A Day in the Life
The Calculating Engine
Formerly known as "The House of Many Doors", the Pentacle was recently re-opened after a long period of closure. While it's unknown exactly who owns the inn, rumours continually finger Shemeshka the Marauder, or Zadara the titan, or both. In any case, the current landlord is Lithoss (Pl / m illithid / W12 / LE), an illithid wizard, or thereabouts.
The Pentacle's popularity with the wizard community of Sigil is no accident. The inn is literally riddled with portals which span all across the planes. Many of them are shifters, though their times of opening are fairly well documented by Lissandra the Gate Seeker, who makes a point of popping in here at least once a week to see what's moved. Other doors seem permanently anchored in place, and it's these that draw the most attention.
See, the unique thing about the portals of the Pentacle is that a cutter knowing the right dark (which, naturally, is available for the right garnish) can cast spells through the portals when they open. How this is possible is one of Lithoss' best-kept secrets; the chant claims variously that the mind flayer's weaved his own secret spells over each room, or that there's an artifact in the cellar, or the Lady of Pain, for some bizarre reason, has chosen to favour the Pentacle with this boon. In any case, Lithoss knows about it, and it works. Simple as that.
But so what, you ask? Well, it mightn't seem a big deal to ordinary cutters, but for wizards this is great news. Until the Pentacle opened its doors, mages who fancied summoning fiends, binding familiars or merely conjuring animals had to do so out-of-town. Spells of the conjuration school simply don't bypass the Lady's seal on the Cage. Well, that ain't the case in the Pentacle. For the right jink, a mage can hire out a summoning chamber (there are said to be over two dozen of them recessed high in the Pentacle's five towers or deep in the bowels of the place beneath the streets) with a portal to the plane he fancies, and conjure to his heart's content.
'Course, like any respectable establishment, the Pentacle has strict rules on what is, and what ain't, fair game. Patrons are expressly forbidden from attempting to summon balors or pit fiends (the chant goes that it was precisely one of these enraged beings which was responsible for the Pentacle's demolition a decade back, and its long period of closure). Neither is the summoning of extra-planar assassins permitted (though several recent attempts on Factol Darius' life have been linked to invisible stalkers summoned in the Pentacle, and Lithoss privately admits it's hard to enforce). Finally, a rule that nobody ever breaks: No Avatars. The fact that the Pentacle works at all is chalked up to the Lady's Grace -- even the greenest prime wouldn't dare risk her blades to allow the powers a foothold in Sigil.
As might be expected from such a specialised service, there can be quite a waiting list for the right summoning chamber. While the Carcerian portal in the Lying Tower is rarely used and can lie undisturbed for months at a time (after all, who would want to intentionally summon anything as foul as a gehreleth?), the Abyssal, Baatorian and Upper Planar chambers can have waiting lists weeks long.
Lithoss, perhaps surprisingly, prices the hire of chambers quite fairly. He bases the charge on the power of the spell being attempted, and charges an extra levy if a particularly dangerous beast is summoned (and doubles it if the thing gets out of control). Since the Pentacle's rebuilding security is a little tighter; besides himself, Lithoss usually has a spellslinger to two at hand ready with holy words or abjure spells, just in case. Even so, it's considered a dull week if some nameless horror doesn't smash down a few walls or strangle a prime...as Lithoss says; if mages want to jump in out of their depth, then it ain't his place to stop 'em.
It ain't all magic at the Pentacle, though. Sure, there's a guest's spell book, and the beds in the fanciest sleeping chambers levitate, but non-wizards are welcome as well. The many portals in the bar room ensure there's often a lively mixture of planewalkers (some arriving from or departing for adventures out-of-town) and other glory-seekers. There's a high concentration of wizards, of course, and interestingly, it's said that if you're looking for more dark about the incantifiers, the Pentacle is the place to flash your garnish. Famous patrons include A'kin (the allegedly friendly fiend), and "Sly" Nye. The tout Voilà! is also known to make himself known here on occasion, and the Troika trinity are sometimes seen here in their various guises.
Summoning: Range from 1,000 jinx for a simple find familiar to 50,000 jinx or more for the heavy stuff. Extra if damage is caused to the Pentacle's structure or the decor of the chambers.
Rooming: Ranges from 1 jinx a night to 80 jinx a night for the levitating bed, magically lit, unseen servant butlered suites.
Drink: 6 green for the cheap bub, up to 20 jinx a bottle for the vintage Limboan Xaos Juice. Brix recommends: Spire Wine, at 3 jinx a glass. Tastes of infinity.
Food: 5 stingers for a slap-up extra-planar meal, up to 60 jinx for a planewalker's banquet for 10. Brix recommends: Vaath steaks, at 10 jinx each. Exquisite.
Chat to real planewalkers online at the Pentacle! Click here to visit...