Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Reidyllby John Calvin from Threshold Magazine issue 19
[Image: Sphere of Radiance]
Rafiel’s Home Plane
Reidyll was first created in March of 2003 as supplemental material for the Exiles Campaign Setting1, a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover setting designed to incorporate elements from Mystata’s past along with the fantasy space flight system of Spelljammer. Although designed for that campaign setting, the Plane of Reidyll can also be used as a stand alone supplement for a more traditional Mystaran campaign.
One of the few Immortals to be created from the radiance, Rafiel’s motivations are very different from his fellow Immortals in the Sphere of Energy. In life he was a Blackmoorian scientist, and even in his Immortal existence he spends his time doing research and experiments. His ultimate achievement, should he be able to bring his dream to fruition, is the Plane of Reidyll itself, which he plans to turn into a vast planar machine.
Reidyll - The Chamber of the Planes
Reidyll floats through the Astral, although there are no permanent portals to that plane. Permanent portals do exist to the Material, Inner, and several of the Outer planes, although each portal is guarded by a contingent of Rafiel's followers.
The plane is shaped like a hollow sphere. There are 1024 dimples in the shell, each one a potential housing for a Chamber. Most of the hubs are empty, but several dozen contain translucent spheres, each in varying degrees of construction. In the center of the spherical plane is a radiant globe that is actually a separate layer of Reidyll.
[Image: Planar Layout of Reidyll]
These traits determine the laws of physics and nature on the plane.
Finite size - holds 1024 Chambers along its spherical inner shell.
Objective directional gravity. Gravity on the plane is normal along the internal sphere wall.
Elemental and Sphere Traits
These traits determine the dominance of particular elemental or energy forces.
No elemental or energy traits.
Strongly neutral aligned.
These traits determine the dominance of magical energies.
Reidyll is a divinely morphic outer plane, and as such all access into and out of the plane is controlled by the Immortal Rafiel.
A dynamic portal to the Astral exists, but is rarely opened. This is the main point of entry and egress from Reidyll, and its operation is under the direct control of Rafiel or one of his avatars. Only an avatar located on the plane itself can open or close the portal, and for this reason Rafiel usually leaves an avatar in the central Control Room located inside of The Orb.
Normally Rafiel only opens the portal when it needs to be used, either by himself or one of his avatars, or for other Immortals who have been invited to visit Reidyll (which usually only includes Rad). The portal opens along one of the walls of Rafiel’s Library inside of The Orb.
Each of the chambers lining the inner wall of the Reidyll is also a potential portal to and from the associated plane. These portals only become operational once their Chamber reaches a certain level of completion (see the Standard Chamber Powers sidebar for more information), however once functional a chamber portal can be controlled by Rafiel, any of his avatars, and the head Chamber Priest.
Rafiel (and any of his avatars) is immediately aware of a Chamber Portal being opened, as long as he is inside of the plane of Reidyll. Such portals are a natural result of a Chamber’s power level, and while they can never fully be sealed off from Reidyll, Rafiel can temporarily shut them down by expending power points.
The immortal Rafiel makes his home here. All other creatures that live here serve him in some shape or fashion. Most of these servitors come to this plane through one of the Chambers, so just about any race can be represented.
Rafiel has several mortals working for him.
This rogue modron2 is Rafiel’s chief engineer on the Chamber of the Planes. Crank, the nickname given to him by Urthyne, is in charge of keeping the cosmic machine running and in good order. The modron left Primus over some disagreement with its superiors and spent decades wandering the planes before finding Rafiel and his new pet project. Since then Crank, along with some of its compatriots, has been busily working along Reidyll’s Shell.
Efficacious Will is a xag-ya3, a being made of pure positive energy. It is constantly in motion racing along the inner surface of The Shell, always equidistant from Antipodal Desire. Though intelligent, Efficacious Will is not capable of communicating with most mortals, although Rafiel has no problem understanding the creature.
The energon becomes animated whenever it passes by one of the nearly completed Chambers (see below), and prefers to spend its time near one of these structures.
Antipodal Desire is a xeg-yi, a being made of pure negative energy. Like its positive counterpart, Antipodal Desire never ceases moving across The Shell, always an equal distance from Efficacious Will.
The energon becomes animated whenever it passes by one of the Smouldering Chambers, and prefers to spend its time near one of those ruins.
