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Shadow Plane (Inner Plane (Transitive))

fantasy, cemetery, skeleton, Shadow Plane

The Shadow Plane is a dimly lit dimension that is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Shadow Plane to cover great distances quickly. The Shadow Plane is also coterminous to other planes. With the right spell, a character can use the Shadow Plane to visit other realities. The Shadow Plane is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane. Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Shadow Plane home.

The Shadow Plane is a dimly lit, murky mirror of the Material Plane, warped by proximity to the Negative Energy Plane and inhabited by sinister beings and undead.

The warped relationship between the Shadow and Material Planes offers a particular utility in that the distance between locations is frequently skewed, as if those spaces that receive little attention in the Material Plane simply fade away. While both planes are immeasurable, the Shadow Plane is smaller than the Material Plane, and as such, it can be used to vastly decrease the amount of time it takes to travel between two points on the Material Plane. Shadow walk is the most common method of using the Shadow Plane to travel swiftly from one point to another on the Material Plane in this manner. However, the same warped dimensions that make transit swifter also make judging distances accurately virtually impossible, and travelers can return to the Material Plane at only an approximation of their intended location— if they return at all.

TRAITS

The Shadow Plane has the following planar traits:

  • Gravity normal
  • Time normal
  • Realm immeasurable
  • Magically Morphic: Parts of the Shadow Plane continually flow onto other planes. As a result, creating a precise map of the plane is next to impossible, despite the presence of landmarks. In addition, certain spells, such as shadow conjuration and shadow evocation, modify the base material of the Shadow Plane. The utility and power of these spells within the Shadow Plane make them particularly useful for explorers and natives alike.
  • Essence mixed
  • Alignment mildly neutral-aligned
  • Enhanced Magic: Spells with the shadow descriptor are enhanced on the Shadow Plane. Furthermore, specific spells become more powerful on the Shadow Plane. Shadow conjuration and shadow evocation spells are 30% as powerful as the conjurations and evocations they mimic (as opposed to 20%). Greater shadow conjuration and greater shadow evocation are 70% as powerful (not 60%), and a shades spell conjures at 90% of the power of the original (not 80%). Despite the dark nature of the Shadow Plane, spells that produce, use, or manipulate darkness are unaffected by the plane.
  • Impeded Magic: Spells with the light descriptor or that use or generate light or fire are impeded on the Shadow Plane. Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges halved on the Shadow Plane.

DENIZENS

D’ziriaks: Despite the perpetually dim nature of the Shadow Plane, it supports a surprising variety of life. Several types of plants have developed within the shadows, all of them eerie, twisted, and colorless reflections of species found on the Material Plane. Likewise, animals suited to the darkness prowl the plane, from shadows and shadow mastiffs to gloomwings, umbral dragons, tenebrous worms, and various nightshades. Sentient species also make their home on the Shadow Plane, but few are welcoming to visitors from other realities. The unusual nature of d’ziriak society combines with their appearances—something between humanoid and termite, with elaborate luminescent patterns across their bodies— to unsettle most outsiders. These colorful exoskeletons are strangely unaffected by the Shadow Plane’s penumbral gloom. D’ziriaks maintain a complex social structure, most of it hidden within their extensive, partially underground cities lit through a combination of alchemical and illusory lighting and the creatures’ own natural bioluminescence.

Fetchlings Descendants of humans that were long ago trapped on the Shadow Plane, fetchlings are perhaps the most familiar Shadow Plane denizens to those on the Material Plane. They are a distinctive species, exceptionally slender and bleached of most natural coloring beyond pale yellow eyes, but many fetchlings value extraplanar pigments to dye their hair in striking colors when visiting other worlds (such colors remain muted in their home plane). They are among the most populous of the plane’s residents, establishing humanoid settlements far and wide—often overlapping with Material Plane counterparts.

Kyton Demagogues Many kytons have their own divine leaders. The nine kyton demagogues maintain their own realms on the Shadow Plane, known as sanctuaries, ranging from meeting spaces to mind-shattering mazes to an exhibition of the culmination of kyton artistry.

