Celestial Features

The Astromundi Cluster is unique among the crystal spheres due to its lack of planet-sized masses. Instead, the Cluster is filled with planetoids, asteroid belts, man-made habitats and other interesting features. The following is a discussion of the celestial objects, beginning with those furthest from the central sun of the sphere (Firefall), and moving inward toward that sun.

The Constellations

The Astromundi cluster map

The Astromundi Cluster has a number of unique constellations which move around the interior of the sphere in a precise and ordered manner. Each of the constellations is made up of several brilliant red lights, which are actually intense pillars of magical flames, mounted atop great towers that are propelled along the interior of the crystal sphere by unknown means. The age of the pillars and their means of creation is a mystery, though it is believed the constellations are the work of the gods and as old as the Cluster itself. Some say that an entirely new race lives within the gargantuan towers, but if this is so the beings have yet to make themselves known.

The major constellations are in a flat plane in line with the central sun, Firefall, named for its unique configuration of rising and falling spheres of flame. These constellations represent the thirteen deities of Clusterspace, and time within the Astromundi Cluster is measured by their movements. Each constellation moves a fixed distance during an Astromundi month, measured in relation to Firefall and the planets. Days are measured by the intensity of the constellation, which varies in eight hour cycles. During the morning watch, the constellations are exceedingly dim, and barely visible. The brighten over a period of eight hours, until they are nearly as bright as the secondary sun, Denaeb. At this time, the constellations begin to dim once, more going out altogether by the beginning of the Dark Watch.

Cluster map symbols

The thirteen constellations, in calendar order, are: Pyrax, Munigur, Gelanicus, Seltaine, Hordent, Tradifos, Yul, Fiira, Chodak, Regis, Wajek, Sstasa, and Lugribossk. Years are also measured in order of the months, each year holding a deity’s name. A complete passage of 13 named years is an Astromundi Cycle, which is given a number. The PCs arrive (or the Campaign begins) during the Cycle 1300, the year of Hordent, Munigur.

The Shtokan Nebula

Size D, irregular, poison gas

This somewhat amorphous accumulation of water vapor and poisonous gases floats just inside the crystal sphere in an orbit perpendicular to the plane held by the majority of the celestial bodies. The nebula manages to retain the basic appearance of a starfish. Passing through the nebula is often a deadly experience as the poisonous gases can quickly kill the unprepared. This has given the Shtokan Nebula a dark reputation indeed. Whenever the nebula aligns with a constellation during the first of a month, it is regarded an evil omen.

The Fringe

Belt, earth

This is a sparsely populated asteroid belt. Most of the asteroids here are too small and too widely spaced to hold any significant amount of air. The few which do have a viable atmosphere have been claimed by the Thoric, who have several colonies in the Fringe that supply ice and other raw materials to settlements further into the Cluster, but no other race has a permanent settlement here.


Size A, irregular, earth

Not far in from the Fringe, Highport is the only Arcane-held spaceport in the Shattered Sphere. Highport itself is the remnants of an old dwarven citadel with a new iron tower jutting from its top. The tower contains a Beacon Arcane (see Chapter 3), which emits a visible light for thousands of miles. Calidians and neogi run the place, the Calidians specializing in ship repair and outfitting and the neogi in trade. The Arcane are rarely seen, but are the undisputed rulers of this port. In keeping with their laissez-faire attitude to other races, the Arcane enforce few laws here, and the rowdy taverns are the sight of many shady dealings.


Size B, irregular, water/​ice

This frozen world is home to a handful of Thoric settlers who make their living by hunting the fur-bearing animals who share the iceball with them, and selling the furs. Of late, the Thoric have begun to export some rather strange artifacts, which were found deep below the surface of Hatha.


Size B, irregular, earth

This Calidian city rests atop a craggy bit of earth, which the city completely covers. Dalmania is completely dependent on nearby farming asteroids for food and water. The strongest of the outer powers, Dalmania is a bit of true civilization in the wilds outside the Inner Belt. The merchants here are as ruthless in their dealings as any neogi, but less prone to treachery. A good number of Dalmanian merchants travel the phlogiston, paying a huge concession to the elven captains whose ships they must hire to leave the sphere. The price of such travel is worth it, however, as out-of-Cluster goods often bring outrageous prices and great profit.


