A Day in the Planar’s Life – Of Sigilian Happenings

Planescape: Torment Online Walkthrough - The Hive: Overview - Sorcerer's  Place

More day-to-day life with the Cage.  Turbulence looks to be a recent norm, but life finds a way of adapting or addressing such matters.  Those who aren’t content with being clueless eventually find their way here, lest they give up or fall.  Life ain’t easy, but many have carved a niche out of it.  Plenty either just use others or get ahead in some other negative way, but that ain’t the city as a whole.  Plenty of bashers take the honest and noble route, even some Hardheads and Guvners really are good at heart.  Likewise, Signers and Ciphers can ante up good too.  And should one need the aid, new means are emerging.  Bleakers have their kitchens, plus some barmies wanna try to help others like them to help keep the Gatehouse from clogging so bad.  So, life here.  It is what it is.

Author’s Note: I always find myself coming back to this font of inspiration.  Sigil has been a favorite of mine.  I’ve been musing on making my own planar hub.  As a previous picture would tell you, perhaps something with more Grimjack inspiration.



Wonder Workshop, Lower Ward

Another satisfied customer

In which creations of artifice are discussed.  While it’s no wonder that many crafts come from the Great Foundry, many often work on more traditional matters.  Larger projects are kept away from non-faction members and that’s that.  However, Wonder Workshop has been made as an answer to that.  While officially an extension and work of propaganda for The Godsmen, it’s still open to artificers and tinkers interested in showcasing their talents.  Don’t let the many Wanted posters for the Venom-Tongued Slasher unnerve you though.  The place is otherwise quite welcoming.  Large corridors open upon chambers sporting all sorts of advanced creative works and contraptions.  Lattice-like metals reinforce impressive structures to divert smoke, encase heat and provide otherwise optimal artificing conditions.  Of course, for non-members, a nominal fee is charged.  For non-members who are related to a member of or properly acquainted with the Believers of the Source, a discount is available.  A diverse mix of godsmen and allies work in the halls that neighbor the foundry.  Even the underground denizens of the Under Foundry have taken much time here.

At first glance, Wonder Workshop is less protected than the Great Foundry.  This has made those aligned with Sammy ambitious in looting and bombing the site, due to allegations of mistreatment and exploitation of visitors.  To address security concerns, terrifying techno-magical prototypes are kept there.  Clockwork warriors, semi-automated ballista turrets, smokepowder gun toting guardsmen and more keep the establishment safe.  In terms of the latter issue, that does indeed happen.  Any non-Godsmen who uses the forges, tables and more agrees to give up rights to any invention created within building limits.  Likewise, creations can be recreated and sold off.  In many cases, workers have been hired to ensure production of more popular works such as the aforementioned smokepowder weapons from wildspace.  Such workers are pushed to extreme ends to ensure that such “wonder works” are made plentiful and available.  Many ultimately supply privateers and contracted aid to hunt down both rebels as well as the pirates in both Sigil and the Docker’s Catch Spelljammer Ward.

Not only have these rebels and bandits honed in on the Foundry sister project, but the Sinkers don’t take kindly to weaponry being made without their consent.  This has resulted in an olive branch being given to the Doomguard, allowing them some level of access and assistance, but only in exchange for good behavior and suppressing any destructive urges.  Due to little space in the way of artifice craft and techno-magical wonders, the Sinkers have begrudgingly obliged.  Beyond criticisms and direct action, the artificers sponsored by the Foundry have taken part in strange musings of their own.  The concept of a God-Machine has come up more than once, technocratic cults around difference engines leading into true artificial intelligence all its own…  But more than than, artificially made divine intelligence.  Many have taken transhumanist inspirations to augment and upgrade themselves through similar workings, cybernetics they call it.  However, many have insane agendas to suppress and conquer lower “organics” as an ulterior motive.  Such an emerging sect is obscure and powerless, at least for now.  Others who seek technical post-humanism have much more noble or positive aspirations or causes in mind.

