log in or register to remove this ad


D&D 5E Who stole the sensory crystals? Suggestions for a high-level Planescape campaign?


Planning an adventure... Three sensory crystals have been stolen from the private sensorium in the Sensate's Civic Festhall in Sigil. These crystals continue to function outside the Civic Festhall's aura of magic when stored in ashes of a former Sensate factol (or possibly with magic). Who stole the crystals and why?

Here's what I'm thinking about the crystals' contents so far...
  1. Kiryana’s Crystal: The PC Kiryana’s writings on Antekh, the missing time god Hephat, restoring Osiris, ancient Khemtian culture and Hieroglyphics language.
  2. Kamahexotica: Secret Sensate “book” on using the Sensory Touch and other techniques to explore the sensations of desire and longing. Knowledge of it is only kept in a sensory crystal, with fragments known by various high-up Sensates. No one knows who recorded the original experiences.
  3. ?

Context: At some point, my friend and I plan to resurrect our old (pre-Faction War) Planescape campaign – I'll be DM and he'll be playing Kiryana (♀ aasimar/fighter 15/Sensates/LG) and likely his girlfriend will play too (who I just introduced to D&D). There's lots of campaign backstory which you can read below; did my best to condense it to 1,400 words.

Essentially we want to pick up our old game and play till 20th level or higher (or heroic death, or enlightenment, or petrification, or...). The ultimate villain is Graz'zt, but he's only been hinted at, remaining mostly the background. There's also a strong Egyptian-esque motif running through our campaign. Because we live in different places and there's no rush, I'm just taking time to assemble ideas and do my DM prep.

His PC is very customized with a homebrew subclass, homebrew feat, faction Inspiration rules, several magic items converted from AD&D, blessing of Osiris, and she lacks a shadow (due to our last adventure); I put together a custom-made character sheet to simplify/organize everything and he loved it. Should his girlfriend play, I'll be looking for ways to simplify her PC mechanically (and graphically), but she proved to be a really sharp player and took to the game instantly.

[SBLOCK=Campaign Backstory]

PC Background
A wild child touched by celestial power, Kiryana was sent away from her family on Mount Celestia to study with the high elves of Arvandor who trained her as a songstress. However, drawn to the Sensate’s philosophy, she left in search of adventure…

[SECTION]Graz'zt's Background
Demon lord of corrupt rulers and decadence, Graz’zt was born of Pale Night (Mother of Demons) and a mysterious father – some say Asmodeus, some Set, some a baernoloth, and some the Abyss itself. Unusually self-controlled for a demon, Graz’zt prefers to defeat his foes through subtlety and twisting words rather than brute force. He is also known as the Dark Prince, Prince of Pleasure, Lord of Shadows, Lord of the Triple Realm, and Ebon Lord of the Abat-Dolor. Graz’zt has three ultimate aims: (1) drag an entire prime world into the Abyss to add to his realm, (2) take the title of “Demon Price” from other demon lords (Demogorgon), and (3) unite demons, devils, and yugoloths to assault the Upper Planes. On a more personal level, Graz’zt seeks revenge on Factol Erin Darkflame Montgomery of the Sensates who failed to save Graz’zt’s favored son Za’rafas when she was a healer impressed to serve in the Blood War in the town of Grim’s Head (Tir na Og, Outlands).[/SECTION]

Levels 1-3: City of Hope (Outlands, Prime)
In the Outlands, Kiryana discovered the ruins of Antekh, the once-great City of Hope whose people held the secret to balancing the planes, but was wiped out by demonic invasion sent by the demon lord Gorion. Projecting herself back in time (think: Animus from Assassin's Creed) with aid of the chronomancer-priest Eli Tauk, she used the Armor of the Kalvidiin Knights to summon the Supreme Dragon which lay waste to the demons. Returning to the present, she found Antekh restored but facing a new more insidious threat…

Graz'zt made an ally-of-convenience out of Gorion, manipulating the foolish and weaker demon lord Gorion into over-committing his forces against Antekh, hoping to weaken Gorion’s position and take his layer of the Abyss. It would have back-fired on Graz’zt had it not been for Kiryana projecting herself back in time and wiping out Gorion’s army. This was an unexpected pleasure for Graz'zt, and he set to work subverting those remaining followers of Gorion who lost respect/fear for Gorion.[/SECTION]

Levels 4-5: The False God (Outlands, Sigil)
With the god Osiris dead, High Priestess Neith’s control over Antekh was contested by the mummy Omikrostis who claimed to be the god reborn as “Othirsis.” Kiryana tricked Omikrostis into being his own undoing, and once his true identity was revealed, the mummy was banished back into Set’s realm Ankhwughat…

Levels 6-7: Desert’s Night Blossom (Baator, Sigil)
Sent into the god Set’s realm Ankhwughat in Baator by the Sensates to retrieve a blossom said to restore memory, Kiryana hoped to keep the blossoms out of the hands of the Crying Eye Guild. The Guild sought to sell the blossom’s nectar to cultists wishing to restore the demon lord who’d once sacked Antekh. By seducing Nekrotheptis Skorpios, the proxy of Set tasked to guard the blossoms, Kiryana completed her quest. Unfortunately, so did the guild’s agent Lin Rath…

