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Planes of Existence

The structure of the world's planar cosmology has been a subject of hot debate within arcane circles for some time. Multiple theories have been proposed, with some of the most prominent being the World Tree and Planar Pancake theories. Despite the differences between these, it is agreed that the various planes of the universe exist in a stack of sorts, with some “above” and some “below” others. This arrangement may or may not be physical - flying high enough up in the Jaernian sky won't take you to the Dreaming, for example, but the bottom-most layer of the Beneath does flow directly into the Void.

The Planes of Belief

Some planes exist on their own, irrespective of the thoughts, dreams, and attitudes of mortals. They have existed since the dawn of time, and will continue to exist after all mortalkind across every material world is gone. The Planes of Belief are not so. Although they may be extremely different, what defines these planes is the fact that they were borne of and are still, to some extent, affected by mortals.

Some, like the Dreaming, are actively built by and respond to mortals, while others were spawned by mortal thoughts and beliefs, but now mostly function independently.

The Beneath

The Beneath is a hellish realm of demons and fell beings. The Beneath has a distinct layered structure, with a stygian stream passing through each layer named the Way of Black Tears. Each layer, physically below the next, is ruled by a different archdemon, often a fallen servitor of one of the gods. At its bottom, the Beneath dissolves off into the endless, starless night of the Void.

The Celestial Planes

Inhabited by the gods and their angels, the Celestial Planes are a collection of worlds each ruled over by a single god. Mortals have visited the Celestial Planes before, reporting them to be wondrous worlds of power and magic. Each god designs their own plane to their whims, giving each a unique name. Celestial planes may be heavenly and peaceful, such as Isis' meadows of Vitania and Vormaxia's infinite library of Psyche. Others are chaotic and ever-changing, like Mishra's Interium Battlefield and Osiris' Arcadian Wilds. Followers of the gods often take up an afterlife in their god's celestial plane.

Significant among these is the Infero, Anubis' world. All mortal souls arrive at the Infero before heading off to their respective afterlives; these afterlives may involve reincarnating onto the Material Plane once more, or becoming any sort of being on the many immaterial planes. The only exception to this cosmic pit stop is the souls of Jaernian Nomads, who travel directly to the Kurago.

The Dreaming

The Dreaming has existed since the dawn of time, when the first dreams were created. The land of the dreaming is the culmination of the dreams, fears, aspirations, hopes, and nightmares of every living thing. Inhabited by fey beings, the Dreaming is wondrous to mortals but equally as dangerous. The laws of the material world don't apply here, and it is easy to step into the Dreaming and step out within the hour, only to find that weeks to years have passed in the mortal world. Some believe that the Dreaming is, in fact, the divine plane of Orus.

Cahyali has its own term for The Dreaming: The Gworèv, coined by some of their druidic enclaves.

The Elemental Planes

Where the sources of elemental magic flow and ebb from, various types of magical flux pass through the Planar Sea and collide into the Material Plane. In some places, these planes may overlap with ours and create natural portals, allowing elemental beings to enter the material world. Some believe there to be only four elemental planes; those of fire, water, earth, and air - while others insist that there are more whose power has simply not been tapped into yet. Many believe the Elemental Planes to ebb and weave between material worlds. Sorcerers, seeking the penultimate ascension of their magical abilities, travel to the Elemental Planes regularly to undergo the ritual of sorcery.

Cefa'zisto, the Material Planes

Jaern: The planar home of Adventurers (also identified as Portal I from the Alpha Site). The planet of Jaern is a world of water and exploration, well known for the daring and powerful adventurers hailing from it. This plane once housed a different planet, known as Torandor, which was destroyed by the world of Jaern thousands of years ago.

Cahyali: A smaller world where adventurers also hail from, which features much larger landmasses than Jaern. A world of industry and magic intermixing, Cahyali is relatively new in the PFC canon and has much room to adventure and explore.

Alpha Site: The Centralia Guild of Mages' extradimensional portal farm. Connects many worlds and locations on the Material Plane.

Many other worlds of the Material Planes exist, usually custom settings for GMs. See a list of these worlds at the Other Worlds page.

The Kurago

The Kurago is a strange, misty world. Most well known as the afterlife of Jaernian nomads, the Kurago is a plane of spirits and vague landscapes, a purgatory of sorts and an in-between world. Little travel into the Kurago has been achieved, but those who have visited say that it is a relatively safe place, if a little dreary.

The Valo'ani

The Valo'ani is a plane that wraps and twists around its bonded plane, and there are those who believe that every plane of existence has its version of the Valo’ani. It mirrors them to perfection apart from one thing: there is seemingly no fauna or animal life of any kind. Plant life is present but flora is not the same as on their home plane. The plants are mostly red instead of green, and most fruit or flowers appear white.

The Void

None know if the Void truly is a void of nothing, or if this name is a misnomer. Studies so far into the Void report it to be an infinite, hostile space that lies physically below the bottom of the Beneath. Ancient beings beyond mortal and even divine ken are rumored to reside here, gleaning worship from some mortal cults. These beings are often referred to as “eldritch entities” or “Great Old Ones”.

Jicania & Trion'kar

These two enigmatic worlds were first proposed to exist by the ancient Torandor scholar Jican Trion. They have recently been proved to exist by the Centralia Mages' Guild, though travel to them has not been achieved yet.

Jicania is the plane of wild magic from which all magic, of any form, comes from. How it is generated on this plane is not known, but Jicania is completely composed of raw magical energy. Hypothetically, travel to this plane would result in all magical power for any spellcaster being replenished in an instant, followed by the immediate destruction of an individual's body, mind, and soul by the uncontrolled magical energy there. Jicania is thought to be inhabited by “aether elementals”; beings of pure magic which subsist on it. Aether elementals, if they exist, may be the only life in Jicania. It is a subject of hot debate as to whether Jicania contains infinite magical energy, or if its stores are finite and will be depleted in, perhaps, millions or even billions of years.

Trion'kar is the opposite of Jicania, a plane that grounds and sucks down magical energy. The material of terisium is a direct connection to Trion'kar, making it effective in anti-magic applications. Travel to Trion'kar would mean almost instant death, as every part of an individual would be “imploded” after having every bit of magical potential drained away. It is not known if any form of life exists in Trion'kar. A fringe belief in academia is the “exchange theory”, suggesting that Jicania and Trion'kar are not simply source and sink, and that different types of spellcasting transfer energy from one to the other in an exchange, and this constant loop ensures that neither plane will ever be depleted of energy. However, this theory is mostly discounted by mainline arcane scholarship.

Major Planar Theories

Planar Pancake Theory: This theory states that there is a linear stack of planes, with Jicania at the top flowing magic down through them all before grounding in Trion'kar. Each plane is above another, with no two existing at the “same” level. Some debate exists as to their exact order. This stack floats in a place known as the Planar Sea, which is theoretically uninhabitable to life as we know it. There is no way to travel to the Planar Sea that has yet been devised.

World Tree Theory: This theory places each plane as a leaf on a massive, metaphysical tree. Some, like the celestial planes, lie near the crown of this tree while others lie nearer to the roots. Each world on the Material Plane is seen as a different leaf, and it is possible here for multiple planes to lie on the same “level”; just on different branches of this tree. The planes of Jicania and Trion'kar still sandwich the worlds in this case, running “perpendicular” to the tree and still flowing through each plane.

settings/planes.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/02 19:34 by quiddlesticks