The Abyss is the
elemental hell of water. Those that have seen this diabolic plane have
described it as a shoreline of mires and bogs that changes as the waters
deepen and change from fresh to brine. Pilgrims who journey to the Abyss
find that it is roughly divided into four regions, each deeper, darker and
more perilous than the last, until the traveler passes from the deepest
point of the Abyss into the Void itself.
The first zone of the Abyss is the Edgewater, a broad coastline of
freshwater swamps, ponds, streams, rivers, salt marshes, and estuaries. The
Edgewater is the shallowest, least hazardous region of the Abyss. It is a
region inhabited by minor fiends and demonic undead. The most common fiends
in this region are the Drowners, such as the rusalki, kappa, and vodyanoi,
who dwell in rivers and millponds, where they drag down their unsuspecting
victims to watery graves. Other fiends of the Edgewater are the black annis,
child-eating swamp hag, tikoloshe voracious sexual predators, and mbulu,
amphibious tricksters and impersonators.
The Far Fathoms are deep, gloomy lake-waters inhabited by fresh-water demons
such as kelpies, aquatic shapeshifters that change from human to horse form,
the nautical cities of serpentine water nagas, and the massive, frog-like
wahwee that cause droughts and floods and bunyips, huge, seal-like, marine
predators. There are even stranger denizens in the Far Fathoms, such as
Munuane the demonic fisherman, whose eyes are in is knees. Munuane although
slow-witted is a skilled ferryman and peerless archer, whose arrows not only
target fish the often mark cadavers of his human prey. Ahuizotl is another
unique fiend of the Far Fathoms. It believes all the fish of the high
mountain lakes are its property and as such it swims out of the Abyss to
crush the boats of “thieving” fisherman. Besides a dark shape beneath the
waves, there is no description of Ahuizotl, for none who have ever truly
seen the fiend have survived to play witness.
The Utmost Dark is a gloomy, brackish span of water. This is region is the
abode of more lethal marine demons. It is the habitat of the merrow, demonic
nymphs, whose seductive, haunting music rises up from the waves, siryns
whose song lures sailors to their deaths, and the Ponaturi, evil water
fairies that drag ocean swimmers beneath the waves, but are destroyed
instantly by sunlight (which is totally absent in the Utmost Dark). Larger
fiends also dwell in the Utmost Dark, such as Scylla, the sea serpent, and
Charybdis, the floating island, who work in conjunction to sink ships in the
Shadowlands but then return to the Utmost Dark. Further beneath the waves
swims massive, squid-like kraken and other terrors of the deep.
The furthest, most foul and hazardous region of the Abyss is the Mare
Tenebrosum, the Sea of Darkness. This is a region of black water is locked
in utter blackness because of it directly borders the Void. It is a shadowy
sea where the ghosts of lost ships and seamen sail forever in perpetual
darkness. The Mare Tenebrosum has been known to leech into the oceans of the
mortal realms, but is not marked on any charts and may even move slowly over
the surface of the waters following the track of great ocean currents.
Seamen never know that they have entered the Sea Darkness until night has
fallen and the sea becomes mysteriously calm, no matter how rough it may
have been before the sun went down. There is no moon or stars and the
heavens are obscured by solid black cloud.
Then there is an agonized hail out of the darkness: the kind of choking,
despairing cry that a swimmer might utter in the moment before drowning.
This is soon followed by other sounds, voices: the savage yells of men
fighting for their lives; the screams of women and children as a ship sinks
beneath the waves; orders bellowed in the language of every seafaring
nation. The sails of a full-rigged ship seem to glimmer through the
darkness, or the oars of a war galley or the bows of frigates churn the
water into foam. At last all the sounds coalesce into a bloodcurdling
wailing, as ghostly ships loom up and disappear before the bow of the
intruding craft. When a vessel might drift becalmed in the Mare Tenebrosum
the sights and sounds are so appalling that dawn might find her crew in a
condition of near insanity. Other vessels never leave the shadowy reaches of
the Sea of Darkness but are instead drawn through it into the Abyss. These
ghost ships then float out into the Utmost Dark to haunt the waters of the
Abyss. What types of demons dwell in the Mare Tenebrosum remains unknown for
none have successfully explored this region. It is known only that the most
potent and virulent demons, such as the Leviathan, dwell here. Fiends so
horrible they are never seen yet their legends are undying.
Bridge of Souls
On the Woodland
Loop, there is a bridge hanging in the air. Unlike when it was seen during
the Jester’s Tale Spun, it is devoid of fish and shoes. During the Jester’s
Tale Spun, all kinds of familiar things changed like toad-spools instead of
fay mushrooms, rune-shtictz instead of runesticks, etc. When adventurers saw
the Bridge of Soles, a bridge covered in fish and foot-wear, they just did
not know they were seeing the Bridge of Souls.
