Dust
Touring the Fallapart

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Atishoo, Atishoo, We All Fall Down

What would you expect from a plane of fragments, cutter, but a scattering of chants, darks which once possibly fit together but are now so disjointed they look like they have nothing in common? Dust is like this -- the nature of the plane wears away at Truths until they're vague, takes strong bonds and makes them weak, distances siblings and friendships, and fragments stuff.

I make no apologies, then, for the chant this mimir holds on Dust. Get used to it, berk, because that's what the plane's like. Make sense of the pieces you can. If two darks seem to fit together, then maybe they once did, but the edges are so nebulous you'll find it hard to spot where one ends and the lies begin...

...

An albino with warm hands handed this to me in the middle of a crowd. "For the mimir," he whispered. "All this?" I asked incredulously. "This'll take forever to send!" "Send it all at once then, I don't care." And he was gone.

 

Touring the Fallapart (by Rip Van Wormer)

I begin at the Ends of the Earth, a vast cliff face where elemental Earth ends and the negative energies start to take over. It feels like I can see the whole plane from here. Certainly none can surprise me.

I dive.

I sink through the cool expanse of crumbling reality, feeling free as I never did in the Anvil.

I love the dust. Let me show you around.

Dust remembers.

The Sandmen have neither written nor oral tradition; on their native plane, all memory is stored within the spiralling motes of the plane itself. Reading the script of Dust requires a Intelligence-based non-weapon proficiency; true masters can read signs in all the terrain around them, memories of all that was and is no more. That's what they claim, anyway.

Dust remembers.

The dust of ages contains bits of lost aeons, everything that ever was preserved in the memory of matter that used to be. Dust is everywhere, has been everywhere, and still believes itself whole.

The Dust of Creation

The Dust of Creation is an anomaly in the crumbling Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dust, a place as much of beginnings as of endings. The entity responsible is Odaiel, an honest-to-goodness Power worshipped as god of creation and destruction amongst a desert-dwelling Prime civilisation. Odaiel tells his flock that he created them from dust, and returns them to such when their allotted time is through; petitioners whirl through the Dust of Creation as faint dusty clouds, available as raw fuel for future created souls. The disintegrating nature of the plane is not countered in the Creating Lands, but instead of being lost completely victims remain in petitioner -- form and have the hope of being reincarnated on the Prime.

Dust Devas are proxies of Odaiel, and are actually ordinary asuras, but they feed on Dust of Creation instead of the Positive Energy Plane, and their wings are made of coruscating dust instead of flame.

The Dark of Odaiel: Odaiel is plotting destruction on worshippers of Zenith, a god of the plane of Vacuum who is also popular on Odaiel's favoured Prime world. Zenith, a god of beginnings, endings, and middles, has killed Odaiel's mortal son Shahel.

The Dark on the Dust of Creation: Within the destructive nature of the realm lies positive energy, which can be tapped by those with the appropriate spell key: the holy symbol of Odaiel. Tapping the energy cancels the disintegration effect, while in the realm. This doesn't require an actual spell, just a Spellcraft proficiency and instructions from a benevolent local.

Dustbowl God

The Dustbowl God is a vast sentience formed of trillions of tiny dust motes; both god and realm, Dustbowl conspires amongst itself to control activities within its substance. On other planes, especially the Prime, the God considers itself to be Lord of All Happenings, and endeavors to ultimately control all events as surely as it does on its home plane.

Ministers of Coincidence Control are proxies of the Dustbowl God. Like the Rilmani, from whose stock Dustbowl might have derived them, the Ministers believe themselves to be in ultimate control of every conspiracy and event that occurs under their ministry. Ordinarily, the Ministers remain in ethereal form, manipulating events through their psionic powers.

The Dark of The Dustbowl God: The Lord of All Happenings is responsible for many events and conspiracies on the Prime; exactly how much or how little is of course up to the individual DM. It's possible that the God is an evolved dust elemental or even an Athasian-style Advanced Being, or something even stranger.

 

Dust Tyrant

The Tyrant of Dust is an enormous beholder, claiming to be a recent-generation descendent of the Great Mother herself. An Elder Orb (not kin), He of the Dust is constantly shrouded in a telekinetically-induced fog of dust. He is extremely fond of disintegrating anything that moves (usually only possible with non-native objects). No less than seven tribes of sandmen and fourteen mephit swarms, and a dao (!) are the Tyrant's charmed slaves. The Tyrant of Dust is extremely happy with his lot because there are no other beholders on his plane, or indeed any nearby competition at all. He will fight furiously to keep it that way.

