The Multiverse, by its very nature, is a vast sea of potential for adventure and exploration. Though our main
focus is the World of Sulerin, we would be negligent if we did not mention something of the multiverse that it
resides in. This multiverse does not subscribe to the "Great Wheel" organization of the cosmos, though it does
bear some similarities. There are elemental planes, outer planes, and transitive planes, but there are also new
ideas and more places to explore such as the fickle Faerie Realms. Here then we will document the nature of the
Multiverse for those intrepid adventurers for whom the Material Plane is not big enough.
Navigating the Planes
With few exceptions, the planes of the multiverse are exist in one of two states in relation to each other.
Coterminous planes are those which link together at specific points. Where two planes touch each other a connection
exists which can allow travelers to leave one and enter the other. Coterminous planes are shown with arrows crossing
the distance directly between them. For example, the Prime Material is coterminous with the Faerie Realms.
Coexistent planes are those in which a link can be created at any point from one to the
other. These planes overlap each other completely and travelers on coexistent planes are often able to see into one
from the other; sometimes travelers can even interact with creatures and objects in the coexistent plane. Coexistent
planes are shown with rings joining each other. For example, the Prime Material is coexistent with the Ethereal Realm.
Planes which are not connected are separate from each other. Planar travel between such
planes is impossible without the aid of powerful magic, such as the gate spell.
Understanding the Multiverse
The Multiverse is how travelers refer to the collection of all that is knowable, both known and unknown.
The Multiverse is everything which you can ever experience and interact with. It is limitless, without bounds,
and infinite in size. It is so incredibly vast that even a god which was given an eternity to explore it could
not know all its secrets.
For millennia, scholars have debated the purpose of the Multiverse. Certainly there
must be some purpose, for the Multiverse has a beginning, an end, and functions as some vast cosmic machine. It
defies all known laws and creates from nothing in the Elemental Planes and the Spirit Realms, and then returns
all that it has created to the same nothing, ending in the great inter-planar wasteland known as the Shadow Realm.
At the center of it all is the Prime Material, also called the Material Plane.
Inhabitants of the Material Plane often wonder at why their worlds are frequently under intense scrutiny by outer
powers that are not from their world. The reason for this is that many of the greater powers see the Material
Plane as something of an inter-planar fulcrum. It rests directly between the forces of creation and the realms
of the afterlife. The realms of the afterlife are divided into varying shades of good and evil and see the
Material Plane as a source of energy. This spiritual power fuels the forces of good and evil, allowing them
to wage their eternal battle against one another.
The Material Plane is viewed as a cosmic refinery that shapes the raw spirit power
born in the Spirit Realms, and given form by the Elemental Planes, into mortal beings. Upon each mortal death
the spirit has been changed and travels to the outer realm most befitting its existence thus far. Therefore, if
the forces of good are able to persuade more spirits to adopt an existence that leads them to an afterlife in
Aelin, No, or Tunraen, then the forces of good will benefit from an influx of increased in spiritual power. This
holds true for the forces of evil as well, allowing them to channel spirits into the realms of darkness: Eldin,
Oon, and Balbros.
When a spirit meets its ultimate end at the hands of true death, whether it be during
a particularly destructive death in battle against legions of opposing ideology on the fields of Roa, or perhaps a god
whose worshipers are eradicated and now that it is forgotten it fades into nothingness, or whether it is simply a spirit
of ancient longevity that decides it has finally tired of existence, all spiritual matter eventually fades from the Outer
Realms and arrives in the wasteland called the Shadow Realm. Dead elemental residue also finds its ultimate resting
place on the Shadow Realm. In fact, all of the planes of existence leak small bits of their energy and material into the
Shadow Realm, causing it to queerly imitate bits and pieces of other planes as a shadow might imitate that which casts
The Endless Emptiness
Separated from the Multiverse by the Shadow Realm (which is itself part of the Multiverse) is that which
is called the Endless Emptiness. The Endless Emptiness is not a place one can travel to by any means for it exists
outside of absolutely everything. It does not exist, and yet it is there, everywhere, entirely beyond the boundaries
of the Multiverse. It is a place that cannot be known for it cannot be discovered. Likewise, one cannot say that it
is, for the Endless Emptiness is all that is not. Many sages speculate that the Endless Emptiness has
an entropic effect upon all that is knowable and that a shadow of this effect can be felt in the Realm of Eldin and
in the Lands of Deeper Darkness of the Shadow Realm. It is for this reason that many sages call the Shadow Realm,
"The Veil," for it what holds back the endless emptiness from swallowing up all that is known.
