Ancient Folklore, Castles & Crusades, Celestial Being, Celtic Folklore, Christian Folklore, Demon, Devil, Devils, Fairies, Fairy, Fey, Folklore, Infernal, Infernals, Jewish Legend, Medieval Folklore, Medieval Magic, OGL, Otherworld
Part I covers the overall plan of the Cosmos, and the Supernal Spheres.
Part III covers the Afterlife.
The Sublunary Worlds
All the spheres above (and including) the First Planetary (or Lunar) Sphere are referred to as the Supernal Spheres. All the spheres below the Lunar Sphere are referred to as the Sublunary Worlds.
Below (or enclosed by) the Planetary Spheres is the Luminous Ether, an expanse of the Ethereal Plane that glows with light. Transport within the Luminous Ether is especially rapid, and travelers there report sighting of strange ships piloted by an unknown race.
Enclosed by the Luminous Ether is the Zone of Flame, or Celestial Fire. It is inhabited by the Fire Elementals, as well as the Daimons known as the Synoches.
Enclosed by the Celestial Fire is the Zone of Water, or The Waters Above. The Water Elementals dwell there, along with the Daimons called the Teletarches.
Below (and within) the Waters Above, is the Zone of Air, or Dome of the Sky. The Dome of the Sky is said to support the Waters Above. The Dome is primarily inhabited by the Air Elementals, but the Iunges Daimons also dwell therein.
Under (and within) the Dome of the Sky is The Earth, and the Mundane World.
The Ends of the Earth
The Mundane World is the sunlit realm of common human experience. Besides the Mundane World, the Earth encompasses six other Ends, or Dimensions. Each Dimension is just as real and material as the Mundane World, and is directly adjacent to it. Reaching the other Ends of the Earth is not just a matter of traveling in the right direction, but also of moving in the proper manner. To reach the Underworld from the Mundane World, one does not simply need to dig a deep enough hole; it must be the correct hole, dug in the correct place, at the correct time, and in the correct way.
The Underworld, or Chthon, lies below the surface of the Mundane World. The Underworld is inhabited by abominations of every kind. Demons and Devils often wander there. Mortal souls who become trapped in the Underworld become the Hungry Dead, maintaining a tortured existence by feeding upon the living.
The Antipodes is said to exist on the other side of the the Mundane World. The strange Antipodeans who inhabit it are said to live their lives perpetually upside-down and backwards.
The Torrid Zone lies between the Mundane World and the Antipodes. It is said to be filled with volcanoes, and geysers, and to constantly swelter under a cloudless sky. While the Torrid Zone is supposedly too hot for most mundane creatures to bear, dragons and other heat-loving monsters are also said to infest it.
Shadowland is reached through the shadows and dark corners of the Mundane World. It is a gloomy place of illusion, shifting shade, and perpetual twilight, inhabited by the insubstantial Shadow People.
The Pillars of the Earth surround the Mundane World. They take the form of four vast mountains that are said to be so high they touch (and support) the Dome of the Sky. The Pillars of the Earth are inhabited by the Earth Elementals, the Kalodaimons, and various creatures made of living stone, metal, and crystal. Some who claim to have visited the Pillars of the Earth claim to have also seen the bones and ruined cities of a race of giants hundreds of feet tall.
The Otherworld of the Fairy Folk is said to lie in every direction beyond all other Ends of the Earth. It is also known by names such as Fairyland and Paristan. The Honored Ancestors dwell in the Otherworld, along with those mortals that the Fairy Folk have either invited or abducted. Although they hold the Otherworld as their exclusive domain, the Fairy Folk can actually be found throughout the Sublunary Material Worlds above the Infernal Realms.
The Infernal Realms
Below and within the Earth is Purgatory, which is both a Spiritual and Material World, and therefore accessible through either the Astral and Ethereal planes. Purgatory is a place of spiritual testing and purification. Parts of Purgatory range from dark caverns infested with symbolic monsters, to crucibles where souls are re-made into purer versions of themselves. Although it superficially resembles the Pits of Hell, Purgatory is not a place of perpetual torment. Purgatory has no permanent inhabitants, although creatures from across the Cosmos visit or wander into it. Angels and Archons both use the tests of Purgatory to purify wavering souls. In a rare example of cooperation between the various spiritual powers, Devils will participate in the trials of Purgatory, eager for the chance to torment souls they would not be ordinarily able to. Strangely for a Spiritual World, time in Purgatory passes at exactly the same rate as in the Mundane World.
Below Purgatory is Limbo, the borderland to the Pits of Hell. Although Limbo is actually a region of the Astral Plane, no stars shine in it. It is the dwelling place of all those denied a place anywhere else in the Cosmos. Dead souls, murdered gods, fragments of forgotten dreams, and those awaiting final judgment from various spiritual powers, all reside in Limbo. Since Limbo is merely a place of endless waiting, and not a punishment of any kind, parts of it can be quite pleasant. Visitors to Limbo sometimes find lovely gardens and vast archaic palaces floating in the darkness, inhabited by the devotees of long vanquished faiths. Time barely exists in Limbo, and even the smallest actions there can occupy ages relative to other Worlds. Although it resembles the Outer Darkness in some ways, it is not part of it. For example, Demons seldom visit Limbo. Limbo is also known as Sheol, or poetically, The Grave.
The Pits of Hell are the prisons of the Devils and the Damned Souls, and the source of all Evil. The Seven Pits are arranged from the outermost First Pit (of Envy) to the lowest, innermost Seventh Pit (of Pride). At the lowest nadir of existence is the Lake of Fire, and there in the center of all the Worlds, the most arrogant of the Devils are imprisoned by every Sphere of the Cosmos.
The Outer Darkness itself is sometime classed as an Infernal Realm, although most sages place it outside the ordered Cosmos altogether.