Planejammer: Ad Astra Per Arcana
Gatetowns are settlements which are built around a permanent portal to a certain Outer Plane on the Great Wheel. Gatetowns are important strategically because they provide a (relatively) stable if often well-protected way to enter each respective Outer Plane. Each gatetown reflects the plane that they lead to. For example, Xaos (or aXos, soaX, etc.) is a town where everything changes from one moment to the next. Even the location of the portal to Limbo changes every day.
There are 16 such gate towns, each connected to one of the Outer Planes.
Here the streets are paved with gold-flecked brick and floating castles of paladin lords keep the perimeter safe. In fact, a body can’t swing a dead Vrock without hitting a paladin in Excelsior. If that’s not something a basher appreciates, then she should just avoid the place.
Getting to Bytopia is extremely difficult in Tradegate ‘cause a berk’s got to find a cutter named the Master Trader first. Most folks just come here to buy and sell, since this is the center of the Outlands commerce and the off-Sigil headquarters of the Planar Trade Consortium. Several notable interplanar merchant families make their homes here.
The town’s known as the city of Plinths for the tall stone and iron monuments that dot the burg. Here, bashers idly and contemplate the multiverse. Everyone else in town is equally as motivated – they do what they want, when they want, and generally enjoy life. This isn’t a bad place for a planewalker to take a break, but don’t look for much from the local folks – they’re busy with their own cares.
An town overgrown by plants and populated by more beasts than people. This remote mining settlement is located at the base of Mt. Faunel. The chant says that something lurks in the shadows, championing the wild side, killing anyone that opposes it. The town is currently controlled by the Harmonium.
A burg for the party-loving planewalker. There’re more taverns than any other gatetown, and that’s not even the beginning of the sensual delights to be found there. But beware of partying too hard, ’cause plenty of cony-catchers and cross-trading scum wait to peel and bob the unwary bubbers who fill the streets. For safer entertainment, the Sensates run the God Bar, where powerful illusions temporarily give a basher the appearance and faux abilities of a known power so that he can fight other, similarly enchanted takers in an arena. These god battles are popular with the Athar(who enjoy debasing the powers), as well as the Godsmen and the Signers, both of whom like the idea of being powers themselves.
Glorium has two gates to Ysgard. One’s on the water, big enough for ships to sail through, while the other’s actually part of Yggdrasil. The town’s pretty small so don’t expect to see much. Look for a blacksmith named Thurnur who makes a nasty chiv for not a lot of jink. Some say he enchants his wares, but Thurnur denies it.
Barmy. Just barmy. There’s no better way to describe it. There’s so much chaotic energy here that the town shifts and changes in an eyeblink. The folks here can handle it but lot’s of travelers can’t.
A barmy place that doesn’t look quite right to a body wandering about the streets. Don’t assume anyone here’s completely sane, but don’t think they’re all deranged sods, either. If possible, contact a bariaur named Thrist. He’s a little touched, but more lucid than most, and for a price he’ll keep a sod out of the blinds.
A diseased realm of squalor and verminous fecundity, choked with razorvine and bizarre alien parasites. People here are so desperate that they have taken to the worship of the Lady of Pain en masse, constructing their makeshift mud hovels with blades atop them in the hopes of placating her. They pass their days agonizingly trying to numb their pain beneath layers of hard vices, slowly mutating into forms less and less recognizable. Elsewhere in the city, in massive cruel fortresses, the rich and powerful parade inhuman wealth and power before the suffering masses.
A city of traitors and betrayers. The inhabitants constantly plot against one another, attempting to send others to the vast prison below the city before others do the same to them. Arranged in concentric circles, the innermost areas house the rich and powerful. The city gate to Carceri is a pair of crossed arches covered in moaning skulls of the betrayed and is activated by a chain link. This place is full of exiles, refugees, and criminals.
A bleak, gray city where colors are forbidden, built like a maelstrom that spirals to a central murky tarpit – a single road curving down a sinkhole to its patron realm. Ruled by a once human wizard garbed in chains and an iron wolf mask who is in turn served by a cadre of beholders. Its gate is a massive blood red screaming face. The Lonesome Fear Inn caters to planewalkers, particularly those who’ve spent a lot of time on the Lower Planes and know the dark of nether regions.
An ever-changing furnace of cracked lava rock descending into steaming runlets of lava covered with hundreds of iron towers, hot as frying pans, that stretch up to a roiling sky choked with black smoke. The creatures that live here, mostly fire elementals, yugoloths, barghests as well as a subrace of nomadic humans called Desh, do so in order to savor the endless pain and suffering that comes from living here. The gate to Gehenna hovers high off the ground, making it a real challenge to get to it. Torch is full of spivs and knights of the cross-trade, many of them well lanned about the Outlands and Lower Planes. For information, look for the top-shelf blood Badurth in the Festhall of the Falling Coins.
The fortress city nestled under the curving ‘ribs’ of the Vale of the Spine mountains, protects the gate to Baator. The people are a peery bunch who work hard and keep their eyes open. Step carefully or there’ll be hell to pay.
A massive fortress-city enclosing a military camp endlessly engaged in preparations for war. Blacksmiths bang away at hot metal in the streets while corner venders sell military provisions and war animals. The city is built on a hill and is surrounded by a series of seven circular walls, each rising higher than the last. At the center, in a section of the city known as the Crown, a winding stair penetrates deep underground to a grey-green nimbus of twisting light like a great cat’s eye: the portal to the city’s patron plane. A basher’s got to get through guards and protections too numerous to catalog, but rumors say there are other, secret ways to get to it.
Automata is full of lawful, orderly, overly organized bashers who can’t strap on their own boots without filling out a form. In short, watch out for red tape. But it’s one of the best places outside of Mechanus that a body can find clockwork devices. Crossbows that fire multiple bolts powered by steam, armor with built-in dart-throwers and underwater masks, and even stranger things can be found here, as long as the buyer’s extra-generous with the jink (and willing to fill out the proper forms).
Nicknamed the Egg after the perfect oval shape of the town wall. The burg’s a beautiful place, but it’s ordered beauty. The trees line the parks in neat rows, the grass is uniformly clipped, and the streets are polished to a shine. An intolerant lot of berks live here—beware showing too much individuality. Of course, this place has been rebuilt twice, once when it ascended during The Demon Forge and later after the Modron March.