It has taken many years to produce the work you are about to read. Many have dedicated their lives and even given their lives to produce it. We have performed many experiments, used all evidence available, and even used the formal magic Sands of Time powered by what was possibly the largest gathering of archwizards ever assembled in order to glance back further than any have before to the events of the First Elemental War.
The following is an accurate portrayal of how the world around us functions. It looks at existence as a clockmaker would look at gearing mechanisms. This document has been produced by researchers from the top gatherings of mages across Tyrra, including the Evendarrian Royal Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences on Janitria, the Black Tower of Helevorn in Quentari, and The Royal University of Neridia and their Guild of Arcane and Alchemical Studies. Over fifty archwizards combined their efforts in this work and the results are disturbing yet conclusive. They will change the belief structure of many and predict startling changes for the immediate future.
Archwizard of Fire and Vision
Senior Guildsman, Guild of Arcane and Alchemical Studies
Neridia's Gate, Kingdom of Neridia
Until this study many held that there were basically five elemental planes, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Time. There were an additional eight planes (Life, Death, Order, Chaos, Reason, Dream, Light, and Darkness) that many called elemental planes but were discounted as “time domains” by previous researchers. However there were many problems with previously presented theories. The most commonly accepted theory stated that there were five elemental planes and none were opposite yet clearly Earth and Air were opposite as were Fire and Water. This is demonstrable by the enmity of opposing elementals. For example Fire Elementals and Water Elementals seem driven to battle one another, as do Earth Elementals and Air Elementals. Each is harmed by their opposite to a greater extent than they are harmed by any other damaging force. Time however has never been known to have and opposite and no single elemental force damages Time Elementals to a greater extent than any other.
In addition the eight other elements that were generally accepted had clear opposition within the group. There were other facts that the previous theories could not account for based on manifestations of magic. Healing magic for example called on Earth though it had no clear relation to the Element of Earth. Necromancy called on Chaos but it too had little clear relation to the Element of Chaos, which at its heart is pure randomness. Add to this consideration the fact that Chaos’ opposite Order has nothing to do with any of the effects considered opposite necromancy and Earth and Chaos seemed to bear no relation to each other.
The cause of these misconceptions has now been identified and traced back to the First Elemental War. During this cataclysmic battle tears between the planes were opened in numbers never seen before or since. The sheer number of interactions is incalculable. In addition there were many tears that led directly to the area of negation called the Void of Corruption and the tendrils of the Void implanted deeply into all eight of the immaterial elemental planes and into the planes of existence that are created by the interaction of all of twelve elements. The taint of the Void warped anything it touched and the largest and strongest tears were upon the Plane of Chaos. It is the power of the Void flowing through these tears, not the power of Chaos itself, which gives rise to necromancy. It is the Void that is truly and surely damaging to the world around us. It was the fact that it was hidden within Chaos that confused previous researchers and caused contradictions in the experiments designed to prove or disprove this damage. The harm of necromancy to Tyrra and in fact to any plane is now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Once the Chaos itself, which is not innately harmful, is accounted for the energy of the Void of Corruption is clearly destructive to the world around us and sickens it. At this point we cannot conclusively state which necromantic spells truly draw their power from Chaos and which truly draw their power from the Void. It is clear that spells and formal magics that cause the creation of, or transformation into, undead forms are clearly powered by the Void. The actual undead form is a side effect of the Void consuming a portion of the target’s spirit.
Death too was strongly influenced by the power of Corruption as was Darkness and the taint of Corruption is what has driven so many Death and Darkness Elementals insane and to the point of what we think of as evil, all since the First Elemental War.
The confusion over whether those eight elemental planes were truly elements is clearly explainable by the events of the war. When the Void tore through the planar barriers and began to devour all it touched the Icon of Time acted to preserve the planes and protect the entire universe from the Void, which if left unchecked would have devoured all, leaving nothing. Time normally encompasses all other planes giving them the flow of time to exist within. Time completely enveloped the eight immaterial planes and exerted its influence to stop the Void from destroying them entirely after which the physical planes would have been sure to fall. In addition to slowing or stopping the spread of Corruption, Time allowed for a weapon to be used against Corruption upon all planes of existence, the power that is commonly known as earth magic, the force to heal Corruption. The power comes from the planes of existence itself, which many sentient beings think of as the earth beneath them. It is made up of all elements but since eight of the elements were corrupted by the Void there needed to be a purification of the power in order for it to truly work. It needed to be channeled through one of the four physical elements to allow its power to manifest. Earth was used because Earth is the most stable of the four physical elements and it has the most capacity to carry energy, the nodes being upon or within the stone that makes up a world and the ley lines running through or upon it. Much of this information was revealed using the Sands of Time formal to look back to the time of the First Elemental War when this occurred. For each great change we went back through to observe, the spirit of one of the key casters of the Sands of Time was completely drained away. These men and women are honored here for the sacrifice they have made in the pursuit of knowledge by presentation of their life’s work.
The information presented below is reflective of a pure or nearly pure universe in which the taint of the Void of Corruption has, for the most part, been removed and is confined to the Void itself and minimal tendrils touching upon the other planes. However this does not reflect the current universe.
This is not at all theoretical for that very cleansing is in the process of happening and happening soon. The changes of the great cycle, the great celestial changes, which happened every 576 years were reflections of that very cleansing. The closure of tears and the removal of the taint caused shifts in the patterns of magic and the influence of the elements causing magics and even races to be lost or found again. The last great celestial change was in the year 591 by Evendarr reckoning, 2991 by Neridian reckoning, and Loa Elenaro 651 as reckoned in Quentari. Despite this event having passed there have been numerous recent changes in the way magic and even the very physics of our world works over the last 11 years since then, these changes are unprecedented in the years surrounding the other great changes. The cause of this is that with the last great change the Void has nearly been removed from the elemental planes and the process had sped up as time unwinds from its hold upon these planes. Already the examiners at the various institutions find that the eight immaterial planes have less influence of Time and are nearly fully independent again. We predict that in the next few years, possibly even starting in the next year there will be a change beyond what we have seen before as the entire universe reverts toward what it once was and magic and physics warp beyond what we know. This will be an unstable process and there may be continuous changes on a smaller level over the next century or so. We have named this coming change the Great Upheaval.
