If you haven’t already, this might be a good time to take the Twinborn Quiz. This guide is going to give tips on how to survive after the discovery that you are one of them. That might make the difference between reading this guide for fun, and really needing the information to ensure your survival in a pair of worlds you’ve just discovered are linked.
1. Don’t Ask For Help
To outside observers, you may begin acting strangely. Your twin’s existence may cause you to take interest in new hobbies and bizarre fields of study. It may be a stressful time for one or both of you, and certainly a confusing time. It might be tempting to turn to a friend for advice on what to do, but that’s a mistake. At best, your friend will think you are having nightmares, at worst they might think you’ve lost your mind.
That brings up the second point about asking for help: whether it is about the twinborn condition or any other you might have, stay away from the psychiatric community. This is going to be a hardship if you have real troubles aside from your twinborn link, but if you keep up weekly therapy sessions, you’re eventually going to out yourself as a twinborn. In medical parlance, that translates into “paranoid and psychotic delusions”, or possible “dissociative memory disorder”, neither of which looks good written on the same piece of paper as your name. You might end up on psychoactive drugs that might suppress your ability to retain information from your twin and experience their world. You might end up involuntarily committed to a mental health institution.
The third point is actually worse than the second: you might deliver yourself into the hands of another twinborn. There’s always the possibility you find a helpful one, but it’s not a risk worth counting on when the alternative is to make you or your twin a hostage to a more experience and better connected twinborn.
2. Learn Your Twin
Magic and technology are the weapons of the twinborn. As a citizen of Earth (unless this blog reaches a wider audience than I suspected), you’re from a moderately advanced technological society. We’re not walking around with phased plasma rifles or personal defense shields, but we can cure dysentery and manage heavier-than-air flight. We also have a charlatan:sorcerer ratio of about 10,000:1, and those sorcerers are nearly exclusively twinborn.
So take stock of both your twin’s world and their personal skills. If their world is magical, you need to figure out how much skill you have with it; the less magical strength your twin has, the more likely you are to have a lot of potential as a sorcerer. If they live in a Trek-like wonderland of science, start figuring out which inventions you might be able to duplicate from Earth’s current technology. Mathematics and theoretical physics are ripe for the picking, but you might want to get a background in either before having a “miraculous revelation”.
There’s always the chance that your twin’s world is also barren of magic and is less advanced than Earth. In this case, you might end up living vicariously through your twin, who is going to become something of a wunderkind in their world, pillaging Earth’s scientific heritage.
There are pitfalls here too: get caught using magic and you could wind up in a lot of trouble. Suspiciously advanced technology might also bring government interest that you wouldn’t welcome. You’re at risk for being accused of occultism, contact with aliens, stealing government secrets (especially if you “develop” something they had started working on at DARPA), time travel, and divine/satanic power. On the upside, pretty much no one is going to guess “twinborn”.
3. Take Inventory of Your Associates
We’re going to cast a broad net here and include everyone you’ve ever encountered: friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, cashiers, waitstaff, mechanics, subway attendants, street performers, and anyone else you can think to include. This is your life now, you can afford to take your time and be thorough. This is a “both of you” effort too: your twin needs to do the same.
I hope you’re good with faces, because you’re going to need to compare the two gatherings of associates. This is your starting list of potential twinborn. You’re going to have to be careful around these people until you learn their level of awareness and their allegiances in both worlds. Start from opposite ends of the spectrum and work your way inwards: your best friends and worst enemies are the most urgent to sort out.
With luck, you will discover a twinborn friend or two, and find out that your enemies are limited to one world. Ideally, any romantic partners you have match up on both sides, twinborn or not. This is one of the messier complications you can run into, especially if they don’t all match up and turn out to be twinborn.
4. Create Allegiances
Start sorting the suspected twinborn among your associates into two categories, with the extremes being most critical: allies and enemies. You’re going to want to start approaching the former about the twinborn connection you both share, and start doing some networking. The best candidates are family (that you’re on good terms with) and lifelong friends. How you bring up the subject, and in which shared world, are up to your discretion. Start subtly if possible, with oblique references to things that should only be known to the other world. Hum a tune, drop in a foreign phrase that’s actually another world’s foreign language, etc. If you both know magic, you can take the quick approach and reveal yourself by showing them. It’s sort of like packing your own parachute, where you’re counting on your knowledge and feel of the situation and sure that you’ve prepared everything ahead of time, because once you make that jump, there’s no second try.
5. Be Ever Vigilant
The flip side of the alliances you make are the enemies you are going to be avoiding. Don’t show your hand and threaten them with the power of your newfound alliances (let’s save the inter-world revenge plots for the advanced class, shall we?). Your best bet is to lie low and give no clue that you are twinborn. Enemies don’t have to be rival sorcerers bent on the destruction of your twin’s homeland (though that certainly qualifies), they can be as simple as a bureaucrat two ranks above you who can make your life miserable. You can still use inter-world allies to work against them, just do it as secretly as you can.
That secrecy works both ways of course. There are more twinborn out there than you are aware of. Your subtly dropped hints can find the wrong ears without anyone letting on – but they will know your secret. You need to be on the lookout for “tells”, like a good Crackle or poker player, watching for hints that someone knows about a world besides the one they are standing in. Music and cultural references are good things to looks for, as are certain behavioral patterns (medieval vegans can be a dead giveaway). Catching someone speaking an off-world language can give a clue that not only is someone twinborn, but who they might be on the other side. This is particularly helpful with strangers, who you haven’t had a chance to sort into either the “ally” or “enemy” camp yet.
Best of luck to you, twinborn. The gods have no plan for you; your fate is yours to carve. I hope, with the advice above, that you have the time to begin unlocking the wonders of the twin worlds, before some elder twinborn decides to snuff you out as an easy mark.
The clever among you might wonder why I would reveal this advice, since the revelation itself would run counter to the “Be Ever Vigilant” point. Were you to discover me, out there among the worlds of my own creation, rest assured that I have nothing to fear out there from the likes of you…