Oceans and Seas of the Outer Planes

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Brolly's picture
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Oceans and Seas of the Outer Planes

You know for being infinite the Outer planes don't have much in the ways of Oceans. Though think of it there is no reason for them not having oceans. Perhaps an oceanic part of the gray waste, a seemingly endless sea dotted with dreary islands and ever raging storms where titanic fiendish navies face off?

The only naval feature mentioned running through the lower planes is the River Stix, but perhaps could one take a cue from Norse and other Mythologies and connect the outer planes with a vast ocean with currents that slide between the planes? Some planes it doesn't work for, Carceri comes to mind, though you could have a large waterlogged cube, but others it could work very well.

What oceans and seas are on the outer planes? I can think of the Styx and the ocean around Mt Celestia. Might be an interesting game, great Devil and Archon Navies lined up on a vast ocean under the gears of mechanis, neither side moving much as both are playing by law and have reached what seems to be an eternal stalemate on the plane of law.

Bob the Efreet
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The 3.5 Abyss book introduced

The 3.5 Abyss book introduced an Abyssal ocean layer that could be used like a naval version of the Plane of Infinite Portals. Also, not specifically Planescape, but Beyond Countless Doorways had an ethereal ocean that could be used to travel between planes.

Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
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As Bob mentioned, Fiendish

As Bob mentioned, Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss describes the Abyssinian Ocean, an ocean that touches and connects all the other oceans in the Abyss.

The Steaming Fen, the Queen of Chaos's realm on the 14th layer of the Abyss, has a shallow ocean on it. Gaping Maw, Demogorgon's realm on the 88th layer of the Abyss, is largely ocean. The 89th layer, Dagon's realm Shadowsea, is all ocean with no surface. The 245th layer is the Scalding Sea, which is what it sounds like. The 493rd layer is the Steeping Isle, which presumably includes an ocean around the isle part. Malcanthet's realm includes a body of water called the Scarlet Sea. Yeenoghu's realm includes a "rough yellow ocean" called the Curswallow filled with cannibal pirates. Fraz-Urb'luu's realm on the 176th layer of the Abyss, Hollow's Heart, includes a land-locked ocean called the Hollow Sea. Vepar's realm, the Seething Passage, is a nightmare seascape of typhoons and hurricane winds. Orcus's realm of Thanatos (formerly Kiaransalee's realm) includes an ocean called the Frozen Sea. One of Graz'zt's layers includes a Salt Swamp.

The first layer of Carceri, Othrys, is mostly swamp, which counts as a body of water. The fifth layer of Carceri, Porphatys, is a cold, acidic ocean. The sixth layer is a frozen ocean.

The second layer of the Gray Waste does indeed have an ocean on it, dotted with the Islands of the Cursed (where the realm of Annwn is, counterpart to the Isles of the Blessed in Elysium). "A vast sea far from the center of Niflheim. Its rocky shores deter travelers... Waves crash down on the bow of every boat that carries the living, and great serpents twine around the bow. Rocks rise and fall from the waters without pattern, and rarely appear in the same spot twice."

In Baator, Minauros is all swamp, Stygia is all ocean (containing the realm of the sahuagin god), and Cania is all ice. The waters of the Styx collect in Nessus, where they form the Forgotten Lake.

Pandemonium includes icy Winter's Hall, realm of Loki and Auril, rumored to be the source of the River Styx.

Acheron's fourth layer, Ocanthus, is giant shards of ice that ultimately come from a single sheet of frozen black Styx water.

Some of Mechanus's gears have seas on them. For example, the realm of the Chinese god Shan-Hai Ching, god of the sea and the wind. His gear is all ocean up to the edge, where a ring of land interlocks with neighboring disks. Its fresh waters irrigate the orchards of the peaches of immortality in Shang-Ti's realm nearby. Enki's realm had an ocean too, although Enki is now dead.

The first layer of Celestia, Lunia, is an infinite ocean of holy water dotted with mountainous citadel-islands. On the third layer, Venya, the tome archon Erathaol rules from Xiranthador, an undersea library-fortress made of colossal seashells set with ornate mother-of-pearl mosaics. Perhaps the sea in question is the Glass Tarn, described elsewhere as a lake. Book of Exalted Deeds says the fortress is under a sea. Keep in mind that a lake in the Outer Planes might be as big as an ocean on the Material Plane; what is scale on the infinite planes?

The fourth layer of Elysium, Thalasia, is mostly ocean dotted with islands. The Isles of the Blessed here are the counterpart of the Isles of the Cursed in Niflheim.

There are aquatic beastlords in the Beastlands. The lords of fish and cephalopods and bivalves and other aquatic things must have lakes and seas and oceans in which to dwell on all three layers.

Arborea's second layer, sometimes called Ossa or Aquallor, is a shallow ocean where Poseidon and Deep Sashelas have their realms.

