The Olympian Glades of Arborea
|Cosmology / Powers and Deities / Dramatis Personae /
Rules and Mechanics / Character Creation / Equipment
The Olympian Glades of Arborea are a crazy quilt of climates and environments, all of which thrive. Arborea contains great woods of towering maples, birch, and oak. These great deciduous trees strain skyward, leaving a forest floor relatively free of undergrowth and brush. The ground beneath the canopy itself is a rolling landscape of velvet moss and ferns. But the forestscape sometimes retreats before open glades of wildflowers, fields of swaying wheat and barley, and neat rows of fruit trees untended by any human hand. Here are trees that have never seen the woodsman’s axe, fields rich with grain, and orchards heavy with fruit. The very air of Arborea seems charged with anticipation and excitement. Sudden squalls brew up out of nowhere, beating the tree-lined paths with heavy winds. They pass within minutes and leave behind warm, sunny arcs of light filtering through the forest canopy. In the distance there always seems to be music; sometimes the elves and the fey are playing, but just as often the faint tune is merely the wind curling through the boles of the great trees.
Arborea is a place with flowers in bloom and trees bearing fruit simultaneously. There are uplands covered with snow, but even the snow shines beneath a crystalblue sky. Arborea is almost overwhelming in its beauty, and the land embodies both wilderness and loveliness in one package. Yet only the top layer of Arborea has the great forest implied in the name of the plane. Arborea’s second layer is an endless ocean, and its third layer a borderless desen of white dust. All three layers are places of mercurial weather, sudden attacks, and strong passions. Arborea is a plane of joy and sorrow.
Arborea has the following traits:
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size: The part of Arborea best known to visitors from the Material Plane is the home of the Elven Court. There may be realms beyond it presided over by deities unknown.
- Divinely Morphic: Deities can change the traits of the plane and remake the landscape; mortals must use spells and physical effort to change their environment.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits.
- Mildly Good-Aligned and Mildly Chaos-Aligned: Evil or lawful characters suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma- based checks. Lawful evil characters suffer a –4 penalty.
- Normal Magic.
Arborea borders the Beastlands and Ysgard. Natural portals between these locations are common, as are shifting borders that automatically switch travelers from one plane to its neighbor.
Celestials are common in Arborea, especially the eladrin, powerful elflike protectors of the plane. The best known and most common of this breed is the ghaele, which are often found hunting in the wilderness of this plane. In addition to ghaele eladrin, the fine eladrin, guardians of beauty and art, are common here. Both appear elven, but they have a more noble demeanor than elves of the Material Plane. Though regal-looking, the eladrin are fierce in combat. Evil creatures lurking in Arborea quake in their boors at the thought of an eladrin hunting party. Many lillends make their homes in Arborea, thriving on the emotions that ripple through the plane. Arborea is also the home of many celestial or anarchic versions of creatures found on the Material Plane. Celestial creatures tend to leave travelers alone unless crossed, at which point they fight with relish. Anarchic creatures, on the other hand, are as unreliable and unpredictable as you’d expect.
Arborea has two common types of petitioners. The first are the spirits of the elven dead, whose souls have migrated to Arborea and their final reward. Some infuse the plane itself, others are reformed into celestial or anarchic creatures, and still others serve as petitioners in the elven realm of Arvandor, the first layer of Arborea. These last act as scouts and wardens for the communities on the plane, serving the Elven Court in their magic glades and great castles. The deity of the elves, Corellon Larethian, rewards worthy souls in the afterlife with elven form and service in his oak-lined halls. Here they enjoy an afterlife of hunts, trysts, and celebrations in the elven fashion.
Other petitioners may be found in Arborea besides the elven souls on the plane. Called bacchae, these petitioners are wild mobs of drunken revelers found reclining in glades or running through the forest in raving, winesotted celebrations. The bacchae are satyrlike, caught in mid-transformation between man and beast. Bacchae are spirits of equal measures good and chaos, living for the moment and making it the best moment possible. The greatest danger they pose to travelers is enticing newcomers to join in their celebrations.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Arborea does not present any penalty to movement beyond what travelers from the Material Plane expect. On Arvandor, paths snake through the undergrowth and clear glades are as common as patches of briar and tangles. Creatures that can climb or brachiate (swing from branch to branch) move through the forested sections of Arborea without touching the ground. Aquallor, the second layer, is entirely aquatic, so characters have to swim from place to place. Arborea Combat: The plane does not present any inherent benefit or penalty to combat. Cover and concealment are plentiful in the forests of Arvandor, while combats in Aquallor use the same water combat rules as on the Elemental Plane of Water.
FEATURES OF ARBOREA
Arborea is divided into three layers. The top is the best known layer: Arvandor, home of the Elven Court and the final resting place of many good elven spirits and their allies. The second layer, Aquallor, is made entirely of water. The third and deepest of the known layers is called Mithardir, a plain of white dust.