OLYMPIAN GLADES OF ARBOREA
It is a plane of passion and peace.
It is abundant nature in its patchwork glory.
It is the domain of the Elven Lords.
The Olympian Glades of Arborea are a crazy quilt of climates
and environments, all of which thrive. Arborea
contains great woods of towering maples, birch, and oak.
These great deciduous trees strain skyward, leaving a
forest floor relatively free of undergrowth and brush. The
ground beneath the canopy itself is a rolling landscape of
velvet moss and ferns. But the forestscape sometimes
retreats before open glades of wildflowers, fields of
swaying wheat and barley, and neat rows of fruit trees
untended by any human hand. Here are trees that have
never seen the woodsman’s axe, fields rich with grain, and
orchards heavy with fruit.
The very air of Arborea seems charged with anticipation
and excitement. Sudden squalls brew up out of nowhere,
beating the tree-lined paths with heavy winds. They pass
within minutes and leave behind warm, sunny arcs of
light filtering through the forest canopy. In the distance
there always seems to be music; sometimes the elves and
the fey are playing, but just as often the faint tune is
merely the wind curling through the boles of the great
Arborea is a place with flowers in bloom and trees
bearing fruit simultaneously. There are uplands covered
with snow, but even the snow shines beneath a crystalblue
sky. Arborea is almost overwhelming in its beauty,
and the land embodies both wilderness and loveliness in
Yet only the top layer of Arborea has the great forest
implied in the name of the plane. Arborea’s second layer is
an endless ocean, and its third layer a borderless desen of
white dust. All three layers are places of mercurial
weather, sudden attacks, and strong passions. Arborea is a
plane of joy and sorrow.
Arborea has the following traits.
- Normal Gravity.
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size: The part of Arborea best known to
visitors from the Material Plane is the home of the
Elven Court. There may be realms beyond it presided
over by deities unknown.
- Divinely Morphic: Deities can change the traits of the
plane and remake the landscape; mortals must use spells
and physical effort to change their environment.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits.
- Mildly Good-Aligned and Mildly Chaos-Aligned:
Evil or lawful characters suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma-
based checks. Lawful evil characters suffer a –4
- Normal Magic.
ARBOREA LINKSArborea borders the Beastlands and Ysgard. Natural portals between these locations are common, as are shifting borders that automatically switch travelers from one plane to its neighbor.
Celestials are common in Arborea, especially the eladrin,
powerful elflike protectors of the plane. The best known
and most common of this breed is the ghaele, which are
often found hunting in the wilderness of this plane. In
addition to ghaele eladrin, the fine eladrin, guardians of
beauty and art, are common here. Both appear elven, but
they have a more noble demeanor than elves of the Material
Plane. Though regal-looking, the eladrin are fierce in
combat. Evil creatures lurking in Arborea quake in their
boors at the thought of an eladrin hunting party.
Many lillends make their homes in Arborea, thriving on
the emotions that ripple through the plane.
Arborea is also the home of many celestial or anarchic
versions of creatures found on the Material Plane. Celestial
creatures tend to leave travelers alone unless crossed,
at which point they fight with relish. Anarchic creatures,
on the other hand, are as unreliable and unpredictable as
Arborea has two common types of petitioners. The first are
the spirits of the elven dead, whose souls have migrated to
Arborea and their final reward. Some infuse the plane
itself, others are reformed into celestial or anarchic
creatures, and still others serve as petitioners in the elven
realm of Arvandor, the first layer of Arborea.
These last act as scouts and wardens for the communities
on the plane, serving the Elven Court in their magic
glades and great castles. The deity of the elves, Corellon
Larethian, rewards worthy souls in the afterlife with elven
form and service in his oak-lined halls. Here they enjoy an
afterlife of hunts, trysts, and celebrations in the elven
fashion. These petitioners, known as the Chosen of Arvandor,
have the following special petitioner qualities:
Additional Immunities: Electricity, poison.
Resistances: Cold 20, fire 20.
Other Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/+1.
Other petitioners may be found in Arborea besides the
elven souls on the plane. Called bacchae, these petitioners
are wild mobs of drunken revelers found reclining in
glades or running through the forest in raving, winesotted
The bacchae are satyrlike, caught in mid-transformation
between man and beast. Bacchae are spirits of equal
measures good and chaos, living for the moment and
making it the best moment possible. The greatest danger
they pose to travelers is enticing newcomers to join in
Bacchae have the following special petitioner qualities:
Additional Immunities: Electricity, polymorph. Resistances: Acid 20.
Other Special Qualities: Entice.
Entice (Su): A traveler within 100 feet of a mob of bacchae
must make a will saving throw (DC 10 + the number
of bacchae within range; maximum DC 25) or else join the
party. While partying among the bacchae, those who failed
their saves drink, eat, and engage in all manner of pranks
and foolery. But they take no sustenance, and suffer the
effects of being without food and water. The bacchae
entice ability lasts either for 101 days or until the enticed
character collapses from lack of sustenance. Moving the
character more than 100 feet from the bacchae ends the
entice effect, but those under its sway do not leave the
bacchae revelers willingly.
Bacchae petitioners are generally nonviolent, fleeing if
attacked—or more likely offering bread and mead to their
assailants. In previous lives, bacchae were the spirits of
gourmands, gluttons, well-meaning drunkards, and others
who relished the act of living.
