Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia
The Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia
It is the land of splendor.
It is where ultimate goodness is idealized.
It is law and good, understanding and mercy.
The single sacred mountain of Celestia rises from an infinite sea of holy water to incomprehensible heights. Here, justice, kindness, order, celestial grace, and mercy are the rules. Here, watchful eyes hold the ramparts against evil in all its many forms. Here, all things are beautiful. The Seven Mounting Heavens are the planar home for mortal souls of kindness and empathy for their fellow creatures. But it is a paradise that fiends of the lower planes would conquer if they could Mount Celestia is a promise of betterment and ultimate union with the powers of good and law for those worthy. So supplicants of every snipe ascend the layers, one after the other, to the ultimate height of the Heavenly City, and from thence into the Illuminated Heaven. Bahamut, lord of kindly dragons, resides on Celestia, as well as Heironeous, the god of valor, Moradin, the lord of dwarves; and Yondalla, the goddess of halflings.
From the seashore at the bottom of the first layer to the heights of the seventh, paths wind up the many peaks, ridges, canyons, and passes of Mount Celestia. Somehow, every incline looks up to the next layer, which shines like the sun on the layer below. Each rift eventually leads down past arching waterfalls and rushing brooks to the Silver Sea. Even from many layers above, the ringing chimes of each wave breaking on the shore of Lunia are faintly, reassuringly audible.
Lunia The Silver Heaven
Portals from other planes connect to Lunia at the edge of the wine-dark Silver Sea, a vast gulf of holy water. The Silver Sea is salt-free and contains all manner of aquatic life, from tiny schools of silvery fishes to leviathans moving in the depths. Lunia’s sky is dark but filled with silvery stars bright enough to illuminate the shore of the Silver Sea where it runs up against the base of the mountain. The shore is dotted with citadels and redoubts of polished white stone of various architecture and inhabitants. Many are open to trade from sea elves from the Material Plane.
Mercuria The Golden Heaven
It is a place of thin air and high hopes, where golden light suffuses everything. Here, the slopes are tame, the valleys lush, and the streams fast-running. Plateaus and passes provide spaces for small settlements of archons and other goodly beings. Great tombs and wondrous mausoleums on Mercuria grant eternal rest to the noblest of fighters. Here, the inhabitants of Celestia honor their deeds during an annual Day of Memory.
This glittering wonder is built entirely from the treasure hoard of Bahamut the Platinum Dragon, ruler of good dragons and a paragon of wisdom, knowledge, prophecies, and song. The palace’s windows are gemstones in settings of gold and silver, its walls are inlaid with copper and jade, and its floors are beaten mithral. Within, seven great wyrms attend Bahamut amid treasure gathered over eons—and the bones of a thousand failed thieves. Bahamut’s Palace moves among the first four layers of Celestia at Bahamut’s will, carried aloft by a whirlwind. For travelers friendly to the Platinum Dragon, the palace offers an alternative method for traveling Celestia without using the paths.
The Seven Gold Wyrms
Bahamut’s closest servants are seven gold dragons that guard his palace and sometimes travel with him disguised as canaries. For important tasks that aren’t quite important enough to demand his personal attention, Bahamut dispatches one of these dragons. Each works on specific tasks, and no one knows if there’s any sort of hierarchy among these servants. These are the current wyrms in Bahamut’s inner circle; many have died and been replaced over time.
Borkadd the Claw
Compulsive and obstinate, Borkadd represents Bahamut as the hand of justice. He chronicles the laws of many lands, as well as Bahamut’s personal code. He’s more than a glorified secretary, though: Borkadd enforces Bahamut’s law against those who can’t be stopped by other means.
Kuria the Eye
This sleek, serpentine dragon remains aloof—sometimes threatening—even to those she knows well. Her tasks require secrecy, taking advantage of her suspicious nature.
Sonngrad the Wing
Bahamut’s messenger, Sonngrad, has powerful wings that let her fly at great speed. She is the most commonly encountered of the seven dragons. Though focused and businesslike while on a mission, she’s also a curious thrill-seeker. Bahamut usually gives her a bit of time after each task she completes to explore the places she’s visiting.
Gruemar the Voice
The slender Gruemar is a master negotiator, sent out to settle disputes and prevent bloodshed. Though his speech sounds tranquil and warm, it never reveals a hint of weakness.
Marroshok the Tail
Massive and genial, Marroshok is the closest thing Bahamut has to a bodyguard. Though he’s usually friendly, he’s merciless in combat.
Troannaxia the Presence
A magnificent, shining creature, Troannaxia is sent to cow the proud into submission using the majesty of her presence. Unlike Gruemar, she intimidates instead of conversing. Bahamut sends her out when he encounters obstinate resistance that requires a blunt approach.
