Metaphysics: Laws and Characteristics of the Multiverse
Table of Contents
- Metagame Comments
- Nature of Existence
- Nature of the Planes
- The Outer Planes
- Nature of the Gods
- The Worship Mechanism
- The Inner Planes
- The Transitive Plane: The Planar Connection
- The Maelstrom
- The Barrier Plane
- The Penumbra
- The Material Plane (The Universe)
- Nature of Magic
- The Holy Elven Swan
The planes of the multiverse in which Núrion is set are somewhat different than the planes of the standard Dungeons & Dragons© 5E campaign setting, although they do share some similarities. The differences are detailed below. Where a difference is not specified, the reader should assume that the plane is otherwise similar to the standard Dungeons & Dragons© 5E cosmology.
Following each section are highlights that point out at a glance some of the main differences. These metagame comments are given in italics.
Nature of Existence
Before any of the planes came into being, the Alignment Forces, ontological embodiments of ethics and organization, existed. They have always been and always will be, and as such, they are the most real things in the universe, as an eternal thing is more real than a transient thing. By their very nature, these Forces are locked in eternal ethical struggle, with Pure Neutrality struggling for balance. These forces are not sentient, but in some mysterious way they are able to respond and take action.
Among the Forces, ethical allegiances tend to be more important than organizational forces, and thus the Good Forces seem more readily able to tolerate each other, and it is the same for the Evil Forces. In order to prosecute their eternal conflict, the Forces somehow emanated the Greater Planes of existence, one plane for each Force. The totality of the exuded planes is known as the Multiverse, or the Great Sphere.
- The Multiverse, called the Great Sphere, was spawned by the Alignment Forces, strange non-sentient Powers.
- Each Alignment Force is engaged in Eternal Strife with its opposite.
- To Good and Evil ontological aligned Forces and things, their ethical alignment is more important than their organizational alignment, and thus they will tend to ally with each other.
Nature of the Planes
The Greater Planes (also known as the Outer Planes), being direct emanations from the Forces, are themselves absolutely ethically aligned in the same way that the Forces are aligned. The very lands of these planes are made up of spiritual material exuded from the Alignment Forces. Subsequently creatures were born out of each plane to inhabit it. These creatures are made of the same material as the plane from which they were exuded, and they are of the same alignment as that represented by their plane. It is almost impossible for them to change alignment. For example, an angel born from the lawful good plane of Heaven is lawful good and it would be almost impossible for that angel to be evil.
The planes, once in existence, drifted towards each other in a brute force attempt to crush their opposition. The plane of Pure Neutrality, called Concordia, desiring balance, interposed itself between the planes. The planes continued to move towards their opposites, however, compressing the Concordia into a dense plane much smaller than its original expanse. The pressure placed on Concordia was huge, but it was not strong enough to crush it completely, and the plane of Concordia was thus successful in buffering antithetical planes from coming into direct contact with each other. Thus the Multiverse formed into the shape of a great sphere, as none of the planes was infinite, although each plane is extremely huge. The planes are bounded by the Outer Barrier, an impenetrable one-way barrier through which the Forces can send power into the Multiverse. Nor do any of the planes have vertical layers. The layers of the planes proceed outward-each plane's first layer is nearest to Concordia, and each plane's last layer is nearest to the Outer Barrier.
Each plane also rubbed against the planes on either side of it, even as it tried to move to crush its opponent. The grinding friction of the contact created energy, literally liquefying some of the alignment material of each plane and turning it into pure, unaligned energy. The energy flowed down toward the center of the sphere of the Multiverse, carving huge spiritual grooves, riverbeds for the energy, between all of the planes. Upon contacting the Concordia at the center of the sphere, the energy from the grinding scoured many small channels through it until the energy pooled at the heart, creating the Maelstrom of Friction.
At the center of this heat and energy, caused by the pressure of the crushing planes, a flawless gem formed like a diamond at the center of the earth. The Alignment Forces themselves took notice of this utterly beautiful gem, the Lifestone, and somehow in their mystical way conceived that it was the key to winning the eternal struggle.