Size C, irregular, water

Uncomfortably near to the orbit of Dalmania, Khalzan is the largest settlement of lizard men in Clusterspace. Little is known of the inhabitants because they refuse to allow other races to land here. Only the neogi have come to any sort of trade agreement with the lizard men, and they peddle the strange arts and crafts of the Khalzan settlement.


Size B, irregular, earth

This dwarven settlement was recently savaged by an attack force made up of bizarre, amoeboid creatures that have not been seen since. The attack devastated the little mining colony, but the hardened miners have not given up their lonely existence. Recently, heavy ballistae were mounted around the settlement, and other defenses strengthened or added. It appears the dwarves of Doromakhad are ready to defend against another attack.

Isle of Banshees

Size A, irregular, earth

A true sailors’ graveyard, this scrap of land is inhabited solely by undead sailors who perished while spelljamming in the Shattered Sphere. Flow they all got here is a mystery, as is the reason for their undead state. Travelers in this region must be very careful, as the undead are fond of ambushing spelljamming ships that come too near.

The Great Belt

Belt, earth/​water/​ice

Somewhat smaller and thinner than the Fringe, the Great Belt is more heavily inhabited. Thoric settlers claimed most of the prime portions of this belt as their own, but the Calidians, elves, dwarves, and neogi quickly followed. The result is a hodge-podge of small communities dependent upon each other for survival against larger predatory communities. Vast reaches of this belt are still uninhabited, however, devoid of arable land and too sheltered from the sun to sustain human life.


Size A, tetrahedral, earth

The neogi designed this pyramidal trade base and commissioned dwarves to build it. The outside of the massive trade center is dotted with ports and landing bays, but the real action occurs inside. Miles of twisting corridors and open plazas filled with merchant stalls riddle Ironport. First-time visitors are often lost within the labyrinthine tunnels, but most are found in relatively short order. Some say that the neogi indulge their baser habits in the lowest levels of Ironport, but most think that is just a nasty rumor.

The Maw

Size B, amorphous, liveworld

Avoid at all costs! The Maw is a savage living murderoid, fully grown. The locals know enough to steer clear of the thing, but more than one unknowing outsider has tried to land upon the beast, with predictably unpleasant results.


Size B, amorphous, liveworld

Home of a scattered tribe of elves, Giltiond is formed from a single huge vine. The vine has grown around numerous earthen asteroids and sizeable balls of ice, from which it draws nourishment. The elves harvest all the food and water they need from the vine, from fruits and vegetables to seed pods filled with fresh water. Xenophobic and somewhat paranoid, the elves of Giltiond have started the inevitable slide back toward barbarism. They no longer build any sort of dwellings or wear clothing to speak of, and wander ceaselessly along their vine, strengthening its defenses. Caution must be taken when dealing with these dangerous savages.


Size B, cluster, water

This cluster of worlds is another home of the Astromundi lizard men, but is much more open to contact with outsiders than is Khalzan. The Ssthakal speak of their distant relatives in slightly condescending tones, and hint that those lizard men are hopelessly naive. Known for their fighting prowess, the lizard men of Ssthakal have seen duty in many of the wars that have erupted in the Astromundi Cluster and are also renowned for their diligence as scouts and explorers.


Size C, irregular, earth

This massive asteroid is the largest dwarven nation in the Cluster. The entire surface has been covered with fortifications and living quarters for non-dwarves in order to encourage trade between the various races. The interior has been used as a mine and living quarters for the dwarves, but is still largely unworked. Travelers seeking exquisite, durable metal work come here, as do those in need of a large quantity of raw materials. Due to the numerous wars in the Cluster, the Cerekazadh dwarves have become wealthy from the sale of their unique weapons.


