Heroes of the New Day
The “bad place” between dimensions, this wasteland is most notable for the fact that there’s nothing there and it’s rather hard to leave. Many a seemingly well-prepared wizard has wound up dead here when the spell that was supposed to take him to the dimension he intended (like the Elemental Chaos, or the Abyss, or the Shadowfell, instead got muddled somehow and took him here. While it’s easy for a mistake in an interplanar travel spell to send someone to the Outlands, it’s much harder to get back out. There are no fey crossings, no shadow zones, no areas where the wall between dimensions is thinner… because the Outlands is the stuff that wall is made out of. It is still possible to force your way through, with powerful enough magics, but there is no guarantee of where in the target dimension you’ll be sent. Even if you cast the same spell to get out of the same Outlands spot on different days (or different minutes), it could take you to completely opposite corners of the realm you’re targeting.
While there are no gods in the Outlands, and varying theories about the reach of divine powers into this psuedo-realm, there are those who theorize that the Outlands exist as a result (or possibly composed of the remnants) of a dead god or primordial (or both) who tried to either strengthen or break-down walls between dimensions during the Dawn War.
The refugee race(s) known as Githzerai and Githyanki both have their largest segments of populations here, though not exactly out of choice. Centuries ago when they broke free of the slavery of the Illithids in the Underdark, the Gith fled through the only portals they could find in the deepest caves, and their freedom was greeted by this land of nothingness, where they would eternally wander. It is thought by some that the portals that “freed” the Gith into the Outlands were in fact placed by Torog, the god of torture, who rules much of the Underdark… and as a result few Gith will suffer a Torog-worshipper to live.
The only place of any stability in the Outlands is the city of Sigil (known as the City of Doors), which has many permanent portals to just about every realm and demi-realm imaginable. The problem is that each is guarded by some rather powerful members of different racial/monstrous factions, each of which often have armies fight their battles against one another in the other parts of the Outlands. While it might seem like the city should easily devolve into factional gang warfare, the one source of authority in the city, the being known only as “The Lady of Pain,” keeps that from happening. Nobody knows if she’s a demi-goddess, a demon, a primordial, an Aberrant, or “something else”, but her gaze causes wounds to spout blood, and a simple gesture of hers can banish someone to a pocket dimension of mazes. Her presence is said to prevent deities, demon princes, primordials, and beings of similar power from entering the City of Doors, and the fear of her is sufficient to keep a modicum of order in the streets. Crime is common, but rebellion is unthinkable.
The ecology of the Outlands is pretty non-existant. There is no sun. Nothing grows there. It’s mostly desert/rocky. The only natural water is deadly dark torrents traveling from one realm to another. Sometimes there are stars, but sometimes the sky is on fire. And other times there’s something too large in the sky, so any other light that might get through is blocked. Sigil itself has sort of artificial light & dark periods that roughly equate to nights and days, but the rest of the Outlands has no such amenity.
Places of Note
The Arch Magirium: a displaced eladrin magic academy that landed in the Outlands during the fall of Myth Drannor. Currently an out-of-the-way spot of reasonable tranquility and acadeic study. Students, faculty, and the population of the small town around the academy are almost entirely composed of Eladrin and Githyanki (the latter of whom struck a mutual support deal with the faculty soon after the school arrived in this empty place).
The Endless Battle: There is one field in the Outlands where war has raged for many millennia. No one can say who started it, or even what defines the sides (or even how many sides there are). Some say it was originally angels vs. demons, with other allies joining one side or the other. Others say its a remnant of the Dawn War, fought by the forces of slain gods & primordials. Others say that as one of the original sides finally fell, two more armies rose up to try and take down the weakened victory. Others say that demons, giants, angels, dragons, and all manner of creature have fought on both sides at various points throughout history. The only constant here is battle. It is also said that no one who joins this fight will ever leave it. All participants will die in battle… eventually.
Sigil: See above.