Windyspace is one of the five satellite spheres of Gatespace. It is the most normal system of the five satellite spheres. It is sun-centered, and all planets orbit in a clockwise direction.
On the inside surface of the sphere are countless faces of various types. The eyes of these faces glow brightly, and form the stars of Windyspace - thus most stars of the sphere are double stars. The various mouths of the faces move, ranging from fully open, to closed, to partially open. When the mouths are fully open, they form portals to the Phlogiston. The partially-open mouths are the source of the winds that give the sphere its name.
The most unique aspect of Windyspace is the winds. Throughout the sphere, winds of force flow, following different paths. These winds are not actually composed of air, but pure force. The winds can propel ships, but are never strong enough to cause damage. The wind currents avoid the planets of the sphere, and do not penetrate their atmospheres.
Spelljamming ships with sails are affected by the winds just as sea-going ships would be. The winds typically range up to Strong winds, and the direction varies. In a tactical situation, the prevailing winds affect ship movement according to standard naval ship movement rules. Ships moving at spelljamming speed can save time by using the winds to speed travel.
Because of the winds, most spelljamming cultures within the sphere use plenty of sails on their ships. Canny shipwrights have modified standard ship designs to use more sails, and custom designs are common. Racing is a common pastime for the spelljamming cultures of the sphere. There are also numerous ships which do not even use helms, but only use the wind force as propulsion. Such ships can achieve tactical speeds, though not full spelljamming speed.
The spelljamming cultures and societies are primarily centered on the numerous moons within the system. Each of the various moons has its own ports, facilities, and cultures.
Rynness is a typical earth world, with oceans covering 60% of the planet. It is warm due to its proximity to the sun, but not unpleasant. The land masses of the planet are covered with jungles near the equator, which transform to savannahs in the middle latitudes, and finally deciduous forests near the poles. The poles are completely forested, and the planet has no icecaps.
The surface of Rynness is fairly primitive. The races - mostly humans, with lupins, rakasta, ibixians, and grommam and gnolls also common - typically do not mix with each other, and react superstitiously to those of different races. They are generally in the late iron age of development. Other races include gyerians, kercpas and phanatons. The natives know little of spelljamming, and all cultures have mythical tales about the flying ships or creatures which they see in the sky.
Oddly, the outer surface of Rynness has no native flying creatures at all. No birds or bats fly through the sky, and while there are jumping insects and creatures, none have true flight. This makes the appearance of spelljamming ships even more mysterious, since the concept of flying itself is sometimes alien to the natives.
Rynness is actually a hollow world. Several mountain ranges surround large passages into the interior of the planet, where an entirely different culture exists. It is impossible to reach these passages without flying, so the surface natives are unaware of the passages. The passages are large - typically a mile in diameter - so spelljamming ships can enter or leave without problem.
The inside of the world is lit by a small (type A) pale orange spherical fire body called Ghalir. Ghalir varies in brightness, giving the inhabitants of the interior light anywhere from twilight to full daylight. The interior also has water and land masses; the passages to the outside are similarly surrounded by mountains, but the inhabitants can see the openings within their inner world.
The cultures inside the moon are much more advanced than those outside, roughly equivalent to a late Renaissance culture. The terrain of the inner surface is similar to the outer surface, divided into various nations and city-states. They are aware of spelljamming, and various cultures have constructed a variety of flying ships. They use flying ships to navigate around the inner surface, as well as travel to the moons of Rynness. Some nations are starting to explore the outer surface.
Rynness has four moons. From closest to farthest, they are Ennal, Veras, Ageir, and Nalden.
Ennal is a type C spherical earth body with a mild, temperate climate, and an orbital period of 11 days. It is inhabited by rakasta, lupins and humans. The inhabitants operate several open spelljamming ports, and Ennal boasts some of the best repair facilities in the sphere. Trade also flourishes on Ennal, and travelers can usually buy or sell goods at one of the several ports.
The natives of Ennal are somewhat protective of the inhabitants of Rynness's outer surface, and want to preserve the various cultures. Many natives of the moon visit the outer surface as a vacation spot, flying in unobserved. Visitors are generally persuaded not to visit the outer surface, though maps and guides for the inner surface are readily available.
Veras is a type B spherical water body. It is primarily composed of cool water, and has an orbital period of 20 days. The primary inhabitants of Veras are tritons, sirines, and nereids, though rusalka are also somewhat common.
At the center of Veras is a beautiful city, constructed of shells, seaweed and nacre. The city has facilities for air breathers, and water cascades through open spaces, allowing both aquatic and non-aquatic races to associate. Fossergrim help maintain the city, serving as hosts.
The surface of Veras has several small floating towns, also constructed of shells and seaweed. The sirines and tritons maintain these towns to facilitate trade with the rest of the sphere. Visitors can reprovision, trade, and visit other areas of this beautiful moon.
