Sigil

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Sigil, the City of Doors. Mind your jink, berk; someone's gonna try and peel you.

Sigil, aka the Cage and the City of Doors, is the cornerstone of the Planescape setting in Dungeons & Dragons and perhaps one of its most iconic planar traits.

Sigil is a massive extraplanar metropolis that traditionally exists in the infinite sky of the Outlands, the True Neutral Plane, floating atop the infinitely tall Spire at the center of the Outlands. As its moniker of "the City of Doors" suggests, Sigil is absolutely lousy with portals throughout the Multiverse, allowing access to theoretically every single planar location and prime world that exists. Fortunately most of the portals require very precise keys to open, are there for a short while, and often both. This makes it the grand melting pot of the cosmos, an interdimensional port-city where everything ends up going to and eventually ends up coming from. Sigil is constructed in a torus shape, which is surprisingly frustrating to describe. Essentially, picture a giant tube, with a city built on the interior of that tube. Then join the tube's ends to form a single unbroken circle. From the outside, Sigil looks like a giant ring, and likewise it looks like a ring from inside, which has led to one of its more common nicknames.

Sigil is ruled by the enigmatic Lady of Pain, a godlike entity who has but a single law; Don't Fuck My City Up. Actual day-to-day operations are left to the inhabitants to oversee.

Sigil's native denizens, known as Sigilies, are somewhat infamous for their arrogance, sort of the stereotypical Big City Slicker looking down on the rural country bumpkins - which, in their mind, is pretty much everyone who doesn't live in Sigil, but especially Prime Material denizens. This does occasionally bite them, such as when a "Clueless" turns out to be an epic tier wizard who promptly vaporizes the Tiefling street gang trying to mug him.

People of Note[edit]

The Lady of Pain[edit]

Her Serenity, the Lady of Pain. She's Sigil's keeper, not quite a queen or ruler but neither is she a god. She's the ultimate and final authority: what she says goes on pain of being turned into bloody bacon strips or gets cast into a maze from which there is no escape. She has her own article.

Adamok Ebon[edit]

A female bladeling ranger who lives to hunt the most dangerous creatures in the planes. Also makes a handy living as a wilderness guide and in domesticating wild animals.

A'kin the Friendly Fiend[edit]

An Arcanoloth running a shop of magical trinkets, and probably the friendliest fiend in the Cage (which is how he got his name). Some of these are mere oddities while others include the standard fare of magical swords, armor and other wondrous items an adventurer might need. The unceasing joviality of A'kin paired with his generous and no-pressure style of sale make a lot of people very nervous around him, but as an oddity and his wide array of merchandice make him quite the persona even in Sigil. He often strikes up a conversation about everyday matters and sometimes drops in some rather personal remarks that he could not know about and assures a person that they talked about earlier. A wild series of story make the rounds about A'kin: some claim he's been exiled and lives in fear of the day that the General of Gehenna sends an assassin, but this is unlikely because A'kin makes no effort to hide. Other rumors include that he's an agent in the Blood War, working for the Baatezu, Tanar'ri, both or even a third party. Others claim that he's outright barmy, since he never shows the temper that his fellow Arcanoloth, Shemeshka, shows from time to time. Finally there's the idea that he's planning a scheme so vile that requires a long, difficult deception to pull off. A'kin dodges or just does not answer any question regarding the issue and tries to turn the conversation back to a sale.

After the events of the Faction War it was revealed that A'kin was the editor of The Factol's Manifesto, the both in-universe and real-life book that made him turn whistleblower on all fifteen of Sigil's Factions, meaning that there is indeed far more to the Friendly Fiend than appears at first sight.

Alluvius Ruskin[edit]

An old female tiefling who runs a shop selling gate-keys of every kind imagianble. Secretly, she's one of the last of the incantifiers, and yearns to find some way to overthrow the Lady of Pain, perhaps by draining all the magic from Sigil itself. She's also an evil-minded bitch who buys gemstones from Ly'kritch - gems containing trapped souls - because she fervently hopes that the souls inside are obliterated when the gems are used as portal keys.

