Halley's Half-Way House

Anonymous's picture
Author: Nathan White ChantSituated within the Sandstone District between the Civic Festhall and the Slags is a simple two-story building. A wooden sign swinging above the front door proclaims the building as "Halley's Half-Way House". The establishment, which provides shelter and respite for berks who have 'lost' their way is operated by Halley (Planar/Female Aasimar/Unclassed/Believers of the Source/NG) on behalf of her faction. Halley's definition of 'lost' is slightly different to most other folks, she uses the half-way house as a front for preaching the tenets of The Godsmen. However kind this service may seem, as anyone familiar with Sigil will know that nothing is as it first appears. If one was to walk down the little side alley next to Halley's that is always lined with refuse of differing types you would soon enough arrive at the rear entrance to the halfway house. If you were to knock at this door one of the Halley's employees would sooner or later open the door, within you would notice a fair sized room lined with shelves holding all kinds of stores and provisions. If on the off chance you were wandering the Slags at night and did the same as above you would discover the other face of Halley's establishment. At night there rear door is left ajar and upon inspection the back room is well lit. Occupying the room now are two bashers wearing chain mail with long swords hanging from their waists (Planar/Male Human/F3-5/Believers of the Source/Var). Once you enter the room the guards give you a quick once over and will politely tell you to be on your way. As they do this they will either point back out the door you just entered through or to the door on the other side of the room - presumably into Halley's. If they point to the inside door they also say, "You know the drill". The drill of course is to open the door and walk through whilst thinking pleasant thoughts. If for some reason you don't know the drill the guards quickly whistle a summons for back up and politely usher you towards the exit. The Doorway is in fact a two way portal that leads to a warehouse of the Planar Trade Consortium, located just outside of Tradegate on the Outlands. Once inside the warehouse you will be greeted by a group of bashers (Various/Various/F5-7/Believers of the Source/Various) who politely ask you to divest yourselves of any weapons and armor as the Nightclub is a place for pleasure not violence. The guards will ask three times and if they still have reason to believe that all armor and weapons have not been surrendered they will restrain and search you themselves. Any property that is taken from a visitor is bundled together for identification purposes (the persons name will usually suffice) and is kept under lock and key until reclaimed. Once satisfied they will give you the portal key for your journey through a doorway on the other side of the warehouse (A small pouch of soil from the Plane of Infinite Portals). This portal will actually take you back to Sigil, UnderSigil in fact. You arrive at the top of a steep flight of stairs which end in what appear to be glass doors that constantly change colors as the lights inside the club strobe across them. However no noise can be heard on this side (The doors are actually Glasteel panels several feet thick). Between you and the doors is another group of armed & dangerous bashers (Various/Various/F5-7/Society of Sensation/Various) who request the return of the pouch before admitting you into the club. As the doors open your ears are assaulted by the shear volume of the music from inside the club. The club itself is quite small measuring at most 100ft per side in a vaguely square formation, however it is three stories in height and you enter on the middle floor. The two upper levels are actually large balconies and over look the main dance floor one story below. The Nightclub in Detail The Mezzanine LevelUpon entering the club you are standing on a landing of approximately 50 square feet. This landing stretches out to the left and right and forms the 'Player's Balcony' and is a uniform 15 feet in width on the remaining three sides. Against the left hand wall is a flight of carved stone stairs that descend to the dance floor below. Directly opposite on the right hand wall is an identical flight of stairs that rise up to the R & D area. Providing light to this floor are smallish opalescent globes that are equally spaced around the walls. These globes emit are warm diffused pale yellow light similar to candle glow. Residing on the 'Player's Balcony' is as you would expect the 'band'. The band is comprised of several different groups of musicians. By far the largest group is the percussionists who occupy the section of the balcony across the back of the room and rhythmically belt out a fast paced beat on a variety of differently sized and skinned drums. Spread out evenly on either side from the percussionists are groups of pianists, violinists, trumpeters, harpists and other assorted musicians. Together the music they play has a big band funky yet industrial beat to it. The Dance FloorDescending the spiral stairs to the 'Dance Floor' promptly puts you in the middle of a crushing mass of 'dancers'. This floor is very crowded and as such about the only movement that one can manage is to just flow with the crowd. The dance floor is so tightly packed in that you are constantly rubbing shoulders with beings of almost every imaginable planar race. Because of this unavoidable proximity it is almost impossible to resist 'dancing' as the crowd propels you as they basically jump on the spot and thrash against each other pushing and shoving in random directions with each leap of faith. Suspended from the roof 3 stories above the dance floor are several