignore their terror. Unlike other domains, it has a specific purpose- to allow children's fears to "mature" into a form the Eye finds more palatable. Its avatar is Callum Brodie.
The Realm of the Great Beast
The Realm of the Great Beast is a Vast-aligned domain that possibly feeds off the terror of inescapable destruction. It is a sprawling expanse of towns which an unimaginably huge creature made of millions of humans rampages through, crushing them underfoot. The inhabitants are divided into two groups- those on the ground who desperately try to get away as their loved ones try to underplay the threat, and those people who are part of the monster. Its avatar is Simon Fairchild.
The Anthropocene Era
The Anthropocene Era is an Extinction-aligned domain that feeds off the fear of humanity destroying itself. It takes the form of a dry seabed full of towering piles of garbage and mutated predatory animals, as well as monstrous creatures native to the realm. The one inhabitant we see tries futilely to record the remains of humanity. It is unknown if this domain has an avatar, though this seems unlikely, given that the Extinction did not appear to have any avatars prior to the Mass Ritual.
The Forest is a Hunt-aligned domain that feeds off the fear of betrayal and witch-hunts. It's a forest inhabited by packs of people, who repeatedly discover that one member of them is a traitor, hunt them down and brutally kill them, before discovering another "traitor" and repeating the process. While multiple avatars existed within the domain, it is unknown if any of them 'rule' this domain.
Wonderland House is a Spiral-aligned domain that feeds off the fear of abusive mental health treatment and that people are making up or imagining their mental health issues. It takes the form of a mental health institution where patients are continuously subjected to abusive treatment telling them that they are worthless and making up their problems. "Treatment" is administered by a person called Doctor David, who is likely the domain's avatar, though this is not certain. Helen implies that she knows, or at least knows of, Doctor David.
The Processing Line
The Processing Line is a Flesh-aligned domain that seems to feed off a combination of the animalistic fear of being slaughtered and the human fear of being exploited and dehumanized/being useless. It is a slaughterhouse with a near-endless line of people queuing to enter the killing floor and be butchered, before being reborn to start queuing again. According to John, it has an avatar, but we do not see them or learn who they are.
The Furnace is a Desolation-Aligned domain that appears to feed off the fear of losing the things and people you love. It is a massive, red-hot furnace where inhabitants are forced to shovel carts full of the things they love into a furnace. While an "overseer" is mentioned, whether this is the domain's avatar and who they are if so is unknown.
The Necropolis is a domain most likely aligned with The End, The Web and/or The Eye. It seems to feed off fears related to mourning, the unquiet dead, religious trauma and abuse. It is an above-ground cemetery with animated inhabitants and angel statues who attack anyone who disrespects the malevolent dead. It also contains a funeral home where the statement giver is forced to mourn their abuser respectfully and is attacked by the zombified corpse. There is a funeral director who seems to be in charge of the funeral home, and is likely this domain's avatar, though it is never confirmed..
St. Bleedings Centre for Wellbeing
St. Bleedings is a domain aligned with The Stranger, although it also contains strong elements of The Flesh. It seems to feed off the fear of medical procedures, specifically surgery. It is a hospital where victims undergo physical and psychological torture at the hands of masked medical staff deemed "treatment" to cure them of their wellness. "Dr. Jane Doe" (possibly one of the Anatomy Students) appears to be the avatar of the Domain. Breekon, an agent of The Stranger, is also there as a janitor.
The Monument is a domain possibly aligned with The Spiral, The Eye or The Vast, preying on those who attempt to categorize the world with themselves at the centre. A "cascading recursion of shifting arrogance and hubristic dead-ends" wherein academics are trapped in an ever-changing maze. The inhabitants come up with elaborate theories as to how to escape the domain, only to have the maze shift to prove them wrong. There is no known avatar. This is the second domain to seemingly have a purpose outside of just creating fear, acting as a deliberate mockery of humans who attempted to understand the Entities. Given the maze-like nature of the Domain, the Spiral would seem the most likely associated power, though this is never confirmed.
The Colony is a domain aligned with The Corruption and The Buried feeding on the fear of being trapped with a lot of insects. It takes the form of a massive tunnel system made up of an uncountable number of ants. The people trapped there are forced to keep moving forward in the cramped tunnels while the often mutated ants crawl and bite them. The Ants are both the domain and the avatar but when passing through, Jonathan Sims also turns Jordan Kennedy into its avatar.
The Prison is a domain possibly aligned with The Desolation, The Eye, The Buried, the Spiral and/or The Lonely. It presumably feeds off of the fear of mistaken arrest and being arrested for something they did not do. Inhabitants alternate between being trapped in a prison cell for prolonged periods of time and experiencing distorted memories of different arrests and abuses. It's implied they are also tormented by the jailers and guards. The Warden is mentioned, but it is unknown if he is this domain's avatar, or who he is if so.
A small domain that is a mix of The Eye and The Lonely. Inhabited by a few people who fear that no one will ever know of them, that they shall suffer in silence, and be mourned by nobody. It takes the form of a bleak, monochrome moor under constant pouring rain. The inhabitants wander aimlessly, vaguely remembering their past lives enough to regret them but not enough to actually grasp who they were. They are unable to perceive the other inhabitants, even when right next to each other. As the name implies, Martin Blackwood is its avatar, although unlike the rulers of the other domains he does not spend time there, and until MAG 183 was unaware of its existence.
