The Concordant Domain of the Outlands
|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
It is the meeting place of opposed alignments.
It is the fulcrum of the Outer Planes.
It is the hub of the Great Wheel.
The Outlands is unique among the Outer Planes because it borders all other Outer Planes. As a result, it is the common ground for extraplanar creatures. Beings from infernal and celestial planes, as well as those of law and chaos, can be found here. In addition, deities of true neutrality or ideals such as scholarship or nature have their realms here. The Outlands is an infinitely large wheel with a great spire rising from its center. Outlanders consider this towering cylindrical plinth as the heart of the Outer Planes and the axle around which the Great Wheel spins. This great plinth is clearly visible from anywhere in the plane, as it rises above the clouds themselves and ascends into unreachable heavens. The City of Doors, Sigil, floats at the top of the spire. The Outlands itself is a broad region of varied terrain, with open prairies, towering mountains, and twisting, shallow rivers. There are settlements throughout the area, inhabited by petitioners and other natives of the plane. But they are small flecks against the greater wildness of the Outlands.
The Outlands has the following traits
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size: The Outlands is a disk with an infinite radius, radiating an unmeasurable distance from its hub. The area around the hub is the most important part of the plane. Distance itself is a flexible concept in the Outlands, as noted in the Movement and Combat section.
- Divinely Morphic: This trait disappears close to the center of the plane, and even deities are affected by the nature of the plane.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits.
- Mildly Neutral-Aligned: Unlike the other Outer Planes, all alignments are equally welcome in the Outlands.
- Normal Magic, Impeded Magic, and Limited Magic: The Outlands has the normal magic trait far from its central spire, but as one approaches the hub of the plane, spells, spell-like abilities, and even supernatural powers are further and further restricted. Where the surface of the plinth is near vertical, almost no abilities (and few deity-level powers) function. Far from the spire, magic functions normally. Moving closer still, more and more abilities cannot be used, and finally even the deity-level powers are affected. Extraordinary abilities are never affected by this trait.
The Outlands borders the top layer of all the other Outer Planes. There are number of semipermanent locations known as portal towns about 1,000 miles from the spire. These communities grew up around existing portals to these other planes and see a regular flow of traffic between the other Outer Planes and the Outlands. In addition, the Outlands has a number of freestanding portals to the Material Plane, as well as portals to Sigil, the City of Doors. Because portals connect Sigil to each of the portal towns, Sigil is the heart of the heart of the Outer Planes.
As the crossroads of the Outer Planes, the Outlands can have any and all other natives of the Outer planes within its borders. Creatures from the other Outer planes tend to cluster at portal towns with access to their particular planes. Other planar natives such as the mercanes are regular traders in this domain.
Petitioners in the Outlands are common within the realms of neutral deities, within the various portal towns, and within specific locations such as ancient libraries, museums, or crypts scattered across the plane. In general, such petitioners are human or humanoid in appearance, and they tend to adopt a live-and-let-live attitude toward other travelers. As long as they are not bothered, they do not care to bother others. Outlands petitioners encountered in the wide spaces between communities are usually wanderers seeking new lands, penitents seeking a deity they believe in, or shepherds happy with their lot in the afterlife.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
The Outlands seems most stable close to the spire, and travelers who go beyond the ring of portal towns may discover the land mutable and continually shifting. One notable aspect of the mutable nature of distance is that once a traveler gets outside the ring of portal towns, another portal town is never more than a few weeks away. No matter where travelers are beyond the ring of portal towns, the nearest town is 4d8Ч10 miles away. A traveler can effectively travel two thousand miles outward from the spire, then turn around to find a portal town only 4d8Ч10 miles away. The reason for this distance distortion is unknown. It seems to be that once a traveler gets farther away from the spire, the Outlands is less significant. No one has found an “edge” to the plane yet. The Outlands does not present any inherent benefit or penalty to combat. Mists and fogs that provide concealment are common, however, and the terrain tends to be rugged.
FEATURES OF THE OUTLANDS
The Outlands is relatively open space once you get beyond the portal towns and the domains of the neutral deities. Rolling, grass-covered hills, deep canyons, thick forests, and sharp-toothed mountains dot the landscape. The Outlands has a cycle of day and night similar to that of the Material Plane, although there is no obvious sun or stars. During the day, the sky simply brightens; 12 hours later, it darkens for night. In the Outlands, heavy fogs and mists are common. Travelers occasionally get lost and wind up closer to unfriendly portal towns than they anticipated.
PORTAL TOWNS AND ASSOCIATED PLANES
|Glorium||The Heroic Domains of Ysgard|
|Xaos||The Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo|
|Bedlam||The Windswept Depths of Pandemonium|
|Plague-Mort||The Infinite Layers of the Abyss|
|Curst||The Tarterian Depths of Carceri|
|Hopeless||The Gray Waste of Hades|
|Torch||The Bleak Eternity of Gehenna|
|Ribcage||The Nine Hells of Baator|
|Rigus||The Infernal Battlefield of Acheron|
|Automata||The Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus|
|Fortitude||The Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia|
|Excelsior||The Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia|
|Tradegate||The Twin Paradises of Bytopia|
|Ecstasy||The Blessed Fields of Elysium|
|Faunel||The Wilderness of the Beastlands|
|Sylvania||The Olympian Glades of Arborea|
Arranged in a rough circle about 1,000 miles from the base of the spire are a string of small communities. These are known as portal towns, because they exist near natural entrances to the Outer Planes. While other portals to the Outer Planes exist, these gate towns are easy to find and are convenient stopping places for travelers seeking a particular Outer Plane. The various gate towns emulate the traits of the planes beyond their portals. Those bordering lawful planes tend to be neat and orderly, while those near the planes of chaos are more unstructured and rambling. Those near the good-aligned planes tend to be more hospitable to peaceful travelers, while those near portals to evil-aligned planes are more hostile. The inhabitants of a gate town are usually petitioners and natives of the associated plane. Travelers find demons in and around Plague-Mort, the portal town to the Abyss, and more celestial creatures near Fortitude and Excelsior.
On occasion, these portal towns may suddenly disappear, moving directly onto the plane they are connected to. This may be due to the alignment of the town natives; once a critical mass is reached, the town and its inhabitants are welcomed into the related Outer Plane. This phenomenon is a natural quality of the outlands. It shrugs off pieces to the various Outer Planes. Some within the various portal towns are extremely hostile to those that might hold them back from reaching the Outer Plane. Others seek to keep the town (and its merchants) securely moored in the Outlands by making sure there is some darkness in every light, and some light in every dark.