A representation of the elemental and para-elemental planes in relation to the Prime Material plane and its echoes.

The Inner Planes were a subset of the known planes of existence in the Great Wheel cosmology model[1] and the World Tree cosmology model.[2] They were the source of the fundamental building blocks of matter and energy for the entire multiverse.[3][4]

Believe what you want―fire still burns and wind still blows.
— Common saying among inner-planar natives.[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

The Inner Planes contained environments that were among the most hostile in the multiverse.[6] Unlike the Outer Planes, which were built on belief and thought, the Inner Planes were the manifestation of central aspects of physical reality.[3][4] As a result of this intense concentration of reality, everything in the Inner Planes, including its inhabitants, felt more vivid and intense, while at the same time more indifferent.[7]

Cosmography[edit | edit source]

Positive Energy PlaneNegative Energy PlaneElemental Plane of AirElemental Plane of EarthElemental Plane of FireElemental Plane of WaterElemental Plane of WaterElemental Plane of FireElemental Plane of EarthFountains of CreationFountains of CreationSwamp of OblivionSwamp of OblivionFrostfellFrostfellGreat ConflagrationGreat ConflagrationQuasi-Elemental Plane of MineralsQuasi-Elemental Plane of RadianceQuasi-Elemental Plane of LightningQuasi-Elemental Plane of SteamQuasi-Elemental Plane of VacuumQuasi-Elemental Plane of AshQuasi-Elemental Plane of DustQuasi-Elemental Plane of Salt

A representation of the Inner Planes according to the Great Wheel cosmology. Hovering over the map will reveal individual planes. Clicking will link to the article for that location.

The term "inner" referred to the placement of the planes at the center of the concentric spheres that made up the Great Wheel model.[8] It was also an allusion to the planes' central role in providing the raw stuff that nurtured the multiverse's existence.[5][7] They could all be reached from the Prime Material Plane by traveling through the Ethereal plane.[9]

Great Wheel Cosmology[edit | edit source]

See also: Great Wheel cosmology#Inner Planes

There were a total of 18 Inner Planes, which were subdivided into two main groups: six major planes and twelve minor, also called lesser, planes.[7][9]

The six major Inner Planes included the elemental planes, which contained the four basic types of matter that constituted the materials of every other plane,[7] and the energy planes, which consisted of the two main types of energy that governed life and death.[10]

The six major Inner planes were:[7][10]

Elemental planes
Energy planes

The twelve minor Inner Planes were located at the intersection between major planes.[9] They could be divided into two main groups: the para-elemental planes, or "paraplanes", which were located at the intersection between elemental planes; and the quasi-elemental planes, or "quasiplanes", which intersected an elemental plane and an energy plane.[11]

Para-elemental planes
Positive quasi-elemental planes
Negative quasi-elemental planes

Some versions of the Great Wheel cosmology maintained that the elemental planes and paraplanes were surrounded by the Elemental Chaos, a turbulent plane in which all elements merged together, located in the farthest reaches of the Inner Planes.[4][12] Those same versions placed the energy planes in a category of their own, where they were seen as enveloping the entire cosmology.[3][13]

World Tree Cosmology[edit | edit source]

See also: World Tree cosmology#Inner Planes

In the World Tree cosmology model, which became popular with some scholars before the Spellplague, the Inner planes were moved to the roots of the World Tree and the more appropriate name elemental planes was used to describe them as a group, but the name "Inner Planes" was still frequently used.[2]

World Axis Cosmology[edit | edit source]

After the Spellplague, most of the matter making up the elemental planes collapsed together to become the Elemental Chaos.[14]

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

The regions of the Inner Planes that were, in a cosmic sense, closer to the Prime Material Plane were inhabited by creatures that either originated in the Prime or could survive well there, such as aarakocra, azers, dragon turtles, gargoyles, genies, mephits, salamanders, and xorn. The more distant regions, which were dominated by the raw forces of each plane, were increasingly hostile and were only inhabited by elementals and spirits that bore less and less resemblance with creatures found in the Material Plane. These distant regions were also believed to be inhabited by the archomentals.[4]

As a result of the raw elemental intensity of the Inner Planes, many of their inhabitants spent most of their time focused on survival,[6] not caring much for philosophical or metaphysical discussions about their nature and the nature of their homes. Moreover, since each Inner Plane strongly opposed all others, inhabitants of one plane were constantly at odds with the inhabitants of any other plane.[15]

Some inhabitants specialized in guiding travelers within and between Inner Planes. The most competent elemental guides could lead a group to a bordering plane from anywhere within their home plane in less than four days, and were capable of guiding a group to any location within the plane in just over a month or less. The need for these services resulted from the the infinite size of the Inner Planes, which could result in unaided travelers traveling forever without reaching anywhere. The prices practiced by the guides, however, were extremely high. They often charged exotic items instead of currency.[16]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 5. ISBN 0880383992.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  8. David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 132. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 22. ISBN 0880383992.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  11. Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  12. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 301. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  13. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 300. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  14. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  15. Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.
  16. Monte Cook and William W. Connors (December 7, 1998). The Inner Planes. Edited by Michele Carter and Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-0736-3.

Connections[edit | edit source]




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