Ameshirel: A World Undone
The world of Ameshirel is overlain with many Planes of Existence. For the most part, each of these Planes is separate, and they do not overlap, existing in the same space geographically but vastly different metaphysically.
However, on a few rare occasions, these Planes have overlapped (either by accident of nefarious design), and almost always these overlaps have caused monumental disturbances. Further, there exist a few areas within each Plane which link to other Planes in a stable manner – however, the denizens from each are inimical to the others, so these portals are usually avoided at all costs.
Each Plane is discussed in terms of its distance to the oldest Plane, The Cacophony from where the Song of Creation was first heard.
The Mortal Plane holds the living souls of all mortal creatures. It stands at a middle distance from The Cacophony, close enough to be awash with Creation but far enough that it isn’t blasted with warping and unstable energies.
The Mortal Plane is where Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and the like hail from. It is where Ameshirel ‘really’ is.
The Faewilds sprawl alongside the Mortal Plane, at the same distance from The Cacophony. The Faewilds are a lawless and unstable realm, despite this, where change is constant, time strange, and creation rampant.
The Faewilds may have been an artificial construction from the Mortal Plane in the earliest days of the universe to serve as a drain for the Creation to siphon out of the Mortal Plane. Magicians have theorised this, because of the numerous gates between the Faewilds and the Mortal Plane.
The Faewilds are inhabited by the Fae – early ancestors of the Elves – who are capricious and unknowable creatures of even amounts malice and mirth.
The Shadowlands sprawl in counterpoint to the Faewilds, in the same distance as the Mortal Plane from The Cacophony. Accepting the theory of the Faewilds, the Shadowlands would therefore be its natural counterpoint, for it is unchanging, stagnant, and cold.
Little lives in the Shadowlands, though theories abound that potentially the Gnomes were created in this Plane but fled through the gates that still exist in the darkest places on the Mortal Plane. Due to the naturally depressive nature of the Plane, and the effect it has on those who enter it, it would make sense then that Gnomes created to survive there would be ecstatic without that weight. Other than that, the Shadowlands are haunted by trapped spirits – those few ignorant or foolish not to be taken to other Planes on death.
The Celestial Plane is close to The Cacophony, utterly bathed in Creation. Here resided the Gods who shaped the rest of the Song of Creation into the later Planes.
Life within the Celestial Plane is impossible unless under the protection of a Domain – the realms of the Gods themselves. With the death of the Gods, the Domains are breaking apart, and the Celestial Plane is dissolving around itself – an effect which is being felt elsewhere as well.
Mortal souls are said to be delivered to the Celestial Plane on death – though some have been known to turn in the opposite direction.
The Echoing is far from The Cacophony, and holds bouncing echoes of the original Song. Unfortunately for the denizens of the other Planes, these conflicting notes of the Song have created discordant life, namely daemons and devils.
The Echoing is a series of impossibly twisting and never ending caverns and tunnels, and as such it is unsurprising that it most often manifests on the Mortal Plane as the mouths of deathly caves.
Life from elsewhere is inimical to the Echoing, and vice versa, meaning that when these Planes cross over the greatest destruction is felt.
The Cacophony is the closest Plane to the Song of Creation, though most scholars accept that it is not actually its source. The Cacophony is impossible to behold without sending the viewer utterly and incurably insane, and as such there are no accurate descriptions of what is there.
From what has been pieced together, it holds no true physicality, and yet there is a feeling of something, or things moving in the blinding light.
The Yawning is so far from the Song of Creation that the true beginning of the Yawning is found at the end of the Echoing – and some scholars insist that it isn’t its own Plane at all, just the edge of the former. However, it clearly is incredibly distinct from the Echoing, and has its own traits.
The Yawning is characterised by a vast and unimaginable void, bordered only by a cliff-face “landing” where all portals to this hell exist. The cliff continues around forever, and seems to curve back in on itself.
Those few crazy enough to venture past this, and those who manage to come back have been to insane to comprehend on return. However, there is one thing that almost all of them agree upon: at the furthest places in the Yawning, if you listen truly and deeply with your entire being, you can hear the faintest traces of sound. Sound unlike any heard in the higher Planes. Sound, perhaps, from another Song.
And most worryingly of all, perhaps, is the thought that many never return from the Yawning – many seem to be taken, and never given back.