This evil genius is an ultraloth4 that has taken up residence as Rafiel’s chief general, and spends most of his time directing battles between construct armies in the Battlegrounds room inside The Orb. He rules over several Vermin Lords (appreciated for their insectile minds - perfect for leading swarms of automatons), each of which has taken command of one of the mock construct battalions.
Baycaenalon dreams of leading radiance powered armies across the planes. He cares little for Rafiel’s true goals, but will support them as long as they continue to sate his own desires. The ultraloth dreams of slaughter and destruction and hopes to one day acquire enough power to pursue his own path to Immortality.
Urthyne5 grew up in ancient Blackmoor before the Great Rain of Fire, and was lucky enough, and far enough away, to survive the catastrophe when it occurred. In life he was responsible for the survival of the dwarven race, and the preservation of Blackmoorian technomancy. Many of his protegees went on to found the Shimmering Lands. After death, Urthyne’s spirit found its way to Reidyll where he swore service to Rafiel, a being he knew as The Dreamer.
Rafiel rewarded Urthyne’s zeal and loyalty by binding his soul to a giant sized statue, and now the dwarf spirit exists as a large living construct working tirelessly in the service of his Immortal patron. Urthyne serves as Rafiel’s seneschal, overseeing the Chamber of the Planes. He is perhaps one of the few beings, besides the Immortals Rafiel and Rad, that grasps its true purpose.
[Image: Merchurions Cast Out by Zugzul]
Once fire giants in the service of Zugzul, the merchurions6 were cast out long ago for displeasing their master. As part of their punishment, Zugzul cast them into the molten dredge of their failed endeavours, and now all merchurions have a shiny, quicksilver-like skin. A small group of merchurions led by Walzaybiq found succor at Rafiel’s door, and now toil for him.
Walzaybiq is in charge of Rafiel’s forges, constructing anything from mundane weapons to vessels that can sail across the planes. Though grateful to Rafiel for taking he and his people in, Walzaybiq harbors an undying hatred for Zugzul and all of his minions, and would jump at any chance to hurt them, even if it meant disobeying Rafiel’s wishes.
The neh-thalggu known as Augroon serves as Rafiel’s spymaster. It sends out scores of nimblewrights7 across the planes to gather information and bring it back to Reidyll (preferably in the form of severed heads which the brain collector can then consume). Augroon also serves as Rafiel’s chief interrogator when necessary, though few creatures survive the experience.
Always hungry for more information, Augroon sometimes initiates clandestine operations of its own, unbeknownst to Rafiel (or at least without his permission). For now these activities have been ignored by Augroon’s master, but should they bring unwanted attention to Rafiel’s own plans that could change.
Petitioners are the spirits of loyal worshipers who have found their way to the home plane of their immortal patron. Though not teaming with petitioners, Reidyll is home to all those who have sworn to serve Rafiel and been found worthy by their patron.
The dwarven people who survived the Great Rain of Fire still held great affinity for Blackmoorian technomancy, and many found themselves drawn to a mysterious patron known only as The Dreamer. These dwarves, many of whom hailed from the Shimmering lands (circa BC 2300), are of the original dwarven race, before their reshaping by Kagyar. Modern dwarves conversing with these ancient spirits will find very few allies among them. The ancient dwarves are dedicated to the pursuit of magic and technology, and take a dim view of their descendants who have turned to the Way of Stone.
Ancient dwarven spirits can be found nearly everywhere on this plane, from the outer Shell where they monitor and scrutinize Chamber construction, to the inner Orb where they can be found in workshops and forges.
Since the finding of the Refuge of Stone in BC 1104, shadow elves have been dedicating their lives to the Immortal Rafiel. Though few in numbers as compared to the ancient dwarves, the shadow elf petitioner population has slowly and steadily been growing while the dwarven population has stagnated since Kagyar’s reshaping in BC 1800.
Led by the spirits of Radiant Shamans, the shadow elf petitioners are set to receive a position of honor among Rafiel’s minions, as the first of his followers to complete a Chamber. This tends to make the elven spirits more than a little haughty, and somewhat difficult to put up with. This un-sanctioned competition with other petitioner races who are nearing the completion of their own Chamber has caused problems in the past. Rafiel hopes that such rivalries will die down after the first few Chambers are finally completed.
