Bloody Dark across the Planes – The Editor’s Grim Findings

Dear reader, I admire your dedication to my works.  But take heed, such dedication also puts your life in danger.  No doubt, when these scrambled notes become an elaborate codex, such books will see ban in no time.  You wouldn’t believe the among of jink offered to hack my head and serve it on a Lady’s grade platter.    As always, their hunt continues.  Mine continues in the expanse of knowledge.  Plenty of conflict bubbles and oozes beyond your surface.  Ready and prepare, the safety of the multiverse always hangs in the balance.  Let me serenade you with many tales.  But, these aren’t tales of joy or triumph, no!  Tales of woe await you.

Author’s Note: “The Editor” is back, not content with simply The Factol’s Manifesto!  Plenty of things going on, the fall and rise of deities, more on the fey, dark conspiracies of intrigue, a look at my old table’s post-2008 take on the Forgotten Realms, a further looks at my zany Ravenloft-Planescape crossover and more!  And of course, Baby Vecna!  And as always, The Editor proves an ever unreliable narrator, as some details might be fabricated or stretched for his convenience.

 

 

The War of the Sylvan Sisters

People speak of Queen Titania, her often overshadowed husband Oberon and her corrupted sister The Queen of Air and Darkness.  However, one other name has fallen to the wayside, Rhiannon.  The True Faerie Queen was once the only supreme overseer of the fey.  Below, other proto-archfey powers arose to help maintain stability of the sylvankind.  The fey arose as a primordial force in the multiverse, from a time when they welcomed the mighty deific powers among them more openly.  However, they capricious and flighty fey were ones to take amusement in all means of curiosity.  The Queen of Air and Darkness, then Mab, was very much one of them.  Her whimsy took her to the Planes Below, where she bore witness to all means of wretched things oozing from ancient muck.  The early demons tormented and rendered her mind, forcing her to flee back to her kind within the gateways to the fey lands from a young Limbo.  However, despite the scars upon her mind, she witnessed a raw savagery and power that none the less fascinated her.  Through even the howling winds of Pandemonium, she overheard the maddening cries.  But, to her, this beckoned to a larger truth of the multiverse.  She became obsessed with her other planar neighbors, especially the more sickly and cruel, if to understand their motives.  Upon addressing this with Titania, she also discussed methods of fending them off, should they take interest in the fey.  The demi-power was granted clearance to continue such research by Rhiannon herself.  This ultimately lead her to the existence of an all powerful gem, capable of reshaping planes and realities to the owner’s will.  When bringing this topic up to the sylvan powers council, they were horrified.  To them, this was imposing far too much order and control on the planes.  Plus, the potential for oppressive law was too great.  Using some allies who became invested in Mab’s project, a troupe of cosmic dwarves were kidnapped from Ysgard and forced to help excavate the tunnels of Pandemonium until the gem was found.  This enslavement and toil started to have an effect on Mab, changing her outlook and mentality. 

