Troublesome Timelines in Sigil and Beyond

https://i0.wp.com/uo-planescape.wdfiles.com/local--files/sigil/Wererat_razorvine_and_Cranium_Rats_by_Tony_Diterlizzi-2600_(1994-04)_TSR_Planescape_Campaign_Setting_-_Sigil_and_Beyond.jpg
Gather quickly, my free time is limited. I have dire and gruesome fortunes to unearth.

Alleissa, the protege of Midwife Mebbeth can do more than treat what ails ya and talk about the art a bit.  Did you know I have some knack for fortunes and looking at possible events?  Don’t just take my word for it…  Gaze into this crystal ball and allow me to show you.  Why are you reluctant?  Despite this adorable fuzzy rodent face, I swear I won’t call ‘The Us’ to you.  Between you and I, the Brain-Muncher Vampires from the Below make better friends than the Cranium Rats… at least the ones who aren’t too barmy.  Anyway, divination.  Sure!  Let me see likely scenarios and the unlikely… 

Hmm…  Hmm…  Oh my… All of these look rather grim.  Day to day in the Cage already brings its own ample bad news.  But, one always finds a way to adapt and perhaps normalize the horrors around them.  On a much better note, good can always come from these bad events.  After all, a mad tinker “pure blood” married I, a witch and a mutant.  I already know the next of kin will be healthy.  Plus, I’ve made sure many young in The Hive live and grow, in addition to seeing their own first light of day.  Even the aging and old, they’ve continued better thanks to my mentor and later me.  So, perhaps that’s a sign of positives among rather negative days.  But, onto the readings themselves, I warn you that the foreboding you sense is warranted.  Dark things lie ahead.  Do you still want to hear more?  Should you not want to, it’s understandable.  

Author’s Note:  Alleissa, the rat mutant, returns.  This is just a series of scenarios based on what CAN happen with the plot hooks I set up.  I don’t know if I’ll touch on them beyond this or the after effects.  After all, you’re all free to use my plot hooks as you’d like.  And yes, I straight up ripped off the Halo trilogy and a bit from Buckaroo Banzai!  Likewise, let’s tie up some plots with the Acts of Balance.  For now, I want to close the door on some Planescape metaplot.  And with that, have some Sigilian nightmares this chilly season.

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Burn out never, Steam Forever – More Steamspace

The Aftermath by RhysGriffiths on DeviantArt

Steamspace, that which holds the greatest minds in the greatest crystal sphere.  Should you seek glory, invention and the power of a new age; Steamspace is for you.  Consult with the Steam Corps Recruitment Agency, found next to Lorenzo’s Museum of Wildspace Weaponry.
– From a flyer posted around The Rock of Bral

Steamspace is an odd land of many extremes.  There are miniature worlds with diametrically opposed harsh weather.  There are havens for artifice, but one of the most hostile refuges of nature found in the multiverse.  Ideal landscapes for urban empire exist in some realms, such as the Moon of Victoriana or the world of Valiance.  For the rest, it is a testament to ingenuity and innovation; powers of arcane engineering battling the deadliest that nature and the supernatural have to offer.  Beyond deserts of sand, icy tundras, wastelands under darkness and strange seas of green; there are other perils too.  Shadowy drow conspire while ancient elves channel forces of the light.  Battles still wage for the powers of lightning to some day overthrow dependence on steam.  Many mysteries line the sphere too.  The most advanced of the people here are actually ancient tribes that once belonged to a unified world, long blown up by mysterious tragedies.  Numerous societies hoard secrets on the creation of deadly weaponry that could risk annihilation of whole regions.  Many hide the literal deeper layers and depths to even their cities.  None the less, this does not dissuade brave souls looking to reinvent both themselves and reality around them.  Should success come to all and peace ring true, then there is hope for these wondrous creations to spread to the multiverse.

Author’s Note: One more for Steamspace!  Yes, I realize that Bashar and Destiny Expanse are getting a fair bit here.  Beyond that, references to silent horror cinema, Stephen King and various dystopian fiction.  Just because I’m not letting this get too dark doesn’t mean I won’t stuff plenty in there.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Beyond Steam Titan

treasurepl1.jpg

The Steam Titan is a curious host. The world itself is hostile to most life, but its moons offer a diverse array of habitats and beings. None the less, the gases within the world have proved most useful in propelling already technical societies far forward, with fascinating innovations. But, what of other worlds within the sphere?

Author’s Notes: To keep in line with the fiction of the era, many of the worlds refer to various dime novel/pulpy tropes and then some, such as the lost world, masked heroics, divine revelation, proto-cosmic horror and then some.  Likewise, a poke at the genre mashup and rules-Frankenstein needed to make all of this possible.  Hell, one of the worlds is even more tie-in to my RavenScape stuff.  Anyway, here’s a post JAM PACKED with content!  Enjoy!  Perhaps at some point, I’ll return to Steamspace.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Always Weirder Pastures

What Really Happened at Roswell? - HISTORY

“So, what you’re trying to tell me is that you’re not an elf?”

