The following interview
was recorded by a mimir. In this interview, Mill Boyers,
a prime halfling cartographer and Aide of the Fraternity
of Order interviews a tiefling known as Leir the
Explorer, of the Athar, about some alleged new Outer
Planes he has discovered. Whether or not Leir has
discovered the dark of something truly big or is merely
barmy is as yet unknown.
MB: Hello, is this thing on?
Yes? Well, then, this Mill Boyers, Aide of the Fraternity
of Order, here today interviewing Leir the Explorer, a
tiefling Athar with some quite extraordinary claims. Is
that correct, Leir?
MB: Hmm. Yes, well...Your
claim is that you have found eight new Outer Planes
hidden within the great ring. What proof do you have of
L: I've been to them.
They do exist.
MB: Do you know Burbank
Ralopolis? The Athar seem to have a lot of
explorers these days...
L: I am familiar with
Burbank, yes, although I've never met him. The reason why
there are so many Athar explorers is simple really. The
other factions seem content to accept the lies the powers
have told them about the nature of the planes. We Athar
know the truth, and seek the real dark of the planes. The
eight planes of neutrality have been hidden from
planewalkers due to a direct conspiracy on the part of
the so-called "gods."
MB: Well, this interview
really isn't about faction beliefs or politics. I heard a
seminar from a Mr. Synjyn the exile where he claimed
there are actually 27 outer planes. Do you
L: [Laughs] I
think he's definitely on the right track, but from my
count there are 25 outer planes.
MB: Why, then, have these
planes remained hidden from planewalkers?
L: As I told you, it was a
conspiracy from the false powers. When planewalkers first
invaded the planes, the powers wanted some territory left
without a bunch of factions and planewalkers infesting
it, the way the known planes have been infested. The
false gods of different alignments obviously couldn't
agree on what should remain hidden. As a compromise, they
decided to obfuscate the planes with strong true neutral
tendencies. That's why there's a gap in the way the
planes are drawn.
MB: What gap?
L: [sound of a dagger
being drawn]. You see, all planar sages agree
that the planes are designed around two moral concepts:
Law vs. Chaos, and Good vs. Evil. [Leir then
carves the symbols for Mechanus and Limbo opposite one
another, and the symbols for Elysium and the Grey Waste
opposite one another like 4 points on a
Now, when you combine them, you get
law plus good [carves symbol for Mount.
Celestia], chaos plus good [carves symbol
for Arborea], chaos plus evil [carves
symbol for the Abyss], and law plus evil
[carves symbol for Baator]. In the middle
of the whole thing, you get true neutrality
[carves symbol for Outlands in the centre of the
circle]. These what we have here are what some
sages call "alignments."
L: Grrr...very well.
On the Outlands, near the river Ma'at, is a mountain
named Shangri-la. On top of that mountain is a monastery
that dutifully guards the secret of the portal to
K'un Lun. K'un Lun is the plane between
lawful goodness and neutrality. It exemplifies the most
positive aspects of neutrality--specifically, it is the
plane of moderation. Everything is moderate and laid back
here. Almost boring. At least that's the way it looks at
The land in K'un Lun is mostly
mountainous. Many temples and monasteries are at the tops
of these mountains, with small villages and terraced
crops in the valleys. It has several notable realms. The
most prominent is the Land of the Immortals. The most
honourable followers of the Celestial Bureaucracy dwell
here. Lady Meng, wife of Shang-Ti, rules the place. A
peach tree grows near her palace, and the chant is it
grants immortality to those who eat it. Some immortals of
note here are Fu Hsing, K'ung Fu-Tzu, Lao Tzu, and the Pa
Some other powers have set up kip
here, too. Mithra, a Persian power; Ilmater of the
Finnish pantheon; and the Greco-Roman "goddess" , Nike
(who often doesn't quite mesh with the chaotic home of
the other Greek powers in Arborea).
The next one, Avalon,
is the plane between true goodness and true neutrality.
It's the home of petitioners who, while definitely
preferring good over evil, still think there's such a
thing as being too moral. They're friendly enough sods,
but they aren't as afraid of crossing the line between
good and evil as the locals in, say, Elysium.
MB: Avalon...now why does
that sound familiar?
L: Well, Avalon is also the
name of a realm in Thalassia. The realm in the fourth
layer of Elysium has the only portal to Avalon outside of
the Outlands, too, just to really confuse planewalkers.
