Ramon’s Guide to Strange Realities and Stranger Planes

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Currently, I find myself researching into the boundless possibilities of parallel universes, alternate realities if you will. Such a pursuit is a headache. But, no matter! An explorer must persevere for the good of all! Throughout all means of realities, little pockets of truly wondrous strangeness hide in their own obscure places. For the time being, let me chronicle some travels to other strange places in the multiverse!  Who knows what there is?

Author’s Note: It’s no secret, I keep coming back to the planes, especially Planescape. As always, many of these ideas are 3rd and 4th Edition concepts retrofitted into AD&D (rather than 5th Edition’s approach).  This time around, a little more Shadowfell and a bit of Elemental Chaos get reshaped to (better) fit the Great Wheel.  However, I wanted to pay homage to some other concepts from settings like Mystara, which takes a much vaguer approach to the planes. Also, H.R. Giger inspired nightmare fuel!  Also, where details on original content were sparse, I twisted things around and added some of my own ideas.

 

(Return to) Gloomwrought

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The impossible gateway to the Mists, I didn’t miss it. It’s not enough to escape the clutches of a deranged serial murderer either. Since I’m here, I could afford to enlighten you more about this dour metropolis. Well, for starters, there are a number of ways to return, besides my strange incident. By far the most common is traversing a randomly planar, which often occurs with travelers in misty bogs and eerie shorelines. Instead of docking in familiar land, they end up finding Gloomwrought. Another common way is to intentionally seek out a portal to the City of Midnight. Few portals are permanent, as many travel around at random. One established one can be found in The Crow & Courtesan, a brothel found in some Backwater Prime world, via casting a minor spell near a closet door. Another is through the elusive Manor of Evard, which by itself is a land-hopping demiplane on Oerth, commonly found in Sheldomar Valley. But, should you find this shadowy home, simply knocking on the door of a back shed will open the portal.

Leading the charge within the market is House Harskel.  The Merchant House has called the ranks after gradual market takeover occurred.  Curiously, they are fine with taking others into their “family”, should they provide a valid enough benefit to their other properties and acquisitions.  Over time, Dedrek Harskel has taken the reigns of the family name.  From the Acropolis, he holds command over the merchants new and old.  Several other houses chafe under the “invisible hand” of his market domination.  To his credit, his approach is one through money, rather than one through force.  However, it’s not uncommon for one to lead to the other in secret.  While many fear that his house may one day stage a coupe against the state, this is actually far from true.  In reality, Prince Rolan and Harskel have a hidden alliance pact.  In cases of strife, the Harskel private army and the Prince’s Guard have worked together to ensure stability within the city.  However, the facade is maintained, as Dedrek doesn’t care for bureaucracy and Rolan doesn’t enjoy amoral market culture.  Several underground markets that carry goods that the Harskels would publicly frown upon are actually organized by Dedrek, in an effort to create an illusion of choice and increase in morale via subversion.  This isn’t to say that other noble houses don’t have their methods of influence somehow.  House Treyvan has used their connections to further Harskel initiative.  They are a meritocracy that values progress through extensive work.  House Carradh pretend to bolster royal military, but their own desire is their own game.  Their own method of ensuring normalcy and conservative status quo is through brutal action and intimidation, rather than through words.

Of course, these houses pale in comparison to the Deathless House, home of Prince Rolan.  A mass of twisted stone is enforced by leering towers and stunted black trees.  The massive halls inside this incredible building could function as their own regal castle of sorts.  Each of these halls details some aspect of the city.  Some, such as the Midwinter Hall and its connection to the Winter Court of the Good Kingdom, have functioning portals out of the floating city.  In the case of this portal, it is said that Rolan of the Deathless had a romantic relationship with an influential Winter Sidhe that ended in tragedy.  The gateway emerges to a monument constructed to commemorate both of them.  The Hall of Ancients is a sparse and minimalist hall that’s mostly visited by Rolan himself, often for deep contemplation and meditation.  Few others trespass, even servants.