Owbs The mysterious owbs, floating humanoid torsos draped in shadows darker than those of the plane around them, are the least understood of the Shadow Plane’s denizens. Rarely encountered, their only relations with other races are their ties to the caligni and dark folk of the Material Plane, to whom they appear as divine guides. The most disturbing legends speak to the possibility that the owbs may be all that remains of a long-forgotten pantheon of demigods—a pantheon that may be gathering power once again.

Shadow Giants Shadow giants roam the reaches of their vast territories, eschewing permanent settlements in favor of a nomadic lifestyle. They typically gather into familial units, traveling and hunting in these tight-knit groups, but different families are known to join together into larger tribes in times of war. With a reputation as fierce warmongers, shadow giants are rightfully feared and respected by many of the plane’s other denizens, but more than one traveler has found that the right combination of deference and battle prowess can win their respect and fair treatment in return. Most, however, prefer simply to keep to their own settlements and stay out of the nomads’ paths.

Shaes Shaes encountered on the Material Plane wear masks and garments that give a discrete form to their shadowy bodies. Among their own kind, however, they dispense with such accommodations, defaulting to their unfixed forms of pure shadowstuff. They maintain one city on the Shadow Plane as their homeland, and in many ways they exhibit typical humanoid social structures. An overwhelming sense of racial pride, however, limits their interactions with outsiders, and few non-shaes are allowed within their elegant citadel.

Svartalfars A race of fey remarkable in that they are native to the Shadow Plane, svartalfars were long ago exiled here from the Fey World. In the countless ages since, they have formed into powerful clans of assassins, hiring their services to anyone who can pay the esoteric fees they demand—typically arcane secrets, occult lore, and obscure information about the Fey World. No one has ever catalogued the number of vast underground libraries the svartalfars maintain hidden away throughout the Shadow Plane, though certain groups, fearing that the creatures are planning a terrible revenge upon those who forced them out, would pay dearly to learn more.

Velstracs (Kytons) Perhaps the most widely-known (and certainly the most notorious) denizens of the Shadow Plane, the vicious kytons (or velstracs, as they call themselves) have made the Shadow Plane their home since they were exiled eons ago from the reaches of Hell. Their demigod leaders—demagogues— maintain their realms here, while others of their kind take up residence nearby or in isolated communes where they strive to perfect themselves and their chosen torments. Countless velstracs practice their arts on the souls of those damned to the Midnight Lord.

Wayangs Only a few elusive wayangs remain on the Shadow Plane, as the majority of their kind ventured through a series of breaches to the Material Plane only to become trapped there forever. A handful have since managed to find their way back to the Shadow Plane in the ages since, finding themselves as isolated and alone here as they had been on the Material Plane.

DIVINITIES

Kyton demagogues

  • Outsiders d’ziriaks, fetchlings, kytons, owbs, shaes
  • Petitioners mutilated (covered in bleeding wounds)
  • Qualities regeneration 2 (good spells and weapons), immunity to fear

INFUSIONS

Basic You can see clearly in shadowy conditions to a short range. In every square in your space, and in all squares adjacent to your space, you treat conditions of dim light as normal light.

Improved You have the ability to use shadow conjuration once per day as a spell-like ability.

Greater The essence of shadow so infuses your being that you sometimes exist only partially when subjected to damage. As an immediate action when you would take damage from an attack, spell, or other effect, you can reflexively dissolve the portion of your body that would be injured into quasireal shadowstuff to gain a 50% chance to ignore all the damage from the effect. You can successfully ignore damage in this way up to three times per day—if you activate this ability and it fails to prevent damage, it does not count against your limited daily uses of the ability. A disorienting expanse cloaked in never-ending night, the Shadow Plane is a dark, twisted mirror of the Material Plane. It exists as an insulating layer between the Material Plane and the Negative Energy Plane, and it overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal Plane does, though its actual reaches are warped and distorted. Darkness covers the plane, yet shadows cannot exist without light. There is no day-night cycle in this world—the ambient light remains constantly at dim illumination, indoors or out, but the source of this illumination is never apparent. Shadows shift and move on their own as if the source of this mysterious light were constantly and randomly changing. While the perpetual gloom mutes most traces of color from the plane, it doesn’t draw away heat, and thus the Shadow Plane remains relatively comfortable to most creatures. As a distorted reflection of the Material Plane, the Shadow Plane features many locations similar to those found elsewhere, but these counterparts are altered, sinister, and strange by comparison. Overhead is an endless expanse of perpetual night, devoid of any moon, stars, or even clouds; a sooty gloominess so endless it becomes claustrophobic.