The Prime Material Plane
The Prime Material is where the setting of Sulerin is located. The universe of Sulerin is a realm of the
Prime Material. Other universes exist within the Prime Material; travelers of the planes know these universes
as realms of the Prime Material and so they are called Material Realms. Crossing from one Material Realm is
rare, but not unheard of, and can be done by traversing the Ethereal Plane. Much in the way that the Astral Plane
fills the cracks of empty space between the Outer Planes, the Ethereal Plane fills the spaces between Material
The Prime Material is of special significance in the Sulerin setting. It is in the
Prime Material that the forces of creation merge to create independent spiritual beings possessing the ability to
choose between good and evil. What choices each being makes ultimately determines the content of its spirit and
where their soul will pass on to upon their demise. For this reason, the Material Realms are under constant
scrutiny by the powers of the Outer Planes, beings who meddle with the inhabitants of the Material Realms in
hopes of drawing more spirits to their ideology upon the demise of its material body.
Prime Material Traits
Realms of the Prime Material tend to adhere closely to the following traits:
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size.
- Alterable Morphic.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits: Specific localities may be elemental- or energy-dominant, however.
- Mildly Neutral-Aligned.
- Normal Magic.
Sulerin is a spherical world that revolves counter-clockwise around a sun named Su-Laad. The planet rotates on its
axis once every twenty four hours such that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; this being the length of a
day. Sulerin also has two moons, known as Emmor and Darkling. The moon Emmor is the one that most people
recognize as The Moon, it is a beautiful white, speckled with blue and white streaks across its face where meteors
have cracked and cratered its icy surface. It is slightly larger than earth's moon and Sulerin is slightly larger than
Earth. Since Emmor is further from the Sulerin then our moon is to Earth, it is only a little bigger in the sky. The
other moon, Darkling, is difficult to find because its surface doesn't reflect light as readily, and it often passes
across the sky unnoticed. Darkling's surface is black like powdered coal and it is
also much smaller then Emmor or our Earthly moon, and much further away. Darkling is often passed
over as just a darkly glittering star by most commoners.
The Legend of the Seasons
The names of the twelve months are common throughout most of the world as they were taught to the race of man by
the Nadristi elves and spread throughout
the world when humankind began its exodus of exploration from the lands now known as the Eastern Empire. To the
elves the seasons were kept by the position of stars in the sky, thus the months of autumn are known as the three
messengers, while the months of spring are named after oracles.
The three Messengers of Autumn are the poet Mordun, whose love of his mate turned
the trees red with envy; Ilyun, whose kiss turned all but her husband to gold, and Nightsun the jealous
son who stole his parents gifts and took them into the Land of Night, called Edam. These three were the First Spirits
who knew only summer days, though now the months of Autumn bear their names.
The three Gates of Winter are Tarmare, whose opening called the four breaths to
stir the winds of the world; Corvere which let loose the ghosts of Edam to bring darkness upon the land; and
Turningspar which was opened by the heroine Sekali who emerged after many trials from Edam with the gifts of
the First Spirits.
The three Oracles of Spring are Veluna, the star which first pierced the shadow of
Edam and spilt its tears upon Sekali, gently watering the land and foretelling new birth; Silusa, the prophetess
who battled and pursued the ghosts of Edam with terrible fury, chasing them back to Edam; and Evena, who
danced at the rising of the sun and so captured the eyes of Silusa that she battled no more.
The three Kings of Summer are Ras, whose radiant scepter brought joy to the hearts
of mortals; Toras, who whispered secrets to the earth and thus it produced bounty; and Assiras who dried
the last tears of Spring and called the poet to speak of his great love in those days of the first immortals.
Sulerin is a similar distance from the Su-Laad as our own earth is from The Sun, thus
seasons are similar in respective parts of the world. Sulerin revolves around its sun every 360 days, and each of
Sulerin's twelve months are thirty days long. Each month's beginning is marked by Emmor's new moon phase. Darkling
completes its unnoticed cycle of phases once every 55 days. There are a total of seven planets that
travel around Su-Laad. These are known, from closest to the sun to furthest as: Cambrion, Vela, Sulerin, Rhaos,
Mercater, Nymph, and Hammah.
