Category:Cosmology

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The cosmology of GemStone IV is ill-defined in the sense of systematic schemes of categorization and theory. The Shadow World cosmology of the I.C.E. Age was somewhat more concrete, with separate kinds of planes and entities such as the Pales. There were plans for an onion shell kind of model of planes surrounding our world, formed by tensions of kinds of forces and dualities. This was the original sense of the word "valences." Strictly speaking, not every "other reality" should be called a "plane" or "plane of existence", if the metaphor of a surface plane or "existence" is not meaningful.

Properties

Known Properties

Some basic facts of the multi-planar setting from documentation and observed phenomena:

  • The world is separated from other planes or realms by "veils" surrounding it.
  • These other realities shift and move around in some higher space.
  • Intersections of planes move around as planes move around.
  • Intersections allow foreign energy and properties to bleed through the two worlds.
  • Creatures can be corrupted, cursed, or transformed by foreign energy.
  • Physical properties, including time, can vary greatly.
  • Veils can be "pierced", allowing planar transport.
  • Rifts can happen accidentally under intense magic.
  • Some realms are "near" while others are "outer."

Unknown Properties

There are numerous unsettled questions on how the greater world system works, some of which include:

  • Whether extraplanar beings are (always) here materially in their native form or take on a form according to the laws of our reality.
  • Whether what we see on other planes is their true form or if travelers see renderings formed by their own physical properties.
  • Which properties or eneries of our world are native and which came from other planes? How far into this universe do the latter reach?
  • Is the many-veil situation local to our world, and similarly is magic? Is it possible to do this from distant planets in our universe?
  • Whether extraplanar flora and fauna are indigenous or if there was some pre-historical transplanting and perhaps corruption.
  • Whether killing extraplanar beings on this plane sometimes banishes them to their world or always destroys them entirely.
  • What precisely distinguishes "demons" from "non-demonic" entities, and categories of demons other than valence origins.
  • Why the same demonic types appear on multiple planes, or their clearly related cousins.
  • Whether "anti-mana" is the same thing as corruptive demonic energies, and whether this is equivalent with "unholy" power.
  • Whether corruptive demonic energies are the same thing as the evil essence tainting the undead.
  • Whether this unavoidably corrupts races, the fey/nature spirits, and Lornon Arkati.
  • Whether such "dark energy" is corrupt mana that can be produced by sorcerers without summoning it from another realm.
  • What does it mean for "sorcery" to use extraplanar energies as "elemental/spiritual hyrbids"?
  • Whether some extraplanar beings are formed on other planes from what happens on this plane. (e.g. Althedeus)
  • To what extent the power of the Arkati reaches into other planes and can be used.
  • Whether the Arkati mostly reside in this material world or other planes.
  • What does it mean that extraplanar beings can convert beings of other realities into their own or other kinds? (e.g. glistening cerebralites, necleriines, Larsya, etc.)
  • Is the "soul" immutably part of this plane's properties, or in terms of its constitutive energy, can it be fundamentally transmogrified into an extraplanar being?
  • What does it mean that there are extraplanar undead, and given the prior question, the distinction between non-corporeal undead and non-corporeal demons?

Planes

These are categories of planes that have been witnessed or implied to exist. Some of these other-realities may fit in multiple categories. There would likely be multiple planar model schemes in the in-character sense based on different organizing principles. Cultures might disagree with each other on what counts as a "demon" or other categories just as they might on which spirits or entities are "undead."

Elemental Planes

The known elemental planes correspond to the four primary elements. The elemental planes would likely be considered "near planes" rather than outer realms.

There has not been reference to other pure elements that exist in some world settings, such as Planes of Light, Shadow, and so on.

Prime Elemental Planes

It is unclear if there are multiple elemental planes of the same kind, or only a single plane for each "prime element."

The Prime Elemental Planes consist of:

Composite Elemental Planes

When two or more elemental planes collide, an interplanar nexus may be formed, combining the properties of those planes. (See Elemental Confluence (plane) for illustration.)

Demonic Planes

It is unclear if the Faendryl use "valence" as a synonym for "all planes", or only "demonic" planes, or a subset of such realities.

The sorcerous valences may be the "outer realms" while others would instead be considered "near planes."

Valences

Known demonic "valences" include:

Other Demonic Planes

Ithzir Planes

The Ithzir live in material plane worlds and apparently travel to others conquering them.

Known Ithzir worlds include:

Astral Planes

These are loosely other planes involving the mind or spirit moving between worlds, or the body de-materializing and re-materializing, or thoughts manifesting reality.

There may be a distinction between an astral method of entering other planes and a plane that is purely immaterial. They might tend to be "Near Planes."

Temporal Planes

These are time warps outside our space, but they are contiguous with it. They intersect with it at various fixed points in a region.

  • Temporal rifts (e.g. glyph traps and Familiar Gate (930) without a familiar; temporal warrior and worm invasion creatures)
  • The Rift (was related to the temporal rifts; depicts multiple realities it touches upon, based heavily on Tarot cards)

Demi-Planes

These are loosely speaking smaller planes (if distance is meaningful), possibly artificially made, that may be pocket realities contiguous with other planes.

  • Temporal rifts (accessible from any spatial point in a plane, exiting back to the same point or sometimes a set of fixed points)
  • Major Sanctuary (220) (constructed by spirits, fixed to a spatial location; may be dispelled by location's magic)
  • Sign of Darkness (Council of Light teleportation ability, demi-plane exits to spatial locations)
  • Ithzir sanctuary (Ithzir armor escape ability, possibly mind power oriented)

Spiritual Planes

These are loosely other planes of or storing spirits, whether fey or undead or souls. They might be able to be traveled to astrally or materially through portals.

Alternate Elanthia

These are other versions of Elanthia, or possibly the same Elanthia under another history or later times.

  • Orb vision in the Sheruvian summoning chamber (Town Square Central at this moment, but mass slaughter and flames)
  • Sorcerer Guild on Teras Isle (Crossroads from DragonRealms, possibly a time rift)
  • The Rift (some rooms correspond to places in Elanthia in twisted darker forms)

Not Planes

These are situations of places that sometimes get considered to be other planes or dimensions but are not really.

  • Bre'Naere (Aelotoi homeworld; contemporary documentation carefully distinguished between "planes" and "planets")

Other Planes