Size F, sphere, air

This small gas giant has two tenuous ring systems and a large moon, Netune. Colonies of Calidians have gathered here and coalesced into the Grand Duchy of Trinona. The Duchy was scoffed at when it was first organized, but its staggering mercantile success and hardy defenses quickly made it one of the Calidian powerhouses. Aside from the many mining towns and villages that exist within the rings, a goodly number of free-floating colonies have sprung up within the gas giant itself. Joined by ropes and loose bridges, these platform villages have become procurers of magical goods. No one knows the origin of the strange items and materials they offer for sale, but some believe they have something to do with the haunted ruins of Netune.


Size C, cluster, water

Most remote of the important Thoric settlements, Drachengard is so named because the founder slew a radiant dragon. Drachengard has become a haven for adventurers and other mercenaries. It is unequalled as a jumping off point for adventurers or as a place to get information from other heroic types. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly pleasant place to live. Made up mostly of water, large sections of Drachengard freeze over when its orbit carries it away from the secondary sun, Denaeb.


Size B, cluster, earth

Nearly as remote as Drachengard, this Thoric settlement is made up mostly of explorers and traders. Tronsogard is a rough-and-tumble place. Rugged adventurers will fit right in here, but refined travelers may be a bit offended by the squalid living conditions. Though they have the appearance of barbarians, the Thoric here are as civilized as any. They simply don’t spend as much time on comfort and appearances as other colonies might. Things here are built to be functional and simple to repair, a quality which has endeared Tronsogardian equipment to many a spelljammer captain.


Size C, cluster, liveworld

Appearing to be a tangled cluster of twisted vines and clods of earth at first sighting, Avarien becomes recognizable as a large elven settlement as one draws nearer. Somewhat reclusive, the elves of Avarien will engage in trade, as long as it is on their terms. No ships are allowed to land on their vegetable-like home; instead, the elves send their flitters out. Because of this, no one knows much about what goes on within Avarien. Attacked by illithid and Antilan forces several times, Avarien has proven that the elves are quite capable of defending their home from invasion, though they seem to have no interest in conquest.

Sargasso of Skulls

Size D, amorphous, sargasso

No one knows what lies within this magic-dead area. All that can be seen from the edge of the sargasso is a ring of strange skulls which define its perimeter. Within the sargasso itself, a purplish cloud blocks vision. Occasionally, the cloud will clear for a few seconds, revealing strange creatures that are quickly gone from sight. Some old spacedogs claim to have braved the Sargasso of Skulls, but their tales are regarded as flights of fancy, filled as they are with talk of mammoth serpents and gelatinous hulks.


Size C, cluster, earth

This Varan/​Thoric co-settlement is free from the illithid presence normally associated with the Varan in other parts of Clusterspace. Here, the Varan have become trading barons, using the swords of their Thoric partners to protect their trade routes.


Size C, sphere, earth

Here the Calidians have established a prosperous farming kingdom. Thandilan is small, but its people raise crops in abundance and ship them to less fertile settlements. The result is a land of gentlemen farmers who have accumulated fortunes over the years. As a farm world, it is valued above all others in the Cluster, and guarded accordingly. A standing force of dwarven mercenaries guard the place, as do a number of Calidian lanceships that orbit incessantly.


Size G, sphere, air

A massive gas giant, Calimar has three moons of considerable size. Unfortunately, tempestuous weather renders these moons uninhabitable over large areas of their surface. The Calidians originally inhabited the smallest moon, Sultamar, then spread to Calamed and Amaron. By half-burying their structures, the Calidian settlers were able to weather the worst of storms. The discovery of great mineral deposits on each of the moons led to mining and the eventual ascension of the moon miners as suppliers of natural materials. Unfortunately, the settlements possessed little military might and were conquered by the Varan/​illithid alliance some years ago. Now, the older mines have been converted into living quarters for illithid nobles and their Varan lackeys.

The Dark Group

Size C, cluster, earth

This collection of five asteroid clusters is all that remains of one of the worlds destroyed in the First Cataclysm. Strange ruins from before that time still remain on many of the asteroids. All are infested with undead, who have considerably inhibited the exploration of the ruins. The asteroid clusters are known as Achemon (Calidian), Torin (Varan), Khel (illithid), Lumura (illithid), and Mitiar (Calidian). Achemon is the only truly free cluster here, since Mitiar is controlled by the illithids. Travel within the Dark Group is limited, but necessary to those interested in the age of men before the Cataclysms.

