The Lady of Pain: Darker Chant


The Darker Chant

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New! Prime wizard Fuikijo Gou, former follower of Aoskar - a recollection from a parchment found in the former temple to Aoskar, the portal god.
by Tormod Aarlott Digre

Crackling flame, loose the mermaid to endless sorrow.
We are not what we are,
Still nothing remains of that which once was a yesterday.
Only fragments of our own paths shall be foretold,
And when so done,
They shall be controlled by none,
Except for that lady in blades,
Cursing every joy ever given,
Blessing any pain ever shivered.

This poem of a long-forgotten prime was recently recovered from the former temple of Aoskar. It is evidently a book describing a theory on Sigil's location in the multiverse.

"...tells me that the city called Sigil is perched upon an infinitely high spire and that within it there are thousands upon thousands of different daemons. This spire is evidently located in the Plane of discordant opposition and rises from the exact center of this plane.

This came to me as a surprise. I've heard of the city of Sigil many times, and the record to the thousands demons is more or less correct, but that it's location is in the Outlands is to my astonishment plain out wrong.

The source can neither be trusted as to the fact that the spire is infinite, since it isn't! The spire is in constant condition of growth as any part of the multiverse is. Sigil is merely the focus point of many different beliefs and ideas, representing the Outer Planes as ambassadors to their different faiths. It is my conclusion that the Lady of Pain is gathering material to complete her purpose in this world, and doing so she collects souls to fight her battle.

The Lady's purpose came evident to me in a dream I had the other night. She is plotting to take over the elemental planes! See the spire is actually the accumulated faith of all living beings in the multiverse, constantly growing with the new overflow of animals, thinkers, spirits, petitioners and gods in the world. What the lady has done is that she focuses this faith into building a new plane stretching from the outer planes to the inner planes. This new plane will be under her complete control and cause the final battle between thought and matter to approach. The Elder elemental god will arise, being the exact opposite to the Lady, conclusion being a long-awaited battle.

This is of course a way onl..."

New! Tiernan Morvan, Druid Ecologist, and the excerpts from his journal "The Ecology of SIGIL"
by Shannon Q

"Theories on the proposition that Sigil does indeed have an Ecology.

I theorize that Sigil itself is a life form of some sort.

The Dabus are part of Sigil. Much as the healing and defensive components of a life form. Either they are true parts of the Sigil life form or in the very least, symbiotic entities.

The Lady of Pain: clearly some form of symbiotic relationship exists between the Lady and SIGIL.

Consider for a moment that it is assumed she has a gender.
Is this a misnomer fabricated by those seeking to comprehend her within their own frame of reference?
If she is indeed of a gender, why?
If the 'Lady' was a unique being then why have a gender?
Did she give herself a gender? Again why?
Was she given a gender by a creator(s)? Why?

Perhaps the Lady has a male counterpart.
Perhaps SIGIL is her male counterpart.
Perhaps the Lady is the last of an Ancient race. or...
Perhaps the Lady is a member of a Race we haven't seen or haven't recognized when we did see them.

Perhaps the Lady's race cycles through an extinction period in which the race dies out except for a single or handful of females that after a millennium give birth to a new generation.

If this is so, the perhaps SIGIL is and egg-sack or a brood pod.

Perhaps non-powers are allowed to live here so a food source is available for the eventually emerging young... hmmm."

New! Hailus, with the truth of those without names
by Lars H. Loeher


Realized fears and fantasies, fragile, intriguing, strange, fantastic, fearsome, incomprehensible. Many people have forgotten their dreams, even many planars, even though they should know better. In essence dreams are other incarnations of belief, of subconscious belief maybe, but still belief. Some who walk the planes sometimes recognize places from their dreams as though they had been there before. Naturally these places look at least slightly different most of the time, but still...

It happens only rarely, because many of the places faced within Dreams are so incredibly weird and incomprehensible, that exposure to them in waking hours would drive a poor sod barmy. There are also creatures born out of these dreams, The Iandrikkar, the Kurkirr and the Shkrykku maybe the most popular, but there are also others, more difficult to comprehend than even these. These are the true dreamers, the faeries or fey.