To mortal eyes it does not look like much, just a little suspended bridge,
but, if you carry a soul from Moonwood, you would notice a second, longer,
more wraith-like bridge appearing beyond it. They are clearly the same
bridge but one half is ethereal and more inexplicable there is a big gap
between your side of the bridge and its second half. It would be impossible
to jump from the solid bridge to the ethereal one. A section of the bridge
The soul-sight provided by your Moonwood soul would fill in the missing
span. To your eye it would appear intangible but different from the first
ethereal section you saw. Nevertheless, just seeing all three sections of
the bridge together allows you to understand. The Soul of Bridges is the
conduit of souls between this world and the next. The first solid section
can be traveled upon by mortals. The second was invisible at first, because
it can be traveled upon only once a person is a spirit and thus was
invisible to your living eyes. The third section you were able to see only
because of your soul-sight from the Moonwood soul. This final span can only
be traveled on by beings who are no longer living and no longer spirit, but
purely soul. Once a soul reaches the other side of the Bridge of Souls, it
enters the place where it waits to be reborn.
What is that place you wonder? Why would mortals need to walk a dead end
bridge though you think? Once again, the Moonwood soul would answer your
question: mortals would climb the bridge to witness the journey of a soul.
Candle Keep is
Allahn's private sanctuary in the ethereal plane. There he keeps a host of
beings both malevolent and benign. Some of the known areas of the keep are
the Candles of Chance, the Hall of Unbearable Light, the Well of Lost Souls,
the Hall of Smoke, the Wishing Well, the Hall of Truth and the Hall of Time.
To gain entrance to Candle Keep you must perform this ceremony.
the woodland home realm of the Faerie or the Fay. For untold ages, the
Faerie Troop that frolicked in the verdant forests Eidenhomme. When the
Faerie Troop found a way to leave Eidenhomme through portal ways, called
Faerie Rings and Faerie Mounds, they then began to spend six months of each
year on the mortal plane, the Shadowlands, and six months in otherworldly
plane of Eidenhomme.
It was this vagabond life that lead to the disbanding of the Faerie Troop,
for many of the faerie began to revel in the physical life and no longer
wished to live in Eidenhomme. When the time to return to the Court of the
Monarchs came, those who would become goblins refused to heed the call the
sovereigns of the Faerie, the White King and the White Lady. Instead, they
fled to the dark woodlands seeking sanctuary from the wrath of their
This ended the days of Faerie Troop, and led to the splintering of the
Faerie Race. Where there had been one race of the Faerie, now their existed
hundreds such as elves, kobolds, leshy, leprechauns, sprites, dwarves,
nymphs, dryads, satyrs, and dozens of other faerie species. Many of these
new fay remained in Eidenhomme but many more settled in the Shadowlands.
After the Goblins rebelled against and fled Eidenhomme. The Goblins no
longer had the blessings, protections of the divine monarchs or their fay
magics. The Parliament of Ents charged Arboleth with guiding the goblins
after they fled Eidenhomme and the White Lady’s aegis. They settled in a
woodland realm adjacent to Eidenhomme, that they named Naggnarak and the
other Fay mockingly dubbed Goblinhomme.
Other major events have shaped Eidenhomme such as the Great Sundering during
the Wizard War. The battle for control of the Great School broke out in the
shattered plains, near to the heart of the forest of Eidenhomme. The faerie
were horrified at the wanton destruction of the sacred woods by the human,
and quickly worked some of their most potent magic causing half of the
forest disappeared in a flash. The remaining area was razed in the battle.
There was no life to the forest, and it was christened anew... the Sundered
Humans were not the only being to damage the sacred faerie forest. During
the Ascension War, three sprite brother-princes fought at Pixie Path Knoll
for the crown of the Sprite King. One prince summoned wall of water that
crashed into the pines and maples, uproot and drowning the forest. Flights
of tiny fay tried to escape the deluge but were swallowed up by the
torrents. The princes would have destroyed all of Eidenhomme in order to
take the mantle of the sprites. Historians call this flood the Deluge of
A greater tragedy was when Thadun slithered through the indigo fairy ring in
the Nexus of Water. Entering Eidenhomme, the Faceless One slaughtered of the
White King and his Ten Faerie Knights. The fay sovereign was laid to rest in
the White King’s Grove where his throne stood. The knights’ blades were hung
upon the Tree of Swords and their corpses were laid to rest in a tiny
cemetery that vanished into limbo when Mourning Bear was duped into
finishing the Fool’s Quest.
To add insult to injury, Brudenko Silverblood with a band of goblins led by
Blackboar the Raider pillaged Eidenhomme for its treasure. During this raid,
Blackboar looted the White King’s Grove and stole his vacant throne. The
throne was eventually restored by Rowan the Librarian.
Due to the destruction at the hands of non-fay, the faerie vehemently
restrict access to Eidenhomme. Fairy rings still act as the magical portals
whereby the fairy can enter the Shadowlands, but non-fay cannot use them to
breach into the Faerie Realm. Recently, the elves constructed five Elven
Pillars in the White Woods just above Fallenstar. The White Woods are a fay
holy ground that permits humans to communicate face to face with fay
emissaries and occasionally to enter pockets of Eidenhomme. Humans are
allowed to enter the Sepulchre and recently a band of heroes from Fallenstar
entered Eidenhomme after it had been eclipsed by Mechella. This was during a
Midsummer’s Nightmare in 400 AF. Rowan, Gift, X, Madera, Auri Lee, Bear,
Navlys and Erik, the virtue heroes, defended the shattered Sepulchre,
traveled Atu’s maze, slew the undead Goblin King and ended the eclipse by
vanquishing the Twilight Orb.
the realm of eternal ice and snow that is ruled over by Ymir, The Keeper of
Winter. Ymir, the Lord of Ice, has long ruled the frozen wastelands of the
north and rule supreme one season of four. He long ago, almost completely
annihiliated his hated foes the Jotner, but other creatures dwell in
Everwinter. Few things that grow in Everwinter, but one is the eternally
generous Tree of Offerings. Ymir’s land is inhabited by numerous winter fay,
such as Uldra, Ice Fairies, and Gilders. It is also a land of restless
ghosts such as Snowmaidens, the relentless undead Utburd or winter spirits.
Ymir’s self-imposed charge is to silence the unquiet dead. Ymir and his
followers binds these restless souls from ever doing harm again by freezing
their spirits into the Sleep of the Dead.
The symbol of
earth is a triangle, as are all the elements. This is not an arbitrary
design. It is symbolic of the three aspects that comprise earth: Rock, Wood
and Blood. Rock is the foundation. It is the soil, and mantle of the earth.
Wood is the strength. It is the vine, the leaf and the trunk. It is the
crown of earth. Blood is the diversity of life. It is the myriad of animals
that complete the circle. The soil feeds the plants, the plants feed the
animals, the animals return to the soil. But there is a disharmony in the
perfection. For rock, there is the Pit, for Blood, there is necromancy, and
for the forest... there is the Forbidden Glade.
The Forbidden Glade is a piece of primal of forest, ancient and raw that
became corrupted by the blood of demons. It was warded off by the Ents so as
to keep the corruption from spreading. Their earthen magics made this evil
place detached from the living world. The Forbidden Glade and its Forest of
Lost Souls can still be accessed by a witchgate by the brave of heart,
foolish of nature, or evil by design.
of the Mages
The Hall of the
Mages was originally a vault of one of the branches of the Great School. The
name of this branch has been lost to time. It is known that Jequa, one of
Fallenstar’s Founders, adopted this vault as his base of operation and
served as its protector of centuries. Jequa used the magics within the vault
to aid Fallenstar upon numerous occasions; to route the forces of the
Marauder to ward the town further against the Dark Legion, and to defeat
numerous evil spirits and wizards.
It was said that Jequa spent far more of his time in the Hall of the Mages
than he ever did in Fallenstar. There he conducted innumerable magical
experiments and created an endless number of arcane constructs, but what the
end result of these studies is remains unknown.
The Hall of the Mages still floats in that limbo realm between physical and
ethereal, and it rare that any ever enter it. In 391, the Jack O’Lantern did
lead a small troupe of novice adventurers into the Hall there they passed a
number of tests and met the spirit of Jequa, who gave them an Order Spell
and the means to defeat the Chaos Weaver and restore peace between elves and
Plains are a migratory region of the Shadowlands where numerous battles have
been fought over the ages. For example, the bulk of the fighting of the
Wizard War was fought on this cursed ground. This land was subject to so
many warping magics and death that it became forever changed. It
periodically vanishes and then reappears elsewhere.
Many adventurers have wondered why they cannot see the warping of the
Plains, but it seems to be a function of the relative power of magic during
the day/night cycle. The warped land does not appear during the daylight
hours...the plains look perfectly normal then. But, during the night, many
of the trapped and latent magics of the old battle return, and many of the
participants of the Wizard War return in their spirit form to replay their
final destruction posing great danger for any travelling the plains at
night. These specters are dangerous, for their magics are real and are still
capable of slaying an unwary person. Beware of nighttime travel on the
Haunted Plains. These plains extend from Shadowglade through Fallenstar and
to regions far beyond.
The true origins and the source of power that fuels this plain of eternal
war-torn torment are still unknown but it is suspected that what has been
seen so far is but the tip of the iceberg.
Limbo is a
unique dimension. Many describe it as the first layer of reality away from
the Shadowlands. Limbo contains the pathways and nexus between dimensions.
It is the crossroads for spirits, dimensional beings, gods and travelers. It
contains few known denizen’s but it is thought to possibly be the plane of
gargoyles, ethereal trees, and others enigmatic species.
Spirits are said to be able to pass effortlessly from the Spirit Realm to
the realms of mortals. Living creatures need to generate some source of
power or magic to open the gateway into Limbo. In some areas, living beings
in the Limbo can interact with denizens of other planes without fully
passing into that dimension. Travelers appear to those denizens as
intangible shadows much like a mortal spirit would.
The Mausoleum is
the Vault of the Mediums. The Mediums branch of the Great School of Magic
mainly exorcized poltergeists and sent spirits into death, not conversing
with them on a daily basis as today’s Mediums do. Like all Vaults, the
Mausoleum was where the Mediums hoarded the lore for the High Mages and
potent spells like Gate and Death’s Hall. It was the duty of Master Jequa,
the Gatekeeper of the Great School, to keep the Vaults safe from harm. He
was responsible for the wards and sigils that protected them. During the
Wizard War, he and his apprentices, Ezaria, Falkith, Casteig and Anthral,
had to personally seal each Vault from invaders. They were often attacked
and harried by the forces of the Lower School. It was during one of those
attacks that his apprentice, Ezaria became trapped in the Mausoleum. Once
sealed, there was no way to free her. Ezaria’s and later the Gatekeeper’s
spirit languished were ensnared in the Mausoleum for centuries until they
were eventually freed.
During that time Ezaria discovered that there is a mystical conduit between
the Mausoleum where I resided and the elven crypt the Sepulchre. Strange
spirits reside in both burial chambers. In the Mausoleum, there is the
Library of Lost Souls where spirit like Mthgar the Champion, Geist the
Spirit-Tongued, Bastion the Runologist, Odoss the Omen and many other
Recently, while in the Spirit Realm, Kelloran the Restorer and Stone the
Forestal had recently visited the Mausoleum and discovered extra-planer
beings battling a Nihilist over a powerful magic blade. The two also found
seven gray spirits lying in the ruins of the Mausoleum: Montu the Nihilist,
Doro the Master Thief, Teris the Dowser, Gren the Guide, Melios the Miser,
Lorne the Alchemist and Lady Ardias Greywind the Thirsty.
The Moon Tree is
a living tree that exists in a parallel universe of magic. It leaves,
blossoms and lives only under the moon of the realm of pure magic. It draws
in the power of the moon's magic, and converts it into pure liquid energy.
Its seeds, long stringy vines of glowing color, hold this power and can be
used to provide a large magic output for someone not normally able to do so.
Some of the adventurous mages of the Great School found this tree and used
its powerful storehouse of magic to increase their own potency. The faerie
are well versed in its lore, and are rumored to have some kind of initiation
rite that takes place around the tree. The Moon Tree is impossible to see
unless you can actually enter the realm of magic.
created by Crodez the Moon God as an access point between the Moon Realm and
the Shadowlands to be a haven to spirits and souls from the growing
Darkness. The black headstones on the bottom terrace are ordinary graves and
can be spoken with in the usual spell-casting fashion at any point, day or
night. The graves on the upper terrace can only be spoken to at night. These
are the graves of spirits that are important to Crodez the Lord of the Moon.
The majority of them are the Heroes of Virtue. Not all eight of these heroes
reside in Moonwood yet, but all of them are black spirits. As such, they are
dangerous to speak with unless you use the fourth level spell Speak with
Black Spirits. If you speak to a black spirit without the protections of
that spell, you will mystically share the black chains of punishment that
surround the spirit.
The upper most tier of Moonwood can be only accessed through a ritual of
opening done at night. Beyond the graves of Crodez’s favored is the Soul
Forest, where souls hang from the boughs of trees. This is one of the places
where souls await to be reborn. Souls are immortal and always move to come
full circle. Some of you have the souls of great men and women within you.
The mage Qwyrnn was able to tap into the ancestral power of the soul through
his Spell of Succession.
Here in Moonwood, you will find the souls of many lives well lived. In the
Soul Forest, you will be able to experience ONE soul’s essence. You gain
intermittent feelings of that soul’s last life and temporarily gain the
magics, powers and experiences. Although these souls can greatly aid and
teach their bearer, they can also be inconvenient and sometimes dangerous
for they compel their bearer to behave in specific ways. Not all souls are
good and some may have difficult feelings to witness.
Each has something to share with you about the life they had lived. It is a
gift of sharing, an exchange of knowledge. Remember, even evil people have
something to share, A road not to take perhaps. Some information can be
gleaned about the souls by casting Detect Soul and touching the hanging
In the dim past,
before man began to write words on the ground up corpses of trees, Arboleth
had been the guardian of the goblin race. The Ent settled his charges in a
woodland realm adjacent to Eidenhomme, that they named Naggnarak and the
other Fay mockingly dubbed Goblinhomme.
Arboleth taught his wards to survive on their own and find their place in
the world of Fairedom and Man. He taught them independence and survival
skills, but before the goblins evolved to the benign race he hoped they
would Naggnarak was thrown into perpetual darkness. Arboleth discovered that
the First God of Night’s soul had become trapped within the Twilight Orb and
it had eclipsed his forest. Arboleth tried to find a way for he and his
goblins to escape the benighted woodland but found they were completely
trapped; all the Witch-Gates and portals to and from Naggnarak were sealed
by the eclipse, not a spark of magic remained to ply a gate-spell of any
Arboleth was forced to watch as his children’s society slowly devolved into
anarchy and madness. The forest grew quiet and the plants died from a lack
of sun, then the herbivores died, then the carnivores perished until only
scavengers remained. The old and the young of the goblins died first and
Arboleth had to watch as his children resorted to cannibalism and ate their
dead. And he had to watch as they switched from scavenging the dead to
hunting their own kind for food. He had to watch as the last of his children
drank endlessly from the stream and chewed on wood to try to fill its empty
belly and he had to watch as the last of his children shuddered and died.
And for a century or an age, time had no meaning, Arboleth had to listen to
the ghosts of his wards flit through the lifeless timbers and howl in
remembered hunger and fear. Now, it is a cursed place, a dim woodland of
deadwood and ghosts.
the Dream Realm
Some time, as
time goes in our world, you lay down to sleep and dream. When you travel to
the land of dreams, you come to a strange corner of the Dream Realm.... a
land called Na-Mishka. It is the land of Chaos, for you cannot find yourself
or find the other thousands who dream along with you. All seems random here,
and though glimpses of truths and of law flash through, it is nothing more
than random alignment of random factors.
In the dreams of Na-Mishka’s native son, the Dreamseer, the world is real
and true like yours, though with one difference. Time has no meaning. Things
that are dreamed and things that are real make no difference here; thus both
ARE real. Things that have happened can be changed, at least with respect to
the thoughts of the visitor. That is what makes a visit to Na-Mishka so
This is the way
of things. Dark and Light ultimately in balance but constantly vying against
each other, eternally pushing against each other, yet by doing so holding
the other in check. You reside in the shadow of light and dark, in the
Shadowlands. The Fay and many spirit gods rest in the Firmament, the High
Realms of Light. There are other realms in the Firmament besides Eidenhomme.
Just as there are many planes within the Darkness, like the Void, Nightwood,
the Realm of Undeath, Goblinwood and many others.
There is a “mortar”, if you will, of these Dark Realms, a place and
substance called the Nether. The Nether is a shadowy limbo filled with murky
darkness that touches and connects myriad realms such as the Elemental
Hells, Witchwood, your world and perhaps hundreds of others. It is a
dangerous place where foul things wander: undead, hellspawn, nightshades,
and other fell, shadowy fiends. Many get lost here and few escape, but there
are an elite few who can navigate the Nether using it to travel from realm
Interestingly, portions of the Shadowlands or other realms can be hurled
into the Nether by catastrophic releases of magic or other energies. This
has happened several times in your recent history. The destructive magics of
the Wizard War and hundreds of other more ancient battles hurled what is now
called the Haunted Plains, along with the spirits of those who battled upon
it, into the Nether. It still migrates from your world to the Nether and
back again. Portions of the town of Shadowglade were sucked into the Nether
when the town was razed by the apocalyptic battle of Thadun and Glandryth.
The force of the Falling Star and the resulting Earth Storm threw the
Rivenhouse into the Nether as well.
Nexus of Flame
The Nexus of
Flame was created at the moment of death of an ancient being known as Pyrus,
in the Age of the Ancients. This nexus is a portal and way station between
the Shadowlands, and the Realm of Fire. The nexus is guarded from both sides
to prevent migrations of otherworldly creatures entering the other
dimension. The Nexus is hidden from beings of this dimension. It takes a
creature of fire like a salamander, or Flamebringer to guide mortals to it.
The same is true for the Realm of Fire, firebeings call upon the Shadowlands’
gods, and beings of power to find the Nexus. The Nexus is locked with three
Words of Power. It is locked with deadly wards, which will only drop if the
names of the ancient being who died in the Nexus is spoken, as well as the
name of his beloved wife. Within the Nexus itself is a stand of fire trees
that will destroy any who enter. Once, in the Nexus two hurdles remain.
Pilgrims most prove themselves in a test of intelligence, and finally find a
method to tame the flame of the Nexus, or a random fire spirit might possess
one of the pilgrims.
The nexus is said to house an ancient being who will tell of goings on of
the two realms to those pilgrims, who pass the nexus' barriers. It is said
voices and sometimes images of the two worlds echo in this place. Often
devotees of the Lords of Fire, or mages and warriors with a bend towards
fire magics would journey to the nexus in order to receive great quests and
the tools to help achieve them.
Nexus of Reality
The Nexus of
Reality is an enigmatic place. The Nexus was torn open when Shadowglade was
destroyed. It is thought to be a tear in the Fabric of Fate: the tapestry
that the muses weave. Since it is an anomaly, it tends to shift in and out
of existence. Travelers have inadvertently passed through its invisible
portal to be spirited off to lands unknown, Many a great and wise mage has
tried to close this gate, but to no avail. It is said to be held together by
spirit magic of unknown origins. Recently Mechella, Queen of the Night,
became drawn to the Nexus of Reality. There she came in contact with a
counterpart of Thadun in a Nexus world and sought a way to open a gateway
between worlds wide enough for the demon to enter this world. One of the
most powerful rites of evil is to execute an innocent on the gallows of a
Hangman. Such an act could a create massive disruption that would have torn
the Nexus wide open. Fortunately, Mechella’s plan to trick a hangman into
lynching an innocent was foiled by a troupe of adventurers from Fallenstar
and the Nexus remains intact.
On a mystic
plane adjacent to the Shadowlands there is a forest of preternatural
darkness where nightshades and other dark things dwell. Little is known
about this realm except that is the abode of Mechella. Some in the New
School of Magic theorize that Nightwood was an eclipsed like Naggnarak had
been by the First God of Night's Nightmare Soul, the Twilight Orb.
One can only access Nightwood through magical means. The most common means
is by casting a Night Gate scroll after dark on a hidden gate in the
Moonwood Cemetery. No mundane illumination, such as ordinary candles or
torches, function in Nightwood. Only magical light can pierce the eternal
gloom. Additionally, the nightshades of the forest are drawn, like moths to
fire, to the intense warmth of living bodies. To escape the notice of the
nightshades, one must hide their living light and heat. One method to do
this is to drink an Elixir of Night. The Elixir fills its imbiber with
shadows, cloaking their presence in Nightwood.
Those that have journeyed into Nightwood have discovered several strange
sights. One band, using enchanted flares, discovered the Twilight Orb
suspended in the boughs of the benighted forest. Another group found
Mechella's Cask of Night and was able to speak with one of the Eight Virtue
Heroes whose souls are trapped within it. Another gathering of Fallenstar’s
Favored actually entered Mechella's Tower of Night which resides deep within
In the Positive
Pentacle, there are four elements aligned to work in conjunction with each
other and the powers of Life, which include natural life and natural death.
These magics are what the Druids refer to as Verdant Magics. These three
gradations of magic all seem interlinked. Their commonality is that they are
the fuel of change not static powers. Current theory states that realm of
the Fay and the plane called the Firmament are what lays at the center of
such a pentacle. Thus, the fact that there are at least five mushrooms in a
fairy ring, one for each element and one for life, create a gateway to the
lands of the fay. Remove any one of these five mushrooms and the gate is
nigh irrevocably sealed. From the center of a positive pentacle, the
Templars and other faithful draw Divine Magics for Prayers and Blessings.
The Negative Pentacle works much in the same manner, but it draws on the
four Elemental Hells and life is replaced by that ultimate stasis Undeath.
The four elements are misaligned to counter each other and Undeath is placed
at the bottom of the Negative Pentacle creating a stable gate to the Void is
opened. There are direct routes to the Void through the Gate to Undeath and
in each of the Elemental Hells, the Pit, The Vortex, the Abyss and the
Inferno. As would be expected, because of these direct routes to the Void,
demons inhabit regions in each of these planes.
The Pit is the
Elemental Hell of Earth. According to those few mortals who managed to enter
and escape, there are numerous way-points to the Pit in caves, grottos,
gorges, and volcanoes. There are also mystical means to open gateways to the
Pit such as the Ceremony of Perdition as well as some direct means such as
Witch and Candle Gates. These travelers have described the Pit as a massive
bottomless chasm honey-combed with countless side- passages, cul de sacs and
mine shafts. At its midpoint, entire cities of excavated stone are embedded
in the sheer walls of the Pit.
Countless species of earth demons reside within the nooks and crevices of
the Pit. The populations of terrestrial demons vary by the depths they are
found. The uppermost portion of the Pit is called the Catacombs and is
inhabited by very minor fiends. There live Pesties and other skulking
thieves and Knockers and Knackers, who taunt and befuddle miners with
strange echoes of pick and hammer falls. Ages ago, the Sanctuary of Earth
was attacked by the Goblin Horde and half of the temple was magically
dragged into the Catacombs of the Pit. Pilgrims who journeyed there found
the lost half sanctuary surrounded by minor earthen demons but the inside
had not been defiled; they found the temple amazingly well preserved.
Further down the Pit is a region known as the Slope, a barren, rocky
descent. Here more malevolent and perilous species dwell. The Slope is
inhabit by the gNyans, evil spirits that inhabit trees and stones to spread
disease and death to mortals, the Perits, female mountain demons who deform
the backs of those they chose to punish, Manes, condemned souls of the
Underworld, and Druhs, cave dwelling demons of wicked deception.
The Warrens are cities built into the walls of the Pit that houses the
majority of the demonic populace of this elemental hell. All that is known
of the Warren are rumors and tall tales, because mortal travelers who
ventured there we quickly overwhelmed by hoards of enraged fiends.
Below the Warrens in the bowels of the Pit, stand the Grand Spires. It is
said that here is where the gigantic, earth demons roam, like the behemoths,
gargantua, colossi, rephaim, and the stone giants called genonsgwa, meaning
“flint coats.” This level of the Pit is also the abode to dozens of other
species of gargantuan demons, like the Thusir, hairy giants with huge ears
that spread pestilence and madness, the Kalevanpojat, fiendish titans that
turn fertile ground to wasteland, Aatxe, a diabolic bull that on stormy
nights emerges from a cave to haunt the land, or Cherufe, a colossal brute
that arises from volcanoes to feast on the flesh of maidens.
Beneath all these terrains is the Depthless Dark, believed to be the deepest
layer of the Pit, situated just above the Void itself. Little to nothing is
known about the Depthless Dark. It is believed that the most potent and foul
demons reside within this shadowy chasm yet the exact types of fiends and
the cartography of this region remain unknown. No known mortal has ever been
known to descend to this level of the perdition called the Pit.
