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Rune of Mechanus
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Number of layers 1
Associated Faction Fraternity of Order
Gate-Town Automata
Inhabitants of Mechanus

What is Mechanus? An endless clockwork nirvana, of course, and the connection between cogworks and the concept of order is obvious, but such a basic description belies the complexity of this realm. No, Mechanus represents the basic underpinnings of reality, the rules and strictures that determine how all functions. Not necessarily in a direct sense, though there are those sages that believe that yes, Mechanus does drive the multiverse, but certainly representationally. Mechanus reflects the truth that no matter the chaos one views in a system, it is driven by laws that can be grasped by a sufficiently skilled mind, and as such it stands in opposition to Limbo, the indescribable realm of ultimate chaos.

Physical Conditions

Mechanus is, as is well known, an infinite gearwork. Constantly turning and ticking, yet with only the slightest of noises, perfectly oiled and perfectly timed thanks to the various gear spirits that care for them. The gears themselves range from less than an inch across to full miles, making for the only solid land in the entire plane, and the only gravity as well; for the most part, the gears themselves are bare metal, though some (especially those within the divine realms of the various powers) are covered with a layer of soil, sand, or other material. They can also be damaged as any metal, though such damage is quickly repaired, and such disruptions to the operations of Mechanus, however minor, soon alert the modrons to arrive in force.

All other facets of the plane operate as regularly and as smoothly as the gears themselves. The plane's light varies without particular source in a perfect sinusoidal pattern from high to low across a precise 24 hours, and its temperature varies exactly in tune from a cool 50 degrees to a warm 80. Somehow, all beings are able to breathe and move about in the atmosphere of Mechanus exactly as they can in their most suited environments; air-breathers, water-breathers, smoke-breathers, and other even stranger creatures have no trouble either breathing or maneuvering amongst the gears.

Some believe that there is no true air or water filling the expanse, but rather the abstract concept of "atmosphere" as reflected by each occupant individually. Indeed, it is a common theory amongst sages — especially those of the Mathematicians, a sect of the Fraternity of Order that devotes special attention to analysis of Mechanus — that the plane is not truly the gear-filled expanse all those within it see, but is instead comprised of pure abstract concepts, the fundamental ideals of form freed of the chaos of physicality but for that reflected in its observers unable to grasp true abstraction without interpretation; this, perhaps, is why elemental spells are so weak when not empowered by that fundamentally local to the plane, and why illusions simply fail to manifest. This could also explain a fundamental quirk of Mechanus that many have chosen to exploit through diplomatic talks or contract arrangements: within the bounds of Mechanus, all languages are mutually intelligible, and no barriers of communication hold. While a person still hears or sees words in their native language, they understand the meaning as well as they understand their own (with some exceptions for extremely esoteric forms of communication, such as the "language" of the moignos). This may be because language itself is reduced to a mere abstraction within Mechanus, each individual able to grasp the pure concepts once they're freed from the constraints of communication.

Mechanus does not hold the subjective gravity of many vast planes, for subjectivity is fundamentally opposed to the basic nature of the realm. This can make navigating about the plane difficult without the benefit of flight or a fundamentally aquatic nature. Many locals offer means of flight through one method or another, though costly, but long-distance travel is far more effectively accomplished via the Labyrinthine Portal. Contrary to its name, in fact this is a network of portals that seems to transit to all major and most minor gears across Mechanus, appearing as a vast three-dimensional network of corridors and halls surrounded by even denser gearwork than the plane at large. However, "labyrinthine" is certainly accurate; those not grasping the fundamental formulae of its bijection to Mechanus-space are doomed to become lost. Each individual portal's destination is not simply fixed, but is controlled by the route one takes to reach it, the timing of entry relative to certain gears, the direction from which it is approached, and countless other factors. Even most locals can only derive paths between the larger gears — and many offer service as guides for just such a purpose, though the precision necessary to properly accomplish a transit can be beyond some travelers even with such aid — but modrons and others with a firm grasp on multidimensional topology can seemingly chart routes between any two arbitrary gears across the plane barring external interference. However, certain common routes have been quite well-derived in a manner within the grasp of most non-natives (if still requiring some guidance for the completely unfamiliar), allowing for free passage and trade between the most prominent Mechanian locations.

Magical Conditions

Abjuration No change
Conjuration Summoned beings are required to hew only to the letter of a command rather than the spirit, regardless of the nature of the spell summoning them; they can choose, however, what interpretations to apply to that letter, according to the degree to which they wish to obey a command.
Divination Divinations return information in extremely regimented and specific forms, leading those with chaotic tendencies to be less able to understand the results.
Enchantment No change
Evocation No change
Illusion The regimented nature of Mechanus prevents false images, but allows for memetics with ease; spells of the Pattern subschool are heightened by 2 spell levels, but those of the Figment or Glamer subschools cannot be cast.
Necromancy No change
Transmutation No change
Elemental Spells with an elemental descriptor are impeded unless a sample of purified element native to Mechanus is used as an additional material component.




  • Manual of the Planes, pp.127-130
  • On Hallowed Ground
  • Planes of Law - Mechanus
  • Planewalker's Handbook, pg.23
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