In time, the gem was indeed uncovered and Mab actively seized the chance.  Titania discovered the dread artifact and its evil nature, but it was far too late.  At first, Mab tried to convince her sister that she could stop those who sought her kind harm thanks to the gem, but Titania’s knowledge of this artifact proved that to be farce.  Try as Mab may, she would fall slave to its desire, much like her ensnared dwarven servants.  As Titania readied to foil her sister, the transformation into something far more insidious began.  Gone was the old Mab, as she channeled the might of the incredible gem.   However, she never fully comprehended such an artifact, causing the very fabric of their home dimension to break and eventually shatter.  Countless faerie creatures found themselves lost into the Ethereal, as Mab struggled with the overbearing power.  Her eyes became soulless voids, gazing upon her mortified sister.  But, this was not horror to thing known once as Mab, but bliss and ascension.  Titania, conjured her forces and struck the fallen fey that was once her sister.  As her pure form collapsed, something unexpected occurred.  The corrupted gem overtook her, as she was renewed with new power.  The body began to ascend, becoming malleable like a clay.  As if mushed, stretched and reformed through sculpture; a new form took shape, The Queen of Air and Darkness.  The old Mab was completely dead.  This new dark queen fled after thanking her sister to realize her vision, as Titania’s forces lingered upon the ruined remains of their old realm.  Against Rhiannon’s wishes, the grief stricken Titania assembled any parties siding with her.  One mission became clear, slaying her sister and the traitors.  They fled to Arborea, where the powers of Good changed them as well. The two sides formed into the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and readied for war.  Rhiannon and those powers not lost to eternity found themselves rebuilding far deeper into the Ethereal, away from the damaging clutches of many Outer Planes, Upper or Lower.  As The Queen of Air and Darkness sought to claim a throne, the gem pulled her into Pandemonium, where it was first unearthed.  The schism proves too damaging though, as the Seelie and Unseelie demand that those neutral “Wild Fey” pick their side as the fight was taken to the planes.  The Chaotic Planes became grounds for sylvan skirmish, as did the relatively new Kingdom of the Fair Folk.  Rhiannon and her own court began to take arms against both sides, in attempt to stop them.  Ultimately, this lead to both sides turning against true divinity, seeing the Gods as antagonists in their goals.  Attacks grew grimmer, other planar forces began to get involved or fight back. 

Rhiannon delivered a final ultimatum, cease this fighting or she would erase all who tried to continue.  After such a decree, she laid down plans on reunifying the fey back towards their previous ways.  The divided courts rejected this outright, challenging her claims.  Several powerful forces from each court were spontaneously erased from existence, as she made her offer one last time.  As her spell was being cast upon the battlefield, both Seelie and Unseelie briefly united to banish the furious goddess.  Instead, their united power proved too great and she was nearly obliterated.  And with her demise, those powers tethered to her fell as well.  Seeing this atrocity, both sides agreed to cease fire once more, turning to their respective courts.  Those who continued were promptly banished by both sides, sending the forces to eternal doom upon the plane of Acheron.  The Wild Fey, disgusted by these events, rebuked the courts as four champions arose to help them rebuild.  Each represented a natural forces of the four seasons.  And from there, a new tradition was established, also dividing much of the neutral sylvan lands.  Only certain areas were agreed to be either a mixture or free of influence.  The Seelie and Unseelie were never aware that she was gone, but simply that she was banished.  Wind of this caught to the Wild Fey, who began to weave a plan.  Much of her clergy remained, shocked by the fact that non-powers could kill a power.  They changed their approach to focus on the Seasonal Courts.  However, they still used their gifts to make it look like the Cult of Rhiannon was alive and well, as was she.  Her devout proclaim she has fully ascended as an Over Deity and demands neutrality as an act of good faith.  The Seelie and Unseelie don’t like true gods, but complied out of respect.  This peace is built on a massive lie, allowing for somewhat tenuous relations between all three courts to remain.  The true dark of the matter is that only the Cult of Rhiannon holds this information and they’ll quickly destroy anyone who would seek such information.  By all means, the stability of the multiverse could be threatened by such a dark secret.  However, this is not the end.  The chant among the sylvan folk is that the essence of Rhiannon that hovers throughout the plane has slowly become stronger over time.  This hints that she may one day return.  Until then, her cult maintains a balance among all of her kind.  (Ed.’s Note:  I’m not the only one who knows the Dark on this.  Best keep it hush hush, unless you want legions of fey fighting at your doorstep!)