- The Greater Planes, or the Outer Planes, are extensions of each Alignment Force. Their main goal is to conquer their opposite and eventually all other opposition.
- The denizens of the Greater Planes are exuded by the planes themselves in order to work toward the goal of each Alignment Force.
- No plane is infinite in size, although each is staggeringly large. Beyond the planes are the Alignment Forces, which each extend away infinitely from the Great Sphere.
- The grinding and pressing of the planes created raw unaligned friction energy, which flowed toward the center of the Great Sphere, scouring the Astral Plane and pooling in the center of Concordia.
- This pool of unaligned energy is the Maelstrom of Friction or simply the Maelstrom.
- The levels of each plane proceed from the center, with level one being closest to Concordia and the last level being closest to the Outer Barrier.
- Some sages say that nothing lies outside the Outer Barrier except the Forces, while other sages say that beyond the Outer Barrier also lies the Far Realm, a place of alien life forms and alien ideas that would cause one to go insane were one to be exposed to them.
- The pressure of the pressing planes created the Lifestone of the Multiverse, which would become Núrion.
- All of the Greater Planes touch the Astral Plane and the Outer Barrier.
The Outer Planes
A heavenly place of lawful goodness.
The lawful good alignment-spawned plane known as Caelestin, also called Heaven, is an airy, calm place of grassy hills and mountain ranges, of shining seas, and meadows of flowers. The creatures native to Caelestin are uniformly lawful good, though other residents that hail from Efferenus, Concordia, and even Núrion can be found here.
Trait of Caelestin: Divine Righteousness
In Caelestin, any attack by a good creature against an evil-aligned creature does an additional 1d8 radiant damage. In addition, any good creatures automatically receive a Cure Wounds spell as if cast from a 3rd level spell slot after they complete a long rest.
Some Sites in Caelestin
The Silver Keep: This radiant castle stretches nearly endlessly into the distance, enclosing many miles of heavenly villages and grassy fields. This is the domain of the great god Heshtail, who controls most of the plane itself. His handmaiden Reeanan dwells here as well.
Fel-Gabul: This is the great mountain hall of Khuldul Rockcarver, god of dwarves. He is served inside his impervious fortress by his Lieutenant Dhurli Ironbeard. Strangely, Barlifandorf, lesser god of gnomes, dwells here as well.
A mystical plane of unspoiled natural beauty.
The neutral good alignment-spawned plane of Efferenus is a huge place consisting of pristine wilderness, open seas, vast forests, and rocky crags. Its natural beauty represents that which is entirely uncorrupted. Although a good plane at its core, as with all nature, Efferenus can be dangerous, as can its inhabitants if approached in the wrong fashion.
Trait of Efferenus: Inveiglement
In this place of enchanting beauty, enchantment spells are more effective. Saves made against enchantment spells are made with disadvantage. After 1 week on the plane, non-natives must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. Failing 1 save means the non-native will not willingly leave the plane until it has completed a long rest. Three failed saves means the creature will never willingly leave the plane and will do all it can to return if forced to leave. A Dispel Evil and Good spell removes this effect.
Some Sites in Efferenus
Faerie: The home of Tal-Allustiel the Elflord, this area is peopled with elhil, elfspirits, and fey as old as the hills. A place of ancient, well-wrought stone halls and wood bowers, enclosed in a seemingly endless forest set on the edge of a twilight sea, this is the final resting place of all elves who leave Núrion behind once and for all.
The Paradisial Gardens: The domain of the great goddess Bestra and her helpmeet Calbran consists of lovely, meticulously tended gardens and perfect manor homes. It is said that to look on the guardians of Bestra is to lose one's heart.
A chaotic, tumultuous plane of rugged natural features that are grander than any that could exist on Núrion.
