Ramon’s Guide to Negative Energy Planes

The Negative Energy Plane by Wyldsoul on DeviantArt

If the Positive Energy Planes were a delight, then surely the Negative Energy Planes will be just as delightful…  But really, one cannot describe the planes without a fuller picture.  So, keep your life sources handy, as this is a place devoid of them.

Author’s Note: Okay, that about wraps things up.  With that, I’m gonna try to tackle some monsters!  I would have made a list for the Upper Planes, but I’ve already tackled a fair number of celestials.  Also, I might just convert all of the Guardinals later, perhaps for a DM’s Guild related thing.  Though, I want to port over my take on the Gehreleths/Demodands too…  Maybe at some point?

 

 

The Negative Energy Plane

The antithesis of the Positive Energy Plane, this is a plane of death.  When life touches this plane, it either becomes corrupted into undeath or it fades away.  It’s no wonder that many previous undead use the plane as a protective shield.  It’s a dismal and gloomy realm, that feeds off of anyone addled enough to dare trespass.  Much like how the fiends feed on souls for making new ranks, this plane gains much from harvesting the wayward traveler.  While not exactly an evil plane, many despicable things transpire here.

The Entropic Doom, an undead secret society only made known through a terror attack on Sigil costing absolute terror from the Mausoleum by The Hive.  But, what are their aims and goals?  Unknown.  However, they use countless proxies and aliases, I’ve already discovered The Choking Souls as one.  Another, operating within Mystic Terra/Gothic Earth, “The Spectres”, which H.H. Holmes is a member.  But, within the Negative Energy Plane sits their compound.  A high caste of undead deliberate and plot all means of schemes from within their meeting rooms and vast halls.  The conspiring cabal has been behind numerous evil plans.  Even cases in Sigil have had their hands involved, such as attempts to push all of the Factions against each other.  While nothing has come about, the chant tells of several of the highest ranking members have achieved contact with Factol Duke Rowan Darkwood.  The dark of the matter, it’s very much true.  They need not linger in cryptic points in space and time, they gather agents, whether or not they’re willing.  What is their plan?  Unknown, but it bodes poorly for all living.

The Fortress of Regrets.  An ancient place, perhaps a sacred one.  It is here where many negative thoughts are locked like a prison.  And it was here that a mysteriously being known as “The Nameless One” faced countless trials imposed by a splintered part of his lost soul.  In fact, the many incarnations brought upon by his own damnation helped bring this place to life.  This dark labyrinth is a testament to the gripping force that regret can have over someone.  Curiously, the place seems to be in great condition, despite a rustic look true to the plane it’s in.  Some surmise that the splintered soul of the Nameless One still exists and haunts this place to some degree, helping to anchor it in place.  But, others say that soul vestige was destroyed, making this place truly impossible.  No matter the reason, there is still one terrifying truth to the fortress.  Because of the Nameless One’s curse, a new form of Shadow creatures was spawned, The Greater Shadow.  These beings were infused with superior strength and far more brutal capabilities.  While they singled him out during his time, they have since been freed to attack all forms of the living.  Their primary place of congregation remains The Fortress of Regrets.  However, they have been known to find themselves almost anywhere else as of late.

Death Gate Primarius, the original gateway to the Dimension of Death.  Ancient guardians sit upon twin thrones overlooking the vortex swirl of the dead.  At first, the gatekeepers will react in shock that a mortal would attempt to breach the negative plane.  But then, like all, they demand the business of a non-dead.  Other gates exist to transport the living to friendlier parts of the dimensional space, after all.  This is not one of them.  These watchmen will not say where it leads, but some say it’s right to the Powers’ courts to judge departed souls.  This could be true, but I’m not prepared to find out any year soon.  One negative energy dweller knows a way around this.  A warlock bound to things of dream, he has achieved “deathly sleep”; a torpor that allows one to reach multiple points of reality.  Despite being stuck in the Negative Energy Plane, he can’t die.  However, his mad connections to the deep occult allow him to reach past the guards and into the Death realm through the forces of mind.  His body floats in the deep and dark void, ever dead looking.  Perhaps his very soul has left for the lands of dream themselves.  Either way, I have done enough within the realms of the dead for now.  May my dealings continue after I’ve embraced the grave.

