- Sheol. Sheol is the land of the Dead. It is a grey, endless waste beneath the Earth, full of shades and darker things. All things that are lost end up here, eventually. You can reach Sheol by going down. You'll hit it eventually.
- (low) Heaven. This is where the Gods of Law live. It is a floating island of incredible size, floating at the edge of the planet's exosphere. It is the headquarters for law on this planet, the place where the Rock of Eternity and the Genesis Frog are kept, as well as the Nukarian God's servants, Angels and other wise. You get to low Heaven by going up really high.
- Deep Heaven. Also called The Spirit World, the Floating Realm, the Emptiness, the Void or Space, this is the place where thought is action and dreams are reality. This place is filled with the thoughts, dreams, ideas and passing fancies of every living creature. It is also the place where prophecies, dreams, magic and Outsiders pass through to get to the world of matter. There are many ways to get to Deep Heaven, but all of them are strange.
The Accursed Planes:
These are my versions of the Lower Planes. None of them are places where souls are sent for Judgement or their Afterlife, that all takes place beneath Nukaria or in Deep Heaven. These are just other Planes, inhabited by creatures that are reasonable, ie capable of reason, with its own gods, laws and civilizations. That being said, a being from the "base" Plane that contains Nukaria would probably be immensely displeased to find itself here.
1- Riot. A world of manic energy and endless movement. The people of Riot are all disfigured, mutated or modified, having altered their bodies to fit current fashion or utility. Their world resembles them in this way, full of cities and monuments frantically being erected, modified mid-stream and occasionally being abandoned, to be blown to bits, before some new project is begun in its place. No one seems to sleep, or even rest. They will look upon you with pity and try to fix you. Don't let them, or you will never leave this place. You can get to Riot by doing specific types of specific psychedelics in specific amounts, then traveling for at least a minute at 40 miles per hour.
2- Bane. A world inhabited by a race of Devils linked to every single intelligent, living creature on the party's home plane. Whenever you feel pain, your Devil feels pleasure and whenever you feel joy, it suffers terribly. Your Devil's life is also tied to yours- it dies when you do. For these reasons, your Devil despises you totally. Your Devil also knows a secret- if you die at its hands, it will not die, but instead gain power and agelessness, as well as being freed from bondage. This is what all the Devils desire- for you to die and for it to bathe in immortality. Unfortunately, your Devil cannot usually reach you. But these are unusual times, are they not? You can get to Bane by going into a bathroom, writing your name backwards on a mirror, then turning out all the lights and reading the nonsense name you have written aloud. If you have done it correctly, the bathroom will have changed and when you exit, you will be in a different universe.
3- Battery City. An endless city, composed of skyscrapers, brownstones and small warehouses. The buildings vary in architectural styles, materials and age, but they all fit seamlessly together here. Additionally, there is no other type of terrain visible- no harbors, parks or anything of the sort. Unlike the city's strange harmony, however, the inhabitants of this plane are all ruthless and traumatized. They are all paranoid and untrustworthy, fighting each other constantly over the smallest of things. The only order comes from living in an area ruled by one of the Gangster Kings, but their reigns are short and bloody, as they don't trust their lieutenants and the feeling is mutual. Stay too long and you will find yourself seeing conspiracies in the sideways glances of your former friends. What are they not telling you? You can get to Riots by lying to someone you love, putting on a mask, then hiding in an isolated place. Once you are hidden, say to yourself, "Liar, Liar, what aren't you telling me?" Do it right and you will find yourself in Battery City.
4- Selene. A world of madness and inversion. Here the nights are bright, lit by a mammoth moon that drowns the world in silver, while the days are dark, the sun small and pale, delicate as a yellow poppy. On this plane, the harder you try to hide a secret, the more easily it is revealed; mirrors show new images, rather than reflect ones that already exist; to wear clothes is to be naked; to go about without a mask is sinfully erotic and utterly scandalous; fire freezes and ice burns. The first Wizards come from this place, as only a topsy-turvy people could come up with the idea of feeding their thoughts to tiny monsters instead of trying to understand them. You reach Selene by waiting for the night of the full moon, going up onto a high roof and reading a love poem to her. Then, jump off the roof. If you have done it properly, you will be unhurt and have ended up in Selene.
5- Archeon*. A world consumed by sport, battle and blood. Archeon is an endless tournament, a competition between all comers for the championship. This plane draws warriors, willing or otherwise, from all worlds to continually refresh the pool of challengers for the belt. All in Archeon are expected to conduct themselves with honor and to follow certain nigh-immutable laws. Fair play is the whole of the law- you may slaughter your opponents in combat, but if you attempt to cheat in a match, you will be hounded by all the warriors nearby until you repent or die. You get to Archeon by arranging a formal duel or fight between yourself and an opponent. Your opponent must cheat, while you do not. If this happens, after the fight, you will receive an invitation to participate in The Tournament. If you accept, follow the instructions on the invitation. Do so and you will be taken to Archeon.
