Location: Sigil / Undersigil

Beneath the streets of the Cage lies a myriad of tunnels and passageways, long-forgotten alleys that have been built on top of, the cellars of buildings that collapsed and were built upon and forgotten, sewers, tombs, dungeons, secret ways and catacombs. Outcasts and ancient evils both call this place home. Cutters who can’t—or won’t—fit into the Hive find their way into these dark recesses and make their kip.

The underground city of the Free League is the sort of place that an Indep or an Anarchist might feel at home. Hidden below the feet of the masses in the Lower Ward and the Hive, the denizens of and visitors to Derinkuyu buy, sell, trade, eat, scheme and gamble. What, you might ask, makes this unique?  The markets and taverns in Sigil provide these same services and you don’t have to go under the bloody ground to get them. 

No, berk, what makes Derinkuyu special isn’t that they offer things that you couldn’t get in Sigil if you looked hard enough. What makes Derinkuyu special is that they offer these things tax free!

The Living Areas

That’s right cutter, there’s no more bowin’ to the Hardheads, the Takers and the Guvners down here. As a result, Derinkuyu houses more that its share of Anarchists, Indeps, lawbreakers and smugglers than even the Hive, and since Derinkuyu avoids the hassle of dealing with the tax collectors (most often the Harmonium doing the dirty work for the Fated) this underground city boasts the most intense concentration of illicit business in the city. The traders in Derinkuyu make some serious jink, and pass some of the savings on to thier discrete customers.

Few in Sigil know how Derinkuyu came to be. Some say great rats dug these tunnels at the commands of planar druids. Others claim that Derinkuyu arose from Mazes made by the Lady of Pain herself, and still more say it  was built by baatezu pit fiends in an insane attempt to gain the upper hand in the Blood War. And there’s truth to all these tales. The upper levels of the city do indeed resemble the mazes of the Lady of Pain (as any berk who’s survived a maze can attest). Many passages throughout the city have scratches and gouges that look like they may have been carved by the teeth of giant rats. Further, one notable section of the city’s tunnels is lined with peculiar, evil-lookin’ runes and the bones of fiends are found in the walls’ cement.

But the Dark of these tales is much more bizarre and hideous. The passages in Derinkuyu ain’t merely below the streets of Sigil (a feat made possible by the Lady’s mazes) they also pass in and out of many realms of existence through permanently open portals. Halls that appear to have been constructed by baatezu fiends are actually in Baator! Those passages wind under the ground on one of the Nine Hells are buried so deep that even the fiends have forgotten they existed—fortunately, I suppose. Other passages lead to the Outlands, places in the Underdark of the Prime, Pandemonium, the plane of Shadow and even the Astral.   

Moving through the city, a berk could never know that the passages were not just randomly constructed under the streets of Sigil, though the architecture does seem a little bizarre, but that’s just commonplace for the City of Doors. Passing through the portals doesn’t even tickle and spells like warp sense that detect portals work not at all—or rather they seem to find portals everywhere, making them essentially useless. Furthermore, detection spells (magic, evil/good, and the like) get confused, and monster summoning spells seem essentially random—this being an effect of where that room or hall really is.  

‘Course this really does help the cutters trying to sell a portal key to Pandemonium: so few berks actually know where any of the portals are in the first place.

The halls and rooms that make up the city have mostly been forgotten by the denizens of the planes they exist upon—with a few exceptions. Indeed, the builders of Derinkuyu purposefully choose ancient and abandoned areas in order to expand the city, although not all turned out to be quite as abandoned as they thought. This does not mean that all sorts of creatures might not stumble upon them, but chances are slim and most would be so lost by the time they find the tunnels that not even a deep gnome could lead the way back. However, the Githyanki are not nearly so naive:  they know of the cities existence in the Astral Plane, and the chant goes they intend to find it.

As far as the citizens of the city are concerned, however, their home lies below the streets of Sigil, in the Great Doughnut, and that’s all there is to it. Everyone has heard at least three rumours (all with a bit of truth to them) about how the city was formed. Fact is, the citizens of Derinkuyu might not even care that their precious city shifts in and out of the multiverse: They’re still making a pile of jink! The high-ups in Derinkuyu do have the knowledge however, and most are preparing for the day when a horde of fiends comes crashing through the halls. But that day is a long way off, not worth the worry, and now it’s time to gather some gold (and sway some beliefs!)

