Material Plane

The Material Plane, or sometimes Prime Material Plane, is the plane of existence in which the world of Exandria exists.

Exandria[edit | edit source]

Exandria is the world on which most events of Critical Role take place.[1]

Satellites[edit | edit source]

Exandria has two moons:[2][1][3][4]

  • Catha: The silvery moon, close to Exandria and appears large in the sky.[3] It has a 33-day cycle during which it waxes and wanes.[5]
  • Ruidus: The reddish-purple, maroon-brown color moon.[3] It takes either half a year[6] or approximately one full year (328 days) to complete a rotation and thus is only visible in the sky for half the year.[5]

Other worlds[edit | edit source]

As of 836 PD, only the most expert astronomers of Exandria have learned that there are numerous worlds on the Material Plane.[6]

Stars[edit | edit source]

  • Surrac's Shield: Constellation that appears over the southern Exandria, four-starred diamond with a fifth star in its center. The Qoniira Tetrarchy is arranged to emulate this constellation.[7]
  • Constellation of the Imprisoned: The spiral-shaped constellation, sometimes visible in the sky of Tal'Dorei. The constellation is connected with the star spirits of Lake Ywnnlas in Syngorn.[8]

Relationship to other planes[edit | edit source]

In some places, the barriers between the Material Plane and other planes become thin or are simply punched through, some rifts are stable for long periods (e.g., rifts guarded by Ashari tribes), and other gates between planes, according to Artagan, disappear when leylines rearrange every other "eon or so".[9] The barriers regularly become thinner during the annual solstices: Winter's Crest[10][11] and the Zenith. The barriers become especially thin during a celestial solstice.

Once opened, rifts can be widened or they can be sealed. Long-term doorways can be established between planes and realms, starting with anchor glyphs and building a permanent enchantment around them, similar to building a permanent teleportation circle.[12]

The Immensus Gate, located in Aeor, is one of the larger waypoints between the planes. It is a large device capable of creating a portal into other Planes of Existence, with the use of a tuning fork.[13][14]

Other Prime Material Planes[edit | edit source]

Artagan believes, "this is but one of many Prime Materials", and suggests that he and Jester could travel easily between them.[15]

Echoes of the Material Plane[edit | edit source]

Feywild[edit | edit source]

The Feywild, also called the Fey Realm or Plane of Faerie, overlaps the Material Plane. There are many points of crossing; Vox Machina knew of one in the Frostweald,[16] and they created a special door allowing Artagan to return to the Material Plane.[17] Fearne Calloway later used that gate, located in the Verdant Expanse, to travel from the Feywild to Tal'Dorei.[18][19][20] The elven city of Syngorn has threshold crests placed around the perimeter of the city that are anchored to the Feywild, allowing the whole city to teleport to the Fey plane in times of danger.[21][22]

Shadowfell[edit | edit source]

The Shadowfell, or Plane of Shadow, also overlaps the Material Plane. The only known portals are the three magic siphons that were set up throughout Exandria.[23] The city of Thar Amphala, using threshold crests like those of Syngorn, was able to teleport to the Material Plane.[24]

Ethereal Plane[edit | edit source]

The Ethereal Plane overlaps the Material Plane, but they are somewhat out of phase with each other.[25]

There are several spells, items, and even innate abilities allowing creatures on the Material Plane to interact with the Ethereal Plane. Creatures who use the drug skein can see ten feet into the Ethereal Plane;[26] the spell True Seeing allows the target to see 120 feet.[27] Creatures slathered in Oil of Etherealness enter the Ethereal Plane for an hour.[25] The spell Blink allows the caster to enter the Ethereal Plane for short periods and move up to 10 feet to a different position in the Material Plane;[28] a phase spider[29] or an incubus can switch between the Material Plane and Ethereal Plane at will.[30]

Inner Planes[edit | edit source]

The Elemental Planes[edit | edit source]

The Elemental Planes intersect with the Material Plane. The druidic Ashari guard most of the portals at the connecting points.[31] Some believe the Elemental Planes were created when the Protean Gods thrust the elemental chaos from the Material Plane, but others believe the chaos simply poured through rifts from the existing Elemental Planes into the Material Plane.[6]

