This outlines the relations of the worlds and planes that encompass the story of Dungeon Crawler™. Planes are another place of existence, where they exist over top of or next to one another, without interfering or being aware of one another.
The MATERIAL PLANE
Living mortal creatures can be found here, they are usually born and die within its confines. Many other creatures can traverse here from their native planes or vice versa, but often this task is taxing or dangerous. Creatures, Eidolons, Animals, Monsters, Beasts and Plants reside here.
Ara is the World in which Dungeon Crawler™ begins. Keldorna is located on the northern portion of the continent of Aerymohr.
The ASTRAL PLANE
This is the endless veil between the Material Plane and all other planes of existence. Here magic gathers like small stars to be collected by those that seek arcane power. It appears as an endless rolling white cloud, with only an occasional scattered object, structure, or sentient being called the Powers or the Quintessence.
Familiars, Gremlins, Devils, Gargoyles, Succubi and Genies are a few of the beings you might find under the command of a powerful spell caster, they were borne in the veil and brought in to service from here. The most powerful of these beings, the Asmodai, can be bargained with at great peril. Although a single object, person or place can be found when willed, there is nothing binding within the astral plane; no roads or paths, no sense of time passing, no sense of touch, scale, or sound, it is like a void in which only white cloud drifts until something is pulled towards you or you towards it. Traversing the Astral Plane is more an act of will than physical restriction or limitation. For instance, if someone were to believe there was a city within the Astral Plane, they could will themselves there, but for each person the experience would be different and the scenery would constantly shift.
You are alone in the Astral Plane, or at best, you can link with one other person that is not a denizen. If a group were to try and meet or traverse together, they may never find one another at the same time. One consistent structure within the Astral Plane is the Traveller's Inn, everyone seems to find this place if given enough time, even if their experiences there are different. It is very important to have your Astral Anchor, so you don't spend too long, or get disorientated in the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane also acts as a gateway to Pandemonium and the Netherworld.
These tiny spaces are not truly planes, but just pockets of astral space that exists between it and the other planes. Dimensional Pockets are used by various magic users; Faeries live here calling them Faerie Groves, while a Wizard may create their own space to use as a Stasis spell, or a Sorcerer may use it for a Dementia spell to create a large castle or keep upon a floating rock mass within an endless expanse.
The ELEMENTAL PLANE (PANDEMONIUM)
Forces of living energy and matter occupy this twisting mass of chaos. Floating masses of earth, water, flames, and a mix shift between the Air around them. Storms, blizzards, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, sandstorms, and fire rage whenever these elements collide in their endless swirling paths.
The Elementals are native to this realm, and although they do not war with one another, they are territorial. This flux appears as both the beginning of the world and its end, its swirling mass appearing to collapse ever inwards to a central apex like a cloud in to a sun.
Many seemingly strange lifeforms have evolved amongst the Elementals to etch their lives in to the elements; flame imbued towers with molten moats, castles made entirely of ice with bridges of snow and sleet, ancient stone ruins and castles atop clouds belong to these denizens and dot the lands. Nothing seems to settle for long in Pandemonium, but many ancient remnants from its past can be found scattered like leaves to the wind. The denizens are often territorial towards the other elements due to their strengths, weaknesses and obvious differences, but towards mortals, they are unpredictable.
The realms of Pandemonium are ever changing, the most common regions are often ruled by Giants or the Elemental-kin; Salamanders, Sylphs, Undines & Gnomes.
Within the Netherworld there are distinct regions that intertwine or share a space at differing times. The wilds of Limbo, the horrific citadels of Gehenna, the pit of Hades, the strange Bazaar, the black Abyss in the sky and the shadowy spectral lands of the Twilight Realm through the mirror.
The further from a location someone moves the more everything begins to fade away as though underwater. Sound fades quicker, the air seems thick and unmoving, the sun never appears, only a sliver of light on the horizon at dawn and again at dusk, then either a dimly lit darkness or a dull gloomy ambient daylight. Spread throughout this reality are crystals which float like stars in the blackened sky known as the Abyss. These crystals sometimes fall to the ground and can be used to traverse the lands, but with this comes the risk of attracting or creating a fragment or figment of themselves, and invariably losing a part of themselves.