Main Street

Opinions of the factions towards Derinkuyu vary from the wholly supportive to the downright hostile, with shades of gray in between:

  • The Sensates enjoy the thrill of the illicit nature of the place and the experiences they can find there
  • Members of the Hand of Havoc and their ancestor factions the Xaositects and Anarchists make use of the secret places to scheme and swap chaotic plots
  • The Doomguard approve of the ability of residents to add to the chaos and decay of the Cage, and also seek opportunities to sell weapons under the noses of the Fated.
  • The Fated officially disapprove of Derinkuyu because of the tax evasion, but individual members are known to take advantage of the freer market to rake in their own profits.
  • The Guvners, Harmonium and Mercykiller factions are predictably opposed to the existence of the place and seek to root out the hidden dens and make examples of those they find. It is not technically illegal to be found in Derinkuyu, but you can bet the Harmonium will try and pin something on you if they catch you there.
  • The Athar, Bleakers, Mind’s Eye, Ciphers and Heralds of Dust don’t have official positions.

Entrance Level 

The entrances to the underground city are many and varied in number. All are patrolled by guards hired by those who live in the tunnels. These guards include Indep mercs, Anarchists, corrupt Takers, Sensates and Doomguard (basically members of any faction that tends to resist the laws of the Guvners) and they tend to be guards in Derinkuyu because the jink is good. But since most all of them have an underground hovel of some sort, they tend also to be very protective of the City.  

Each of the fifteen main entrances are near or in some old decrepit building in Sigil hidden in either the Hive or the Lower Wards. The entrances are magical in nature and are able to shift when the need arises. In their stable moments these entrances are found in trapdoors, on walls, in closets—like portals, anywhere there’s a bounded space.

The chant goes that some of the doors have been enchanted with minor intelligence that allows them to react to dangerous situations and shift to appropriate places. To prevent attack, the guards carry magical horns that they can blow to literally collapse the building on top of the entrance, warn those below. The entrances then realise it’s time to shift and slip to new locations. It’s up to those inside Derinkuyu to figure out where they’ve ended up by coming out again when the coast is clear.

But the fact is that the entrances change about once a month anyway inside Sigil so it’s only possible to keep track of the ways in to Derinkuyu  by word of mouth, or the right contact paid the right price.

Ventilation Ducts

Many of these ducts lead out of the city into the chimneys of various buildings, and move about as randomly as the entrances. Good air flow and ventilation are critical to the health of Derinkuyu and these are also well guarded as a result. The ducts tend to blend in with chimneys for exhaust and all sort of tubes and pipes for intake. Magical filters allow clear air to penetrate but nothing else and protective magical shells prevent the vents from getting covered. 

Merchant’s Row

All sorts of goods are bought and sold here, many of which are quite “hot”. Kitchen serves up all sorts of spicy food, much of which is unfamiliar to primes, especially that meat-like thing… And what is that green stuff? About a third of the food moves by itself. The merchant’s row boasts all sorts of shops selling fine cloth, baskets, all sorts of metal trinkets, rope, skins, basic equipment you might find in Sigil, but also a great deal of bizarre equipment from the multiverse.

The Weapons Room

The Weapons Room

Here you can find lots of fancy engraved stuff (some magical) that goes for high prices, but not as high as you’d expect to pay above ground. Most of it illicitly gotten, and some shops sell rather weird and exotic stuff like bolas made from fiend organs (don’t ask which!), sickles carved of armanite horns, Harmonium halberds with the Guvners’ seal… great for disguises. Other rooms are mostly devoted to magical stock: Practically every type of magical component you could think of. Cutters also sell scrolls, rings, rods, orbs… all of which they claim have great powers. The last part of the market sells a miscellany including food and odds and ends from all over the planes.

Guard Quarters 

At any given time the place holds between 5 and 15 guards, their weapons and belongings. The guards are relatively disorganised—you try to get a bunch of Free Leaguers and Anarchists to march in line and you’ll soon figure out why! Thus the city is less than airtight, and the rules are few and weakly imposed. If you want protection in the city, you’ll need to pay for it (private guards are plentiful) but don’t ask the guard to bail you out unless you’ve got the jink.  

These guards are paid to ensure Derinkuyu stays a place of commerce away from the stranglehold of the Hardheads and Guvners. They protect the merchants that pay for it, but customers better know the score. When the need arises the Guard can work very efficiently under the orders of the only basher they truly trust to lead them: the Captain, Bautal Lok.

Bautal Lok

(Planar githzerai fighter-thief [he/him] / LE)

Bautal Lok

Captain Lock is the undisputed commander of the guards. He’s a slim githzerai cutter with a sharp white beard. He is sullen and quickly spoken and recognises cluelessness on sight. He regularly patrols the city looking for weaknesses In its defences and is particularly suspicious of strangers who have “lost their way”—especially Githyanki. From his room, the captain controls the location of the various entrances and can change them at will. A series of crystals are locked within a secure chest hidden behind an illusionary wall.