Links to Other Planes
Scholars of Sulerin recognize the presence of other planes and those who possess the means to do so regularly
travel from Sulerin to explore the rest of the multiverse. Natives of Sulerin view the multiverse with both fear and
wonder, fearing the cosmic powers that have subtly manipulated their world for thousands of years and yet hoping to
find their own place among the powers that be.
No natural gates exist between Sulerin and the Outer Planes, though
there are a few magically created ones which are heavily fortified and very carefully guarded secrets. Vortices to
the elemental planes and the Elemental Vortex do exist in the hearts of volcanoes, at the bottoms of oceans, at the
eyes of hurricanes, and momentarily at the epicenter of powerful earthquakes. These vortices form naturally and
some last longer than others, allowing raw elemental energy and occasionally elemental creatures to enter into
Sulerin. Hidden paths exist which allow travelers to enter the Faerie Realms, backroads through the magical veil
that are guarded by tricksy seelie and unseelie fae. These are unchanging as far as mortals count time, but do
slowly move with the ley lines of magic.
Magic provides the powerful with gateways into the Astral Plane and beyond. Secret lore
suggests that direct portals to the Astral Realms exist, and also suggest that minions of the gods zealously guard
them. Some are said to rest in hidden places of powerful and ancient temples, built there where the gods first
appeared to mortals, others are said to be located in long lost ruins, where only powerful undead can safely
approach and even denizens of the Outer Realms fear to go. Some gates are said to lead directly to the hospices
of the gods themselves, but surely these are but legend and myth. Other stories suggest that certain gateways
can be opened with proper ceremony or that some open entirely on their own once every several hundred years, heralding
the beginning of a new age.
Energy flows in only one direction from the Spirit Realms, yet there are sages which
claim that there exist gifted mortals with the ability to communicate with the unborn souls that populate that
mysterious plane. Only the most powerful of magic can bridge the gap between these two planes, and yet few planes
share such an important relationship. It is the strange one way travel of spiritual energy from the Spirit Realms
to the Prime Material that provides the universe with spiritual energy. Other planes gain sustenance from the Spirit
Realms and it is said that the Gods draw directly upon its raw power when they are born or perform some vast
divine deed, but no connection is as strong as that which enters the Prime Material. No being is known to have
opened a portal by which they may physically travel into the Spirit Realms, but it is said that some powerful
beings have found ways to peer within.
Outsiders and Elementals on the Prime Material Plane
Creatures not native to the Prime Material can only enter within under very special circumstances. They
must be invited by a native or enter through existing portals. Most existing portals are open only briefly, are
heavily guarded and carefully watched by divine agencies, or are soon closed by defenders of the Prime Material.
Many different methods exist for calling or summoning outsiders into the Material Realms, however these usually
carry obligations that must be performed by the summoned creature or they place severe limits on the amount of
time that the Outsider can remain on the Prime.
Elementals sometimes wander through natural vortices into the Prime Material, but they
tend to stay near their portal where the environment if comfortable and hospitable to their nature. Intelligent
elementals are also wary of the fact that natural vortices are usually unstable and tend to open and close at
irregular intervals, possibly trapping them on the Prime Material and away from their homes.
Denizens of the Ethereal Plane are a common exception to this rule. The Ethereal Plane,
being so close and intimately woven together with the Prime Material, has prompted numerous denizens of that plane
to adapt and gain the ability to travel between either plane for a limited amount of time or to reach through from
one plane and onto the other. Such encounters are rare, but this guide would be incomplete without its mention.
Ghosts in particular, as well as other spectral undead, are the most common interlopers between the Ethereal Plane
and the Prime Material.
The Shadow Realm touches nearly every plane of existence,
including all the realms of the Prime Material. Its agencies are subtle and malevolent, providing what some
scholars see to be a necessary challenge of entropy. Some even theorize that without the Shadow Realm that
there would be, among other catastrophic changes, no natural death. Natural vortices to the Shadow Realm
do open onto the Prime Material, but they are fickle, lasting only a few minutes to a few hours and often
not appearing in predictable locations. Most vortices openings to the Shadow Realm go unnoticed by natives
of either plane.
