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The Material Plane, or sometimes Prime Material Plane, is the plane of existence in which the world of Exandria exists.

Exandria

Main article: Exandria

Exandria is the world on which most events of Critical Role take place.[1]

Satellites

Exandria has two moons:[2][1][3][4]

  • Catha: close to Exandria and appears large in the sky.[3] It has a 33-day cycle during which it waxes and wanes.[5]
  • Ruidus: the reddish-purple, maroon-brown color moon.[3] It takes approximately one full year (328 days) to complete a rotation and thus is only visible in the sky for half the year.[6]

Relationship to Other Planes

In some places, the barriers between the Material Plane and other planes become thin or are simply punched through. Some rifts are stable for long periods: there are settlements around long-lasting rifts with the Elemental Planes, and known portals to the Feywild, for example. The barriers regularly become thinner during the annual solstices: Winter's Crest and the Zenith. The barriers become especially thin under a celestial solstice.

Once opened, rifts can be widened or they can be sealed. Long-term doorways can be established between planes and realms, starting with anchor glyphs and building a permanent enchantment around them, similar to building a permanent teleportation circle.[7]

Fan art of the Immensus Gate in the Genesis Ward, by Clara.[art 1]

The Immensus Gate, located in Aeor, is one of the larger waypoints between the planes. It is a large device capable of creating a portal into other Planes of Existence, with the use of a Tuning fork.[8][9]

Other Prime Material Planes

Artagan says, "This is but one of many Prime Materials", and suggests that he and Jester could travel easily between them.[10]

Echoes of the Material Plane

Feywild

Main article: Feywild

The Feywild, or Plane of Faerie, overlaps the Material Plane. There are many points of crossing; Vox Machina knew of one in the Frostweald,[11] and they created a special door allowing Artagan to return to the Material Plane.[12] Fearne Calloway later used that gate, located in the Verdant Expanse, to travel from the Feywild to Tal'Dorei.[13][14][15] The elven city of Syngorn has threshold crests placed around the perimeter of the city that are anchored to the Feywild, allowing the whole city to teleport to the Fey plane in times of danger.[16][17]

Shadowfell

Main article: Shadowfell

The Shadowfell, like the Feywild, overlaps the Material Plane. The only known portals are the three magic siphons that were set up throughout Exandria.[18] The city of Thar Amphala, using threshold crests like those of Syngorn, was able to teleport to the Material Plane.[19]

Transitive Planes

Astral Plane

Main article: Astral Plane

The Astral Plane, or Astral Sea, contains gateways to other planes and is home to the githyanki.[20]

  • According to Lady Allura, when a Bag of Holding is destroyed, its contents are jettisoned into the Astral Sea.[21]
  • When Scanlan Shorthalt scried through his magical poo, his consciousness transcended the Material Plane, traveled across the Astral Sea, and arrived at his scrying destination on the Material Plane.[22]

Ethereal Plane

Main article: Ethereal Plane

Fan art of Beau seeing into the Ethereal Plane, by @hierothraxs.[art 2]

The Ethereal Plane overlaps the Material Plane, but they are somewhat out of phase with each other.[23]

There are several spells, items, and even innate abilities allowing creatures on the Material Plane to interact with the Ethereal Plane. Creatures who use the drug skein can see into the Ethereal Plane out to ten feet;[24] the spell True Seeing allows the target to see 120 feet.[25] Creatures slathered in oil of etherealness enter the Ethereal Plane for an hour.[26] The spell Blink allows the caster to enter the Ethereal Plane for short periods and move up to 10 feet to a different position in the Material Plane;[27] a phase spider[28] or an incubus can switch between the Material Plane and Ethereal Plane at will.[29]

Inner Planes

The Elemental Planes

The Elemental Planes intersect with the Material Plane. The druidic Ashari guard most of the portals at the connecting points.[30]

The Far Realm

Main article: Far Realm

The Far Realm is another dimension that connects to the Material Plane in some places, often in the depths of the Underdark.[35][36][37]