6- Carceri. A dying world of salt flats and dessicated trees. There is minimal plant and animal life left here, only the hardiest and most vicious of creatures could survive a terrible place like this. They rule the harsh, blistering days, scraping out meagre existences here. But these are only the last of the old inhabitants, on their way out. The much more numerous residents of this world are the Undead. Many of them are feral, wandering endlessly in search of something that will relieve their suffering or bring them some satisfaction, while others are slaves to the Corpse Knights, who serve the Rotting Kings. The latter are the rulers of this world and fight amongst each other in grinding, perpetual wars that have been raging for millennia, at the very earliest. You can get to Carcerei by going into the desert, climbing into a coffin, sarcophagus or some other container for holding the dead, then burying that container in the sand. When you dig yourself out, you will be in Carcerei.
*Not mine. I have included a link to the original post that suggested the idea.
The Parallel Worlds:
The Accursed Planes are what happens when you go "down", but what happens if you go sideways? You end up in one of the Parallel Worlds, which are much like our own. Some of these worlds are so indistinguishable from each other that you could spend a lifetime looking for differences and you might never find any. In this world, you will find other many of the same people, institutions, nations and etc in your Home Plane. This is the best part of any Multiverse story, I find, to see all the alternate versions of characters and the world, and that's what the Parallel Worlds are about.
These aren't all the Parallel Worlds, but I figured it was a good start.
7- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except here, the alternate selves of the party are a band of criminals on the run from the authorities. The specific nature of their crimes are up to you, as well as how they ended up doing these bad things, but make no mistake, the alternate selves in this universe are evil. You can get to this world by sneaking into a courthouse or other public building at night, committing some evil act, leaving behind a personal possession, then leaving before the sun rises.
8- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are working for a previous antagonist, preferrably one that the players killed. Their alternate selves are not evil, but they might be a bit more opportunistic than the players. You can get to this world by finding the bones/body of one of your fallen enemies, dismembering it, then dancing around it until dawn.
9- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are cursed in this universe. They're slowly turning into animals, being chased by Ghosts or some equally terrible fate. If asked about this, they will tell the party that they went after a treasure that the players haven't heard of or sought out and were cursed for their trouble. The alternate selves switch between musing about all the wealth they gained and cursing their own hubris. You can get to this world by getting a Magic-User or a Prophet to curse you to "Be cast out of this world."
10- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party choose the opposite choice and experienced a different outcome that the players did. Did the players give up in pursuit a powerful artifact or a treasure? The alternate selves from this world didn't and now they're rich. Or maybe they're rich, but the Wizard died and the Paladin is missing a hand. Use your creativity. You can get to this world by writing a list of regrets, burning it, then sprinkling yourself in the ashes. Then go to bed. When you wake up, you will be in another world.
11- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are pursuing a different goal or quest. Maybe if the players are on a treasure hunt, the alternate selves from this plane are preparing for a heist mission. You can get to this world by writing a task you never intend to complete on a piece of paper, carving it into a piece of wood, engraving it on a stone, etc. Then smash the object to pieces, dissolve it in water and drink it. Do it correctly and you will find yourself looking for something to wash the taste out of your mouth in another world.
12- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the players are being mentored by a noble NPC who is a bit stronger then them. If I was running this world, I'd make that NPC by a Dwarven Paladin named Dane, but that's because of an old joke between me and my players. All it really matters is that the NPC is righteous. You can get to this world by writing the names of every living, noble souls you can think of in a circle, then stepping inside the circle, blind-folding yourself (everyone inside the circle must be blind-folded) then spinning around and pointing at one of the names randomly. If when you remove the blind-fold you find the circle of names missing, you are in another world.
13- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except one of the players' alternate selves has a cool magic item, treasure or other possession that the players don't. If asked, the alternate selves will tell the players where they can find it, though odds are that this magic item is held by some antagonist or stuck at the bottom of some terribly dangerous dungeon. You can get to this world by telling stories about the item they desire, then making a model of it out of base materials, such as wood, mud, etc. Then burn the model and allow the smoke to engulf you. When it clears, you will be in another world.
14- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the player's alternate selves in this universe are at their most noble. They are almost all good, or at least better than they could be. This is a "best possible version" sort of deal. The alternate selves aren't necessarily stronger than the players, but they will definitely have better teamwork. You can get to this better world by having a conversation and confessing your flaws to each other. Then write your own name in the dirt enough times to form a circle. Then sit in this circle and meditate on these flaws. Keep going and do not open your eyes until you hear your own voice speaking to you. When you open your eyes, you will be in another world.
The Blessed Planes are the "upper worlds". They aren't utopias, still blighted by death and suffering and woe. But they do possess significant, inherent advantages for those who dwell there. Compared to the world the party is native from, these ones might be more appealing as destinations or places to live. That being said, while these worlds do not share the problems of our world, they have many of their own unique ones.
