[ Arcadia ] [ Abellio | Buxenus | Nemausus ]


The Peaceable Kingdoms, the Garden Plane

The Plane of Community. The Land Where You Belong.

That could easily have been said of Arcadia, basher. It’s a plane where everything fits neatly. Everything, that is, that’s supposed to be there. Woe betide any sod who finds they don’t fit in: They’ll find plenty of Arcadian bashers willing to send them packing to somewhere more suitable

Looking across the wonderful pastures and expanses of tamed arable land, you can’t fail to notice how organised agricultural methods are on Arcadia, the Garden Plane. The hedgerows are continually trimmed by petitioners, and even the fallow land is well-groomed. Rigid crop rotation is practised, and the weather is always neatly predictable enough to ensure the best possible growing seasons.

Arcadia ain’t all just plants, though. Communities of petitioners spontaneously form themselves, for Arcadians are a gregarious bunch of bashers. While one voice represents the collective (often that of a proxy) the community themselves have identities and personalities too. Arcadia is a plane of politics too, with all kinds of governmental systems represented here, as each community adopts and tweaks a system to best fit the needs of their members. From monarchies to communes, the Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcade diverse but, on the whole, relatively cooperative with each other.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

—Arcadian saying

Bashers not in one of these communities (or in the wrong ones), tend to be sought out (or captured), returned to the fold and encouraged to adopt a more suitable attitude. In Arcadia, breaching community rules is a serious offence, and always results in a trial, with a serious punishment being handed out to those found guilty. It ain’t often that a basher gets anyone defending him either: the rest of the community speaks as one.

The Plane

Flower fields of Abellio

Though it’s the plane of law and neutrality tempered by good, Arcadia engenders almost as many feuds as Ysgard. The powers who live on Arcadia tend to have  distinct ideas about what law, neutrality and goodness entail, and most of them are anxious to let others know just how and what they think.

The plane’s orderly in nearly every way. Its orchards consist of trees growing in straight lines, all without having been planted that way. Its fields glimmer with grass that grows to a certain height and no higher, much like a rich berk’s lawn. Its streams flow straight, taking right-angled turns when they bend–no oxbow lakes here, berk! And its animals are willing to do what they can for the common good of the plane. Foxes willingly give up their silver fur. Geese line up at the chopping block. Even bees don’t attack anyone reaching for honey–at least, if the berk’s lawful and neutral or good. It’s a flawless form of existence. In the land of Perfect Good, nothing intrudes on the harmony–at least it better not, or it’s going to get scragged.

It’s said that there are three layers to Arcadia. However, it’s not easy to get past the first layer because the Arcadians aren’t too keen on outsiders coming through and mucking with the natural order. They’ll turn back anyone who tries to go through the gates, and they’re willing to do it hard. No one talks about why the Arcadians are so vigilant about the second layer. It’s said that, years ago, it was still permitted for visitors to travel freely between the layers (alignment permitting). Now it’s far trickier for a planewalker to get past the first layer. What’s more, it’s getting harder all the time to travel around Arcadia without being questioned more and more frequently—and testily. The einheriar, the petitioner protectors, of the plane like to make sure chaotic and evil berks don’t have an easy time. Of course, this makes everyone all the more curious about what they’re hiding, and thus increases the security the einheriar have to devote to patrolling the plane.

The Locals

Those who live on Arcadia (regardless of whether they are petitioners, planars or powers) tend to be just a little fanatical about the way the world ought to be. They feel the greatest good comes when an individual makes a sacrifice for the greater number, and Arcadians are willing to see that folks make that sacrifice. All Arcadians are willing to sacrifice themselves to save others; it’s no crime to them to go down in defence of good. 

The petitioners of Arcadia come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no emphasis placed on height, weight, age, gender, sexuality, race or species. Despite differences of appearance, Arcadian petitioners have quite similar philosophies: They’re fanatic about keeping their plane pure, and most of them join the einheriar militia at one point or other.

