The Verenian Watchers
The Planar Keys
Verenia, as it turns out, is far from all there is. In 55 TC, Darius Dottric established a theory on which much of magical discovery since has been based. His ‘Extraplanar Theory’ states that there are many different ‘planes of existence’ realities alternate to our own which are governed by different rules and powers.
In 68 TC, his theory was confirmed by a wizard whose name is lost to history. This nameless arcanist created plane shift a spell which would transport its caster to another plane of existence. Previously thought by Dottric to be only theoretically possible, the spell required the use of a powerful artifact: a piece of metal attuned to the plane the caster wished to travel to. This metal acts as a sort of key that would temporarily destabilize the planar barrier long enough for a spell to be cast through it, and thus, the name ‘Planar Key’ was given to it. The key for this first casting was lost to time, much the same as the spell’s crafter, but since then a few keys have been found, and other planes have been visited.
Studies on the few planar keys acquired by the arcanist’s guild have revealed that they are incredibly volatile. Their very presence causes the planar barriers to resonate and warp around them, causing unpredictable effects. Sometimes, they’ve torn rifts between our plane and the plane they are attuned to, other times they’ve infused the area around them to be similar to their attuned plane as its energies slowly leak through the barrier. These effects are unavoidable, eventually taking place regardless of the care their wielders take. Indeed, it’s only through intentional agitation of these effects and proper channeling of them that the spell can be cast.
The Arcanist’s Guild has seen four such keys, all of which are currently unaccounted for in the present day:
- The Key of Shadows – The key used in the original casting of the spell, connected to The Shadowfell, a plane of negative energy and undeath.
- The Key of Law – A key to Mechanus, a plane of order dominated by a metallic people. This key was lost in 452 TC, when it was used by Daryl Dottric, descendant of Darius. He left for Mechanus but never returned home.
- The Key of the Elements – The key used to travel to Primus a plane of elemental energies. This key was given to the Trade Princes of Al Hasadh to de-escalate rising tensions in 670 TC.
- The Key of the Abyss – The Journals of Francesca the Ambitious outline her discovering a planar key during an expedition to Rangorin in 704 TC. While there were no other witnesses to confirm her story, the details of the key’s description were too consistent with the descriptions of other keys to discredit.