Urgala the Fang
When Bahamut musters a great army, Urgala leads them. Her knowledge of tactics is unsurpassed, and she flies over the battlefield to scout and command. Normally proud and uncompromising, Urgala sometimes becomes stubborn or rude when she is in a bad mood.
Venya: Pearly Heaven
The slopes of Venya are old, rounded, and occasionally laced with snow. The brooks run warm and clear, though ice often forms on the banks in winter. Terraced fields and carefully tended woodlands are common sights on the slopes.
The Glass Tarn: This mountain lake of icy water is nestled in a bowl-shaped valley between three peaks, fed by the runoff from a glacier of blue ice high above. When a believer throws something truly important and valuable into the tarn as an offering, a light rushes up from the incomprehensible depths. When the light reaches the surface, it takes the form of a prophecy featuring the supplicant-or a powerful archon to deal with the intruder if the offering was not sincere.
Green Fields: Here crops never fail, the weather is always mild, and plentiful harvests are a blessing. This is the realm of the halfling deity Yondalla, and that means comfort. The realm is a combination of burrowed households, small rustic buildings, and endless fields. No large predators live in the Green Fields; moles, rabbits, and badgers are common.
Solania: The Crystal Heaven
A sky that shines with the glow of burnished silver hangs above the quiet slopes of Solania. Luminescent fogs and invigorating scents shroud the valleys. Many of the slopes hold mighty glaciers above, and they remain rich in ore and precious minerals below. Solania’s peaks are home to monasteries, cathedrals, and other holy shrines. Often, these structures are the destinations of interplanar pilgrims seeking answers to questions of creation, toil, and love.
Erackinor: The slopes of Solania are deeply tunneled with a vast dwarven mansion called Erackinor. None but dwarves and dwarven petitioners are allowed within. Those who enter and return speak in hushed tones of stonework and craftsmanship that far surpasses anything a dwarf might have seen on the Material Plane. When Moradin fires up the deep Soul Forges below the roots of Mount Celestia, all the halls rush with the noise of the bellows. Dwarven clerics say Moradin uses the Soul Forges to temper the spirits of his people and their weapons. The forges may have other uses as well. The armories of Erackinor are second to none, and the combat-veteran dwarves and dwarven petitioners that fill Erackinor’s halls make the mansion nigh impregnable.
Mertion The Platinum Heaven
The slopes of Mertion are gentle, leveling off in great, sweeping plains dominated by citadels and domes. The citadels of Mertion are marshaling grounds for paladins, celestials, and other creatures of good and law.
Empyrea: Also called the City of Tempered Souls, Empyrea sits on the edge of a cold, clear mountain lake. The many healing fountains and curative waters in Empyrea can restore withered limbs, lost speech, derangement, and life energy itself; those who ail need only find the right fountain. Empyrea is also known for its healers and hospitals, and many a pilgrim seeks to reach this legendary site of perfect health.
Jovar The Glittering Heaven
The sixth layer of Celestia is also called the Glittering Heaven. The slopes are strewn with great rubies and garnets twinkling with light so beautiful that it steals the breath at first sight. Here, hosts of archons wander the gem fields, lost in contemplation of the glory of their previous lives.
Yetsira, the Heavenly City: The Heavenly City is visible from everywhere on Jovar and from vantage points on lower levels. The city is a seven-layered ziggurat. An enormous staircase on each of its four faces connects the terraces. Gemstones of profound value make up every step and every stone on the ziggurat, and all glow with an inner light. Hosts of archons move up and down the stairs, but the structure is so massive that the steps never grow crowded. On the lowest terrace sits the Exchequer of Souls, a black marble building of graceful arches and onion domes laced with threads of gold and silver. Here powerful archons weigh the virtues of lower archons, elevating the worthy to higher forms. The Radiant Arsenal on the fourth terrace is a long, narrow building with a vaulted ceiling and extensive cellars. Here weapons both magic and mundane are stored to arm the archon hosts if necessary. The most important weapons are said to contain the essence of powerful archons. They reside in pearl-lined vaults sealed by deityscribed glyphs. The Bridge of al-Sihal on the seventh, highest terrace is a beam of blinding light. This is the portal to the seventh heaven, Chronias, and it is guarded by a solar named Xerona who turns aside the unworthy.
Chronias The Illuminated Heaven
Chronias is a mystery, though some say it is the mystery. Those few who achieve the Illuminated Heaven never return, so no account records Chronias’ true aspect. Tales say that those who enter have their inherent goodness magnified until their essence joins with Celestia itself. Or, if they harbor evil, their souls are extinguished and their existence is permanently erased from the multiverse.