Sa~ya raised her hands and began to declaim the words of
a very powerful spell, one of the most dangerous she knew,
a spell designed to breach the barriers between the planes
and create a magical bridge into another realm of existence.
The myth a/ thrummed in response, the intangible pulse of
the old device taking on a new and different note. Sarya
ignored the myth a/ stone's change and pressed on, finishing
her gate spell with skill and confidence.
"The gate is open!" she cried. "Malkizid, come forth!"
Before Sarya a great ring or hoop of golden magic
coalesced from the air. Through it she glimpsed the realm
of Malkizid, an infernal wasteland of parched desert,
windswept rifts, and black, angry skies torn by crimson
lightning. Then, through the gate, the archdevil Malkizid
appeared. With one smooth step he crossed from his
infernal plane into the myth a/ chamber.
-Richard Baker, Farthest Reach
A number of spells allow direct or indirect access to
other planes of existence. Plane shift and gate can
directly transport adventurers to any other plane, with
different degrees of precision. Etherealness allows
adventurers to enter the Ethereal Plane. And the astral
projection spell lets adventurers project themselves
into the Astral Plane and from there travel to the
Plane Shift. The plane shift spell has two important
limitations. The first is the materia l component: a
small, forked, metal rod (like a tuning fork) attuned to
the desired planar destination. The spell requires the
proper resonating frequency to home in on the correct
location, and the fork must be made of the right material
(sometimes a complex alloy) to focus the spell's magic
properly. Crafting the fork is expensive (at least 250 gp),
but even the act of researching the correct specifications
can lead to adventure. After all. not many people
voluntarily travel into the depth of Carceri, so very few
know what kind of tuning fork i required to get there.
Second, the spell doesn't end the caster to a specific
location unless he or she ha pecialized information.
The sigil sequence of a teleponation ci rcle located on
another plane allows th e ca rer ro travel directly to that
CHAPTER 2 I CREATING A E
circle, but such knowledge is even harder to come
by tha n the specifications of the required tuning
fork. Otherwise, the spell transports the caster to
a location in the gene ral vicinity of the desired spot.
Wherever the adventurers arrive, they'll most likely
still nee d to undertake a journey to reach the object of a
Gate. The gate spell opens a portal linked to a specific
point on another plane of existence. The spell provides
a shortcut to a planar destination, bypassing many of
the guardians and trials that would normally fill such
a journey. But this 9th-level spell is out of reach for all
but th e most powerful characters, and it does nothing to
negate any obstacles that wait at the destination.
The gate spell is powerful, but not infallible. A deity,
demon lord, or other powerful entity can prevent such a
portal from opening within its dominion.
Halisstra opened her eyes and found herself drifting in
an endless silver sea. Soft gray clouds moved slowly in
the distance, while strange dark streaks twisted violently
through the sky, anchored in ends so distant she couldn't
perceive them, their middle parts revolving angrily like
pieces of string rolled between a child'sfingertips. She
glanced down, wondering what supported her, and saw
nothing but more of the strange pearly sky beneath her feet
and all around her.
She drew in a sudden breath, surprised by the sight, and
felt her lungs fill with something sweeter and perhaps a little
more solid than air, but instead of gagging or drowning
on the stuff she seemed perfectly acclimated to it. An
electric thrill raced through her limbs as s he found herself
mesmerized by the simple act of respiration.
-Richard Baker, Condemnatio
The Astral Plane is the realm of thought and dream,
where visitors travel as disembodied souls to reach
the Outer Planes. It is a great silvery sea, the same
above and below, with swirling wisps of white and gray
streaking among motes of light like distant stars. Most
of the Astral Sea is a vast, empty expanse. Visitors
occasionally stumble upon the petrified corpse of a