The Maelstrom

Maelstrom spheres

The flow about the Maelstrom is well known to have a direction, creating rivers connecting the spheres into a ring. Spelljammers make use of these rivers every day to journey to other spheres. They only use the outermost rivers, for the ‘deeper’ and faster rivers are known to be swifter but very turbulent and dangerous. Popular legend claims that a serpent of unbelievable size is at the heart of those rivers, so large that it’s body entirely enwraps the whole Maelstrom.

Ages ago, when the spheres were new and the gods were young, many gods dwelled within the flow in a great, golden city as great as the largest of spheres. The gods, too numerous to count, ruled everything that is and walked aside mortals. Other realms were unexplored at this age, even by the gods. Yet great strife existed between the gods. For an age, a great godswars was fought between the many factions of gods. Much of the golden city was laid waste, but always new gods arose to replace the slain. For each divine birth, a new realm was born, continuing a cycle of rebirth that perpetuated the war eternally.

Near the end of this age of eternal war, a group of gods, driven to near extinction by the other factions, became desperate. At the height of their fear and paranoia, the gods were driven by madness to build a great portal. They hoped to flee to another realm to escape the endless battle. Yet, when the portal opened, out came a great serpent, vast and terrible. It swiftly devoured the nearest gods, growing even larger.

Thus began the Final War, when the gods fought against the serpent. Yet the gods were doomed from the beginning, unable to harm the serpent in any way. The last of the gods, fearing extinction, fought their way to the portal and destroyed it completely. The portal’s destruction changed the phlogiston, barring all dimensional travel through that medium. With the portal gone, the last of the gods fled into the spheres, where their power remains. The serpent still exists, hunting down any god that dares to journey into the flow. So great is the fear of the serpent that the gods will never tread into the flow again, nor will they risk granting spells to their priests for fear that the serpent may use the connection to hunt the gods down to their last bastions of power.

Spheres of the Maelstrom

A hot, dry sphere that was once the center of a great illithid empire. New civilizations have risen from the ashes of the fallen empire seeking their own destinies. Great danger and incredible wealth awaits those that dare delve into the secrets of Banesun.

This sphere is famous for it’s gemstone sun and the homeworld of the dwarves. Countless asteriods, minor worlds, and gas giants are home to numerous and diverse civilizations.

Once the center of the Raer Empire and many relics from that shattered empire remain. The world of Pale is long thought the lost capital of the Raer, but it was nearly destroyed during the Rage of the Emperor. Descendants of the Raer continue to survive but have fallen into barbarism.

Civilization is young in Pearlspace, immigrating from other spheres. Strange and unusual worlds abound, strangest of all the gigantic dragon who’s fiery breath lights and heats the whole sphere.

Largest and wildest sphere in the Maelstrom and home to endless herds of kindori and other space-born creatures. The famous Travelling City, built upon the back of a gigantic, space-travelling whale ten miles long, wanders this sphere.

Center of the Maelstrom and thus visited by many spelljammers. Twilitespace is both the hub of trade and the center of civilization for the entire Maelstrom. Elves, humans, giants, and goblins were all born in this sphere.

The “Place of Tears,” Tyrspace’s civilizations was shaped centuries ago by evil Raer sorcerers, who used it as a testing ground for their experiments. From those experiments were born the
centaurs, satyrs, and minotaurs.

Adapted from Adam “Night Druid” Miller

The Maelstrom

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