Though different cultures and languages have different names for the major plane of existence in the Adventurers' Academy setting, the most common name used at the Adventurers' Academy is Alurith.


Alurith is one of many planes of existence within its universe. It is commonly held to be the 'prime plane', but those who have studied the structure of the universe in more detail are not entirely sure that may be the case. Regardless, most people spend their entire lives on the prime plane of Alurith, even most adventurers -- though some of the more powerful or crazy adventurers do travel to other planes and there are stories of private fortresses or even entire cities in other planes.

Alurith frequently has 'intrusions' of other nearby planes (for some value of 'nearby') which are generally the elemental planes (earth, wind, fire, water), sometimes meta-elemental planes (snow/ice, smoke, lightning, wood, metal, crystal, etc.), and occasionally stranger planes that are closer to concepts than physical things. Some sages claim that Alurith is not exactly a plane itself, but rather a junction or intersection of many, perhaps even all, planes, all constantly shifting and changing in amount and balance.

Within most areas of the world of Alurith, the landscape is reasonably like something found on Earth, and most likely to stay that way for years and generally decades. However, there are many areas of 'planar intrusion' or 'planar conflict' where other planes are intruding or overlapping with Alurith.

Sometimes these conflict zones are relatively stationary -- a spring of water that appears, and over the course of only a few years, creates lake where it began, and then slowly drains away. A more violent example might be a sudden volcano, or an earthquake which opens a giant chasm of air into the ground. Other times, the zones move in waves or ripples, flowing over the land, down into it, or up into the sky.

From a mundane point of view, Alurith is roughly a normal planet floating in the void. However, it is also an intensely magical place, and unless travelers take active measure to suppress magic, exploring extreme areas of the world can often lead into the nearby elemental planes. That is, burrowing miles deep into rock and stone will likely, without precautions, slip into the elemental plane of earth. Diving deep enough in an ocean may lead to visiting the elemental plane of water. Pushing high enough into the atmosphere may lead to the plane of air -- or void.

It is not recommended for most people, even adventurers, to slip entirely over the border into an elemental plane. The topology of the elemental planes does not always match that of Alurith -- even if a traveler found another place to slip back to Alurith, they might end up hundreds or thousands of miles away from where they started unless they were very familiar with the other plane. Also, the elemental planes are not the most hospitable lands for normal people -- unless precautions are taken, death is a common result, or contamination. In the latter case, the nature of the elemental plane will start affecting the person (i.e. the plane of earth making them physically tougher, slower, and generally more stone like, and mentally slower, calmer, etc.) This makes it even harder for the victim to return to Alurith and they may eventually become completely assimilated into the plane.

Note: Sufficiently skilled/crazy/experienced ship mage-pilots can attempt feats like steering an airship or water craft through the elemental plane of air or water, respectively. This can cut dozens, even hundreds of miles or more of travel. However, it does risk losing the entire ship, and can result in the ship ending up in a random location. This requires much power -- either from the ship mage-pilot, or the drive mechanism of the ship -- as well as skill and experience, and finding some sort of entry point into the other plane, either along a planar conflict zone, an intense storm, or something similar. Generally, the latter two are gained by becoming an apprentice to someone who has been able to do the trip successfully, and going through enough successful trips to get a 'feel' for the other plane. This is fairly rare as only a few crazy captains are willing to risk their ships that randomly that often.

When another plane intrudes on Alurith, some of the effects are fairly obvious -- an intrusion of the elemental plane of fire tends to cause the area to become hotter and for things to start burning. The less obvious affects are that things become contaminated by the elemental plane -- a tree might not merely catch on fire, but start becoming fire itself -- something which is both tree and fire at the same time. When this happens, wood from that 'tree' can be very valuable to mages and artisans and crafters of magical weapons. This makes investigating and exploiting those zones and areas very profitable for adventurers -- though also potentially dangerous, as the local plants and wildlife may also become contaminated. Generally, people are smart enough to flee the area, but occasionally adventurers may run into elementally enhanced bandits, etc.

