Beastlands

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Greyhawk Plane
Wilderness of the Beastlands
Beastlands01.jpg
A diagram of the Beastlands, as depicted in Manual of the Planes (2001).
Type Outer plane
Layers 3
Alignment Neutral good/chaotic good
Native Inhabitants Animal lord, animal warden, mortai, aeserpent
Greyhawk Powers Atroa, Balador, Cat Lord, Ehlonna, Ferrix, Quorlinn, Remnis, Skerrit, Stronmaus, Wolf Lord

The Beastlands (more properly, the Wilderness of the Beastlands, also called the Happy Hunting Grounds, the Animal's Rest, and the Wildlands), is a neutral/chaotic good plane of existence.

The Beastlands is a plane of nature and animals. Peaceful alpine forests and groves of giant mushrooms can be found here. A varied climate exists across the plane, providing a suitable environment for many species of animals and plants. The number of traditional settlements is very small, with most inhabitants living beneath the trees out in the wilderness.

Inhabitants

The mortal souls that come to this plane after death take on animal traits soon after they arrive, developing pelts of fur and growing horns or pointed ears or other such features. Over the course of centuries they continue to slowly change, becoming celestial beasts.

The petitioners and denizens remain independent and self-sufficient, wandering alone or in groups through their own dreams and the great idealized dream of Nature itself. Visitors take on animalistic attributes as their true hidden selves shine through the boundaries they ordinary put up. The plane is filled with animals of all kinds: ordinary animals, the spirits of animals, and the souls of humanoids who have become animals in the afterlife.

The Sign of One faction dominates parts of this plane, as its members journey here to contemplate their true selves, live among dreams, and admire the beauty of the Creation they helped make with the power of their imaginations.

Cloudlike, collective beings called mortai drift overhead. In their misty forms can be distinguished faces and distant laughter. Flight spells are impossible on this plane.

Structure

As an Outer Plane, the Beastlands are spatially infinite, further consisting of three infinite layers (or sub-planes). The Beastlands first layer shares borders with the neighboring planes of the Olympian Glades of Arborea, the Blessed Fields of Elysium, and the Outlands; travel is possible between the Beastlands and these planes at certain locations. Portals in the Beastlands are large openings in hollow trees. These can be any kind of tree, but the same tree always leads to the same plane.

One prominent portal from the Beastlands to Arborea is known as the Roaring Gate (The Great Modron March, page 51). The River Oceanus is another common method of traveling from the Beastlands to Arborea; it is also used to travel from Elysium to the Beastlands.

Unlike most outer planes, the Beastlands have a single sun and moon visible throughout the plane rather than being limited to the realm of this or that solar or lunar deity. The sun, Selera, is visible on the daylit layer of Krigala and the twilit layer of Brux. The moon, Noctos, is visible on the twilit layer of Brux and the moonlit layer of Karasuthra.

Layers

The Beastlands consists of three layers:

Krigala

The River Oceanus, flows through the first layer, Krigala. Many lakes dot the plains in between the lush forests. Day and night does not occur normally on Krigala, but a continual late afternoon sun fills the sky. Gentle rains occur once per day allowing some measure of time passing.

Realms

  • Grove of Perpetual Spring, the realm of Atroa.
  • The Grove of the Unicorns is the divine realm of Ehlonna, (the Greyhawk deity of forests and woodlands), and Mielikki (her Forgotten Realms counterpart). It exists at the base of several giant sequoias forming a natural cathedral between the branches.
  • Goldenroost, home of Remnis, god of giant eagles.
  • The Forbidden Plateau, an isolated realm filled with prehistoric animals.
  • The Pridelands, home of Nobanion, the Forgotten Realms deity of lions, werelions, and wemics.

Brux

Day and night on Brux is still static like Krigala, but here it is eternally dusk. A silver moon can be seen in the opposite direction to the sunset. The temperature here is naturally lower than on Krigala.

Realms

  • Al Karak Elam-Jhankhal, an avariel town.
  • The Cat Lord's Prowl, domain of the Cat Lord, who shares his realm with Ferrix, the goddess of weretigers, though Ferrix usually prefers to wander.
  • Findar Endar, the domain of the Forgotten Realms dwarf god Haela Brightaxe.
  • The Library of All Knowledge, shared realm of the deities Deneir and Milil of the Forgotten Realms.
  • Reastweal, home of the Indian deity Puchan.
  • The wandering Seelie Court frequently appears on Brux, though never in the same place twice.

Karasuthra

The lowest layer of Karasuthra is in continual night, with a single moon providing some illumination to the layer. The most dangerous creatures exist here, hunting their quarry through the night.

Realms

  • The Misty Valley, home of the Japanese deity Kura-Okami.
  • Zhan, the Grand Forest Beyond the World, shared realm of the Dragonlance deities Chislev, Zivilyn, and Habbakuk.

Ecology

Fauna

The Beastlands play host to normal, giant, celestial, and anarchic versions of every natural animal known on the Prime Material Plane.

Other animals found in the Beastlands include aeserpents (deadly snakes), leomarh (scaled lions), quills (giant porcupines with carapaces), and sunflies (highly magical celestial insects).

Flora

  • The centennial thistle grows hundreds of feet tall. When its crystalline lavender seedpods, each as big as rhinos, hit the ground, they gate to wherever the seed germ determines. Other plants and trees likewise tend to tower hugely over their terrestrial counterparts. (Abyssal Warriors by J. Robert King)

Inhabitants

  • Baku are psionic elephant-like creatures. They have a mysterious graveyard somewhere in the Beastlands.
  • Balaenas are celestial whales, guardians and guides of the River Oceanus. Delphons, or songsharks, are singing sharklike inhabitants of the river, somehow associated with the god Stillsong.
  • Beast dragons.
  • Eladrins are elflike celestials native to Arborea.
  • Foo dogs and foo lions are wise celestial creatures from the Upper Planes.
  • Guardinals are beast-faced celestials native to Elysium.
  • Hollyphants are tiny, winged mammoths of great power.
  • Lammasus are sphinx-like beings of great wisdom and goodness.
  • Mortai are powerful entities like living clouds full of laughing faces. They command the weather of the Beastlands and
  • Per are celestial guardians of portals.
  • Warden beasts are powerful guardians of the various animal types.

Creative origins

The Beastlands are based on the happy hunting ground in some Native American mythologies, and the plane was referred to by that name in the game's first edition.

See also

Bibliography

  • Baker, Richard, and James Wyatt. Player's Guide To Faerûn. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  • Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.
  • McComb, Colin, and Monte Cook. The Great Modron March. Renton, WA: TSR, 1997.
  • McComb, Colin, Dale Donovan, and Monte Cook. Planes of Conflict. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.
  • Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  • Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.
  • Wyatt, James, Darrin Drader, and Christopher Perkins. Book of Exalted Deeds. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.