The Positive Energy Plane, also known as the Holy Energy Plane, is light. Everything is washed in a glorious burning white glare that somehow is also perfectly clear and does not impede vision in the slightest. Everything is lit from within, as if the essential nature of every creature and object is visible and glowing. If a traveller looks past the glare, the Positive Energy Plane vaguely resembles the adjacent Elemental Plane; near the Water Plane, it is an ocean of light, for example. On the border of Fire, the flames turn to shining beacons of coruscating energy. Along the edge of Earth, shining mountains reach into the glowing energy. At the border with Air, little floating islands drift in the light.
All this, however, is just the outer corona of the Positive Energy Plane. Travelling deeper, a traveller encounters a region so bright and energetic that all possible descriptions and distinctions melt away. Whatever is in the heart of the Positive Energy Plane, it cannot be perceived or known by mortal or god alike.
Getting there… and BackEdit
There are almost no portals to the Positive Energy Plane. Natural portals are unknown save in the most unlikely confluences of magical events (occasionally, the heroic death of a powerful paladin or cleric suffused with holy energy can create a temporary planar rift, and magical accidents can produce almost any effect). Artificial portals are also rare, although some researchers do draw on positive energy, and some of the larger clerical orders use portals for healing. Plane shifting to the Positive Energy Plane is risky, as the character might end up in one of the more lethal zones of the plane. A precise gate is a much safer option.
Survival on the Plane of Positive EnergyEdit
The main danger is the traveller exploding. Too much holy energy causes a traveller to combust in a flare of light. The outer corona of the plane is only positive-aspected, so a traveller is fairly safe.
Those struck by a dolorous weapon suffer an unhealing wound that deals 5 hit points of damage per round. A character can only have one of these unhealing wounds; further blows with a dolorous weapon deal normal damage only. The wound may only be healed with a miracle spell.
The deeper regions and flare zones are positive-dominant, which can kill a creature with sheer glory. There are no known spells that can defend against positive energy in the same way a death ward can (although it is a virtual certainty that some lich has developed a life ward spell, though the undead are surely loath to share their magic), so travellers hoping to pass through the deeper reaches must use other methods.
The traditional approach is to use a dolorous wound – a magically unhealing wound that is unaffected even by the holy energy of the plane. Dolorous wounds can only be inflicted by a dolorous sword, and can only be healed by a miracle. A character with a dolorous wound loses five hit points per round, every round (neatly balancing the fast healing 5 trait of the positive-dominant reaches).
Other travellers carry vampiric cockleshells. These are tiny shells containing distilled vampire blood. The shell sucks at the life energy of the wearer, draining 1d8 hit points each round. If the shell deals only one point of damage for three rounds in a row, the holy energy destroys the undead essence in the blood, ruining the cockleshell.
The other problems of the Positive Energy Plane, such as a lack of air, food, gravity and so on are relatively easy to deal with by magic. Navigation is also an issue, as there are no landmarks or permanent features that can be perceived by most creatures.
Features & PropertiesEdit
|Life||18||All is alive|
|... to Material||9||Coterminous|
|... to Air/Earth/Fire/Water Planes||11||Coterminous|
|... to Ethereal||14||Coexistent|
|... to Astral||7||Coterminous|
The Outer CoronaEdit
The borderlands of the Positive Energy Plane are only positive-aspected, not positive-dominated, so they are relatively safe for travellers. They contain elemental pockets from the neighbouring elemental plane (floating rocks and mountains from the Earth Plane, pools of water and oceans near Water and so on). The Outer Corona also gives rise to positively-charged variants of the elements, such as Radiance, Incense or even Holy Water.
The Outer Corona has few inhabitants; it is too marginal for the bizarre denizens of the plane, and too unstable for most travellers. While the positive-aspected trait is quite beneficial (fast healing 2 with no drawbacks), a flare or energy storm can quickly wipe a traveller out. The Outer Corona is therefore dotted with shelters such as the Towers of Earth.
