The Celestial Sphere
Court of the Dead
Also known as the Fugue Plane, it’s the first place the dead wake up after death. The land is covered in black and grey glass, with perfect bone white trees devoid of leaves. The water of a calm but swift river courses behind you. In the distance you see an impossible wall built of Obsidian and smokey black glass, with a line leading up to it. The line is filled with people of all races, ages, and appearance. Along the line are giant lumping figures wrapped in glyph colored bandages. They are the Incunabula, the Angels of Death. They care for the souls waiting for judgement and defend the realm from possible invaders. The gods are forbidden to appear in this realm, so they often send angels to collect their worshipers.
The line looks impossibly long, but surprisingly quickly you find yourself at the head of the line and shuffled into the Court. The ceiling fades into shadows, and angels of many Gods clamor in the stands along the walls. In the center, Kelemvor stands wearing robes of black. His face gaunt and skeletal. To his side sits Jergal the Lord of Bones and Chronepsis the Decrepit, both shadowy dark figures writing on scrolls all the judgement. At the entrance rests Nera the Raven Queen in her cloak of feathers to tempt the rare soul. Kelemvor demands council, and so angels and daemons enter the court floor to argue for your fate.
Kelemvor declares his judgement, and your soul is suffused with the light of a realm. An Incunabula guides you out of the Court, to the shore where a ferryman waits. Based on the color of your soul, he ferries you along either the River Styx or the River Ambrosia. The color fades from deep black to…
A deep golden honey river and you come to the noble realm of Heliopolis, the forge world. Here giant cogs and machinary click and turn along the massive gear shaped plates. Giant pyramids and obelisks are constructed and altered on the surface, and fire bursts from beneath the plates to heat industrial forges. The air is clean and crisp, with giant walls constructed along the rim of the realms. Liquid gold, mithral and silver flow along like rivers.
Here the honored dead, hard working dwarves and inventors come to toil and labor and strengthen their spirit through craft. Moradin and Those Whom Tend the Coals rest here, energy made here flowing out into the celestial realms along the River Ambrosia and Styx. The greatest of Celestial Weapons are forged here, with the Marut watching out over the Engine of Creation.
A rich rose pink rapids and you gaze upon the fabled Arcadia. Arcadia is the ultimate garden, an ordered place very unlike the wilds and forests of the material planes. These stretch around the Mountains of Celestia and grow right up to the very walls of Heliopolis. The trees are covered in precious metals and jewels, as if growing from the trunk and leaves themselves.
Here amongst the forest revels the Celestial Choir, hunting the magical beasts that are here, or engaging in the revelry and parties in the open glades. Here rest the dead of law and goodness whom wish to rest and ponder, the gardens are tended by the beautiful Seraphs. These triple winged beings have jade skin and glowing blue eyes. They are bound to tend the garden and cultivate optimism in men’s hearts.
A sky blue river to lap at the shores of an immense mountain. The mountain-top is split into two peaks and covered in pure white snow, surrounded by the jeweled forest of Arcadia. Keeps and cabins litter the base of the mountainside, growing thinner and thinner up the sides. At the peaks of each mountain-top lie a flat marble slab, both existing within each other metaphysically.
Here rests the Gods of Brotherhood guarding the Gate of Stars with their legions of Archons. Archons are winged sword wielding ivory skinned angels who watch over the honorable protectors and paladins that live in the keeps and cabins below.
A shimmering azure lake set still like a mirror around the island of Dweomerheart. This place of magic is covered in a marbled and columned temple, with the Moon of Selune’s resting overhead until the goddesses return. This hidden realm is an elusive place, difficult to gain entry into by only the most dedicated masters of magic. The ambient magical energies of the weave are stronger here than even the drunken magic of the Feywild.
It allows even the weakest of arcane crafters than perform legendary feats here, hence the entrances are closely guarded. Most of the dead here had to travel here via Celestia or Elysium, and don’t require a specific morality but an ultimate loyalty to the Weave. Here the Gods of Magic work amongst their followers and chosen, all cared for by the Deva, purple and blue skinned angels of the Weave.
A pale amber river lazily flows past an endless field of wheat, a lush forest just on the horizon. In the middle of the field rests a large ornate golden gate, with symbols of the sun and summer on it’s gates. Here the Gods of Civilisation hold guard and rule over the realm.
