A traveller can feel the heat through a portal. Every inch of this infinite plane is on fire; not the soul-searing spiritual flames of the Infernum, but real, flesh-blistering combustion. What little air exists is thick with smoke; what little solid matter exists is fuel for the fires. The light from the dancing flames leaps all around, illuminating infinite vistas of red and orange, blue and white. If you cannot stand the heat, you have no business here.
Getting there… and BackEdit
The Plane of Fire is best accessed by travelling to the Ethereal Plane, going to the Border Ethereal of the Fire Plane, and then transiting to the Fire Plane in a relatively safe place. Using an inexact method such as plane shift risks the traveller emerging in the heart of an inferno. Most natural portals to the Plane of Fire occur in the heart of volcanoes or in the core of the hottest forest fires and are hardly viable options. After all, anyone with the magical wherewithal to survive jumping into a volcano should probably just gate to the Plane of Fire and cut out all the falling and burning. Magical portals to this plane tend to be one-way vortices that draw flames out of the Fire Plane, and many civilizations tap the energy of these flames to power their own industries. The rare two-way portals are usually controlled by genies.
Survival on the Plane of FireEdit
The most hospitable parts of the Plane of Fire – the sections that have been deliberately cooled and controlled to be used as audience chambers and trading grounds – are still hotter than the most sun-parched deserts. Any character not protected by endure elements must make a Fortitude save every ten minutes (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or be dealt 1d4 points of non-lethal damage. Characters wearing heavy clothing or armor of any sort take a -4 penalty on their saves. A character with the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well (see the skill description). Characters reduced to unconsciousness begin taking lethal damage (1d4 points per hour).
The ‘cooler’ reaches, as opposed to the ‘blighted and frozen’ grounds described above, are hotter than a bonfire (1d10 points of fire damage each round), while the majority of the plane has an average temperature that can melt steel (3d10 damage per round). Protection from elements spells are the best solution for a short visit; while polymorphing into a creature immune to fire is the normal solution for long-term travel on the plane. Even precautions like these are not foolproof – not even magical protection can guard against the hottest parts of the plane, and native spellcasters regularly employ dispel magic against unwanted visitors.
The Fire Plane is probably the most inhospitable of the Elemental Planes – while all the elemental realms pose their own unique difficulties, only the Fire Plane incinerates unwary visitors the moment they arrive. The other problem here is the lack of air; while characters can breathe in the rare pockets of Elemental Air, the majority of the plane that is not actually fire is filled with superheated air, thick with smoke and noxious fumes. A traveller arriving is in danger of ‘drowning’ despite his protections.
Features & PropertiesEdit
|Law/Chaos||3||Biased towards Chaos|
|... to Material||9||Coterminous|
|... to Air/Earth/Positive/Negative Planes||11||Coterminous|
|... to Ethereal||14||Coexistent|
|... to Astral||7||Coterminous|
The Plane of Fire has six distinct types of terrain, different configurations of fire and gas. The only really solid matter in the Plane of Fire is the occasional pocket of stone sheared from the Earth Plane. Almost everything in the plane is composed of flame – even the ‘air’ is just fire burning in a colour that cannot be readily perceived.
The most common terrain encountered on the plane, open fires are just that – vast raging firestorms dancing all around. There is no up or down, no ground to burn or air to scorch, just fire, fire, as far as the eye can see. Moving in open fire is only possible for native creatures, which can ‘swim’ through the fire, or by using magic like fly. The raging flames cut visibility to 1d4 x
10 feet, and deal 3d10 points of damage every round to any unprotected characters. The sheets of fire rushing through the plane change color randomly; while reds, oranges and yellows dominate the flames, there are bursts of blue, green, white and even black fire. The few structures built in open fires float through the flame; the whole landscape is reminiscent of an underwater environment, if all the sea was turned to fire.