All of what you will read below holds true though it is currently influenced by the still existing tears and emergences of the Void of Corruption on the planes.
The world around us is inhabited by beings with spirits. It is the presence of a spirit that allows comprehension and the ability to tap the wonder that is magic. Spirits are eternal but the shell they inhabit is not. Mortal beings on Tyrra eventually die and once permanently dead can no longer exist on Tyrra but can only communicate in limited ways via such things as the Spirit Farewell Formal Magic. Those races which can learn to use magic, particularly formal magic, are known as the gifted races. The members of these races which show the propensity to learn at astounding rates and progress in their skills, be they martial, magical, of commerce, or entertainment, are called gifted. Those members of the gifted races who do not possess that spark are called ordinary. Adventurers are all gifted.
The universe is constructed of multiple planes. They divide into several categories, planes of existence, elemental planes, planar bubbles, and the graveyards. These planes are independent and separately functioning realms that have no predictable temporal or spatial relationship to each other. This means that each plane is its own world, and that each follows its own time line. In addition, the geography and content of each plane is separate and has no set parallel in any other plane. The planes are not necessarily patterned after one another in form or content, nor do they “intersect” at any specific time or place. The only things that every plane in the universe has in common are time and substance, such that each realm has some aspects of both in its makeup.
The universe contains twelve Primary Elements. All realms within the universe are composed of varying amounts of these twelve elements. They are Air, Chaos, Darkness, Death, Dream, Earth, Fire, Life, Light, Order, Reason, and Water. These twelve can further be broken down into the designation of Physical Elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water) and Immaterial Elements (Chaos, Darkness, Death, Dream, Life, Light, Order, Reason). The Immaterial Elements can be further subdivided in the Metaphysical (Light, Darkness, Order, and Chaos), which are descended from the Physical Elements and the Spiritual (Life, Death, Reason, Dream), which are based on the interaction of spirits with the remaining eight elements.
The Physical Elements are the basis for reality in the universe. Facets of one or more of these elements can be found upon every plane of existence, and most planes contain at least some aspect of all four. While these elements can coexist in the Tyrran planes they exist in opposition to each other. Air opposes Earth and Fire opposes Water.
While the Physical Elements exist as pure states of matter, the Immaterial Elements are more truly defining forces that help to determine the nature of the denizens of a particular realm. Without exception these forces exist in conflict with one another as Chaos opposes Order, Darkness opposes Light, Death opposes Life, and Dream opposes Reason. These relationships are irreconcilable, and the opposing forces will always be found in conflict with each other where they both exist. With the exception of the opposing elemental plane and some exceptionally rare planar bubbles, each and every plane contains at least some aspect of all of these elements.
An element will never be found on its opposing elemental plane unless brought there from outside by an act of high magic or leaking in from an open gate or rift. It is impossible even for high magic to open a portal between two opposing primary elemental planes.
There are countless forces that some have called “secondary elements” within the Tyrran universe. These are a blending of aspects of two or more primary elements. Examples of secondary elements are destruction, fear, steam, mud, lava, tyranny, law, hope, anarchy, and freedom. A virtually endless list of these can be made, and many of them duplicate names but have little in common. There are representations of destruction, for example, that combine forces from Death, Flame, Chaos, and other elements in various proportions. The exact blending involved is often difficult or impossible to ascertain. Any plane known for one of these secondary elements is in actuality a planar bubble.
In prior analysis of the planes it was concluded that each of the intangible planes had two aspects or extremes that they ranged between. In general these were actually secondary elements and based on the view of good versus evil, which the researchers applied to them. Death was, under that theory, considered to range from destruction, which was considered bad to regeneration, which was considered good. Though Death is generally found in all mixes that make up destruction or regeneration, these are not the two opposite ends of Death. All elements have a spectrum of their influence that does not simply go between two extremes.
It is of note that the Void has no part in the blending of secondary elements, all planar bubbles of Corruption have tears that connect directly to the Void. It corrupts and removes things from existence. This goes far beyond mere destruction, something devoured by the Void has its entire existence warped and eventually nullified. Still many associate this with Death or Chaos and fear those elements and their more negative aspects due to this, though they are not related.
The Role of Time
Time exists as a controlling factor in the universe. It is the perpetuation and the measure of change that creates a dynamic universe. All things must succumb to the influence of Time, and change is therefore inevitable throughout the multitude of planes that exist. Time not only flows, it also stagnates, accelerates, narrows, widens, pauses, diverges, and changes course. The only thing that Time does not do is stop. It is possible to influence Time and to travel through it. It is also possible to entirely alter its course within a specific setting, although the impact upon the universe as a whole in such a case will inevitably be much less significant. In general changing the timeline of a particular plane of existence only affects a very limited area of that plane. Time protects itself and prevents the change from perpetuating throughout the plane. Even within the area of the change there are often people who will remember the timeline as it was prior to the change. In general the gifted do not remember the newly written timeline, holding onto their memories of the original timeline. As time passes history may forget the original timeline as the new timeline is recorded and those who remember the old timeline die or forget details through age. Perspective influences an individual’s perception of Time, but it exists throughout the planes and ultimately all other forces within the universe abide by its laws.
The universe is characterized by the ability of its denizens to focus elemental energies into magical spells or effects. These are simply invoking the influence of one or more elements on the plane of the caster. High magic consists of effects so great in scale or power that ordinary mortals, even the gifted, cannot channel such energy.
In order for the desired effect to manifest there must be some aspect of the element that it calls upon present within that particular plane at the time of the attempted casting. For example, a person that is trapped within the Elemental Plane of Death will find it impossible to cast spells that focus the energies of Life because there are no Life energies present upon that plane at all. An open gate, a tear, planar anchor, or other junction may make it possible for those spells to be cast when the caster is within close proximity to the junction and certain high magic effects may allow for the drawing of such forces to an opposing plane or even the holding of such forces in a portable container. It is for this reason that the ability to produce certain magical effects is greatly dependent upon the plane that the caster is presently on. Almost all elemental planes and planar bubbles have special concerns regarding the use and casting of magic. Planes of existence have no such concerns because they have aspects of all twelve elements present in at least some degree.
