‘Earth’ is often a misnomer – this is the world of stone. This elemental plane is an infinitely large rock, solid for the most part but riven in places with billions of tunnels and caves, or veins of minerals, metals, and gems. Towards the border with the Plane of Fire, this same stone melts into magma. In the opposite direction, it becomes damper and slides into mud. Still, all these inherent tunnels and imperfections are inconsequential; the sheer weight of rock that makes up the Earth Plane crushes comprehension.
Getting there… and BackEdit
Natural portals to the Earth Plane are located deep underground. The majority are under the roots of mountains and new mountains are ‘born’ from the stone of the Earth Plane to slowly extend into that of the Material. A few portals are located amid the labyrinthine tunnels below. Xorn or miners pillaging the rich resources of the Earth Plane usually hold these portals.
Artificial portals to the Earth Plane are common – it is a relatively safe inner plane, and filled with treasures. The Earth Plane has suffered so much from the predations of invaders that many of its denizens are now hostile towards all outsiders. Like the Fire Plane, plane shifting to the Plane of Earth often results in the traveller arriving somewhere unpleasant; in this case, entombed in solid rock. There are caverns and open areas within the plane, but random arrivals are unlikely (20%) to hit them. Using accurate portals, gates, or ethereal travel are a far safer option.
Survival on the Plane of EarthEdit
The Earth Plane can be divided into two categories – tunnels and solid rock. Tunnels are relatively easy to survive in, if the traveller has any clue about exploring dungeons or caves. The main dangers here are getting lost and a lack of air. Travellers should make Survival checks (DC 20; five ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) gives a +2 synergy bonus) to avoid getting lost in the randomly twisting caverns and tunnels. The lack of breathable atmosphere in many of the caverns is a larger problem. Most travellers carry their own air supplies or polymorph into forms that do not need to breathe.
Solid rock is impassable to most characters, which makes getting around on the Earth Plane rather difficult, and not everywhere is accessible by tunnel. Characters who cannot burrow need to either acquire a method of passing through the rock, or rely on teleport, dimension door, or ethereal travel to get through most of the plane.
The Earth Plane is lightless, save for the occasional burning lava flow, glowing crystal, or bioluminescent fungi. Most earth creatures are extraordinarily sensitive to vibration. One curiosity of the Earth Plane is the effect of its objective gravity. On other planes, where solid ground is a rarity this usually comes in the form of a pocket; gravity always draws in towards the centre of the local mass. A character on the Air or Fire Plane who encounters a floating lump of rock can walk all around the rock, and ‘down’ is always towards the center of the rock. However, on the solid Earth Plane, ‘down’ is ‘towards the nearest solid mass of stone’. As these stone masses cannot be seen by a traveller walking down a tunnel, he may encounter gravitational shifts as he leaves the influence of one mass and enters that of another, so the tunnel ‘floor’ becomes the ‘ceiling’. In the case of sudden shifts, the traveller must make a Reflex save (DC 10) to step back or else he falls. Most gravitational shifts are ‘corkscrew turns’, where ‘down’ moves up along one wall to the ceiling.
Features & PropertiesEdit
|Law/Chaos||-3||Biased towards Law|
|Earth spells||+6||Empowered & Extended|
|... to Material||9||Coterminous|
|... to Fire/Water/Positive/Negative Planes||11||Coterminous|
|... to Ethereal||14||Coexistent|
|... to Astral||7||Coterminous|
Every possible type of earth and stone can be found somewhere on the plane, as can almost every type of metal with the exceptions of magical metals and alchemical alloys. The walls of the tunnels are a beautiful mix of colours and textures. Millions of crystals reflect any light like a million stars.
While pockets of earth and other elements drift through the other Elemental Planes, the crushing pressure of the rocks does not allow similar pockets to survive on the Plane of Earth. Instead, the nascent pockets are forced down the path of least resistance – the tunnels and caves.
Water Channels come in two forms, permanent and tidal. Permanent water channels occur when there is an open portal or vast water pocket at the end of the tunnel. They resemble the rivers of the Material Plane, having similar denizens and posing similar dangers. The water from such rivers flows until it pools in one of the vast enclosed seas of the Earth Plane, or else disperses and drains away into the millions of tiny cracks in the stone.
