The Middle Creation
The world itself is often termed the Middle Creation by scholars; it lies between the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos, separating the Feywild and the Shadowfell. Once, it had three continents; Arkhos, Melan, and Turath, but history has left only Melan.
All sentient beings of the Middle Creation have souls, as do those of the Feywild and Shadowfell. Most souls pass through the Shadowfell after death, and move beyond creation to places unknown, but some are claimed by their gods, and granted power and responsability in the gods domain.
Arcane Energy flows down from the Feywild, and filters into the Middle Creation. Where it gathers, Mist forms. Mist is the raw power of magic; when concentrated, it becomes visible, and strange mutations and creatures arise.
Divine Magic forms a conduit between the caster and the Astral Sea. When someone is invested with divine power, their soul is connected to the Sea, and it’s Radiant might flows down to them. Most people who are granted such a boon are Priests and Crusaders of an existing church, but sometimes they discover the method on their own, or are directly empowered by a god.
Above creation streches the Astral Sea; among it’s depths are the Realms of the Gods and the Nine Hells. Below lies the Elemental Chaos, home of the Primordials, eroded by the Abyss. Overlapping the world, but separate, the realms of the Feywild and the Shadowfell, made of the things too bright or dark for the world. From the Feywild comes Arcane Power; from the Shadowfell flows Necrotic energy. The Gods direct Radiant Power from the Astral Sea, and Elemental Forces arise from the Elemental Chaos. Lastly, the Far Realm lies beyond all, and none know truely what power the stars that gimmer there portend.
The Gods reign from their citadels in the Astral Sea, their power flowing into the world through the Faithfull. The Major Astral Realms are:
The Verdant Forest
This realm of natural beauty borders the Feywild. Corellon and Sehanine make this their home, and Arcane Energy begins it’s path to the world here. No structure made by the hand of man stands for more than an hour here; only natural growth and carefully tended tree-towers remain.
The Bright City
Erathis, Ioun, and Pelor make their home in this vast metropolis. Much interplanar trade passes through the Bright City. Thousand foot spires mark the walls of the city, and in the center, a great temple contains thrones where the Gods themselves may be consulted. The city itself grows from a great mountain, at the peak of which is the Celestial Temple.
The Celestial Temple
Here, Bahamut, Moradin, and Kord train and assemble their armies to prepare for the Final Battle. At the top of a great and dangerous mountain, any mortal who can climb from the bottom to the top without flight or teleportation can petition the gods for one boon within their power to grant.
The Charnel Temple
This great gravesite rests in the Shadowfall, and The Raven Queen rules over Death from here. Glorious yet terrible, no undead may set foot here, for the natural order of life to death holds such sway here.
The Iron Fortress
Bane makes his home here, eternally doing battle with Gruumsh from his Fortress of rust-pitted iron. Millions die here every day, all returning the next day.
The Endless Depths
Here Tiamat and Zehir rest, in a place where no light may pierce. Serpents and Dragons haunt this otherworldy wilderness, as well as strange flora which live on the blood and flesh of the fallen.
The Nine Hells
The home of Asmodeus and the devils. This plane is a dark, fiery world of continent-sized caverns ruled by warring princelings, though all are ultimately under the iron fist of Asmodeus. Bound by oaths and law, the Devils seek to escape by trickery and brute force, to rebel against the Gods.
None today know the names of the Primordials, but the citadels of their creations still stand in the Elemental Chaos.
The City of Brass and Shadows
Efreet rule the City of Brass, and their tyranny holds servitors in fear. The smiths of the Efreet create among the most powerful artifacts in the universe, and much trade passes through the City.
Demons control the Abyss, a supparating wound in the Elemental Chaos where a shard of evil itself settled. These bestial monstrosities now seek the entropic end of the universe, decaying away all existance. The Demon Princes who lead this battle may have once been Primoridals, but their corruption is so total that they no longer resonate with the Elements.