The actual planes that exist in the universe overlap and move through and around each other constantly. This is possible because the planes each exist in their own phase of reality that is different from any other plane in a way similar to notes in a piece of music. As long as each plane maintains its own “pitch,” it will remain separate from the other planes, while still coexisting with them in a harmonious manner. It is when part of a particular plane’s “pitch” is altered to that of another plane that gates and rifts occur, allowing beings and/or objects to cross over from one plane to another.
There are four types of planes: planes of existence, planar bubbles, the graveyards, and elemental planes. In addition, there is the nothingness known as The Void of Corruption that constantly tries to destroy the universe. Each has characteristics that define it as such and make it different from the other types.
Planes of Existence
The planes of existence are regions that have a relatively equal balance of all twelve elements and exist within the flow of time. They are infinite in measurement. Tyrra is the name of a plane of existence in which we all live as well as the world within that plane upon which we live. Another well-known plane of existence is Faerie. Other planes of existence are known, and most of them are characterized by the fact that they each have a wide range of environments. Planes of existence also allow for a broad variety of magic to be cast because of the amount of all elemental energies readily available.
Planar bubbles are finite regions that come into existence when elemental energies come together in non-balanced ratios within the flow of Time; they often are formed during a planar collision. Powerful magical effects can bring about the formation of planar bubbles, but it will often occur naturally as well. Oft times powerful mages and plane traveling beings seek out planar bubbles to become their homes and places of power, many even create a link between themselves and the planar bubble such that their spirit is drawn their after death. Some wizards even speculate that the bottles that at times hold the spirits of undead, and even the bottles that the creatures called Djinn are sometimes trapped within, are actually very small planar bubbles, just large enough to hold a single spirit. Some examples of planar bubbles would be those of Fear, Fog, Gloom, Hatred, Imprisonment, Laughter, Lava, and Smoke. The combinations are virtually endless, and new ones are popping up all of the time. Planar bubbles always exhibit traits of the elements that collided to form the bubble. Fear, for example, may be formed primarily of Dream and Reason: the nightmares of Dream and the thoughts that frighten a living being. Aspects of other elements may be involved in smaller amounts; fear of death, fear of fire, fear of being buried alive, require small amounts of Death, Fire, and Earth. There may be many different planar bubbles that represent fear and contain varying amounts of the different elements in their makeup.
Unlike the planar bubbles, the elemental planes are set with regard to their number and composition. There are twelve elemental planes, one for each of the primary elements. These planes are dominated by the element for which they are named, and will have a complete lack of its opposing element. In addition, the other elements will be scarce, although they will not be completely absent due to the existence of portals. The Schematic View of the Universe pictured below diagrams the alignment and opposition of the elements. Time does not have a separate plane of its own but encompasses every plane. Whenever an “Elemental Plane of Time” is spoken of it is in reality a planar bubble.
The following is a brief description of the environment of each elemental plane and the element’s nature.
Air – This realm is an endless sky with no ground beneath it. Large clouds move through this endless sky and often are solid allowing one to stand upon them. At times constructions dot their surface. Airborne creatures battle each other for dominance of this place. Storms generate large amounts of electrical energy that constantly shoots from cloud to cloud in a brilliant display of color.
Chaos – This plane is continuously changing at random. Normal physics does not hold sway here. Water may flow uphill and flame may burn cold. There are no laws or order here, only what is now. This seemingly whimsical alteration literally follows no pattern, and cannot be predicted. This realm has at times been known to resemble or mimic the environment of other planes, but it has also been reported to manifest itself in ways that are not similar to anything known. One thing is certain, that the plane alters itself randomly, and the entire environment can change instantly when this occurs. Chaos has many aspects; randomness, anarchy, and freedom are all formed with the involvement of Chaos.
Darkness – The Plane of Darkness is totally devoid of light, and its minions are all dark in complexion and hue. The plane itself has many different types of beings and monstrosities living within it. There is a landscape here though it is difficult to comprehend without the aid of sight. Those who travel this plane often use magics that allow their other senses to heighten and be translated into the appearance of sight. Most travelers report the areas seem to be composed of subterranean chambers and other dark, shadowy environs. Darkness is thought of in many ways, it is the concealment of what is within, it is deception of those who strive for true sight, it is stealth by which one moves unseen.
Death – True to its name, the plane of Death is totally devoid of Life. Living beings cannot exist here without powerful protective magics and should such magics fail they will instantly be subject to unstoppable Death. The very nature of the realm itself is hostile to living creatures. Much of the landscape here appears burnt out, and the entire realm is composed of a gray, sooty soil that is not like the soil found upon Tyrra. Most people think of destruction when they think of Death and associate Death with evil, however Death allows for renewal it is half of the great cycle of existence for Death allows for more life to form and nourishes life as well. The greatest scholars of Tyrra agree that Death is not evil in nature but the fear of Death and the extreme nature of beings of destruction that are often thought of as minions of Death have often confused the general populous of Tyrra.
Dream – This plane tends to appear as a wispy, fog-laden realm is composed primarily of swirling mist. Within the mist there are pockets of clear space that virtually act as separate little worlds and are thought to represent the dreams of all beings. Travel in the realm of dreams is not extremely difficult, but requires a seasoned visitor in order to accomplish it without getting lost. Training in dreamwalking as it is known is difficult and often varies in success and ability at any given time. Dreamwalkers can often guide beings through the dreamscape, the fringe region of this plane where it touches the minds of the sleeping. Dream gives many things to many people it brings about inspiration, faith, flights of fancy, and whimsy, but it also contains nightmare and terrors and is the primary component of fear.
Earth – The plane of Earth or Stone, as it is sometimes known, is composed totally of solid ground. There are no pockets of air to be found here, and air-breathing creatures are non-existent unless protected by powerful magics. Within the endless ground are areas of fire, mud, magma, permafrost, and water. Creatures here cannot burrow in the traditional sense, as, without open space, there is no place for the ground that they have displaced to go. Most of them either consume the ground, moving at whatever rate their metabolism will allow, or move in a near intangible state that allows them to share space with the ground itself. A gate into the Plane of Earth often clears an area temporarily but travel past that immediate area requires special ability to move through the solid matter that forms the plane.
