5e Planescape: Tales of Devotion
City Prison, 'Innocence Proves Nothing'
Sigil’s prison is a simple, square-shaped block of stone and steel, covered in spikes and emanating an unsettling feeling of quilt and uncertainty over whether one has committed any acts which would draw the Mercykillers’ ire. The houses around it are well-kept and the occupants seem respectable but everything seems dull and grey compared to the vivid liveliness of the rest of the city. Mercykillers in their spiked uniforms can be seen patrolling the areas, and an ever so faint echo of the screams and pleads of the convicts inside the prison can be heard in the background ((Passive) Perception DC 13).
The gates of the prison are large enough to allow a cart pulled by a pair of elephants through but there is a separate entry in the doors for humanoid visitors of large size and below. The gates are guarded by a Mercykiller on both sides, and any visitors to the prison are interrogated by them. The interrogation includes questions about the characters’ own activities and these guards have an Insight of 3 piercing damage. If the target is a Medum or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the pincer staff cannot be used on another target), shortswords (1d6+3), and shields (+2 AC).). If the Mercykillers have a reason to suspect the characters of having done injustice, they will insist on interrogating the party about the details in order to mete out appropriate punishment. Escaping will require a successful Stealth check versus the Mercykillers’ Perception of +2, for which they have advantage due to their numbers. Alternatively, one may make an Athletics or Acrobatics check with a base DC of 14, increased by 2 for every 5ft. the character’s movement speed is lower than 30ft.. The Mercykillers will be on the lookout for the party if they escape.
If the characters are deemed innocent for the time being, they will be allowed in the outpost by the main gate where an appointed officer will check their story. There will be a priest (see p. 348 of the Monster Manual for details) present to cast Zone of Truth (Charisma save DC 13; the Mercykillers will require intentional failure; replaces spiritual weapon). The room will be a 15ft. cube with a table and stools cramped in the middle. The door behind the party will be locked once they enter and the only source of light is a chandelier in the shape of the Mercykillers’ wyvern symbol with an orange-tinted continual flame (see p. 227 of the Player’s Handbook for details) cast on it. At this point, the characters will not be allowed to enter the prison proper.
- The guards on duty are called Balmung and Fezarion. They are both menacingly large humans of oriental origin. Fezarion is clearly more suspicious of any visitors, commenting on how no one is really innocent and how any sane person would know better than to arrive at the prison of their own volition. Balmung, on the other hand, is more willing to listen to the party’s reasoning and reminds Fezarion how the Mercykillers should not be careless about punishment. Both will be gravely offended by the idea of bribery, prompting an immediate arrest attempt (see above).
- The priestess casting the Zone of Truth is called Senna Wales, and she is a blonde follower of Cas, the moose-headed NE demigod of Spite. Senna has had half of her face permanently scarred by flames and displays this openly. She seeks justice and vengeance on the Sinker who did it – a fire elemental myrmidon (see p. 213 of Princes of Apocalypse for details) whose name she does not know (Ka Anor). Willing to negotiate a prize (Red Corundum Elemental Gem she took from Ka Anor after he burned her face; see p. 168 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for details). She will give it in exchange for Ka Anor’s heart, verified with the help of Zone of Truth to belong to the elemental. Tracking Ka Anor at the slags requires a successful DC 12 Survival check which can be aided with Arcana in order to know things about Elementals’ preferences. Entering the Slags prompts a DC 12 Constitution save, though, and any failing character will remain poisoned as long as they remain in the area. There are also pools of acid and lava, and going too near will cause 1d4 damage of the appropriate type (acid or fire). Characters traversing the Slags will have to succeed in a DC 13 Survival or Perception roll in order to also avoid taking 2d6 bashing, acid, or fire damage (determined randomly) from carelessly hurting themselves. Ka Anor itself is pretty much a maddened force of destruction which will babble in partial sentences while attacking the party.
The captain of the gate watch is Vhailor the Curst (undead Knight with proficiency in Insight and Intimidate; see p. 347 of the Monster Manual for details, with a greataxe (1d12+3) and the Revenant’s Regeneration, Rejuvenation, and Turn Immunity features (see p. 259 of the Monster Manual for details).). A Curst is essentially a person cursed with a special form of undeath which will drive them crazy but completely deny them death. Vhailor is keeping the creeping insanity back with his single-minded dedication to justice, making him an epitome of the Mercykillers’ credo. He will be interrogating the characters about the details of Sitri’s case, and he is willing to track down anyone who has committed any crimes at that level. If the characters have any idea of his deeds leading to his imprisonment (History DC 22), the Mercykillers will provide the party with their support under Vhailor’s commands. Otherwise, they will take independent action.
If the characters manage to alert the Mercykillers to Sitri’s presece, they will have an easier time entering the prison after Zincir imprisons him, provided that they remember Vhailor’s name. If they have the Mercykillers’ full support, an unit of two Mercykillers can be called for help in case the characters learn of Sitri’s whereabouts. Additionally, Vhailor will provide the characters with 200gp as a token of gratitude for bringing to their knowledge such heinous crimes which would have been ignored otherwise due to having been committed in an ‘insignificant prime backwater world some centuries ago’ (his words).