As a rule, divine agencies such as gods do not enter the Prime Material. The ancient
Paxus Ulti which was forged between deities of long ago continues to prevent such direct interaction with
the Prime Material. Deities recognize that were one to enter the Prime Material and directly participate in its
function that other entities would surely detect such a powerful presence transcending the boundaries of the Prime
Material and manifest in kind to oppose the deities action. A conflict of this magnitude could cause untold
destruction to a Material Realm and even damage the Prime Material. Thus the Paxus Ulti was formed, an
agreement which limits divine intercession to lesser agents of the gods, normally mortal followers and weaker
beings of the Outer Realms. Occasionally a mortal may call upon a more powerful agent of their deity for specific
assistance, but these interventions are typically limited in scope. Avatars of the gods do occasionally appear and
these are the most powerful of divine agents which deities dare to manifest in a Material Realm. Greater powers
than this would surely attract the attention of other deities and violate the Paxus Ulti. Some gods,
particularly Azhull, aggressively attempt to break the
Paxus Ulti and bring about an armegeddon of terrible annihilation. These wretched and destructive gods
are carefully watched and acted against by other divine agencies that realize the result of these gods maddness
would be their own mutual decline.
The Shadow Realm
It is a realm of illusions. It is the backstage of the multiverse. It is were the universe comes to die,
leaving only wraith-like images of itself. It is a deceptive realm of hidden dangers, light hating inhabitants,
and changing landscapes. It is the veil that separates all the known cosmos from the Endless Emptiness.
The Shadow Realm is unique among the planes as it is coexistent and coterminous with
all other planes except the Spirit Realms. An uninitiated traveler of the Multiverse might first think that because
of this that the Shadow Realms would be the ultimate transitive plane, allowing one to travel from one plane to any
other that it touches. That could be no further from the truth.
Gravity and Time in the Shadow Realm are normal. Traveling through the realm is like
crossing a strange, dusty, and sandy desert cloaked in a fine cobweb of thin shadows. There is a dim and ambient
dun-colored light in the Realm of Shadow, weakly lighting the landscape like that of a night lit only by starlight.
Colors are faded though, appearing dim and bleached of their natural color. The ground is sand and dust wherever
one travels. It is said that the dust of all memories and objects from the multiverse eventually sift through the
cracks of the cosmos and finds its way to the Realm of Shadow. The sky is a rolling blanket of darkness, always
starless and devoid of celestial elements.
Because it mirrors the many other planes of the Multiverse, the Shadow Realm is
constantly changing and moving. Two mountain ranges imaged in the Shadow Realm are, more often than not, roughly
the same distance from each other as they would be on their plane of origin, but sometimes, without explanation,
they will become much further apart or closer for a brief time. Because of this and the changeable nature of the
Multiverse, maps of the Shadow Realm are next to useless. Exact pinpointing of ones position in the Shadow Realm
is an exercise in futility.
The Shadow Realm is composed of a myriad of dimensional states that are separate and
yet still the same. Mirrored in its vast dusty waste are faint illusions of all that endures on other planes.
Enduring objects (mountain ranges, lakes, city walls, ruins and so forth) which exist on the plane which the Shadow
Realm was entered from are solid to the traveler from that plane, but they are misty and intangible shades to
travelers who entered the Shadow Realm from other planes. Enduring objects from a travelers originating plane are
twisted as though they are warped reflections made in a carnival mirror. More temporal objects (books, torches,
carcasses, small rivers, sand dunes) flicker into and out of existence, rarely becoming tangible enough to interact
with and manifesting only as indistinct shades to any traveler.
To a traveler from No, the towers of Oon will appear as indistinct wraith-like structures
and the traveler could walk directly through the structures without fear of harm. To a traveler who entered the Shadow
Realm from Oon the Structures are solid, twisted and as vast as they are on Oon itself, the corpses which hang from
them but a flickering glimpse visible only when looked at crosswise.
Encountering travelers from other planes in the Shadow Realm is an odd experience. The
separated dimensions of the Realm of Shadow prevent all but conversation. To a traveler from No, a traveler from
Oon will appear indistinct, like a ghost, their voice but a faint whisper that other noises would quickly blot out.
Spells cast by the traveler from No would have no effect on the traveler from Oon, and vice versa. They could even
walk through each other without fearing harm. One could, however, cast tongues to be able to understand a traveler
who had entered the Shadow Realm from another plane. Even magical weapons, such as those which are ghost touch
enchanted cannot harm creatures or objects which entered the Shadow Realm from another plane.
The Shadow Realm has the following traits:
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size.
- Magically Morphic: Spells such as shadow conjuration and shadow evocation modify the base
material of the Shadow Realm. The utility and power of these spells within the Shadow Realm make them particularly
useful for explorers and natives alike.
