Planescape: The Peace of Bones

Curtain Call
Stand up, and take a bow.

After the battle of the gremlins. the heroes found their way to a campfire tended by a Xaositect dwarf. He informed them that he was looking for Torgo, but had not been successful, despite an exhaustive search under a multitude of grains of sand. After a friendly chat, the party bid him farewell, and set off towards the Ziggurat.

Once there, they found signs of a recent battle, albeit one fought with ancient weapons. Eventually, they reached the top, where they found the source of the blinking light, carvings protected from the wind, and the sad form of Torgo. The light was from the dying sun reflecting off of a sphere, blackness swirling within like ink. The merest touch of the sphere sapped the vitality of anyone who had the termitity to touch it. The walls were inscribed with horrific images, dominated by a grinning face.

Torgo held a few possessions, and next to the body, Torgo’s Journal. After reading it, the party realized that events were unfolding much as they had for Torgo, and were presented with a vast, growing army of skeleton forces. Knowing that the orb might hold some idea of godhood, even if it was a twisted version, they gathered up the orb, and made their way down. Once on ground level, the sea of skeletons parted, allowing them passage out.

The party cautiously made their way to the bonfire they saw earlier. This fire was accompanied by a squad of dragonborn. Hopeful, the party inquired if they could share information regarding the exit. The Dragonborn did not wish to give up the location without some sort of payment. Unable to reach an accord, they did battle.

The battle went badly. With most of the party down, or in bad shape, Angus tried one last attempt. Casting one final invocation, he threw himself at the orb.

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The Word Sand Three Times Backwards
In which our heroes learn the importance of Endurance.

It seemed the parade of rats would never end. As the heroes were preparing to leave the lair, a girl approached. Her features, while mostly human, could be described as “rodentious”. However, instead of coming with tooth and claw, she came with business sense, and a plan. For a modest fee, the agents of the wererats would decipher the code in the journal. Weary and grateful for the respite, the party agreed. Refreshed, the party set out for the market ward to see if Eluvious, of Tivvum’s antiquities would hold any clues as to the nature of the portal key. As always, the market ward was full of activity. Girgir was sorely tempted by a nut log offered by a mezzoloth, but politely declined when he learned of it’s true nature. Some Crazy Guy was handing out massive amounts of pamphlets, each one containing a recipe for a portal. Diabolic and Fiendish recruiters were out and about talking to tieflings. Both vehemently denying the existence of a Cold Blood War. Eventually, the heroes made it to Tivvum’s antiquities. Inside, the shelves were filled with all manner of strange material; Portal keys to Mechanus, Odd metallic slush, crystalline eyeballs, and many others. Unfortunately, Eluvious did not know of the plane that the heroes wished to goto, but she did offer to scry on the portal in hopes of ascertaining a portal key via ritual. After a long discussion of various tactics, the group decided on watching Anxos’ front door. Once he left, they would enter, leave a few scrying eyes scattered about the room, and leave. However, once inside, Aldis, an Harmonium guard, arrived to arrest the group on charges of murder and vandalism. The charges could be settled by death, or by weregild. The group quickly chose weregild, and were given one week to come back with one thousand gold. Once the harmonium left, the group resumed their breaking and entering process. Once inside, the rather surprising renovations drove home the point that Anxos did not want guests. After a brief furniture reorganization, several scrying eyes were left behind. Eluvious was informed, and the group retired to the Great Foundry. At some point during the night, the wererats delivered the cipher key to Random’s room. Random and Girgir paid the remainder of the fee. In the morning, the party left Haq’s complaints about his mysteriously broken bed, to get to the Hall of information. Once there, the Bariaur who was staffing the Office of Portals, said that he didn’t have any records of the plane either. While the main body of the party returned to the Foundry to see if the journal had been deciphered, Girgir went barhopping. Examination of the journal revealed that the key was the phrase “The Word Sand Three Times Backwards.” Not “Dnas, Dnas, Dnas”, but “The Word Sand Three Times Backwards.” The Market ward held much of the same as before, except now there was an arrogant berk who declaimed that the pamphlets that the Crazy Guy was handing out were recipes to open a portal to the Far Realm. This was dismissed, as who could be truly insane enough to act out the instructions listed. The portal key was delivered to Eluvious, who offered one hundred gold to keep the information exclusive. Eluvious offered additional information in exchange for gold. Girgir decided to entertain the lady rather than pay. Several awkward hours later, the party would be alerted when Anxos left. Leaving Tivvum’s antiquities, chaos awaited, as the Crazy Guy stood amidst a ring of devastation, still handing out pamphlets. The trap control system in Anxos’ apartment fell to a mighty leap from Chloe. The heroes threw themselves into the portal, smartly using the mattress as a buffer. They came to on the endless blue sands. Wandering a while, they soon found a river. After a brief consultation, they were guided north, to an old, buried City in the Sand. While scouting they were assaulted by gremlins, warriors of the sand. After dispatching them, their eyes fixed on the distant sight of a campfire.