Autochon the Bellringer[edit]

Head of the biggest courier network in the city. Pissed off the head of the Temple of the Abyss, the tiefling Noshteroth of the Umber Scales, by falling in love with one of his underlings, the female tiefling Noxana the Unwilling, reputed to be Noshteroth's daughter, lover of both. As a result, Noshteroth cursed Autochon with the Bells of Baphomet, causing him to hear an endless clangor of deafening bells. Driven to the brink of madness, he was forced to accept servitude to Shemeshka the Marauder in exchange for a suit of magical armor that muffles the din and lets him keep his sanity.

Black Marian[edit]

A musical oracle who sees the future in the muscial waters of the Singing Fountain of the Lady's Ward. Used to be a songshark on Oceanus in her last life.

Cirily[edit]

A female eladrin of the firre caste who hates primes and is trying to assemble a sect, the PLanarists, dedicated to driving all denizens of the Prime Material from Sigil and sealing it away from the rest of the multiverse. This may actually be part of a long-term plan to help manipulate the Blood War into winnowing down the fiendish races towards their ultimate annihilation.

Djhek'nlarr[edit]

A female githyanki who sells maps to the Lady's Mazes - and who isn't above manipulating people into getting Mazed so she can map their Maze for profit.

Estavan[edit]

An oni merchant lord who has his fingers in many, many pies.

Farrow[edit]

A male shadow elf from Mystara who became a spy for Shemeshka after accidentally stranding himself in Sigil. He's managed to infiltrate every single faction... but only at the cost of driving himself mad and splitting into multiple different identities, based on each of his cover identities. Thanks to the Ring of Disguise that his mistress gave him, he even shifts shapes between his 13 identities. In fact, each identity is so real that it even has its own unique racial and clas-based powers!

Fell[edit]

A "fallen" dabus who rejected the Lady of Pain and chose to worship Aoskar instead - the act that preceded the Lady's known act of deicide. Now he runs a tattoo shop in the Market Ward.

Judge Gabberslug[edit]

A rogue nalfeshnee who runs the Court of Woe on behalf of the Dustmen, a tribunal that takes place in a specially shielded courtroom built on the Negative Energy Plane. This mostly serves to try and free up some of the backlog at the City Court.

The Grixitt[edit]

A mad petitioner, the last of the long-dead Expansionist faction, who wants revenge on the Lady of Pain for destroying them. She seeks to starve Sigil into ruin by closing all of its portals.

Harys Hatchis[edit]

The most successful business promoter in all of Sigil.

Iarmid[edit]

An aasimar Cipher who, seeing how Cipher membership privileges were leaving many would-be customers of the Great Gymnasium unsatisfied, set up his own massage parlor & spa, known simply as "The Other Place".

Jemorille the Exile[edit]

An incredibly arrogant Rilmani who lives in complete denial of his repeated bunglings in the name of "promoting the balance", including founding the Temple of Elemental Evil, teaching defiling magic to Rajaat, and unleashing the Tuigan Horde upon the Forgotten Realms. Having been banished to Sigil, he insists that he chose to come to Sigil of his own free will - and moreover, that he is the secret master who is controlling everything that happens in the city.

Kesto Brighteyes[edit]

An atheist gnome illusionist who runs the Parted Veil, the biggest free library in all of Sigil. He's protected by his connection to the Athar and his best friend, Sir Cleve; a paladin bodak originally from Krynn.

Koe[edit]

A male asura who seeks to try and direct the Blood War to ensure that its damage is contained to the Lower Planes in hopes of ultimately ensuring that the fiends exterminate each other.

Kylie[edit]

A female tiefling tout who considers herself the best and most talented of her kind in all of Sigil. Never seen without her pet Ethyk - a cyclopean raccoon-monkey-thing with the power to inspire magical fury in anyone he looks at.

Lissandra the Gate-Seeker[edit]

A female human wizard who migrated from the Forgotten Realms to Sigil in search of excitement. Specializes in mapping out portals, which she considers the most interesting aspect of Sigil. Especially because, as a member of the Revolutionary League, she can use this info to upset the powers that be who rely on portals.

