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Figuring Out the Lightning Plane

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Patrick-Leigh, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    For one of the book series I'm planning for my flintlock fantasy setting, I'm having my protagonist, Perdita Nightshade, take a long journey through the different Transitory Planes that are used to go from one Planet to another on the Celestial Plane (which is structured a lot like our universe.) I have a pretty solid grasp of most of the Transitory Planes, but the one that's giving me the most difficulty right now is the Lightning Plane. I have the basic layout determined, which I'll explain in a bit, but the rest of the details, especially the features that make this Plane unique, are eluding me.

    In terms of the basic layout, the Lightning Plane is a sphere with a diameter of 20 billion kilometers. Most of this space is filled with a breathable atmosphere with an air pressure comparable to that of sea level on Earth. The majority of the Plane is zero gravity, except for floating islands, Dwarf Planets, and Terrestrial Planets that are usually stationary. From the core of the Lightning Plane flow these massive (and constant) electrical currents that branch out like enormous trees, forming recurring vaulted "ceilings" that divide the Plane into different layers. As big as they are, they only make up a small portion of the total volume of the Lightning Plane, so there's a lot of space between them. The formation of these currents is in line with the Cosmic Compass System that I developed a while back on this site, with the primary currents following the Cosmic Jets while smaller, secondary currents arc off of them like the branches of a tree, forming vault-like formations kind of like what you see in a cathedral. Between all these huge currents is empty space in which the floating islands, Dwarf Planets, and Terrestrial Planets are found.

    However... I have no idea what to put on those land formations. While some would have the same kind of plants and animals found on Planets of the Celestial Plane and other Transitory Planes, I need stuff that's unique to the Lightning Plane, stuff that ties into themes of electricity and magnetism, and strange elements that will give this Plane a rather alien feel to it. But I'm rather stuck on how to do that. So, I figured I'd start a thread and invite people to just spitball ideas back and forth to hopefully get the creative juices flowing.

    A few important details to bear in mind:

    The Portals that are unique to the Lightning Plane are Electric Portals and Magnetic Portals, though I'm still figuring out how those work. However, other kinds of Portals are present, most of which connect to other Transitory Planes, such as the Plane of Air, Plane of Water, Plane of Earth, etc., thus providing a steady supply of fresh air, water, and other resources to creatures on the Lightning Plane.

    The gravitation fields of floating islands, Dwarf Planets, and Terrestrial Planets do not extend out very far from their surfaces (usually only 10 km at the furthest,) so they don't actually pull a whole lot toward them beyond that range. Gravity tends to be earth-like no matter the size of the terrestrial body, though some have more or less gravity if they have certain materials on them.

    There is a sort of day-night cycle, controlled by the Cosmic Pulse, but rather than a sun rising or setting, it's the arcs of electricity becoming brighter and dimmer as well as changing color (I'm thinking from blue to violet.) The Cosmic Pulse also causes seasonal changes for all the Transitory Planes, and the Lightning Plane is no exception to this.

    Creatures native to the Lightning Plane do not all have abilities related to electricity and magnetism, though they do tend to be more resistant to these things than creatures from other Planes.

    And that's all about I can give you with the time I have left on my lunch break, but I'll check back in later to see if people need more info.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    Uniqueness will depend on what the rest of your setting looks like. If it's a medieval style setting then for lightning I'm always fond of a more modern day/cyberpunk style vibe.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    It’s a flintlock fantasy, but I can see the plants and animals having bioluminescent patterns that have a cyberpunk vibe to them, to give the Plane a neon/cyberpunk look
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    So, I've been thinking over the cyberpunk aesthetic idea for the Lightning Plane a little more, and the more I have, the more I like it. To make sure things still have an organic quality to them, however, I'm leaning toward the idea of having the plants and creatures be based off of deep sea creatures, particularly jellyfish and other organisms that have bioluminescence, but having them be combined with land-dwelling creatures. So, instead of a conventional wolf, you get a canine-shaped creature that is semi-translucent and has bioluminescent features, resulting in something that looks like a wolf/jellyfish hybrid. The same would apply to the plants. An oak tree would be semi-translucent with leaves that glowed different colors.

    In order to make sure the bioluminescent attributes stood out more, I'm thinking that the Lightning Plane would be without the miniature suns (actually Plasma Portals connected to the Plane of Fire) that are found on the other Transitory Planes, giving the Lightning Plane a bit of a deep sea vibe except for the lightning currents that branch out across it.

    Speaking of those, I'm considering having them be surrounded by some kind of cloud formations so they look less like electrical currents and more like tree-shaped thunderstorms. So, a solar system sized tree that's perpetually doing this:


    However, the lightning currents don't take up most of the space in the Lightning Plane. They'd be a dominant feature of the skies, certainly, and there would be other sources of electricity and magnetism (such as formations of magical crystals,) but the Transitory Planes are not made up of a single feature. Their names reflect the Portals that are specific to them and the most dominant feature, but there are frozen areas of the Plane of Fire and molten areas of the Ice Plane. This isn't like the Elemental Planes in D&D. These are Planes with a particular theme, but that theme isn't all-encompassing. Further, most electrical currents are not visible, especially when they're being channeled through something like a copper wire, and that's something I want to explore with the Lightning Plane. Just because you can see electricity arcing through the air doesn't mean the environment isn't electrified in some way. That would actually be one of the biggest hazards of the Lightning Plane. You can't always see the "lightning."

    Anyway, that's all I have time for at the moment, but I may come back to this a little later. Let me know what you guys think!
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. MisaMai

    MisaMai Dreamer

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    I am absolutely enchanted with this whole concept. When reading through your initial post my first thought was something of an image that I thought I might share to see if it might give you some inspiration. You had said that the gravitational pull is mostly similar to that of Earth but it could vary depending on elements? I had a vision of a smaller planet with a strong magnetic force but with less gravitational pull than Earth. In order to keep contact with the planets surface denizens of this planet either use tools like magnetic boots or poles to keep in place or are actually magnetic creatures in some fashion, like high iron content in the blood that keeps them from floating all the time given the magnetic nature of the planet itself. This would make it trickier for others to inhabit it and could provide drama. If the biological factor is considered this could make it trickier for the denizens to inhabit other planets as well. The main image I had in my minds eye was one of these denizens tending to a magnetic pole designed to harvest lightning. The poles were either designed to concentrate electricity or to prevent it from harming the planet or its denizens. I know you had said that lighting doesn't necessarily mean lighting being everywhere in a physical sense. That being said a smaller planet like this could be a convergence point for some of the overarching lighting of the plane. The planet could have been built by denizens of a different planet to help protect the other planets in the system from being negatively affected by the electrical charges in some way. I'm excited to see what you come up with! I hope this provides some form of inspiration for you.
     
    Patrick-Leigh likes this.
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