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The Outlands

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Jastor, Lord of Agriculture, Farms, and Peasants (by Gothenem)

Written by Sir Hattuk (a prime traveller). The end note was penned by the King's wizard Jass

My Liege, As thou hast instructed me, I doth track the most foul villain Tralk to his home in the woods surrounding Lake Grenshire. When I got there and entered the gate, a most sorcerous occurrence happened. The area of the gate doth suddenly, and methinks unprovoked, burst into multi-colours. Mine horse was frightened, and, though it covers me with great shame, I must admit that fear doth also grip my heart. My horse was moving to fast to avoid the multicoloured portal, and so we entered. What we saw doth go beyond anything we hast seen before. We saw a land, great and fertile. People were tending the soil. At first we thought they serfs, like those in our own kingdom, however they all seemed happy and content, a quality that our serfs lack, due to their station in our own society.

As we went further into this land we doth note that the entire populace seemeth to be of these happy serfs. This doth make me ponder where and who the lord of this great place was.

Eventually I doth find a farm that outstripped all others, it's size was half again the size of our own country. When we found the lord of this farm, who doth also till the soil, it was like nothing I hath experienced.

Mine horse immediately reared and did unhorse me. Then the treacherous seeming beast doth go to this serf-lord and nuzzle his hand. I stood up and confronted this serf, who apparently must, methinks, be a practitioner of foul sorcery like those who plague our kingdom to a great extent.

When the lord spoke to me I found myself on my knees and I knew then that this was no peasant or serf, for I was standing, nay kneeling, before blood more royal than thine, my lord, and though I do not doubt your lineage, thy blood is still that of a man, and this lord was most certainly not a man, but he was a god. He then spoke to me: 'Sir Hattuk, I am Jastor, Lord of Agriculture, Farms, and Peasants. I have summoned you here to tell you to tell your king to abolish serfdom in your kingdom, or I will wither his crops, make his food go bad, and starve himself and his knights.'

I of course agreed to tell you this. My lord Please do as he speaks, I know doth till the soil of mine own castle, and doth pay mine peasants. Please my lord do as this god, with blood more royal than all others, commands, lest the be a coward before both men and gods.

[Since You will read this missive King Froud II, I will put my findings here on Sir Hattuk's own missive. Sir Hattuk is working in his own fields. His peasants are better clothed and do not seem hateful to him, like our serfs do to us. I have also travelled the planes to "Concordant Opposition", and spoke with one of Jastor's "peasants". I was told that Sir Hattuk was properly informed and was rewarded for his duty. I did not know what he meant by that. Grubbing in the soil doesn't seem like a reward to me. When I returned to our own plane, I saw that Sir Hattuk had the most fertile crop I've ever seen, and the most fertile part was where Hattuk himself was working.

I strongly recommend you follow his suggestions and free the serfs my liege.]

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"Another sodding Peasant!
When do we find the lord of this sodding farmland?"

-- A planar human, proving that even planars can be clueless

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The Lady's Haven (by Jonathan)

The Lady's Haven -- a dark, mysterious place, horrid beyond belief, yet as beautiful as it is possible. After all, it is the home of the Unnamed Lady, the Oracle. Where is this Haven? Well ... it's on the Outlands, it's on the 366th layer of the Abyss, on Karasuthra of the Beastlands -- it's neither here nor there it's everywhere. Why? Well, the Oracle likes Her privacy -- which is why She's seeded the whole realm with all those creatures She could create, and those which could never leave. Examples include the Kyvan dragon, that prefers blood to water, and the Ynan il Kev, the warriors of Chaos, that are forever trapped in the Lady's Haven.

It's not only creatures that petitoners have to worry about -- the land itself is alive with a malice. Trees reach for strangers, streams thirst for blood -- all in all, the land kills, literally. Yet, sometimes it's dormant -- a sign that the Lady's up and about. But it's not mortals alone that have to fear when they step into the Oracle's Haven. You see, the Oracle can't stand powers traipsing around in Her realm. So, she discourages them. Any greater power that enters Her realm become lesser powers, intermediate become demigods while lesser, and demigods, become mortals -- powerful, yes, but still mortal.

But to make it even worse, She throws little traps for powerful monsters and powers around. Many a power has been slain in Her realm by either a trap or their enemies. For powers that are mortal can be killed as surely as mortals can. In fact, her little traps -- like the draining that traps a power, and slowly drain its strength -- makes it more probable for a power to die in Her realm. What Her purpose in doing that is not exactly clear but chant's that She draws energy from dying powers to make Herself even more powerful.

Yet, after looking at it that way, why would any mortal -- or power -- enter Her realm? Simple -- to gain an answer or to gain power. Because the Oracle has done what no power has ever done. By binding all Her power with Herself, She can accomplish anything inside Her realm. She knows nearly everything while in Her realm -- and what She doesn't know, She can find out. But how can She survive without any worshippers? That's the dark of it -- She doesn't need any!

