The Lady of Pain: Planewalkers Tales

 

Planewalkers Tales of the Lady

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New! Kristian the Sensate, wanting to feel the mazes.
by Kristian Berland

"Anyway a reason I believe is, some sod has even probably suggested before it before, is that the Dabus rule the city, they don't have the Lady for a queen. She is an illusion created by the Dabus; it is the Dabus who put people into the mazes. A proof for this theory is the Ditch Beast which is an illusion created by the Dabus, as even their language is illusions. Maybe the Dabus once was a guild of mages (or illusionists) from one backwater prime. The wizards got hold to an artifact, that'd be Sigil, and now controls it with their illusion. Of course this opens the grand possibility of a prime full of Dabus-like creatures. The illusions of the Dabus have to be very strong to negate the Signers immunity to illusions."

New! Iamus, ill-fated chant-monger
by Darodine 

"Hey, any Blood's out there? Anyway Sod's I got the true Dark of the Lady, got it from a Maurezhi (Tanar'ri who gets the memories of those he eats) who ate a Dabus, 'Course Dabus got to know the Dark of the Lady. I know it's the truth 'cause a little spell known as Detect Lie and 4 hours of non-stop torture, hehe, Tanar'ri scum, anyway the Lady's got to be an Overpower, not just the run-of-the-mill kind either, She's got to be the Overpower of the Overpowers. Why ya say? Well I'll tell you, notice how all mortals that pray to Her end up gettin' killed (I guess she considers it an insult), well think of this, Mortals worship Powers, Powers worship Overpowers, who do the Overpowers worship? THE LADY!!!! How else could she keep the Powers and Overpowers out of Sigil? By Baator it's got to be the answer. Hehe don't say I'm barmy just yet, just think 'bout what I told yah!"

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."

Telelandric, refugee from the lost continent of Alphatia
by Rip Van Wormer

"Eons ago there was a war between the sphere of Entropy and those of Life. The lore of my people says the demons of Entropy had an almost unbeatable weapon: an artifact that allowed instant interplanar travel. Life won, though, and the Hierarch of Entropy was held accountable for the danger she had caused to the Prime. Her sentence: imprisonment in her own home plane, guarding the artifact against all future Immortal attempts to control it. I've even seen her. I've seen seas of pure energy, nebulae of pure time, voids of pure thought, grey hells of purest entropy. I've seen so much. Why can't I find Alphatia? I miss my home."

Multitude, Godsmen Factotum and Exiled Priestess of the Naga Goddess

"The Lady's a sister of Shekinester, and wears three faces. The Three Ladies represent the Mother, a creator figure who endured the pain of the birth of the Multiverse; the Martyr, who suffers the hurt and torment of the Multiverse; and the Torturer, who spreads the pain she's suffered. Most cutters can't tell the different between 'em, and that's why everyone reckons the Lady's barmy or erratic. Believe me, she ain't!"

Overheard in the Gehennan Doxy, a Seedy Bar in the Lower Ward

"The Lady's a phantasm created by a bunch of Prime illusionists who've given all the arrogant Planars the laugh (if you ask me, it's more like hysterics than a laugh!) The illusionists have prolonged their lifetimes with potions and spells, or perhaps they used wishes to make their illusions permanent. After all, there's no aural, olfactory or heat component to the Lady (she is, in fact, be a simple illusion to create!). Similarly, there are no mazes. Powerful mages in the ethereal create the demiplanes and then carefully hijack blokes and make them think they've been taken by the Lady's power."

The Last Recorded Words of Gaolina of Curst, now Believed to Reside in a Maze

 "The Cage is the Cage because it traps the Lady! She can not leave, so she uses proxies to see the multiverse outside the Cage. These proxies don't worship her, they are merely unfortunate sods who happen to know a little too much."

Pet Theory of Blasphemer Westor of the Athar

 "The Cage is named the Cage even though it doesn't trap the Lady. However, she knows that she can't leave unless she finds someone else powerful enough to keep the powers out of Sigil because of its strategic planar location (she was the one who kept Takhisis out of Sigil and therefore out of Krynn, you know). She's sacrificed her freedom for the betterment of the Multiverse. Because she knows she cannot leave without a replacement she's insane because she's frustrated and impatient, even barmy. It's just a matter if time till she finds a sod who fits the bill and then she's free..."

