City of Plinths, Gate-town to Elysium

Location: Outlands / Brinklands

Rulers: The Lightcaller and the Nightwhisperer

They say that you’ll not find a more benevolent burg anywhere in the Outlands, cutter. That doesn’t mean that Ecstasy is right for everyone though, detractors have called the folk of the town ‘smug’, or ‘navel-gazing’ and they also have a point. Also called the City of Plinths, Ecstasy is a place that’s not afraid to contemplate the meaning of the multiverse. The whole burg is studded with plinths—platforms raised above the surrounding buildings—all of which have berks sitting cross-legged atop them with serene (or blank, if you’re a skeptic) expressions on their faces. Some of these plinths balance on ornately-carved columns of marble, others are more modest and made from wood, some are roughly hewn standing stones, others crystalline columns which seem to have been grown as much as carved. Nobody knows where they came from, but it seems there’s a waiting list to use them. Petitioners from across the Great Ring come here to meditate. Perhaps it’s a mysterious part of becoming close to merging with the plane? In any case, they aren’t doing any harm, it’s just a little creepy.

Anyway, once you stop noticing the plinths, the rest of the burg is pretty amiable. Clustered around the gate to Elysium, the whole place radiates peace, calm and welcoming vibes. The houses are rustic and pretty, with thatched roofs and plenty of greenery growing around. There are apple and orange trees lining the streets, and berks are welcome to just pick and eat what they like.

The Gate and the Bone Plinth

The gate to Elysium is a pool of quicksilver itself atop another plinth, this one of carved white bone. Travellers who submerge themselves in this pool are whisked to the banks of the River Oceanus on Amoria, near the guardinal-controlled burg of Release-From-Care. The plants and flowers become more colourful, their scents more intense, and the sensation of tranquility that emanates from the gate, more overwhelming.

There’s a second well-known portal nearby in the Welcome Garden, this one leading to Sigil. It’s a freestanding granite arch, and the gate key is a flower and a smile.

The Rulers

The burg has two rulers, who share the responsibility of defending the burg. Curiously, they’ve never been seen together, because they each rule for twelve hours per day, consecutively. The Lightcaller rules during the daylight hours, and after darkness falls, the Nightwhisperer holds sway. At the centre of the burg, these two cutters hold court in towers which face each other across the town square. While each ruler has a different style, the most important rule of the burg is simply, “do no evil”.

This vague rule means different things to different bashers of course, and a fast-talker will be able to take advantage of the benevolence/gullibility of the locals. “Why no, I wasn’t stealing this horse, I am just borrowing it”, or “I’m so sorry I left the tavern without paying, I was so eager not to miss the next debate that I simply forgot”.

The Folks of Ecstasy

On the surface, the cutters of Ecstasy are the friendliest you’ll meet anywhere in the Outlands. As well as humans and petitioners, plenty of halflings and aasimar live here, as well as a handful of guardinals and rilmani, With their basic needs of food and shelter taken care of by the caring, sharing nature of the burg, the locals can indulge their philosophical sides. The Philosopher’s Court is one of the most popular venues in the town, and it’s here that folks congregate day or night to wax philosophical about topics important or mundane.

Now, the benevolent aura of tranquility that radiates from the Elysian Gate subtly influences the personalities of the inhabitants of the town. It suppresses feelings of anger and negativity, which means debates in the Court might be enthusiastic but rarely erupt into violence. Note the word ‘suppress’. These feelings get smoothed over artificially, but bottled up beneath the surface. It turns out the friendliest cutters are like powder-kegs, ready to explode with anger. Fey creatures lurk around the fringes of the burg, enjoying the challenge of winding up locals until they burst.

Power Groups in Ecstasy

  • The Temple District — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51
    • Temple of the Beloved One — this was a shrine to a berk called Trolan who fell in love with the Lady of Pain a while back, but since he vanished it has fallen out of use — Harbinger House [2e] p39-40
    • Temple of Chauntea — the earthmother — High Priestess Verbena is a no-nonsense cutter from the forests of Arborea (planar half-elf druid [she/her] / NG)
    • Temple of Ishtar — the power of love and war — led by the beautiful but severe Warpriestess Belatsunat (prime human cleric [she/her] / NG)
    • Temple of Lathander — the power of birth and renewal — High Priest Bartol the Dawnsinger (planar human cleric [he/him] / NG)
    • Temple of Majere — the power of discipline, hard work and austerity, popular with Cipher factioneers — High Priest Bhuke (planar githzerai cleric [they/them] / Cipher / NG)
    • Temple of Mishakal — the power of healing and restoration —led by the kindly but forgetful High Priest Polan the Blessed (prime male human [he/him] / NG)
  • The Transcendent Order — the Ciphers make up a good portion of the population here, although they’re more into the meditating and outdoor calisthenics than the philosophical debating. Lakshmaiah Vox (planar human ranger [he/him] / NG) is a mysterious Cipher factor who leads the local group here, who has a habit of disappearing for a couple of days at a time with no warning and then reappearing with no explanation.

