The Gate Ring
The Gate Ring

The Gate Ring

Once Around the Great Ring

Even a clueless cony could tell you the best way to get from the Outlands to the planes of the Great Ring is through a gate-town. Thing is, assuming you survive the ‘Ring in one piece, would you know how to get back again?

If you’re shaking your head right now, don’t worry, most planewalkers couldn’t tell you the whole dark themselves, anyway. I ain’t most planewalkers though, lucky for you, and even luckier I’ve stored the chant in this mimir right here. So, next time you’re hipped in Oinos, better crank up the old silver skull, eh?

Like I’ve said before (and I’ll no doubt say it again), I have seen the planes. I’ve walked the Great Ring once, and I know the gates like the inside of my own coffin. ‘Least, I know how things were done when I took the trip, anyway. While the planes are eternal, don’t count on things never changing: I ain’t guaranteeing my dark against Fire, Theft or Acts of the Gods.

Anyways, you’re probably askin’ youself what I’m rattling on about. I’m recording this chant to tell you cutters about the natural gates that link the Great Ring. It’s common chant that the Gate Towns’ll take you from the Outlands to the Ring, but what most berks don’t realise is they won’t find a friendly little town on the other side waiting for ’em. The other benefit of gates over portals is that you won’t need a key to use them.

Mount Celestia

The Outland Gate to Excelsior

For example, the gate from Excelsior will drop a basher about thirty feet from its arrival point, straight into the Silver Sea! Now the temperature is always lovely, and the water sweet and fresh–but if said planewalker is of an undead persuasion or a little bit fiendish, they should probably take note that the Silver Sea is technically holy water. The burg of Heart’s Faith can be found nearby on the shore—the first layer of Celestia is called Lunia, by the way—but if you want to get back to the Outlands, look out for an archway of red marble, splattered with flecks of blue. It’ll be standing there in the surf.

Bytopia

The gate to Bytopia is actually a living being, called the Master Trader. As such, he moves around the Outlands constantly, but usually remains near Tradegate. Planewalkers will have to negotiate their own deal with this blood, as he can apparently drop travellers anywhere they want on Dothoin, the first later of Bytopia. Although they closer they want to arrive to their destination, the harder the bargaining will be, and the higher the fee. As with many things on Bytopia, getting back is hard work. There’s a gate at the Centrespire, but for reasons unknown it can be unreliable, with the destination switching between the Beastlands, Bytopia and the Outlands. Occasionally, it can drop a berk in the Lower Planes. You’re best off looking for a portal to Sigil, or getting a job travelling with a merchant caravan.

Elysium

The gate to Elysium leads to a dark cavern on the banks of the River Oceanus, about a day’s travel from Release from Care. How do you return to the Outlands? Cutter, you’re not going to want to come back. Perhaps the same cavern will take you, I don’t know.

Beastlands

Now the gate to the Beastlands (in the gate-town of Faunel) barely has a town on the Outlands side, so it’s sure as heck not going to have one on the Beastland side. Coming out into Krigala, you’re most likely to emerge from a hole in the side of a tree.

Arborea

The Arborean gate delivers bashers to one location (usually), but ain’t always reliable. Most gates out of the plane are walled off by the Olympian or Elven powers, mainly to stop dangerous beasts using them. There’s also a heavy traffic in foodstuffs going off the plane (Arborea is, after all, the breadbasket of the planes). It’s also a cert that the portals off-plane will be guarded by nature spirits, who’d demand sacrifices to let travellers through. The portal back the gate town of Sylvania, Arvandor’s link to the Outlands, stands near Lolth’s Grove, making it dangerous for travellers. There’s another gate to the Outlands in the burg of Thrassos, although you’ll need the permission of the town elders to use it.

Ysgard

The Ysgardian gate-town portals are twofold… one leads out over the water onto a fjord, the other into a cavern linked to Yggdrasil. To get back to the Outlands, a cutter might have to cut a deal with the Fated. They say that Heartless Hall has a portal that leads to the Grove of the Norns. You might find it easier just to find one of Yggdrasil’s roots or branches and take a longer journey, or the portal in the burg of Skeinheim.