Ever mysterious and elusive, benign and infernal, flighty but powerful, it is impossible for a mortal mind to comprehend the fey. The older the faerie, the more complex and mysterious is their personality. Some aren't much older than mortals, while a few a rare few of the fey are older than the multiverse itself. They are the most respected among their kin, even though an outside would not recognize one if they met them, because they have learned that using power draws unwanted attention.

Among these are the True Nameless, those who lack a true name of their own. Shapeable like no one else into everything, but only by their own wills, one of them might be the friendly guy next door, or the guardianal who helps you out, or the yugoloth who cheats you on one day. Bound by nothing but their own capricious and strange motivations, they walk the multiverse, never revealing themselves and even less what they are doing. It doesn't make sense to mortals, but there is more behind their actions than meets the eye.

One of them always stays in Sigil to keep the neutral meeting ground a neutral meeting ground for all and everyone up to a certain level of power. This one keeps out everyone else and is brutal and harsh to anyone who tries to dethrone it or take over the city for themselves. Mortals may be many things, but they can never guard the city like the True Nameless can. This one is the Lady of Pain. Some believe it is always the same, others say it is an office shifted among them, which some like more and others less. (Even though incomprehensible by anything that lives in the multiverse doesn't mean that they don't have personalities.)

They communicate among each other in an ancient way, which predates even telepathy. Every attempt at even trying to communicate their simplest concepts to mortals has to end in disaster. See a mortals (or paramortals) mind so badly overloads from even a moment's touch, that it sends a backlash throughout all of the body that all of its functions, even the heart and the breathing shut down, effectively killing the victim. Some say, that they can communicate in any tongue known to the multiverse if they really want to, but then again who knows?

The nameless don't reveal themselves to mortals."

New! Gurnel, a sage from the Great Library
by Gabriel Eggers

"The Lady of pain is unique among all of the beings in the multiverse. She is neither a god, mortal, nor member of one of the immortal races native to the planes. The Lady of Pain is not in fact a native of our Multiverse in the truest sense, but a being from another existence.

I am sure you have heard that Sigil has gates leading to every place in the multiverse, while this maybe true it is not all their is to know about the city of doors. Sigil is infact the largest gate in the multiverse. The great ring-shaped city itself is a gate. The Lady of Pain knows this because she was sent to replace the insubordinate former ruler of Sigil, Aoskar.

You may be wondering where the Lady of Pain is from, if not our multiverse.

Some being had to have created the Multiverse. Evidence of this exists in the worship of the great unknown by the Athar, and the source by the Believers. This Supreme Being sent the Lady with the directive to never again let a god set foot in Sigil. That's why the Lady flays worshippers, if she became a god her mission would end ... in disaster."

Mazzet Portent, githyanki knight and founder of the Gith Recovery Deployment (definitely not sanctioned by the Lich-Queen) 
by Rip Van Wormer

"I'll tell you who the Lady of Pain is, berk. She's Gith the Unshackler, blessed mother of our people, betrayed and imprisoned by Tiamat. Evidence? She's more powerful than the sodding gods, berk. She has power over the planes themselves, berk. Doesn't that sound like Gith to you? Anyway, I saw it in pictographs in a ruined temple to a goddess named Takhisis. Don't know what she had to do with it, but it was there. The Gith Recovery Deployment is going follow her psychic spore down to Baator, where she's astrally projecting herself from. Then there's going to be hell to pay."

Turpental, an Outspoken Lower Ward Tout
by Child of Morpheus

"Here's the dark on the Lady for all those berks who couldn't click to it themselves: Well, there is Rule-of-Three and Unity-of-Rings and then there is the Centre-of-All, most powerful being in the Multiverse who lives at the centre of the Multiverse at the base of the Spire. Only he doesn't live at the base of the Spire, rather at the top of it in Sigil and he's a she: The Lady of Pain."

Author's Note: Check out Uncaged: Faces of Sigil.

