Out With the Old
Beyond the boundaries of the “pure” elemental planes, the elements dissolve and bleed together in an unending tumult of clashing energy and colliding substance called the Elemental Chaos. Elementals can be found here as well, but “pure” elementals prefer their native planes. The Elemental Chaos is home to its own weird flora and fauna. Other than being an elemental plane, the Elemental Chaos is identical to the Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo (see DMG p.60).
The Spawning Stone
The Spawning Stone was originally conceived by the gods of law, spearheaded by Primus, the One and Prime, as a means of imposing order on the Chaos and to contain the evil of the Abyss. They crafted a massive, geometrically complex monolith known as the Stone of Reason, covered with supernal runes of balance and order, and cast it into the Chaos, intending it to be a counterbalance to the Seed of Evil. Unfortunately, Primus misjudged both the nature and the power of the Seed of Evil. The Stone of Reason did help to slow the growth of the Abyss, however, and even helped to solidify the “pure” elemental planes as they now exist.
Alas, the endeavor had unintended side effects. Some say that it was somehow corrupted by the Seed of Evil despite the gods’ greatest efforts. Others claim that the Stone, as a force for cosmic balance, had to correct Primus’ efforts to spread divine law into Elemental Chaos. Still others believed that the supernal precepts of organization and conscious thought somehow “leaked” from the Stone into the surrounding Chaos, or that the wildness of the Chaos somehow infected the Stone of Reason.
Whatever its cause, the Stone birthed the first of the Slaadi, the toadlike avatars of chaos who are now the iconic inhabitants of the Elemental Chaos. Chaos incarnate, the slaadi hate order, hate rules, and hate modrons and other scions of law most of all. The Stone of Reason is now known as the Spawning Stone for this reason. The Spawning stone is weathered and chipped from the many catastrophes that have befallen it over the millenniae, but no known force has undone it it, though many have tried; new crystalline growths appear on it and break off from it all the time, but no matter what disaster seems to befall it, it endures. Whenever a slaad touches the Stone (including when it is spawned by it), a piece of the Spawning Stone snaps off and imbeds itself in the slaad’s brain.
The slaadi have no hierarchy, ruling only by might, but four mighty Slaad Lords command their fear, if not their respect. The most well-known of the Slaad Lords is Ygorl, Lord of Entropy, who appears as an enormous slaad so gaunt as to seem skeletal, and so black that its surface (skin?) seems to consume light, leaving a void of black nothing. It has ragged, batlike wings, wields a scythe, and rides astride a corrupted brass dragon named Shkiv. Ygorl represents the destructive, consumptive nature of chaos.
The only marginally less-infamous Ssendam, Lord of Madness, is only considered to be a slaad thanks to having been birthed by the Spawning Stone; it appears as a golden amoeba, with what appears to be a humanoid brain floating at its nucleus. If there is a control gem in Sssendam’s brain, it is not immediately visible. Thus, though Ssendam lurks near the Spawning Stone (which some say it guards), it is believed that it managed to expel its Spawning Stone and perhaps has some method of protecting itself from re-implantation, which leads many to believe that such autonomy is endemic to all Slaadi Lords.
More obscure are slaad lords like Chourst, Lord of Randomness, who appears as a massive, chalk-white slaad. Chourst has no followers and no cult, as he is a creature of pure impulse, answerable to nothing but his own capricious urges. Chourst is like a force of nature that sweeps through the Elemental Chaos, leaving confusion in his wake. The youngest of the Slaadi Lords is Rennbuu, Lord of Colors, whiappears as a large slaad with a wild mane of white hair and luminous skin of shifting colors. Rennbuu is the most playful of the slaad lords, delighting in his ability to alter color and form with a touch, an ability which has resulted in a massive following of slaadi, as he incidentally has the ability to promote and demote them at a whim. Finally, Wartle, Lord of Anarchy is rarely mentioned at all; Wartle challenged Ygorl and was defeated. Ygorl sealed Wartle in a massive vault of elemental stone and cast through the planes. Appearing as a brown toad standing just under six feet tall, Wartle is rarely even remembered, the fate of losers in unforgiving Chaos.
The slaadi do not rule Chaos wholly unchallenged, however. Bastions of stability exist even here, the most impressive being the planar nation of the Githzerai. The Githzerai gather in huge communities, either cities or monasteries, which are stabilized by strict schedules of meditating and chanting monks using their wit and will to impose order on the Chaos. The greatest of these cities is Shra’kt’lor, capitol of the city, ruled by a great monarch known simply as The Great Githzerai. Their other greatest bastion is the Monastery of Zerth’Ad’Lun, where the legendary Sensei Belthomais teaches the Way of the Four Elements.