Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus, the Seat of the Gods, the Pillar of the Planes

Welcome to the Mountain

by Goaya — Outlander Explorer and Keen Climber of the Mount

A giant mountain, shrouded in infinite mists both above and below, Mount Olympus is dimensionally tall. Its forested slopes are large enough to sweep across several planes, its extensive caverns and tunnels burrow into several more, and its iceswept lofty peaks burst through into yet others. As a cutter might expect, colour pools on the lower regions tend to lead to the Lower Planes, and the higher a basher climbs up the mountain, the more likely she is to find a portal to an Upper Plane. Pools leading to the Prime can be found at any height, however.

Legend has it the Mount was built by the Greek pantheon for their own private use, and indeed its slopes are covered with the Realms and Domains of countless powers and demi-powers of the Greek Pantheon.

Fortunately for planewalkers, however, the Greeks are not an overly protective lot, and don’t seem to mind cutters tromping up and down their mountain. In fact, Olympus (whose peaks thrust into Arborea where the majority of Powers Realms lie) has become something of a symbol across the planes. The theme of the mount is one of struggle to overcome the trials and tasks life hands to a berk on a brass plate. Greek legends often tell of impossible tasks that have to be carried out by great heroes, and while climbing Olympus ain’t impossibly, it ain’t easy neither. The moral to be learned from this planar feature is that exertion leads to improvement.

“Nobody trips over mountains.
It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.
Pass all the pebbles in your path
and you will find you have crossed the mountain”

— Oread saying

Helping yourself to find your own way is the best way to learn. In fact, it can be hard to find guides on the Mount (unlike on Yggdrasil or the Infinite Staircase, where there are dozens of cutters who’ll gladly show you the dark for the right garnish) — locals often act offended at the offer of jink to guide bodies to their destination. Fortunately the Mountain is also eternal and unchanging, which means that a canny cutter can pick up maps which are usually pretty accurate.

Don’t think things are too easy, though. Just because the powers act disinterested (as long as a berk doesn’t push his luck) and the maps are okay, it doesn’t mean a planewalker shouldn’t take great care. There are many inhabitants of the Mount who don’t take so kindly to visitors, or who’re only too happy to welcome them with open arms…and open maws. Horrific creatures from Greek myth like gorgons, harpies, lamia, minotaur, medusae, maedar roam the slopes and depths looking for prey. Mountain and hill giants, galeb duhr, and bariaur herds can also be spotted regularly, as well as the oread, mountain spirits who guard Olympus from unnatural influences.

There aren’t any large burgs on Olympus, but there are a few smallish burgs (see below for some details on those) as well as mountain hermits and monasteries or philosophers and goat herders. The Fated have also built a waystation called Golden Gorge at the head of a narrow canyon — it’s widely known as the best way up from the Lower to Upper slopes, but of course the faction charges a toll for travellers to use the pass…

I think Voilá’s got his jinksworth now. That about covers the basics. About those Olympian burgs? Certainly…only to happy to oblige…

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,


On the foothills of Olympus in Arborea, near Polyklepton, are a series of villages that embody the intense passions of the folk of Arborea more than most. Maybe to play up the contrasts, Arborean burgs in this part of the plane usually show two faces; present opposing emotional forms in each burgs. In the town of Coin, for example, the folk are divided along lines of greed and charity.

The Givers are a highly altruistic bunch, willing to lend the shirt off their backs to a stranger. The Greeds, on the other hand, seek to milk every copper farthing they can out of both travellers and their fellow townsfolk. Predictably, the Greeds have managed to occupy most positions of power in town while the Givers farm, herd, and heal the sick. The Fated are remarkably strong here (chant goes it’s one of their main haunts outside of Ysgard), as they make excellent tax-collectors.

Source: Erin Hayes


Character: The beautiful and peaceful town of Ecstatica lies off the southern flank of Mount Olympus. Primarily it has arisen around a number of vineyards and family estates of well to-do bloods and high-ups who’ve moved out into the relative peace of these wilds to get away from the bustle of Sigil and various other major cities of the planes. The other folks who have moved in and built homes in the area don’t necessarily share the founder’s desire for peace and quiet. As such, there is constant underlying conflict between the “old-timers” and those that the old-timers call the “outsiders”.

