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Mystara-space: air

by Bruce Heard

Prior to AC1016, outer space was roughly comparable to real world space with a cold vacuum and weightless conditions. During AC1016, however, a group of Alphatian mages recovered ancient parchments that described how their ancestors had filled space around their native world with breathable air.

The scrolls were very old and partially damaged, and these Alphatian wizards failed to fully comprehend what they were dealing with. They attempted to test the ancient spell which they thought would draw from the Plane of Air enough of an atmosphere to fill the inner void inside the Hollow World. The Spell of Preservation governing the Hollow World conflicted with their new-found magic, and caused its centre to shift from the inside of the Hollow World to a fair distance outside Mystara.

It took the wizards many weeks to discover where the spell was centred and put an end to it. By then, vast expanses of outer space surrounding Mystara, its two moons, and much of its solar system was filled with air. Much worse, the Alphatian spell was powerful enough to alter some of the laws of physics. It made it possible to stabilise such a huge expanse of gas, normal planetary gravity and movement in space.

Although dismayed at first, some of the wizards were overjoyed that their spell did work, even if outside the Hollow World only. Whether this had forever altered their world was of no concern at all to them. Their interest was for the spell itself, and for them it remained almost a purely academic experiment. Satisfied that Alphatian arcane know-how hadn't lost its edge, these scholars went on with other projects. They were satisfied that the Alphatians had finally left a lasting mark on this world, in letting this good, wholesome air vent away all the "festering miasma and unhealthy vapours exhaled from human civilisation and choking so fine a world"!" From their point of view, outer world travel would also be so much easier. At least that's what they thought then.

The remainder of these Alphatians did not share their colleagues' jubilation. For them, the spell had indeed run amuck. But worse, as it presumably made space travel easier it also made Mystara more vulnerable to possible incursions from other worlds. Virtually nothing was known of what lay in the distant worlds of the firmament. Empress Eriadna of Alphatia was the most eminent and vocal of the spell effect's detractors. She ordered that the spell be undone at once, but to no avail. The wizards did not know how to reverse such a powerful enchantment. The entire group was subsequently condemned to live on an asteroid past Matera's far side, there to pursue their research for a counter-spell. Only then would they be permitted to return from their place of exile. Fortunately, the Hollow World remained unaffected and ever so difficult to reach without Immortal-magic.