Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Athasian Elemental Planes Part Nine: The Plane of Sun

The Paraelemental Plane of Sun

The dark crimson sun drifts lazily through the emerald sky, baking the soil of Athas. The sun scorches all it touches and increases the paraelementals power. Only clouds decrease the power of the plane of sun and those are exceptionally rare.
The Paraelemental Lords of Sun were the first lords to seek the total destruction of the planes of air and fire, convincing the lords of magma and silt to join them. Over the millennia, the plane of sun changed from an intensely hot, active blue, to a cooler, lazy yellow, and it is now a cool, crazed crimson. The sun lords are in constant plain, freezing and driven mad by the outside forces that changed them.


Unprotected visitors to the Paraelemental Plane of Sun are instantly burned to ash. Even the darkest areas of the plane are over a hundred times hotter than the hottest Athasian day. In addition, the air is toxic and the plane has no surface to stand upon. The plane is a gigantic sphere that has a center and inner layers, but no outer boundary.
The Paraelemental Plane of Sun is divided into seven layers. In the very center of the plane is the core, with the other layers forming concentric spheres around it. Most of the planes natural inhabitants live on the fifth, sixth, and seventh layers of the plane. Moving between the layers is obvious, as pressure, gravity, and heat increase or decrease noticeably.
Interestingly, the inhabitants of the Paraelemental Plane of Sun will not go out of their way to attack visitors. They do not fear invasion and see visitors as curiosities at best. They're winning the Elemental War and are confident in their eventual success.

There is no air on the Plane of Sun that is not burning. An unprotected visitor must make a saving throw vs breath weapon each round or suffer a 1 point temporary constitution loss. Once a visitors constitution drops to zero, they die. 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 burning air.

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 to the plane or a new lower layer, there is a 50% chance that non-magical and unprotected stone, including volcanic rock, melts into plasma in three rounds. This inflicts 3d10 points of damage to anyone in close contact with such material. Living creatures, or automatons, made of stone suffer 1d10 points of damage per round. Magical stone may make a saving throw vs magical fire.
Upon arrival to the plane or a new lower layer, there is a 30% chance that non-magical and metal items heat to their melting point in four rounds. This causes 5d10 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.
Creatures of flesh and blood suffer damage each round they are exposed to the heat of this plane. The severity of their damage is based upon their natural armor class. Damage for armor class ten is 6d10, with a d10 reduction for every three points of lowered armor class. So, a natural armor class of eight would still be 6d10, seven would be 5d10 and four would be 4d10. This means a natural armor class of -8 and lower takes no damage.
All damage and saves are for the fifth layer. Moving to a higher layer reduces the damage by 1 die and adds a save bonus +1 per layer. Going lower than the fifth layer increases the damage die by 1 and adds a save penalty of -1 per layer. Spells that protect against fire also protect against the heat damage from the Plane of Sun.

The Paraelemental Plane of Sun is in constant motion, with violent currents of liquid fire flowing in all directions. These currents can sweep away a visitor and send them thousands of miles off course.
The DM can use the following table to determine the strength of a current of a given area:
1D20 Strength of Current Adjustment
1 Stale +3
2 Light Current +2
3 Moderate Current +1
4 Strong Current 0
5 Light Bore -1
6 Moderate Bore -2
7 Strong Bore -3
8 Light Flow -4
9-10 Moderate Flow -5
11-12 Strong Flow -6
13-14 Light Tide -7
15-16 Moderate Tide -8
17-18 Strong Tide -9
19-20 Doom Tide -10
This table indicates the dice roll (on a d20) to produce a given strength of a current. The strength of current column is intended to provide reference a point for the DM. The last column indicates an adjustment that can be applied to saving throws, attack rolls, proficiency and ability checks, or anything else the DM feels in appropriate.
Currents on the Paraelemental Plane of Sun are very unpredictable. A current may last for a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Changes in current strength may happen very quickly. As a rule, changes in current strength take place over a single turn. Thus, a given location can jump from a light current to any other strength, such as a strong flow, in only 10 minutes.
The DM can use the following table to determine the duration of a given current condition:
1D20 Roll Duration of Current Conditions
1-2 1d6 rounds
3-4 1d6 turns
5-6 1d6 hours
7-8 1d6 days
9-10 2d6 days
11-12 1d6 weeks
13-14 1d6 months
15-16 1d6 years
17-18 1d6 decades
19-20 1d6 centuries
The size of a given current can be whatever size the DM needs it to be. If an exact size is needed, the DM may roll 1d100 for width and another 1d100 in length. Both measurements are made in miles.