 

 

QUASI PLANES

All elemental planes that stink of death and decay.  Much as the Positive-tinged ones are livelier distortions of their counterparts, these are the opposite.  Things are dulled, suppressed and outright annihilating.

 

 

Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash

Ashen lands as far as one can see, the death of fire.  The smoldering wastes are filled with cinders and old burnt flakes.  However, this is not a place where the flame is lost, but merely a dark byproduct of dying flames themselves.  In much of the plane, it’s very much still hot.  But, some areas have embraced the chill of death.  Of course, the latter only happens because the warmth is literally sucked out of the victim’s own body!

The sprawling vast of long doused flames, that’s the name granted to it by “the locals”.  Beyond elemental creatures of ash, what else could possibly dwell here?  The Living Dead, of course.  And none embody this domain more than the Ashen Shells, burnt undead coated in ashy powder.  Their origins lie in a prime world on the brink of collapse, with their attempts at refuge in the planes failing miserably.  These angered husks dwell in the Citadel of Forlorn Flames.  Imagery detailing some sun-based religion lie in tatters as the residents shuffle in monotonous day to day.  Construction may have once been proudly chiseled stone work, but the dirt and soot have long obscured any detailed craftsmanship.  However, the mere felt presence of a warm and living creature sends almost all into murderous rage.  And just like that, their sense of passion reignites, just for the wrong reasons.  While the undead of the citadel don’t react to them too harshly, ash mephits enjoy traveling into the burg to cause some minor mayhem to the shuffling corpses.  Usually, this involves tipping them over, as their reaction times are pitiful when living creatures aren’t around.  The layout of the citadel is a sprawling dungeon maze all its own, even above ground.  The below areas is where the tatters of their faith still hold true.  Why is this?  Because the tunnels and carved out depths lead closer to true fire.

Or rather, there is a planar overlap into the Para-Elemental Plane of Magma.  While these lava currents are no “sun”, the undead of this tragic land will take what they can get.  To them, The Cinder Flow is a symbol of struggling hope.  Ash and Magma Mephits congregate here, even perfecting a recipe for “Ash Stew” that has become a delicacy.  Back to the ashen shells, they wish to recover their flame immunity and make a holy pilgrimage to Fire itself, in hopes of restoring their lost life.  Most likely, this won’t be enough, but one can hope they succeed their desired mission.  These caves lead into the Mines of Rekindling, which only some of the Forlorn Flames have taken to examining.  Visitors feel the warmth of this under layer, much like the magma caverns below the citadel.  In fact, actual connections to fire are possible.  The glowing flame crystals find themselves lodged under caked and compact ash layers.  Any miner with an ounce of life still in them will probably choke before they can rescue these hardened pieces of fire.  And for those with the proper planar knowledge, the crystals act as keys to accessing The Plane of Fire itself!  Should the undead sun cult find this, their mission will finally be complete.  However, a few words of warning first.  Not only is collapse just as much of an issue as any Earth-touching plane, but the crystals are volatile.  Their raw essence doesn’t like being on a negative-touching realm.  At any moment, they could explode before the energy is sucked into a nothingness.  While this stops some damage, it’s still enough to kill any unprepared addle-cove or primer.  Sometimes it implodes and sucks the life and heat out of anyone nearby!

