Tobias is a sprite who stands just shy of one foot tall. A mane of slick brown hair descends like a waterfall from his head to rest upon his simple brown leather coat. A dark shirt lies hidden beneath the jacket and dark grey breaches reach down to his feet that are covered by black shoes whose tips curl to a point. His dull black and brown wings will almost always hang like a heavy cape from his shoulders, curled, folded and rarely moving. Unless of course Tobias becomes angered or excited, then his small form will snap to attetion and his folded wings will unfurl with a snap like a flag caught in a strong wind. In those times the very air about the sprite seems to vibrate and its difficult for a mortal to avoid his attentions.
He carries with him a sickly sweet scent, reminiscent of elderberry wine spiced of cloves and cinnamon. Green eyes, tinged red and dimmed from too much drink, stare out at the the dreary wetness of Sigil with disintrest. On rare occasions, those dull eyes will brighten and twinkle and his face will flush with vigor as if youth itself has returned in a torrent and flooded his spirit. But in those fleeting moments his eyes seem to search for something - something lost and yearned for. Amusement? Beauty? Love? Hope? Whatever it is that briefly invigorates his soul, it is soon departed leaving the sprite quiet and drained with hands that seek the comfort of a cup and the merciful fog of indifference that is poured from a bottle.
Urroc is short and thickly built, with a body that seems made to withstand damage. His fiendish heritage is aparent in his golden cat like eyes, white hair, and blue-gray, smooth skin that has the texture and temperature of cool marble. His pact weapon manifests as a massive black gauntlet and armored sleeve on his right arm, with gold highlights and a faint pulsing purple aura. His gear is like a lot of Sigil tieflings, serviceable and worn, with little attention paid to style and uniformly stained a weathered tone of dark gray and brown by the air in the lower wards.
Dred Sheckwhittle grew up as an urchin on the floating Astral colony of Rightfist, a chunk of the dead god Llassos tethered to the larger body. Dred has no idea who his parents are and grew up the ward of a master thief as one of his many child-thieves, eventually leaving the burg when his patron ran afoul of a squad of githyanki. He might have been alone in the world before but now Dred was alone in the whole sodding multiverse. He managed to get to Sigil and took the surname Sheckwhittle from an impressively dressed merchant he remembered from his yout. The newly named Dred Sheckwhittle first joined Signers and then an adventuring party where he met Malakara and fell in love. After the party's big score on a mission to Pandemonium, the two decided to retire and buy a shop in the Lady's Ward.
Now that Urroc is adventuring, Dred couldn't be prouder. He's always offering his son advice, connections, old gear, and anything else he thinks might be helpful. A while ago Malakara reigned him in (the words "overbearing" and "living vicariously" may have been thrown about) and Dred has made an effort to give Urroc space, although Malakara usually has to remind him at least once on any of their son's visits.
Malakara ferch Warlow was more fortunate than most tiefers. She didn`t know her parents but she was raised by an elderly "aunt" (the actual relation, if any, has always been envious). This aunt ran one of the most popular apothecary shops in Little Arcadia out of a beautiful abandoned church once dedicated to some bird deity from the Beastlands. As a child, Malakara spent her days playing in and admiring the impressive stained glass windows in the church. As an adult she followed her aunt into the family business of witchcraft. She soon excelled beyond the elderly woman and became an impressive warlock. Adventuring with Dred she they made a great team, Dred sneaking ahead and Malakara unleashing blasts of dark energy.
When they got enough money to start their own thing, Malakara knew just what she wanted: to make those beautiful windows from her childhood. She knows that Urroc is capable and a skilled warlock and feels some sort of pride that he has inherited her ability. At the same time, Malakara is grateful that her eldery aunt trusted her enough to let her go and she's determined to do the same for her son. Hearing about Urroc's adventures is exciting and she's happy to support him, but Malakara has no interest in anything other than creating her fragile, colorful works of art.
Yesuk's ancestry has given him a distinct appearance, varying from most Humans of his home plane. He has almond-shaped eyes set in a square face, jet-black hair and a flat face covered in thick reddish-brown skin. His upper lips and line of his jaw are covered in whisps of thick black hairs.
He commonly wears light-brown stiff hide and leather armor, lined in warm strips of fur. He managed to procure the set rather cheaply from one of the many markets in Sigil, replacing his old armor which had been badly damaged in a tavern brawl that had gotten out of hand. His blades have been recreated from the standard military issue swords he had brought with him from his home, both of which were broken during that very same brawl.
His pony, Cinggis, has been with the warrior ever since he first entered the planescape. She has aged, but she is still strong and sturdy as ever, her gray shaggy fur still thick and warm. Yesuk has looked around for other mounts to replace her in the event that she died, but so far he has had no luck finding a decent mount.
