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Gate Town
Population: 17,000
Gate To: Gehenna
Primary Faction: None

Torch is built on the slopes of a set of volcanic spires formed from hardened molten rock. Around the spires is a blood-red marsh, which often floods into the lower parts of town, bringing pestilence, death, plague, boils, and killer frogs. As a result, the high-up cutters in Torch are just that - the ones who live farthest up the slopes, away from the marsh.

But, as the locals say, "Trouble below, trouble above." Some of the spires are still active, and they continually spill out lava and gases that ignite upon exposure to the air. The light from these constant flames is what gives the town its name and keeps it bright day and night. Fact is, Torch never truly sleeps, but instead is busy around the clock. (Besides, a body'd have a hard time dozing comfortably with fire over his head and frogs at his feet.)

Torch is supposedly run by the Council of All, a general gathering of the people in the small, ruptured arena next to the spires. However, locals tend to call it the "Council of Brawl," since most of the decisions result in mob violence. The Council's often used as a tool by the wealthier citizens, who decide if the group is to be called at all.

The blood with the most junk is Bantrice the Potter, a native of Sigil who emigrated to Torch for health reasons. A measure of his success is that he's never had to address, or even attend, the Council of All - his minions and flunkies take care of things behind the scenes. There ain't much in Torch that can't be solved by threats, money, violence, or more threats.

The Gate

Torch offers travellers the Gate to Gehenna, but it sure don't make it easy for 'em. The gate looks like a blood-red eye or carnelian gemstone hovering in midair, a hundred or so feet off the ground. Flight, of course, is the best way to reach it, but cutters feeling lucky can try to drop into it from an overhanging spire above. Those who've gone through say that the return gate is on more stable ground, but a few berks supposedly giggled when they said it.

The local chant talks of a second gate somewhere in the blood marsh that surrounds the town. However, some folks think that's just a peel put out by the Lords of Baator to lure eager bashers to a drowning doom.

The Populace

The people of Torch are greedy, vicious, and extremely dangerous. They believe that everything in the Outlands (and why stop there?) should by rights be theirs, and they'll use any means, legal or otherwise, to get it. 'Course, since they all think the same way, they spend most of their time pillaging each other, much to the relief of their neighboring towns.

The natives of torch include humans, tieflings, evil humanoids, githzerai, thieves of every type, and a number of creatures of the Lower Planes (some of whom have even reached positions of power).

Unlike many gate-towns around the rim of the Outlands, the natives here are none too keen on joining their related plane. It all comes back to their greedy nature - Gehenna has less to grab, and the bashers doing the grabbing there are a lot more powerful.

Torch has no less than six major thieves' guilds: the Gray Orb, the Kindred of Yoj, the Severed Hand, Brotherhood Janko, Tiamat's Chosen, and the Fire Lords. Each group wants to corner the cross-trading market, and their fights often spill out onto the streets. Fact is, any berk with three friends (or, more often, lackeys) ends up forming his own guild, gang, or power center.

Gate Towns

Automata . Fortitude . Excelsior . Tradegate . Ecstasy . Faunel . Sylvania . Glorium . Xaos
Bedlam . Plague-Mort . Curst . Hopeless . Torch . Ribcage . Rigus