Elemental realms, sometimes called just realms, were domains located in the Elemental Chaos that, through sheer willpower of their creators, were made into planes in and of themselves. Many of these realms were ruled over by primordials, but far from all of them, and more than a handful existed created by other denizens of the Chaos.
Unlike other parts of the Elemental Chaos, elemental realms were distinct, sometimes even possessing their own demiplanes. However, each realm was still subject to the endless entropy of the Chaos and doomed to eventual absorption by its surroundings, though they might simply change form or size, like the ancient Abyss.
Elemental realms, like their divine equivalents the astral dominions, were shaped by the will of powerful forces, often elemental in origin. Some were not: Zerthadlun was formed by the natural githzerai. Most elemental realms reflected the nature of their ruler and realms dominated by fire titans, for instance, would be covered in flames and swathes of fiery terrain. Some dominions were vast and immeasurable, like the Abyss, while others were far smaller, like the City of Brass. Most often, elemental realms were depicted in artwork as great stone structures drifting in a tempestuous sea of elemental forces. Some elemental realms had ties to other planes, particularly the Deep Wilds dominion. The Abyss, in particular, maintained strong ties to several planes in the Astral Sea, where it once resided.
Although it was possible that elemental realms existed long ago, before the Sundering of Abeir-Toril into two worlds, the realms were unheard of before the Spellplague of 1385 DR, which caused the elemental and energy planes described by the World Tree cosmology to collapse into one another and merge, eliminating the traditional distinctions that had separated them for millennia. Elemental realms were those planes that arose out of the merging that remained distinct, with one for each of the elemental lords as well as many for powerful titans. As a result, most of the elemental realms were extremely young.
- Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
Prime Material plane • Feywild • Shadowfell • Fugue Plane
Transitive Planes: Astral Plane • Ethereal plane
Inner Planes: Elemental Plane of Air • Elemental Plane of Water • Elemental Plane of Earth • Elemental Plane of Fire • Elemental Chaos
Para-Elemental Planes: Frostfell • Swamp of Oblivion • Fountains of Creation • Great Conflagration
Quasi-Elemental Planes: Lightning • Radiance • Minerals • Steam • Vacuum • Ash • Dust • Salt
Outer Planes: Arcadia • Mount Celestia • Bytopia • Elysium • Beastlands • Arborea • Ysgard • Limbo •
Pandemonium • Abyss (Layers) • Carceri • Hades • Gehenna • Nine Hells • Acheron • Mechanus
Energy planes: Positive Energy plane • Negative Energy plane
Planar Pathways: Infinite Staircase • Oceanus • Mount Olympus • Styx • Yggdrasil
Prime Material plane • Cynosure • Fugue Plane
Transitive Planes: Astral Plane • Ethereal plane • Plane of Shadow • Spirit World
Celestial Outer Planes: Arvandor • Brightwater • Dwarfhome • Dweomerheart • Gates of the Moon • Golden Hills • Green Fields • House of Knowledge • House of the Triad
Fiendish Outer Planes: Abyss (Layers) • Barrens of Doom and Despair • Blood Rift • Clangor • Deep Caverns • Demonweb Pits • Fated Depths • Fury's Heart • Hammergrim • Nine Hells • Nishrek • Supreme Throne
Neutral Outer Planes: Dragon Eyrie • Heliopolis • House of Nature • Jotunheim • Warrior's Rest
Inner Planes: Elemental Plane of Air • Elemental Plane of Earth • Elemental Plane of Fire • Elemental Plane of Water • Positive Energy plane • Negative Energy plane
Planar Pathways: Infinite Staircase • River of Blood • World Tree
Prime Material plane
Fundamental planes: Astral Sea • Elemental Chaos
Astral dominions: Arvandor • Banehold • Celestia • Cynosure • Deep Wilds • Demonweb Pits • Dismal Caverns • Dwarfhome • Eternal Sun • Fugue Plane • Gates of the Moon • Green Fields • House of Knowledge • Nine Hells • Nishrek • Supreme Throne • Towers of Night • Tu'narath • Warrior's Rest
Elemental realms: Abyss (Layers) • City of Brass • Cresting Spires • Fimbulwinter • Hidden Realm • Muspelheim • Root Hold • Sky Home • Steading • Thraotor • Undying Pyre • Zerthadlun
Parallel planes: Feywild • Shadowfell
Anomalous planes: Far Realm