-“No, sir.”

“And this isn’t the North Pole?”

-“It could be!”

“So… Sargent, have you been trying to mess with my goddamn mind this whole time?”

*”I’m in the fog as much as you are, Major!  This ain’t Earth, it’s aliens.  Roswell and all!  Aliens!”

“Get a grip of yourself.  This, err, non-elf can help us.  Now, isn’t that right?”

Author’s Note: Two instances of New Jersey in the multiverse.  Why?  Because it ain’t as bad as everyone likes to say!  Also, it’s a little smaller this time.  Look out for next time, it’s a big one!

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Light and Dark

Take heed, mighty explorer!  Danger is afoot!  Always prepare!

Free D&D playtest hints that Spelljammer reboot is on the way - Polygon

You are among the brave few, those who readied themselves for the great journey into a breathtaking new world, one of many that swarm around the very source of much great power.  The Steam Titan, as many call it, as a colossal body that anchors the many sites we aim to use for our cause.  Far from alone, there are others like us who remain friendly for now.  Likewise, other beings have existed on the micro worlds far before us.  Tread lightly and with caution.  For the environments beyond and their lifeforms?  Steady and prepare.  A carefree adventurer is a dead adventurer.  The Queen’s Voyage Adventure Charter will explain more.  Please report to them post-haste.

Author’s Note: Obligatory Victorian steampunk, almost arbitrary…  Likewise, far more grimdark steampunk, because that’s really the only way I like the genre.  Though, not enough look at over industrialization, to complete “Victorian High Tech, Low Life”.  Well, here’s a continuation of my mess.  Why am I tying all of these things into Spelljammer?  I’m not sure.  At least steampunk isn’t super trendy anymore, if I wanna be all hipster about it.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Desert Winds

Steamspace

A fascinating cluster of worlds unlike any other.  There is one true world within steamspace, an incredible Gas Giant that bounced between several sun-like star shapes.  Orbiting the giant are many moons which foster life, while acting as a means of sampling the greater world for the benefit of the denizens below.  This charter details the various inhabitants upon each of the moons.  The Known Moons of the Gaseous Body, a cosmic cradle that harbors a bubbling and steaming watery world below known as “Steam Titan”, are as follows: Bashar, Destiny Expanse, Victoriana, Noire, Metallum and maybe even more.  Splinter from the Iron Coil Gnome crew became a vital part in the infrastructure and well being of the moons themselves.  While the company presence in the Crystal Sphere fizzled as fleets of Minoi entered roughly ten years ago, they left behind means of survival on otherwise hostile worlds.  Enter moons built on extremes and oddities.  Behold a fantastic gas giant that tethers all of them together, the very source of wondrous power here.  But for today, let us look at the first two moons.

Author’s Note: Remember my Weird Western?  Al’Bashar?  Bits on Space Victorian British?  Blatant Stephen King rip-offs?  Well, it’s all part of the same world cluster!  Also, expect a handful of homages to bits of pulp, sci-fi and then some.  In fairness, this is the kind of insane crack I’d come up with when I did more with 2E AD&D.  In short, mixing Spelljammer with Masque of the Red Death Ravenloft and Gamma World 4th Edition mechanics together would make something like this.

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The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?

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Fantastical Space would be one of the last things people associate the Demiplane of Dread with, but it exists even there.  The recently discovered “Castle Darkspace” is a testament to that.  While T’laan stews and broods in nihilistic apathy, he knows that it’s possible to break the veil into greater space.  But, this is but a facade meant to give false hope.  And by all means, others who have touched a Spelljammer have fallen to the Dark Powers.  Even the maligned and much ignored “Port Barmy” has its roots in a Spelljammer ship.  Save for the latter domain, all things Spelljammer have found their way into a unique “Cluster” or rather “Mist Sphere”.  The Mist Sphere works much like a Crystal Sphere, complete with Wildspace connecting the worlds.  However, there is no true world, solely the domain and lands trailing off into mists.  However, they can be accessed by spelljamming.

Be warned though, for those who sail their incredible ships in this sphere cannot leave normally.  Trying to seek the Phlogistan has disastrous results.  Consistently, a spelljammer will explode upon impact.  Likewise, entering other domains and clusters beyond this one spells doom.  Doom already comes for all who dare to trifle with the mists.  As of 740, even arcane space (excluding the phlogiston beyond) was not immune.  Tower Darkspace was taken into the mists.  By 743, Rogerport and Gnomonia had joined.  Primordium Station was taken in 748 and The Chariot fell in 757.  By 758, these were no longer islands of terror.  The Mists unveiled that the spelljamming days of yore had returned, but with a dark twist.  A new Sphere of sorts revealed itself, but those within were very much trapped.  And worse, new locales and minor domains continued to appear, such as the Sparkling Halls in 759.  Perhaps the Arcane Space is doomed to fall to the Dark Powers in due time?

