Crumbling Powers

[ Main | The Basics | Locations | Creatures | Genasi ]
Magic | Powers | Stories | TSR's Inner Planes ]


And All is Dust (by Lane Ripley)

by The Faux Editor

The planes form gods, and the gods define the planes. The mighty realms the powers that be construct in the multifold levels of existence leave some of the most lasting impressions of the places, and together help reveal to us the natures of the planes.

The Dust Pantheon is worshipped by those who crumble, whose lives are falling apart. Nostalgists, shattered people, moody remnants of dying races, and Sinkers give homage to these depressing entities.

Alu-Akkad, God of Broken Systems

Demipower, "The Monkey in the Works"
AoC: The disintegration of social institutions
Alignment: CN
WAL: Any chaotic
Symbol: A torn hat
Home Plane/Realm: Quasielemental plane of Dust/Everything's a Mess

You know what inertia is, don't you? Inertia is when things continue the way they always have. The squirrels eat the fish, the fish eat the lettuce, and the lettuce eats the squirrels. Why should things change?

Alu-Akkad is one reason.

The Monkey in the Works delights in watching complex patterns of behaviour among entities in the inner and prime planes break down, degenerate, or become lost and forgotten. His proxies, often modified alu-fiends, encourage ignorance and destruction. Paradyn is a nominal ally, but the two aren't close.

The realm of Alu-Akkad contains numerous large buildings: banks, ministries, palaces, and churches half-buried in dust beneath a dusty sky. Those who enter it are spared from the disintegrating effects of the plane, but the effects on their mind are much greater. Every subjective hour spent in Everything's A Mess, everyone must make a save vs. spell or risk losing a random social proficiency: this can even include language skills. Lost proficiencies can usually be remembered within a few weeks, with a little training.

For those actively seeking to hurt a society, Everything's A Mess isn't a bad place to go. Beware, however, Alu-Akkad's aid can be a double-edged club.


Demipower, "the Dreambreaker"
AoC: Broken dreams
Alignment: CE
Symbol: Spilled dust, lying on a pillow.
Home Plane/Realm: Plane of Dust/Dreaming's End

Some say the Prime Material Plane is made of the dreams of the elemental folk, just as the Outer Planes are formed from the beliefs and delusions of the Prime. Every ripple, breeze and rockslide comes from the subconscious flowing of the inner planar denizens.

Anzu was once a major planar power of elemental earth, a high-up tugglemonkey like few others. He attempted to control the dreaming of an earthen kingdom in order to shape and form vast regions of the world of the flesh-folk, and thus establish a foothold on the Outer Ring.

He found a stone that concentrated the dreams of spirits.

He failed; Grumbar himself wrenched the upstart apart, and all of Anzu's dreams crumbled to dust.

In Dust he remained, and his portfolio changed: Anzu now represents all whose dreams shatter and fall away. He takes these souls to his crumbling throne, kisses their heads, and brings company to their misery. Those desiring success sacrifice to the god to ward him off, while the depressed and despondent embrace him. The guardians of the worlds' dooms love him.

Anzu plots still. He plots against Grumbar and the archomentals. He plots against the gods of dreams and nightmares. He plots against all those who dream and believe in their visions.

He always strives to rein the Ethereal islands of dream into his devouring embrace, to destroy what he cannot control.

Anzu's realm resembles a Prime Planar terrain (dissolving on the edges) filled with empty, despondent humanoids, fading or undead dreamspawn and dream-eaters. Images and phantasma fade sadly just beyond the range of vision, and spells of those schools are useless.

Paradyn, God of Fallen Ideals

Demipower, "Gray Son"
AoC: The abandonment of ideals
Alignment: CG
WAL: Any
Symbol: A holy book, finely ground, usually kept in a sack
Home Plane/Realm: Dust/Doomglory

Paradyn was never idealistic, never a champion of anything. His two older brothers were, and died for it, killed by a lord of the Abyss (older stories say they died in battle against a rival tribe). Paradyn donned his own suit of armour and went to the road to convince people to never die fighting for foolish ideals and creeds. "Stay home," was his motto, "and live." Ultimately, Paradyn found his own petty divinity in this philosophy, and a small group of loyal followers.

The Gray Son is the enemy of nearly everyone in the Outer Planes; only his isolated location and lack of great power and influence keeps him safe. He is aware of the paradox of his quest to end all quests, but considers it to be the only cause worth having, if the plane will let him keep it.

Paradyn's realm contains many crumbling churches and recruitment centres, filled with rot and corruption. Its highlight, however, is a long, seemingly endless graveyard. Row after row, column after column, of gravestones poke out of the dust. Each stone memorialises someone who died fighting for a cause. Even fiendish veterans of the Blood war get a section, and Paradyn grieves over this one as well. The stones are the only memorial many will ever have.

Paradyn's proxy is an elderly baku, a former member of the Harmonium who was disgusted by their activities in Arcadia. Paradyn sends the baku all over the multiverse, where its anti-philosophy keeps it on the run.

[ Main | The Basics | Locations | Creatures | Genasi ]
Magic | Powers | Stories | TSR's Inner Planes ]

Inner Planes

Here's something I can't praise enough. This tome explores not only Dust, but all eighteen Inner Planes, describing the hazards, physical conditions, powerful residents and most famous sites of each.

Just because I like you, I'm going to make you an offer. You want to learn more about the Inner Planes? You got the right jink? Why didn't you say before? It's a deal!

Find out more about the Inner Planes book here, or order it here, at a generous discount from the RRP of US$20: [ US$ | UK£ ]

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

Consult the Mimir Again