Fire – Large gouts of flame, ash, and super-heated air typify this plane. The ground that can be found here is composed of pumice, dangerously loose ash, or molten lava. Everything here is constantly burning, and the heat is incredible. Like the Plane of Death, this plane is completely inhospitable to most living beings, only those immune to flame or protected by powerful magics can live here. There are few creatures that can live within this realm, and those that do are seldom able to exist away from it for very long because of their need for extreme heat.
Life – The Plane of Life is completely alive. There is nothing that is not living here, and even the landscape, air, water, and limited amount of flame that can be found here is alive. The sentient beings found here do not consume other living creatures in order to survive, but instead live by other means of self-perpetuation or symbiosis. Most living beings have a general image of Life as good, opposing the evil of Death. However, though Life contributes to the forces of creation and construction, if left unchecked it is brings collapse and the overbearing outgrowing of the niche a population is within.
Light – Masses of Light of varying intensity and kaleidoscopic color make this one of the most beautiful planes in the Tyrran universe. This place can also be dangerous. Often intense heat from various sources of Light such as flame storms or great electrical arcs is present. Blinding Light beams move about randomly reflecting off nearly every surface. Even the ground here glows with Light. Light is generally thought of as positive, illumination, the bringing of sight and knowledge, but too much Light can blind and the prying nature of exposure can be overwhelming to those with things they would rather keep hidden.
Order – This place has a perfect balance of all elements except for that of Chaos. Everything here happens at exactly the correct time, and in equal proportion. Large, water-filled columns of rock called stacks cover the entire realm, and these are spaced at precise intervals. The ground alternates in a very organized pattern between various types of terrain. The sky is absolutely dark for half of the day, and filled with light the other half. Order is generally associated with law and propriety but when law becomes overbearing it lapses into tyranny, slavery, and abject control.
Reason – Though opposite Dream, Reason has many similarities with it. Dream reflects the random thoughts of the sleeping mind. Reason reflects the directed thoughts of the waking mind. Everything found on the Plane of Reason has a purpose based on the thoughts of those who formed it. In general it is a safe place reflecting the logic of thought, however within conscious thought also lurks insanity and this too is reflected in the plane. The living beings that roam this place tend to be philosophers and logicians but can also be completely insane. The entire plane is a reflection of thoughts thus there is no predicting what it will be like. Travel in the Plane of Reason is not extremely difficult, but can be aided by a seasoned visitor in order to accomplish it without getting lost in thought. Training in Mindwalking as it is known is difficult and often varies in success and ability at any given time. Mindwalkers can often guide beings through the mindscape, the fringe region of this plane where it contacts the minds of the thinking. Reason and Dream are not as far apart as most would have you believe, the waking and the sleeping. Reason can be seen as positive with logic, ideas, forethought, and certainness, but logic can be false and lead to mistakes and thoughts can go awry and lead to delusion and insanity.
Water – This plane is like a giant, seemingly endless ocean with no surface or bottom. Parts of it are teeming with life, while some areas are virtually lifeless. Large masses of earth, coral, and plant life float amid the water. Occasional air bubbles move around in a seemingly endless motion as well, and creatures that cannot breathe underwater are found within them.
The Void of Corruption
The Void exists outside the universe, it is essentially absolute nothingness, there are no features or terrain to be found there, and the beings within are the corrupted remnants of spirits consumed by the Void. The Void is infinitely large; it exists outside the planes always attempting to devour them. Travel into and through The Void is a rare, but sometimes-necessary task, the forces of corruption exist within the Void and threaten to overwhelm everything within and any length of exposure will corrupt those within if it does not simply kill them outright. The mind of those entering the Void will interpret the emptiness in ways to save the sanity of the traveler as best it can.
The Void often sends tendrils into the planes of existence and even the elemental planes and planar bubbles. Where these tendrils touch the areas become corrupted and necromantic effects often occur. Areas in which undead rise frequently are touched by tendrils of the Void of Corruption and all undead have a small tendril connecting them to the Void and giving them their ability to walk beyond Death and their power. Necromancers tap the power of the Void to raise undead and power some of their other spells, though which is currently unclear.
Outside of the planes of existence and the twelve elemental planes exist the graveyards. They are the place where the spirits of the permanent dead go to rest. The graveyards have very limited contact with the rest of the universe. Generally only spirits of the permanently dead can travel to the graveyards and exist there. In very limited manners spirits within the graveyards can communicate with other planes. In extremely rare cases spirits of those who are not permanently dead can travel to the graveyards and back. Where they sit in relation to the other planes is neither known nor knowable, they exist away from all other planes. Some say the Elemental Plane of Dream touches the graveyards and that is why people often see the permanently dead in their dreams.
The exact number of graveyards is not known, they are only known for the common humanoid races but others may exist for monstrous races or rarely seen races. Living spirits can only exist in the graveyards for a limited time before they are either ejected from the graveyard by its guardians or become drained of their energy and are forced back to their plane of existence through resurrection. Exactly how long a living spirit may remain in the graveyards varies but is rarely longer than two hours and never longer than one week. The inhabitants of the graveyards spend their time in pursuit of their particular interests and living spirits who temporarily journey there will find that they seem to be in a normal environment but unusual limits may apply at any time and the ability to invoke magic or use skills and items may change.
There are times when the veil between the graveyards and the various planes of existence, particularly Tyrra, become thin and it is possible for travel to or from the graveyards to occur spontaneously without the use of special magic. Often this is close to Halloween when it is said the dead walk more easily.
Each graveyard has a being of immense power that serves as its protector. That being has minions who do its bidding and also serve to protect and guard each graveyard. Often the guardian can manifest lesser versions of itself upon the graveyard and rarely is needed to deal with minor intrusions to the graveyards themselves. Often, travelers to the graveyards from certain lands will face the same minions as guardians of the graveyard repeatedly. The people of each land will know certain ones as guardians; often spirits of beings from that land such as great heroes take this role. Over all the graveyards stands the being known as the Registrar who is described by many scholars as a judge of spirits deciding which spirits belong in which graveyard.