Tidal channels are much more dangerous and occur when a water pocket suddenly bursts against the walls of earth emptying into the tunnels. Water floods through the caverns; those in a tunnel when it fills with water must make a Swim check (DC 12) each round for 1d100 rounds or be swept away. Failed checks cause a character to take 2d6 points of damage per round from smashing into rocks and stalactites.
Fire Channels are simply lava flows caused by fire pockets. They wind their way through the tunnels, carrying with them the occasional fire creature. The heat from the lava brings the air temperature in such tunnels to 2d20 + 120º and touching the lava deals 6d6 points of fire damage to the unfortunate traveller. Fire channels cool down and solidify after a few miles.
Air Channels, the rarest of the three types, are oases of ‘natural’ life (especially when water and fire channels are also nearby). They manifest as turbulent winds that howl down the tunnels; those in a tunnel when these winds course through them must make a Strength check (DC 15) each round for 1d100 rounds or be blown away. Failure causes a character to be carried 1d20 feet by the winds and take 2d6 points of damage per round from crashing into rocks and stalactites.
The grinding of the plane grinds rock down to dust and dirt. Soil bubbles are chambers of actual earth, not stone. They can be quite hazardous, as the loose soil acts like quicksand. If the soil
|Random Stone Type Table|
bubble has a source of light, such as glowing crystals or moisture, then life may flourish here in these eerie underground oases. Strange species that occur nowhere else can evolve and become extinct in hollows isolated by endless miles of rock. Soil bubbles that are accessible by tunnel are usually turned into farmland by whatever creature claims them.
Veins of metal and gemstones run through the body of the Earth Plane. If stonewells are its heart and channels the lungs and bowels of Earth, then wealth is surely its blood. Miners and thieves come from all over the planes like vampires, to greedily batten down onto the resources of the Earth Plane. Most of these invaders are nothing more than opportunistic travellers, grabbing a few choice gems before continuing on, but there are several large-scale mining operations.
Roll on the Random Stone Type Table every five miles or so to determine what sort of stone the surrounding walls are made of. A character trying to dig through stone can cut through (30 - the hardness of the rock) cubic feet per day. A successful Craft (Stonecutting) or Profession (miner) check (DC 10 + the hardness of the rock) doubles the amount shifted. When digging out gemstones or minerals, use the dig DC as the hardness of the material, but the character must also make a Craft (stonecutting)
or Profession (miner) check at the same DC; failure means he only gathers material worth half as much as normal in a day’s work.
Example: A dwarf miner wandering the Plane of Earth is told that there is a vein of gold behind a rock wall. The rock wall is made of slate (hardness of 8), so the dwarf can dig through 22 cubic feet of stone each day (one 5-ft. x 5-ft. x 5-ft. cube, roughly). If he makes a Profession (miner) (DC 18), he can double his speed. After two days of work, he hits the vein of gold. The gold has a Dig DC of 14. Each day of mining, he must make a Profession (miner) check (DC 14). On a success, he
digs out 100 gp worth of gold; if he fails, he only digs out 50 gp worth.
The above rules are really aimed at adventurers trying to quickly exploit a find.
|Magical Ores & Gemstones|
|3||Cold Iron||100 gp||15|
|6||Living Rock||10,000 gp||45|
|11||Spellshard Crystals||2000 gp||25|
An active stonewell is one of the strangest sights in all the planes: stone flowing like liquid out of the ground. The stone usually solidifies soon after emerging from the stonewell, but it can be bottled and kept fluid for a time. The liquid stone is quite cool and looks just like normal, solid stone, through it flows like quicksilver.
A stonewell belches forth one cubic foot of stone each round. Rarer stonefountains and stonegeysers create 2d6 and 1d100 cubic feet per round, respectively, and there are even larger stonetorrents deep in the plane. The liquid stone solidifies in 2d4 rounds. Treat liquid stone as mud (see transmute rock to mud), and the hardening process acts just like transmute mud to rock (and the Reflex Save of DC 15 to avoid being caught). Roll on the Random Stone Table to discover what sort of stone is being produced by the stonewell.
Echo Chambers (CR3)Edit
An echo chamber is an acoustically perfect cavern, 3d6 x 5 feet in length. Any sound made in the chamber is magnified and reflected dozens of times. Even a footstep can kill here, and a sonic attack usually causes catastrophic cave-ins. Spotting an echo chamber requires a Listen check (DC 15) to notice that something is ‘odd’ in the sounds coming from the chamber ahead, and a Knowledge (the planes) or Knowledge (architecture & engineering) check at DC 25 to know about echo chambers.
