Most characters are born on and live their entire lives on the material plane. Still, they may only have vague ideas about some of the contents of this page.
The material plane is populated by mortals (beings with souls tied to bodies), and a large amount of insensate matter. It is the center of most cosmologies, and forms the baseline for measuring planar traits.
The world the characters inhabit, which they consider to be the whole (or at least the center) of the material plane, experiences a familiar cycle of 24-hour days, four seasons, and 365.24-day years.
The night sky of the Wilderlands is dominated by four celestial objects: the silvery moon Luna, the blue moon Gorm the rainbow-hued moon Ioun, and the great hazy band called Heaven’s Bridge, which cuts a swath across the southern sky and is visible by day or night.
The material plane is sometimes called the Prime Material Plane, as alternate versions are said to exist. Stories of such alternate Primes are traded like ghost stories among planar travelers.
The planar membrane is particularly protective of the material plane. Any being non-native to the material plane finds any attempts to enter the material plane via planeshift (or similar effects) to be impeded.
- Normal gravity
- Normal time
- Alterable morphic
- No elemental or energy traits (specific locations may have these traits, however)
- Mildly neutral-aligned
- Normal magic
The size and dimensions of the material plane are not agreed upon. At first glance the plane appears to be an infinite surface of earth and water, with a vast expanse of air above and the stars, moons, and Heaven’s Bridge some vast distance above that.
Seasoned travelers and sages may infer that the “world” of the material plane has curvature, and is a massive sphere. Beneath every ocean one eventually finds land, which goes down deeper than any sane explorer has traveled. Some intensely curious souls have also flown up to see how far the sky goes, and have discovered that the air becomes increasingly poisonous and hostile starting about 3 miles up. With adequate protection one can go more than a hundred miles farther. The blue of the daytime sky gradually fades away, so that stars are visible even during the day. The moons become greatly enlarged, perhaps doubled in apparent size. At some point beyond this, at least one explorer recorded encountering an antimagic field, and narrowly escaped a harrowing demise.
Excerpted from The World of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy:
The world of the Wilderlands is merely one of countless worlds in innumerable galaxies in but one of a series of realities. The world of the Wilderlands, known as Gaia, exists in what is known as the Prime Material Plane, or simply the Prime. It is a universe much like ours… in fact, it might well be ours, though where it stands along the time/space continuum in regard to Earth is a very good question. The Prime is an ever-expanding bubble of Order, mostly vacuum or dark matter (The Void) dotted with countless stars and planets, with the edges of the growing universe crashing into… something else. That something else, which most priests simply call Primal Chaos, often gets snipped off in small bubbles within the reality of the Prime. Planets in regions of space near such bubbles give rise to strange and terrible life forms, most notably the Markab, an utterly ancient, powerful, evil, and inhuman species that for long millennia have taken an interest in Gaia and its solar system.
Fortunately, the Markab are currently interested in expanding their vast empire elsewhere in the Prime, and have ignored, or at least not focused on Gaia for some time. Records of their visitations often coincide with terrible disasters, natural and otherwise; evidence of these visits usually can be seen in major landforms and the extinction or disappearance of kingdoms and races. The demon and demonbrood races of the Wilderlands also owe their presence and existence to the Markabs.