Movement and Combat
Energy pathways provide movement from the center sphere to each of the Chambers along the inner shell. These pathways manifest themselves as narrow bridges to those who walk upon them, but are otherwise invisible to the naked, mortal eye. An entity who jumps or is thrown from one of the pathways will fall toward the nearest planar layer, either The Shell or The Orb.
The plane of Reidyll is divided into two major layers. The outer layer is called The Shell, and it contains all other layers. Those inside The Shell see the plane as the inside of a vast hollow sphere. Hanging in the middle of that sphere is an energy covered globe called The Orb. Properties inside of The Orb varry, but many describe it as a boundless hallway leading to countless pocket dimensions.
The outer layer of the plane is essentially a great hub for the dimensional Chambers being built across the multiverse. There are 1024 divots evenly spaced throughout the shell, each one a potential housing for a Chamber. Most of the hubs are empty, but several dozen contain translucent spheres, each in varying degrees of construction. Chambers are coexistent with Reidyll and their plane of construction.
[Sidebar: Standard Chamber Powers]
Chamber of the Spheres
Chief Priest: Radiant Shaman, Porphyriel (shadow elf)
This Chamber is built on the material plane (on Mystara) in the lands of the Shadow Elves. Shadow elves live far beneath the Known World, where their society is dominated by the radiant shamans of Rafiel and most of their daily activities are dedicated in some way to constructing the Chamber of the Spheres. The Chamber of the Spheres is the most complete Chamber in the shell and is very close to becoming fully operational.
Chamber of Brass
Chief Priest: Najam Mullah, Almaeadin (efreet)
[Image: Inside the Chamber of Brass]
This Chamber is being built by the efreet as an extension of the City of Brass. The bizarre properties of the city cause metallic ribbons to grow outward from this chamber and across the Shell like vines. Rafiel’s minions are diligent at clipping the ribbons and making sure the Chamber does not extend beyond its own boundaries.
Well of Souls
Chief Priest: Sanguine Witch, Hezuda (hag)
This Chamber is nearing completion on some dark outer plane. The creators are evil creatures who are building the Chamber for their own personal power gain. Their creation is made from the twisted husks of creatures they have captured and tortured.
Spring of Eternity
Chief Priest: Gravis Aqu, Naksatra (hydrax)
This Chamber is being constructed on the elemental plane of water. The power of the Chamber comes from ice like filaments that are mined out of some of the colder regions within the plane. These filaments are said to have been created on a battle site where creatures of Fire tried to invade the plane.
A dozen or so Chambers lie smouldering. These are failed attempts by Rafiel's followers to establish a stronghold. When the time is right, Rafiel will re-instigate those failed programs.
The inner layer of the plane serves several functions. The most important function is to siphon excess power from each of the Chambers that it is connected to. This power drain is what stabilises each of the Chambers and prevents the possibility of another Great Rain of Fire from occurring. This is one of the safeguards that Rafiel has put in place. If the denizens of any chamber cease to obey and worship him, he may stop the stabilising power drain to that chamber. This would eventually cause a great explosion (and the destruction of the offenders) and would allow Rafiel to wipe the slate clean and start again at some later date.
The outer boundary of The Orb is a blaze of energy. Once the outer boundary is crossed however, a more hospitable environment is entered. Different sections of the orb are tailor-made to fit the needs of Rafiel's servants. For example, the shadow elf's cave is constructed like an enormous underground cavern. In the center of the orb is the control room. This is where Rafiel makes his home. From here he can observe each of the Chambers and can create force pathways from each one to the orb. Since the Chambers are coexistent, the immortal can not prevent others from opening portals to and from them, but once inside of Reidyll travellers may be stranded in a hostile environment until the immortal or his servants choose to deal with them.
Baycaenalon holds sway in this pocket world dominated by jungles and savannas, overseeing constant wars being waged between his lieutenants. The stakes in these wars are real, for the ultraloth believes that only the worth should survive, so quarter is never given in these conflicts. The vermin lords that report to Baycaenalon use their construct armies to try and exterminate all of their contemporaries.
There are currently several battle camps running within the Battlegrounds.
Vizzit-thorz: The armies of Vizzit-thorz are composed mostly of clockwork monstrosities. This vermin lord is an expert adept at aerial assaults and many of its soldiers have flight capabilities.