The Glacier

Belt, water (ice)/earth

This asteroid belt is composed of cold earth and frozen ice masses, with ice predominant in the mix. Vegetation is difficult to find here, but a few Calidian settlers hit upon the lucrative business of exporting water to colonies where there is a shortage. The Calidians have established a few trade cities here. The Antilans followed, but maintain only a single outpost which supplies water to the drier colonies near Firefall. Recent arrivals, the beholder and illithid presence here is quite strong. No one is quite sure what either race is after, but violent disputes between beholder and mind flayer are common.


Size F, sphere, air — Homeworld of the beholder races

Deyomad is a huge purplish-green gas giant surrounded by a dense ring system. Asteroids of up to size C are common here, and the beholders exploit most of them. The beholders will destroy any ship that enters Deyomad space, so little is known about the system. Spelljamming spies have reported huge asteroids covered with slaves, and others speak of strange devices under construction.


Size F, sphere, air

The gas giant twin of Deyomad, Ushathrandra has been stopped in its orbit by the magic of the illithids. Its moons do not orbit, either, and have been frozen in the eternal shadow cast by the planet. These moons — Darkwatch, Talos, and Ilimandara — are the seat of the illithid empire. All are mysterious places populated by illithids and things much, much worse.

The Varan Group

Size D, cluster, earth

One of the largest terrestrial bodies in the Cluster, the Group is peopled by a number of Varan warlords. Most of the Varan living within the Group have family or friends in service with the illithids, and have allowed the illithids room to build fortresses and/​or outposts. The Varan Group is quite cold, especially at its center, which is shielded from the light of the sun by large asteroids. Here, the temperature can drop very near freezing, making it inhospitable to most races. The illithids find it comfortable, however, and the Varan have learned to survive here as well.


Size B, irregular, earth

A new colony, this asteroid is about twenty miles across. The dwarves here specialize in the creation of new and deadlier weapons for spelljamming ships, and many of their inventions now grace neogi decks. Other dwarves regard the Chakaraks as rebels or traitors, but will not explain their reasons for this.


Size B, irregular, water

Once a home of the lizard men, this water world was purchased” by the neogi several Cycles ago.

The lizard men were seen leaving in neogi ships, but no one knows where they were bound. Now neogi settlements litter the surface of the world, and great temples to their strange gods have been erected.

The Inner Ring

Belt, earth

This heavily-populated asteroid belt is the heart of the Astromundi Cluster. Antilan outposts spiral upward next to the squat Calidian city-states, illithid embassies and dwarven mining barracks sit side by side. Virtually every known race is represented here (with the notable exception of the beholders) in some form, and trade is fast and furious. By universal agreement, war is banned from the Inner Ring. The penalty for breaking the ban would be disastrous, as every other race would turn on the offender.

It is here that most adventurers start their careers, hooking up with one of the various ships leaving the Inner Ring ports or by purchasing their own spelljamming ship to journey into wildspace, or even exploring the wild, uninhabited regions of the Ring itself. There are rumors that illithid and beholder groups have sprung up in the so-called Grim Regions, but such tales are still unconfirmed.


Size A, irregular, earth

The neogi, ever quick to pick up on a good trading scheme, hauled this asteroid into orbit just within the Inner Ring. From here they sell all manner of exotic goods, purchased in the Ring, to captains of Antilan ships on their way to trade in the asteroid belt. The Antilan captains save travel time and the neogi make a huge profit. However, a consortium of trade houses within the Ring are looking for a way to end this advantage and it is unknown how long the neogi scheme will last.


Size G, sphere, air

This is a gas giant with three major moons (Sharya, Thuma, and latan) which are held by the Sun Mages and Calidians. Sharya holds many resort settlements, catering to the pleasures of all races. Thuma has a very small population, but as a water world it is very valuable to the Sun Mages’ inner settlements.