While Rolan’s ancient bloodline is covered in mystery, many denizens of the city have some actual level of relation to the eternal prince.  However, the amount of blood they share is up for debate.  As such, many are very caution to marry another within the city, lest they risk incest.  While direct blood has vanished from the city, many of the high ranking servants have stronger connections to his heritage.  While he will never relinquish rule or power to them, he still shows them a good level of admiration and respect.  One of the halls, which details an ancient race of shadow people that built the foundation of the city, speaks as a strange detail within the huge fortress.  While some consider it an admiration of ancient history, some rumor that Rolan’s ancestry can be traced to this strange shades.  Further rumor has it that this hall can make contact to them.  Rolan denies both of these in private and public alike.

As for the prince himself?  He’s a master of masks of sorts.  While he has rarely ventured into public in disguise, his real mastery is in acting.  His farce persona depicts him as distant, callous and apathetic.  This is actually quite untrue.  He’s calculative, attentive and doing whatever he can to use his character to study all in and out of the city.  He’s always crafting plans to either maintain, preserve or progress the city in some way.  His clutch on the developments of the land is absolute, but he prefers to let citizen and enemy alike believe that he’s detached and insignificant.  However, he preserves these secrets with utmost care and annihilates anyone who gets too close.  Among them is the source of his eternal life.  Any conspirators wanting to get as far as asking questions find themselves brutally slain and tossed aside like spoiled meat.  The man himself is already a talent duelist, backed by unnatural powers of vitality.

In fact, the man was gracious enough to hear my own discoveries on the oddities and ways of life.  And such a gracious host, capturing me for extensive questioning before escorting me away and into the merchant quarters, with an eerie reminder that he’s watching.  It’s quite hard to share your tales when the ruler of the land has his eyes through proxies all over.  Of course, none notice that until they’re informed.  Is such paranoia not truly grand?

Augmental

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Where Inorganic and Organic collide into the stuff of nightmares

Many months back, I discovered the horror of technologies gone horribly wrong. Apparently, at some point in the planes’ existence, the Paragons of Order from the Plane of Mechanus took note and made their own attempt. In the case of this demiplane of horrors? There was an attempt at creating a living world that mimicked earth, flesh, all things organic. But it fails in horribly uncanny ways. Long before the Sheens arose to corrupt visions of technology, the Modron of Mechanus forged the path into the future. Much like the hubris of countless other beings, they too wished to create something akin to the Material Plane. While many had some success before inevitable collapse, the Plane of Law had failure that just wouldn’t die. Their experiments allowed for a world that was very much of steel and clockwork. However, it behaved more similar to the dirt of Earth, to an extent the skin of flesh. While the Modrons have biomechanical properties of their own, this took it to an entirely new level. Incredible and alien works of architecture jutted from the ground itself, forming all sorts of awe inducing mega structures. Their purpose? Unknown outside of The Will of Primus and related subjugates.

However, while the world was alive, it lacked other forms of “life” to complete this operation. Early forms of biomechanical creatures started simple, somewhat mimicking the ways of styles of various creatures. Then they got to humanoids. These creatures differed little from robots. Frustration and failure was alien to the Modrons stationed to work on this, who toiled to improve their subjects. The humanoid figures started as chromatic and flesh-like, akin to a human. However, that was too flawed. Anatomy warped slightly, limbs were upgraded and augmented. Any semblance to the familiar was destroyed. Eventually, these aug-humans became self-aware. The magic that created them had been far too removed from Mechanus itself, allowing them to break from the rigid routines of the plane. In time, they discovered the Prime and realized what sick parodies of it they were. This drove the realm to madness. Any Modron who didn’t evacuate was harvested or went Rogue. Like a disease, the insanity spread rapidly. The creatures went from lawful servants of Primus to alien abominations that seek to perfect their organic-inorganic fusion natures.