Deep within the tall stalks of the wheat the Gods of Love and Fertiity roam, having blissful encounters with those they come across. The selfless dead rest amongst the grasses, watching the clouds drift by. The Gate of the Sun is also guarded by Couatls flying through the sky and looking over their charges who rest in the fields below.
A light aqua river floods into these lush woodlands is also known as Home of the Seldarine, the celestial home of the elves. Hunters stalk the celestial stags who leap through the branches of this realm, springing back hole after every shot. Deep in this realm the Elven Gods hold the Green Court for Elven socialites. Deeping in the woods rest the Gods of Nature, hidden to all but Corellon.
This is the resting place also of those who worshipped nature, as Silvanus cherishes the druids and rangers of the mortal world. The mithral elves patrol the realm all the way from the fields of Elysium to the Mithardir desert. They have silver skin, and mithral hair, and eyes that shine like amethysts.
A misty green lake meets with the grainy desert of pure white stretching as far as the eye can see. Pale clouds float by above and sand-washed marble and stone litter the distance when exposed by the light breeze. The sun beats down overheard. For those that can fly the gateway to Cloud City rests within those rare clouds above, a metaphysical place half within the celestial realm, and half joined to Sigil, City of Doors.
Here the dead can either spend their lives delving into the mysteries of the ruins and tombs of all civilsations below, or trade in the cosmic markets of the planes. The Weavers, a six armed species of psionists, watch over the traders and archeologists who call this realm home.
A raging falls topples over the edge of the bottomless chasm and moat to this fortress realm. Home to the Drinking Halls of Uthgart and the great houses of ancient warriors, the greatest of trophies and achievements decorate the walls here. Massive halls are filled with endless wine and mead, and the horns of war sound in the distance. The only way to enter this realm with to be carried here by the Valkeries of Uthgar from the mortal realm. Uthgar shows no respect for Kelemvor and the other gods, and thus has cut himself and been cut off from the energies of Ambrosia. The air grows stale and the air grey every day thus, but the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, continues to bring in souls and connect the gods here to their living followers.
The noble warriors who pay homage to the mastery of righteousness of the gods here call these halls home. They are pleasured with women and alcohol until the day Uthgar blows his horn for The Final Battle. The Valkeries are beautiful naked buxom wenches with wings of eagles, they wear armoured plates and retrieve the dead.
A glowing scarlet red river glows amongst the valleys and embankments. The sky is covered in an obsessive black, where secret passages lie for the quick witted dead secret-keepers outside of Mystra’s gaze. Here amongst the battlefields are the broken machinery of the Machine of Creation, and the secrets of the world. Rust plums the air and litters all the surfaces and dark crevasses litter the landscape. Supposedly they contain passageways to other realms and ways to enter deeper into the
The realm is also home to the beasts, shapechangers and savages of the realm who believe in order and honor as well as the lust for blood. The plains of the realm are filled with the Mechanus, compassionless mechanical beings made by the Marut and slaves to their own logic.
A deep mahogany sludge flows pass the empty void of Baator. Past the horizon is a small red planetoid in a halo of flames. Below is Avernus, the first of the hells. The landscape at the surface is similar to Acheron, but far more hostile. In the distance of your landing is a massive Iron Fortress, looking like a mile wide axe jutting out of the mountains. The fortress holds of the entrance tot he second layer, and is larger inside than it’s appearance suggests. The entrance is guarded by a titanic beast of blood and black bones, miles long himself and slaveringly hungry and filled with mindless fury.
Those foolish enough to slave themselves to devil’s deals or traffic with the infernal powers end up here, as well as those bloodlines of the cursed Tieflings. The baatorians rule over the realm, torturing infernal energies out of their slaves and wheeling and dealing amongst themselves. They’re one of the most common extraplanar beings summoned to the material world because of the ease with which they offer themselves, but securing more slaves every day.
An earthen brown choked water flows along a flat plain before falling into a sharp incline. The river eventually runs dry depositing you on the top of a mountainside. Here the land stays at a sharp fourty-five degree angle, the black water barely dripping past you. In the distance the explosion of volcanoes chokes the air with smoke and rumbles the land below. At the base of the mountains the land is covered in a blackened ice, making the climb slick and dangerous.