The chaotic good plane of Aeron is marked by twisted forests, huge mountain ranges, overgrown swamps, and nearly endless, stormy seas. Everything here is wilder-- weather is grander and less predictable, emotions from love to anger are felt more strongly, and passionate goodness untempered by rules reigns supreme.
Trait of Aeron: Wild Emotions
Every emotion is felt more fiercely in Aeron. Any Charisma check related to reacting to or avoiding a strong emotion is made at disadvantage. If a good creature is insulted or threatened on Aeron, it must make a DC 10 Charisma check or move immediately to avenge the slight.
Some Sites in Aeron
The Sea of Souls: Taking up much of the tractless expanse of Aeron is the stormy Sea of Souls, the kingdom of Kantor the Crusader and his servant Thranton, Lord of Lightning. Shining isles set amid the tempests make up the bulk of this domain.
The Endless Hunt: A wild forest and swamp makes up the land of the Endless Hunt. Here beasts seem to enjoy being hunted, almost seeming to find pleasure in the blows that lead to their deaths. The next morning, any beast killed in this area is reborn with all wounds healed and effects ended.
A lawful place of perfect order.
Cogiton is a lawful neutral plane that contains no suprises. Everything in the plane, even natural features, are perfectly symmetrical. One of its main mountain ranges, Lexor, looks like it was crafted by a stone mason. The weather in Cogiton happens like clockwork, with the same weather events happening every week down to the second.
Trait of Cogiton: Place of Truth
It is extremely difficult to tell a lie in Cogiton. Creatures have disadvantage on Charisma (Deception) checks and advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks to detect deception.
Some Sites in Cogiton
Pyramids of Order: A line of huge, perfect pyramids stands out in one area of Cogiton. Who built these symmetrical monuments or what lies inside them is unknown.
A strange plane of baked dirt, heavy air, and dense cities--all built inside a vast sphere.
Concordia is a strange plane: although very, very large, Concordia is a hollow sphere. The domains of the neutral plane are located on the inside of the sphere. The very air in Concordia is heavy from the pressure of the Outer Planes squeezing Concordia into the dense globe that it is; travelers often have the impression that they are walking deep beneath the ocean when on the plane. Floating in the center of the sphere is a massive ball of colorless force, hidden partially behind a thick wall of a nearly opaque glass-like substance. This is the Maelstrom itself, and though shielded, it is still brighter than many suns put together. Although Concordia is extremely vast, the light of the Maelstrom bathes it ceaselessly. Concordia never knows night or cold, except if the gods that dwell in Concordia will their domains to have night and day or season cycles. Much of Concordia is taken up by the sprawling city of Prodigum, the home of Dekk, the god of balance. The Astral River pierces the walls of Concordia in four places and flows straight through the sky to the Maelstrom, like the spokes of a wheel. Lightning flickers through the sky around the Astral River, and by the power of Dekk, tiny tributaries shoot off in all directions from the four main rivers, meandering through the sky and over the interior surface of Concordia.
Trait of Concordia: Place of Parley
As the true neutral plane, open conflict is discouraged here. Everyone is constantly under the effect of a Sanctuary spell. The Wisdom save for this effect is DC 12.
Some Sites in Concordia
Prodigum: The domain of the great Dekk and his handmaiden Janora is a city of canals that radiate out from the large Astral River that pierces the very center of the city. The power of Dekk connects these canals with each section of the Astral River in Concordia, and thereby almost any fundamental plane can be reached from Prodigum. Gondolas are always ready to take travelers up the Astral River--for a hefty fee. Prodigum is a place of enforced peace--for Dekk brooks no violent acts from any of the devils, fiends, angels, outlanders, or planar travelers that enter the city. At a guarded place in the great city is the shining portal that leads to the Universe of Núrion, the Shining Jewel.
Halls of Tanarus and Sulis: This large, mysterious building in some sense is dedicated to Tanarus and Sulis. Walking into the main entrance way is like walking into the night or the daytime (determined at random), with the moon or sun clearly visible and as large as half the horizon. The ground is a non-descript, clear substance that gives the illusion of walking through the sky. What lies past the main foyer is not reported.