Feeding on the fear of false friends and deceptive kindness, the physical form of The Distortion is its own domain in the post-change world. It takes the shape of a shifting, confusing hotel whose inhabitants are constantly misled further and further into the halls by Helen, the Distortion's current face. It was destroyed by Jonathan Sims when he killed The Distortion.
An Eye-aligned domain taking the form of a massive tower that can see and be seen anywhere on earth, the outside is made entirely of one-way mirrors. and the inside consist of a very long staircase that goes to the top. It is implied that Jonathan Sims was the intended avatar of this domain, but without his presence Jonah Magnus resides within it as "the pupil of the eye" and Rosie Zampano is there as his receptionist. It was destroyed in MAG 200 via gas main explosion.
Oxford Street is a subsection of London that feeds off the fear of being judged and losing your position of power. It takes the form of a street and a palace where "The Minister" walks through a crowd of malnourished people, painfully aware of how well fed he looks. Inside the glass palace, he fails to speak out for fear of losing his privileged position and sees the crowd gazing in envy as plates of meat are served.
The Ocean is a domain of the Vast with possible aspects of the Dark and the Lonely. A victim is infinitely drowning in it with an unknown creature swimming around them. When they break the surface they find the ocean goes on forever and allow themselves to drown again.
Hill Top Road
Hill Top Road is a domain of the Web. It takes the form of a massive spiderweb hanging above the interdimensional chasm under the house pre-change. The avatar is likely Annabelle Cane, although this is not confirmed.
The Precipice is a domain of the Vast, presumably feeding on the fears of heights and falling. It takes the form of a massive cliff-face with people travelling along it using a variety of rickety ladders, with thousands of people falling besides them.
These are domains that have been mentioned, but have not been the subjects of a statement or otherwise seen in detail.
The Void is a domain presumably aligned with the Dark, consisting of "hungry shadows drifting in the dark". Basira went here after killing Daisy. Nothing else is currently known about this domain.
The Suburb is a domain of The Lonely, theorized to feed off the fear of secret domestic abuse, as suggest by clues such as "But if you think there’s a lack of violence or suffering, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken," "The suffering here is deep. And it’s private." John and Martin pass through it on their way to London.
The Labyrinth of Masks
A domain that Basira moves through it in on her way to London. She described it as a "weird mirror maze thing." The power associated with the domain is the Stranger. The existence of an associated avatar is unknown.
The Endless Supermarket
A domain that likely feeds off the fear of a meaningless or empty life, taking the form of an endless supermarket. Melanie and Georgie steal food from it for supply runs.
The Spiral Maze
A Spiral-Aligned domain where Lavern was trapped before being rescued. No other details are provided.
The Cat Domain
A domain described as having endless cabinets and 'labels that cut you'. It is inhabited by things that 'put you in your place'.
A domain Basira travels through on her way to London before finding herself in the Ocean domain. It is possibly the same domain as the Labyrinth of Masks, but there is nothing concrete. Nothing else is known.
- Before the Change, the Entities often manifested as strange extradimensional locations, and Smirke dreamed of their true forms as locations. What relationship, if any, these places have to the domains of the post-Change world is unclear.
- The cabin from MAG 162 may have been a small or nascent domain, with a specific fear it fed off (the fear of having your shelter destroyed) and a statement given about its inhabitants.
- At least three domains have been stated to have been places important to an Entity before the Change- The Panopticon previously being the Magnus Institute and Millbank Prison combined, the Trenches being Kinloss Barracks, and Hilltop Road. It is not been confirmed whether this is true of all domains, or what the other seen domains were pre-Change if so.
- In MAG 183, John mentions that not all domains are obvious physical places- Daisy's domain was not a place, but Basira's quest to kill her, an abstract domain that she was the only person in alongside the fear she generated by viewing and Hunting in other domains. Similarly, Jon says in MAG 195 that Basira has inherited Daisy's role, although implied that her "chase" is for a way to undo the Change rather than a literal chase.
- In MAG 189 it is revealed that the tunnels under the institute are still intact and impervious to The Eye. A handful of survivors, including Georgie Barker and Melanie King, currently reside in them.
- MAG 174: The Great Beast
- MAG 178: The Processing Line
- Mag 176: Blood Ties
- MAG 163: In the Trenches
- MAG 164: The Sick Village
- MAG 165: Revolutions
- MAG 166: The Worms
- MAG 168: Roots
- MAG 169: Fire Escape
- MAG 170: Recollection
- MAG 171: The Gardener
- MAG 172: Strung Out
- MAG 173: Night Night
- MAG 175: Epoch
- MAG 176: Blood Ties
- MAG 177: Wonderland
- MAG 179: Accomplice
- MAG 180: Moving On
- MAG 182: Wellbeing
- MAG 183: Monument
- MAG 184: Like Ants
- MAG 185: Locked In
- MAG 186: Quiet
- MAG 187: Checking Out
- MAG 192: An Appointment
- MAG 189: Peers
- MAG 195: Adrift
- MAG 196: This Old House
- MAG 198: Precipice
- MAG 183: Monument
- MAG 188: Centre of Attention
- MAG 190: Scavengers
- MAG 191: What We Lose
- MAG 199: Seeing it Through