Xoastor, Historian known for his Unlikely Flights of Fancy

"The Lady of Pain was Queen of the Bladelings. See, once upon a time the bladeling city Zoronor perched in the same place as Sigil. It was there for longer than anyone can remembers, but all this happened so long ago that nobody living remembers it either. The Lady ruled the bladelings, being one of them herself, only then her whole body was covered with blades.

"Now Zoronor's spherical and it didn't balance that well up there on top of the Spire. In fact, it got knocked off. Some say it was by the Lady herself (the bladelings didn't make good servants), some claim it was a mighty storm (the likes of which have never been seen since), yet others say the perpetrator's long dead. Whoever it was, Zoronor got shunted from it's rightful place at the centre of the planes into the lowest layers of Acheron.

"Anyway, the Lady rebuilt a city, this time better balanced, and abandoned the bladelings in Acheron. The dabus were her new children. She took more humanoid form, but was never able to rid herself of the blades around her neck. Maybe they're blades of office?

"The darkest chant goes that Zoronor itself replaced an earlier city, which also fell off. That'd make Sigil the Third Incarnation of the City at the Centre; makes a blood wonder where the first one went."

Quoth, a Keeper of the Library Sanctitous, in the Lady's Ward

"I couldn't give a damn what any other barmy sod tells you, I know the true story of the Lady. It's real ancient, though, so the translation I've done might not be perfect. But it makes bloody sense, which is more than can be said for most of the chant you've been blathering so far.

"She weren't always called the Lady of Pain, see. Way back, even before the Blood War, she used to be simply the Lady. The Multiverse was a much kinder place then, as no cutter ever got hurt by anything. The Lady was one of the First born of the Abyss. The first what, you ask? I don't know everything, sod: the books just say she was one of the First. Anyways, the Abyssal Ones wanted to disrupt the inherent niceness of the Multiverse. See, they wanted to inject a bit of respect for their nastiness into the happy-go-lucky souls who frolicked all day. Good thing that, I say. Whatever.

"The Ones were charged with inventing the weapons to command respect. One of 'em created Fear, and the Planes themselves trembled when it was released. Another forged Hate, and that's when the Blood War began. The Lady gave birth to Pain, which inflicted misery and agony on every beast that roamed and bird that flew. The Age of Innocence was ended. The books are a bit hazy as to what happened to the Lady's Sisters, Hate and Fear, but one thing's true...she's still kicking up her skirts."

"Thing is, there's Sigil to account for, ain't there. Well berk, that's all written down too. See, the Lady might not be the friendliest blood you'll ever meet, but she ain't all bad, neither. 'Least, she ain't these days. It seems she must've repented a little, seeing the horror that the multiverse'd been subjected to. All creatures continually in pain? Not a picnic, I'll tell you that for free.

"So she tried to destroy her philosophical child. She tried time and time again, only each time it became stronger. Seemed that Pain was destined to be inflicted forevermore. That weren't good enough for the Lady. She had to find some way to lessen the suffering of the multiverse. Like a true martyr, she gave up her own eternity. The Pain she'd released she took back into herself, and she locked herself and the Pain away. She created Sigil to protect the rest of the Multiverse from her folly. She changed from the Lady OF Pain to the Lady IN Pain. They used to call her that when Aoskar still walked, you know.

"'Course, the 'verse is a big place, ad she didn't catch all the pain in her net. Some to this day, when you get hurt, you feel pain. You might complain at that, but it's a damn sight better than it used to be, mark my words.

"Still, a martyr though she may have been, she found the Pain only grew with the years. She spent her life in agony, experiencing the fierce ravages of her child at the slightest action. She had to lift her burden by passing it to another. Now, at that time there weren't any creatures strong enough to take the Pain. She tricked Aoskar, her old enemy, into taking it, but it killed him, and he was a Power! The only other thing big enough was the Multiverse itself, so that's what she did.

"The Lady released her agony into the fabric of the Planes, opening cuts and gashes into them. Today we call them her Portals, and most bloods assume they're benign. In fact they're the seeping wounds of the Planes, where the tissue of reality's been slashed and a blood can slip through, if he knows how.

"At least that's why my book says. The title? It's called The True History of the Multiverse, According to the First of the Baernaloths. A baernoloth? Don't ask me, I haven't the foggiest who they are!"