- No Elemental of Energy Traits: Some small regions on the Plane of Shadow, often found nearby locations
mirrored from Eldin, have the minor negative-dominant trait, however.
- Mildly Neutral and Chaotic Aligned.
- Enhanced Magic: Spells which draw on shadows or use the shadow descriptor (shadow conjuration, for example)
are enhanced when cast in the Shadow Realm. Such spells are cast as though they were prepared with the Maximize Spell
feat and Heightened by 2 spell levels, though they don’t require the higher spell slots to cast.
- Impeded Magic: Spells that use or generate light or fire may fizzle when cast in the Shadow Realm. A
spellcaster attempting a spell with the light or fire descriptor must succeed a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the level
of the spell). Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges
halved in the Shadow Realm.
Travel in the Shadow Realms
Traveling to the Shadow Realm is typically done with spells or through permanent portals. Such portals exist on
nearly all the planes of existence and are always found in darkly shadowed places. These portals operate chaotically,
functioning more dependably when their origin is covered with deep shadows and not at all when light is cast upon them.
All such portals can only be returned through from the Shadow Realm by creatures that entered the Shadow Realm from the
same plane as the portals destination. It is impossible to travel to the Shadow Realm from the Spirit Realms as there
are no shadows in the Spirit Realm.
Directions within the Shadow Realm (north, south, east, west) remain the same, but distances
are deceptive and landmarks are inconsistent and changeable. Travelers should bring a source of nourishment; the eating
of plants and creatures native to the Shadow Realm is an empty meal that little nourishment can be gained from. The air
of the plane is breathable and a non-native could comfortably survive for an extended period of time were the natives
not so hostile.
Travelers of the Shadow Realm should also bring plenty of courage with them. At the corners
of a travelers vision there is frequent movement as the plane subtly changes. Catches of whispered conversation and
glimpses of creatures traveling other Shadow Realm dimensions or merely wraiths of another planes inhabitants are
occasionally visible. Viewing these twisted reflections and illusions of other planes and dimensions contents can be
an unnerving experience. A traveler must make a Will save (DC 15) to ignore these fickle mirages or suffer a –2 morale
penalty on attacks and saving throws for as long as they remain on the Shadow Realm. Those who make their save are
unaffected by the dark images for the duration of their stay in the Realm of Shadow.
Travel from one plane to another is a worthless attempt in the Shadow Realm. A creature
can only depart to the same plane from which they entered the Shadow Realm. Spells which can cross planar barriers,
such as gate and planeshift, can be used to travel to other dimensions of the Shadow Realm other than
the one which their employer entered.
By traveling far enough into the Realm of Shadow, one can leave behind the mirrored
shadows of other planes and enter the Deeper Darkness. These deep parts of the Shadow Realm are not coexistent with
any known plane and are home to a variety of dangerous creatures.
Shadow Realm Inhabitants
Though the Shadow Realm itself is not evil, there are many creatures in the Realm of Shadow which are attracted
to and hunger for the life energy of those that enter it. Shadows, Caraches, Dark Incarnates, Shadow Mastiffs, and
Shadowmen are but a few of the dangerous inhabitants that hate light and life alike. Light and positive energy tends
to attract these creatures like moths to a flame. However, unlike a simple moth, the denizens hate the light and come
to devour it.
There are as many different plants and creature types that exist in the Deeper Darkness of
the Shadow Realm. Many of these mirror creatures from other parts of the multiverse, but they are warped and dark
Natives of the Shadow Realm are able to affect any non-native, regardless of their victims
origin, because they exist on all the Shadow Realm’s dimensions simultaneously. This also means that two travelers
that have entered the Shadow Realm from different planes can coordinate their attacks and flank a native of the Shadow
Realm, even though they cannot affect each other.
Those who spend a lengthy time in the Realm of Shadow risk being infected by the dark
touch of the plane, gaining strange powers. After decades of uninterrupted contact with the Shadow Realm the darkness
of the land begins to alter non-natives. In technical terms, the creature begins to take on the shadow creature template
(detailed in WTC11850, Manual of the Planes).
Features of the Shadow Realm
Lands of Deeper Darkness
In the Realm of Shadow there are vast lands that are not coterminous with any other known plane. In some parts of
these lands the fabric of the multiverse is thinner and the effects of the Endless Emptiness can be felt, draining
away the life force of those who travel through such lands. These lands have the minor negative-dominant trait.
