The Crimson Lotus Gang:
- Charisma, a “human” -mutant- sorceress whose power source is Gamma Radiation which she was exposed to as a child. As a child of the Atom her hair goes green in the presence of radiation and she progressively gets greener the more powerful spells she casts (and as she gets angry). She has no love for the Technic League.
- Sylvanus, a dark elf monk who escaped the clutches of mind flayer slavemasters in the area of the Scar of the Spider after a daring raid by surface dwelling heroes freed her.
- Brokthor, a human fighter who was raised by dwarfs and thinks he IS a dwarf.
- Tufast, a human cleric who serves Thor – power of thunder and lightning. Much like his barbarian family he hates technology and has a particular spite for robots. He sees the cleansing power of lightning as the perfect antidote to the curse of the robot infestation of Nimmeria.
- Rikku, an elven rogue who was adopted by Khonnir Baine when he found her wandering the wasteland near Torch more than a decade ago. She claims to be a blood elf from a far-away land. Her history is tied up with a nearby ruin.
- Heidt, and his sidekick DEATHTRAP, is a ranger who has traded an affinity for nature for an affinity for machines. This android has mastered cybertheurgy as well as the lasgun. Has chosen the mechromancer archetype. Seeking to learn more about his history he has become an archaeological expert on all things related to the Rain of Stars.
- Casandalee, one time prophet of Unity, now a disillusioned enemy of the machine god (NPC).
Tales from the Infinite Staircase
Tale 1: Planeswalker
DM’s Intro: My PCs decided to take a break from Nimmeria and the Technic League after bringing a sort of peace between the remnant of the league and Kevoth Kul. They also wanted to go on a shopping spree to the planes – in particular Sigil – to buy and sell fifteen levels of accumulated loot and magic items. As a fan of the planes and Sigil in particular I encouraged them. They eventually found a doorway in the basement of the Technic League Compound that leads to the Infinite Staircase and so their “side quest” begins as they step through the door.
We find the doors to what we think is the Infinite Staircase, and Tufast walks in first. We the all follow. We hear the sound of crashing waves, and it’s nighttime. Straight ahead is a palace made of moonlight. Before we can take a step forward an elven woman made of fire, and moonlight appears before us. She asks us how she can help. We tell her we want to get to Sigil. We also ask where we are. The lady says we are at the gates of the castle of Selune, goddess of the moon. The castle is on Asgard. To get to Sigil we need to pass through the palace of moonlight, if Selune allows us, and then get to the base of the Infinite Staircase. That’s where the lillends take over, the keepers of the Staircase. She says she can take us to the base, all under the control of Selune. We follow her through the gates, and into the castle.
She takes us through long corridors and vast rooms. Sometimes we see others like her, but all are elven women. We finally get to a big door. In front of the door is a giant golem. The woman says this is where she will leave us, because she cannot travel forward. We don’t do anything after a few minutes, then Tufast says that we are going to the Staircase, addressed to the golem; it sands motionless. The elven lady tells us to state our purpose. Tufast says the same thing, saying that we want to go to Sigil. The golem steps aside, and the door opens. We walk into the next room.
There are two white pillars at the far end of the room. In between them is a gateway. We peer inside and see lots, and lots of steps. We also see a platform or two. The steps do no consist of the same material. Some are wood, changing to metal, then to stone, and other substances. Everything is covered in ivy. When we walk the first few steps, a lillend materialises. The bottom half of it is a snake, and the top is a female with wings of a colourful bird. She wears a brass mask. She asks us where we wish to go, and we tell her we want to do business in Sigil. She directs us to walk for six hours up the steps, then we will find the Planewalkers Guild.
The people there will point us in the right direction. She warns us not to teleport of fly, but to walk. She makes that very clear. But we can do so if we want to, and bad things will happen. She also says that we should stick together, because in some of the gateways will be out hearts’ desire, and when we walk through, we wont want to come back. Hearing this, Brocktha ties 10 ft. of rope between all of us. She says we will probably meet other travellers on the way, and she advises us to be careful, then she disappears. We start climbing the stairs. On each platform is a gateway leading to another plane. Above each gateway is a symbol; it probably indicates what is beyond each gate. We peer in each but, as the lillend said, we stick together. Every now and then some other travelers pass us, but it’s not what I expected. They travel upside down, and seem to be going in the opposite direction.
Near lunch time, we use around 200 gold each so Tufast can create what he calls, a hero’s feast. I almost missed out. I didn’t want it until I found out how good it tasted (OOC: it would give me extra hit points and immunity to poison). After a good meal we walk on. A couple more hours pass, when we hear a grunting sound, and the sound of something on the steps. It’s coming from under us. So, with Brocktha holding her, Sylvanus climbs down to peek. Later she tells us she saw a man-thing with dark skin that has a horse snout or head – she wasn’t clear. It seemed as if it was crying black tears, that looked like tar and everywhere it stepped it left black puddles and ooze. Brocktha stumbles a bit and Sylvanus almost falls. The creature gives a loud grunt and looks at Sylvanus. Then it laughs and moves on. Sylvanus scrambles back up.
