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Barmy to the Spire


First Void of Catechism

August 7th, 1999


Barmy Spotlight of the Week

From: A DM Guide to the Planes, pg. 22
About: Ah portals, in one step they can take you anywhere in the multiverse, from the celestial plane, where you'll be bored to death, or the lanky lower planes, we're you'll be, well, bored to death. The gateways that allow planar travel to be possible, for planewalkers to visit there grannies in Elysium on the weekends, but still have parties in Xaos every night. Portals are everywhere, coming in all shapes and size, able to take you across the Planes -- if you have the right key.
Barminess: They put more holes in the Planes then a elephant in a razorvine patch.
Quote: "Chwinginging" or occasionally "Blarp".
Likes: Being a portal that's a towering doorway or arch, with lots of spiky things. Turning into a shifting portal, you get to meet allot of new people that way. Being decorated (see Barmy Bonus).
Dislikes: Being a portal that's a common window, or worse, a sewer hole. Having someone get stuck in them. Hordes of fiends charging through, and not even bothering to wipe their feet.

Barmy Bonus:
Portal Celebration Decorations

Cagers, though not entirely obvious behind all the swearing and soot, are very festive cutters, taking any chance to celebrate from a power's holy day to last weeks fiendish invasion. On these occasions they like to decorate, and portals being so numerous, they often receive the attention. A blood coming into town on one these type of days best be careful, as walking out of the portal might slam him into festive garland, streamers, firecrackers, and assorted other colorful things. Though tending to sorely irritate the regular planewalkers, any clueless prime will tell you it makes the portals easy to find and very nice looking. Some of the more common decorations are listed below.

Razorvine Garland - Available in abundant supply, it makes lovely garland and wreaths when pruned and strung around an archway. Often found with an added touch of red, to make the arrangement more colorful.

Soddin String - Often found in the Hive, where a length of string is about all people can scrounge up to decorate with. For the xaositectly minded, the string can be died various colors and hung with bits of ornaments -- scrap metal and old discarded gatekeys.

Ooze Mephit Ornaments - Dug up in the hive and caked in a bit of eat, ooze mephits make a startlingly good statue ornament. A couple placed around a portal really livens up the mood, especially when they start to thaw out.

Limbo Paint - Imported from out of town, nothing sets off a portal like making in florescent green, with red polkadot strips. Said to drive a person barmy just by looking at it. Coming out of a painted portal isn't that exciting either, especially if it's being painted at the time.

First Clerk of Catechism

August 4th, 1999


Today, by various barmy calculations and counseling of clouds, is the one year birthday of Portals: Paths of the Planewalkers. Brannon, Portals webmaster, has been an avid supporter of are little barmy site here for awhile, so we'd just like to wish his site a happy barmy birthday.

As a little present, Barmy Shorts Company has done a little play to honor the occasion.

Now, back to the barminess.

First Guild of Catechism

August 3rd, 1999


The Closer To The Ground Alliance
(Shorties, Juniors, Midgits)
By Tom Bubul

A Brief History. A coure came to Sigil one day, and met a gnome - a true gnome, only eleven inches from toe to the tip of his hat - and she asked him why he was so short. The gnome, Tiny Barmy Thatcher his name was, said that he was a true gnome - not like those who call themselves gnomes and stand at a height of three feet. He said he was in Sigil to exact vengence and to gain recognition for the true Wee Folk, by forming the planar branch of The Closer To The Ground Alliance.

As they usually, do, the coure laughed excitedly, tumbled about, and poked at the gnome asking him all manner of silly questions. He explained that the close to the ground you are, the closer you are to truth - and the league would not only reward it's short members, especially true gnomes, but would help enlighten taller beasts on how to get closer to the earch beneath them. The coure joined up on a lark, and the planar branch of the league was born.

"Hey! Down here! I'd just like to ask you a few questions.
My, aren't these nice shoelaces. Where did you get them? I could use a pair..."

- Factol Millady

Philosiphy. Bugger all that, you call yourself a gnome! Truth comes with shortness - the closer one is to the multiverse, the closer one is to enlightenment. We stand as a league for all short people with a want for truth and justice, punishing those who call themselves 'gnomes' but stand at a height of three feet. We curse five foot halflings with the gaul to call themselves half of anything. We are gnomes, we are faeries, we search for truth, we are short.

Factol. Millady (Pl/ f.gif (872 bytes) Coure Eladrin / Shorties / CG), the coure who won't fly. Having inherited the Thatcher bloodname, that of the League's first factol, she refuses to be farther from the ground than he ever was. Standing at 9" and often founding rolling around the ground at the high speeds available in faerie light form, she enjoys using her anklebite technique to get attention for the short folk. It is said that in a past life, she invented the art of the slouch. She plans all the meetings, and screans all would-be members of the League, and using her beautiful talent to talk tears out of a rock, extracts whatever information she finds pertanant to the League out of people whose ankles she bites in the street.

Primary Plane of Influence. The first Shorty hailed from Bytopia, and there is a significant number of them there, but they have the strongest holding in Sigil, where short people from all over the planes can congregate.

Allies and Enemies. Though they don't have any conflicts of belief with any particular faction or sect, the Midgets have found themselves allied with the Guvnors, as Factol Hashkar secretly supports their ideals. Anarchists like to join up with the sect, as they sometimes picket outside of developments run by gnomes who are 'abnormally tall' and spread propeganda about being short. The Fated don't enjoy their presence much, as their ideals generally align themselves with being large and tough, and some actually go out of their way to literally stomp the Alliance out of existance. In response, the Alliance steals inkpens and ties shoelaces all throughout the Hall of Records.

