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Elemental MotesD&D Insider Article
Fantastic Terrain
by Charles Choi

In a game that includes monster-infested dungeons, lost islands populated by dinosaurs, and the demonhaunted depths of the Abyss, there still remains something indescribably exotic about castles hovering in the sky. It might be because that although motes are too far away to reach, they still look as if they’re close enough to almost touch. The awe-inspiring heights that motes often soar at carry the promise of death- defying acts of derring-do that can stick with players for years. Islands in the sky made their debut in 4th Edition as earthmotes in the updated Forgotten Realms® setting, and now they can be unforgettable elements in your campaign.

Just as with any island, bizarre societies can pop up on motes—feral halflings or mad albino dwarves or anything else you want—potentially leading to intriguing relationships with nearby lands. One unusual possibility is that monsters on motes might not even know the rest of the world exists if the monsters have no safe way off and are prevented from seeing their surroundings by, say, banks of clouds or walls of flame. How will the inhabitants of the motes deal with any strangers that pierce such veils?

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    About the Author

    Charles Choi is a freelance writer and journalist who has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, and Nature, among many other publications. This is his first professional work for the Dungeons & Dragons game.