Out With the Old
Home to Avandra, Corellon Larethian, Sehanine Moonbow, and Melora
Arvandor is a realm of breathtaking splendor — and terror. It is the home of the Seldarine, the gods of the elven people and the royal courts of Corellon Larethian and Sehanine Moonbow. Unlike other heavens, Arvandor is not some idyllic place of rest; to Corellon,beauty is more precious when it must be protected, and to Sehanine, love is more powerful when it must triumph over adversity. This is not only the realm of the Court of Stars, however; it is also Melora’s realm, and she conceived wilderness in all its glory and horror, and Avandra revels in risk and unpredictability.
Optional Rule: Intense Yearning
Keep track of how many days a visitor spends in Arvandor. When the visitor leaves, it must make a Charisma saving throw against a DC of 5 plus 1 for each day spent on that plane. On a failed save, the creature becomes afflicted with a yearning to return to Arvandor. As long as the effect persists, the character is at disadvantage to ability checks. At the end of each long rest, the creature can attempt a new saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. A dispel evil and good spell removes the effect from the creature. At DM discretion, this effect may only apply to Estaira.
Optional Rule: Hunter’s Paradise
Visitors to Arvandor find their hunting and stalking capabilities improved, and characters have advantage on Wisdom (Animal Handling), Wisdom (Perception), and Wisdom (Survival) checks while there.
At DM discretion, this may not apply to Estaira.
The Empire of Estaira is home to those who would avoid participating in the Glorious Hunt, either to live out their immortal lives relatively peaceably, or else to rest for months or even years between hunts. The crystalline towers of the Empire’s capitol, Faen Verdaya resonate with prayers and songs of ages past, catching the light of Arvandor’s sun and scattering it across the land. Though the Seldarine reign supreme from their palace, Nath Seldarie, the city of Faen Verdaya itself is ruled by Coronal Lysilda, an exalted eladrin many centuries old. Arvandor is a realm of adventure. Outside the Empire of Estaira, the majority of the plane is an untamed wilderness and the ruins of still older nations.
Separate from the relatively peaceable realms of Estaira is the layer sometimes known as The Hunting Grounds, where exalted and angelic hunters stalk monstrous prey. Specific locations include the Endless Forest, which is exactly what it sounds like, the Reef Catacombs, a flooded, labyrinthine forest of petrified trees, and the Wasteland of Burnt Blood, a scalding desert of rust-colored sand and blood-colored water. Ruins include The Dead City of Caranthara, an island city long ago laid waste by Abominations that still haunt it, and The Desert of Mithrardir, a nigh-endless cold plains composed of naught but white dust and the long-dead civilizations buried beneath it.
Within the plane, Melora also (reluctantly) oversees her own layer, sometimes known as Aquallor, which constitutes the seas of Arvandor. Here the beasts and peoples of the sea find a home. Aquallor is less extreme than the other layers, being neither as idyllic as Estaira, nor as violent as The Hunting Grounds. Aquallor is where the River Oceanus evenually flows to.
The Exalted of the Gods of Arvandor
Several gods reside in Arvandor: The Seldarine, ruled by Corellon Larethian and Sehanine Moonbow, and Melora and Avandra. The exalted of these gods fall into two basic categories. The exalted of the Seldarine are known as the ruesti and are bonded to the plane in the same way that any exalted is bound. Regardless of their origin, the ruesti all have a fey quality about them.
The exalted or Avandra and Melora, while they begin their afterlives in Arvandor, are not bound to it. The exalted of the goddess of messengers are welcome in and adapted to any plane, as in their own way are those of the goddess of the wilds. The exalted of these gods return to life after having been killed on any Outer Plane (though not on planes that are not a functional afterlife), and often return to existence on a plane other than the one on which they were killed. This includes even aberrant realms such as Carceri and The Nine Hells.
The Green Isles: the Archipelago of the Emerald Sea.
The color sea marking the location of Arvandor is emerald green, and like most of the color seas it is dotted with islands. Many of these islands are chunks of god-corpses and other planar flotsam that have lodged in the portal. Others are masses of earth and stone that have emerged from the color sea. Islands of either type are rapidly overgrown with moss, grass, and even trees. Many of these are Wild Isles, occupied by outsiders and exalted of Melora along with mortals and other creatures who want a simple subsistence. Arvandor also maintains a trade port on the island of Starhallow.
The Verdant Isles are less populated than those of other dominions, and outsiders remain there for shorter periods. Outsiders on the isles often assert that their durance is not an exile, but simply a long wait. Outsiders of any dominion who linger on their plane’s color sea are occasionally pulled through into their god’s realm, but it seems to happen in Arvandor with far greater frequency (see below).
The Glorious Hunt and Carceri, and the Outsiders of Arvandor
When Carceri was sealed, the Seldarine did not contribute to the nearly impenetrable planar barriers that enfold and contain the prison plane. Instead, they sacrificed a portion of Arvandor’s idyllic realm, which became the Hunting Grounds. A successful attempt to escape Carceri triggers a metaphysical trap, landing the escapee in The Hunting Grounds. Members of the Glorious Hunt, in which all of the ruesti are expected to eventually participate. Several of the Seldarine, including not only Corellon and Sehanine themselves, but also Fenmariel Mestarine, the elven god of outcasts who is also called The Lone Wolf, and Shevarash of the Black Bow, a lesser elven god of vengeance who mostly participates in the most gloriously doomed Hunts. In addition to the Seldarine, gods such as Pelor, Kord, Bane, and Zehir have joined in the Hunt.
The Glorious Hunt fulfills several purposes in the otherwise idyllic afterlife of Arvandor. First, obviously, it serves as an additional layer of security for the prisoners of Carceri. Second, it provides an element of risk and adventure to keep the beauty and serenity of Arvandor from growing too stale. And finally, the Abominations who escape from Carceri are divine war machines created to kill immortal beings; ruesti felled by the Abominations are frequently so persistently wounded that they must immediately merge with the plane rather than be reborn. Each time a ruesti merges with the plane, one or two outsiders is drawn through the color sea into Arvandor, allowing all of the faithful to eventually be embraced by the Seldarine. Many of the ruesti themselves have noted the connection between the mortality rate of Arvandor and the frequent admission of outsiders into the plane, and most of them see this as an adding another layer of meaning to the deaths of those who fall during the Glorious Hunt.