Landscapes of FlameEdit
|Fire Color||Equivalent Matter||Damage|
|Light red||Earth, wood, clay||1d6|
|Yellow||Most plant matter||1d8|
|Blue||Water and other liquids||1d6|
|White||Fire and other light sources||1d12|
This surreal terrain is the most welcoming to travellers from the Material Plane, as it strongly resembles the mundane world. There are mountains and plains, rivers and forests. True, all of them are made of solid fire, but they are at least comprehensible. Landscapes of flame are made of different kinds of fire; color translates to temperature and density. So, a traveller approaching a castle on the Plane of Fire would see a structure made of reddish flames. The gate burns with a yellow light, while the banner flapping in the unseen breeze glows white and yellow. The fire elemental guards bear swords of orange fire. If the traveller touches the wall, he is dealt 1d4 points of damage, while touching the yellow gate deals 1d8 damage.
Landscapes of Flame often occur where the Material Plane and Fire Plane come into alignment – the terrain of the Fire Plane will not be a perfect copy of the Material Realm, but the two will echo each other.
The Ash WastesEdit
The eternal flames of the Plane of Fire do not require fuel. Still, pockets of matter do drift into the plane through portals, or are brought in as payment or sacrifices to powerful elementals. Whole nations have been consumed by the flames – take a handful of ash floating on the thermal winds, and you hold kings and heroes of old. All this ash drifts down into the colder reaches, where the Plane of Fire comes close to the Negative Energy Plane. In the depths, there are great deserts of ashes and embers, broken by the occasional pool of stillburning flame or the crumbling remains of scorched stone. The Ash Wastes are all but bereft of elementals, who prefer warmer climes, but the other denizens of the Fire Plane often sift through the ashes for relics. The Ash Wastes are so cool that they only deal 1d6 points of fire damage per round.
|Gradations of Fire Damage|
|Flame Color||Damage per Round|
Gradations of FireEdit
Some sections of the Fire Plane are less homogenous than the chaotic flames of open fires. In the terrain called Gradations, the hotter flames rise and the cooler flames sink. These regions are vertical columns of changing colours, a twisted rainbow of heat. The Gradations are somewhat safer for travellers, as they can find their way to cooler regions easily. Each Gradation is about 200 feet in height, but can extend for hundreds of miles. From the traveller’s perspective, there are ‘shells’ of flame – the ‘sky’ might be burning white, while the ‘ground’ is a sheet of yellow-green flame. Both sky and ground are nothing more than fire, and will not support a traveller.
The most common pockets of foreign elemental material are pockets of earth. The surfaces of these chunks of earth and stone are scorched and burnt, but it can take centuries for the pocket to be burnt off. Earth pockets are highly valued, and are quickly claimed by elemental gangs and petty warlords alike. The innards of an Earth pocket are shielded from the heat of the elemental plane, and offer shelter to travellers. However, they may contain creatures from the Earth Realm, especially thoqqua.
Air pockets tend to disperse quickly, and those that endure are usually filled with foul smoke and fumes. A traveller can breathe in an air pocket, but must make a Fortitude save (DC 12) each round or be sickened.
Water pockets are the rarest of all – the pocket is surrounded by a cloud of steam with a radius twice that of the pocket, which deals 1d10 points of damage per round to travellers passing through it. Worse, the pocket itself is boiling away; and whilst it can be used as shelter, it does, however, deal 10d6 points of damage per minute to anyone within it.
The Purest of FlamesEdit
Elemental fires need no fuel, though they will gleefully devour it if offered. They are not snuffed out by a lack of air, although they will burn all the brighter if they have access to it. They are ever changing complex shapes, taking on all possible forms as they flicker. They care nothing for the light they shed or the flesh they burn, they know nothing except their own bright dance.
The whole Plane of Fire is a hazard. Environments that would be considered incredibly perilous in other planes are cool showers and balmy days amid the flames. Even in such a dangerous realm, though, there are ever more perilous phenomena.
Calamitous Stars (CR5)Edit
A calamitous star occurs when a particular cluster of flames begins to burn with unparalleled intensity, usually due to a burst of positive energy or a particularly rich source of fuel. Due to the eternal nature of the flames and the light gravity, the intense fire soon breaks off from whatever terrain it was a part of and shoots across the plane. Some calamitous stars behave like comets, circling the outer reaches or even flying off into another one of the elemental planes.
