Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2893 Location: Michigan
Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:30 pm Post subject: Oerth's Plane of Fire
Inspired by Havard's map of Mystara's Plane of Fire, here's one for Oerth. Alone of all the elemental planes, the Elemental Plane of Fire is almost always portrayed as a place of mountains, plains, lakes, and seas, similar to the Prime Material Plane (though made from elemental flame), so it's convenient to have it reflect the terrain of whichever world is closest, or whichever world the PCs are from. Of course, flame flickers and changes, so such terrain might not be stable.
Here's a key to the locations named above:
Lake Adamere: (from Classic Play: Book of the Planes from Mongoose Publishing, page 111). "The product of a massive natural portal to the Plane of Water, the area around Lake Adamere is the coolest and safest region on the Fire Plane (the ambient air temperature is a balmy 140º F). The outer edges of the lake are boiling, and vast clouds of steam roll off the lake and onto the surrounding fires. The inner parts of the lake are relatively safe, although there are slicks of ever burning oil and the occasional island of fire." On this map, I had it correspond to the Lake of Unknown Depths.
Catarus: (from Classic Play: Book of the Planes from Mongoose Publishing, page 113). "Referred to informally as ‘the other city of brass’, Catarus is a trade town built on the shores of Lake Adamere. The whole city is enclosed in a brass shell; water from the heart of the lake is pumped by mighty golem-driven bellows into pipes that wind around the inside of the shell. The constant running water keeps the brass from melting; the steam produced is channelled back through the city to power all sorts of wondrous devices." On this map, I had it correspond to Dyvers in the Flanaess.
Plain of Burnt Dreams: (from The Inner Planes, page 49). "In the vast region of the Plain of Burnt Dreams, the solid fire that forms the base of this plane rises above the liquid flames of the Burning Sea. The Plain is noted for two things. The first of these is the Temple of Ultimate Consumption, from which Imix rules his legions of evil... Second, and perhaps most important, is of course the great battle between Imix and Zaaman Rul which was recently fought here..." On this map, it corresponds to the Bright Desert.
The Temple of Ultimate Consumption: (from The Inner Planes, page 49). "Built in the shape of a great pyramid and fashioned from gleaming blocks of pure obsidian." On this map, it corresponds roughly to the Necropolis of Unaagh in the Bright Desert.
Blazing Sea: (mentioned in The Inner Planes, page 45). "...blazing sharks that swim within the scalding fluid of the Blazing Sea and the Sea of Burning Waves (where one begins and the other ends no nonnative can truly comprehend." Said to border the Plain of Burnt Dreams. On this map, it corresponds to Greyhawk's Sea of Gearnat.
Sea of Burning Waves: (mentioned in The Inner Planes, page 45). Said to border the Blazing Sea. On this map, I matched the Sea of Burning Waves to Greyhawk's Azure Sea.
Hot Marshes: Corresponds to Greyhawk's Cold Marshes.
White Flame Bay: Corresponds to Greyhawk's White Fanged Bay.
Land of Black Flame: Corresponds to the Land of Black Ice.
City of Brass: I placed the City of Brass here, rather than in the region corresponding to the Baklunish lands, because Greyhawk Adventures (page 97) said there was a portal to the City of Brass in the Burning Cliffs region.
Sea of Burning Oil: According to the Secrets of the Lamp Adventure Book, page 13, the City of Brass floats in a sea of burning oil. Here, this corresponds to Greyhawk's Icy Sea.
Cinder Wastes: (Fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide, page 54. "The Plane of Fire is dominated by the vast Cinder Wastes, a great expanse of black cinders and embers crossed by rivers of lava. Roving bands of salamanders battle each other, raid azer outposts, and avoid the efreet. Ancient ruins dot the desert—the remains of forgotten civilizations." Here, it corresponds to the Wastes north of the Empire of Iuz, near the Burning Cliffs and the portal to the City of Brass. The Inner Planes, page 47, mentions rivers of magma forming a delta near the City of Brass.
Sea of Molten Platinum: (The Inner Planes, page 49). The largest of the azer towers rests on an island of obsidian "ringed by a vast sea of molten, bubbling platinum." Here, it corresponds to the Dramidj Ocean.