The following is a list of the known graveyards for all the gifted races. Other graveyards may exist for non-humanoid races or monstrous races but none of the gifted have ever traveled there and recorded the facts.
The Fallow Lands – Not all members of the gifted races are themselves gifted. Those who are ordinary go to the Fallow Lands after permanent death. The Fallow Lands appears as a great plain or farm where spirits newly dead are harvested by the being who guards this graveyard, the Gardener of Spirits. Once the spirits are harvested the Gardener and his minions see to the needs of the spirits. Some legends hold that the Gardener tends the spirits who remain here until such time as they are ready to be reborn and hopefully become gifted themselves; other legends state that they remain in the Fallow Lands forever.
The Heroes’ Graveyard – Those who died after living in a truly heroic manner go to the Heroes’ Graveyard. Here they spend their days in battle and their nights in feasting and honoring those who fought well in the day. A great warrior stands at the head of battle here and presides over the feast. He is called the Triumphant and he guards the Heroes’ Graveyard.
The Four Winds – The truly evil spirits who committed atrocities while they lived are placed within the Graveyard of the Four Winds when they die, here to be locked away guarded so they may not return to the world of the living and do more harm there. A grim figure guards the paths of the Four Winds, he is called the Keeper and he will let no inhabitant of his domain leave. Those who risk entrance into the Four Winds may find themselves trapped there forever if his minions catch them, for even the knowledge those imprisoned within hold is often considered too dangerous to return to other planes of existence. The rare spirits that escape the Four Winds will find themselves hunted no matter where they go.
The Endless Hunt – Many of the scavengers as well as the barbarians spend their time after permanent death in the Endless Hunt. The appearance of the Endless Hunt varies but it is a place where these resting spirits can hunt to their heart’s content and always find challenging prey. It could be forest, jungle, cavern, desert, or plains or nearly any other terrain one might conceivably hunt within. A creature called the Beast is guardian of the Endless Hunt and its minions are great predators who stalk the lands. Many have hunted the Beast itself and it is said by some that any hunter great enough to catch the Beast is returned to life and by others that the hunter who catches the Beast becomes the Beast and guards the Endless Hunt until he too is one day caught by a better hunter.
The Stone Halls – The spirits of the dwarves who maintained the line of honor go to the Stone Halls. This Graveyard appears as an endless series of tunnels elaborately carved in solid granite with veins of precious metals and gems running through them in places. Great halls and palaces of basalt are carved within immense vaulted caverns and craftsmen work at forges whose fires never die. A creature called the Digger Beneath is said to form the endless tunnels as he passes through the graveyard and he guards the Stone Halls from all who would intrude.
The Elder Wood – If ever there was one perfect forest, the embodiment of the sylvan woodland, it is the Elder Wood. The spirits of gifted Elves travel through their spirit tree to their final rest in the Elder Wood where they exist at one with the trees. Those elves not linked to a spirit tree either seek refuge in another graveyard or remain in the Spirit World. In the center of the Elder Wood is said to be the Skytree, a giant spirit tree whose branches spread far above the clouds. It is said to be sentient and it guards the Elder Wood with the treants and dryads that follow its every thought.
The Long Road – The Mystic Wood elves speak of life as walking along a road and death as walking a long road that never ends. Thus the graveyard to which their spirits go is aptly seen as a long unending road where spirits walk forever to the destination that never comes. They meet many others along their path walking in both directions and pause at places along the way to congregate and practice the crafts at which they excelled in life. They speak of a being that walks the road with them and guards it. They call this being the Traveler and he is a hooded figure with a walking staff that trudges along beside them. They say those who reach the end of the long road become guardians who aid the Traveler in his duties.
The Great Darkness – The Drae spend the time after they die in a manner in which they wished to live within nothing but darkness. In this graveyard no light whatsoever exists and the Drae spirits exist as they always wished to, never facing the light. A creature called the Shadow guards the Great Darkness it sees from each dark corner and send minions spun of shadow stuff against any who would intrude upon the peace of the Great Darkness.
The Great Waste – The Half Orcs are considered by many to be a savage race. The Graveyard to which their spirits travel after permanent death reflects this savage nature. The Great Waste is a barren land of tundra, rock shelves, and desert. It is a land where only the fiercest could survive, if they were still alive. Each day the spirits within the Great Waste go out to fight for the day, those that survive find comfort at an oasis or at longhouses that appear as the sun sets across the land. As seen in the Half Orcs’ belief in strength through challenge and adversity, those who could not master the battles of the day endure the tortuous winds and storms that wrack the Great Waste each night and then stand to fight once more the next day. Often in the distance a spirit in the Great Waste can see a lone figure draped in loose coverings, nearly blending into the landscape. He is called the Sandman and he guards the Great Waste and assures reward to the victorious and punishment to those who fail.
The Great Cave – The legends of the Half Ogres state that their race emerged long ago from the Great Cave that served as a womb to them in Tyrra herself. Some find it fitting that in death their spirits go to a graveyard that resembles nothing more than a great cavern with no end and no opening to the world above. Despite this light pours into the cavern reflected downward though crystalline veins which run through the ceilings of the great vaults. The cavern is rough-hewn and natural, the Half Ogres’ sense of nature seems perfectly in tune to those spirits residing here. They grow crops and tend beasts and exist at one with their place. Deep in the cave there is said to be a single entity of enormous size and power called the Jotun. The Half Ogres can hear his whispers on the breeze, they tell plants how to grow and direct the Great Cave itself. The spirits within the Great Cave hold that when each spirit is ready to move on they travel to the Jotun and he speaks of them and they become one with his words with nature. All that is unnatural is removed from the Great Cave by the Jotun and his whispers.
The Reflection – Humans, Hoblings, Gypsies, and many members of the other races of Tyrra seem to function best when surrounded by the familiar and comfortable. After permanent death these spirits are often drawn to the Reflection. Most could not tell the Reflection from Tyrra and spirits here go about their business as if they were still alive, in fact many do not even realize they are dead. A being called the Lord of the Mirror guards the Reflection and his eyes can be seen in any reflective surface within this graveyard. His minions can appear wherever a reflection is cast including the water, the surface of a blade, and of course a mirror. Many say his servants are mirror images of the spirits within the Reflection.
