Friday, August 3, 2018

Planes of Monvesia: Cosmology

RETCON NOTE:  This post replaces both the majority of "Planes of Monvesia: The Six Spheres" and portions of "Planar Inhabitants of Monvesia"
The planar cosmology of Monvesia is not as complex as traditional D&D campaign settings.  In this setting, six Spheres form the basis of known cosmology.  The two-dimensional model of the Spheres as presented by the Universal Orders in Communion with Senar is inaccurate.  The Spheres should be considered in three-dimensional space, overlapping each other so that they connect at a single point.  This is the basic cosmological structure of the Monvevian campaign setting.

Each Sphere is a meta-plane encompassing smaller planes  They are the fundamental energies of the cosmos, embodying the six Temperaments and their associated Elemental forces:
  • Hierosphere, or Altruist Sphere
  • Necrosphere, or Nihilist Sphere
  • Aerosphere, or Idealist Sphere
  • Lithosphere, or Materialist Sphere
  • Pyrosphere, or Vitalist Sphere
  • Hydrosphere, or Dynamist Sphere

Orvemondt, the Material Plane

Plane of Six Spheres

The [Prime] Material Plane (or Mortal World/Realms) exists at the point where all six Spheres meet. It is the only point in the cosmos where opposing Spheres come in contact.  Many mages and philosophers have suggested that it is this contact of opposing forces that has made life possible.  The other planes radiate out from this point, affected by the interactions of the Spheres.

Artificers, Bards, Druids, and Rangers all draw their energy from the Material Plane.  The inhabitants of this plane are collectively called mortals--including beasts, dragonshumanoids, and monstrosities.

Shield of the Universal Order of
Spiritual Thoughtdepicting a 2-
dimensional representation of the
point that the Six Spheres create
the Material Plane.

Otherworlds, the Transitive Planes

Planes of Three Spheres

Where three Spheres overlap, the transitive (or secondary) planes are formed.  In the three-dimensional model, these planes appear as eight, wedge-shaped regions radiating out from the Material Plane.  Each draws on the temperaments and elements of its parent Spheres.  Some of these planes have analogs in common D&D cosmologies, while others are new.

Every transitive plane is coterminous and coexistent with the Material Plane, and with portions of three Spheres.  Each is paired with a companion Otherworld with which is shares two Spheres and a Dominion.

  • Abyss  [aka. Plane of Shadow[s], Plane of Entropy, The Pit, Underdark]
      • Analog:  Shadowfell, [The Abyss]
    • Elements:  Earth, Fire, Void
    • Inhabitants:  Undead
    • Rulers:  Undying
    • Companion:  Faerie (Liminal)
    • Power:  Morning & Evening Star
  • Dreaming  [aka. Plane of Dreams, Plane of Thought]
      • Analog:  Astral Plane (A), [The Outlands]
    • Elements:  Air, Water, Light
    • Inhabitants:  Thoughtforms
    • Rulers:  Muses
    • Companion:  Limbo (Astral)
    • Power:  Far Wandering Star
  • Empyrean  [aka. Empyreal Aether, Fire Above]
      • Analog:  Ethereal Plane (A)
    • Elements:  Air, Fire, Light
    • Inhabitants:  Celestials (non-angels)
    • Rulers:  Virtues
    • Companion:  Inferno (Ethereal)
    • Power:  Sun
  • Faerie
      • Analog:  Feywild
    • Elements:   Earth, Fire, Light
    • Inhabitants:  Fey
    • Rulers:  Archfey
    • Companion:  Abyss (Liminal)
    • Power:  Morning and Evening Star
    • Inferno  [aka. Infernal Aether, Fire Below, Plane of Desire]
        • Analog: Ethereal Plane (B)
      • Elements: Air, Fire, Void
      • Inhabitants:  Fiends (non-demons, non-devils, non-yugoloths)
      • Rulers:  Vices
      • Companion:  Empyrean (Ethereal)
      • Power:  Sun
    • Limbo
        • Analog: Astral Plane (B), Far Realm (roughly)
      • Elements:   Air, Water, Void
      • Inhabitants: Aberrations (non-illithid, non-beholder)
      • Rulers:  Great Old Ones
      • Companion:  Dreaming (Astral)
      • Power:  Far Wandering Star
    • Mirror Plane 
      • Elements:  Earth, Water, Light
      • Inhabitants:  Doubled
      • Rulers:  Doppelmeisters
      • Companion:  Temporal Plane (Functional)
      • Power:  Moon
    • Temporal Plane  [aka. Modal Plane, Plane of Infinite Possibility]
      • Elements:  Earth, Water, Void
      • Inhabitants:  Anachronisms
      • Rulers:  Timekeepers
      • Companion:  Mirror Plane (Functional)
      • Power:  Moon