Upon the world of Oerth, two ancient empires raged against each other.  The Suel Empire were the initial aggressors in this conflict, seeking to extract and exploit all in their path.  The rivaling Baklunish Empire couldn’t stand for the terrible behavior, fighting back.  A godly spell at the hands of the Suel, Invoked Devastation, brought upon apocalyptic results.  The Baklunish, in last ditch effort, reacted with something likely out of their own control.  A twin cataclysm was unleashed, with the Suel ultimately suffering far greater destruction.  The roots of this invisible dissolving rain?  The Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash.  The other lands fell, but the Suel were consumed by an almighty power of invisible rain, burning all in its path into ash.  Even the landscape melted under the strain of this immense spell’s potential.   Was this the only cause of the Rain of Colorless Fire?  Unlikely, many theories exist between godly artifacts, the Demiplane of Shadow, powers from a sinister ruins and much more.  As for the dread power of the colorless fire, it can still be harnessed by elemental wands.  These locked treasures reside in secretive caches buried within the plane itself.  The ancient Baklunish people are long gone, but their dark secrets await to be unearthed.  Without the empire’s guidance, surely another apocalyptic catastrophe will occur.

 

Citadel Cavitius

Oerth’s ties to the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash don’t die there.  The infamous Citadel Cavitius hosted an impossible Power, the keeper of secrets, Vecna.  Tales were told of Vecna’s escape from the Demiplane of Dread, in fact mumbled about my greybeards and new scribes alike in the Cage!  Some say that he stormed The City of Doors in some elaborate ascension gambit!  But, many lack proof of that.  Many scholars will say his meddling risked the planes, but what they won’t tell you is its effects on the Demiplane of Time itself!  While Vecna’s ascension only exists in a few timelines, it caused something very deranged within the Skull-shaped Super Stronghold within the Plane of Ash border.  As it is, the undead that populate this wretched lair prove to be dangerous.  Many of these monsters are either devotees to their dark master or one of many victims. After all, Cavitius was used by Vecna as a powerful prison.

What should draw even more worry are the temporal anomalies that are rife throughout Cavitius, due to Vecna’s draw there and his planar muddling.  In one room, dark acolytes can channel the unholy power of an ascended Vecna, while another will see it fail… as he is not a Power there.  One branch might see Vecna himself before The Mists took him, a mighty demipower!  These anomalies have only gotten worse by two factors:  The first is an adventuring party who purposely removed themselves from Time to lay siege in The Mists version of Cavitius.  These walking paradoxes not only caused mayhem to The Mists, but put risk to the Multiverse.  The last thing heard of them was being sealed far outside of The Planes themselves.  The other is a cabal of necromancers that have since grown frustrated with Vecna.  They found refuge in another entity, Yuzq’Thogorn, whose interest is in acceleration of these problems.   The fortress city’s problems have gotten so bad, that both The Plane of Ash and The Negative Energy Plane have begun to reject it, forcing it into a demiplane of its own.  Vecna himself, should he still be in reality, doesn’t seem to care.  And so far, they haven’t spilled over into other planes yet.  But, that hasn’t stopped time anomalies from happening in small bursts anyway.  Perhaps Vecna was the start of something far worse…

 

 

Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dust

Crumbled earth, enervated through the negative.  Dare I say, this is the doom of earth itself.  I hope you brought facial protection or your sneezing will never cease.  The same effects that crumble earth can risk crumbling you.  It’s best to ready protection, lest you too become dust.

The Rebuilding Wreckage is an aberration by this plane’s own terms.  While the plane does all it can to wear it down and break it apart, it seemingly rebuild various parts affected by the plane, at rapid speed.  However, it often rebuilds a random part of the building without any reasoning.  From what record holders and historians can surmise, this building and its inhabitants were sent to here as a punishment.  While the owner perished, their incredible enchantments on the fortified house continued for centuries… maybe even millennia!  While nothing spectacular remains in the ruins, the building itself is nothing short of miraculous.  Were it in almost any other plane, the plane would probably look pristine.  However, it can provide adequate enough shelter for a traveler.  And best of all?  They need not worry about it, as the building will literally take care of itself.