Thzam-zzit: The armies of Thzam-zzit are composed mostly of magical constructs. Thzam-zzit is an expert at siege warfare and is able to use his units to either build quick fortifications for defense or assault existing strongholds with extreme precision.
Crrkt-xem: The armies of Crrkt-xem are composed mostly of warforged, and other sentient constructs. These forces are constantly on the move and quick to adapt to changing circumstances.
[Image: Rafiel’s Museum]
The door to this room opens up into a seemingly endless void filled with the shine and twinkle of distant stars. Stepping into the void produces a translucent but solid surface beneath each foot. Hidden in the void are some of Rafiel’s most prized possessions. Immortal beings have no problems finding each exhibit, but mortals must succeed on a Search and Survival check in order to find a new exhibit (chosen by the DM at random).
Dragonfly Ship: This wooden vessel is shaped like a dragonfly, complete with translucent wings extending from its back. This particular dragonfly ship8 was caught in a vortex and ejected through the skyshield into the void. Unprepared for this turn of events the crew perished, and shortly thereafter Rad collected the vessel and gifted it to Rafiel.
Siege Crabs9: Three giant, unmoving crabs stand menacingly upon a clear platform. Hollowed out husks magically enhanced to be machines of war. These three were taken as trophies from the hydrax on the Plane of Water. Rafiel is studying them to see if they can be augmented with Blackmoorian technomancy.
Radiant Dream: A ship floats in the void, its bow moving and bobbing to meet the gaze of any who approach it. Shaped like a manta ray10, the dark vessel radiates power and intelligence. It has been drifting in this void for several hundred years waiting for a crew to come along that it can call its own. Rafiel has plans to send the living ship out into the Eternal War11 as an agent of his will, but so far the craft has rejected every crew put forth to it.
[Sidebar: The Eternal War]
Robot Lineup: Dozens of constructs of all shapes and sizes are arrayed around a central stone diaz floating in the void. The constructs range in materials from clay and copper all the way to the finest clockwork gears. This is a collection of constructs through time. A wizard studying these constructs may be able to gain some insight when crafting a construct of their own. Give any PC who has studied these objects a reduction in construct costs for the next construct they create.
Crystal Tree: Floating on a small patch of soil and rocks is a large tree with green bark and wide branches stretching outward in every direction. Small crystals sprout in clusters around the base of the tree and where branches meet, and large supple pods hang down from its tallest boughs. The tree was taken from Damocles before that planet’s destruction, and is pyrondian in nature. Rafiel has been studying it and using its secrets to help bind organic and artificial life together.
Frozen Elf: A lone elven figure genuflects atop a glass podium. The male elf wears robes made from spider silk and adorned with stylized images of the sun with great serpents circling it. His conical headdress is made of gold and adorned with brightly colored feathers. Upon close approach, one may notice that the elf’s face is frozen in an expression of terror, but his eyes still dart around, taking notice of everything around him. This is a schattenalfen that Rafiel has captured for further study. No known mortal magic can restore his movement.
Scorched Crystal: A large crystal ball, 8 feet in diameter, floats directly in the void here. Inside of the crystal, golden flecks dance around forming dazzling arrays of fractal patterns, however one quarter of the sphere is scorched and cracked. Circular fissures radiate out from a central scar, interrupting the internal patterns where they intersect. The globe is in fact an ancient artificial intelligence from the time of Blackmoor, however due to the damage it received, Rafiel no longer trusts it to function properly.
Other exhibits may be found in Rafiel’s Museum at the discretion of the DM.
[Image: Sanctuary Library]
The centerpiece of Rafiel’s library is a gigantic fireplace surrounded by plush leather chairs and various side and end tables crafted from beautifully polished hardwoods. Radiating outward in a semi-circle around the fireplace are isles of shelving filled to the ceilings with books, scrolls, parchments, and all manner literature storing mediums (including some that may not be readily apparent to most PCs). Although the fireplace (and the fire within) provide warmth throughout the entire room, the magic of this place prevents any of Rafiel’s furniture or literature from catching fire.
On the rare occasion that Rafiel invites guests to his realm, this is where he prefers to entertain them. Rad often comes here to discuss Immortal politics with Rafiel, and to further their plans to promote radiance use among mortals.
