Oh, so you’re in need of a tout? Yeah, I could do that. What’re in the need for, chummer? You gave the jink tip, so I’m all bone box gab. Juggling Monk Way holds the chant on good eats and bub, little cost. You gots yourself 3 different taverns, all good options. What’s next, yes? Oh, Easy workin’s. Aye. You can help patrol against Cranium Rats. Yeah, office right down where I’m pointing. There’s also the labor yard, a bit more north in the Hive here. They need bashers to haul bunches o’ junk, probably for trade. But, real thrills? Follow me down this burned alley, I gots something that’s a real once in a lifetime treat! Promise ya that! Haha.
Author’s Note: Continued influence from Eberron, the High Society and the near-end of the Antorek metaplots. And just below, things deep in UnderSigil. I know I brought that blasted mad dragon and his fey helpers back, but this is what happens when you port Mutant Plants and Mutant Animals from Gamma World into AD&D… among other things from Gamma World. The Bathysphere is from that too, as well as some planar weirdness. More is on the way, as things have been split up once again.
Overarching Security Company, Guildhall and Market Ward
In a shocking turn of events, The Fated has granted its backing to a new enterprise, the Overarching Security Company. Past the passing streets of Dancer’s Court, it’s a ways beyond Turby’s Inn as well. Said company is a privatized version of what much of the Hardheads and Red Death seek to do. However, contrary to public view and the view of several factions, it actually employs many from both factions and has actively helped them as well. As for involvement with the Takers? Recent bids on Factol Duke Rowan Darkwood’s head have put him on edge. A recent encounter with an assassin has left him physically crippled, at least for a time. His last encounter was with none other than the serial murderer, the Venom Tongue Slasher. Unsure how bashers must have stumbled on his secret plans for an uprising, they have been put on hold. His communications with the mad old mage have become infrequent. In the meantime, he seeks to hire the security company as a means of sussing and snuffing out anyone out to get him. This also coincides with his interest in the Mercykillers and courting of Factol Alisohn Nelisia as well. Due to a mutual hatred of the slasher, even the Believers of the Source have joined the temporary trust pact, who they suspect destroyed their machine. Some say that the Takers wanted the founder to join their side as well, due to his history.
Its founder, Ilugan, was a Primer from the world of Eberron. Originally in service to House Kundarak, the wealthy Dwarven engineer was tasked with security and banking assistance to an expanded territory in Stormreach. The operation turned into disaster a few years later, where an Overlord stoked heated conflict that erupted into civil war. Most of Ilugan’s team were slain, with him the lone survivor. He fled the scene, alongside a mage skilled in The Planes. During a ritual to escape, the mage was attacked and their portal malfunctioned. For what seemed like hours, he was being yanked and thrown throughout reality, as he readied to embrace death. Instead, Ilugan emerged in The Outlands and was greeted by the eternal spire. And deep in the skies above, he saw the most wondrous city. If he was to redeem himself, he would have to make the journey to the floating torus city. Ultimately, his ascension to safety came in the form of portal into the City Barracks. After initial confrontation, he requested spending time with the Harmonium, finding them mostly agreeable. He was approached by the Fated, who learned of his background with House Kundarak. His interactions with said faction quickly turned him off, preferring the hardheads to help him reshape his life for the better.
Grief-stricken by survivor’s guilt and his own cowardice, he made it his mission to ensure that all are protected under his watch. Not long after emerging into Sigil, he aligned with the Harmonium. However, he thought he could also employ his older skill sets in ways as well. And thus, the Overarching Security Company was formed. Many employees are more goodly minded Hardheads who believe in not just protection of law, but the protection and assistance of Sigil’s people. This enterprise has been divisive among the faction. Even more so, the organization has provided safe harbor for former pirates and privateers looking to reform themselves among society. Among their ranks are the Grizzled Grey Hide Mercenary Corps, composed of a squad of Giff loosely tied to the initial pirate raid. Fearing retribution, they sought a chance at rehabilitating their name as employees of the guild instead. They’ve also butted heads with The Minders Guild, which is mostly a front for the more sinister-inclined Red Death and Hardheads. Both of these sides have competed with each other, doing whatever they can to keep their respective other occupied or oblivious to what they’re invested in. This has ironically caused a lot of clients to go unheard, well in need of an extra set of helping hands. But, those hands are often too busy being petty to competition. This has only gotten worse since Takers have attempted to get involved. They see this ruthless competition as a sign of might breeding success. This has likewise lead to guild meetings devolving into arguments between Harmonium member and Fated members, who seek to push direction in different ways.
