Planewalkers’ Chant on the Hinterlands
Planewalkers’ Chant on the Hinterlands

Planewalkers’ Chant on the Hinterlands

Planewalkers’ Chant on the Hinterlands

It’s a Mighty Big Area to Know Nothing About

It’s a sad fact cutters, despite the number of bloods there are on the planes, that nobody really knows what lies in the Hinterlands. Could it be that the Great Mysteries of the Planes make their kips there, of all places? Ironic if that were true, since the Hinterlands start only a few steps outside of the Gate Towns which are so heavily travelled.

It’s been said that the Hinterlands (or the Outer Outlands as many a wag’s called ’em) are simply outside of mortal ken, perhaps due to their very nature, or perhaps by design. They’ve been called the Birthplace of the Planes, or the Lands Beyond Belief, or the Eternal Uncertainty. It’s a cert that the normally reliable concepts of space and time simple don’t work properly there: A cutter can walk with his back to the Spire for days, turn, and a few hours later he’ll be near a Gate Town again!

Well, as there ain’t likely to be an answer provided any time soon, I’ll let you in on some of the screed that’s being spun by ordinary, everyday berks like yourself…

What Mysteries do the Hinterlands Hold?

Mikhara, a planar sage

The Hinterlands are not the birthplace of the planes. Quite the opposite in fact; they are the junkyard of planes. Not in the same way that Thuldanian, the 2nd layer of Acheron is, that is only a junkyard for objects, the Hinterlands are were the leftover bit of the planes are kept.

When the Outer Planes were created out of pure belief, there were pieces of belief left over. Theories, inspiration and illusions for example. Things that could be used for good, evil, law and chaos depending on who was using them. These leftover bits of thought were not big enough to form their own planes, but they didn’t fit in with any existing plane. So they swirled around in the centre, around the Outlands, to create the Hinterlands. These strange and changeable beliefs, and the influence of the other planes on the Outlands through the gate-towns are what give the Hinterlands its strange and unpredictable nature. I must do some more research into this, but let me warn you that in the Hinterlands anything can happen in the leftover parts of the planes.

Na’Tak Karari, Planewalker of Some Renown (see SIGIS, issue 4)

“So what is in the Hinterlands? I know you are all as curious I was; I’ve been asked it many times. Well, cutters, I’ve walked many planes and seen many strange sights, and here’s what I believe:

“The Hinterlands are the Cradles of Probability — they are an infinite frontier filled with alternative histories and versions of the Outer Planes; a frightening mix of bizarre and improbable events. Why do I think this? The things I saw…

Burning Horizon was, or rather will be, an ancient city of traders that does not yet exist. Travelling as it does backward through time, it appears only as ancient ruins from the future, filled with reflections of its future inhabitants.

Mirror, a realm where doubles of all that exists manifest themselves at random…doubles that twist and distort the “original”, if those who visit truly are real…

Singing Void, the homelands of Entropy, and the Valley of Vanishing — a landscape that drains belief itself to create indescribable shapes that some believe are the underpinnings of the multiverse.

“Those things are some of the majestic horrors that I saw on my sojourn. I have no wish to return, for now I know that some places were never meant to be walked by mortals. The Hinterlands are just that, cutters.”

Bléròwân, Wild Mage Performer in the Taverns of Sigil

“The closer you get to the Outer Ring of the Outlands, the more frequently gates appear connecting the Outlands with the adjacent plane. So, when you walk past a gate-town you simply can’t avoid stepping into a portal by accident. ‘Course, you might not know you’ve stepped through a portal ’till it’s too late…”

Explomm, Priest of Azuth

“Everyone knows that magic is weakened the closer one gets to the Spire. Is it that much of a jump to think that perhaps magic would be stronger in the Hinterlands, out past the Gate-Towns? I don’t know, but I know plenty of Guvners who’re aching to find out…”

Penimar, Bariaur Sage of Ysgard

“From the tomes I’ve read, I believe that if you walk far enough past the land-altering nature of the Outlands’ gate-towns, you come across a second ring of towns leading to previously unknown planes. Or maybe there’s only a couple, not an entire ring; the books ain’t entirely clear on this. Of course, due to the time-distorting nature of the Hinterlands, you can walk away from a gate-town for a year, turn towards the Spire, and be back at the gate-town you left in just a day. Nobody said it was easy to find unknown planes, berk!