One rival to the Works isn’t so much rowdy anarchists or grumbling sinkers.  It isn’t smokepowder toting pirates of Arcane Space.  No, it’s the Rustic Sphere in The Lower Ward.  Frank-Frank does not feel comfortable with another force for technological advancement within The Cage, at least one that he can’t capitalize on.  While outwardly nice, the presence of the Works brings out inner paranoia.  One thief that absconded with notes and blueprints turned out to be a Godsman!  While they were chastised appropriately, the documents were not recovered.  One of his own cooked schemes is trying to seek out the Incantifiers in their remaining existence, for not yet known reason.  Likewise, he has pondered seeking crooked Guvners and Takers to lend an ear on knocking Wonder Workshop down a peg.  Should his insecurities and issues be resolved, he might be more willing to receive an olive branch from the artificer project.  But for now, he glares at anything he suspects involved with that workshop.  All the same, he dreads the idea of mass produced future Terran technology within Sigil.  Or at least, for as long as he’s alive.

Beyond these issues and topics, many within the compound get along well enough.  One rising icon within Wonder Workshop is a master armor smith from the Prime, Jonger Ignur.  A craftsman with a focus in metalwork, he took up artifice in his travels to give his own works a unique touch.  However, the man and his family are not well adjusted to Sigil.  Despite comfort here, it’s clear that he suffers from many of the same anxieties felt by Primers.  All the same, compared to many trials and problems from within his original prime home, it’s very much a step up.  Plus, many of his rarer works have earned him credit in both Wonder Workshop and The Grand Bazaar, should he have extra stock alongside his more typical wares.  Another crafter, the Ysoki named Eep Scre’Xamaran, seeks entry as well.  His prior interactions with Jonger gives him a slight edge on competition.  By his word, both were friends in the Prime before the politics of Sigil kept them separate for a while.  Now he acts as a representative of the Under Foundry, ensuring that the Minoi and Ysoki have a proper place within Wonder Workshop.  Thanks to his actions, many have taken a deeper alliance with the Godsmen too.  Eep’s wielding of strange spirit abilities have given him far more of an edge in the faction, who see him well on the path to enlightenment and ascension.  His secrets are his own though.



A Wild Time

Project Updates for Historia: Dark Fantasy Renaissance Setting for 5e on  BackerKit Page 1
“I don’t care if I’m part of your cause, The Fated handles the taxes!”

Monastery violence has declined, but racism remains strong. Both natural folk and wyld changed have adapted to the city, while others have left feeling Sigil for one of many planar colonies.  Months of fighting have wounded egos, stained relationships, ruined diplomacy and caused several deaths.  What started with the acts of three extremists has ended with a raid on the holy charity.  Ultimately, the battle between several natural-born against a few Unbroken alongside Abbot Forgrothor was decided with the abbot as the sole survivor of the skirmish, before any bodies were recovered for revival.  The recent decree from The Dabus, on behalf of The Lady, forced them to take their anger elsewhere, with those openly refusing either being mazed or flayed soon after.  Non-Beast/Plant races even began to fend off both, citing them as a source of problems.  Cagers turning on all  wild races ultimately brought in perspective.  Charity and service of the Unbroken has also extended to affected and harmed natural-born in the city, as a means of mending prior wounds.  This has had strange side-effects .  Beast (and also Plant) neighborhoods have begun to shift from Natural vs Mutant to focus on general species, especially from learning the children of mutants are natural.  Thus, Khaasta Row returns to hostility against non-reptilians, Lupins dislike felines and werebeasts and other unfortunate prior prejudices return as they have before.  Anti-natural born and anti-mutant sentiment has given way to negativity between the Wyld creatures and non-Wyld-cagers.  Thus, a blur between lines has pushed both sides closer together.  Though many still cling onto old biases.

