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The Outlands

The Spire
Faction Musings

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 Factor Alia the Sentimental of the Sign of OneThe Outlands Giant

"You want to be careful: Staring at the Spire for too long drives some sods barmy, and it's not just because the bleeding thing's so big. The Spire can change and becomes important to them...they perceive the clouds as though they funnel toward it, you hear it in your dreams calling to you, you realise that it is the centre of the Multiverse. More importantly, that it is the centre of my life. Did I say 'my'? Uh oh..."
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Minima, a Denominator of Mechanus' Mathematicians

"The Spire is a warping of normal Cartesian geometry. As you go toward the Spire, it never appears to get closer due to this warping factor. You continue to pass landmarks as normal, but no matter how far you go, there's still more. It's like a rubber tube of infinite length; put one end of it over a conical wedge and push. The lower part of the cylinder fans out to form a circle, but this is just a stretching, it does not affect the actual circumference of the tube's end, just the relative one. Do you follow me...?"
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Maxima, Sister to Minima, and also a Mathematician

"Some berks are so bold as to claim the distance it takes to walk a complete circle around the Spire is constant, independent of a person's location on the Outlands. However, since travel times on the Outlands don't rely on distance, the whole theory's untestable! Addle-coves!

"In fact, the Spire is a rough parabolically curving cone. In other words, the higher it gets the more infinitely narrow it gets, while never actually terminating."

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Minima, in Response

"Also unprovable, of course, but elegant."
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Minima, with another of her Pet Theories about the Spire

"The entire argument of whether Sigil exists on top of the Spire or not can be argued in an easier way. Simply line up the top of the Spire with the tops of two object of known height far away in the Outlands. This way, the angle between them and the Spire can be calculated. However, any Planewalker knows that the distance that has to be walked from a given point to another on the Outlands varies.

"This means that, by Pythagoras' theorem, the height of the Spire varies as well. Now, it's been observed that the size of Sigil can vary; thus a link between the Cage and the Spire can be hypothesised. The only remaining thing to determine is whether it's the Lady's whims that control the size of the Cage, and thus the travel times on the Outlands, or some factor on the Outlands which controls the size of the Cage!"

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Cerebella, a Cipher Mistress of the Mind

"All that maths is just so much addled nonsense. You can't add infinities, and you can't reduce the Spire to numbers. Just stop talking about it and get on with your lives, you sad berks."
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Maxima, with her own Idea

"Another way to measure the height of the Spire would be to climb it, but as it turns out climbing it would take longer than most cutters'd be able to keep a grip on the rock face. People just assume that the Spire's infinite in height; although it appears to be so mind bogglingly big that it always looks bigger than anything else in the Outlands. For most purposes, that's a reasonable enough approximation."
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Povrilo of Iridescent Hues, Artist and Colour-Seeker of the Sensates

"Sigil is pictured as floating above the Spire many times, but I reckon it's actually balancing on the top of the Spire. It might be touching or it might not be, but the idea of balance implies it might be possible for a Power or really strong winds to blow the Cage off the top! In fact, the chant goes that's why the Lady destroyed Aoskar: because he rocked her Birdcage."
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Bureau Chief Invigilus Traal of the Fraternity of Order

"The Lady created the Cage as a pocket dimension (that's her main skill, after all), as opposed to making it out of whole cloth and causing it to rise and float over an area even the Gods powers don't work around. The Cage ain't a natural part of the Outlands, cutter, and it sure as Baator don't belong over the Spire."
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Dorina the Thrice-Returned, Recruiter for the Godsmen

"Think on this, berk: the petitioners of Outland Powers who die in Sigil are able to return to their Power's essence, thereby not being wasted. Thus Sigil must be part of the Outlands, rather than one of those strange-fangled pocket dimensions. Cutter: Sigil don't look like a bag of holding, and you sure don't have to climb a rope to get up to it."
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Lorr, a Measure Five of the Hardheads...err...Harmonium

"The Harmonium's official line is that Sigil sits atop the Spire, plain as day (unless it's night). 'How then can it be infinite?' you might ask. If you do ask this, berk, then you can't have seen it. When you're standing under the Spire, you can see it's infinitely tall. And cutter, that's a terrifying sight!

