Planar Primer #6: The Gloamtracts
As the mortal worlds have aged and generations past, their desire to make marks upon the world have only grown. Many find respite in their works being passed on or a family to continue legacies. Others are not so satisfied and the persistence of mortals is a force unto itself. In time these desires created a dark reflection of the world. The Plane of Shadow, the Shadowfell, The Gloamtracts. This is a world of wraiths and cursed beings who refuse to give up their grip on a world they have control over. It is a world that hosts the ruins of buildings that once existed, their inhabitants unwilling to let them succumb to time.
The bleak plains of the Gloamtracts practically drips in the desolation of those who inhabit it. This place is born out of a need for control and longevity. Liches, vampires, and other cursed creatures who, in mortal life, refused to give up their autonomy or existence gave birth to this place just as they transformed themselves. Grey, sullen pallets soak everything and light is a precious recourse for those not from the plane. The Gloamtracts are a place where beings go to escape life and death alike. It is suffused with desire mixed with hopelessness and any mortal that stays too long will begin to feel its influence and even the most hopeful heroes will turn to forlorn selfishness.
The art of necromancy generally involves the manipulation of life and death, but as time has passed death has become the backbone of the tradition. Much of it is steeped in the same desperate and selfish action that created the Gloamtracts. It is the fuel of breaking the cosmic cycle and staying in the mortal world. Such power is woven through the shadow plane and there are places where necrotic energy weeps from the landscape. In these places it is not uncommon to find the lost graveyards of long ago, massive skeletons of gods who thought they could live without mortal faith, and ghostly battles being played out by armies who refused to lose.
The Etherium is a place of history, echoing that which was, a natural reflection of the past. The Gloamtracts are a forced reconstruction and a desperate escape from that realm. While ghosts and souls are home in the Etherium it is a temporary one and not all are ready to make their way to the River Styx, especially in the dark places of murder, sacrifice, and mass death. Here the emotion of those who died allows the Gloamtracts to touch the Etherium and consume those souls. In that plane lie vast swamps lit by will-o’-wisps and covered in cold fog. The waters of these places are host to lost spectres who had the desperation to live but no true desire to live forever. These things grasp at mortals if they walk by and pull them down into the waters, frantic for aid and release. In deep sinkholes one might find a portal into the Etherium, but even psychopomps are unable to gather the power to pull so many souls back through and dry up the bogs. At most they set up perimeters to protect wayward souls from deepening their waters.