Shemeska's Planescape Storyhour - (Updated 22September2023)

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First Post
Its really sad that i dont have enough money to travel to paizo con AND pay for the 4000 Dollar Option to see the Shemeshka suit *dodges fast* ^^


Its really sad that i dont have enough money to travel to paizo con AND pay for the 4000 Dollar Option to see the Shemeshka suit *dodges fast* ^^

As useful as the money would be, I genuinely hope nobody is crazy enough to select that (not exactly serious) reward level such that I'd be obligated to be serious and fulfill that as promised. God help me.


*minor nudge*

“So what was this that the two of you wanted to tell the rest of us?” Clueless looked across the table at Tristol and Nisha.

The Portal Jammers’ owners sat together around a table in the back room of the tavern, with the sole exception of Florian who’d yet to make her appearance. Tristol and Nisha had sent out a sending spell asking the adventuring companions to be there at peak for an announcement.

The aasimar and tiefling were of course sitting with their chairs pulled up together, and their hands were on the tabletop to clutch not a drink, but each other. Every week that had passed since they’d started formally dating had only grown their level of public affection, making it patently obvious in perhaps the most adorable ways that they were a couple - an odd couple perhaps with Tristol being an aasimar wizard from the Prime and Nisha being a Xaositect tiefling from Sigil, but a couple nonetheless.

“So the two of us have been thinking about making a trip back to my home on Toril.” Tristol smiled. “Not entirely a vacation, but given our past history of ‘vacations’ this would certainly qualify more than the last.”

“Vacations, yeah…” Toras’s eyes went wide, “Pandemonium…”

“We promise that this will go smoother than that.” Nisha gave a polite chuckle, twitching the tip of her tail and ringing the silver bell at its tip.

“It’s really adorable how you’ve both been phrasing everything for weeks now as ‘the two of us’.” Clueless chuckled, waving a hand for them to continue, “Go on.”

“So the two of us,” Tristol turned to glance at Nisha, exchanging a long, longing stare, punctuated by the tiefling kissing his nose. “Well, we’ve been dating for a while now and it’s become more than a bit serious.”

“That would be rather obvious.” Toras smiled.

“We’ve all known for some time.” Clueless glanced at the others, “It’s been pretty obvious that this wasn’t just a bit of chaotic flightiness or passing thing. You really work together.”

“I’ve assumed so for weeks,” Fyrehowl quipped, glancing away as she added one other detail, “The walls aren’t thick enough.”

Tristol blushed, his ears folding back against his head, while Nisha snickered, briefly mouthing, ‘Sorry… sorry…’ to the large and keen eared lupinal.

“We really complement each other, and we’d both like to take our relationship further.” Nisha’s tail emerged onto the tabletop and curled around Tristol’s wrist, the bell at its tip resting atop his ring finger like an oversized engagement bauble. “And we wanted to…”

Their discussion came to an immediate halt as the door swung open and Florian walked in with a furious torrent of cursing.

“Stupid f*cking c*nt ‘loth!” She snarled as she took and seat and poured a drink. The cleric’s hair was disheveled, her clothes covered in ash and soot, and a rancid, sulfurous stench clung to her like a rotting leather cloak.

“What the hell happened to you?!” Fyrehowl covered her nose.

“Again.” Florian growled, “What the hell happened to me again. Twice while I was walking back here from the marketplace. Twice!”

All eyes were on the cleric as she opened a liquor bottle and upended it for a long and apparently needed swig.

“Serious, what happened?!” Fyrehowl asked, even as her nose cued in on the very particular scent of Gehennan ash.

“I just had two portals open up on me at random on my way over here.” Florian brushed ash from her clothes and pointed at the lupinal. “All of them lower planes. All of them opened immediate beneath me with no warning. All of them slammed closed once I managed to avoid falling into the first one, and the second one once I managed to climb my way out of it, screaming for help and holding onto the cobblestones on the portal lip. Nothing like dangling half-in and half-out of Gehenna to make the day fun. F*ck her.”

Toras grimaced and strongly considered saying something given the presumed origin of the trouble and what the ‘loth had said to him about how to stop it.

