Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Athasian Elemental Planes Part Four: The Plane of Fire

Symbol by Vedeskaja.

The Elemental Plane of Fire

Death awaits any traveler who comes to the Elemental Plane of Fire unprepared. This plane is destruction incarnate and destroys anything that comes to it without adequate protection. The plane appears as a burning ocean of liquid fire under a sky of flame.
Once, the flames were a plethora of different colors, such as red, orange, and white, the colors were based upon how hot they burned. Now, the flames are almost universally red. They are still hot enough to cook a visitor, but not always hot enough to melt copper or iron. The flame that makes up the plane grow colder as the Plane of Fire slowly becomes super heated air, or molten slag.


You'd have to be pretty thick headed to think that the Elemental Plane of Fire is a safe place. This plane hungrily consumes all it touches, fire rules supreme here. If a thing can burn, it burns immediately upon entering the plane. Even some things that normally can’t burn do so in certain places on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Visitors traveling here unprotected suffer damage just by being on the plane. Worse, travelers have to figure out some way to breathe fire or they’ll suffocate faster than they’ll burn to death.

Any non-magical and unprotected flammable material like paper, cloth, and wood instantly bursts into flames upon arriving here. Nothing like this lasts for more than one round. Anyone wearing these items takes 1d10 points of damage if they are not shielded from damage caused by flame or heat. Magical items are allowed saving throws vs magical fire with a -4 penalty, if they are made of flammable materials.
Unprotected water or other fluids instantly boil away into steam. Exposure to this super-heated steam suffers 2d10 points of damage, unless protected. Magical fluids may make a saving throw vs magical fire with a -2 penalty. In addition water and ice can never be created, gated, or summoned to this plane.
Upon arrival, there is a 25% chance that non-magical and unprotected stone, excluding volcanic rock, melts into magma in three rounds and then boils into vapor six rounds after that. This inflicts 3d10 points of damage to anyone in close contact with such material. Living creatures, or automatons, made of stone suffer 1d8 points of damage per round. Volcanic stone, such as basalt, obsidian, and pumice are immune to this damage. Magical stone may make a saving throw vs magical fire.
Upon arrival, there is a 10% chance that non-magical and metal items heat to their melting point in four rounds. This causes 4d10 points of damage to those in contact with the metal, and may potentially disable limbs as the heat metal spell. Magical metal items may escape this fate by succeeding on a saving throw vs magical fire with a +1 bonus.
Creatures of flesh and blood suffer damage each round they are exposed to the heat and fire of this plane. The severity of their damage is based upon their natural armor class. Damage for armor class ten is 5d10, with a d10 reduction for every three points of lowered armor class. So, a natural armor class of eight would still be 5d10, seven would be 4d10 and four would be 3d10. This means a natural armor class of -5 and lower takes no damage.

Lack of Oxygen
The air on the Plane of Fire is a mixture of toxic and flammable gases. An unprotected visitor must make a saving throw vs breath weapon each round or suffer 1d10 points of damage. A visitor can hold their breath, but once they start breathing again, their saving throw is at a -2 penalty, because they are taking in large gulps of air.

Elemental Pockets
Pure elememental pockets offer refuge to travelers. A pocket of clean air or water offers a respite to visitors whose spells are running out of time. However, native creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire tend to watch elemental pockets for signs of their next meal or next slave. Eventually, all elemental pockets will be destroyed by the Plane of Fire, but this only happens when whatever magic is protecting them fails.
Mixed pockets are dangerous places to be, as the heat of the plane mixes with whatever material enters the plane. Air becomes toxic, earth melts into magma, water explodes into steam. Anyone caught by these takes damage, unless otherwise protected. Exact effects are left up to the whims and capricious kindness of the DM.

Although it happens infrequently, flammable gases can coalesce into a giant cloud. When something triggers this cloud, a powerful explosion rips through the area. These gases always form spheres. To determine the size of the explosion, roll 1d100 for the radius in feet.
Even immunity to fire does not protect a creature from these explosions. An explosion like this requires everyone caught in the blast to make a saving throw vs breath weapon. A failed save results in 2d10 points of damage, with a successful save cutting it in half. Any creatures not immune to heat or flame suffer double damage.

