Saturday, April 14, 2018

Elysium (outer plane)

Also called the Elysian Fields, one of the Higher Planes of Existence [placeholder], commonly mistaken for paradise. According to Homer, the Elysian Fields were located at the western edge of the world beyond the great ocean that encircled the world. It is thought by some sages that it is possible to journey to Elysium by sea. The legend tells that, at the correct latitude and longitude, and depending upon the season, that the Astral Plane [placeholder] forms a boundary between the Earth and Elysium; and that the living can sail across this boundary.

This fits with the description of Elysium, which describes the plane as a deep swirling ocean, within which there are two islands: the Fortunate Islands. Philostratus described the islands as westward of Mauretania; Sertorius said that they were a few days sail from Hispania. These descriptions have led many to believe that the Fortunate Islands are one and the same as the Canary Islands, but no, that is incorrect; Elysium, obviously, exists as its own plane.

The islands abound in fruit and birds of every kind; the earth is eternally grain-giving and rich in honey, where no toil is needed to dwell there. The ground itself is a bed of surpassing comfort, the water as rich as wine without ill effect, with flowers that grow abundantly and make the land smell sweet and wonderful. It is populated only by those who were heroes in life, who live in no fixed place but happily wander upon the hills to see each new beautiful valley and blissful meadow, until they lay themselves down before venturing forth again. It has been told that heroes may continue their adventures as they did in life, taking up sword and pipe as they will, to clash with monsters of every kind, who come forth when beckoned.

There is a path from Elysium to Hades [placeholder], though it is difficult to find and guarded by Cerberus; the dog will allow those from Elysium to pass, but will not give way to those dead of Hades. There is also a route into Heaven, or Paradise [placeholder].

Some tell that there is a third isle of the Fortunate Islands, that is more distant: this is Avalon [placeholder], the apple-isle, where King Arthur was taken and where it is told that the elven dead rule.

See Mythology

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