"If you don't agree with this view, you're liable for 10 years hard labour on the Lower Planes, by the way."

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Tramman Hoosker, a Guvner, after some bub in one of Sigil's bars

"Now berks, listen to an old Guvner's truth about a long term scientific research about Spire butterflies, the Spire and the flow of energy.

"You're right, that energy flows through the Spire and that the flow is related to the butterflies. They somehow collect the energy in the Outlands and bring it back to the Spire. They return to the Spire both to mate, and to give it back some of their energy.

"See, the Spire is like a electric wire. Energy flows through it, towards the top, from where it gets redirected to various planes. The tool to direct the flow of energy is Sigil. You can influence electricity in a wire by surrounding it with magnets. If you put electricity in the magnet, the flow of electricity is influenced. Sigil provides the magnetics that influence the flow of energy.

"That's the reason why the dabus are constantly rebuilding Sigil. They change the flow of the masses and with that the flow of their energies changes. Their energies are their beliefs, their hopes, their souls, their feelings. The way they 'flow' through the town determines the planes the collected energy goes to. The patterns are complicated, almost random, but at least they must follow a rule.

"The Lady guides all of this, because she is the personification of Neutrality. When the structures of might and influence in the Planes change, the flow of energy is changed to support the weaker. That's the reason why she protects the town. Anybody taking the town could redirect the energy to his own home plane and get REALLY powerful.

"If we (the Guvners) could find out how this technique works, then we could direct the flow of energy to Mechanus and thereby furthering the ways of Law in the Multiverse. Of course the dabus and the Lady might be a bit unhappy with this plan."

Shortly after saying this, Tramman was found head down in the Ditch, flayed ...

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Remmer Tal of the Doomguard, noted for his surprisingly Philosophical Outlook, though this doesn't make him any less depressing

"The Spire? That's simple. The Spire, you see, is a creation of the gods that created them. They feed on power from worshippers and, by following their petty desires and opposing one another in doing this, thus feed the spire. Did I mention that the Spire is the destination and source of all Entropy? No? I thought not.

"Anyway, when the powers' entropy feeds the Spire, it radiates out more entropy and chaos, causing the multiverse to decay. Eventually, when the multiverse collapses, it will all collapse into the Spire, Sigil being the last to go. Ah the pure entropy! I wish I could be there to see it.

"Sigil was created to be the -- shall we say -- capitol of entropy. The Lady was created to make sure no one messed things up, and to cause a little random violence as well. So now do you understand, berk?"

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Oax, of the Xaositects

"Really spire is. Big the big. Thing the sometimes a top Sigil, Cheesecake is sometimes on. Rules chaos all."
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Sector Anacoluthon of the MathematiciansThe Outlands Giant

"The Outlands are curved in four space dimensions, see? The Spire in fact points away from the normal surface in more ways than one.

"If you are near the base, the area where Sigil appears is a point at infinity, and it can exist just by changing your viewpoint...like thinking a very long road stops because you see it as one point. In the Cage, you can't see so easily, because it's that much less of a place, space-wise. If the Xaositects build their tower [See SIGIS], they might be able to see the Outlands.

"It's all a question of perspective."

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Tariq d'Elamar, half-elven monk of the Ciphers, Observer of the Infinite, Master of an Instant, (and incidentally) Emperor of a Prime desert realm

"The Spire is the source of all the Multiverse. Cutters who take the time to walk through the Outlands often notice that the time it takes to move from place to place varies greatly, and of course the phenomenon of planar slippage (where territory of one plane slips through a gate and into another) is well known. The real dark of the matter is, all three phenomena are related.

"You see, the Spire is a source of planar material, slowly flowing down into the Outlands. In the primeval past, the Outlands may have been the only plane in the Multiverse - that is, until the rim of it slipped away to form the planes of the Great Ring, probably due to differing ethos' in different areas. Bits of the Outlands have been slipping away through the gates ever since.

