Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ambrosia & the Other Planes, Pt. I

Here's the first part of an overview of Calidar's planes, as they relate to how heroes and deities might travel through them.

Ambrosia: It is the universe to which gods generally ascend. It may also be defined as a “celestial plane.” In whole, it can be visualized as a sphere, with an infinite number of possible godly domains nested on its inner surface. At the center lies the wondrous land of Geth (pronounced “yeth”), with a sky-like space above and an underground below. The land’s orientation is undefinable as it swivels and warps ad infinitum to connect with each of the gods’ magical realms.

Geth looks like a vast wilderness shrouded with silvery mists. It features regular periods of twilight and darkness, as well as ethereal storms, though there are no moons, stars, and sun to be seen. It is a universe that only beings of divine or quasi-divine status can enter. Lesser creatures can come when invited by the gods or accompanied by their servants. It is customary for newly ascended gods to explore Geth’s mysteries, so they may hone their divine skills and earn a fine mythology. Deities residing in Ambrosia dwell in veiled hideouts on Geth or magical domains. Most gods belong to pantheons of peers who pool their resources when building such domains, which are individual pocket planes surrounding Geth. This explains the need for deities or their servants (called psychopomp) to lead worthy spirits of the dead to their rightful places. Divine domains were originally described in CAL1 “In Stranger Skies,” page 62.

Ambrosia is a frightening dimension where even gods can be destroyed. Although the deities of monsters or those of alien worlds aren’t described in CC1 "Beyond the Skies," they do exist, and they are just as fearsome to Calidaran gods as the perils their followers face in the mortal world. Throngs of worthy servants may accompany traveling deities. If gods are ever destroyed, their priors can no longer commune with them or cast spells. The unfortunate news spread quickly among mortals, causing widespread despair and disorder among them. By way of missionaries and prophets, other gods will soon seek to sway to their cults forsaken priors and their followers.

The Netherworld: Also known as the Astral Plane, it is the place where the spirits of the dead linger before they meet their final fates. Though they look totally unlike, the netherworld and the realm of the living (also known as the prime universe, which includes Soltan’s ephemeris) occupy the same space. Both are infinite. Certain outer planes may feature their own netherworlds, as appropriate to their natures—the various realms of the dead interconnect through a web of wormholes. Elemental planes and Ambrosia do not feature a netherworld. Elemental beings revert to their basic nature if deprived of life. Though the undead can create gods in their own image, gods cannot become undead. Vaguely similar to the netherworld in its appearance, the ethereal is nearly as dangerous as Ambrosia itself since many entities cross through it during their journeys. Others fantastic predators dwell there, some large enough to swallow a straying skyship whole.

The Ethereal: This plane acts as a buffer between the prime universe, the inner planes, the outer planes, the netherworld, and the Ambrosian dimension. It is a good place to feature outer planar visitors, gods, their servants on a mission, the undead, demons, and all sorts of bizarre creatures that do not fit the prime universe.

To be Continued. . .