Hesperia Universalis - Kingmaker
Beyond the circles of the world await peril,
power, and adventure unimagined….
Aio is the mortal realm, and the name for the planet. Aio is a large world with several continents known to the races – though not all races are aware of one another. It is physically similar to Earth in terms of scale, size, and geography. It has one moon.
Presumably, the celestial bodies in the sky are also planets; however, scholars are steeped in debate. Some say that Aio is just one world in a sea of demiplanes, subjugated parts of the same plane – and some say that Aio is just one world amongst many in an insurmountably large Material Plane.
The Mortal World of Aio is also called the Material Plane, for its laws and physicars follow far more consistent laws than the rest of the known multiverse.
Paralell planes are similar to our own world. The physics are similar and they both have environments that a human or other mortal could survive in. Furthermore, the geography is similar – however, both are magical reflections of the Material Plane. Julia – the capitol of the Julian Empire – is a large city in Vodacce in Aio. In the Feywild, it is a glorious and flourishing cosmopolitan city filled with harmonious beings, intriguing fey, and dangerous power brokers. In Purgatario, it is a ruin where black markets and midnight meetings cover the landscape.
Also called (or a possible variant of) Faerie Lond, the Ethereal Plane, the Positive Energy Plane, the Feywild, Elfhame, Alfheimr, Neverland
The Otherworld (sometimes known as the Plane of Faerie or Feywild) is a verdant, wild twin of the mortal realm.
Towering forests sprawl for a thousand leagues. Perfect amber prairies roll between pristine mountain peaks soaring into the flawless clouds. Emerald, turquoise, and jade green seas crash along endless beaches. The skies are a perfect blue not seen in the mortal world—until storms come, coal-dark thunderheads boiling with fierce winds and torrential rains. In this world, arcane power thrums through every tree and rock. All existence is magical.
The creatures native to the Feywild—the enigmatic eladrin, the vicious hags, the wild dryads, and the tyrannical fomorians—are all charged with the mystic energy of this plane. Some are blessed by it, and some are warped. Like the land around them, the fey who inhabit this plane run to extremes. Good fey are noble and just, protectors of the natural world and those mortals they choose to show favor to. Evil fey are dark instinct unleashed, all blood and claw and rage. The creatures of the Feywild can be kind, cruel, noble, monstrous, and savage—often all at the same time.
Physics in the Feywild are similar, but distances and geography are highly distorted. Forests are gigantic and infinite in some places and minicule in others. Usually, the seas ‘feel’ smaller. Time generally moves slower the deeper one goes into the Feywild; a year spent in a Faerie Court can be a decade in the human world. The opposite can be said in different locales.
The unreliable geography of the Feywild only adds to travelers’ woes. As noted, landmarks in the mortal world have echoes in the Feywild. The natural landmarks are often exaggerated versions of their material world counterparts. Mountain peaks are higher, sharper, more
treacherous. Rivers that meander through the human world roar through the Feywild. Seas crash with waves driven by eldritch storms far offshore.
Crossing into the Otheworld is easy. Too easy. Frequently, inhabitants arrive via crossings; points in the world where the barrier between our world and theirs are very minor and thin – leaving travelers lost, surprised, and trapped.
Setting aside the dangers posed by the creatures of the Feywild, few arrivals must also cope with stunning new sensory experiences. The tangible presence of magic in the Feywild is like nothing ever experienced on the mortal world. The flowers of the Feywild give off perfumes that entrance unwary humans, and the stench of the Murk Sea can overwhelm the hardiest
warrior. The powerful magic suffusing the entire plane makes everything, for lack of a better word, intensely real. Natives call this effect the Bright Beauty. Colors are more vivid, smells more pungent. Light doesn’t scatter as it should. Every sight, sound, smell, and
taste has a sharper edge. As with most things in Otheworld, this effect can be a blessing and a curse. A simple shaft of sunlight in the Feywild can appear to be a divine sculpture of glimmering light, filling the viewer with inspiration. But the depthless shadows of the fomorian dungeons are equally vivid, and so drive a lost adventurer into mind-shattering panic.
