So it’s been a week and a half since I released Codex of the Infinite Planes Vol 1 Plane of Fire and in that time I’ve buckled down and written the next volume, Plane of Water. Why Plane of Water? Truthfully, I have no idea. If I were to do this over again I would probably do it alphabetically, but I’ve always found the Plane of Fire to be the most interesting from a DM standpoint, so that’s why I started with it. Water was the next most versatile one, so I decided long ago that it would be next.
And for as long as I’ve had Plane of Fire written, I had procrastinated greatly on the further volumes. I find momentum a difficult thing to keep up with projects, unless I really knuckle down and focus on it. Thankfully, with no Kickstarters to fulfill and my time filling up with dad responsibilities, this was an opportune time to charge forward with the Codex of the Infinite Planes articles.
It was a busy week, but the more research I put into the Plane of Water the more I really liked it. It’s no as sexy as the Plane of Fire, but there’s a lot of great adventure material to mine from that plane that has been left alone for too long. I’ve been using the Manual of the Planes books as my primary inspiration and starting point, and it’s curious how few of them mention the City of Glass. It’s a really cool site, filled with intrigue, politics, and no small amount of danger. In the new article I had a lot of fun fleshing it out along with its seedy underbelly, the Freezer, and the governing political body, the Azure Council. Lots of fun stuff there.
I’ll save that preview for another day (hell, I might have this thing released this week!), but for today I wanted to share the Lay of the Land section, or at least the primary bulk of it. This is what gives the reader an overview of the Plane of Water. Here it is!
Codex of the Infinite Planes Volume 2 Plane of Water Preview
Lay of the Land
The Plane of Water has three major layers to its endless geography and two side regions where it borders other Inner Planes. The first is actually above the waters of the Sea of Worlds, where a sun and stars sit similar to most Material Planes. Ships that inadvertently travel through a portal to this Inner Plane can drift forever on the waves, though it is more likely they run afoul of one of the many terrible storms that rocks the region. This elemental realm is a plane of constant change, with seas shifting dramatically from calm to stormy in the blink of an eye.
Islands comprised of rock, earth, and even coral break the surface of the Sea of Worlds, though few are permanent. The nature of the watery plane breaks down hard surfaces, eroding them and sending them back to the depths. Few things last above the sea, as super storms are known to suddenly appear without warning to drag everything back down. There are no native creatures that do not swim in the Plane of Water, though swarms of winged quippers break the surface of the sea to ride the stormy winds.
The upper region of underwater is known as the Sea of Light. Here, much of the sunlight from above the sea filters down, creating a brightly lit aquatic wonderland. Great swaths of coral reefs clinging to unanchored rocks dot the Sea of Light, and within these are found the fortresses, strongholds, and cities of the most common planar natives, including the sahuagin and kuo-toa. Nominally, the marid genies rule over much of this layer, but they care little for the machinations of non-marid.
Even at night, the Sea of Light is illuminated, bathed by a soft green light that seems to infuse the water. The water temperature is near perfection at all times, not too hot and not too cold, though pockets of intense heat, slime, and chill float through the currents. Throughout the waters, “up” is considered to be towards the surface of the Sea of Worlds, while “down” is considered away from the light. In all portions of the Plane of Water below the surface, however, it can be difficult to easily determine “up” from “down.”
The deepest sections of the Plane of Water are reserved for a lightless realm known as the Darkened Depths. It is here dwell the greatest and most monstrous of creatures, including elder krakens and the lairs of the elemental lords of water. Olhydra, the Princess of Evil Water Elementals, is the best known among these primordial powers, and she is fickle and without mercy. Light from above the Sea of Worlds does not filter down to the Darkened Depths, and whatever infusion illuminates the Sea of Light above is lessened here.
The Plane of Water borders two other Inner Planes at its extreme edges. Where it borders the Plane of Air, the Sea of Worlds grows frigid and great icebergs bob slowly in the water. This is the Sea of Ice, and travelers that continue through it eventually reach the Frostfell (also known as the Plane of Ice). White dragons and remorhazes are known to lair in the icebergs of the Sea of Ice. Particularly large rogue icebergs have been known to break from this area to float into the Sea of Worlds, though the warmer waters ensure the massive ice formations don’t last forever.
At the other end, the sea grows shallower where the Plane of Water is near the Plane of Earth. This area is known as the Silt Flats before giving way to the Swamp of Oblivion (also referred to as the Plane of Ooze). In the Silt Flats, the water is thick and sludge-like, and it is not uncommon to have acidic globs float out into the Sea of Worlds to wreak havoc on all life. Unnaturally large and aggressive insects, such as mud mosquitos, are known to occupy the Silt Flats. Because of its thick, shallow water, most regular inhabitants of the Plane of Water avoid the Silt Flats, though travelers have been known to scour the region looking for lost treasure sites, such as the Mud Tombs.