How do you go about reaching the Far Realm?

I appreciate the lore found in 5e so far about the Far Realm:

Is there any official lore on the Far Realm?

What are all the creatures related to the Far Realm that have stat blocks in 5e?

Is there any further lore on how to actually reach the Far Realm in the materials from 5e or previous editions?

I know it is meant to be mysterious and mind-breaking place, but I wondered if there is any further information on ways of getting there. Or, further information about Firestorm Peak or the home world of the ancient elves who opened a portal to the Far Realm.

The Far Realm has no well-known portals, or at least none that are still viable. Ancient elves once opened a vast portal to the Far Realm within a mountain called Firestorm Peak, but their civilization imploded in bloody terror and the portal’s location—even its home world—is long forgotten. Lost portals might still exist, marked by an alien magic that mutates the area around them.

(DMG p.68)

If there is none, the proposal would be to go on an Inquisition spree with Zone of Truth and a liguist who knows Deep Speech, to find out exacly what the Aboleths, Beholders, Mind Flayers and Star Spawn know.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ It may assist you to know that the Gates of Firestorm Peak was a 2e module - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates_of_Firestorm_Peak \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 18 '20 at 10:44
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ What's more reputable than an official module? What source are you looking for? \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Feb 25 '20 at 21:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nautarch - It's about knowing wether there are other modules or further sources. There might not be any more, but that is what I'd like to know if posssible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Feb 28 '20 at 22:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that's fair. You're looking for more answers, not answers from more reputable sources. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Feb 28 '20 at 22:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ :) yes, it didn't give me that option - maybe I should have chosen "draw attention"instead. I didn't know what to choose tbh. @NautArch \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Feb 29 '20 at 12:17

Location of the Vast Gate

Far Realm was initially created by Bruce Cordell for the AD&D 2e module The Gates of Firestorm Peak. This module is dated 1996, so you cannot find any lore from, say, Planescape series of products. In the module, we learn that some long time ago, a so called "Vast Gate" was opened by Elder Elves and then had to be sealed, yet the sealing was imperfect and was re-opening periodically under certain conditions and the players try to close it completely.

The setting is described to be located near the Firestorm Peak, in "the Shirelands, at the southern foothills of the Mountains of Frost". Such a location is not defined in any of the official campaign settings of D&D. Cordell penned a number of different products at the time and these products occasionally refer to the same locations or people (forming something like a Cordell-verse), but each of these products were meant to be easily integrable to any campaign setting, so we really don't know when and where the Vast Gate was first opened within the D&D multiverse.

On the other hand, a number of people have compared some of Cordell's later work, which takes place in Greyhawk (3e's default setting), with the Cordell-verse generic products and concluded that there are both for and against arguments for integrating the Vast Gate into the history of Oerth. An example proposal that discusses the available data can be found on a 2010 post by user ripvanwormer on planewalker.com. Taking into account the date when the elves first came to Toril, he proposes that the Vast Gate could have played a role in that migration and hence considers sometime in the middle of -30,000 to -18,000 DR to be reasonable time for the accidental first contact of the Elder Elves with the Far Realm.

After the Closing of the Vast Gate

The Vast Gate is revisited in Cordell's article "Enter the Far Realm" published in Dragon magazine #330 (2005). At this point it is described to be no longer open. Yet occasional contacts with the Far Realm are said to happen at random locations, causing so-called "cerebratic blots" to appear in the Prime Material Plane and allowing travel. Yet again, no mention of any of the official D&D campaign settings is made, except for Eberron.

Likewise, if we look at the discussion in the 3e Manual of Planes:

There are no known portals to the Far Realm, or at least none that are still viable. Ancient elves once pierced the boundary of eons with a vast portal to the Far Realm, but their civilization imploded in bloody terror and the portal's location is long-forgotten. But other portals might exist. Other methods of reaching the Far Realm include traveling to time's beginning or end or finding the true Dreamheart past the Portal of Sleep.

The 4e Manual of Planes does not contradict with this description, mentioning that it only touches rarely the material world and that it is not normally a place one can visit.