A plane of pure chaos where nothing is permanent.
On the chaotic neutral plane of Nemux, everything is in permanent flux. The plane itself is difficult to descibe, beyond saying that it changes. As one travels, the mist changes to rock, which changes to water, which changes to fire, and back to mist. Nemux has no gravity, so one gets the sense of floating in space while on this plane.
Trait of Nemux: Mutability
One can learn to control the plane of Nemux with the power of his mind. As an action, with an Intelligence DC 5, one can learn to control gravity as it affects him, giving him a fly speed of 50 feet per round. One can also shape the roiling chaos with an Intelligence check DC 10. On a successful check, he can pick a landscape type and cause a 30 foot sphere of the plane to conform to it for one day. The DC of this check goes up by 5 for every additional 30 feet that he attempts to stabilize.
Some Sites in Nemux
Slaadrealm: The Slaadrealm is a place in Nemux that is relatively stable, at least for extended periods. As of the most recent report, it is a vast, benighted swamp, filled with all manner of noxious serpents and other creatures. The worst of these beasts are, of course, the masters of this realm, the Slaadi themselves. It is said that the combined mental force of these beings gives the limited stability to this realm that it has. Still, the sanity of the Slaadi is questionable, because this realm seems to change at random intervals, and every new incarnation is slimier and more unpleasant than the last.
Limbia: The domain of Bel and his second Flamgart is the most chaotic place in Nemux. The scenery is ever changing; one moment a building or city looms, and the next a burning forest takes its place. Day, night, and weather effects occur at random.
A hellish, evil plane of fire and ice.
The lawful evil plane of Barathus, also known as Hell, is a place of suffering and damnation. Parts of the huge place are swathed in fire or magma, while other parts consist of vast planes of frozen ice. The race of fiends known as Devils hail from this plane; various other evil outsiders are also native to its vast expanse.
Trait of Barathus: Pervasive Cruelty
Creatures on the plane of Barathus tend to grow more and more cruel. If a creature tries to commit a beneficial, kind, or helpful act of any kind, he cannot do so unless he succeeds at a Wisdom saving throw DC 10.
Some Sites in Barathus
Tyranus: This terrible iron fortress is one of the domains of Vornoth, the Walker-in-Darkness himself. Like an image from a nightmare, its thick iron towers and spiked battlements loom so high they are lost in the poisonous clouds of Hell.
The Frozen Expanse: This sea of putrid ice is the domain of Asmodeus the arch-devil, nominal servant of Vornoth and "Mayor" of Barathus, serving at the pleasure of the Walker-in-Darkness.
A place of howling winds and emptiness.
The neutral evil plane known as Carcus most resembles a gigantic, benighted wind-tunnel. It looks like a large, miles-high cavern, full of stalagtites and storm-force winds. It is a place that saps strength and hope.
Trait of Carcus: Winds of Hopelessness
Non-evil creatures that complete a long rest in Carcus must make a Wisdom save DC 10. Failing this save means the creature gains one level of exhaustion as it loses hope. Movement against the direction of the winds in Carcus is halved. Moment in the same direction as the winds is doubled. Strangely, these winds tend to shift to cause the most frustration possible.
Some Sites in Carcus
Morg: This stronghold of Vornoth on Carcus is built inside the rib cage of a long dead and unbelievably huge dragon. Evil dragons climb over this huge skeleton-fortress, making approaching it deadly dangerous.
Gennax: Surrounded by shimmering walls of parti-colored light, Gennax is the domain of Grlarshh, god of disease and death. He never leaves his domain, for Vornoth the Deceiver seeks his death. The domain of Gennax is a place of disease and rotting.
A chaotic place of nightmares and pain.