Characters passing through an echo chamber must make a Move Silently check at DC 12 to move safely. If the characters fail this check, speak, or make other noises while moving through the chamber, consult the Echo Chamber Damage Table. Echo chambers function for three rounds before the sound dissipates. If the damage ever exceeds 100 points in one round, the cave collapses (see cave-ins and collapses). Note that the damage on the table stacks – if a fighter runs in and hits a mage, who retaliates with a shout spell, the sonic damage in the first round is 1d10 (for the fighter’s unquiet movement) + 2d8 (for the attack) + an extra 5d6 (the damage of the shout spell).
Casting a shatter spell on an echo chamber collapses it automatically. Echo chambers are often used to execute criminals – a stone bearing a magic mouth recites the crimes of the condemned and also triggers the chamber’s sonic damage.
Table: Echo Chamber DamageEdit
|Sound||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round|
|Move Silently failed by|
|Sonic Damage||Equal damage||Triple damage||Double damage|
Mines of the AbandonmentEdit
In ages past, a race of strange outsiders set to mining the infinite wealth of the Plane of Earth. Such a task might seem insurmountable, but the outsiders were most cunning, and devised golems capable of replicating themselves from the material they mined. One golem would soon build another, then those two would build four, those four eight and so on, until a near-infinite number of golems mined a near-infinite amount of wealth . These golems were capable of adapting, so that if they encountered unexpected terrain or hostile foes, the golems could produce war-machines or specialist golems capable of dealing with these new challenges.
The race that built the mines is long gone, but the machines live on, a blind cancer eating through the Earth Plane. Uncountable billions of golems slowly cut into the stone. The materials gathered by the golems (primarily magical metals and gems) are placed in guarded and trapped vaults, to await the return of the overseers. The golem mines have not gone unnoticed, and thousands of elementals have perished fighting the miners. The other Earth races have as yet shied away from direct conflict, but the miners now threaten to encroach on their realms.
A more alarming development is the evolution of intelligence among the miners. Where once they were nothing but blind, unthinking constructs, there are now a few self-aware golems capable of wielding magic and commanding their fellows. Somewhere in the upper reaches of the Mines of the Abandonment, there is a Master Golem, or even a returned overseer, and it desires more than mere wealth.
The Golems of the AbandonmentEdit
The golems are divided into five castes. Copper Golems are the basic workers and miners, aided by Brass golems for heavy lifting and for dragging the ore back to the smelters. Bronze golems run the refineries and smelting plants and also make new golems. Silver golems are the guards and watchmen of the golem mines, while the Gold golems act as overseers and engineers.
The golems of abandonment share the following statistics (caste variations are noted in parentheses):
Hit Dice: 18d10+30 (129 hp)
Initiative: -1 (Dex)
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 30 (–1 size, –1 Dex, +22 natural (Brass: +30 natural) touch 8, flat-footed 30
Base Attack Bonus/Grapple: +12/+28
Attack: Slam +23 melee (2d10+11)
Full Attack: 2 slams +23 melee (2d10+11)
Special Attacks: (Silver: Breath weapon)
Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 15/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision (Bronze: Craft golem)
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +6
Abilities: Str 33 (Brass: Str 40), Dex 9, Con —, Int —, Wis 11 (Silver: Wis 15), Cha (Gold: Cha 15), Luk 10
Organization: Solitary or gang (1d3+1)
Challenge Rating: 13
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 19–24 HD (Large); 25–54 HD (Huge)
The golems have humanoid bodies made of metal; either copper, brass, bronze, silver, or gold. Silver golems often carry a short sword in one hand. All golems are 12 feet tall and weigh about 5,000 pounds. The golems of abandonment cannot speak or make any vocal noise, nor do they have any distinguishable odor. They move with a ponderous but smooth gait, each step causing even the floor of the Plane of Earth to tremble.
Breath Weapon (Su): Silver golems can expel a cloud of poisonous gas that fills a 10-foot cube and lasts 1 round. They may vomit up a poisonous cloud as a swift action once every 1d4+1 rounds; initial damage 1d4 Constitution, secondary damage 3d4 Constitution, Fortitude (DC 19) negates. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Craft Golem: Bronze golems can create other golems of any caste without having to expend money, magic or experience. It takes a bronze golem 100 days to make a golem, although up to five bronze golems can work together, each one reducing the remaining time by half (rounding up).
