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The Seven Heavens of Mount Celestia, also called the Seven Mountains of Goodness and Law, Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia or Seven Heavens,[10] was the pinnacle of lawful goodness in the Great Wheel cosmology.[3][11][8] The Seven Heavens were dedicated to goodness shaped by law and justice tempered with mercy. Some characteristics of this plane were ascribed to the World Tree cosmology planes of Green Fields[12] and the House of the Triad[13] when that cosmology became popular. In the World Axis cosmology, Celestia was interpreted as an astral dominion ruled over by Torm as it drifted through the Astral Sea.[14]

DescriptionEdit

Celestia was the ultimate in law and good. All aspects of Celestia were beautiful and perfect; it was where the souls of many creatures of lawful good alignment went to after death.[15] Celestia was home to numerous celestial creatures including various types of archons, the petitioners of this plane.[8]

As an outer plane, Celestia was spatially infinite and consisted of seven infinite layers (or sub-planes). The seven individual layers formed a colossal mountain that rose from an infinite sea of holy water on the bottommost layer, to the summit on the topmost layer. Ascending the mountain was analogous to travelling through subsequently higher or 'deeper' layers to the top. Each of the seven layers contained at least one mountain or high structure rising into the sky, and most had whole mountain ranges. The barriers between the seven layers were arranged such that entrances were at the lowest geographical points and exits were at the highest, so a traveler from the Astral Plane would enter the first layer at the base of a mountain (actually, in the surf of the ocean surrounding the mountain) and had to climb to the peak to reach the next layer, only to emerge at the nadir again. The sky of each layer had its own hue which softly bathed everything in gentle shades of luminance.[6][8]

LuniaEdit

Lunia

The starlit night of Lunia, surrounded by the Silver Sea.

Main article: Lunia

Celestia's first (bottommost) layer shared borders with the neighboring planes of the Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia and the Twin Paradises of Bytopia; travel was possible between Celestia and these planes at certain locations.[8]

Known as the Silver Heaven, Lunia was the first layer travelers encountered. The sky of Lunia was a nighttime sky filled with stars that illuminated the layer with a silver glow.[6] The color pools of the Astral Plane would deposit visitors in the surf of a vast ocean,[6] the Silver Sea,[16] full of clean, fresh water that had the properties of holy water.[6] The sky above Lunia was perpetually dark, filled with beautiful constellations of silver stars bright enough to illuminate the base of the mountain.[8] The dark, starry Silver Sea was full of many good aquatic beings, including celestial whales and sea elves.[16]

The adjacent beach belonged to an island with a majestic mountain decorated with grand citadels made from polished white stone. Descriptions of the citadels varied among travelers leading cosmologists to theorize that there were many of these mountain islands.[6] Also in the surf of Lunia were the portals to the Twin Paradises, Arcadia, and Concordant Opposition which were large, permanent, free-standing blocks of finished stone. Black granite blocks veined with gold led to Arcadia, white granite blocks with veins of silver led to the Twin Paradises, and red granite blocks flecked with blue took you to Concordant Opposition. Travelers merely had to touch a block to activate the portal.[7]

Lunia was the location of a number of godly realms, including Tyr's secondary realm of the Court,[17][18][19]

MecuriaEdit

Main article: Mercuria

The second layer, Mecuria was known as the Golden Heaven because a warm golden light suffused everywhere. This layer contained the armory for the noblest warriors who came here for their eternal rest. If necessary, Mecuria was the marshaling ground for the armies of the Heavens.[6]

Gentle hills and lush green valleys comprised this layer, which was also dotted with small settlements of archons and other good-aligned beings. Mercuria was known for its great tombs and monuments to noble fighters and paladins resting on the layer. These warriors were honoured during an annual Day of Memory.[8]

Bahamut's jeweled palace[7] moved about the first four layers of Celestia. It was made entirely from Bahamut's enormous treasure hoard, with walls made of mithral and windows composed of huge gemstones. Inside, seven great wyrms closely guarded the huge hoard of amassed treasure.[8]

VenyaEdit

Main article: Venya

The third heaven, also called the Pearly Heaven, or Heaven of Pearls, was a lush and verdant land with crops, meadows, moors, hills, and rolling countryside all bathed in the soft glow from a sky reminiscent of the luster of white pearls.[6] It was somewhat colder than the previous two layers, its slopes often seen covered with a gentle layer of snow. Peaceful brooks and carefully terraced fields were common on Venya.[8]

In the Great Wheel cosmology, the halfling pantheon made its home in Venya in the realm of Green Fields.[6] It was a place of safety for the many halflings that lived there; their crops always gave plentiful harvests and there were no large predators to speak of.[8]

SolaniaEdit

Main article: Solania

Solania, the fourth layer, had a sky that glowed like burnished silver and was called the Electrum Heaven, or sometimes the Crystal Heaven. Its valleys were enveloped in mist, fog, and strange scents. The peaks were home to numerous holy shrines, including monasteries and magnificent cathedrals controlled by demigods. Many of the slopes were rich in precious ores and minerals and were mined by populations of dwarves that resided there. Many pilgrims came questing to the roof of this layer in the hopes of finding answers to life's persistent questions.[6][8]

In the Great Wheel cosmology, a vast dwarven mansion called Erackinor was located on the slopes of Solania, where the dwarven deity Moradin made his domain, with his wife Berronar Truesilver. It was the location of the giant Soul Forges, which Moradin was said to use to temper the spirits of his people.[8]

