The ethereal plane is a extra spatial dimension as a parallel 'layer' of our reality. That is, it exists in the same physical space as normal matter and has the same build. However, it has a ethereal hue to it and can only be accessed by spiritual objects and beings.
"So tell me about the ethereal plane, what kind of place does it look like.
Well here's the thing, it's not a single place like a city or forest. And you don't really walk into it, it's like another layer of reality. You sort of just phase into it..."
Okay let me explain it this way, you see where we are now. Pretend there are transparent rocks and beings flying through the air and us and the trees as if they weren't there. That's what the ethereal plane is like."
The Ethereal Plane is coexistent with the Material Plane. There exists a ethereal version of both Earth's dimension and Kaf's dimension separately. While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot touch creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A being in the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane.
The dimension is composed of various etheric matter and energy types, which have a sense of mass, occupy space, and have states like physical matter does but is completely insubstantial to matter from the Material plane. The Ethereal Plane is mostly empty of structures and impediments, the few that exist are substantial to those in it and ephemeral to those of the material plane.
The ethereal plane existed as the original birth place of spirits. During the Imperial Ages, knowledgeable spirits like deities were able to manipulate dimensional energies to create specific spirit world locations. This lead to the creation of various isolated places for spirits to live separate from corporeal beings. Most of these besides the original heaven were destroyed in the Ghul Wars, resulting in all spirits living in various parts of the same space.
Dimensional features Edit
If a physical traveler crosses into the Border Ethereal, she and all her possessions will be converted to their Ethereal equivalents, metal became ethereal metal, flesh became ethereal flesh and so on, allowing free movement (in most cases) in any direction through the solid matter of the adjacent plane. Since everything was permeated with ethereality, an air-breathing creature could breathe ethereal air and could not drown in an ethereal lake nor be crushed by an ethereal rock. Ethereal creatures and travelers can see into the material, but not the other way around and can pass through all solid objects, including living creatures, and you could hear the Material plane.
Travel in the Ethereal planes was accomplished by force of will—you wish to go somewhere and you do, at your normal rate of movement. There was a sense of up and down only because of an extremely weak and slow form gravity existed. Objects released from possession would hover where they were dropped; and it's near impossible to fall in the Ethereal plane due to a near zero-g like environment. However, due to near lack of external forces, objects thrown in the ethereal realm tend to maintain almost their full speed long after their start and tend to continue in a straight line.
Micro Gravity: but with a definite "down" direction. Travelers could move along surfaces just as if they were on the Material Plane but could also move in any direction by willing it so. Normal Time: same as the Material Plane. Normal Magic: spells and abilities work as usual but do not affect the Material Plane.
"Okay Suleiman first time in ethereal plane, things you need to know. Down is what you want it be, you gotta push your self where you wanna go. Kinda like swimming really.
So there's no gravity pulling us down to ground.
Well there is gravity, one of the few things that the two dimensions both react to. However its weaker here, so it's less like we're floating and more like falling really slowly. And we can move side to side during the drift or even break away from it with little effort."
Native Inhabitants Edit
"So what lives in the ethereal plane? I mean besides djinn like us.
Well pretty much every spirit we see in the material plane came from here.
So the dryads...
Yeah they bond with the trees now but near all of them came from here, and they are born here before possessing plants in your dimension to manifest. Same with elementals, any deities that might still be around.
What about the angels of the book?
Now they live in heaven, which actually is a separate section of the ethereal realm. Yeah, it is hard to wrap to head around the idea the first time.