Welcome, addlecove! Welcome to the worlds beyond your world, the great wheel of the cosmos. This is a great place! Where else can a poor sod mingle with mighty minions of the great powers, or sail the astral ocean, or visit the flaming courts of the City of Brass, or even battle fiends on their home turf? Hey, welcome to the lands of the living and the
See: map of Sigil
Sigil is located atop the Spire in the Outlands. It has the shape of a torus; the city itself is located on the inner surface of the ring. There is no sky, simply an all-pervasive light that waxes and wanes to create day and night. Sigil cannot be entered or exited save via portals; although this makes it quite safe from any would-be invader, it also makes it a prison of sorts for those not possessing a portal key. Thus, sometimes Sigil is called "The Cage". Though Sigil is pseudo-geographically located "at the center of the planes" (where it is positioned atop the infinitely tall Spire), scholars argue that this is impossible since the planes are infinite in all dimensions, and therefore there can never truly be a center to any of them, let alone all of them; thus, Sigil is of no special importance. Curiously, from the Outlands one can see Sigil atop the supposedly infinite Spire.
Sigil contains innumerable portals that can lead to anywhere in the Dungeons & Dragons cosmology: any bounded opening (a doorway, an arch, a barrel hoop, a picture frame) could possibly be a portal to another plane, or to another point in Sigil itself. Thus, the city is a paradox: it touches all planes at once, yet ultimately belongs to none; from these characteristics it draws its other name: "The City of Doors".
The ruler of Sigil is the mysterious Lady of Pain. The Lady is sometimes seen in Sigil as a floating, robed Lady with a face bearing a mantle of blades. The Lady does not concern herself with the laws of the city; she typically only interferes when something threatens the stability of Sigil itself. However, she is an entity of inscrutable motives, and often those who cross her path, even accidentally, are flayed to death or teleported to her hidden Mazes, lost forever. It is widely believed that she never speaks, although some unconfirmed (and, most would argue, highly questionable) rumours to the contrary do exist. Sigil is also highly morphic, allowing its leader to alter the city at her whim.
Sigil is, theoretically, a completely neutral ground: no wars are waged there and no armies pass through. Furthermore, no powers (such as deities) are allowed to enter into Sigil; the Lady has barred them from the Cage, but some disguised avatars (and Vecna, see below) have made it in and been promptly dispatched by the Lady. It is also of great interest to them, as they could use Sigil to send their worshipers anywhere, and it is at the center of the Outer Planes. Vecna once managed to circumvent the ban by entering while in a transitional state where he wasn't strictly a god when he entered Sigil, and by using Ravenloft as the instrument of his entry, instead of one of Sigil's portals. The Lady has since enacted Wards to prevent this from happening again. Later, it is revealed that the Torus underneath Sigil is the physical manifestation of the Multiverse's Fulcrum, and gods are banned because divine energy disrupts, destabilizes and will eventually "break" it, causing the multiverse to come apart at the seams. Aoskar lived in Sigil for a significantly long time before he was destroyed by the Lady, however. Sigil is hardly peaceful; with such a condensed population, consisting of everything from angelic devas to demonic glabrezu, violence is common, usually befalling the foolhardy, the incautious, or the poor. Most natives of Sigil ("Cagers") are quite jaded as a result of living there.
People coming to Sigil from the Prime Material Plane are often treated as clueless inferiors by the planar elitists who dwell there. They are thus widely referred to as the "Clueless", or more charitably, as "Primes".
The Prime Material is just one plane, but it contains lots of individual worlds. A world may be only a single planet or it may be a complete system with planets. Some of the better-known worlds on the Prime Material PLane are Toril with its Tears of Selune and Krynn with its three moons and vanishing stars. Those and all the others are unique places with vastly different cultures and celestial topographies.
These are the rings of elements, the building matter of the Prime Material PLane. There are - you guessed it - three categories within the Inner Planes: The major elementals, the paraelementals, and the quasielementals.
- The Elemental Planes consist of six dominant universes: Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Positive Energy, and Negative Energy. Where these forms meet are the Paraelemental and Quasielemental Planes.
- The Paraelemental Planes of Magma, Smoke, Ice, and Ooze exist where Earth, Air, Fire, and Water merge into each other.
- The Quasielemental Planes are created at the borders of the Positive and Negative Planes, between the basic elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. There are eight of them: Radiance, Mineral, Steam, and Lightning above and Ash, Dust, Salt, and Vacuum below.