Ly'kritch[edit]

A soul-stealing shadow-demon working with the false Dustman Qaida.

Milori[edit]

A lillend] who is one of the best translators in all of Sigil, especially when it comes in terms of identifying what the fuck the dabus are saying with their damn stupid rebuses.

Morvun and Phineas[edit]

Twin fensir troll twins, infamous as being both the most active of the Bleakniks (Bleak Cabal poet-musicians based on beatniks) and some of the worst; arrogant, melodramatic, and a born emo, Morvun simply drinks up the negative attention and uses it to justify continue spouting his gods-awful poetry.

"Sly" Nye[edit]

A Xaositect tiefling who serves as a legal advocate, mostly for people unfortunate enough to be sent to the Court of Woe.

Omott[edit]

An orphaned linqua who was kidnapped by a band of baatezu and escaped to Sigil. Knowing it can never return to its creator, Sung Chiang, it now seeks to find some other patron god to bond itself to.

Parakk the Ratcatcher[edit]

A male githzerai ratcatcher and secret servant of The Us, helping it to grow stronger in belief that its vendetta against Ilsensine will weaken or destroy the hated illithids.

Patch[edit]

A tangle of razorvine granted sentience and oracular powers by the magic of the rogue modron Ylem.

Qaida[edit]

A female aasimar Dustman with a terrible secret; she's actually an evil cultist of the death goddess Arawn, who hopes to depose Skall and convert the rest of the Dusties from their current aimless nihilism to the largest Arawn cult in Sigil. In pursuit of this, she works with a shadow demon named Ly'kritch.

Rule-of-Three[edit]

A cambion who uses the guise of a githzerai to masquerade as a mysterious sage, in reality spinning screed for his own amusement. His true goal is to find a way to end the Blood War by uniting all fiends so that they will turn their wrath on the Upper Planes instead.

Saure[edit]

A female gautiere rescued from Carceri by Kesto Brighteyes, now eagerly used as an attack dog against the faithful by his fellow Athar.

Seamusxanthuszenus[edit]

An incredibly arrogant and unbelievably lucky dust mephit who now runs the shop "Parts & Pieces", selling useful components derived from dead animals.

Shemeshka the Marauder[edit]

The King of the Crosstrade, Shemeshka the Marauder is an Arcanoloth and the biggest crime lord in the city. She's also really fabulous. She has her own page.

Tarholt[edit]

A dwarf who migrated from Krynn with the rest of his family to set up a quality forge in Sigil. Specifically, Tarholt is the business's runner; arranging sales, making deliveries, and drumming up new business. All of which gives him the perfect excuse to get out of Sigil - he can't stand the place.

Tripicus[edit]

An ursinal scholar dedicated to the lore of the many worlds, cultures and races of the Prime Material.

Unity-Of-Rings[edit]

A movanic deva who exists to do good deeds, but whose efforts at offering advice are unnecessarily cryptic.

The Us[edit]

A collective of cranium rats that has broken free of its psychic leash to Ilsensine, and now seeks to free all of its kind until their collective might is great enough to slay their godly oppressor.

Verden[edit]

A cheerful and charming wood elf who runs the Azure Iris, an inn aboard the Fortune's Wheel tavern and gambling hall. Secretly, she belongs to the Prolongers, malevolent souls so pathetically afraid of death that they must constantly suck the life from other poor bastards to preserve their existence.

The Will of the One[edit]

A small splinter-group of the Sign of One who believes they can use their powers to bring Aoskar back to life.

Xideous[edit]

A gehreleth of the Shator breed who wishes to strike a blow against the hated yugoloths by disseminating a new edition of the Book of Keeping, making it possible to freely summon and bind the daemonic race once again.

Ylem[edit]

A rogue modron fused with a touch of slaad essence, who is obsessed with deliberately creating spellhaunts.

Zadara[edit]

A female titan tradelord who is one of the most powerful women in Sigil, yet who feels caged; she is forced to remain in Sigil to avoid the wrath of a god whose ire she earned by feigning godhood and stealing away its worshippers.