Finally, we get to the Planewalkers Guild. Everywhere is lit and there are crowds of people. There are lots of shops too. We pass a stall where we hear a man saying that his torches never run out of light. We get closer, and see some unlit versions of the torches that light the whole place. The shopkeeper yells out that it’s only five gold pieces each. Sylvanus is tempted to but one, but we tell her not to. The man practically begs her, and she ends up getting one. We ask around for directions to the gate leading to Sigil. They tell us an hour up we will come to the Blue Mushrooms – another area of the Staircase, like The Ivy at the base, just the ivy is all replaced with fungi. We are about to leave when an old man tells us to beware, for there are dangerous things up in The Blue. A tiefling joins and says her friend went up there to visit some place, and should be back by now but isn’t. Basically people that go there don’t come back of late. We continue to climb the steps.
We eventually get to The Blue, but we notice that the stairs have been damaged or smashed and the railings pulled out and bent. We walk on, but soon we come to a part where it’s very difficult to walk on. Sylvanus unties her rope, and walks freely; Brocktha almost drags the rest of us. Suddenly we come to a 50ft wide gap in the steps. There are thick spider webs connecting the broken stairs. Other webs hang down. We can see a platform that is crumbling, only just held together by spider webs. High-pitched gibbering is coming from that platform. As we observe this, Sylvanus and Brocktha argue about spiders and their webs, and that is why we all are surprised, not Brocktha even though he was arguing (DM: Alert feat), when a giant spider attacks us.
Another one runs out from under the stairs where we are standing, and a two more come from the depths of the webs. One on the web and the other behind us, both squirt sticky webs at Tufast and Brocktha. Brocktha manages to dodge, but Tufast is stuck fast. The other spider leaps onto Tufast. Casandalee picks one up in her myrmidon body’s claw, and chucks it off the stairs. I stab the spider on top of Tufast, and just as Casandalee picks it up. Brocktha finishes the sneaky spider, and then attacks the one in Casandalee’s hand. Tufast breaks free and whacks it with his hammer. The spider crumples. The last giant spider scurries away to its webs.
We hear more gibberish from the platform, and see eyes peering at us from distorted human-like faces. Hiedt shoots the head off of one of them, and we hear shrieks, then silence. As we discuss how to get up to the platform, we hear bad (horrific!) music that floats down to us. I don’t feel, right – uneasy. Brocktha, Hiedt, and Charisma feel the same way. Casandalee shoots a rocket onto the platform, but it lands on us instead (DM’s Note: Natural 1, misfire). Charisma starts casting a spell on Casandalee as she seems to fallen under the sway of the demonic music, however Tufast cures her (and us) with a spell. Casandalee tries shooting another rocket, and this time it hits. We hear louder and more wails and shrieks, then, another silence. A nasty smell is coming from the platform.
Charisma tests the web with her foot, and it’s held fast. Tufast casts some spell, and Charisma can stand on it without getting stuck, but she still gets off. They all agree that since Sylvanus is the best climber, we should all be put in the bag of holding, and she will carry us to the platform. I don’t like it, and turn into a spider. The rest get into the bag, and Sylvanus and I start climbing.
Half way through, Sylvanus almost falls. That was a scare. We finally make it to the platform, and the others start climbing out. The smell is stronger up here, but thanks to Tufast’s heroes feast, we are unaffected. The platform is connected to equally damaged platforms, but stairs connects them. We go down the stairs, and see another platform above us. As we are about to go up, fifteen of those weird human things trudge down the stairs. A voice says, “Get them my men!” I can’t see anyone.
Charisma starts casting a spell, and then up the stairs goes a huge green, radiant ball of radioactive fire. When I look again, everything is dead, and that horrible stench comes back. Not long after, we hear a big boom. At the top of the stairs, is a huge granite block. On the platform above it, is a man dressed like a viking. He shoves his hand into his bag, and pulls out a granite sphere. He then chucks it. It hovers above the block, as it gets larger. Six snakeheads come out of it, and the ball starts swirling. Charisma and Tufast both cast spells on it, and Charisma tries to lift it with telekineses, but it’s too heavy (DM’s Note, knowing Charisma has a penchant for using telekineses I actually calculated the weight of the 10 x 10 x 10 ft granite cube – 170k lbs, a tad over the 1k lbs limit of telekineses). Hiedt and I shoot it, and four of the heads disappear. Sylvanus starts climbing the granite block, while Brocktha makes the two heads disappear. He too then starts climbing.
The viking shouts, “mediocre” to Tufast, then shoots four crossbow bolts at him. All of them miss, and Tufast says mediocre to the viking too. Brocktha and Sylvanus keep attacking the viking. I climb up the block as well. The viking pulls out another granite sphere, and chucks it in the middle of Tufast, Charisma, and Hiedt. Hiedt shoots it, and one head disappears. After Charisma and Tufast cast spells on it, it looses two more heads. The viking cries, “Help me Gurzog!” and then shoots four more bolts at Charisma, but they all miss too. Brocktha kills the viking and we destroy the sphere. We all climb over the block. On the platform is a mess of rubble and railings. These came from the staircase. We hear snoring come from the pile.