Animated Objects and Manifest Thoughts
Objects animated by the life energy of the plane behave as if affected by an animate objects spell. Manifest thoughts appear to be people or places from the traveller’s memory, but they are constructs of the plane. The thoughts have exactly the same statistics and abilities as the ‘real’ people, but tend to reflect the character’s current mindset. A traveller thinking of a lost friend might accidentally conjure up a manifestation of that friend, while one worried about an enemy might create an apparition of that foe. A character can consciously suppress surface thoughts to block the creation of manifestations by making a Concentration check (DC 15).
The Inner LightEdit
The deeper regions of the Positive Energy Plane are incomprehensible to outsiders. Here, the sheer life energy of the plane is so great that thoughts and stories become living beings, and objects become self-aware and animated. Literally anything may be possible in the Inner Light. It is always bright, always transcendently joyous, always on the verge of some apotheosis, but it changes with every step.
Towers of EarthEdit
Despite the name, these fortifications occur throughout the Outer Corona, although they are much more common along the border with the Earth Plane. The Towers are huge, thick-walled fortresses with leaded windows that block the dangerous effects of the Positive Energy Plane, protecting those within. Larger Towers are made of adamantine, and are immune to positive energy. Other Towers are made of much softer matter, such as granite or marble, and slowly become charged with energy. New Towers are dull and dark; Towers on the verge of collapse glow with their own inner brightness. Overcharged towers are cut loose and left to drift off into the plane, where they become incandescents.
Most Towers of Earth are inhabited by mages or clerics studying the energy plane, or are used as waystations by travellers. Others are held by watchful outsiders who guard the Positive Energy Plane from interference, or even by liches or other powerful undead who research methods to put an end to positive energy forever. Most Towers of Earth include a heavy main door, made of the same material as the Tower. This door is usually unlocked unless the tower is occupied. Inside, there is a storeroom and a spiral staircase leading up. The first floors of most Towers are bedrooms or living area with no windows. The top floor has thick leaded windows or arrowslits. Some Towers have a walkway or battlement on top.
While any god can create positive energy through exertion of divine power, most prefer to tap the infinite Plane of Positive Energy and channel that energy to their worshippers. They do this by means of the Holygates, cyclopean temples centred around a huge gate that floats through the Outer Corona, drawing on the energy flows. These holygates are always guarded by a host of the god’s servants, usually celestials. A character can, in desperation, go through a holygate, but these great portals were made to convey positive energy, not base matter. A character passing through a holygate is affected as if he had just cast contact other plane and asked a question of the deity who controls the gate. Holygates always head to the home plane of the deity.
Most of the hazards of the Positive Energy Plane occur when the Inner Light expands into the Outer Corona.
A flare occurs when a huge tendril of energy, many miles across, reaches out of the Inner Light. In rare cases, this can expand into a starc, but usually the flare is restricted to the Outer Corona. The leading edge of a flare is a crackling wall of white light, moving at 1d6 x 50 feet per round. Inside, the Holy Trait of the plane increases by +1 every three rounds, to a maximum of +9. The area will quickly become Positive-dominant, causing unprotected characters to explode fairly quickly.
Incandescents are pockets of matter that have become so suffused with positive energy that they are on the verge of exploding, just like a character who has gained too many temporary hit points. The process works on matter in a similar fashion, but much more slowly. Incandescents look just like the usual floating islands, drifting oceans and other elemental pockets, but are much brighter and shimmer with colorless fire. Incandescents are naturally unstable. If a character strikes an incandescent with an attack, there is a percentage chance equal to the damage inflicted that the incandescent explodes (if a creature in or on an incandescent misses an attack by more than 10, it strikes the incandescent, and area-affect spells like lightning bolt automatically strike the ground when targeting a creature on or in an incandescent).