As for the security group itself, it has much work cut out for the near future. Social turmoil, violence spilling into the streets, well-known figures with jink on their heads, the problems compile. Ilugan has been at work constantly, with little to no free time. But, such was life during his old House life in the Prime. Recent conflicts have both mended his relations with the Hardheads, as well as alienate more extreme members who care little for the concept of “Good”. While these issues have been good for business, Ilugan maintains that all under his banner must protect for the common good over profit. However, some level of jink ensures that the group keeps up the good work. Somethings are beyond their control though. While one can help keep the peace and guard someone a few times, they can’t defeat larger social issues just like that. Those in nicer wards have been buying up all sorts of goods, fearing that doom is upon the city. Those who aren’t quick enough or too dry in the purse are often left without. This has sparked a divide between wards, more so than before. But, it gets worse for Overarching Security. Increased friction between the sides of the gith, blood war participants and the goodly vs. truly evil has coincided with the aggression sparked by other races recently. Thus, it’s best to pick and choose clients carefully. This has only lead to outsourcing and extended help from the Lawful Three. Ilugan and many like him fear that his agency for the greater good may be the start of an authoritarian backlash against recent turbulence. And should the factions falter, that might only get worse.
Unbroken Beasts Monastery, The Hive Ward
Such a place came about by accident. All of this started because of a banished Kagonesti elf of Krynn, driven into corrupted forms of nature. After his circle removed him, a portal accident led to the horrific nightmare for his kind known as Sigil. The uncanny and alien majesty of the city drove him insane, also fueling a deep loathing towards advancing society and urbanization. He trained within The Below alongside a plant-tainted Psion within the Sinkers and a cultist of Malar from a “parallel Toril”. The Psion was already afflicted, as the Malarite was warped by a similar blight… The Chant calls it something Antorek witnessed to kick his own dark plans in motion. The three concoct a thought virus to attack urban civilization called “Antorek’s Gift”, inspired by the Beastlands Dream Incident (see also: Something Wild), a similar outbreak in a version of Toril and the Antorek realm itself. Only an hour after the infectious thought runs wild, the Lady appears before the elf and his rogue band. They do not relent and are punished. The elf is flayed, while the other two are mazed. Likewise, outside help allows the virus to be quarantined behind an extraplanar vault of harmful thoughts. The event was otherwise dubbed “The Day of Snouts” by Cagers. Fortunately, the effects wore off on 58% of cagers, all without magical intervention. At least 1/2 of them returned to normal within 2 days time, while the rest returned within 7. And for 28% more, supernatural cures worked too. For the remaining 14%, predominantly former humans, tieflings, githzerai and other oddities of Sigil; they were stuck. But even when combined with later refugees from the Wyld Fae Lands and the Beastlands, each individual mutant plant and animal species remains an extreme minority within Sigil.
At the same time, numerous monks from the Unbroken Beasts settlement of The Beastlands sought to expand. To avoid wrath from the plane itself, they took advice from a member and take to The Cage, hub of the multiverse. A number of members were once influential patrons of Sigil, allowing them sway into purchasing a center for their pursuits. The head administrator, Forgrothor E. Flame-Oxen, has pulled many strings. The Chant says that they have a portal to their Beastlands settlement. Said administrator is notable for looking like an upright ox with reddish skin and fur, as well as a smoky smell to him at all times. In truth, he retained his Fire Genasi heritage despite the Antorek effects. He is stoic and stern, save for the times he is emotionally set off, making his rage seemingly unstoppable. His rage is most easily triggered by being compared to a Baatezu. In truth, all wyldfolk mutants retain some quirk from their previous ancestry, whether that be emotional, mental or physical. For example, Alliessia Herbgrinder was a tiefling before her current rat-like form, but still retains a green tint on both skin and fur. Likewise, some are less humanoid and more akin to something more primal.
