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Arkaelaspace

Sphere Overview:

Arkaelaspace has until recently been an unknown sphere, even though it is nestled {on maps, in any case} right in the midst of the "Known Spheres". Most navigators theorize that it is the strange tidal effect of the flow current which leads there which has kept it’s presence unknown for so long. That, and the rather dangerous nature of its wildspace inhabitants and the gods that call that sphere their home.

Original Complete Map of the Flow by Paul Westermeyer.

Arkaela details added by Abbadon

The Arkaela Flow is tidal, that is, it stretches to Greyspace when the gravity of the Spectre exerts a miniscule pull through the Greyspace sphere surface and into the Phlogiston nearest the end of the Arkaelaflow, which lasts only one-eight of the Greyhawk year. Then, the faint tracery end of the current is clearly visible outside the crystal sphere. Other times, navigators must make calculations based on the stars on the inner Greyspace wall and aim themselves toward where the current should be; after a day’s travel, they will locate the whispy end of the nascent current and be on their way.

The exterior of the Arkaelaspace sphere appears ordinary, dull and black. The inner surface can be reached by the usual methods, and once inside the strangeness of the sphere begins to make itself known. The stars are actually huge bowls of eternally burning flame, held aloft from the sphere surface by inconceivably huge sculptures of tortured figures, humanoid and otherwise. It’s generally considered bad luck to linger near one of these nightmarish shapes for too long; they are often roosts for the Mi-Go fungus creatures. Some of the sculptures have been toppled by incomprehensible forces {PC’s will be unable to do so by any means}, and the flames from their bowls now flow sluggishly forever across the inner surface of the sphere like amoeboid fire creatures. They are not sentient, but flying into one will result in instant destruction for any ship or being not completely immune to fire.

Another strange attribute of the sphere is the chaotic nature of the orbits of the celestial bodies in Arkaelaspace. Not all the orbits are of the normal circular or elliptic varieties, and then, there is the Bleem, a huge cancer on the side of the shell itself. {see below}

There are only five major bodies in the sphere {not counting the occupant of the Bleem}, and each, not including the Primary, have their own orbital plane. The orbit of Arkaela itself is used as the "zero-plane" when navigating in Arkaelaspace.

 

Planet Name

The Sun

Planet Type

Spherical Fire body

Planet Size

G

Orbital Plane

None

Escape Time

12 turns

Satellites

4

Day Length

None

Year Length

Not applicable

Population Analysis

Small population of fire-based creatures/elementals

Description: The Arkaela Primary has been known, simply, as the Sun since the Tanu took notice of objects in the sky other than Azeroth. It is a typical fireworld, with a size C molten core and a photosphere of flaming gases surrounding it. The core sports a small number of gates to the Elemental plane of Fire, but for unknown reasons, very few elementals ever come through into Arkaelaspace. It is possible that the Flame-creatures {see the Spirits section for description} who until recently served as the minions of the fire-god Cthuga have somehow either warded the gates to prevent others from entering their territory, or the reputation of the minions keep others away. The truth may never be known, as no-one has approached the surface to find out, but the surviving Flame creatures continue to inhabit the photosphere and core surface. Should someone be foolish enough to approach too closely, assume 20 fire-bands of 1000 miles deep each, radiating from the surface, with 1d6 points of damage per round suffered for each band crossed, cumulative. Contact with the surface itself results in 45d6 per round. Not advisable.

Ports of Call: None

Resources/Trade: None

Government/Lifestyle: With the loss of Cthuga, the Flame creatures have degenerated into mindless, voracious creatures who attack any other life forms they detect, including elementals and occasionally each other. It might be possible to Summon one with an appropriate-level spell if one were within 1000 miles of the outer heat band.

Planet Name

Arkaela

Planet Type

Spheroid Earth body

Planet Size

C

Orbital Plane

0°

Escape Time

2 turns

Satellites

1 {Azeret}

Day Length

28 hours

Year Length

360 days

Population Analysis

Tanu; humans; gnomes ; misc demihumans; other-planar creatures; prehistoric fauna

Description: Arkaela is an oblate spheroid, flatter at the poles than at the equator. There is little difference in the seasons, and temperatures are Spring- or Summer-like all year round in most places. The polar ice caps are very small, neither larger than 300 miles across at the height of winter.

