Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Planes of Monvesia: Functional Companions

The world of Monvesia recognizes several more transitive planes than most other D&D worlds.  Two of these have no counterparts at all among the traditional planes of 5th Edition:  the Mirror Plane and the Temporal Plane.  While both have existed in earlier editions of the game, they were treated as minor, variant planes.

In the setting of Monvesia, these two planes also form a "companionship"--a trait common to the Transitive Planes.  These two planes share in common connections to the Lithosphere, the Hydrosphere, and the lunar dominion of Sylane.  They are functional, practical planes that affect the structure of the Material Plane and how mortals interact with it.

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Functional Spheres

The far reaches of the transitive planes contain gateways of energy that act as gateways to the worlds beyond.  On the functional planes, these take the form of colored, pearlescent spheres, 1d6 x 10 feet in diameter.  These gateways can be identified by color:
  • White, Hierosphere (elemental plane of light) [Mirror]
  • Purple, Orvemondt (material plane)
  • Bright Yellow, Hesperia [Mirror]
  • Gold, Lithosphere (elemental plane of earth)
  • Brown, Stygia [Temporal]
  • Olive, Utopia
  • Lime Green, Arcadia [Mirror]
  • Green, Hydrosphere (elemental plane of water)
  • Forest Green, Tartarus [Temporal]
  • Black, Necrosphere (elemental plane of void) [Temporal]

Mirror Plane

Spheres/Elements: Hieropshere (Light), Hydrosphere (Water), Lithosphere (Earth)
Temperaments:  Altruist, Dynamist, Materialist
Inhabitants & Rulers:  Doubles, Doppelmeisters ("Double Masters")
Alternate Names:  Doppelwelt ("Double World")
Opposing Plane:  the Inferno
Dominion:  the Moon
D&D Analog:  Mirror Planes [3rd edition]

The common perspective is that the Mirror Plane is "behind" the Material Plane; this is because the plane can be glimpsed in mirrors as a reverse of reality.  One can look arond the corners of a mirror to see more of this reverse plane, but one can never truly grasp the full scope and reality of it by sight alone.

While in the plane itself, which can be accessed from any mirror or other reflective surface (using the right spells or rituals), the entire plane looks like a reversed copy of the Mortal Plane.   The otherworldly quality of the plane is further accentuated by a metallic sheen covering every surface--even non-metal objects like wood and cloth.  Sometimes, even colors will refract and distort.  Mirrors in this plane are widows to the Mortal Plane.

Only inanimate objects with reflections from the Mortal Plane exist in the Mirror Plane.  When a living creature is reflected, what is seen is actually a type of creature called a double, which is plane's daemons.  The most commonly known double is the doppelganger, which appears as whatever humanoid it needs to at any given time.  There is a morph for every physical type: humanoid (doppelganger), avian (doppelvogel), quadruped (doppeltier), snake (doppelwurm), etc.  Doubles exist primarily to mimic mortals in reflection, and only become a threat when they escaped their home plane and enter the Mortal Realms.

When a double mimics a distorted image, it can become trapped in that form.  These are a subset of doubles called grotesques.  The physical distortion will drive many such doubles mad.  Grotesques will not only turn against their own kind, but also mortals--often escaping into the Mortal Plane through shattered mirrors.
RETCON NOTE:  Doubles were once called reflections--particularly the "morph" subtypeIn this early version, they included hybrid creatures like sphinxes and griffons, in addition to grotesques.  These hybrids now revert back to their original classifications.
The rulers of the Mirror Plane are called Doppelmeisters.  These  archdaemons govern kingdoms in the Mirror Plane, with vassals and serfs and knights in a reflection of the politics of the Mortal Plane.  They have also gained control of the fundamental realities of their plane.  With this power, they may serve as patrons for warlocks.

Temporal Plane

Spheres/Elements: Hydrospere (Water), Lithosphere (Earth), Necrosphere (Void)
Temperaments:  Dynamist, Materialist, Nihilist
Inhabitants & Rulers:  Anachronisms, Timekeepers
Alternate Names:  Modal Plane, Plane of Infinite Possibility
Opposing Plane:  the Empyrean
Dominion:  the Moon
D&D Analog:  Demiplane of Time [1st edition], Temporal Prime [2nd edition], Temporal Energy Plane [3rd edition]

All of time and space exist within the Temporal Plane--timelines, time spirals, time coils, time strings, time balls, etc.  No matter how time is conceived, all possible outcomes exist here.  Instead of using resurrection or reincarnation spells, once could use a time loop spell to seemingly bring someone back from the dead; in truth, they are transported from one possible reality to another with their own memories and experiences intact.  Any spell that deals with the passage of time relies on the energy of the Temporal Plane.

Not all things brought through the temporal plane can find a natural existence in the reality of Monvesia's Mortal Plane.  These creatures, pulled out of their time, retreat back to the Temporal Plane--but they rarely find their way back "home" through the labyrinthine twists of possible time.  Instead, they come to live in the Temporal Plane itself as anachronisms--the daemons of this transitive plane.

The most common anachronisms encountered are the modrons and the inevitables.  Long separated from their home reality and time, these clockwork beings have come to be the (somewhat serendipitous) caretakers of the Temporal Plane.  It is possible the inevitables are the true anachronisms, and they created to modrons to assist them in maintaining the Temporal Plane.  The de facto rulers of the Temporal Plane are the highest ranking inevitables, called Timekeepers; these have learned how to tap into and maipulate the time streams--granting a portion of that power to warlocks as their patrons.
Conceivably, any creature identified as not being a part of Monvesia could appear as an anachronism.  Only the modrons and inevitables, however, have made a home in the Temporal Plane. It is possible that the warforged could find a place as the mortal counterparts of the anachronisms.
Edited September 24, 2018; October 7, 2018. 

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