Physical Conditions on Ash

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The Sky and GroundEfka Farstrider

A distinction between the two doesn't exist. Little like Earth, Ash is a solid plane, though it's less stony and easier to tunnel through. Be warned, though, that the ash collapses with ease. As the plane overlaps with the neighbouring elements, the consistency changes considerably; near Vacuum, the ash thins out until it becomes a cloud of cinders.

The Light

Ash is a dim plane, though it's considerably better off than the rest of the Lower Elementals. Ash is lit by the dull glow of cinders and dying coals; a sickly red radiance at best in the brighter areas. Nearer to the Negative all light is muted further until freezing dead ash is all there is. Here, it's black as pitch.

The Locals

Ash mephits and negative quasi-elementals are the dominant forms of life here. Creatures of Ash seem dour and miserable, even by Inner Planar standards, in stark contrast to the excitable creatures of Fire. Some cutters suggest that the dampening down of Flame caused by the Negative has also extinguished a spark of life in these beasts, rendering them unable to feel emotions like joy and love. After spending time on Ash, most explorers who survive come away feeling thoroughly miserable about the whole experience. 'Course, that might just be because it's not a very nice place to visit. With an unenviable choice between scorching embers and freezing ash, a berk would be forgiven for disliking it here.

The Laws

The laws on Ash are few and far between. Both ash mephits and quasi elementals look unfavourably upon bashers who kill members of their own race (but not the other's; there never was love lost between 'em). Theft of planar material is also a big taboo, but when was the last time any sane sod tried to steal cartfuls of ash? It ain't a problem, berk. Just because nothing else is illegal here, doesn't mean the natives are impossible to annoy, though -- far from it. The tempers of ash creatures are legendary; one false move and they flare up like rekindled fires, burning as hot as the angriest efreet.

The Hazards

The chill of Ash is the main thing a visitor's got to worry about. If she ain't protected from cold by magic, the numbing chill will take its toll [2d6 hps per turn]. Fiery creatures suffer far more, and even magic won't save 'em. Mage powder, Negative pockets and deathly sludge are other dangers of the plane [see Inner Planes, p110-111 for the dark].

The Magic

Fire spells don't work here without a key, and as fire can't be sustained without an atmosphere, only instantaneous fire spells will have much effect anyway. Spell keys here are the burned remains of spell components.

The Gravity

Gravity is a subjective thing here. Whichever way you perceive it, it finds you, so a canny cutter can walk along the walls, floor, or ceiling of tunnels -- well, of course those words stop meaning things then. However, when he comes to a burg, the prevailing gravity depends on where the inhabitants planned it. Funny thing, gravity...

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Inner Planes

Here's something I can't praise enough. This tome explores not only Ash, 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