cages that hang at different heights, a couple at every floor. These cages are accessible from the top story and are used mainly by exhibitionists mostly individually but occasionally by an adventurous couple, who partake in a more seductive style of dancing and get a kick out of people watching them perform. Mortals tire quickly as the pace is physically draining but the para-mortals and plane borne present seem to be able to draw strength from the very atmosphere. Providing light to this lower level are large opalescent cylinders that line the walls and are also positioned randomly around the actual dance floor itself, providing for some a quick respite if they can manage to lean against them long enough. The large cylinders are decorated with spots of varying colors painted onto the interior of the tubes. The tubes glow with an extremely bright and unearthly pulsing light that manages to throw colored spots around the room in a constantly changing pattern of flashing lights. The R & D AreaUpon ascending the spiral staircase from the mezzanine level you step out onto a level that is at least twice the size of the dance floor situated two stories below. Measuring at least 200 feet on a side and featuring a very open floor plan is the Recuperation & Dealing or R & D area as regulars call it. Located at either end of the floor is a bar - fully stocked with every planar alcohol you can think to name. In the center of the floor is the obligatory balcony that over looks the dance floor some 50 feet below. Also in the center are the landings that provide access to the dancing cages that hang only a few feet above the dance floor. To get into a cage one must first climb down the chain that connects the cage to the ceiling some thirty feet above your head. In the exact center of the balcony and surrounded by the cages is one last landing from which a 35 foot thick rubbery rope hangs. Some people after a very extreme pleasure are known to tie this rope around their feet and then jump into the chasm surrounding them. The rubber rope stretches and they end up bouncing upside down until they are hauled back up by the attendants on the R & D Area. Across the rest of the level tables and chairs are scattered in no discernible pattern, providing are comfortable place for weary dancers to rest and recuperate. Patrons can enjoy themselves even more with the one of many scantily clad women that wander the level dancing seductively for cash donations, their company can even be bought for an entire night - though for a substantially larger donation. Also available on this level - as the name would suggest - are copious numbers of nefarious people ready, willing and able to sell any one who asks an uncountable range of illicit substances that are said to heighten ones senses and make even the most mundane activity thoroughly pleasurable. The DarksThe Nightclub is but one of many avenues of revenue for its constructor, Spiral Hal'Oight - one of Sigil's more pre-emanate Golden Lords. Spiral created the club when he realized he could corner a market that was relatively untapped. You see as he is behind the arming of the blood war with celestial weapons. He figured he might as well make it even worthier of his time and effort if he could bring his caravans back loaded with the rare lower planar spices that were rumored to have rather desirable side effects on intelligent creatures. Because of it's location in UnderSigil and the round about method of entrance only those that are truly seeking it out will ever actually locate it and hence customers are guaranteed. The club was actually magically hollowed out of Sigil's core by a group of magicians that were blackmailed by the Spiral's agents and then summarily disposed of so as to leave no loose ends. The club is enchanted with several permanent magical effects laid down by the constructing magicians before they were disposed of. Two of these being the invisible shield that disrupts all magical auras present, effectively making the club a dead magic area, and the second is similar in function to a 'friends' spell - resulting in the positive and friendly nature exhibited by all the patrons. Most of the lighting within the club is provided by one of three methods:
  • Method 1: Permanent Dancing Lights cast around crystal globes and suspended from the ceiling.
  • Method 2: Permanently lit objects strategically placed around the club to add atmospheric lighting off of the main dance floor.
  • Method 3: The large cylinders that are evenly spaced around the club are in fact either lightning or radiance elementals and mephits that have been imprisoned within the Glasteel tubes via a variant of the magic jar spell. One of the less obvious yet prominently observed darks is that of the seductive women dancers in the R & D Area. They are actually unseelie nymphs who use their powers and abilities to lull interested parties into a false sense of security and attempt to manipulate any information that could be of value to their employer from their clients. The one flaw in the operation of the club is that the Harmonium are aware of it presence, but as yet they have been unable to determine is actual location - they aren't even sure if the club is located within Sigil. As hard has he has tried Spiral has not yet been able to dissuade the Harmonium of the existence of such a club. He mainly sites the effort that would be required to keep a place like that from being discovered by the ever vigilant eye of the law in Sigil and thus you must conclude that if it exists it most be on one of the more chaotic outer planes.
  • Planescape, Dungeons & Dragons, their logos, Wizards of the Coast, and the Wizards of the Coast logo are ©2008, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. and used with permission.