Part of a Series on the Barmies who reside in the Gatehouse of the Bleak Cabal

(Planar illusionist of unknown race [he/him] / Mind’s Eye / N)

Ling seems a friendly enough basher at first, at least before you get to know him better. He’s not in here so much for being insane, (though there’s little question he is) but more because there’s nowhere else safe to send him. See, this poor little pike’s been hunted down wherever he’s gone, but that’ll become clearer when I tell you his story…

Ling’s a short little berk; about three foot tall, cherub-like, with large hairy feet. Does he sound like a halfling to you, cutter? Thought he might. He ain’t though, at least, he ain’t if you’re believing what he has to say. Listen good, and try not to laugh too hard. Ling claims he is just that: a “ling”. Don’t look at me like that; I know what you’re thinking. See, Ling says he’s the father of the race of creatures that call themselves “halflings“. He reckons they named themselves after him. “Yeah, right!” I hear you say.

Thing is, berk, no matter what we try, we’ve not caught him in a lie. Try what we like, no divination spell says he’s bobbing us. We’ve even tried psionics; he really believes he’s telling the truth. So before you dismiss the barmy’s claim: think about it.

Ling reckons that thousands of years back he and one of the human powers were lovers, and the first halflings were the product of their romantic endeavours. Some time later, Ling happened across Yondalla (who apparently owed him a favour), and told her of these friendly little creatures who could do with some divine guidance. Thus it was that the halfling race was born and found their pantheon. So Ling claims.

In practically the same breath he’ll lament the other fruit of his loins: the tieflings. According to Ling, these creatures didn’t exist until he’d met and ‘got to know’ the very first succubus (whose name, it seems, is consigned to the graveyard of history). Even since then, union between mortals and fiends has produced (somehow or other) the tieflings.

As a setter of dangerous precedents (what else could tieflings be called?), Ling seems satisfied. He’s entirely cagey about his origin or age, though the wizards’re sure he’s many many centuries old. It’s also apparent that he ain’t a power, or else the Lady’d never have let him into the City of Doors. Still the mystery remains.

Like I told you before, Ling ain’t in the Asylum ’cause he’s dangerously insane (though if he spawned the tieflings on purpose I’d hardly call him rational); it’s more for his own protection. See, one of Yondalla’s own avatars has been chasing the poor sod around the Planes for some time now. Luckily (for him) the berk escaped her direct wrath by diving into Sigil, where he was safe for a while under the Lady’s shadow. Thing is, Yondalla sent proxies after him, and in a bizarre turn of events, the combined halfling temples in the Lady’s Ward issued a contract for his assassination. Not very charitable, right? Maybe they’ve got something to hide after all?

Whatever happens to him, we’ve got to get rid of him somehow. The berk’s costing us a fortune to feed.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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