Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Athasian Elemental Planes Part Eight: The Plane of Silt

The Paraelemental Plane of Silt

The Silt Sea is an outward manifestation of the power that silt has on Athas. Silt chokes the air and erodes the land and it's spreading across the face of the Tablelands, determined to grind everything into dust. The Plane itself is an endless silt storm that chokes any breathing creature caught in it.
It is whispered that the Paraelemental Plane of Silt was once the Paraelemental Plane of Mud, but there hasn't been enough moisture to sustain it for thousands of years. It is said that the loss of moisture drove the lords of mud, now silt, mad and that is why they seek to destroy everything in their path. Whatever the plane used to be, it is now an open, empty place, swept with dry winds and scouring grains of silt.


Visitors will find that the Paraelemental Plane of Silt is very dangerous. There is air to breath, but it is so choked with silt and dust that it is not breathable. The silt also abrades the visitors skin and leaves them a bloody mess. The Paraelemental Plane of Silt is unwelcoming and unforgiving.

Air is present on the Plane of Silt, but it's choked with silt and is impossible to breath. No non-enchanted filter can remove enough of the particles for a visitor to breath normally. Magic and psionics are the only way to get enough oxygen to survive on the plane.

There is no natural light source on the Paraelemental Plane of Silt. It is completely dark and torches will quickly get snuffed out by the swirling sand of the plane. Magical or psionic light sources work normally, but only extend light to 1d6 x 10 feet. After that, the silt is too thick to see clearly. Infravision works normally, but is also limited to 1d6 x 10 feet.

Dust Devils
Sometimes the stale winds on the plane collide and become a swirling vortex of fine sand. These dust devils roam the plane randomly at a speed of 1d100 mph. When a dust devil collides with an unprepared visitor, the visitor must succeed at a saving throw vs breath weapon, or suffer damage equal to the current velocity of the dust devil. Success reduces the damage to one-quarter.

Just being present in the Plane of Silt without adequate protection will slowly remove the flesh off a visitors bones. At the end of every turn spent on the paraelemental plane, the visitor must make a saving throw vs death, or suffer 2d4 points of damage. Success reduces the damage by half. Exposed non-metal objects on the plane, including exposed non-metal armors, must succeed on a saving throw vs acid every turn, or be destroyed.

Moving Around

Once a visitor gets to the Paraelemental Plane of Silt, they have to figure out how to get from one place to another. If the visitor can fly, it's no problem, but if they can't fly, things can be a bit more difficult. There is no gravity in the Plane of Silt. However, that does not mean that a person can just float about in midair, carried by the dry winds. Travel on the Plane of Silt is identical to travel on the Plane of Air.
An inexperienced traveler, upon arriving to the Paraelemental Plane of Silt, usually chooses a direction as down. This is often a subconscious choice, as inexperienced travelers do not fully comprehend an absence of gravity. This subconscious decision will then cause the traveler to fall in the direction they believe is down. They will continue to fall until they hit something, or decide another direction is down. Once a traveler figures out how to travel by falling, they can make a Wisdom check to navigate this way, with bonuses or penalty based upon how familiar they are with the Plane of Silt or Air.
Familiarity with Silt Modifier
None at all. -6
No firsthand experience -4
Research, but no firsthand experience. -2
Brief firsthand experience. 0
Some firsthand experience. +2
Extensive firsthand experience. +4
Practically a native. +6
Falling travelers fall at a rate of 1,000 feet per round. If the faller strikes something, the traveler and object both take 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet the faller fell, adjusted for density of item and DM fiat, to a maximum of 20d6 damage. Although dangerous, it is possible to traverse the plane this way.
When nearing their destination, they need to worry about how to stop. If they have warning, it's a simple matter of altering which way is down little by little until the traveler stops where they want. Too late and the traveler has a problem of completely missing their mark, or striking an object. Landing requires a Wisdom check, as above, and a Dexterity check to land safely.
If a character plans on spending time in the Plane of Silt often enough, it might be worth buying the Elemental Plane Traveler non-weapon proficiency, which allows a single WIS+6 check to traverse the Plane of Silt, by falling, once per trip.