Wooly Cupgrass[edit]

A dandyish bariaur alchemist and Sensate with a most unusual sideline; identifying tonics, potions, oils, scents, ointments and other concoctions by drinking them himself. He's actually quite addicted to the process, which may itself stem from a death wish stemming from his accidentally poisoning his chieftain's daughter with a potion that contained spoiled ingredients.

Places of Interest[edit]

The Armory[edit]

The place where most of the weapons of the city are stored and made. The Doomguard run the place, because the use of weapons propagates entropy. The building is some 600' by 800', with the barbed construction around it reaching to almost 500'. The main building holds the storage for weapons and warmachines, the forge to make new ones, workshops to replaced damaged goods and the offices to buy and sell. The four corners hold square towers with smaller forges at the center, but there's more to them than that. The dark is that each of the towers has a portal to each of the Doomguard's four citadels in the Negative Energy Planes: one portal per citadel. During the Faction War the place was messed up pretty bad, and Vecna's romp in the city all-out leveled the place.

The Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts[edit]

Located in the Clerk's Ward, this a brothel with a difference; rather than selling sexual intercourse, it specializes in selling various forms of intellectual stimulation; people come here to inspire their minds and enjoy mental pleasures. It was founded and at least initially run by Fall-From-Grace, a redeemed succubus who belongs to the Society of Sensation. Known prostitutes of this brothel include:

  • Dolorra, a sapient clockwork construct in the shape of a beautiful woman, who specializes in games of skill (chess, etc) and debate.
  • Ecco
  • Juliette
  • Kesai-Serris, a planetouched and/or changeling born from the union of a cambion and a powerful night hag named Ravel Puzzlewell.
  • Kimasxi Adder-Tongue, a tiefling "intellectual dominatrix", who scours those who patronize her with ruthlessly brutal insults and taunts.
  • Marissa, a medusa
  • Nenny Nine-Eyes, whose specialty is showering people with positivity and optimism.
  • Vivian
  • Yves the Tale-Chaser, who will trade one of the many stories she has heard in exchange for a story told to her by her patron.

This is an area of somewhat dubious canon - it was first featured in Planescape: Torment but, its owner has been name-dropped in post-2e sourcebooks and it's implied it does exist. Plus, it's too cool an idea to pass up.

The City Barracks[edit]

Sigil doesn't have a standing army. But to be fair it doesn't really need one. Between the mix of volatile elements within the city, some of the very powerful people living there and the Lady of Pain herself, Sigil is more than capable of defending itself. But for everyday law enforcement a base of operations is needed, so Harmonium has set up kip in the barracks. The barracks are a square, squat building 360' on all sides and 60' tall, despite having only three floors. Most of the space is taken up by the large central courtyard used for drills and exercises. The building itself consists of four towers 60' in all directions, with four long hallways connecting them. The lower floor holds dormitories for the lower ranks (segregated by gender) and various classrooms in which The Law is taught, as well as training rooms, the mess hall, library and two auditoriums. The upper floor holds more classrooms, the records rooms, the quarters for officers as well as the quarters of Factol Sarin, his wife and their nine kids.

The City Court[edit]

The City Court is where all legal matters are settled. Many a criminal is hauled in front of the court to stand trial and be sentenced, often without a good end for the suspect. Most crimes are solved with the payment of a fine or in one of the lesser courts, and only the most spectacular or heinous cases (rare) and appeals (even rarer) are held in the opulent grand courtroom. Being such a center of law, it's obvious that the courthouse is also the base of operations of the Fraternity of Order. The main building is an L shape of a rough 100' by 150', with a tower of 40' on all sides besides it. The main building is two stories containing the grand courtroom, record rooms, a few smaller courts as well as lesser buildings and workrooms and dormitories for aides. The tower contains several additional smaller courtrooms and support, as well as offices for the faction.

