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A setting that represents or is made of a concept/thing. It may be sentient, in which case it may also have an avatar running around. Often, they will be pocket or parallel dimensions separate from the physical world where mortals live, but they'll sometimes be discrete parts of the main setting. They are likely to come in sets, with multiple worlds for various elements or concepts. The four classical elements are the likeliest to get such planes, but this is by no means an exclusive rule.

Compare Elemental Nation, for when it's a society rather than a physical place that embodies and element or concept, which may still be an example. Compare and contrast Anthropomorphic Personification, for when it's a person rather than a place, and Elemental Embodiments, which are likely to have come from this place.

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Examples:

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     Literature 
  • The Death Gate Cycle: After the Earth is destroyed, the demigod-like Sartan remake it into four worlds, each based on classical element: Arianus, the world of air (a World in the Sky where people live on floating islands); Pryan, the world of fire (a Hollow World of sweltering temperatures and towering jungles); Chelestra, the world of water (another hollow world but full of water, where people live in hollow spaces within artificial floating structures); and Abarrach, the world of stone (a massive volume of rock honeycombed with caverns and tunnels, highly volcanic).
  • Discworld: Death's Domain and the Palace of Time symbolize their concepts as much as the Anthropomorphic Personifications who inhabit them do.
  • The Great Tree Of Avalon: Each of the seven roots of the World Tree is attuned to a different element which dominates its landscape (Woodroot is heavily forested, Waterroot consists of a system of rivers leading to a vast ocean, Stoneroot is very mountainous, Mudroot is nothing but mudflats, Airroot consists entirely of open skies, Fireroot is nothing but volcanic mountains and Shadowroot is shrouded in darkness) and is home to races attuned to that element (elves in Woodroot, gnomes in Mudroot, dragons in Fireroot, etc.), even though they usually aren't its sole inhabitants (this depends mainly on how inviting it is to other races; you won't find many humans willing to settle in Shadowroot or Waterroot, but you’ll find plenty in Woodroot and Stoneroot, for example).
  • In Son Of Man, a 1970s-era novel by Robert Silverberg, the entire world is like this, billions of years in the future.
  • The Traveler's Gate: Each of the Territories represents something physical like an element as well as an ideal. Unfortunately, the Territories are not whole worlds, and thus are rather terribly out of balance. When they interact with the real world, they have trouble handling more complex ideals and emotions.
    • Asphodel, the Gardens of Mist, represents plants and compassion. Except since the Mists feed on emotions, people learn to keep their compassion stomped down for their own safety; someone can die a few feet away and they'll just ignore it.
    • Avernus, the Feathered Plains, represents air and loyalty. Except it is very easy for loyalty to turn blind and for any disagreement to be seen as a betrayal; the Avernus Incarnation tried to enslave everyone into a Hive Mind so that they wouldn't have a choice.
    • Endross, the Lightning Wastes, represents electricity and bravery. Except there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity; Endross Travelers are, to a man, hot-headed idiots who will challenge everyone and only follow whoever can defeat them in battle.
    • Helgard, the Tower of Winter, represents cold and honesty. Except true naked honesty is dangerous on both sides; being honest with no consideration for the feelings of others is just cruel, and also endagers you as well by giving away too much of yourself.
    • Lirial, the Crystal Fields, represents crystals and wisdom. Except wisdom is far more than just the accumulation of knowledge; many Lirial Travelers forget that there is supposed to be a purpose to information, rather than just consuming it for its own sake.
    • Naraka, the Cavern of Flame, represents fire and justice. Except without the context of mercy, justice is both too harsh and too lenient; Naraka beasts will torture someone for overcharging on bread, but Naraka Travelers can keep committing the same crimes over and over as long as they pay the proper penance in pain.
    • Ornheim, the Maelstrom of Stone, represents stone and patience. Except waiting too long can be as bad as not waiting at all; many Ornheim Travelers miss opportunities while they are still considering and planning.
    • Tartarus, the Steel Labyrinth, represents metal and diligence. Except single-minded dedication to a task is dangerous both physically and mentally; even if you have the strength to continue until the task is done, your allies might kill themselves trying to keep up with you.
    • Ragnarus, the Crimson Vault, represents blood and sacrifice. Except it is far too easy to sacrifice others for what you need; a true Ragnarus Traveler pays their own prices to power their weapons, but it is perfectly possible to pay the price with what you steal from others.
    • Elysia, the City of Light, represents light and virtue. Except without perfect balance, it is very easy to focus on one virtue and neglect another; uncontrolled Elysia will charge bravely into battle, then honestly admit that was a terrible idea moments later.
    • Valinhall, the House of Blades, is a bit harder to pin down because it's a new Territory, but it seems like it represents battle and survival. Except not everything is a battle, and insisting on making it so just endangers everyone for no reason; uncontrolled Valinhall forces people to fight for absolutely everything, no matter how large or small, and has no concept of charity.
  • The Tygrine Cat has the three realms at the heart of Fiåney: the Harakar, which contains Primordial Chaos and represents the virtue of Instinct; Sienta, home of the first cat ever to exist, which represents the virtue of Judgment; and Ra'ha, the equivalent of Heaven, which represents the virtue of Spirit.
  • Xanth: The Five Forbidden Regions — the void, the region of water, the region of fire, the region of earth, and the region of air — are filled with terrain and weather that represent them: the region of water, for example, contains a lot of lakes and it rains often.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Several elemental dimensions are mentioned as a gag, namely the "land of the trolls", "land of perpetual Wednesday", "crazy melty land", "world without shrimp" and "world with nothing but shrimp".