Immunity to Magic (Ex): All golems are immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
A magical attack that deals electricity damage slows a golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds, with no saving throw.
A magical attack that deals fire damage breaks any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for each 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. For example, a gold golem hit by a fireball gains back 6 hit points if the damage total is 18 points. A golem gets no saving throw against fire effects.
Vaults of Dreaming StoneEdit
Buildings from the Vault of Dreaming Stone
If using the buildings rules from The Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, buildings copied from those in the Vault have 50% more hit points and a +5 bonus to hardness. If a building can somehow be transported wholesale from the Vault, it has 100% more hit points and a +10 bonus to hardness.
The Vaults of Dreaming Stone are often considered a myth of the dwarves, but certain travellers whisper that they do exist. Some stone desires to be worked, to be carved and built into wonderful castles and constructions. The dwarves speak of stones that leap into place, of statues that hide within stone, and so are not carved by the mason, but revealed.
In the Vaults of Dreaming Stone, these stones have clustered together and built themselves. There are castles, towers, arches and cathedrals that formed because they must be, because they are shapes inherent in the stone, without any aid from mason or mortar. Just looking at the Vault of Dreaming Stone gives a character a permanent +2 inherent bonus to Knowledge (architecture & engineering) and spending a month studying the Vault increases this bonus to by +1 per week (maximum bonus of +6 total). Many dwarven ghosts haunt the Vault; these ghosts are the spirits of stone-workers who would prefer to look on such perfect buildings instead of moving on to the Afterworld.
Fields of IounEdit
The Fields of Ioun are a series of huge caverns near the border with the Positive Energy Plane. The constant wash of power over the gemstones embedded in the cavern walls slowly infuses them with magic, transforming them into the fabled ioun stones. The Fields of Ioun can be dangerous to travellers, as the positive tides flow in and out quickly. Roll 1d10 for the current position of the Fields on the Positive/Negative axis, then roll +1d6 and –1d6 each round to see if the tides ebb or flow. The Fields never go below Unholy/Holy 0.
At any time, there are 2d20 random ioun stones present in the fields, but there are always other creatures and travellers hoping to dash in and steal a few stones before the positive energy transforms them into incandescent fire.
The Terran language is slow. Many languages are slow – treant leaps to mind – but at least treant does not rely on subsonic echoes that are perceived through the listener’s bones to carry information. Saying ‘hello’ in Terran takes hours. Conversations are not quite so slow; most conversations in Terran take place on several different ‘sonic strata’ at once, but getting any one piece of knowledge across is very, very, very slow.
A character who speaks Terran gets a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy, Sense Motive and Knowledge (the planes) checks relating to the Plane of Earth and its denizens, and a +1 insight bonus to Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks involving stone.
The Entombment of Karak AzilEdit
Karak Azil was a powerful demon lord who led his legions to conquer a rich section of the Plane of Earth. He offended an ancient elemental lord, who transformed the plain on which the legions were assembled into mud. Karak Azil leapt forward and slew the elemental lord with his demonic blade, Malevolence. When the elemental lord died, his transmutation spell ceased, the mud turned back into stone – and the legion of demons found themselves half-entombed in rock.
Being demons, and therefore immune to starvation and thirst, the legions are still there. The magically affected stone prevents them from teleporting or polymorphing their way out, but they can be dug out by brute force. Enterprising demonologists sometimes come to the Entombment to dig up a demon servant. Some demons are buried up to their waists, and can still converse or attack. In other places, limbs or faces are all that protrude from the stone.
As for Karak Azil, Conqueror of Nine Hundred Worlds, Malevolent Master of the Scarlet Legion, Consort to the Queen of Syric, Goat-King of the Realm of Ge’thal – he is stuck face down. A geyser of curses and foulness issues constantly from a small air-hole near his mouth.
The native creatures of the Plane of Earth include earth elementals, earth and salt mephits, grimlocks, thoqqua, and xorn. There are also some genie colonies. The sheer density of the plane means that any civilizations tend to be very isolated; one patch of tunnels might be inhabited by a mephit kingdom, while a xorn feeding pod moves through the rock a few hundred feet away, neither ever knowing the other is there. Travellers can wander the empty tunnels for decades and never encounter another living soul.
