Planes of Power
The Inner Planes
The Inner Planes can be divided into four kinds of planes: Elemental, Energy, Para-Elemental, and Quasi Elemental, and together all of these planes are the building blocks for the many Prime material planes.
Most D&D players are very familiar with the Elemental planes of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, and most are well aware that these planes are home to the various elemental and genie races.
Most players are probably just as well-versed with the Energy planes: the Positive Energy plane and the Negative Energy plane. The first is the plane of creation and radiant energy. While it is often thought of as “the plane of Life”, a mortal creature entering it without protection from its energy will absorb so much energy so quickly that their body usually explodes. The Negative Energy plane is well known as the plane of stagnation, entropy, and undead. Unprotected mortals here will very quickly have their life energy drained by the plane, resulting in death (or undeath).
The Para-Elemental planes are where the Elemental Planes meet. (And its best not to ask how Infinite planes meet.) Those planes are:
Magma (where Earth meets Fire)
Smoke (where Fire meets Air)
Ice (where Air meets Water)
Ooze (where Water meets Earth)
Finally, there are 8 quasi-elemental planes. These occur as the Elemental planes approach the Energy planes (again, don’t ask how to infinite things “approach” each other.) They are:
Radiance (where Fire approaches Positive Energy)
Lightning (where Air approaches Positive Energy)
Steam (where Water approaches Positive Energy)
Mineral (where Earth approaches Positive Energy)
Ash (where Fire approaches Negative Energy)
Dust (where Earth approaches Negative Energy)
Vacuum (where Air approaches Negative Energy)
Salt (where Water approaches Negative Energy)
The Inner Planes are inimical to life as we know it, however, there are a few places where a body can survive. These are mostly in “Pockets”. Sometimes, a bit of one plane gets trapped in another, and that trapped portion retains its nature. So, a large piece of rock which floats in the Plane of Air would be considered an Earth Pocket, or a large bubble of Air in Water would be an Air Pocket. In fact, there’s a very well known Air Pocket which is so large it is home to many creatures. Called the City of Glass, this place is sometimes called the “Sigil of the Elements”.
Some sages believe that some pseudo-planes must exist. This theory is that the para-elemental planes must also approach the energy planes. If they do, wouldn’t that create pseudo-elemental planes? If they exist, they could be Aether, Storm, Wood, Metal, Ice, Poison, Rust & Miasma. However, despite this theory becoming popular every few centuries, no one can prove that these planes exist.