The outer planes are a series of dimensions accessible either by casting powerful magic such as Plane Shift or by traveling through the Ethereal Plane. (Getting to the Ethereal Plane is a chore of its own). The Outer Planes are most notable for being the almost exclusive home to the Deities of the multiverse. There are 12 in total and they are tied in closely with the concept of moral alignment. Geography is far from static here, each plane is infinite in size, even if it appears to have set boundaries. Some of the planes have multiples layers, also referred to as demiplanes, which seem also appear finite but most often are not. Also nonsensical to mortal reasoning is the fact that even though each plane is infinite, they are each connected to their two neighboring planes, sometimes in what seem to be contradictory ways.
Death and the Outer Planes
Most of the time, when a sentient being dies, its soul travels via the Ethereal to one of the Outer Planes, which one being dependent on the race, alignment and religion of the deceased. For example, there is no question that a faithful cleric of St. Cuthbert would end up in Arcadia. A neutral peasant who believed in the gods but wasn’t particularly devout on the other hand, his fate is more unclear.
The 12 Outer Planes
The plane of ultimate law and order. Its layers take the form of giant clockwork cogs or discs. Each disc has its own gravitational pull and sense of “up,” so stepping from one disc onto an adjacent one at a 90° angle can be disorienting. Some discs link to the edge of Arcadia, while others can be found spinning into the desert of Gehenna. Life here, if it can be called that, is totally unnatural. Its denizens are constructs made of clockwork and machinery. It is home to the Modrons. Labelas and Boccob enjoy this plane because only here can pure knowledge be pursued without distraction from chaos.
The paradise of law. An endless ocean filled with vast islands of perfect geometric shapes which is edged with teeth that mesh up with discs of Nirvana. The flora and fauna of this plane are similar to that of the Material Planes, but completely symmetrical and ordered. The realms of St Cuthbert and Woden are on this plane. These warriors defend their plane from incursion by evil forces. The floating continents of Celestia float high above Arcadia and both are lit by the sun of Pelor.
The plane of justice tempered by goodness takes the form of a series of floating demiplanes, each higher than the previous one. Flight is almost necessary to reach Celestia from neighboring planes. Elysium is reachable by landing on Ilios, which transports between Celestia and Elysium every 12 hours.
|1||Avalon||Bahamut||Land of semi-solid clouds.|
|2||Olympia||Moradin||An entire mountain range floating above Avalon.|
|3||Larethian||Corellon||Impossibly sized tree growing out of the summit of Olympia. Its branches form the layer.|
|4||Dorado||Heironeous||City of gold.|
|5||Ilios||Pelor||A sun which spends half of its time above Celestia and half of its time in the middle of Elysium|
The home of ultimate goodness and charity takes the form a vast hollow sphere. The surface is covered with verdant fields and forests and is where most of the nature and fertility deities dwell, including Beyla, Ehlonna, Yondalla and Obad Hai. The Dwarven goddess Freyja can occasionally be found here hunting, but spends most of her time in Valhalla. As mentioned above, Elysium is lit by Ilios, the solar demiplane of Pelor for 12 hours a day, floating at the center of the sphere. Scattered across the land are portals that lead through the crust of Elysium and pop out on the other side, in Shangri-La.
The largest city in existence is the plane of Shangri-La. It covers an entire planet-like sphere, the “outside” of the structure that Elysium is the “inside” of. The two planes are connected by tunnels running between the two areas. Garl Glittergold and Skadi do their business here, while Fharlanghn wanders the roads and Ka’roke sings for passers-by. The whole thing floats above the plane of Valhalla, occasionally moving close enough that flying isn’t even necessary to move between planes.
This infinite battlefield is a common destination for the departed souls of good-aligned warriors. It from here that Kord, Freyja and like-minded beings defend from attacks on Pandemonium and the lower planes. It takes the form of a great flat surface, walled on all sides. Outside its walls lies the shifting land of Limbo, accessible through great gates in the wall. Shangri-La hangs in the sky and can be reached by flying.
Limbo is made of pure chaos. The terrain is in a constant state of flux and change. It is inhospitable to even those who can travel amongst the planes and is home to no deities save the elven deity of the elements, Dhatu. This chaotic realm surrounds both the walled planes of Valhalla and Pandemonium.
This plane is a seemingly endless expanse of brass and iron terrain, surrounded by a tall bronze wall. This wall keeps the unbridled chaos of Limbo at bay in favor of the less chaotic but more brutal members of Pandemonium. Many evil warlike deities fight here, including Gruumsh of the Orcs and Erythnul. The roguish Olidammara also lives here, perpetually scheming for his own enjoyment. Metal hatches can be occasionally found, these open up into the blackness of the Abyss.
A perverted parody of Celestia, the Abyss is a dark place full of 666 floating disks of stone or other material. Also floating throughout the inky blackness are the other side of hatches leading to Pandemonium. Each stone disk is home to one of the innumerable Demon Princes. Most of these contain underground tunnels that go much deeper than it seems the thin disks would allow. Traveling through them brings you to one of the caverns of Hades.
|135||Shedaklah||Jubilex||Putrid rotting disc of slime and mold.|
|150||Pharsalia||Demogorgon||A jungle filled with dinosaurs, wild apes and bird-like monsters.|
|412||Tarquin||Orcus||Demiplane made of bones.|
|562||Thanatos||Yeenoghu||Barren salt-waste. Yeenoghu travels in a city-sized mansion pulled by slaves across his realm.|
Located in an infinite plane of stone are the series of caverns known as Hades. Each cavern is different except that all are unspeakably evil places. Dark tunnels connect some, but not all of the caverns. Some of the tunnels connect to either the Abyss or Hell. Andha’kuja, Lolth, Vecna, Nerull and who knows how many other dark powers all have their realms here.
Hell is a great pit, large beyond mortal reasoning. It is divided into 9 well ordered circles, each with its own ecosystem and ruler, similar to Hades but much more organized and exact. The first layer contains tunnels connecting to Hades and a stone staircase that leads up through the ceiling and into Gehenna.
Also called the Grey Wastes, this plane is an endless wasteland of greyish-yellow sand and dirt. Two of the only unique features here are the Stairs of Hell and the tower of Wee Jas. Travelers may occasionally happen upon one of the clockwork discs of Nirvana spinning into the sand and gain access to that plane. Though it has little “native population,” it is an occasional battlefield, similar to Arcadia, Valhalla and Pandemonium.