The Inner Planes surround and enfold the Material Plane and its echoes, providing the raw elemental substance from which all worlds were made. The four Elemental Planes — Air, Earth, Fire, and Water — form a ring around the Material Plane, suspended within a churning realm known as the Elemental Chaos. These planes are all connected, and the border regions between them are sometimes described as distinct planes in their own right. At their innermost edges, where they are closest to the Material Plane (in a conceptual if not a literal geographical sense), the four Elemental Planes resemble places in the Material Plane. The four elements mingle together as they do in the Material Plane, forming land, sea, and sky. But the dominant element exerts a strong influence on the environment, reflecting its fundamental qualities. The inhabitants of this inner ring include aarakocra, azers, dragon turtles, gargoyles, genies, mephits, salamanders, and xorn. Some originated on the Material Plane, and all can travel to the Material Plane (if they have access to the magic required) and survive there. As they extend farther from the Material Plane, the Elemental Planes become increasingly alien and hostile. Here, in the outermost regions, the elements exist in their purest form: great expanses of solid earth, blazing fire, crystal-clear water, and unsullied air. Any foreign substance is extremely rare; little air can be found in the outermost reaches of the Plane of Earth, and earth is all but impossible to find in the outermost reaches of the Plane of Fire. These areas are much less hospitable to travelers from the Material Plane than the border regions are. Such regions are little known, so when discussing the Plane of Fire, for example, a speaker usually means the border region. The outermost regions are largely the domains of elemental spirits barely recognizable as creatures. The creatures usually called elementals dwell here, including the Elemental Princes of Evil (primordial beings of pure elemental fury) and elemental spirits that spellcasters can bind into galeb duhrs, golems, invisible stalkers, magmin, and water weirds. These elemental creatures don’t need food or other sustenance on their home planes, because they are sustained by the elemental energies that saturate those planes.
He was lying on his back upon baked and smoldering stone, staring up at a smoky gray sky lit from distant and unseen fires. Around him, a sea of lava burped gouts of gas and jets of flame. The Elemental Plane of Fire. Thank the fell ones, Vhok thought. I never thought I’d be so happy to be here.
- Thomas M. Reid, The Gossamer Plain
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