It is possible to observe the planet from one side in space and see nothing but ocean; the continents have all drifted near to each other in the current Age. The exception is the small island continent known as the Secret Lands, described in Places of Note. As previously stated, giant ocean life makes sailing a dead art on Arkaela, since any surface vessel would suffer attack from ravenous beasts as soon as it left the safety of the shallows. Assume a 1 in 4 chance of attack per turn {or round if you’re really mean}on any ship in the water, even close to shore; plesiosaurs and similar critters can and do waddle right up onto the beach to attack seafarers, not to mention the Deep Ones and other Old Ones’ servants.

Ports of Call: Several. Andraxas maintains several naval bases for the Void Legion, the two largest being Argallus on the Secret Lands island and the other on the Battle Plain at Doomgate. These are restricted bases, however, and civilian spelljammers are not allowed to put down there. This is a shame, as the repair facilities available there are Class A.

The Tanu cities of Goriah and Seres are civilian ports of Class B status, with both land areas and artificial water surfaces to land and service spacecraft. Landing in natural Arkaelic bodies of water is, as has been pointed out before, unadvisable. The Arcane are often seen in these cities plying their trade. There is rumored to be at least one hidden city-base on the southern continent where Cthulu’s followers have facilities for landing and trade with spelljammers, but this has yet to be confirmed {DM’s discretion for placement and strength.} There is also a Class C base on Negrenal Island for civilian craft and trade.

The orbital platform known as Dimensional Vengeance also bears mention here, as the interior bay of the craft holds dry-dock facilities for over 20 ships at Class A rating. However, the only non-Tanu craft that would likely ever see the inner spaces of this ship are visiting dignitaries and military vessels.

Resources/Trade: Tanu Glass, timber, art objects, exotic creatures, military supplies. The Tanu do a brisk business exporting loads of raw Arkaelic soil and finished glass objects, as well as raw timber and the strange beasts which inhabit their world. Imports include steel and metal in both raw & worked form, both of which fetch good prices here.

The Legion Merchant Marine carry worked glass armor & weapons, ship parts, and raw soil in well-defended convoys to the spheres of Greyhawk, Krynn Vodon & Greatspace to supply the Tanu nations there. Only special convoys travel to Astromundi, as the colony of Rifcon must meet precisely scheduled supply ships & make their exchanges in the flow for the one-way sphere.

Government/Lifestyle: Arkaela’s general condition has been previously described. At the moment, the northern continent and the Secret Lands are controlled exclusively by Andraxas and his minions. The southern continent has scattered kingdoms of Old Ones worshippers, while the island nations of Llewellen and Negrenal are a conglomerate of faiths and atheists.

Space travel in Arkaelaspace is as tightly controlled as Andraxas can manage. Any ship entering the sphere will likely encounter one of the Legion patrol ships, and its cargo, crew, armaments & destination will be noted and logged. In addition, picket lines attempt to keep any craft from approaching Azeroth’s Bleem or the planet Gozan, and will attempt to destroy any which do not heed warnings and turn back. The Legion’s communication system, the palantir, allows coordinated pursuit of disobedient or hostile craft.

The Moon of Arkaela

Planet Name

 Azaret

Planet Type

 Spherical Earth body

Planet Size

 A

Orbital Plane

 Arkaelic latitudinal orbit

Escape Time

 3 rounds

Satellites

 None

Day Length

 5 hours

Year Length

 N/A

Population Analysis

 None known

Description: Still called the Bride of Azeroth by some, this non-descript rock-ball orbits Arkaela across its axis, passing over both poles during its rapid orbit. Its own rotation is also rapid, thus its short day-night cycle. While it's often suggested, this body is not a dead relative of the Mad Cthulan Old One. At least, no-one has ever drilled beneath its rocky crust and found anything… untoward. This may be because the thin atmosphere around Azaret is rated as deadly, and will pollute the envelope of any ship that passes within. It is disturbing, however, that observers can see the ruins of tall, non-Tanu-like architecture located on some of the flat expanses of the moon. There are 13 confirmed locations that hold rubble and partially visible stone structures, and others may be buried beneath the soil. Heavy windstorms brought on by Azaret's rapid orbit may have buried more. It is also strange that psionic probes meet some resistance after only 10 feet of depth in Azaret's soil. Thus, any subsurface structures or, worse, dwellers, are as yet undetected. Even the Mi-Go avoid this world, which must mean something.

Ports of Call: None known. The atmosphere precludes landing for the wise.

Resources/Trade None

Government/Lifestyle: None known. Devious DM's may propose sub-surface activity.

