More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 1

Kips in the Cage: Custom Lifestyle Expenses for Planescape's Sigil - The  Planar DM

Ah, here we are again!  The Civic Festhall!  Some time ago, I was here to deliver my information on the fair folk, after a wondrous trip to Ecstasy.  Since then, I have been criticized and lambasted with an incomplete or biased take, especially by the mysterious Narrator.  After all, focusing on such matters can deeply upset the fey.  And that can cost one an eye *tap*… or even your entire being.  Just look at me, I’m a one-eyed cat man now.  But, I am not here to defame or bring attention to various characters.  Likewise, my own association to a bookshop should not paint any bias either. Let us speak on more joyous occasions, the realms of knowledge.  And specifically, let us study more on society and politics of the fey.  For you see, they are far more complicated and organized than we could initially fathom.

I speak of the faerie kind that span the many planes.  We know to some degree what they are, but how do they operate?  What can we learn from their daily directions and general politics?  Let us dive a little further into their own planes, as well as their own takes on our fair City of Doors.  I shall await all to seat and properly get comfortable.  I assure you that once I start my lecture, I shall continue through conclusion.

Author’s Note: The ways of the fey!  Why not?  I keep coming back to this topic one way or another, so let’s go!  At this rate, I may as well be making my own fey content for a new setting.  Also, it happens to coincide with the January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  Should you be interested, please jump on board.  Also, if you’re curious about my writing process, let this video explain it for you.  Also, accompanying each part is some artwork from DiTerlizzi.  This is mostly because I love his style and it’s perfect for this, considering he did artwork for Planescape, Spiderwick, Changeling and more.

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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.

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Planar Explorations, by [REDACTED] or “The Narrator”

“I hate this Ramon DeLeon, barmy liar has brought many to their dooms!  My brothers feel it’s in best interest to visit the bard, as well as his monastery friends in due time.  I lack the muscle of some compatriots, but I can only hope my word craft and reason is enough to get this menace to stand down.  And if he doesn’t, may his long ears be ripped off his head!  Now, where’s my wine?” – Gerard Claude Dupois, Renardois-folk Lupin of Petite Renardie

Where’s a primer to go to learn all there is upon the planes?  Why, to Sigil of course!  And where from there?  Well, competition has floundered in the claws of a beast named Ramon!  His biased words paint a different story of the planes, bringing glory to some and chastisement to others.  But, be assured there are far stranger truths than those cooked up by some hairball hacking mutant with a knack for storytelling.  And within such stories, many things are best left alone.  Because of his foolish idealism, a racial war begins to boil… not unlike that of the gith.  But, enough tearing of one’s fake character.  It’s time to explore the planes with a tighter focus and sense of scrutiny.  Dare you discover what truly happens within realities beyond?  Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!

Now, who might I be?  Why, the Narrator, of course!  Do you think I’m like the Editor?  Because you shouldn’t!  I’m far more charming and more elaborate.  No cryptic absurdity here, only the upfront truth and the deepest of dark you can muster.  Besides, he seems to have given the city the laugh for a while.  Good for him, I say.  You work hard, you eventually catch a break.  So, why can’t you see me?  Well, disclosing such information is dangerous.  Surely, you can understand this.  So, let us not waste too much time.  Turbulence and conflict bubble and ooze around the cage, especially in these trying times.  Methinks another age of upheaval is upon us.  But, whose to say?  I surely can’t, I’ve moved onto other business after ages of merc blood-work.  But, onto other matters then.

Author’s Note: Yup, split post.  Unrest still hovers over the greatest city in the multiverse.  And as one can assume, not all like the traveling bard.  Some think he’s a foul swindler even!  But, what other stories can be told of the planes?  Plenty, I can tell you!  Also, I wanted to explore an even darker look at the fey.  I don’t care for Disney takes on Faeries, give me gothic style aliens any day!  And yes, it overtook the post.  And once again, The Evil Dead inspired something for me to work with.  In addition, we have strange elementals, trade war, a sentient astral pocket and a drifting piece of New Jersey!  Also, as the name might imply, one of my greatest inspirations for Planescape content is the Grimjack/Mundens/Cynosure universe.  Science-fantasy hodgepodge, multiversal antics, a grim mercenary tone often used, lots of it already felt Planescape, even if it predates the setting by around a decade.

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The Editor’s Expansive Sigil Expose – Part 2

The Factol's Manifesto | Forgotten Realms Wiki | Fandom

Not satisfied the first time, eh? Well, I have things for you. Not all sects made the glorious jump into our Cage. But, far more exist on the planes than you know. Let me tell you of a new list of sects that fill plenty of planes; Olden Glory, Moving Progress, The Burned, Front of Greatness, Glorious Subversion, Positivists, Educatorium and The Guardian Primers. Mind you, the last one is more of a guild. But, technicalities are important! You want details on the inner workings of these people, after all.

So, with a careful glance around and ducking into the right alleyway, please read onward and discover more things to know about the many Factions and Sects that hover around our spheres of influence and beyond. After all, you read the scribed words of a very banned author. And as such, you only place yourself at risk here. Stay safe, friend. And always, and I mean always, watch yourself for onlookers. And with that, do enjoy.

Author’s Note: So, besides the previous faction, only two other concepts here came from games themselves. One of them is just a nod towards a classic work of fandom, while another is based on said classic work. The rest? Additional philosophies through a fantastic and tongue-in-cheek window mostly.

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Ramon’s Guide to the Outlands and Beyond

The Outlands (Planescape) | Fantasy map, Dungeons and dragons ...

