Outside the Great Plateau is the Realm of Annihilation, a plane of utter destruction which is the source of all spheres of annihilation. The Realm is made up of the souls of intelligent beings whose souls go unclaimed because the mortal worshiped no god or because it was destroyed by a sphere of annihilation. All the gods fear the Realm of Annihilation and seek to secure souls before they go there, because the Realm grows with each lost soul. One day, if left to grow on its’ own, the Realm will destroy all of creation. All the gods fear the day the Realm overwhelms even the Eternal Palace, and thus tolerate the existence of competing faiths, since even their greatest rivals keep souls from the Realm.
When a mortal dies, the soul normally goes to the Throne Room (located at the center of the Eternal Palace). While no god since the Creator has dared sit on the Great Throne, the room itself is still considered to be neutral territory among the gods. In due time, the god (or a servant of the god) the mortal served in life comes to the Throne Room and claims the soul, taking it to his section of the Palace. Some beings try to subvert this process; hags, demons, devils, and the Harvester of Souls are particularly adept at securing souls that would otherwise be bound to certain gods. The Throne Room is always filled with souls waiting to be claimed, as well as many portals to the various planes of existence, such as the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos.
The Throne Room is the only section of the Palace that has ever been claimed to be visited by living mortals, the doorways to each god’s individual sections being guarded by their most powerful servants and impenetrable magics. Travel to any given plane while in the Throne Room is simply a matter of stepping through the right door, so it could theoretically be used by mortals as a waypoint in their extra-dimensional travel. Such a stop over would be incredibly dangerous, however. Many gods would react poorly to the premature visitation by mortals to the Eternal Palace.