Most calamitous stars never get that far; instead they smash into an elemental pocket or an outcropping of solid red fire. A calamitous star travels at 3d6 x 10 feet per round, is (20 - the result of the 3d6 roll) x 5 feet in radius, and deals 5d10 points of fire damage and 5d10 points from the impact of its hit.
Spontaneous Combustion (CR5)Edit
Protection spells can only do so much. The magic’s shield prevents the character’s flesh from melting, but waves of heat energy still bathe every cell in his body. If the protection fails, but the body does not have time to adjust, the character can simply burst into flames. A character risks spontaneous combustion if a protection from energy or similar spell is exhausted by exactly enough damage needed to deplete the spell (i.e., a spell with 10 points of protection left takes 10 fire damage). In such a situation, the character must make a Fortitude save if he takes fire damage in the next round; the DC for this save is 10 + the amount of fire damage sustained. If the save is failed, the character begins to burn up from the inside; he takes an extra 1d6 points of fire damage every round that cannot be absorbed by protection from elements or resist elements. The only way to stop an impending combustion is to apply cold damage to the character – if the character takes any cold damage, he may make a Fortitude save (DC 20 minus the amount of cold damage dealt); if successful, the combustion stops. An impending combustion is quite visible to everyone around the character – his skin begins to glow from within and his blood boils.
Thermoclasms are intense fire storms; they manifest as roiling fronts of black flame, shot through with red and white fire-lightning and spitting columns of sparks. Thermoclasms increase the fire damage dealt by the local environment by 2d10, but the violent winds and shifting thermals throw characters around; characters in a thermoclasm must make a Balance check (DC equal to 15 + the extra damage of the thermoclasm). This check is modified by creature size as if it was a grapple check (Large creatures get a +4 bonus, Huge a +8 bonus, Small creatures get a –4 penalty and so on). If the check is failed, the creature is thrown a number of feet equal to the extra damage x 5 feet in a random direction.
Thermoclasms usually only last for a few hours, but they encompass vast areas (1d10 x 50 miles on average). They are caused when a calamitous star crashes into the Ash Wastes, throwing up a huge cloud of charged ash and fire.
There are few permanent locations on the chaotic Plane of Fire – both the elementals and the genies tend to be nomadic. The azer have their mines and forges, which are located either beneath Landscapes of Flame or within Earth Pockets.
The product of a massive natural portal to the Plane of Water, the area around Lake Adamere is the coolest and safest region on the Fire Plane (the ambient air temperature is a balmy 140º F). The outer edges of the lake are boiling, and vast clouds of steam roll off the lake and onto the surrounding fires. The inner parts of the lake are relatively safe, although there are slicks of ever burning oil and the occasional island of fire. Adamere is protected by dozens of steam elementals, a curious blend of elements that can only exist under certain rare conditions. The lake is home to the majority of their race, and they will defend it with their lives. The ruler of the steam elementals is a curious entity named Ashbless, and is believed to be the undead remnant of a powerful fire elemental lord. As fire elementals normally merge back into the plane when they die and do not have distinct spirits, it is uncertain how Ashbless attained undeath without recourse to a spell of lichdom.
Catarus (Large Town)
Referred to informally as ‘the other city of brass’, Catarus is a trade town built on the shores of Lake Adamere. The whole city is enclosed in a brass shell; water from the heart of the lake is pumped by mighty golem-driven bellows into pipes that wind around the inside of the shell. The constant running water keeps the brass from melting; the steam produced is channelled back through the city to power all sorts of wondrous devices.
The most wondrous of these devices, of course, are the famed Catarean portals. These steam-driven portals can be aligned to target almost any plane, and can force their way in. Worlds that would otherwise require a key or other token to reach can be travelled to via Catarus. The Chattering Lords, the rulers of Catarus, have sworn not to use the city’s abilities to wage war, but the
Ignan is the second most difficult of the elemental languages to speak. It is a quick, harsh language, full of crackles and hisses. Emotional tone is conveyed by how quickly the speaker talks; angry fire elementals speak faster than calm ones.
