[ Mount Celestia ] [ Lunia | Mercuria | Venya | Solania | Mertion | Jovar | Chronias ]


Mount Celestia — Layer the Second

The Golden Heaven, The Golden Dawn, Proelera

Themes of the Layer: Respect, remembrance, reverence

Description: Mercuria might look like it’s all golden light and serenity, sure, but don’t let that fool you, it’s not just some playground for the goody-two-shoes. It’s got foothills and craggy mountains and archons buzzing about like they own the place. The skies are lit by a warm golden glow, like a sunset golden hour that never seems to end. The light reflects off of everything here, making the plants, the rocks, the buildings, even your skin have a lovely sun-kissed bronzed tinge of colour.

Mausoleums are everywhere, practically tripping over ’em you are, all for heroes and paladins who met more than their match on some Lower Planar battlefield and are now long gone to meet their makers. All this to impress upon you, the would-be climber, that the golden road ahead is one of sacrifice, and don’t you forget it. Mercuria is where humility gets hammered into your thick skull, so pay attention, cutter.

What’s unique? So many kinds of flowering trees and shrubs (many that produce scented oils and incense), and little furry critters scampering around, something you rarely see back in Lunia. It’s like someone took a bit of the Beastlands and tried to tame it with a golden comb. Mercuria is greenery — well, goldery — with manners, that’s what it is. But what really catches the eye are the statues, like a religious art exhibition, only you’re the one being judged by them. You know how the eyes of some paintings seem to follow you? With these it’s the whole sodding head

Beings of Mercuria: To an old Cager like me, Mercuria feels a bit like a high-society meeting where everyone’s just a bit too polite. You might spot a couple of the heavy-hitters: the throne archons. These are big, gold-skinned cutters who manage the monasteries and enclaves and basically act like they run the place, which, technically, they do. Dolmiel, the Mercy-Bringer, is the tome archon archangel in charge around here. But let’s not forget Bahamut’s radiant dragons, who are ever watchful, as if they’re expecting you to nab the silverware or something. And let’s not forget the Warden Archons, eh? They’re stern but wise guardian bears in armour, because why in Baator not? If you’re looking to ascend to Venya, expect to be grilled with ethical dilemmas and moral trials. Remember those lessons from the statues? Hope you took notes, cutter, ‘cause this is the quiz before the final exam. Don’t fret too much, though; if you’re in Mercuria for the long haul, it’s all part of the curriculum. Just don’t expect to skip a year in this school of life.

Typical Settlements:

  • Armouries
  • Graveyards
  • Mausoleums
  • Statuaries
  • Gardens of Remembrance
  • Giant sculptures carved into mountains

Petitioners and their Path: Most of the neighbourhood petitioners in Mercuria are hound archons — imagine a righteous warrior dog that’s also a skilled philosopher and you get the idea. These cutters are in their element here, and they’re soaking up every lesson Mercuria has to offer on their ascension to Venya. Then you’ve got a smattering of lantern archons, floating orbs of light who’re still green, figuratively, not literally, mind you. They’re basically the lowest rank of petitioner of Mount Celestia, still learning and purifying and confessing until they can transcend into full archon-hood. 

Travelling the Layer: The vibe in Mercuria? Slow-paced. Cutters climbing the layer find it hard going here, and everyone stops to read the inscriptions of wisdom and prayer on gravestones and plaques like they’re cramming for an exam, even if it is just to catch their breath. What’s the hurry anyway? Enlightenment isn’t a sprint; it’s a crawl uphill both ways in the snow, if you catch my drift. As for facilities, don’t expect bustling market squares or rowdy inns; monasteries are where it’s at. You want lore? Philosophical debate? A bed for the night? It’s the monkish life for you. The monasteries are welcoming enough places. If a bit — religious — for my liking. Those archons run a tight operation, with libraries filled with dusty prayer scrolls and enough sacred tomes to make a Guvner weep for joy. If it’s divine wisdom you’re after, you’ve hit the jackpot. But arcane tricks or dark secrets? Pfft, you’re probably barking up the wrong Mount, cutter.

