ummm…this might be technically correct, but it’s implications are not even close to true. the quasi and para elemental planes had been created long before EAFaW. I read the quote on page 14, but that quote doesn’t change that the descriptions of the planes as listed later in the book are simply not compatible with the terms used to describe them in other settings (No one could possibly mistake a plane of ooze for a plane of silt). Furthermore, Dragon kings is rather famous for having its discussions of the planes having been actually retconned out of existence.
Heres an exact quote form page 76 that specifies that the planes are different.
The inner planes that surround the world of Athas are somewhat different than those found in other campaign worlds. The elemental and paraelemental planes make up the entire region, and quasielementals are but a small por- tion of the larger bodies. The quasi-element of lightning, for instance, is incorporated into the paraelemental of rain. Whether the distinction is real or simply perceived that way by the adventurers who travel there is unknown.
Here’s some other quotes:
Some have heard the rambling tales of the desert madman who claims that each of the elemental planes was once ruled by individual, powerful entities. Most clerics now believe that even if this was true, those sovereign beings are long since dead.
To the elemental beings of the inner planes, the raw condi- tion of natural elements on Athas is fodderfood and sus- tenance. The earth provides the inner planes with power as precious water, mighty winds, and all-consuming fire feed their own. On most worlds, these elements are plentiful and rich, and the elemental creatures are well fed. On Athas, while most of the elements can still be found in abundance, they are barren and lifeless, like the heart of a sorcerer-king. Imagine being given a choice between a stale loaf of dried bread or a piece of rich, moist cake. This is Athas today compared to the world it once was. It is not hard to under- stand why elemental spirits are upset with the meager fare being set before them.
And here’s one that further proves how absurd the “athas clerics are simply ignorant” line is:
Although they are rare, there are a few seers who have looked beyond the elemental planes to the homes of the paraelementalsthe realms of Silt, Sun, Magma, and Rain. These paraelementals are not as desperate their ele- mental cousins because they have not suffered from the defilers devastation of Athas.
As the relentless sun scorches earth into dust and magma spills out over its cracking surface, the power of the paraelements is growing. They are beginning to achieve lev- els of power heretofore unknown, and they are hungry for more. Where the elementals are concerned with quantity and quality, the paraelementals have not matured to that stagethey only want quantity.
This is from an OMNISCIENT narrator. I could find more if you like.
A final nail in the coffin of that line? Look at the granted powers for the para-elemental clerics. Strangely, though that line claims they are drawing from the plane of ooze, silt clerics can summon silt and survive in the silt sea.
Speaking of Silt…
- The realm of silt bears a striking resemblance to the Sea of Silt on Athas, and some wonder if the similarity is more ominous than anyone imagines.
A traveler in the realm of silt quickly sinks beneath the surface and finds that he can move by swimming, as if he were in the Plane of Water. Visibility, however, is nonexis- tent, and the creatures that live here seem to sense visitors by other methods. Of all the ethereal planes, silt is one of the most uncomfortable to visit.*
Yeah, clearly the plane of ooze.