Ad Astra Per Arcana
The Planar Pillar
Na’Tak Karari’s a formidable cutter. Just back from a jaunt around the Great Ring in under 90 days (see the reports in S.I.G.I.S. for more chant), he’s got his own way of mapping the planes; and a Philosophy of Everything to back it up.
Consider the Planes as a stack of bricks. At the base, the so-called building blocks, the Inner Planes. They’re found in a ring of elemental provinces, and where these overlap, Para-Elements are born. At the centre of the Inner Ring lie the Energy Planes, Positive and Negative, and where these overlap with the elements the Quasi-Elements lie.
Permeating the Inner Planes are the shores of the Border Ethereal, which evaporate into the Deep Ethereal, where the elements first mingled to form the Prime Material. There’s another Border Ethereal between the deep and the Prime, too, perhaps to protect each from the other.
The Prime sits at the centre of the stack, and the very centre of the Prime is said to be the source of all life. That’s as maybe, cutter, because the centre of infinity ain’t exactly an easy thing to find!
Anyway, the Prime Material’s made up of worlds (where the Clueless Primes come from), hanging in a void they call Wildspace. Each chunk of wildspace has up to a few dozen worlds, usually with a Sun to provide light and warmth. At the edge of the wildspace is an immense Crystal Sphere, which encases the Solar System. There’s usually stars painted on the inside, too, but nobody really knows why. Outside the Crystal Spheres is an uncharted place called the Phlogiston. It’s a rainbow-hued place of flammable gas, divided into streams and oceans, and the whole place is cut off from all other planes. There’s no portals or bags of holding here, berk!
The Astral Plane is a grey-silver void of nothing at all, and some say it hasn’t even got volume. It touches all the Prime worlds (and presumably all of Wildspace too), but not the Phlogiston. Like I said, that place is dimensionally disconnected. Anyway, the Astral’s home to conduits; wriggling wormholes connecting the Prime to the Planes, and vice versa. Na’Tak Karari reckons the conduits all pass through the central hole of Sigil, the City of Doors, and that’s why the place is riddled with portals: They’re simply weak points in conduits (‘course, this doesn’t really explain why portals can lead to the Inner Planes too).
The Astral’s other edge (as much as a nil-space can have edges) touches the top layer of the Great Ring of the Outer Planes. The rest of the Outer Planes lead down (or up, depending on which side of the Good-Evil divide you’re on), as far as infinity, if some are to be believed.
By Jon Winter on The Mimir