Hermitages of the Spirelands
Hermitages of the Spirelands

Hermitages of the Spirelands

Hermitages of the Spirelands

Out there in the vast expanses of the Spirelands, a cutter might be surprised to stumble across solitary buildings, far from any burg or even portal. These isolated dwellings are as diverse as the plane itself. Some stand empty, but many are not. The mysterious occupants of these hermitages are a motley assortment of cutters, each seeking something that only the vast emptiness of the Outlands can provide. Some are planars who have grown weary of the ceaseless politicking and backstabbing of Sigil. They seek the quiet and the space to reflect, to study, and sometimes to forget. Others are petitioners, spirits bound to the Outlands after death in search of enlightenment or making penance. They meditate on the mysteries of the multiverse, seeking to understand the cosmic balance that the Outlands so perfectly embodies. Or perhaps they just really, really, don’t like company.

Proxies sometimes find themselves at odds with their divine patrons or on missions that require seclusion. The hermitages of the Spirelands offer them a place to hide, to heal, or to plot their next moves, away from divine retribution from their former masters, or the machinations of rival deities. If it’s this or Sigil—and a body doesn’t like the smog…

Each hermitage is as unique as its occupant, shaped by the desires, needs, and whims of those who dwell within. A hermitage might be a simple stone cottage, its chimney smoking quietly, or a grand tower of crystal and light, shimmering with magical wards and protections. Some resemble traditional mortal homes, with thatched roofs and cozy fireplaces, offering a semblance of the life their occupants left behind. Others are strange and fantastical structures, woven from the living branches of giant trees or carved from the rock itself. The chant goes these places aren’t necessarily built by the occupants; when the need is genuine, the land itself provides, shaping the hermitage around the needs of its occupant. And when the cutter passes on, or away, or to the other side, sometimes the hermitage melts away, and sometimes it does not. Some graybeards suggest that perhaps this is the same force that causes the towns to form around gates in the Brinklands.

The Chant on Hermitages

Deep in the wilds, near the eternal Spire, there’s a hermitage that is nothing more than a cave, its entrance marked with ancient cryptic runes, once guarding the secrets and solitude of a nameless power who grew weary of the incessant demands of their worshippers and simply walked away to seek obscurity. 

In a secluded valley, shrouded in perpetual mist, stands a hermitage built entirely from glass. It reflects the ever-changing sky above, a kaleidoscope of colours and moods. Its sole occupant, is Icabod Blair (human bard [they/them] / Sensate / N) a planewalker who saw everything they needed to see, and now wants to capture the beauty of the infinite Spire on a canvas.

On a high plateau, where the winds carry the echoes of rilmani chants from the Spire, a modest tower perched on the edge of an cliff serves as a hermitage to a fallen deva. Stripped of their powers for questioning the cosmic order, Catechi (planar fallen deva [he/him] / N) now contemplates the true meaning of justice and redemption, watching over the endless expanse of the Outlands.

Closer to the Spire, a hermitage made of woven branches houses a collective of druids from different worlds. They gather in secret to discuss the balance of nature across the planes, sharing knowledge and wisdom to protect the multiverse from those who would do it harm. There is no magic here, just the gentle but incessant march of nature.

Approaching a hermitage requires caution and respect, cutter. Whether you’re seeking knowledge, shelter, or just a moment’s peace, remember to hail the house from a distance. The Outlands are a place of wild magic and wilder inhabitants, and one never knows if the next hermitage holds a sage seeking solitude or a god disguised in mortal form, seeking respite from the burdens of divinity.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt, inspired by A Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p29, brief description.

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