Other developments surround the city as well.  The Wedding of Mortimer and Alliessa is a sign of hope.  The wedding was overseen by the Churches of Wee Jas and Murlynd, who have also begun establishing a presence in The Cage within the Lady’s Ward.  The latter, assisted by Mortimer, has helped normalize smokepowder trade to some extent, even if it’s rare, heavily sanctioned and prohibitively expensive.  The former has brought a strange allure that attracts many arcanists, even tempting the fates of less involved Dustmen.  Past this, in the months since the attack, the monastery has made efforts to advocate that those with scales, feathers, fur, bark, roots or more are as valid as other citizens.  And for the “natural born”, many ancestors were shaped by magic or other powers long ago.  Plus, the children of mutants are considered natural too.  Not all feel the joy of these new views though.  The wolfweres of the Master Singer Conservatory feel abandoned by their own and targeted, clinging to allies with the Cerebral Vampires and Doppelgangers.  Likewise, many werebeasts have begun treating Sigil as a hideaway rather than a true home, preferring The Outlands over the constraints of The Cage.  Save for a preposterous return of Ritual of the Heart, many have taken to the Neutral and Lower Planes.  And just as many lycanthropes have lost interest, Forgrothor the Lead Abbot of the Unbroken has mysteriously vanished.  All that remains is blood writing upon a wall, “Know your Sacrificial Bull.”  And for all his faults, a bloodied Ramon DeLeon gasping for breath was found upon Long Lane by Overarching Security on a patrol alongside Hardheads.  The guardsmen brought him to nearby Huvert Harflar Medicinal School for aid, where he recanted being jumped and savagely beaten by a pack of lupins.  The mad Sensates of the hospital were “forced” to replace one of his eyes with a mechanical one however.  Tiyeri, wife of Ramon and main owner of the Well-Read Beast, seeks the Guvners to bring justice to these matters.  Others have recently aided the Unbroken Beasts Monastery, including the installation of a memorial over the recent conflicts.  Change is once again under way, as it is considering a name change due to the underrepresented plant-people within the semi-religious charities.

When the mind virus ravaged Sigil, many forgot that its affliction also caused a variety of strange plant hybrid creatures to emerge.  The most troubling are creatures seemingly made of the accursed razorvine.  Unlike their more beastly allies, these creatures truly contend with a strange new life.  While those warped into fish-like anatomy may deal with the horrors of adapting to water instead of air and those with now reptilian bodies must adapt to heat challenges, these are nothing compared to the plant-folk.  New challenges and curiosities arise.  For one, the touch of sunlight is invigorating like never before, however the heat of flames is far more terrifying.  For the current Sigil dwellers, the light of Peak almost feels as well as genuine sunlight or even exposure to Positive Energy.  As such, many have taken up the mantle of the cloth wherever a temple will accept them.  Despite assimilating back to normal life, the minds of these altered are far more warped and alien in ways they can’t fully process yet.  After all, how would a plant think if granted the gift of sentience?  Ask one of the afflicted who essentially is one.  Most still retain the faculties and memories of their former selves.  True as that may be, their ability to react, adapt and perceive is radically different.  Many have abandoned their connections to the world of fauna, viewing themselves as something wholly different from creatures of flesh and bone.  Just as many have become more alien, other challenges lie in the way of “organic” plant races, many of whom within Sigil don’t take kindly to “mutants”.  A call for cease fire has toned down violence, but prejudice does not die too easily.  Even as the Unbroken Monastery becomes neutral ground, animosity continues… including against non-plants.  But, what of the wyld plant people specifically?  What are their tales?

A bard by the name of Rootless Lily has almost fey attributes, in which her body seems to almost be a twisting of roots, vines and flowers; combining into an artistically arranged form with an even human-like face.  She insists that she isn’t a construct of plant-matter, but one of the “accepted” by Antorek’s gift.  She’s one to travel various venues, both tavern and faction stage, performing various dazzling feats that would prove impossible for her old human form.  Scraggly Vines is a thief and cutthroat from the grimy shadows of The Hive.  His mission in life is being the best at peeling and jabbing, becoming a walking mass of razorvine helps when there are plenty of areas where the bloody stuff infests.  Sometimes, the berk has gotten too ambitious and has even consumed prey that was taken down a few too many notches.  If found and somehow remaining neutral, he’ll tell you that he doesn’t care about his state of being anymore.  It just feels natural, another thing to contend with in the end.  But, he has said that about his cross trades as well.  But, that’s not exactly a nice example.  Oh well.  The Maple Merry Man is an oddity among Cagers, but what isn’t strange here?  The bipedal maple tree man is something of a tad barmy, himself.  His attempts to study under the alchemist, Wooly Cupgrass, have left an impression.  A Sensate willing to experiment, he discovered that his blood is something more akin to sap and even syrup.  As such, he has experimented with both potions and culinary works.  The horrifying secret is often kept from suppliers, chefs and buyers alike.  More than anything, he wants to see how it handles and what can be done with it.  To him, the versatile substance is a wonder to be explored.  Jink is one thing and he likes the lucrative endeavor, but seeing how far this can go is more to his liking.  Another tree man, named “Walking Shield” is built of hardy oak.  His time not busy with security detail for Overarching is often spent communing at the Green Mill.  Many of the elven and faerie folk there deeply enjoy his company.  Just like with clients and those within his services, he’s deeply protective of any regulars who frequent this Sigilian establishment.  He has made a somewhat negative impression on the Hardheads in the Security group though.  Their attempts to recruit him always end with rejection.  In the end, he doesn’t want wide recognition or group acclaim for what he does.  It’s a job with the act of happiness being its own reward.  While many within said faction are inclined to agree to some extent, they remain dismayed over the tree man’s reluctance to join them.



