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Elemental Chaos, Ahoy!
Dungeon Editorial
by Chris Youngs

It’s a brave New Year. I’ve never been one for powerful, motivating, inspiring resolutions. I find the setting of new goals on January 1 a little arbitrary. I mean, if you’re going to set a new goal, why wait? But in the spirit of the holiday, I do have one resolution: I want to spend more time in the Elemental Chaos.

OK, not me personally. That would suck rocks. Hot, magma rocks, most likely. No, I want to spend more D&D time in the Elemental Chaos. I want my campaign’s heroes to adventure there. I want to pack up my characters and head out myself.

Why the sudden interest in the Elemental Chaos?

I feel like we’ve spent much more time in the Shadowfell and the Feywild, which means to say we’ve devoted more magazine space to their exploration and expansion. The Astral Sea follows close on the heels of these two. But the red-headed stepchild of the bunch has been the Elemental Chaos. We haven’t set any adventures there (although we dipped our toe). We haven’t featured many articles that touch on the plane, either. Well, that’s changing, and in a big way.

Last month saw the release of The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos. This was the first book since Manual of the Planes to really start to uncover the secrets of this plane. Now, we’re catching up with digital content.

This month, we’re devoting one adventure and one feature article to the Elemental Chaos, and there are more on the way. This month’s Scales of War adventure takes epic-level characters to the City of Brass, where they’ll need all their wits to survive the Byzantine efreeti politics. The City of Brass has to be one of the best possible locations for adventures—but not just for the epic tier. The questions of why the City of Brass’s influence isn’t larger and what the efreet families will do to further their goals in the city’s structure are great launch points for adventure.

What about the rest of the city? We only scratch the surface this month. Just consider all the other denizens, permanent or transient, who visit the City of Brass. Many of them make excellent threats or foils for low-paragon tier characters. With a little work, you could send a group of heroic characters there, if for no other reason than to let them dabble in its zaniness as a taste for later adventure.

As for our feature—we have the “Red Shoals of Dkar,” which describes pirates who ply the treacherous seas within a perpetual chaos storm that rages across the plane. Islands within the storm, known as the Red Shoals of Dkar, form a home base from which these pirates light out to attack seaside settlements and ships of the mortal world before sailing back to their home base on the Elemental Chaos, loot in tow. These pirates have unique knowledge and magical prowess that lets them safely navigate these storms, making the Red Shoals like Shipwreck Cove on steroids.

I mean, pirates sailing seas of fire through chaos storms? This is good stuff! Consider an adventure villain who appears and disappears at will throughout the course of a campaign. Now make that villain a pirate on a ship that sails the planar seas—does it get any better? As an alternative, consider giving your adventurers a ship like this of their own, or the option to join the crew of one of these vessels. Just think of the adventure potential when the adventurers’ home base is a pirate ship that sails through the Elemental Chaos to any sea of the mortal realm, or possibly beyond.

How have we let the Elemental Chaos lie fallow for so long? My only excuse is that the world of D&D is big—bigger than we could ever handle in full. But we’re going to use 2010 to make a dent in the Elemental Chaos.

What are your favorite parts of the Elemental Chaos? What would you like to see us tackle next in an article or adventure? Send us your feedback to, or better yet, your adventure or article pitch to

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