Dungeons and Dragons
The Elemental Chaos
The Elemental Chaos is the raw material of creation, that from which the universe arose. Untouched by the stabilizing divine influence that formed the world into a more or less permanent state, the Elemental Chaos is a roiling tempest of matter and energy. At times, areas coalesce into coherent shapes and terrain, but much of it resembles a stormy sea of churning destruction. The Chaos is at once the foundation of the world and the greatest threat to its existence. By its nature, the Elemental Chaos seeks to pull the created world into its embrace, and return it to its component parts.
Most of the inhabitants of the Elemental Chaos share a primal drive toward entropy. Many are creative in their own ways, building structures and civilizations, tearing them down, then beginning anew. Demons, however, driven by an insatiable thirst for destruction, seek to draw the entire universe into the vortex of annihilation that is the Abyss, their home.
No traveler to the Elemental Chaos could mistake it for any other plane or world in the infinity of existence. The ground might be bare elemental rock, hardening magma, a smooth sheet of ice or glass, or a field of jagged crystals or crumbling ash. Above, mountains of stone drift through the air or float on currents of lightning, while storm clouds collide with sheets of flame. Not far away, the ground comes to an end and sheer cliff drops into an infinite abyss, or river of magma cuts across the landscape. Another island might drift nearby, perhaps far below or just above but sometimes on a collision course. The resulting cataclysm annihilates both landforms and creates something entirely new.
The substance of the Elemental Chaos is raw matter, unworked and unrefined. Air fills most expanses between masses of elemental material, making the majority of the plane at least theoretically hospitable to travelers from the world. In places, though, air is a hazardswirling in ceaseless whirlwinds that grasp and never let go, or flowing as a liquid, cold enough to freeze fire.
Rock, iron, ice, crystal, and sand provide surfaces to stand on. Magma, molten metals, and even running flame stream through rivers or pool in great blazing lakes. Sometimes stone moves like water even without the heat of magmaan earthflow can carry away anything built on apparently solid ground. Blinding storms of sand or ash can arise at any moment, scouring flesh from bone.
Water flows in valleys cut through rock, but it also streams through empty air. It churns in vast tumultuous seas, floats in clouds of scalding steam, blows in storms of snow or hail, or drifts along as majestic icebergs.
Raw energy defies the constraints of material form. Sheets of fire dance across the sky, and liquid flame flows in canals through the City of Brass. Lightning flashes so constantly that those suitably protected find it to be solid footing. Thunder rolls like tidal waves across the expanse of the plane, flowing about or shattering whatever stands in its path.
All these substances and forces are in constant motion, subject to collisions, tides, and storms of raw chaos energy. The only constant within the Elemental Chaos is changean eternal cycle of creation and annihilation. Within this instability are islands (some as large as continents) that enjoy a temporary reprieveplaces where communities thrive and monsters dwell. Here, in these drifting realms, adventures in the Elemental Chaos typically unfold.