Other Ethnic Neighborhoods

ArtStation - Goblin Slums, Dane Goulter

Hobgoblia.  This is the Goblin dominated area in the Hive, branching near Tyr District and The Combat Ward/Slags.  The goblins have taken over abandoned buildings and strange derelict structures.  Among them is the Watchtower besides the Combat Zone.  This was once a Harmonium Outpost that got raided and ransacked, only for none to attempt taking it over.  Ultimately, estranged goblins found it to be a viable home.  Raiders from the Slags made their move to try to claim it, only to be torn down by vicious and small green monsters.  Other small pockets dance and dot around The Hive, sometimes meeting together should a population get big enough.  Many legal atrocities and cross-trade have only flourished with the aid of the goblinoids, worse of all involving slave-trade.  Many goblinoids have fallen into Xaositect related gangs, such as the Tenement Thugs of The Hive.

Kenderjaunt.  Home to many chaotic and grabby Kender from Krynn, found by the Clerk’s Ward and Guildhall Ward.  It’s only a hop away from the Talun Underfoot Burrow.  In fact, many of the Halflings nearby are dismayed by the presence of kender.  For years, they have tried to shake off the stereotype of dopey and plucky small companions.  Some of such halflings would even prefer the planes-stranded Athasian cannibals over the sheer annoyance produced by many kender.  As for the Kender, they often employ games when not busy observing what new daily sights await the cage.  Likewise, some have taken to “sharing” their wares in the markets in exchange for “the coin shines”.  So far, few of them have created such a problem to warrant much action, but the Guvners and Hardheads have garnered a disliking of them.  Meanwhile, Indeps and Anarchists find them to be a joy.  Both of them and the Xaositects have encouraged such to join in their own ranks.  However, the Kender are mostly interested in the wonder and ways that the city has to offer.  And by all means, their wanderlust remains eternal in a hub where all things of the multiverse congregate.  Despite animosity directed towards them, this community deeply respects and loves its new home, viewing it as a place of boundless opportunity and many friendly connections.  Those who leave the community are usually the fallen Kender who have been shaken to the core by the worst that Sigil has to offer, their presence comes to a shock to Cagers who aren’t familiar with the ways of Krynn.

Corvidperch.  An eerie collective within the Dead District, home to bipedal crows and ravens.  After the fallout with the Unbroken mutants and the “pure born”, many corvid kind broke off to form their own sector in The Hive.  Lord Oreb comes from the world of Terra, considering himself the de facto landlord of the neighborhood.  He once was a wereraven cursed by his God for his vices and transgressions before the thought virus changed him.  Like many within the residents and tenants under his control, he too tends to be cold and unfriendly to outsiders.  However, majority of them drop this trait for a moment when confronted with shining objects.  Decor within the area is macabre, often incorporating the bones of smaller creatures (some of which were previously eaten).  Many within the neighborhood are active with the nearby Dustmen.  The Calling Beak is a popular tavern on the top of a stacked building, where several crow and raven humanoids often go.  The staff have clued active customers on a hidden portal into The Watchful Crow Pub in the City of Gloomwrought.  The more curious is the Faltering Cauldron, a meeting house for a religious order aligned with the Dustmen.  In truth, it’s a cover to aid the ongoing misdeeds of Malagarde, the vengeful Night Hag turned emerging Power.  The increased trade and dealings with both Baatezu and Night Hags should have been enough of a tip off though.



