Saturday, July 4, 2015

Planes of Monvesia: The Six Spheres

The planar cosmology of Monvesia is not as complex as traditional D&D campaign settings.  Aside from the [Prime] Material Plane, there are only six other planes, called the Spheres.  The material plane is formed at the nexus of these six spheres--the only point in the universe where opposing spheres touch.


Spheres as Transitive Planes

Where all six Spheres touch, the material plane exists. Each of the Spheres is ever-present in the mortal world, and the regions nearest it act as transitive planes.  The transitive aspects of the Spheres are:
  • Aerosphere – air, Plane of Thought [Astral Plane]
  • Heiropshere – light (aka. “empyreal fire”), Ethereal Plane
  • Hydrosphere – water (and wood), Plane of Yore [Feywild]
  • Lithosphere – earth (and metal), Mirror Plane (see below)
  • Necrosphere – void, Plane of Shadows [Shadowfell]
  • Pyrosphere – fire (aka. “infernal fire”), Modal Plane (see below)

Spheres as Elemental Planes

As the Spheres expand outward from these shells, each has a barrier that acts like an elemental or energy plane--a gate which must be crossed before entering the outer dominions.  These parts of the spheres also overlap each other, but do not overlap their opposing spheres.
Para-Elemental Planes (4) are formed where the elemental aspects conjoin: Mist (Air-Water), Ooze (Water-Earth), Magma (Earth-Fire), and Smoke (Fire-Air) 
Quasi-Elemental Planes (8) are formed where the elemental aspects conjoin with the energy aspects: Lightning (Air-Light), Vacuum (Air-Void), Rain (Water-Light), Brine (Water-Void), Crystal (Earth-Light), Filth (Earth-Void), Radiance (Fire-Light), and Ash (Fire-Void) 
Trans-Elemental Planes (8) are formed where two elemental aspects conjoin with each other and an energy aspect: Storm (Air-Water-Light), Ice (Air-Water-Void), Wood (Water-Earth-Light), Poison (Water-Earth-Void), Metal (Earth-Fire-Light), Rust/Tarnish (Earth-Fire-Void), Plasma (Fire-Air-Light), and Fume (Fire-Air-Void)


Spheres as Outer Planes

The outer portions of each sphere are vast and varied, with several dominions encompassed by each sphere.  It is in these dominions where the ascended saints and other immortals make their homes alongside angels, demons, devils, and the like.

The Far Realm

Beyond the Spheres is the unknowable region called the Far Realm, from which the Great Old Ones and all manner of horrors emerged.  It is not a plane in the way that the material plane and Spheres are; instead, it is the absence of planar structure.

In response to the questions posed in Chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, the Spheres of Monvesia fill the following roles: 
  • A plane of origins for fiends: outer dominions of the Necrosphere
  • A plane of origins for celestials: outer dominions of the Heirosphere
  • A plane of origins for elementals: fundamental cores of Aerosphere, Hydrosphere, Lithosphere, and Pyrosphere
  • A place for deities: outer dominions of all Spheres
  • A place where mortal spirits go after death: fundamental cores of all spheres
  • A way of getting form one plane to another: transitive properties of all Spheres
  • A way for spells and monsters that use the Astral Plane to function: Plane of Thought (transitive property of the Aerosphere)
  • A way for spells and monsters that use the Ethereal Plane to function: Ethereal Plane (transitive property of the Heirosphere)


Temperamental Association:  Altruism
Alignments:  LG, NG, CG
Transitive Property:  Ethereal Plane
Elemental/Energy Property:  Positive Energy Plane as Elemental Plane of Light
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):  Arborea, Bytopia, Elysium


Temperamental Association:  Materialism
Alignments:  LG, LN, LE
Transitive Property:  Mirror Plane
Every mirror--any polished, reflective surfae made of metal, crystal, and/or glass--connects to a transitive plane which is a reflection of the mortal realm.  The Mirror Plane is physically equal and opposite in every way.  Modrons are native to this portion of the Lithosphere.
Elemental/Energy Property: Elemental Plane of Earth [and Metal]
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):  Mechanus, Mount Celestia, The Nine Hells


Temperamental Association:  Dynamism
Alignments:  NG, N, NE
Transitive Property:  Feywild as Plane of Yore (as the idyllic past state of the world)
Elemental/Energy Property:  Elemental Plane of Water [and Wood]
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):  The Beastlands, Hades


Temperamental Association:  Idealism
Alignments:  LN, N, CN
Transitive Property:  Astral Plane as Plane of Thought
Elemental/Energy Property:  Elemental Plane of Air
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):   Arcadia, Pandemonium 


Temperamental Association:  Vitalism
Alignments:  CG, CN, CE
Transitive Property:  Modal Plane
Every moment, a choice is being made.  These choices shape the material world.  The Modal Plane is what happens to the choices that are not made.  For every choice made in the world, its alternates play out in the modal plane.  Everything that happens does so in the material plane; while everything that does not happen occurs in the modal plane.  It encompass the past the never was, and the future which will not likely be.  Wishes that change past events (preventing a death, altering a chosen path) pull energy from this plane.
Elemental/Energy Property:  Elemental Plane of Fire
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):   The Abyss, Limbo, Ysgard


Temperamental Association:  Nihilism
Alignments:  LE, NE, CE
Transitive Property:  Shadowfell as Plane of Shadows
Elemental/Energy Property:  Negative Energy Plane as Elemental Plane of Void
Outer Planar Equivalent(s):   Acheron, Carceri, Gehenna

Edited July 31, 2015; August 2, 2015; August 3, 2015; August 10, 2015.

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