These are the rings of the elements, the building matter of the Prime Material Plane. They're places of narrow-minded extremes, places whose very existence is devoted to a single substance to the near exclusion of all else. The plane of Fire is filled with fire and creatures of flame, the plane of Earth is filled with earth and rock-like beings, and so on. Of all the planes in the multiverse, perhaps none are more hostile to mortal life than these.
Except for the planes of Air, Lightning, and Steam, mortals can't safely breathe on the Elemental Planes. On the plane of Fire, air is superheated beyond all tolerance and filled with poisonous gases. The Planes of Earth and Water have no air to breathe at all; the Paraelemental Plane of Smoke chokes what air there is with thick fumes; and the Energy Planes simply have no atmosphere to speak of.
The Inner Planes also have no north, south, east, or west, and some don't have have up or down. "Up" is whatever direction a being decides. With this condition, normal compasses are useless, so a cutter needs an elemental compass instead. Without one of these magical devices or - and don't even hope for this - a good landmark to sight on, a basher's quickly lost.
None of the Inner Planes are purely all one element, though. Over the history of all time, little bits of elements have drifted loose and crossed the boundaries between the planes, until by now there are pockets of most element types to be found on all the others. Boulder-like islands of earth drift through the plane of Air, pools of water are held geode-like on the plane of Earth, lava-like patches of Earth float on the seas of the plane of Water. Pockets can be useful to travellers, providing a place to stand, air to breathe, or water to drink - all the basic needs. Their sizes and durations vary greatly, but pockets have been known to hold large cities from time to time.
On virtually every plane, travellers had better make special provisions for food and drink, as well. The Inner Planes have no inns, farms, plants, or game suitable to any but their own elemental denizens. Sure, a xorn'll insist food abounds on the plane of Earth, but that's true only for those who eat rocks and gems; any other poor sod had better pack his own lunch. At least on the plane of Water a body can get something to drink...
The best way to get around on any of the Inner Planes is to get a guide, because natives to the Inner Planes never get lost on their home turf. Even the simplest harginn knows which direction the City of Brass lies in. A sage blood knows to hire himself a native guide straight off, and he never bobs him in the end either.
Special Note: The Inner Planes do not touch the Outer Planes, as shown on the map of the Multiverse.
The Inner Planes
|The Major Elementals||The Paraelementals||The Quasielementals|