[Sidebar: Rafiel’s Library]
Should mortals ever gain access to Rafiel’s library they may be able to gather and compile knowledge on Mystaran organizations and mysteries that would normally be very difficult to discover on the Material Plane. See the Sidebar for Rafiel’s Library for more information about this knowledge. Particularly sagacious petitioners spend much of their time in this room serving as librarians, and are happy to assist anyone perusing the library (assuming that anyone who has access to the room also has Rafiel’s permission to be here).
This vast warehouse is filled with workbenches and tools from across the multiverse. Automatic machines sit next to large cylindrical glass containers with bubbling liquids of every color. Lathes spin, stones grind, and forges smelt exotic metals before pouring them into intricate molds.
Augroon, the brain collector holds sway here. From his office in the center of the workshop he oversees the creation of new nimblewright agents, which he uses as spies sent throughout the planes. Petitioners and sentient constructs walk about the workshop tending to the machines and completing construction tasks. Lately they have been experimenting with World Shield ore mined from Mystara’s Shadowdeep.
Most petitioners working here will ignore any mortals investigating this room, assuming (correctly or not) that they have Rafiel’s permission to be here. Nimblewrights will be more inquisitive, bringing interlopers to their master Augroon. Jealous and suspicious, Augroon has no wish to share his secrets with anyone (other than Rafiel), and may use extreme measures to determine the motivations of anyone intruding upon his domain.
Shadow Elf Cave
Entering this chamber reveals a large dark cavern, upon the ceiling of which hangs a city of sparkling lights. This is a replica of the City of the Stars, where Rafiel’s shadow elf petitioners feel the most comfortable living. Although the city replica is quite good, it does not contain a copy of the Chamber of the Spheres.
This room houses a tranquil mountain valley, with a small lake surrounded by pine trees and green grass throughout the valley floor. Near the lake is a large stronghold with smaller structures radiating from it toward the mountain slopes. This is an old dwarven gatherhold built in the style of the Shimmering Lands where most of Rafiel’s dwarven petitioners feel comfortable living.
This spherical room lies at the very center of The Orb, and is filled with floating crystal panels, flashing lights, and ghostly images that fade in and out of existence. In the center of the room is a single chair, upon which one of Rafiel’s avatars sits at all times.
From this place Rafiel can monitor every location, room, and Chamber within Reidyll. In addition, it is only from this room that the portal to the Astral Plane can be opened or closed.
DMs can use the Plane of Reidyll, and Rafiel’s machinations, to spawn adventure ideas for mortal and Immortal campaigns alike. Some ideas are listed below, but DMs should feel free to expand upon these or come up with completely new plots.
Servants and worshippers of Rafiel may be allowed to use Reidyll as a sort of planar conduit since it is coterminous with a variety of other planes. The immortal may send his followers to other Chambers in order to solve problems or provide the local inhabitants with assistance.
Those who oppose Rafiel might be charged with discovering the secrets of the Chambers and what their purpose is. Disrupting his plans by destroying or subverting individual Chambers could result in a plot stroke against Rafiel, and will surely incur the Immortal’s wrath.
Flight of the Radiant Dream
The smalljammer known as Radiant Dream has been drifting in the void of Rafiel’s Museum for centuries, and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of individuals worthy enough to crew her. Radiant Dream finally realizes her potential when a small, ragtag group of PCs stumble upon the vessel in the Museum.
Finding the ship was easy, however getting it off of Reidyll could be another matter. Rafiel has big plans for the ship, intending to use it and its crew as elite agents in the Eternal War. Should the PCs agree to Rafiel’s terms, they are free to take the ship and leave. If they do not agree they will need to find another way off of the plane, and very likely have to watch their backs for the rest of eternity.
Augroon’s nimblewrights are set with the task of exploring the planes and finding prime locations for Rafiel to set up new Chambers in. The spy network currently spans several planes of existence and has been in operation for nearly 1000 years. Augroon however is not content to just fulfil his master’s requests - the brain collector also uses the clockwork spies to achieve his own goals.
Mages from some of the most elite of Glantrian social circles have been disappearing. Those who try to piece together the puzzle will find only one thing in common - all of the mages are members of the secret Brotherhood of Rad. Augroon has been sending nimblewrights in secret to collect the brains of radiance users in the hopes that he can use those brains to grant himself the ability to cast radiance spell.
