|Denizens|| proteans |
warped and chaotic outsiders
Chaotic neutral souls
|Description||Swathes of malleable and uncharteable planescape|
Collectively referred to as the Maelstrom (pronounced MEYL-struhm), vast swathes of uncharted, unclaimed terrain borders and surrounds each of the planes on the Outer Sphere. Mysterious and dangerous wild lands untouched by the gods, these regions lack the cohesive stability present in all of the other planes; even the hellish depths of the Abyss possess a structure that the Maelstrom does not. Rather than some ever-changing sea of randomness, when viewed from the edge of another plane, the Maelstrom appears much like that of its adjacent neighbour. The differences grow more profound further away from the stabilizing anchor of the borderlands, eventually falling back into the mutable freedom of perpetual change. The Maelstrom defies the efforts of mapmakers, as its very character shifts and flows like the tide of an unseen ocean, to which the borderlands are but shores and calm shallows.
Crystalline forests melt like candle wax into shallow brine seas with jewel-like icebergs, and then sublimate to vast parched deserts, all within the stretch of days. Still, islands of stability do exist within the depths of the Maelstrom. These islands are ruled by petty gods, exiled fiends, and fallen celestials, and even the rare stronghold of a mortal wizard or priest-king can be found holding itself against the metaphysical lapping tide.
Creatures wandering in from the structured planes, long since grown native, populate the Maelstrom's borderlands, often possessing characteristics and behaviours at odds from their origins. Deeper still, chaos beasts, chaos incarna, and the mysterious serpentine proteans thrive within an environment of plastic potentiality. Claiming to be the first children of the Outer Sphere, the keketar, imentesh, and naunet proteans worship the Maelstrom itself and the godlike beings they refer to as the Speakers of the Depths, whom scholars speculate to be something akin to a pair of conjoined gods or a single dualistic entity.