Locations of Mercuria

  • Armories (sites)
  • Aurilon, the Golden Spire (site, palace of Domiel)
  • Bahamut’s Palace (realm of Bahamut)
  • The Cities of Gold (independent towns)
  • The Divine Lotus (realm of Lakshmi & Vishnu)
  • Field of the Cloth of Gold (site)
  • Golden Forge-Halls (site)
  • Goldfire (realm of Surya & Mitra)
  • Grand Hall of Righteous Heralds (site)
  • Honour’s Glory (realm of Haelyn)
  • Malachrism (site, tower of Zalatian XXIII)
  • Marrashad (realm of Surya)
  • Monastery of Inner Light (site)
  • Proelera (site, Heaven’s Mustering Grounds)
  • Pashrita (realm of Mitra)
  • Radiant Light (realm of Amaterasu)
  • Ran (independent town)
  • Rana Marshes (site)
  • River Eridanus (planar pathway)
  • River Euonë (planar pathway)
  • River Lethe (planar pathway)
  • Shimmering River (planar pathway)
  • Steep Ascent, the (planar pathway)
  • Sandalphon’s Court (site, fortress of Sandalaphon)
  • Sweet Reason (realm of Rao)
  • Swordhome (realm of Iomedae)
  • Trueheart (realm of Torm)
  • Umbropolis (site, base of the Heralds of Dust)
  • Undying Flame (realm of Girru)

Powers of Mercuria

  • Amaterasu (Japanese power of the sun)
  • Bahamut (Draconic power of enlightened justice)
  • Garuda (Vedic power of air and birds)
  • Girru (Babylonian power of fire)
  • Haelyn (Cerilian power of leadership)
  • Iomedae (Golarion power of honour)
  • Lakshmi (Vedic power of fortune)
  • Mitra (Vedic power of contracts)
  • Rao (Oerdian power of peace and reason)
  • Surya (Vedic power of dawn and dusk)
  • Torm (Faerûnean power of duty and loyalty)
  • Vishnu (Vedic power of mercy and light)

Philosophies of Mercuria

  • Eightfold Path

Cutters of Mercuria

  • Benazir Singh
  • Coreniel Stormcaller, the Voice of the Shining Host
  • Archangel Domiel, the Tome archon steward of Mercuria
  • Dumah
  • The Hand of the Inheritor
  • Penemue
  • Sandalphon, The Tall Angel
  • Tercien Melchiora
  • Thraemeus
  • The Three Who Remember: Zachriel, Zadkiel, Muphiel
  • Zalatian XXIII

Notes on integrating D&D editions & Pathfinder:  Mount Celestia and Heaven both have seven layers, so I merged them directly one to one. Where descriptions of the layers differed, I used the Planescape descriptions as a base. Pathfinder names for layers are presented as alternatives that might represent the name for a layer (in the Empyreal tongue, perhaps?). Where the stewards of the layers differed, I used the Planescape version – or made up a story why there might be controversy. Powers, creatures and characters were all added in, and merged into single entries where appropriate. I supplemented additional locations and characters I found on the web while researching, including ideas from the site. I also added in many new non-canon ideas and added to canonical ones.

Canonical References

Read First: Planes of Law: Mount Celestia [2e] p15-16

  • Book of Exalted Deeds [3e] p127
  • Hellbound: Wargames [2e] p25,35
  • Inner Planes [2e] p21
  • Manual of the Planes [3e] p134-135
  • Manual of the Planes [5e] p224
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e] p134,155,157-158,163,172,175,179-181
  • Planar Handbook [3e] p100
  • Planes of Law: Mount Celestia [2e] p4,10,12,15-16 (32)
  • Planes of Law: Monstrous Supplement [2e] p6
  • Planescape Campaign Setting: DM’s Guide [2e] p62
  • Planewalker’s Handbook [2e] p13

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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