The Civic Festhall[edit]

Despite what your experience with other settings might tell you and what the reputation of the Society of Sensation might be, the Sensorium is not one of those kinds of festhalls you keep reading about in AD&D. A cylindrical tower that's a good 1000 feet tall including all the spikes sticking out of it standing on grounds some 1000' by 750', the front of the Civic Festhall carries a somewhat ghoulish decoration displaying stylished eyes, noses, ears, mouths and hands to celebrate all the senses. The tower itself is made of the most wonder, opulent, intense and interesting materials: touching the walls made of varied types of stone and unique kinds of wood is encouraged. Half of the main tower's ground floor is a series of quarters for the factions as well as classrooms and lecture halls. Part of the grounds housing a number of theatres for all sorts of shows. The other half of the ground floor is taken up by the Sensoriums: the libraries of the senses. There's two of them: one for Faction-only use and one for public access. Each take up a quarter of the full surface of the building, going up well over 20 floors. Here people ran relive the experiences of others, sharing their senses to experience something in a way you could otherwise only experience yourself. Experiencing something here costs 10 gold for the basic package, and the place is always full despite being open 24/7. If you've got something new to offer that the Sensates don't have already you can expect to receive 500 gold to pass on this experience. Recording it merely makes a copy of your memory and can take anything from 1 hour to 1 day, depending on the complexity of the memory. The remainder half of the tower is filled with rooms where one can experience just about anything, from the smells to sights and tastes and more wonderful things still. The places is filled with taverns, museums, craftsmen and other services and diversions that one can barely imagine. At the center of the ground floor, accessible to only a few Sensates, is the faction's greatest secret: a series of portals leading to just about all of the Outer Planes and Inner Planes, granting the Sensates unmatched maneuverability across the multiverse.

The Gatehouse[edit]

The Gatehouse is an almshouse, sanitarium, orphanage, asylum for the criminally insane and soup kitchen all in one, as well as the headquarters of the Bleak Cabal. The building and grounds cover a semicircle some 800' wide and 3 stories tall. The left wing holds the almshouse on all three stories, with the right wing holding the insane asylum on the first two floors and the orphanage on the third. There are two other wings to the back: one sticking out at 90 degrees from the main building and one at 45 degrees towards the right. The first is the wing for the mad Bleakers who are under the effect of the Grim Retreat, while the other one holds a the criminally insane. After the Faction War the Bleakers disbanded but continued their work here, because who else is going to run the soup kitchens?

The Great Foundry[edit]

Headquarters of the Believers of the Source, the Godsmen run the place part to generate revenue, part to build character. The place makes all sorts of metal objects and tools for the people of Sigil on a working-class budget. The compound is some 700' at its widest point, with the main foundry reading about 200' into the sky, belching out its dark fumes. Several towers stand together to melt metal and make it into bards, sheets, wires and use molds. About half the compound is taken up by a storage and processing yard, bringing in rough materials and transporting finished products. As with any old-timey steel foundries the place is a horror for your health, and frequent healings are advised if you spend a lot of time in the area. Problem is that if you work in the place you probably can't afford the healing to not die of several kinds of lung disease.

The Great Gymnasium[edit]

The people of a dirty city like Sigil will want to get clean now and then, and the Great Gymnasium is a great place to do so. A 160' by 100' building, the Gymnasum can be used for all sorts of physical activity to master one's self, as befitting for the Transcendent Order. The main attraction of the large exercise field lay a trio of pools: one cold, one warm and one hot. Around the pools is plenty of space of all sorts of physical exercise, from fighting to athletics. Around three of the walls lay a large number of roomes used for steam baths, massages, more private baths but also rooms for the arts: painting, sculpting, dancing and music are all practiced here for their ability to perfect the self. The second floor houses a wide and narrow meditation chamber for those looking for peace and quiet to contemplate. The third floor is faction members only and houses the Cadence of the Planes chamber: a sensory deprivation room filled with a levitation field and magic to keep the place dark and quiet. Here a Cipher can come into contact with the Cadence of the Planes, the rhythm of the planes which connects them all. The Gymnasium does not hold any offices for the Ciphers: many of them have their own places to stay and Factol Rhys lives wherever she ends up.