 

 

The Shattering of Cyric the Mad God

I bring you a tale originating from the Prime, Abeir-Toril specifically.  Why am I flooded with such information?  Such a self-important and overblown prime world, I don’t care for it!  In fact, let me disclose some misconceptions of the Clueless.  Rumors of some “spell plague” not only on Toril, but into the planes, are greatly exaggerated.  Primers always make such ridiculous tales.  And those who do have often found themselves in the trap of a cabal of shoreline mages.  Said cabal were fiercely dedicated to their chaotic master, as well as many Demon Lords..  Heh, I mean Lords of the Tanar’ri.  Ker-shk Pzkons and Jor’Kruffiurd in particular are popular with them.  Who are they?  Don’t worry, they’re largely irrelevant.  Their powers have ensnared and bewitched countless primers into a dark alternate reality of their creation.  In truth, the deity known as Cyric is gone, but not fully dead.  In fact, he is changed.  Chronicles within his church tell of his cunning plans to strike Mystra alongside Shar, a goddess of shadows.  His goal was to take the weave or outright break it.  Shar wanted to help clean the mess and create a parallel weave to elevate the Demiplane of Shadows into an overlapping dimension upon the Prime Material… perhaps even a part of the Prime Material!  Shar was devastated in retaliation, as Selune became aware of her plots.  The rival deities locked in battle before mutually retreating to their domains.  But, the fate of Cyric is far darker.  He badly damaged Mystra, before taking hold of the Weave.  For a few moments, he became the God of Magic.  This created all sorts of ripples and effects, including helping to create The Void used by the Yellow King.  These ripples even traveled into the planes.  Planewalking Mages fled into The Cage, fearing the worst. 

This was short-lived, as he was overwhelmed.  He attempted one last strike at Mystra, before he exploded into potent energy.  The Weave Goddess was marked by the taint of Cyric’s madness, draining her of goodness and leaving her as a chaotic neutral deity, mentally besieged by the darkness but not consumed.  Cyric himself took some of that weave energy, which mixed with his own dark powers.  The formless entity was purged, as he rained down from the planes and onto Toril.  The form began to manifest as clouds of infectious dark magic, The Chaos Plague.  Rapidly, he felt his conscious dither and flicker, his very own identity quickly died.   What was left was lacked any of Cyric’s personality or identity, but was none the less a sentient series of magical storms.  For years, Mystra could do nothing to temper them.  Only recently have the storms calmed down and become less numerous.  But, their destruction is legendary.  It was around the time of Cyric’s demise that war was spreading around Faerun and beyond.  The washing of his madness only worsened this, increasing the violence, discord and eventual awakening of planar horrors towards the war’s end.  These Chaos Storms have all sorts of bizarre effects.  Phenomenal Spellfire may possibly consume a spellcaster, should they attempt The Art within a storm.  But, even those who don’t use arcana are at risk, as its raw chaos can infect the body, mind or soul.  Victims have found themselves sharing the conscious of others slain by the plague, to having forbidden knowledge ill-suited for mortals.  Some have mutated to grotesque parodies of themselves, to improbably hybrid creatures unseen upon the world at large.  Some are simply pulled to and from the planes, as if they were taken by a portal itself.  In fact, a hitman from outside of The Cage reportedly went missing as he neared The Spire.  It was a fact that he was spotted within the Torilian nation of Tethyr soon after.

Matters are made worse beyond the prime because of this.  Mystra remains ill from her chaotic infection, but continues to recover.  Until then, she cannot reclaim her spot as a good-aligned deity.  And more so, the fall of Cyric affects those he helped stop during the Time of Troubles, The Dead Three.  The Wall of the Faithless in particular has come into question, as vindictive followers of Cyric have revealed what they learned about Myrkul’s plans.  A fraud, a manipulation of deific proportions.  The wall is an act of lies, forged by Myrkul and upheld by others out of his threats that they benefit from.  The Wall exists, but you aren’t sucked into it should you fail to revere the deities, as revealed by Cyricists looking for revenge.  You accept fate by Myrkul’s hands, you are tricked.  The Athar within Sigil have seen an increase of members thanks to the followers of a slain god.  But, their aims were thwarting the return of the Dead Three.  As it is, they have captured and begun experimentation on those they suspect of being Bhaalspawn, as well as potential power players for Bane.  Through some profane means, they seek to sample the power of these “fallen gods”, alongside any drifting essence of their patron in hopes of bringing him back.  Their prospects currently look grim, causing them to seek anything tracing to his initial ascension.  In addition to more attention for the Athar, their meddling has caught the attention of The Sign of One.  While plans for Aoskar are hidden from even The Lady, they have slowly gathered a vested interest in this wandering branch of Cyric’s cult.