People who can’t pass as lawful and/or good might want to reconsider visiting this plane though. Chaotic good folks are tolerated, as long as they respect the laws. Neutral goods are expected to finish their business and leave. Neutrals of any other sort are escorted to the nearest gate leading out, and folks who’ve followed the path of evil are attacked immediately–no questions asked. So, unless a body’s lawful good–or has magic that can mask his aura–he’s best advised to be careful in Arcadia.

The known powers of Arcadia include Clangeddin Silverbeard and Reorx of the dwarves; Meriadar of the mongrelfolk; Ra and Osiris, who share the realm Heliopolis with Isis and Horus; Izanami and Izanagi, powers of land and creation; Lu Hsing of the Celestial Bureaucracy; and Azuth of Toril. The powers generally don’t squabble with each other, even though each has definite ideas on what are the best ways to achieve that comon good. ‘Course, that doesn’t mean their proxies and followers don’t fight, but the powers try to discourage it. The best way to achieve the common good is to work together, a philosophy that’s attracted the Harmonium faction.

 The Hardheads have a known interest in this plane, and nothing they say can disguise that. They’re drawn to the “Greatest good for the greatest number” line that the folks here hold; surprisingly, the Harmonium’s ideal of what’s good is often close to the Arcadian’s ideal. The two groups get along very well indeed. Especially when it comes to whacking chaotic berks. 

It’s said (mostly by the inhabitants of the plane) that everything in Arcadia is as perfect as it can be, neither as strictly regimented as Mechanus, nor as devoted to the perfection of the individual as Mount Celestia. Well, that ain’t entirely true. There’s a dark underside to the plane that the inhabitants are blind to, mostly because they’re a part of it. They’re so convinced of their own rightness that they can’t see their flaws, and this has proved a problem for them time and time again. In short, the plane is as perfect as it’s going to be, if a cutter likes everything neat, ordered and in its place. It’s the people who are the problem.

Magic on Arcadia

There’s a few things a berk should know about Arcadian magic, and no one—not even the Harmonium—is likely to pass that information on, so listen close. The most important thing anyone should know about magic cast on Arcadia is that it takes twice as long to cast a spell here as anywhere else, regardless of the spell or spellcaster. Also, there’s a number of spells that can’t be cast if the caster’s only thinking of the benefits to himself. This is the plane of common good, so small groups of good folks can’t use harmful magic on large groups of good folks. If the larger group’s evil, fine. Otherwise, forget about the spell.

Physical Conditions

If a body’s lawful and good, there’s very little for her to worry about when she gets to Arcadia. She can wander the fields and forests, admiring their perfection, their safety and their other idyllic qualities. This is a place where order permeates everything, even nature. Everything is devoted to the common good, and everything seems to work towards a common goal. The animals are all larger than on prime worlds (max hit points) and all provide more to those who harvest them. Forget nature here; everything works in an obvious, predetermined order to grant the greatest good to the greatest number.

There’s nothing native to the plane that doesn’t contribute to making this a place of perfection and peace. The fields and forests all bear as much fruit and grain as possible, existing in perfect rows of tree and stem. There’s no trees in the fields, there’s no grain in the forests; everything sits within its own purview in neat rows and never intrudes on the domains of the others. Even the “wild” flowers’re separated by colour, and always grow to the same height as the neighbouring grasses of the plains around. The trees are straight and tall, with branches and twigs coming at positions that just seem predetermined.

The beasts of the forest and fields don’t usually seem all that interested in attacking a berk, preferring to leave travellers alone. However, there are times when a cutter upsets something in the strictly regimented order, and this brings the flora and fauna down on his head. The dark of it’s that the creatures are as attuned to the Arcadian order of things as the trees and grass, and they just don’t like to see sods messing with a pattern that’s best left alone

It’s said there’s three layers to Arcadia. Unlike most of the Upper Planes, this one slopes downward through the layers, so that the third layer (or where it is supposed to be) is hidden in fogs at the bottom of a great valley. The dark of it is that there’s only two layers right now. The natural order’s gone a bit awry, and that’s reflected in the inhabitants of the plane.

