Monday, July 14, 2014

The Crystal Sphere That Wasn't

Overheard at the Smoldering Corpse Bar in the Hive in Sigil:

I heard a tale from some right barmy berk one time, some spacefaring sailor — you know, those weirdoes who take sailing ships, bolt a magic chair into 'em, and set them off toward the sun or whatever — who claimed he'd been somewhere no one else had ever been.

Yeah, they all say that.

I was intrigued by this Prime's premise, though.  Every planewalker with a bit of age on him knows the Domains of Dread, but this addle-cove claimed that he'd sailed there in one of his rickety space boats.  He said that the Mist was still a problem, but a little easier to navigate than you always hear.

More to the point, he was talking about some world I'd never heard of.  I can't tell if it was supposed to be the world on which the Domains of Dread lay, or another system, but he said this world is called Aryth or Eredane.  I think Eredane is a large continent, the rough equivalent of calling Toril by the name Faerûn instead.  Anyway, he said this whole land labored under the direction of the evil god named Izrador — again, never heard of him — the god of corruption whom the gods cast out for generally being a bad blood.

The thrust of his tale, though, was that the gods made this Crystal Sphere — that's a world and its nearby planets, what some astrologers call a "solar system" — and used it to imprison anyone who seems like they deserve it.  Or maybe the Dark Powers did it.  Or maybe they're one in the same.

And what's more, he says it's in the middle of Known Space, just cut off from all the routes through the Flow — that's the phlogiston, the substance outside the Crystal Spheres — and practically unreachable unless you're willing to go off the path and you have a spell like Phase Door or some such.

Of course, I'm no spacefarer, but I think I heard that most folks suspect the gods can't affect the crystal shell of a world.  Although I've also heard that the Immortals of Mystara might be able to do it, leastwise according to certain tomes.

But if that's true, that suggests the first Darklord of the Domains of Dread isn't a person, but some entity too unwholesome for the rest of the Powers.  Of course, then you'd figure deities like the Chained God would be cast out, but then again who claims to understand the Powers anyway?

Of course, who knows if that sailor berk knows a damn thing.  Seemed like the unhendest leatherheaded sod in all the Planes, that's for sure.

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