Fandom

Forgotten Realms Wiki

World Axis cosmology

20,973pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk1 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Prime Material PlaneSigilThe Astral SeaThe Elemental ChaosThe ShadowfellThe FeywildThe Supreme ThroneThe Demonweb PitsNishrekThe Deep WildsGreen FieldsHouse of KnowledgeDwarfhomeArvandorThe Fugue PlaneTu'NarathGates of the MoonWarrior's RestCynosureTowers of NightEternal SunThe Nine HellsThe Dismal CavernsBaneholdCelestiaSky HomeThe Pandemonium StoneZerthadlunHidden RealmMuspelheimThe City of BrassUndying PyreThraotorThe AbyssThe Keening DelveRoot HoldSteadingCresting SpiresFimbulwinterSildëyuirSenailiesseEvermeetNachturCendrianeMag TureahShadow KeepFoundation of LossMoil4e FR cosmology
About this image

Cosmology of the local multiverse, as of the Year of the Ageless One.

The World Axis was a cosmological model used prior to the Sundering. This structure, which resembled a sphere split into two axes, hence the name, resulted from the Spellplague and its effects upon the local multiverse, which included the untethering of the astral dominions[1] and the creation (or possible return) of the Elemental Chaos. As a result of the changes wrought by the disaster, the formerly prominent World Tree model was abandoned in favor of the World Axis, which most scholars believed more accurately reflected the current structure of the multiverse.[2],[3]

Basic StructureEdit

The World Axis was composed primarily of the fundamental and parallel planes. "Above" and "below," the fundamental planes encircled the rest of the cosmology, forming hemispheres in the conceptual model, though since both the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos were infinite in size, this was mostly metaphorical. To the "left" and the "right" of the Prime Material Plane, which laid at the center of this cosmology, sit the parallel planes, which floated in sync with the Prime. Together these planes formed the World Axis, other planes lying outside of the model and having an indistinct cosmological placement.[4]

The World Axis was similar in many ways to the World Tree that came before it. Like the World Tree, the World Axis model placed the astral dominions "above" the Prime while placing the elemental and energy planes, the precursors of the Elemental Chaos, "below." Likewise, the Plane of Shadow, the Shadowfell's precedent, existed in close synch with the Prime.

However, differences do existed. While the astral dominions, elemental planes, and energy planes were all formerly bound together in a tree-like structure, the Spellplague destroyed these bonds, causing the astral dominions to float freely through the Astral Sea. Similarly, the Spellplague caused the elemental and energy planes to fall into one another, causing them to become one indistinct, ever-changing plane. The Shadowfell was also created out of the Plane of Shadow, incorporating into it some of the Negative Energy Plane's energy, and the Feywild, nearly forgotten for millennia, came back into synch with the Prime, regaining its place as a parallel plane.

Prime Material PlaneEdit

Main article: Prime Material Plane

Also called the natural world, mortal world, or simply the Prime, this plane laid at the center of the World Axis. While changed, the Prime continued to exist in spite of the changes wrought by the Spellplague, stable and at the center of the vast axes that binded the planes together. The Prime was where Toril and its inhabitants were located and remained the primary focus of the gods. The Prime had no single dominant force, unlike most planes, and was connected to the other planes through the Shadowfell and, to a lesser extent, the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos.

Fundamental PlanesEdit

Main article: Fundamental plane

Surrounding the Prime and the parallel planes were the two fundamental planes: the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos.[4] The fundamental planes, according to common theory, were the basis from which all the other planes, including the Prime and its echoes, were formed.[5] Whether or not this was true is unsure and until the Spellplague, the Elemental Chaos was not believed to have existed, or at least not since the splitting of Abeir-Toril into two worlds.

The fundamental planes were also the homes of the astral dominions and elemental realms, smaller planes within the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos. Only a few of these were known to the inhabitants of Toril, however, and it is believed that if one traveled far enough through the infinite spaces of the fundamental planes it might be possible to locate the dominions and realms of entirely different pantheons worshiped by beings from other material planes, though such a journey would be unimaginably lengthy. [5]

The two fundamental planes are as follows:

The Astral Sea
The Astral Sea was a great silvery void that contained the homes of the gods and which was considered the realm of pure thought and creativity, where thoughts and feelings became reality, if only for a moment. It was through this power that gods shaped the cosmos according to their will and the astral dominions were forged.[6]
The Elemental Chaos
Nonexistent before the Spellplague, or at least not since the sundering of Abeir-Toril,[7] the Elemental Chaos was a vast and infinite sea of tempestuous matter and energy in which the cycle of creation and destruction continued without end. It was from the essence of the chaos that the world was first formed, tempered though it was by the divine essences of the Astral Sea.[6]

Astral DominionsEdit

Main article: Astral dominion

Within the Astral Sea laid the astral dominions, planes separated and unique from the surrounding fundamental plane but which owed their existence to it. Formed from the will of the Astral Sea's inhabitants[4] the astral dominions were once linked into an intricate network within the World Tree. As a result of the Spellplague, the formerly bound planes drifted freely in the Astral Sea.[1]

There were many dominions within the Astral Sea, the known ones being as follow.

