Threads of Invasion
Unlike the cosmology of typical D&D, the planes of Eberron are unique in that they orbit the Material Plane much in the same way as planets orbit the sun. At times, certain planes will be coterminous with the material plane, that is, the planar fabric overlaps. When this happens, certain traits of the plane spill over into the material plane. When the plane is the furthest from the material plane it is considered remote. In the periods between being coterminous and remote the plane is either waxing or waning. To view this process in action click here and then launch the Eberron Cosmology Orrery.
The planes are divided into three broad areas: Syberis, Eberron, and Khyber. Within each are a number of domains—places where the surrounding matter has stabilised into discrete areas. It is these areas that most align with the planes in standard D&D.
Syberis, the Dragon Above.
Also known as the Sea of Syberis, and the Astral Sea.
The Dragon Above encompasses the heavens and all they contain. Flashes of color, streaks of light, and strange blossoms in the dark of night excite the imagination of the world’s inhabitants. Crossing the dome of the world is the Ring of Siberys, a wide swath of golden dust stretching from one horizon to the next. During the day, the Ring is faint; at night, it is a brilliant belt of scintillating specks weaving through the heavens.
Twelve moons hang like jewels in the night sky, some huge, others small and distant, and a few mere pinpricks of light, scarcely able to be seen with the naked eye. Each moon moves through its phases, waxing and waning in its own time. Farther out lie the stars, silent guardians of the greatest mysteries. Dragons and mortals alike gather these distant lights into constellations, making of them gods, omens, and portents of events to come. Finally, beyond even the stars, lie the farthest reaches of the Dragon Above: the endless expanse of the Astral Sea.
Daanvi, the Perfect Order
Irian, the Eternal Day
Lamannia, the Twilight Forest
Shavarath, the Battleground
Syrania, the Azure Sky
Mabar, the Endless Night
Baator, the Nine Hells
Xoriat, the Realm of Madness
Eberron, the Dragon Between.
Also known as the Coils of Eberron, and the Material Plane.
Poised between the splendor of the Dragon Above and the horrors of the Dragon Below is Eberron, the Dragon Between. Eberron is a land of contrasts—incomparable beauty is matched by hideous evil. Churning seas divide the continents, broken only by minor archipelagos and isolated rocks that stab up from the frothing waves. Five major continents rise from the seas of Eberron.
The world has echo planes, reflections of the Dragon Between: the Feywild, the Shadowfell, and the dream plane of Dal Quor. Much of Eberron is terra incognita—more kingdoms and empires have been forgotten than are remembered. What treasures lie buried in the wilderness? What civilizations thrive in the shadows? What wonders linger undisturbed?
Khyber, the Dragon Below.
Also know as the Chaos of Khyber, and the Elemental Chaos.
Khyber, the Dragon Below, embodies the Underdark, an endless labyrinth spreading below the world. Narrow passages worm through earth and stone, opening onto echoing chambers and bottomless pits. In the silence lie sunken cities, reclaimed by the earth and undisturbed for millennia. In the depths, seas of molten rock crash against melting walls, spewing poisonous gas and deadly eruptions. But although Khyber is dangerous and unforgiving, it too has life. The depths are home to strange beings—undead thralls sacrificed to unspeakable entities, hordes of monstrous beasts hungry for flesh. Nightmares are given form here, remnants from times and wars long past. Still, for those who brave its depths, great rewards await.
Certain caverns in Khyber contain pathways into the ultimate depths of the Dragon Below, the infinite vastness of the Elemental Chaos.
Certain locations on, within, and above Eberron share a particularly close connection to one of the planes. These locations are known as manifest zones, and demonstrate influence from the planes. For example, the Eldeen Reaches has a close connection to the astral dominion of Mabar. This connection enhances the power of negative energy in that region. The Shadow Marches have a number of small magic zones tied to Xoriat, the Realm of Madness, which both enhance transmutation magic and occasionally trigger wild magic effects. Sharn, the City of Towers in Breland, is situated within a manifest zone linked to the astral dominion of Syrania. Enhanced magic related to levitation in Sharn makes for magnificent archtecture such as the Skyway. Parts of Aerenal have close ties to either Irian or Mabar, which accounts (at least in part) for the prominent role of necromantic magic and the Undying Court on the elven continent.
To an extent, manifest zones defy the normal inter-relationship among the planes. The effects of a zone may wane slightly when its connected plane is remote and wax equally slightly when the plane draws closer, but the connection never vanishes entirely. Manifest zones sometimes allow passage between the planes when another plane becomes coterminous to the Material Plane.
Many zones are permanent and, in those cases, generally have a profound impact on the land around them and the people who live there. Smaller and less important manifest zones are located across Eberron, and it is possible that new ones appear even as old ones wink out of existence. The appearance and disappearance of these zones does not seem to have any connection to the linked plane’s cosmological position relative to the Material Plane.
Minor zones and occasionally major zones linked to every other plane are said to exist somewhere on Eberron—with the notable exception that no manifest zone linked to Dal Quor exists.