Most in Derinkuyu think Bautal is just enjoying his retirement as he deserves, doing a little guard duty and earning a bit o’ extra jink. But here’s the dark of it: The Captain knows there ain’t no better way for githyanki, the ancient enemies of the githzerai, to enter Sigil than through the portals found in Derinkuyu. Thus, every bleeding (or soon to be bleeding) githzerai in the City of Doors is under a wicked and deadly threat. The portals in the depths of the city offer many passages into the Astral Plane and you can bet the githyanki are looking for them right now. Some portals also open to Limbo, and the fortresses of the githzerai—yet another great reason to protect the place.

One more idiosyncrasy of note: Lok has a real soft spot, and an open purse, to hunting parties organising rrakkma to hunt illithids. He’s even been known to take part in one himself if the company seems competent and tolerable enough.

Lok contacts and keeps tabs on his guards through a variety of magical means and small spies: Magic mouths that spread alarms, clairaudience and locate object spells help him in this way, and a small band of killmoulis to act as eyes and ears and run errands for him.

The Taker’s Room  

Heavily guarded, this opulently-decorated room is the abode of the Taker-in-Chief, the “official” leader of Derinkuyu. The chant is pretty thin on the ground about this place, as well as its owner. The Taker has gone to great lengths to keep their identity dark. Fact is, they may not even exist at all.

The Kitchen 

This place seems to be greatly respected, as are the smells that emanate. All sorts of little beasties are cooked and prepared in these rooms, and exotic spices from around the planes come here. In fact, there are portals here that lead to all sorts of places of culinary interest, and mercenaries are paid good jink to go and find ingredients. Whether they be Outlandish kumquats, the rainbow sky earthworms of Limbo, or spices and bush meat of the Beastlands you can find it in the Kitchen. 

The cooks are a select bunch that prepare for many tastes: be it humanoid, fiendish or otherwise. The “gour”  (gourmet – the head chef) is a tiefling with a permanently bloodied apron. He has a mean temper and some soft smiles; in other words he controls the kitchen with an iron fist.

The Dugout

The Dugout 

This place is one of the most intense taverns in Sigil. Since it belongs to the Indeps, everyone comes in here to enjoy the incredible food, the strong drink and to gamble away all their jink playing strange games from across the multiverse. There’s always music being played by one bard or other, and jugglers and magicians abound.

Lots of serving waitresses of all races circle the tables, most having a bad attitude and some tough protective clothing (not to mention a few daggers stored up their sleeves). Who comes? All sorts, but of particular mention are some high-up Guvners who escape to gamble all their money and get particular ironic comments from everyone around (especially Chaosmen, Takers, Indeps and Sensates).


Because of the intensity of the smells and the evil, most fiends and friends eat and drink in this room. Their attitudes preclude mingling with the other planars, which means some blood gets spilled ’bout once a day in a Blood War dispute. However, “peace” is usually kept by a few stronger creatures who are well paid and equipped to monitor the activities in this room (they tend to kill those who bleed).

Administrative Area  

Several Takers reside here and keep the place running smoothly for fences, thieves and mercs to take their wares. They pay well for good quality. Actually, these “players” consist of 4 wizards who ply their skills to figuring out what good quality is exactly.

Anarchists’ Abode 

Meeting place for the Anarchists, located in the deepest and hardest to find place in Sigil? The furniture in this room consists of several file drawers and cabinets plus a long table. The table is covered with all sorts of maps (mostly of areas in Sigil) and all sorts of notes and writing. Outside rooms are all devoted to revolutionary guards who regularly rotate among the rooms. Like many other revolutionaries, these berks are willing to die before letting their secrets out, but they do have a lot of secrets. They also have ways of starting magical fires to take all of their secrets with them. Other rooms are blocked by some heavy duty Iron doors that are further concealed by illusionary magic so that there appears to be no doors.

The Temple

Further, the “exit” has 3 escape routes to various parts of the city which are activated by stones engraved with magical runes, and these stones are imbedded in the palms of the “SIX”. The SIX are the revolutionary leaders who primarily control the leagues activities around the Derinkuyu and Sigil (by special appointment from the Factol of course). These berks are quite powerful and consist of the six main races and various classes. 

But what’s the secret to the success of these Anarchists? Though most of it remains mysterious, many factions in Sigil are rumoured to give them money and assignments to scheme on the other factions.

The Church

This room has doors, literally to all of the planes and to many worlds in the prime material plane. These doors pulse and glow continuously with eerie magic. Special keys are needed for either entering or exiting any of the doors. Often priests come to this room to pray directly to their powers into the home plane.

Source: Scott Kelley and Jon Winter-Holt

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