     Mythology  
  • In Norse Mythology, most of the Nine Realms can be seen as one of these, though their elemental connotations are believed to be metaphors for the human psyche. The realms that can be considered elemental planes are Alfheim, home of the Light Elves; Svartalfheim, home of the Dark Elves and the Dwarfs; Muspellheim, the primordial realm of fire and light and home of the Fire Giants; Niflheim, the primordial realm of ice and darkness and sometimes conflated with the land of the dead; Vanaheim, home of the Vanir gods (typically seen as marshes or wetlands); and Jotunheim, home of the giants, trolls and ettins (very mountainous).
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     Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, there are a great many of these in the canon multiverse:
    • This comes especially to the fore in the Planescape setting, which takes place in the multiverse at large. The most notable are the "inner planes", which represent physical matter, and the "outer planes", which represent more philosophical concepts.
      • The inner planes, the ones actually referred to as elemental planes in-lore, include the traditional planes of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, as well as the planes of Positive Energy (which animates living creatures and from where healing spells draw their power) and Negative Energy (which animates the undead and from where necromancy draws its power). There are also the quasielemental planes (formed by an element interacting with either positive or negative energy) and paraelemental planes (formed by two elements interacting)note . They take the form of a spatially infinite expanse of their element (so an endless volume of soil, or a sea with no bottom or surface) with occasional "pockets" of other elements here and there. They’re home to both their associated Elemental Embodiments and whatever creatures can adapt to their conditions (for instance, the Plane of Water is home to all sorts of sea life and aquatic races, while the Plane of Earth is home to plenty of dwarves).
      • The outer planes include a plane representing each of the Character Alignments plus the borderline areas between them. For example, the infinite, nightmarish and demon-haunted layers of the Abyss represent the Chaotic Evil alignment; the heroic battlefields of Ysgard represent the meeting of Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Good; and the orderly, worlds-sized three-dimensional gearscape of Mechanus represents the Lawful Neutral alignment.
    • Module WG7 Castle Greyhawk. The Queen of the Honeybee Hive on level 7 opened a gate to the Demi-Plane of Flowers, a gigantic plain covered with every imaginable type of flower and plant.
    • 4th Edition takes the elemental planes, the Chaotic Evil Abyss and the Chaotic Neutral Limbo and mixes them into one plane, the Elemental Chaos. The 5th Edition reinstates the separate Elemental Planes, with the Elemental Chaos occurring where they break down and mix together as one heads "away" from the mortal world and towards the Outer Planes.
      Here, flame speaks and lightning dreams, iron hates and seas hunger. Islands of earth, ash, mud, salt, or semisolid smoke and flame, some as vast as continents, float amid an endless sky. Rivers of water, lava, or liquid air flow from oceans bounded by nothing solid, cross landscapes of broken crystal, and spill over cliff faces made of tangible lightning. Winds of heavy vapor are guided by currents of chaos, whipping into enormous storms of burning hail and sharp-edged thunder.
  • Exalted: The Flat World of Creation is "pinned" in place by the Elemental Poles of Fire in the south, Water in the west, Air in the north, Wood in the east and Earth in the center. The closer you get to the pole, the more prominent the element becomes:
    • The South is a vast desert leading to volcanoes, before reaching fields of magma and crystal forests leading to the ceaseless inferno of the Elemental Pole of Fire.
    • The West opens to a vast ocean, leading to an Elemental Pole that is a sea without shore, surface or bottom where the waters are endlessly flowing, pooling and shifting to and fro.
    • The North is frozen and windblown tundras, leading eventually to fields of howling snow and Floating Continents until the Pole is a constantly howling gale amidst which elementals hold court.
    • The East is thicker and thicker forests, until the roots crowd out the ground, leaves block out the sky and only endless leaves, wood and unchecked growth remain.
    • The Elemental Pole of Earth, unlike the others, lies in the dead center of Creation in the form of a colossal mountain.
  • Invisible Sun: The realm of Actuality has Nine Suns, eight of which are actually alternate planes of existence that represent fundamental concepts and abstract ideals. For example, the Indigo Sun, where most vislae characters start out, is the realm of truth and ideas. The Green Sun represents ideals such as life, prosperity, and success, while the Red Sun covers not only destruction and alien natures, but also change as a whole. The one Sun exempt from this is the Invisible Sun, which has no world to visit and exists outside the other Suns, yet shines on all of them and connects them. It serves as the source of magic and power for the Actuality.
  • Pathfinder has the same elemental planes as Dungeons and Dragons, forming the inner part of the Inner Sphere of outer planes immediately around the material world, with Air closest to it, then Water, then Earth, then Fire. Unlike D&D, while elementals are present and common, the true rulers of the planes are the various races of genies, as well as the four breeds of primal dragon associated with the elements.
    • Air is an endless sky filled with clouds and storms big as worlds, floating masses of ice (coming from the Air-Water border, where massive storms and icebergs calve off into Air), floating cities and massive metal spheres of unknown origin. It is home to the djinn and cloud dragons, and to immigrants like sylphs, white and silver dragons and gnomes where solid ground exists.
    • Water comes in the form of a vast ocean, kept oxygenated by the Plane of Air and salty by the Plane of Earth, dotted by bubbles of air, massive whirlpools, bodies of freshwater and brine and floating rocks and islands. It was ruled by the marids before their empire collapsed, and is also home to brine dragons and aquatic creatures like mermaids, krakens, Fish People and assorted sealife.
    • The Plane of Earth is a massive volume of earth and stone riddled with tunnels, caves and abysses and shot through with veins of metal and minerals. Elemental Water intrusions manifest as salt and limestone deposits and buried oceans and flooded caverns, while elemental Fire manifests as plumes of magma. The shaitan live here, as do the crystal dragons, elemental beings such as xorn and oreads and immigrants like dwarves.
    • The Plane of Fire consists of seas of flame, plasma, molten lava and liquid metal interspersed with masses of volcanic stone, volcanoes, burning deserts and clouds of smoke, ash and toxic fumes. It is ruled by the efreeti and the fire mephits, and is also home to creatures such as magma dragons, phoenixes and salamanders.
  • Scion: The Titans, ancient and powerful beings embodying elements such as fire, air, ice, light, or shadow, are each one an example of this, being locations as much as or more than they are individual entities.