A mixture of organic primal desires mix with a strange logic of the machine, blended through the strange and occult. That is what makes up Augmental. The landscape is flooded with grim psycho-sexual imagery and violent horrors. Dark rituals line temples forged in gothic clockworks and merged bodies sprawled into obscene positions. Testing chambers are filled with half-dead mutant abominations clawing for freedom. Chrome tumorous growths jut from piston and gear filled walls, lined with needle arms reaching for something to draw near. The actual creatures that roam the endless halls and grim chambers are also as much of the land itself. Seemingly popping out and integrating themselves, the horrid creatures could strike a visitor at any moment. As I can stand this wicked place no longer, leaving proves the only option.

But, how did everything fall apart? Lower Planes tampering? A glitch within the Modron themselves? A mixture of incompatible resources? Or perhaps it was the world itself, gaining an upper hand against its very creators. No matter the truth, this dimension is best left as a dark secret. Those who stray too close risk going mad from the eldritch horror or suffering some other fate far worse than the release of death. Information on this demiplane was wiped from Mechanus, lest is tries to seek out and attach itself to the Outer Plane.

And what of the “people” here? I dare not say, but I should none the less. These things are still almost humanoid. Their features are either muted or heavily distorted as mockeries of the normal form; eyes where they should be, extensions and radical alterations to limbs and bodies, you understand where I’m trying to go with this. Their movements range from twitching limbs and gyrations to impossible maneuvers that defy almost any body shape. One unifying feature is the violet oil that works as their blood. And beyond that? Despite some having glancing resemblance to genitalia upon their bodies, most of them are incapable of creating spawn… thankfully. However, they have long since circumvented this with an awful ritual. Their own people are converted and mutated into these “creation chambers” where more of them are “born”. These pitiful creatures are dubbed “Producers” from what I can decipher of their alien “code”. Needless to say, they don’t understand us at all. While their “body language” makes little sense to me, they seem to react in fear, revulsion, fascination and at times even a pseudo attraction. Discovery of outsiders has expanded their penchant for experiments too. While Organics can’t become Creation Chambers, they can be fed to existing ones to supply creation of new abominations. It’s a good guess to assume that I was whisked away as another potential sacrifice. Joyous.

Now, how did I get here? It turns out that Gloomwrought is truly a more wicked Sigil after all! One of the shops that appeared seemingly out of nowhere dealt in “obscure automatons” and “cosmic machines”. It turns out a “simple” door was actually a portal. I need to stop falling for those.

Obsidian Cave Citadel

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It’s wonderful when planes travel magic still works in horrible places. Still covered in disgusting oil and remnants of machine parts, I soldier ever onward! What awaits? A built up dark fortress, made from fine dwarven craft.

This curiosity was originally from the Prime Material. Story tells of a tribe of Dwarves who turned towards the taboos of magic. Their worst offense was use of shadow magic, a grave sin among the united clans of the Glimmering Cave. Action to thwart their arcane ways gradually escalated, pushing any interest away from normal perception. The Obsidian Cave Society was formed to keep this secret, until a planted mole informed the rival clans all there was to know. Rival clans banished them to the demiplane of shadows. The dwarves who reside are literal shadows of their former selves, driven mad from betrayal and isolation. Like the Shades, their physical forms became tainted and altered through a mixture of the demiplane and their own dark arts. Even in their current state, their society still flourishes in the secret depths of the shadows.

They are master builders of shadowstuff, creating impossible things from the core source of the demiplane. Horrible machines are brought to life as simulated shadow transforms into real material. Shade dwarves, nightmarish constructs and fell power patrols this far flung fort. However, beyond well kept secrets of shadow-runes and shadow constructs, there are other wondrous crafts made by these shade dwarves. Like other seemingly impossible crafts, beautiful works of jewelry and fine wares have been forged by a mixture of shadowstuff, runic magic and powerful minds (possibly psychic ones at that). Even brought out of the demiplane, the items maintain their form, as they have literally been transmuted as such. This isn’t to say that the Obsidian Cave Society is completely shy from the multiverse at large.