The Calidians have managed to hold latan, though it is only a matter of time before the Antilans get serious about seizing that moon as well. For now, the Calidians use latan as a farming colony, providing food for their more distant settlements.


Size D, cluster, earth

A Sun Mage slave belt, this area was once a group of Calidian city-states. The Antilans now use it to breed slaves. Rumors of rebellion among the slaves here are constantly floating about, but thus far the Sun Mages are still in power.


Size C, cluster, water

Originally an ice and earth comet, Malishan eventually fell into a stable orbit and began to thaw. Now it is a large blob of water surrounded by a few small chunks of earth, all bound together by a common atmosphere released in the thawing process. The Antilans claimed Malishan as their own Cycles ago, and use the cluster as a watering post and a staging base for local invasions.

The Tumara Cloud

Size C, irregular, air

The Tumara Cloud is an air nebula a mere 700 miles across. The Antilans have established a number of free-floating towns within the nebula, using their crystal platforms as foundations. The Sun Mages use this area as a naval base for building and repairing their crystal ships. This colony is the center of Antilan spelljamming might and is defended accordingly. More than a hundred separate attempts by illithids to destroy the ship-building facility have failed in the last Cycle alone, and several more were stopped before they ever reached the Cloud.

The Golden Girdle

Belt, earth/​fire

Here the Antilan culture can be seen in its fullest glory. This is the center of their Empire, the richest and most hospitable of the asteroid belts. Natural resources are plentiful, including water, sunlight, and plenty of earth to build and farm on. Millions of Antilan citizens dwell within the Golden Girdle, and it is the most coveted home in the Cluster.

To further cement their power within the Girdle, the Antilans have constructed three artificial worlds which orbit in a triangular formation, each point equidistant from Firefall. Kashimar holds the infamous Crystal University, storehouse of Antilan magical knowledge. Mu-Thalak is peopled mainly by the various noble houses and the Antilan military, and is the capital of the Antilan Empire. Tan-Sharm is a mysterious world, strictly forbidden to all but the Antilans. Some say the Antilan gods live there, surrounded by their faithful, but no one is really sure. Each of the so-called flat worlds is actually a hemisphere, with the flat side facing the sun.


Size B, irregular, earth

This dwarven settlement was, at one time, the most profitable mine in Clusterspace. The ore bodies are now nearly depleted and many of the one-time miners have turned to mercenary work. Of course, within the Golden Girdle, these dwarves serve as Antilan shock troops. This arrangement has worked out well for everyone, as the Antilans get expert troops and the dwarves maintain their freedom.

The Shakalman Group

Size C, cluster, earth

Despite being nearly uninhabitable due to extreme heat and lack of water, this cluster is very important to the Antilans. The earth masses here are a veritable treasure trove of mineral resources. Crystal ships are constructed here in utmost secrecy, as are the crystal citadels. Human slaves are stored here, to ensure that there is never a lack of labor for the building of these mammoth constructs.

Crystal Ships

Dwarven slaves are rumored to be held as miners, but this is pure conjecture. If it were true, the dwarves on Barukhaza would surely have found out by now and taken steps to remedy the situation. Then again, perhaps they value their own freedom more than that of their cousins.


Size G, sphere, fire

This is the secondary sun of the Astromundi Cluster, an exquisite body of sapphire flame with a steeply inclined orbit. The light from Denaeb is not as easily visible as that from Firefall, but it is no less beautiful or inspiring. Spelljammers have begun to notice flickerings within the sun’s center, and many mages believe that the sun is actually shrinking. Whether this is true or not, there has been a great deal of activity around the sun in the past few years.

Islands of the Sun

Belt, earth

Floating between the Cluster’s two suns, this asteroid belt is intolerably hot. There is no way that anyone could live here (other than fire elementals and the like), but rumors persist that the Sun Mages have built magically protected fortresses here as a fallback position if they need to retreat during war.


Size 1, cluster, fire

A unique type of sun, Firefall is a cluster of fire bodies of various colors. These bodies rotate about each other, waxing and waning in a regular pattern that is quite extraordinary to behold. The natives of Clusterspace also refer to their sun as the sun-fountain. Visitors will never forget its brilliant displays.


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