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Time to Kill the Rats
In which our heroes face the arch-nemesis of first-level characters everywhere

Grrgrr the bugbear returned from his errand with the components Random needed to conduct the comprehend language ritual, then immediately took off to get his drink on. Unfortunately, ten minutes later, the ritual failed to make any sense of the indecipherable symbols in Anxos’s journal, leaving the party just as clueless as they were before. Not wanting to have to finagle their way in again, the party decided to lay in wait for the tiefling to return and give his soul the “forced restart” so many wayward individuals in Sigil seem to have coming to them.

The plan was to make it appear as though there’d been a break-in while Anxos was away. Random, still in the guise of a tiefling woman, lay on the floor as if unconscious, with a broken wine bottle nearby to enhance the illusion that he/she’d been knocked out by the intruder. The shifter Chloe flattered herself against the wall beside the door inside the apartment, while Angus retreated to the stairs above the apartment’s front door to catch Anxos from behind. A flawless plan!

Well, not quite. When Anxos danced up the stairs to his home and opened the front door, he quickly decided to get the Hells out of there, for reasons not quite known to our heroes. Back down the stairs he went, locking the front door of the building behind him and trapping the party inside. Chloe tried to hack her way through the door, but all the noise disturbed a couple of elves on the first floor who’d apparently been interrupted in flagrante delicto. A fight ensued. After her lover fell, the party convinced the female elf to just walk away. Sadly, in the rush to not slaughter her, the party forgot to get the key to the front door from her, and Chloe was forced to return to her efforts. Random shifted to the form of Grrgrr (from the form of a bea-_yu_tiful elven woman, which he’d assumed in an unsuccessful bid to talk their way out of the conflict with the elves), and the trio exited the building…

...and walked right into an ambush! A pair of hobgoblins attacked the party, with a smug Anxos looking on from a safe distance. However, our heroes made short work of the two mercenaries, and Anxos scarpered.

Back at the Great Foundry, Ombidias suggested a couple options for investigating the gate in Anxos’s home, including checking with the Hall of Information in the Clerk’s Ward for information about the gate and getting some local wererats to decode the enigmatic journal.

While the visit to the Clerk’s Ward afforded the three Godsmen’s lungs some cleaner air, the bureaucratic red tape of the Hall of Information proved a formidable adversary. The Hall’s slogan of “Cooperation, Compliance, and Control” was, at best, only two-thirds accurate when it came to getting an appointment with the Office of Gates. The halfling steward provided a phonebook-sized directory of the Hall’s offices, and the three paid their processing fee (and then some), but not even Random shape-shifting into a six-foot halfling could convince the steward to give them an appointment in less than two days.

That left our heroes with some time to kill, so they headed back to the Lower Ward to try their other option: the wererats.

The entrance to the wererats’ lair was a shaft in the ground, ending in a subterranean network of tunnels. The party tried to avoid a violent misunderstanding by announcing themselves and their intentions, but since all they got in return was a succession of squeaks, it was impossible to say whether their message had actually been received and understood. When their descent ended in their being attacked by a giant rat and several smaller rats, it was pretty clear it hadn’t.

After dispatching the filthy beasts, another figure emerged from the shadows: a full-fledged wererat. He apologized for the attack, but insisted it was a necessary security measure to keep out the riff-raff. When the party laid out their needs to him, he agreed to take them to another wererat who’d surely be able to help them make sense of Anxos’s journal. But, as so often happens in these situations, these promises turned to combat pretty quickly. The wererat summoned up a rat swarm and proved to be a real son of a bitch himself, staying on his clawed feet for an interminably long time thanks to his regeneration and nearly killing Random in the process. However, in the end, he bought the rat-farm. Sic semper rats!