Shadow Fire
Shadow fire is a strange and deadly phenomenon found only in the Elemental Plane of Fire. To most, shadow fire appears as any other part of the plane. However, certain magic or psionics can see shadow fire for what it is. Regions of shadow fire can have a 1d100 yard radius.
These shadow fire regions are far cooler than the surrounding flames. To creatures native to the Plane of Fire, shadow fire is extremely cold. Even those with magical protections against fire and heat can feel the chilling effects of shadow fire.
Creatures native to the Planes of Fire, Sun, or Magma suffer 2d10 points of damage from the chilling effects of shadow fire. Nonnatives who are protected from heat and flame through magic or psionics suffer 1d10 points of damage. Creatures without any sort of heat protection do not take any damage and find shadow fire comfortably cool.
As the forces of Magma and Sun wage war with the Plane of Fire, regions of shadow fire are becoming more and more common.

Moving Around

No one lacks light on the Elemental Plane of Fire, but flame is much more difficult to see through than air. It's important to note that any sort of heat sight is useless. Creatures not native to the Plane of Fire have their vision reduced to one-hundred twenty feet. Native creatures can see twice as far.
Unlike the other elemental planes, the Plane of Fire has gravity. The surface is composed of highly compressed fire. It appears as glowing hot coals, but has the density of water. It is possible to swim through these flames the same way a rich noble swims through water. Efreet have created ships made of obsidian that sail these flaming seas.
This flaming sea is only fifteen feet deep, with another, denser layer beneath it. This deeper layer has the appearance of white hot metal and feels like smooth glass. Creatures heavy enough to sink through the sea layer are able to stand upon this surface.
Above the sea is a thin atmosphere of fire that prevents even magically protected winged animals from flying through it. Natives, like fundamentas, efreet, and animentals can fly through the sky, as well as anyone with magical flying abilities.


Fire falcons and magma silt horrors are the only known species of animals found on both Athas and the Elemental Plane of Fire. How these animals found there way to the Plane of Fire is unknown. It is possible that it was easier to get to the Elemental Planes a long time ago. Magma silt horrors swim through the flaming sea, attacking anything edible within their reach. Fire falcons fly above it, feeding on elemental vermin.

The Azer are a race of humanoids that are native to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Created by the Lords of Fire around the time of the Rebirth, Azer appear as bronze-skinned Dwarves with flaming hair and, if male, beards. They wear kilts of plated obsidian, ceramic, or basalt. Azer use obsidian weapons of all kinds and may have strength scores as high as 20.
Azer society is geared toward service in the Elemental War and doing as the Elemental Lords of Fire command. They are ruled over by a king who is considered just and fair-minded in his rule. The King is a twentieth-level fire cleric. Each Azer settlement is then ruled by a noble, who is expected to be just as fair-minded as their king. Any corruption that is discovered is grounds for immediate execution.
Azer settlements are constructed of basalt and pumice. They are all fortresses designed to withstand attacks from magma and sun forces. They field huge numbers of well disciplined troops who fight without fear of failure. Azer believe that service to their king and the Elemental Lords are far more important than their lives.

