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Planet Earth exists as two sides of a coin, with one side containing humans and the other containing demons. These two realities are separated by a barrier that keeps both races from interacting with each other. Every 1000 years, a planetary solar eclipse occurs, which breaks down the barrier separating both realities. This allows demons and humans to interact with each other, leading to war and genocide as humans are slaughtered by their more powerful neighbors. This break in the barrier lasts for a number of hours, coinciding with the length of the eclipse. After the event ends, the barrier again raises and comes back into effect. Both races are forced back into their side of the coin as the two realities reassert themselves, separating humans and demons once again. Human civilization is then forced to rebuild its societies from scratch to repair from the devastation. However, the world remains forever changed after each eclipse, forcing humanity to adapt to its new environment.

Areas of the demon world continue to exist in the human side of the coin. These areas are separate pockets of reality that maintain a connection to the demon side and they exist in isolated areas (badlands, evil woods, etc), similar to the no-go zones in fairy tales with evil witches, mysterious dungeons, and corrupted magic. These contain the monsters that exist within the world of demons, as they are an extension of that realm. These beings cannot leave that pocket of reality and enter into the human domain. However, human beings are not bound by that restriction, and can seemingly enter these realms whenever they desire. This serves as the basis for quests in which adventurous and greedy explorers known as dungeon masters can face the dangers in these areas to collect ancient treasures. Most die horrible deaths or are never heard from again, but the rare few come back extraordinary wealthy or more powerful.

As it stands, humans can enter these pocket demonic worlds but demons are unable to do the same with human domains. How can it be the case?

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    $\begingroup$ So a solar eclipse is enough to remove the barrier? It is weird because the solar eclipse only occurs on some places on earth and not others. Will the demons visit Europe if the solar eclipse occurs in North America? $\endgroup$ Jan 17 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Do these pockets need to take into account a process or mechanism similar to how the eclipse temporarily fuses both dimensions? $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    Jan 18 at 11:06

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Demons are high magic creatures and need magic to live.

Demons have all sorts of passive magical spells going on to make them so impressively powerful. These draw a massive amount of magic.

In their home, and their pockets of reality, there's enough ambient mana to fuel them. During the astrological event, there's extra mana everywhere. But in the human world in general there's very little, and more powerful magical creatures quickly wither and die or become pathetic demonic looking humans.

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    $\begingroup$ Or better - the magic-deficient demons on the human side wither down to pathetic human status. There might be an occasional demon who is ok with this because she likes living on the human side so much. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jan 16 at 20:13
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The feeling is mutual

A solar eclipse can cause havoc, because it will render the demons drunk and blood-thirsty.

Normally, demons are not inclined to penetrate the human world, because there are no incentives to do so. Humans tend to behave quite hostile toward "intruding" demons ! Priests can even kill a demon without knowing what they did.

When a solar eclipse is on, the demons will gain extra energy, the humans will be afraid of it. For the demons, that is the right moment to go out and kill a lot of humans. Both races regard the Earth as their property. Demons are very arrogant, they regard humans as inferior beings that only pollute their planet.

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The same that keeps fishes swimming in water or land animals wandering on land: each creature has its own environment where it fits and can thrive.

Other environments, for which the creature is not adapted, can result in damage/death.

In the same way that a gold fish can live long in the bowl but dies if it accidentally jumps out of it and lands on the floor, a demon out of its pocket dimension will be like a fish out of water.

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A mysterious mutation that appeared several millions of years ago made demons who carried it sick and weak whenever they left high magic regions.

It spread like wildfire because it discouraged stupid and dangerous behavior. Low magic regions are hard to fight in, and have high concentrations of humans, who can be lethal.

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It's all Metaphor

Your human/demon world splits are based on the premise of light and shadow. The human side of the world is the "light" side while the demon realm is the "shadow" side.

The splotches of shadows on the light side of the world are areas that the world has cast a deep enough shadow for the demons to be able to live in. How Earth has made these metaphoric shadows is unknown and perhaps the topic of much research.

Now the demons, being the Race of Shadow, cannot venture into the light without being destroyed -- a shadow vanishes in the light. Those areas in the Light World suffused with enough Shadow can support some of the demon world's denizens, but as stated previously, they are bound by the zone of shadow.

