Cosmology is the study of the structure, organization, and composition of all the planes of existence, and the World Tree cosmology model was one interpretation of the multiverse, attempting to reduce the complexity and sheer volume of information into concepts that were understandable and even useful to the brave, the curious, and the ambitious. First outlined in the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the World Tree cosmology model quickly overshadowed the previous Great Wheel model upon the discovery of an interplanar sentient tree-like being that acted as a conduit between a select group of planes. Dubbed the World Tree, it connected only to planes with the Goodalignment trait and allowed passage only to those with a good and noble reason for their journey.
The concept of Inner and Outer Planes carried over from the Great Wheel model, with the Inner Planes (comprising the elemental planes plus the energy planes) remaining essentially unchanged, except they were accessed via the Astral Plane rather than the Ethereal. The Outer Planes increased in number from seventeen to twenty one and finally to twenty six, losing most of their interconnections. All Outer Plane travel was restricted to passing through the Prime Material Plane or along one of two cross-planar features: the aforementioned World Tree, or the River of Blood (formerly known as the river Styx).
Two other planes were discovered but were for all intents and purposes inaccessible to mortals: the Fugue Plane and Cynosure. Cynosure was a small demiplane which only the gods and their immortal servants could access. It was neutral ground for meetings and negotiations between the Powers. The Fugue Plane was the way station for the souls of the deceased while they awaited judgment and (hopefully) transportation to the realm of their patron deity.
The AD&D Trading Cards are a range of trading cards published by TSR, Inc. between 1991 and 1993. They were first introduced by James Ward in Dragon #160, with an insert of 17 cards, mostly based on popular characters from various AD&D novels and video games, and were intended to test the waters for a potential trading card product line. These proved popular, and more cards were produced. They were released in three separate yearly sets, and each set consisted of two different series. The 1992 and 1993 sets include additional promotional and rare cards.
The cards adhere to 2nd-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules, and present popular characters, creatures, and items from many of TSR's game worlds, including the Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, and Greyhawk settings, as well as new creations found nowhere else. The front of each card features artwork either re-used from other TSR products or original to the Trading Cards range. These images were outlined by a solid color that indicated series and rarity. The backs presented short blurbs and rules information.
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