The gate to Avalon on the Outlands is on an island in a
lake smack dab between the realms of Sheela Peryroyl and
Tir na Og. The island is always clouded with mist and
fog, and you really can't even find it until you run
right into it. Anyway, the plane of Avalon is mostly
water with a bunch of islands scattered here and
A few Celtic powers have a realm
here: Dunatis and Nuada are frequent visitors at least,
if they don't actually live here, and the "goddesses"
Brigit and Rhiannon have realms on a few of the islands.
There's also an underwater realm named Po where everyone
can breathe the water like it was air. The petitioners
and powers there are from some Prime land called
Somewhere in the realm of the
Norns, guarded by these creatures, is the gate to the
next plane, Pangea. Pangea is between
neutral and chaotic good. Without a doubt it's the
wildest, toughest, most savage plane I've ever been
MB: Sounds like the
L: Not quite. The Beastlands
are the planes of life in all its myriad forms. Pangea is
even more primal than that. It's the plane of nature,
benevolent or destructive, but always wild. In fact, I
think many of the cutters who've described the Beastlands
may very well have been in Pangea instead, and just not
even known about it. I've heard it on good authority that
Ferrix and Quorlinn actually dwell here, not the
Beastlands. I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't doubt
it. The Beastlands is a plane of goodness tinged by
chaos, but Pangea is a neutral plane only slightly moved
in the direction of chaos and good. Anyhow, no
necromantic spells will work in Pangea...even the
beneficial ones. You have to rely on your body's natural
healing process here. Nothing's allowed to interfere with
the natural cycle here. Another weird thing about this
plane...[sound of a sword being
L: First time I went for it,
I drew a big wooden club instead.
MB: I don't
L: Anything technologically
more advanced than stone age transforms into its closest
stone-age equivalent here. Technology's not allowed. My
armour turned to hide, my sword to a club, and my silver
arrows to stone. I couldn't remember how to work metal
there, either. Any technologically advanced areas I was
proficient at disappeared while I was there. But my
wilderness skills--tracking, hunting, survival--seemed
almost twice as effective here. All kinds of prime
creatures that ever existed or ever will can be found in
abundance in Pangea
The next plane, between pure chaos
and neutrality, actually does have a gate town. The
plane's called Discordia and the gate town
is Vergadain's kip in the Dwarven Mountain. Vergadain
actually has a temporary home there, as well as on the
Outlands, just to show off. 'Course the most prominent
power here is Eris. She's the Greek power of strife, who
set up kip here after being kicked out of Arborea for
being a troublemaker. Hmmph. "All powerful" indeed! Her
realm's got a bunch of golden apples growing in it that
can cause madness in anyone who touches them. I hear tell
that the burg of Kallisti in the Outlands used to be a
part of her realm before it wandered to the
Oh, yeah, that's right. The various
sites, burgs, and features of this lane all wander around
at random. Don't try and find your way by the landmarks
of the place, 'cause they won't be there in a couple
hours. You can go from frozen tundra to a burning desert
right next to each other. The only ones who seem to be
able to find their way around are a bunch of intelligent
three-foot tall insects called blattids. A prime
companion told me they looked just like a giant version
of some bug called a cockroach. If we hadn't hired one as
our guide, I'd still be stuck on Discordia. Chaotic and
neutral berks do seem to have an easier time of finding
their way around this plane.
Perdition is the
plane between neutrality and chaotic evil. Just as K'un
Lun exemplified the most positive aspects of neutrality,
Perdition exemplifies the most negative. Specifically,
Perdition is the plane of apathy. Not the depression of
the Grey Waste, but Perditionites just don't care about
anyone or anything but themselves or what relates to
their own gratification. The whole plane appears to be
MB: Are you sure it wasn't
L: Pretty sure. No winds, no
madness, just tunnels and darkness. Never seen a part of
Pandemonium that fit that description. It also seems to
have a lot more life in it than Pandemonium, but not that
this is a good thing. The fauna consists of umber hulks,
shriekers, slimes, moulds, puddings, rats, bats, aboleth,
and other critters common in the prime "underdark." Mind
Flayers are also pretty common, especially considering
where the gate to Perdition is: in a cavern in
Ilsensine's realm. That in itself is enough to keep it
hidden from all but the most brave and barmy of
A couple of powers have realms
here. Anshar and Nergal of the Babylonian pantheon have
realms here. The Finnish powers Tuoni and Tuonetela have
their realm, Tuonela, here.
MB: Wait a minute. I thought
Tuonela was on Pandemonium.
L: I don't know about that.
I do know that they do have a kip in Perdition, whether
or not they have a different place they call
The next plane, neutral tending
towards evil, is Nether. The gate to Nether
can be found in a pit of quicksand in Semuanya's bog.