Halls of Uplifted Souls, Guildhall and Market Wards

Healing Hands by RobotDelEspacio on DeviantArt

A center for counseling and consoling.  A response to recent tragedy and calamity.  Nailing this one is a bit odd, as it seems to shift between the two wards, even though it’s not on decided borders that often.  But, one thing proves rather consistent, the aesthetics found on its entrance.  The entryway always conveys a sense of welcoming, with warm and vibrant uses of color.  Often, a sign is adorned with the “Halls of Uplifted Souls” name, usually atop the doorway.  However, the variant jumping locales often vary with a handle of quirks and differences.  Towards the center of the Guildhall Ward, one can find an ornate wooden building with round lamps vaguely shaped like hands clasped around an orb.  The flames dance and sway, sometimes changing between a cycle of bright and exuberant colors.  Within the depths of the market, one can simply found a decorated tent with a similar color scheme.  Various gem-like patterns line the flaps and various folds of the tent, creating beautiful textile works of art, no matter how you lift a part of it up.  Doing so reveals a passage onward and into the proper hall.  Another variant is a more regal marble looking facade with columns propping up the opening area.  Many remark that this resembles some place of learning or a temple, more befitting of the Lady’s Ward.  However, this location is considered by most visitors as the most opulent of the many ways into the halls.  But, enough waiting around, there is far more to see and know.

Inside the actual building proves to be far more uniform than the outside.  It begs the question if it’s still in Sigil and if a bunch of points allow one to jump to a demiplane.  However, it’s very much still the Cage itself.  But, more on our little tour, yes?  Various archway beams support several roof domes, all coated in the same bronze yellow with zigzagging holes dancing up each metallic beam.  Blue glass-like panels stretch from the roof and down the wall panels.  Curiously, they are not windows, but showcase some distant and peaceful dimension.  These are likely enchanted with a relaxing atmosphere to greet guests.  The equally soft light that it emits also provides for a soothing experience.  The otherwise torus like room loops around.  One fixture is a desk that greets visitors the moment they enter.  It is here where reception both greets and gets them oriented.  And from there, seeing what their resources can do for your troubles. A basic plan is hammered between both parties before the client is brought beyond the desk and towards one of many doorways leading to a specific room.  Like a door from the torus city, it leads one into a chamber completely different than the previous “realm”, where patient and counselor meet.  Various rooms convey different inspirations and moods, possibly being demiplanes or planar spaces all their own.

And from the plan, sessions may begin to aid the basher in what ails them.  Or at the very least, trying their best to figure out.  The profession has been popular with psions looking to do good for the community.  All the same, the “mental science” behind such practice is still quite new and many theories and formulas come up as to how things truly work.  First, one such counselor proposes that magically massaging and reading grooves upon one’s head to help determine both a case and a treatment plan through a process they call “Phrenology”.  Another analyzes hidden contexts within actions, all taking place in unconscious recesses of the mind.  Many others prefer to look at active behavior and emotion, using that as a basis.  Likewise, there is a limit to their services.  They will not rewrite your life or your history.  Likewise, they cannot force you in a direction for the better.  They simply provide the tools and guidance to help improve your life.  A central code of ethics allows them to push one in the right direction, rather than forcefully build a life for them.

You might ask how such a place operates?  Well, the arts are what get this place up and running.  Plenty of mind arts too!  What maintains it?  Tossed over jink, of course.  The Cage runs on it and so do you.  Did you think that this place just operated on good will and pleasant emotion?  Poppycock, donations are a must!  But, the many who do offer will attest that such a place does prove beneficial.  Within the Chant, they say that certain factions have become invested in the workings of such a place, while keeping a safe distance.  A number of Indeps feel that it is a way to get your life back on track, without having to drag others down.  The Sensates and Godsmen feel that it allows one to experience health and happiness, to build themselves up.  The Guvners and Hardheads see the potential to cure the barmy and create law abiding citizens.  The Defiers see it as a beautiful way to spite the Powers, regaining oneself without the need of their aid!  These six have been the most inclined to invest in The Halls.  As for the others?  Best to take a quick look.  For Signers, there’s a divide.  Some see the services as a means of clarifying one’s universe.  Others see it as a mockery of one’s reality perspective.  Bleakers seem at least a tad positive towards the idea, something to take the edge off.  Ciphers, The Dead, Red Death and Chaosmen are at odds but otherwise neutral.  It’s the Takers, Anarchists and Sinkers that are especially offended by the practice, the first being much more of a surprise.  But, in their words, it’s forcing someone else to solve your own mental flaws.  Though, it’s not a unanimous view, as many Takers assert that it has the tools to build up one’s life on their own terms.

IMAGE CREDIT: Black Isles Studios – Planescape Torment Cinematic; Keith Parkinson – vengeance; Mirko Failoni – Historia art; Dane Goulter – Goblin Slums; RobotDelEspacio – Healing Hands

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

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