Our universe is a complex and intricate framwork spawned into existence by the Genesis Event. Several planes of existence circle a vast stream of energy, the essence of magic, which holds within it an array of several planes of pure elemental force, which all cicle around our central, material plane.
Currently, there are twelve planes we know of: the material plane(1), ethereal plane(2), plane of shadows(3), Arcanum(4), plane of air(5), positive energy plane(6), plane of water(7), plane of fire(8), negative energy plane(9), plane of earth(10), the Heavenly Dominion(11), & the Infernal Depths(12). Originally, so the legends tell us, the first to exist was the plane of Arcanum, the plane of pure magical energy. It was this plane that, over time, slowly spawned the six elements (air, water, fire, earth, and positive and negative energy), which collected into planes of their own. As these six planes floated in the seemingly endless plane of Arcanum, they would eventually collide, resulting in a vast energetic explosion that caused the expansion of two new planes (the material plane and the Heavenly Dominion) in an instance referred to as the Genesis Event. Once these planes came into existence, life would come forth creating the world as we see it today and the home of the gods. The gods would rise from the heavens, mortals would rise from the material plane. Over time, as problems would arise, less compassionate or reputable gods would create a new home for themselves, the plane known as the Infernal Depths. Then the good gods would create their a plane to seal unruly mortals or beings from the material plane in when the need arose, resulting in the ethereal plane, which would come to overlap the material plane and the outer planes. During the next 100 years following the creation of the other planes, a sorcerer, wishing to travel between the many planes of the universe would accidently create the shadow plane, believing that the shadows caste by light were usable as portals to other realms.
Now the planes coexist and touch one another sometimes, creating the vast universe we know of today. Only a handful of people understand the complexities of the universe, and understand how to get to the many planes, and fewer understand what truly lies within each plane.
The core planes are the three inner most planes of existence, and are the only, completely overlying planes, which means they touch more than any other plane. Though the material plane itself doesn't directly touch any plane other than Arcanum, the ethereal and shadow plane both touch arcanum and the outer planes. These planes are the most affected by the principle and are the most traveled to, mainly because for the most part they are the safest to travel to.
The material plane is the world in which we live. It is one of the planes that does have a limit to its expanse, and it is completely dominated by the power of the principle. Objects, magic, and the like all function completely normal, just as we would understand them, and this world holds small pieces of other planes. the material plane does not hold a single dominating faction like other planes, unless you count mortal life. Immortal beings are not allowed here, and will be pushed out within seconds of arriving, depending on how powerful they are.
The ethereal plane is known to most who travel in it as the Misty Plane. However, those who worship the Vetus know this place as the Aemuli Dominion. The ethereal plane is home to all rebellious mortals who have seen fit to fight the gods, lesser deities that have gained enough power on their own to directly oppose the gods, or beings spawned from the material plane that are powerful enough to threaten it as a whole, such as the ones referred to as the Aemuli. The ethereal plane appears similar to the material plane, mainly because it lays directly on top of the material plane. Anyone in the ethereal plane can see the material plane, more clearly in some areas than others, but over all, the material world, structures and people alike, are all visible to some degree when in this world. However, the material plane through the ethereal plane appears as though one is looking through old, foggy glasses. Those in the ethereal plane cannot interact with those in the material plane, and visa-versa. The only exceptions are when the Aemuli will it, usually because they wish to cause a place to be haunted by ghosts, which are lost souls that worshiped them in life, died and now live with them, and go insane inevitably. People in the material plane cannot see what is happening in the ethereal plane usually. Certain areas of both planes are further apart from one another than in others, where nothing in the material plane is visible from the ethereal plane, and one cannot phase jump from these spots into other planes. It is these areas where Aemuli abodes lie. This is where the Aemuli live and keep the souls that worshiped them and rejected the true gods.
While the ethereal plane is something unusual to those of the material plane, most traveller say it has a strange, but calming allure to it and say they gladly face the dangers within it to feel a part of this calmness.
Plane of ShadowsEditThe plane of shadows, sometime referred to as the Realm of the Insane, is composed of nothing but darkness, shadowy wisps of things from the material world, and sorcerers, thieves, and spies, looking to escape their fates in the material world. For the most part, the Shadow plane is only used by those spellcasters or thiefs/assassins who are powerful enough and determined anough to use this strange and influencial dimension. The shadow plane has a strange allure to it, pulling people into a feeling of desperation to return to it, to feel the cold shadows upon them, to see the blacked out sky of darkness, void of the sun or stars: to look upon the bleached ground of what looks like dirt, and to see the material world as nothing but a black and white verion of its true self. Though these many traits of the shadow plane that you would assume would be very unappealing become the very object of desire for the people who visit this place to often, or who do not possess a will strong enough to resist its pull. Little is known about how the plane is able to basically infect those who visit it with the increasingly unbearable desire to return, and even less is known about why or if the wizad who accidently created it intended it to be this way. But those who have visited this place, and who then become tainted are easily distinguishable, usually appearing unceasingly tied. They also constantly talk about it, and always seem to be fantasizing about returning to it.