The Crucible: (The Inner Planes, page 49). The largest of the azer towers. The island of obsidian is covered by "a forest of treelike plants whose bark and leaves consist of pure metals."
Crimson Pillar: This is the realm of Kossuth, Tyrant-King of the Fire Elementals. The Inner Planes, page 47, describes it as a great orb no less than 10 miles in diameter. Within this sphere of blue-white flame, even natives of the Plane of Fire can burn. I placed it in a spot roughly equivalent to Rauxes.
Tovag Baragu: (Greyhawk Adventures, page 98). These mysterious stone circles are said to open portals to countless other planes, so I noted them on this map as well.
Suhkteh Albarrana: (Planes of Chaos: The Book of Chaos, page 123.) The name means Burnt Fortress; it's an efreeti outpost "on the frontier of the efreet empire where fire giants often serve as mercenaries." There's a conduit in the Suhkteh Albarrana leading to Surtr's realm in Muspelheim.
Mountains of Creation: This is a typo; it should read Fountains of Creation, although they are mountains. It's from the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide, page 54. The Fountains of Creation are said to be home to azers, fire giants, and red dragons. I made them correspond to the Hellfurnaces.
Sea of Scorching Waves: (The Inner Planes, page 45). This corresponds here to the Solnor Ocean.
Black Fist: (The Inner Planes, page 45). "We [the efreet] have also built grand fortresses to secure our power throughout the outlying provinces stretching away from the City of Brass. We build these great structures from obsidian or submerge them within liquid metal or flaming oil pits. Each serves as a bastion for a thousand or more of our greatest soldiers. I, myself, command a fortress called the Black Fist, which floats upon the Sea of Scorching Waves. It lies near the Isles of Scorched Bones..."
Isles of Scorched Bones: (The Inner Planes, page 45). "...the Isles of Scorched Bones, where rumor has it the bones of some long-dead race rest above the flaming sea. These islands now provide a home to hundreds of thousands of fire bats (and a great many fire mephits), which I and those in my command take great sport in hunting." Here, they correspond to the Sea Barons.
Great Post o' learned Sage of Grey.... Where there any notable NPCs that you built from or frequent this setting?
I can see cannibalizing to fit IMOC for background fluff / legend around Moradin and the "smithing of the Dwarven Race". Doesn't have to be "Canon" since dwarves are known to twist their account of dwarvish history to their own recalling... as most races do...
Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2893 Location: Michigan
Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:05 pm Post subject:
I made some salamander nobles, though I haven't placed them on this map yet.
Whitebeard is so called because of his distinctive white beard, which he keeps neatly braided and trimmed. It makes him look almost humanlike, an affectation that his subjects have learned to tolerate.
After the collapse of central authority in salamander society, Whitebeard sent emissaries to both the City of Brass and the Temple of Ultimate Consumption, seeking an alliance with both sides.
Since then, he has been carefully trying to balance his responsibilities to both Prince Imix and the efreet, a delicate act if ever there was one.
White-beard’s iron city is called Incarnadine Defiant. Its most distinctive feature is the immense garden of flame-flora in its center, which Whitebeard has stocked with creatures for he and his court—and, especially, his allies among the efreet and Imix’s legions—to hunt. He tries to schedule the different groups’ entertainments on different days, or at least to keep them at different ends of the park. The foundries and factories are all at one edge of town, and the dominant firewinds blow the smoke away from the gardens and toward the appropriate paraelemental plane.
The second most interesting place in Incarnadine Defiant is the city gate, made of hundreds of living fire snakes woven together and kept alive by the daily sacrifice of prisoners of war, criminals, and factory workers who have not met their supervisors’ expectations.
Currently, Imix has been pressuring Whitebeard to mount an expedition to the Plane of Water to strike a blow against Princess Olhydra. Even now, the submarine is being built, but Whitebeard has been delaying its completion with endless “improvements” and other modifications. He has no desire to lose troops - even flamebrothers - on a sucicide mission, or to make an enemy of a princess of elemental evil. He lost enough of his soldiers in the battle against Zaaman Rul.
Meanwhile, an efreeti general has been talking about a salamander-led raid on djinni holdings in the Plane of Air. Whitebeard wonders if one group or the other would accept mercenaries instead, and has begun looking for some. And beginning plans for his airship.