 

 

Planet Name

 Arobarelless

Planet Type

 Cluster Earth body

Planet Size

 D

Orbital Plane

 18° , square orbit

Escape Time

 varies

Satellites

 None

Day Length

 varies

Year Length

 6 years 2 weeks

Population Analysis

 Humans, dwarves, gnomes, Tanu military

Description: Arobarelless is a long, near-cylindrical cluster of earth bodies strung along within a single air envelope. No bodies are larger than size A, and are of all shapes. While all orbit the same spot at the sphere's center, each has its own individual track, and all the axes point directly along Arobarelles' orbit. All travel around the Sun at the same speed, so there are almost never any collisions between the planetoids. Only in very rare instances do the gravity planes of two rocks intersect; most have at least 30 yards of space between them, but distances of several hundred yards is far more common.

Aside from this near-mathematical precision in their arrangement, there is one other bizarre trait this cluster world displays: its orbit is square. At four points along its track around the Sun, the planetoids slowly drift apart. Then, once the 'angle' point is reached, the entire cluster begins to slither around the 90° turn like a gigantic snake. Once the whole cluster has past this point {the process takes 2 full months}, the stones slowly drift back into their accustomed places. Spelljammers have yet to explain how this exactness of movement is maintained.

The individual worldlets are habitable, and many have water sources, plus small rainclouds occasionally form and move among the stones. Plant life includes mostly flora that exist well in shade, as not much sunlight passes between the clustered rocks. There are also several species of mobile plants that wander around following the light. Some are even carnivorous, leading many to believe that visitors have brought them from Arkaela.

Ports of Call: Arobarelless is the stopping point for those who wish to avoid the Tanu Legion, as well as miners seeking riches to sell to the metal-hungry world of Arkaela. The Tanu are not enthusiastic miners, preferring to use their glass rather than bothering to dig for raw metals, so there is wealth to be gathered here. Naturally, fugitives and pirates find a cluster world such as this a haven, though Tanu ships do patrol the stony worlds for criminal camps, of which there are a few and highly mobile. Many of the larger planetoids have permanent camps for settlement and as trading centers.

Resources/Trade: Any resource needed for survival in a frontier-like environment can be found here. Several trade posts do a brisk business, as do bands of raiders who swoop down on isolated homes and plunder them. Several humanoid mining companies have claimed some of the asteroids and defend their veins vigorously. The Tanu Legion attempt to keep law and order here, but the place is just too big for them to have more than limited success.

Government/Lifestyle: Life on the stones of Arobarelless can be quite pleasant if one can keep raiders from destroying one's home. The populace is, for the most part, ignorant of racial differences and act like one big, close-knit community. There are often revels that dozens of families attend. The exception are the raiding bands, whom everyone hates, and hunting posse's occasionally fight them toe-to-toe.

 

 

Planet Name

Gozan

Planet Type

Spherical Earth body

Planet Size

F

Orbital Plane

45° , retrograde

Escape Time

15 turns

Satellites

2 – Farren & Borlotas

Day Length

47 hours

Year Length

12 years 27 days

Population Analysis

Approx. 700K Illithids, Primordial Ones, Mi-Go

Description: {Use the planet Falx from Practical Planetology™ as a model for this world, with the noted exeptions} Gozan is a waterless, cloud-covered world of giant size, however its harsh weather prevents surface life, and spelljammer craft can only land during those rare moments when the winds in one area cease long enough to set down. The subsurface is ruled by Illithids who have come to the sphere at the beck of Cthulu, in an attempt to gain an edge over the Tanu. Underground conditions are as described for Falx, but they are not ancient, having been established here in a hurry approximately 25 years ago. While the Illithids rule this world, they are now nearly cut off from their brethren, as heavy Tanu pickets above the surface, based on the moons Farren & Borlatas, either warn off or destroy outright any ship that attempts to approach. There have been several pitched battles over Gozan in recent years, and interference by Mi-Go have nearly won the day several times for the Flayers, but the Tanu just don’t give up, fighting back against their hereditary enemies all the more fiercely. Any humanoids in the deep tunnels other than Illithids are assumed to be slaves who have been brought here from elsewhere, except for the drow, whose presence is a complete mystery to all. The Alboleths may have some connection to their brethren in the seas of Arkaela, but no-one’s asked them. {DM discretion}

This planet was the Homeworld of the Primordial Ones, detailed in the Spirits section, but their population was decimated long ago by the rebellion of the Shoggoths. Those that remain hunt the Illithinds who venture above ground, lairing in craters and riding the storm winds of their ancient home.

