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Plane Scape

Plane Scape


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Published by jefro2434

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Published by: jefro2434 on Jun 08, 2010
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Portals are the doorways to and from Sigil, and they have a lot of advantages over vortices and conduits!
First, a portal can connect to any layer of any plane at any point - it's just that one end is always anchored in
Sigil. Step through an archway in Sigil and a sod might find himself on the 447th layer of the Abyss or the
sixth level of Mount Celestia. Second, portals don't pass through any other planes. It's not like a conduit,
where the traveler still has to go through the Astral Plane (although in just seconds). Portals directly link
two places. Third, portals aren't as hostile as vortices. A cutter doesn't have to figure out how to reach the
center of a volcano or the bottom of an ocean in order to use a portal. Most of them are easy to reach and
pass through - provided a body knows where to look.

A portal may be easy to reach, but to do that a sod's got to find it, and that's another matter entirely. Portals
generally don't advertise themselves. They don't glow with strange colors, and a being can't look through
one and see the destination on the other side. They don't detect as magical, but their presence can be
discovered with a true seeing spell, though even this won't reveal where they go. A basher can walk through
a portal and have nothing at all happen, too, because each one takes a special gate key.

This key isn't like the one used for a normal lock and it isn't a spell or power key, either. This key's
something particular to that portal - a word, an action, or an object carried across the threshold, for instance.
Only when the key's used will the portal come to life. Then, the portal flashes with a brief flare of light
golden, ruddy, hellish, or whatever - and an electrical crackle sounds as the traveler steps through. Those
watching might see a brief glimpse of the destination, if they're quick to watch before the brilliance fades

Some portals are stable, some are temporary, and others seem to shift around in random patterns. Portals
always ground their ends in some kind of arch. In Sigil, this is mostly doorways and gates. Out on the planes
it might be anything - a palace door, a cave mouth, the curve of a bridge, even a canopy of tree branches.
Because of this, portals are rarer on Limbo or the Ethereal and Astral Planes, where archlike shapes are
harder to find. Portals to the Ethereal lead mostly to demiplanes of solid matter. Portals to the Astral have an
unpleasant habit of grounding themselves in githyanki fortresses. On Limbo, portals constantly shift and
move as new arches rise and old ones collapse in the turmoil of that pla- ne.

Sages aren't sure what the portals are and why they always have one end in Sigil. Theories abound, and it's
something of a sport to try to propose an answer. It's a mystery that makes Guvners crazy - they can come
up with the rules for what the portals do, but not those for why. Answers run from complicated calculations
about Sigil as the nexus point of the multiverse to the incredible-sounding but perhaps accurate suggestion
that the portals are living things which feed off the energies of Sigil and its travelers.

Who knows the real truth? It doesn't really matter - the portals work.

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