(Ed.’s Note: A brief chronicle on life in the world was noted by that vanished bard, as found in his mucking of parallel realities.)

 

 

A Flicker of Fiendish Delight

What if I told you that I met with a figure who claimed he couldn’t escape his horrible prison?  Moments of broken space and time caused by disruptive anomalies allowed my trips around the planes to be especially memorable.  In my travels into The Abyss, there was one particular incubus who was busy documenting his frustrations and rage with a realm known as The Lands of The Mists.  These descriptions match up to the babble of countless greybeards who talk of a Demiplane of Dread.  With my own disguises and means of bartering, I gained an audience with the beguiling fiend.  He spoke of an event called, a conjunction of worlds, a point in history where the prisoners held within the demiplane found their way out.  Or, they almost did.  However, that was only the beginning.  A demi-power who tasted freedom began to plan for a true escape, a plan unlike anything ever seen within the confines of the demiplane’s clutches.  This foe was Vecna, the Keeper of Secrets.  As Iuz had fallen into his trap, another player entered the story, the False Oinoloth.  He tampered with the fabric of reality, thanks to an experimental weapon.  His test subjects nearly undid Vecna and the whole of the multiverse.  However, all things in reality mend, as do The Mists themselves.  My humble host announced that his time within his planar domicile was limited and that he would one day find a way to shatter the demiplane for good.  The damage down to Vecna and the planes was ended, in part thanks to a party that The Wandering Bard had fallen into.  Forces of the Void were mitigated and recovery took place soon after.  But, by his words, the Lich Lord of Secrets was not gone.  No, he became flesh.  In fact, said incubus sought after the mother of this dark bastard child for his own ends.  Following this comment, the incubus’ form began to fade into a mist.  Dear reader, I was not going to stand around and be consumed as well.  Could you imagine?  A beloved seller of truth, taken by such an awful place?  Of course not.  But, through him I learned of Ramon’s likely fate.  A shame, he had a knack for exploration as well as leading me to such wonderful finds.  Of course, hiring intermediaries is much more useful than going yourself.  In the case of the nameless incubus, it was too good to trust others with. 

From what I gather, the False Oinoloth is thankfully no more.  But, his stories have haunted the plane of the Grey Wastes of Hades.  Even the current Oinoloth is reportedly more suspicious of surroundings after the plot against them was unveiled.  From various pieces and bits of chant on the street, he was tied to some strange cult that worshiped one of the prisoners of the mists.  Said cult had gone as far as to infiltrate Sigil.  Until recently, The Cult of Tchernobog, a rival, has remained silent.  After news of a Mist Gate broke out, they took to helping to get rid of this cult by any means necessary.  For a religious order that worships a dark entity that binds dimensions, it feels like strange behavior.  That is, unless they saw something that not even the shadowy rival cabal could have seen.  Having outed themselves, they have subsequently fled the cage, as their activities are noticeably at odds with the ways of The Lady herself.  They were last seen utilizing a portal within The Docker’s Catch.  The ensuing massacre lead them into the “Spelljammer Ward”, where they hijacked their vessel to the stars.  After all, this Power is not of the Slavic pantheon, but an eldritch being who merely appropriates a similar name.  What this means for the future is unknown, much like the Void claimed by another Great Elder Power.  Likewise, has their rivalry with the unknown Mists Cult continued too?  Furthermore, what is the meaning of this Mists Gate?  What could it possibly mean for our collection of planes?  Is it another Grand Conjunction?  Perhaps it is aspirations of the mad doomed to failure…  What is certain is that the tanar’ri taken by that place did speak words of warning.  And where this force dwells, said incubus seems likely to follow.  Fortunately, it seems that this dark prison demiplane is good at stabilizing in the event of “conjunctions”. But, if the planes were fixed, surely the great Vecna continues somewhere.  More than likely, any wicked machinations will be quarantined there.