Arvandor
Arvandor was the home of the elven pantheon, the gnomish pantheon, and several archfey. Corellon ruled over this good plane with his wife, the goddess Angharradh, while Garl Glittergold hold his own, somewhat independent court.[1]
Banehold
Banehold was the home of the Black Lord Bane, who ruled from his keep the Black Bastion, as well as the gods who owed their fealty to him. The evil plane was surrounded by outlying wastelands that served as a warning to these subjugated deities.[1]
Celestia
Celestia was an enormous mountain that contained three smaller peaks. The True Court was a city near the top of the mountain, from which Torm ruled the lawful good plane alongside Ilmater and Bahamut.[1]
Cynosure
Cynosure was a neutral meeting place of the gods and was usually closed and uninhabited. Cynosure was merely a stately meeting chamber full of high pillars and decorated with portraits of gods and goddesses both living and dead.[8]
The Deep Wilds
The Deep Wilds was the home of Silvanus and his divine servants. The Deep Wilds were a vast expanse of untamed and wild wilderness, with no strong ties to any alignment but firm connections to several elemental realms.[9]
The Demonweb Pits
The Demonweb Pits was Lolth’s domain and a former layer of the Abyss. This strongly chaotic evil plane was an immense and dark dominion of woven planar matter, at the center of which sit Lolth’s arachnid-shaped iron fortress.[9]
The Dismal Caverns
The Dismal Caverns were a huge subterranean maze of natural caverns, ruled over by the solitary god Ghaunadaur. Other powerful entities, many aberrations touched by the Far Realm, also lived there, dwelling in the vast darkness that filled the plane.[9]
Dwarfhome
Dwarfhome was the home of the dwarven deities and their worshipers, who dwelt underneath massive mountainous crags teeming with life. At the heart of Dwarfhome was the great hall called Erackinor, the residence of Moradin and his wife Berronar.[9]
Eternal Sun
Eternal Sun was the dominion of Amaunator, Keeper of the Golden Sun, who shared the realm with Waukeen and his exarch, Siamorphe. Amaunator made his home in the Palace of the Four Suns, the central citadel of a golden city which was located amid shining, thriving lands and seas.[9]
The Fugue Plane
The Fugue Plane was a flat and featureless plane with a ground of silvery mist. It was here that the god Kelemvor judged the dead, who arrived through the Shadowfell, either releasing them to the blessings of their god or sentencing them to eternal punishment.[9]
Gates of the Moon
Gates of the Moon consisted of rocky islands that floated on and above a silvery sea, over which the moon waxed and waned constantly. It was here that the chaotic good greater goddesses Selûne and Sune both made their home, along with the goddess Tymora.[9]
Green Fields
Green Fields was a place of rest, of lush valleys and hills ruled over by the Earthmother Chauntea. The halfling pantheon also resided here, moving from place to place like their mortal worshipers.[10]
House of Knowledge
The House of Knowledge consisted of an ancient and tamed wood of giant oak trees and clear and fresh lakes and springs. A series of buildings throughout the dominion called the Library of All Knowledge was said to contain all the secrets of the multiverse.[10]
The Nine Hells
The Nine Hells, or Baator as its denizens called it, was the home of devils and is ruled by Asmodeus,[10] a former god-turned-archdevil-turned-god-again[11] who resided in Malsheem, the Citadel of Hell. Eight other archdevils ruled eight other layers of the lawful evil dominion as vassals of Asmodeus.[10]
Nishrek
Nishrek was home to the orc pantheon, ruled over by the savage god Gruumsh. This chaotic evil plane resembled a natural setting ravaged by eternal war, filled with of scorching deserts, jagged badlands, and dense and tangled forests, with black seas and rivers.[10]
The Supreme Throne
The Supreme Throne was Cyric’s dominion but it was also a prison for the Prince of Lies, whose murder of Mystra had resulted in his internment for several centuries to come. The dominion was sealed off by the other gods, and none could enter nor could any leave.[12]
Towers of Night
Towers of Night was the largest of the astral dominions, a vast and dark wasteland comprised of mountainous regions, deserts of black sand, and malevolent seas, rivers, forests, and bogs. Ruling over this plane was the greater goddess Shar, who shared the neutral evil dominion with her servants Sseth, Talona, and Zehir.[13]
Tu'Narath
Unlike the divine dominions where the gods reside Tu'Narath was a realm shaped by mortal minds, specifically those of the githyanki. Within the great metropolis carved from the corpse of a forgotten god the githyanki were ruled over by their lich-queen Vlaakith, who constantly plotted for the conquest of the other planes and who hold de facto control of the other nominally independent githyanki settlements.[14]
Warrior's Rest
Warrior’s Rest was the dominion of Tempus, god of war and his nature shaped the plane into a landscape nearly as chaotic and unpredictable as the Elemental Chaos, constantly changing. The souls of warriors who worshiped Tempus or other human war deities lived here, always waging wars dying again and again in endless battle only to rise again while the victorious celebrated in the many halls that dot the landscape.[13]

