House of Dust
The Boneyard, sometimes referred to as The House of Dust, Purgatory or the Spirelands, is a neutral plane where the souls of dead mortals from the Material Plane are judged by the goddess Pharasma. It rests atop Pharasma's Spire, jutting out from Axis into the Astral Plane.1 Souls are brought to the Boneyard by the River of Souls, and after judgement, are sent to the appropriate plane or domain in the Outer Sphere. Some arrive at the Boneyard with their choices already made or pacts signed, but others are judged by a series of courts.2
The Boneyard appears as a vast necropolis filled with countless courtyards, monuments, graves, and forums teeming with the souls of the dead awaiting judgement. Each of these courts is shaped and styled to correspond to one of the Outer Planes, and is overseen and guarded by representatives from each of the gods.3
Places of interest
Several places of interest are found in the Boneyard:4
- River of Souls: A pathway where souls travel towards the Boneyard to await their final judgement.
- Eight Courts (including the Devouring Court): Surrounding Pharasma's Court, these Eight Courts connect to a corresponding Outer Plane.
- Pharasma's Court : Also known as the Inner Court, is a collection of solemn granite forums and plazas that surround Pharasma's Palace. Souls with conflicting natures are judged here by interested parties from various planes.
- Pharasma's Palace: A gothic structure of white marble and onyx flooring. Regrettable souls bounded by contract are judged here, by the Lady of Graves herself.
- Graveyard of Souls: An endless graveyard filled with tombs and mausoleums that surround Pharasma's Courts. Neutral souls not gravitating toward any plane reside here.
- Realm of the Content: For the remainder of the neutral souls who have not been influenced or do not favor any gods; they cannot remain in Pharasma's Court. These souls stay within the vast expanse of the Graveyard of Souls, happy to live the lives they did back in the Material Plane with all the time and resources that their mortality could not offer.
- Lake of Mortal Reflections: A vast body of water hidden in the Boneyard where souls are given a chance of reincarnation.
- Runebarrow: A cave tomb located in the Boneyard that is overseen by the dwarven demigod Magrim.
- Spire's Edge or Spirelands' Edge: The city of second chances where souls can redeem themselves towards a better afterlife.
- Catalogue of Last Days: The Boneyard's boundless library that holds every detail of a mortal's death, the judgement made on their soul, and their final destination in the Outer Plane. This library is heavily and meticulously maintained by the nosoi.
- Dead Roads: interconnected routes commonly used by psychopomps and maintained by the psychopomp usher, Barzahk.
The souls of the neutral dead remain in the Boneyard and are transformed in the lands beyond Pharasma's palace and the necropolis into aeons. These strange creatures act as the goddess' advisors, caretakers, explorers, guardians, guides, and even soldiers in times of war.3 The souls of the neutral dead also form into psychopomps who serve as the bureaucracy of death. In the unclaimed wilderness of Boneyard wolf-like packs of esoboks patrol, protecting the restful dead from both mortal and outsider intruders who would disturb them.56
The God of the End Times, Groetus, hangs eternally over the Boneyard like a twisted moon that edges closer with each orbit. It is whispered that when he reaches the Spire, all of creation will be wiped away in a great apocalypse.2
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 32. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 33. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 243. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 34. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Bestiary” in Empty Graves, 84. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Bestiary” in Empty Graves, 85. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 179. Paizo Inc., 2018 .