For those who claim to know about this Mist Gate, they also speak of Vecna brought back in Flesh!  But, a Vecna become living once more?  Blathering buffoonery!  (Ed.’s Note:  Of course, should this come to pass, this could muddle things enough for Vecna make plots anew.  Plus, the power of reincarnation can unlock much in a powerful soul.  Even worse, this Vecna child could be born beyond the Mists beyond Castle Ravenloft.)  Even if this came to be, Cavitius would certainly be broken from the Paradox of Vecna, a tale that stretches well into the Planes.  As I could imagine, at least one version of Vecna will be forever doomed to his prison.  And, given what has been said about paradoxes, the new Living Vecna would probably have most of his previous knowledge, with few of his powers.  But, the prospects of a protected genius infant with the knowledge of the multiverse is equal parts intriguing and truly dreadful.  Who knows, maybe some level of developing childishness can alter the course for this new Keeper of Secrets.  After all, the multiverse won’t allow for two of the same deity.  The multiverse always has means of tackling paradoxes that get too big… lest the cosmic circles of Carcosan Void Space grow strong again.  Should this illogical scenario play out, it’s likely that the new child would be treated as something of a magical clone of sorts.

(Ed’s Note: The Chant tells many things, but here is what they say about The Mist Gate!  Continue here for more.  Furthermore, let us speak no more of this ridiculous “Baby Vecna” scenario.  It gives me great pain and I loath pondering the concept further.)

 

 

Malagarde’s Long Game

It has been said that the Hag Countess succeeded in ascension, extending her retribution campaigns to the Baatezu who has forsaken her.  The layer of Malbolge was her initial target, catching countless off guard.  In fact, Tanar’ri seized the opportunity to strike while the devilish forces were distracted by the Hag’s games.  None the less, the Dark Countess of Malbolge had very much reclaimed her throne, with Glasya being ruler in name only.  After Malagarde began to withdraw and take a more passive role within her domain, a schism was already created in Baator.  Several forces saw how she humiliated Asmodeus and came to side with her, while loyalists witnessed such treason and demanded to strike them down.  But, this isn’t good enough for the mad countess, who seeks to turn the Abyss against itself in a campaign to make Hades, the Grey Wastes, truly reign supreme.  Even her devilish traitors aren’t aware of this plan.  She begins to look for ways to turn the Abyss against itself as well, furthering the supremacy of Evil Neutrality.  Only small cabals know the truth, some say the Tower Arcane is in tune with her visions.  While aware of Zegul’Mrot, the False Oinoloth, he was too far on his path of unraveling to be of use to her.  Word of this was retrieved by the disgraced Moloch, who once again saw his chance at renewal in the eyes of Asmodeus.  His agents were sent from afar to reach out to the various layers, in hopes he could form an alliance to not only banish the ascended Hag, but make him rightfully restored Archduke once more.  He argues that the madness has always been Malagarde’s fault and Glasya’s ineptitude is the cause of more ruination.

Her plans have even ventured well into The Abyss.  Seeing as many hags have ties to the fey, it was by her decree that The Queen of Air and Darkness should be given an olive branch by the forces of the Abyss.  This in itself created a schism of the enraged residents, Tanar’ri, for letting an outsider race have credence among their kind.  This expansion for the lower planes also allowed further connections between the Night Hags of the Grey Wastes and the Hags (alongside related creatures and spawn) within the Unseelie Court.  The next strike against so-called “demonkind” was what little information she had on Zegul’Mrot’s superweapon, teasing it as the ultimate force for destruction.  Those who saw the baiting ploy chastised those who fell so easily for such a ruse.  In fact, Graz’zt has taken notice of the schemer, wanting involvement.  While he is aware that this could stifle and stagnate The Abyss, he sees it as a means of gaining an edge and chance at more power.  In fact, his scheming sense of seduction has come in handy to slightly woo the deific hag towards his side as well.  He cares little if this could spell the end for the Abyss, as long as he makes a plan to seize as much of the ruins as possible.