Elemental RealmsEdit

Main article: Elemental realm

When the elemental and energy planes collided to form, or possibly reform, the Elemental Chaos most of them were lost, along with the other planes that fell into the mix, such as Limbo or Jotunheim. However, within the Chaos those beings strong enough and powerful enough to shape the materials around them were able to create new planes or preserve parts of old ones, either of which became known as elemental realms. Here numerous elemental creatures resided, alongside the mighty primordials who first created the planes alongside the gods.[15]

The known elemental realms are listed below.

The Abyss
The Abyss was the home of demons and was ruled over by none, though several of the powerful demon lords each claimed control. A multi-layered pit, the Abyss laid at the very "bottom" of the Elemental Chaos, waiting to draw in and ensnare any who came too close.[16]
The City of Brass
The City of Brass was the home of the efreeti, fire genies who long ago forged this city, which was believed the oldest in all the planes. Though efreeti were known for their wars against other elementals, the City of Brass was best known as the center of interplanar trade.[17]
Cresting Spires
Dominated by the primordial Istishia, the Cresting Spires were a plane dominated by water.[16]
Fimbulwinter
Forged by the titan Thrym, this plane was covered in ice.[18]
Hidden Realm
The most powerful of the titans, Annam, ruled this mysterious realm.[18]
Muspelheim
Ruled over by the titan Surtr, Muspelheim was dominated by a volcanic landscape.[18]
Root Hold
Dominated by Grumbar, the primordial lord of the earth element, Root Hold was a series of vast subterranean halls with strong connections to the Dismal Caverns and Dwarfhome.[16]
Sky Home
A realm ruled over by the primordial Akadi and dominated by rolling clouds and dark storms. Sky Home had links to the plane of Arvandor.[16]
Steading
This realm resembled a landscape of rolling hills and was dominated by the titan Grolantor.[18]
Throator
A plane of storms this plane was ruled over by the titan Memnor.[18]
The Undying Pyre
The Undying Pyre was a fiery plane of thick smoke and mighty flames, ruled over by the strongest of the primordial lords, Kossuth.[16]
Zerthadlun
Zerthadlun was a realm shaped by the minds and will of the githzerai, mortals who had taken residence in the Elemental Chaos in order to study the entropy that filled it. Through constant diligence and monastic ritual the githzerai maintained their realm, in spite of the chaos that threatened to engulf it.[19]

Parallel PlanesEdit

Main article: Parallel plane

Parallel planes were strange reflections of the Prime, formed by the will of the primordials in the age of creation who gathered what they considered to be imperfections of the Prime and created new planes from them. Parallel planes were the closest of the planes to the Prime and resembled it geographically, though they were very distinct in their own manner.[5]

The parallel planes were:

The Feywild
A vibrant twin of the Prime, the Feywild was the home of the fey and was filled with vitality and powerful arcane magic.[20]
The Shadowfell
A dark and twisted echo of the Prime formed by Shar from the Plane of Shadow and part of the Negative Energy Plane, the Shadowfell was the home of shadow creatures as well as much of the undead that filled the planes.[21]

Transitive PlanesEdit

These planes had little in common, except for their most common use: getting from one plane to another. A great number of spells that allowed travel from one plane to another briefly send travelers through one of the transitive planes before they reached their destination. Since the Spellplague the use of the term transitive plane had fallen out of disfavor, though the name's meaning still applied.

Astral Sea
The Astral Sea served as a transitive plane between the astral dominions, much as it did prior to the Spellplague, though now the dominions drifted freely.[1]
Elemental Chaos
Similarly, the Elemental Chaos allowed travel between the elemental realms.[16]
Shadowfell
The Shadowfell, in addition to serving as a strange and dark echo of the Prime also was a stop for many planar travelers. Most commonly this purpose was served for the recently dead, who passed through the Shadowfell on their way to judgment in the Fugue Plane.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  3. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  7. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  8. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62–63. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  11. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  12. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  14. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  15. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  19. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  20. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki