17.4.2 Cosmology

The Aetolian Universe is comprised of an intricate mesh of intersecting planes of existence, each nesting within and without their neighbours in a manner that defies mortal comprehension. For practical purposes, a plane can be considered a separate realm of Creation, each of them bearing their own unique environment, culture and history. The planes orbit around and through one another, bound together by fundamental forces into the manifold known as the planar spiral.

Though the true form of the spiral is beyond mortal ken, this necessarily reductive term loosely describes the position and flow of the planes. At the top of the spiral sit the two Fundamental Planes: Shadow, and Spirit. Below lay the Core Planes: Air, Earth, Fire, Water. At the very bottom lay the Prime Planes: Material, Life and Death. Enveloping all three layers is the Chaos Plane, surrounding the entire spiral like the shell of an egg. Beyond the Chaos Plane is an unfathomable churn of unshaped potentiality, where raw firmament and unrealized possibilities crash against the shores of Creation. The elements of the planes seep 'downward' through this spiral, feeding into all the ones that lay below it. Left undisturbed, this natural flow results in a stable balance of each of these elements in the lower planes.

Pushing and pulling against each other in an endless rhythm, these major planar bodies form the bulk of reality but do not fill it entirely. Boundless swathes of void, simultaneously leagues across and as thin as a shadow, exist between the planes, and minor islands of formless reality can be found dotted throughout it. These minor planes are fragments that have broken away from the major planes to become their own small orbiting bodies. The interwoven orbits of the minor and major planes, and the moments when they come into conjunction or intersection, form a complex web of leylines and fuel the foci that spring from their depths.

There also exist numerous interface points in void betwixt the major planes, where the edge of realities overlap. Furthermore, each plane may itself be home to numerous realms - dimensional pockets sunk into the fabric of a plane.

Rewh'va, the Plane of Spirit
Czjetija, the Plane of Shadow

Denan Arloi, the Plane of Water
Kal Keleru, the Plane of Air
Azvosh, the Plane of Earth
Rahiela, the Plane of Fire

Aetolia, the Prime Material Plane
Dia'ruis, the Plane of Life, created in the Year 504 from healthy cuttings of dying Dendara.
Dendara, the Plane of Life Forsaken*
The Underhalls, Plane of Death

** While Dendara exists still following the events of year 504 and the creation of Dia'ruis, it dwells in the cosmos now only as a land of rot and decay, all healthy life rescued from its shadow-consumed landscape for preservation in the new. 

The Chaos Plane

The Pillars of the Earth
The Shattered Vortex
The Great Oak, transcends Prime to bind Dendara
The Pit 

Realms are dimensional pockets sunk into one of the major planes of existence, and while they are usually formed with intention, this is not always the case. Realms can range in size from the tiniest dot in reality, to a large depression capable of housing an entire city. Realms which are forged by willful purpose are more sensitive to thought and telepathy as a consequence, lending most an odd and ethereal quality.

Caches: The dimensional cache familiar to many adventurers is a small realm formed by their will.
Havens: Though existing as a mindspace, the feat of Havens being able to house physical items is also a realm.
The Dreamworld: A large realm created in the Prime Material Plane by the Goddess Omei.
The Memoryscape: A realm of memory created by Koduses, Elder God of Time, containing an illusory incarnation of Ashtan's past.
Perdition: A realm of hellflame and torture created by Shadow General Sanaz and conquered by the Carnifex in the Second War of Night.

*Note: These lists are non-exhaustive