The Elemental Plane of Silt is home to many animals that are also present on Athas. There are many white silt horrors, silt spawn, sink worms, and even sand vortexes living on the plane. The lack of light and gravity does not seem to have effected them.

These ravoka were created by the Paraelemental Lords of Silt from tortured ethilum and zathosi prisoners. The Lords of Silt have breeding programs in place to give birth to as many brajeti as possible. The brajeti are entirely loyal to the silt paraelemental lords. Because the brajeti were once ethilum and zathosi, they are able to cast powerful elemental spells, the same as a twentieth level druid with major access to the sphere of silt.
Brajeti are ravoka with darkly tanned skin, pointed ears, and no hair. They fight with bronze swords, equipped by the Lords of Magma and protect themselves with bronze shields. The brajeti serve the Paraelemental Lords as powerful troops and support their armies. They sometimes serve the Paraelemental Lords as guardians of important locations on Athas as well.
Brajeti organize themselves into tribes, but despite their tribal structure, they are generally loners. If a traveler stumbles across a brajeti on Athas, they usually find only a single individual on a mysterious task. Sometimes this brajeti will approach trusted travelers to ask for help in accomplishing the brajeti's goals. Those who offer their aid can expect to be rewarded with a minor bit of elemental magic, or perhaps even the brajeti's help in achieving some end of their own. However, they shouldn’t expect to learn what the brajeti’s up to, as they won’t reveal the ultimate purpose of their mission.
The brajeti aren’t interested in any affairs that don't concern them or their elemental plane.

Silt Drakes swim through the never ending sea of silt. These drakes serve the Paraelemental Lords without question. They are used most often in the Elemental War to great effect. Although rare, silt drakes are cunning and deadly opponents. The sight of one entering a battle can stir up the morale of silt's allies and disintegrate the morale of silt's enemies.
Silt drakes are often used as the first wave of an attacking force and they enjoy eating their prey. They hate and fear earth drakes and will team up to kill one on a battlefield. If successful, their courage is magnified and they are less likely to retreat from the battle, even if things look grim.
Paraelemental beings are the most common lifeforms on the Paraelemental Plane of Silt. In addition to lesser, standard, and greater paraelementals, this category includes fundamentals and elemental kin, like animentals.
All silt paraelementals serve the commands of the Paraelemental Lords and are used as soldiers in the Elemental War. Their entire society is geared toward the destruction of the elemental planes. Silt paraelementals are always seeking battle and do not desire any leisure time of their own. Their thoughts are consumed with the desire to destroy their hated enemies.

Paraelemental Lords
The most powerful beings in the Paraelemental Plane of Silt are the Paraelemental Lords and they are insane. The Paraelemental Lords of Silt are made up of pure silt, having no distinct shape. They do not have names or titles, but all natives of the Paraelemental Plane of Silt show deference to their leadership. They reside inside the most chaotic of silt storms. They are serviced by other paraelementals and drakes.
It is unknown if the Paraelemental Lords of Silt grow old. It is possible that the Paraelemental Lords are the same as they have been since the beginning of time. It is also a mystery how the Paraelemental Lords of Silt communicate with each other as no verbal or telepathic communication can be detected between them. However, they do telepathically communicate with their servants.
The Paraelemental Lords may travel anywhere in the Paraelemental Plane of Silt instantly, but cannot leave it. They can control silt storms and dust devils within the plane. They can also grant divine spells to anyone who makes a pact to serve the Paraelemental Plane of Silt. Lastly, they can cast any spell in the domain of silt at will, including wizard elemental silt spells as divine spells, and any spell in the sphere of cosmos three times per day. Paraelemental Lords are immune to psionics.
These powerful beings are not good or evil. They are the lords of silt and care very little for events that do not affect their realm. Their current all-consuming focus is the war against the elemental planes and the Paraelemental Plane of Rain. The Paraelemental Lords of Silt have allied with the Lords of Magma and Sun against all of the other planes.
Once the elemental planes are destroyed, Silt plans to turn its attention and forces against the Paraelemental Plane of Magma. Once magma is destroyed, Sun will fall. Then and only then will silt be satisfied with its complete dominance in the cosmos. All will be silt.