The evil plane of Malor, also called the Abyss, is a place of nightmare and chaos. Consisting of endless outward spiraling layers, it varies so much from place to place that its overall nature is impossible to summarize. Some layers are endless benighted necropolises, others are erupting volcanoes hovering in the sky from which rain constant streams of lava and magma, some are actual putrefying flesh where ground should be, and some constantly change and mutate like a scene from a dark dream. Malor is the evil place that gave birth to the demonic species.
Trait of Malor: Criminal Insanity
Non-evil creatures that complete a long rest in Malor must make a Charisma saving throw DC 10 or become insane, rolling on the Long-term madness table in the DMG. Three failed saves on Malor means the creature must roll on the Indefinite Madness table in the DMG. His alignment also becomes chaotic evil. This madness can be cured in the normal fashions, but once a character is chaotic evil, only a Dispel Evil and Good spell can remove this effect.
Some Sites in Malor
Horribus: The home of Vornoth in Malor is a vast network of claustrophic caverns. The walls seem to press closer and closer the longer one is in Horribus until one gets the fear that they will simply close in and become a permanent tomb. Home to demonic bat-creatures and far worse, Horribus is a place that none enter or leave save by permission of the god of evil himself.
Necrotus: A crumbling necropolis over which the sun never rises is the home of the arch-demon Orcus, prince of the undead. The rotting dead ceaselessly wander the streets, calling out for surcease of their suffering, a respite which never comes.
Amaxug: The arch-demon Demogorgon lairs in a rotting tropical rainforest under a lurid purple sky. The sweltering temperature and alien viruses which make this layer home make it very likely that travelers will die from some strange disease before they ever meet the evil ruler of this layer.
Nature of the Gods
The Forces then emanated the gods, beings more powerful than any of the other denizens of the Multiverse, although they are not omnipotent or omniscient. Each of the gods claimed the plane into which he or she was born to rule over. Immediately the gods begin the Ontological War over the Lifestone, but because of the intervention of the Pure Neutral god Dekk, no god could gain an edge. Thus the gods of Evil each gave up some of their power to create the Triune god Vornoth. Vornoth then attacked the gods of Good and almost defeated them, until the Good Alignment Forces each exuded another god. The gods then each created a lesser god to do his or her bidding, a being which could have more influence on the universe of Núrion.
Vornoth later used an answering power from the Evil Alignment forces to construct an artifact, which allowed him to kill almost all of the gods of evil and make use of their power.
- The gods were emanated by the Forces to rule over each Plane and to serve as generals in the Eternal Strife, also known as the Ontological War.
- Gods, while greatly powerful, are not omnipotent or omniscient.
- Vornoth is the Triune God, created from a portion of each of the original gods of evil.
- Each god created a lesser god to serve him or her.
The Worship Mechanism
It later became clear why the Lifestone, Núrion, was the key to the alignment wars. The free-willed, non-aligned races that the gods were to create thereon could increase the power of individual gods by worshipping them; in doing so, the natives of the material Plane reflect the unaligned energy of the Maelstrom back to the gods. As the Maelstrom is renewable and potentially limitless, the amount of power any single god could absorb from it is also theoretically without limit. The worshippers on Núrion also reflect the power of Tanarus and Sulis out to the gods through the worship mechanism. This power is aligned to the god Dekk, however, and as such other gods cannot use it.
- Gods get stronger when creatures on the material plane worship them, because such worship channels back some of the energy of the Maelstrom, which each god uses as fuel to increase his or her own personal power.
- This is called the Worship Mechanism, and it is theoretically the key for any single god and thus any single Alignment Force to win the Ontological war.
The Inner Planes
The Transitive Plane: The Planar Connection
A shimmering river of energy below a lightning-filled sky.
Appearing as a river of shining, shimmering energy of no particular color, or perhaps of every color, set above a sky continuously streaked with thunderless lightning, this important plane was carved from the movement of the energy from all of the planes grinding together and flowing toward the Maelstrom. These spiritual "riverbeds" can be used to traverse the planes, allowing travel to the edges of and to different locations within the Fundamental Planes. Moreover, they let the reflected energy of the Maelstrom, that sent back by worshippers through the Worship Mechanism, siphon out to the individual gods.
