In AD&D's Planescape setting, Elysium is the plane of true Neutral Good. There are four layers, named Amoria, Eronia, Belierin and Thalasia. Thalasia is a great shallow ocean, while Eronia and Amoria are both rolling landscapes. For some reason, the guardinals who dwell on the plane don't like to talk about Belierin. Sumerian, Babylonian and many other gods live here. One notable location is the City of the Star, home to the goddess Ishtar.

In the Vampire: The Masquerade roleplaying game, an Elysium is a piece of neutral ground where vampires may go to congregate, converse and hash out business deals without fear of violence or exclusion. Every city -- at least every Camarilla city -- has at least one designated Elysium; larger cities often have several.

The concept of Elysium in Kindred society is believed to have been developed in southern Europe during the nights of the Roman Empire. Here we had (for the first time outside of the Middle and Far East) vast cities containing Kindred of many different clans, means and social status. These Kindred, needing neutral ground in which to conduct their business, created a document known as the Pax Vampirica and imposed it on certain buildings and areas, declaring such places to be "Elysia" (the plural form of Elysium). The exact text of the Pax Vampirica has been lost to history, but the gist is this:

  1. No violence is permitted on the premises.
  2. No art is to be destroyed on pain of Final Death.
  3. Elysium is neutral ground.
  4. Remember the Masquerade at all times. (The term "Masquerade" is a more modern invention, having come into vogue with the founding of the Camarilla. When the Pax Vampirica was created, this would have read something along the lines of "Do nothing which would reveal your existence to those not of the Blood.")
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the concept of Elysium lost its appeal for a while, but as the Dark Ages worked to a frenzied pitch and cities began to dot the landscape of northern Europe, some princes began to institute the Pax once again. The concept of Elysium really came into its own, however, with the Anarch Revolt, and frightened elders once again needed a place to meet in peace. With the founding of the Camarilla, Elysium became an essential part of the Cainite social life. There is an Elysium in almost every Camarilla city.

The Sabbat, of course, considers such concepts as Elysium to be more or less anathema, since it restricts individual freedom, and ritual combat is such a large part of Sabbat life.

It's also a neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles, consisting of Elysian Heights, and Elysian Valley, overlooking the Los Angeles River. Beautiful, medium density housing in the Craftsman Style, developed in the early 1900's.

E*ly"sium (?), n.; pl. E. Elysiums (#), L. Elysia (#). [L., fr. Gr. , , Elysian field.] Anc. Myth.

1.

A dwelling place assigned to happy souls after death; the seat of future happiness; Paradise.

2.

Hence, any delightful place.

An Elysian more pure and bright than that pf the Greeks. I. Taylor.

 

© Webster 1913.

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