Perilous Gateways

Racial Portals of Faerûn

By Ramon Arjona

Riddled with portals that bridge the gulf between planes, the land of Faerûn is a crossroads for all manner of strange beings. Some arrive on Toril by chance, others by choice, and still others because of magical summons. Some are devils and archfiends from the vilest planes; others are djinn and efreet traveling from the elemental planes; and others are the servitors of the gods who have been sent by their masters on errands meant to forward the spread of their particular beliefs. All have left an indelible mark upon the land.

These traces take many forms: Sometimes they are in the landscape or in strange artifacts left behind by a careless deity. Sometimes, traces of an outsider's passage are found in the blood of the races of Faerûn. The planetouched bear the burden of an outsider's parentage -- the aasimar, descendants of good beings who are forced to live with the markings of their celestial lineage; and the tieflings, forever stigmatized with the physical manifestation of their infernal heritage. The genasi, product of the union between a mortal and an elemental being, dwell uncomfortably between their parents' different worlds: cut off from both, belonging to neither.

While the planetouched and genasi are uncommon in their appearance, they at least conform to accepted ideas of mortals, magic, and their relationship to the world. Stranger still than the planetouched or the genasi are those traces left by the gnome deity Gond. His followers, the Lantanese gnomes and their descendants, venerate technology. Unique throughout all of Faerûn, the gnomes of Lantan present more than an academic curiosity -- they represent an alternative to the dominance of magic in the mortal world. As such, they challenge the status quo of Faerûn, which is a dangerous movement that may one day change the face of the mortal world.

The following selection of portals detail the avenues by which these powerful extraplanar beings come and go through Faerûn. Certainly more portals exist than those listed here. The history and the future of the races of Faerûn have been forever changed because of these portals and the ease with which they allow powerful beings to enter the mortal world.

Four portals have impacted the races of Faerûn:

About the Author

Ramon Arjona is originally from Hawaii. He now lives in Washington State with his wife and two cats. His work has appeared in the Hawai'i Review, the Absinthe Literary Review, and Strange Horizons. He plans to become an 18th-level software developer so he can get the bonus feats.

Portals of Faerun