     Video Games 
  • EverQuest has a bunch of these. Indeed, an entire expansion is called "The Planes of Power", and contains something like 15 different planes. And there are more planes from other expansions.
  • Might and Magic: The old universe had four Elemental Planes, the classic Fire, Water, Air and Earth. While an important background element right from the start of the franchise (as the Ancients' method of world/Nacelle-creation involves manipulating both elemental energies and the four Elemental Lords), the planes themselves only play an important role in VIII, where portals to them have opened and they're preparing an invasion for reasons at first unknown, and Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements, where the main character has to sojourn to the planes in an attempt to stop an invasion motivated by entirely different things than the one in VIII.
  • Rift: The planes, where each one of the six elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Life and Death) rules unrestrained. Closing portals that their inhabitants can get through is a core part of the game.
  • Ultima VIII: The world of Pagan is divided roughly into four regions, each dominated by a Titan (an elemental demi-god). Unsurprisingly, each region is heavily characterized by the relevant element. Additionally, an actual Elemental Plane of Aether exists outside of Pagan.
  • In World of Warcraft the elemental lords who served the Old Gods would be constantly reborn so the Titans chose to seal them into the Elemental Plane, which in turn was split into four regions. They played a major role in Cataclysm.
    • Deepholm, the plane of Earth, made of mostly shiny rocks and crystals.
    • Firelands, the plane of Fire, with lots of magma, ash, lava and hot air.
    • Skywall, the plane of Air, consisting of mostly clouds and wind.
    • The Abyssal Maw, the plane of Water, typical underwater flair everywhere.
    • The Emerald Dream is a plane representing Azeroth as if sentient life had never evolved. It is a lush wilderness populated by green dragons and their druidic allies.
    • The Realm of Twilight is a shadowy realm harmful to creatures not of the Twilight Dragonflight, often used by them as a defense or weapon.

     Webcomics 
  • Awful Hospital: The Zones, with "element" replaced by "concept"; the Hospital, for instance, represents and exaggerates everything that makes a hospital a hospital.
  • Dominic Deegan: Six elemental planes exist — Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Creation and Destruction. The comic has visited the Plane of Destruction, and showed a brief glimpse of the Plane of Air; the existence of the other elemental planes is chiefly a background element.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: The Infinite Featureless Plane of Death. Note that this is apparently a parody/shout out to Discworld, even though the author denies (in jest) ever reading that series.
  • The Order of the Stick (an Affectionate Parody of Dungeons & Dragons):
    • At one point, Varsuvius was magically transported to "the Plane of Ranch Dressing", of all places.
    • The more traditional elemental planes are also present. The Elemental Plane of Earth, at least, has its own cult worshipping the element itself, and is apparently home to the metallic elementals seen elsewhere in the comic. The planes of Air and Water are also mentioned.

     Western Animation 
  • The Fairly OddParents: One episode shows several. When Timmy wishes to become a fairy and attempts to get to "Fairy World", he first ends up in "Scary World" and "Hairy World". A cow then shows up in Hairy World asking if she's in "Dairy World". In another episode, Fairy World is sabotaged and starts plummeting directly into the world beneath it — which so happens to be Giant Bucket of Acid World.

Alternative Title(s): Plane Of Whatever

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