The spellplague changed the cosmology of Forgotten Realms into the world axis cosmology. Great wheel no more, world tree no more (it seems I missed/skipped this one).

But did the spellplague affected the entire prime material, or just the realmspace crystal sphere. Each campaign setting is inside its own crystal sphere, and the spheres float amidst the phlogiston of the prime material plane. Did the spellplague also affected the cosmology of other crystal spheres / game settings? Like Krynn, Oerth, Mystara, etc?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking whether the Spellplague affected the other settings within Realms lore, or within the setting's lore itself? \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am asking if the cosmology of other campaign settings (worlds, crystal spheres) changed too. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2017 at 3:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but, for example, do you want to know whether Greyhawk was affected according to FR canon, or according to Greyhawk canon? \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jul 18, 2017 at 4:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman this is so confusing. Greyhawk has its own canon, or has FR suddenly became the center of the multiverse? Basically, if the spellplague affected the entire prime material, or just the realmspace crystal sphere. Each campaign setting is inside its own crystal sphere, and the spheres float amidst the phlogiston of the prime material plane. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2017 at 4:17

4 Answers 4


There is no reason to assume that the Spellplague impacted other realities.

For several reasons

Crystal Spheres aren't part of The Realms campaign setting, they are added by Spelljammer.

First and foremost, understand that the concept of Crystal Spheres, and every other setting existing in a different one floating out in The Phlogiston is NOT core material to The Realms. It was added for the Spelljammer Campaign Setting as an optional way to tie all of the different settings together. In the FR wiki article linked in the question, note that the only source cited is the Concordance of Arcane Space...which is a Spelljammer Rulebook. The Planescape Campaign Setting offers an entirely different optional way to tie the settings together. This was explicitly done to let you play in multiple different settings with the same characters. It is, essentially, a hack applied on top of the Core settings.

The core settings (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Eberron, etc) all operate under the assumption that other settings either don't exist, or are sufficiently disconnected as to not matter. You never see a setting book explaining how this thing that happened in Eberron impacted these other things that happened in Faerun. They simply assume that the setting you are playing in is the only setting that matters.

Thus, outside of these two optional settings, travel between the two is impossible and Oerth and Faerun may not even exist relative to one another. (In a game played in Faerun, Oerth and 'Greyspace' may not exist at all). Based on that alone, each individual setting can be considered to be entirely cut off from one another, and cannot impact each other. Because without one of two optional campaign settings, no connection between them exists.

Nature of the Spellplague

The Spellplague was the result of a breakdown in the Weave of Magic caused by the murder of Mystra, goddess of magic. With no deity to manage the weave, it went rampant and caused a huge mess.

Thing is...

In Greyhawk, Boccob is the god of magic. In Krynn, it's Lunitari, Nuitari, and Solinari. In Eberron, there is no god of magic, magic is (theoretically) derived from Siberys, the golden ring around the planet (and dead progenitor dragon).

And, according to the Spelljammer rulebooks (concordance of Arcane Space p17-18) deities have no impact whatsoever on any crystal sphere they do not hold sway in. Unless they have a pool of worshipers there, or a powerful cleric who can make a connection, they can't interact with that sphere at all. The death of a god recognized in only one Sphere cannot impact another sphere.

Differing cosmologies

The settings in D&D are extremely different. In terms of settings that go into significant detail on cosmology...The 'World Tree' cosmology was something unique to the Faerun setting.

Greyhawk was left intentionally vague in terms of cosmology. Krynn Cosmology looks like this. Eberron Cosmology looks like this. Old Faerun Cosmology (World Tree) looked like this, and the new version like this. See how different they are? There's no way these are the same planes in the same Astral Sea.

In Conclusion

The simplest answer is that, according to the core settings, nothing that happens in one setting impacts anything that happens in another setting, because they are different settings. The fact that two additional settings (Spelljammer and Planescape) were invented to let you optionally glue them all together doesn't change the fact that they are entirely discrete settings with their own history and events that do not impact each other.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And in Athas nobody cares about the shenanigans of deities, since they have even less power there than in the vicinity of the Outlands Spire. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 12, 2017 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, there are other canon connections between Oerth, Toril, and Krynn that don't involve Spelljammer. There are gates between all those worlds, and also other means of travel including the Plane of Shadow. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Feb 18, 2020 at 19:39

The Spellplague did not explicitly occur in other settings

D&D 4e changed the cosmology, and those changes basically applied (as desired) to all settings. FR simply used the Spellplague to justify some of those changes.

