Realm Of Shadow - Mabar
In some locations on the Negative Energy Plane, the collapsing
intensity of the plane is so great that the negative
energy folds in on itself, stabilizing into solid chunks of
utterly black matter. These chunks of voidstone might be
the building blocks of such items as the sphere of annihilation.
Indeed, anything that comes into contact with a
voidstone is instantly destroyed. Unlike with a sphere of
annihilation, a character touching a piece of voidstone gets
a Fortitude saving throw (DC 25) each round he stays in
contact with it. Even natives of the Negative Energy Plane
are vulnerable to voidstones.
Also unlike a sphere of annihilation, chunks of voidstone
cannot be controlled through mental energy. Voidstones
may be of any size, ranging from inches across to dozens of
It is the toxic plane of darkness and power.
It is the hidden place that hates the light.
It is the frontier of worlds unknown.
The Plane of Shadow is a darkly lighted dimension that
is both coterminous to and coexistent with the Material
Plane. It overlaps the Material Plane much as the Ethereal
Plane does, so a planar traveler can use the Plane of
Shadow to cover great distances quickly. The Plane of
Shadow is also coterminous to other planes. With the
right spell, you can use the Plane of Shadow to visit other
The Plane of Shadow is a world of black and white; color
itself has been bleached from the environment. It is
otherwise appears similar (but not exactly identical) to the
The sky above, for example, is always a black vault with
neither sun nor stars. Landmarks from the Material Plane
are recognizable on the Plane of Shadow, but they are
twisted, warped things—diminished reflections of what
can be found on the Material Plane. Despite the lack of
light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call
the Plane of Shadow home.
The Plane of Shadow is highly morphic, and parts
continually flow onto other planes. As a result, precise
maps are next to useless, despite the presence of landmarks.
If a traveler visits a mountain range during one use
of a shadow walk spell, the mountain range may still be
there the next time, but the individual mountains may
have moved about. Precision is a lost cause in the Plane of
The terrain of the Plane of Shadow is usually similar to
the area where the traveler enters from the Material Plane.
If a wizard travels onto the Plane of Shadow from a forest,
she first sees an equivalent shadow forest. If she starts
underwater, she appears within a shadowy sea that
behaves like a Material Plane ocean, so her water breathing
spell still works. However, as she moves away from her
entry point, the terrain of the Plane of Shadow changes
dramatically, although it usually bears some resemblance
to the corresponding terrain on the Material Plane.
One of the most distressing features of the Plane of
Shadow is that it is a warped reflection of the Material
Plane. A shadow traveler who enters the Plane of Shadow
from her hometown may find herself in a dark, abandoned
version of that town. The parallels are not exact, so her
home may be on a different street, be built in a different
style, or (most likely) lie in ruins.
Other mirages are equally troubling, such as a huge dark
castle where none exists on the Material Plane, or an
ancient battlefield where a dungeon should be. Most
troubling of all are the shadowy echoes of people the
traveler knows, shadow creatures with the twisted but still
recognizable features of loved ones. These shadow
duplicates have no special abilities, but the effect is
Shadow travelers in a place particularly familiar or
meaningful to them must make a Will saving throw (DC
15) to ignore such dark mirages. Those who fail are
haunted and rattled by the similarities, suffering a –2
morale penalty on attacks and saving throws as long as
they remain in a location familiar to them. Travelers who
make their saves are unaffected by the dark mirages for
the duration of their trip to the Plane of Shadow.
Dark mirages occur because the Plane of Shadow is so
close to the Material Plane. The echo of an alternate
Material Plane can also bleed through onto the Plane of
Shadow, making the dark mirages more unsettling.
Oracles and soothsayers sometimes journey onto the Plane
of Shadow looking for enlightenment among the
darkness, attempting to discover if such dark mirages are
harbingers of the future.
On the Plane of Shadow, patches of darkness exist that are
even darker than the shadows themselves. Negative
energy infuses these places. Whether the negative energy
is bleeding over from the Negative Energy plane or it’s
simply a byproduct of the high concentration of undead
shadows and other life-draining undead is unknown.
Darklands regions have the minor negative-dominant
trait. Living creatures that enter the darklands take 1d6
points of damage per round from negative energy and
crumble into ash if they reach 0 hit points or less. Spells
and magic items that protect against negative energy
function normally within the darklands.
Travelers to the Plane of Shadow can identify darklands
easily. They are more desolate and bleak than the
surrounding areas (which are themselves pretty bleak on
this plane). Plants are dead and desiccated from the longterm
effects of the negative energy.
Natural vortices from other planes do not open into
darklands regions, and spells or spell-like abilities opening
a portal from the Material Plane warn the traveler (usually
with a cold shiver down the spine) that a darklands region
lies ahead. Darklands often correspond to haunted
battlefields, unconsecrated graveyards, and lairs of
powerful necromancers on the Material Plane, as well as
any location dominated by undead.
Certain regions on the Negative Energy Plane are less
deadly than others, reducing the negative-dominant trait
from major to minor or even removing it entirely. These
areas, called the doldrums, are relatively static on the
plane, so towers, cities, and other structures can be built at
The perils of such places are twofold. The most obvious
threat is the hostile life (and unlife) in the area. A second
threat is that the borders of a doldrums area may fail and
the deadly tides of negative energy once again wash over
the region. Necromancers in particular favor the doldrums
for their lairs.
The best-known location within one of the major doldrums,
Death Heart is an entire spired city constructed within a
hollow metal sphere one mile in diameter that drifted in
from some long-dead alternate Material Plane. While the
exterior of the sphere has a minor negative-dominant trait,
its interior is free of the baneful negative energy of the
plane. That protection failed to save the city’s inhabitants.
The city was founded as an experimental utopian community.
Originally called the Heart of the Void, it was
designed by its mysterious masters to be a place untainted
by other beings and schools of thought. In reality, it was
quickly overrun by the undead, who feasted on the flesh
and souls of the students within. Now its towers and
plazas are empty except for the undead invaders. Here may
be found all varieties of undead, including not only
energy-draining creatures such as wraiths, wights, and
spectres, but more mundane skeletons, zombies, and
mummies. Several liches and powerful vampires claim this
sphere as their home.
Rumors carried by the mercanes state that usually the
various evil factions within the Heart of the Void are
engaged in perpetual war with one another. But now a
particularly dangerous individual, a vampiric minotaur,
has brokered peace among the factions and has encouraged
further research into the nature of the city and the
plane itself. The mercanes believe that the vampiric
minotaur’s eventual goal is to steer the city to another
plane and use his undead minions to wreak havoc there.
Given the large number of undead creatures in residence
on the Negative Energy Plane, there is less tendency to
use the Negative Energy plane as a repository for evil
prisoners and dangerous items. However, good-aligned
prisoners and benevolent items are often imprisoned here,
usually in towers of pitted iron with sealed gates. These
prisons are well trapped and often heavily guarded.
Some hold celestials or good-aligned artifacts not easily
destroyed, while others contain paladins in stasis and
other items and individuals baneful to the undead. The
presence of these castles perilous is often a reason that
Material Plane travelers (especially those of good alignment)
come to this plane.