Trait of the Astral River: Timelessness
Creatures on the Astral River don't age and never feel hungry or thirsty. For this reason, creatures who dwell on this plane must establish outposts on other planes if they have offspring and want them to mature.
A Site in the Astral River
The Gith Fleet: Not actually a place, the race of Gith sail the Astral River endlessly on giant skiffs and barges, raiders of the Transitive Plane. Rumor has it that the Gith have constructed a hidden island somewhere in the River.
- The Astral Plane is the channels scoured by the passage of rivers of friction energy caused by the grinding of the planes.
- These riverbeds transverse Concordia and the Ethereal Plane, and allow energy to pass back to the gods in the form of worship.
- These riverbeds allow travel between the inner planes and the Greater Planes.
- The Astral Plane touches every plane of existence, as well as the Outer Barrier.
Originally Concordia was the size of any of the other planes, but the crushing pressure of the warring planes squeezed it down to its present size. That pressure caused the core of Concordia to "grow molten" with energy and pressure. This molten center was then fed by the energy created from the grinding of the planes, and the pooling of all that energy is called the Maelstrom of Friction. This is a place of all of the energy types, including positive and negative energy, mixed together. The energy here is not aligned.
As such, there are no elemental planes. Elementals summoned to Núrion are pure energy personified. When they return to the Maelstrom, they de-personify and return to pure energy. Therefore they only exist as individual sentient creatures when on Núrion.
Generally speaking it is impossible for any being to exist in the Maelstrom, because of its raw destructive energy and its crushing pressure. However, floating within the molten power of the Maesltrom is a piece of rock sundered from Malor itself during the Godwars. On this piece of rock was the demoness Salystra, goddess of the Dulim. A creature of great power, she was able to harness a small portion of the Maelstrom itself, surrounding her little piece of rock in a field of force, protecting it from the incredible forces which surrounded her. This field of force is both a blessing and a curse to Salystra, for while it holds the forces of the Maelstrom at bay, it also prevents her from leaving, making her a captive, unable to escape the fiery prison.
- The Maelstrom of Friction is the molten core of Concordia fed by the rivers of friction energy caused by the grinding of the planes. It lies at the center of the Multiverse.
- It is made up of raw, unaligned energy.
- The energy of the Maelstrom can become any form of energy, under the right conditions, but in and of itself it is not a specific type of energy. It is unspecified energy.
- There are no elemental planes. Elementals are a tiny spark of energy from the Maelstrom given specificity and personified when on another plane, usually the Material Plane. Once they return to the Maelstrom they rejoin its vast pool of energy, losing their sentience.
- No sentient being is native to the Maelstrom or can live in its crushing energy, under normal conditions.
- The Maelstrom touches Concordia and the Ethereal Barrier, as well as the Universe in certain spots (through the star holes).
The Barrier Plane
A gray world of mist that echoes Núrion--except when it comes to the demiplanes.
The Barrier is a plane whose sole purpose is to insulate Núrion's universe from the destructive energy of the Maelstrom. Close to the edge of Núrion, it is a foggy copy of the world, but as one approaches the outer edge it turns into thick gray mist, endless in all directions. Although mostly featureless, some small domains, called demiplanes, float in the ethereal Barrier.
A Site in the Barrier
Demiplanes: Tiny domains created by gods, fiends, demons, or other creatures of power, these rare secret places dot the Barrier's interior. The creator of some of the demiplanes is unknown, apparently even to the gods.
- The Barrier Plane, or the Ethereal Plane, was created by the god Dekk to insulate the Material Plane from the energy of the Maelstrom. It surrounds and permeates the Material Plane and is coexistent with it.
A shadowy echo of the world, an ominous realm of dusk.
