Outlands

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Greyhawk Plane
Concordant Domain
of the Outlands
Outlands00.jpg
The Outlands, as depicted in the Manual of the Planes (2001).
Type Outer plane
Layers 1
Alignment Neutral
Native Inhabitants Rilmani, concordant dragon
Greyhawk Powers Annam, Boccob, Chronepsis, Dalt, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Geshtai, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Io, Istus, Obad-Hai, Semuanya, Sheela Peryroyl, Shekinester, Ulaa, Vergadain, Xan Yae, Zagyg

The Concordant Domain of the Outlands, also known as the Godlands, Concordant Opposition, and simply the Land, is the Outer Plane where the souls of people of neutral alignment are sent after death. It is popular as a meeting place for treaties between the powers. The Outlands are also home to the gate-towns. At the center of the Outlands is the Spire, atop which Sigil can be seen. The Outlands are the home plane of the neutral-minded rilmani.

Structure

The Outlands have three main parts:

The Spire is an infinitely tall pillar of what is apparently rock in the center of the infinite Land. How an infinite plane can have a center is one of the many paradoxes associated with the Outlands. Another one is how an infinitely tall mountain like the Spire can nonetheless have a visible top. It does, and above it can be seen a stony torus hovering in the sky; most assume that this is Sigil, the City of Doors. The Spire cancels out magic, psionics, the powers of the gods, even mundane effects like poison, the closer one gets to it. Some sages speculate that at the Spire itself, where Sigil apparently is, life itself should be impossible. At the Spire's slope, all is equal, all is balanced. Deities are no more than mortals there, and thus they treat this place as a neutral ground where they can negotiate without the greater deities dominating the lesser ones.

The Ringlands are the concentric circles of diminishing power surrounding the Spire. They move somewhat unpredictably, so that a realm or site where ninth level magic works one day may not work very well the next. Sixteen gate-towns exist on the outermost periphery of the Ringlands, where portals to the other outer planes exist. Around these portals, traits from those other planes influence the Land, so that things are wilder and more chaotic around Xaos, the gate-town to Limbo, and more ordered and geometric around Automata, the gate-town to Mechanus. Toward the Spire, the terrain of the Outlands becomes more balanced: forests, deserts, lakes, mountains, and chasms all in perfect equilibrium. The great sea Tir fo Thiunn is in the Ringlands, as is the vast river Maat. Most divine realms are in the outer rings of the Ringlands, where the powers of their servants and themselves are not much affected.

The Hinterlands are the misty, mysterious plain surrounding the Ringlands and the gate-towns into infinity. They are difficult to explore, as it takes a long time to get any distance into them, but it is very quick to travel back. They seem to actually resist incursions.

Gate-towns

Gate-towns are settlements which are built around a permanent portal to a certain Outer Plane on the Great Wheel. Gate-towns are important strategically because they provide a (relatively) stable way to enter a desired Outer Plane. The gate-towns reflect the plane that they lead to, for example, Xaos (or aXos, soaX, etc.) is a town where everything changes from one moment to the next. Even the location of the portal to Limbo changes every day — not that there's any regularity to daybreak and nightfall in Xaos. The character of Xaos mirrors what the plane of Limbo is like.

