The Blessed Fields of Elysium
|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
Elysium is the most strongly good-aligned plane of the Great Wheel, a place of good untrammeled by issues of law or chaos. On this plane doing well by others is more highly valued than any other ideal. The first layer of the plane is a riot of color. Visitors marvel at brilliant green meadows dotted with starburst flowers, pools as deep blue as a jay’s plumage, and silver clouds drifting against a perfect sky. The plane itself seems to vibrate with its own sense of life and intensity. It is usually a peaceful place, and tranquility seems to seep into the bones and souls of those that cross it.
Elysium consists of four layers strung together by the myriad courses of the River Oceanus. The first layer is most like the Material Plane, with sweet-smelling pines and flowering trees along its banks giving way to open meadows and rolling fields. The second layer is rougher and more mountainous, and rapids and falls are common along the channels of the river. The third layer is a great marsh awash with life. The deepest layer is the sea itself and the headwaters of the great river, dotted with islands where veteran heroes of good relax for eternity. The size of the River Oceanus varies from a braid of smaller side channels to a mighty flow that tops its banks and floods the surrounding area. Along the river ate islands, low gravel bars, and rocky promontories, which are often the homes of petitioners and other more powerful denizens.
Elysium has the following traits:
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size.
- Divinely Morphic: Elysium is easily altered by deities. Other creatures find that their spells and physical efforts work normally here.
- No Elemental Traits.
- Minor Positive-Dominant: Characters on Elysium gain fast healing 2.
- Strongly Good-Aligned: Non-good characters suffer a –2 penalty on all Wisdom-, Intelligence-, and Charismabased checks. As a result, neutral and evil creatures shun Elysium except in dire emergencies.
- Entrapping: This is a trait unique to Elysium, although Hades has a similar entrapping trait. A nonoutsider on Elysium experiences increasing joy and satisfaction while there. Colors become brighter and more vivid than on the Material Plane, sounds more melodious and soft, and the nature of others seems more pleasant and understanding. At the conclusion of every week spent on Elysium, any nonoutsider must make a will saving throw (DC 10 + the number of consecutive weeks on Elysium). Failure indicates that the individual has fallen under the control of the plane, becoming a petitioner of Elysium. Travelers entrapped by the inherent tranquility and good of Elysium cannot leave the plane of their own volition and have no desire to do so. Memories of any previous life fade into nothingness, and it takes a wish or miracle spell to return such characters to normal.
- Normal Magic.
Elysium borders the neighboring Outer Planes of Bytopia and the Beastlands. Natural portals exist between these locations, and the shifting borders between Elysium and its neighbors mean that travelers may find themselves on another good-aligned plane without realizing it. Portals from Elysium to other planes often take the form of caverns. Elysium has four layers, each with a radically different type of terrain. Inhabitants move between layers through a portal, or by following the River Oceanus—probably the easiest method. The River Oceanus originates in the deepest layer of Elysium and flows through all four layers, emptying from the first layer, Amoria, into the Beastlands. There are rapids at the border where the river crosses the boundary between layers, but no serious waterfalls or other perils. Most of the activity on Elysium takes place along the borders of the great river.
All types of good-aligned outsiders can be found on Elysium, including those of lawful or chaotic disposition and even natives of the Elemental planes such as djinn. While all types of celestials can be found here, the dominant type is the guardinal, which includes the winged avoral guardinal and the powerful leonal guardinal. The plane is also aswarm with celestial creatures and half-celestials. Celestial creatures have golden skin and silvery eyes, and they seem to shine with power and nobility. Unlike the creatures of the neighboring Beastlands, celestial creatures have the same Intelligence scores as their counterparts on the Material Plane, although they seem more empathic and understanding. Elysium is also the home of deities devoted to the cause of good. The most powerful of these deities is Pelor, the sun deity, who rules from a gold-plated fortress on the fourth layer of Elysium.
The petitioners of Elysium either venerate a particular deity of that plane, or are merely souls that naturally gravitated to the plane of ultimate goodness and peace. Petitioners appear as they did in life (goodness cares little for outward appearance), but most have a nobler and calmer demeanor as petitioners. Only when evil actions besmirch the plane do the petitioners of Elysium take up arms, and then they are more dangerous than most other petitioners. Unlike other petitioners, those who call Elysium home retain some knowledge of their past, which usually manifests itself as wistful nostalgia. Sometimes their memories are more practical.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
The Great River Oceanus and its side channels dominate much of the plane, so boat traffic is common. The Oceanus current is normally 3 miles per hour and flows from the deepest layer, Thalasia, through Belierin and Eronia to Amoria. Celestial animals haul rafts and keelboats upstream, and all manner of mundane and fantastic seagoing vessels stray into deeper waters. In places, the Oceanus widens to a great, calm lake or fen with no appreciable current, while in others, the river splits and tumbles through sharprocked rapids, particularly on the mountainous second layer.
Elysium does not present any inherent benefit or penalty to combat. There is very little tolerance for evil, and most of the celestial natives have the ability to smite evil. Fights tend to last longer and be less often fatal due to the positive energy that infuses the entire plane.
FEATURES OF ELYSIUM
The top layer of Elysium is Amoria; it is more like the Material Plane than the other levels. Upstream on the Oceanus, the land becomes rougher and more mountainous until the traveler reaches the cascades of Eronia, the second layer. Here, steep valleys flank the river, which surges through narrow passages. Eventually the mountains diminish and the river spreads into a great marsh alive with insects and reptiles. This is Belierin. Finally the bottom of the marsh deepens and the traveler passes into the fourth layer of the plane, Thalasia, the headwaters of the Oceanus among the Isles of the Blessed. While the Oceanus flows between the layers of the plane, it is not a straight journey. The great river splits into myriad smaller flows, recombines, and splits again. Occasionally an offshoot of the river curls around and reenters the layer it just left. Vision on Elysium is just as on the Material Plane at that particular time of day. Elysium shares a day and night cycle with the Material Plane and has similar (if gentler) weather. The days are warm and calm, the nights cool and comfortable. The nights are also alive with small lights. Not only is there a river of stars overhead in imitation of the River Oceanus, but fireflies dance among the trees and fields, and luminous jellyfish swim beneath the surface of the Oceanus.