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Outer Plane
Layers: Mechanus
Primary Faction: Fraternity of Order
Sect: Mathematicians
  • It is the plane of ultimate law.
  • It is where premeditated plans are born.
  • It is the gear works for the multiverse.

Mechanus is where perfectly regimented order reigns supreme. It consists of equal measures of light and dark, and equal proportions of heat and cold. It is as predictable as the drip of a water clock and as obvious as a tree in a field. On Mechanus all law is reflected in a single infinite realm of clockwork gears, all interlocked, all turning according to their own measure. The cogs seem to be engaged in a calculation so vast that no deity knows its purpose, except that it is somehow a function of law. At first glance Mechanus seems as straightforward as anything on the Outer Planes. However, subtleties lurk just below the surface. Every kind of law can be found in the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, from simple maxims to devilishly twisted rules of decorum. But for the most part, Mechanus contains no passion, illusion, or pain. When all consciousness is completely subsumed into the whole, perfection follows.


  • Objective Directional Gravity: The strength of gravity is the same as on the Material Plane but the direction is oriented to the face of each rotating cog. Walking between cogs can be dizzying for newcomers—and dangerous if a traveler falls between the cogs.
  • Normal Time.
  • Infinite Size: Each cog is finite, though even the smaller ones are as big as a typical island. The void the gears hang in is infinite.
  • Divinely Morphic: Lesser deities can alter Mechanus with a thought; ordinary creatures require spells and physical effort to do so.
  • No Elemental or Energy Traits.
  • Strongly Law-Aligned: Nonlawful characters on Mechanus suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma-, Wisdom-, and Intelligence-based checks.
  • Normal Magic.


Free-standing portals from elsewhere usually connect at the center of any given cog. Some portals lead to other Outer Planes, Inner Planes, or even the Astral Plane or Ethereal Plane. Some portals even lead to other cog faces. Portals on Mechanus appear as light green coglike circles, slowly turning. A green portal appears regularly once per revolution of the cog it resides upon, though some portals appear according to the interaction of several cogs (and which ones are not always readily apparent). Once it appears, a given portal usually remains open for at least 1 hour and possibly as long as 24 hours.


The inhabitants of Mechanus make their homes on the cogs that turn in the void. The gear faces are normally devoid of vegetation and native wildlife, although colonists from other planes, including the Material Plane, the Nine Hells, and Celestia, transform many faces into elaborate hedge mazes, parks, or nature reserves. The most prevalent creatures on Mechanus are not truly living creatures at all—they're constructs. As a group they are called inevitables, and they exist to enforce the natural laws of the universe. The three widely recognized types of inevitables are kolyaruts (fugitive-hunters), maruts (foes of those who cheat death), and zelekhuts (enforcers of contracts). Each type of inevitable relentlessly finds and punishes those who have committed such transgressions. Expansionist formians have hives throughout Mechanus. These antlike centaurs seek to colonize all they see and incorporate all living things into their hives as workers, serving the law of their queens. Other clockwork creatures, apart from inevitables, also call Mechanus home, though they have as little as possible to do with other races.


The petitioners of Mechanus often adopt a stylized version of their mortal bodies. Despite the outward differences, all petitioners on Mechanus are alike in their frightening honesty and submersion of individuality. They are notoriously literal, and some take no instruction at all for fear of misinterpreting the speaker. Mechanus petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

  • Additional Immunities: Fire, cold.
  • Resistances: None.
  • Other Special Qualities: None.

Movement and Combat

Movement in the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus is much like movement on the Material Plane. Walking between turning cogs seems daunting to the uninitiated, requiring a Balance check (DC 10). This is a relatively easy check, but failure by 5 or more means a fall between the cogs, which deals 20d6 points of damage each round. It takes a climb check (DC 20) to emerge from the teeth of the cogs. Travelers can move between the cogs by flying or teleporting through the void, of course.


Mechanus is a single infinite plane without defined layers. The void is filled with gargantuan interlocking wheels, like the internal cogs of an ornately carved clock. Some connect at right angles, and others connect along a single plane. The wheels, also called cogs, are composed of stone, earth, and metal ores, as if a deity carved them from the mantle of the Material Plane. Many of the cogs are more than a thousand miles across, and they turn so slowly that their rotation is imperceptible. Yet turn they do, as witnessed by much smaller island-sized cogs that interlock with the much larger wheels. These smaller cogs seem to turn at an almost dizzying pace, although inhabitants feel no centripetal force once on the surface of a small cog. The objective directional gravity means that inhabitants won't be spun off the edge of a cog unless they're standing within 10 feet of the rim. Vision is normal on Mechanus. The plane is lit by a white, all-encompassing light springing from the very void for 12 hours, and is dark for 12 hours. Hearing is also normal, though the bass rumbling of cog turning on cog is sometimes audible near the edge of a face.

Formian Hive Cogs

The formians build fabulous hive-cities on both faces of a cog they colonize. Each colonized hive-cog holds thousands of workers, warriors, and taskmasters, as well as several dozen or more myrmarchs. However, each cog has only one queen, whose commands are absolute law on the hive cog. Other queens rule other cogs. Usually two queens cooperate with each other, unless each wishes to colonize the same cog, in which case the law of the formians demands warfare. If a queen chooses to colonize a cog by sending a contingent guarding a precious queen larva, she is not swayed if other creatures already reside there. After all, what are warriors for, if not to make a cog ready for formian colonization? Luckily, the birth of a fledgling queen from the many eggs laid happens only once every one hundred to one thousand years. Otherwise the formians would hold much more of Mechanus than they already do. The Center: Travelers who move through the void of Mechanus in the direction from which the formians originate find that the formian-colonized cogs become more and more frequent until noncolonized cogs are nonexistent—millions of cogs, or perhaps more, all crawling with formians. At the heart of the formian realm, surrounded in all directions by colonized cogs, lies the centermost cog where the Scion Queen Mother resides. Formian myrmarchs believe that the Scion Queen Mother's cog, which has a diameter of at least three thousand miles, is the center cog for all Mechanus and imparts movement to all the other cogs of the plane. Whether true or simply a belief, the grandeur of the two-sided hive-city that covers the surface area of the cog is godly in its splendor. The Scion Queen Mother herself claims the power of an intermediate deity, though this claim is difficult to scrutinize. Thirty-three gargantuan formian queens of maximum advancement attend the Scion Queen Mother at all times, and even her escorts are still dwarfed by the Scion Queen Mother's bulk.