Astral Space contains everything, except the Mirror Darkness, but we’ll get to that. All planes are infinite (except the ways and some purpose built locations), but Astral Space contains all planes. So infinite infinities. It envelops and permeates all of creation.
Hrutak the plane of growth
Like the placeholder name implies, the Plane of Growth is all about growing. But it’s not the wholesome hearth and home growth that druids like. It is unbounded, unrestrained, and chaotic. It bears no mind to beneficial or harmful acceleration. Plants, animals, disease, and cancer all grow without heed to order. Where the plane overlaps with the Plane of Decay, it is relatively safe to travel, provided you are not carrying diseases or parasites. But beyond, without Decay to temper it, the growth is unchecked and things get weird.
It is a constantly changing, evolving, growing place. A path that exists one moment might be grown over and impassable the next. Everything is faster, too. Down to your metabolism so be sure to take extra rations.
Symbolically the plane represents beginnings, birth, and plague.
Quilloa the plane of decay
The Plane of Decay is where no thing lasts. Metal rusts, wood rots, plants wither away to nothing. In areas where Decay overlaps growth, the expedited decay is measured. In the Outer Realm, however there isn’t even dust. It is not possible to travel to the outer edges of the plane because there even motion and light decay to the point of stasis. Paradoxically the plane of decay is a boon to healers fighting disease and parasites. The smaller organisms don’t have the fortitude to withstand the deleterious effects like a larger creature can. Success is here is a measure of willpower and constitution.
The Ethereal Sea
The Ethereal Sea, is not a sea, but it is named that because from a bird’s eye view it looks as if the planes contained within are floating on currents. Because the plane is formed from a mostly unfiltered overlap between the Planes of Decay and Growth things exist here in stasis of sorts. Time does not affect creatures travelling through the ethereal plane and it passes in an unpredictable way in relation to the rest of the universe. Travellers who leave ethereal space can return to find no time has passed on the material plane at all, 1,000 years have gone by, or they arrive hours before they left, the more time spent there, the more pronounced the effect. For this reason, great caution is advised when travelling the Ethereal plane.
On a practical level, that time unstuckedness would break several spells available to players. To avoid that spells that allow travel to the ethereal plane have an additional material component to link the caster to the plane of origin or destination. Spells that allow travel to other planes in addition to the Ethereal only require the component when travelling to the Ethereal Plane.
Vurk uses Ethereal Space like a trash can and storage room. He stores rejected ideas, or ideas for later there, there are innumerable things floating around there, some extremely dangerous.
Matok the plane of fiends
When Shik created Demons and Devils, she did so in ethereal space, but after she and her brother were retrieved it was decided that their creations were too dangerous to be left lying around. And so Vurk and Sonah crafted the Outsider planes to contain these creatures and limit their ability to get into too much trouble.
Demons and Devils are a lot like teenage boys, they like darkness and brooding and sharp things. That is what their plane is filled with. Jagged rocks and a sky full of black clouds.
Travelling to or from here is not something most of the gods want, including Shik. Veruna even has clerics that seek out anyone with knowledge of how to craft a tuning fork (for Planeshift), or the sigils of a gate (for other spells) and tries to silence them, with force if necessary. Likewise Shik closely guards the secret of travel to other planes from all but her most loyal minions.
Aumwa the plane of celestials
Created to contain the Celestial creatures Auruhm used to fight Shik during their exile. Celestial creatures are arrogant and like to decorate with a lot of light, white, and gold.
Tendri the plane of aberrations
Strange abominations live here. Even Shik agrees she might have gone a little too far with some of the things locked away here. Home to all manner of Aberration there is lively scholarly debate about which plane is more dangerous, Aberrations or Fiends. The landscape here is twisted and warped into impossible forms that seem to stand out of pure spite. The denizens of the Plane of Aberrations are not inherently evil, but many creatures hold such alien morality to the rest of existence it’s anyone’s guess.
Toch the plane of order (Fiend/Celestial intersection)
Everything here is precise and perfect. Most of the plane is one impossibly large machine and at it’s center is a control tower. No one really knows what the machine does but there are armies of constructs and clockwork creatures guarding it.
Khee the plane of chaos (Fiend/Aberration intersection)
Form bears little meaning here. Prolonged exposure can be permanent.
Faeroth the plane of the fey (Celestial/Aberration intersection)
The native home of most fey.