Limbo is a place of the bizarre; tiny swarms consume the large, the large devour the small, in an endless cycle of seemingly illogical pseudo-natural behaviour. Some creatures found in Limbo can be excellent companions, controlled for a time, while others are simply too strange to comprehend. Long ago the Outsiders, Limbos inhabitants, were summoned to the Mortal realms using totems by desperate tribes or cults to solve their worldly problems. Many remote areas still call upon these ancient and strange beings. Limbo consists of the wilds of the Netherworld including its seas and its underworld. Mortals that come to this plane are captured and enslaved or turned in to Outsiders themselves. Occasionally shrines and totems can still be found across its wilds, reciprocals of their material plane counterparts. Limbo surrounds Gehenna's civilizations and the seemingly ordinary Twilight Realms. The realm of Limbo is akin to a chemically induced hallucination, its grasp on reality twisted and nonsensical.
Locations controlled by the Neth, like Gehenna or Hades, consist of structures made of an organic material which have been altered to appear like metal or stone. They have fortresses which can float through the sky hunting new prey. The greatest of these citadels is called Hades, a spiralling downward strip-mined pit lined with enslaved figments. The Neth wish to rule the Material Plane and to enslave all of its kind, and in the interim enslave the figments found in the Netherworld. They build the fortresses to act as great flying war machines made of flesh, bone, webbed sinew, stretched skin and the like to invade the material world or wage war with one another, the more slaves they have the more power they have, and the slaves they have never leave their hold without a price.
As the days grow old and fade, areas known as the Twilight Realm change from something that mirrors the Material plane, to that of utter despair. Mortals that have found themselves in the Netherworld often gravitate towards the familiar, and in the Netherworld that often leads them directly to Twilight Realms in their daytime forms. Sanctuaries here are few and far between, for when night falls everything changes from suspect to dire. The inhabitants of the Twilight Realms are Shades, the most twisted versions of their former self, and these command the horrors known as Spirits and Undead beyond the glass doors in the Shadow Realm.
Safe haven can be found, though it is seldom, the largest of such a place is the Bazaar. A grand citadel that stretches on and on along the great river Styx. This infamous river is filled with the bodies of the fallen just below its surface that would pull anyone trying to cross under. A fog bank hangs from the heavens to its still waters. Only the Ferryman may safely bring passengers back and forth between realms through that veil, which is believed to be the main door to and from the Astral Plane. Those that try to fly through on their own, usually find themselves pulled down in the fog to the river's occupants.
Never has such a small word filled mortals with such fear. Brimming with those that have been taken or gone willingly after their mortal coils are shed or the ancient souls born within its infernal pits. The residences of Hell consist of burning souls, Infernals, Demons and Fallen Angels. Living mortals never last long here as the denizens swarm for fresh meat. Occasionally an excursion from the mortal realm or even Heaven occurs, but these are rare. In constant turmoil, trails of dust constantly move through it's borders, it is said to be the most terrible of all places in existence as nothing here can die.
At its deepest level filled with lakes of acid and darkness resides Mephistopheles. This black oily sightless creature and his minions spread death, shutting down the use of organs just as they renew, amongst those souls that have plummeted to his recesses to burn in agony as their bodies constantly try to reform. Should they escape the pools and its heartless guardians they may then begin to form a body once again and start their long journey out of the pits.
Surrounding the pools are porous cliff walls leading up fissures and chasms. Sharp crags of barren stone await those able to make the climb, and here Beelzebub also waits with his flying and crawling minions, always in the corner of the tortured souls vision, whispering madness in their barely formed ears, brushing or crawling across their burned skin from the shadows before striking with toxic stings until their victims fall back to the acidic depths below.
At the top are the fiery peaks, broken fortresses and caves, here the warrior demons, led by Abaddon, wage their endless war with the Fallen and hurdle souls back to their bleak doom with blades and pitchforks. Pyres of bodies lie throughout the rocky centre where searing magma is heated from their burning flesh and poured down along the fissures to keep too many souls from making their escape.
Beyond the caves and peaks are the barren wastes, this endless stretch of dust is dotted with dry thorny bushes, broken bones and iron cages. Azazel rules here, feeding on reformed flesh and bones turning them to black ash. There are always trails of specks snaking their way across the dunes as though on a light breeze. These specks are the slowly reforming bones and flesh scattered along the wasteland floor, but the demons roaming here devour the bones, breaking them down again, while some completely drain them of essence turning them to ash for a time. The empty twisted iron cages scattered in this last fringe of hell are the artefacts known as the gates of hell. None can pass through, for there is no door, no key, no lock. Only with the aid of someone from outside of hell - to call their name, are they able to escape when they touch its frame.
Filled with only those granted access after their mortal coils are shed and the ancient souls born within its gates, the residents of Heaven consist of pure souls and Angels. It is said to be the most beautiful of all places in existence.