Wintercrest: Fragments of Fate
The Planes are different levels or dimensions of existence. In a sense, they exist right next to each other, different sides of the same existence, a tiny step outside space from one to the next. In another sense, the planes are infinitely far away, as the Astral Sea can be seen in the night sky, and the elemental chaos is infinitely far “within” the world.
The Natural World
Materia is the only plane familiar to most people and commonly known simply as “The World”. It is inhabited by all the familiar humanoid races, and is the native realm for all natural beings.
The Shadowfell is a cold, dry world of constant night that looks like a dark and twisted version of the natural world. It is inhabited primarily by beings adapted to the low light environment, such as Dark Ones, Shadar-Kai, living shadows, both sentient and non-sentient undead, and plantlife adapted to survive without light. It is also home to the winter goddess, The Raven Queen.
The Feywild is a warm verdant world of constant growth and endless day that appears how the natural world might have looked if civilization never happened. It is the native realm of Eladrin, nymphs, slyphs, dryads, plant creatures, and all beings of Fae origin. It is home to the springtime god, Corellon.
Mechanus is a hot world of iron, stone, steel, flame, and relentless clock-like order. It appears at once as both a statuesque rigid version of the natural world, yet also one that changes with unfailing precision and predictability. The creatures that call it home often seem like mindless drones to outsiders, who misunderstand their precision and hivemind behavior. It is also home to the summer god, and god of time, Pelor.
The Dream World is a cool, soft world, shifting and ephemeral, and almost completely malleable to the conscious mind. It resembles the natural world in form, but not in structure, as time and distance have virtually no meaning here. Memories take shape as easily as “real” objects, but can just as quickly fade into nothingness. This is the home of Sehanine, the autumn goddess, and goddess of illusion.
The Outer Planes
The Astral Sea is an endless expanse of nothingness, permeated by a hazy, silver-violet ether that is neither liquid nor air. This expanse is littered with enormous floating cities, huge clusters of drifting stone, vast clouds, wind, spherical “worlds”, and even enormous starlike balls of pure energy. Direction has no meaning here except in the presence of objects of considerable size, which can produce their own gravity. Living beings have limited personal control over the direction and speed at which they drift, and even have limited powers of flight out in the open. As one drifts further away from the natural world, what one might consider “up”, a swirling mass of clouds and energy, seemingly infinitely far away coalesces into the brilliant City of the Gods, Celestia. The Astral Sea is home to most of the gods.
The Elemental Chaos is an infinite expanse of broiling chaos, thick with swirling waves of fire, enormous roaming balls of lightning, ripples of frost, clouds of steam, vortices of wind, rivers of molten stone, and gigantic, crumbling, drifting islands chains. Like the Astral Sea, gravity is directed by large moving objects and obeys living beings to some extent, although it is fickle, and considerably less dependable in a world of constant change. Gravity can flow from one region to another or change spontaneously. The Elemental Chaos is home – and prison – to the Primordials. As one drifts further away from the natural world, what one might consider “down”, a swirling vortex of darkness slowly drags the world into its inky black depths – The Abyss. The Abyss is the lightless nightmare realm of all demonkind which was created, according to legend, by the traitorous Chained God Tharzidun.
The Far Realm is the most mysterious of all the planes, if it can even be defined as a plane. It is the space between and beyond the planes, somehow outside all that exists. It is both infinite in expanse, yet without space, an inky black nothingness in which neither matter nor energy exists, yet hides billions of nightmare creatures in its nothingness. Light cannot exist there, nor for that matter, heat, and yet it is not so much cold as it is simply void. Scholars debate as to whether it is even possible to enter The Far Realm without ceasing to exist, though many creatures are known to have originated from it. There are as many theories as to what exactly the Far Realm is as there are scholars to debate such things. The Far Realm leaks into the far corners of existence, bringing nightmarish incomprehensibility with it.