Plane Of Shadows
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Originally, the Plane of Shadows was a formless, dark void with neither shape nor substance. Then the god Tekel made the plane his domain, gave it illumination (to have something to contrast the darkness with), populated it with a range of creatures born out of nightmares, and abducted humans from the material plane for his creatures to terrorize.

Then Tekel ascended to Greater Godhood and the plane was left to its own devices. Strong-willed creatures found that they could shape the substance of the plane according to their own desires, and took up residence in self-created domains. At this point, the shape of the Plane of Shadows did not mirror the Material Plane, and movement between different domains was a matter of applying one's will or by using the right rituals. However, the inhabitants eventually learned the trick of creating so-called dark roads, enchanted paths that ensured that two different locations would have a fixed distance which could be easily traversed. The fey of the Unseelie Court, who arrived together with the Shadow Prince in his self-imposed exile, made strong use of this, and soon the individual domains were linked by a vast network of dark roads.

But with the arrival of Cryelis during the growth of the Atalan Empire, parts of the Plane of Shadows began to change again - mirrors of real-world locations and even cities began to appear. It soon became apparent that the cultists of Cryelis knew magical rituals which allowed the memories of ritually sacrificed people to take physical form in the Plane of Shadows. Thus, a new network of domains began to appear which closely echoed the material plane - starting with major cities of the Atalan Empire and the trade routes between them, and slowly spreading outward. This was initially regarded as a mere curiosity by the other inhabitants of the plane, but after a while, formerly independent domains began to become snared up into this new network (which the cultists of Cryelis call the Underworld), creating a strange mixture of echoed and artificial terrain. The fact that the ghostly minions of Cryelis demand obedience from all others who live in the Underworld does not make its spread popular, and it is widely suspected that Cryelis gains power from the growth of her domain. Thus, a long-running war rages between the followers of Cyrelis and the Unseelie Court, and all others who wish to remain independent from the death goddess.

To distinguish between Material Plane locations and their Underworld echoes, scholars usually add the word "Umbral" to the latter (i.e. "Umbral Atalus"). However, in common parlance the word "Dark" is frequently used instead (i.e. "Dark Atalus").

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

In D&D 4E, the Feywild and the Shadowfell are both presented as echoes of the Material Plane. I wanted to have equivalent planes in Urbis, but I wanted to make them a bit less symmetrical. For the Plane of Shadows, this meant making the "echo" an artificial construct imposed on the plane later on.


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