Tales of Brittanis
The Outer Planes are very different in scope, and each has many names that mortal scholars have attributed to them over the centuries. Two are reflections of our own natural world, exaggerated and influenced by the energies that flow through their own plane— these are the Shadowfell (also called the Deadlands) and the Feywild (called Faerie or the Wyld. Each of these realms has places that look similar to our own world as seen through their own lenses— one bright, filled with primal power and overflowing with energy and the other dark, twisted and brimming with hungry shadows that slip into our world to feed.
h2. The Feywild
The Feywild, Realm of Faerie, also called the Wyld or the Eternal Court— it is here that the Courts of the Fae battle constantly against each other in a never-ending cycle of waxing and waning power.
The Feywild is a verdant, wild twin of the mortal realm. Towering forests sprawl for a thousand leagues. Perfect amber prairies roll between pristine mountain peaks soaring into the flawless clouds.Emerald, turquoise, and jade green seas crash along endless beaches. The skies are a perfect blue notseen in the mortal world—until storms come, coal-dark thunderheads boiling with fierce winds andtorrential rains. In this world, arcane power thrums through every tree and rock. All existence is magical.
The Fae are matriarchal, and the Queens of Summer and Winter rule the two houses of fae, sometimes referred to by their ancient names of Seelie and Unseelie, referring to Summer and Winter respectively. Each court also has their Consort, a male fae aligned with the two transitory seasons. Summer’s Queen is allied to the Spring Prince and the Winter Court is aided by the Lord of Autumn. Each court is aligned both with an element and a season, and as our Prime Material plane progresses through the seasons, so does each Faerie Court increase and decrease in strength as their associated season begins and ends. It was originally thought that there was a separate Elemental plane, where the primal spirits of the elements could be called and summoned from, but these creatures were eventually revealed to hail from the Realm of Faerie, and that the elementals are servants of the Courts, soldiers in the Eternal War.
Also of note in regards to the Realm of Faerie is that over three thousand years ago, the Court gathered in judgment over the Erin’Tar people. The Court of Stars consists of the Archfey of each of the Faerie Courts, and they only cease their bickering and infighting when something threatens all of them equally. No mortal alive knows for what offense the Erin’Tar were punished, but as a race they were cast out of Faerie and stripped of the vast majority of their magical powers. Still stronger in the arcane arts than any of the other races, their glory was diminished greatly and they have lived ever since as an exiled people, never able to return home.
h2. The Shadowfell
Called the Deadlands and the Land of Death, The Shadowfell is a dark echo of the world. It touches the world in places of deep shadow, sometimes spilling out into the world, and other times drawing hapless travelers into its dark embrace. It is not wholly evil, but everything in the Shadowfell has its dark and sinister side. The Deadands are is the dark echo of the mortal world, a twilight realm that exists “on the other side” of the world and its earthly denizens. Legend has it that an otherworldly dimness arose around the remnants and tatters of the raw stuff of creation. Over time, these shadows coalescedand assumed a form similar to the natural world, but darker, more ominous, and thrumming with astrange and unexpected power. This murky land spawned beings of its own and drew others from differentparts of the cosmos. It came to be filled with a diverse population of creatures, fair and foul.
The Shadowfell is more than just a mirror, even as darkly cast and twisted as it is. This plane is thedestination of souls loosed from their bodies. It is the domain of the dead, the final stage of the soul’s journey before moving onto the unknown. For this reason, the Deadands draw the attention of anywith an interest in death. The power and allure of this place even drew the Oracle Goddess Rhaine from the Astral Sea to take residence among the spirits, to govern them, and to monitor their movements as they await the inexorable pull of dissolution.
h2. Celestia, Home of the Gods
Beyond the circles of the mortal world lies an expanse of infinite possibility. The Astral Sea isa great silvery void in which countless fragments of divine or mortal purpose drift—dreams, ideas, andwishes, as well as fears and dark desires. All these thoughts and feelings become real and physical inthis place. Most are virtually unnoticeable, of course. An ordinary mortal’s passing fancy vanishes in the Astral Sea like a single raindrop falling into a mighty ocean. But dreams and dreads with power are a different matter. The desires of deities or beliefs shared by thousands of mortals take shape as vast kingdoms or even whole worlds within the Astral Sea.
Celestia is the home of the Gods of Light and the realm from which archons, angels and mighty benevolent spirits of all kinds dwell. It is called Elysium, Valhalla, and many other names, but Celestia is by far the most common, and that name also specifically refers to the domains of the Church of Light. It is believed that the souls of those who are devoted to the gods go to their patron upon final death, becoming holy servants in the afterlife as well.
h2. The Abyss
In the deepest reaches of the cosmos, the roiling tempest of elemental forces begins to change. A pattern of movement becomes apparent—a slow, downward spiral toward a black mote of utter annihilationat its root. Like a maelstrom that draws ocean vessels into the watery depths, the Abyss is a swirlingvortex of destruction, dragging everything down toward its heart.
The Abyss consists of uncounted layers, each one a floating piece of terrain caught in an inescapabledownward spiral. Each layer is a unique microcosm of terror, presenting a different face. One truthremains constant, however: The Abyss works to destroy its inhabitants with a passion and tenacitythat might best be described as sentient.
By a trick of magical force, personality, and intractable will, a particularly powerful demon can entice or enslave a layer of the Abyss to its will, shaping it into a form that mirrors the demon’s dark nature. Such a creature becomes nearly as powerful as a deity, achieving a status akin to nobility among its peers. The fortified realms of these lords of evil form the principal battlegrounds of their less powerful minions, for the lords of the Abyss constantly scheme and war against each other. Some of the more arrogant lords fancy themselves Demon Princes, but these self-proclaimed honors mean little in the Abyss. A demon maintains power only as long as it can keep it.
Scholars claim that the universe described here is not all there is—that something else exists beyond the Celestial Realms and the Darkling Lands. Evidence for this idea appears in the form of the most alien creatures known, aberrant monsters such as the aboleth and gibbering orb. These creatures don’t seem to be a part of the world or any known realm, and where they live in the world, reality alters around them. This fact has led sages to postulate the existence of a place they call the Far Realm, a place where the laws of reality work differently than in the known universe.