Also, planar intrusion appears to make the area very high in mana, which makes it easier for magic users to use more powerful spells, as well as making it easier for floating cities to stay aloft.

This sort of contamination can also extend to unprotected items left in such a zone. A sword left unprotected in an planar conflict zone with the elemental plane of water might pick up something of the fluid nature of water -- this may lead to a sword which is too malleable or soft to be useful, or it may lead to a sword that glides through the air like water, or some of both, or other effects. It is entirely possible to find these 'natural' magic items from things left behind by others when fleeing from a planar conflict zone.

When a planar conflict zone subsides, it may take contaminated items or creatures or beings with it. Sometimes, they may persist in the other plane in one form or another. This may include entire villages, towns, or cities. An axe left behind by a fleeing woodsman might be pulled into the elemental plane of earth and gain a touch of that, but it may then encounter another planar conflict zone, but with another element, and perhaps pick up a touch of elemental fire... it is very rare, but possible to find items that have happened to survive multiple such conflicts, and are imbued with very strange properties. Adventurers have found cities of crystal where some ancient city had been swallowed up and swept into another plane, but somehow was not completely broken down, and after passing through plane after plane, has re-emerged into Alurith -- and quite possibly filled with both magical artifacts, crazy quasi-elemental beasts, and possibly very dangerous inhabitants that might have once been people centuries ago who were unable to flee fast enough.

When multiple elemental planes intrude onto Alurith in the same location, the effects become even more extreme, and meta-elemental or stranger planes may also make an appearance. So a simultaneous intrusion of air and water in the same area may cause a small intrusion of the plane of 'storms' -- a storm which is an embodiment of the very concept or a Platonic Ideal of a 'Storm'. Such a primal storm is very dangerous, but offers the chance to imbue items with the same embodiment. I.e. a magical war hammer forged in such conditions by a skilled crafter, successfully, would literally have the essence of 'Storm' in it -- being struck by the hammer would have the victim also struck by wind, rain, hail, thunder, and lightning at the same time and perhaps be capable of summoning storms. However, getting all the necessary equipment, people, and materials to create such a thing through an area of multiple planar intrusions and surviving being near or in such a primal storm -- while competing adventurers or nations may be trying to stop you -- is no minor feat.

The meta-elemental planes, such as lightning, wood, metal, or crystal, for examples -- are reasonably common when two of the basic elemental planes collide on Alurith. When three or four do, however, then more complicated ones may appear:
People and beings who become trapped or lost in these planes of existence may become assimilated or contaminated by the essence of the plane, and become unable to leave without help -- often times going insane or very eccentric at the minimum. Other times, when entities from other realms die, they may leave behind echoes of themselves. An emptiness which is then filled in by the essence of the plane and becomes an echo or shades of the original. More powerful entities can spawn echoes in a plane on purpose, with varying degrees of control. These shades normally cannot leave their home plane without vanishing.

Note: Some of the meta-elemental planes, such as Mirrors, create echoes -- or in this case, reflections -- of visitors nearly automatically if precautions are not taken. The plane of Mirrors or Reflections is considered one of the more dangerous ones.

Under extreme circumstances, even more abstract or esoteric planes, or rather, concepts, can intrude. Strange zones which embody a verb or concept that normally is not inherently physical. Again, these can be incredibly valuable (depending on what they are) to the right mages or nations.

When many, many planes happen to intrude in one zone, nearly anything is possible -- it becomes almost literally chaos, unlimited, unconstrained potential, and very, very dangerous.

The potential power and valuable magical resources that can be harvested from the planar conflict zones make them almost automatically political and economic conflict zones as various city-states, nations, or other groups try to stake out claims, harvest, exploit, explore, etc.

Hence the need for a class of people capable of surviving such environments and the competition to loot as much as possible. In order to fulfill that need with a steady supply of such people, there is ... The Adventurers' Academy.
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