“Then again, maybe the distortion of the Hinterlands is a magical effect created specifically to prevent explorers from finding the second ring. Makes a body wonder who’d stand to gain from keeping whole planes hidden, don’t it?”

Rule of Three, Responding to the Above

“Interesting idea, basher. Of course, there would probably turn out to be three Great Rings…”

Mystic Zog, Psychic or Cross-Trader? You Decide

“So other than just the travelling aspect, what kind of things would we find by travelling into the Hinterlands assuming we don’t get sucked into the neighbouring plane? Well, forget that screed from the planewalkers, garnish me and I’ll travel there psychically right before your eyes.

<Waves hands over a rainbow-coloured crystal ball>

“Oh! I’m getting something…I can see shadows. Shadows, perhaps, of gate towns which’ve slid? Yes, it looks like Darkspine, only it looks more like an echo than a burg…In a strange way, it’s like it’s been inverted: What’s black is white, and white is black. Good and evil, too, are reversed. Morals and ethics polarised and inverted…devoid of life as we understand it.

“Oh, now the image is fading…What do you mean you don’t have more jink?

“Oops. It’s gone altogether!”

Brentlin Gosling, haughty Prime

“Hinterlands? Who cares! It’s as unreal and crazy as the rest of this cursed place! Have I been there? Sure, I’ve travelled most of these Outer Planes. And you know what? I think the whole setup’s the creation of some barmy overpower. What? More about the Hinterlands? Who cares!? The Outer Planes’re nothing but a bunch of glorified Prime spheres where the bigwigs make their kips, and the Hinterlands is no different! Just another crazy realm of lunacy!

“No where’s this portal back to Waterdeep you promised me!?”

Recently-discovered notes of Keljios, a ‘Walker who walked out-of-town one day and kept walking…

“The Hinterlands contain the gates to planes, and as the first ring contains ideas, so does the second. Some of the locales which exist out there:

Temporos: One can walk onto the Temporal Prime, chronomancer or otherwise.

MirriM: Where your reflection is as real as you.

The Grey: Not the Wastes, but where all those barmy (and highly dangerous) Athasians say they draw power from.

Treileste: Where everything literally comes in threes, good/lawful, evil/chaotic, and neutral (Cast a spell here berk!).

Dimentia: They say that here one can walk from any point in the multiverse to another, because they are all contained here.

Xerdia: Where what wasn’t is.

“Interestingly, those in Dimentia seem to worship Aoskar successfully, and also say that the Lady is a native. Maybe she’s the one who blocks access to the Hinterlands, for fear that one lucky blood might find her secrets…

“There are many other planes and powers out here, and I am bound to find and catalogue them all. First, I must send this to the Guvners. Then, I may continue my quest.”

Wasserass, an Explorer who’s Been There, Allegedly

“When you watch a wheel turn, the outside has to spin much faster than the inside, just to keep up with it…

“The Outlands are turning so incredibly slowly that no one at the centre (Spire, Gate towns, etc.) notices, but way, way out in the Hinterlands, things are whipping around so fast that if you throw something in the air, it’ll fly sideways a few hundred metres before landing. That’s why the terrain out there ain’t stable, and why there are howling gales the further you go out. No, there are! I’ve seen it all…”

Sirocco, an Air Genasi

“Picture a hurricane. The centre of the hurricane is relatively calm and stable, only being slightly turbulent (time flow). However, move past the eye and into the various wind currents, and all Hells break loose. Where the wind isn’t gusting as hard, the towns that are reported to be out there can form. When the wind picks up, all bets are off. That’s the way the Spire and the Hinterlands are related, cutter.”

