Friday, October 18, 2019

Printing the Prime Material Plane in the Ether

This was an idea I posted on Google Plus (may it rest in piece) and mentioned it again earlier this week on Discord, so I might as well preserve it here, too.

The idea of Elemental Planes existing outside the Prime Material Plane seems strange, when the elements are presumably fundamental building blocks of matter. That is why they are called elements, after all.

I think a better analogy for the relationship of the Elemental Planes to the Prime would be CYMK printing. The Prime is "printed" on the ethereal medium by overlay of patterns of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. The elemental planes (branes is probably more appropriate) maybe not be center over the prime, perhaps they have poles or sources they emanate from, but they could be.

The arrangement could be represented diagrammatically like this:


bombasticus said...

Hot stuff! How great that they're called "branes."

This might make interactions with a pure elemental a subtractive process for us Primes where we have to screen out, "banish" or filter aspects of ourselves in order to operate on that level. You aren't really going to water world. You're just reducing your internal fire to the point where everything you see is water. Meanwhile unless that shunted fire is dealt with in a smart way it is now out there in the world outside your supervision. Hierophants make a game out of all of this.

For elemental people it would be the opposite process. They would need to learn at least one new element in order to talk to us effectively, so probably approach the Prime via paraelemental channels. Summoning a pure elemental directly is probably a violent erasure of all competing print layers to let the monochromatic shine through. Maybe the various summons channels (device, staff, spell) are stronger or weaker erasures.

Trey said...

I feel like manifestation of an elemental on the Prime indeed requires other elemental or paraelemental involvement, in that elementals I assume appear as the material as it is known: mundane water, fire, etc. But of course the pure elements are not the materials, not really. Elemental Water is the iconic ideal of water, not water itself. Well, I little more than the iconic ideal (that would exist in the astral), but the iconic ideal impinging on the ether in some fashion. Does this deformation attractive the elemental field or merely form a sort of hole or well that attracts it? Unknown. At any rate, material water has bits of other elementals in it, not just by having other materials mixed it (solutes, dissolved gases), but by having some properties that of other elements. Beings of ideal water wear suits of real water.


You could go 3D as well and put the positive and negative energy planes above and below, respectively. IIRC, the original Manual of the Planes did it that way, with every possible overlap having a mini-plane. It even described how the planes changed as you approached the boundary.

eLarson said...

Great ideas all around.

I was going to bring up what CLAVDIVS CAESAR brought up earlier today about the positive/negative planes seeming to be "above" and "below" the "disc" that made up the material planes.