A character who speaks Ignan gets a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy, Sense Motive and Knowledge (the planes) checks relating to the Plane of Fire and its denizens.
city itself is vulnerable to siege (cut off the pipes to the lake, and Catarus will bake in its own shell). More than a few warlords have considered conquering the brass city and using it to storm another plane.
The Seat of the Twelve Designate FlamesEdit
This is one of the largest fortresses on the entire plane, and has a unique defensive feature – it is surrounded by a moat of elemental ice. While non-fiery creatures can easily walk across the ice, it is a lethal barrier to any fire creatures trying to reach the fortress. The Twelve Designate Flames are ancient and powerful fire elementals, each of which has special authority over a type of fire. Their names are pronounceable only in Ignan, but some have been roughly translated into Common as Forge, Pyre, Beacon, Refine and City-Eater. Five of the Twelve Designate Flames are said to be locked in the dungeon of the fortress. The least of the Twelve, Hearth, is the one most often encountered by travellers, as he is the doorkeeper of the Seat.
Any fire that is blessed by the appropriate one of the Twelve burns twice as strongly for twice as long, and cannot be extinguished by any means save magic (and even then, the caster of the extinguishing spell must make a caster level check against DC 32).
The native creatures of the Plane of Fire include azers, efreeti, fire, steam and magma mephits, hell hounds, magmin, pyrohydras, rast, salamanders, thoqqua, and fire elementals. Most can be found throughout the plane, although the hell hounds are normally encountered only in the Ash Wastes. The salamanders have the largest single empire, although it is heavily feudalised and occupied mainly with holding back the rast swarms. The azer and magmin have their own kingdoms where the fires are banked and solid, near the border with the Earth Plane. The efreeti have their fabled City in that region too, but most efreeti pashas have their outposts in the upper reaches of the plane.
The Four Arcs of FireEdit
The Four Arcs of Fire are four divergent philosophies that dominate the fire elemental mindset. As fire elementals are neither bright nor patient, discussions of the Four Arcs usually degenerate into fiery brawls. Still, a working knowledge of the Four Arcs is useful for dealing with fire elementals.
The Arc of Purity: Followers of the Arc of Purity believe that fire is the perfect element, and that its purity should not be sullied by the intrusions of other substances. They attack elemental pockets and travellers on sight, trying to drive them out of the plane. Being summoned to the Material Plane is like being dragged into a lake of sewage to these elementals; they are very likely to try to turn on the summoner if they can, or at least wilfully misinterpret commands. These elementals are positively insulted if offered fuel as a bribe – they see burning things as a grotesque perversion.
The Arc of Fusion: The Arc of Fusion holds that the elemental fires burn brightest when in synergy with other elements. They welcome offers of fuel and commerce with other elements. Elementals of the Arc of Fusion cluster around portals, begging for fuel and offering their services as guides and guards. They often mimic the actions of travellers and attempt to be as cosmopolitan as possible – followers of this philosophy can often be found on other planes.
The Arc of Transience: The Arc of Transience believes that it is fire’s nature to begin as a small spark, to feed and grow, and then to finally burn out. While most elementals manifest at a particular size and only rarely change in form, all followers of the Arc of Transience begin as Small elementals and slowly grow into a Huge form over the course of several decades. When they reach this Huge size, they must die. However, elementals on the Plane of Fire are naturally as immortal as the eternal flames; therefore, the Transient Ones must leave the plane, blundering through the worlds as they look for a place to die.
The Arc of Ash: The Arc of Ash’s philosophy is that everything should burn. Like the followers of the Arc of Fusion, they welcome being summoned to the Material Plane, but only so they can burn things. They will attack travellers in order to burn them, but can be recruited with the promises of bigger things to burn. The Arc of Ash is the most popular of the four philosophies among young elementals.