The Bright Beauty has a further effect on sentient creatures. Blood responds to the enchantment of the Feywild. Just as the native creatures of the Fey embody extremes of passion and power, visitors begin to behave as pure, truer versions of themselves.
Bold heroes become reckless, friends become lovers, and rivalries devolve into knife fights. Although adventurers never lose control, they must constantly fight the Feywild’s call to the wild, the free, and unrestrained within.
Also called the Plane of Shadow, the Negative Energy Plane, or the Shadowfell, Purgatario is the dark echo of the mortal world, a twilight realm that exists “on the other side” of the world and its earthly denizens. Many say it comes from the dawn of creation; it was exclusiveely created to hold Mount Purgatory, a demense for the repentant; a land where those not pious enough to immediately reach Paradisio and not wicked enough to be sent straight to Inferno. This murky land spawned beings of its own and drew others from different parts of the cosmos. It came to be filled with a diverse population of creatures, fair and foul.
The Shadowfell is more than just a mirror, even as darkly cast and twisted as it is. This plane is the destination of souls loosed from their bodies. It is the domain of the dead, the final stage of the soul’s journey before moving onto their reward or punishment. For this reason, Purgatario draws the attention of any with an interest in death. The power and allure of this place even drew the Raven Queen from the Astral Sea to take residence among the spirits, to govern them, and to monitor their movements as they await the inexorable pull of dissolution.
Reaching the Shadowfell is as easy – if not easier – than reaching Otherworld. Its entrances huddle where the sun does not reach. A child’s closet. A darkened doorway. The alleys where streetlights never shine. The depths of a dungeon or a basement. In every forested hallway or bog, in every crypt, in the shadows of every eclipse, Purgatario could wait for an unwary individual. Crossings are most likely where all these traits are combined; the bottom of a crypt in a dark and unused graveyard at night is a highly plausible place to find a crossing to the netherworld of Purgatario.
The Shadowfell is unsettling in its familiar strangeness, for although many of the mortal world’s landmarks remain, something is decidedly off. It is as if the plane steals a feature from the natural world and reproduces it, but imperfectly. A range of old, rugged mountains in the mortal world might appear jagged, like a row of teeth, or melted, like wet sand spilled from a child’s hand. Roads and pathways wind through the lands in the same general direction as those from the natural world, but carry travelers into unexpected dangers, through stretches of haunted countryside, or to the brink of an unexpected chasm.
Communities correspond to those in the natural world, but they too are tainted duplicates. What might be a metropolis in the mortal world is an undead-infested ruin in the Shadowfell. An isolated hamlet could be reflected in the shadowy plane as a city under the tyrannical rule of a cruel vampire. A stronghold nestled in a mountain pass might manifest as a fortified gateway, plugging a hole to a darker, deeper land. So, for all the similarities, travelers soon learn to forget what they know about the world, and to see Purgatario through fresh eyes.
There yet exists one ‘focal’ point in Paradisio; in truth, all roads lead to it, and with a strong enough will or divine intervention, anyone can reach it after a period of time. This is Mount Purgatario. Infinitely large, it appears as a supermassive mountain from a distance – but when traversed, it is infinitely huge.
Mount Purgatario is where souls who were repentant (or unrepentant) are sent. Overseen by the Goddess of Death, souls begin a long an arduous journey to the top of the mountain. Those who were wicked often fall by the wayside and are unable to muster the journey to the top, but most souls eventually manage to ascend all seven layers. Souls start on higher layers if they were more just and kind in life, though most begin at the bottom.
Each layer is a metaphysical journey in itself; a journey of spiritual awareness. Though there exist places on each layer, each layer is a state of being as inhabitants slowly transform into supplicants and Petitioners. At the top of
The “utmost” and highest of planes, Paradiso is all but unreachable for mortals. It is a perfect and pure land, a series of concentric circles emanating outward. Ascertaining its true nature is complex and difficult, but each layer provides higher degrees of enlightenment. Travel between them is possible through ‘mountains’ that climb up the entire series of rings. Attempts by planar travelers to map it (or reach the higher levels ) have failed; it would seem that living beings can only access the innermost circle.
Paradisio is the realm of all Good beings; those who worshipped good-aligned deities and were pure in their heart arrive at this paradiscal mountain after death.