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 Sena 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

Material Plane: Plane of Six Spheres

The [Prime] Material Plane (or Mortal 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.

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.
  • Abyss [Earth-Water-Void] (aka. Plane of Shadow[s], Plane of EntropyThe PitUnderdark)
      • Analog:  Shadowfell, [The Abyss]
    • Inhabitants:  Undead
    • Rulers:  Undying
  • Dreaming [Air-Water-Light] (aka. Plane of Dreams, Plane of Thought)
      • Analog:  Astral Plane (roughly), [The Outlands]
    • Inhabitants:  Thoughtforms
    • Rulers:  Muses
  • Empyrean [Air-Fire-Light] (aka. Aethereal Plane)
      • Analog:  Ethereal Plane
    • Inhabitants:  Celestials (non-angels)
    • Rulers:  Virtues
  • Faerie [Earth-Fire-Light]
      • Analog:  Feywild
    • Inhabitants:  Fey
    • Rulers:  Archfey
    • Inferno [Air-Fire-Void] (aka. Plane of Desire, Plane of Energy)
        • Analog: [The Nine Hells]
      • Inhabitants:  Fiends (non-demons, non-devils, non-yugoloths)
      • Rulers:  Vices
    • Limbo [Earth-Fire-Void]
        • Analog: Far Realm (roughly)
      • Inhabitants: Aberrations (non-illithid, non-beholder)
      • Rulers:  Great Old Ones
    • Mirror Plane [Earth-Water-Light]
      • Inhabitants:  Reflections
      • Rulers:  Mirror Lords
    • Temporal Plane [Air-Water-Void] (aka. Modal PlanePlane of Infinite Possibility)
      • Inhabitants:  Anachronisms
      • Rulers:  Temporal Lords
    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.

    Tertiary Planes: Planes of Two Spheres

    Tertiary planes, are formed where two Spheres overlap--born of allied elements and ideologies.  There are twelve such planes, but little research has gone into their nature or their purpose.  They can be associated with the para-elemental planes of other D&D settings--however, their place in the Monvesian worldview is not likely elemental at all.
    • "Higher" Tertiary Planes
      • Altruistic Idealism (Light-Air = Lightning)
      • Altruistic Dynamism (Light-Water = Steam or Rain)
      • Altruistic Materialism (Light-Earth = Mineral or Crystal)
      • Altruistic Vitalism (Light-Fire = Radiance)
    • "Middle" Tertiary Planes
      • Idealistic Dynamism (Air-Water = Ice or Mist [aka. the Frostfell])
      • Idealistic Vitalism (Fire-Air = Smoke)
      • Materialistic Dynamism (Water-Earth = Ooze)
      • Materialistic Vitalism (Earth-Fire = Magma)
    • "Lower" Tertiary Planes
      • Nihilistic Dynamism (Water-Void = Salt or Brine)
      • Nihilistic Idealism (Air-Void = Vacuum)
      • Nihilistic Materialism (Earth-Void = Dust or Filth)
      • Nihilistic Vitalism (Fire-Void = Ash)

    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.


    The Regions of the Spheres are vast and varied, with several demiplanar 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 of aeons, ruling over the Spheres. They are always found in the Elemental Region of the Sphere (see above).
    • Powers are the dominions of the Mortal Plane runes over by transcendent beings.
    Clerics and Paladins draw their energy from the Dominions.  The inhabitants of these regions are collectively called divinities (saints, angels, demons, devils, and aeons).

    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
    • 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
    • A way for spells and monsters that use the Ethereal Plane to function: Empyrean

    Edited August 4, 2018; August 12, 2018.

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