Astral Plane[edit | edit source]

The Astral Plane, or Astral Sea, separates the material world from the Outer Planes and beyond, and had to be traversed by specially built vessels before the discovery of spells like plane shift.[6] The Astral Plane, or Astral Sea, contains gateways to other planes and is home to the githyanki.[36]

  • According to Lady Allura, when a Bag of Holding is destroyed, its contents are jettisoned into the Astral Sea.[37]
  • When Scanlan Shorthalt scried through his magical poo, his consciousness transcended the Material Plane, traveled across the Astral Sea, and arrived at his scrying destination on the Material Plane.[38]

The Divine Gate and the Outer Planes[edit | edit source]

At the end of the Calamity, the Prime Deities erected the Divine Gate, a lattice through which gods cannot pass,[39] between the Prime Material Plane and the rest of creation. This event came to be called the Divergence.[40]

The Divine Gate has been narrated as a visible phenomenon while shifting between Exandria and several other planes, including the Astral Plane[41] but mostly the Outer Planes: the Nine Hells,[42][43] Elysium,[44] Ioun's secret realm,[45][46] and Pandemonium.[47][48] The Gate seems to be most visible (at least to mortals) between the Inner Planes and the Outer Planes.[49][50] It has not appeared when traveling from the Material Plane to the Feywild[51] or to the Shadowfell.[52] This may be because that, while the Divine Gate still exists between the Material Plane and these planes, it is much thinner.[53] The Divine Gate only prevents deities from reaching the Material Plane, and does not affect their travel between various other planes.[54]

A unanimous effort of the Prime Deities[55] or possibly an unsealed Tharizdun[56] could break the Divine Gate, which is speculated to possibly cause a second Calamity.[55]

The Abyss[edit | edit source]

The Abyss is the home of demons like Yenk the goristro[57] and demon lords like Yeenoghu.[58]

  • In D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, the Abyss is one of the Outer Planes. It "has a seemingly endless number of layers" and is associated with the chaotic evil alignment.[59] That cosmology may not be exactly canonical for Critical Role, but the Endless Maze from which Yenk hails corresponds to a canon layer of the Abyss,[60] as does Orcus's realm of Thanatos.[61][62]
  • Since the Calamity corrupted the Miskath Strand, the Cauldron Sea has some connection to the Abyss in addition to having aspects of the Elemental Plane of Water.[63]
  • Arcane devices called "Abyssal anchors" can slowly tear holes through the barriers between the Abyss and the Prime Material Plane; they were used during the Calamity to allow demon generals to invade various places in Exandria, and the Angel of Irons cult used crude versions to cause demonic incursions in the Kryn Dynasty.[64]
  • Around 795 PD, a group of dungeoneers accidentally reactivated a gateway to the Abyss within Bazzoxan, which has remained open ever since, requiring a full-time containment effort by the Aurora Watch.[65]
  • Six "shackle fanes", including one hidden beneath the Chantry of the Dawn on the Material Plane, have kept Tharizdun sealed in the depths of the Abyss since the Calamity.[66][67] The Angel of Irons cult used an Abyssal anchor to prepare to break the fane at the Chantry.[68]

The Far Realm[edit | edit source]

The Far Realm is another dimension that connects to the Material Plane in some places, often in the depths of the Underdark.[69][70][71] Aberrations from this realm may have been called to the Material Plane by Tharizdun, or may have crossed over through rifts opened by the vast forces released in the Calamity.[72]

