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Instancing is a technique by which multiple copies of one and the same Age can coexist. Specific information on how this ties into linking technology is not available in detail at the moment, but the result appears to require an understanding of linking much deeper than that of the D'ni; it is therefore likely tied to the knowledge of Yeesha, and/or the power of the Bahro.
It is important to understand that modifications occurring within one instance of an Age typically do not affect any other instance, while at the same time, modifications on the Descriptive Book of the Age affect all of its instances.
Instancing occurs in multiple facets.
An Age can be instanced per person. This means that each explorer gets to have "their own" copy of the Age, possibly with personal customizations. Such an instance can be shared with others.
An Age can be instanced per neighborhood. This means that for each neighborhood a linking book to the Age exists in, a new copy of that Age is created.
The following Ages currently fall into this category:
Furthermore, Ae'gura, despite being in the same Age as the neighborhoods themselves, is also available in neighborhood-specific instances.
One can "switch" the instance by being a guest in another neighborhood, provided that it is public (or that one has been invited).