Curse of Strahd
Earthmotes are free-floating bits of landscape that defy gravity to hover in the sky. Despite their appearance, these islands in the sky are as stable and durable as if they rested on the ground. Earthmotes are common along the edges of regions where portions of Abeir replaced Toril’s landscape, as if marking an imperfect seam between the fused worlds. Two or more earthmotes might be found together—in some places, small clusters of floating islands hang like eternal clouds. However, they can be found nearly anywhere, and lone earthmotes (often called simply motes) have become familiar features in even the most staid lands.
Earthmotes vary widely in size and altitude. Most are level on top, like ledges atop sheer cliffs, and taper to a point underneath so that they resemble upsidedown mountain peaks. Thus, climbing to the top of a mote is difficult.
A few earthmotes move like clouds made of stone, but most are stationary. They usually hang between 500 and 1,000 feet over the landscape, but some motes hover lower or even abut an earthbound feature. Disruptions, whether natural or magical, on or near an earthmote have no apparent effect on its ability to float.
Nearly all earthmotes support life and seem to reflect the natural landscape over or through which they float. Motes are often named according to the type of terrain they support—forestmotes, hillmotes, junglemotes, and prairiemotes are most common. Sometimes spectacular cataracts pour from watermotes. These falls never run dry, suggesting a connection with the Elemental Chaos. Certainly, similar features exist on that plane. Some earthmotes are settled. They are highly defensible and often rich in resources, making them highly sought after. Like any valuable territory, motes are sometimes the objects of war and conquest.