Sauv the plane of battle
Created to give everyone something to do, the Plane of Battle is several times larger than the material plane and full of danger, adventure, and phat lootz. At it’s center is the material world, suspended above the vault that contains the locked away power of Vurk and Sonah. 21 Guardians protect the vault and all must be defeated to unlock it. However when one is defeated, the remaining Guardians grow stronger. Shik has destroyed 5, an ambitious First Elf and his armies destroyed 2, and Forces lead by the Forgotten Empire destroyed 1, though not intentionally.
Materi the material plane
Home to the mortals, it is often called the Prime World, Prime Materia, Terra, and other names as well. There are millions of mortals here, possibly billions.
Kosh the plane of water
Water, water everywhere, even in your underwear.
Autic the plane of fire
Liar, Liar, plane of fire.
Oun the plane of earth
Rocks and shit
Xhas the plane of air
Free, free falling.
Mios the plane of spirit
With our powers combined we form the material plane.
The Mirror Darkness
The mirror darkness exists behind Astral Space and is a literal, physical reflection of Astral Space and all it contains. However there are other things there too that are quiet deadly and no one, not even the gods, are really sure how they got there. Sometimes called Vurk’s Folley, the Balance, and the Outer Dark, but that last one is not accurate and is only used by fearful creatures.
Scattered throughout the universe are small, extra-normal spaces. These spaces often overlap with the physical location of other places effectively doubling the available area.
Accessing these pocket dimensions usually requires an entity to fulfill one or more conditions. These conditions are typically physical, temporal, or magical in nature. Conditions can be as simple to achieve as the traveller must pass through during the day, or impossibly complex like a traveller may only pass if they are carrying with them 8 ounces of copper, have recently eaten beef, have fair hair, and are attempting the crossing on the day of the year’s 5th full moon. Because of the limited resources available in modern times to study the ways, the more complex the conditions are, the less likely it is to be known, especially if those ways have a temporal element to them.
Common Way Conditions
- No condition
- Specific Time of Day
- Carrying a common material
- Not carrying a common or uncommon material
- Performing a specific action (such as running or walking)
Uncommon Way Conditions
- Specific Time of Year
- Specific Lunar Phase
- Specific Gender, Race, or Class
The flora and fauna of a pocket dimension typically match the area it overlaps, though often with slight variations. Ways found in hickory groves might contain pecan trees for example. Ones found in urban areas might be populated by buildings of different architectural style. It is more rare, but it is entirely possible, for a way to have a wholly different climate, topography, flora, and fauna than the overlapping reality. There seems to be no restrictions on the types of features a way can exhibit and no preference is given to natural structures versus manmade ones. Ways can also exhibit traits not found in the material world, such as abnormally large or small plants and animals, different day/night cycles, multiple suns, no suns, unusual weather, and so on. Some creatures found in ways can be extremely hostile.
Another uncommon trait of ways is multiple entrance and exit points. Often these are geographically close to one another, but sometimes they are far apart. Some of these entrance and exits are one way, meaning a person could enter through a path, but not leave from it. There are no documented cases of pocket dimensions having a one way entrance with no exits, but it is speculated that such a thing could and most likely does exist. In cases where the exit points are geographically separated, it is frequently the case that inside the pocket dimension they are much closer than they are in the prime world.
These anomalies range in size from a few square feet, to thousands of square miles. The edges of a pocket dimension are also not uniform. Some have impassible features such as sheer cliff faces or impossibly dense undergrowth, while others have the peculiar characteristic of returning a traveller to the corresponding opposite side of the area. Still others are bordered entirely by one-way exits to the material world, these are the most common type.
The Forgotten Empire
The Forgotten empire had extensive knowledge of ways and utilized them in construction and to facilitate travel throughout their empire. Often gates were created around the entrances to ways so they would be easier to find and paths cut within the ways to help travellers navigate them. Signs were hung near these gates to let travellers know what conditions needed to be met before crossing.
There is a secret group within a large, well-funded cartographers guild who call themselves Wayfinders. They funnel guild resources into researching and cataloging the Ways. In a guild that prides itself on incredibly detailed and accurate maps, these cartographers submit pretty mediocre work because they're spending all their time studying the Ways. Each cartographer has a different tell, but they all leave hints in their maps about the location and criteria to access the Ways in a region. A keen observer might notice on a map drawn by Pinley Ebontree that the cross hatching of the Middlesteppe Range near Trollblossom Peak vaguely resembles a circle with the alchemical symbol for lead in it. That sort of thing. There is a rumor among the Wayfinders that there are Ways that have entrances, but no exits, effectively trapping any travelers inside forever. Because of this, many of them will leave their notes outside when traveling into a way in the hope that anyone who came across them might not share the same fate.