Monday, November 9, 2015

Ambrosia & the Outer Planes, Pt. III

Elemental Planes of Energy: It may be incorrectly assumed that Pyros only refers to elemental fire. It actually encompasses all forms of energy. Ten can be visualized as a diamond-shaped decahedron (numbered 1 to 10 on the diagram). All ten elemental energies together relate to positive energy in general. At the decahedron’s center lies an eleventh plane, which is entropy. It relates to demons, the undead, and negative energy. The demi-plane of shadows surrounds entropy; it relates to fear and nightmares. Therefore, to reach entropy a visitor from the prime universe must cross three intervening layers (the ethereal, one of the ten elemental energies, and the demi-plane of shadows).

All these aspects of energy work as described earlier, in that they can form solids, liquids, and immaterial components enabling game referees to build imaginary sites for the heroes to visit (thus: walls of fire, forests of shadows, rivers of elemental evil, etc.) A crucial energy embodies elemental magic. It connects directly with Calidar’s world souls, thus to “life” itself. Spellcasters learn to manipulate magic either directly (as wizards) or through faith in their spiritual patrons (as priors), which gives them an affinity with this plane. Illusionists, however, relate instead to elemental light, which also governs sentient thought, fantasies, dreams, and illusions. Time is not represented as an elemental component because it suffuses all inner and outer planes to varying degrees.

Outer Planes: The “outer” label reflects the prime universe’s point of view. Therefore, the netherworld and Ambrosia could be considered outer planes. Other planes exist which can be as varied and imaginative as referees need them to be. Strange creatures, their realms, and entire universes can fit in outer planes. Their realities and laws of physics remain entirely separate. At a referee’s personal discretion, these worlds can be inspired from fantasy literature. The Vortex described in Calidar “In Stranger Skies” (see CAL1’s Gate Keeper, page 63), enables a game referee to bring denizens of outer planes into Calidar’s prime universe, including such exotic beings as gummy ghouls and marshmallow dragons, if ever these became desirable.

All inner and outer planes essentially occupy the same physical space. Previous diagrams only help visualize what the planes are and how they might relate to each other. Let’s use the analogy of radio waves and broadcast stations being akin to separate planes of existence. There can be hundreds of different radio signals existing in the same physical space. All one needs to do is to “tune in” to reach a given station. In a fantasy setting, one still needs to go through at least the ethereal to reach another plane, and possibly multiple others to get to a final destination—such as the Plane of Entropy, for example. To a certain degree, the entire multiverse co-exists but on different “wave lengths.”

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