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Outlands

[n. out-land; adj. out-land, -luhnd]

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game cosmology, the Concordant Domain of the Outlands, also known as the Concordant Opposition, is the Outer Plane where the souls of people of Neutral alignment are sent after death. It is popular as a meeting place for treaties between the powers. The Outlands are also home to the gate-towns. At the center of the Outlands is the Spire, atop which Sigil can be seen. The Outlands are the home plane of the neutral-minded rilmani.

First Edition and Pre-Planescape 2nd Edition

In first edition and second editon AD&D before Planescape, this plane is also at the center of the Outer Planes and known by it's original name Concordant Opposition. The First Edition Manual Of Planes states that the center of the plane takes various forms at different times (a mountain, a huge tree, etc) and godly powers are lost as one moves toward the center, as well as spells, beginning with the highest levels of spells at the farthest out and then gradually losing the lower ones step by step the further one moves inward. Within 100 miles of the center, not even chemical reactions take place, and neither man nor deity can closer than 100 miles. In Second Edition Outer Planes Monstrous Compendium, under the description of the Mediators of Nirvana(Mechanus), it states that this plane was originally intended for Neutral Powers (deities) and created by the Powers (deities) of creation, but each Neutral Deity asserted their individual influence causing it to become unbalanced, then were cast out by the powers of creation. It also states that three lights of balance exist at the center of this plane, one for each Mediator in Nirvana. (Mechanus) There is also no mention whatsoever of Sigil before Planescape being at the Center of this Plane.

Gate-towns

Gate-towns are settlements which are built around a permanent portal to a certain Outer Plane on the Great Wheel. Gate-towns are important strategically because they provide a (relatively) stable way to enter a desired Outer Plane. The gate-towns reflect the plane that they lead to, for example, Xaos (or aXos, soaX, etc.) is a town where everything changes from one moment to the next. Even the location of the portal to Limbo changes every day — not that there's any regularity to daybreak and nightfall in Xaos. The character of Xaos mirrors what the plane of Limbo is like.

There are 16 such gate towns, each connected to their own Outer Plane

  • Glorium (Ysgard)
  • Xaos (Limbo)
  • Bedlam (Pandemonium)
  • Plague-Mort (Abyss) A diseased realm of squalor and verminous fecundity, choked with razorvine and bizarre alien parasites. People here are so desperate that they have taken to the worship of the Lady of Pain en masse, constructing their makeshift mud hovels with blades atop them in the hopes of placating her. They pass their days agonizingly trying to numb their pain beneath layers of hard vices, slowly mutating into forms less and less recongizable. Elsewhere in the city, in massive cruel fortresses, the rich and powerful parade inhuman wealth and power before the suffering masses.
  • Curst (Carceri) City of Traitors and Betrayers. The inhabitants constantly plot against one another, attempting to send others to the vast prison below the city before others arrange to have them sent there. It is arranged in concentric circles, the innermost housing the rich and powerful. The city gate to Carceri is a pair of crossed arches covered in moaning skulls of the betrayed, and is activated by a chain link.
  • Hopeless (Hades) A bleak, gray city where colors are forbidden, built like a maelstrom that spirals to a central murky tarpit--a sinkhole to its patron realm. Ruled by a once human wizard garbed in chains and an iron wolf mask who is in turn served by a cadre of beholders. Its gate is a massive blood red screaming face.
  • Torch (Gehenna) An everchanging furnace of cracked lava rock decending into steaming runlets of lava covered with hundreds of iron towers, hot as frying pans, that stretch up to a roiling sky choked with black smoke. The creatures that live there, mostly fire elementals, yugoloths, barghests as well as a subrace of nomadic humans called Desh, do so in order to savor the endless pain and suffering that comes from living there.
  • Ribcage (Baator)
  • Rigus (Acheron) A massive fortress-city enclosing a military camp endlessly engaged in preparations for war. Blacksmiths bang away at hot metal in the streets while corner venders sell military provisions and war animals. The city is built on a hill and is surrounded by a series of seven circular walls, each rising higher than the last. At the center, in a section of the city known as the Crown, a winding stair penetrates deep underground to a grey-green nimbus of twisting light like a great cat's eye: the portal to the city's patron plane.
  • Automata (Mechanus)
  • Fortitude (Arcadia)
  • Excelsior (Celestia)
  • Tradegate (Bytopia)
  • Ecstasy (Elysium)
  • Faunel (Beastlands)
  • Sylvania (Arborea)

Magic

The closer to the Spire, the harder it is to use magic-related powers. However, most of the towns, portals, realms, etc. are located far enough not to suffer from these impediments. At 500 miles from the Spire, illusions no longer work. At the very base of the Spire, absolutely all magic (except maybe that of an over-god, such as Ao) is neutralized.

Notice Rilmani seem unaffected by such limitation, except maybe in the first ring.

Outlands effects on spells and abilities
Distance from Spire Impeded Spells Limited Spells Other Effects
1200 miles None None None
1100 miles 9th None None
1000 miles 8th-9th None None
900 miles 7th-9th 9th All creatures gain immunity to poison
800 miles 6th-9th 8th-9th Psionic abilities don't function
700 miles 5th-9th 7th-9th Positive and negative energy can't be channeled
600 miles 4th-9th 6th-9th Supernatural abilities don't function
500 miles 3rd-9th 5th-9th Access to the astral plane prohibited
400 miles 2nd-9th 4th-9th Divine powers of demi-deity rank and lower annulled
300 miles All 3rd-9th Divine powers of lesser and lower annulled
200 miles All 2nd-9th Divine powers of intermediate rank and lower annulled
100 miles All All All divine powers annulled

Realms

The Outlands is the location of a number of godly realms, including the following:

  • The Caverns of Thought, realm of the illithid deity Ilsensine
  • The Court of Light, realm of the naga deity Shekinester
  • The Flowering Hill, the realm of the halfling goddess Sheela Peryroyl
  • Gzemnid's Realm, home of the beholder deity of gases and vapors
  • The Hidden Realm, home of the chief giant deity Annam
  • The Hidden Vale, realm of the Dragonlance god Gilean
  • The Hidden Wood, realm of the nature god Obad-Hai
  • The Library of Lore, realm of the god Boccob
  • The Mausoleum of Chronepsis, realm of the dragon deity Chronepsis
  • The Marketplace Eternal, realm of the god Zilchus
  • The Palace of Judgement, Yen-Wang-Yeh's realm
  • The Scales of Wealth, the realm of Shinare
  • Semuanya's Bog, realm of the lizardfolk deity Semuanya
  • The Steel Hills, realm of the goddess Ulaa
  • Thoth's Estate, the realm of Thoth
  • Tvashtri's Laboratory, realm of the Indian god of artifice
  • The Web of Fate, realm of the goddess Istus
  • The Well of Urd, realm of the Norns
  • Wonderhome, realm of Gond

Three dwarven gods, (Vergadain, Dugmaren Brightmantle, and Dumathoin) share the realm of The Dwarven Mountain on the plane of the Outlands.

The Celtic gods (Daghdha, Diancecht, Goibhniu, Lugh, Manannan mac Lir, Oghma, and Silvanus) share the realm of Tír na nÓg on the Outlands.

Fauna

References

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