This would assume that the Yugoloths, daemonkind, understand Malagarde’s means.  In truth, they don’t completely understand much of it.  However, they are seeing a new form of Blood War, where Neutral Evil is succeeding in turning other forms of evil against itself.  Should this experiment be successful, various power grounds of the daemonic will likely seek Malagarde out to spread this conflict throughout all planes.  As is, the sect known as The Glorious Subversion has embraced her as an inspiration.  Many clerics within the sect openly worship her as well.  Of course, this isn’t to say their victory is at hand.  Many forces, even beyond evil, are starting to wake up to these plots.  But, the damage done may be far too deep by the time enough catch on.  News of unusual discord within the Abyss has lead to more Celestials invading the layer of Androlynne to not only help the Eladrin doomed to it, but destroy the Pale Night while her forces become divided and scattered amidst great conflict.  But, their presence too might only help spread the furious Hag Goddess’ march for widespread division.  (Ed.’s Note:  Their continued invitation is likely a trap.  It seems that strange conflicts have emerged on the Upper Planes too.  These could be natural or perhaps her influence bleeding through.  Surely, if it gets bad enough, other Powers will step in and then it’ll all fall apart.  She hasn’t accounted for that, did she?)

 

 

Behind the Curtain of Reality

Some explorers have unveiled a dimensional fabric that splits realities, some have become lost in parallel realms for tampering with it too much.  For the foolish Primer, this would signify “Alternate Prime Material Planes”.  Such thoughts are absolute addle-coved rubbish and nothing more.  After all, these many wondrous markers of the multiverse are still found within the Prime, the only Prime.  However, they are blocked off from access for most.  There are reasons for this, many attribute this to primordial entities such as ancient deities.  During the creations of these realms, barriers were harnessed from proto-planar forces to assemble these mighty walls.  Through this, other outside forces could be warded with greater ease.  The world of Mystara is perhaps the best example, as its Immortals have barred themselves from the meddling of gods even!  Some may call the world of Athas this, but its decaying reality is one of mistake.  We have established that this is all within the Prime, but what of the strange “other planes” found beyond these worlds?  Mirrored mutations caused by seclusion.  In the end, these worlds operate on the Wheel.  However, their interactions and very reception of the planes are skewed and warped.  Some forces, like the Immortals, are even responsible for these strange mirror analogues.  Make no mistake of it, this isn’t some new plane onto itself, but an altered reflection of its true planar parent.  Many of these “new planes” are but demiplanes that are broken far enough from the usual planes.  What of the force that makes this possible?  Surely, it is a plane onto itself?  No.  The Dimensional Fabric exists as a piece of the Prime Material, almost like the mostly vacant and dark oceans of Wildspace.  It merely allows for all means of bizarre effects on worlds that cut themselves off from the wider prime.  Many have sought their own incredible journeys after hearing about this great cosmic phenomenon.  Many of these wanderers and bloods are full barmy, especially within their own methods.  The most popular is through “Analogue Planes”, in which a planewalker uses one plane to travel to a similar one hidden behind the veil.  There is one problem with this.  As I’ve said before, many of these “new planes” are just strange reflections of something existing.  They aren’t so much traveling to a planar analogue, so much as they are finding a distorted fragment of another plane, warped and played around with.  But in the end, they’re still in the Wheel one way or another.  It’s just that blocked off Primes interact with the planes in rather unique manners.  And to those explorers, these permutations exhibit a kind of freedom to play with the planes without causing mass chaos.  It’s partially for that reason these dimensions are kept to their Primer pockets.  Imagine what these radical shake-ups could do to the planes at large.  Imagine these pieces of Irian within the Positive Energy Plane as a whole!  No doubt, creatures from one have found themselves in the other.  But, on a mass scale?  Thus, we have the Dimensional Fabric to begin with!  Or rather, its reasons from the other side of the multiversal fence.

