Limbo (Outer Plane (chaotic neutral))
When viewed from the edge of another plane, the Maelstrom’s (also known as Limbo) features appear much like that of its adjacent neighbor. The differences grow more profound farther away from the stabilizing anchor of the borderlands, eventually falling back into the mutable freedom of perpetual change in a vast churning sea of possibility called the Cerulean Void. The Maelstrom defies the efforts of mapmakers, as its very character shifts and f lows like the tide of an unseen ocean, to which the borderlands are but shores and calm shallows. Crystalline forests melt like candle wax into shallow brine seas with jewel-like icebergs, and then sublimate to vast parched deserts, all within the stretch of days. Still, islands of stability do exist within the depths of the Maelstrom. Petty gods, exiled fiends, and fallen celestials rule such islands, and even the rare stronghold of a mortal wizard or priest-king can be found here, holding itself against the metaphysical lapping tide. Creatures wandering in from the structured planes, long since grown native, populate the Maelstrom’s borderlands, often possessing characteristics and behaviors at odds with their origins. Deeper still, the mysterious serpentine proteans thrive within an environment of plastic potentiality. Claiming to be the first children of the Outer Planes, the proteans worship alien, godlike beings they refer to as the Speakers of the Depths, whom scholars speculate to be something akin to a pair of conjoined gods or a single dualistic entity.
Limbo is a realm of boundless chaos, a churning void of land, sea, and everything else that can or could exist between, bordering all of the Outer Planes even as it seeks to devour them.
Limbo is almost impossible to map, and no reliable directional constant like “north” exists on this plane. Even relatively stable terrain moves and changes, and so the DCs of Survival checks to track a creature increase by 5 in the Borderlands and 10 in the Cerulean Void, on addition to any modifiers present due to current conditions.
The day-night cycle in Limbo is random, shifting without apparent reason and following a nonsensical clock that none can predict.
Gravity in Limbo
On the countless islands adrift on the sea or air currents of Limbo, gravity functions normally, with “down” being toward the center of mass. Likewise, on and below the surface of Limbo’s churning liquid Cerulean Void, gravity functions normally, with “down” being further from the surface into the sea of quintessence. The gravitational pull of the Cerulean Void generally extends to a distance of 200 feet above the surface (as such, it is rare for floating islands of solid matter to exist within 200 feet of the void), while the gravitational pull of a floating island extends to a range equal to its radius or 200 feet, whichever is a smaller distance.
Limbo has the following planar traits:
- Gravity subjective directional or normal (see “Gravity in Limbo”)
- Time erratic
- Realm immeasurable
- Structural morphic
- Essence mixed
- Alignment strongly chaos-aligned
- Magic wild (with pockets of normal magic on the most stable of Limbo’s islands)
Few deities argue the point that Limbo was already old when they first came into being, and those who argue otherwise do so only out of pique. Despite this—or perhaps because of it—Limbo is home today to perhaps the most diverse collection of divinities in the Outer Planes.
Orc Pantheon Largely consumed with their own infighting and politics, the gods of the orcs dwell within an immense, battlescarred realm. Far more orc demigods clash and bicker here, yet those demigods are certainly among the strongest of the pantheon.
Protean Lords The protean lords act as intermediaries between the mysterious Speakers of the Depths (see below) and the protean choruses. Most prominent among the protean lords, who takes the form of a massive albino keketar.
Speakers of the Depths The most prominent and mysterious of Limbo’s gods, the proteans’ dualistic divinity have no discrete domain, with the entirety of the plane itself being under their sway. Some planar scholars consider the Speakers to be a manifestation of Limbo as a living entity, albeit a profoundly alien one, both more and less than other gods.
Outsiders chaos beasts, einherjar, hunduns, proteans, valkyries
Petitioners shapeless (shifting incarnations of mortal forms)
Qualities incorporeal, gains incorporeal touch attack
Basic Limbo grants you the ability to react to unpredictable situations, while also helping you to be more unpredictable. You gain a +1 bonus on initiative checks, a +1 bonus on Reflex saves, and a +2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint in combat.
Improved The whimsical entropy of Limbo runs through your veins. Once per day, you can use confusion as a spell-like ability.
Greater You can invoke the pure chaos of Limbo with a word. Once per day, you can use word of chaos as a spell-like ability.
The Outer Planes are surrounded by Limbo, a vast, volatile, roiling thing that churns at the heart of reality.
Conventional wisdom holds that Limbo is the source of all reality, that portions of its liquid quintessence coalesced into the Outer Planes, and that it now erodes reality and recycles this quintessence back into the Positive Energy Plane. Doomsayers and pessimists suggest that this process isn’t entirely efficient, and that each time a bit of potentiality is lost so that, in time, the ravenous grinding will consume all of reality.
While some believe that Limbo was the original (and only) plane of existence, enough evidence exists to suggest that the shell of the Outer Sphere, riddled with the fractures known as the Abyss, existed even before the primal chaos of possibility. Although some of the best clues to this mystery are found written in the protean language, the fact that the protean language muddles the definition between creation and destruction means that the truth of which came first may never be known.
Limbo serves as a planar crossroads, for its shores eventually touch all other Outer Planes. The plane itself has numerous native occupants, including living manifestations of entropy like chaos beasts, risen champions of battle like the einherjar and valkyries, and the most infamous of its denizens, the primeval and serpentine proteans. Yet visitors are just as likely to encounter something foreign to the plane, for Limbo is rife with wandering monsters and travelers from other realms, self-exiled fallen celestials and risen fiends, things lost and abandoned, demons spilling forth from great Abyssal rifts, and the armies of gods marching to war.
Einherjar and Valkyries Einherjar congregate in Limbo as much for its chaos as they do for the opportunity for conflict that it provides. Manifestations of fallen champions who perished in righteous religious wars, they either fight on their own or serve various gods and pantheons throughout Limbo’s worlds. Each einherji is selected for its role in the afterlife by valkyries, who are themselves formed from petitioners risen from the souls of the greatest of soldiers. Both types of outsider are often found in the Cerulean Void, aboard ships or island realms, wherever the call of battle and conflict rages.
Proteans The serpentine proteans are living extensions of Limbo that act both subtly and overtly against incursions of other alignments. Proteans organize loosely into groups known as choruses, each with a philosophical obsession set by its keketar priest-kings, though chorus allegiance is wildly transient and their goals are often fluid. The choruses routinely assault the other planes’ borders en masse, acting almost like the manifestation of an immune system against an infection of unwanted ethics and philosophies. When at rest, proteans prefer to dwell in the deepest reaches of the Cerulean Void itself.
The Shapeless Limbo’s petitioners appear as they did in life, but incorporeal and constantly shifting in shape and color, like the sheen of oil on water reflecting an image. Most of them wander, indulging their whimsy in Limbo’s wilds, often aided by protean choruses. Unlike many petitioners who go unclaimed by a deity, the shapeless are never conscripted or transformed unless they specifically petition one of the choruses. The proteans themselves predate the emergence of mortal souls, and while they can and do accept willing souls to join their ranks, the process is less common than on other planes. As a result, it is relatively rare for one of the shapeless to ascend into a protean; most who are not chosen by valkyries for ascension into einherjar are destined to become chaos beasts.
|1–10||2d6 shapeless petitioners||6|
|26–33||1d6 chaos beasts||10|
|91–95||Roll on Abyss table||Varies|
|96–100||Roll on Elysium table||Varies|