IXRA - THE FIRE GODDESS
Formerly the dwelling place of demons and efreeti, the great burning underworld known as Chon might seem quite hellish to even the bravest of visitors. This is not entirely the case, though of the four elements, fire is certainly the most destructive by its very nature, and thus those beings born of Chon have a reputation for their gleeful delight in performing such tasks. Chon is also by far the most frightening and dangerous of the spirit realms, a burning sphere similar to the core of a planet - with layers of porous, superheated rock surrounding a heart of white-hot molten mineral. What little air exists is filled with smoke and deadly gasses, and even the cooler outer layers of the plane are hot enough to kill most unprotected visitors in minutes. Towards the center, flammable substances burst into flame, and metallic objects start to liquify - the heart of the plane is capable of melting down any substance, regardless of its properties. This is, or was, the domain of Ixra, the fire goddess.
Of all the elemental realms, Chon held out the longest against the mechanical invaders sent by the City Mind during the Twilight War. Build of adamas, the Machines were virtually immune to the immense heat, but the plane's own violent nature had spawned by far the most warlike defenders, who decimated legions of the mechanical killers before Ixra was slain. At that instant, the goddess' chaotic forces fell apart, and the few remaining survivors fled into the cavernous depths of Chon, abandoning their decimated cities to the victorious Machines. Without Ixra's fire to maintain the core, it began to cool, and in the three thousand years sinse the Twilight War, it has been reduced to less than a quarter of its original size. The cooling effect has caused the upper layers of the plane to freeze over, driving the scattered inhabitants inwards, century after century, to keep from freezing along with them. In time, the ancient core will die completely, and the source of all fire magic along with it.
Chon is now cool enough for most visitors to explore, though the inner half is still uncomfortably hot, and the inner quarter infernal. Ancient lava tubes are the easiest way to get around the basalt caverns near the planar surface, though fissures and gas vents are also common. All of these grow more active towards the center of the plane, with magma floods, tremors, and erruptions of caustic, superheated steam being the most common threats to the unprepared. To make matters worse, few of the inhabitants are even close to friendly, constantly fighting amongst themselves without a common leader to follow. The demons are by far the worst, and have been known to take their mischief and aggressions with them on trips to the mortal realm, to seek vengeance on the descendants of their former foes, the Creators. This has given Chon and its inhabitants a very evil reputation, to be used in curses and kin-related slander. Indeed, demons are among the only elemental creatures capable of breeding with mortals.
The Planar Forge
Within the unimaginable fires of Chon's center was built Ixra's forge, a diamond platform suspended above the planar core, in a place that only the goddess herself could survive. It was here that Ixra crafted divine metals into weapons for her siblings and their avatars, weapons which proved no match for the mechanized killing engines sent forth by the City Mind. It is here, on the last bastion above the searing blue-white core, that the goddess' draconic avatar was slain, her iron bones still draped across the diamond platform. Ixra's death doomed the entire realm, and within the next few centuries, the source of fire magic will fade along with the core, until nothing is left.
The forge remains, though it has cooled considerably. While still incindiary to any unprotected visitor, powerful magics may allow the well-prepared to venture into the abandoned forge, to seek the fabled armaments within. The armaments are still fabled because no one has ever returned from an attempt to retrieve them. The mischievous demons are all-to-happy to go on perpetuating the myths, in the hopes of luring powerful mortals to their doom. In truth, even Chon's inhabitants are uncertain of the forge's existance, secretly fearing that it might still be guarded by Machines, or the spirit of their dead goddess. The forge itself is a block of diamond suspended within a ring-like outer platform some twenty miles above the heart of Chon. This block absorbs heat more effectively than the platform around it, and can melt down almost anything, from artifacts to adamas. Mortal tools will not suffice, and only the largest and strongest of beings are capable of wielding the divine instruments of Ixra's forge.
Fire is by far the most dangerous and destructive of the elemental magics, especially when said magics enable it to exist without a fuel source. The volotile nature of Chon lends itself to the instabilities of fire magic - most is inherantly war-like in nature and thus sacrifices control for raw power. This form of sorcery can anihilate creatures or objects, even entire towns, and is certainly the most destructive when it slips out of its invoker's control. Like all other elemental magics, however, fire plays an essential role, cleansing death and decay to enrich the earth. Typically mastered by skole shamans, Arcanar wizards, demons, and other combative spellcasters, fire magic has few gentle applications, and requires great effort to maintain and control. This is often too much for less aggressive races, who have a difficult time maintaining the fury required to fuel it. Fire magic is most powerful during the months of Summer.
Planar fire is especially hot when fused with quintessant energy, gaining an almost malevolent need to consume all things flammable. Though not necessarily evil, fire elementals have little regard for living things or their possessions, and resent being forced into any sort of service. Their amorphous shape makes them quick and almost impossible to fight, much like air elementals, though they lack the subtlety. Furthermore, fire elementals tend to damage anything they come into contact with, making their interaction with mortal beings difficult at best. Most elementals of this type are also more tempermental, and thus more likely to break free of any summoner's control. They attack by engulfing or surrounding their foes, consuming all but the most resistant of materials within seconds. They appear to fly, but in truth are only capable of making windborne leaps or crawling across flammable substances at high speed.
Deep within the plane, conditions remain quite unlivable. The rock glows with heat, and the air itself is hot enough to combust wood in seconds. Many caverns are filled with vast magma pools and all manner of poisonous vapors, any typically contain the more dangerous creatures that have been crowding out the weaker ones in persuit of the core's fading heat. Demons are fairly common, their clashing factions often echoing throughout the searing caverns.