The Penumbra, also known as the Place of Shadow, is literally the shadow cast by the shining light of the Maelstrom being partially blocked by the Ethereal Barrier's translucence. The strange powers of the Maelstrom actually turned this shadow into a navigable place, a place of fear, darkness and gloom, of strangely skewed vistas similar to places in Núrion yet somehow nightmarishly different. Gazing at the Penumbra is indeed like looking through a glass darkly. The Penumbra is the first stop of the souls of the dead before they continue their journey... elsewhere. The shades of death wander the Penumbra at will.
Trait of the Penumbra: GloomGloom: The Penumbra mutes light sources, reducing the radius illuminated by 50 percent. Magical light sources are unaffected.
A Site in the Penumbra
Ruins Reborn: A strange feature of the Penumbra is that the inhabited cities and settlements of Núrion are crumbling ruins in the Place of Shadows, while ancient ruins and lost cities in Núrion are thriving Metropolises. For example, the ancient Fortress-City of Stor-gris still crawls with evil, shadowy creatures.
- The Penumbra is the shadow cast by the light of the Maelstrom shining through the cloud of the Barrier Plane; this magical shadow is an actual plane of existence.
- The Penumbra touches the Material Plane and the Ethereal Barrier.
The Material Plane (The Universe)
In the middle of the Concordia was all of the non-spiritual matter of the universe. This compressed due to unimaginable heat and pressure and formed into a shining gem, like the diamond of the Multiverse. At first nothing else but the gem, called the Lifestone, existed at the center. Because of the actions of the gods, this gem was damaged. It was renamed Núrion, the Shattered Jewel, and it took on the characteristics it has today. To enclose the gem, Dekk created the Universe Shell as a container for it, and he placed the gem at its center. To let illumination into the dark, empty void of the shell, Dekk pierced it with many small holes through which the light of the Maelstrom could shine. These stationary holes are the stars.
The universe in which Núrion is contained has one sun, an entity called Tanarus, and one moon, an entity called Sulis, or Iluminal by the Elves. Dekk created both of these orbs to radiate the energies of life to Núrion. Núrion's universe also contains several planets, broken off from the gem during the strikes from the gods. All the other planets are lifeless. There are no other suns or solar systems therein besides the one that contains Núrion. Moreover, there is no way to get to other prime material planes from Núrion, for no other universes exist. The universe as described is literally all there is.
Worshippers on Núrion, because of their position in the universe and because they are not direct emanations of the Alignment Forces, are able to channel the energy of the Maelstrom back to the gods themselves, actually increasing their original raw power. This potentially would allow one god and thus one alignment to win the eternal struggle; this fact is what the Alignment Forces perceived about the Lifestone-it is the key to potential victory in the Ontological War. This is also the reason for the Dark Conquest; Vornoth tried to forcibly convert the entire world to his worship in order to increase his personal power. Along with the Maelstrom energy, worshippers on Núrion also reflect small slivers of the energy of the sun and moon out to the gods. This energy, originally stemming from Dekk, however, cannot be absorbed by the gods.
- The god Dekk created a dark case, the Universe Shell, to house the Shattered Jewel, Núrion.
- The planet Núrion is at the center of the Universe Shell.
- The sun and moon are forces created by the god Dekk to give sustenance to Núrion.
- The stars in the sky are stationary holes in the Universe Shell through which the light and energy of the Maelstrom shine.
- The creatures of the Material Plane, because of their position in the Multiverse and because they are not created straight from the spiritual substance of the Greater Planes, can freely choose with which force to align themselves, and as such they can channel the power of the Maelstrom, increasing the power of each god.
Nature of Magic
Magic is the act of channeling and shaping power to produce various results. There are two broad kinds of magic in the universe: Divine Magic and Arcane Magic. The difference between them is based on their source.
Divine Magic comes from the gods and is thus dependent on their will; therefore it is also called Contingent Magic. This clerical magic is directly channeled by the gods themselves through the Astral Plane to their worshippers on Núrion, and the gods choose at the time a cleric asks for his or her spells whether or not to grant them.
