Hall of Records, 'Ours for the Taking'

Overview

Previously, hundreds of years ago, the Hall of Records was an arcane academy founded by a gifted prime mage from Oerth, offering free education in the arcane arts for the talented. However, it was repossessed by the Fated after the college lost its sources of funding at the time of the archmage’s death. The Fated sold the library, but the rest of the six buildings of the campus on Rook Street have been remodelled into their headquarters. These buildings include barracks for the Fated as well as their archives, but the only building open to the public is the Hall of Records proper which governs all taxing and real estate ownership in Sigil. Most people associating with the Fated seem suspicious and dour, holding tightly to their purses.

The main hall of the Hall of Records is filled with people, most of the shouting at the Fated officers. It is adorned with great statues of the past factols of the Fated, holding the ceiling in unison. In the middle of the main hall, there is a great statue of factol Duke Rowan Darkwood in all his scarred glory, looking determinedly at the heavens and the future, his right hand half-grasping around something only he can see. There are Modrons (duodrones instructed to count upwards and to tell people to wait for their turn patiently; see p. 225 of he Monster Manual for details) handing out waiting numbers which will have to be written down by the characters themselves – unless they want to pay 5gp to a willing Taker equipped with ink, a quill, and some paper. The wait is around five hours long and utterly dull and uneventful with one exception, detailed below.

Benevolent Parasites

A group of four Flumphs (see p. 135 of the Monster Manual for details) are being assaulted by two Githyanki (see p. 160 of the Monster Manual for details) called Verminaard and Kholos. The gith claim that the Flumphs were stealing their thoughts, which is technically true as they were starving for psionic energy and were indeed leeching off the githyanki at a level which was observable due to their hunger and numbers. The Flumphs are apologizing profusely but to no avail: the Githyanki flip them over and curbstomp them, drawing their greatswords to skewer the creatures.

If the players interrupt the scene (and no one else really seems willing to do so as the Takers think the Flumphs are getting what was coming to them and the other people present are too absorbed in their own worries, not willing to anger the gith themselves), Verminaard and Kholos will demand their waiting number as compensation (this happens when there would be maybe ten more minutes left until the party’s turn). If the party were to lose their number, they would not be able to consult the Fated on the same day, effectively losing all the time they had spent (although this is not entirely obvious, requiring a successful DC 11 Intelligence check to realize). If the party takes a new number, they will simply waste the rest of the day waiting. Violence is an alternative, considering the passiveness of the onlookers when the githyanki were willing to use lethal force, although if the party is to do the same, as per Sigil’s laws, each person doing the killing will have a bounty of 50gp set on their heads (their assistants having a bounty of 15gp)… in the middle of the Takers’ headquarters, prompting an assault by almost all the present faction members.

If saved, the Flumphs will tell the party that all four are forever in their debt as well as inform the characters of their ability to eavesdrop on telepathic communication. If only there was a regular psychic creature to leech off of, the Flumphs could live contend. If the party finds someone not minding their presence, the Flumphs are willing to provide the party with their greatest treasure: an Iron Flask (see p. 178 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide) containing some unknown entity (Godsman Azer called ‘Gotrek Wrecksmelter’ who will either be grateful for being released and willing to do metalwork for the characters at the Great Foundry or hateful and vengeful for being resealed if the party does not let him go; see p. 22 of the Monster Manual for details).

Malevolent Parasites

The tax officer appointed for the characters will be Immolatus, a half-red dragon (see p. 180 of the Monster Manual for details, Athletics proficiency replaced by Deception). The characters will have to state what information and why are they seeking in a manner satisfying the nominated officer whose personal judgement determines whether they will have that access (a fact Immolatus makes perfectly clear, with considerable glee). Possible skills to use include Deception, Persuasion, and Intimidation, the DCs of which will be determined by the arguments used in the roleplaying (with a set DC of 18 in case the players refuse to roleplay or do so considerably badly). These will have Immolatus fetch the documents although they will only be provided straight away if the arguments made were particularly good or if the players succeeded by 5 or more. Otherwise, Immolatus will try and extort the party once the documents are present. This can be bypassed with using another of the aforementioned skills, separate from the one(s) used earlier, or with a DC 17 Sleight of Hand check. What Immolatus wants is simply valuables: at least 100gp worth of money and jewellery, although he will not reveal the sum that contends him. Insight can be used, opposed by his Deception (+2).

The documents the Fated have on Sitri the Sly reveal his affiliation with Zincir, a kyton who used to run a brothel called ‘Chain and Whip’ in Salt Street, between the Lower Ward and the Lady’s Ward. No personal property, seems to have lived in accommodations provided by the employer. Also, the basic details that this data is 200 years old and that Sitri is a cambion and an Athar.

If the players decide to inspect Zincir’s brothel, it will have been closed down ages ago and there will be another business in the lot, owned by Zincir but secretly. The ‘Nail of Dis’ is a gambling nest identifiable by a darts board or roulette being pointed by a pale hand with a long iron fingernail. Its alleged owner is a Tiefling called Focalor the Lavish. Focalor is completely loyal to Zincir and is aware of the party looking for Sitri and thus, she is unwilling to kill the party but will do so mercilessly if given reason to believe it would be in Zincir’s best interest.

When the party enters, the ‘Nail of Dis’ will be hosting a motley crew of humanoids, tieflings, and fiends. The place has several blackjack dealers as well as liar’s dice tables and roulettes. The devils running these games will not cheat per se, but the games will have been rigged against the players by actually being slight variations of the familiar games, with different names and rules which are left implicit. Effectively, any given game has only a 10% chance of victory and a DC 15 Intelligence or Wisdom check will reveal how the games are actually different from those one might expect. Investigate may be used instead if a character explicitly observes a game to find out details about it. Most of the dealers are tieflings (spy; see p. 349 of the Monster Manual for details) with black veils with white target patterns with red centres over their faces, hanging by their horns. They are forbidden from small talk.

Focalor will try and sneakily pry the characters about Sitri if she can but refuse to reveal anything himself. She will claim that he is too young but if the party were to give him some pointers, she might have some contacts among the immortals.

Hall of Records, 'Ours for the Taking'

5e Planescape: Tales of Devotion VariSami