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The Phlogiston, The Rainbow Ocean, The Flow - an endless sea of every color - gnome astronomer Hub-El, describing the unimaginably huge expanse between crystal shells[citation needed]


The phlogiston is that which is outside and between crystal shells. It appears as an infinite fog of swirling colors.[1]

The Flow's vastness is dominated by flowrivers, which link crystal shells in a mind-bogglingly gigantic 3-D web. Flowrivers are useful to spacefarers because they (greatly) facilitate travel between the crystal shells. In many cases, a journey directly to a specific crystal shell would take many years, but the journey can easily be shortened to a much smaller amount of time by following the flowrivers from one shell to the next. (Hence, navigation in the phlogiston is a tricky connect-the-dots activity).[1]

It is not possible to see a flowriver (though detailed measurements can detect a significant increase in the drift of the multi-colored fog in one or two directions). They are felt more than seen; an individual sitting on a spelljammer helm can easily realize that a starship has entered a flowriver.[1]

Most flowrivers are two-way, allowing passage in either direction between two crystal shells. However, some are one-way, so it is not advisable to try to double back along a one-way flowriver (doing so poses the same difficulties as not using a flowriver at all).[1]

Planar Layout[edit]

The Manual of the Planes would have probably termed the phlogiston as a Transitive Plane had it been included in that volume, and in many ways, that's exactly what the Rainbow Ocean is. (It is still considered a part of the Material Plane, however, as are all known crystal shells). Nevertheless, there are features within the rainbow fog and even occasional phlogiston inhabitants.[citation needed]

Qualities of the Phlogiston[edit]

The Flow is softly luminous, so light sources are not necessary on a ship's open decks while in the phlogiston.[1] Visibility is quite limited, however - treat the phlogiston as heavy fog for that purpose.[citation needed]

Most places within the phlogiston look exactly alike, but there are known, and dreaded, Dark Regions from which few have returned. A feature unique to the Rainbow Ocean is the strange flow beacon, an object that resembles a rapidly spinning star. No one has ever determined who built these devices, nor what they do.[1]

Fire in the Flow[edit]

The phlogiston is extremely flammable within any kind of air, so the use of fire is highly inadvisable in the Flow. Even a spark can set off a small, fiery explosion.[1] If a spell is cast that produces flame, it goes off instantly, centered on the caster,[1] and it is considered to be cast as if on a plane with the minor fire-dominant trait.[citation needed]

For this reason, combat casters in the Rainbow Ocean tend toward the use of other energies besides fire, especially electrical.

See Also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Jeff Grubb (1989). AD&D Adventures in Space. TSR. ISBN 0-88038-762-9. Concordance of Arcane Space. pp. 10-11.

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