[Image: Rafiel’s Clockwork Invasion]
Baycaenalon has been testing his armies against one another for nearly a millennium, and is increasingly ready to try his troops against real enemies. During the Wrath of the Immortals, Rafiel grants the demon permission to unleash several forces upon mainland Alphatia. Attacking directly from Reidyll would alert other Immortals to Rafiel’s plots, so the ultraloth first targets territory on the Plane of Air.
Once the old Alphatian strongholds have been secured on the Plane of Air, Baycaenalon begins sending his forces through the portals that the Alphatians first used when colonizing Mystara. PCs will need to drive the clockwork armies from their lands, but to end the threat forever they will need to follow them back to the Plane of Air and liberate the old strongholds as well.
The Chamber of Planes is being constructed by Rafiel as a great planar machine. Each operational Chamber allows the immortal to draw off a portion of that plane's magical energies and convert them for his own uses. There could be several possible goals that Rafiel is striving for. Immortal campaigns might center around either helping or hindering Rafiel with his plans. New sites for Chambers and followers to build them will have to be found (or destroyed).
Rafiel’s archived AI (see Rafiel’s Museum above) breaks free and begins to subvert Reidyll’s operations for its own purposes. Damaged, and long dormant, the AI has only recently sprung back to life, woken by the increasing amounts of power being sent into The Orb by completed Chambers.
In fact the AI is a fragment of the Egg of Coot who plans to use Reidyll’s machinery as a planar hatchery in order to resurrect itself. It has used the past several decades to make allies within Reidyll, and now has sensed its chance to act. Rafiel, and any servants, minions, or allies still loyal to him must act fast in order to stop the Egg. If they do not succeed, the supremacy of the Immortals themselves may be in danger.
Birth of Radiance
Rafiel plans to use the energy to create another elemental sphere (of Radiance) to which immortals such as himself will swear allegiance (thus breaking away from the Sphere of Fire). As more and more of his Chambers reach completion, Reidyll steadily begins to fill with novice Immortals created by the power of the radiance. Denizens of the Sphere of Energy are not blind to what is happening however. They are also gathering their forces, intent on eradicating this upstart and his fledgling sphere.
Rafiel’s success may fracture the Sphere of Energy, perhaps even consuming it. Should this happen the very nature of magic will change. While arcane users may become more powerful, their practice will carry with it a great cost as well. Once the Sphere of Radiance gains dominance, all magic will carry with it the threat of the Wasting disease.
Forge of the Old Ones
Unknown to all but himself, Rafiel intends to use the power generated by the Chamber of the Planes to become an Old One. Should he succeed in his attempt, Rafiel will be instilled with the powers of the planes and pass beyond the Great Barrier into the unknown. Should he fail, Rafiel will disappear from existence, his life essence drawn into the Chamber of the Planes to feed it with Immortal life force.
Regardless of whether Rafiel succeeds or not, a new era will come to pass for the Immortals. As several immortals from across the Spheres of Power flock to Reidyll to discern what has happened to Rafiel, others will be working in the shadows, forming alliances ready to take the plane of Reidyll by force.
[Sidebar: Standard Chamber Powers]
All of the Chambers designed by Rafiel are unique, deriving specific powers and abilities from the planes and locations where they are constructed, however they have several powers in common.
Power Accumulation: Chambers are essentially giant reservoirs designed to store magical energy. The energy is siphoned directly from the plane of existence where the Chamber is located and transformed into radiance energy.
Wasting Disease: Stored radiance is dangerous, and even deadly, to those who do not take precautions against its unique emanations. Anyone who journeys inside of a Chamber may contract the Wasting disease unless properly protected.
Portal to Reidyll: Once a Chamber is at least 80% complete, it can be used to open a portal to Rafiel’s home plane of Reidyll. Only Rafiel or the Chief Priest of a Chamber can use this power.
Radiance Spells: Special radiance spells are granted to clerics who belong to the order attending the Chamber. See Gaz 14 for some example spells that are granted to the radiant shamans of the shadow elves.
Path to Immortality The Transcend Life Force spell is the highest tier radiance spell and is only castable by the Chief Priest of a Chamber. Casting the spell carries with it grave risk. If the caster is successful, they are transformed into an Immortal, however if they fail, their life force is sucked into the Chamber.
