An elemental plane is an alternate physical space from which energy for elemental magic may be drawn.
Origin and purpose Edit
Elemental planes were added to the D-Verse shortly after the creation of the various Schools of magic. Unlike the Divine Language which draws the power for its effects directly from the Source, elemental magic could only work with the available elements, considerably limiting the School's effectiveness. In order to balance this weakness, the elemental planes were crafted to serve as alternate sources of raw elemental energy, enabling casters to use more than the matter found in their own physical realm.
Every active planet is surrounded by four planes, which occupy the same location in space as the planet (usually including a little beyond the edge of its atmosphere) but in what are essentially different dimensions. Travel between the planes or between a plane and the physical world is not possible without accessing the aether.
Although the planes are effectively copies of the physical world they surround, the terrain on each is little more than compressed elemental energy in various physical states. If there is a mountain in the physical world, copies of its shape usually exist on the elemental planes but as solidified fire, air, water, or earth respectively. Though generally limited to one element, each plane also has very small amounts of energy of the other elements at its core to lock it in place with the other planes, creating a section of space common to all planes that is occupied by the planetary spirit.
Each elemental plane is home to a variety of elemental spirits, who mainly occupy the 'surface', as well as a single planetary spirit at the core who provides administrative support for the plane as well as the links between individual planes. Other spirits, if tied to a particular planet, may either reside in or pass through the planes, depending on their individual circumstances.