    Mystics and Warlocks draw their energy from the Transitive Planes.  The inhabitants of these planes are collectively called daemons, though each plane has its own creature type (noted above). It is the most powerful of these beings, the rulers of the Transitive Planes, that make pacts with warlocks.

    Cosmic Marches, the "Outer" Planes

    Planes of Two Spheres

    The Cosmic Marches, are formed where two Spheres overlap--born of allied elements and ideologies.  There are twelve such planes, visible in the night sky of Orvemondt as constellations.
    While they can be associated with the para-elemental planes of other D&D settings, their place in Monvesia is also similar to the Outer Planes.  They are the untamed border regions ("marches") between the Spheres.  Here, immortal heroes and lords carve our their own estates and domains.

    Mortals have little contact with these planes, and therefore know little about them.  While the Senarian Orders teach that the Elemental Plane (see below) are the final destinations of the death, the Metropolitan Orders teach that it is the Cosmic Marches--in the guise of the Marcher Constellations--that serve this role.
    These planes need not be explored in more detail until immortality should ever be achieved by a player who wants to further explore/adventure in that new paradigm.
    • Arcadia, March of Plenty [aka. the Garden of Arcadian Delights]
      • Constellation:  the Tree {of Life}  [northern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Altruism, Dynamism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Steam or Rain (light-water)
      • Thrones:  Ivory & Verdant Cities
    • Bedlam, March of Madness
      • Constellation:  the Mongrel  [southern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Idealism, Vitalism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Smoke (air-fire)
      • Thrones:  Azure & Crimson Cities
    • Dis, March of Temptation
      • Constellation:  the Grapes  [ecliptic]
      • Temperaments:  Nihilism, Idealism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Vacuum (air-void)
      • Thrones:  Azure & Onyx Cities
    • Elysium, March of Community
      • Constellation:  the Falcon  [southern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Altruism, Vitalism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Radiance (light-fire)
      • Thrones:  Crimson & Ivory Cities
    • Fantasia, March of Fable
      • Constellation:  the Gates  [northern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Idealism, Dynamism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Ice or Mist (air-water)
      • Thrones:  Azure & Verdant Cities
    • Gehenna, March of Torment
      • Constellation:  the Pyre  [southern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Nihilism, Vitalism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Ash (fire-void)
      • Thrones:  Crimson & Onyx Cities
    • Hesperia, March of Succor  [aka. Paradise, the Blessed Isles]
      • Constellation:  the {Golden} Apple  [ecliptic]
      • Temperaments:  Altruism, Materialism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Mineral or Crystal (light-earth)
      • Thrones:  Golden & Ivory Cities
    • Olympia, March of Nobility
      • Constellation:  the Mountain  [ecliptic]
      • Temperaments:  Altruism, Idealism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Lightning (light-air)
      • Thrones:  Azure & Ivory Cities
    • Purgatory, March of Conflict
      • Constellation:  the Helm  [southern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Materialism, Vitalism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Magma (earth-fire)
      • Thrones:  Crimson & Golden Cities
    • Stygia, March of Destruction
      • Constellation:  the Tower  [ecliptic]
      • Temperaments:  Nihilism, Materialism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Dust or Filth (earth-void)
      • Thrones:  Golden & Onyx Cities
    • Tartarus, March of Enmity
      • Constellation:  the {King of} Beast{s}  [northern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Nihilism, Dynamism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Salt or Brine (water-void)
      • Thrones:  Onyx & Verdant Cities
    • Utopia, March of Industry  [aka. the Republic]
      • Constellation:  the Sickle  [northern circle]
      • Temperaments:  Materialism, Dynamism 
      • Para-Element/Mephit:  Ooze or Mud (water-earth)
      • Thrones:  Golden & Verdant Cities
    SETTING NOTE:  Each of the cities of the Dodecapolis, the ruling cities of Notopoli, takes its name from one of the Marcher Constellations.
    No particulaer classes are known to draw their powers from the Outer Planes.  The only "confirmed" inhabitants of these planes are the para-elemental mephits, which are races of elementals subject to the genies (as other elementals are).