There is a strange subset of Divine Magic called Natural Magic. This magic is provided by Tanarus and Sulis, the sun and the moon, entities that radiate the power of life. The god Dekk, the champion of neutrality, originally created these entities and released them to nurture Núrion. Natural Magic is thus Free-Contingent magic. It is actually the power of Dekk, but the god long ago imbued the sun and the moon with his energy and hence does not determine any longer when to grant such magic. The sun and the moon constantly radiate it, allowing those in tune with nature to cast spells, whether or not the spells they cast serve Dekk's will.
Arcane Magic is dependent only on the skill of the wielder to shape it; because the gods have no control over the use of Arcane Magic, such magic is also called Free Magic. The source of Arcane Magic is the raw energy of the Maelstrom. The stars in Núrion's sky are actually little "holes" in the shell of the universe through which the energy from the Maelstrom shines. These holes are ports through which the energy is drawn by Arcane magic users, who shape it into various results. The fact that the energy of the Maelstrom is completely unspecified but contains the seeds of all energy types allows for a myriad of varying effects.
Outsiders on their own planes who cast Arcane magic actually receive the energy as a byproduct of the Worship Mechanism. When the gods receive from worshippers on Núrion power made up of Maelstrom forces, they are unable to absorb it all, and some accidentally reflects off into their surroundings. Outsiders capture some of this reflected raw energy to fuel their Arcane Magic. Similarly, because Natural Magic is the aligned power of Dekk, no other god is able to absorb it, although some is sent into the Outer Planes through worship. All of this Natural energy reflects off the gods into their surroundings. Outsiders use this energy to power their ranger and druid abilities. These energies are likewise available in the Outer Planes for the use of Arcane and Natural casters who are visiting there from the Material Plane. Divine Magic is granted directly by the gods.
- Magic is classifiable according to its source.
- Divine Magic, or Contingent Magic, is granted directly by the gods. Clerics cast Divine Magic.
- Natural Magic, or Free-Contingent Magic, is granted by Tanarus and Sulis, the sun and the moon, although the power originally comes from the god Dekk. Still, Dekk does not determine who receives natural magic. Druids and rangers cast Natural Magic.
- Arcane Magic, or Free Magic, is the energy of the Maelstrom shaped to provide myriad effects. Sorcerers, bards, and wizards cast Arcane Magic. The differences between these classes is how they shape the energy-- sorcerers use their bodies to shape it, bards use their music, and wizards use rituals.
- Arcane energy and Natural energy is sent to the gods by worshippers on Núrion. Because of the voluminous amount of Maelstrom energy, the gods are unable to capture it all, and some reflects off of them before they can use it. Because Natural energy is aligned to the god Dekk, other gods cannot use it; therefore all of this energy type reflects off them. These raw energies suffuse the environments of the Greater Planes, fueling the spells of Arcane and Natural casters on those planes.
The Holy Elven Swan
As the stars are ports through which the power of the Maelstrom flows, providing the fuel for the Arcane magic on Núrion, the Swan Alfain, and later the Swan Luminar, are actually "stars on earth." The god Tal-Allustiel, to give his people the Elves an advantage against the dark hordes, made for them a special rift in the Universe Shell. He clothed the rift in the body of a celestial swan so that the raw energy would not scorch the world. The swan is also similar to the spells that shape the energy of the Maelstrom; it is a living, embodied spell, perhaps more powerful than any spell able to be cast by any single creature on Núrion. The swan provides to the entire Elven race many of the magical abilities for which they are famous, and their proximity to it originally pushed them to extend their study of magic. Through this study they learned to cast the powerful spells so common today, and in friendship they taught this ability to the other races. This was a decision they would later come to regret.
- The Holy Swan of the Elves is in fact a special port through which the energy of the Maelstrom can be directed straight to Núrion.
- The swan shape of the port is actually a permanent spell that provides to the Elven race their magical racial abilities and their acumen with magic.
- The existence of the Swan on Núrion and their proximity to it caused the Elves to invent Arcane spells of levels higher than second. Knowledge of these spells spread to the other races, and now such magic is common.