There are 16 such gate towns, each connected to their own Outer Plane

  • Glorium (Ysgard) Glorium's a small town on the shores of a deep fjord, part of a tributary of the River Oceanus. There are actually two ways to Ysgard in Glorium; one's a maelstrom in the savage waters of the fjord, leading to one of Ysgard's own seas. The other is a root of Yggdrasil, the World Ash, located in a cavern in the mountains outside town.
  • Xaos (Limbo) Xaos (also called sXoa) is the gate-town leading to Limbo. aXso (also called oaXs) is constantly in flux, never the same twice. The Land around the burg is a harsh, confusing mixture of all terrains, all lit by rainbows and light. The rulers of soXa (pronounced Kay-oss) are whoever happens to decide they are, or not decide they are, as the situations demerit. The portal to Limbo is also never the same person, place, or thing. The other side of Xaos's portal is a region of unusally strong chaos known as the Immeasurable.
  • Bedlam (Pandemonium) The town of Bedlam is divided between utter madmen, who dwell on the base of a volcanic hill called Maraush, and the crueler, saner rulers who live on the hill's peak. Bedlam's ostensible ruler, the wild mage Tharick Bleakshadow, is none to sane himself, however. The portal to Pandemonium is in a great tower at the hill's base, which is capped with something that looks like a gigantic human hand - perhaps, some say, the petrified remains of a god who tried to escape the Howling Plane and failed. There are actually a half-dozen portals in the hand, and it's likely they lead to at least that many different places.
  • Plague-Mort (Abyss) A diseased realm of squalor and verminous fecundity, choked with razorvine and bizarre alien parasites. People here are so desperate that they have taken to the worship of the Lady of Pain en masse, constructing their makeshift mud hovels with blades atop them in the hopes of placating her. They pass their days agonizingly trying to numb their pain beneath layers of hard vices, slowly mutating into forms less and less recongizable. Elsewhere in the city, in massive cruel fortresses, the rich and powerful parade inhuman wealth and power before the suffering masses.
  • Curst (Carceri) City of Traitors and Betrayers. The inhabitants constantly plot against one another, attempting to send others to the vast prison below the city before others arrange to have them sent there. It is arranged in concentric circles, the innermost housing the rich and powerful. The city gate to Carceri is a pair of crossed arches covered in moaning skulls of the betrayed, and is activated by a chain link.
  • Hopeless (Hades) A bleak, gray city where colors are forbidden, built like a maelstrom that spirals to a central murky tarpit--a sinkhole to its patron realm. Ruled by a once human wizard garbed in chains and an iron wolf mask who is in turn served by a cadre of beholders. Its gate is a massive blood red screaming face.
  • Torch (Gehenna) An everchanging furnace of cracked lava rock decending into steaming runlets of lava covered with hundreds of iron towers, hot as frying pans, that stretch up to a roiling sky choked with black smoke. The creatures that live there, mostly fire elementals, yugoloths, barghests as well as a subrace of nomadic humans called Desh, do so in order to savor the endless pain and suffering that comes from living there.
  • Ribcage (Baator) Ribcage is the gate-town to Baator, built within the Vale of the Spine, a massive formation that looks for all the world like a spine and ribcage the size of a mountain. It's rumored to be part of the corpse of an ancient titan or god. Ribcage is controlled by five powerful powerful families who constantly scheme against one another in an elaborate game of politics. Its leader is Lord Quentill Paracs, a tiefling, who rules with a council of five senators. Power and politics are the all-consuming goals of just about everyone in town. Devils are not welcome in Ribcage, as Paracs fears rightly they seek to corrupt the town enough to make it slide into their plane. There, they will turn it into the same oppressed ruin the previous gate-town, Darkspine, has become.
  • Rigus (Acheron) A massive fortress-city enclosing a military camp endlessly engaged in preparations for war. Blacksmiths bang away at hot metal in the streets while corner venders sell military provisions and war animals. The city is built on a hill and is surrounded by a series of seven circular walls, each rising higher than the last. At the center, in a section of the city known as the Crown, a winding stair penetrates deep underground to a grey-green nimbus of twisting light like a great cat's eye: the portal to the city's patron plane.
  • Automata (Mechanus) The gate-town to Mechanus, Automata, is a perfect grid, its homes and business arranged in a pattern too complex to easily discern. The two major factions are a group of guildmasters called the Council of Order and a group of underworld bosses known as the Council of Anarchy. Together, they keep the town balanced on the edge between the two planes, sliding neither one way or the other. In the center of town is a great turning gear, the portal to Mechanus. The destination of this portal varies depending on the time of day, the position of the gears, and many other arcane factors, but may be the modron realm of Regulus, the mortal town of Haven, or several other places.
  • Fortitude (Arcadia) Fortitude is the gate-town that leads to Arcadia. Called "The Egg" for its oval shape, its inhabitants publically and willingly state their sins in a public forum and await their peers judgements. This town recently slid into its neighboring plane, and was replaced by a new town with the same name. The Arcadian side of the portal is located in the woods between the Citadel of the Lightning and Wind Kings, according to Planes of Law.
  • Excelsior (Celestia) Excelsior is the gate-town that leads to Mount Celestia. It is noted for its floating keeps that hover above it, each ruled by a paladin-lord. The portal to Celestia is at the top of a tall stairway. The other side of the portal is a glowing light that hovers over a sea of holy water. On the shore nearby is the town of Heart's Faith.
  • Tradegate (Bytopia) Tradegate is shaped like a star, with a massive marketplace in the middle neatly paved in tiles of purple and gold. The portal to Bytopia is a living bariaur known as the Master Trader. He seems to know exactly what people who meet with him need and what they can pay; those willing to deal with him mysteriously end up in Bytopia at the end of the transaction.
  • Ecstasy (Elysium) Ecstasy, the City of Plinths, is the gate-town to Elysium. The landscape of and around Ecstasy is dotted with tall monoliths of stone and iron, which the local petitioners use for meditation. Ecstasy is a collection of buildings and large manors built around a crossroads. The Transcendent Order is popular here. The three rulers of the town are the Sun Master, the Dark Hunter, and the Philosopher King. At the town's center is an ivory tower called the Bone Plinth, which contains a quicksilver pool that leads to Elysium which opens to the River Oceanus, a day's journey from the town Release-From-Care.
  • Faunel (Beastlands) The gate-town to the Beastlands seems like a half-ruined city reclaimed by the jungle. Yet it has a thriving population of humanoids, sentient animals, lycanthropes, shifters, and other planar creatures, dwelling among the ruins, caves, and in colorful tents. The portal to the Beastlands is a huge stone face called Wrath. They say he was once a mortai - a living, laughing cloud - who committed some crime and was banished here in petrified form. It's up to Wrath's discretion where people end up in the Beastlands, so it's best to deal with him honestly and politely.
  • Sylvania (Arborea) The site is often described as a big party, and seems to twist and turn to no end; the buildings are more works of art than practical structures. Prominent locations include the Sensate embassy and the temples to the Greek powers and the Seldarine. The "portal" to Arborea is simply getting oneself lost in the local woods. Once you're thoroughly lost, Arborea finds you. On the other side of the portal is the town of Thrassos in Arborea. Sylvania is ruled by a group of possessor entities known as the Seven Spiritors.