The Dark of the Tyrant: The Tyrant is quite mad by beholder standards, and has actually fallen in love with a mephit. He will do anything for his beloved, even cede his territory and minions to a rival.

Dust Wraiths

Dust Wraiths are wraiths, who along with spectres, wights, slow shadows, nightshades, etc. roam the borders of Dust and the Bottom of the Multiverse, dipping in and out of the Storm of Annihilation on either side.

Dust Gorgons

Dust Gorgons are a variation on the gorgons of Elemental Earth; their breath causes disintegration as well as petrification. Maedar, cockatrices, and medusae are unknown in Dust, although there are rumours of basilisks who rob their victims of all form. Parallelists are happy as pudding here.

Remhoraz and meenlocks have also both been spotted in the realms of Dust.

Dust Mites

Dust Mites come in all sizes on the Quasiplane, from ordinary too-tiny-to-be-noticed to monstrous carnivores with the clout to force even Dune Stalkers to flee. Animental mites don't seem to exist here, although some have been reported by diligent Guvners on the planes of Ooze and Fire; perhaps whoever is in charge of such things thought they would be redundant.

Dust Bunnies

Although there exist a few animental hares and rabbits, the jocularly named dust bunnies are something else altogether. Dust bunnies are mobile clumps of paraelemental cobweb (see the Inner Planes sourcebook) infused with a vague and deadly sentience. Dust bunnies have a MV of 8 on their home plane and creep toward sources of heat and movement.

The dark of Dust Bunnies: No one knows how they come to be. Some claim they've merged with quasielemental spirits, and others think that they're meshes of petitioners and the remnants of slain mephits, although the latter are just borrowing from stories about the mortai of the Beastlands.

Smoke Powder

Smoke Powder collects in an explosive realm near the borders of Ash, Dust, and Fire. Hippo-like creatures called the Giff seem to believe these regions are a fabled lost paradise the souls of their faithful travel to after death, and so it is true. This is the Inner Planes, of course, so this doesn't change the realm's shape or form, but exactly what a utopia is is as subjective here as it is anywhere else. Travellers have reported spider-like forms entering and leaving this realm in great numbers.

Dust Giants

Destruction Giants are humans warped by the energy of pure destruction. 0

The Dust Seller

Enton LaFarge is a dustwalker of great repute. A Prime emigree, Enton makes his jink trading with the dustmen and mephits for the magic dust they collect. For those looking for dust of disappearance, cocaine, and similar substances, Enton is a reliable source.

Enton's Dark: Enton LaFarge isn't on the Plane of Dust by choice; he was once a master thief who broke into the manor of a famous wizard in hopes of liberating her daughter, who had pledged her love to him months before. Unfortunately for him, he was caught by a guardian (a dust quasielemental) the wizard had bonded to his love's door, and in the messy process of dispatching it his love was disintegrated by the beast. In rage and grief, the master mage banished him to the plane of Dust, there to suffer an ironic death.

To his great surprise, Enton did not die. Instead, he was picked up by a dao slaving expedition and managed to escape, leaving with some very useful survival equipment.

Dao Equipment

Dao slavers on the Plane of Dust take special measures to ensure that they can exploit the natives and treat sentient beings as chattel in comfort and style.

First, they have their slaves spray a synthetic membrane along the roads they build that stabilises them for great lengths of time, allowing for constant routes to be maintained.

A special foaming agent has proven effective in removing airborne dust from dao tents and pavilions.

Crop dusters are constructs built by dao artificers and clockwork magi. Also constructed by the djinn under the name of ornithopters, these artifacts of technomagical ingenuity resemble mechanical birds with rotating wings, capable of bearing their masters at great speeds.

A gate to the Plane of Water, maintained in exchange for prize slaves delivered to certain marid, is capable of making large areas temporarily dust-free if channelled by the proper magicks. A misty waterfall near a dao encampment could be the key to their continued tolerance of the region, and their downfall if successfully dispelled.