Arcadian seasons are abrupt but mild. The seasons are exactly numbered, with four seasons of three months each, with 27 days (or three times three times three) in each. The changes in seasons are sudden, controlled by the Orb of Day and Night. However there is no sun or moon to mark the time, and there’s no lengthening or shortening of the days to indicate the season–not that a body needs day length to tell it in Arcadia. The seasons are each distinctive, each the perfect season of its type. Winter blankets the land in snow, falling evenly where it’s needed, and leaving alone the places where it’s not. Spring sees everything in bloom, and the scent of sweet flowers is omnipresent. Summer is a warm time, although not overly hot. Autumn tints everything with an aura of sadness, and also with underlying hope for the new year. The seasons of the first two layers are exactly opposite, so spring in Abellio means it’s Autumn in Buxenus. The switch between the two might be a little abrupt for some, but those who are prepared for it don’t find it too difficult to adjust.

The Orb of Day and Night

The Orb of Day and Night

Night and day are determined by the orb, a perfect sphere nestled atop Abiello’s tallest peak. Half of the orb radiates light, and the other half darkness. It rotates evenly and without fail, spreading light and dark across the entire infinite plane, to give the inhabitants a 24-hour day. There’s no gray areas, no dawn or dusk; only two extremes. Night comes as a straight line across the plain, spreading a blanket of stars behind it. Day comes just as quickly, filling the air with a bright blue. Though it’s a neat system, and it’s easy to see when a day is about to begin or end, it’s also rough on the eyes; there’s no chance to adjust one way or the other to the sudden change in light. Anyone who’s not used to it suffers two rounds of disorientation while their eyes adapt. For those going to Arcadia for the first time, it’s a good idea to close one’s eyes when the dividing line comes, unless a body doesn’t mind seeing spots for a minute or two.

The night cast by the orb is not one of total inky blackness. Instead, it’s a starry night, such as that a body might see looking up at the sky on a Prime world. No one knows what the stars really are, but there’s cutters who’ve tried to learn the dark of it, most especially the Guvners. It’s rumoured they’re the actual realms of the powers of Arcadia, and those who reach the realms on the layers are transported to the stars. That doesn’t explain why there are so many stars, but it’s a popular explanation.

The Storm Kings

The weather in Arcadia’s controlled by the Storm Kings, four bloods who’ve mastered the shifting vagaries of clouds and wind, rain and lightning. Each of the kings (who are called kings no matter their gender) controls one of the elements of the weather, and they work in tandem to produce startling displays. Of course, they can manifest their elements singly, but the Rain King and the Lightning King usually choose to reserve their abilities for use with Wind and Cloud. When they work singly or in pairs, the Storm Kings produce normal weather; when they work in threes of all together, they generate the storms. When it storms in one place in Arcadia, it storms across the whole plane. The Storm Kings can exempt areas from the storm, but they rarely choose to do so. 

They follow their own laws, laid down eons ago by some forgotten power. Though the weather sometimes seems as chaotic as on any prime world, the Storm Kings do have a set of rules by which they determine the weather for the plane. It’s no dark that there’s never a storm that lasts more than 24 hours, or one rotation of the Orb of Day and Night. Any storm that comes it at least three days after the last one, and they’re never separated by more than one week.

The Storm Kings live in citadels spaced evenly around the Orb of Day and Night, at what a prime would call the compass points of the plane. Each of them is infinitely far from the mountain of the Orb, yet can be reached in 3-18 days of travel. The citadels reach high into the skies – the peaks of the citadels cannot be seen, for they vanish into a mysterious haze 1,000 feet in the air. Chant’s that from the tips of the towers, the storm kings can see all the way across the infinite plane.

The Storm Kings act as watchful eyes of the plane and express their displeasure with bad weather. When the more severe storms hit the plane, the einherar become restless, and hunt all the more vigorously for the interlopers who have surely upset the perfect harmony of the Arcadian meadows.