Now, you’ve no doubt heard all of these things before.  This may lead you to ask, why would this warrant hushed tones and secrecy?  Well, for one, those analogue planes quacks are dim berks who may as well be Clueless, as I’ve spelled out above.  And for two, there is a much easier way to do this.  At the very least, it is easier if you are willing to endure the lethal risks.  You see, the fabric veil itself can be traversed!  Like the Astral and Ethereal, this space can be used for transitional travel methods.  But, word of caution to the potential planewalker, I would advise against it.  You see, the fabric itself is a kind of void pocket in the Prime Material.  Its sheer nothingness is part of what sheltered prime worlds away from others.  I cannot confirm this, but I have a deep suspicion that the reality-consuming pocket of “Erasure” likely takes some aspect from this chasm of the null.  This is supported by those who dared to break through this barrier without proper procedure.  And thus, they were either shunted to wrong destinations or erased outright.  Indeed, the banished fiend-thing that destroys all existence likely grabbed something from here.  But, for those who succeed, they have simply gained access to all that piece of the Prime has to offer.  Now, what of the mighty spelljammers?  While I am not rehearsed in the travels of wildspace, I know some about it.  More than likely, any process used to break into that part of the prime would be intensely magnified.  It’s likely that chunks of wildspace are cut apart by these barriers.  Or at the very least, travel abruptly ends without the means of continuing.  It’s very likely that these broken off Prime bits are one or more Crystal Spheres, each containing a variety of worlds, twinkling stars and a primary tethering of orbit.  Those who have charted these stars and beyond will say, “what of the phlogiston?”  And, a good question.  As one may know, planar magics such as portals and summoning fail within the phlogiston.  So, how does this affect the barriers?  From what I surmise, fools trying to enter a sealed part of reality will likely suffer the same as someone entering the Fabric normally.  Thankfully, most cases cause the Spelljammer to travel the phlogiston in the opposite direction.  Things such as collision/explosion on impact or eradication are thankfully rare within a Spelljammer.  So, if you can’t use most planar magics in the Phlogiston, how do you prepare a Spelljammer?  Simple, prepare before entering the Phlogiston.  Normally, things associated with planar travel fail, but somehow protections against the Dimensional Fabric are maintained.  In a strange sense, the fabric is very much part of a crystal sphere itself.  All of this requires a mage who has cracked these distant and hidden codes of existence, more precisely those who didn’t perish from trying.  They are few and far between, planes or prime alike.  And given how they are aware of the dangers they’ve put themselves in, revealing of their secrets is improbable.

In terms of loopholes, many beyond even the Wandering Bard have thought of “Analogue Planes” as a means of traveling beyond the barrier.  In truth, they are simply traveling the same plane, albeit through a skewed mutation touching that cut off prime.  Some say Irian of Eberron’s “Orrery” is something wholly different from Positive Energy.  Then explain how one can pierce the dimensional fabric in order to enter this other positive realm, hmm?  But, there is far more to that.  Some have used the wonders of Sigil and the World Serpent Inn to travel through doors.  But, you never needed to rely on planar permutations.  No, plenty of secretive stages have made the next step.  This, itself, came from a discovery.  You see, the Astral and Ethereal planes can be used for transitional travel.  Even the fabled Ordial Plane, should it be truly real, could be too.  (Ed.’s Note:  I don’t think it is, but I have been wrong before.)  But, the Fabric itself acts in such a manner.  Many have tried to use the fabric itself to travel, only to find themselves shunted to some strange other world or erased outright.  A grim truth is that this void space between reality connects to the horror known as “Erasure”, a force capable of removing all traces of one’s existence and memory.  This occurred naturally, since the formation of the Realm of Death itself, quite a curious matter.  Those who have succeeded have begun to weave new spells from this forbidden knowledge and the workings of eldritch arcana.  Realities thought locked off from interlopers are at risk of new secret doors.  But, to find such mages is next to impossible.  They are aware of how much danger they put themselves in.  The likeliness of being destroyed by this process is quite high, even successfully using the fabric itself to propel you forward into a locked world proves quite detrimental.

