Can You Take the Heat? Be Careful Venturing into the Fountains of Creation!

Between the Elemental Planes of Earth and Fire, lays the realm of Magmin and Fire Giants. The Para-Elemental Plane of Magma, otherwise known as the Fountains of Creation, holds dangers and mysteries unsurpassed on the Prime Material. On the seas and causeways of molten lava, ships of an obsidian nature cut a trail to many points of interest. And both the earthen Dao and fiery Efreet travels the width and breadth, fighting for control of as much as they can.

The more we delve into the Para-Elemental planes, the more dangerous the journey gets. The Swamp of Oblivion may swallow things for centuries and Frostfell may hold the coldest temperatures, but the Fountains of Creation hold some of the most toxic atmospheres in the planes. Not only that, but the heat here is damn near close to that in the plane of the fire. So, once again, I must warn you. Prepare for your journey here.

(Make sure and follow the links above to see the travelogues for the other Para-Elemental planes we’ve visited)

Now, most of the info on this sweltering plane comes from the planescape handbook, THE INNER PLANES. In fact, Monte Cook and the maniacs from second edition lay out every elemental plane imaginable (well, not every). But you’ll definitely find most lore left behind about the many elemental planes, including para and quasi elemental planes. SO, if you’re heavy into the lore of these planes, you should pick up this handbook.


Breathing help and rings of fire resistance (or immunity if you can get it) are going to be a must to stay very long in this inhospitable plane. Even unprotected liquids, like your precious drinking water, will boil to nothing in no time at all. So, maybe extradimensional spaces to store such things would be paramount.

Many of the most volatile volcanos on the Prime Material Plane are fed by vortices from the Fountains here. But traveling through them is a dangerous jaunt. Easier to plane jump using magic or take a spelljammer there. Even your run of the mill D&D campaign could make use of a spelljamming taxi or a friendly wizard to teleport you and your closest friends…or just the party.

Besides the obvious dangers of lava (see Improvised Damage from the DMG p. 249 below), being exposed to toxic air which brings the joys of poison damage also becomes a danger. Sure you have purchased breathing apparatus, but you always run the risk of damage or a temporary moment of breathing the toxins in. (A DM has to be ready for any possibility)

Besides the ‘run-of-the-mill’ dangers, the storms here can be downright apocalyptic. Storm clouds composed of a combination of raw elemental fire and acidic vapors could ruin, not only, your day, but your existence. Imagine the rolling storm clouds igniting into a near intolerable blazing inferno and raining fire and acid down upon your party. Nature checks to avoid damage and finding shelter would be in order.



Not only that, but geysers of toxic ash and gas erupt through what seems to be the surface of this molten nightmare all the time. Dexterity checks to avoid fire and/or poison damage are needed.

And, finally, seething bubbles of molten lava tend to expand through cracks in the ‘surface’ and, if not avoided, may explode casing the party more wonderful fire damage. If your DM wants to be a real piece of fun, they can add some more toxic gas poison damage, just for giggles.


Art by Dean Spencer

If that weren’t bad enough, as you should expect, the actual creature encounters here are that much more dangerous. Every elemental plane has its fair share of Mephits, and the Fountains of Creation is no different. Magma Mephits are small and carry only a 1/2 CR, so, if you’re running a full on campaign in this inhospitible nightmare, they should be one of the first encounters. They can disguise themselves as ordinary mounds of magma and can cast heat metal, which brings us to the subject of armor in this heated plane; could be a problem, that is all. For more see CHILIMBA info below!

Magmin can be found here also living in small tribes following the eldest of their kind. They seem a bit redundant to me since they have the same CR and Death Burst, but do 2D6 fire damage with claws where the Mephits do 1D4 slashing and 1D4 fire. You or your DM might either merge them into one creature or work to differentiate them.

There are other creatures here that you would expect. Red Dragons rule the skies here and may even have alliances with either the Nevermore leaders (see below), the Dao or, especially, the Efreet. Azers and Fire Salamanders frequent this ream also. In fact, anything with an invulnerability to fire damage can make this place home. There are even animals made of fire and magma called Animentals that make this desolate wasteland their homes.


But, just as Frostfell has the floating city of Tiera Minuute to ease newbies into the dangers of the Para-Elemental Plane of Ice, Nevermore stands as a cool oasis in the vast molten landscape of the Fountains.

Eons ago, a cursed artifact called the CHILLSWORD was placed here. It emits an aura of cold for 500 feet and creates a small inhabitable place here. Set in the vast Magma Core found in the center of the plane, many an enterprising soul has come to this city rising on a stable foundation in the vast volcanic and volatile surroundings. They charge greatly for those entering their city and you’ll pay even more for the breathing apparatus you’ll need to just breath here. Good luck finding these any place else. They know this and price accourdingly.

It is here in Nevermore also that you will find proper rangers to guide you on your way. You don’t want to traipse around this plane willy nilly. You’ll need the aid of someone who knows it and its dangers. So bring extra gold to pay this individual or individuals.

Although there is no source for it, I would think that a few crafty individuals will have commandeered the ebony boats that are made especially to traverse the magma waves. Much like the EBONY QUEEN and Captain Soot who we talked about in the Swamp of Oblivion article, there are ships that mainly the genies use to traverse the planes to their different realms. Much of the lore given in Inner Planes handbook from Planescape leads one to believe that the Dao have such ships also and do battle against the Efreet who, I would figure, have these ships also.

So, it’s not far from the realm of reality to say that several individuals have either, bought, created or stole such ships to do business on the high magma seas. So, it is in Nevermore (or at a port close by) that, with the proper gold, one could charter a ship to one of the many ports of interest across the plane!

