Plane of Air
The essential nature of air is movement, animation, and inspiration. Air is the breath of life, the winds of change, the fresh breeze that clears away the fog of ignorance and the stuffiness of old ideas.
The Plane of Air is an open expanse with constant winds of varying strength. Here and there, chunks of earth drift in the openness – the remnants of failed invasions by denizens of the Plane of Earth. These earth motes serve as homes for the creatures of elemental air, and many motes are covered with lush vegetation. Other creatures live on cloud banks infused with enough magic to become solid surfaces, strong enough to support towns and castles.
Drifting cloud banks can obscure visibility in any direction in the plane. Storms are frequent, mostly on par with a strong thunderstorm but occasionally more like fierce tornadoes or mighty hurricanes. The air is mild, except near the Plane of Water (where it is biting cold) and the Plane of Fire (where it is searing hot). Rain and snow fall only in the part of the plane nearest to the Plane of Water.
Most of the Plane of Air is a complex web of air streams, currents, and winds called the Labyrinth Winds. These range from stiff breezes to howling gales that can rip a creature apart. Even the most skilled flying creatures must navigate these currents carefully, flying with the winds, not against them.
Here and there among the Labyrinth Winds are hidden realms reachable only by following a particular sequence of flowing winds, and thus largely protected against attackers. One such realm is fabled Aaqa, a shining domain of silver spires and verdant gardens atop a fertile earth mote. The Wind Dukes of Aaqa are dedicated to law and good, and they maintain a vigilant watch against the depredations of elemental evil and the encroachment of the Elemental Chaos. They are served by aarakocra and a little-known race called the vaati.
Between the Sea of Fire and the Sirocco Straits is a towering firestorm called the Great Conflagration, sometimes called the Plane of Ash. Howling winds from the Plane of Air mix with the cinder storms and lava of the Plane of Fire to create an endless storm front – a wall of flames, smoke, and ash. The thick ash obscures sight beyond a few dozen meters, and the battering winds make travel difficult. Here and there, ash clusters into floating realms where outlaws and fugitives take shelter.
The region of the Plane of Air nearest the Great Conflagration is called the Sirocco Straits. Hot, dry winds scour the earth motes in this area to dry and barren chunks of rock. Gargoyles and their allies from the Plane of Earth gather here to launch raids into the realm of Aaqa.
At the other end of the plane, near the Frostfell, is a region of frigid winds called the Mistral Reach. These gales drive snowstorms into the Frostfell and away from it, toward the heart of the plane. Earth motes in the reach are covered with snow and ice.