While the monastery is an apolitical house of healing and aid, Forgrothor is rather invested in the city’s happenings. The administrator has used positions and privileges to garnish the right faction personnel. This is in hopes of granting more recognition for the wyld races within Sigil. In fact, particular garnish and pushes have allowed several of the wyldfolk to ascend in power rather quickly. Likewise, these connections have seen a vast flow of jink, as well as investors and prospective aid accessing The Unbroken Beasts. Without much shock, Ramon and his family are active supporters of the establishment. When able, they’ve attempted to lend a hand for those in need of help. Should one want to stop on by, one need only seek out a rather large and circular building in the Goatswood section of The Hive. Many of the guards are members of the Hardheads who feel a kinship to the place after being affected by the momentary plague. All of this has lead to both Revolutionary League and Free League members to dig any chant or dark they can on the monastery, in hopes of busting them for political corruption. All of this has only occurred two months following the attack, as the monastery struggles to gain proper momentum. Its trials and toils hold it back.
Worse, Forgrothor has secretly worked with werebeasts, who he feels are also changed humanoids. The Gaudy Bard has even spread positive information about the monastery, to help garnish higher forces. This has played right into the racial strife with trickster beasts and natural born plant/animal humanoids. The Ritual of the Heart was even tipped off by the administrator himself, giving them ample time to set traps. Petite Renardie remains unwelcome towards residents of the monastery, but currently not openly hostile… as long as knowledge of the lycanthrope mutual pact is minimal. However, the lizard kind of Khaasta Row and Ysoki of the “Under Foundry” have been openly violent towards the wyldfolk. In fact, violence over this divide has gotten worse. In addition to just werebeasts and trickster beasts fighting each other, natural-born and wyldfolk have embraced conflict to growing degrees. The previous night, a beetle man from the monastery was strung up and dismembered on the steps of Vrischika’s Curiosity Shoppe in the Clerk’s Ward. The Dabus delivered an ultimatum by the Lady’s decree early in the morning. In short, they said to lessen the violence or be purged. There is still hope, Alliessa’s role in the monastery has brought awareness and has tried to ease tensions. Likewise, an Ysoki by the name of Mortimer Crookedtail has befriended her.
Being a wealthy and upstanding model citizen
The Lady’s Ward. A lush and luxurious place, much of the time. Save for oddities like the Armory, it attracts an ornate crowd to say the least. The hustle and bustle of the day often deals with the powerful in religion, and some politics to a degree. But, this isn’t just mere legalities, but duels of social intrigue and remaining in owns societal caste. Break under pressure and you are not worthy to the elite, let alone the influential. Such games and ways are too much for most, but many climb their way to the top… toppling many along the way. But, how does one fit it? And what are the ways of these fanciful folk? Fear not, your movement into upper society is a worthy investment and glamorous title away.
For starters, one must look the part. Telia’ndraes Tailors is my first recommendation for looking the part. Fine elven weavings blend with local sensibilities, creating only the finest of wares for even a jaunt around. Hamsen is the next stop, a fine source of head wear. Of course, a little garnish goes a long way. The Refinement Guild is an unofficial organization that makes sure their clients look even better, altering aesthetics and supplying all means of accessories to ensure one is a fashionable icon of the Cage. In order to keep up to date, one should either listen to the socialites and influential figures of Cager culture. Barring that, use knacks for creativity, charisma and privileges to start your own trends. Through this, one stays as contemporary as they are powerful among the elite. Or at least, this is the case in terms of visual perceptions and aesthetics. But, the looks are superficial if one can’t be truly proper.