If nothing else is available, simple goggles, masks, and scarves will have to do, or mortal-made homunculi (see PSMCIII).

Scintner

Scintner is an exiled dao with eyes like hollow caverns and a lower body and beard constantly struggling to maintain its integrity as it blows about with djinn-like mistiness.

Scintner lives in a modest villa built into an earth pocket three hundred cubic acres in volume, attended to by tasked genie servants and slaves from the Prime. Most entities avoid him, but he is occasionally approached by those hoping he will leak secrets that can be used against his former colleagues.

Scintner's Dark: A deal went sour in the Great Dismal Delve: a coup against a minor noble by a consortium of merchants who felt they weren't getting their due. After a Russian nesting doll-like sequence of schemes within schemes revealed the plot before it could properly gestate, Scintner was among those sent to the genie tribunal on a platter to placate the noble's wrath.

The Deeper Dismal Dark: Despite everything, Scintner is still a true believer in dao society; his exile has only reinforced his admiration for his people's cleverness and fitness to rule. In fact, he will give bad chant to those who go to him for advice, in the hope that his outsider's aid will redeem him in the eyes of the dao, and allow him to regain his power. Though he has doomed four parties, it has not been enough.

The Great Vortex

The Great Vortex is a channel leading to the Plane of Vacuum, two planes over. Dust spirals into the End, creating a hazard for passing traffic.

Cosmic Dust

Cosmic Dust is a realm in the Storm of Annihilation, on the border with Negative Energy. Cosmic Dust is the ground-up remains of fallen stars; I have no idea how they arrive here, but some assert that Cosmic Dust is actually the source for the phenomena in our own skies, for the ability of stars to ever crumble.

Siegfried (Proxy / male monitor / F11 / LG) is the Herald of Cosmic Dust. He is a Monitor, a creature looking like a winged centaur with silvery skin, and has taken it upon himself to greet travellers with his mournful calls.

Rukhi (Proxy / female astereater / CN) is the Second Herald. She and Zumuzst are great rivals. Rukhi is a sometime lover of Anzu of the Dust Pantheon.

Shadowdust 

Occasionally, a demiplane will collide or intersect with a larger plane. The demiplane of Electromagnatism is in this way slowly being drained of its possibilities by the quasielemental plane of Lightning, but occasionally a halfworld will be stable enough to grab a little bit of infinity for itself, and continue on.

Shadowdust is the border region between the quasielemental plane of Dust and the demiplane of Shadow; it's a place of shifting illusions, where the difference between truth and reality, light and darkness, crumbles into the swirling substance of lies. Creatures of Dust and Shadow alike lurk here, squabbling amongst themselves and hatching ambiguous schemes.

Zumuzst claims to be the the Master of Shadowdust, though others call him anything from a mephit to a shade to a hapless pawn of the Yikaria. What he is really, or even if it's possible to truly be one thing or another in this realm, is as obscured as everything else.

Ragmen

Ragmen are humanoids covered in torn and decaying cloth; this seems to be quite the fashion among some sandmen and ruvoka tribes, although the dark creepers of the plane of Shadow are demanding royalties. True Ragmen are elementals of textile; some claim they're refugees from the so-called Demiplane of Wood where it borders on Dust (this is actually called Sawdust -- ed.), others claim Earth, or the Demiplane of Flowers and Other Green Things. Apparently most sages are unable to accept the concept of a plane or demiplane made entirely of cloth, though I've seen stranger things. Some name them Raggamoffyn, Adherers, or even Death Linen (Drag 252).

Ethereal Undead (by Monte Lin)
by Scholar Johanna Fin Langhorne of the Fraternity of Order

My small thesis postulates that the violent nature of most Primes, and their single-mindedness, give rise to many ghosts and ethereal Undead. These unresting souls exist continually on their Prime world until the world ages, decays, and dies. Some dead Prime worlds turn to dust, and as the memory of those worlds fades, they join the plane of Dust. However, the Undead beings without physical form continue to exist, oblivious of their environment. They take on dusty bodies, forever un-living their nonlife. I ask you, Doctor, to help provide me the funds, and the access to the Order's resource materials, to perform the necessary research to prove or disprove my thesis.

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Inner Planes

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Copyright 1999, text by Jon Winter,
graphics by Jon Winter and Jeremiah Golden

Consult the Mimir Again