Ruler: The ruler of Ecstatica, Thelonius Posterponorri, is the blood who built the first vineyard here. There is no formal government here, but most of the residents of Ecstatica don’t question his authority as it’s his own goodwill which has allowed others to set up their own kips in the area. Thelonius (planar human [he/him] / priest of Dionysus / Society of Sensation / N) is an older gentleman, now in his early 70’s, who retired from a career as a planewalker to settle down and grow grapes. As a follower of Dionysus, he’s very good at his job. His business seems headed to becoming a merchant empire, which he’ll likely pass on to his oldest son, Stephanos (planar human [he/him] / fighter / CN). He lets the residents of Ecstatica follow their own desires, so long as they cut him in for a share of the profit. So far, the population of the burg is small enough that a larger, more flexible government doesn’t seem to be required yet. Additionally, the fact that Thelonius has established an exclusive trade deal with Estavan of the Planar Trade Consortium has prevented the other powerful families of the burg from effectively challenging Thelonius’ position.

Behind the Throne: A single ghaele eladrin, Gwyna Gallaida (planar ghaele eladrin [she/her] / Society of Sensation / CG) wields some influence over Thelonius’ orders. She settled in the area after being banished from some backwater place called the Rainward Isles on some prime world known as Krynn, apparently for violating her veil in order to save a mortal lover from rampaging monsters. In the years since she’s arrived she’s contented herself with raising the three aasimar children she had by this lover. Her oldest daughter, Avril Brightdawn (planar aasimar [she/her] / ranger-wizard / Society of Sensation / CG) fled the town to escape a looming arranged marriage with Stephanos Posterponorri which his father had tried to set up. As a result of this, Gwyna made the decision to remain in the area to ensure that Thelonius didn’t achieve some form of authoritarian control over the town. In the meantime, she seems content to take a vacation and raise her two remaining children.

Description: Ecstatica is a small town, just beginning to grow from a village centred on the local wine-making exploits of a few powerful families. It has a population of only about 500 heads. The homes of the village are in large part comprised of Greek-style homes settled on the rolling foothills of Mount Olympus. The surrounding hills are filled with vineyards owned by the Posterponorri family and a few others. Everything is beautifully kept and the village itself has a quaint, yet romantic air to it.

The people of Ecstatica are divided into two main groups. The Old-timers consist of the Posterponorri family, the Eusdrians, the Splitshields, and the Thanarr clan. These four families own all the vineyards in the area and employ many of the people in the town. The members of these families regard themselves as nobles and consider themselves superior to the newcomers who have built homes in the area. The three secondary families are in constant competition to produce the best vintages of wine and are not above using slight sabotage at times in an attempt to prevent their rivals from producing better products. The Posterponorri family takes a cut of all produce by each family in the area, which is then sold to the Planar Trade Consortium for transport to Sigil and abroad. Currently Grummanor Splitshield (planar dwarf [he/him] / N), leader of the Splitshield clan, is looking for some way to sell his wine that wouldn’t require him to contribute his own profits to the Posterponorri family.

The Outsiders, are folks who have moved into the town more recently and are a varied collection of planars, primes, and petitioners of varied stripes. Most of them are humans, with a scattering of elves, half-elves, and aasimar. Many of these berks are employed as farmhands for the vineyards. However, people uninvolved with the town’s main trade are moving to Ecstatica in increasing numbers. Due to the local vineyards, Ecstatica is becoming well-known as a destination of choice by Sensates who consider themselves wine connoisseurs.

As a result of the increasing number of people who are visiting, and to take advantage of them, some enterprising bloods have opened up a pleasure house, a gambling hall, and finally, a theatre is currently in the process of being built. Visitors who come to visit the vineyards and buy alcohol directly from the producers are beginning to see the town as a form of holiday destination on journeys away from Sigil or other planar cities

Militia: Ecstatica doesn’t have a standing militia yet, though each of the four main estates is guarded by a private force of minders. Presently, the citizenry is generally composed of former adventurers who don’t concern themselves much with the threat of bandits. They’ve been lucky so far, but some of the cooler heads in town are starting to get more vocal about establishing some form of militia or constabulary.

In actual fact, the burg hasn’t been lucky. Gwyna Gallaida, having decided to remain in town for now, asked some of her eladrin contacts to give her a hand. As a result, a force of 10 shiere eladrin have taken up residence in the surrounding hills. They spend some days hidden within Gwyna’s home, and the rest of the time patrol the surrounding hills for raiders.