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Welcome to Sigil, Berk

2/28/09

A gap opened up in the yellow-brown haze that hung over the Lower Ward, revealing a brief glimpse of blue sky before a body came hurtling through the hole in time and space. The workers and peddlers who had been milling about in the broad avenue between the foundries, smoking and cursing and sneaking sips from hip flasks, skittered away from the portal. Chloe Windstar plummeted the twenty feet to the cobblestones.

It was a hard landing, and before she could gather herself up, an ogre in a sweat-stained leather apron pushed his way through the crowd of onlookers as though the burly workmen were nothing more than blades of grass. The ogre took a moment to size up the shifter who lay in a heap in the street, and then gave Chloe a vicious kick with one enormous steel-capped boot. “Welcome to Sigil, berk,” he said, and left to go back to work, laughing.

Others were somewhat less brutal in their welcome. As soon as the ogre had passed, shouts rang out from all the corners of the crowd. “You there! Do you believe that you are already dead?” and “The the any are sense Xaositects only with ones; are stupid others the.” and “Surely fate has brought you here today; join with us and follow your true destiny!”

But the voice that found a resonance in Chloe’s ringing skull was the one that asked “Do you want to be a god?” Chloe glanced up to see an attractive human male standing over her, holding out a hand to help her to her feet. She took it. On either side of the man were a solemn-looking dwarf in blue robes emblazoned with golden runes and a hulking bugbear who wore a notched and pitted battle-axe on his back and battle-scars on his face and arms and who seemed perversely out of place in a crowded city.

The smiling human introduced himself as Random the Bard, and his two companions as Angus the Invoker and GirGir the Barbarian. Still reeling, at least as much from the confusion of being torn from her homeworld and thrown into this alien city as from her injuries, Chloe allowed herself to be led to a nearby restaurant where Random promised explanations and a free lunch.

The restaurant turned out to be the Green Mill, which was no misnomer, as a large waterwheel turned in the filthy drainage ditch that ran out back of the establishment. Large windmill sails, their shafts sunk into the front of the tavern, turned slowly in the smoky air and churned the smog into something almost resembling breathable air. The inside of the establishment was even more fantastic than the outside, and Chloe almost felt that she was home again when she stepped into the parlor filled with the sweet smell of cedar and a golden-green light that seemed as though it had passed through forest leaves.

As though it were the most natural thing in the world, Random instantly transformed himself from a human man into an elven maiden with long silver hair and vast blue eyes, and proceeded to led the group to a private booth and ordered four plates of Fhorge loin medallions in a raspberry reduction and four glasses of Celestial water. While waiting for the meal, Random explained that Chloe was in Sigil now, the city at the center of the multiverse, and that he was a member of the Believers of the Source, who held that all individuals are capable of apotheosis. The possibility of perfection through effort appealed to Chloe, who had always struggled become as strong as she could be in spite of the mocking criticisms of her clan. She offered to join the Godsmen on a trial basis. After a meal of exquisitely-arranged food served in very small portions that left GirGir grumbling, the group moved on to the headquarters of the Godsmen: the Great Foundry.

As large as many of the factories and foundries in the Lower Ward were, the Great Foundry dwarfed them all. Its fifty foot high gate could’ve barred the passage of a titan, and it would’ve been possible to stuff several city blocks into the colossal central building that towered over lesser warehouses and workshops and hills of slag that would have otherwise been vast in their own right. Inside the foundry, past the cascades of sparks and through the heat that made the air shiver, at the center of the pools of molten metal and enormous cauldrons filled with liquid steel and the rows of smiths beating steel into shape on black iron anvils, Chloe saw a tall figure with skin like wood and wearing a black tunic, at his ease among all the heat and the clamor as if he had been on a holiday at the beach.