Locations in Ecstasy

  • Chereng’s Stable; a hostelry for horses and other riding animals. The owner is Chereng (planar bariaur [he/him] / Indeps / CG); Harbinger House [2e] p37-38
  • Impulsive Dabus — a successful tavern run by the ornately tattooed barkeep Ogan (planar tiefling [he/him] / Fated / CN); Harbinger House [2e] p36-38
  • King’s Townhouse — the townhouse of the missing Philosopher King, currently inhabited by his curiously unconcerned daughter Miressa (planar humans [she/her] / NG); Harbinger House [2e] – 37-38
  • Moondark Tower during the day this is a drab iron colour, but after dark the gates swing open and the tower glows with twinkling stars and casts a gentle light across the burg. The Nightwhisperer rides out on a silvered unicorn with a pack of moondogs, patrolling the edges of the burg to defend it from fiends and dark things from the forest that have wicked designs on the burg Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51-52, Harbinger House [2e] p36, Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p13
  • Philosopher’s Court — the folk of Ecstasy love a good debate, and the Philosopher’s Court is the place to do this. Open all times of day and night, there’s always some kind of crowd here chewing the fat about faction politics or religion. The Court used to be protected by an enchantment that prevented any kind of fisticuffs but since the Philosopher King Kagorius vanished under unexplained circumstances, the magic failed. This has resulted in the Philsopher’s Court now being something of a flashpoint in the burg, where spirited debate descends into a brawl — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51, Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p14
  • The Plinths — hundreds of plinths can be found scattered across the burg, each one topped by a meditating petitioner
  • The Revelhome — a tavern run by a veiled medusa named Madame Millanni (planar medusa [she/her] / LN), with a well-stocked statue garden thought to be populated by those who caused trouble in the taproom. This is the most popular drinking hole in Ecstasy, serving sweet warm cider and ruby dark wines grown from the local vineyards — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51-53, Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p14
  • Shrine of the Cadence — dedicated to the Ciphers’ Cadence of the Planes rather than any particular deity. The high priest is the impulsive Joseph Arisek (planar aasimar cleric [he/him] / N) — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51
  • Solrise Tower — a golden tower in the centre of the burg which glows all day with the radiance of the dawn. The Lightcaller is the ruler of the burg during the day. They’re backed up by three solar aasimon, who handle the day-to-day running of the burg. As night falls the gates of the tower close and the Lightcaller shuts themselves in until the next morning — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51-52; Harbinger House [2e] p36,39; Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p13
  • Welcome Garden — the archway portal from Sigil arrives here. Artemor Far (planar halfling [he/him] / Society of Sensation / NG) is a cheerful one-man welcoming party to the burg — Harbinger House [2e] p37

Cutters in Ecstasy

  • Felthis ap Jerran — appearing as a cervidal or aasimar but actually a yugoloth is disguise, ap Jerran was briefly the Philosopher King before being deposed by the former Lightcaller (who is now missing). It’s not thought they were up to anything nefarious but then you never can tell with the ‘loths (planar ultroloth / NG) — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51-52
  • Karo Jantar — the former Nightwhisperer, now retired and enjoying life as a high-up Cipher in the burg with none of the responsibilities (planar aasimar ranger [he/him] / Ciphers / N)Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51; Harbinger House [2e] p36,39; Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p13
  • Kagorius former Philosopher King who has been missing for several years (prime wizard [he/him] / LN) — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p52; Harbinger House [2e] p36,38-39; Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p13-14
  • The Lightcaller a masked golden figure with a flamboyant golden disc crown. They are jovial and friendly, and hold court in the tower from dawn until dusk. The chant goes they’re not as human as they look; a gold dragon, some say — Sigil & the Outlands [5e]
  • Morningwind — the guardinal ambassador from Release-from-Care (planar avoral sorcerer arcanist [she/her] / NG) — Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p51
  • The Nightwhisperer — a cool and distant warrior in shining silver armour with a helm that glows like the moon, who defends the burg from the beings who might do it harm at night. Chant goes they might be some kind of dragon in human form, but the chant does like a dragon, and surely there can’t be two in one burg? Sigil & the Outlands [5e]

Recommended Reading

  • Dragon Magazine #351 [3e] p50-53 (description of the burg)
  • Harbinger House [2e] p35-40 (chapter of adventure set in Ecstasy)
  • Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p13-14 (description of the burg)
  • Sigil & the Outlands [5e] p68-69 (description of the burg)

Brief Mentions in the Canon

  • Dragon Magazine #353 [3e] p12-13 (details on map scale from Dragon 351)
  • Planewalker’s Handbook [2e] p10

Source: Jon Winter-Holt. Canonwatch: The 5e version of Ecstasy changed the rulers of the burg to Lightcaller and Nightwhisperer (from Sun Master and Dark Hunter), and deposed two Philosopher Kings (formerly Kagorius in PPttO and then Felthis ap Jarran in Dragon 351).

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