“No!” Florian pointed at Toras, preempting his commentary, “I’m not saying sh*t to that b*tch with a tangle of razorvine on her head. She’s behind it, obviously, but I’m not giving her the satisfaction of an apology when she won’t stop. She’ll just delay trying to have me killed. She can keep trying this and I swear to you that whatever she’s doing, The Lady will have her flayed before she manages to do me in.”

Dead silence settled over the room, awkward looks were exchanged, and Florian leveled a few more distinctive curses against the Marauder before Tristol piped up.

“Well this actually plays well into what Nisha and I wanted to tell all of you!”

Nisha smiled and nuzzled the aasimar, “We’re going to go visit Tristol’s parents on Toril, and we’d like to invite the rest of you all along.”

“It’ll be a good time to get away from all of this mess in Sigil.” Tristol looked at Florian and forced a smile. “And we could both use you there for moral support if my parents take it poorly.”

“Take what poorly?” Florian raised an eyebrow.

“How much do they know about what you’ve been up to since you left home?” Clueless poured himself another drink. “You’ve kept them abreast of your life and relationship and all right?”

“They don’t know a thing about this…” Fyrehowl shook her head, “And we’re there to keep you from getting into too much trouble.”

“I’ve told them enough and well…” Tristol stammered, tripping over his words and trying to measure his response. He didn’t have to finish though as Nisha preempted him entirely.

“Tristol proposed!” Nisha beamed a smile before wrapping her arms around her now-fiancé.

For the second time that day, dead silence settled over the room. It hung, oppressive and pensive for only a few moments before the room erupted in surprised and happy shouts.

“Do your parents know yet?!”


“Oh my gosh!”

“When’s the ceremony going to be?!”

Of course they all agreed to visit Tristol’s parents.


As the inheritor of Netheril’s cultural and magical traditions (if not quite its hubris in the latter), the nation of Halruaa was a gleaming jewel of a nation situated in Faerun’s southern tropics. With abundant natural sources and rich deposits of electrum, the wealthy and magically powerful nation could have been the seat of an empire had it chosen to be one, if not for its intentional xenophobia and cultural introspectivity borne out of its origins in Netherese refugees and early conflict with hostile neighboring peoples.

Halruaa’s capital of Halarahh would not have looked out of place on the planes, given the ubiquity of magic use in everything from the construction of homes, the lighting of roadways, travel by flying carpet and skyship, and the wild, competitive nature of artwork and decorations between its magically inclined ruling class. Where it did differ however was in the nearly monolithic nature of its racial composition. While all manner of exotic pets were on display -exemplified by miniature behirs surrounded by sporadic flickers of electrical discharge- virtually every halruaan citizen was human.

That last statement regarding Halruaa would become central to what happened next at the Starweather estate situated in Halarah’s eastern district. The Starweathers were solidly part of the nation’s magical aristocracy, even if Tristol had chosen to leave the nation for adventure on the planes and his parents held no official positions of power. Normally the magical elite utilized arranged marriages both to cement their own base of power, influence, and prestige, and to ensure the breeding of ever more powerful magical lineages.

Clearly at some point in the past either a dalliance with a celestial or close association with magic from Elysium had slipped into the Starweather paternal line, resulting in Tristol’s father being an aasimar, and Tristol himself following suit. While such sullying of their bloodline might have resulted in diminished social standing, Kefnar Starweather’s ability as an abjurist and his marriage to Lutra (an even more accomplished illusionist) had mollified any such ramifications.

Still, Halruaa was almost entirely human, and its ruling magocracy saw that as an issue of pride not to be casually dismissed.

So no, Tristol had not exactly discussed things at length with his parents before he and his companions had shown up for dinner that evening. He’d only mentioned that he would be visiting and that he would be bringing along his magically inclined girlfriend for them to finally meet, along with his other adventuring companions. For all the Starweathers knew Nisha would be human and a virtual archmage, rather than a goat-hoofed, horned and be-tailed tiefling, who grew up as a thief in the slums of Sigil, with only a middling capacity for arcane magic.


“You never mentioned that she was a tiefling.” Tristol’s mother looked up from her plate with a bit of a forced smile, staring at her son and pointedly avoiding looking at her would-be daughter in law seated opposite her.

