Ethereal Plane

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Ethereal Plane
The ghost Dolandryn, an inhabitant of the Ethereal Plane.
(Plane)
Subjective gravity

Titles
The Ghost World
The In-Between
The Space Between Spaces
Sphere
Gravity
None
Time
Normal
Realm
Immeasurable
Structure
Lasting
Essence
Mixed
Alignment
Mildly neutral
Magic
Normal
Denizens
Divinities
Description
Transitive plane that links the planes of the Inner Sphere
Source: Planar Adventures, pg(s). 94–99 (1E)
GM Core, pg(s). 177 (2E)

The Ethereal Plane is a transitive plane that overlaps all of the Inner Planes, formed from the traversal of forces between Creation's Forge and the Void.1 It also hosts emotional forces relevant to psychic magic.2

Geography

As it intrudes into all of its neighbors, the Ethereal Plane can be used for travel between them. On the plane's borders, a traveler can peer into the neighboring reality, although the view is obscured as if looking through a cloudy pane of glass.342

This plane has very little of what most natives of Golarion would call geography. It is a place of ever-shifting mists with little hard matter to obstruct the traveler. Near its borders, one can peer into the neighboring planes and easily move back and forth, provided one has that ability. Travelers from these other planes often momentarily step into the Ethereal Plane via magic to bypass dangers or solid matter.35 There are also places within the Ethereal Plane where the borders between the planes grow thin due to natural variation or the effects of magic.4

Planar traits

There is no gravity in the Ethereal Plane. Time passes at the same perceived rate as on the Material Plane, and the permanence of matter (what relatively little exists in the In-Between) is the same on the Ethereal and Material planes.6

Magic behaves similarly with few exceptions. Certain spells cast on the Material Plane that generate magical force, as well as certain abjuration spells, can affect ethereal beings in the same relative location. However, spells cast from the Ethereal Plane do not affect the Material Plane in the same manner.6

History

Long ago, the goddess Desna is said to have accidentally freed the god Ghlaunder from his cocoon that was floating in the Ethereal.7

Connection to dreams

Shardra Geltl, Sajan Gadadvara, and Rivani sail on a strange ship in a dream voyage through the Dimension of Dreams.

When mortals of the Material Plane dream, their consciousnesses drift into the Ethereal, warping its reality within a place called the Dimension of Dreams. Imagined places and people are created in tangible forms out of the misty substance of the plane. Because of this, the fabrications of nightmares can be a threat to travelers on the Ethereal Plane, as these places and creatures act in a manner consistent with the dreamer's worst fears.8 The indigenous night hags prey on dreamers, collecting these dreams and haunting the dreamers until they have captured their souls.9

Special magic can pierce the veil of churning dreamscapes and access the Dimension of Dreams itself.10

Inhabitants

The Ethereal Plane is home to phantasmal creatures such as ghosts, as well as things born from the dreams of mortals. It is also the home of night hags and the xill.38

Places of interest

There are rumors and legends that there are additional portals within the Ethereal Plane connecting it to a variety of places, including other worlds within the Material or Shadow planes and places within the Outer Sphere.3 Other myths tell of a pocket plane created by the gods in which they deposited their beloved mistakes of creation.4

The cathedral known as the House of the Itinerant Soul offers shelter and guides to lost souls and mortal travelers.1

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Logan Bonner, et al. “3 Age of Lost Omens” in GM Core, 177. Paizo Inc., 2023
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 6: Running an Occult Game” in Occult Adventures, 240. Paizo Inc., 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 3: Religion” in Campaign Setting, 180. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 239. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. Robert Brookes, et al. “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 95. Paizo Inc., 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robert Brookes, et al. “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 94. Paizo Inc., 2018
  7. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 228. Paizo Inc., 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 Amber Stewart. “The Inner Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 11–12. Paizo Inc., 2009
  9. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 215. Paizo Inc., 2009
  10. Amber Stewart. “Other Dimensions” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 50. Paizo Inc., 2009