Eligibility. To join the alliance, a cutter has to be less than five feet in height - pure and simple. Ascension in the ranks is a bit more difficult - less than three feet to be a factotum, less than two to be a factor, and the factol is almost always a coure or a true gnome. As well, members are expected to attend the League's monthly meetings and have good news to give about how they converted more tall people to the cause.

Benefits. Namers of the sect gain the unique, refined ability to slouch. By hunching the shoulders forward and bending the back slightly, a talented sloucher can usually shrink their height by up to one foot, effectively helping a cutter to draw less attention to himself by seeming smaller. This is useful for making escapes unnoticed. If while being chased, for example, a cutter slouches into an alley - the odds of their being spotted go down. The effect of the slouch lasts up to 1d10 rounds/level of the sloucher, at the end of which time one of the sloucher's pesky aunts or visiting relatives happens to walk by, box their ears, and tell them slouching isn't good and that they'd better straighten out.

Factotums, who are under three feet, in height, don't slouch - they're so short that the ability's effects are constantly in action. As well, they can use a powerful anklebite technique against random people in a crowd, by sneaking up and, well, gnawing on their ankle. Though not particularly useful, it helps to draw attention if it's needed.

Factors and the Factol are so short, under two feet tall, that they gain an additional point of dexterity due to their control of their center of gravity.

Restrictions. Members of the League are forbidden from using spells such as shrink to help gain power in the ranks. As well, flight is strictly prohibited as it brings a sod farther from the ground. Also, getting stepped on and ignored tends to be a slight problem - especially for the higher ranking members, who need to use anklebite just to draw attention.

First Market of Catechism

August 2nd, 1999


A few notes on barmy happenings, which seems to spreading lately.

Pekan Shu, everyone's favorite gardener at the Gatehouse, has done a Life of the Cager. Mentioning all the fun happenings and other bleaknisms that surround the inhabitants. This is also the first mention of Merj and Stoat, those chess playing barmies.

Name that Slaadi, a contest going on over at the Gen Con section of Name the slaadi and get a chance at getting cds and slaadi t-shirts. I just wish I would have thought of this barmy idea first!

First Lady of Catechism, Factol's Day

August 1st, 1999


Zoveri, with a cute pet squidCourtship Rituals of the Zoveri

Thought the zoveri, those octopus-elf like centaurs of Mount Celestia, usually only reproduce and function as part of a school, occasionally they fall in love. They being lawful creatures, they have a whole set of rituals to cover the possibility. Usually these are shared between zoveri, but sometimes one will get it in their head to fall madly in love with a land dweller, usually an elf, which can cause a bit of trouble. While a female zoveri might find being given a pet squid delightful, the same does not always apply to are elf maiden, the thing squirming there in her arms only wanting to be petted.

"My silver moon rise, let me compare thee too a, a giant squid,
your arms waving about as you grasp your tentacles onto the ship

that is my heart."

- a zoveri poet

The first step a zoveri must take is to show interest, which is accomplished by giving a gift. In this case, proving what a fine zoveri they are by catching a drowning swimmer and wrapping them up in a nice sea weed bow. The struggling swimmer, who at this point has probably been inconvenienced, is then presented to the intended love interest. Though any swimmer will do, catching a specific or powerful being shows that some effort was put into it, for example a tied up pit fiend would show extra cunning in a zoveri, while a whole set of adventurers are taken as a real treat. After the receiving zoveri has decided if the gift is worthy or not to win her love, the two take the swimmer back up to the surface. Though being drowned, tied up and dragged to the bottom, and then scrutinized from head to toe by a zoveri is not seen as a splendid time for a swimmer, it is considered a great honor by the zoveri to be the gift that brings two of them together.

"I hate that bloody Lunia. I was forced to go there and do business, and,
bloody lucky me, one of those sodding zovies drags me down to the bottom.
where this zovie trollop looks me up and down, and get this, tells the other 'a bit
taller, dearest.'. Bloody squids."

- M'owth, Bytopian Merkhant

The next step, possibly the most crucial, is the date. Since there aren't may resteraunts at the bottom of Lunia, this tends to be in the form of a picnic or swim. A ride on the back of a balaena is favorite right now, though a trip to Trishina's realm is grand if one can get reservations. Appearances are important at this step, so the zoveri, usually light dressers, go out on a reef in wearing earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and even the occasional hat. It's amazing they still manage to swim, really. For female zoveri the common ensemble is silver earrings of pearl or silver,   multiple necklaces made of various shells, and various other jewelry dropped into the bottom of the ocean. Male zoveri, for some barmy reason, tend to favor full coats of spiky silver armor at this point.

Manors are extremely important, and on meeting his partner for the night a zoveri must be sure to kiss her arms, all ten of them. This tends to take awhile. Next the couple swims off to their destination, customarily holding hands, which tends to be hard when their both trying to spurt quickly through the water. The rest of the date is more free from the strict rituals, allowing the zoveri to actually have a fun time swimming and talking.

"Did a tin can fall on you or something, oh moonrise?"
- the zoveri Elbie, on seeing her date.

The third stage, after the zoveri have gotten to know each other and allot of dates later, is best described by saying its the events surrounding the Ink Cloud of Love. Both zoveri spray their ink clouds into the water to signal they want to be left alone. Though not to go into detail, suffice to say you'd be amazed the kind of massages a zoveri can give with all it's arms, especially the third-right one


Last Week's Chant

All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.