Ports of Call: Two of note, one each for the polar Illithid outposts. However, local weather and Tanu warships lying in wait make either approach or escape nearly impossible.

Resources/Trade: None of interest to PC’s. The Illithids try their best to garner supplies from offworld, with little success. The original, small planetary fleet has been decimated by attacks, so hope of escape has been quashed. They would be interested in new, long-range weapons, especially helm-seekers of course, but woe be to any humanoids attempting to pass the picket ships carrying such.

Government/Lifestyle: As described in P.P. Quarter the Illithid population listed in the book, but keep the city sizes intact, as there’s little else for them to do but tunnel.

Moons of Gozan:

Planet Name

Farren & Borlatas

Planet Type

Disk Earth bodies

Planet Size

A

Orbital Plane

Gozan equatorial orbits

Escape Time

2 rounds

Satellites

N/A

Day Length

6 hours

Year Length

N/A

Population Analysis

Approx. 500 Tanu military {varies}

Description: These twin disks orbit the equator of Gozan at opposite ends of their shared orbit. They rotate perpendicular to their orbits, so they flip like coins end-over-end as they travel. Both are otherwise barren of most life, with only scrub and ground-crawling lichen to change the uniform sandy yellow of their cratered surfaces. That, and the Tanu outposts which rise from within protective craters to watch over Illithid activity below. The 4 Legion forts are constructed of local rock and glass armor plates, and act as bases for the Gozan picket ships and supply points for guardians of the Bleem. They stop any ship approaching the Illithid world, and destroy those which try to land or flee. Duty here is spartan and not pleasant, but it is rarely dull.

Ports of Call: 4 Tanu forts, each with repair facilities of class C. There is one on each face of the twin moons.

Resources/Trade: Aside from equipment of war, there is nothing here for use in trade.

Government/Lifestyle: Tanu military. Occasionally, if a large bombardment is planned, the Doomstar will travel here, asteroid in tow, to drop on Illithid tunnels near the surface in the hopes of collapsing them. Otherwise the posts cooperate to police the area on their own recognizance. They receive orders from the Homeworld via palantir.

 

 The Bleem, and Azeroth

Planet Name

 Azeroth

Planet Type

 Spherical 'Liveworld'

Planet Size

 

Orbital Plane

 N/A

Escape Time

Not documented 

Satellites

 varies

Day Length

 N/A

Year Length

 N/A

Population Analysis

 special

Description: Millennia ago, when Cthulu entrapped Hastur and swept the world in a frenzy of carnage, Azeroth the Mad Old One pulled several thousand worshippers from the surface of the world and sped away from Arkaela into deep space. In the current age it was discovered that he had made his slow, ponderous way to the crystal shell. Once there, by unknown magic or perhaps a natural process unknown to mortals, Azeroth began bending a section of the crystal sphere outward, eventually forming a kind of 'bud' of shell material that he has surrounded himself with. In a process not seen in recorded history, there is a new crystal shell being formed at the border of Arkaelaspace. The two shells are still connected by a permanently open portal 4000 miles across, but grim Tanu ships warn away anyone daft enough to wish to cross into Azeroth's space. {of course, someone could attempt to enter from the other side.}

The Bleem interior is currently two million miles across, and growing. It is in all other aspects a normal crystal sphere, save for its lone occupant. Sages theorize that one or several of Azeroth's orbiting attendants will be set alight by the god to provide an orbiting light source. As for what else may occur, only time will tell. It is also unknown how large the Bleem-sphere will become before some critical point is reached, and a new crystal shell will break off into the flow.

See the Spirits section hereafter for a physical description of Azeroth himself and his orbiting satellite attendants.

Ports of Call: None. Due to the aura of madness caused by Azeroth's presence, it's considered a really, really bad idea to approach him.

Resources/Trade : None. However, at least one ancient Tanu artifact was found and successfully retrieved from the Mad God's surface, though at unspeakable cost in lives. It is possible other items were drawn to him with his helpless worshippers on the night of the Paring.