Relaxation would occur, if another team of explorers weren’t busy making unbearable noise.  And no, this time, it wasn’t gnomes.  This time, dwarves.  Wayward Earth Plane miners have taken interest in the dust, for some reason.  The faux sea of silt surely couldn’t provide anything useful?  Not to them, they’ve built up machines capable of analyzing the broken bits to figure what they could have been used for.  And with enough dust, they’ve proved that they’re capable of restoring all sorts of items.  Originally, this was meant to counter-act the nefarious “Rust Monster”.  However, it proved useful against disintegrated dust caused by spells.  From there, tests and interests gradually moved towards this plane.  Witnessing the bulky sampling beak of their contraption, I’ve seen a sword, pieces of armor and whole chunks of stone shoot out of the puzzling machine.  You’re probably thinking, surely it can be used on living (or once living) matter?  Well, I’m not sure.  And quite frankly, neither are they!  In fact, they’re a bit nervous about running those tests.  But, it’ll have to happen eventually, right?

Ardu al’Eadhab is a colony created by a djinn turned barmy after fending off legions of ghuls.  It is her belief that suffering must be all there is to life.  Her unhinged cult of personality has drawn all sorts of fascinating characters; a priest of Illmater from Toril, a cambion cultist of Iuz from Oerth, Afflicted Kender of Krynn and helpings of Dustmen and Bleak Cabal factotums and factors alike.  The nameless djinn also guards the entry way into the Pseudo-Elemental Plane of Sand, evidence towards a theory many thought false!  However, she won’t so much as let anyone even talk about the portal without indulging in her eternal campaign for misery.  Should she detect that you’ve become as depressed as much of the colony, she will grant you free reign to the portal.  To her, this is not abuse, but enlightenment.  Somehow, she is not part of the various nihilistic and fatalistic factions.

 

 

Quasi-Elemental Plane of Salt

The realm of endless thirst, where water fades from all.  Desiccation and dehydration are the common grim fates of which a dry wasteland.  To survive, most normal mortals require up to five times the normal amount of water.  The environment is very much a desert of its own, but accentuated in ways not found in the prime.

The Jutting Salt Spire houses a race of constructs that have long since survived their creators.  All of them live within a tower of salt crystal.  These constructs are very much composed of the same material as their housing.  Often, they’re found maintaining the structure and ensuring no conflict breaks out.  Since their mortal masters are dead, the conflict often spawns from outsiders looking for dungeon loot.  For the enterprising and morally corrupt thief, the constructs suffer a fatal weakness from water.  As they’re very much manifestations of the plane itself, water is rejected and pushed away.  But, in their case?  It’s completely foreign, capable of severing the connection that animates them.  In some cases, the targets go inert.  In other cases, they crumble completely.  But, should this not bother you for some reason, the mage equipment they guard is shockingly preserved.  Books, scrolls, research; all information waiting for a new observer.

This isn’t the only case of some creatures enduring the unremitting drought conditions.  Beyond the dangers listed above, the twisting and pointy crystal veins are sharp as a blade, capable of severing parts of a careless explorer with ease.  However, powerful salts can be carefully harvested from these potent sources.  These healing salts are among the traditional methods of a group of traveling earth elemental based shamans and mystics.  While they have also made trips to Mineral and Earth, they primarily stay within Salt.  While it’s far from a creative name, the Traveling Salt Healers do as their name suggests.  Classical faith and tradition blend with ancient medicinal techniques to create all means of remedies for both travelers on this plane and general assistance beyond it.  A recent member is an earth genasi bleaker, who believes the vacant salty desert was the perfect place to embrace a meaningless multiverse.  Instead, the new recruit found a new ways to perform good deeds for a needy reality.  Plus, even Salt can provide much in beauty.  In fact, the Traveling Salt Healers do much in the ways of fine arts, using some of the most beautiful sights of Salt to create wondrous things.  Leafy-textures of Crystal Range, the illuminated pieces of the Cavern of Light and many Mineral-overlap fragments all inspire breathtaking crafts.  However, many of these fine arts are part of their sacred practices within their more divine arts.  These works help to better channel and fine tune their healing works as well.  All in all, Art and Belief living in harmony.