It's hard enough to find without all the giant beasties
that live in the area trying to make you into their next
meal. Nether itself is an endless plain of mud. It's
impossible to keep anything clean there. You can still
walk over the mud, since it's usually half-frozen. The
place is bitterly cold. Nether is the plane of death-not
always evil, but definitely not good.
As for realms and powers, there's
not many in Nether. The druids of the Shadow Circle seem
to have some bond to this plane, but I don't know if they
have someone they call a god here. Another realm, the
Land of Eternal Rain, is one of the few places you'll
find any vegetation. It's the realm of Tlaloc, an Aztec
power. Apparently he can draw the rain from this realm to
anywhere on the Prime. Ma Yuan, the "killer of the gods,"
used to dwell here before he was imprisoned in either
Carceri or Pandemonium. He killed ten berks who called
themselves gods in the Chinese pantheon before being
imprisoned, and their bodies are buried at a site called
the Gods' Graveyard. It shows you just how immortal the
powers truly are.
The next plane,
Sheol, between evil lawfulness and
neutrality, actually does have a gate town. The town's
called Ceras, and it's situated between two giant stone
horns. They may be from the same creature that gave
ribcage its ribs. The berks in Ceras don't even know
they're sitting on a gate, but you'd swear they're hiding
something. I've never seen a more inhospitable,
xenophobic indep town. Don't expect a warm welcome there.
In fact, I wonder why they haven't actually slid into
Sheol yet, except they may be even more evil than that
Sheol has a dark brown sky, which
sometimes makes it look like you're in a giant cavern.
The gravity's at a 45-degree angle, so everything goes
downhill. The few realms and burgs here are on the few
rare level spots.
At first, the plane doesn't seem so
bad. There's almost no crime, and people seem to work
together. However, a berk can expect no mercy or
compassion from the petitioners of this plane. The
different burgs in Sheol are in a constant state of war
with each other. And freedom is every bit as rare as
crime. Some folks are fooled by the pleasant exterior put
on by the natives into believing this place isn't really
so evil. But it definitely has a dark underside that's
The only realm I found here was
Mictlan. It's the realm of the Aztec power
Mictlantecuhtli. He's about the only Aztec power who
doesn't live on the prime. I'm sure there are more powers
here, but I didn't stay long enough to find
Thebestys is actually the gate-town
to the neutral-tending-towards-lawful plane,
Purgatory. Good luck getting past Thoth to
find it. He only allowed my party to go past if we
promised not to tell the gate's exact location -- seems
he doesn't really like information to remain hidden
Purgatory is mostly made of air,
with a spiralling strip of land circling up and up
eternally. The strip is said to be 326 miles across, and
infinitely long. You can't get up the strip without
working diligently at something. The locals here spend
eternity working and working for no other reason than to
work their way up the spiral. It's not like on Bytopia,
where folks work to produce something of value.
Purgatorians work simply for the sake of working. Some
believe that they'll advance to some upper plane if they
work hard enough, but most just seem to be content to
stay here and work forever. A lot of petitioners here are
bald dwarves from some desert prime world. The only
native who doesn't try and work his way up the spiral is
Ptah, the Egyptian power, who seems content to have his
realm set up at the base of the spiral. Some say his
realm somehow sits both at the base and the peak of the
spiral, but that sounds like barmy-talk to me.
So there you have it. Eight new
Outer Planes: K'un-Lun, Avalon, Pangea, Discordia,
Perdition, Nether, Sheol, and Purgatory.
MB: And how many layers did
you say each of these planes had?
L: Just one each.
MB: One? That sounds
suspicious. Why only one?
L: Easy. Without all the
planewalkers here, confusing the plane with all their
different outlooks and variations on its alignment, only
one layer is needed. Ideas have power, and if more ideas
went to these planes I'm sure they'd grow some new
MB: I don't know. I mean,
where's your proof? It seems more likely to me that you
just found some realms or layers on the known planes that
are new rather than ...
L: ... rather than I know
what I'm talking about?
MB: No, no, not that. It's
just...well, Pangea could easily be part of the
Beastlands or Ysgard, Perdition sounded a lot like
Pandemonium, or possibly a new layer of the
L: [growls] I
am NOT a liar or a fool. Be skeptical if you wish. You
have the truth. This interview is over.
MB: Well, uh, there you, uh,
have it. [gulp] Leir the Explorer and his
claim of the newly discovered Planes of Cordance.
How do you turn this thing off now? Is this how