The Outlands

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Outer Plane
Layers: None
Primary Faction: Free League
Sect: Merkhants

The Outlands are known to the Clueless as the "Plane of Concordant Opposition." (Fact is, they get most of the planar names wrong, which is a sure way to mark a prime.) Just one of many Outer Planes, the Outlands are still a very unique place. For starters, it's got entrances to every other Outer Plane, making it a central clearing-house for all sorts of planar beings. And then, of course, there's the spire. A body'd have to be blind to miss that - it rises up out of the middle of the Outlands, infinitely tall, with the city of Sigil hovering on top.

The Spire's a good example of how primes worry too much. They always want to know how something that's infinitely tall can have something else on top of it. But that kind of thinking just drives a berk barmy. In the planes, the things are the way they are, and it's best just to leave it at that.

Gates and Gate-Towns

Another problem is that the primes figure their out-of-touch universe is the center of everything. When they found the Outlands - a plane connected to all other Outer Planes - they had to cobble up a quick reason why it couldn't be the center of the Multiverse. so they called it the "Plane of Concordant Opposition," the idea being that the Outlands are opposed to the other planes.

Nothing is further from the truth, berk. The Outlands (sometimes just called the Land) are at the center of all things, with gates leading to the other planes. A traveller headed for one of these planes just has to use the right gate. 'Course, creatures from the other side can come through the gates, too, so a berk has to watch his step.

The gates see a lot of use in both directions, so folks figured it'd be a good idea to build towns around each one. These settlements are known as gate-towns. Funny thing about the gate-towns, though is they reflect the mood of whatever plane their gate leads to. For example, the poor sods in Bedlam are half-barmy (some would say more than half) just from living next to the Gate to Pandemonium. Even the town itself can take on the mood of a plane, buildings and all.

Slipping Off The Edge

Sigil atop the spire as seen from the Outlands
Sigil atop the spire as seen from the Outlands

Fact is, if a mindset of a town gets too morally and ethically aligned to its plane, it'll get sucked through the gate. The whole burg just disappears from the Outlands and moves to the other plane. If the town of Excelsior gets too good and too lawful, for example, then it'll join the choir on Mount Celestia.

What happens next depends on the town. For some places, another copy just pops right up out of nowhere, taking the place of the original. Other towns, though, won't be copied. They'll have to be rebuilt by any cutters willing to lift a hammer. In any case, when a town's sucked away, the gate stays. 'Course, it might be a bit worse for the wear, but folks can't really say. Even a planar doesn't know the dark about everything.

But remember, berk - the gate can work both ways. If a town can go through, it can come back out. Parts of the Outer Planes that don't measure up morally and ethically with the rest of their plane can break off and slide into the Outlands. For example, if a paladin built his home on evil Baator, it just wouldn't work. Sooner or later, his place would drift back to the Land (and good riddance, the baatezu would say). This usually happens on spots on the upper levels of the plane - the stuff further down is pretty well anchored. And given the endless nature of planes, such swapping back and forth is minor.

Other Notable Settlements ((Some Homebrewed for Module))

  • Hillard's Bay
Hillard's sits on the Aspodaez coast and turns forest to sand on either side of it. On one end, the great-oaked Andorian, the other the sinister spider-filled Wierath. It is a haven of trade and rigging for all sailors and unsavory characters. Being on the Aspodaez, it's closer to the center of the Outlands and the Spire, so chant is it's easy to reach the cage from here or find a bod with a boat to take you about to other places in the Ring.
  • Gwyllach Village
Between the Gywllach Grasslands and the Ma'at crossing, Gwyllach village is a modest and green settlement within Tir Na Og. It is a small population of celts of the Outlands, those who pledge themselves to the Tuatha De Danann, with a temple there to honor them all. With Ma'at running so close by, there are a few boatsman who meet frequent requests from travelers to take them to the dark parts of the ring. ((Info Is Work In Progress))
When Rigus and Ironridge were in violent conflict, Tir Na Og found itself caught in the middle, and some Celts fled the conflict to establish the fortress of Cadarn in the peace and quiet of its snowy mountain valley. Cadarn wants no trouble and has been a secret sanctuary for tired soldiers, refugees of war, old heroes, or anyone who is worn from their battles, and wants the cold to dull the ache of their bodies and memories alike.