Living creatures that enter these lands take 1d6 points of damage per round from negative energy and crumble into ash
if they reach 0 hit points or less. Spells which protect against negative energy function normally in these areas
within the Deeper Darkness.
The Lands of Deeper Darkness can be identified by their deeply shadowed darkness.
Travelers have often remarked that the shadows, even the land itself, seems to hunger for those who come within sight
of such lands. Travel away from these lands takes twice as long as the plane alters itself in an attempt to bring such
travelers back into the Deeper Darkness. Inhabitants of the Shadow Realm that dwell in the Deeper Darkness are more
aggressive than those that wander the Mirror Lands which border other planes. There are no natural gates to or from
the Lands of Deeper Darkness. Attempts to use such spells fail if their caster fails a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell
Storms of concentrated negative energy occasionally form with little warning through-out the Shadow Realm as if
the negative energy of the Endless Emptiness was boiling through the fabric of the plane itself. Such storms are rare,
but dangerous for the unprepared.
A void cloud forms in one round. Knowledgeable travelers can recognize the signs of a storm
brewing by the sudden darkening of the landscape. Light sources gutter to a dim ember and living creatures become
fatigued. The following round, the air of the Realm bubbles out and bursts with boiling darkness flooding outward.
Void Storms can cover an area hundreds of miles in size. The clouds do not move, but after several hours or days they thin
and collapse, leaving nothing but ash in their path. Creatures caught within a Void Storm observe a strange slow wind
effect that wears away the landscape to a flat desert of dust. The wind feels gentle like a summer breeze, but little
Unprotected creatures that are not immune to the effects of negative energy gain one negative
level per round spent in the storm. Creatures which gain a number of negative levels equal to their character level (or
hit-dice) are instantly slain and turned to ash. Objects and landscape are also affected by the storm. Each round an
object is affected by the storm roll 1d20 + object hardness against DC 20. On a failed roll the object suffers 1d10
points of damage. Objects which suffer enough damage are destroyed and turned to ash.
The landscape of the Shadow Realm slowly changes; mountain peaks change position, rivers alter their width and path,
buildings of mirrored cities change height and place with each other, and so forth. Usually these changes are slow and
happen over the course of a week or two. Sometimes however the changes are sudden, rapid, and dangerous for those who
are in the proximity of the changing landscape. Sudden changes may occur in a 100 foot radius, affecting all within as
though by an earthquake spell. Spellcasters must make Concentration checks to maintain shadow walk spells
(DC 20) or become stranded.
The Ethereal Plane
It is the plane of half-dreams. It is a sea of half-formed things shaped by the subconscious echoes of all living
things. It is the glue that holds together the Material Realms of the Prime Material. It is a half-way place inhabited
by creatures that prey upon the thoughts of conscious beings. It is where the spectral dead who refuse to assume their
proper place in the Outer Realms draw their form from. It is everywhere and yet unseen.
The Ethereal Plane is a hazy region cloaked with a fog-like essence. It is coexistent with
the Prime Material Plane. Travelers pass through the Ethereal Plane to visit particularly strong dreams of other beings,
to pass easily through barriers that exist on a material world, or to travel to other material universes. Visitors to
the Ethereal Plane describe it as a place filled with ghostly half-images formed from particularly strong emotions
experienced by material creatures and vague specters of objects that have rested in place for so long that they have
made an impression on the malleable ethereal essence. The Prime Material can be viewed from the Ethereal Plane, but
everything appears indistinct, transparent, and subdued as though one were looking at it through a volume of fine
cobwebs or screens.
Though one can see into the material universe from the Ethereal Plane, one cannot see into
the Ethereal Plane from a Material Realm without the aid of certain magic. Thus dwellers of the Ethereal Plane are
eerily invisible to the worlds that most adventures take place in. Ethereal beings are entirely invisible, silent,
and untouchable to material creatures. Further, under normal conditions, creatures on the Prime Material cannot harm
creatures on the Ethereal Plane, and vice versa. This makes the Ethereal Plane temptingly easy for clandestine viewing
of the goings on in the Prime Material.
Most of the Ethereal Plane is without solid material, so creatures can easily and quickly
pass through it without obstruction. However, there are creatures and hidden dangers which lurk among the reflected
memories and visions of the Material Realms. Spectral undead and restless ghosts are among the greatest of dangers
facing an ethereal traveler.
