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The Elemental Plane of Earth was an Inner Plane[1] or Elemental Plane[10] of the Great Wheel cosmology and the World Tree cosmology models. After the Spellplague, the Elemental Plane of Earth collapsed into the Elemental Chaos, mixing with all the other Inner Planes.[11] Earth is one of the four elements and two energies that make up the known universe and therefore of keen interest to cosmologists.[12] The abundance of large gems and huge ore deposits lured many greedy prospectors to brave the significant dangers of this plane.[3]

CosmologyEdit

According to the Great Wheel cosmology model, the Elemental Plane of Earth could be reached via the Ethereal Plane, an adjacent elemental plane, or by an elemental vortex.[1] A vortex called the Pale River led to the Elemental Plane of Water and a vortex called the Iron Crucible connected to the Elemental Plane of Fire.[13] If traveling through the Deep Ethereal, a brown curtain of vaporous color indicated the boundary of the Plane of Earth's Border Ethereal region. Once in the Border Ethereal, a traveler could observe the Plane of Earth and be detected by its denizens.[14] Using the spherical model, this plane was adjacent to the para-elemental planes of Ooze and Magma and the quasi-elemental planes of Minerals and Dust.[7] Elemental vortices could occur wherever a high concentration or nearly pure form of an element was found, and could be temporary or permanent. Vortices to the Plane of Earth were nearly always found in the heart of mountain ranges, particularly young ones.[15] Temporary gates could be created by the plane shift [16] spell or the abilities of high level druids.[1][17]

In the World Tree cosmology model, the Astral Plane connected all planes with the Prime Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane was only used for journeying between locations on the Prime.[18] The Elemental Plane of Earth was not connected or coterminous with any other elemental plane.[19] The spell astral projection [20][21] could be used to reach the Plane of Earth via a moss granite color pool.[22] Additionally, the gate [23][24] and plane shift [20][25] spells could be used to open a temporary portal to this plane, but could be extremely dangerous unless the destination was previously scouted.

An unusual ability granted by Moradin to his ardent followers, the Hammers of Moradin, allowed them to use the Earth Plane as a transitive plane much like the shadow walk spell allowed spellcasters to skirt the edge of the Shadow Plane and quickly travel between locations on the Prime Plane.[26]

DescriptionEdit

It is a place of hidden riches.
It is a wall against all foes.
It is a grave for the greedy.
  — Manual of the Planes[27]

The Elemental Plane of Earth was an infinite expanse of solid matter pockmarked by bubbles of other elements and riddled with fissures and tunnels created by burrowing creatures or the occasional small mining operation.[15][28] Ensconced in a few of these pockets were trading outposts and the rare hidden wizard fortress.[13] Solid does not imply stationary: the substances of this plane were constantly moving in a slow, grinding motion punctuated by earthquakes from small tremors to massively violent upheavals.[5][29] Open spaces were gradually filled by the relentless shifting[13][28] (or marauding earth elementals)[6] unless action was taken to prevent it. Air could be found in scattered pockets but unbreathable gasses were also present—unprepared travelers lucky enough to arrive in a cavern might slowly asphyxiate while the unlucky quickly suffocated by being buried alive.[28][29] Other pockets of magma, water, ooze, dust, or ash were particularly dangerous for miners if they accidentally breached one of these.[13] No light existed in the Plane of Earth except for rare luminous gems buried in the crushing darkness. Travelers able to pass through stone were effectively blind unless they used magic such as a ring of x-ray vision,[30][31][32] or until their ocular organs reached an open space where darkvision could operate or a source of light could be produced.[28] Hearing was actually enhanced while encased in earth, to the point where travelers could detect any movement through the rock within a certain radius of their position.[29]

As described by the Great Wheel model, the solid earth changed in proximity to the para- and quasi-elemental planes. A native guide was necessary to find these border regions and each had their own dangers. Near the Plane of Ooze, more water was present and the rock gradually lost cohesion. Approaching the Plane of Magma the temperature rose until the rock glowed with heat and became viscous. Proximity to the Negative Material plane dessicated the earth and caused it to crumble to dust. Toward the Positive Material plane, veins of ore, crystal, and gems became richer and more prevalent, finally crossing the border to the quasi-elemental plane of Minerals.[33]

Every type of rock, soil, mineral, metal ore, sand, and dirt could be found here in abundance, ranging from talc soft to marble tough to diamond hard. Mining operations tended to be small and short-lived because the movement of the substance of the plane and intense gravity caused cave-ins, and the native population defended their territory and/or food supply.[15] In addition, there was the unusual problem of where to put the discarded mine tailings.[29] The dao were the only people known to successfully manage large continuous mining operations in the Plane of Earth. They did this in the Great Dismal Delve mercilessly using slave labor to dig and repair earthquake damage.[3][5][34]

Notable LocationsEdit

Divine RealmsEdit

InhabitantsEdit

The matter of the plane itself come alive, the earth elementals were the most numerous creatures on the plane,[3][4][5] with typically blocky, angular bodies covered in sharp edges, ranging from man-sized to mountainous.[34] Other native creatures looked like rough-hewn statues of Prime Material Plane animals and monsters or animated crystalline forms[4] like crysmals.[48] Then there were the alien-looking khargra,[4][49] xorn,[4][5][50] and xaren[4][51] with tri-fold symmetric bodies and a taste for metal. All natives and some creatures with an earth-affinity could move through the plane like a fish through water, the rock flowing around them and closing back up again, leaving no tunnel.[6][note 1]

Immigrants and visitors to the Elemental Plane of Earth included basilisks (greater),[4][52] chaggrin,[53] the dao,[3][4][5][54] dwarves,[6][55] an occasional blue[5][56] or copper dragon,[5][57] galeb duhr,[13] gargoyles,[6][58] janni,[5][59] lava children,[4][60] mephits of the earth and salt subtypes,[5] the pech,[4][61] sandlings,[4][62] stone giants,[5][63] thoqqua,[5][64] and wraiths.[4][50]

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. In 1st and 2nd editions, creatures like xorn adjusted their molecular structure in order to pass though solid rock. This operation took a combat round and made them vulnerable to a phase door spell.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 22. ISBN 0880383992.
  2. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 44. ISBN 0880383992.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 23. ISBN 0880383992.
  8. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 24. ISBN 0880383992.
  9. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), pp. 27–30. ISBN 0880383992.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 256. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A DM Guide to the Planes. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  14. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 12. ISBN 0880383992.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 43. ISBN 0880383992.
  16. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 224. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  17. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 38. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  18. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  19. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  21. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 201. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  22. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  23. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  24. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 234. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  25. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 262. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  26. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  27. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 42. ISBN 0880383992.
  30. Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 132. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  31. David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 151. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  32. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 41. ISBN 0880383992.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 45. ISBN 0880383992.
  35. Wolfgang Baur (November 1993). Secrets of the Lamp. Genie Lore. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 12–17. ISBN 978-1560766476.
  36. Wolfgang Baur (November 1993). Secrets of the Lamp. Genie Lore. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 978-1560766476.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Wolfgang Baur (November 1993). Secrets of the Lamp. Genie Lore. (TSR, Inc.), p. 10. ISBN 978-1560766476.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  39. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  40. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
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  43. Thomas E. Rinschler (2001). Deities. A Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting Web Enhancement p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2012-04-28.
  44. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
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  48. Gary Gygax (1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-8803-8031-4.
  49. Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 56. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Gary Gygax (1977). Monster Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 102. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
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  54. Gary Gygax (1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-8803-8031-4.
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