The Heroic Domains of Ysgard
|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
Ysgard is a plane on an epic scale, with soaring mountains, deep fjords, and dark caverns that hide the secret forges of the dwarves. A biting wind always blows at a hero’s back. From the freezing water channels to the sacred groves of Alfheim’s elves, Ysgard’s terrain is grand and terrible. It is a place of sharp seasons: Winter is a rime of darkness and killing cold, and a summer day is scorching and clear. Most spectacular of all, the landscape floats atop immense rivers of earth flowing forever through an endless skyscape.
The broadest earthen rivers are the size of continents, while smaller sections, called earthbergs, are island-sized. Fire rages under each river, but only a reddish glow penetrates to the continent’s top. Of more concern is the occasional collision between rivers, which produces terrible quakes and sometimes spawns new mountain ranges. Ysgard is the home of slain heroes who wage eternal battle on fields of glory. When these petitioners fall, they rise again the next morning to continue eternal warfare. Two deities make their homes on Ysgard: Kord, scion of Strength; and Olidammara, patron of thieves. The plane boasts two layers, Muspelheim and Nidavellir, beneath the main expanse of Ysgard.
Ysgard has the following traits.
- Normal Gravity
- Normal Time
- Infinite Size: Ysgard goes on forever, but its wellknown realms have boundaries within the plane as a whole.
- Divinely Morphic: Specific powerful beings (such as the deities Kord and Olidammara) can alter Ysgard with a thought. Ordinary creatures find Ysgard as easy to alter as the Material Plane is—they can be affected by spells and physical effort normally. But deities can change vast areas, creating great realms for themselves.
- No Elemental Traits: No one element dominates on Ysgard; all are in balance as on the Material Plane. However, pans of the second layer, Muspelheim, are treated as if they possessed the fire-dominant trait.
- Minor Positive-Dominant: Ysgard possesses a riotous explosion of life in all its forms. All individuals on a positive-dominant plane gain fast healing 2 and may even regrow lost limbs in rime. Additionally, those slain in the never-ending conflicts on Ysgard’s fields of battle rise each morning as if true resurrection were cast on them, fully healed and ready to fight anew. Even petitioners, who as outsiders cannot be raised, awaken fully healed. Only those who suffer mortal wounds on Ysgard’s battlefields get the true resurrection effect; dead characters brought to Ysgard don’t spontaneously revive.
- Mildly Chaos-Aligned: Lawful creatures on Ysgard suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma-based checks.
- Normal Magic
Permanent portals exist between various planes and Ysgard. One of the most notable is a particularly roughhewn extension of the Infinite Staircase, which connects to countless planes. Multiple landings offer a chance to ascend or descend the Infinite Staircase from each of Ysgard’s three layers.
Petitioners—the slain heroes of countless ages—predominate on Ysgard. However, humanoids of all kinds live throughout the top layer of Ysgard (also called Ysgard). The fiery middle layer, called Muspelheim, is home mostly to fire giants, while the cavernous lowest layer, called Nidavellir, is home to dwarves. The plane is also home to scattered ghaele eladrin and firre eladrin celestials and a few devas.
The petitioners of Ysgard are mostly former soldiers whose aggressive and valiant spirits draw them to the plane where competition never dies.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Getting around on Ysgard is much like travel on the Material Plane. However, movement between the floating earthbergs on the top layer of Ysgard can be quite tricky. Those who fall between the flaming cracks plummet into the second layer, Muspelheim, where the earthbergs also predominate. In Muspelheim, each mass of earth is constantly aflame, presenting an inhospitable environment for travel. The lowest layer, Nidavellir, grants easy access through rifts and tunnels, although the tunnels sometimes close up, an event dangerous to travelers and natives alike.
Battles on Ysgard function much like they do on the Material Plane. Because all combatants have fast healing 2, battles tend to take longer, and every day fallen foes can rise to join the battle anew.
Except for the planar traits noted above, Ysgard behaves like the Material Plane, and adventurers should find few differences in bow their spells and abilities work. Vision on Ysgard is exactly like on the Material Plane. Ysgard is a vast place, filled with life. Each layer of Ysgard is outlined below.