The Windswept Depths of Pandemonium
|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
Pandemonium is a great mass of matter pierced by innumerable tunnels carved by the howling winds of the plane. It is windy, noisy, and dark, having no natural source of light. The wind quickly extinguishes normal fires, and lights that last longer draw attention of wights driven insane by the constant howling wind. Every word, scream, or shout is caught by the wind and flung through all the layers of the plane. Conversation is accomplished by shouting, and even then words are spirited away by the wind beyond 10 feet. The stale wind of Pandemonium is cold, and it steals the heat from travelers unprotected from its endless gale that buffets each inhabitant, blowing sand and dirt into eyes, snuffing torches, and carrying away loose items. In some places, the wind can howl so fiercely that it lifts creatures off their feet and carries them for miles before dashing their forms to lifeless pulp against some dark, unseen cliff face. In a few relatively sheltered places, the wind dies down to just a breeze carrying haunting echoes from distant pans of the plane, though they are so distorted that they sound like cries of torment. Erythnul, the Lord of Slaughter, makes his terrible domain on Pandemonium. Pandemonium has four layers: Pandesmos, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Agathion.
Pandemonium has the following traits.
- Objective Directional Gravity: In the cavernous tunnels of Pandemonium, gravity is oriented toward whatever wall a creature is nearest. Thus, there is no normal concept of floor, wall and ceiling—any surface is a floor if you’re near enough to it. Rare narrow tunnels exactly cancel out gravity, allowing a traveler to shoot through them at incredible speed. The layer of Phlegethon is an exception—there the normal gravity trait applies.
- Normal Time
- Infinite Size: Pandemonium goes on forever, although its well-known realms are bounded.
- Divinely Morphic: Specific powerful beings such as the deity Erythnul can alter Pandemonium. Ordinary creatures find Pandemonium indistinguishable from the Material Plane (the alterable morphic trait, in other words). Spells and physical effort affect Pandemonium normally.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits
- Mildly Chaos-Aligned: Lawful characters on the plane of Pandemonium suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma based checks.
- Normal Magic
Permanent portals exist between various planes and Pandemonium. Several tunnels blow in from or out to the Elemental Plane of Air. Also, the headwaters of the Styx well up from the topmost layer of Pandemonium.
Pandemonium is probably the least inhabited of all the Outer Planes. It is arguably the least hospitable, even though there are hotter planes, colder ones, and planes with crueler denizens. But no plane is more mindnumbingly exhausting. The constant screeching of the winds eventually brings low both the loftiest celestial and the foulest fiend. Besides the occasional fiendish nest, the only other natives of note are small rag-tag groups of mortal humans, goblinoids, giants, dwarves, drow, and other species, collectively called the Banished. A long forgotten creature, spellcaster, or deity sentenced their distant ancestors to this plane, and the descendants have never found a way to leave. The Banished of various species are responsible for the sad little cities that manage to survive in this terrible realm.
Of course, Pandemonium has many petitioners. Most of them are swallowed by the screaming wind immediately upon arrival. But some linger, appearing much as they did in life, though they are bonier, and the winds somehow don’t affect them as much. Also, most of them are completely, utterly insane.
WINDSTORMS ON PANDEMONIUM
The constant winds on Pandemonium can gust with howls so maddening and speeds so enormous that they become dangerous. Those caught without shelter when one of Pandemonium’s windstorms blows up are in trouble; both mind and body are in peril. A windstorm has a 10% chance per day of blowing through a given area. Generally, a windstorm gusts through an area in 1 round.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Locomotion on Pandemonium feels like it does on the Material Plane where tunnels are long and winds are strong. But when the winds gust up, movement can be very difficult (see the Windstorms on Pandemonium sidebar). Pandemonium Combat Combat functions normally on Pandemonium, but in most cases takes place among strong winds. All ranged weapons suffer a –2 penalty on attacks due to the winds, and Tiny or smaller creatures must make a Fortitude save (DC 10) each round or be knocked down. Sometimes the winds of Pandemonium are even more powerful.
FEATURES OF PANDEMONIUM
The name Pandemonium means “uproar and commotion.” As its definition implies, the features of Pandemonium are numerous and tumultuous. There are four layers on Pandemonium, and the terrible windstorms can blow through anyone of them. Vision on Pandemonium is much like any deep underground locations on the Material Plane where there is no natural light. Hearing on Pandemonium The constant screams of the wind make it impossible to hear anything beyond 10 feet. Likewise, spells and effects that rely on sonic energy have their range limited to 10 feet. Travelers are temporarily deafened after 1d10 rounds of exposure to the winds, and permanently deafened after 24 hours of exposure. Temporarily deafened characters regain their hearing after 1 hour spent out of the wind. Ear plugs or similar devices negate the deafening effect. Of course, wearing ear-plugs effectively mimics the normal effects of being deafened.