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 also 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; Dolurrh
    • Elements:  Earth, Fire, Void
    • School of Magic:  Necromancy
    • Inhabitants:  Undead
    • Rulers:  Undying
    • Companion:  Faerie (Liminal)
    • Power:  Morning & Evening Star
  • Dreaming  [aka. Plane of Dreams, Plane of Thought]
      • Analog:  Astral Plane (A); Dal Quor
    • Elements:  Air, Water, Light
    • School of Magic:  Illusion
    • 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
    • School of Magic:  Abjuration
    • Inhabitants:  Celestials (non-angels)
    • Rulers:  Virtues
    • Companion:  Inferno (Ethereal)
    • Power:  Sun
  • Eternity [aka. the Temporal Plane]
    • Elements:  Earth, Water, Void
    • School of Magic:  Divination
    • Inhabitants:  Anachronisms
    • Rulers:  Timekeepers
    • Companion:  Per Speculum (Functional)
    • Power:  Moon
  • Faerie  [aka. Living Plane, Plane of Nature]
      • Analog:  Feywild; Lamannia, Thelanis 
    • Elements:   Earth, Fire, Light
    • School of Magic:  Conjuration
    • 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
      • School of Magic:  Evocation
      • Inhabitants:  Fiends (non-demons, non-devils, non-yugoloths)
      • Rulers:  Vices
      • Companion:  Empyrean (Ethereal)
      • Power:  Sun
    • Limbo  [aka. Plane of Nightmares, Plane of Fears]
        • Analog: Astral Plane (B), Far Realm; Xoriat
      • Elements:   Air, Water, Void
      • School of Magic:  Enchantment
      • Inhabitants: Aberrations (non-illithid, non-beholder)
      • Rulers:  Great Old Ones
      • Companion:  Dreaming (Astral)
      • Power:  Far Wandering Star
    • Per Speculum [aka. the Mirror Plane, Infinity]
      • Elements:  Earth, Water, Light
      • School of Magic:  Transmutation
      • Inhabitants:  Doubles
      • Rulers:  Deep Reflexions
      • Companion:  Eternity (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 arch-daemon 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 only 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 Planes (see below) are the final destinations of the dead, the Metropolitan Orders teach instead 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 particular 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).  It is suspected that some saints (and other higher beings) also make their homes here.

    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).
    NOTE:  The elemental planes and their aeons share the same names.  The one is indistinguishable from the other.  After the collision of the Spheres, however, the scope and purview of each aeon changed to become temperamental over-deities; it is he genies who govern the elemental life native to these planes, not the aeons themselves.  When speaking of an elemental plane, one is also speaking of its aeon--so there is no need to distinguish one from the other.
    • Lux, Elemental Plane of Light
        • Analog:  Positive Energy Plane; Irian
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Nova), Elementals (Light), Mephits (Steam)
      • Rulers:  Genies (Khodam), Aeon of Light
      • Throne:  Ivory City
    • Nox, Elemental Plane of Void 
        • Analog:  Negative Energy Plane; Mabar
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Eclipse), Elementals (Void), Mephits (Dust), Shadow
      • Rulers:  Genies (Shaitan), Aeon of Void
      • Throne:  Onyx City
    • Aeras, Elemental Plane of Air
      • Inhabitants:  Elder Elemental (Tempest), Elementals (Air),  Invisible Stalkers, Mephits (Ice, Smoke)
      • Rulers:  Genies (Djinn), Aeon of Air
      • Throne:  Azure City
    • Gaion, 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
    • Pyr, Elemental Plane of Fire
        • Analog:  Fernia
      • Inhabitants:  Azer, Elder Elemental (Phoenix), Elementals (Fire), Magmins, Mephits (Magma, Smoke), Salamanders
      • Rulers:  Genies (Efreet), Aeon of Fire
      • Throne:  Crimson City
    • Hydor, 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 many believe the souls of the dead are sent to live out eternity--each in accordance with their temperamental actions in life. Elementals, therefore, may be 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 planes and comic marches. They house the aeons (intelligences of the elemental planes as supreme governors of the Spheres), their angels, and their most loyal saints.
    • Powers are the dominions that connect the material plane and otherworlds.  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 class of dominions that connect the Comic Marches and the Otherworlds.  Eight such planes likely exist--but their nature and the nature of their inhabitants remain theoretical.
    • Lesser Dominions are the demiplanes of powerful mages and priests.  Typically, they coexist with the Mortal Realm and one other major plane (above).
    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 Functions

    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: Thrones and Cosmic Marches
    • A place where mortal spirits go after death: Abyss and Cosmic Marches
      • The Abyss is the gateway of the dead, and the Comic Marches whither they are ferried.
    • A way of getting form one plane to another: Otherworlds
    • A way for spells and monsters that use the Astral Plane to function: Dreaming and Limbo
    • A way for spells and monsters that use the Ethereal Plane to function: Empyrean and Inferno

    Edited Aug 4, 2018; Aug 12, 2018; Aug 21, 2018; Aug 29, 2018; Sep 15, 2019; Sep 24, 2018.  Major Revision Sep 26, 2018.  Edited Nov 11, 2019; Nov 13/14, 2019; Nov 17, 2019; Nov 21, 2019; Nov 26, 2019.

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