The true orgins
of Purgatory are unknown but it has existed for three millenia as a
way-station for lost souls and enigma to generations of mortals. It is the
realm of redemption and the throne of the long ago fallen god, Maltuez.
Maltuez was a Lord of Fire who sat with many other Firelords defending the
Mantle of Fire during the Age of Kingdoms. Maltuez was the god of magma,
divine judge of souls and keeper of the fiery subterranean afterlife, that
humans in the Age of Kingdoms called the Inferno. Those evil souls that
Maltuez judged beyond redemption he cast into the Inferno. Those that must
suffer for their sins before reincarnation or those who were banished to
eternal limbo he cast into the Hall of Hanging Souls in Purgatory.
Long before there was a Forest of the Condemned, it was the Hall of Hanging
Souls where souls would go to pay for their evil acts before leaving life
forever. During the Age of Kingdoms the Gateway of Death was adamantine and
spirits and souls were one and the same. Upon death, spirit and soul would
be led by their deity or guardian seraph through Death’s Gate. The people of
the Age of Kingdoms believed the faithful and virtuous would be led into a
nirvana-like afterlife and eventually their soul, devoid of spirit, would be
reborn in a new body. This was the cycle of birth, death and rebirth as
mortals viewed it.
Presently, the Gates of Death lays asunder and spirits spend their afterlife
in the Spirit Realm. It is the spirit now that suffers for the crimes of
their lifetime. Only once these spirits reach redemption can the soul
venture into Death. Despite the metaphysical changes in the continuum of
spirits and souls, some lost souls still remain here suffering for their
ancient evils that make them unsuitable for the next world. New souls have
also been cast here by fire deities both demonic and divine.
Maltuez is gone now, as are most of the Lords of Fire, and he is no longer
is the Guardian of Purgatory. He fell in the second War of the Flame with
ten other Firelords and was returned to existence as a volcanic demon. The
defiled Maltuez conspired with other fire-demons to enslave the then
forgotten Moon God. Using an artifact known as the Terra Amulet, the Moon
God was imprisoned in the Hall of Hanging Souls. Many decades later, the
Moon God was freed by his Three Champions and rose from here as the
spirit-god Crodez. In Maltuez’s absence, a neophyte Firelord has become the
new Guardian of Purgatory. He is Allahn, the Candleman. Upon their deaths,
Allahn gave the Heroes of Shadowglade sanctuary in Purgatory so that they
might escape the Necromancer’s spirit-catching spells until they could be
raised from the dead. Allahn also found ways to enlighten the Heroes of
Shadowglade by discovering hidden magics within Purgatory, such as Purgatory
Puzzles, and portal ways into the Inferno and to the Tome of Ages. The Tome
of Ages explained the importance of reclaiming Frgomer. In the Inferno, with
an Oil of Fire Resistance to protect him, one of the heroes found the tome
known as The Binding of the Demon which told of the true relationship
between Necronias and Thadun. The puzzles that the heroes found had messages
for them each.
Allahn remains Purgatory’s keeper, as was evident in more recent years. In
393 AF, The Four Slayers of the Wight-Goblin King entered another region of
Purgatory from Allahn’s Candle Keep known as the Well of Souls. To gain
guidance in how to defeat the undead Firecur, they had to chose from a
number of souls some benign, some malevolent. Purgatory remains an ancient,
The Sepulchre is
an ancient tomb that was constructed by the Faerie. Any non-faerie vagrants
whose remains end up in faerie lands, such as the White Woods, Eidenhomme,
the Glade of the White King, etc., are moved into this tomb until the fay
can figure out what to do with these spirits or until a wandering mortal
lays claim to one of the skulls, and its adjoined spirit, that are entombed
The fay do not wish for potentially hazardous mortal spirits to interfere
with the goings on of the fay so the spirits of the monstrous, the valiant
and the hapless are all with equal diligence resettled and enshrined.
The Spirit Realm
is where spirits exist in their private afterlives, reliving the moments of
their past. After Necronias shattered the Death Gate, spirits found they
could view and even manifest in the lands of the living. It is rare that the
living travel to the realm of the spirits. At times, the Jack O’Lantern, the
keeper of the spirit realm, will welcome mortals into his domain. The Jack
O’Lantern has created a safe haven for travelers in the Spirit Realm. Within
its boundaries, no act of evil or violence can occur, but travelers may
encounter non-hostile spirits. Be warned though do not step beyond the
borders of his glowing jack o'lanterns, for the spirit-god will be unable to
protect you beyond that point.
Those who have journeyed there report many wondrous sights. A strange tree
grows in the Spirit Realm. It is called the Tree of Souls for from its limbs
hang of those that are somehow lost. It is a beautiful sight, but sad, for
upon this tree hangs the life essence of all manners of beings. The
difficulty travellers have is in choosing the right soul for their quest,
for there are many colored souls are on the Tree of Souls.