Silt paraelemental beasts are common on the Paraelemental Plane of Silt. They are used by the paraelemenals as mounts or war beasts. Brown, gray, black, and red silt horrors are all present in great numbers.

Other Races
It is not likely that other intelligent races exist on the Paraelemental Plane of Silt, but a single powerful defiler, psionicist, or silt cleric may have a home here.

The Sites

The Sand Vortex
This vortex is thousands of miles in diameter and pulls great quantities of sand into it. Here, the forces of the Paraelemental Plane of Silt fly into the Plane of Air. The armies of silt are fighting to exterminate the creatures who serve the Paraelemental Plane of Air. There are silt soldiers and paraelementals pouring into the Plane of Air to slay for the domination of their paraelemental plane.
The forces of silt eagerly fly through the vortex, shouting battle cries and proclaiming the destruction of their enemy. The inhabitants of the Plane of Silt know that they are winning the war and their moral is high. Once the elemental planes fall to silt's might, the forces of silt plan to turn their attention to the other paraelemental planes and consume them as well.
The sand vortex is deadly to any creature not protected from silt damage. Travelers through the vortex, who are not protected from silt, take 10d10 damage. The vortex quickly strips flesh from bones and then grinds bones into dust.

The Grinder
Where the Paraelmental Plane of Silt slowly erodes the Plane of Earth, you'll find the battleground called The Ginder. Swirling vortexes of silt threaten all creatures who dare to defend the Elemental Plane of Earth. Silt creatures and paraelementals assist in the erosion process, along with attacking anything that dares to resist them. Anyone entering The Grinder takes 10d10 damage, unless immune to silt damage.
The armies of silt work to destroy the Plane of Earth, as well as its defenders. Certain silt troops will attempt to slip past the defending troops and burrow deep into the Plane of Earth, where they can continue their erosion process far away from anyone who can stop them. Silt troops have high moral, knowing that the forces of Earth are fighting a losing battle against them. Once the elemental planes fall to silts might, the forces of silt plan to turn their attention to the other paraelemental planes and consume them as well.

The Diamond Tower
This pentagon shaped tower sits atop a magically protected slab of obsidian. Here, a powerful kaisharga makes their home. Not much is known about the kaisharga, not even their sex. The inhabitants of the Paraelemental Plane of Silt keep their distance from the tower. The kaisharga does not interfere with the Elemental War, so they are left alone.
The fortress is solid diamond with small windows covered in thin sheets of obsidian. The windows are large enough to look out of, but too small even for a halfling to crawl through. The top of the tower forms a sharp spike and makes the lower look like a giant javelin. The tower is fifty feet per side and has a footprint of fifty thousand square feet. No one knows how many stories the tower is, but it stands an impressive five-hundred feet high. The doors of the tower are diamond, lined with obsidian.
It is unknown what evil acts the kaisharga does inside of the tower.

The Fetid Pit
This portal to the Paraelemental of Rain appears as a cone of foul sandy mud thousands of miles in diameter and length. Here, silt troops invade the Paraelemental Plane of Rain. The pit grows each year, as the forces of silt are victorious in their war. The forces of silt must be careful not to allow too much moisture into their plane and lose it to the Plane of Earth.
The forces of rain are horribly out numbered and are losing badly. The Paraelemental Lords of Silt see that victory is near and press the Plane of Rain hard, hoping that it will soon fall. Once the Plane of Rain falls, the Lords of Silt will reassign the troops here to another front. These seasoned troops will be fierce and deadly to the foes of silt.

Part Nine will cover the Paraelemental Plane of Sun.

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