  • Clarota told Vox Machina that, should they try to enter through the rift to the Far Realm that they found while in the Underdark, their minds would break.[38]

The Divine Gate and the Outer Planes

At the end of the Calamity, the Prime Deities erected the Divine Gate, a sort of lattice through which gods cannot pass,[39] between the Prime Material Plane and the rest of creation. Most people call this event the Divergence, though some more religious folk call it "The Penance" while students of the arcane call it "The Second Spark."[40]

The Divine Gate has been narrated as a visible phenomenon while shifting between Exandria and several other planes, including the Astral Plane[41] but mostly the Outer Planes: the Nine Hells,[42][43] Elysium,[44] Ioun's secret realm,[45][46] and Pandemonium.[47][48] The Gate seems to be most visible (at least to mortals) between the Inner Planes and the Outer Planes.[49][50] It has not appeared when traveling from the Material Plane to the Feywild[51] or to the Shadowfell,[52] perhaps because, while the Feywild and the Shadowfell border closest to the Prime Material Plane, there is still a fine veil in between based on the Divine Gate.[53] Nor did Vox Machina and the Mighty Nein see the Gate when traveling between the Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Fire.[54][55][56] The Divine Gate also does not seem to stop a god from traveling between the Outer Planes.[57]

A unanimous effort of the Prime Deities[58] or possibly an unsealed Tharizdun[59] could break the Divine Gate, which would lead to another Armageddon in the mortal realm.[58]

The Abyss

Main article: Abyss

The Abyss is the home of demons like Yenk the goristro[60] and demon lords like Yeenoghu.[61]

  • In D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, the Abyss is one of the Outer Planes. It "has a seemingly endless number of layers" and is associated with the chaotic evil alignment.[62] That cosmology may not be exactly canonical for Critical Role, but the Endless Maze from which Yenk hails corresponds to a canon layer of the Abyss,[63] as does Orcus's realm of Thanatos.[64][65]

    Fan art of the Umbra Gate in Bazzoxan, by Miloš Radojkić.[art 4]