The Outer Planes comprise the greatest of all the rings, at least according to most planars. Primes and elementals tend to disagree, but they just don't want to acknowledge the glory of this realm. The Outer Planes are the home of the powers, deities who for some reason take interest in the lives of mortals. Out here can be found gods, demigods, and fiends, along with petitioners, planars, and a host of other creatures. Where the prime-material worlds vary by natural, technical, and magical development, and the Elemental Planes contrast by substance, the Outer Planes differ by morality. Each one is attuned to a particular alignment, and the berks and terrain within it subtly is overly reflect that alignment. The powers choose their homes within the planes of their own alignments, too. Limbo is chaotic and ever-changing, Mechanus rigid and organized, Mount Celestia is peaceful, and Abyss is brutal and deadly. The Outer Planes are grouped into several categories, with many overlaps:
- The Upper Planes of Good: Arcadia, Mount Celestia, Bytopia, Elysium, the Beastlands, Arborea, and Ysgard.
- The Lower Planes of Evil: Pandemonium, the Abyss, Carceri, the Gray Waste, Gehenna, Baator, and Acheron.
- The Concordant Planes of Neutrality: Mechanus, Limbo, and the Outlands.
- The Planes of Law: Baator, Acheron, Mechanus, Arcadia, and Mount Celestia.
- The Planes of Chaos: Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium, and the Abyss.
- The Border Planes of Conflict: Bytopia, Elysium, and the Beastlands above and Gehenna, the Gray Waste, and Carceri below.
There’s more out there than just the three plane groups, though. They aren’t all hutted up against each other, nice and tight. There’s roads and rivers between them, loosely linking the multiverse together. After all, how’s a body to get around without paths? Fact is, there’s three ways to move around the planes (not including walking through the doors of Sigil, which can instantly get you just about anywhere you want to go). All three methods of travel have their uses, because not all three ways are always there.
- The Ethereal Plane: The Ethereal is the conduit betweent he Prime Material Plane and the Inner Planes. Every place on the Prime is touched by the Ethereal's vapors, and every point of the Inner Planes is part of the ghostly web, too. Some folks say the Ethereal Plane's a big, misty place with nothing in it. That's one way to tell the liars, because the Ethereal's really a busy place. Along it's edges (it's infinite and touches everything, but it still has edges, so go figure), a fellow can see into neighboring planes. Move off the edge of your plane, into the Deep Ethereal, and it's like an ocean. A body can swim for leagues without touching anything and then, all of a sudden like, there's an island floating in the mist. These are demiplanes, little pocket worlds with rules and realities all their own.
- The Astral Plane: The Astral is what's needed to get from the Prime Material to the Outer Planes. On the Prime it touches every place, just like the Ethereal Plane, yet those two planes - Astral and Ethereal - never meet. the Astral Plane also connects to each of the Outer Planes, provided a body knows where to find the door. Although it looks empty, the Astral Plane's a pretty busy place. Travelers there better be ready to deal with the githyanki, because the silvery void's their home. Huge fortresses filled with their kind drift through the silver stream, and githyanki ships have been sighted sailing the Astral Plane. The githyanki aren't alone, either. There's other stuff bigger and meaner than them, like astral dreadnoughts, astral whales, and islands formed from the decaying corpses of ancient powers.
- The Outlands: With Sigil at the center, the Outlands are the last pathway to the Outer Planes. Sure the Outlands are one of the Outer Planes, but this one's different from the others. It's not part of the ring - it's the center of the ring. Journey across the Outlands and eventually a body gets eleswhere - not just elsewhere on the plane, but into another plane entirely. The farther a body goes toward a plane on the ring, the more the Land looks like that plane, until at last he comes to a gate between here and there.
- Athar (Defiers, the Lost): The gods are frauds; the unknowable truth lies beyond the veil.
- Believers of the Sources (Godsmen): All life springs from the same divine source, ascending and descending in form as it is tested.
- Bleak Cabal (Bleakers, the Cabal, Madmen): The multiverse ain’t supposed to make sense; there’s no grand scheme, no deep meaning, no elusive order. The only truth worth finding lies within.
- Doomguard (Sinkers): Entropy is ecstasy; decay is divine. The multiverse is supposed to fall apart. We’re just here to keep leatherheads from interfering.
- Dustmen (The Dead): We’re all dead – some more so than others. We explore our state with patience, purge our passion, and ascend toward the purity of True Death.
- Fated (Takers, Heartless, Coldbloods): The multiverse belongs to those who seize it. No one’s to blame for a poor sod’s fate but the sorry sod himself.
- Fraternity of Order (Guvners): Everything has laws; most are secret. Learn the laws of the multiverse and you can rule it.
- Free League (Indeps): This isn’t a faction, and nobody tells us what to do. Keep your options open; nobody’s got the key to the truth.
- Harmonium (Hardheads): Peace is our goal. But if it takes a little war to get others to see things the Harmonium way, so be it. That’s how we’ll reach our golden harmony.
- Mercykillers (Red Death): Justice is everything. When properly applied, punishment leads to perfection.
- Revolutionary League (Anarchists): The status quo is built on lies and greed. Crush the factions. Break ‘em down and rebuild with what’s left – that’s the only way to find real truth.
