Folks say the Grey Waste is the plane of apathy, of boredom. A plane where everything gets sucked out of you, leaving nothing but an empty husk devoid of feeling or motivation.
This is screed.
The Fade's real, sure. But the Grey Waste doesn't take everything from you. "The apathy of evil" might be a pithy saying, but anyone who says Evil doesn't have goals, motivations, desires is throwing you a load of bunk. No, what the Grey Waste takes from you is any desire for anything but your goals. And while it doesn't take your desire to achieve those goals, it takes everything else from them, leaving you with the goals as ends in themselves, something to be achieved at any cost. Sounds like the 'loths, doesn't it? This is why the Grey Waste is dangerous; because it leaves you with just enough to hang yourself. The Three Glooms of the Grey Wastes are the nadir of the Lower Planes, sure, but more than that, they're the plane of single-mindedness to the exclusion of all else, the mirror to the open-mindedness of Elysium.
|Number of layers||3|
|Inhabitants of Grey Waste|
A gloomy, depressing vista, the Grey Waste is devoid of color, tint, and hue; all is monochrome, shades of grey, but for outsiders. Not just visible color, but emotional too. Long term inhabitants have the obsession of a petitioner — more so, even — desiring nothing but the success of their plans at any cost. The plane draws everything else out of a person, in a phenomenon known as the Fade.
Those within the Grey Waste slowly have their clothing, even their appearance fade the longer they remain, any bright colors becoming dull, dingy, eventually nothing but another shade of grey. The more inclined a person is to the ways of the Wastes, the more single-minded they are, the quicker this fade occurs. Simultaneously, the plane itself eats at the passions and emotions of its guests, pulling away any desires but the most prominent while offering whispers that their most prominent goals can be achieved should they only remain within. Through this, it entices its guests to remain longer than they'd hope; perhaps even forever. The Wastes don't lie, precisely. They're so expansive and so ancient that many goals can gain some progress through that which it contains, especially considering the 'loths. Still, they will always eventually encounter some roadblock, and while the strong-willed can press on and keep their focus, for the weak-minded this is often enough to shatter the last thing they cared about. It is these poor souls that suffer the ultimate fate shared by the Wastes' numerous petitioners; either a transformation into larva or re-manifestation as one of the cold, apathetic shades.
These shades are ever-present throughout the planes, but tend to be drawn to and congregate around outsiders that haven't yet begun to suffer the worst of the Fade. As mentioned, shades can be either petitioners of the Grey Waste or the last remnants of those broken by the plane. They appear as semi-translucent, utterly monochrome figures that otherwise look as they did in life, with expressions of longing but no ability to actually communicate. They are fairly harmless, doing nothing more than basking in the "glow" of those not yet stricken by the Fade, but they can be very disconcerting for others.
The plane itself has little to describe, befitting its nature. Its sky is barren, devoid of sun, moon, stars, or clouds, an uninterrupted mass of grey that's barely distinguishable from the horizon. Light on the plane glows and fades at an unpredictable pattern that averages out to a normal 24-hour cycle, but never reaches levels beyond that which could be seen at twilight. Weather on the plane tends towards the slightly chilly, but no rain nor snow is ever seen. Winds are common, ranging from a light breeze to a cutting gust that seems to eat away at warmth. So indistinguishable is one part of the plane from another that even magicks have difficulty distinguishing one portion of the Wastes from another.
Similar too is the lack of distinguishability between the three layers, or "glooms", of the Wastes. Though as with most planes each does have its own qualities, any one gloom is hard to immediately recognize. Befitting this status, the three are often refered to by which planar path touches them, each being associated with a specific one. The uppermost, Oinos, is known as the Gloom of the Styx; the second, Niflheim, as the Gloom of the Ash; the third, Pluton, as the Gloom of the Mount.
|Conjuration||Summoning spells usually, but not always, call those within the plane rather than reaching beyond. Further, spells in the Teleportation subschool fail to work within or onto the Wastes, due to the lack of distinguishability between any two points.|
|Divination||Though rarely an outright lie, Divination spells are as likely as not to tell the caster what they want to hear in some form. Further, spells in the Scrying subschool fail to work within or onto the Wastes, due to the lack of distinguishability between any two points.|
|Enchantment||People suffering from the Fade gain an automatic +5 bonus to saving throws against spells of the Charm subschool or with the Emotion descriptor, and cannot choose to waive a saving throw. However, should the spell succeed, it acts to stave off the Fade for the duration of the spell and 3 hours following.|
|Illusion||All visual illusions are of the same monochrome nature as the Wastes themselves.|
|Other||People suffering from the Fade gain an automatic +5 bonus to saving throws against spells of the Charm subschool or with the Emotion descriptor, and cannot choose to waive a saving throw. However, should the spell succeed, it acts to stave off the Fade for the duration of the spell and 3 hours following. Further, any spell relating specifically to color, such as prismatic wall or color spray, does not function in the Wastes.|
Spell keys for the Wastes can only be uncovered by a victim of the Fade through the pursuit of his quest, and take a form unique and representative of that person. No general spell keys for the Wastes are known.
- Hel - Death, disease
- Dwarvish Pantheon
- Abbathor - Greed
- Goblin Pantheon
- Kuraulyek - Urds
- Krynnish Pantheon
- Morgion - Disease, decay
- Oerthian Pantheon
- Incabulos - Drought, plagues, nightmares
- Olympian Pantheon
- Orcish Pantheon
- Yurtrus - Death, disease
- Pantheon of Marduk
- Nergal - The underworld, the dead
- Torilian Pantheon
- Tuatha De Danann
- Arawn - Life, death
- Vedic Pantheon
- Ratri - Night, darkness
- On Hallowed Ground, pp.172-181
- Planes of Conflict - Liber Malevolentiae, pp.42-50