Services: Ecstatica is most well known for its vineyards. The vintages produced here are actually quite good and are beginning to see growing demand in the restaurants and taverns of Sigil. Many Sensates visiting the Guilded Hall actually take extra time to visit Ecstatica just to sample the wine. Olive oil is also produced here by some farmers who grow groves of olive trees on the outskirts of the town. Sheep, cattle, and goats graze in some of the more distant fields.

More recently, a pleasure house, the Arms of Aphrodite, has opened on the edge of town. Run by Iris Thaladasius (planar human [she/her] / priest of Aphrodite / Society of Sensation / CG) and Jacinthe Paradulcios (planar half-dryad [she/her] / priest of Aphrodite / CG), this house is staffed mostly by Sensates, and provides many services, from the provision of “hired companions”, and expert masseurs, to match-making services for interested visitors. It is rumoured that discreet inquirers can in fact purchase philters of love here. The Arms of Aphrodite is constructed of some form of pink marble and is covered by carvings of flowers, birds, fountains, and lovers. The cella (centre court) contains a fountain shaped like three nymphs stepping out of a splash of water. Lighting spells highlight the water and give it a coloured, glowing appearance during the evenings.

Across town, workers are currently building a theatre where plays and operas will be performed by Sensates and teams of actors, singers, and comedians. Its construction is being overseen by Cyrus Talagard (Planar / male human / B5 / Society of Sensation / N) who has been commissioned by the Posterponorri family to assemble a group of thespians and complete the theatre. Due to unexpected construction problems, the theatre has taken twice as long as it should have to be constructed. It is expected that the theatre will be completed within the next three cycles.

The last service for visitors is a gambling hall, Hermes Hall, run by Palidus Llysanthrus (prime human [he/him] / rogue / Fated / CN). This swarthy man walks with a cane, the result of an injury apparently inflicted during his adventuring days, involving something he was trying to steal, an illusion of a beholder, and a long flight of stairs. Hermes Hall is a rough den, with dancing girls, loud music, and a lot of horribly tacky decor. Palidus views his gambling hall as a classy joint, famous across the planes, when in fact, it is basically just a setup that lets him sharp travellers with too much jink and not enough brains.

Local News: There has been talk lately that the delays in constructing the theatre might not in fact be simply accidents. A worker at the theatre reported having seen a shadowy figure lurking around a scaffolding one evening…right before three pillars which had just been manoeuvred into place to help support the roof crashed over and smashed a wall. Investigation failed to turn up footprints in the area, but rumours making the rounds seem to imply that one of the three main families other than the Posterponorri in fact are attempting to sabotage the construction effort in an attempt to prevent Thelonius from getting a significant foothold into the burgeoning entertainment business of the town.

A local farmer has requested aid after a rabble of bacchae raided his fields and destroyed half his olive trees. During the attack, his eldest son was taken by the bacchae and actually transformed into one of them. He’s trying to find adventurers who could separate his son from the rabble and restore him to his natural mind.

Grummanor Splitshield, patriarch of his family, is looking for smugglers who can find a market for his wine that’ll allow him to trade without having to pay off a portion of his profits to Thelonius. Given that the Planar Trade Consortium is involved in the situation, discretion is advised of anyone who wants to get involved in the situation and keep out of the dead-book. For such a risky venture, however, it is certain that the reward would be great.

Source: Paul Lefebvre

The Bestiary

Character: You think you know discrimination? Do know what it is to be reviled? Hardly. Sure, you’ve heard the names ‘Tief,’ ‘Clueless,’ or even ‘Cord Baby,’ but do you really think these are all that insulting? Try ‘Abomination.’ Or ‘Plague of Mankind.’ Even been called one of those by someone who meant it, berk? I thought not. If you want to come here, you’d best leave your predispositions behind. We’re all monstrous here, children and grandchildren of Gaea herself, and we ain’t too pretty. But if you can set aside your silly little assumptions about us, as we have to each other, then you are welcome to the Bestiary.

Ruler: Aphalleus (planar gigas [he/him] / Guardians / CG) is the de facto ruler of this fairly disorganised town. Apheleus is a Gigas (plural gigantes), a race of beings born of Uranus and Gaea who resemble giant men with snakes for feet. As one of the strongest beings in the Bestiary, as well as one of the most idealistic, he inspires even those who haven’t given up their violent ways to better things. Aphalleus has converted many a Greek monster to the cause of good with his smooth diplomacy and open acceptance of his heritage. That’s not to say he’s without his own flaws (he used to be a violent and vindictive basher, and still has a ferocious temper), but as the role-model of the city, he is the effective leader.