The Homestone – Biata hold a deep belief in the power of their Homestones, great spheres of hematite that hold racial memories. These hematite formations also serve as a gateway for their spirits to enter the graveyard of the Homestone. The graveyard appears to be caverns and hewn chambers within the Hematite and the spirits of Biata from across time communicate with each other in these halls. Many scholars debate whether the Homestone is truly a graveyard or simply a perfect collection of all the memories of the Biata race, however travel to the graveyard has always been via the same magics which take one to other graveyards. In addition interactions with the memories stored in the physical Homestones on Tyrra is usually more static then with the spirits in the graveyard. Unlike the elven need for a spirit tree to serve as the gateway to the graveyard the Biata do not need to be linked directly to a Homestone.
Their spirits seem to be drawn through whichever formation is closest when they meet permanent death. Wandering the hallways and passages of the Homestone is the being known as the Great Gryphon it is the guardian of the Homestone and those spirits who meet his favor become his hunters and riders guarding the passages of memory and removing those spirits who are not part of the Homestone.
The Circle – The Circle is a place of pure unceasing logic and order, fitting for the completely ordered minds of the Stone elven spirits that rest there. The landscape is completely regular with crystal buildings placed with geometric precision. They are laid out as if on he spokes of a giant wheel. It is said it takes perfect logic to reach the center and there is where one would find the Overmind who guards the Circle. The Overmind’s minions are the intangibles, which are formed of the thoughts of the Circles inhabitants. The spirits of those Stone elves who achieve a perfect emotionless order to their thoughts are said to become one with the Overmind. Rumil Sauros himself is said to form the core aspect of the Overmind.
The Spirit World – Some of those who have been permanently killed have trouble passing onward to the graveyards. Sometimes it is because of important things left undone, sometimes they die through magical means that are so powerful as to actually damage the eternal spirit, sometimes they are cursed to never rest. Whatever the reason, these spirits may reside in the Spirit World until they can be put to rest. The spirits wander about paralleling Tyrra but not quite in phase with it, the land appears to them but they cannot affect it, they seem alive to any within the spirit world but they cannot die, if they would be killed by another spirit they simply reform at the parallel of the nearest circle forever. At times spirits on the Spirit World can be seen on the other planes. The unresting spirits or apparitions seek out the living to put them to rest. This can be done by completing unfulfilled tasks, repairing damaged spirits, breaking curses upon them, or many other possibilities. At times from within the Spirit World beings on Tyrra can be seen but they cannot be interacted with.
Elementals and The Dedicated
The denizens of the elemental planes are called elementals and they are reflective of the nature of their element. Each elemental plane is ruled or more precisely embodied by a being known as the Icon. Each element has an Icon and often they have titles used by mortal beings, Lady Death, Lord Chronos, Mistress Chaos, The Anarch, The Judgeratt, The Pyre, The Vortex, The Maelstrom, and many others in different places and times. Whatever they are called in any given local on Tyrra the important thing to know is that on their respective elemental plane they have no limits on their power. They are the consciousness of the plane itself and the mind of the force represented by that element. Any incarnation of an Icon encountered on a plane of existence or planar bubble is by necessity limited since it would be impossible for a single finite being to contain the infinite nature of an elemental plane, some call these limited representations of the Icons their Images. The Icons represent all aspects of their element within their Image. It takes a matter of great importance to the entirety of the element to cause an Icon to form an Image; they do not wander the planes randomly. When a being of elemental power is encountered as the “Icon” which does not seem to be involved in a matter of utmost relevance to their element then in general it is a lesser elemental posing as the Icon.
The elementals serve as extensions of the will of the Icon, they have free will but it is subservient to the needs of their Icon. Often these elementals, since they are not representations of the Icon itself are biased toward one of the perceived aspects of the element they represent. The reason most Tyrrans see Death Elementals as evil is because they have seen many of those who are biased toward negative aspects of Death. The powers and abilities of these elementals may vary based on what they are biased toward. Elementals are created by the Icons from the stuff of their plane itself or occasionally from the spirit of a mortal being who shows near perfect dedication to the element. There are levels to the elementals the lowest are called shards and they are small fragments of their plane and very low in power. Next are the imps that have a bit more power but still tend to basically be mindless troops. Above the imps are the adepts who start to have some small amount of free will in the performance of their missions. Above adepts are lords who are quite powerful and have a great deal of free will. The highest of the elementals are the knights who are most often formed of a living spirit to give them free will and the knowledge and skills they held when living. The addition of a spirit is occasionally problematic for sometimes the focus of the spirit is less then perfect and influences from life disrupt the true focus on their element. These are the so-called rogue elementals and usually the Icon and its true minions will deal with these in time.
There are many creatures aligned with each element that are found on the various elemental planes. On the Plane of Fire are salamanders and effreet, and the Plane of Water houses giant fish and tritons. Each plane, even Death, has creatures and beings that make it their home.
Another group of beings focused on particular elements are the Dedicated. These are beings, usually inhabitants of one of the planes of existence, that declare their allegiance to an element and the concepts it embodies via use of formal magics of transformation. They can be similar in appearance and even power to elementals but they are not true elementals still holding a mix of the twelve elements found on the planes of existence. However as they spend more and more time in their transformed state the element they have aligned with becomes dominant often affecting their behavior. While they are still mortal and their transformation is dormant Tyrra remains their home plane, their point of anchorage in all the myriad planes and they hold free will. Though during the periods of time when their transformation is active they could be controlled by the will of the Icon they still act essentially as any free willed mortal would. However once they meet their permanent death, their spirit instead of seeking the graveyards now transforms completely and seeks out their new anchorage, the elemental plane to which they have aligned themselves. That plane becomes their new home plane and they can only exist on the planes of existence, such as Tyrra for a short time, and then only by will of their Icon. Though Tyrra is no longer their true home they will always have an affinity for the land where the formal magics of transformation were cast upon them and can generally never appear in another land on Tyrra. Over time the other elements that were part of them will be purified from their being and they will be less and less like a Tyrran and more and more biased to their one element. Thus people who knew them in life will slowly see their personality become dominated by their element after permanent death. If they become completely pure the Icon may chose to elevate their status to that of a true elemental and a more direct purveyor of its will. If these elementals ever begin to show too much of their free will from the time they were living beings the Icon usually absorbs them back into the substance of its plane and they are never seen or heard from again.