The Ethereal Realm has the following traits:
- No Gravity: Creatures must provide their own locomotion while upon the Ethereal Plane. Since there is very little of substance for a creature to push off of and thereby jettison themselves through the plane, magic is the most common method of locomotion for ethereal travelers. Ethereal natives are naturally adapted for moving through the Ethereal Plane and may fly through it at a base rate equal to 5 ft. per point of Charisma unless otherwise noted.
- Normal Time.
- Temperature: There is no sensation of hot nor cold in the Ethereal Plane. This is not to say that a fireball does not burn or that a ray of frost does not chill, but that the sensation of heat or cold is very muted. One still can be burnt or frozen to death in the Ethereal Plane. The temperature of the Prime Material has no effect on the Ethereal Plane.
- Visibility: Sight on the Ethereal Plane is limited by the ghost-image crowded fog that fills it. Without special assistance. Creatures gain 25% concealment after 15 ft., 50% concealment after 30 ft., and 100% concealment if they are more than 60 ft. distant from the viewer. In the Deep Ethereal there are fewer ghostly images echoing in the air, but the ethereal fog remains constant. Modifiers for concealment in the Deep Ethereal are doubled, thus a object that is 60 ft. from its viewer has only 50% concealment in the Deep Ethereal.
- Infinite Size: While the Near Ethereal is limited to the Material Realms of the Prime Material which the Ethereal Prime touches, the Deep Ethereal (explained later) is infinite in scope.
- Highly Morphic: The ghostly contents of the Ethereal Plane are in constant flux. Highly charismatic creatures can change its substance and the powers of belief or particularly strong emotions can cause changes in what is reflected on the Ethereal Plane from the Prime Material. One constant however is that as long as one remains near a Material Realm, the contents of that realm remain constantly visible and unalterable.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits.
- Mildly Neutral-Aligned.
- Normal Magic: Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane and, unless specifically mentioned, their effects do not cross into the Prime Material Plane. The only exception to this is the use of spells and spell-like abilities that use magical force (noted with the force descriptor, such as magic missile or wall of force) and abjurations that affect ethereal beings. Spellcasters on the Prime Material must first have some way of detecting ethereal creatures before targeting them with force-based spells. While it's possible to hit ethereal enemies with a magic missile spell cast from the Prime Material Plane, the reverse isn't possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Prime Material, including force attacks.
Travel in the Ethereal Plane
Entrance into the Ethereal Plane is easily accomplished from any place upon the Prime Material since both planes are
coexistent with each other, however transcending from one plane to the other is typically done with magic since very few
natural portals exist. It is possible to plane shift or open a gate into the Ethereal Plane. Likewise, spells
such as ethrealness and ethereal jaunt provide easy Ethereal access.
Keeping ones bearings is fairly simple as long as you stay near the Material Realms. Compasses
are useless however and most creatures sense of direction is inadequate without a Material Realm to use as a point of
reference. Travel into the Deep Ethereal becomes more difficult and the risk of becoming lost is significant and best
left to experienced inter-planar travelers.
Beings on the Ethereal Plane can pass through objects, creatures, and barriers on the Prime
Material but cannot move through such objects that are located on the Ethereal Plane. There is no danger of manifesting
on the Ethereal Plane within an ethereal object, the affected traveler is painlessly shunted to the nearest available
space. However, ethereal travelers who enter into the Material Plane must be careful to not do so while within a space
occupied by a solid object on the Material Plane. Travelers who overlap with a Material Plane object or creature are
shunted to the nearest open space, taking 1d6 points of damage for ever 5 feet so moved.
The Deep Ethereal
The part of the Ethereal Plane which look into the Prime Material is called the Near Ethereal because it is near a
Material Realm. When one travels away from the Prime Material one slowly transitions into the Deep Ethereal. In this
way, the Near Ethereal is like the shore of a great ocean and the deep ethereal is as though one were out of sight from
land. The Deep Ethereal is infinite in size but experienced travelers know how to find wrinkles in its planar fabric,
allowing them to move through the Deep Ethereal and arrive in the Near Ethereal of a different Material Realm of the
Prime Material. In this way, it is possible to travel from one Material Realm to another.
Unless specifically desiring to enter the Deep Ethereal, travelers arriving on the Ethereal
Plane by plane shift or gate appear on the Near Ethereal with relative proximity to where they left the
Prime Material. Ethereal jaunt and etherealness spells can only transport travelers to the Near Ethereal.
Movement into the Deep Ethereal must then be accomplished by other means.