The Halruaan illusionist had Tristol’s eyes and a shock of long, white hair, the only real evidence of her age amid the illusions woven about her body and the probable use of wish spells to retard and delay such physical troubles. A powerful caster in her own right, she was responsible for the layers of illusions that meandered about the family tower and surrounding estate, that cloaked the walls, masked the superstructure, and perfected the particular appearance of every mundane object exposed to the elements or simply the discerning eye of the public and their fellow mages.

Lutra might have found fine company in whatever tailors supplied the Marauder in Sigil with her flashiest articles of clothing, albeit only for those rare few much more conservative articles of attire. She wore more than a few pieces of gold and cut stones about her neck and in her hair, and her robes were a sparkling ensemble of white and blue, with bits of iridescence that actively shifted and changed to match the surrounding light. She quite literally lit up the room. At the moment of course, the ambient tension and her simmering displeasure worried Tristol much more than dinner with the Marauder would have.

“That would have been an important fact to add before your father and I met her for the first time.”

Eyes went wide and a distinct silence fell over Tristol’s adventuring companions. Unconcerned with the unfolding drama, an illusory flock of songbirds circle about the table, chirping a lilting tune before evaporating into an immaterial shower of falling autumn leaves.

“Oh yeah, I’m a tiefling alright!” Nisha quipped, either oblivious or utterly uncaring completing missing her mother-in-law’s implied distaste, “Tanar’ri, either mostly or entirely, though to be perfectly honest I don’t know anything in specific really. I grew up as an orphan in the Hive, so I don’t really have much idea who or what my parents might have been.”

“I see.” Lutra raised an eyebrow and deftly buttered a slice of toast once the animated butter dish settled down next to her plate and the bread basket did the same. “That’s a shame dear. Here in Halruaa we place a heavy value on lineage and descent. It’s important for the purposes of ensuring that matched wizards can produce equally or more talented children.”

Only briefly flicking her eyes towards Nisha as the tiefling smiled and nommed on her first course of exotic appetizers, Tristol’s mother continued to force a thin smile. She was doing her best to put up appearances in front of her guests, but it was rather clear that she’d hoped for ‘better’ for her only child by whatever internal and exceptionally biased metric she measured it by. She wanted the best for Tristol, but that best most likely entailed a match with a woman of skill to equal his, from another long and noble line of wizards, decided less by any member of the families than by a group of contracted diviners with a long history of success in their craft of arcane matchmaking. An orphaned, demon-blooded thief who dabbled in magic on the side wasn’t precisely what she’d ever had in mind.

“This isn’t going as well as I’d hoped.” Tristol broadcast to his other companions –with the exception of Nisha– through the telepathic link he’d cast before they’d arrived. “But at least she hasn’t asked to see Nisha’s spellbook.”

“So, Nisha dear,” Lutra smiled and gestured, causing the animated wine decanter to drift across the table and top off her glass. “What’s the most recent spell that you’ve penned in your spellbook? I’m curious what sphere of spells you’ve most recently mastered.”

”F*ck!” Tristol sighed as he paused and looked for his dinner fork. He swore that it’d been right in place a moment before.

All eyes turned to the Xaositect as she smiled and produced her spellbook with a flourish from a portable hole curled into some hideously awkward position on her hip. Holding it aloft amid a chorus of held breathes around the table she reached down with one hand and delicately moved her plate and dinnerware out of the way. Unnoticed amidst it all, when she finally placed the patchwork tome down, a saucer, a salad fork, and a cheese knife failed to reappear on the tabletop.

“I never had the opportunity to go to any formal magical school or private apprenticeship to another wizard, so I’m almost entirely self-taught you see.” Nisha smiled as she thumbed through her spellbook, with nearly each dog-eared page a different material: parchment, paper, vellum, and even more exotic planar substitutes, some of them clearly not in her own hand, but scrawled over at random with her own annotations and notes.

“I got my start after stea… finding… my first spellbook after its original owner’s unfortunate execution by the Mercykillers, and I taught myself from their original work without anyone teaching me a bit of it.”