[Sidebar: The Eternal War]
The Eternal War
The instant that the Great Rain of Fire devastated ancient Mystara, everything changed in the multiverse. In that moment the Immortals knew that there were powers to rival their own, and that those powers could swiftly overcome them. The moved quickly to preserve cultures that were imperiled by the catastrophe, and just as quickly to make sure that such an even would never happen again. Those few Blackmoorians that were lucky enough to survive the Great Rain of Fire soon found themselves the target of Immortal retribution. Thus began the Eternal War.
Those Blackmoorians who escaped Immortal reprisals after the catastrophe, though few in number, grew very powerful. The most powerful among them were the Radiance Lords, Blackmoorians who were able to build and harness the power of devices known as Furnaces. Similar in power to the Nucleus of the Spheres below Glantri, these Furnaces were able to control and manipulate the radiance. Not willing to allow any fragment of Blackmoor to remain within the Mystaran solar system, the Immortals launched a violent campaign to push the Blackmoorians from Mystaraspace.
During that initial confrontation, a catastrophic accident occurred. As one of the Immortals descended upon a fleeing Blackmoorian spelljammer, something went terribly wrong. The spelljammer, powered by a Furnace, malfunctioned and absorbed the immortal’s life essence. Although not killed, the immortal was was trapped, and its power was made to serve another. Thus the first Hierarchy Lord was born. Only a handful of the creatures exist, but with them resides the knowledge of consuming immortal souls.
This secret is one that the immortals are loath to allow, though few are willing to risk their own essence to destroy those possessing it. Instead the Immortals have unleashed their Faithful upon the spheres, devoted mortal worshippers, many from the home planes of the Immortals themselves. The Eternal War will not end until one side or the other is eradicated, and the threat of being drawn into the conflict is high for unwary travelers of the spheres.
[Sidebar: Rafiel’s Library]
Collections of books in Rafiel’s Library can fall into two distinct categories, public collections and hidden collections. Spending time investigating any of the collections below will bestow a bonus to the next knowledge check made regarding that specific topic.
Public Collections: These collections of books are readily available to any who have access to the library. There may also be catalogues to speed up research time as well as sages on hand to help with the finding and interpretation of information.
Hidden Collections: These collections are never labelled and most likely are never grouped together in a cogent manner. Many of the books that make up a hidden collection are actually grouped in with part of another collection in the library. Unless player characters know exactly what they are looking for, hidden collections are all but undetectable. Researching through hidden collections always takes more than the standard time.
Amidst the vast repository of knowledge within the library are several specialized sections:
Blackmoor (Public Collection)
Glantri (Public Collection)
Shadow Elf (Public Collection)
Radiance (Hidden Collection)
Other collections may exist within Rafiel’s Library at the discretion of the DM. Such topics should be limited to Rafiel’s interests or personal knowledge.
This section to be used by Layout
Glass Ball by PublicDomainPictures [CC0 Creative Commons] via pixabay
Planar Layout of Reidyll by John Calvin [used by permission of the artist]
Dante Alighieri - Inferno - Plate 65 (Canto XXXI - The Titans by Gustave Doré [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
20000 Nautilus engines by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
This one's kind of reminiscent of Spelljammer by Torley Linden, 2007 [Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)] via flickr
Books, Library, Shelves by Pexels [CC0 Creative Commons] via pixabay
Celia-hovering-airship mango concept-art 02 by David Revoy, 2012 [Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported] via Wikimedia Commons
2Modrons first appeared in AD&D 1st edition Monster Manual II. For more information see the Rogue Modron [https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Rogue_Modron_(3.5e_Race)] entry on D&D Wiki.
3Xag-ya and xeg-yi are both different types of energons, outsiders formed of a particular energy type.
8See Gaz3, The Principalities of Glantri for more information on dragonfly ships. Dragonfly ships are also found in the Spelljammer universe, and one of those may be substituted if desired.
9Siege Crabs appear in Monster Manual III.
10This is in fact one of the Smalljammers, a powerful vessel from the Spelljammer Campaign Setting.
11The Eternal War is a space conflict between the Immortals and Blackmoorian survivors from the Exiles Campaign Setting (see Threshold Issue #15, Mystaraspace for more information).