Magic

The closer to the Spire, the harder it is to use magic-related powers. However, most of the towns, portals, realms, etc. are located far enough not to suffer from these impediments. At 500 miles from the Spire, illusions no longer work. At the very base of the Spire, absolutely all magic is neutralized, even that of the greater gods.

Outlands effects on spells and abilities
Distance from Spire Impeded Spells Limited Spells Other Effects
1200 miles None None None
1100 miles 9th None None
1000 miles 8th-9th None None
900 miles 7th-9th 9th All creatures gain immunity to poison
800 miles 6th-9th 8th-9th Psionic abilities don't function
700 miles 5th-9th 7th-9th Positive and negative energy can't be channeled
600 miles 4th-9th 6th-9th Supernatural abilities don't function
500 miles 3rd-9th 5th-9th Access to the astral plane prohibited
400 miles 2nd-9th 4th-9th Divine powers of demi-deity rank and lower annulled
300 miles All 3rd-9th Divine powers of lesser and lower annulled
200 miles All 2nd-9th Divine powers of intermediate rank and lower annulled
100 miles All All All divine powers annulled

Realms

Dalt wanders the plane and its portals freely. Zagyg spends much of his time in the Outlands.

The Outlands is the location of a number of godly realms, including the following:

  • The Caverns of Thought, realm of the illithid deity Ilsensine.
  • The Court of Light, realm of the naga deity Shekinester.
  • The Flowering Hill, the realm of the halfling goddess Sheela Peryroyl.
  • Gzemnid's Realm, home of the beholder deity of gases and vapors.
  • The Hidden Realm, home of the chief giant deity Annam.
  • The Hidden Vale, realm of the Dragonlance god Gilean.
  • The Hidden Wood, realm of the nature god Obad-Hai.
  • The Library of Lore, realm of the god Boccob.
  • The Mausoleum of Chronepsis, realm of the dragon deity Chronepsis.
  • The Marketplace Eternal, realm of the god Zilchus, Waukeen, and Shinare.
  • Nature's Rest, the realm of the Birthright god Erik and Geshtai of Oerth.
  • The Palace of Judgement, Yen-Wang-Yeh's realm.
  • Semuanya's Bog, realm of the lizardfolk deity Semuanya.
  • The Steel Hills, realm of the goddess Ulaa.
  • Thoth's Estate, the realm of Thoth.
  • Tower of Iron Will, the realm of Xan Yae.
  • Tvashtri's Laboratory, realm of the Indian god of artifice.
  • The Web of Fate, realm of the goddess Istus
  • The Well of Urd, realm of the Norns.
  • Wonderhome, realm of Gond.

Three dwarven gods, (Vergadain, Dugmaren Brightmantle, and Dumathoin) share the realm of Dwarven Mountain on the plane of the Outlands.

The Celtic gods (Daghdha, Diancecht, Goibhniu, Lugh, Manannan mac Lir, Oghma, and Silvanus) share the realm of Tír na nÓg on the Outlands.

Fauna

  • Concordant dragon
  • Fhorge

Maps

Outlands01.jpg

See also

Bibliography

  • Collins, Andy. Lord of the Iron Fortress. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.
  • Cook, Monte. The Planewalker's Handbook. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
  • Grubb, Jeff. A Player's Primer to the Outlands. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.
  • -----.Manual of the Planes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.
  • McArtor, Mike, and F. Wesley Schneider. Complete Scoundrel. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2007.
  • McComb, Colin, and Monte Cook. The Great Modron March. Renton, WA: TSR, 1997.
  • -----. Hellbound: The Blood War. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
  • Perrin, Steve. Fires of Dis. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.
  • Stewart, Todd. "The Gatetown of Ecstasy." Dragon #351. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2007.