To Chance with Hell (Planescape)

The Guardian! Issue 1

The Planebusters!

“Gentlemen, meet Pelchskull,” this from Cyan, owner and operator of the Planebuster’s Guild. A powerful nycaloth and veteran of the Blood War, cyan decided it was time for a change and settled in Sigil to run the adventurer’s guild. A well respected and impeccably dressed man, Cyan can usually be seen dressed in the most fashionable and expensive clothes coloured in his namesake.

Pelchskull, on the other hand, is not so well dressed or kempt, “Hello, Hi, Hey there, Howdie,” a different greeting and a different handshake to each of the companions present:

Crown Guard: Me, the resident Warforged Hero with two souls. (See Issue 1 for a brief history.)
Jasseira: A shade with roguish charms and a quick tongue. She seems to be reliable enough but I’m not sure how smart she is. She seems to think I’m a robot, whatever that is. I quickly corrected her and explained that i was a Warforged, but i’m not sure she understood me… perhaps i should try talking slower next time…
Santher: A rune-etched Warforged from my home plane. I haven’t had the chance to have a one-on-one with him yet, but he seems a little, how shall i put this? Dim…
Does Sigil have that effect on everyone who’s been here for a prolonged time? First Jasseira and now Santher… am I next?
Soliloquy: A bookish tiefling but i sense some hidden power. She’s a wizard of some sort I believe. She didn’t say much so I’m as of yet unsure if she suffers from the same affliction as the others.

“I’m looking for your services as bodyguards. There’s an item i need to get from Pandemonium and the Howler’s only attack when they outnumber you… so, you know, safety in numbers and all that.”

“I don’t know what it does, but that’s not important, I know what it looks like at least.. that’s more than enough, is it not?” This in reply to my questioning. He was evasive about the object’s use but I managed to get that,in fact, he knew nothing about its use.

With that, we each set off to prepare for our journey.

First stop, the Sons of Mercy to see if we had more information about Pelchskull and his expedition. Nothing relevant but I did learn a bit more about the Plane of Pandemonium. I must say, I am very excited to visit a plane like this. Gusting winds, uncommon gravity, and “zoom tunnels” are but a few of the dangers to look forward to.

Next up, a visit to my old friend Kanatash to bid him good luck on his expedition to discover a portal or key to Eberron.

Finally, I headed back to my quarters to pick up my desert protection gear. The Kalashtar had to deal with sand storms that could could bleach the meat of off bones if caught unprotected and this protective gear could come in handy in a place where gusting winds were the norm.

We were to meet Pelchskull in Quake Lavender’s tavern the next day but getting in would prove to be trouble enough. Apparently not all Warforged are made equally and Santher decided to show up undressed and with no shoes (he lack of experience shows, it took me one expedition into a Reidran sandstorm to figure out that sand gets into everything! I was removing sand from my components for months after that expedition.) A burly bouncer stops Santher and tells him he can’t go in without shoes. I personally agree, proper attire must be worn for every occasion. Jasseira managed to convince the bouncer that Santher’s metallic feet actually were boots. She is a sly one, perhaps i was mistaken about her after all… time will tell.

The tavern was bustling with creatures I had never seen before, the most enchanting of which was a 6 armed woman with the lower half of a snake, I was later told she was Mary Lith (I knew a Mary once, she looked nothing like her but baked some of the best journey bread i have ever tasted.) The place was a hell hole, so chaotic. Everyone was fighting with everyone it seemed. Pelchskull was there singing on top of a table and pointed to animal trophy hanging on the wall, but getting to it would prove to be an issue.
Moving 5 feet in here was a challenge, reaching that trophy which was more than 30 feet from me would prove to be almost impossible… almost.

Jasseira had some sort of run-in with a gigantic Orc, something about someone stealing his coin but i believe she returned it to him; very nice of her.
Sol, decided it was an opportune chance to make a pass at some reptilian looking man, a Chaond I believe. As if this were the time or place for a mating ritual…
Santher, while lacking in brains, definitely makes up for it in brawn. He simply pushed his way through without trouble.
I followed Santher’s example but wasn’t as successful; a run-in with a goliath proved to be a bit of trouble. After bumping into him, I of course apologized, as anyone is wont to do in a situation such as this, and he, being the uncouth and rude individual that he is, did not accept my apology. Lucky for him I was in a hurry or I would have taught him a lesson in manners. After that unfortunate incident though we all managed to make it to the trophy which, as it turns out, was the portal to Pandemonium.

List of items every fledgling adventurer needs in Pandemonium:

  • Rope
  • Chalk
  • Goggles
  • Bees wax for your ears
  • Gear for protection from the cold
  • Special Sunrods that shed dimmer light

A not so gentle landing later, cushioned by Pelchskull, we were in the howling caves of Pandemonium. Santher decides to light up the darkness with the brightest light he could find signaling our location like a beacon to everything that can see; he gets chastised by Pelchskull. Ropes, bees wax, and coverings were used and we’re on our way. Pelchskull led the way slowly, still singing. I used some chalk to mark our way from the portal in case Pelchskull was lost or decides that we’re of no more use to him.

To someone unused to sandstorms or other such phenomena, Pandomonium is a hellish nightmare. To someone that is, Pandemonium is a surprise. I thought I came ready knowing what to expect. The winds blow at gale force and can deafen you. The walking on ceilings upside-down is disconcerting to say the least. The zoom tunnel, though, proved to be my undoing. They shoot you out with such force that it’s difficult to stop yourself. Another rough landing later with Pelchskull next to me still singing and we were on our way. These zoom tunnels will not catch me unawares again.

We finally make it to a cave where the wind dies off, somewhat. Pelchskull motions for us to keep quiet and for once stops singing; I fear there is danger lurking nearby.

Not a moment later:
“Pelchy! We thought we’d never eat you find you! Shall we con-continue?” in a shaky almost inhuman voice.

It seems “Pelchy” wasn’t too upfront with us. In front of us are the three adventurers he had hired before our group, the “Sodkillers”. But, their figures and skin are deformed. Stepping a bit closer into the light, I see that their bottom halves look like those of giant insects.

What are these insect/men creatures?
Will our adventurers defeat these hideous monstrosities?
What is purpose of the object that Pelchskull is seeking?
Is Pelchskull going to betray our heroes? Will he even survive this attack?
What’s in store for Crown Guard and his companions next?

Get the answers to these and many more questions next week in:
The Guardian: Issue 2:
If a Xaositect sings in Pandemonium does he make a sound?