The Efreet (singular: efreeti) were created by the Eemental Lords of Fire during the time of the Rebirth. They despise any form of servitude and a vast majority only follow a loose set of rules they create for themselves. Their loose organization and lack of humility leave them open to attack from sun and magma forces. Even after hundreds of years of these attacks, the majority of efreet refuse to kneel to the Lords of Fire.
They continue to be attacked by magma and sun forces and the Efreet population is on the decline. The Elemental Lords often capture and force an efreeti into temporary servitude. The efreeti in question always despises their time in subjugation, but the Elemental Lords know how to word their wishes and commands perfectly. Due to this bondage and some willing soldiers, the efreet may be seen battling in the Elemental War.
Efreet communities do exist and a majority are run as direct democracies, with open debate and all efreet residents getting a vote on any policy changes. This causes decisions to be made slowly, but without anyone feeling in service to another. Seeing the decline of their home plane, some communities have begun debating the pros and cons of entering the Elemental War. Efreet live thousands of years however, and the war may be completed by the time they decide and vote on the course of action.
There is a minority group of efreet who are ruled by a Sultan and reluctantly bend knee to the Lords of Fire. These efreet are undoubtedly evil and keep slaves of all kinds. Even other efreet are not safe from these slavers, who know how to catch and keep their own kind. These evil efreet take part in the Elemental War and live in a huge keep made of obsidian and wrought iron.
The Sultan of the efreet considers himself the leader of all efreet, even those who do not willing serve him. He keeps his most trusted advisors and generals around him, as well has his harem of enslaved efreet and jann. The Sultan is a powerful warrior and psychometabolicist.
Efreet communities are fortresses constructed of basalt and obsidian. Many different styles of buildings and structures are usually present. These fortresses can be of many different sizes, with the efreet living at the core, and with Jann and Azer living closer to the outer walls. The fortresses are usually defended by Jann mercenaries.
Even though efreet despise being in servitude, they have no qualms about enslaving others. Azer, elementals, jann, and salamanders may all be forced to do the bidding of the efreet. Slaves are usually used to construct fortresses and weapons. Soldier-slaves are common and are usually some of the most well-treated slaves, as efreet despise following any sort of command structure.
Efreet appear as large humanoids with gray or black skin, red eyes, pointed ears, sharped tooth maws, wide noses, and small white or black horns. They prefer to wear baggy pantaloons or sirwal that are made of cloth that is magically protected from fire. Many also wear a harness or belt to carry any obsidian weapon they have for defense.
Efreet suffer the same restrictions as all spellcasters on Athas, no matter if they're on Athas or their home plane. The small number of efreet who willing serve the Lords of Fire are granted up to the first three levels of spells from the domain of fire.

Fire Drakes walk through the flames of the plane and torment its enemies. They openly follow the commands of the Elemental Lords. They are used most often in the Elemental War to great effect and fight with glee. Although rare, fire drakes are devastating combatants and relish in the pain they cause. The sight of one ripping a sun or magma elemental limb from limb, while laughing, can boost the morale of fire's allies and crush the morale of fire's enemies.

Elemental beings are the most common lifeforms on the Elemental Plane of Fire. In addition to lesser, standard, and greater elementals, this category includes fundamentals and elemental kin, like animentals and fire snakes.
Fire Elementals do not build buildings or form much of a society. They are in constant motion and carry out the commands of their masters. Almost all Fire Elementals serve the Elemental Lords or Azer in the Elemental War. When not in battle, fire elementals like to dance and run through their plane as fast as they can.

Elemental Lords
The most powerful beings in the Elemental Plane of Fire are the Elemental Lords. The Elemental Lords of Fire are made up of pure flame and have no distinct shape. They do not have names or titles, but nearly all natives of the Elemental Plane of Fire show deference to their leadership. They reside inside the largest fires and are serviced by other elementals, azer, and jann.
It is unknown if the Elemental Lords of Fire grow old. It is possible that the Elemental Lords are the same as they have been since the beginning of time. It is also a mystery how the Elemental Lords of Fire communicate with each other as no verbal or telepathic communication can be detected between them. However, they do telepathically communicate with their servants.
The Elemental Lords may travel anywhere in the Elemental Plane of Fire instantly, but cannot leave it. They can control fire, including shadow fire, and move gas pockets within the plane, but not elemental pockets. The Elemental Lords of Fire can control all fire in their plane. They can also grant divine spells to anyone who makes a pact to serve the Elemental Plane of Fire. Lastly, they can cast any spell in the domain of fire at will, including wizard elemental fire spells as divine spells, and any spell in the sphere of cosmos three times per day. Elemental Lords are immune to psionics.
These powerful beings are not good or evil. They are the lords of fire and care very little for events that do not affect their realm. Their current dilemma is the war between their elemental plane and the Planes of Magma and Sun. The Elemental Lords of Fire have allied with the Lords of Air, Earth, Rain, and Water against the Paraelemental Planes of Magma, Silt, and Sun.