Limbo

The gate to Limbo, while in the burg of Xaos/aXos/soXa is impossible to describe, since it is never the same thing twice. The best advice for planewalkers is to seek out the strangest thing you’ve ever seen, and that’s probably the gate. It drops travellers off in a particularly turbulent part of Limbo. To get back, you’ll need to look for a portal in the soup itself. They spontaneously form and collapse, and the terrain around them is even more turbulent than the rest of the plane, and they lead to the Outlands, Ysgard or Pandemonium. However, you’ll also need some luck: there’s only a 33% chance they’ll take you to the destination you wanted to go to.

Pandemonium

The gate from Bedlam drops cutters into an unremarkable dark tunnel, not too far from the Harmonica. Sometimes it plays tricks and splits parties into two separate tunnels. Fear not too much though because they’ll be fairly near to each other. It’s just very disconcerting when it happens. Gates leading out of Pandemonium are dead-end tunnels, and they’re fickle like the portals of Limbo. If you’re confronted by a sudden breeze blowing out of nowhere, you’re most likely about to walk through a gate. On the plus side, they are rarely guarded.

The Abyss

The gate from Plague-Mort leads to the Plain of Infinite Portals. The gate dumps travellers into the badlands, a random distance from the burg of Broken Reach. The sure-fire way back is a gate in Broken Reach itself, in the basement of the keep of Red Shroud, the succubus ruler of the burg. She likes to keep tabs on comings and goings from the Outlands. There’s also a massive stone nearby that can be rolled in to seal the basement off during times of trouble.

Carceri

They say the Carcerian gate in Curst is a one-way affair, pretty much… you just ain’t leaving the prison plane that easily. However, if you find a gate of even dimensions in Carceri (a square) its probably headed for the Outlands. Don’t expect to find Carceri’s gates unguarded, though (legend has it that in order to leave you have to be stronger than the means you got in by… but that could mean anything!)

The Gray Waste

The Gray Waste portal in Hopeless can drop a cutter anywhere on Oinos, though if travellers link hands or use special magic, they’re bound to end up the same place. The portals off the plane to the Outlands look like great spinning coins, endlessly tumbling in the air, and shining out over the Waste like silver.

Gehenna

The gate to Gehenna in Torch is a blood-red gemstone that hovers 100 feet from the ground. Flying up to it or jumping from an overhanging precipice are the two ways to use it. The locals say the return gate is on “stable ground”, though anyone who tells you this usually sniggers afterwards… The truth is the gates off the plane are bottomless pits, which you’re supposed to jump down! Luckily, some of them are marked, and some of these aren’t even tricks. Good luck!

Baator

The Cursed Gate from Ribcage to Avernus, the first layer of Baator emerges near Darkspine, a collection of ruins that just happens to have some berks still stubbornly living in them. Chant goes it’s all that remains of the last gate-town that slipped over into Baator from the Outlands. And there are four more similar ruined burgs between Darkspine and the Styx. In olden times the gate from the Outlands used to come out on the banks of the Styx, which means Avernus is slowly growing. Whether the gates in those ruins still work is debatable.

Acheron

The gate to Acheron, located in Rigus actually has three possible destinations. According to a complex formula that involves the number of executions in Rigus in the past week, the gate will take travellers to either the Battle Cube where the goblinoid armies are at war, or the Mercykiller stronghold of Vorkehan, or to the Blue Cube. The gate itself in deep underneath the burg of Rigus, one mile down in a network of well-guarded tunnels. You’re not getting through without a permit. To get back to the Outlands you need to find one of the spherical portals that appear at those three locations on the plane. Portals that lead to the Outlands are silent; ones that make harmonious or discordant sounds lead to Mechanus and Baator respectively.

Mechanus

The Mechanical portal of Automata can lead anywhere depending on any number of arcane and obscure factors. Make sure you specify your required destination when you apply for a permit to travel in Automata! There is, however, one certain way back: A portal to the Outlands on the underside of the Modron’s Great Disk.

Arcadia

The Arcadian gate in Fortitude drops cutters off into the forest between the keeps of the Wind and Lightning Kings. Gates back to the Outlands look like pitch black archways, and are often guarded by Hardheads.

Canonical Sources: A Player’s Primer to the Outlands, Planes of Law, Planes of Chaos, Planes of Conflict

Source: Ken Lipka, Jon Winter-Holt

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