Here rest of impulsive and driven murderers of the world, those who would have an easy and thoughtless life. Ulthroloths stalks the slopes, slaying those here again and again, their yellow eyes and black skin blending into the smoke.
The coal black shallow rapids flow along the flat layer of grayness and fog, before falling off a shallow drop. This repeats six more times, each time the water flows slower and more shallow and the air becomes darker and a fog thicker until you come to the final drop. Down at the bottom the water stands stagnant up to your ankle. Also known as Hades each layer of this realm affects the occupants moods, removing emotions, hope and peace for every layer that they dare to drop down into. Supposedly somewhere on the layer if you can survive are eddies and sanctuaries known as purity coves, reserved for the eternal lovers of the world.
Things that spend too long here start to drain of colour, and the souls of the dead transformed over time to the mindless savage hunger of the ancient dead. Slaves to the shadows, the greatest are consumed by the Baernoloth, a cousin of the Weavers, once have seen their evil but their magic is unrivaled even by the gods.
A hickory brown rapids deposit the travelers here onto an open valley. In the distance you see the mountains and valleys of Taterus, large chasms litter the landscape. Great winged things fly through the air in such numbers they blot out the sky. The air smells disgusting and acidic clouds of black poison roll along the realm. The air is covered in lose stones and gravel, making even the most shallow incline treacherous.
Most of the monsters of Toril end up in this nightmare realm, fighting each other in eternal conflicts until the strongest survive to rule their little corner of the realm. The greatest of extraplanar adventurers and slayers come here for stories and glory, as even the long extinct beats of yesteryear are still around here, Only to return after being slain. The sky is filled with the Demodands, foul winged creatures with the body of giants, claws of wolves, and the faces of goats.
A glowing green shallow river feeds into the bogs and wetland of the Abyss. This realm has slowly stopped the infinite churning of the Chaos Shard, to settle into the rotting bog it is now. The sky is black as eternity, and blackened death trees litter the muck and mud of the realm. Occasionally the ground will betray people to drive into deep lakes that hold forbidden knowledge. In the centre rests a large Ziggurat of Obsidian and a very strange trading town opened to Sigil. The glowing waters of the Styx and deep artesian wells of Dagon keep power flowing to the realm, burning it off to create more Loumaru.
The most savage and evil of the damned are condemned to these swamps, where even Tarterus will not do. The Tanar’ri, the last of the demonkind of old rule over the realm to encourage a level of savagery needed to sustain the realm, their bodies as varied as the Baatorians.
A huge wall of water sprays straight into the sky, throwing you clear into the void. The ultimate realm of Chaos, Pandemonium is a blood red void seeping all the chaos and entropy of the celestial realms. Within this void float several large meteors and earthmotes, each one filled with thousands of tunnels and caverns. The two largest being Fury’s Heart, the court of the Chaos Gods, and the Pandemonium Stone, home of the Lords of Entropy.
Only the truly mad and destructive are doomed to this realm, and very rare a mortal soul that does. The majority of beings here are either the Storm-souls of Akmentalos resting in Fury’s Heart, or the Slaadi of the Lord of Entropy. The Slaadi are massive toad-like creatures of an alien mindset and reality, trying to break our logic and world.
Originally known as Limbo, the resting place for the faithless, Limbo was the final resting place for the creation energies of Heliopolis and while having no form of its own, is infinitely mutable. This was a boon as it allowed the faithless to live in their own communities and shape their own afterlife, creating a thousand pocket-realms to rest in peace. Unfortunately with recent events the faithless were expelled, and force to be chained on the wall of the Court of the Dead, and Syrania was born.
Syrania is the final battleground for the two Overgod candidates, Asagorath and Rayearth. Their combined will has transformed it into a lush forest, with a rainbow sky and a light white mist covering the land that disperses the more thinking beings are nearby. Here the gods fight until a clear winner can be determined, their followers, dragons and knights, fight eternally to prove their loyalty to their lord. There are no true dead who rest here, and no entrance or exit. Truly some thing the fight will no end until the Engine of Creation grinds to a halt.