Often clues to the right soul can be puzzled out by finding spirit runes and
the Treasures of the Dead. These treasures are small baskets in either large
or small orange and black pumpkins baskets with a variety of lead and copper
On the All-Graves Day of 403 AF, Kelloran the Restorer and Stone the
Forestal found themselves tossed into the Spirit Realm hot on the trail of
Shiver the Ghoul King and his minions. In the Spirit Realms, the two find
themselves in the Fallenstar of their own afterlife. The graveyards are
empty as the spirits are wandering the Shadowlands on All Graves Day. There
were only a few signs of their friends in the ghost town, Signs of Life.
These images of our friends appear when glimpses of the Living World bleed
into the Spirit Realm. Speaking a prayer to the Jack O’Lantern and casting a
Speak with Spirits spell upon the Signs of Life turn the spells into Speak
with Living. This spell allowed the two to hear what their living friends
were thinking at the moment the Sign of Life captured their visage. These
thoughts of their unwary friends help the two in their quest.
Kelloran and Stone did find that the town was not entirely abandoned. In
Fallenstar, they meet Argus the Revenant and his recently reassembled Shadow
Company who are hunting Shiver and the ghouls. Apparently both Ghouls and
Revenants can move at will between the lands of the living and the dead.
While traveling in the woods of the spirit realm, the two adventurers found
different treasures of the dead Muse Skulls, Death Gourds, and Ghost Gourds.
At night, they discovered that the Mausoleum is linked directly to the
Spirit Realm and the Mausoleum and the Sepulchre are also connected. Inside
the Mausoleum, they discovered an extra-planar being, a Virindi, battling a
Nihilist over a powerful, magic sword, the Runic Blade. In the end, the two
friends destroy the Runic Blade and keep it out of the hands of the Ghoul
King. They departed the Spirit Realm knowing that Shiver was forced to flee
with Shadow Company on his heels once more.
Once, long ago,
there grew a wide and mighty forest. This forest had a spirit of it's own,
and was revered by all who stepped foot into it. Some say this forest is
where all life began. It is here where the first tree grew and its children
the Dryads and Ents emerged as rulers of the forest. It was here where the
first faerie child danced among the trees and it was here where all fay go
Until, that is, the coming of Necronias and the wizard war. The battle for
control of the great school broke out in the shattered plains, near to the
heart of the forest of Eidenhomme. The faerie were horrified at the wanton
destruction of the sacred woods by the human, and quickly worked some of
their most potent magic. Through some means unknown to us now, half of the
forest disappeared in a flash. The remaining area was razed in the battle,
but soon grew back. However, there was no life to the forest, and it was
christened anew... the Sundered Forest.
The Sundered Forest stood for centuries outside of Shadowglade, but when the
town was destroyed and the haunted plains were razed by the destruction of
the appointed day, the Sundered Forest remained untouched. Survivors who
fled to the Sundered Forest said they saw a shimmering light about the
boughs of the trees that protected the desolate woodland. These same
survivors, who took shelter in the cursed forest, said that just as the
first rays of light dawned on the smoke filled horizon the entire woodland
Since its capture by Thaleus, the Sundered Forest has reappeared, but this
time in the valley of the dryad. The woodland has grown darker and more
menacing, as evil creatures are seen flitting about its dark stands and no
Seely faeries will enter it.
The Vernal Hall
is a well source of green magics and rebirth. It is the Nexus of Green. It
is only from here that fay that are dormant during the winter can be
contacted with the proper commune spells. It is from here that numerous keys
to witch gates and other fay / green portals can be gained if the seeker
asks a boon. Unlike the woodland altar though, a specific fay’s proper name
/ title must be used not just the name of the race you wish aid from. This
fay must also be allied to the green magics.
A circle of Nymph’s Tears can be found here, each from a different species
of nymph: dryads, oreads, napaeae, naiads, slyphs, astria, leimoniads,
oceanids, nereids, and the rest of their kin. Each Nymph’s Tear communes
with a different primal force. Like must faerie treasures a curse is
incurred if a person carries more than one Nymph’s Tear out of the Vernal
Witch gates are
mystical portals aligned to the element of earth that are hidden throughout
the world. When opened, they allow travelers to step into a doorway between
two tree trunks. The pilgrims then sink into the earth, journey through the
soil and roots and then reappear many leagues distant. Some witch gates are
known open doors into other dimensions and even other times. The arbor
portals are by gate-stones, mystical gemstones that act as magical keys to
the witch gates. Some gate-stones appear wreathed in blue fire when
activated; others remain unchanged upon evocation.
Witch gates are recognizable by two identical metallic symbols painted on
the bark of two near-growing trees, one symbol per tree. The gate stones are
usually found elsewhere, often in the stewardship of mortals or spirits.
Several witch gates are known to exist in Fallenstar, especially in
Melcynda’s Peace. A circle of ever shifting witch gates that lead to myriad
locales and planes surrounds the Peace Glade. The region of Crossroads is
said to have four permanently opened witch gates that connect the four
cities that use it as a trading hub. The area itself is rich in earthen
magics and, as such, is rife with witch gates.