Elysium (Dungeons & Dragons)

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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Elysium, or more fully, the Blessed Fields of Elysium, is a strongly good-aligned plane of existence. It is one of a number of alignment-based Outer Planes that form part of the standard Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) cosmology, used in the Planescape, Greyhawk and some editions of the Forgotten Realms campaign settings.

Publication history[edit]

The plane known as Elysium was mentioned for the first time by name in the article "Planes: The Concepts of Spatial, Temporal and Physical Relationships in D&D", in The Dragon #8, released July 1977. In the article Gary Gygax describes the plane as one of the "Typical higher planes".[1] The plane was mentioned again in an appendix of the known planes of existence in the original (1st edition) AD&D Players Handbook, published in June 1978, where it was described as "The planes of Elysium of neutral good".[2]

Description[edit]

Elysium is a plane of idyllic good and the destination of the souls who sought always to further the cause of good without regard to law or chaos. Elysium is home to many celestial creatures, predominantly the guardinals, a race of celestials native to the plane.

Here colours become more vibrant, with the land itself working to remain as peaceful and alive as possible. Extended visits to Elysium causes one to lose interest in leaving, eventually becoming petitioners to the plane (similar to the effect that its evil counterpart, the Gray Waste, has on visitors). Other hazards include angering the plane's natives, who are surprisingly formidable.

The appearance and conditions of Elysium differ between each layer of the plane between beautiful forests and lakes to rugged mountains and watery swamps. The River Oceanus, its side channels and contributories dominate many areas of the plane with its headwaters located in the fourth layer of the plane. The river itself continually splits and recombines at many points throughout its course across Elysium.

One of the Planescape factions, The Transcendent Order, also maintains a large presence here. Although they don't keep an official headquarters, they can be found throughout the plane, following their hearts and generally striving for greater harmony with their surroundings.

Structure[edit]

As an outer plane, Elysium is spatially infinite, further consisting of four infinite layers (or sub-planes). Elysium’s first layer shares borders with the neighbouring planes of the Wilderness of the Beastlands and the Twin Paradises of Bytopia; travel is possible between Elysium and these planes at certain locations.

Layers[edit]

Elysium consists of the following layers:

Amoria[edit]

Amoria is the topmost layer of Elysium and is supposedly one of the most hospitable places in all of the Outer Planes. It closely resembles the Material Plane with many town settlements along the banks of the River Oceanus. Amoria is the most populated layer of Elysium, with many residents utilising boats to travel around the layer. It has very mild seasons, with gentle winters and comfortable summers.

The rulers of the guardinals reside on this layer, their first is Prince Talisid, the most powerful leonal. He has command over the Five Champions, Duke Lucan, Duchess Callisto, Duke Windheir, Lord Hwyn, and Lord Rhanok. They have power comparable to the archdukes of Baator or the demon princes of the Abyss.

Amoria is the location of a number of godly realms, including, Pelor's realm of Light's Blessing, Majere's realm of Contemplation, Savitri's realm of Domain of the Day-Long Sun, Mishakal's realm of Healer's Home, Isis' realm of Quietude, Kuan-ti's realm of Valorhome, Ishtar's realm of City of the Star.

Eronia[edit]

Eronia is a rugged mountainous layer of hills and jagged peaks. On this layer, the weather is much more severe with violent windstorms and lightning being common. The seasons are more extreme with bitter winters and hot summers.

The godly realms located on Eronia include, Enlil's realm of Great Mountain of the East, Bragi's realm of HarpHearth, Tsukuyomi's realm of Mirror of the Moon, halfling deity Urogalan's realm of Soulearth, and giant goddess Hiatea's realm of Woodhaven.

Homes of several Forgotten Realms deities exist on Eronia in previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons, including Mystra's realm of Dweomerheart, Chauntea's realm of The Great Mother's Garden, which she shares with Liu and Lathander's realm of Morninglory, which he shares with Ushas.

Belierin[edit]

Belierin is a layer composed mostly of bogs and marshes, with tangles of mangroves in many places. Only a few settlements exist here on rocky spurs above the level of the swamps, many with a cathedral-like lighthouse, which directs travelers through the mists to safety.

This layer is supposedly the prison of some unknown dangerous entity, possibly a large creature, or denizen, of the lower planes. What is known is that it is not uncommon for evil creatures to be sighted here and the guardinals are constantly fighting back attacks by evil forces here.

The goddess Nut lives on Belierin in her realm of The Refuge of Night.

Thalasia[edit]

Thalasia is the origin layer of the River Oceanus that flows though the other layers. The layer is dotted with islands, known collectively as the Isles of the Holy Dead, the Isles of the Blessed, the Hills of Avalon, the Islands beyond the World, and the Heroic Isles.

Godly realms on this layer include, O-Wata-Tsu-Mi's realm of Citadel of the Sea, Belenus and Brigantia's shared realm of Isles of the Blessed, selkie deity Surminare's realm of Selkies' Grotto. Trishina can be found wandering on Thalasia when not with her consort, Deep Sashelas.

Fauna[edit]

Creative origins[edit]

Elysium is based on the Elysium of Greek mythology.[citation needed]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary (July 1977). "Planes: The Concepts of Spatial, Temporal and Physical Relationships in D&D". The Dragon #8 (TSR) I (8): 4. 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary (1978). Players Handbook. TSR. ISBN 0-935696-01-6. 

References[edit]

  • Grubb, Jeff; Cordell, B.R.; Noonan D. (2001). Manual of the Planes. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1850-0. 
  • McComb, Colin (1996). On Hallowed Ground. TSR Inc. p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5. 
Outer Planes
Celestia Bytopia Elysium Beastlands Arborea
Arcadia ↑Good↑ Ysgard
Mechanus ←Lawful Outlands Chaotic→ Limbo
Acheron ↓Evil↓ Pandemonium
Baator Gehenna Hades Carceri Abyss


External links[edit]