- Sign of One (Signers): The planes exist because the mind imagines them. Any Signer could be the one who creates the multiverse through the power of thought.
- Society of Sensation (Sensates): To know the multiverse, experience it fully. The senses form the path to truth, for the multiverse doesn’t exist beyond what can be sensed.
- Transcendent Order (Ciphers): Action without thought is the purest response. Train body and mind to act in harmony, and the spirit becomes one with the multiverse.
- Xaositects (Chaosmen): Chaos is truth, order delusion. Embracing the randomness of the multiverse, one learns its secrets.
- The Sects: Aside from the main factions, there are a number of sects prominent in the planes. These groups have limited power in Sigil but in some places are stronger and more numerous than the factions.
While there are many different races walking the planes, possibly an infinite number, they fall into a few different categories.
- Primes: Those born on the Prime Material Plane are generally less-knowledgeable and experienced with planewalking, but they have some advantages to make up for this. As non-planar creatures they are not susceptible to many magical spells such as protective measures or banishment spells.
- Planars: The broad category of "planar" covers anything born on a plane besides the Prime Material. They are able to see portals by concentrating (with a Perception check) but are also susceptible to protective magic and they can be banished back to their home plane (Sigil-born are banished back to the Outlands) when on another plane. They are the most common planewalkers.
- Planeborn: There are a number of races born from the spiritual heart of each of the cardinal Outer Planes: the modrons of Mechanus, the archons of Mount Celestia, the guardinals of Elysium, the eladrin of Arborea, the slaadi of Limbo, the tanar'ri of the Abyss, the yugoloths of the Grey Waste, the baatezu of Baator, and the rilmani of the Outlands. Aside from these, there are also the yugoloths found throughout the Lower Planes and the aasimon found throughout the Upper Planes… Other races such as the asuras, the hordelings, and the ghereleths seem to be of planeborn status but categorization is difficult.
- Elementals: Effectively of the "planeborn" of the Inner Planes, these creatures are both more and less than races such as the archons and yugoloths. They are less individuals, more content to simply be in their native plane, and harder to convince into leaving.
- Petitioners: The dead from across the planes are reborn in their deity's realm (or in a planar wilderness if they do not worship) as petitioner spirits of their former selves. They rarely leave their deity's realm and can't stray too far if they do, but they are now planar creatures whether or not they were in life.
- Planetouched: Between mortal and planeborn are those cutters with parents on either side of the divide. Tieflings, aasimar, and genasi all fall into this category between worlds.
- Powers: On the planes, people tend to refer to gods, goddesses, deities, celestial kings, queens of the moon, etc. as simply "powers." Some folks don't believe in anything as formal as a "god" and others want to be respectful of any powerful being no matter their personal religion. It may be a simplistic fix, but many a theological argument is headed off by this simple word.
- Proxies: The next-best-thing to a power, proxies are the personal servants of gods. They are very powerful creatures and zealous adherents before being chosen to serve and afterwards get transformed into something between mortal and deity.
- Dimensional Relations: Some spells rely on connections to other planes. On the Prime Material, which has a strong connection to pretty much everywhere, this isn't an issue but on other planes it can be a concern. Powers like astral seal or astral step and rituals like Astral Sojourn don't function where the Astral Plane can't be reached, i.e. the Ethereal Plane, the Inner Planes, or layers of planes separated from the Astral (generally any below the "first"). Likewise, powers like ethereal stride and elemental conduit which rely on connections to the Ethereal Plane or through it to the Inner Planes don't work without a connection to the Misty Shore, i.e. the Astral Plane and the Outer Planes. Some powers and rituals will work anywhere but their utility is limited by position: Speak With Dead, for example, will contact a deader's soul unless it's too far away such as when you try to contact one of Zeus' faithful from the Plane of Fire. The last restriction to keep in mind is the reason they call Sigil the Cage. Teleportation effects work just fine from a spot in Sigil to another spot in the city, but trying to teleport from inside the Cage to another plane doesn't work.
- Specific Alterations: It pays to do research before you head to a plane and expect all your magics to work. Every planes has some unique quirks when it comes to spells and sometimes individual layers have quirks as well. Come to that, powers might project a set of magical alterations over their realms… The point is, look before you jaunt. A list of magical alterations can be found here.
- Spell Keys: With all of these concerns, it might seem like spellcasters have a hard time of it. That might be true, but there are tools to get around these restrictions as well: spell keys. These aren't always physical things and depend on where they're intended to be used (Ysgardian spell keys are runes traced in the air, Mechanus spell keys are mathematical formulae etched on tiny cogs), and they are divided by power source (an arcane spell key won't help with a divine or primal power, etc). Most spell keys allow a caster to circumvent one of the magical alterations on a particular plane, but in additional these semi-common specialized spell keys there are rarer general keys which allow an effect to be countered on any plane (a candle that negates the lessening of fire magic anywhere, etc).