The Six Ethical StrataEdit
The Six Ethical Strata are the beliefs of the earth elementals. Every elemental subscribes to three of these curious philosophies, and debates concerning the validity of one strata over another manifest as creaking noises or even earthquakes. The strata are divided into three opposed pairs.
The Strata of Shape vs. the Strata of FormEdit
The Strata of Shape holds that stone can only find its truest potential when carved and built. These elementals view other creatures such as dwarves as necessary agents of change for stone, and ally with them. The opposing Strata of Form believes that each stone is created perfect, and carving is blasphemy. They oppose all forms of mining and building.
The Strata of Height vs. the Strata of DepthEdit
The elementals of the Strata of Height venerate mountains and great outcrops of stone, while those of the Strata of Depth prefer tunnels and the great bulk of underground stone. Either faction will take up arms to defend their chosen terrain. As there are no true mountains on the Plane of Earth, the followers of the Strata of Height welcome being summoned to other planes.
The Strata of Hardness vs. the Strata of DensityEdit
The Strata of Hardness dictates that it is the outer face of stone that determines the nature of the stone. These elementals polish themselves and embed gemstones into their bodies (and can easily be bribed with such things). The opposing Strata of Density holds that what is within an elemental is what matters. These elementals ignore their physical appearance, looking like vaguely humanoid lumps of rock, and concentrate instead on developing their skills and mastery of the earth.
Medium Outsider (Earth)
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (21 hp)
Armor Class: 20 (+10 natural armor), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack Bonus/Grapple: +3/+5
Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d4+3) or magic stone +4 ranged (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Two claws +5 melee (1d4+3) or magic stone +4 ranged (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5-ft. /5-ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Stoneskin, Vulnerability to Sonics, Tremorsense
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +5
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 12, Luk 10
Skills: Concentration +6, Craft (stone) +4, Hide +6, Knowledge (architecture & engineering) +4, Listen +6, Move Silently +6, Spot +6
Feats: Craft Construct, Improved Natural Armor
Climate/Terrain: Plane of Earth
Organization: Listening Post (2-5) or Tribe (20-50, + 1d4 Clay Golems)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Always lawful neutral
Advancement: By character class
This creature looks like a half-finished statue; a face and limbs emerge randomly from a lump of uncut stone.
Seisants are a race of creatures created to tend the stone. They seem to be intermediaries between elementals and a ‘true’ race; they have much more individuality and a distinct lifecycle, but are still born from stone. They have great command over stone, a power they attribute to the attention they pay to the song of the earth. To the seisants, the whole world is singing. Their tribes criss-cross the tunnels of the Earth Plane, looking for particularly harmonic places from which to listen.
Seisant travellers to other worlds are rare, although some tribes specialize in visiting other realms to compare notes. Seisants speak a variant of Terran. Their favored class is cleric.
Seisants only attack those who interfere with their listening to the song of the earth. However, ‘interference’ can take many different forms – just talking in the wrong corridor or digging in the wrong spot can warp the symphony of the stone and anger the seisants.
Craft Golem: Seisants can create clay golems without having to expend money, magic or experience. It takes a seisant 100 days to make a golem, although up to five seisants can work together, each one halving the remaining time (rounding up). The golems are magically altered to be almost totally silent (Move Silently +10).
Stoneskin (Su): Seisants have an outer shell identical to the effects of a stoneskin spell. If this shell is removed (see below), it takes 1d4 weeks to regrow.
Vulnerability to Sonics (Ex): Seisants must make a Fortitude save when exposed to any sonic damage. The DC for this save is equal to 10 + the damage dealt. If the save is failed, the seisant’s outer shell cracks and sloughs off, removing their stoneskin ability.
Tremorsense (Ex): Seisants can sense the location of any creature in contact with the stone within a range of 120 feet.
Spell-like abilities (Sp): At will: magic stone, passwall, stone shape, stone tell. 3/day: wall of stone, spike stones. 1/day: summon nature’s ally IV (earth elemental only). All spells are cast as if by a 6th level cleric, and the save DC is 14 + the spell level.
Skills: Seisants have a +4 racial bonus to Craft (stone) and Knowledge (architecture & engineering) checks. They have a +4 racial bonus to Hide and Listen checks, but only when on the Plane of Earth.