  • Since the Calamity corrupted the Miskath Strand, the Cauldron Sea has some connection to the Abyss in addition to having aspects of the Elemental Plane of Water.[66]
  • Arcane devices called "Abyssal anchors" can slowly tear holes through the barriers between the Abyss and the Prime Material Plane; they were used during the Calamity to allow demon generals to invade various places in Exandria, and the Angel of Irons cult used crude versions to cause demonic incursions in the Kryn Dynasty.[67]
  • Around 795 PD, a group of dungeoneers accidentally reactivated a gateway to the Abyss within Bazzoxan, which has remained open ever since, requiring a full-time containment effort by the Aurora Watch.[68]
  • Six "shackle fanes", including one hidden beneath the Chantry of the Dawn on the Material Plane, have kept Tharizdun sealed in the depths of the Abyss since the Calamity.[69][70] The Angel of Irons cult used an Abyssal anchor to prepare to break the fane at the Chantry.[71]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Matthew Mercer explained that Exandria is the name of the world and it has two moons (source).
  2. Matthew Mercer stated that Exandria has two moons.  See "The Midnight Chase" (2x03) at 0:51:48.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Matthew Mercer described Exandria's two moons (source).
  4. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:35:24.
  5. See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 1:44:26.
  6. See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 1:44:26.
  7. See "Duplicity" (2x55) from 0:49:48 through 0:51:49.
  8. See "The Genesis Ward" (2x135) at 2:21:25.
  9. See "Hell or High Water" (2x136) at 2:26:52.  The gate is activated to the Plane of Water at 2:38:15
  10. See "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) at 17:46.
  11. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:47:23.
  12. See Matthew Mercer's tweet from 10/13/2017.
  13. See "The Oh No Plateau" (Ex02) at 1:17:36.
  14. See "By the Road" (Ex04) at 42:51.
  15. Aabria Iyengar's playlist for Exandria Unlimited confirmed the gate was Artagan's.
  16. See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 2:57:00.
  17. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 81.
  18. See "Thar Amphala" (1x101) at 2:35:50.  Vex notices that there are three siphons around the city of Thar Amphala.
  19. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 0:51:44.
  20. See "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) from 0:52:25 through 0:52:32.
  21. See "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) from 0:51:53 through 0:52:25.
  22. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 2:59:00.
  23. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) from 2:35:43 through 2:37:45.  Vex's experience of the Ethereal Plane is disconnected from that of the characters who remain on the Material Plane, and she can travel through the ground of Thar Amphala because it doesn't exist in the same place in the Ethereal Plane.
  24. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 3:11:51 through 3:19:46.
  25. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:08:00.
  26. See from ep1x112 through 2:35:43.  Vex's experience of the Ethereal Plane is disconnected from that of the characters who remain on the Material Plane, and she can travel through the ground of Thar Amphala because it doesn't exist in the same place in the Ethereal Plane.
  27. See "A Game of Names" (2x49) at 1:58:44.
  28. See "Waste and Webs" (2x10) at 2:08:03.
  29. See "Duplicity" (2x55) at 2:36:35.  See also 3:48:09.
  30. See "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) from 1:17:27 through 1:18:05.
  31. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 127.
  32. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 70.
  33. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 64–65.
  34. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 10–11.
  35. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 01:54:36.
  36. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  37. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 154–155.
  38. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) from 1:54:36 through 1:55:11.
  39. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 0:15:34.
  40. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 7.
  41. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 0:14:19.
  42. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to the City of Dis.  See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 1:14:45.
  43. Plane Shift from the City of Dis back to the Prime Material Plane.  See "Jugs and Rods" (1x94) at 17:23.
  44. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to Elysium.  See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 3:19:34.
  45. Plane Shift from the Prime Material Plane to the Endless Athenaeum.  See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 3:36:52 through 3:38:27.
  46. Plane Shift back from the Endless Athenaeum to the Prime Material Plane.  See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:37:43.
  47. Traveling from the Prime Material Plane and Pandemonium.  See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) from 1:20:31 through 1:21:32.
  48. Plane Shift from Pandemonium to the Prime Material Plane.  See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 3:38:38.
  49. Scanlan's Wish to see the location of Grog's soul takes his vision through several of the Inner Planes before reaching the Gate and passing to the Outer Planes.  See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 46:53.
  50. Matt discusses the Inner and Outer Planes, and the confusing lack of a Divine Gate between them in Halas's stained-glass diagram.  See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 2:26:33.
  51. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 3:37:30.
  52. See "Thar Amphala" (1x101) at 2:29:38.
  53. See "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer" (Sx53) at 1:04:35.
  54. See "Path of Brass" (1x74) at 1:54:51.
  55. See "Brawl in the Arches" (1x76) at 3:41:09.
  56. See "Between a Ball and a Hot Place" (2x129) from 3:22:08 through 3:23:37.
  57. Matt says it may be Sarenrae herself, rather than an avatar, restraining a dust titan in Pandemonium.  See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 3:16:35.
  58. 58.0 58.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
  59. See "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:53:23.
  60. See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:46:00.
  61. See "The Howling Mines" (2x06) at 49:38Mollymauk recalls some details about Yeenoghu and the Abyss.
  62. See D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, 5th ed., p. 58.
  63. See D&D: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, 5th ed., p. 142.
  64. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:26:11.
  65. See D&D: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, 5th ed., p. 152.
  66. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 151.
  67. See "Duplicity" (2x55) at 4:16:53.
  68. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 134–135.
  69. See "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:52:52.
  70. See "The Cathedral" (2x86) at 3:26:02.
  71. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 4:24:52.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the Immensus Gate in the Genesis Ward, by Clara (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Beau seeing into the Ethereal Plane, by @hierothraxs (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Coral (a thrall of Gern Blanston) helping to seal the rift to the Elemental Plane of Fire in "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46), by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the Umbra Gate in Bazzoxan, by Miloš Radojkić (source).  Used with permission.

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