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Arborea does not present any penalty to movement
beyond what travelers from the Material Plane expect. On
Arvandor, paths snake through the undergrowth and clear
glades are as common as patches of briar and tangles.
Creatures that can climb or brachiate (swing from branch
to branch) move through the forested sections of Arborea
without touching the ground.
Aquallor, the second layer, is entirely aquatic, so characters
have to swim from place to place.
Arborea Combat: The plane does not present any inherent
benefit or penalty to combat. Cover and concealment
are plentiful in the forests of Arvandor, while combats in
Aquallor use the same water combat rules as on the Elemental
Plane of Water.
Arborea is divided into three layers. The top is the best
known layer: Arvandor, home of the Elven Court and the
final resting place of many good elven spirits and their
allies. The second layer, Aquallor, is made entirely of
water. The third and deepest of the known layers is called
Mithardir, a plain of white dust.
Most travelers know Arvandor as the realm of the Elven
Court of Corellon Larethian, the mythical Seldarine.
Arvandor is a place of great open spaces beneath the
trees. Within these canopied clearings lie the settlements
of the Chosen of Arvandor, engaged in an idealized elven
life. In the day there are hunts and challenges, in the
evenings feasts and tales told around the fire.
The cycle of day and night matches the Material Plane,
with a golden sun beaming above the treetops in the day
and a white moon nestled among a milky river of stars at
night. The nights are warm in Arvandor. Even beneath the
trees, great fireflies form their own elastic constellations
among the huge oaks and lindens.
The Seldarine: The masters of Arvandor rule
it with an artistic hand. The Seldarine’s halls can be natural, huge cathedrals
grown from the living trees. They can also be wondrous palaces made of crystal
and white marble with golden towers, as befits the deity of such a noble race.
Corellon Larethian’s tower is the latter type. Festooned with colorful banners,
it dominates the surrounding countryside. But only elves and Corellon’s allies
are permitted through its doors to share in the song and feast. Corellon’s Court:
Corellon has divided some of his duties as deity of the elves among members
of his court. Sehanine Moonbow wields power over death and dreams, Hanali Celanil
is the paragon of love and beauty, and Labelas Enoreth is the administrator
of time. Aerdrie Faenya is the master of air and weather, Erevan Ilesere is
behind much of the court’s mischief, and Fenmarel Mestarine is the ambassador
to the wild elves. Finally, Deep Sashelas is the deity of the sea elves.
The second layer of Arborea is an eternal ocean. It is like
the Elemental Plane of Water, and indeed there are
vortices between the two. But unlike that Inner Plane, the
layer of Aquallor has both a surface and a bottom. At its
lower reaches, it’s as black as night.
Aquallor is the home of Deep Sashelas, the deity of the
sea elves. His realm is a construct of coral, gold, and
marble veined with streaks of blue and green. The water
around it is crystal blue and glows of its own volition.
Deep Sashelas grams the ability to breathe water to those
who find their way into the blue waters of his realm.
What the layer lacks is islands, for great storms stalk
Aquallor’s surface, swamping any boats that dare its heavy
seas. Beneath the surface, Aquallor has the water-dominant
trait, and those reaches under Deep Sashelas’s control
offer protection against the pressures of the deep.
Much like the first layer of Arborea, Aquallor is subject
to quicksilver changes in the weather. Such weather takes
the form of great underwater currents that drag the
traveler miles off course.
Sea life fills this layer, most of it either celestial or
anarchic in nature. Larger beasts and aberrations can be
found by explorers who swim deep enough.
Aquallor is the ending point of the River Oceanus,
which weaves its way through many of the upper planes.
Yet there are maelstroms within Aquallor’s depths that
might lead back to the river’s headwaters, so perhaps the river is like a snake
swallowing its own tail, endless in
nature. Those seeking to escape Aquallor can be swept
away by one of the maelstroms, but only at the risk of
encountering more unfriendly creatures elsewhere.
Mithardir means “white dust” in the elven language, and
indeed this layer is a desert of fine, white, chalky grit that
extends forever. This layer was once a great forest as well
as home to creatures that campfire stories alternately
describe as giants or titanlike deities. Why they no longer
live on the layer is unknown, but Mithardir is now an
Persistent explorers can still find the great towers and
tombs of this lost race of deities or giants, their minarets
breaking through the grit like fingers straining to escape a
premature grave. Brave travelers seek out Mithardir in
hopes of prying away the secrets of the lost giants. More
often than not, the incessant winds of this layer wind up
grinding the bones of such explorers into powder.
As with the rest of Arborea, the weather in Mithardir is
sudden and dramatic. Lightning storms regularly lash
across the desert, driving huge duststorms ahead of them.
Travelers can be buried by a sudden attack (see Duststorm
in Chapter 3 of the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide).
One feature of Arborea that makes the plane attractive to
visitors is the Fountain of Beauty, called Evergold by the
elves. It is a pool of crystal blue water surrounded by golden sand, and it
reflects the light so cleanly that it hurts
the eyes to gaze upon it. Those that bathe in its waters gain
an enhancement bonus to Charisma of 1d4+ 1 points for a
month and a day.
The exact location of the Evergold is unknown, and
different reports put it in different locations. Such
travelers’ tales are probably planted by elven petitioners
and bacchae to confound mortals, because the pool itself
moves around in Arborea, appearing where it is needed.
Hanali Celanil, a member of Corellon Larethian’s court, is
said to know where it can be found at any time.