The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?

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Fantastical Space would be one of the last things people associate the Demiplane of Dread with, but it exists even there.  The recently discovered “Castle Darkspace” is a testament to that.  While T’laan stews and broods in nihilistic apathy, he knows that it’s possible to break the veil into greater space.  But, this is but a facade meant to give false hope.  And by all means, others who have touched a Spelljammer have fallen to the Dark Powers.  Even the maligned and much ignored “Port Barmy” has its roots in a Spelljammer ship.  Save for the latter domain, all things Spelljammer have found their way into a unique “Cluster” or rather “Mist Sphere”.  The Mist Sphere works much like a Crystal Sphere, complete with Wildspace connecting the worlds.  However, there is no true world, solely the domain and lands trailing off into mists.  However, they can be accessed by spelljamming.

Be warned though, for those who sail their incredible ships in this sphere cannot leave normally.  Trying to seek the Phlogistan has disastrous results.  Consistently, a spelljammer will explode upon impact.  Likewise, entering other domains and clusters beyond this one spells doom.  Doom already comes for all who dare to trifle with the mists.  As of 740, even arcane space (excluding the phlogiston beyond) was not immune.  Tower Darkspace was taken into the mists.  By 743, Rogerport and Gnomonia had joined.  Primordium Station was taken in 748 and The Chariot fell in 757.  By 758, these were no longer islands of terror.  The Mists unveiled that the spelljamming days of yore had returned, but with a dark twist.  A new Sphere of sorts revealed itself, but those within were very much trapped.  And worse, new locales and minor domains continued to appear, such as the Sparkling Halls in 759.  Perhaps the Arcane Space is doomed to fall to the Dark Powers in due time?

Author’s Note: Spelljammer in the Mists! They said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong! Ahahahahah!  I know Ravenspace has been a thing for years, but here is my own take on a cluster in the style of a Crystal Sphere.  Also, there is plenty of opportunity to reference bits of space horror, such as System Shock!  Also, more Eberron crossover!  And even more crazy, Returned Blackmoor makes a cameo as a domain all its own.  Is it canon for my Threshold series?  Hard to say, but it’s certainly a possible ending for it!  Also, Port Barmy remains a joke.  I have no plans to do much else with it, maybe I’ll add it to here one day.

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Worlds and Cosmos of Spelljammer – Fantastic Space!

 

Spelljammer" cover art by Jeff Easley. | Scifi fantasy art, Dungeons and  dragons art, Fantasy art illustrations

Arcane Space, a strange place for those not initiated.  Plus, for those lacking the essential tools of travel, it’s deadly.  There is no natural air here, likewise the heat is very unnatural.  This is especially the case within the traveling warp known as the phlogiston, a realm of burning energy that can shuttle protected spelljammers in rapid time.  Yes, it truly is wonderful.  And for many, it’s a far more logical alternative to the planes beyond.  Why discover what lies beyond life when you can learn all that life truly has to offer?  There are countless worlds already out there, all within the Prime material.  Plus, the metropolitan space hubs prove far less pretentious than the likes of Sigil anyway.  No weird slang to make yourself feel smug.  Or well, less of it.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer?  But of course!  October will probably make a shift back to Ravenloft, but Spelljammer always needs love.  And past that, more Docker’s Catch, crossover with other settings and a massive reference to Sea of Thieves (again). So with that, have a double post… IN THE SAME WEEK!  Give or take.

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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.

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Far Outsiders – More Cosmic Terrors

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Githyanki.  Like the Yuuzhan Vong, but not garbage

“So, you’re a fancy crew cruising around on your nice spelljammer.  And then all of a sudden, some ghost thing makes your captain go mad and he’s killing all of ya!  Then what?  That’s why you prepare for the worse out in those spacial depths.  Who knows what nasty things will be lurking out there!  You certainly don’t!” – Glass-Eye Erg, Dwarven Trader from Rock of Bral.

This time around, a few homages to Spelljammer and Star Wars. Long and short, one of my friends showed me the revised d20 Star Wars. It’s better than I recall it being, still no D6 though.  Needless to say, those very familiar with Star Wars will get some of my references.  The same goes for Spelljammer, but I’ve been making a bit of spelljammer stuff for the past couple of months.

Author’s Note:  I figure some more nods to Star Wars are a great way to transition to more science fiction inspired content.  For the next couple of weeks, I shall continue to expand my endless bestiary.  And no, this post isn’t about the Githyanki… I just wanted a swipe at how the Vong kinda look like them.  While I plan for the future, here are two entries based on existing Star Wars monsters as well as my take on the Neogi (as I don’t care for the official take for 5e… but I usually don’t in general.)

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Planejammer Forever! – Creatures of the Planes

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A Book of Monsters? A good choice!  Zam’dul is happy to bestow such a tome upon you.  The cost is effective too, for you invest in knowledge!  Even with such knowledge, be quite careful.  The planes themselves are very unforgiving and care not for visitors. – Zam’dul, planar merchant.

As you might have guessed, I love the multiverse created by AD&D 2nd Edition and tend to have a bias in favor of it in some capacity.  By all means, you are correct….  Not that there’s anything wrong with my favoritism, of course!  Anyway, I wanted to convert over a few more creatures featured in Spelljammer and Planescape before I hop over to other things.  That said, there are a fair number of D&D-adjacent things outside of both of those settings that would be fun to tackle.  So, I’ll probably consider some of that too.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring back some other favorite creatures of mine.  As always a healthy mix of aberrations, constructs, undead and the like.  Don’t worry, no fiends this time.