Some have taken up elaborate disguises to travel to the Prime Material. While knowledge of finding their home world is lost, few of them seem to care. Most are more interested in spreading their craft to those they deem worthy. And beyond that? Selling their cheaply made shadow goods onto the market. Some are interested in obtaining import goods to bring to the citadel. But, some want to flood the market with shadow-forged imitations in order to crash potential rivals of the planes. Only the most adept at magic is capable of spotting these elaborate and convincing fakes. And even then, the only knowledge of this enclave is from a lone nation of dwarves which may not even exist anymore. I must say though, their polished diamonds and perfect longsword were fine acquisitions. I would have payed, but it turns out that stumbling upon their secret headquarters is more than enough to set them off. Should I publish more notes, it might be wise to remove this section. Though, people deserve to know the truths of strange planes and stranger counterfeit goods!  However, their knowledge of dwarven craft has peered into horribly taboo realms.  In fact, it’s a subject I study now!  Parallel Universes!  They’ve used runic gateways to make contact with the dimensional fabric, creating a portal into a strange realm… a misty place not unlike the Demiplane of Dread!

 

 

Chateau d’Amberville

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As if out of the Mists, here is a strange realm that has many of the same qualities.  It might be one of the few locales to escape The Mists of Ravenloft!  Though, the strange house might be more mysterious than anything to dwell in the Demiplane of Dread.  Not only is this house an impossible place between realities, it’s owner is a true enigma.  Etienne d’Ambreville is quite possibly the most powerful mage in Mystara.  Rumor has it that his position in Glantri is a fraud.  Long has it been since religion was banned in Glantri.  This coincides with the presence of Immortals.  And what do these rumors say about Etienne?  That he may very well be a very powerful Immortal of Energy known as Rad!  Such direct intervention at the hands of an Immortal is a grave taboo.  However, the Averoigne curse is still attached to Stephen/Etienne/Rad.  The powerful mage has once again vanished, and his revived family as well.  Madness has returned to not just the Principality of New Averoigne, but the rest of Glantri too.  A tide of darkness risks the nation’s destruction without the presence of their most powerful force.  But, we have arrived to explore Castle Amber.  While I have a mystery to solve, let’s explore the strange history of Castle Amber!

Every hall in this house is a feverish dream all its own.  Unhinged residents, obscure monstrosities and far more.  One of the first sights in the castle was an ogre dressed like a previous victim.  It was as if the presence of the Amber family girl and her dress literally changed the ogre into her, but more terrifying.  As for the Amber clan itself?  Too mad to properly cooperate or do anything outside of their own seemingly random whimsies.  More than anything, they desire spectacle and the wandering adventurers do more than enough to provide.  All of the family suffer dreadful curses, twisting them into their own mockeries.  Dare not get too close or interact for too long, you might suffer a curse of your own, if they don’t try to kill you.  The only way to truly stop them is end the curse on the mansion.  To do so, one must travel to their real home; a distant, alternate realm on the Prime called “Averoigne”.  This far off nation hails from a mythical world that many identify as “Terra”.  It might be the one home to that murderous Holmes fellow or that ghastly campground phantom.  I dare not think on this.

Among the prisoners is one of the catfolk of Mystara, also known a Rakasta.  The imprisoned cat offers secrets of a hidden land, should I rescue her.  More strange locales?  Too good to resist!  While something was wrong about her, she helped repel all means of wicked beasties; the massive colossus, the spider-like aranea, the wild hunt and much more.  Thanks to her mystic talent and the aid of other prisoners, escape was granted.  However, only the rakasta and I made it in the end.

Myoshima

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At first, one sees nothing but wide and open space. And then, as if from a work of incredible magic, a moon appears! Patera, the Hidden Moon! It is said that accessing it is quite challenging, due to the sky shield that causes light to reflect in a strange manner. In this case? It helps turn the moon itself invisible to the naked eye. Even with magic, it’s hard to find and quite secure. Only the most intrepid spelljamming travelers and skyship sailors are worthy of the truth.  Within it lies a vast and growing nation of catfolk, in service to their mighty emperor.  The perfect location for an isolationist empire, Myoshima has done all it can to keep away from the prying eyes of outsiders.  This was made far worse during an altercation with an airship flown by the Heldannic Order.  Conflicts boiled and some of the mighty Rakasta warriors were even captured as prisoners.  One tale tells of one breaking free, making his way to Glantri in search of an eccentric wizard who perfected his own airship.  Perhaps a chance at home, likely thought the wayward warrior.  Prince Haldemar himself helped settle matters, opening the otherwise closed empire to diplomacy.

