Ocanthus, Illustrated

A couple of years ago, Wizards of the Coast released a book entitled Manual of the Planes which described all manner of “other worlds” in the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse. For some unknown reason, I tucked away a memory of the description of Ocanthus, a layer of the plane of Acheron and thought it to be particularly gruesome. I don’t know why it stuck with me, but it did. Here is an excerpt of the description, quoted from the book:

The fourth layer of Acheron is lightless but filled with fast-flying, razor-thin shards. Some shards are little more than needles, while others are miles wide. The largest shards have their own objective gravity like the cubes of the upper layers, as well as a breathable if icy cold atmosphere. The constant blizzard of bladelike shards makes Ocanthus inimical to creatures and objects alike.

The shards are black ice, frozen into thin layers. Their collisions break them into progressively smaller shards, and eventually into needles and then dust. The shards all originate from a single source: the night-black boundary of Ocanthus, a sheet of infinite, magically charged black ice.

By sheer dumb coincidence, I stumbled upon a nearly perfect visual illustration of the plane in the form of an online game. I find it both intriguing and horrifying at the same time. So far, I’ve succeeded in dodging 354 shards in one game.

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