When an incandescent explodes, it floods the surrounding area with positive energy. All creatures within 120 feet of the incandescent gain 3d20 temporary hit points. If this takes a creature above twice its normal hit point total, it risks exploding, as if it were within the Inner Light of the plane. Incandescents can be any form of elemental pocket or even former Towers of Earth.
Energy Storms (CR10)Edit
An energy storm is a flare that has curled back on itself and is collapsing. In an energy storm, the Holy Trait varies between +2 and +9 each round (roll 1d8+1 to determine the current Holy trait). Furthermore, bolts of energy lash the skies of the Positive Realm. Each bolt deals 6d6 points of damage (roll 1d4 for the type of energy: 1 – electrical, 2 – sonic, 3 – fire, 4 – arcane). There is a one in six chance that a character is struck in any round, and a Reflex save (DC 15) is allowed for half damage.
Furthermore, the storm sends turbulent waves of force rushing across the plane; moving in an energy storm is akin to moving through a tornado. Energy storms can last for hours or even days.
Positive Fluxes (CR varies)Edit
A positive flux occurs just after a major disaster on another plane, such as a battle, plague, or earthquake. Hundreds of clerics and paladins draw on positive energy to cast their healing spells. As there is a very rough mapping between locations on the Positive Energy Plane and other realms (two clerics casting heal side by side draw from the same fount of energy, and holygates only exacerbate this phenomenon). When a positive flux occurs, the Holy trait of the plane decreases to +1 for a brief period (usually no more than 10 + 1d10 rounds). However, the flux also causes the Positive Plane to momentarily reflect the source of the drain, creating images of the plague hospice, battlefield, or disaster site. Often, these images are given life and animation by the energy of the plane, causing travellers passing through the flux to be attacked by the spectral forces of the dying.
The Living CityEdit
The Living City floats in a curiously stable region on the border of the Inner Light. The region has a Holy trait of only +7, but still animates objects almost immediately. The entire city is aware and alive. Every object, doorknob, brick and lantern is animated. Furthermore, they retain this animation for months or years after leaving the Living City. As a lantern has a better understanding of how to light a room than any spelunker, and a hammer knows the art of forging better than a smith, merchants and craftsmen often travel to the Living City to hire tools. A tool from the Living City grants a +3 to +5 insight bonus to the appropriate task. Living weapons may also be hired here (but not magical ones – the act of imbuing an item with magic renders it immune to the animating effects of the Positive Energy Plane).
This castle is ruled by a wounded king, an ancient warlord who suffered the first Dolorous Wound. Indeed, he bears a dolorous sword made magical with his own blood. This nameless king was a great hero, long ago. He was wounded in battle, and brought to this castle to heal and grow strong. One day, his unhealing wound shall be relieved, and he shall return to the land in the time of greatest need. Until then, he sits on his throne in the midst of pure white light, and waits.
Travellers sometimes come to Castle Corbenic. The king tries them with tests designed to prove heroism and moral virtue. After all, the king does not know how long he must wait, and he will need strong and loyal followers when he returns to the mortal land.
The Phoenix TreeEdit
The Phoenix Tree is an eternally burning tree located somewhere near the border between the Plane of Fire and the Plane of Positive Energy. The legendary phoenix nests amid its branches. Not only can the eggs of the phoenix be found here, but the fruit of the tree grants immortality to anyone who eats it (the character stops aging, and is instantly true resurrected if slain. The true resurrection ability only works once, and the character can subsequently be killed normally). The Tree of the Phoenix is guarded not only by the Phoenix itself, but also by a powerful celestial pyrohydra named Ladon.
At the innermost heart of the Inner Light, in the center of all infinities, there is a humble stone well, weathered by the passage of uncountable aeons. The well stands on a small hill, surrounded by blazing fields of energy and light. This well is the Fountainhead, the Prime Source, the beginning of all things. It is guarded by a hooded figure of indeterminate age, race or gender. It is not a god or outsider, but something beyond either and it has allowed no being closer to the well than the foot of the hill.