Government/Lifestyle: Aside from fighting off constant, encroaching madness, should someone succeed in landing upon Azeroth, they would find a hideous, undulating landscape of living flesh, bizarre organelles and grasping pseudopodia. Cavernous pores lead into his interior, and dimples in his surface are lakes of live secretions. Look, just imagine an electron micrographic close-up of your little brother's scalp and throw in ooze-ponds that spawn Cthulan monsters. It's just really, really gross.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Tanu Void Legion

Since the maiden voyage of a captured Squidship from its territories on Greyhawk, the Tanu have made sailing the skies their substitute for the loss of ocean-travel which their homeworld denies them. The Void Legion is the Tanu space navy, providing might in the air for their homeworld and the various conquered territories that they have throughout the spheres. Aside from exploration ships which travel uncharted spheres, the Tanu have space fleets in Greyspace, Krynnspace, Vodonspace, and the Astromundi cluster. They also maintain ties via spelljammer with the Fortress of Controlling Power and the barbarian nations of Ginsel.

While a numerical list of their fleets is found here, here are some general notes:

Greyspace: Shortly after the Three Dark Gods conquered Greyhawk, spelljamming travel in Greyspace tended to avoid the primary until things ‘cooled down’. Now however, the Tanu encourage traders to ply the skies, their presence in space, in cooperation with the other spacefaring nations of the sphere, have helped reduce piracy and mishaps for spelljammers. Its largest Tanu port is arguably the fortress complex at Kelna-Ia, but this is, of course, restricted to military craft only. The elvish fleets and Tanu often cooperate, especially since the end of the Vodoni Wars. Neogi activity has also lessened in the sphere. In addition, the Tanu Legion takes many recruits from the barbarian clans of Ginsel after an adventure on the moon-slice world drew the two groups together.

Krynnspace: The Tanu fleet in Krynnspace is primarily a protective measure for the settlement at Mount Bluetop. After its initial destruction by forces from Thenol, Bluetop maintains air patrols of its territory to prevent incursion, and to protect the thundering herds of Space Hamsters which graze its meadows. The patrol of the rest of the sphere is generally left to the uppity elves of the outer Krynspace Fleet.

Vodonispace: As its prize of the Vodoni Wars, the Tanu claimed the Crystal Tower on Vulkarus as its territory and installed a large colony in the miles-high structure, leaving the rest of the Imperial City to be split by the other races of the Alliance. The top of the palace, blown away during the final battle, has been converted into a spaceport for the Void Fleet. The Tanu also maintain settlement farms and towns on the planet Grog, which is considered a free-zone by the Alliance, and is covered with productive farms occupied by nearly every race.

Astromundi: When the spheres controlled by Emperor Vulkaran were divided up by random lot after his defeat, the Tanu drew Astromundi as its prize. As the racial fleets of the Alliance departed for the unknown spheres which were their war-booty, the colony-fleet of Abbadon, Andraxas’ son, found themselves caught in the puzzle of the no-exit sphere. They established themselves on the 60-mile-long asteroid which they named Rifcon {after an explorer who died there when it was discovered}, and began trade relationships with the natives while fighting off Illithid & Antillan slavers. After a secret capture and ‘interrogation’ of an elvish ship crew, they now utilize a Leafship to pass through the sphere for supply rendezvous in the flow and to exchange colonists. The secret Citadel of the Valiants is located on Rifcon, and the Leafship is also the vessel that allows them access to the outside universe.

The Fortress of Controlling Power: The 3 ships which the Tanu maintain on this asteroid city are at the disposal of Magnus, High Priest of the Tanu Enclave. Should the Fortress ever be attacked, they will assist in its defense, or at worst, its evacuation.

Lanhkspace: As Lanhkmar is the original birth-world of Andraxas and Drax, this sphere is forbidden to all Tanu ships. They maintain no presence or bases there. {this is not exactly true: there is a dimensional gate in Lanhkmar City with a small contingent of humans & Tanu holed up in Andraxas’ original family home, and small, cloaked spy ships occasionally enter the sphere on direct order of the God of Doom.}

Greatspace: A chance rescue by the Mega-Triop ship Warsong of Arkaela brought the lost Prince Bruin Shambrath into contact with the Tanu. They assisted him in his quest to destroy the vampire lord whose large coven subjected his world to horror and near apocalypse and killed his family. In return, the new King granted the Tanu land to begin a new colony on his world. With most of the civilizations there rebuilding from anarchy, the Tanu are covertly ‘scouting’ for collapsed kingdoms which they could take as their own. A small fleet remains on or near Thesalys, while others shuttle material and colonists to the new lands.

 


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