Author’s Note: Spelljammer in the Mists! They said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong! Ahahahahah!  I know Ravenspace has been a thing for years, but here is my own take on a cluster in the style of a Crystal Sphere.  Also, there is plenty of opportunity to reference bits of space horror, such as System Shock!  Also, more Eberron crossover!  And even more crazy, Returned Blackmoor makes a cameo as a domain all its own.  Is it canon for my Threshold series?  Hard to say, but it’s certainly a possible ending for it!  Also, Port Barmy remains a joke.  I have no plans to do much else with it, maybe I’ll add it to here one day.

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Conspiracies and Terrors of Wildspace and More

I realize that my lesson started and shifted a but abruptly.  But, you seek the worst and weirdest that arcane space has to offer.  Why would I slouch on a golden opportunity to explain all that is delightfully dooming in the stars beyond?  Ah, yes.  Do stop me at any moment.  As much as I relish spreading nightmares, it could be bad for the tutoring contract.  So, young one, let us talk particular subjects involving space today.  After all, fear not when being taught by the famous Jermaine the Arcane.  I always provide means of rescue advice.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer, at last!  All the same, October kinda of usurped a bit of that.  And so with that, have some RavenJammer!  Likewise, conspiracies and mysteries within the setting too.  Also, the largest heresy to the alternate cosmologies, they’re just Crystal Spheres with Planar elements…  Don’t be mad at me!  Plus hey, I love a good conspiracy angle, the retcon fits the Great Wheel and its many mysteries to some extent.  Primers be damned!  (But, mostly Clueless.)

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Worlds and Cosmos of Spelljammer – Fantastic Space!

 

Spelljammer" cover art by Jeff Easley. | Scifi fantasy art, Dungeons and  dragons art, Fantasy art illustrations

Arcane Space, a strange place for those not initiated.  Plus, for those lacking the essential tools of travel, it’s deadly.  There is no natural air here, likewise the heat is very unnatural.  This is especially the case within the traveling warp known as the phlogiston, a realm of burning energy that can shuttle protected spelljammers in rapid time.  Yes, it truly is wonderful.  And for many, it’s a far more logical alternative to the planes beyond.  Why discover what lies beyond life when you can learn all that life truly has to offer?  There are countless worlds already out there, all within the Prime material.  Plus, the metropolitan space hubs prove far less pretentious than the likes of Sigil anyway.  No weird slang to make yourself feel smug.  Or well, less of it.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer?  But of course!  October will probably make a shift back to Ravenloft, but Spelljammer always needs love.  And past that, more Docker’s Catch, crossover with other settings and a massive reference to Sea of Thieves (again). So with that, have a double post… IN THE SAME WEEK!  Give or take.

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In Which Calamity Reigns – More Planescape Lore

Street Riot | MTG Arena Card Library
“To the Armory, CHAAAAARGE!.”

“Those Anarchist twits, sparking more violence within The Cage.  They think they’re turning the people against the factions, all of them…  Not quite.  It all plays into our hands.  Besides, this has lead to our greatest dabbling, remote shops to distribute weapons from The Armory better!  Tuck them under the Legals’ noses, give ’em the laugh at the right moment!  The smell o’ fresh blood wafting along the Lower Ward smog, ain’t it just grand?  Besides, nasty things are brewing in the planes, it’s best for the locals to arm themselves.  Bloody shame with those pirates though, I wish they were working for us…” – From the letter of a Sinker, commenting on recent “acceleration” within Sigil

Horrible things transpire across the planes, but what do they mean?  Likewise, dread things from realms unknown have found their way into The Cage.  The few paranoid greybeards within The Dark point towards The Demiplane of Dread and its machinations.  But, they can’t say for sure and can’t say why.  Through the Prime Fabric, a version of Terra languishes at the wrath of the planes beyond too, something that should be impossible.  As it is, rising tensions within Sigil point to something grim.  Some figure that Factol Darkwood is up to something, but he has been on the hush since violence against any faction/non-guild has been on the rise.  Even laws passed and enforced by the “lawful three” have been subverted and sometimes abolished by outside forces.  The Lady, as always, has remained silent until her call to action draws near.  In the meantime, both Anarchists and Indeps are getting much of the heat of the blame, alongside various Guilds of the Guildhall and Market Wards.

Author’s Note: This post is all about two themes: darker things in the planes… and war.  By war, I mean urban warfare, world war, proxy war, war of ideals/words and war over technology.  But also, we have more Planescape content, as well as potential “Ravenscape” material.  As always, references galore!  This includes some personalities in real life.  Shout-out to The Foxy Bard of Renaissance Faire performance fame.  I still say if you toss on a monocle, you could rock a Harkon Lukas cosplay!  Mind you, Lukas was an inspiration for my character too.  Also, this one is a smidge rougher based on looks at an apocalyptic Earth, as well as uproar in the Cage.  Keep an eye out for many, many callbacks throughout the post.  I love to self-reference.

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