Myoshima and beyond consists of a small cluster of islands, all sporting impressive and warm climates.  Jungle flora lines much of the region, giving way to more temperate climate as civilization draws closer.  And while the Emperor is the perfect figurehead, the Shogun acts as a true force of rule, despite otherwise looking like the chief of military power.  When not dwelling on the prospect of invaders, a rival empire of Rajahstan proves to be a force to be reckoned with.  But, far before that, Myoshimans were once a nomadic culture, built on hunting and gathering.  Tales of void spaces intrigued their strongest, who tested these spacial boundaries.  Those who survived told of the wonders of Alphatia, and another neighbor, Ochalea.  Many gathered to visit the latter, which they assimilated into; especially in regards to agriculture and steel craft.  Both of these lessons, among others, returned to their home on the moon.  It is at this point that expansion had begun, combined with Alphatia forcing Ochalea to rebuke the Rakasta visitors.  This new society found itself at odds with many inhabitants who had little interest in joining.  Civil wars rocked the establishing shogunate.  Consolidations of power and founding of the Daiymo helped to push the empire to its limit, allowing for further expansion and control.

One matter remains, this is a land of the cats, no humans are usually allowed.  Thanks to Nyu’ki, a Rakasta court scribe found in Castle Amber, a proper disguise was forged.  Her place within the court proved to be one of “lost honor reclaimed”, as she was taken by the darker spirits within the strange castle during an invasion.  No one, to this day, is sure how the Madness of the Amberville Estate found its way to Patera.  None the less, Nyu’ki has assured me that my disguise will remain stable for as long as I need to conduct work with Myoshima.  Of course, in return, she wants help with research into elementalism.  While some shrines and orders in the empire have some dedication to that, there is still more to behold in what Mystarans call “the Outer Planes”… primer confusion, in my mind.

As an outsider, all must be taken to the Imperial Courts… at least until the stress put upon the Daiymo subsides.  In the meantime, high court politics will judge if this outsider is cut for diplomacy or some subversive spy.  Being labeled with the former proves that I have some luck yet!  And with this downtime, a chance to survey the locals.  Shockingly, much of their customs and ways are mundane.  In fact, they match some of the methods found on Ochalea, as well as the far off land of The Thunder Rift.  Serving under the imperial regime are several provinces, each with their own respective head that answers to the top leader.  The Clan itself is an important facet of life as well.  The family shall always be honored, especially if that honor has bestowed other ranks and titles.  Beyond politics, personal belief and religious reflects its own philosophical take.  Many of the people here revere ancestors as well as spiritual beings, both divine and natural.  Most of the rakasta are well aware that many of these spirits are immortals, but prefer to identify them based on their methods.  A mixture of sohei, as well as more intensive mystics, further pursue religious studies, to further connect themselves with the spiritual world.

While the Emperor himself was rather busy, the long talks with other nobles and leaders was none the less enlightening.  Recounting visits to other realms gave way to discussion of philosophy and personal belief.  From there, discussion of the political happening just in Myoshima, but in places I have observed within Mystara.  Mind you, I have only seen so many places.  Though, talk of similar cultures in the Thunder Rift and even the outskirts of Bellayne made them quite interested.  Perhaps, they might consider an expedition of their own, much like their olden times.  After all, they have secured a fair number of vessels alongside their flying cat mounts.

Before parting ways, my Bellayne persona faded.  Alas, another trick!  My scribe friend cast a faulty spell.  The damned cat, driven mad by the Amber curse, no doubt.  At least I explained myself well, making a crafty Nyu’ki nervous and dart off to her true mission.  Through her isolation and mental degeneration in the Castle, she saw visions of distant elemental wonders.  It wasn’t just a single Elemental Plane, but a mixture; a forbidden project made by disgruntled deities trying to create something all their own.  This was her ultimate goal, a worthy prize.  Of course, my own madness beckoned me to explore.