MertionEdit

Main article: Mertion

With a sky not too different from Solania's, the fifth layer was known as the Platinum Heaven. Vast plains and savannas served as the mustering ground for paladins and other lawful good servants. Instead of mountains, Mertion had majestic citadels and huge black spherical domes dotting the plains. Access to the next higher layer was found at the tops of the domes.[20]

The city of Empyrea, also known as the City of Tempered Souls, was located on the edge of a cold mountain lake. It was known to host many magical fountains with powerful healing properties, as well as many hospitals and expert healers.[8]

JovarEdit

Main article: Jovar

The sixth layer, Jovar, was known as the Glittering Heaven or the Heaven of Gems. Its hills were studded with precious gemstones that glittered in the light.[8] This layer was actually a vault lined floor to ceiling with huge rubies and garnets that gave off a glow like a hearth fire.[7]

A seemingly unending ziggurat was the home of the Jovarian archons and guarded the entrance to the seventh heaven.[7] Known as Yesteria, the Heavenly City, the huge seven-layered ziggurat displayed a large staircase on each face connecting the terraces of each layer. The stones that made up the city were made of precious gemstones, similar to those seen around the surrounding hills. On the topmost terrace was the bridge of al-Sihal, formed of pure light, where the portal to the topmost layer of Celestia, Chronias, was located, It is guarded by a powerful solar named Xerona who judged who was allowed to enter.[8]

ChroniasEdit

Main article: Chronias

The topmost and final layer of Celestia, Chronias was called the Illuminated Heaven. Little was known of its structure because nothing was ever recorded by the few who had visited and returned. The legends said that Chronias was so good and lawful that it glowed of its own accord and any who entered had all evil and neutrality burned out of them, leaving them inherently good, if they survived.[8] Many religions made this level the home of their lawful good deities, believing any lesser realms were merely to accommodate less worthy souls.[7]

It was thought to be the ultimate goal of the inhabitants of Celestia to ascend the layers one by one in order to reach Chronias, where their souls would join with the essence of the plane itself.[7]

InhabitantsEdit

The archons[21] were the native and most numerous inhabitants of the Seven Heavens, cheerfully going about the business of serving the Higher Powers. Many types of archons lived in the first six layers but only rumors existed of a ruling archon ensconced in Chronias. Other creatures found on this plane were solars,[22] planetars,[23] hollyphants,[24] devas,[25] foo creatures,[26] and agathia.[27] Human and non-human pilgrims, shedu, lammasu, ki-rin, and dragon horses[28] would visit fairly often.[7] Collectively, the inhabitants of Celestia were called "Celestians".[2]

AfterlifeEdit

The spirits of those who earned a place in the Seven Heavens would become lantern archons much the same as evil souls became larvae in the Lower Planes.[7]

RealmsEdit

  • Arvoreen, the patron deity of halfling warriors, once made his home in Venya with the others of his pantheon.[29]
  • Bahamut was reported to have realms in Lunia, Mecuria, Venya, and Solania as well as the Elemental Plane of Air. Whether these were separate realms or one realm that moved about, or possibly spanned several layers at once is still a matter of speculation.[7][30]
  • Berronar Truesilver, Mother of Safety, Truth, and Home, lived with her husband Moradin in a mountain home in Solania.[7][31]
  • Cyrrollalee, the halfling deity of friendship and trust, once lived in Venya with the others of her pantheon.[32]
  • Moradin, the Soul Forger, chief deity of the dwarves, once made his home in Solania within the steep mountains which were called Erackinor in the dwarven tongue. It was here that Moradin kept the Soul Forge which he used to temper the spirits and weapons of his people. It was said the smoke from his forge became the mists filling the valleys and the heat from it warmed all of Solania.[7][33]
  • Torm the True maintained his realm of Trueheart on the layer of Mercuria.[34]
  • Tyr Grimjaws, the Even-Handed, once had a realm called the Court on the layer of Lunia.[17][18][19]

HistoryEdit

When the multiverse was first created, before any mortals had yet died, Mount Celestia had no archons. The first seven martyrs of law and goodness whose souls arrived from the Material Plane were transformed into the plane's first archons and mandated with the role of ruling its seven layers for eternity. The seven martyrs and their successors continued to rule Celestia as the Celestial Hebdomad.[35]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jeff Grubb (April 1987). “Plane Speaking: Tuning in to the Outer Planes”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #120 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 42–43.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite book/Planes of Law (boxed set)/The Hierarchies of Mount Celestia
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 73. ISBN 0880383992.
  4. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 75. ISBN 0880383992.
  5. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), pp. 78–82. ISBN 0880383992.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 87. ISBN 0880383992.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 88. ISBN 0880383992.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 132–136. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  9. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  10. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560768340.
  11. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  12. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  13. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  14. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  15. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Richard Baker, Joseph D. Carriker, Jr., Jennifer Clarke Wilkes (August 2005). Stormwrack. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 169. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  20. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), pp. 87–88. ISBN 0880383992.
  21. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 123. ISBN 0880383992.
  22. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 111. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  23. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 101. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  24. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 75. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  25. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  26. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 65. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  27. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  28. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  29. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 115. ISBN 0880380845.
  30. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  31. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 111–112. ISBN 0880380845.
  32. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 116. ISBN 0880380845.
  33. James M. Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (1980). Deities and Demigods. (TSR, Inc), p. 106. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  34. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 162. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  35. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.

ConnectionsEdit