Behind the Throne: Not everyone in the Bestiary is as open to change and idealistic as Aphalleus, and his reverence of the Olympians have earned the leader more than a little contempt. One individual who has rejected the ideas of Aphalleus is Trephorae (prime harpy [she/her] / Society of Sensation / N). She was driven mad by a mage who made her vulnerable to her own song, and was fortunate enough to escape her Prime world through the Portal Defile, learning of the Sensates. Currently, she believes that man will never accept the monsters of their legends as equals, and staunchly defies the idea of integration between Gaea’s kin and mortals. She argues that they are too close-minded to ever learn the true diversity of the multiverse.

Another nonconformist is Hamellus (planar curst [he/him] / wizard / Revolutionary League / CN). Hamellus was a roguish mage who wandered the planes stirring up trouble across the planes. On his last living quest, he travelled to the Realm of Hades, in which he caused such a tremendous ruckus that Hades made him an undead who could never die simply to keep the knave from returning to the Underworld upon death. Ejected back into the Olympian realms and instantly labelled a monster, Hamellus found refuge in the Bestiary, where, though not one of Gaea’s brood, is accepted as a fellow outcast. There, he has raised doubts among the populace (such as they are) of the greatness of the Olympians. Hamellus has found no fault with Gaea (yet), but sees the Olympians as powerful powermongers who have no respect for the common man (he’s right in a way, but it’s foolish to say it at all in Olympus). As a refugee of the Bestiary, the Olympians ignore what they see as an ineffective rabble rouser, but they know all to well (from Hades himself) just how irritating Hamellus can be.

Description: The Bestiary is a cavernous city, carved into the side of the mountain by Gaea herself. She appealed to the Olympians, showing that not all of her monstrous progeny were evil or dangerous, and was granted the cavern as a place in which her outcast children could assemble and become civilised (so to speak). Most Olympians view the Bestiary as a convenient holding area for dangerous monsters, and most mortals on the Mount consider it a frightening hellhole, which keeps both parties from bothering the Bestiary’s citizens. This suits the city just fine.

In order to enter the Bestiary and become a citizen, (and thus be granted protection from heroes and a comfortable home) a monster must do two things. First, it must renounce outright evil (though mild malevolence is acceptable). Then, as a token of good faith, it must give up its dangerous magical powers. A medusa looses her petrifying gaze. A great feyr must renounce the ability to produce negative emotions (including the basic fear attack). A harpy looses her song. Magical defences or immunities are not given up, nor are natural or physical attacks (which might include, in some cases, breath weapons, venom, or infestations like a curst’s rot grubs). Now no longer a magical threat, the monster is allowed to enter the city and is provided a home to its specifications – it is believes Gaea automatically adds housing as needed, though this has never been shown for certain. Most citizens are of Gaea’s brood (namely, monsters for whom she is responsible for creating), but many are simply monsters who were reformed by luck or fate. Common citizens include medusae, harpies, maedars, minotaurs, and a variety of undead, along with the odd dracolisk, feyr, or manticore.

For an outsider to enter (namely, a normal mortal), they must appear before a group of five great feyrs, who interrogate the traveller. The feyrs of the city, who call their association ‘The Collective Councils,’ decide if a candidate for entry is suitable, and how long someone needs to visit the Bestiary to accomplish their business. ‘Guests’ are given a pass which they must wear prominently about their neck at all time. Failing to do so can result in aggression and even expulsion by peery monsters.

The cavern itself is quite vast, such that the candle-strength lights of the city never illuminate the roof. The stone is carved with smoothness that can’t be achieved without a divine touch, and stairs, causeways, and ladders protrude from the wall where they are needed. Since many creatures in the city have an aversion to bright light, the city is kept fairly dim – making it all the more frightening for visiting mortals to wander in.

The city is a hodge podge at best, filled with houses as varied as the creatures who inhabit them. Roosts for various avian creatures line the walls of the cavern, while everything from towers to burrows fill the space between the orderly paved streets. The only buildings of note are the Market (where food is produced by the will of Gaea and possibly Demeter and traders hawk their goods), the Bathhouse (where fresh water is provided for all to use, and public baths are open), the Speaker’s Hall (where any and all are allowed to speak their minds about anything they wish), and the Outsider’s Refuge (the only inn in the city which serves normal mortals). The city is fairly quiet, and is disturbingly peaceful – most visitors feel the place is about to explode into violence, but in truth that’s about as likely as a chaotic baatezu.