Likewise a human, being the Race of Light, can venture into the darkness for they are their own light and shadows cannot snuff out light. There is the issue of being weaker and generally easy prey for the demons save for those extremely pesky adventurer types. To continue the metaphor, a candle in the darkness does not shine bright and is still easily snuffed out compared to a larger and brighter light.

I have aimed for light and shadow -- it is likely that the denizens of the world would like call it a world of darkness, or go with a good and evil dichotomy. The world isn't as moral as that -- it just is.

The Eclipse

Earth as we know it has solar eclipses on a fairly regular basis, with them happening on various parts of the world at various times. So for the barrier between the worlds to break down every millennium likely means that there is another factor at play. Possibly multiple factors at play.

The likely suspect is that there is an event in the demon's realm that has to happen in conjunction with the solar eclipse on our side of the world that amplifies the eclipse's power to cast a total planetary eclipse that allows the demons to roam free, if only for a while.

Perhaps some sort of natural-ish phenomenon on the other side of the world that also occurs on a cycle in conjunction with a solar eclipse that hits a specific spot on the planet timed so that that event is a once in a millennium event. Since there is an event that has to happen on both sides in tandem, it is very difficult to know both triggers.

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I see a few ways that could work.

An simple, if a bit too easy, option would be that these pockets have barriers that doesn't work the same for demons and humans. Maybe humans can just pass through however they wish and demons cannot. Depends on how the barrier works exactly.

A better option in my opinion is that the eclipse that removes the "big" barrier also has other effects. Maybe it gives the demons more strength. So they are strong enough to hurt humans on a big scale during the eclipse, but outside of that time, they lack the power to do so. They are still strong enough to hurt individual humans or small parties, like those on quests, but not enough to launch full on assaults or wars.

The question then becomes, why would the humans not launch big missions, mazbe with dozens or even hundreds or their own warriors to get rid of the monsters/demons in the pockets?
My answer to that would be that the humans don't see those as enough of a bother. They know that the losses of such an endeavour would be greater than the benefits. So they also launch small missions whenever necessary or if someone wants a challenge.

Of course this doesn't tick the box that the demons CAN'T leave their pockets. In this situation, they simply choose not to.

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As mentioned in a comment, the shadow from a Solar Eclipse doesn't cover the entire surface of the Earth. So the shadow, alone, wouldn't explain why the entirety of the two sides of the coin merge at those times. So there must be more going on than just the shadow.

I'll leave it up to the OP to sort out the specific details, and naming of the magics or energies involved, but as with many stories, myths, legends, and superstitions regarding alignments of celestial bodies, harmonics and resonances of energies is often a significant factor. So I'd assume that something similar is involved here. The alignment causes resonances within the energies involved, which affect the whole earth, dropping the barrier completely.

Next, with a nod to Yoda, it would seem to me that this 'barrier' is space filling, surrounding and permeating everything, rather than a layer of something, like a sheet, veil, bubble, etc., with a thin surface. And anywhere that this energy IS, demons cannot be.

Finally, the area in the full shadow of the eclipse receives a far higher concentration of the disruptive resonance, burning (like a magnifying glass) a semi-permanent hole in the barrier, but only on those most heavily of affected areas. These areas remain without the protective influence of the barrier energy, allowing demons to creep in. But they can't move beyond those areas, because the barrier energy is still in place in everywhere else, while there's no active eclipse.

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The barrier that isolates each demon enclave in the human zone is the same as the main barrier that separates the human zone from the main demon zone.

As you state, demons can only cross the boundary between the two when a 1000 year eclipse occurs (or whatever cosmological or Earth phenomenal event occurs - maybe a comet on a 1000 year cycle).

The enclave demons cannot cross into the human zone but humans can cross into the demon enclave. For consistency, put the abilities on the humans, not the demons. The human can cross any of the barriers at any time.

Humans choose to not cross the barrier between the two main zones out of fear of a certain and unpleasant death - the slaughter and genocide during the barrier less periods are witness to that. The Sagas record the horrors, so everyone remembers. Some intrepid humans dare to enter the demon enclaves because they are smaller and contain fewer demons, which they think they may be able to deal with. But, they can't deal with sheer number of demons in demon main zone.

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Absorption

The demons absorb a special kind of gas or radiation necessary for their survival. This thing is available in their pockets only and cannot be taken out. Also it does not affect humans. This thing is produced everywhere in solar eclipse.

Bacteria

Human areas contain certain kind of bacteria which are harmless for humans but fatal for demons. Solar eclipse kills these bacteria.

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