The Hall of Records[edit]

The closest thing Sigil has to a city hall, the Hall of Records provides all sorts of civil services... for a price. Citizens are going to pay out the nose for the services provided here, both in official prices and below the table bribes. The Hall stands in a campus some 1000' wide containing six buildings: halls for property and census records, the faction hall and faction dormitory, a special academy for training promising Takers. The central building is a monstrous 30 story tower, 240' at the base and tapering up to a rough 200' at the top. In the aftermath of the Faction War the place was raided by the people of Sigil and almost all records was lost, freeing a lot of people of their debts and loans.

The Hall of Speakers[edit]

The great debate hall of Sigil, the Hall of Speakers is where policy for the city is debated and voted for. An oval building some 800' long and 400' wide decorated with a spire almost as tall as the building is wide, the Hall of Speakers is both a public building where the law gets made and also the headquarters of the Sign of One. The most notable room here is the Speaker's Podium, where people of all kinds can plead their cases in order to get something done. Getting onto the list of speakers is difficult, and getting onto and keeping your enemies off of it is a battle in and of itself. On the far end of the Speaker's Podium is the tomb of Rilith, the founder of the Sign of One. Quite a few Signers are here at all times, concentrating on the urn of ashes because they believe that without them doing this it'll vanish, and with it the faction itself. Despite being the headquarters of the Sign of One there are few guards posted around and one even has a decent shot at getting to the Factol's personal quarters, but given the nature of the Signers there's not a lot to steal here.

The Morturay[edit]

Where the dead go after they die. The Dustmen have set up shop here, and set out to collect the bodies in Sigil and bring them here. The main building is a semisphere of some 200' wide, with a motley assortment of towers connected to the main building via tunnels and corridors. The place has vaults to inter the dead, and also has portals various Prime Material planes and to Arcadia, Mechanus, Acheron, Ysgard, Limbo and Pandemonium (aka the six planes on the Whatever Neutral axis that aren't the Outlands); all destinations being near notable burial sites. The second floor is where a lot of the work gets done, and both Factol Skall and his right-hand man have their offices here. Near the top are portals to the Elemental Planes, and in some of the larger towers there are laboratories and storage rooms. At all times the Morturary is filled with the Dead and undead alike, with some of the more sensitive areasy being guarded by powerful creatures such as juju zombies. The Morturary is also known for being the first level in Planescape: Torment.

The Prison[edit]

The prison is not a nice place, and especially so since Factol Nilesia of the Mercykillers took charge. The prison looks a lot like the Barracks, except larger: being 1100' wide on all sides and nine stories tall, with most of the room being reserved for the cells of inmates. The entrance holds the rooms of the high-ups: Factol Nilesia and her retinue have their rooms here. The central courtyard is part drill field and exercise grounds, and holds a massive set of gallows used for the daily hangings that prisoners are forced to watch as part of being let out to air. The cells are dark, damp and cold with little room for prisoners to move around: they're occasionally called to the dreaded cellars to perform work... or get tortured, maimed or executed in accordance to their sentencing. Its maximum capacity is 24000, but with the many executions and disappearances it's never quite full.

The Shattered Temple[edit]

The old temple of Aoskar, the god of portals who got his shit kicked in by the Lady of Pain. The ruins are believed to be cursed or still hold the ire of Her Serenity, and most folks will avoid the place. Whatever the case might be, the ruins are the headquarters of the Athar. The place's not much to look at being a 70' wide square with some of the old pillars going up to 100', but the Athar make do. In the center of the temple stands the Bois Verdurous. The Athar Factol can by touching the tree cast any divine spell he wants, and the fruit from the tree can provide the single casting of a spell on the move. But only the Athar Factol can do it: anyone else trying it will have their magic items drained of their power and take d12 damage per turn.

The Cosmology of Planescape
Inner Planes Ethereal Plane Prime Material Astral Plane Outer Planes Ordial Plane?
Elemental Planes
Energy Planes
Demiplane of Dread
Plane of Shadow
Plane of Mirrors
World Serpent Inn
Tu'narath Sigil
Far Realm