  • Clarota told Vox Machina that, should they try to enter through the rift to the Far Realm that they found while in the Underdark, their minds would break.[73]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Matthew Mercer explained that Exandria is the name of the world and it has two moons (source).
  2. Matthew Mercer stated that Exandria has two moons. "The Midnight Chase" (2x03) at 51:48.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Matthew Mercer described Exandria's two moons (source).
  4. "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:35:24.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Refjorged" (2x76) at 1:44:26.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", p. 10.
  7. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 3: "Tal'Dorei Gazetteer", p. 115.
  8. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 84–85.
  9. "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:38:30.
  10. "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:18:46.
  11. Raishan notes that the plan to help Thordak escape on a celestial solstice would have been preferable to doing it on Winter's Crest. "Trust" (1x70) at 16:54.
  12. "Duplicity" (2x55) from 49:48 through 51:49.
  13. "The Genesis Ward" (2x135) at 2:21:25.
  14. "Hell or High Water" (2x136) at 2:26:52. The gate is activated to the Plane of Water at 2:38:15
  15. "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) at 17:46.
  16. "Hope" (1x56) at 3:47:23.
  17. See Matthew Mercer's tweet from 10/13/2017.
  18. "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:17:36.
  19. "By the Road" (E1x04) at 42:51.
  20. Aabria Iyengar's playlist for Exandria Unlimited confirmed the gate was Artagan's.
  21. "The Feywild" (1x59) at 2:57:00.
  22. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 81.
  23. "Thar Amphala" (1x101) at 2:35:50. Vex notices that there are three siphons around the city of Thar Amphala.
  24. "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 51:44.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Dark Dealings" (1x112) from 2:35:43 through 2:37:45. Vex's experience of the Ethereal Plane is disconnected from that of the characters who remain on the Material Plane, and she can travel through the ground of Thar Amphala because it doesn't exist in the same place in the Ethereal Plane.
  26. "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 3:11:51 through 3:19:46.
  27. "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:08:00.
  28. "A Game of Names" (2x49) at 1:58:44.
  29. "Waste and Webs" (2x10) at 2:08:03.
  30. "Duplicity" (2x55) at 2:36:35. See also 3:48:09.
  31. "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) from 1:17:27 through 1:18:05.
  32. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 127.
  33. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 70.
  34. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", pp. 64–65.
  35. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 10–11.
  36. "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) from 52:25 through 52:32.
  37. "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) from 51:53 through 52:25.
  38. "The Rematch" (1x23) at 2:59:00.
  39. "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 15:34.
  40. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 7.
  41. "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 14:19.
  42. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to the City of Dis. "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 1:14:45.
  43. Plane Shift from the City of Dis back to the Prime Material Plane. "Jugs and Rods" (1x94) at 17:23.
  44. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to Elysium. "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 3:19:34.
  45. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to the Endless Athenaeum. "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 3:36:52 through 3:38:27.
  46. Plane Shift back from the Endless Athenaeum to the Prime Material Plane. "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:37:43.
  47. Traveling from the Prime Material Plane and Pandemonium. "The Search For Grog" (OSx28) from 1:20:31 through 1:21:32.
  48. Plane Shift from Pandemonium to the Prime Material Plane. "The Search For Bob" (OSx31) at 3:38:38.
  49. Scanlan's Wish to see the location of Grog's soul takes his vision through several of the Inner Planes before reaching the Gate and passing to the Outer Planes. "The Search For Grog" (OSx28) at 46:53.
  50. Matt discusses the Inner and Outer Planes, and the confusing lack of a Divine Gate between them in Halas's stained-glass diagram. "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 2:26:33.
  51. "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 3:37:30.
  52. "Thar Amphala" (1x101) at 2:29:38.
  53. "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer" (Mx09) at 1:04:35.
  54. Matt says it may be Sarenrae herself, rather than an avatar, restraining a dust titan in Pandemonium. "The Search For Bob" (OSx31) at 3:16:35.
  55. 55.0 55.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
  56. "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:53:23.
  57. "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:46:00.
  58. "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 49:38. Mollymauk recalls some details about Yeenoghu and the Abyss.
  59. Dungeon Master's Guide, 5th edition, p. 58.
  60. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, p. 142.
  61. "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:26:11.
  62. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, p. 152.
  63. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 151.
  64. "Duplicity" (2x55) at 4:16:53.
  65. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", pp. 134–135.
  66. "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:52:52.
  67. "The Cathedral" (2x86) at 3:26:02.
  68. "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 4:24:52.
  69. "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 1:54:36.
  70. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  71. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", pp. 154–155.
  72. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 1: "Welcome to Tal'Dorei", p. 11.
  73. "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) from 1:54:36 through 1:55:11.

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External links[edit | edit source]