d%EncounterAvg. CR
1–4Small voidboil2
5–71d8 fetchlings3
8–92d6 wayangs4
10–13gloomwing4
14–151d6 shadow drakes5
16–18Voidboil5
19–201d8 augurs6
21–252d6 mutilated petitioners6
26–321d8 shadows7
331d4 owbs8
34–382d6 d’ziriaks8
39–43greater shadow8
44–481d8 ostiariuses9
49–551d8 shadow mastiffs9
56–58vampire sorcerer9
59–601 young umbral dragon10
61–701d8 kytons10
71–732d6 shaes10
74–761d6 tenebrous worms11
77–791d12 svartalfars12
80–811d4 sacristans12
821 apostle kyton slayer12
83Potent voidboil12
841 shadow roper (or other shadow creature)13
851d4 oitoses13
861 adult umbral dragon14
87–881d6 interlocutors15
89–931d6 shadow giants16
94–951d6 nightwings17
961d4 nightwalkers18
971 ancient umbral dragon19
981d3 nightcrawlers20
991 nightwave20
1001 eremite20
Exploration

Though the Shadow Plane is less immediately harmful than the adjacent Negative Energy Plane and may at first glance seem safer than the perilous stretches of Hell or the Abyss, it carries many of its own dangers.

North on the Shadow Plane functions in the same way as on the Material Plane region with which the realm overlaps.

Magic on the Shadow Plane

Spells with the shadow descriptor are enhanced on the Shadow Plane. Shadow conjuration and shadow evocation spells are 30% as powerful as the conjurations and evocations they mimic (instead of 20%). Greater shadow conjuration and greater shadow evocation are 70% as powerful (instead of 60%), and shades conjures at 90% of the power of the original (instead of 80%). Despite the gloomy nature of the Shadow Plane, spells that produce, use, or manipulate darkness are unaffected.

Spells with the light descriptor or that use or generate light or fire are impeded on the Shadow Plane. Spells that produce light are less effective in general, because all light sources have their ranges halved on the Shadow Plane (see Vision on the Shadow Plane, below).

Shifting Shadows

Parts of the Shadow Plane continually flow into other planes. As a result, creating a precise map of the plane is next to impossible, despite the presence of landmarks. In addition, certain spells, such as shadow conjuration and shadow evocation, modify the base material of the Shadow Plane. The utility and power of these spells here become enhanced (see above) as they are able to tap into the morphic nature of the realm.

Vision on the Shadow Plane

The ambient lighting on the Shadow Plane is dim illumination, regardless of whether one is outside or indoors. The source of this dim light is never apparent and seems to shift and change. Light sources from mundane and magical sources alike can brighten this illumination but their ranges are halved. Magical darkness effects reduce illumination levels normally.

Voidboils (CR 2, 5, or 12)

Due to the plane’s proximity to the Negative Energy Plane, portions of the Shadow Plane occasionally erupt with gouts of what appears to be black lightning and fire that tear through the planar fabric itself. Sometimes, a voidboil can be predicted by tumorlike growths that rapidly buckle the land around them and vent small sprays of negative energy (a creature that succeeds at a DC 20 Knowledge [planes] check has 1d4 rounds to prepare for the eruption), but just as often they are sudden outbursts with no warning. A typical voidboil sprays negative energy in a 30-foot-radius burst from its point of origin. A creature can avoid the spray of energy with a successful DC 16 Reflex save; those caught within the burst take 6d6 points of negative energy damage (CR 5). Smaller voidboils (CR 2) deal only 2d6 points of damage in a 20-foot-radius burst (Reflex DC 12 negates), while particularly large or potent voidboils (CR 8) can deal up to 10d6 points of damage in a 60-foot-radius burst (Reflex DC 22 half ) and persist for 1d6 rounds.

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