Author’s Note: I’ve covered the whole Planar theme for a while.  I might do a few more things before I switch gears.  Personally, I’m feeling a return to either Gothic or something else entirely soon.  Who knows?  I certainly don’t!  I just pull ideas either out of my brain or out of my bum and go from there.  If I actually had a plan, I’d probably have a production studio by now…

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Planar Mania – Monsters Continued

Wildspace Explorer | Into the Night by sdavis75

“Today, you have entered as cadets, mere trainees with little knowledge of the cast worlds beyond and the infinite stars that surround them.  Through extensive courses and simulations, you exit as readied soldiers.  The vast empty void is your grounds to explore, to understand, to build upon.  Be brave, mighty warriors, mages and more!  Go forth, into wildspace!” – Graduation at the Rock of Bral Spell Flight Academy

To some, a trip into fantastical space is a simple feat.  They’re quite far from the truth.  In reality, it proves to be quite the challenge for those who aren’t initiated.  And even once one travels into space, that’s not to say it’s just a lifeless and black nothingness.  Countless hazards threaten the discerning traveler.  Most poorly calculated move and you sail into a deadly trap!  While not all life beyond a material world is inherently deadly, there is still much to be weary of.

Author’s Note:  More Spelljammer!  This time, I’m sampling a little bit of Star Wars influence too.  Starweirds, Ysalamiri, maybe a few others.  Also, there seems to be an unintentionally recurring theme of racial tension in this post.  I guess the theme for this post is part Star Wars, part “racism is bad”?  I dunno.

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Bizarre Bazaar: Jamming into the Planes

Chris Foss. The city on the asteroid

The Rock of Bral. Within the endless void of Wildspace, lies a cosmopolitan hub upon a still massive rock. This sprawling city within allows for almost any form of trade and meeting, as long as you stay low. Imports from through fantastic space have their way of ending up here, goods from all sorts of Crystal Spheres and demiplanes alike! Within the many markets, there are many strange and wonderful faces. One such is one you have met before!

“Ah, old friends of Zam’dul!” exclaims a helmet wearing man in monk’s robes. The stringy being gleefully approaches the team. “I assure you, these new wares will be of utmost interest. Recurring guests always get exclusive first looks at new goods. Please, come over. Please, look!”

Author’s Note: I’m back! Things have kind of sucked. None the less, I’m eager to return to things. However, Planescape and Spelljammer make me happy. So, time to return to what I love! Also, I’m returning to magitech as well as drugs! … Making stats for fiction drugs, that is.

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Cosmic Domain – A Domain of Distant Divinity

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Some Cosmic Clerics revel in the horrors beyond.

“The ANCIENTS awaken!  It is my duty to see that they are ready to take hold of what was once theirs.  The time of the material plane denizens is numbered!” – Xel’lenia, Human Cleric of Cosmic and Elder God Cultist

“The space beyond is more than proof of the Gods!  While many hide away in small pocket realms of their own design, some are brave enough to face the great aether at large!  The wilds of space itself is home to many great beings and I am a disciple of them.” – Torrean Guildlight, High Elf Cleric of Cosmic and Eccentric Researcher

The Cosmic Domain offers a pinch of Lovecraft, a bit of Spelljammer and the vast knowledge of a far greater universe.

Author’s Note: I wasn’t overly fond of my original Eldritch Domain from a ways back.  So, like with the Nightmare Sorcerer becoming the Dream Sorcerer, the Cosmic Domain was created.  I wanted to come up with some abilities that scream “outer space”, but I had a bit of a struggle.  Hopefully, you enjoy.  And, if you have ideas on how to build those ideas, let me know!

 

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Bizarre Bazaar Returns from the Planes! – More Planar Items

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The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before.  Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes.  Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction.  Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort.  Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler.  The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.

“Hail, friend!  It has been a while, has it not?  Please, do not shy away.  Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond.  I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”

The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares.  Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts.  Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend.  Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.

Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being.  However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars!  This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes.  But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here.  As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment.  No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.

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Space Whale – A Celestial Creature for D&D 5th Edition!

Animal - Orca  Killer Whale Space Wallpaper

Floating within the bounds of wildspace, one can spot what looks like a whale or an orca.  As if through divine power, it glides through the boundless reaches as if it were an oceanic current, all without touching the Phlogiston that so many spelljammers require.  However, this isn’t the only place to observe them.  Many dwell within the layers of the Beastlands, for they are at home in both the water and the air.  Others find ways through their master’s demiplane into the Elemental Plane of Water, as well as of Air.  Sometimes, one can be spotted in the Elemental Plane of Ice as well.  In fact, there has been an allegiance forged with Ben-hadar and Chaan, the Good Archomental forces of water and air.  Many other planar creatures have various levels of respect for them.  The free celestials of Arborea, The Eladrin, have even ridden them into battle in some instances.  However, the Devas and Angels of more lawful planes think lowly of them.

Among deific powers, the Master of the Pod is a lesser power.  However, its message is familiar to many, through acts of joy and freedom.  While known for discouraging battle, the Cosmic Coki inspires courage and virtue in the heat of conflict.  In some cases, this can mean sparing even the most vile of enemies.  Despite rumors, Coki isn’t actually a Beast Lord, despite their demiplane orbiting by The Beastlands itself.  In a similar vein, the Celestial Pod aren’t truly native to said plane either.

Author’s Note:  HELP!  DOC’S ON DRUGS!  Just kidding.  Now seriously, this was an idea one of my friends had played around with for a long time.  This is a mixture of things, tbh; an orca plushie located at a rummage sale, the space whales from Doctor Who and some random ideas thrown at the wall.  I realize that Orcas are not technically whales… in case anyone has doubts.  Also, the adventure I wanted to write was taking longer than I thought…

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