The Primordium

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Several early Elemental Deities have a dark secret. Many envied other deities in the realms of creation. They were discontent with their elemental planes, yearning for something more. Conspiring with other like-minded entities, they tried to craft their take on the Prime Material. However, their lack of comprehension or understanding for the ways of the Prime resulted in something bizarre, alien. This melting pot of the elemental planes was nonsensical, strange, fascinating. This Elemental Quasi-Prime hovered as its own demiplane experiment for eons. However, various other deities discovered the mess made of the elements. Lawful deities found it grotesque playing of reality, while more chaotic were irritated by a sloppy play place that they weren’t involved in. Some Elementals lashed first, some deities did too. The end result in the skirmish was countless dead ancient beings on both sides drifting in either their respective elemental zones or the Astral Plane. No one knows who these faded souls are. To some scholars and poets, this was the start of something bigger. Visitors from a distant part of the Prime tell of a Dawn War. Whether or not this is just creative prose or some far away half-truth of another dimension? Unknown. But is known is that their strange experiment continues to live on without many of those powers.

Countless planars believe that the early Elemental beings were wronged. They were attacked and forced to abandon their creation. One hybrid Elder Elemental has arisen from the primal soup as its ultimate deific protector; Ger’la-Khn, the Reality Unraveled. This Great Old One has a tri-fold agenda: continue to expand the primordium, assimilate the elemental planes, destroy those responsible for the damage done. However, in the eons trapped within its own realm, all those ancient beings are gone and reality has long since moved on. This truth won’t satisfy the master of this dominion. Likewise, their followers will not accept this truth either. To them, justice will be served one way or another.

While few of the Eldritch Elemental beings exist, their creations live on here. It is a riotous realm at some times and a harmonious blend at other times. All times, meeting in a balance in the end. Among the strongest are a race of demigods called The Primordials. These creatures are the guardians and caretakers of this surreal place of unbridled yet seemingly orderly mixture of the elements. Far from evil, these are creatures of misunderstood neutrality. However, their mindsets are entirely detached from those of the Prime. As such, these hulking monsters come across as aliens completely split from any kind of rationality or reasoning. Granted, to those well studied in elementalism and its ideologies, this is far from true. In fact, their complex morality has been shown many times to outsiders. For one, things that would be considered Good or Evil on other planes are simply hailed as an invasive and alien evil within the Primordium. Beyond that, their reasoning often keeps within the attitudes and semblance of order of primeval nature itself. They aspire to keep things as close to these ancestral ways as possible, while simultaneously creating something new. Paradoxical and confusing to most, it makes total sense to them.

This sanctuary is a creative space for elements to ponder, to experiment, to forge anew. But, even in a place that seems to be chaos, law still exists to balance it out. Hybrids are absolute, based on what factor enters into what creation. Likewise, there is a strange repetition to these combinations. When two different elements meet at different times, the results will always be the same. Even when that pocket might fade or move elsewhere, another will inevitably show up at some point. There’s a certainly synchrony that occurs within the realm. When a niche or concept is needed, the demiplane itself acts accordingly. To the outside observer, all of this looks like alien nonsense. It is for this reason why the nickname of “Elemental Chaos” is nothing but pure ignorance. Life, weather and all forms of things are simply too unstable for travelers. Even with proper planar fortifications, things are so quick to jump between extremes, it’s easy to be taken by surprise. You have orbs of fire cascading through the air, river currents darting between points of earth, lightning acting like its own river, motes of land that act as flying islands, pockets of air raining down into a haze of acidic vapor… that is only naming a few instances of the strangeness. For someone to be fully prepped for such an expedition, they need multiple redundant protections, items and more to ensure that none of the elements batter them down. On top of that, this fails to account for elemental creatures themselves.