The wizard who made the shadow plane is believed to be known as Anton Tochard, a human. He was always practicing magical spells and enchantments that were believed to allow for transport between planes. One night, as he tested his newest experiments, trying to open a portal through shadows to the other planes. But instead, trying to open up the barrier erected by Arcanum to separate the planes, without being use to wielding such power, backfired on him. Based on as much as we have to be able to piece together what happened that night, the energy that he used from various spells to generate a portal brought in some of the energy from Arcanum, and exploded in a grand expansion of the plane of shadows. In the process, so we are told, he was dragged in. From there, all we know is that the plane of shadows existed from then on. Whether the laws that are imposed within this realm are a natural results of this plane's creation or a creation of the wizard himself is unknown. But what is assumed, and is very likely, is that the wizard is ultimately who controls all things within this plane.
Just as the ethereal plane, certain areas of the shadow plane are further away from the material plane than others, and thus they are free of the material world's presence. These places hold strange structures known simply as fortresses. These buildings usually possess strong shadowy monsters who control those parts, usually accompanied by several lesser shadowy creatures. These beings are assumed to have been mortals who travelled to the plane of shadows to often, and after becoming tainted, decided to stay in this plane, and have been warped by its nature. It is fabled that the wizard who made this plane, referred to now simply as the Dark Wizard, resides within one of these fortresses and keeps it as a castle, guarded by many of the most powerful shadow creatures.
Known to almost everyone as the very source of magic itself, Arcanum is a plane of pure arcane energy. Sorcerers and wizards pull from this place to bring magic to life. The souls of all living beings, deities and mortals alike, are born of this force. This energy's influence over our world is also what produces the forces of gravity, light, heat, electricity, and anything else that is unseen but still affects our world, not to be confused with things like fire or water or positive energy.
Arcanum itself is not inhabited, nor is it habitable. Anyone who traverses this plane will find themselves slowly being pulled from their physical body to rejoin the energy from whence their soul was born. Should anyone remain in this plane for more than an hour, they will immediately start to be pulled into its abyss. If this plane is able to claim your soul, you will not die, you will not go to another plane of existence, you will simply cease to exist. In addition, if you were to cast a spell in this plane in the midst of floating in this empty, sparkling void, the spell would become too powerful to control, and unless you are a deity, you will have no way of knowing what will happen.
The inner planes are the planes that exist within Arcanum, that are closest to the material plane without actually touching it like the core planes. These planes are only accessible to travelers by approaching sources of their influence in our world and opening a portal there. Such as going to an ocean of lake to access the water plane, or going to a mountain to access the earth plane. The inner planes are considered to be the essencial planes of life, and are responsible for the world looking and possessing the attributes it has today, such as water rivers, dirt gruond, stone and rock mountains, and airy skies.
Plane of AirEditThe plane of air is an empty space of nothing but sky, clouds, and storms. While creatures that cannot fly can survive here, it is difficult. Creatures that are unable to fly will find themselves at the mercy of the winds, being carried around by the strong air currents that run like rivers through the entire plane. The sun never sets here, and light shines all the time across the vast expanse of sky. Storms can always be seen in the distance, rolling clouds of thundering light, only to dissapate into wips of dark clouds that only wither into small clouds of white and blue. The only ones who live here are the strange air races. The most well known of the races of air are the air elementals. This plan is the most hospitable of the planes for normal people, with breathable air and water to drink it, many travellers, usually equipped with a fly spell, come here to find various objects or elemental people to speak with.
Positive Energy PlaneEdit
Most travelers who visit the positive energy plane have one phrase that must be the most accurate, "glowing, brilliant spectacle". Visiting this place would be similar to visiting a place completely composed of electrivity. While it is this force that creates who you are, the small charges generated by your nervous system, you would not survive for very long. A mortal soul produces its own positive energy, this energy is what powers its vessel, the body. When a mortal enters this plane, their body will become overloaded with energy, and will eventually just vaporize as the fragile material body of the mortal is completely replaced with positive energy.
Plane of WaterEditThis plane is nothing but water and all that one can find in between the surface of an ocean and its floor. The endless ocean of the water plane is forever moving, pulled by fast and slow currents as well as rising and falling tides. The temperature of the ocean also varies also, from ice cold to boiling hot, and one find both saltwater and freshwater. Here once can find cities or simple settlements, floating in the endless ocean, carried by the water's whims. Water elementals are the most well known residence of this plane, followed by some aquatic races, and any aquatic animal one could think of.
Plane of FireEditIf it can be lite, it will be in the raging inferno of the plane of fire. There is ground, but only the charred remains of what dirt use to look like before it was burnt into ash. Towering buildings of hardened and fossilized ash can be seen in various locations throughout the plane, controlled by the fire races. The oceans of this plane that separate the few plots of land is made up of such molten lava that it moves just like water in our plane. Anything flameable will immediately burst into flames, and fire here thrives without the need for air or fuel. However, this plane still doesn't have any air to breath. There towering mountains scattered throughout the plane which all ooze molten lava that feeds into the oceans of fire.
