Quasielemental Plane of Salt
The Quasielemental Plane of Salt, the Negative Quasiplane of Water, thus represents total dessication and dehydration, that process that leaves behind only the essential solids of any substance. As with most quasielemental planes, it is nearly uninhabitable by any but natives, and yet there are a few mortals that do manage to eke out a life in a realm that loathes fluids in all their forms.
The most pressing issue in the plane of Salt is the constant dehydration. Travelers in this plane grow dehydrated at a far faster rate, requiring near-constant replenishment of fluids; a difficult task in a plane where the conjuration of water is so restricted. Thanks to a combination of both the plane's natural dehydrating nature, and the rapid contamination of any fluids (liquid or gas) brought onto Salt, a person must drink nearly five times as much water as normal just to stay alive.
Air also most be brought from without, as it can only be found here in the occasional rare elemental pocket. As with water, any degree of air brought onto the plane soon becomes saturated with salt, stinging the eyes and making breathing more troublesome. Those without eye protection are quickly rendered unable to see from the sting, though this fades soon after a quick wash off the plane. Thankfully, it at least does not interfere with breathing, though it does make it a more uncomfortable experience without some form of filter.
For those many that do eventually die upon Salt, the plane's influence does not stop there. It continues sapping fluids from the body, at first merely mummifying it, but within two to three weeks, reducing it even further to nothing but a fragile, unidentifiable mound of salt-like material. The exception is for those poor water-aligned souls that find themselves stranded in this plane - water genasi, marids, and the like. Their innate connection to water keeps them from drying completely, but they find themselves awakening as dessicators. Foul undead-like beings granted animation only through the slight remnants of elemental water running through their form. It's not near enough for the surviving fragments of their minds, cursing them with a thirst that can never be slaked.
Provided one can survive, though, Salt can provide any number of boons, the most well known of which being rock salt, or shiobana. While Salt may be a negative quasielement, the mixture with Water, the ultimate life-giving force of the four base elements, seems to help balance this, granting the substance its noted ability to repulse the fouler varieties of spirits and exemplars. Traditional salt has only minor abilities in this vein, but Pure Salt from the crystal veins of the plane can function even more effectively. Unfortunately, crystal veins are notoriously hazardous; with razor-sharp fractal edges, these veins are able to sever a finger at the slightest contact, let alone a torso, and nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding material without a practiced eye. Of course, many other useful compounds can also be mined from Salt, of which this is but the most prominent; as such, many peoples have established mining operations on the plane, with varying degrees of success.
It can also carry great beauty for one willing to look for it. From the great branching spires of the Shimmering Forest hidden in a valley of the Crystal Range, to the Cavern of Lights found in a little-traveled cranny of the Core, to the Snowflake in the depths of the Saline Sea, the formations of Salt are near the equal of anything found in Mineral. Unlike what is commonly believed, Salt can manifest in any number of textures, and its natural translucency lends itself well to jewel-like formations. Unlike Mineral formations, however, the formations of Salt keep geometric perfection both at the large scale and at the small, like great three dimensional ferns.
As the Negative Quasiplane of Water, Salt prevents nearly all spells associated with that element from calling upon it. While it is not impossible to conjure water forth, it requires a great deal of effort. A caster level check against DC 25 is necessary to cast any spells with the "water" descriptor, with the spell's level taken as a penalty to the roll. Luckily for residents, there are few other modifications to spells here. In fact, abjuration spells are actually more powerful on this plane than elsewhere. Abjuration spells can be cast with a +1 bonus to caster level on Salt. Also, due to the natural properties of salt, darker entities find a great deal of discomfort on this plane. Outsiders and undead of evil alignment take a -4 penalty to all Charisma-based checks on the plane.
- Boundary Regions
- The Inner Planes, pp.118-121