“Given that Nisha didn’t speak a word of draconic at the time, I’ve always been impressed by her start.” Tristol smiled and put a supportive hand atop hers.

“Admittedly not knowing all the nuances of pronunciation and inflicted did lead to accidentally magic missile’ing a few Harmonium members, some executioner’s ravens, and a whoooole lot of devils.” The Xaositect laughed, “Of course, it was my idea to try spellcasting against fiends just because their innate magic resistance made it less likely that I’d accidentally blow anything up. Speaking of which of course, fireball is my most recent spell.”

“So third sphere spells,” Lutra seemed conflicted between some genuine admiration for Nisha’s self-sparked start versus her middling level of progress. “I see.”

“I’m impressed in your progress Nisha.” Tristol’s father gave a smile as he sat next to his wife and looked across the table at Nisha, one plane-touched to another. Kefnar Starweather was a guardinals-touched aasimar the same as Tristol. Similar to his son, he bore the same fox’s ears and tail, and seated next to his illusionist wife, the abjurer took a more subdued style by comparison, wearing only relatively simple wizard’s robes in a few shades of red. “I think that you could learn a lot from Tristol, and he from you.”

“He’s a smart cookie.” Nisha quipped as she leaned over and bit Tristol’s shoulder with an emphatic, “Nom nom nom cookies nom nom.”

Lutra raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kefnar. Tristol shrugged and patted Nisha on the head.

As Tristol, Nisha, and Tristol’s parents continued their back and forth banter, the others did their best to provide the occasional supportive interjection, positive comment on the food, positive comment on the illusions flitting about the house, and other such topics. Amidst it all, as Nisha showed off one of her most recent spells, originating in the very clearly purloined pages from another wizard’s spellbook, Toras smiled, nodded, and reached over to take Fyrehowl’s soup spoon.

“Toras!” The lupinal whispered, leaning in and putting her hand over top of his. “Use your own.”

“I don’t have one!” Toras shook his head, “Well, I did, just a few minutes ago when I didn’t need it. But you’re eating soup, so I assume you took mine.”

Fyrehowl paused and twitched her ears, glancing over at Kefnar as he seemed to be glancing about for a missing knife, and then over at Clueless looking for any silverware at all which for all intents and purposes might as well have grown legs and waltzed off on their own. Something was amiss, but they wouldn’t have the chance to discuss it before another issue reared its head.

“Tristol, it’s also a sincere shame that you didn’t consider telling us, your father and I that is, of your betrothal before a bunch of random others.” Lutra dabbed her lips delicately with a napkin, noticing belatedly that her silver napkin-ring had vanished from beside her plate, “Did you not trust us to know ahead of time?”

“To know what?” Tristol tilted his head, confused as to what his mother was implying. There was of course the fact that he and Nisha were planning on getting married, but he was intending to wait until later that evening, or possibly the next day to inform his parents of that. He wanted to make sure that they got to know her before they reacted to their engagement. “What are you talking about?”

“I thought they were an illusionist and an abjurer!” Nisha leaned in and whispered in Tristol’s ear, “We haven’t said anything and your mom is acting like a high level diviner at this point. Is she going to be that spooky mom-in-law that knows everything about your life so she can better judge you for it?”

“Your mother and I are exceptionally happy for you Tristol; that goes without saying.” Kefnar interjected, once again playing the smoother edged parent. “We’ve always been proud of you, even if we didn’t always see eye to eye on your particular focus in magic, or your… disdain… for Halruaan customs. But we’ve been proud of you and the wizard that you were and have become. I do just wish that you could have told us about you and Nisha’s engagement first before we received a letter from one of your friends that you’ve met since traveling the planes.”

Tristol’s ears immediately perked. They hadn’t announced their engagement to anyone that wasn’t in the room.

“Letter? What letter?” A chill ran down Tristol’s spine as his mind spun to a dozen possible conclusions.

Around the table, the assembled companions exchanged confused and increasingly worried glances.

“We received it this morning: an actual, physical letter,” Lutra snapped her fingers and produced a crisp, white envelope in her left hand, “Quite old fashioned. No illusory content whatsoever, which I would have thought would be standard for something of that import. I presume that they come from a lower magic culture.” She sighed, “It’s a shame for them really. But I admit that I feel somewhat slighted even as your father and I are absolutely overwhelmed with happiness on your behalf for finding someone that you love.”

