The Great Great Ring and the Ordial Plane
Magnum Opus: Now there’s a name that strikes fear into the hearts of cutters who’d rather dark stayed hidden. Magnum’s the Curator of Sigil’s Musée Arcane, a small organisation dedicated to unravelling the sordid history of the Multiverse. Sound like a tough job? Better believe it is, cutter!
Anyway, Magnum’s map of the Way the Planes Are holds a lot in common with Na’Tak Karari’s: the features are the same, they’re just in a different order. See, Magnum doesn’t hold with the traditional “Inner” vs. “Outer” Plane thing: To her, they’re all just names, convenient only for the people who use them, rather than the people who want to explain them.
Rather than the planes being a pillar (see Na’Tak Karari’s map), she argues they they actually form a ring. Remember the Unity of Rings, cutter? Well, this is just the same, except what with the Great Ring of the Outer Planes and the Ring of the Inner Planes, and, as some say, the Ring of Crystal Spheres on the Prime, this is more a case of Three Rings inside one.
The Rule of Threes doesn’t stop there, either. Not only are there three sets of Planes of Substance, (Elemental, Material and Philosophical), but there are three Liminal Planes, (Ethereal, Astral and Ordial) which not only separate the planes of substance, but allow a planewalker to travel from one to the other. In the very centre, Sigil touches all and none of the planes at once.
“What’s that?” I hear you cry. “The Ordial Plane? What flam is that barmy tout spouting now?” Well, my inquiring cutters, let me tell you what Magnum Opus has to say about this ‘Ordial Plane’…
“Ever wondered how powers and petitioners can exist on the Inner Planes? If, as everyone reckons, the energy for powers comes from the belief of the Primes, and filters into the Outer Plane which it most closely resembles, from where do Inner Planar powers draw their energy? Well, they could do it through conduits that cross the Astral, the Prime Material (avoiding that nasty Phlogiston, of course), and the Ethereal (that’s three whole infinities). On any one of those planes, their conduits are vulnerable to attack, parasites or natural forces.
“How about a convenient shortcut? A plane which links the Outer and Inner. You’re saying you’ve never heard of it, ain’t you? Well, what better defence for this place than eternal secret? If you don’t even know its there, you ain’t likely to go there and mess everything up. Think about it: Nobody knew about the Astral until they discovered it one day — or so the chant goes.
“Where do those powers with ‘unknown’ realms really live? Surely they ain’t all tucked away on the planes somewhere? Someone’d spot one of their petitioners or stumble into their realm sooner or later. Couldn’t they all be hidden on an unknown plane like the Ordial?
“It’s true that the Outer Planes are shaped from belief, but they bear an uncanny resemblance to the Inner Planes at times. The Outer Planes have elements just like the rest of them, and something’s got to have put them there. Why drag them through three planes when they could be pulled through the Ordial?
“Finally, and perhaps most convincingly, take the Rule of Threes. Three Planes of Substance, three dimensions of space, three moral concepts, three ethical, three parts of the Prime (planet, wildspace, phlogiston) and only two Liminal Planes? It don’t follow in my book, berk. There must be a third. But alas, I can’t prove a word.”
Magnum Opus reckons the only reason nobody’s yet found the Ordial Plane is because nobody’s looking in the right place. She aims to put that right. If the powers try to stop her, then she knows she must be onto something big…
Source: Jon Winter-Holt