The Plane of Sun pulls everything toward its center, where the pressure and gravity of the plane destroys nearly everything. The pull is most obvious on the fourth layer of the plane, where everything must make a strength check, once per hour, to keep from being pulled toward the center of the plane. Every layer above the fourth is subject to the pull, but checks are made with a +2 bonus per layer above fourth. Every layer below the fourth is subject to the pull, with strength checks made with a -2 penalty per layer below fourth. Natives to the plane unconsciously make these checks.
Anything that is pulled into the center of the plane, except Paraelemental Lords of Sun and other paraelementals, are instantly killed by the gravitational pressure. This applies to natives of the Plane of Sun, as well as visitors.

The sixth layer of the Plane of Sun has a unique hazard that is not present on the other layers of the plane. Flares are explosions that push objects further away from the core, into the seventh layer, and batter those caught within them. Flares have a diameter of 1d100 miles. If a creature is caught by a flare, they must make a saving throw vs. breath weapon, or be thrown 1d100 miles away from the core of the plane and into seventh layer. If caught in the explosion, the victim also takes 4d10 points of damage from the battering forces and an addition 4d10 from the heat, with a successful saving throw vs. spell reducing the damage by half.
If a creature is hurled into the seventh layer and is unable to fly, they fall back down to the sixth layer. The plasma of the plane of sun is more forgiving than the hard ground of Athas, however, so creatures take 1d6 points of damage for every twenty feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6.

Moving Around

The only way to travel on the Paraelemental Plane of Sun is to swim through the plasma that the plane is made up of. Swimming through the plane is much easier than swimming through water and a character may swim for twice as long as through water. In addition, encumbrance is considered one category less than when swimming through water.
On layer seven, however, the user must be able to fly to explore the area. Otherwise the gravity of the plane will pull the individual back down to the sixth layer.
The Plane of Sun is very bright, so light is not a problem. In fact, it's often too bright for visitors to the plane and may blind them. On layers five or below, visitors must succeed on a saving throw vs paralyzation every turn or become permanently blinded. Closing their eyes, using thick blindfolds, psionics, or magic may protect a visitor from the blindness. However, at layers three and lower, simply keeping their eyes closed is not sufficient enough to protect a visitor from the blinding effect.


A number of  baatezu have made their home on the Plane of Sun and serve the Paraelemental Lords with the Elemental War. Their true goal is the complete destruction of Athas and all of the Elemental and Paraelemental Planes. Perhaps if all is destroyed, they will be able to return to their homes.
Their numbers are small, but baatezu understand how to wage war. Greater baatezu serve as advisors and generals, while the lesser serve as specialized troops.

Silt Drakes fly through the seventh layer of the plane, or swim through the plasma of its lower layers. These drakes serve the Paraelemental Lords without question. They are used most often in the Elemental War as generals and support forces. Although rare, sun drakes dominate any battlefield they are on. The sight of one entering a battle can ignite the morale of sun's allies and burn away the morale of sun's enemies.

Paraelemental beings are the most common lifeforms on the Paraelemental Plane of Sun. In addition to lesser, standard, and greater paraelementals, this category includes fundamentals and elemental kin, like animentals.
All sun 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. Sun paraelementals are just as mad as the Sun Lords themselves. The intense heat of their plane has cooled, in their opinion, and they cannot get warm. Madness drives them to think about war and nothing else.

Paraelemental Lords
The most powerful beings in the Paraelemental Plane of Sun are the Paraelemental Lords and they are insane. The Paraelemental Lords of Sun are made up of pure plasma, having no distinct shape. They do not have names or titles, but all natives of the Paraelemental Plane of Sun show deference to their leadership. They reside inside the hottest parts of the plane, usually the core. They are serviced by other paraelementals and sun drakes.
It is unknown if the Paraelemental Lords of Sun 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 Sun 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 Sun instantly, but cannot leave it. They can control currents and flares within the plane. They can also grant divine spells to anyone who makes a pact to serve the Paraelemental Plane of Sun. Lastly, they can cast any spell in the domain of sun at will, including wizard elemental sun 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 sun 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 Sun have allied with the Lords of Magma and Silt against all of the other planes.
Once the elemental planes are destroyed, Sun plans to turn its attention and forces against the Paraelemental Plane of Magma. Once magma is destroyed, Silt will fall. Then and only then will sun be satisfied with its complete dominance in the cosmos. All will be sun.