The Planar Vocabulary
In order to study the nature of planes and planar travel, a person must understand the meaning of the core concepts outlined below.
Abduct – The ability to abduct another is a rare power, a specific version of the ability to rift that allows a being to bring another being to their plane or to another location on the same plane against the will of the traveler. Abduction can specifically target an individual and requires the highest order of power to pull another between the planes.
Gate – A gate is a freestanding portal to another plane or another location on the same plane. The act of gating refers to the ability to open a gate. A gate has definite visible borders and the size of a gate is either fixed in a permanent gate or determined by the power of the one opening the gate for temporary gates. Formal magics are known to exist which allow for the opening of gates between planes and temporary gates on the same plane. The Kingdom of Neridia has the ability to create permanent gates and has done so to form a network of gates linking many nations across Avalon, all using the master gate in Neridia as the hub. It should be noted that most gates cannot penetrate the forces that form a circle of power, a wizard lock, or a ward, however some beings exist who are powerful enough to gate directly through such obstructions. One may or may not be able to see the other side of a gate before they pass through it. Most gates take a conscious action to walk through it but some will move anyone who simply brushes against the gate. Many gates have limitations on how many can pass through them before they close or will not let another pass. Gates can be bi-directional allowing passage to either side or unidirectional only allowing passage one way.
High Magic – High magics are magical effects that cannot be cast by mortal beings. Only creatures such as True Dragons and Elemental Icons can handle the sheer power of high magic. No power or transformation can ever allow mortal beings to handle such magics except in the most limited of manners.
Ley Line – Ley lines are streams of elemental energy that connect one node to another. Some say that the emanation of energy from the ley lines is what powers magic. Others say that there are special ways to tap the energy of ley lines for unique magical effects. These lines are normally undetectable other then by unique magics which are particularly rare. Using a ley line in the creation of an item restricts the item to function only within proximity to the ley line that was used in its creation, generally no further than the borders of the land the ley line is within.
Nexus – A nexus is similar to a gate but can lead to multiple locations determined when a traveler enters a nexus. The destination plane or area of the nexus might be controlled by the traveler or might be controlled by forces unknown to the traveler.
Node – A node is an area on a plane of existence or in a planar bubble that is a direct manifestation of an elemental force or even a combination of elemental forces that can have a direct affect on magic cast in the area. Nodes are often completely invisible and only detected by unique magics or by inference of mages noting the strange effects they have on magic in their area, however at other times nodes manifest within crystal formations, obelisks, or other similar arcane constructs. It often forms in areas that have been exposed to large amounts of elemental energy and has as a result taken on some qualities of that particular elemental plane. If a longstanding gate or rift were in that location it could trigger the formation of a node. In rare cases a node can be formed more quickly, but this will only happen on the heels of some extreme interplanar event or by use of high magic. Nodes do not have any set size but most are no larger then a ten-foot diameter sphere. The area that a node affects can be as small as a single ten-foot chamber or as large as a complex of caves. Nodes have peculiar effects on magic in the area and may cause limitations to opposing elemental forces and enhancements of the elemental forces represented within the node. At times powerful magics beyond the normal ken of the known formal magics must be cast at a node in order to succeed. At times casting formal magic at a node may have an enhancing effect on them or even a deleterious effect. However using a node in this manner often drains its power temporarily or even permanently and restricts the item to function only within proximity to the node that was used in its creation, generally no further than the borders of the land the node is within.
Planar Anchor – A planar anchor is a magical or elemental construction that draws those traveling to a plane by rift or gate to it, it is a waymarker for interplanar travelers.
Planar Collision – This happens when two tears collide and the forces of two elemental planes directly interact on a plane of existence or planar bubble. When the energies of two planes begin to come into contact odd magical occurrences related to those elements and their combination can happen. For example if Flame and Earth interact the area may become molten preventing any from approaching, if Dream and Death interact all in the area may be subject with a sudden fear of dying or visions of the long deceased may appear to those observing, there is no predicting exactly what will happen. If the two elements represented are opposites one of two things usually happens, they simply cancel each other out, or catastrophe ensues. Collisions of more than two planes can and do happen, but only rarely and with the most odd and oftentimes severe consequences. Once the planar tears actually touch nearly anything can happen including the formation of planar bubbles, planar emergences, nodes, portals, and specks, and even new tears forming directly to the Void of Corruption. The ley lines for a huge area and thus the forces of magic within it may be changed or disrupted. A planar collision is generally considered one of the worst possible disasters and even hated enemies have been known to cease feuds to prevent such occurrences.
Planar Compass – A planar compass is a magical device that allows one to tell direction on an alternate plane and at times even seek out specific objects, beings, or locales on that plane. They tend to be specific to a given plane and limited in duration. They can be used during the casting of a formal magic allowing planar travel to direct the destination of the travelers.
Planar Emergence – A planar emergence is an area on a plane of existence or planar bubble in which a particular elemental plane or other plane of existence or planar bubble has overlaid the existing plane. Examples of this can include areas of the ocean where the primal forces of the Plane of Water hold sway, volcanic vents that are truly sections of the Plane of Fire, glades in Tyrra that truly exist in Faerie, places on Tyrra that are suddenly exchanged with other areas of Tyrra. This type of phenomenon can occur over a long period of time in an area in which multiple nodes of the same type have formed. A planar collision can trigger an emergence as can the direct action of an Icon and the use of high magic.
Planar Horizon – A division of the planes that maps to different areas on Tyrra. This division makes it impossible to access the exact same area of the various planes by traveling there from Tyrra. Thus the planar horizon of the Elemental Plane of Life varies based on where in Tyrra one tries to travel there from, whether directly or indirectly.
