Collectively referred to as the Maelstrom (pronounced MEYL-struhm), vast swathes of uncharted, unclaimed terrain metaphysically border and surround each of the planes on the Outer Sphere. Mysterious and dangerously chaotic lands untouched by the gods, these regions lack the cohesive stability present in all of the other planes; even the brutal depths of the Abyss possess a structure that the Maelstrom does not. Some scholars believe the Maelstrom to be ancient, pre-dating all other places in the multiverse, with the possible exception of the Abyss


Rather than some ever-changing sea of randomness, when viewed from the edge of another plane the Maelstrom appears much like that of its adjacent neighbor. The Maelstrom spans two regions: the Borderlands, a broken ring around the perimeter of the plane, and the Cerulean Void, an ocean of liquid quintessence that can freeze or evaporate without warning. The differences grow more profound as one travels further from the stabilizing Borderlands to the mutable freedom of perpetual change of the Cerulean Void. The Maelstrom defies the efforts of mapmakers, as its very character shifts and flows like the tide of an unseen ocean, to which the Borderlands are but shores and calm shallows.

Crystalline forests melt like candle wax into shallow brine seas with jewel-like icebergs, and then sublimate to vast parched deserts, all within the stretch of days. Still, islands of stability do exist within the depths of the Maelstrom. These islands are ruled by petty gods, exiled fiends, and fallen celestials, and even the rare stronghold of a mortal wizard or priest-king can be found holding itself against the metaphysical lapping tide.

The Maelstrom is infused with the quintessence of destroyed outsiders whose energies failed to reach planes of their own alignments, and it grows by eroding and consuming quintessence from planes of the Outer Sphere. Such quintessence returns to its unaligned potentiality via the Antipode, an aeon-guarded hub that redistributes it back to the Positive Energy Plane.

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