10011001, Rogue Modron and Vibromathematician

“The Land is vibrating in the manner of a circular disc attached at the centre. For the sake of this analogy, we’ll say there is an edge somewhere. The vibrations cause nodes and anti-nodes where the vibrational waves amplify and cancel. The ultimate anti-node, the Spire, where the disk is fixed, would go so far as to negate magic. Close to this node, it’s fairly easy to live, since there is not much displacement, whereas near the vibrational nodes, the area becomes so energetic as to be impassable. Depending on the vibrational frequency of the disc, there might be other various stable permanent anti-nodes out there, holding areas similar to the Spire.”

Gorrux, an Unusually Helpful Amnizu Associate of the Above

“One of the issues primes have trouble tumbling to is that each of the Planes is infinite, yet still has borders that can be crossed. An explanation, which is probably harder for them to grasp than the problem itself, is as follows:

“If the disharmony between mortal understanding and infinity grow too great (for example, at the edge of 10011001’s disc, where the wobbling caused by spinning becomes too traumatic for the legs of an inhabitant to take, he therefore falls down), then the subjective reality of planar physics kicks in, and the mortal understanding places itself into something more stable (i.e. a nearby disc that ain’t so turbulent). Everything comes together neatly (frighteningly so, for some):

“Subjective reality gives the limited mortal understanding the ability to place itself on a more comprehendible footing. This also explains the exceptional abilities of planars of the same species as a prime: His understanding of the multiverse is far broader, and as a result, his ability to walk on the oscillating edge of the disc increases. Thus, the teleportation abilities of planeborn are simply due to their better-accustomed and more evolved psyches stepping off the philosophical plane and actually knowing which direction to move in order to reach a particular spot on a neighbouring wobbling disc…”

The Groke, a Mysterious Prophet of Grammatology

“The multiverse is composed of threes – ises, ain’ts and maybes.

“The Outer Planes are whatever the Outlands ain’t.

“The Outlands are defined by neutrality, while the Outer Planes are defined by belief.

“The Hinterlands are the maybes – they are the difference between Outland and Outer Plane but not in terms comprehensible to any conscious being.

“Confused? You’re only just beginning to understand…”

Dark Heart, cambion planewalker

“I don’t know why so many cagers spout so many barmy theories of some mysterious Hinterlands beyond the Great Ring. I have travelled to the Outlands numerous times, visiting the gate town of Plague-Mort quite often. There is certainly no Hinterlands. That became clear to me in my exploration outside of Plague-Mort as a youth (about 200 years ago). As I travelled with my back to the Spire past the gate town (so it seemed), I eventually arrived back where I started. I tried it again, this time travelling a few hours then turning back, and found I was only a short distance from town. I repeated this, and soon discovered the longer I tried to walk past the gate town, the sooner I returned.

“For much a time, I was baffled by this phenomenon, but as I learned the nature of the Outlands, it became clear what was happening. The neutrality of the Outlands takes many forms as reflected by its distinct gate towns and their surroundings. Still though, the Outlands are totally neutral and separated from the Outer Planes, their philosophies, and their powers. Therefore, the Outlands doesn’t have an edge, it is a Great Ring. The balance of thought and philosophy on the Outlands causes it to curve in on itself. As the neutrality of the Outlands comes infinitely close to an Outer Plane it forms a single point of connection, a gate to the Outer Plane. Overtime, towns have formed around these gates. However, one cannot go beyond the gate town, because the neutrality of the Outlands has reached the limit it can extend towards an Outer Plane before it becomes like the Outer Planes. It is sort of hard to understand how space can curve back on itself, but one should consider your not on the Prime, berk. The Outlands is the Outer Planes, where thought and belief are reality.”