Bar Gossip following the Explosion at Harbinger House

 "I heard that Trolan the Mad fell in love with the Lady and she didn't flay his skin. He's not been seen around recently, though. Wonder where she stashed the poor sod?"

Wild Speculation from Imaginative (Barmy?) Signer, Syra the First

"Maybe the Lady is from a plane or reality unknown to all others, and the only way she can survive in this reality is within the confines of Sigil. She's like the Lady in the Bubble, as it were."

Guvner Nomin Bookchaser

"Sigil's the most powerful artifact in the Multiverse, and the Lady didn't make it, she found it. It allows her to open portals anywhere in the planes, use the dabus as her slaves, and (once she found out how) to create mazes into which she can cast here enemies. Thing is this Sigil artifact specifically prohibits any Power from controlling it. If the Lady were to become a Power, then she'd be kicked out of Sigil just like the rest of the Powers. She knows this and pretends all along that she's the one doing the kicking out. If people start to worship her and she neglects to flay their skin (although being that gruesome about it perhaps reflects her real personality), then its 'Bye Bye Lady of Pain.'

"Suppose one of the factions found out about the artifact started to worship the Lady as a Power...she'd become one all right, and when she's thrown out against her will by Sigil to unwillingly create a Realm the whole Cage'd be left open for the steal. This faction'd then have an eternal enemy in the form of an even-more-powerful Lady of Pain, but they'd also have the Cage and she wouldn't be able to get them. The factol would then become the new ruler of Sigil."

Jabuzielarius, Dust Mephit Sorcerer of Destructive Renown, Harbinger of Decay, etc.

"The Lady of Pain is actually a very powerful Dust Mephit. Sort of like me, really."

Turpental, a Tout Not Known for Lying, well, not often Anyway

"The Real Lady of Pain was replaced long ago. She was a power, but this pretender to her throne has few of the powers of the True Lady, and can't grant spells to her worshippers. She flays them instead, because she's scared they'll figure she's a fraud. The real Lady's body lies mouldering on the Astral. I've seen it."

Yoriss, Illithid Indep and Merchant of Kobold Brains

"The Lady is Aoskar. See, Aoskar, Master of Portals, decided that his take on 'life' was too simple, too 'good,' and he decided to make things a little harsher in Sigil. So he created a manifestation of himself called the Lady of Pain and then had her destroy his original self.

"But what about Worshippers? Well, maybe he discovered a way to manifest that was free of the need for worship. Maybe that's why he became more cruel in the first place. Or maybe he/she does have worshippers tucked away on some Prime Material Worlds that no one on the Planes knows about."

Loathe, Sinker Factor and Nostalgic

"The Lady of Pain and Aoskar were once husband and wife, and they ruled the city of doors together. One of them went insane/cheated on the other, and in the ensuing violence Aoskar was slain and his temple shattered. What a glorious explosion that must've been. I wish I'd been there to applaud it."

Night's Fall of the Takers

"The Lady? She's an overseer that's going barmy 'cause she's just one step from becoming a power. That's why she can't have worshippers - if she did she couldn't remain in the Cage. It's her duty to protect it from encroaching gods and fiends."

A Pathologist from an Obscure World, who Loves Life in Spite of its Pain, and Refused to join the Dustmen

"At the centre of the universe of ideas, equidistant from Law and Chaos, from Good and Evil, is the essential experience of sentient existence. Pain is a part of all sentient life. The factions and even the "gods" are interpretations we have made of what it all means. It's the Lady who prevents any one from dominating the core of experience."

Perlimion, an aasimar Xaositect, in a moment when he's talking straight

Giggle, "What? Lady of Pain? Oh, her. She's chaos. A lot of it too. As are we all. As is the multiverse. What? Theories? Ummm...

"Drinkalotto understandyet neverunderstandshe's
aprisoneror notgoaway you'reaggravating thevoices inmyhead!"

Roarshak the Doomed, a singularly depressing berk

"Yeah, I got an idea on who the Lady is. She is the manifestation of all the dark things in this burg. Every act of cruelty, everything that causes misery and pain, feeds her. This is her form and substance. Soon, we will have fed her enough that she will break her Cage. Then, the universe will die..."