Ageir is a type D flat earth body. It is oriented so that its flat face is at an angle compared to Rynness' axis. It rotates around its center point, so that it does not appear to change shape from Rynness. This also means that each face has sunlight for a 13 day period, half of its period of revolution.
Ageir has several shallow lakes, but most of the moon is covered with rich soil. Shrubs and bushes dominate the land; Ageir has no trees taller than 30 feet high. The ground ranges from flat to mildly hilly. It is inhabited primarily by firenewts and gaunds on one side, and harssaf on the other. The races are aware of the other, though they do not associate.
Ageir is filled with magma. Its solid crust averages a mile in thickness, but occasionally, the magma bursts through the crust. The result is small volcanoes on Ageir's surface. The most severe of these eruptions can be seen on Rynness. Some of the natives on the outer surface consider Ageir to be a wrathful deity.
Nalden is a type B flat earth body with an orbital period of 40 days. It is oriented so that it faces Rynness, parallel to Rynness' axis of rotation. Nalden also rotates, so a viewer from Rynness will see it shrink from a circle to an ellipse, to nothing, and back again. Nalden has a rotational period of 18 hours, so its phase shifts during a single night.
The surface of Nalden is mostly covered by a warm rainforest. A tribe of grommam are its primary inhabitants, and they seem to be the original inhabitants. However, several hundred years ago, the peaceful grommam's home was changed with the arrival of a mysterious dark overlord known as Vainor Kruss.
Kruss enslaved a significant part of the grommam population with little effort. Since then, Kruss has directed the grommam to repair spelljamming ships, which are used to raid other moons, capture ships, and seize natives from Rynness itself. Kruss' motives are unclear; the piracy does not seem to be motivated by greed or power. Yet Kruss and his ships, crewed by a variety of unscrupulous beings, remain a persistent threat throughout the sphere.
Of particular note are two groups loyal to Kruss. The first is a bizarre alliance of Xixchil and tinker gnomes. The gnomes have been learning surgical techniques, and apply their own inventiveness to some of the procedures. The results can be truly horrific. Both the xixchil and gnomes have a casual regard for life, so experimentation is common. The second group is a squad of surgically-enhanced grommam, known as the Fists of Kruss. These grommam are quite deadly, and totally loyal to Kruss. They seldom leave the moon, but a few participate on those missions which are most important to Kruss.
Kypale is a small airless world. Its soil is fairly rich, and rocky areas are also common. It rotates around its short axis, and its long axis lies in the orbital plane. The world actually has several lakes, but even the water of the lakes contains no dissolved oxygen, preventing normal life from surviving.
Kypale has captured the imagination of many native spacefarers. Persistent rumors claim that there was once a wondrous civilization on the world, but they destroyed themselves and their world somehow. Explorers have visited the world numerous times to look for clues, but no traces of the mysterious civilization have been discovered. Unscrupulous traders sometimes offer wonders discovered from Kypale along with a map to hidden secrets, but these invariably are hoaxes. Still, the wonder and mystery continue.
Kinis is a large white air world. It is colder than most other bodies in the sphere, with air temperature hovering right around the freezing point. The planet is filled with billowing snow flurries, and snow can quickly accumulate on a visiting spelljammer.
Kinis is surrounded by a system of water and ice rings. There are four distinct ring bands within Kinis' ring system. The innermost ring is composed of floating snowflakes, and can be passed through with ease. Some of the snowflakes are huge - as large as a spelljamming vessel. The second and third rings are filled with chunks of ice. They are separated by a gap of about 10 miles. The last ring is composed of cold water droplets.
Siston is one of the two moons of Kinis. The moon is a small spherical earth moon of size C, orbiting just outside the outermost of Kinis' rings. Siston is almost totally surrounded by a smooth shell of ice. The ice shell lies at the upper limits of Siston's atmosphere, and is several hundred feet thick. A few rifts in the ice allow passage to the moon's actual surface.
Siston is dominated by dohwar.
Erton is a size D elliptical earth moon. Its surface is mostly land, while about 35% of the surface is water. Erton is unusual in that it has variable gravity. Some regions are approximately half normal gravity, while others are up to twice normal gravity. The varying gravity regions are stable, but not apparent from space.
Erton does have a number of cities, particularly in the normal-gravity and low-gravity zones. Many of these cities have constructed large towers with brightly-burning flames to attract spelljamming ships, and to let travellers know that it is safe to land.
The high-gravity regions are dominated by gravs. Gravs operate numerous mines on Erton. A few of these mines double as penal colonies for particularly dangerous criminals from various planets. The Gravity Mines of Erton are a location that inspires dread in most sphere natives.
