Excerpts Archive | 12/4/2009
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Excerpts: Plane Below: Plains of Rust

In today's Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos preview, we travel to another of the infinite -- and infinitely odd -- locations in the Elemental Chaos.

Elemental Locales

The Elemental Chaos is infinite: Even the portion known to natural creatures dwarfs their world. You might lead the characters along ways wending through preconceived locales or fill previously unknown spaces with cultures and landscapes pulled from the peculiar, grotesque, and scintillating depths of your psyche.

Whether you prefer examples of adventuring areas in the Plane Below, or want some details about its most important or infamous regions, we’ve got you covered. This chapter presents ten areas of the Elemental Chaos, some unique and others archetypal. By introducing variations to suit the strangeness of the Elemental Chaos as you perceive it, you can make them unique to your campaign.

Each locale described in this chapter of The Plane Below includes the following information.

  • Overview: Here you’ll find a general description of the locale and its place in the Plane Below.
  • Inhabitants and Culture: If the area contains organized settlements, their nature is described here. Some areas are too wild to have an identifiable culture, but significant inhabitants are discussed.
  • Major Areas: This entry summarizes important cities, fortresses, and other sites of note in the region.
  • Adventures: This entry includes a list of environmental hazards and notable terrain features in the locale, followed by several sample encounters to threaten the characters.

Following those sections are three mini-adventures, including tactical encounters, in a variety of interesting locations in the Elemental Chaos. You can run them as one-offs, plant them as seeds of larger adventures, or use them as models for elemental encounters of your own design.

The Plains of Rust

No demon lord claims this layer, and the only inhabitants are mindlessly destructive. The essence of slain devils and demons became infused with the necrotic and acidic power of the buried swamp. This mixture gave rise to baleful corrupting undead and malignant constructs that seek to destroy all they encounter.

The demon princes send packs of demons here from time to time to ensure that the portals to the Nine Hells remain buried and unusable. Occasional diabolic scouting parties make an effort to reopen the portals. Mortal explorers have established temporary camps while searching the rusted ruins for ancient magic used during the Blood War.

None of these groups ever survive long enough, or grow large enough, to form communities. A single tribe of humanoids wanders the rust plain like nomads in a desert of the world. No one knows who they are, why they dwell here, and how they have managed to survive....

Excerpt Schedule

Monday Friday

November 16

Skill Challenge: Reasoning with a Slaad

November 20

Orders: Elder Elemental Eye

November 23

Artifacts: Wave

November 27

Holiday

November 30

Locations: Pandemonium Stone

December 4

Locations: Plains of Rust

December 7

Creatures: Dust Devil

December 11

Masters of the Elements: Ehkahk