Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Plane of Shadow

I think my favorite non-material plane is the plane of Shadow. Conveniently, everything I think about how Shadow behaves and acts was almost perfectly mimicked by Apple Maps, inspiring this post.

Properties of The Plane of Shadow


The most obviously useful feature of Shadow is that not only is it relatively easy to reach (via shadows in our world), but that it does not map exactly in a one-to-one manner. Thus an experienced mage can travel long distances in the material plane very quickly via Shadow. However, the most direct route is not always the quickest.


Although travellers to the plane of Shadow feel perfectly three-dimensional, their two-dimensionality becomes apparent through their interactions with surroundings. Among other things, height becomes unimportant.

Time Indifference

Not only does our world's space not play nice with the plane of Shadow, neither does its time. In Shadow it's possible to spend years in a moment or to revisit the shades of last year. Pockets of time run across the plane, making a quilt of seasons and eras.


Just as height is an illusion in Shadow, so too is color, and the illusion comes and goes.

Strange Waters

Water does not take well to the plane of Shadow; constantly churning but without direction. Due to the flatness of the plane, it is often possible to travel across most bodies of water without fear of drowning.

Phenomena of the Plane of Shadow


Due to the flatness of the plane, clouds exist at a universal eye-level and create impenetrable fog wherever they go.


Sometimes, whatever substrate holds together the plane of Shadow, fails to exist for a while. These places are impassable until they return.


Blurs are not as dense as clouds, but do cause more alarming distortions. Finding anything specific in a blur is nigh-impossible, and seeing once-familiar things can be upsettling.


The most immediately dangerous hazards of Shadow, a burn is a roving point of blinding white light with no discernible source. Survivors describe the experience of entering a burn as that of catching fire, although it does not spread and no heat is felt outside of it. To gaze upon one is to invite blindness.

The Nature of the Plane of Shadow

Shadow is poorly understood. The classical explanation is that it is literally a shadow of the material plane, projected across the ether onto some substrate. Scholars theorize that this substrate may be the foundation of our world, or maybe the remains of a previous creation.
While travelling across shadow, one may encounter lost empires, alien structures, echoes of future calamity, or warnings from presents that will never be. Due to the vast and ever-changing nature of Shadow, we may never know all its secrets.

Pictures in this post are all from The Amazing iOS6 Maps.

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