Dyzazz, Beholder Mystic and Godsman

"The Lady is not from this Multiverse at all. A being that can't be compared with anything ain't the easiest creature to define."

"A being like her who does not fall within the directives set in this Multiverse would effectively be neither more nor less powerful then a god or other being. She is simply out of phase with the rest of the Multiverse, so nothing can harm her. Scary thought ain't it? A whole other Multiverse out there, and I say why'd there be just one?"

"Where are the other two?"

"She brought her own little part of her Multiverse (Sigil) along and completely controls it. Or perhaps she's bending a part of this one to become like her own. After all she couldn't throw people in the mazes when she first came to power. Her power's expanding. But she's never has been seen outside Sigil has she?"

Ildimar, ex-Barmy from the Gatehouse. He'll go back soon, Doubtless

"The Lady's from a twisted , distorted mirrored image Multiverse of our own. There, a power is weakened by those who worshippers, bringing a death sentence to all who might dare. In this mirror plane, Sigil slides just like gate towns all over realities everywhere, each comes complete with its own anti-power...waiting ...watching...forever expanding. And each dabus larvae waits its turn through faithful service to become an anti-power in its own Multiverse."

Blrwn, Wild-Mage, Xaositect

"The Lady used to be a Power, but she got into the way of Aoskar. Aoskar devised a trap for the Lady. She was lured into the Cage of Sigil and lost her divinity there. Aoskar instructed his priests to pray to the Lady just to torment her, because he had made sure she wouldn't receive power from it. (That's why the Lady flays people who pray to her)."

"Through her contacts with the Dabus she managed to slay Aoskar and completely destroy his temple. Although denied of her former powers she received the power formerly held by Aoskar: The control over portals. On the other hand, she might just be a blob of Chaos Soup, teleported by accident to Sigil and taking on a permanent form because it isn't expected to do so."

Silvana, Sensate Priestess of Freya

"Almost true, but...The Lady was actually in love with Aoskar. Aoskar was more so in love with the Lady. Aoskar was a very jealous power, so he trapped the Lady in the Cage to make sure she wouldn't see another man so powerful as he. The Lady was so angered by this, she decided to recruit the Dabus to help her escape.

"Alas it didn't quite work the way she thought: The combined power didn't destroy her chains, it destroyed Aoskar who maintained the Cage. She is now so deep in sorrow, that she doesn't speak and in memory of Aoskar she swore never to leave her Cage again."

An Excerpt from the Pages of the Diary of Judak the Simpleton

"I uh, I had this here dream the other night, I did. There was this real purdy Lady, but she was kinda mean lookin'--funny blades an' all, comin' outta her head. Anyways, this Lady talks to me in my dream, she does. An' she says to me, 'Judak, tell the people that I AM THE PLANES,' she shouts it at me, and then she goes on, "all the people are to know that my power supersedes that of any of the deities, all of them come through me as their source."

"Anyway, that's what she said, and then I had these visions of some black, shiny thing moving about, and I smelled cinnamon--weird. So, that's what happened in my dream the other night, yessir, it did."

A Sodden Bubber in the Lower Ward

The Lady? She's the shweetest..... girlie.... girl on thish side of the divide berk....... She's turned cold though..... dark and cold.... stop starin at me berk! I washn't always like this........ ushed to see her walkin...never did think she'd come to this.... by the planes, my head feels like an egg about to crack!..... she shouldn't had told me... shouldn't have done..... this................ Barkeep! Sthrow me another, right!

D'ckhet Bloodbane, a (slightly) self-centred Tiefling

"Who's the Lady? Simple. The Lady is entropy. Pure and simple. If she weren't, she'd be the Lady of Flowers or the Lady of Pleasure, or the Lady of Sugar and Spice and everything nice! But she's not. She's the Lady of Pain, and pain's entropy just as soon as entropy's pain. Every time she wastes away another sod, it's a victory for our side. And just you remember that, sod."

D'ckhet Bloodbane, now a much Colder Undead Tiefling, acting more like a Fated every Day

"Who the Lady is matters not. What matters is that entropy continues to gain control over this world, and that I get my way, whether in life or undeath."