Makkee, Lord of Clocks
The Lord of Clocks is obsessed with efficiency and schedules. He’s had a city built and filled with clocks that run according to Sigil-Regulus standard time, a calendar created by the Guvners, a faction which the Lord belonged to during his time of exile in Sigil some three hundred years ago (as his calendar reckons things).
It was the extreme productivity of his City of Clocks that convinced a rival salamander noble called Dreox to spare Lord Makkee during his wars of conquest. Makkee had banned music, intoxicants, and all non-salamanders from his domain, and the result was a leaner, more focused workforce.
When Dreox died at the hands of a previously unknown assassin, Makkee elected to hide this fact from his citizens for several months before reluctantly announcing a holiday had taken place (retroactively) on the day of Dreox’s actual death, in mourning of the passing of the great and generous lord. Several hundred prisoners were released from the dungeons of the Lord of Clocks, all of them arrested at some time in the past few months for the crime of excessive tardiness.
The Lord of Clocks has seemingly relaxed a bit in recent years, allowing non-salamanders back in the City of Clocks for precisely defined periods.
Makee himself is surprisingly normal-looking for such an eccentric noble, the clockwork eyepiece he wears his only concession to style other than his relatively plain robes of fireworm silk. He speaks quietly, and spends most of his time in silence, listening to the ticking all around him. Noises tend to make him swiftly summon his guards to take the offenders away. When entertaining guests, he often becomes distracted, his eyes drifting to one of his many clocks.
For mysterious reasons, a nasvarut—an Inevitable dedicated to the preservation of elemental forces—has taken residence in the City of Clocks and resisted all attempts to remove it. For now, it seems content to observe, and Makkee has declared it a positive omen, a sign that the Powers of Law smile on his works. This has yet to be seen.
Masqal, Commander of the Eternal Revolution
Honestly, the Commander of the Eternal Revolution was surprised to see Dreox, High King Salamander, dead. He meant to gain enough of a following from those secretly harboring anti-Dreox sentiments to found his own iron city, preferably far enough away to be out of the long reach of Dreox’s retribution.
Then one of the rabble had to get carried away, and Dreox was dead, and everything changed.
The killer (one Shatakke, forever known as Kingslayer), fled to the upper planes while Masqal found himself thrust into the kingship himself. Not high king; perhaps there will never again be a High King of the salamanders. It’s unlikely the other powers of the plane will permit it. But king, nonetheless, of Dreox’s own capital, the City of Lamps and Hunger.
The city, once filled with great statues of Dreox depicted in a strong, angular style, have been defaced by the army of the Revolution, their heads cracked open and replaced with great blue torches symbolizing the everlasting flames of freedom. Rubble from the statues clogs many of the streets and fills some of the pits of punishment that once seemed bottomless as Dreox’s rage.
But soon the children of the Revolution began to get restless again, their lust for social upheaval quickened by the first and not yet sated. They began crackling to one another that the fugitive Shatakke should perhaps be their true leader, and that their Commander should be overthrown.
The Commander of the Eternal Revolution keeps his support by embarking on new revolutions, and newer ones—against the efreet, against Imix, against Kossuth himself. He plays a dangerous game, for he is not nearly powerful enough to defeat these opponents, but he knows that as soon as his nation’s state of war lulls so will his popularity. So carefully, in secret whenever possible, he advances his crusade against every visible authority figure. His agents weave a web of terror across the Plane of Fire, extending their resources wider and wider, from Wormhole in the City of Brass to the Molten Tower of Kossuth. And the Commander waits in a terror of his own, for he knows that it cannot last.
Lord Brand hated Dreox, but the High King’s death nonetheless meant dangerous and unpleasant instability for Lord Brand’s city. Without Dreox’s armies unifying the salamander cities, powerful inhabitants of Fire like Imix and the free lords of the salamanders began to plot to fill the void left in the High King's absence.
Brand’s search for greater order led him to a pact with Mephistopheles of the Nine, who was just beginning to explore the potential of fire on his plane of ice. Brand returned from his summoning tower changed, more vicious and determined in personality. He had his troops round up every citizen of his city of Anaxandra (now known simply as the City of Brands) and used iron empowered with hellfire hot enough to burn even elemental-kin to put his mark on the back of all of them, from larvae to salamanders to flamebrothers; every fire snake, firenewt, mephit, harginn and helion in the City of Brands now bears the symbol of a black hand with the elven rune B visible in its palm.