It would be fair to assume that even this settlement, since it is one of the only of its kind, is in danger at any time of an attack from either the Dao or the Efreet unless they have made a deal with the two to become a place that they could come together on neutral ground and barter.


As discussed in the Travelogue of Frostfell, the Para and Quasi Elemental Planes are mostly without a significant power to control and rule. Only Frostfell has Cryonax. The Fountains of Creation have Chilimba, First General of the Cauldron and Master of ALL Mephits.

CHILIMBA isn’t a power like Cryonax. He is the master of the lava mephits. Similar to Imps, Mephits were elemental beings of short stature. Being small, they tended to roam in swarms and packs. With a challenge rating of 1/2, one mephit isn’t a problem. But they summon more mephits and, although it says those mephits can’t summon any, it would be interesting for a higher level part to end up with a mephit invasion.

Not Chilimba, but it could be (actually it’s Inferno of the Inhumans from back in 2014)

Art by Joe Mad

But, according to the planescape guide book to the Inner Planes, Chilimba may not be an Archomental, but he is most definitely more than just another Mephit. In fact, it states that, although he is of ‘lava mephit stock’, he is a crossbreed. The sourcebook actually calls him ‘like a Para-elemental genasi’. So, what is Chilmba a crossbreed of? That will be up to you or your DM.

It also states that he studied torture under a particularly nasty pit fiend. But, by the end of it, he was teaching the pit fiend the finer art of inflicting pain.

His fortress of basalt, Caldera, is carved in the image of an immense, intimidating red dragon. Protected by many conventional and magical traps, the place serves as a testament of the creatures vast paranoia.


Across the the wasteland between the Molten Core and the Elemental Plane of Earth, lies the Scorched Wastes. The magma flows slower and slower as it comes to the this juncture and the fumes aren’t quite as toxic here. There are still lakes and rivers of lava that flow into the Plane of Earth where the Dao use the magma to feed their forges where they make wonderous pieces of armor and devastating weapons.

NOTE: A magical plant named TANDERSOL was found here. With a stem of white hot fire and petals of the purest gold, it is sought after by many to make scale armor (+3) that gives resistance to heat and flame. (THE INNER PLANES P. 79)

At the border, the molten waves of this plane constantly crash upon the basalt cliffs always rising from the plane of Earth. Spires rise to the sky in this meeting of two powerful realms. Not much to see here. But there is a mysterious tower built here, commissioned by the rogue, Targath Reniume, and erected by wizards out of ‘permenant, invisible walls of force’. This tower rising from a sea of molten rock and both rises to the sky above and reaches to the depths beneath is an odd encounter, but Targath is surprisingly generous to travelers. Could be a peaceful stopover in the midst of a toxic and dangerous land.

Targath could have something your party needs, a Mcguffin or some lore or info.


Art by Ishutani on Deviantart

Near the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals, the lava cools into a smooth obsidian and Spires of volcanic glass and ‘geode-like crystals’ reach for the sky, bursting through the sea of glossy black.

Many evil Earth elementals, fleeing the wrath of their former master, Ogremoch, hide here and plot their next move.


Nearest to the plane of Fire, the magma flows much more fluid and the fumes become incredibly toxic. There are frequent explosions from beneath the magma; shooting deadly fire and gas onto the surface. The closer you get to the other plane, the hotter it’s going to get.


As you travel to the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Radiance, you find one of the most deadly places in all the inner planes. Hills of ash give way to dunes of a metallic dust mixed with shredded glass. As the light peaks from RADIANCE, these elements heat to an unimaginable level.

But that’s just the beginning. The heat and radiation emited here makes those who stay here sick with nausia, bleeding gums, blistering skin, hair loss, blindness and countless other nasty things. Needless to say, move along quickly. There’s nothing to see her but the blinding light of death.


Coming near the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dust, the magma cools into a fine granular dust. It’s cooler here, but the sand gets into everything. Anything mechanical either corrupts, rusts or clogs up. Warforged be warned!


Near the Plane of Ash, you come to a study in extremes. The rivers and lakes of lava are extremely, deadly hot. But the ash that collects into islands becomes extremely cold. Pick your poison.


Art by Milos Radojkic on Artstation

And what plane of molten lava would be complete without fire giants? Well, not the Fountains of Creation, I can tell you that.

In an undisclosed place, somewhere in the nexus between a number of active lava tubes stands fountains of magma fun literally littered with the strongholds of the fire giants. But towering over them, dominating them, is Thermax.

This would be a most dangerous and exciting place for an adventure. Fire giants aren’t easy to get along with and they would rather enslave you than deal with you. So it would probably be a major stealth mission for a high level team. The ultimate heist campaign?


Having a small nation of fire giants here makes the politics of The Fountains of Creation a bit volatile. Add the Dao from the Plane of Earth looking for manpower and resources along with the Efreet of the Plane of Fire and you could have some amazing conflicts. And those amazing conflicts could make for some strange alliances, missions or just open up opportunities for entrepreneurs to cash in on.


On of the most enigmatic structures in the molten core is a structure that stands some 90 feet high and 30 feet wide, a lone monolith. It’s existence confounds scholars across the planes and some sages claim that it exists out of time. It’s shape reminds most of an immense tombstone which is off-putting enough, but the fact that the surface, which seems to be constructed out of a black material with both metal, stone and glass properties, cannot be damaged boggles the scientific mind.

One disconcerting tidbit of random heresay states that this is possibly a relic of the Sleeping Ones which we studied in our article about FROSTFELL, the quasi-elemental plane of Ice. No one really knows, but could it have a far reaching, sinister purpose?

As per the usual, there will be a campaign pitch coming, but I think this one will, although include The Fountains of Creation, reach across the planes to discover the mysterious MONOLITHS that seem to litter the multiverse. Until then, travel on, planeswalker and, as always, be careful.

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