So, what sites won’t leave you a target for xenophobic elementals or mangled due to the extremities and intensities of elemental life? Fortunately for you, I have many methods around this somewhat terrifying realm. Starting Point is one such metropolitan hub of elemental creatures willing to accept the many planes and worlds beyond. Its presence is tolerated as a means of boosting morale and allowing outsiders to slowly comprehend life in the Primordium, at least in bite sized chunks. The influence of countless prime realms and the planes beyond shines within the architecture of this marvelous city, with hints of even Sigil shining through. However, everything conveys various raw and unabashed aesthetics of unfiltered natural power. Rough and rigid stones garnishing buildings of still warm magma walls, currents of lightning traveling crystalline lines, currents of water swishing amidst the sky itself and into various funnel points. If people can’t handle this city, there is no hope for the plane beyond.

Beyond Starting Point, there exist a countless number of other points of relief in a terrifying dimension. Ral’a’ula is a Githzerai outpost in the Primordium, who saw the realm as a new Limbo. Most creatures pay them little mind, save for more malicious elemental beings. Any visitors who enter here should be aware of the ways of this makeshift monastery or be cast out into the wild elements beyond.

Gloamnull, The City of Rain and Snow is another place to rest. Atop an earthly mote is a built up and chilly cityscape. Rainy, frozen streets line a city built up from every element saved for fire. Only “Cold Fire” exists for the public. Many of the denizens were escaped slaves from the City of Brass, many capable of elemental shaping, hence why fire is mostly forbidden from this urban expanse. Battlements have long since been established and rebuilt, after continuous onslaughts from a mixture of fire elementals from the Plane of Fire and Primordium. A cathedral built in spite against anything Fire related stands as an otherwise neutral religious establishment. While elemental deities are allowed without issue, other deities are only brought up in secret. However, beneath the main halls, one secret trumps all others, a secret shrine to an Eldritch Horror known as “Father Dagon” lies waiting for a strange cult of gatherers. It’s possible that the Cult of Dagon is one of the Primordium Cults out for revenge. Another secret is that fire does exist here, but not in the ways some would expect. The only source of true fire are from a series of furnaces with pipes leading into the streets. Inside the furnaces are former fire elementals, stripped of any semblance of thought or action. Figuratively lobotomized, these sad creatures lie in a null state while they power vents to keep parts of the city warm enough for outsiders.

The Bastion of Sinking is a hovering citadel of mixed elements that guards the ultimate chaotic mixture of elements. This maelstrom of natural power breaks down all complex properties into their most raw and primal essences, including from non-elemental forms. The Bastion was originally a locale of reformed elemental beings seeking to keep outsiders away from the most dangerous part of the Primordium. However, a marauding troop of the Doomguard of Sigil found the location ideal for their pursuits in entropy. Its original name is lost, taken over by the Sinkers. Currently, they harness the maelstrom for possibly sinister purpose. While it’s possible to access the citadel, it’s unlikely that anyone will be welcome. Even among the Doomguard, this conquest is a dark secret.  And it looks like my luck ran out while exploring the Bastion.  The Doomguard caught onto me.   However, it’s rather hard to say the same for my “traveling companion” who triggered a trap and was ejected into the maelstrom.  True and ultimate elemental power, hers at last.  Ironic.  But, that’s what happens with such an incredible new discovery sometimes! Worry not, more expeditions are underway. Give me enough time and my research into alternate realities will pay off. Come to think of it, I should also find some magic to erase any memory of Augmental. Such things are not meant for anyone’s mind.  Well, while I prepare a means of repairing myself, let me also plot research on alternate realities.  Till then, friends!  Also, many thanks for purchasing a copy of my magic journal.  First, let’s leave!

 

 

IMAGE CREDITS: TSR Team – Planescape Boxed Set; kerembeyit – Gloomwrought; Thorfinn Tait – Glantrian Map; Cyberdreams – H.R. Giger’s Darkseed; aaronsimscompany – floating castle; Roger Loveless – Rage of the Rakasta; WOTC Team – elemental chaos

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