Arcadia values its beliefs highly. Just argue with one of the Hardheads and you’ll come to understand the strength of their devotion. However, on a level beneath the surface equality and sense of community lie secrets the flock of Arcadia don’t even dream of…

Darks of Arcadia

The Shepherds of Arcadia are a sect of priests and bards who act as missionaries caring for lost souls. They’re fervent believers and use every means possible to illustrate the Arcadian Way of Thinking in the best possible light. Despite their tight-knit gatherings, Arcadians welcome visitors, seeing them as a chance to spread the doctrines which being them so much happiness. At least, they welcome the right sort of travellers. Fiends, creatures of chaos, and adventurers who are seeking to cause trouble fall into the wrong sort.

Rumour has it that a baatezu ‘convert’ is leading a community, disguised of course, with the backing of the Harmonium, spreading its evangelical wings far and wide. Some of the smaller communities nearby have mysteriously disappeared without trace.

Still more dark, it’s said that several Arcadian proxies have been sent to Faerun to wrestle the secret magics used in the Cyrinishad from the evil priests of Cyric. Planehoppers unfamiliar with the story of this terrible tome need only to know that the power Cyric was foolish enough to read the book he had written, which proclaimed him supreme being of the Multiverse, and he was seduced into believing the lie. He’s now a barmy wreck in Pandemonium.

Of course, the Arcadians would surely put the mind-bending magics of the Cyrinishad to good ends, but it makes a body wonder just how far the ends justify the means?

Travelling Arcadia

The Wisteria Road of Abellio

Arcadia’s criss-crossed with roads. There’s a road network that leads from every important site to every other important site. It’s even said that if a body knows the right path, key (a series of words or a particular phrase), she can step on the road and have it carry her almost immediately to her destination. The words are kept dark, except for the high-ups in Arcadia, but a body can bet there’s people willing to pay a lot of jink for those keys. Otherwise, rapid travel around the plane requires each traveller to face a temptation and resist it.

Now, one of the side effects of having all these roads all over the plane is that it means people’ve got to use them. Unless a body’s got business tramping about in the fields or woods (such as farming or harvesting), he’s likely not to be from around here. And if he’s not from around here, he’s got to be stopped and questioned – extensively, since law-abiding folk all use the roads, and anyone who doesn’t must have a certain contempt for the law. The militia patrols therefore question nearly anyone they see who’s off the road in the wilderness of Arcadia – even farmers. Who knows? They could be spies dressed in farmer’s clothing.

Themes of Arcadia

Lawful Aspects of Arcadia

  • Highly organised and heirarchical societies
  • Home of the concepts of civilisation, language and translation
  • Imposition of order onto nature
  • Symmetry and standardisation is prevalent

Aspects of Goodness in Arcadia

  • Paradise environment of plenty
  • Harmoniousness, if you fit in
  • Equality between folks, so long as you behave

Sources of Conflict in Arcadia

  • Rigid societal rules, some groups can be anti-miscegenist
  • Some kinds of thoughts and knowledge are forbidden
  • Authority is rarely questioned
  • Tension between edicts of powers and politics of mortal kingdoms
  • Bogeymen (fey) protect the orchards (even if they are chaotic, they serve the greater purpose of the plane by upholding the harmony)

Abellio — Layer the First

Abellio represents the organisation of nature for the mutual benefit of society. The inhabitants work in harmony with nature and nature responds in kind. In the harmonious ecosystem even the wild beasts contribute to the common good. It is the plane of treading lightly and taking only what you need. Abellio is often called the plane of plenty—vegetation grows abundantly without pests, gardens are beautifully organised without weeds, and orchards bestow bountiful crops.

Find more chant on Abellio here…

Buxenus — Layer the Second

Buxenus represents the first line of defence of the Upper Planes against the ravages of the Blood War, and the goblinoid hordes. Its people believe that a strong offense is the best defence, and the Marches of Buxenus are frequently filled with warriors being drilled in combat. The warriors of Buxenus are self-sacrificing bloods, prepared to put their lives (or afterlives) on the line to defend the peace and tranquility of all of Arcadia.

Find more chant on Buxenus here…

Nemausus — Layer the Third

All information on Nemausus has been interdicted by order of Factol Sarin of the Harmonium

Find more chant on Nemausus here…

More details to follow!

Source: Paul Nasrat and Jon Winter-Holt,

Canonical References: See also the excellent Planes of Law boxed set for more details on Arcadia.

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