Random introduced Chloe to Ombidias, the master of novices. The giantkin spared the arrival a measured smile. Ombidias sent the others away to engage in their requisite labors and proceeded to show the new Namer a thing or two about the smelting and forging of metals. The work was hot and dirty and exhausting, but after several hours Ombidias congratulated the novice on a job well done, and released her from her duties. Chloe went out to the vast complex of bunkhouses and messhalls behind the Foundry, seeking her acquaintances again. She was eager, in spite of her fatigue, to begin on more high-stakes tests and trials in her ascent to divinity.

Chloe found GirGir and Angus easily enough, both of them filthy from stoking the forges. Random only took a little more finding; he (for he had reverted to human male form) was out back of the foundry, engaged in a heated argument with another Godsmen bard. This bard, who was saddled with the unfortunate name of Hack, was proclaiming how he was close to perfecting 4’33” for solo lute. Random countered by saying that this was no accomplishment; Hack insisted that he only said that because he didn’t know how to listen to silence. The two bards parted, shouting criticisms at each other, and the regrouped party went off to the dining hall and sat on the long steel benches next to other Godsmen, most of whom were still wearing their heavy leather smocks and work gloves and black-tinged goggles, and there the party enjoyed a simple meal of mushroom and barley soup accompanied by small beer. Not surprisingly, all of the table service was steel, and some of the bowls and tankards displayed decorative razor-sharp spikes jutting out of their surfaces at random angles. The party retired to the bunkhouse, and enjoyed a relatively clean and comfortable, if not particularly luxurious, night.

After waking, the heroes sought out Ombidias once again, and asked him how they might accelerate their ascent into godhood. Ombidias suggested that they seek out and consult a factor from each of Sigil’s factions, that they might learn what the Godsmen could not teach them, and also be certain of their commitment to the Source. Alternately, the party might aid the faction by seeking out a portal leading to a land that had been ruled in the past by a terrible dictator who might or might not have achieved deification during his reign. The Godsmen had already sent one of their archaeologists through this portal to a previously unexplored prime material plane, and had been receiving communiques from him on a regular basis until the messages had been inexplicably cut off some ten days previous.

While the heroes saw the value in speaking with members of the other factions, they acceded to the urgency of this second task. Also, the exploration of an alien world and the uncovering of a god-king’s secrets seemed like an excellent test to further their abilities unto ultimate godhood. They asked how they might help. Ombidias told them it would not be easy; the portal to this new world was an intermittent one, blinking open in random places in the city and closing without warning. But the Godsmen diviners had tracked it to the apartment of one Anxos, a tiefling member of the Revolutionary League, who lived in the Sandstone District of the Clerk’s Ward. The Revolutionary League had little love for the Believers of the Source (or for any other faction, for that matter), and Anxos had rejected the envoys that Ombidias had sent him up until now. The new recruits to figure out a way to get at and get through the portal on their own.

Angus, Chloe, GirGir, and Random were all eager to undertake the mission. They set out immediately for the Sandstone District. They found a broad avenue of blood-colored stone that was choked with piles of rotting wood and decaying garbage, and flanked on either side by narrow three- or four-story tenements, many of which leaned out of true and probably would have toppled over but for the thick growth of razorvine which choked every surface and held the bricks and beams barely in place. A small band of naked tiefling children, their eyes burning red and their mouths flashing open in shouts or grins that revealed long needle teeth, chased a rag ball down the filthy street. The party stopped one of the children and asked after Anxos, and learned that he could usually be found at the Styx Oarsman in the nearby juncture with the Lower Ward.

So the party hoofed it over to the tavern, and saw a large black dome like an iron cannonball half-sunk into the street. A tiefling doorman dressed in black leather waited outside, paring his horns into points with a dagger. The party approached, and the doorman asked for a password. Not being in possession of a password, Random suggested that the bag of coins in his hand was password enough. The doorman agreed, but when the party went to enter, the tiefling shook his head and smiled nastily. “I said you could go in, but I didn’t say anything about your friends. The others milled about for a moment, but the impatient tiefling hurried them inside, not wanting to have them hanging about and bothering him while Random went about his business in the bar.

So the party entered the Styx Oarsman, and walked into a black void. The interior of the tavern was lit only by a single candle, some distance away from the door, that barely illuminated a five-foot radius. In the darkness beyond the light, the adventurers could hear the clink of glass and the sounds of movement, and could just barely perceive a number of rasping whispers that skittered about on the very edge of hearing.

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