Sun paraelemental beasts are common on the Paraelemental Plane of Silt. They are used by the paraelemenals as mounts or war beasts.Sun paraelementals fly in the seventh layer, or swim through the lower layers.

Other Races
It is not likely that other intelligent races exist on the Paraelemental Plane of Sun, but a single powerful defiler, psionicist, or sun cleric may have a home here. Even though the inhabitants of the Plane of Sun does not fear visitors, the plane is very inhospitable.

The Sites

The Core
In the very center of the plane is a sphere of intensely hot plasma twenty-thousand miles in diameter. It is here where, at least, one of the Paraelemental Lords of Sun makes its home. Ever since the sun was changed from blue to the current red, a difference of tens of thousands of degrees, the Lords of the Sun have been freezing. They dwell in the hottest part of their plane, trying to capture the warmth they once enjoyed.
The core is very deadly to all non-sun based creatures. The gravity and pressure at the center of the plane cause reactions unknown anywhere else in or around Athas. It is unlikely the forces of any plane can withstand the gravity or heat, so the Lords of Sun are quite protected in the core. Even fire elementals would not be able to survive.

This portal is on the fourth layer of the plane. It appears as a fiery whirlpool of plasma, thousands of miles wide, that spills the inhabitants into the Elemental Plane of Fire. Paraelementals, drakes, and baatezu circle the whirlpool in organized rows, waiting for the opportunity to enter the Plane of Fire and slay those who stand against the all-powerful sun. Anyone entering Armageddon without magical or psionic protection, or the permission of the sun lords, takes 10d10 damage from the gravitational pressure and intense heat.
The armies of sun, and their baatezu allies, work to destroy the Plane of Fire, as well as its defenders. Certain specialized sun troops will attempt to slip past the defending troops and escape deep into the Plane of Fire, where they can heat the fire and turn it into plasma. Sun troops have high moral, bordering on arrogance, because they know that the forces of Fire are fighting a losing battle against them. Once the elemental planes fall to sun's unstoppable force, the sun lords plan to split their armies and turn their attention to the other paraelemental planes and consume them as well.

The Sun Temple
This sandstone building is out of place on a plane that consumes everything it touches. The building is a three hundred foot sphere with sun motifs covering its walls. There are no protective measures or guards, except for the magic protecting the temple from the plane itself. It floats through the plane on the fifth layer.
Inside, a powerful sun cleric named Surya makes his home. Surya is a human and knows the true intentions of the baatezu. He is working on converting them to the true worship of the sun. If he fails to convert them, or if the baatezu show any signs of turning against his masters, he is prepared to destroy them. He has prepared for such an eventuality.
He has a small group of acolytes that he rotates through from Athas. He has never lost one in the Gray and seems to travel easily to and from the paraelemental plane. How he travels so freely is a mystery.

The Flare of Honor
This portal to the Paraelemental of Air appears as a permanent solar flare that continuously rains plasma down into the sixth layer of the Plane of Sun. The flare is huge, the size of Athas itself, and allows the fierce forces of sun to invade the Plane of Air. Here, without their baatezu allies, the armies are less ordered, but their ferocity makes up for the lack of discipline. The forces ride heat waves into the Plane of Air and then scatter to destroy the plane.
The forces of air try to hold back their deadly foe, but they are failing. Sun forces do not fear the forces of air and unless something changes soon, they will never have the need to fear them. Once the Plane of Air is consumed by the plasma and heat of the Plane of Sun, the Lords of Sun will turn their attention to the destruction of the other planes.

Part Ten will cover New Elemental Creatures


  1. I *really* like this take on the Paraelemental Plane of Sun. It factors in the impact of Rajaat's use of the Athasian sun as a power source and the the resultant cooling and madness of the Sun Paraelementals and Lords. Kudos!

  2. Thank you for checking it out and I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's why I write them, for fans like you.