Novels - Living Gate

This lore is somewhat contradicted by the Forgotten Realms short story Watchers at the Living Gate by Paul Park published in the D&D anthology Untold Adventures. It describes the so-called Living Gate, a tiny portal located in the Feydark, beneath the ruined eladrin metropolis of Cendriane. Cendriane was mentioned in the 4e Manual of Planes, but to the extent that I could track, the Living Gate was not mentioned anywhere beyond the short story.

Eberron Specific

Finally, if you are playing in the Eberron campaign setting, the Far Realm is incorporated as the Realm of Xoriat in Cordell's above mentioned Dragon article. Yet, please note that Eberron exists in its own micro-cosmology, so it is up to the DM how to interpret the Far Realm - Xoriat correspondence. [There has been a motto that everything that is in D&D is in Eberron but not possibly in a form you recognize.]

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Was there not some lore in 4e that said the heart of most stars were gateways to the Far Realm? I seem to recall that, but am having trouble finding it. If so that would be a lot of portals on the Material Plane abet hard to actually enter. \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @L.P.: I am afraid my 4e knowledge is the weakest, so I cannot really confirm or refute your point. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for so informative and full answer! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ohar
    Mar 3 '20 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @L.P. Hi - if you find the source of that gateway, please share it. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Mar 5 '20 at 8:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Orc's Plunder Ah found it. Slight mis-remember, slight vague description. Under 4e's Star Pact Warlock it briefly mentions how Warlocks achieve power by tapping into Far Realm beings "Related to stars." Dragon #366 goes only into slightly more detail with this. So to clarify: It heavily implies Stars are related to powerful Far Realm beings, but never actually states what the relationship is. \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Mar 6 '20 at 3:25

The Rrakkma adventure module includes a portal to the Far Realm

This adventure module for Adventurer's League includes a portal to the Far Realm, although it's up to you how "canon" you consider this.

In "Area 11. The Cathedral" of "Section 2. Temple of Madness", which is on the plane of Pandemonium:

This cathedral must have been something to behold at one point in time, but now the porous stone and winds of Pandemonium have brought it to its current decrepit state. At the far end of the cathedral is a shining adamantine archway alight with runes of power. The gate to the Far Realm is open. Due to some strange influence of the Far Realm, the winds of Pandemonium do not touch this place at the moment.

— Other Features, Area 11. The Cathedral, p. 14.

Section 3 is then set in the Far Realm, although it's only two pages (pp. 15-16) and it doesn't really go into that much detail. A couple of interesting descriptions are:

Experiencing the Far Realm is not for the weak of mind. EVERY round the adventurers are in the Far Realm, they must each make a successful DC 15 Wisdom saving throw at the beginning of each turn or suffer the effects of confusion that round. The chart has been modified from the one in the Player’s Handbook to more accurately reflect the effects of the Far Realm. Please use this one.

— Far Realm Confusion, p. 15.

Even saying the word ‘exploration’ in the Far Realm can be a harrowing experience. Focusing on a single objective really is the key to maintaining sanity.

Nonetheless should an adventurer do so, the experience is so disorienting (filled with images of tentacles, eyeballs, and mouths), they need to make a successful DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or be Stunned until the beginning of their next turn.

— Exploration, Playing the Pillars, p. 16.

It also includes the information on the Far Realm from the DMG (p. 68) as a side bar on p. 15.

  • \$\begingroup\$ For those that don't have access to the links, what edition is the module from? Is it a sub module from a certain season or book? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '20 at 16:24
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 I believe anything Adventurer's League must be 5e, since they only run AL for 5e, and I don't believe it's from any specific season (like how the current season is for Descent Into Avernus, for example), I think it's effectively a standalone module. It's "code" is DDIAMORD, where MORD I assume means Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, so I assume it was basically a "tie-in" just to promote that book. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Feb 18 '20 at 16:27
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I looked into it and it was a standalone adventure to introduce MToF. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '20 at 16:31
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, given the nature of the Far Realm, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that concepts such as "a reliable method of travel" may not even apply, or may not work according to any logic we might be able to bring to bear. That's a Multiverse way of thinking, and may be as relevant to the Far Realm as the concept of "up" is to a strictly 2-dimensional being-- it just can't be understood or even represented in that frame of reference. This is obviously a DM decision, but is another way the question might be addressed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Feb 18 '20 at 20:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.