Later: D&D 5e undid many of 4e's changes, and FR used the (re)Sundering to justify some of those changes.

That said: a DM could still reasonably decide that FR's Spellplague had an effect on other settings, especially if those other settings had similar gods. I had such crossovers in my own campaigns. Also note: a lot of the cosmological changes (Wheel, Tree, Axis, etc.) could be ascribed merely to how people think about the planes - i.e. simple analogies to describe something they can't see. Plus, much of the Outer Planes, and gods even, seem to be shaped by 'thought' and belief to begin with.


Your question is tagged 5e, and the answer for that edition of the game is: the Spellplague is largely irrelevant. The Second Sundering (sometimes just The Sundering) essentially reversed it:

Geographic changes

At the end of the Sundering, most of the consequences that the Spellplague had on Toril were nowhere to be seen.


Changes to the Pantheon

A lot of deities, previously presumed dead or missing, managed to return to life (or to re-emerge) during the Sundering, and then to quickly amass new masses of followers (or to win back their old faithful), and to reclaim at least some of their former portfolios (resulting in a new distribution of spheres of influence among deities). Known examples were: Mystra, Helm, Mask, Lathander, Bhaal, all the previously lost Drow gods, Leira (goddess of illusions), Myrkul (now god of death, alongside Kelemvor, god of the dead), Gilgeam, Enlil, and Nanna-Sin; Azuth, Tyr.


Cosmology Changes

The Sundering of Toril and Abeir had heavy repercussions on the arrangement of the planes of existence and of the divine domains. The World Axis cosmology was rearranged in a new Great Wheel, which only differed from its previous iteration because of the presence of an Elemental Chaos and of the Feywild and Shadowfell.

There's a whole novel series called The Sundering that covers the events if you're really curious.

At the end of the day, however, it's important to remember that basically all of Forgotten Realms' cataclysms have been hand waving for edition changes and therefore really don't matter. The Second Sundering is 4e->5e. Spellplague was 3e->4e. There was another for 2e->3e (Time of Troubles?), and I think there was another one when 1e->2e but I'm not entirely sure. [Edit: As noted in the comments, Time of Troubles was 1e->2e, with no specific cataclysm marking the transition from 2e->3e.]

For whatever reason, WotC's FR has to have a canonical reason for game rule changes. However, that's basically all it really is, and it's not really worth bothering about unless you want your campaign to deal with it specifically. Personally, I never cared for the idea as it only serves to fragment, frustrate, and confuse players and DMs. Other campaign settings -- even living campaign settings -- work just fine by ignoring how edition changes potentially impact game lore. It's also incredibly lazy. It's always a major cataclysm. They've played that card at least three times now.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The person is specifically asking for changes to other crystal spheres, not the sphere it took place in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Salty Dog
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BigboBiggins Yes, and I gave two reasons to ignore it completely as entirely irrelevant. One in-universe reason that the Second Sundering removed the effects of the Spellplague (and you'll likely find as much evidence for other sphere impacts that you did in your answer, which is to say absolutely none), and one out-of-universe reason that the Spellplague is effectively a retcon that has itself been retconned. So any way you look at it, it's irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bacon Bits
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, my answer was also saying that it had no effects. On other spheres anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Salty Dog
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Time of troubles was actually 1e -> 2e; they needed no cataclysm to change 2e -> 3e \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2017 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the returning gods side, funny how the god of diviners and seers was one of the still MIA ones. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2017 at 16:51

There is no information on forgotten realms wikia, neverwinter wikia, realm of adventure and Dungeons and Dragons wikidot, regarding any effects on other crystal spheres.

"The Spellplague was a magical disaster that struck Faerûn in 1385 DR." -http://dustin.wikidot.com/spellplague


The Spellplague was a disaster that struck Realmspace on 29th Tarsakh, the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, -http://lahordea7.forumpro.fr/t825-1385-dr-spellplague-magepeste

It seems it only had effects on Faerûn, which was a continent on the planet of Toril. This all falls within the forgotten realms. All of my sources are linked below.








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