Hi! This is the last Planescape post until the end of April. I’m going to use the time to get ahead on writing and to try out some different writing styles.
This post is screenshot-light, and uses more of the in-game dialogue. I’ll continue to include screenshots, but they take up a lot of space, so I’ve gotta choose between dialogue and pictures.
Thanks for reading. I hope to see you again at the end of April. Now, back in Sigil…
The Nameless One and Morte freed the Mausoleum from the foul grip of a necromancer. Unfortunately, they had to kill the man to do it. Sigil can be an ugly place, but Nameless has begun to understand the city and its portals… or so he thinks.
Nameless steps through a glowing blue portal and back to Sigil. He bumps into a haggard old woman, who scrambles away from him. Her eyes are not on Nameless, however; she stares at the shifting portal behind him.
Before Nameless can speak, the woman is on him. She’s not nearly as old as she seemed at first, just dirty and wild. Her clothes, little more than rags, might once have been fine. Her voice is low and her eyes dart around, as if afraid someone is listening. Her teeth chatter loudly, though whether from fear or cold, Nameless can’t say.
What issit y’wanta me? Can’t leave… can’t leave… I tried, it’s not a city, and it’s a prison to everywhere. Planes that be sinking sands, sightless worlds where me limbs were given life and hate, cities of dust whose people are dust and whisper ash, the house without doors, the Twilit lands, the singing winds… and shadows, the terrible shadows there be.
Ingress sobs as she speaks, but can’t seem to cry. The people around give her a lot of room, but otherwise take no notice. Nameless takes Ingress’ hands in his own. One is burned beyond belief, melted like candle wax.
Where are these places? Where did you come from?
Where’s? Where’s them places? They’z all HERE be. Doors, doors, here to everywhere, any closed space. Every door with a key. Eager to take ye someplace else. They steal you away… sometimes what’s on the other side takes a TITHE… I was in me tenth turning, hummed a tune by a glade with two dead trees fallen together. A door opened, showed me the city. I’z stepped through. Can’t find me way back. Can’t even leave here!
You’re afraid to even leave this square? How long have you been here?
Thirty… thirty years. Since m’hand…
To be too afraid to walk through any door, that’s-
Ingress smiles as Nameless speaks, opening her mouth wide. Her teeth don’t chatter due to fear or cold; they’re moving on their own, stretching and flexing her gums to clack painfully against each other.
Only takes ONE portal to drive the FEAR into you. Lost m’hand, burned m’flesh, and lost m’sense. N’more, n’more.
Ingress pulls away and walks off, still talking.
I’m sorry… if I can find some means to help you, I will.
Nameless decides he has to help her, both for her sake and his. Nameless has ventured through too many portals already. If they are as dangerous as Ingress says, he needs to find out more about them. He returns to the Gathering Dust bar and tells Norochj that the Mausoleum is free. Norochj, who would look much better with dreadlocks*, thanks him and rewards Nameless with 200 copper coins (200C). No one in the bar is able to help with Ingress’ problem, however.
*Yes, this is also in-game dialogue. The writers, and perhaps a frustrated artist, wanted us to know Norochj would look totally great with dreadlocks. I agree.
Nameless talks his way back into the Mortuary, which seems easier than dying, to speak with Dhall. The old scribe has no answers to find help for Ingress, however. Disheartened, Nameless heads for the exit, but stops to talk to Deionarra.
Deionarra is more forthcoming about what she knows of Nameless. Nameless gains a new ability, or perhaps a very old one: he can resurrect the dead. The people, and skulls, he travels with impart a bit of their souls to him, and by tapping into his own immortality, Nameless can raise them even from death if they fall. Amazed and a little repulsed by this new power, Nameless leaves and searches the Hive for answers to help Ingress.
The name is not a metaphor, though I guess it is hyperbole; a burning man floats above the floor, but he’s still alive. How he’s still living – how the fire is even still burning– seems to concern no one. Nameless tries to ask the bar owner, a leather skinned man with an ashen face and eyes filled with the boredom that comes with having seen too much. Before Nameless can ask what’s happening with Johnny Storm, the barman interrupts:
You again, eh? Whaddya want this time?
‘You again’? What do you mean?
Yeah. You again. You got a hearing problem or something now? You was in here ‘bout fifteen years ago, got all bubbed up, smashed up the place, and left a pile o’ coin that wasn’t enough to pay for the damages. So you plucked out your own bleedin’ eyeball and tells me you’ll be back to reclaim it when you got two hundred coins together.
Nameless should doubt the man – his story sounds insane – but somehow he doesn’t. He’s encountered several people who seem to recognize him, and one who admitted to it. Meir’am, a fishwife, told of seeing him with a group of followers, including a woman that may have been Deionarra.
Tell you what. Give me three hundred for interest, and the eye’s yours.
Money in hand, Barkis produces a wide-mouth bottle with the eye floating in some preservative liquid. He opens it, and Nameless tears out his own eyeball and places this one in the socket with Barkis’ assistance. It heals, bringing sight and memory with it.
Flashes of memory, of fighting strange creatures in stranger places, come to Nameless. His hands twitch as they remember old skills, his body relearning what it knew in past lives. Nameless draws out his dagger and, without thinking, drops into a stance. Barkis scuttles out of the way.
Shaking his head, Nameless speaks to some of the other bar patrons. Ebb Creakknees is an ancient, broad man with a massive gray beard and hair like a lion’s mane.
Well, now, aren’t you a sight, lad! Never have I seen so many scars blanketing a fella – like a scar cloak ye’re wearing! Where you been – hanging out in the grain thresher!
Ebb laughs and introduces himself. More importantly, he buys a round, even one for Morte, who sort of laps up the booze. Ebb is an old hand at Sigil, and knows more about the city and surroundings than most. He elaborates on portals and their dangers. When Nameless brings up Ingress’ trouble, Ebb points him to Candrian, a planewalker.
Candrian is the opposite of Ebb. Quiet and slim, he’s difficult to spot. He’s almost as insubstantial as the Mausoleum’s guardian ghost. Nameless explains Ingress’ problem.
I met a woman named Ingress with very bad teeth. She said she had come through a portal from some world that was opened by a tune hummed near two crossed trees. Can you get her home?
I know the portal of which you speak, though I have not traveled it these thirty years gone. I will take her home, seeker.
Nameless leads Candrian to Ingress. The woman is suspicious at first as Candrian explains where they must go, but eventually agrees. Before she leaves with him, Ingress puts her hand up to her mouth and spits. Something rattles. She presses her teeth into Nameless’ hand by way of thanks, and follows after Candrian.
Nameless looks down at the teeth. They feel still wet and squirm in his hand Even Morte looks disgusted. But Nameless notes that the teeth, which fit perfectly in Ingress’ mouth, have changed size and seem sharper. He has the feeling they are watching him, awaiting a command.
Hey, Morte. Come here for a minute…
The image of the Smoldering Corpse and of Nameless in the header is included as part of the “extras” for the GOG download.