The False Spire
The False Spire

The False Spire

The False Spire

Being a cautionary tale about trusting your senses over your logic

There’s this story told about a merchant by the name of Jorun (planar human [he/him] / Sensate / N). This cutter was a savvy trader known for his knack of securing rare artifacts from remote corners of the planes, found himself on a journey to procure a chestful of balance crystals rumoured to grow near the base of the Spire. These crystals, infused with the essence of the Outlands, are sought after by artisans for their potent anti-magical properties.

Jorun’s journey was well planned, his path meticulously charted with the aid of a map acquired from a modron cartographer, whose precise calculations were never wrong. Yet, what Jorun hadn’t accounted for was the cunning of a planar trickster and bandit known as the Mirage Weaver (planar githzerai illusionist [she/her] / CN), a being whose expertise lay in the creation of False Spires. These grand illusions, so perfectly crafted, mirrored the true Spire’s majesty and influence, leading even the most seasoned travellers astray.

The Mirage Weaver, having heard of Jorun’s quest, saw an opportunity not just to baffle another soul but to acquire the merchant’s collection of otherworldly goods. With a blend of illusion magic and the chaotic essence of Limbo, the Weaver conjured a False Spire, its illusionary presence strong enough to divert the magical energies surrounding it, skewing the magical flux and creating a beacon for the unwary.

As Jorun navigated the Outlands, the true Spire’s guiding presence began to fade, replaced by the beckoning of the False Spire. Trusting his modron-crafted map and the steady diminishment of magic as he neared what he believed to be his destination, Jorun unwittingly altered his course, drawn by the Mirage Weaver’s snare.

The ambush was sudden. Around a bend, in what seemed a shortcut to the Spire’s base, Jorun was surrounded by a band of githzerai renegades, the Mirage Weaver’s accomplices. Though taken by surprise, Jotun was not without his own cunning. He quickly realised the deception played upon him and, invoking a trinket of illusionary magic he’d acquired in Sigil, created a mirage of his own—a convoy of armed escorts emerging from the ether. The githzerai, caught off-guard and outnumbered by the illusions, hesitated, allowing Jorun a moment’s advantage.

In the ensuing chaos, the Mirage Weaver, who had come to witness the fruition of his trickery, found herself exposed. The false Spire flickered and faltered as Jorun directed his will against the Weaver’s magic, revealing the trickster’s presence. In a moment of true Outlands justice, the githzerai bashers, feeling betrayed by the false promise of easy plunder, turned their frustrations upon the Mirage Weaver.

Jorun seized the moment of distraction to escape, his goods intact but his trust in the Outlands’ navigational constants deeply shaken. He learned that day that in the Outlands, even the most reliable of landmarks could be a lie, and that the truest guide was one’s own wits and will.

As for the Mirage Weaver, her fate at the hands of the githzerai renegades remains a tale untold, but it is certain that the creation of False Spires became a riskier endeavour from that day forth. And Jorun, his tale became one of many cautionary tales whispered among the travellers of the Outlands, a reminder of the perils that lie in trusting the landscape of a plane where reality itself is up for negotiation.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt, Inspired by Manual of the Planes [5e] p85

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