Negative Energy PlaneEdit
The negative energy plane is much like what we would think of as outer space. However here there are no stars, no light, and even though there is no vacuum, light, fire, and even life itself is absorbed by this insatiably hungry and greedy plane. If you have some kind of magical protection which allows you to traverse this plane without having the life pulled out of you, you will see nothing but pitch black air. You may encounter some of the left over bodies of those unfortunate travelers who make it this place, but for the most part you simply float around, hearing nothing, seeing nothing, until your life is slowly but surely sucked out of you, which doesn't feel good.
Plane of EarthEditThe plane of earth is just that, earth. Here one will find nothing but soil, clay, metal, rock, and stone. A traveler who doesn't know what he is doing may find themselves encased in a tome of solid stone, only to be crushed as the ground shifts. Much like how our world is varied however, with plains on one field and forests on another, one can find the same amount of diversity in this plane. Here one will find only earth elementals and some of the heartiest ground welling creatures. There is no air, and there is no surface to this endless underground, it is not a suitable vacation spot.
The outer planes are planes that do not touch the material plane directly, at all. These planes are all created by deities, not by the nature of Arcanum, and as such, do not possess the same laws of the principle that the other planes do. These planes are also one of the major areas in which those who pass on go. Deities of varying power are able to commune with our world by extending their powerful reach into our world for brief moments to influence the world slightly. Within each of the two outer planes are several dominions, areas of that plane that are claimed by a specific deity or a pantheon. all outer planes are infinite, and seem to have no end.
Heavenly DominionsEditThe Heavenly Dominion is home to the good deities, while some Solitian philosophers have begun asserting that it is the home of only the true deity, their god, Sol Dominus. But most philosophers believe that all deities reside within the boundaries of this realm and they all possess a corner for themselves. Each of the deities holds a massive, glorious city, holding achitectural similarities to their patron race, crafted in the most incredible fashion imaginable, with the most elegant styles ever invisioned. The borders between each domain of the various deities can vary. Some are separated by seemingly endless and glorious prairies of the greenest grass, and soft dirt that leaves no dust on the soles of your feet. Others are separated by vast, crystal clear oceans or wide calm rivers of the purest water, that sparkles brilliantly in the warm sunlight of this plane's mornings, and continue just as brilliantly in the moonlight and stars once the sun sets. While others are separated by massive, high reaching peaks of snow capped mountains that are lined with veins of gold and silver, visible from the surface of the stone. Rivers, created from the melting snow caps, run down the mountains, bringing small foliage to life, to decorate the mountainsides. And some areas not covered in endless fields of grass or walled off with towering mountains are instead covered by vast, gloriously lite, but not at all sparce, forests holding the most unique and rare trees that all seem to be ever healthy baring fruits as big as a man's fist The cities of the deities are usually vast networks of intricate marble roads and streets, leading from cozy homes, to elaborate manors, to the enchanting palaces that lie in the center which house the gods themselves. Each city usually holds large populations of those who have left our world for the afterlife. Some cities are designed to look like elven settlements, high in the trees or on a river deep in the forest, while others are vast metropolises on a lake or river, out in a plain, whereas some are giant stone citadels of rock and earth, crafted by the dwarven gods to embody their most elaborate and intricate designs and house the souls of fallen dwarves, and to honor the great Ancestors.
Infernal DominionsEditThe infernal dominions is home to the evil deities. This place possesses many dominions controlled by various evil deities which rule over massive armies of hardened, dark warriors, which all fight for the simple pleasure of struggle and violence. Most of the land in this plane is wracked with terrible war as armies of millions of souls clash on the battlefield for no better reason than to fight and kill, the rest is ade up of huge fortresses, which are the only settlements in this entire plane.
The infernal dominion is similar to that of the fire plane. Here one can find no food, no spot left to stay in, only heat, rage, and chaos. Streams of molten lava run from the top of mountains frequently, only stopping for seconds before another mountain will take its place. The sky is an endless expanse of smoke, which constantly flows from the mountains. While the dirt and rock of this plane is still dirt and rock, it is charred, and has a black color to it, always. There is no life here, and nothing ever grows. Demons, and worse Devils, can be encountered here, simply looking around for new mortal souls that have just arrived to this plane. The air has an ashy and smoggy thickness to it, and is difficult to breath in. This also makes it difficult to see at times, as new volcanoes erupt.
There are currently five dominions in the infernal dominions, each a giant black stone citadel, surrounded by a mote of lava. These massive fortresses act as the home of the most powerful of the evil gods, with the exception of one who has made her own home underground. These castles holds untold horrors of torture, insanity, and cruelty. the evil deities keep hordes of violent, cruel, and malicious demons, devils, and the worst souls mortals can provide. These groups cater to the deities every needs, which is usually the theatrical torturing and maiming of unfortunate souls.