The Jann of the Elemental Plane of Fire are generally used as troops by the Elemental Lords and allies of the Azer. They may also hire themselves out as mercenaries to the efreet. The Jann have a tribal structure, where the Amir of the tribe receives orders from the Elemental Lords and leads his tribe accordingly. These Jann have organized their society toward service in the Elemental War.
In combat, Jann divide themselves into infantry, cavalry, archers, healers, and siege forces. The infantry is the main bulk of the fighting force and fight in units of one thousand one hundred soldiers. A single army might have five to six infantry units. Cavalry fight on the backs of elemental beasts or fire animental kanks. Cavalry fight in units of one hundred troops and most armies have at least two units. Archers use longbows made of magically protected bone and fight in units of one hundred fifty archers. An army will have at least four archer units. Healers are fire clerics of various levels and serve the army in units of ten. Ideally an army will have at least five units of healers. Siege forces are generally made up of combat focused fire clerics, psionicsists, and siege engine crews who fight in units of five. Most armies have only one siege unit.
Jann may be encountered alone or in pairs on Athas, carrying out the orders of their superiors.
Like all genies, the Jann suffer the same restrictions as all Athasian spellcasters, no matter if they are on the Elemental Plane of Fire, or Athas. Jann generally wear fire resistant scale or brigandine armor and carry obsidian or basalt shields. Obsidian tipped spears are the weapon of choice for Jann, with obsidian scimitars as a backup weapon. Most carry an obsidian jambiya as a weapon of last resort. Jann do not suffer any penalty for dwelling indefinitely on the Elemental Planes and must travel through the Gray to reach Athas.

Like the Genies and other ruvoka, the Kaltori were created by the Elemental Lords around the time of the Rebirth. Unlike the genies, however, the Kaltori were created with the assistance of the three other Elemental Lords from the three other elemental planes. This cooperation grants the Kaltori  powerful elemental spells, the same as a twentieth level druid with major access to the sphere of fire and minor access to the sphere of earth.
Kaltori are human-like ruvoka that are bearded, red-skinned, stocky, human-looking beings wearing searing hot plate armor and bearing fiery red tridents. Kaltori serve the Elemental Lords as powerful troops and may support members of the armies of Jann and Azer. They sometimes serve the Elemental Lords as guardians of important locations on Athas as well.
Kaltori organize themselves into tribes, but despite their tribal structure, the Kaltori are generally loners. If a traveler stumbles across a Kaltori, they usually find only a single individual on a mysterious task. Sometimes this Kaltori will approach trusted travelers to ask for help in accomplishing the Kaltori's goals. Those who offer their aid can expect to be rewarded with a minor bit of elemental magic, or perhaps even the Kaltori’s help in achieving some end of their own. However, they shouldn’t expect to learn what the Kaltori is up to, as they won’t reveal the ultimate purpose of their mission.
The Kaltori aren’t interested in any affairs that don't concern them or their elemental plane.

Fire elemental beasts are common on the Elemental Plane of Fire. They are frequently caught and trained by the Azer. The Azer treat them as beloved pets and train them to guard their homes or as mounts.
Few other monsters are able to survive the intense heat and lack of oxygen on the Plane of Fire.

Salamanders are creatures with a humanoid upper torso and a lower torso of a snake. The head and torso of a salamander is copper-colored. Males have a flaming beard and mustache. Females have flowing, fiery red hair. Both sexes have glowing yellow eyes that sometimes switch to fluorescent green. All salamanders carry a shiny obsidian spear.
Their snake-like lower torso has orange coloring shading to dull red at the tail end. The entire body is covered with wispy appendages that appear to burn but are never consumed. Salamanders hate cold and avoid shadow fire at all costs.
Salamanders are evil and only respect those beings who can defeat them in combat. As such, the salamanders serve the powerful Elemental Lords in the Elemental War. They enjoy engaging in combat and torturing the servants of magma and sun. When not engaged, salamanders rove the Elemental Plane of Fire in small packs, seeking out victims to torture and subjugate. They do not build permanent structures.