I have touched upon The Outlands, yes.  But, there is still more to see.  The Concordant Opposition, a name with more than one meaning.  To some, it’s the center point where all things converge.  To some as well, it is the force fighting all planes at once.  At least, this is what that Acts of Balance sect/faction proclaim.  Beyond them, there are many more sights and sounds to observe within the center ring within the Wheel.  With such a variety of experiences alone, a Sensate could spend a lifetime here.

Author’s Note: I enjoy doing these.  As such, I have to return to this!  Now, thanks to the Torment conversions and some of my own, that takes care of a number of monsters at least.  The one bit from the Elemental post felt a bit tacked on, but it only made me wanting to do more.  It begs the question, what happens when I run out of planes?  Well, I’ve been making plans for another project.

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Ramon’s Guide to the Inner Planes

The inner planes | Fantasy map making, Sigil, Astral plane
Details on more comes later!

Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.

A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally.  Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!

Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration.  His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it!  While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing.  Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age…  Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them.  The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch.  Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work.  I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge…  Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge.  Well, part of them.  I have much more where this came from!

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Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Goodness

At long last, an expedition I can embark on without fear of certain demise at every corner!  Salvation, at last?  Perhaps.  As it is, several forces and powers would practically salivate at the chance of stopping my addle-coved quest to document taboos and forlorn places.  I’m surprised The Mists, as the denizens of Dread call them, haven’t taken me back and rubbed me out of planar existence.  Know-how of the Demiplane of Dread is something the best greybeards can speak little on.  And, the forces below!  The Lower Planes would thrill at the chance of claiming a chronicler, either to enforce their own propaganda or a glorious poaching prize.

But, no matter.  That isn’t to say that the Good planes are inherently easy to traverse.  No, friends, quite far from it.  Shadow wars and clashing ideologies still rear their heads.  However, the planars within these realms tend to be more discreet and friendly about it.  That isn’t to say that a leather-headed move won’t be costly.  Plus, there is an inherent trap within the allure of the Upper Planes.  It’s easy to get as lost as one would within the Sylvan Realms.   But, matters could always be worse.

Author’s Note: Hmmm, what do I do from here?  I was hoping I could wait out isolation by writing tons of blurbs on the Great Wheel?  I suppose I could tackle the Inner Planes and bring more ideas to that.  Primordium is just the beginning of that, I guess.  Also, I always felt like the Upper Planes could use a little more umph in some spots.  The Lower Planes are much cooler to adventure in.  And to be honest?  The Upper Planes need the most improvement, especially the top middle three!  Let’s see if I can’t come up with a few cool ideas, huh?  Also, don’t mind the many squeezed in references to things…  D&D has been guilty of it throughout time.

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Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Order vs. Anarchy

Image result for AD&D cosmology

“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this.  However, what oddities and secrets do they hold?  Why, I’m happy to show you.  While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights.  But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil

Planes of Law, rules taken physical form!  While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law.  One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction.  While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places.  Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder.  The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical.  Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium.  Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions.  These don’t have to be completely selfish either.  Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned!  Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned.  So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds.  Join me as I return to the planes once again!

Author’s Note: More Planes!  This time Law vs. Chaos.  This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer!  (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender.  Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.

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Ramon’s Guide to Strange Realities and Stranger Planes

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Currently, I find myself researching into the boundless possibilities of parallel universes, alternate realities if you will. Such a pursuit is a headache. But, no matter! An explorer must persevere for the good of all! Throughout all means of realities, little pockets of truly wondrous strangeness hide in their own obscure places. For the time being, let me chronicle some travels to other strange places in the multiverse!  Who knows what there is?

Author’s Note: It’s no secret, I keep coming back to the planes, especially Planescape. As always, many of these ideas are 3rd and 4th Edition concepts retrofitted into AD&D (rather than 5th Edition’s approach).  This time around, a little more Shadowfell and a bit of Elemental Chaos get reshaped to (better) fit the Great Wheel.  However, I wanted to pay homage to some other concepts from settings like Mystara, which takes a much vaguer approach to the planes. Also, H.R. Giger inspired nightmare fuel!  Also, where details on original content were sparse, I twisted things around and added some of my own ideas.

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Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Dream and Nightmare

Image result for surreal dream art
Dream big.

“Hark!  Dear scribe, should you find this letter, I have likely been lost to The Dream.  A dream, you ask?  Preposterous!  But, not at all!  The Demiplanes of Dream and Nightmare are more than true.  To find them, one must traverse into the depths of the fair folk dominions, already a deadly task.  In truth, the dream creatures are primordial entities, predating even the sylvan folk.  They’re something raw, primal, coalescing into parallel creatures far more detached from logic.  Tread carefully, friend.  Even within the confines of this letter, its eldritch energies stir.  Do not try to look for me, lest you become stuck too.” – A letter from Ramon DeLeon, planar traveler and bard.

The Dream, an essence of energy so wild we can never truly ponder it.  It’s far more morphic than even Limbo!  This energy is neither chaos nor law, but something perhaps beyond it.  Scholars speculate its relation to a distant void known as “Far Realm”.  Currently, the forces of darkness are on the warpath to completely control all that is light within the Dream.  Should this happen, no one shall sleep soundly again.  Already, the Dream is a strange place full of the impossible, with logic far beyond anything akin to reality.  However, shaping dreams comes with its own dangers.  Particularly powerful minds are sought out… and not necessarily by forces for good.

Author’s Note: A mashup of faerie mythology and H.P. Lovecraft Mythos!  Would you expect anything less than me?  Plus, I figure this is a way to drag things into my yearly horror theme while revisiting my Planescape Fey lore by request!  (Also, no more robots for a while!  I promise!)

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