Brand’s own flesh has changed to the pitch-black of his symbol. The spines on his back seem enlarged; some speculate that they will one day unfurl into wings. His horns come to a flamboyant double curve above his head. With his brands he keeps careful track of every one of his people regardless of how far they may wander. Somehow he is able to discern their whereabouts and make sure they do not stray. Confident in his abilities, he makes no other attempt to constrain them, and so the City of Brands has representatives in many cities in Fire and beyond, and brings much wealth back through trading and less savory means. Few outsiders dare enter the iron gates, on the other hand, lest Brand mark them as his own.
Lord Brand keeps two consorts, both elven women enchanted to resist flame and prominently wearing his mark on their faces. Some speculate that they are erinyes in disguise, but there is no evidence of this apart from Brand’s own devilish nature.
King of Wands
The King of Wands is the self-proclaimed greatest magus among the noble salamanders. His servants say that he has enchanted all five of his horns as staves of wizardry, and that he keeps the greatest library of arcane tomes in the Plane of Fire, if not all the inner planes (the genies hotly dispute this, while the tsnng of the Plane of Mineral remain implacable and remote).
From his city of titanium the King of Wands experiments on his warriors, servants, and slaves. Once he was merely the magical advisor to the previous lord, who is still in his throne room, mummified and insensate. Now the King of Wands rules in his own name.
Shatakke the Kingslayer (Male;Salamander noble/Fighter 10/Sorcerer 5/Assassin 1; CG)
Shattake was an ordinary salamander, one of many in his tribe. Sure, he was orphaned, the rest of his clutch killed by pyrophors a few years ago, but most of the tribe lost someone on that day. Not able or willing to run their forge on his own, Shattake joined the army of the salamander king Dreox for the life of a soldier. He adapted well but unspectacularly, and probably would have died in combat against the forces of one of the unconquered salamander princes if something hadn’t happened to change his life.
A noble calling himself Masqal began appearing in the various cities of Dreox’s kingdom, preaching a gospel of rebellion. Shatakke heard his words while off-duty, trying to find a bar in the City of Clocks, and was both entranced and inspired.
He knew that Masqal’s revolution could not wait. Shattake would hurry it along by killing the High King himself.
He trained in secret, practicing secret techniques away from the bright glare of his superiors’ eyes. Even rabble-rousing Masqal heard nothing about it until the day the High King died.
The trauma of the event triggered an early transformation in Shattake, and he molted in a secret burrow beneath the king’s own palace. Realizing, too late, that he had made himself the target of every wannabe in Fire, he snuck out of the palace in the belly of a behemoth of flame, and slithered to a monadic deva’s watchtower to plead for sanctuary.
Surprised as she was to see the the newly-molted salamander noble, dripping with behomoth-bile, stumbling at her doorstep, the deva agreed, and took Shattake back to Arborea and the realm of her patron, the goddess Babeestor Gor. It was there that Shattake met the eladrin Tanzin and his paramour, the Hallowed Penitent Saraqael.
There in the realm of a goddess of sacred vengence and retribution, exhausted and scared from all the recent changes in his stupid, fanatical life, Shattake accepted the fiery love and acceptance of a firre. He scarcely noticed when brokenhearted Saraqael left for her own plane.
Shattake and Tanzin remained together for almost a year, when Tanzin became distracted by a nymph. Finding himself alone in the town of Thrassos outside Olympus, he tried to return to his old profession of blacksmith, but found the local guild too powerful. Disappointed, he drifted back into the role of sword-for-hire.
In the centuries since, the name Shattake the Kingslayer has become infamous throughout the planes, synonymous with that of an able, remorseless killer who picks his own tasks. He selects only those missions that involve destroying tyranny. He arrives at the doorsteps of potential patrons without prior announcement; no one finds him.
He has remained abroad for far longer than most salamander nobles, who would normally return to their homeland to claim a domain in Fire once they had grown as powerful and famed as Shattake. Some wonder what Shattake’s game is, and what greater prize he may be seeking.
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