Dark World (3.5e Environment)
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A world without natural light, it slowly slips into ruin.
- Gravity: Normal Gravity.
- Time: Normal Time.
- Size: Finite. Exact size is unknown, but is thought to be roughly equivalent to The Material Plane.
- Morphic: Alterable morphic.
Magic, Alignment, and Energy/Elemental Traits
- Elemental Dominance: No Elemental Traits. However, specific locations may have these traits.
- Energy Dominance: No Energy Traits. However, specific locations may have these traits.
- Alignment Trait: Mildly neutral-aligned.
- Magic Trait: Normal magic with the exception of spells that shed radiant light. Spells that create a radius of light (such as a light or daylight spell) have their area doubled.
Passing into The Dark World from The Material Plane is simple, if uncommon. Many permanent planar gates reside scattered across the land. These gates, normally inactive, are easily activated when their command word is spoken.
The gates themselves are found within hollowed out caverns of obsidian and built in ages past. The surface of the gate appears to be a black mirror, and only just ripples slightly when active. The size of the gates vary between 10 feet in diameter to 30 feet, tending toward the smaller.
Most races, except those that love the darkness, find life in The Dark world, rather unfitting. darkkin, humans who have adapted to life in darkness, find the plane a fitting home.
Drow have also been known to travel to The Dark World, but despite the darkness in the realm, find the open sky a discomfort, as if constantly exposed. As such, they often still live underground in The Dark World as well.
Features of the Plane
Having no natural light in recent ages has caused much of the life in The Dark World to wither up. Much of what survives is either sustained by magic, or naturally adapted to sparse, dark environments. Clouds cover the sky constantly, though since there is no sun, moon, or stars, they only serve to hold in the heat given off by the earth below.
Deserts are the prominent feature of the plane, carrying on for great sandy expanses. Great mountains protrude from these sandy wastes, and ruins and fallen cities are swept up in the pale sands below.
While the blackness is nearly ubiquitous, it is easily vanquished by even gentle lights, such as the dim flickering of a candle, which seems to glow brighter and stronger on the plane. All light producing effects (such as candles or light spells have their radiuses doubled. The darkness of the plane gives the feeling of being out in an open expanse, rather that being enclosed in a tightly confined space. In the darkness, most darkkin find the peace relaxing.
The weather of the plane is rather stable. The temperature rarely deviates from a mild 65° F, as radiate heat from the earth below warms the dark, sunless world. Winds are frequent and have few gusts, staying smooth and even and constant for a day or more. When the winds die down, gentle warm rains fall and wash away sand and dust.
Plants are rather rare, being sustained by magic in areas of artificial light. Fungi are much more common around the realm, and though most are small, some have been known to grow into fungal forests where strange creatures live.
Unless a creature has natural darkvision, it is likely not found on The Dark World. Typically, this allows for magical beasts to roam freely. Typically, an encounter with anything is rare, with the bottom of the food chain limited to fungi, most vicious predators are few in number to rarely pose a threat or grow very large. However, in fertile valleys that gather rains and fogs and keep out of the washes of sand, life has been known to flourish.
Creatures that commonly reside in dark dungeons and caves, find enormous freedom in wandering about The Dark World, and are the main inhabitants of the realm.
In ages past, The Dark World was known as The Twilight Lands. Its cities and people flourished and the sky was lit on the horizons by a purple and orange glow obscured by the clouds most of the time, which dimmed at "night" to a pure black.
Adapting The Dark World to another campaign is easy, since the plane itself is connected to The Material Plane. Travel throughThe Material Plane may be blocked or hindered, and the PCs may have to take a route through The Dark World, who's distance of travel matches up with that of The Material Plane, but with much different terrain.
Additionally, The Dark World could simply be treated as another plane to explore by planar travel. With its similarity to The Material Plane, travel there is even possible at lower levels.
Playing the realm as it once was, The Twilight Lands is also easy enough, treating the illumination as dim during the day (favoring those races with low-light vision and black as pitch at night, giving advantage to those with darkvision.