I realize that my lesson started and shifted a but abruptly. But, you seek the worst and weirdest that arcane space has to offer. Why would I slouch on a golden opportunity to explain all that is delightfully dooming in the stars beyond? Ah, yes. Do stop me at any moment. As much as I relish spreading nightmares, it could be bad for the tutoring contract. So, young one, let us talk particular subjects involving space today. After all, fear not when being taught by the famous Jermaine the Arcane. I always provide means of rescue advice.
Author’s Note: Spelljammer, at last! All the same, October kinda of usurped a bit of that. And so with that, have some RavenJammer! Likewise, conspiracies and mysteries within the setting too. Also, the largest heresy to the alternate cosmologies, they’re just Crystal Spheres with Planar elements… Don’t be mad at me! Plus hey, I love a good conspiracy angle, the retcon fits the Great Wheel and its many mysteries to some extent. Primers be damned! (But, mostly Clueless.)
“Meikridas Steamships, are they not marvels?” The hand of a flamboyant man outstretches towards his wondrous sea craft. While he somewhat resembles a vistani in a few regards, he is clearly not of their ways. The sailor man smiles with the genuineness of an eager salesman, “come friends! The warm shores of Alleigosto are a mere boat ride away. I offer you leisure and hospitality unlike what is seen here in fair Dementlieu.” The pitch continues, as the showman distributes pamphlets detailing incredible works of art and technology, a history spanning empires of old and “magnificent” relations with nearby nations. While the man’s vessel is spotless and a marvel of engineering, the owner of this enterprise comes across as insincere and just as full of steam as the ship. “We board now, don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!” It is at this moment that you can swear the man’s eyes bulge unnaturally, even for a second. And at that, unblinking. Such a voyage would indeed bring wonders, but also new terrors to behold. What visions of the future does this “cog cluster” bring?
Author’s Note: I’m always good for more Ravenloft. Cursed robots, a zombie apocalypse, manipulative shadows, killers on foggy streets, the successor to the Atlantean Neur-Maise, the refuse of industry, fanatic technophobes, the distant (and not so distant) looming shadows of totalitarianism, utopian idealism crushed by said dark tidings, Deep Ones and more haunt a new cluster. Here is a new pocket domain, as well as a new cluster to house old domains (like how Fell Arts houses Farelle and Odiare). Major props to ScS of Fraternity of Shadows for inspiration on Nosos and other advanced domains. And with that, here’s my take on a Steampunk-ified cluster much like the proposal from Quoth the Raven issue 2, with The Shining Bay cluster. But, unlike that mixture of just Paridon, Timor and Nosos; this adds in several Islands of Terror I devised many years ago… some more recent than others. One is a plague-ridden urban sprawl taking notes from the 19th century United Kingdom, Prussian Empire and Northeastern Coastal U.S. (especially from the fiction of Lovecraft and King). Another is a mix of drama, Luddites, robotic horror and more in a Mediterranean based land. It is next to decaying Greek-inspired splendor spliced with The Shadow over Innsmouth. And finally, a somewhat Balkans inspired fake utopia. Plus, as an added bonus, an homage to the classic Thief games. And with that, enjoy one of the longer posts I’ve made. And should anyone be curious, I have no interest in anything Wizards of the Coast. I don’t want their new book, as I don’t care for the Post-4E/Shadowfell take on things..
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?
We have discussed all of this talk about fusion planes, however we have neglected two very influential and prominent parts of the Inner Planes, the Positive and Negative planes; forces of literal life and death. And, as you’d expect, they too have their own alterations of the various planes beyond. Travel forth if you dare, to witness lively and deathly versions of the elemental planes you know so well.
Author’s Note: I had to push things back. I was gonna do a huge list of elemental things, and probably have a bunch of monsters by now. But, I haven’t had the extra energy in me. Plus, I’ve already referenced plenty of canon and custom monsters in previous posts, so that helps. At the very least, with this one finished, I can create a bunch of cool elemental/inner planes themed monsters! My own Planescape Monstrous Appendix III of sorts, if you will! One last note, I have Negative Energy stuff split off into another post too. Don’t worry, I’ll pop up a few days later. I just needed to break things up… It might prove to be a better format, to be honest. And as always, classical and popular culture are mined and bastardized for idea fodder.
The search for all that the elements have to offer continues. To put things simply, the elemental planes converge into their own realms of sorts. These fusions act as elemental planes in their own rights, the para-elemental as they are known. In addition, I can’t help but research some hypothetical planar fusions that come up in various lectures and notes across the planes. Someone’s idea of a practical joke? A sinister piece of the chant? Who knows? Either way, there is knowledge to find!
Author’s Note: The Inner Planes. Yeah, you gotta stretch the imagination a bit. All the same, I hope this thought exercise proves you can mold something out of a tough template. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration too. Though, not necessarily references to say /tg/ classic lore, DOOM or Warhammer or many other things either. Also, shout out to The Pathology Guy, whose take on the Inner Planes has been a large inspiration for me.
Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.
A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally. Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!
Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration. His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it! While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing. Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age… Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them. The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch. Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work. I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge… Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge. Well, part of them. I have much more where this came from!
“Hark! Dear scribe, should you find this letter, I have likely been lost to The Dream. A dream, you ask? Preposterous! But, not at all! The Demiplanes of Dream and Nightmare are more than true. To find them, one must traverse into the depths of the fair folk dominions, already a deadly task. In truth, the dream creatures are primordial entities, predating even the sylvan folk. They’re something raw, primal, coalescing into parallel creatures far more detached from logic. Tread carefully, friend. Even within the confines of this letter, its eldritch energies stir. Do not try to look for me, lest you become stuck too.” – A letter from Ramon DeLeon, planar traveler and bard.
The Dream, an essence of energy so wild we can never truly ponder it. It’s far more morphic than even Limbo! This energy is neither chaos nor law, but something perhaps beyond it. Scholars speculate its relation to a distant void known as “Far Realm”. Currently, the forces of darkness are on the warpath to completely control all that is light within the Dream. Should this happen, no one shall sleep soundly again. Already, the Dream is a strange place full of the impossible, with logic far beyond anything akin to reality. However, shaping dreams comes with its own dangers. Particularly powerful minds are sought out… and not necessarily by forces for good.
Author’s Note: A mashup of faerie mythology and H.P. Lovecraft Mythos! Would you expect anything less than me? Plus, I figure this is a way to drag things into my yearly horror theme while revisiting my Planescape Fey lore by request! (Also, no more robots for a while! I promise!)