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Elemental realms, sometimes called just realms, are domains located in the Elemental Chaos that, through sheer willpower of their creators, are made into planes in of themselves. Many of these realms are ruled over by primordials but far from all and more than a handful exist created by other denizens of the Chaos. Although realms are distinct unlike other parts of the Elemental Chaos, sometimes even possessing their own demiplanes, each realm is still subject to the endless entropy of the Chaos and doomed to eventual absorption by its surrounding, though it may simply, like the ancient Abyss, change form or size.
Elemental realms, like their divine equivalents the astral dominions, are shaped by the will of powerful forces, often elemental in origin, though not always as in the case of the Zerthadlun, which is formed by the natural githzerai. Most elemental realms reflect the nature of their ruler and realms dominated by fire titans, for instance, would be covered in flames and swathes of fiery terrain. Some dominions are vast and immeasurable, like the Abyss, while others are far smaller, like the City of Brass. Most often, realms are depicted in artwork as great stone structures drifting in a tempestuous sea of elemental forces.  Some elemental realms have ties to other planes, particularly the Deep Wilds dominion. The Abyss, in particular, maintains strong ties to several planes in the Astral Sea, where it once resided.
Although it is possible that elemental realms existed long ago, before the sundering of Abeir-Toril into two worlds, the realms were unheard of before the Spellplague, which caused the elemental and energy planes described by the World Tree cosmology to collapse into one another and merge, eliminating the traditional distinctions that had separated them for millennia. Elemental realms were those planes that arose out of the merging that remained distinct, one for each of the elemental lords as well as many for powerful titans. As a result, most of the elemental realms are extremely young.
As far as can be told elemental realms play no role in the afterlife, though it can be presumed that since the elemental lords were treated as gods for millennia by both mortals and the Overgod that the Faithful of any of the four go on to one of their realms after death.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- ↑ Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.