While far less in the realms of art or health, there is one destination a traveler should inspect to sate curiosity, The Valley of Flavored Salt.  Located towards the overlap towards Mineral, things feel a little less draining here.  However, this is still a negative touched plane.  As such, this is where planar flavors go to die in a graveyard dedicated to seasoning and savoring.  Various chunks of salt within this valley are infused with gradually fading flavors from the planes.  And should you have the means to avoid infection, licking them grants that flavor.  However, one can only do this once.  Afterwards, the flavor itself fades out into the void.  These are all captured remains of tastes lost to the planes, going to one final place before fading out.  Chefs of particularly good taste based memory have found themselves able to replicate their discovery through new recipes.  Some have dubbed this place “The Last Refuge of Tastes”, in lueue of a movement to safe forgotten styles and palates.

 

 

Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum

A deathly, vacant void; the ultimate doom of air.  Many will tell you that nothing is scarier.  Indeed, absolute nothingness is terrifying.  In a sense, it’s a lot like the space beyond Crystal Spheres, just more fueled by Negative Energy.  Plus, you’ll find no stars, no phlogiston, pretty much nothing.

In the realm of Death, Erasure stands as a stark contrast to the rest of it.  This is because it holds a bound entity that may have been forged within the endless vacuum space of this Quasi-Elemental Plane.  Nihil, The Void of Nothingness, causes things to cease existing in all capacity.  Whatever this presence may be, it’s a miracle that the Doomguard don’t know about it.  But still, what is Nihil anyway?  Nothing.  It isn’t a physical space, it isn’t truly a presence, it seems to be an absence of everything.  A poor explanation, but it’s also a rather literal one at that.  But, how could such a thing come to happen in an equally nihilistic space?  The chant speaks of lost Powers driven by Entropy, perhaps a super-weapon for when divine politics get too hot.  No matter the truth, it was captured and taken to a place of True Death, far away from the Vacuum.  While The Dustmen don’t dislike the Doomguard, this is in fact their little dark that they don’t trust any barmy Sinker with for any reason.  In fact, the Dimension of Death is their Dark to an extent too!

It’s not unheard of for Spelljammers to be sucked into vortexes in the depths of Wildspace.  Some have made a living because of it.  Port Not Here is what many consider the start of Planar Spelljamming, or “Planejamming”.  It is here that many spelljammers find themselves docking before adventures into the planes beyond.  The founders were comprised of the Hullhammer, a crew that immediately got to work on terraforming space with the help of protected air pockets and earth pockets brought along.  Stronger users of magi were eventually recruited, thus creating “Jumping Gates”, portal-like gates that allow a whole spelljammer-like ships to travel to another plane.  Both the few natives and the plane itself deeply resents such a presence, even though the latter mostly focuses on destroying air and gases.  An active security force maintains the protections around the settlement, as well as the flight crafts taking off and docking.  As one would imagine, anything remotely related to the void is banned from here, as are the Doomguard.  Even the Dustmen and Bleak Cabal are banned.  It’s perhaps for this reason that The Harmonium and Fraternity of Order have taken interest here, resulting in stricter travel sanctions between Wildspace and The Planes being enacted.  For this reason, many wildspace/planar crossover crews have begun to look for different outlets.  Many of these crews have members of the Sign of One or Society of Sensation within their ranks.

While the plane lacks too much in native diversity, one former outsider race has adapted quite nicely.  Void Vampires were once creatures of the prime material, devotees of a dark abyssal power known as Kanchelsis the Vampire Night Lord.  They craved a vision for more power, to truly serve directly under their dark lord.  The Power offered them a challenge, to jump into the Quasi-Elemental plane and be changed for the greater.  The vague statement was a ploy, in hopes of creating new vampiric horrors to unleash on the planes.  When they complied and sought out Vacuum, he worked his dealings upon them, turning them into alien horrors of undeath.  Twisted, gangly humanoids with no discernible facial anatomy, they float freely in the void, sucking the existence out of creatures they touch with their long stretching hands.  To worsen matters, no plane hopper can travel normally here, as there’s a lack of gravity and general reference point for normal travel.  More than likely, anyone who encounters these eldritch vampires will not survive… or worse, become one.  There are few things scarier, except maybe the Blackball, a floating sphere of annihilation that travels throughout the plane.