15- Arcadia. This a world of unspoiled wilderness, of life free of the complications of civilization. This world causes technology to fail and progress to unspool, slowly lowering everyone present here into a more primitive state. At first, this causes suffering. But the longer you spend here, the more it seems to invigorate the person. The air is more bracing, the water more delicious, the food more nourishing; everything about this world fosters strength. Those who have the strength grow on this world, becoming as the fearless men of old. However, there is a gray lining to this silver cloud. Arcadia is ruthless towards weakness. Anyone who cannot adapt to this newer, harsher environment, or someone who was kept alive by technology or a complex social system will be devoured by this world. You can get to Arcadia by burning a house to the ground, stripping down and smearing yourself with the ashes, then diving into a fast-flowing river. When you surface, you will be in Arcadia.
16- Philia. This is a world of sacred fraternity, of union between brothers. Here all creatures are connected into a plane-wide hyper consciousness called Raina, who constantly speaks to all the living creatures on this plane. Additionally, because they are connected to each other through Raina, all living creatures can hear each other's surface thoughts. This means that there is little violence on this planet, as many small conflicts are easily resolved. That being said, while small conflicts can easily be resolved, larger ideological ones cannot. To prevent these groups from fighting, Raina segregates the people by race, religion and language and does not tell the groups about the other's existence. This keeps everything mostly peaceful, but also makes the groups hyper sensitive. If someone from this plane encounter anyone that is not like him, he will tend to react with confusion, shock or horror. If these differences run down moral lines, it will usually also lead to fierce anger on his part. You can get to Philia by weaving crowns of flowers for your companions, then once everyone is adorned, shackling yourself together and dancing around in a circle. Dance and dance until your heart overflows with love and when the music of your hearts beat as one, you will be in Philia.
17- Symbiosa. This is a world of love, where everyone who is born on this plane has another person they are destined to meet and fall in love with. This system is known by everyone, but it leads to as many problems as it solves. Try not to stay on this plane for too long, or you might end up being incorporated into the system and discover you have a Symbiosa too now. You can get to Symbiosa by wrapping yourself in red ribbons, blind-folding yourself and having a dozen poets simultaneously read love poems over you. Their voices will swell and meld and drown your mind. When silence finally returns, you will be in Symbiosa.
18- Shoyashi. This is a world of fantasy made real, cut whole-cloth from the dreams of young, love-struck teenagers. Anyone who enters this world gradually finds themselves being transformed into themselves; or rather, a younger, cuter version of themselves. Shoyashi is a world with no rough edges, no harsh realities. There is still suffering and sadness, but it is usually of the petty, melodramatic kind. This world is prosperous and peaceful, so the only real conflicts here are of elevated, soap-opera style personal struggles and interpersonal drama and the struggle to find love. Basically, this world is like being inside a silly, overdramatic romantic comedy that takes itself 100% seriously. You can get to Shoyashi by wearing your finest outfit and gathering any other travelers around a table set for a sumptuous feast. Anoint everyone present with oil blessed by a God then have a massive food fight. When you have run out of food, you will be in Shoyashi.
19- Nyzori. A world devoted to pleasure, to experiencing the good things in life. The world is a series of endless gardens, where all manner of good things can be found, done or experienced. Everything from painting to rigorous debate to eating and sensuality. All those here are attended to by masked attendants who do anything that is asked of them. Additionally, no one here ages, though people can still die. But the longer one stays here, they come to realize that the pleasures that once excited now bore. So people switch from garden to garden, seeking out newer, more novel pleasure. And as you go deeper in, the gardens become stranger, more forbidding, the people less friendly, the attendants more sinister, the pleasures, more depraved. The further down you go, the less sense things start to make, as people descend down into madness and corruption. And once that fact has been discovered, it makes it a bit harder to enjoy yourself. That is, if you're still staying. I really think you should. I mean, what are the odds? That might happen to others, but you, you're different. I'm sure of it. You can get to Nyzori by preparing a garden, tending to it and making it beautiful. Then, throw a massive party in the garden with anything you think will be fun. Make sure to party hard enough that you black out. If you manage to do so, when you wake up, you will be in Nyzori.
20- Mount Celestia. A world of radiant good, of splendid joy. The world is almost exactly like the one you left, with the same buildings, same geography and the same people. But things are better here: the weather is more pleasant, the food tastier, the people friendlier. The last part is important, as this world is one of endless peace. There is no war or crime on this planet, except that brought by outsiders. And even that is small, as few outsiders can even find the strength to grab their swords and lift it in anger. The power of this world is that it slowly, but surely, molds the minds of those who come to inhabit it to never use violence. The people in this world are also all vegetarians. But the control goes further then that; over time, Mount Celestia's influence becomes so great that it binds the soul of the person to it, removing all knowledge of evil and how to inflict it on others. It is a world without darkness, of happy, peaceful, serene, blind fools. The only question is, do you pity, or envy them? You can get to Mount Celestia by doing penance for your crimes and/or sins, then filling a bathtub with lavender water, flower petals and gold coins. Sit in the bathtubs, blind fold yourself and have a musician play music over you. When the musician stops, you will be in Mount Celestia.
Sunday, January 19, 2020
OSR: Outer Planes
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