Pandemonium Geographic Location in Rolara | World Anvil

Pandemonium

Where Madness Whispers on the Winds

In the far reaches of the multiverse, where chaos reigns and reason is but a fleeting whisper, lies the plane of Pandemonium. A realm not of matter, but of mind, where the very fabric of reality is woven from the threads of madness and subconscious thought.   Pandemonium is a labyrinthine network of tunnels and caverns, stretching into infinity. The walls, rough and jagged, seem to pulse and breathe, echoing with the ceaseless howl of the wind. But this is no ordinary gale. It is a tempest of thoughts, a maelstrom of madness, carrying the deranged whispers of countless minds. The voices are incessant, a cacophony of fear, joy, sorrow, and rage, all jumbled together into an overwhelming symphony of insanity.   The landscape of Pandemonium is as fickle and unpredictable as the minds that shape it. One moment, you might find yourself in a vast cavern, the ceiling lost in darkness above, the next, you could be squeezed into a claustrophobic tunnel barely wide enough to crawl through. The realm shifts and changes before your very eyes, molded by the wild subconscious of its denizens.   In this plane, magic dances to the tune of chaos. A simple spell could give birth to a dazzling aurora or summon a nightmarish creature from the depths of someone's fears. The only certainty is uncertainty, the only constant is change.   The inhabitants of Pandemonium are as varied and unpredictable as the plane itself. Some are creatures of nightmare, born from the darkest corners of the mind. Others are entities of pure emotion, embodiments of joy, sorrow, fear, or rage. And then there are those who have learned to navigate the madness, to harness it, to shape it to their will.   Pandemonium is not a place for the faint of heart. It is a realm where reality is subjective, where madness reigns supreme, and where the subconscious mind holds dominion over all. It is a testament to the power of thought, a monument to the chaos of the mind, a pandemonium in the truest sense of the word.

Geography

Pandemonium is divided into four distinct layers, each one a unique manifestation of chaos and madness. These layers, from the highest to the lowest, are Pandesmos, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Agathion.  
  1. Pandesmos: The Whispering Halls
    The first layer, Pandesmos, is the most 'welcoming' of the four. It is here that the winds of Pandemonium are at their strongest, carrying the whispers of madness through the endless, winding tunnels. The landscape is a chaotic maze of caverns and tunnels, constantly shifting and changing. The light is dim, and the air is filled with the echoing whispers of the winds, creating an atmosphere of eerie anticipation.
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  3. Cocytus: The River of Wailing
    Descending into Cocytus, the second layer, the tunnels open up to reveal a vast, underground river. The River Cocytus, from which the layer takes its name, is a torrent of wailing souls, their cries adding to the cacophony of the winds. The river's banks are treacherous, made of slippery, jagged rocks, and the water itself is bitterly cold. The air here is damp and heavy, filled with the scent of brine and sorrow.
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  5. Phlegethon: The Fiery Abyss
    The third layer, Phlegethon, is a stark contrast to the cold, damp Cocytus. Here, the tunnels are filled with a searing heat, and rivers of fire replace the cold waters of Cocytus. The walls of the caverns glow with an ominous light, casting long, dancing shadows. The winds here carry the scent of burning sulfur, and the air shimmers with the intense heat.
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  7. Agathion: The Silent Void
    The final layer, Agathion, is the most terrifying of all. Here, the winds fall silent, and the chaotic landscape gives way to a vast, empty void. The silence is oppressive, a stark contrast to the constant noise of the upper layers. The darkness is absolute, swallowing all light and leaving travelers blind. The only sensation is the cold, hard ground underfoot, and the chilling emptiness of the silent void.

Localized Phenomena

The Whispering Winds
The winds of Pandemonium are not just a weather phenomenon, they are the very essence of the plane. They howl and shriek through the endless tunnels, carrying with them the whispers of madness. To the untrained ear, they may sound like mere noise, but listen closely, and you'll hear the voices. They speak in tongues unknown, in screams of fear, in laughter of joy, in sobs of sorrow. They whisper secrets that were never meant to be heard, thoughts that were never meant to be thought. The winds can be a guide, a tormentor, or a confidante, depending on who is listening.  
Optional Rule: Mad Winds
  A visitor must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw after each hour spent among the howling winds. On a failed save, the creature gains one level of exhaustion. A creature that reaches six levels of exhaustion while on this plane doesn’t die. Instead, the creature gains a random form of indefinite madness, as described in chapter 8, “Running the Game.” Finishing a long rest doesn’t reduce a creature’s exhaustion level unless the creature can somehow escape the maddening winds.  
The Shifting Landscape
In Pandemonium, the landscape is as much a character as any creature or entity. It shifts and changes, responding to the collective subconscious of its inhabitants. A sudden wave of fear might cause the tunnels to narrow, the walls closing in until they're barely a hand's breadth apart. A moment of joy might create a cavern filled with luminescent crystals, casting a soft, comforting glow. The realm is a living, breathing entity, a reflection of the minds that inhabit it.  
The Manifestations of Madness
In this plane, thoughts and emotions can take physical form. These manifestations of madness are as varied as the minds they come from. They could be grotesque creatures, born from the darkest fears, or they could be beautiful illusions, created from a moment of joy or love. They could also be more abstract, like a patch of darkness that fills anyone who enters it with an overwhelming sense of dread, or a shimmering light that induces a state of euphoria.  
The Unpredictable Magic
Magic in Pandemonium is a wild and unpredictable force. A spell cast here might not have the same effect as it would in another plane. A simple fireball could explode in a shower of colorful sparks, or a healing spell could cause flowers to bloom on the recipient's skin. The magic is tied to the emotional state of the caster and the ambient madness of the plane, making every spell a gamble.  
The Psychic Echoes
Certain areas within Pandemonium retain a psychic imprint of particularly strong emotions or thoughts. These psychic echoes can cause intense hallucinations or emotional experiences when encountered. A traveler might suddenly relive a stranger's memory, or feel an emotion they've never felt before. These echoes add another layer of unpredictability to the plane, making every step a potential adventure or danger.
Alignment
Chaotic Neutral/Evil
Type
Dimensional plane

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