An Explorer’s Guide to the Hinterlands
An Explorer’s Guide to the Hinterlands

An Explorer’s Guide to the Hinterlands

An Explorer’s Guide to the Hinterlands

Outlands | Hinterlands | Splinterlands

For as long as there’ve been tieflings, graybeards have argued about what really lies in the mysterious Hinterlands beyond the Gatetowns of the Brinklands. Many ideas have been offered, some of them false, some probably true, some still to be proven.

Part the First: The Nature of the Hinterlands

The Hinterlands are that part of the Outlands which lie outside (and, by common consensus, more than a day’s travel) beyond the Brinklands and the ring of gatetowns. Although contiguous with the rest of the ‘Land, the difficulty of reaching them makes the Hinterlands feel almost like a separate layer. Just like the rest of the Outlands, the Hinterlands embody the concept of neutrality. It seems that it’s here that the less well-known realms of the neutral powers end up. Or perhaps being here is why they’re less well-known. It’s likely the powers want to keep things that way too.

One thing a traveller will notices in the Hinterlands (once they’ve got there, of course—see below) is that it takes longer to get from A to B there than in the Ringlands. Travel between adjacent destinations takes not 3-18 days, but 5-30 days. And as usual, riding a horse or flying a Spelljammer or whatever doesn’t make the time pass any quicker.

Part the Second: Getting There

Reaching sites of the Hinterlands is harder than it sounds. A berk might think that they could just walk away from the Spire and get there. And the thing is, they could. But what holds people back is doubt. You have to believe that your method of reaching the Hinterlands works, or it simply won’t. The Xaoticians believe that where you’ve been in the ‘Land already makes a difference, and so for them it does. Others hold that you must know where you’re going. Whatever the truth, you have to believe in and practice your theory in order to arrive.

One thing is certain: Walking past the gate-towns does not get you to the first layer of a plane of the Great Ring. Of course, you could always take a portal from Sigil: They’re there, all you have to do is look.

Part the Third: Natives of the Hinterlands

In many ways, the beings you’ll find in the Hinterlands are similar to the Ringlands. Except for their outlook—cutters can get a little weird out there in the wilds. Beyond the magic-calming effects of the Spire, the Hinterlands bathe in the philosophical radiances of the surrounding planes of the Great Ring, and creatures of all kinds, colours and creeds can be found. The petitioners out here are an odd lot too, neutral enough in outlook to have congregated on the Outlands, but different enough from the usual to have drifted out beyond the gate-towns. They might be loners, obsessed with exploration, followers of some of the less well-known powers who make their kips out away from the influence of the Spire and the bustle of the gate-towns.

  • capramace magical goat-human abomination (PF1)
  • concordanach — a doppelganger of the Balance (MMC)
  • daitengu — tricksters, teachers, fonts of serenity and masters of destruction (PF1)
  • disenchanter a blue magic-eating camel (2e, MCA3 p24)
  • dragon, concordant dragon of the Balance (Dragon Magazine #321)
  • gegenees — territorial xenophobic giants who mistrust magic (PF1)
  • hakeashar — legendary eater of magic (2e, MCA2 p69)
  • ixnae — a non-existent creature (MMC)
  • jinmenju — magical trees who seek to lure fruit pickers (PF1)
  • khaastarapacious lizard humanoids (Fiend Folio)
  • khuldurathmounts of the rilmani warrior caste (3e, 5e, PF2)
  • monster of legend(2e, PSMC2 p65)
  • mo-oh a race of fey demons who delight in hindering travellers
  • mudman(MM p260)
  • myrmecoleon — guardians of ruins and sites of ancient power (PF1)
  • nephilim offspring of demipowers and mortals (PF1)
  • petitioner
  • rilmani, plumachisolationist creatures of balance (2e, 3e, 5e, PF2)
  • saurialhumanoid dinosaurs (MCA3 p90)
  • soul eater — beings of smoke who devour the souls of the living (PF1, PF2)
  • the Strangers paragons of the Hinterlands
  • tarrasquehorrific monster of legend and nightmares (MM p341)
  • vodyanoi — tribal humanoid salamanders (PF1)

Part the Fourth: Magic in the Hinterlands

Just as approaching the Spire weakens magic, so moving away strengthens it. There are more rings to the Outlands, perhaps infinitely many, outside the gate-towns. By the time a body’s travelled a few days out from the gate-towns, they’re in the eleventh ring of the Outlands, where tenth-level spells work. These powerful sorceries were banned from many Prime worlds long ago, following the lead of the Faerunian powers, after one of their number was nearly usurped by an ambitious mage who created magic capable of felling a deity. In the twelfth ring, which starts just outward of Spare Wheel, the chant goes that eleventh-level spells work. And perhaps somewhere far away, is the legendary thirteenth ring of the Outlands. No powers ever set foot here, because the chant goes it’s possible for powerful archmages to cast spells like Karsus’ Avatar, and no deity would leave themselves open to that.

Part the Fifth: Locations of the Hinterlands

Here is a collection of some of the Hinterland burgs, realms, pathways and lands that the chant has to offer. You won’t be able to find them unless you know they’re there, so consider this a non-exhaustive list.

Source: Alex Roberts and Jon Winter-Holt

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