Melf the Marvellous, a crafty mage from Toril always looking for a new profit. The funny thing about him is that he's always seemed to be around. Always...

"Uh oh! Lady o` Pain! Phew! Well, the closest I can come is this: She's this little bit I sold a magic ring to about, oh, 12000 years ago, and anyway I said, 'Not exactly sure what it does. A friend of mine' - that's Aldy - 'Peeled it from under this giant skeleton, um, under some weird water city.' And she says she'll take it. And tries it on..."

Trikpictol, a somewhat barmy ogre, owner of Trikpictol's Deli

"Well sir, I tell you, the Lady is fond of a spot drake-roast on rye every Thursday, she is. One of my better customers she is. Could interest you in a sausage? Onna bun?"

Ahneed Kalnel, Indep Psionicist/Mage

"The Lady? Why, she's just the girl next door (pardon the pun)."

Some barmy prime who calls himself a scientist

"What if the Lady were a manifestation of Sigil's spirit? It is impossible for anyone to thus overcome her because she is Sigil's soul, and when the powers try to fight her, they fight the combined belief-power of every native, every dabus, every single atom in the City. She is inseparable from the city, and the Doors that appear are hence not brought about by her, as they are by the Cage. Hence, she is happy at her job, because she has been created specifically for it, and does not feel entrapped."

Jemadrof the Literal, who spoke for hours about absolutely nothing
by Rob Hamilton

"The Lady of Pane? What's that, a window-washing maid? Look, you stick to your duties (but don't doody in the Styx), and I'll stick to mine. Yes, I run a mine. It is a silver mine. The carts are silver, the workers are silver golems... I wonder if I can get a golem to cast a spell. I wonder how you spell cast. C-A-S-T, that must be it."

Sebastion Creel, Guvner
by Joshua Jarvis

"The facts about Sigil explain the Lady."

"If you look at the Spire you cannot see Sigil, the Spire disappears due to distance. If you go outside Sigil you see nothingness and can't find the Spire. Where ever Sigil really is, is where the Lady comes from. She is just a powerful plane being from there, just like Balor are powerful tanar'ri, Solar are the most powerful Aasimon, and pit fiends are the strongest baatezu. The Lady is the strongest Dabus."

Malthin Zorkram Githzerai Xaositect
by Joshua Jarvis

"Portals Pain Lady is of. Incarnation is she doors of. Doors all her is body. Form lady image of her mind is. "

ChAoS, an Xaosman known for his half-barmy ramblings

"Here's my theory. Ever heard Magnum Opus talk about how she and a bunch of Guvners dug up black spiny fiends from the ice of Baator? You know how she reckons nupperibo aren't real baatezu but are instead a seperate species of fiend? Well, maybe the Lady is one of those high-up ancient fiends; their equivalent of a balor perhaps?"

An unnamed cutter claiming a "deep understanding of philosophy" (by Bleakcabal)

"Take a single cell of your brain, an unintelligent piece of organic matter. Now take all your brain cells together they are not much intelligent apart but as a whole they create your complex soul, even if they are not aware of it. The planes, their like your brain, all the cutters together form a philosophical manifestation world , the Outer Plane. Like your soul they got to have a complex intelligence, hence the Lady of Pain..."

The barmy rantings of Ol'Grimtooth, a Githzerai mage
by Freyr Gunnar Olafsson

"Well, I have this theory, some say it's the barmiest one they have ever heard but I'm telling you the real dark on the Multiverse here!

"Right... here it is: The whole Multiverse is just a playing field. This whole thing, the Lady of Pain, the fiends, the Powers; they're all a part of this strange game someone on the Prime is playing. See, a few years ago I got this strange tome from Kesto Brighteyes. It's called The Players Handbook..."

Unknown Athar Explorer, to Ol' Grimtooth
by Chimerasame

"Oh, that's the same theory I had, until read a few tomes penned by Krynnish greybeards (called "Dragonlance" or some such) and realised those barmies on the prime don't know a thing about the whereabouts of Lower Planarpowers..."

 

Copyright 2000 by Jon Winter and respective authors,
artwork by Jeremiah Golden and Jon Winter

 

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