Magic also has its risk in the Lady's Haven. Wizard spells have a chance of causing a wild surge when cast which makes it highly dangerous. Priest spells of 6th and 7th level don't work while in the realm. Weapons lose a +1 bonus while charges are reduced by half. This applies to all locations in the realm -- all locations except the Rose Garden. Created by a dying goddess of sorcery, who was trapped in a Draining, the garden is filled with roses of all possible hues and scents. Here, magic works perfectly, and by crushing any rose and rubbing it on the skin, weapons and items, guarantees that spells work perfectly, weapons remain potent and items retain their charges. Problem is, the Rose Garden shifts its location all the time. The Oracle can't stand it but She can't destroy it. So, She shifts it around like there's no infinity -- however, seeing as She's who She is, there might not be an infinity.

Current Chant: The goddess who died there -- Sheresta -- had a powerful artifact with her. As she never left, could it be that it -- whatever it is -- is still in there?

Darklord Kyrix is organising a strike against the Lady's Haven. The realm of the Oracle appeared on the rim of his realm, on the plane of Baator, just three days ago. Thing is, the Oracle's realm is moving steadily towards his seat of power. He's gathered fellow powers -- those powers which owe him -- to turn back the realm and if they can, seize control of it and whatever that's giving the Oracle Her power.

Esa, a goddess of death, has been seen entering the Lady's Haven. A week later, she emerged, laughing and screaming, carrying with her an ebony rod. What was important enough for the goddess of death to risk death herself? And what was that rod?

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Matanazani's Realm (by Joshua Jarvis)

[Penned by Tymerel Arbanus, a Guvner]

With all the countless prime worlds worshipping powers there's bound to be the occasional god that no planar has heard of and no one really knows the dark of. Most cutters stay well away from these places, after all only the most leatherheaded sod would tread in the domain of a power without knowledge of what to expect, or what is expected from them. Matanazani's realm is different. Curiosity may kill the cat lord but in this realm it may very well change your life. See, the chant goes that Matanazani is the great neutraliser, the god of neutrality and viewpoint in whose presence high and mighty attitudes will shatter and berks can see an issue from all sides and viewpoints. Well, that's mostly screed, Here's the true dark of Matanazani's realm.

A dome-shaped hill carved from grey marble is the first thing one sees of his realm, not very impressive at first but functional. It's not until someone crosses the great azure gates (that are always open, in an inviting way) and goes inside the realm that it gets truly impressive.

THE FIRST PART: As one enters the decoratively designed gates. A giant blue gateway 20' tall with one word carved into it (usually divided in two because the gates are always open), that word is Matanazani. This is assumed to be the powers name, though peery cutters know that what is common cant may very well be screed and approach with caution. Inside you see a great circular walkway overlooking a great drop. A rocky point hangs out over the precipice. People have named this the point of view, you see a cutter who stands on this point while speaking or listening will understand all viewpoints that one can hold on the issue and can make an unbiased choice. For you see, on this point all ideas are equally important. A weak glow lights this area emanating from someplace below.

THE SECOND PART: To step blindly over the edge is the way to reach the floor. (those who have their eyes open plummet to their doom.) To observers it seems the person who stepped off has fallen, this isn't true (If they do it right.). The person who has stepped off finds himself further down standing on a set of scales. You see in this layer thousands of scales hang in the air, and each person to fall lands on another set, even if they were holding each other. These scales do not measure weight but instead measure deviance from neutrality. Chaos, law, good, and evil cause one to drop. Only when one truly balances his soul can he go to the next layer. The glow is brighter here.

THE THIRD PART: He who has grasped for one fleeting second the concept of neutrality can go to the next part. This part Has the chambers of experience. People who set foot in these glass chambers, separated from the edge by a walkway, switch alignments for a few fleeting minutes. Those who realise that alignment is merely opinion and point of view can go down to the next layer. The glow is even more brighter here and you can make out different colours of light.

THE FOURTH PART: No longer is their a precipice, now you are in a room filled with brilliant crystals glowing white, purple, blue, and red. A slight dust fills the air, is this what is left of those who have fallen from a higher lever? No one knows, no one has seen those who have plummeted from an edge. The light from the other layers comes from the glow of these crystals. Anyone who touches a crystal feels a slight draining. White drains at good, purple drains evil, blue drains law, red drains chaos. It never drains completely. However a strange effect happens to those who realise that having any view point other then neutrality is pointless. They collapse and the crystal glows. Some say they see a twisted face appear in the crystal.

THE FIFTH PART: Here the light is almost blinding and the presence of a god can be felt. This is the last chance for escape, no one has got beyond this level and returned. The place is all brilliant glowing colour, as if they were in the crystal that has taken them. On the floor is a dull grey marble door that radiates the presence of a godly power. How do you open the door? No one knows. Smart cutters realise that escaping magically before they get something more than permanent neutrality is a good idea. No one knows what lies beyond the door and no one who crossed through it has returned. All that I know is the chant goes the god and his petitioners dwell there.

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Copyright 1998 by Jon Winter and respective authors,
art by Jeremiah Golden

Consult the Mimir Again