 

 

Pseudo-Elemental Pocket of Radiation

For the most part, this place is nothing.  It’s the Ideal for the Doomguard, for many reasons.  But, what if it holds a secret that’s truly blasphemous to what it stands for.  As is known, this plane was formed from Negative Energy and Air.  It’s mirror is Radiance.  By some horrible twist of fate, some force mingled aspects of the two.  Somehow, a pocket known as “Radiation” was born.  Taking bits from Earth (especially Ooze) as well, it’s a corrosive realm of unfathomable power.  Everywhere it goes, it either brings mutation or agonizing death.  In a sense, it’s the Inner Planes version of the Demiplane of Shadows, but far more grim.  Dare I say, both are a reason why Positive and Negative Energies should never touch for too long.

Fingers point to the yugoloths, who in term created an elemental from the foul toxic power.  And worse, those brought down by the elemental risk being returned as a quasi-undead horror.  In truth, this new radiation zombie is technically an elemental as well.  The few Sinkers, Takers and other berks looking to set up enterprise from this power have all been eliminated.  You may wonder how this differs from the Radiant Plane itself?  The distinct necrotic decay and entropy it sets in is far too contrasting from the raw light of the positive-touched plane.  And with all of this, the pseudo-elemental plane can be considered among one of the truly “evil” elemental planes.  The only others are but rumors dwelling with The Lands of The Mists.  Some say that The Dark Powers made their own elemental realms.  Of course, this isn’t proven and I hope it never it. But, what else can be found in such a vile place?  These radiation elementals and its zombie spawns are mostly it, alongside other corrupt derivatives, are not the only things.

A metallic sphere has been found hovering around the glowing dread.  Inside it is a religious cult hailing from a blown up version of Terra.  They are Ordo Atomicus, the Children of Nuclear Fire.  Lead by Pope En-feugo Mendez Mendez XXI, they wish to cleanse reality in the warm rays of their holy source.  Of its the acolytes, priests and the like are mutants all marred and scarred by intense radiation.  To them, this is a heavenly realm.  Once there is a way to open countless points in space and flood the multiverse with endless radiation, they will have achieved “ascension”.  The end result would be certain death, but they would like to think differently on the matter.  If their psychic powers and alien technologies weren’t enough, many devout have gained cleric powers from their dedication to the plane.  Could a power be lurking within its deaths?  Is such a thing possible?

All of these tales of terror are mostly confined to the plane itself, for now.  There is one case that hasn’t.  The Iron Coil company has had a diverse mixture of gnomes throughout the Crystal Spheres.  They made the mistake of bringing in particularly ‘touched minoi of Krynn.  Over the course of several months, many of the tinker gnomes were unsatisfied with the more pragmatic projects of the jammer crew.  Eventually, they broke off after discovering the Plane of Radiation.  Having stolen many innovations of their old crew, they attempted to harness the joys of this ultra dangerous planar pocket for their own resources.  They built up several engines and batteries, many of which exploded within the plane.  Only one gnome got out alive, with his own nuclear-powered generator… partially with technology stolen from Ordo Atomicus.  The whole ordeal turned him paranoid and violent though.  Now he samples the plane’s power to build weaponry, stock piling in the depths of a hidden bunker in the Lower Ward of Sigil.  Surely, the dabus know of the destructive super weapons being smuggled and built below them.  All that is known is that the gnome himself simply vanished one day, likely mazed.  But, the weapons themselves?  No one is talking, but the chant says that a bunch of Red Death “legally” seized a couple of mysterious chests full of glowing weaponry.

 

And with that, the Inner Planes!  Besides further exploration into The Astral and The Ethereal, I believe I have touched much upon The Great Wheel.

 

Image Credit: P. Sullivan – Negative Plane

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

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