Finally, there is one subject that has been bothering me on this topic.  There has been a few misconceptions with how this fabric of space works.  Let me clear this up quickly.  Many assume Dimensional Fabric allows you to travel to alternate realities.  This is wrong, very wrong!  It allows you to connect to worlds that suffer strange mutated planar spaces.  But, these worlds are different than others.  Should you seek an alternate reality, one only needs the Dimension of Time.  Specifically, the Planar Pocket of Mirrors will aid you in such an endeavor.  You see, alternate realities are at their core alternate histories.  These are caused by some factor of that’s reality’s time being altered somehow.  A different leader oversees a nation, a different race rises to prominence, innovations advance differently, magic outright dies!  These are what one might see from accessing a mirror, deep within the dimensions of time.  However, there is an extreme danger to doing this.  For one, messing too much with a mirror will result in you creating an entire new one.  And from you, an endless series of mirrors might make it next to impossible to travel back to your home.  And even worse, some timelines are so antithetical to travel that they might do the ensnaring for you.  Take for example, you are a mage of incredible power and you stumble upon a timeline where magic has died.  Unless you have some particularly brainy means out, this is your new home now.  So, is this the Prime or another other plane?  Sort of!  You see, time is a relative and equally complicated thing.  In a sense, it exists beyond mere reality.  So, you can jump into a timeline within the Prime and find yourself back into the Prime.  However, this timeline will not be your own.  More than likely, you’ve just lodged yourself in another universal timeline.  If you prefer, another “dimension”.  But, this statement assumes there is more than one Prime, which again is absurd.  None the less, only use the Pocket Plane of Mirrors with extreme discretion and preparation.  Like with any aspect of chronomancy, too much messiness will result in rather grim punishment.  (Ed.’s Note: Mind you, I have confessed that with this entry, my knowledge of both Spelljamming and Time only continues to grow.  Given enough chance, I’ll find myself more versed in both.)

 

Is all of this true? My collective sources provided much in the ways of evidence, much of which damning to those who stand in the ways of truth. So, dear reader, arm yourself with that truth and know enemies lurk around all corners.

 

Image Credit: TSR Inc – The Factol’s Manifesto

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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.

2 thoughts on “Bloody Dark across the Planes – The Editor’s Grim Findings”

  1. I like it. And now that we know that Ramon was one the adventurers that killed Vecna in the Mists, we now wonder: did he ever really leave?

    I’ve got my own projects going on, inspired by yours. One I’m working on now is a group of city fey called the Bustling Court. Its home, The City that Doesn’t Sleep, is in the Outlands and is home to plenty of Gremlins, Quicklings, the Treants of the Park, and more. Its a bit like Metropolis only much less depressing.
    Another which I admittedly finish is Qlipphoth. An Obyrith lord that sided with the Queen of Chaos and thanks to his portal abilities could have become an evil Yggdrasil, were he not brutally killed and his body thrown into Carceri where its now a sphere of would-be escapees. Also had an idea to add AM from “I have no mouth and I must scream” but decided against it. Cause considering he’s basically a planet, that just too big even for Carceri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dig that Ellison reference. I made a nod to that story in my ongoing series on Returned Blackmoor, in which a darker version of Blackmoor resurfaces onto modern (1000 AC) day Mystara.

      Also, Ramon wasn’t part of the original party. He wasn’t meant to be the force that helped kill Vecna (as he wasn’t a paradox), he was just a creation of Azalin sent out after The Paradox occurred. But, that’s a great idea!

      Like

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