    Elemental Planes

    Planes of One Sphere

    The regions of each Sphere that remain unaffected by their peers are the Elemental Planes.  Each of these planes includes a great city, called the Throne, which houses the aeon of that Sphere (see Dominions, below).
    • Heirophere, Elemental Plane of Light  [aka. Positive Energy Plane]
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Nova), Elementals (Light), Mephits (Steam)
      • Rulers:  Genies (Khodam), Aeon of Light
      • Throne:  Ivory City
    • Necrosphere, Elemental Plane of Void  [aka. Negative Energy Plane]
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Eclipse), Elementals (Void), Mephits (Dust), Shadow
      • Rulers:  Genies (Shaitan), Aeon of Void
      • Throne:  Onyx City
    • Aerosphere, Elemental Plane of Air
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Tempest), Elementals (Air),  Invisible Stalkers, Mephits (Ice, Smoke)
      • Rulers:  Genies (Djinn), Aeon of Air
      • Throne:  Azure City
    • Lithosphere, Elemental Plane of Earth [and Metal]
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Zaratan), Elementals (Earth), Galeb Duhr, Gargoyles, Mephits (Dust, Magma, Mud), Xorn
      • Rulers:  Genies (Dao), Aeon of Earth
      • Throne:  Golden City
    • Pyrosphere, Elemental Plane of Fire
      • Inhabitants:  Azer, Elder Elemental (Phoenix), Elementals (Fire), Magmins, Mephits (Magma, Smoke), Salamanders
      • Rulers:  Genies (Efreet), Aeon of Fire
      • Throne:  Crimson City
    • Hydrosphere, Elemental Plane of Water [and Wood]
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Leviathan), Elementals (Water), Mephits (Ice, Mud, Steam), Water Weird
      • Rulers:  Genies (Marid), Aeon of Water
      • Throne:  Verdant City
    These planes follow the standard rules for elemental planes.  They also demonstrate a moderate affinity for the temperament of their Sphere.  Furthermore, it is to the elemental planes that the souls of the dead are sent to live out eternity--each in accordance with their temperamental actions in life. Elementals, therefore, are the spirits of the dead who did not ascend to sainthood.  Over the centuries, they lose their humanity and succumb to their base, elemental natures.

    Sorcerers and Wizards draw their power from the Elemental Planes.  The inhabitants of these regions are collectively called elementals, and their rulers are the genies.

    Dominions

    The Regions of the Spheres are vast and varied, with several demi-planar Dominions scattered throughout them.   It is in these Dominions where the ascended saints  and other immortals make their homes alongside angels, demons, devils, and the like.  The classes of Dominion are:
    • Thrones are the dominions that connect the elemental and outer planes. They house the aeons, their angels, and their most loyal saints.
    • Powers are the dominions that connect the material and transitive planes.  They house mortals that have, in some way, transcended their immortality in a way that does not mimic the nature of one of the otherworlds individually.
    • Principalities are a hypothetical class of dominions that might connect the outer and transitive planes.  It is suspected that eight such planes may exist--but their nature and the nature of their inhabitants remain theoretical.
    Clerics and Paladins draw their energy from the Dominions (typically the Thrones, but some orders may venerate the Powers).  The inhabitants of the Thrones are collectively called divinities (saints, angels, demons, devils, and aeons); while the inhabitants of the Powers are as diverse as the material  and transitive planes.

    Planar Funtions

    In response to the questions posed in Chapter 2 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, the Sphere-model of Monvesia fills the following roles: 
    • A plane of origins for fiends: Inferno
    • A plane of origins for celestials: Empyrean
    • A plane of origins for elementals: Elemental Planes
    • A place for deities: Dominions
    • A place where mortal spirits go after death: Elemental Planes & Cosmic Marches
    • A way of getting form one plane to another: Transitive Planes
    • A way for spells and monsters that use the Astral Plane to function: Dreaming & Limbo
    • A way for spells and monsters that use the Ethereal Plane to function: Empyrean & Inferno

    Edited August 4, 2018; August 12, 2018; August 21, 2018; August 29, 2018; September 15, 2019; September 24, 2018.
    Major Revision September 26, 2018.

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