Hades Geographic Location in Rolara | World Anvil


The Gray Waste

In the vast expanse of the multiverse, there exists a plane where color and hope fade into oblivion, where despair hangs heavy in the air, and where the wicked face their eternal punishment. Welcome, adventurers, to Hades, the Gray Waste.   Hades is a realm of three layers, each a desolate wasteland, each a testament to the plane's inherent despair and decay. Oinos, Niflheim, and Pluton are realms devoid of color, where the landscape is a monotonous gray, and the air is thick with a sense of hopelessness. Here, the River Styx winds its mournful path, carrying lost souls to their final rest.   The inhabitants of Hades are as bleak as the plane itself. Night hags, who trade in the souls of the dead, and yugoloths, fiends who embody the essence of evil, roam these desolate lands. The larvae, the pitiful souls of evil mortals transformed into worm-like creatures, writhe in the gray dust, a grim reminder of the plane's eternal punishment.   Hades is not an isolated plane. It interacts with other Outer Planes, serving as a grim destination for the River Styx, which flows through the multiverse carrying lost souls. Its oppressive despair seeps into neighboring planes, a chilling reminder of the consequences of unrepentant evil.   Traveling in Hades is a challenge, a test of will and spirit. The plane's oppressive atmosphere weighs heavy on the heart, and the sense of despair can be overwhelming. Yet, it is here, in this realm of despair and decay, that heroes are truly tested, their spirits forged in the crucible of the Gray Waste.   So, come, adventurers, to Hades, the Gray Waste. Here, in this realm of faded color and lost hope, your courage will be tested, your spirit will be challenged, and your resolve will be forged in the crucible of despair.


The geography of Hades is a subject of paramount importance for scholars and adventurers alike, as it serves as the backdrop against which the eternal drama of despair and decay unfolds. Comprising three distinct layers—Oinos, Niflheim, and Pluton—each layer contributes to the plane's overarching atmosphere of hopelessness and suffering. This overview aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the geographical features that define each layer, thereby offering a comprehensive framework for Dungeon Masters and scholars.  


The Layer of Disease and Decay
  The first layer, Oinos, is a realm that can only be described as a wasteland of disease. The terrain is predominantly rocky, with stunted and withered vegetation struggling to survive amid the harsh conditions. The River Styx, a waterway of immense metaphysical significance, flows through this layer, serving as a conduit for lost souls and connecting Oinos to other planes like Tartarus, Gehenna, and Concordant Opposition. The air is thick with the miasma of decay, and those who traverse this layer risk contracting severe diseases. Oinos is a testament to the plane's inherent despair, serving as a grim introduction to the horrors that Hades holds.  


The Layer of Fog and Desolation
  Niflheim, the second layer, offers a slightly different but equally bleak landscape. While the terrain is more varied, featuring foothills and a semblance of healthier vegetation like pine trees, the entire layer is shrouded in a dense fog and mist. This fog serves not just as a physical barrier but also as a psychological one, limiting visibility and further isolating those who dare to venture into this realm. The atmosphere is cooler compared to Oinos, but the chill is more than just physical; it seeps into the very souls of those who enter, amplifying the sense of hopelessness that defines Hades.  


The Layer of Cosmic Significance
  The third and final layer, Pluton, holds a unique position within the geography of Hades. While it continues the monochromatic motif of its preceding layers, featuring black willow trees and dry, dying poplars, Pluton is also home to significant cosmic landmarks. The base of Mount Olympus and the roots of Yggdrasil, the World Ash, are found here. These planar artifacts provide a unique form of connectivity to other realms, allowing for travel between Hades, the Upper Planes, and Alternate Prime Material Planes without the need for passage through the Astral Plane.

Localized Phenomena

In Hades, the plane's inherent nature of despair and decay manifests in unique localized phenomena that reflect its oppressive gloom and the fate of unclaimed souls.  

Optional Rule: Vile Transformation

  At the end of each long rest taken on the plane, a visitor must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature gains one level of exhaustion, which can’t be removed while the creature remains in Hades. If the creature reaches six levels of exhaustion, it doesn’t die. Instead, the creature permanently transforms into a larva, whereupon all levels of exhaustion afflicting the creature are removed.   A larva is a miserable fiend that retains the facial features of its previous form but has the body of a fat worm. A larva has only a few faint memories of its previous life and the statistics in the larva stat block.   Hades is crawling with larvae. Night hags, liches, and rakshasas harvest them for use in vile rituals. Other fiends like to feed on them.  

The Three Glooms

The most striking phenomena in Hades are the Three Glooms, the layers of Hades known as Oinos, Niflheim, and Pluton. Each layer is a realm of despair, devoid of joy, hope, or passion. The landscape is a monotonous gray, the sky is a constant ashen twilight, and the air is thick with a sense of hopelessness. These glooms are more than just physical locations; they are manifestations of the plane's inherent despair and decay.  

The Gray Wasting

Another unique phenomenon in Hades is the Gray Wasting. This form of decay slowly drains the color and life from those who stay too long in Hades. Visitors to the plane find their vitality and emotions leached away, replaced by a sense of despair and hopelessness. This Gray Wasting is a testament to the plane's oppressive gloom and the fate of those who find themselves in Hades.  

The River Styx

The River Styx, which winds its mournful path through Hades, is another manifestation of the plane's nature. The river carries lost souls to their final rest, transforming them into larvae, pitiful worm-like creatures that spend eternity in the Gray Waste. The sight of these larvae, writhing in the gray dust, is a chilling reminder of the fate of unclaimed souls.  

The Absence of Celestial Bodies

In Hades, there is no sun, Moon, stars, or seasons. This absence of celestial bodies contributes to the plane's sense of despair and hopelessness. Time seems to stand still in Hades, reinforcing the sense of eternal punishment that permeates the plane.   These localized phenomena are a testament to the despair and decay of Hades, a plane where hope and color fade into oblivion, and where the wicked face their eternal punishment. As adventurers or Dungeon Masters, understanding these phenomena is key to navigating the plane and interacting with its inhabitants.
Neutral Evil
Dimensional plane
Inhabiting Species


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