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Emberspaceby John Calvin
Emberspace (Elemental Sphere)
This is a dark sphere populated by many small earth bodies (referred to by travellers as the "embers"). Each of the earth bodies is heated from within, and fracture lines across their surfaces glow red with volcanic activity.
Clouds of soot and smoke permeate the sphere, some of them hiding electrical storms.
There are two competing dragon ruled empires operating here, as well as one free carnifex clan, a renegade dragon spawn and its followers, and the remnants of the sphere's native life forms - efreet. The efreet live in brass citadels, and travel through the sphere in brass ships. The dragon spawn is trying to form an alliance with the efreet in order to carve out an empire form himself.
There are unique gemstones that can be found in this sphere. Called smoulder gems, these jewels constantly emit a stream of smoke and ash. They are highly sought after by fire loving creatures, as well as communities living in Bugspace.
These worlds are so hot that they glow red. Essentially globs of lava drifting through space, none live here except for fire elementals. Efreet build many of their strongholds here since the intense heat keeps most other travellers away.
The Chamber of Brass:
Deep within one of the red ember worlds lies a structure that defies imagination. The efreet stumbled upon the location a thousand years ago and found a wall of solid brass. Upon the wall were writings in a strange language that commanded the efreet to build a great temple at this location and to venerate the Lord of Radiance.
This they did, and although the temple is still far from being complete, the efreet are beginning to realise that the structure itself is an artifact of immense magical power.
The Lord of Radiance is none other than the immortal Rafiel, who is building replicas of the Nucleus of the Spheres, across the multiverse. The Chamber of the Spheres (build by the shadow elves on Mystara) is just one such example, as is the Chamber of Brass.
See the entry on Rafiel and his home plane (the Chamber of the Planes) for more details.
These black worlds are streaked with fiery red cracks. The black patches are in actuality continents of rock floating over molten lava. A few of these continents can support minimal life. Water is in short supply, as is fertile soil.
Gray embers are much akin to giant sized chunks of charcoal and ash. Despite their relative low habitability, these small worlds are often fought over. The resources that they provide (coal) are highly sought after by all the races in this sphere and in the Known Spheres as well.
Some of the larger grey embers are homes to various creatures of elemental earth. The Xorn are common inhabitants of these realms.
Enormous clouds of smoke and ash extend across vast expanses of this sphere. The smoke can provide cover to any ships that enter it, but a ship's air immediately becomes fouled. Some clouds are also home to bands of elemental creatures (mephitis are common) that will attack spelljamming vessels on sight.
These treacherous storms are frequent in the void of Emberspace. Glowing hot cinders whirl around in vast clouds. The cinders range anywhere from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a clenched fist. Ships caught in such storms are in for a perilous time, as are their crew. Flammable objects (which include most creatures) must make a Fortitude save every round or take 1d2 points of flame damage.
Some cinder storms also serve as a home to various fiery elemental creatures. Flame mephitis are common, as are fiery versions of normal winged creatures such as bats and birds.
City of Brass:
The City of Brass is not so much a city, as it is a transitive-plane. Home to the evil efreet, the City of Brass extends across multiple planes. It just so happens to manifest itself on several of the planets in this sphere (though this is not the only sphere or plane or perhaps even multiverse, that the City exists upon). The efreet are constantly trying to expand the borders of their fabled city, and constantly battle the inhabitants of this sphere (and others) for territory. Though one stronghold of the City might fall, another stronghold is expanding or being founded, and so the City of Brass continues to exist.
The streets of the City are convoluted (and some say that they are ever-changing). Even the natives of the City have a hard time finding their way. Turning down the wrong street will often times take a traveller somewhere they may not be able to return from, so most of the inhabitants of the City tread only where they know they have been before.
The efreet in Emberspace build great brass ships to sail through the sphere on. They have been waging war with the carnifex for thousands of years now. Some centuries the efreet gain the upper hand, while some centuries the carnifex are able to dominate the sphere. Currently the efreet have been pushed back to their strongholds on the red ember worlds. Their brass ships lie in wait along the trade routes for unsuspecting merchant ships. Another favourite tactic is to travel with a cinder storm (their ships of brass are immune to the storm's effects) and waylay anyone unfortunate to be caught by the storm.
The shipyards of Emberspace produce a good portion of the City of Brass' brass fleet. Most of the ships produced in this sphere see their way to other spheres and planes. As the efreet loose their battle with the carnifex, and ship production slows down, the Emir is turning more and more of his attention to this sphere. He wants to make sure that ship production will not stop, and to that end he is concentrating more of his forces in Emberspace. The efreet are building up for a major offensive very shortly.
The carnifex dominate this sphere, although both the efreet and the Blackmoorians are able to maintain a presence.
Abiir is the efreet who found the writings of the Brass Wall, and he led some of his people into following them. He has become the head shaman of the Lord of Radiance, and the chief architect of the Chamber of Brass.
Once the artifact is completed, Abiir will try to use its power to usurp control of the City of Brass from the current Emir.
Captain of a Blackmoorian Kennel ship operating in this area, Artor is tasked with discovering the secrets of this sphere as well as keeping an eye on Carnifex and efreet activities. Captain Fell is a hard and unforgiving man who will brook no disobedience from his crew. However he is also resourceful and looks for the same qualities in those who serve him.
After several initially disastrous encounters with the environs of this sphere, Fell has had his ship plated in brass. This has offered the ship and its crew a modicum of protection from the environment. Fell acquired the brass from several carnifex and efreet ships that he happened upon, and he would not hesitate to acquire more if given the chance. This has not made him popular with the local inhabitants.
This young blue dragon has been tasked by his suzerain (and mother) to maintain control over several grey embers in the area. The embers are all within proximity of a local smoke cloud, and living conditions on them are hazardous at best. The young blue has a task force of Carnifex overseers and several clans of saurian servitors in order to extract coal and various other resources from the embers he dominates.
Being an ambitious dragon, Vellemghyuitor has begun to siphon off some of the profits of this operation and is using them to fund a private war against territories controlled by his red dragon neighbours.
A black hearted tyrant, Igneftherium lies in his lair on one of the black ember worlds and manipulates his empire. This ancient red wyrm has been waging a battle with the blue dragons in this sphere for as long as he's been alive, nearly 2000 years. His children are scattered throughout this sphere and are in control of several worlds. He has dominion over dragons, Carnifex, and efreet, but that is not enough for him. Igneftherium wants to crush the hearts of the blues between his jaws.
Taiilii is a small fire mephit, and an advanced scout in a massive army being marshalled by an elemental lord of Fire (an enemy of the efreet Emir). His job is to infiltrate portions of the City of Brass and determine key locations for invasion. He may also be found in any of the sphere's smoke clouds or cinder storms, quietly observing the ships that pass through.
Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of this sphere, their home is about to erupt into an elemental battleground.