Isulo is a small world rich in resources. The climate is largely subtropical, divided between arid regions around the poles, and rain forests around the equator. Lakes are scattered around the small world. Even the poles are relatively warm, and the entire planet is pleasant.
Isulo is separated into several different plutocratic theocracies, typically centered on Isulo's lakes. Each nation is controlled by the clergy of one of the sphere's gods, and these clergies have allied with (or taken control of) one or more trading conglomerates. The trading conglomerates are competitive in the extreme, and they frequently indulge in espionage or sabotage to gain advantage over each other. Visitors are occasionally involved in these games, much to the natives' entertainment.
Isulo has a ring of fire circling the planet. This fire ring is relatively thin - about a mile thick and 5 miles wide - and can be easily avoided. The fire ring is home to several groups of beings. A tribe of salamanders are the strongest force, and are trying to conquer the fire ring.
Sulkim is a size B spherical earth moon, with a 14-day orbital period. It has a single large continent, surrounded by a shallow ocean. It is primarily inhabited by humans and aarakocra. The continent, and entire moon, is under the control of the Princess of Sulkim, also known as the Moon Princess. The current princess, Qua'ina, has ruled the moon for several hundred years. She is said to possess great beauty and eternal youth.
The Moon Princess visits Isulo regularly, traveling on her royal swan ship, the Resplendent Peacock. She is accompanied by a sizable force, including her viziers and guards. Each of the religions of the planet have myths concerning the Moon Princess, so she is afforded considerable respect and awe. The princess is neutral to the various nations, and visits each nation in turn. As a token of respect, any nation that is currently hosting the princess will not be targeted by any overt hostile activity.
Rothaler is an unusual water world, as it appears to be a small fire body when first encountered. In fact, Rothaler is covered by a layer of burning oil which floats on the water body, forming an unbroken surface. The oil is only a few hundred feet thick, but will burn anyone or anything trying to pass through the layer.
The atmosphere above the burning layer includes what are apparently greenish clouds. These are actually large colonies of floating plants. The plants secrete the oil which forms the burning surface, and at the same time replenish the oxygen in the atmosphere. Oil-rain is thus an occasional hazard within the planet. The air of Rothaler is very warm (90 degrees F), but quite fresh, as long as the oil from the plant-clouds is avoided. The oil can be used as lamp oil, and burns cleanly.
Below the burning surface, aquatic life flourishes. There are two distinct regions of life. The first, near the surface, includes unusual creatures which have adapted to living near the burning surface. Some species have developed a resistance to the burning oil, and can be seen occasionally jumping through the burning surface. Deeper, the aquatic life is more typical of deep-ocean life. The core of the planet is cool, but maintains a temperature just above freezing.
Some daredevil ship captains make a sport of plunging their ships through the burning surface into the water below. This only works with submersible ships such as the Triop. There are several local ship designs which are also submersible; most of these are small ships, under 10 tons.
The Adonrod Cluster is a cluster of asteroids orbiting Rothaler. It is a moderate-sized asteroid cluster, with several dozen asteroids of type A, and 11 size B asteroids. About half of the larger asteroids have some form of water and ecosystem.
The Adonrod cluster is home to two major groups. The first, and strongest, is the Neogi. They, along with their plentiful umber hulk minions, control roughly half of the asteroids. Their territory includes repair facilities, slave pens, and supply storage. The second group is a contingent of giff, who established a military academy in the asteroids. The giff's forces are strong, and they have the support of other groups within the system. They control four of the size B asteroids, while the neogi control six. The giff have at least 4 Great Bombards in the asteroids, and their central headquarters and training academy are both heavily defended.
The neogi, who originally controlled the asteroids without challenge, now find themselves in the unfamiliar role of defending. The giff raid the neogi slave pens, harry their ships, and exterminate whatever umber hulks they can. The giff consider this a good training ground for cadets. The neogi return the giff's assaults with their typical viciousness.
Bescha is a flat air world which lies flat with respect to its orbital plane. It is largely transparent, with only a few clouds floating around the air disk. Because it lies edge-on to the other planets, it remained unnoticed for a long period of time. Many planetary charts do not reference it. Spelljamming vessels entering the sphere can only detect the air world with a planetary locator or equivalent magics.
Bescha is home to a number of powerful psionic entities. They do not allow visitors to approach them, but typically manifest themselves as insubstantial forces or psychic constructs of various types. The entities do not have a collective name - each considers itself a unique being. The other inhabitants of the sphere collectively dubbed them the Mind Lords of Bescha.
The other primary inhabitants of Bescha are the grell. The grell have established several floating bases throughout the world, and their ships have become an occasional hazard. Their relationship with the Mind Lords is hostile, but the Mind Lords have not tried to eradicate the grell from Bescha.
More Worlds to Explore
Back to Dungeons & Dragons Page