There are many planes of existence in the Clash. A plane of existence is a world or reality unto itself, complete with unique terrain, laws of physics, inhabitants, and history. Many planes had their own origins before being pulled into the Nexus by an Elder Power, while others were shaped by the Powers directly. Some planes may be intrinsically hostile to certain kinds of life, and just being in such a plane can cause Planar Damage to the unprepared.
It is possible to travel between the planes. The most common method of travel is by the use of Portals. A Portal is a magical link, or bridge, from one reality to another. Stepping through a Portal will take the character to another Plane, typically at a cost in Magic Points. Some skills also allow for travel between planes, such as the Stepping of the World Gate learned by Void Walkers or the Word of Recall used by Archons.
The Known Planes
There are currently four major planes that can be visited in the Nexus:
- Laurentia -- also known as the plane of Valhalla. It was a mortal city-state in Meropis before being used as a battleground, and is the closest analogue to our own world. In the current Breath, the Transcended also call Laurentia home. The plane of Laurentia includes a network of Underground facilities that served the city during its mortal existence.
- Elysium -- the plane shaped by the powers of Good, and the home plane of the Angelic Hosts.
- Stygia -- the plane shaped by the powers of Evil, and the home plane of the Demonic Hordes.
- Purgatorio -- a plane made by stitching together fragments of worlds that were, bastion of the Transcended.
The Cosmology of Planes
Other Planes have appeared in past Breaths. Planes change over time, and every cycle of the universe has seen the birth of some new planes, the death of others and the radical transformation of yet more. There are many more planes in existence than are accessible from the major planes at any given time, and connections to other planes are often made or broken during the course of a Breath.
Within the workings of the Nexus, there are several kinds of planes, with differing origins:
- Valhalla, the Cosmic Battleground, is a plane formed from a fragment of the most recent world of Creation, pulled from the last days of its world to be a part of the Nexus. There is always one Valhalla in every Cycle of the Nexus, which closely resembles the city or region that it was during the life of its world - though many items and places within it that had symbolic meaning or significance may become literally magical upon entering the Nexus. When a Nexal cycle ends and the next Breath is born, the prior Valhalla ceases to be, though pieces of some former Valhallas have found other homes, usually (though not always) through the interference of Elder Powers. Examples of planes that have held the title of Valhalla include Laurentia, Petra and Saint Germaine.
- Outer Planes closely border Valhalla and can usually be accessed during the Struggle. Outer Planes are closely aligned to one of the major Alignments and are maintained by the combined influence of all the Elder Powers of the corresponding Alignment. Because they are thusly unbalanced in favor of certain ideas and ideals, Outer Planes are more surreal and prone to magical phenomena than the often Earth-like environment of Valhalla. The Outer Planes most commonly encountered in the Nexus are Elysium (sometimes known as Paradise), home plane of the Angels, Stygia, home plane of the Demons and Purgatorio, home plane of the Unaligned. Some outer planes may be derivatives or variations of better-known Outer Planes such as the Paradise Nimbus and the Stygian Warrens.
- Far Planes are planes under the influence of only one Elder Power, shaped by their ideals alone. An unknowable number of such planes exist, but it is likely that every active Power has at least one. Because they are formed by only one Power, untethered to any other notion of reality, Far Planes are often deeply surreal environments whose appearance is highly subjective, in which physics as we know it does not always work correctly and metaphorically true concepts are literally true. Most Powers are not eager to have rampaging Nexal armies interfering on their home turf, and so such Planes are rarely accessible from the Nexus and if so, are not accessible for long. Known Far Planes include Nifleheim (sometimes known as the Deadlands) of Hashaa, the Great Maze of Tholaghru and the Laivan Sanctuary of Alonai.
- Vestige Planes are fragments of Planes that once were, usually pieces of formerly Valhallas or parts of worlds of Creation that for whatever reason were not properly reclaimed in the universal Cycle. Such pieces of flotsam clutter the fringes of the universe and are usually (though not always) uninhabited and in a state of disrepair, though Purgatorio is mainly composed of vestiges that were knit together (usually by Marquai) and spared this fate.
Districts are divisions within planes, and are displayed at the end of the Description Pane coordinates. Not every tile may be a part of a District, and no tiles may be in more than one district. Districts can also be called neighborhoods.