With our recent analysis of the Shadow Plane and its possible interactions with psychic and psionic characters, we thought we’d pause to take a look around everyone’s favorite shade-haunted landscape of distortion and tip our hand to another bit of coming awesome this year from Lost Spheres.
During a planning call for the upcoming Crisis of the World Eater Kickstarter* campaign, Louis Porter Jr. asked if we had to point to a starry map and identify where our campaign setting was we had to answer: “It’s complicated.”
Why is that per se? Well, we don’t have a specific single-world setting. Rather the Lost Spheres are a capstone series of locations, organizations and NPCs meant to interact with your existing campaigns. So where is our campaign setting? You are ALREADY playing it. What does that have to do with the Shadow Plane? We are so glad you asked.
Gazetteer Entry: Hyraeatan, City in Shadow
Hyraeatan sits at a major crossroads in the Black Lattice, an ancient connective network of glossy dark paths and “roads” between magical societies of a dizzying number of worlds. The city’s connections to this network, the transitive aspects of the Plane of Shadow, and its place as a terminus of the Midnight Market demiplane have made it a major power in the extra-planar affairs. The Wardens of the Lattice’s recruiting efforts have made an increasing number of worlds aware its existence and the opportunities it affords.
Location Type: Extra-planar metropolis, portal and trade network. The city’s direct role in maintaining the “roads” of the Black Lattice make it a critical factor in the economies of several planar-active prime material worlds. Exploiting the compressed spatial distortions of the Lattice accelerates the already potent powers of magics like shadow walk to allow inter-planar and intergalactic commerce for worlds normally insufficient to the needs of star-sailing or voidspanning vessels.
Mythic Presences: The Parities of Hyraeatan are said to guard countless secrets of the Shadow Planes connections to Ascension. The immortals of its vampiric Sanguine Sovereigns and the Ghoul Priests of the Temple of Coins have passed eons between them and seen even Gods come and go. Within Hyraeatan one can find beggars brushing sholders with the Black Heralds of the Apaths of the Iron Pits, merchants selling apples to renegade Godhunters and Hollow Ones training the ranks of the Ashborn with their endless hungers.
Connective Options: Transitive. The Shadow Plane allows potential access to anywhere where light touches darkness and the Black Lattice connects to countless worlds and planar locations. Hyraeatan also possesses numerous organizations and guilds, including the Parities themselves, including the Bloom–an artifact of the Temple of Coins that allows virtually any shadow to become a portal.
Adventures in the Hyraeatan: The City in Shadow is a cradle of planar-intrigue and political agendas older than mankind’s presence in many worlds. The Wardens of the Lattice strive to patrol the planar highways, repair the damages of the Aldran Apocallypse and escort valuable caravans to and from Hyraeatan. The negative-aligned nature of the plane and sunless sky allow for an undead presence in society generally unknown to most peoples, and characters who blindly challenge any such creatures are likely to find themselves in for far more than they can handle. The Parities themselves provide some of the most compelling hooks as each of the fourteen factions tries to advance agendas that may have far-reaching consequences for even the most distant prime material world.
More information on Hyraeatan will be available in the Book of Beyond later this winter (pre-order it as part of the Book of Beyond WIP subcription), our sidetrek adventure for Crisis of the World Eater Kickstarter* and later this year in Hyraeatan, City of Shadow. You can see our other products at: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.
(*= Crisis of the World Eater is a trademark of LPJDesign and used by permission)