Arcadia (Dungeons & Dragons)

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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Arcadia (/ɑːrˈkdiə/ ar-KAY-dee-ə)[1] or more fully, the Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia, is a lawful neutral/lawful 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.

Arcadia is a peaceful harmony between law and good and is noted for its tranquility and strict discipline. Everything on Arcadia has its specified place and everything functions as intended. Trees naturally form tight rows in orchards and streams snake across the perfectly flat plains in complex mathematical routes. Large geometric cities are perfectly laid out with efficient roads and beautiful architecture.

The Orb of Day and Night is a huge sphere that sits atop the tallest mountain in Arcadia, one side is illuminated and the other dark. The orb rotates at a constant speed so that exactly half of the plane is in darkness while the other half is illuminated. There is no dawn or dusk on Arcadia, but a sudden sharp change. The weather on Arcadia is always pleasant and seasons are of exactly equal length, which like the days, change abruptly when it is time.

Publication history[edit]

The plane known as Arcadia 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.[2] 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 Arcadia of neutral good lawfuls".[3]


As with other outer planes, Arcadia is spatially infinite, consisting of two infinite layers or sub-planes. It has normal gravity and normal time. Arcadia’s first layer, Abellio, shares borders with the neighbouring planes of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia and the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus; travel is possible between Arcadia and these planes at certain locations. Travel between Arcadia's two layers is possible via numerous portals present on both layers, as well other magical means such as spells.

A third layer, called Menausus was once part of Arcadia, but has since merged with Mechanus when populations of lawful-aligned Formians increased in numbers there, shifting its alignment away from good and toward law. This third layer was known as Nemausus in the Planescape setting. According to the boxed set, Planes of Law, it also merged with Mechanus due to the Harmonium's attempts to forcefully convert other beings into being lawful good. This act placed more emphasis on law rather than good, causing the whole layer to fall into Mechanus.


Abellio is a mostly flat layer, but does contain mountains and hills at various points. There are numerous large forests, lakes, streams and fields.

Mount Clangeddin, the realm of dwarf deity Clangeddin Silverbeard is located on Abellio. It is a perfectly shaped conical mountain rising over 30,000 ft. above the surrounding lands. The mountain itself is full of expertly constructed dwarven halls and galleries. Huge forges are used in the construction of dwarven weapons here.

The Formian hive-city of Mandible is also located here.

A number of godly realms exist on Abellio, including The Bastion of Law, realm of Saint Cuthbert; the Anvil of Creation, realm of Reorx; Cherry Blossom, the realm of Izanagi and Izanami; Marduk, the realm of Marduk; and The Ministry of Rewards, realm of Lu Hsing.[citation needed]


In appearance there are very few differences between Buxenus and the first layer Abellio; similar pristine landscapes stretching on endlessly. This layer hosts a more militaristic feel, with large numbers of Arcadian forces congregating in anticipation for future battles with the neighbouring plane of Mechanus.

The Harmonium, a particularly militant sect have their headquarters in the city of Melodia on Buxenus. The Harmonium run training camps to indoctrinate 'borrowed' chaotic mortals in the ways of law and order.

Heliopolis, a separate plane in the 3rd-Edition Forgotten Realms cosmology occupies a part of Buxenus. Here it is hot and covered with sand-filled deserts dotted with vast pyramids and obelisks. A single life-giving river flows through its centre and it is home to the gods of the Mulhorandi Pantheon. In 2nd-Edition cosmology, this realm was occupied by Ra, Isis, Osiris, and Horus.

Azuth, a realm of magic and wizards is hidden on Buxenus. Only wizards can see through the illusions that protect its cave-entrance. Once inside, a great staircase suspended in space leads down to the city of Mage's Rest at the bottom. Naturally, the god Azuth lives here.

The reclusive goblinoid deity of the mongrelfolk, Meriadar makes his realm, The Hand of Peace, on Buxenus.[4]

Creative origins[edit]

Arcadia is based on the Arcadia of Peloponnesian Greece and the writings of Virgil, where it was a place of pastoral happiness and simplicity.[5]


  1. ^ Mentzer, Frank. "Ay pronunseeAY shun gyd" Dragon #93 (TSR, 1985)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary (July 1977). "Planes: The Concepts of Spatial, Temporal and Physical Relationships in D&D". The Dragon #8. TSR. I (8): 4. 
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary (1978). Players Handbook. TSR. ISBN 0-935696-01-6. 
  4. ^ McComb, Colin (1996). On Hallowed Ground. TSR Inc. p. 179. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5. 
  5. ^ DeVarque, Aardy. "Literary Sources of D&D". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 


Outer Planes
Celestia Bytopia Elysium Beastlands Arborea
Arcadia ↑Good↑ Ysgard
Mechanus ←Lawful Outlands Chaotic→ Limbo
Acheron ↓Evil↓ Pandemonium
Baator Gehenna Hades Carceri Abyss