Planar Tear – A planar tear is similar to a rift, it is a freestanding portal to another plane but it may or may not allow passage of beings, and this may vary where at times it will and at times it will not. What is does allow is passage of elemental energies and their effects onto the plane the tear is on. This can release denizens of that plane into the area or allow them to survive there; it may warp local flora, fauna, or even inhabitants with the energies of the plane it connects to. A tear has borders that are usually not visible and the size of a tear is variable and often changes as it develops. Tears may be either freestanding or mobile. Tears generally form either due to high magic or magics gone greatly awry. If two tears collide in their movements the result is a planar collision.
Portal – A portal is a generic name for any passage that moves people between two points on the same plane or different planes including gates, rifts, tears and other similar constructions.
Rift – A rift is a freestanding portal to another plane or another location on the same plane. The act of rifting refers to the ability to quickly form a rift and slip through it moving from one location to another as the rift immediately closes behind the rifter. One cannot join a rift by simply grabbing or touching the rifter, however some rifting beings have the ability to take an incapacitated person with them when they rift and some have the ability to rift a group surrounding them, this is however rare and incredibly powerful. It should be noted that most rifts cannot penetrate the forces that form a circle of power, a wizard lock, or a ward, however some beings exist who are powerful enough to rift directly through such obstructions. A rift has borders that are commonly not visible and the size of a rift is variable. Most freestanding rifts are created by incredibly powerful magics or magical beings. Very few rifts are long standing though they have been known to be, usually due to a magical calamity. You generally cannot see what is on the other side of a rift until you pass through it and also generally nothing except animate creatures and the things they carry usually pass through a rift, often if it is raining on one side a rift the raindrops do not pass through to the other side. Some rifts have limitations on how many can pass through them before they close or will not pass another. Rifts are generally bi-directional allowing passage to either side but on occasion are unidirectional only allowing passage one way.
Speck – A speck is a minute chunk of pure elemental energy that sometimes comes into being on a plane of existence or planar bubble when a portal from an elemental plane is closed. In general the longer the portal has stood open the more likely a speck will result. The speck is often no larger than a grain of sand, though some have been bolder sized. If formed it will come into being at the point of the portal’s collapse. If not destroyed the speck will fester and eventually erupt into a new portal of the same type. This process is virtually impossible to detect, and the amount of time required for a new portal to open can be anywhere from ten minutes to twenty-four hours. Proper use of a detect magic spell can allow a speck to be detected even though they are normally invisible. Performing an Identify on the location will not only reveal the presence of the speck, but also its exact nature and how long until it will erupt. The proper application of a Destroy Formal Magic can be used to contain or destroy a speck or the portal it forms.
Summon – The ability to summon is often based on formal magics but may be an innate ability as well. It is a specific version of rifting that allows a summoner to bring another being to the summoner’s plane or to their location on the same plane against the will of the traveler. Unlike abduction summoning is a random occurrence and the summoner has no control over who answers his summons. However if the name of a particular individual is known a summoner may attempt to specifically summon that individual but they may choose to not accept the summons.
Window – A window is an opening between two points on the same or different planes that does not allow movement but does allow communication either by vision, sound, or both. These can be observational where those on one side cannot see or hear those on the other side and conversational where they can. A very powerful use of magics can sometimes allow the passage of a single item or being through a window which generally shatters the window and ends its existence.
At various times, the beings found on one of the multitudes of planes in the Tyrran setting may have want or need to travel to another plane of existence. This occurs at times as a result of extra planar beings that are seeking to exert their influence over the other planes, or are simply looking to perpetuate their own goals. It is often used to seek out hidden knowledge or lost magics. A being can travel from one plane to another by use of an appropriate portal. Not all areas of a given plane are accessible via all other areas. If one were to travel from the Duchy of Evendarr to one area of the Plane of Life they may find that they cannot reach the same area if they attempt travel there from Neridia’s Gate. This effect is called the planar horizon and it is unclear why it exists.
When a being travels to another plane properties of that plane may make it harmful or deadly to them. The traveler often has no control over exactly where they appear on the new plane though can sometimes direct the destination with knowledge of the location they are seeking or use of a planar compass or particular planar anchor. If they do none of these, a plane traveling being will always end up drawn to an anchor in a region of the destination plane that will allow them to survive, if such a region of the plane exists within the planar horizon. If not, the being will enter the new plane and suffer any ill effects associated with it. The formal magic planar asylum protects plane travelers from the innately hostile and deadly forces of a plane but not of the effects associated with it. In other words it may make one able to survive the innate properties of the Elemental Plane of Death but it does not render those protected by it immune to the death effect or a good knife between the ribs.
When traveling from plane to plane it must be known that the nature of the plane will often affect the type of spells and effects that can work there. In general all planes of existence allow all magic spells and effects to function normally but there are areas where an abnormal concentration of a particular elemental force or a high magic effect may alter this. Elemental planes often will inhibit or enhance spell casting depending on the types of elemental energies that make up the plane itself. Planar bubbles may have similar limitations. Enhancement is generally reflected by any attack using a damage type that corresponds to the appropriate element being increased in strength, however the exact amount of increase may be variable based on conditions at the particular point in the planes. Below is a list of the elemental types and the effects that are generally not possible on the corresponding elemental plane. These are the effects currently altered under the current state with the contamination of the Void of Corruption. It is expected when the Great Upheaval occurs much of this may change and other effects may come into existence or be rediscovered which may be influenced on the various elemental planes.
Effects which are inhibited on the elemental planes
Air – Any attack that uses Stone as a damage type, Solidify, as well as Web and Entangle unless the person is on a solid surface.
Chaos – Any attack that uses Order as a damage type. Any Healing or Curing.
Darkness – Light or any attack that uses the damage type Light.
Death – The use of Life.
Dream – The use of Awaken.
Fire – Any attack that uses Ice as a damage type.
Life – The use of Death.
Light – The use of anything that dispels Light or any attack that uses the damage type Darkness.
Order – Any attack that uses the damage type Chaos. Any spell considered necromantic.
Reason – The use of Sleep and Feeblemind anything considered a Charm.
Stone – Any attack that uses the damage type Lightning.
Water – Any attack that uses the damage type Flame.