To be high society is to also act high society. The bawdy and crude emotional states of lesser wards are undignified and unbecoming. If one is to prove themselves as truly resolved, courageous and refined; one must not be set off by immature rabble and their vulgar words. After all, they seek to drag you down to their lowly station. And should they turn violent, be sure to have guards on hand. And if not, gentlemanly and lady-like defense measures aren’t unheard of. The Morley School of Self-Defense exists for this very reason. And one of the best things about these measures is that your garb is rarely so much as scuffed by an altercation. One final bit of advice, have a title. The worthy of respect have a name for themselves, they are associated with something. And while politics is associated with the lowly numbers fiddlers, jink counters and bureaucrats; politics is essential to one’s success. It’s not enough to be a magnate for economic power or to be a beloved figurehead in the city. No, one most hold sway and influence over larger power and its directions. The Guvners especially help dictate the future directions of Sigilian law. Should one find the right company and the right discussion or garnish, there’s one way to ensure your base continues. Alternatively, domination through social circuit could extend into culture with the help of the more creatively inclined factions like the Society of Sensation. A mastery of sales can match control with the barons of industry a la the Believers of the Source. And for the self-made high society figure, the Fated encourages such paths to success. While the other factions have their place,
Other Things of the Cage
The Single Line Lightning Rail has begun construction, with its headquarters for operations in the Foundry section of The Lower Ward. Naturally, the most fervent supporters are the Believers of the Source and residents originally from the prime world of Eberron. So far a Demonstration Rail is being commissioned within the Lower Ward as a means of workers being shuttled to respective locations easier. It’s projected to be completed within a few Sigil years time. However, many see this as a prime opportunity for exploitation or abuse. Several anarchist cells salivate at the chance to mangle the operation. Likewise, a few sects who detest industry try to make their way into the Cage for a chance at vandalism at the minimum. As others have noted, a growing fey presence has coincided with protests to end the operation, as well as people going missing.
Ramon, already busy with so much, has become a supporter of a Planar Chronicler’s Guild as well. The guild’s goal is simple, seek out all there is to know about the planes and properly document them. Has this been done before? Of course! However, this one is guided under a prime directive, built from aspects of many guilds and groups, including organizations accessed through Docker’s Catch. They are to go where few have before, encounter countless cultures and avoid interference except in deeply concerning scenarios. Agreement for the Docker’s Catch to be more involved with Sigil politics was the result of the pirates debacle, an issue that still haunts the cage in many ways. In fact, many expert cartographers are more than eager to be on board with this venture. To them, this is a great way to get commissioned for all sorts of new factually correct maps.
The Below, so-called UnderSigil, is teaming with its own underworld. The literal shadowy cult that bids its time grows daily. Rival courts of vampires strike at each other, while feasting on mutual foes. Rumors of revolution mix with tales of strange horrors of an alternate Terra, detailing a “Radiant Evil” or the possible reincarnation of The Red Death; some suspect that Sammy’s planned revolts are intertwined with the malignant force. The Church of Tchernobog, situated within The Below, assures that it is well aware of this rival threat. In their hubris, they feel that their master, the Binder of Dimensions, is more than capable of handling it. Likewise, much of Undersigil has been thrown into turmoil. The Chant tells of a connection to a Demiplane of Dread, words that strike fear into the deepest read Brains and Greybeards. A new underworld hisses with steam, sitting in the Foundry sector of the Lower Ward. The Ysoki, Ratfolk, are pioneers of strange and incomprehensible magitech forged by the scraps, odd bits and looted treasures. Many are devoid of a faction, but many more work within factions at least somewhat opposed to the Believers of the Source. The presence of Dustmen surprises many though. Senior Engineer Eep’screXamarin, an Indep and former pirate, has spearheaded the initiative… which has grown well beyond his grasp. However, the rat people are often fearful and unwelcoming, sometimes crafting dubious things. The only outsiders welcome so far are Minoi from Krynn who share many quirks.
The colony beneath Ragpicker’s Square known as The Trash Warren Village has seen conflicts between rat-creatures and the undead spill over into their lands. Guards and hired mercs have done all their power to hold back the tide. With the recent loss of their original leader, Pharod, order in the colony has been upended. A loose network has replaced the Trash King, spearheaded by an Indep named Annah-of-the-Shadows. Meanwhile, the Cerebral Vampires of the Tunnel Depths have become more ambitious. They have since created tricks and traps to lure more prey, no longer satisfied with Cranium Rat brain fluids. The addition of Illithid brains in lieu of the pirates raid have sent many into a sort of drug-addled frenzy. Their latest acquisition is a captured and suppressed Neh-Thalggu. The poor creature is locked in an endless cycle of paralysis and regeneration, as it is constantly harvested by the vampires for a gruesome drug-like sensation. The addled undead are gradually losing themselves to impulsive, repulsive and barmy behavior, the more that they sample the Neh-Thalggu. Many plan to target more intellectual spaces in the city above, to satisfy their cravings.
IMAGE CREDIT: surreal-journey – alleyway; katya-gudkina – Destita Empire. Streets; Mirko Failoni – Ritratto di Condottiero; Arkhane Asylum Publishing – Bene Geserit; Deharme – Asylum Visitor