A vast area of the Outlands is given over to the sea of Tir fo Thuinn, where Manannan Mac Lir dwells. There's a sea of some sort beyond Glorium, the gate-town to Ysgard; sailing out of the fjord leads to an arching maelstrom, a portal to Ysgard.

After shifting through the maelstrom between Glorium and Ysgard, a traveler ends up... er, it's not entirely clear. Asgard doesn't have a sea noted on its map, but it does have two notable lakes. One of them, Aegirsholm, is the realm of the sea-god Aegir. The other, Lake Amsvartnir, contains the island on which Fenris Wolf is imprisoned. There's also Lake Schon near the hall of Baldur and Lake Kaltenvir, about which I know nothing. While Aegirsholm may be the most oceanic, Lake Amsvartnir is nearest to Himinborg, which is supposed to be the hub of Asgard's trade and the first town anyone sees upon arriving in Asgard (though this is mostly because the Rainbow Bridge touches down here). It's likely, then, that travelers from the Outlands usually (Ysgard is a plane of chaos, so perhaps the maelstrom-gate isn't entirely consistent) end up in Lake Amsvartnir, with Himinborg nearby in the center of the Plain of Ida. The map in On Hallowed Ground doesn't show fjords and docks on the shore of Lake Amsvartnir near Himinborg, but they're pretty necessary, one would think.

Still in Ysgard, Vanaheim includes the realm of Njord, god of the sea. The whole realm is said to lay along a seacoast. Bast's realm is supposed to be on the far side of the ocean that borders Vanaheim. The Indian god Karttikeya is supposed to dwell on an island in a lake of milk. The Gates of the Moon, where Selune and Soma dwell, are on a rocky island in the midst of a vast ocean (guarded by sea serpents and kraken) with a tenuous connection to the River Oceanus.

Limbo has oceans, though they rapidly transform into mountains, fields of fire, plains of twisted columns, verdant rainbow jungles, vast chasms full of howling void, masses of tendrils, mounds of insects, and back into oceans again, hovering bloblike over mesas of pitted iron molded into ecstatic screaming faces.

Karsus's picture
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Kaelyn, you beat me to that

Kaelyn, you beat me to that post. Just as well, you went above and beyond what I would've said.

There are also the Abyssal layers of The Ice Flow and Torrent that sound ocean-related (though I've never come across a description for them).

Brolly's picture
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Thanks all!

Thanks all!

Avenging Kobold
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I'm curious where some of the

I'm curious where some of the Polynesian Pantheons would be across the planes, since they'd likely be on islands near oceans, except for maybe Pele who I remember being a Goddess of Volcanos and Fire and the like.

Jem's picture
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Is there anyone youd like in

Is there anyone youd like in particular? You can pick up some of their myths off of Wikipedia, some of which suggest their domains.

The quartet of major gods are probably on Celestia; most authority figures are on the lawful side, Zeus and Odin notwithstanding. Easy enough for them to have a beautiful tropical mountain-island there.

Kaho'ali'i, god of the underworld, is definitely evil -- he takes human sacrifices, and his representative at ceremonies would eat human eyeballs. A good domain for him might be a huge, flat, artificial stone platform (a luakini heiau) in the middle of a dull, becalmed, foggy ocean on Oinos. He occasionally orders his petitioners to expand the platform, for no apparent reason, by hauling up stones from the ocean floor roundabout. One such temple known as Aha'ula was engulfed by lava -- perhaps a spat with Pele occasionally causes volcanic lava to get hurled up around the edges and eat part of it away.

Pele seems to be pretty capricious and jealous, with occasional flashes of generosity. I would certainly call her CN, and put her domain somewhere on the chaotic side. In fact, it could be anywhere from Olympus to the Abyss, as the mood strikes her, with her volcano domain occasionally blowing itself sky-high while another one builds itself up out of the ocean elsewhere. Of course, her petitioners all know when a change is coming, and calmly migrate through caldera portals to the new domain.

Haumea, goddess of birth, probably has her domain on Amoria. There's plenty of room for an ocean and islands there.

Poli'ahu is a goddess of snow (which can appear at the top of Mauna Kea), and is an enemy of Pele. I think she might be Lawful Evil, for she fell in love with a mortal and agreed to be married to him, only to find that he was already betrothed, whereupon she cursed... the betrothed. And then her would-be husband. Her domain might well be on a mountaintop in Caina, if not on some spiky island on Mungoth or Krangath. While Pele is parked on the Abyss she might get drawn into the Blood War, or at least play at the Blood War with Poli'ahu.

It's easy to think of plenty of others as you go through the list on Wikipedia.

Vaevictis Asmadi
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The author of the Cordant

The author of the Cordant Planes concept put unspecified Polynesian gods in the realm Po in Avalon (the N+G plane).