Other Races
It is possible that other intelligent races exist on the Elemental Plane of Fire, especially if they are immune to fire and heat, but they do not take a major part in the Elemental War and are not present in great numbers.

The Sites

The Bronze Fortress
This basalt fortress was crafted by the Azer and is the home of the Azer King, his consort, and his court of advisors. It has magically protected bronze plating in key areas, thus the name. This concentric castle is over one-hundred thousand square feet. Azer and Jann archers line the two outer walls and inner keep, along with siege engines and elementals.
The inner bailey is home to most of the Azer, who construct weapons of war and other trade goods. The outer bailey is where the elemental beasts and fire animentals are kept and trained for war. The Bronze Fortress it always ready to deploy troops at a moments notice, so tensions are always high. The Azer who live here are like well disciplined ants, who know their duties and execute them with precision.

The Blazing Front
A miniature sun blazes in the sky of the Elemental Plane of Fire. This sun is hundreds of miles in diameter and serves as a gateway to the Paraelemental Plane of Sun. There are soldiers and elementals in massive quantities protecting their home from sun troops. It is said that one of the Elemental Lords of Fire stays close by to defend the plane, but it is impossible to know if this is true because Lords of Fire look like the rest of the plane.
A large bubble of explosive gases encircle the gateway, igniting whenever sun paraelementals pass into the Plane of Fire. After igniting, the bubble quickly reforms and awaits its next victim. On the other side of the explosive bubble are legions of elementals and efreet, who engage the sun troops without hesitation. Any sun soldiers who escape are pursued by efreet hunters.

The Iron Keep
This large, imposing, barbed quatrefoil shaped keep is home to a group of fifteen hundred evil efreet, their slaves, and the sultan. The keep is sixteen stories tall, with each floor being over thirty-thousand square feet. The basalt keep is reinforced with wrought iron on all of the keeps weak points and spikes along the ramparts. The keep is guarded by slave-soldiers, efreet soldiers, and elementals.
Outside of the keep houses the slaves of the efreet, who construct weapons and other items for the efreet. In the event of an attack, all of the slaves are lead into the keep. The slaves are kept from escaping by efreet taskmasters, a position that efreet do not like and take out their frustrations on the slaves. Taskmastering is usually a punishment for minor offenses.

The Lake of Lava
A huge lake of liquid hot magma bubbles on a plane in the Elemental Plane of Fire. This irregularly shaped lake is hundreds of miles in diameter and serves as a gateway to the Paraelemental Plane of Magma. There are soldiers and elementals in massive quantities protecting their home from magma troops. It is said that one of the Elemental Lords of Fire stays close by to defend their home, but it is impossible to know if this is true because Lords of Fire look like the rest of the plane.
A large wall of shadow fire encircles the lake, freezing any magma paraelemental that pass into the Plane of Fire. On the other side of the shadow fire wall are legions of elementals and salamanders, who engage the magma troops without hesitation. Any magma  soldiers who escape are pursued by highly trained Azer hunters.

The Obsidian Pyramid
This mysterious pyramid is constructed of obsidian and reflects the flames of the plane on its glassy surface. The obsidian is perfectly smooth and contains no blemishes. There are no doors or windows on the pyramid and, like the matching one on the Elemental Plane of Air, no one knows its purpose or function. The pyramid sits on an open plane in one of the flaming seas.
Those who have magically, or psionically bypassed the solid walls of the pyramid have never emerged from the structure. At one time, there were Azer and Jann that had devoted themselves to the study of The Obsidian Pyramid. These Azer and Jann did not make much progress in their study and soon had to devote themselves to the Elemental War.

Part Five will cover the Elemental Plane of Water.

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