“Could I please see that letter?” Tristol pointed to the envelope in his mother’s hand.

Lutra handed the envelope to the animated breadbasket which happily waddled across the table on its silver lion’s feet over towards Tristol. As it made its way there, she continued in her previous topic of guilting conversation.

“It’s a shame that you didn’t trust us to find you a proper match among the Halruaan magocracy. Your father and I were specifically chosen and paired by our own parents and look at how amazing you’ve turned out as a result. The system has always worked to breed proper and powerful spellcasters who…”

“What we mean to say,” Tristol’s father put a hand on his wife’s forearm, “Is that we both want you to be happy, you and Nisha both. Of course we approve and we’d like to help with the ceremony in any capacity that you’ll allow, whenever you decide to have one. I’m proud of you Tristol.”

Tristol snatched up the envelope and whispered a cantrip under his breath before examining the letter inside for any latent magic or hidden spelltraps.

As her son unfolded the letter, Lutra turned to Nisha, “Please don’t get the wrong impression Nisha. As long as Tristol is happy, I’m happy.”

“Though it did spoil the surprise of the announcement, and getting to finally meet you Nisha,” Kefnar smiled, his tail swishing happily behind his chair, “I’m impressed that you and Tristol are apparently on a first name basis with royalty.”

“Royalty?” Clueless inwardly cringed at thoughts that a certain self-titled King had injected herself into the present moment.

“So much for leaving Sigil to get away from her for a few days…” Florian sighed and clenched her hands. Seconds later she blinked, realizing that her fork had vanished from her left hand.

Worry turned to confusion mixed with intrigue tinged with dread as Tristol read over the letter. Penned in a hand quite distinct from that of the Marauder, it was written using paper and ink far too simple for her tastes, and also quickly glancing at the letter’s bottom edge, it lacked a pompous signature far too large for the letter’s length as she would have opted to use.

Not triggering any latent curse or symbol woven into the letter, and not finding any magic at all lingering, Tristol read the letter aloud:

“To the recently betrothed Tristol and Nisha, and to their companions,

Allow me to send my dearest congratulations on the formal announcement of your engagement. The two of you are most certainly a wonderful match, and surely many wonderful years are in store. While I would most dearly have wished to be able to present this letter in person, the day to day operations of my realm and dealing with neighboring nations precludes my presence in Halruaa at this time. I do however humbly invite you to visit me once your time in Halruaa is finished so that I might present an engagement gift of my own.

My best wishes until I see you both again in person,
Lord Abat of the High Forest”

Tristol smiled for the sake of his parents and folded the letter and slipped it back into its envelope. As he did so, he spoke to his companions through their telepathic link:

“I can’t say that I ever expected an engagement letter from a yugoloth lord, but apparently we aren’t finished with Taba. No, I have no idea what’s going on.”


Tsuga C

I've always enjoyed the well-rounded nature of this campaign. Yes, there's plenty of combat, but the social elements come into play regularly. *tips hat*


I've always enjoyed the well-rounded nature of this campaign. Yes, there's plenty of combat, but the social elements come into play regularly. *tips hat*

Thank you! I was really blessed with players that didn't mind talking to NPCs and each other for a session without combat if not having combat made sense.


First Post

Update! Thanks Shemmy! This made my evening.


I really enjoyed the Architect story. Filled in a few of my gaps, but of course not all of them. Not even close ...
Last edited:


Update! Thanks Shemmy! This made my evening.


I really enjoyed the Architect story. Filled in a few of my gaps, but of course not all of them. Not even close ...

And you saying so made my evening! :D

Seriously, anyone who comments, however brief makes me smile and want to immediately write more (which I'm doing right now).

I'm glad that you enjoyed the Architect story! There will be a few gaps filled in this current storyhour arc, but more questions thrown up in response. I do promise that -everything- links together in the end.


First Post
I realized I had not stopped by to say how great this story hour is in a long time, and here I find another great update. I Cannot wait to see what happens with Taba.

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