Militia: Part of the agreement to become a citizen of the city is to swear to defend the city from outside invaders (usually Ares’ bloodthirsty bunch or Dionysus’ maddened bacchae). This they do with fervour and dedication. Creatures on the front lines are given back their offensive powers temporarily, often in an enhanced form. It’s not tremendously odd to find an invading army turned to stone or fleeing in magical fear.

Internal defence, however, is a different story. In many ways, it’s every beast for itself, as there is no organised judicial system, nor is there any active police force. Most beasts are not bullies, because of the powerful enemies that can be made in the Bestiary, and those who are often find themselves facing a posse of opinionated monsters with a bone to pick. Generally, though, everyone is civil to everyone else, mainly because they all came here to avoid oppression and misunderstanding, so they won’t stand for it here.

If an outside enters the city and begins stealing (or worse), woe to him! The beasts view mere mortals coming into their homes to oppress them once more very poorly, and in typical Olympian, they react emotionally and without mercy. There is very little crime in the Bestiary.

Services: As mentioned above, citizens can acquire food and water free, and peaceful traders come frequently to sell various household items. Outsiders find themselves with a little less ease, often having to trade with the locals for food and water (unless they buy it from the Outsider’s Refuge, which is overpriced). Many special services exist which are of virtually no interest to normal humans, including scale-shedding body scrapes and animal groomers. Many monsters, now leading a passive life, take up crafts hobbies, and sometimes can be traded with as well. Apart from that, however, little invites people to the Bestiary expect for two things: safe haven (for the monsters) and easy trade (for traders).

Current Chant: Recently, Hamellus has organised a sort of club for various ‘reformed’ undead, which include shadows, wights, ghouls, and other intelligent undead. This somewhat ghastly group (pardon the pun) has produced two things – a wealth of necromantic information and the fear of ‘normal’ monsters who are intimidated by the walking dead (especially since they’re so… humanoid). There has been no reason to restrict this activity, but it has caused a slight bit of tension. The Collective Councils, especially, consider the ‘Deader’s Club’ to be threatening, even though the Feyrs never had any real power in the first place.

In a somewhat lighter development, Trephorae has convinced Factol Montgomery to allow Sensates to visit the city for extended periods, experiencing the strange new sensations of a city of monsters. The Collective Councils must approve each person, but Aphalleus urges them to accept as many candidates as possible. While Trephorae believes that people and monsters should remains separate, she does want others to experience the differing viewpoint, if only for faction reasons.

Source: Belarius

Recommended Reading:

  • Planes of Chaos: Travelogue [2e] p17 (petitioners), 20-21 (major entry for Mount Olympus)

Canonical Sources:

  • Deities & Demigods [3e] p99-134 (realms of Olympian powers) 101 (diagram)
  • Inner Planes [2e] p93 (portals from Olympus to Quasielemental Lightning)
  • In the Cage [2e] p10 (portal to Temple of Hermes, Sigil)
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e] p114 (origin of Mount Olympus),119 (oracle of Pythia), 120-129 (realms of Olympian powers), 124 (map)
  • Planes of Chaos: Book of Chaos [2e] p39 (Mount Olympus in history), 45, 59, 62 (realm of Olympus), 
  • Planes of Chaos: Monstrous Supplement [2e] p21 (snow hair oreads on Mount Olympus)
  • Planes of Conflict: Liber Malevolentiae [2e] p5 (Olympus for Lower Planar travel), 45 (Olympus on the Gray Waste)
  • Planes of Conflict: Players Guide [2e] p4 (short summary)
  • Planes of Conflict: Adventures in Conflict [2e] p4-5 (adventure set on Olympus)
  • Planescape Campaign Setting: DM’s Guide [2e] p45 (short summary), 50 (Mount Olympus connection to Arborea), 59 (Gray Waste)
  • Planewalker’s Handbook [2e] p12 (portal colours),16 (connection to Arborea), 20 (Gray Waste), 21 (Carceri), 38 (no keys needed for portals), 42-43 (two-way nature of portals on Olympus), 118 (dangers of using gate ward spell on Olympus)
  • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil [2e] p121 (Mount Olympus is Zadara’s birthplace)

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