Mathos Lubub, githzerai sage and planewalker
by Tom Bubul

"I speculate the Lady of Pain has been where she is as ruler of Sigil forever. Allow a moment for me to explain...

"In the beginning, before the so-called powers were the primal forces of Law and Chaos. Each hailed from their respective half of the Ring, and moulded their planes and races as they saw fit. Then they discovered each other, and the Law/Chaos crusade began.

"Each stormed across the void which became the Outlands, and crashed in the exact centre, creating such an enormous explosion that their essences mixed, and flew off to become the inner planes.

"The mix of elements froze and hardened the infinitely tall mushroom cloud from the explosion, and the relatively small ring of vapour around the top. The vapour doughnut was hollow, and as the essences of law and chaos drifted away to form the inner planes, so some got trapped in it.

"The torus solidified into Sigil, and the Law and Chaos stuff merged to form Our Serene Lady. The knowing essence of law allowed her to open and close portals in her city, and chaos gave her the ability to guard it with a godlike vengeance.

"That's my two greens on the whole sodding creation scheme, and that's how it really did happen. If ya don't like it, pike it!"

Pinacol the Ultra-Violet
by Matthew Jarboe

"Well, cutter, I reckon the Lady of Pain is not a power but a multiverse traveller. She's as old as the planes themselves and is of a strange immortal race that can live forever. She created Sigil while the planes were still forming and growing. This brings up three questions in my mind:

"One: Is it impossible for her to leave Sigil? Does she leave when no-one's looking, or can she leave at will but sticks around Sigil so that if something goes wrong she can protect the city?

"Two: How does her power work; is it magery or just a racial special ability? If its magery than has her spell book ever been seen and does anyone care to go and look for it?

"Three: Legends tell of Shekelor, who tried to dispel her with mighty magic. 'Course, it didn't work. Is this because it is impossible or because the barmy old mage simply wasn't powerful enough?

"Anyone who can answer those questions gets my respect..."

Frereondy of the Athar
by Emlyn Shannon

"Well, I don't like to put this dark under the light, but I guess I have to. The secret is this - the Lady of Pain is a power, just like any other power. She's a totally normal, typical god. But here's her little secret -- by flaying those who openly worship her, she gets everyone wondering about her. And that's a form of worship, just as sure as wearing her holy symbol (not that she has one).

"Just go ask Qadia's Mimir. It's crammed with chant and supposed darks, and all sorts of wild speculations about the Lady. With every berk who wonders about her, she grows more powerful. That's why she keeps the clueless pouring into Sigil - they're more likely to 'Worship' her. But hear this -- she's even got the other Powers wondering about her! Could you imagine the power you could get if Gods worshipped you?

"What do you mean, we're walking round in circles? I know the Guildhall Ward like the back of my hand.

"Why isn't there anyone else around anywhere.......?"

Bernard Twelveyes, Pixie Diviner from the Prime
by Pol Jackson

("Actually, I'm a human. I had an accident...")

"Oh yes, I find the Lady of Pain to be a fascinating topic of study. I've even formulated a theory of my own over the years. Could I pass it on? Well, alright, but keep in mind that I haven't yet finished my research...

"Several of my sources suggest that the Lady of Pain isn't a prisoner at all, but rather a jailer. The torus of Sigil was constructed to hold a creature of fearsome power, and the Lady was created to keep it there.

"Over millennia, the real prisoner of Sigil was able to slowly weaken its cage. That's what the Portals really are; holes in the walls of the prison. Despite what you've been told, the Lady only has limited control over the Portals. She can sometimes choose where they lead, and she can occasionally close them, but she can't stop them from forming; the corruption is permanent.

"So why has no one ever found this prisoner of Sigil, this creature of vast destruction? Well, that one's easy; it escaped thousands of years ago. I wonder what it was...

"Anyway, The Lady has been left behind, a near-mindless automaton still looking for something to imprison, in a cage full of doors. It's rather sad, really."


Copyright 1998 by Jon Winter and respective authors,
artwork by Jeremiah Golden and Jon Winter


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