Giles Frumpendore, elven Mathematician

“Hinterlands, what a silly idea! I have gone over the calculations, and it just doesn’t exist. Let me clarify.

“The Outer Planes arrange themselves in the Great Ring. Of course, they will will arrange as to have diametrically opposed planes positioned at the maximum conceptual distance from one another. That is simply following the alignment segregation theory. Alignment cohesive theory comes into effect as well as like planes position themselves near one another. The Spire, being the most neutral point, positions in the conceptual middle point between each pair of diametrically opposed planes. The conceptual neutral reality the Spire generates spills out in all directions to create a balanced and thereby neutral conceptual plane. Applying the Planar Nullification Law, one realises that the Outlands must remain neutral to exist as a separate plane from the Outer Planes that surround it. Neutrality can take on many forms, seemingly like all other alignments.

“From these facts, one can then generate a conceptual reality function for the Outlands. The Outlands equals the limit conceptual reality as neutrality approaches the not neutrality. Clearly, the conceptual reality Outlands, extending from the conceptual central point Spire, ends at this limit creating a Great Ring within the circle of Outer Planes. The conceptual reality Outlands doesn’t exist beyond this limit.

“Therefore, there is no Hinterlands. Walking to the limit would only lead a berk around the Great Ring, because conceptual space Outlands doesn’t exist beyond the limit.

“But wait, you may argue what of the gate towns and their gates. If the Outlands limit is the Outer Planes, how then can their be gates? Well, it is easily explained. The limit of the function for the Outlands is what is “jump” limit. The closer conceptual reality Outlands approaches any Outer Plane, the more similar it becomes to it. At the limit, the conceptual reality of the Outlands would equal that of an Outer Plane, but because of the Planar Nullification Law it cannot. However, the conceptual reality can & does exist as a point in the Outer Plane.

“The function of any Outer Plane is equal to the limit conceptual reality as non-neutrality approaches neutrality. This too is a “jump” limit, which exists as a point on the Outlands.

“This common point or singularity between both Outlands and each Outer Plane is the gate between the two. Of course, planes appear very similar at their gate because their limits are equal.

“All the wisdom of the universe can be revealed with planar mathematics.”

Looli, Tiefling Metamage

“He’s right about the magic, you know. I mean Explomm, that priest of Azuth. The farther out into the Hinterlands you go, the better the magic is. Of course, you can’t take it with you…. you can’t go cast an eleventh level mega-wish spell in the Hinterlands and expect to reap it’s benefits in the rest of the planes. But you can sit in the Hinterlands and cast tenth-plus level spells to your heart’s content.

“That is, if you survive.

“Greater magic yields greater monsters. Beyond anything you’ve ever seen You ever been to the prime? There’re things on the prime called Tarrasques… they say there’s only one, but unless it can go to different prime worlds, there’s more. These things, I can’t begin to describe their power… but I do know that the average creature from the eleventh ring in the Hinterlands (that’d be the ring where you can cast eleventh level spells) could kill a Tarrasque in about two minutes.

“Far-fetched? Most people haven’t seen monsters that can wield seventh level magic, and I’m talking about eleventh! This stuff is so… but that’s another story. Do you have a few extra Talismans of the Sphere? I need them to control a few material components for a new spell I’m working on…”

Abyssmal, a Tiefling Bleaker

“The Hinterlands don’t really exist. If they did you’d think cutter would have been there and come back to spread the chant. The whole idea of the Hinterlands is about as ridiculous as me being the Lady of Pain, or a (stifles a chuckle) reason for our existence. Think about it berk, but not too hard, you might hurt yourself. Besides if it does exist who cares, I know I wouldn’t want to go there.”

Source: Jon Winter-Holt, Alex Roberts, David Whitley, J. Slob, Ian Watson, Christopher John Record, David Bloustien, Joshua Wolfe, Rob Hamilton, Gabriel Eggers, Jason S. Thigpen and many other authors whose names have unfortunately been lost in the mists of the Hinterlands

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