"This slippage isn't a great problem though, because of the constant flow of material down into the Outlands from the Spire. In fact, it is the inconsistencies between this planar flow (which is slow and mostly constant) and planar slippage (which is much more intermittent) that accounts for the apparently variable size of the Outlands.

"Is the Spire infinitely tall? I hope so. If it isn't, then eventually the flow of material will cease, and the Outlands will slowly dissolve into the other planes. Whether this would leave Sigil floating in an empty void all alone, or the Multiverse would fall into the decay that the Doomguard are always rattling about, is for greater minds than I to assume."

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Sir Twist the Decay Knight (by David Byrne)

"I don't care how big it is. If it drives a sod barmy and he tries to jump or fly at it and dies in the attempt, it's helping Entropy."
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Neefreet of the Godsmen (by Emlyn Shannon)

"The Spire isn't really much to make a song about. It's quite a simple matter of the Lady showing off.

"Listen good, berk. The Lady's the most powerful and enigmatic being in the universe, right? Well, what's the point of being powerful if you ain't feared? Where's the fun in being enigmatic if people don't wonder about you?

"So, to tease everyone into wondering about her, the Lady put the Cage in the centre of the Multiverse. We know that the Multiverse is infinite, and if you accept its shape is a rough sphere, you can see that in order to be at the centre of the Multiverse, the Cage has to float half the diameter of the multiverse off the ground. Therefore, the Cage isn't infinitely high up, its half infinitely high. You follow? The radius of a sphere is half its circumference.

"Now, what does the Spire have to do with this? Well, it ain't enough for the Lady to merely be powerful, she wants to remind everyone that she is powerful too. Therefore she created a huge Spire, pointed right at the Cage. The Spire says 'The Lady is Here! And She's better than you!'

She made the Spire so tall that the gods would be able to see it even through the planar boundaries. That's so they can be reminded of her superiority all day, every day. They fume with rage, but there's nothing they can do.

"Now, if the Spire affects powers like this, then it's easy to imagine why some sods are driven mad by it...."

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Alute Benzar, Dustman (by Joshua Jarvis)

"You can't see Sigil from the Spire. I tried it and all I saw was a Spire extending upward until it was out of my sight range. Perhaps the death of magic towards the centre of the plane caused Sigil to be elevated to the next form of existence, visible only to those who are also at that level of death (or perhaps you are all barmy and you can not see Sigil in which case you should go to Bedlam where you'd fit in just fine."
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Dar'kess of the Doomguard (by Emlyn Shannon)

"The Spire? Well, I'm not sure about the Spire, but I suspect that it's the force of Creation. See, some berks'll try to tell you that the Outlands and the Spire compliment each other, one being a huge pinnacle and the other being flat as a pancake. Well, I'll tell you something -- the Spire ain't the opposite of the Outlands, its the opposite of the great ditch surrounding the Great Ring.

"You've never seen such a ditch? Of course you haven't, berk, the ditch is infinitely deep and sucks in anyone who so much as looks at it. See, that ditch is the real reciprocal of the Spire - instead of being in the centre, its surrounds the Ring, and instead of being infinitely tall, its infinitely deep.

"How do I know it exists? Easy, berk -- think of the Rule of Threes. Everything has an opposite, like good and evil, and something in between, like neutrality. So, the Spire and the Ditch are opposites, and all the Outer Planes are the relatively flat and 'neutral' grounds between them.

"But you look out, berk, 'cos the Ditch is slowly contracting, preparing to destroy all the Outer Planes. Ahhhhh........."

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The Spire

* Main Spire Page * Main Outlands Page *

Planewalker Tales

Myriad opinions from as many cutters who're planewalkers, Outlands natives, or just like to stick in their oar when asked.

The Spire's Effect on Psionics

Optional rules to simulate the draining effect of proximity to the Spire on psionic abilities.

Scholarly Opinions

Learned graybeards showcase their studies on the Spire and share some of their barmier theories.

Further Questions

How can you see Sigil if the Spire's infinitely tall? What happens if you jump off the Cage?
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Copyright 1998 by Jon Winter and respective authors,
art by Jeremiah Golden and Zak Arntson

Consult the Mimir Again