Through his agent “Eyes Desire” in the Sensates, Graz’zt had the order sent down for Sensates to retrieve a desert’s night blossom. Graz’zt wished to use this blossom to recall time he’d forgotten enslaved to Iggwilv; instead, he learned the god Set was indeed his father but disavowed him for fear of what Graz’zt would become. This inspired Graz'zt's wrath, and he planned to strike his father Set where he was most vulnerable – Set's worship on the Material Plane.[/SECTION]

Level 8-10: Against the Demon Lord (Abyss, Arcadia, Outlands, Sigil)
The demon lord Gorion returned, attempting to topple Antekh from within and without. To gather magic strong enough to face the demon lord, Kiryana retrieved the metaphysical “pieces” of the god Osiris who’d been sundered by his brother Set. With the power of Osiris coursing through her veins, the wizard Rainfall as her ally, and an army at her back, Kiryana destroyed the demon lord. Thus, Antekh was freed to cross over into the Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia. However, Set would have his revenge…

The killing of Gorion pleased Graz'zt. Though he did not claim Gorion's layer of the Abyss – for his twisted honor mandates Kiryana who dealt the killing stroke should receive it – he subsumed many of Gorion’s subjects into Azzagrat, including chasmes and Gorion's cambion son. Additionally, Graz'zt found Gorion's "demonic life force amulet" and thus bound Gorion's spirit to his will (essentially stealing Gorion's power).[/SECTION]

Level 11-12: A Darkness in Arvandor (Arborea)
When Kiryana returned to Arvandor to pay homage to the elves that raised her, she uncovered a plot born of an alliance between vengeful Set and the dark elven Lolth to assassinate High Queen Marissa Snowplover. Foiling the plot, Kiryana then bedded the elven High Queen for seven days and seven nights, enjoying a hero’s homecoming. Until…

Becoming increasingly impressed by Kiryana, Graz'zt was likewise thrilled that she opposed his father Set and his long-time enemy Lolth. Thus, he desired to corrupt the aasimar and began scheming.[/SECTION]

Levels 13-14: Between Heaven and Hell (Sigil, Mount Celestia)
Kiryana was recalled to Mount Celestia to defend against Examander, rogue deva and former patron angel of Antekh, who was deceived by the erinyes temptress Arelesh Mitazzel into making a “Steep Ascent” between Baator and Mount Celestia to redeem devil-kind. However, the “Steep Ascent” was actually the forefront to invasion. Though Kiryana stopped the deva and toppled the “Steep Ascent”, in the process she sacrificed her shadow to save the lantern archon Oriel from a contract with the devilish deal-maker Crooked Nell, leaving Kiryana haunted by premonitions…

Kiryana's shadow was supposed to be a bargaining chip for Crooked Nell to regain her place of prominence in Baator and move up the infernal hierarchy. However, the shadow proved to have a mind of its own, escaping to pursue its own agenda. Learning of this through his spies, Graz'zt seeks to lure her shadow in, even as he plans to approach Kiryana with an alliance (albeit approaching this carefully, perhaps by orchestrating an attack only for his demonic spawn to provide much needed backup, perhaps something else...).[/SECTION]

Currently... Levels 15-16: ?
The Society of Sensation is at the height of its power. Entertainment centers flourish, many new initiates join the Sensates, sensory crystals & sensory elevation tanks are crafted in great number, the afterlife is more sensual, opportunities for exploration increase with a robust portal key trade, people learn from their experiences, etc.

However, a dark side of the Sensate philosophy rises in the shadows: wicked hedonism and corrupted aspiration stemming from the cult of Graz’zt. The cult corrupts Sensates toward perverse pleasures, preying especially on libertines like the Children of the Vine, a splinter sect “trapped” within the Gilded Hall. Foremost among the cult’s members is an ambitious alabaster-masked woman known as “Eyes Desire”, who is actually Kenda Fretterstag. Disagreeing with Factol Montgomery’s aim of transcending the body, Kenda trades knowledge of the Civic Festhall’s ancient portals to Graz’zt in exchange for political power to make the Sensates the supreme faction with her as factol.

Just as Graz'zt had to see his offspring die, so he wishes for Factol Montgomery to witness her "offspring" – the Sensates – be reduced to nothing but a twisted shadow of what they once were.

Graz'zt is hard at work subverting the "Known World" on the Material Plane where Set's worship is strongest, hoping to make it slide into the Abyss. The “Known World” is based on the feuding city-states of Khemti (from Green Ronin’s Hamunaptra boxed set), merged with an invading decadent Roman-esuqe empire known as the “Pax Imperica” (hinted at in the Factol’s Manifesto in Factol Montgomery's entry). Early on in our campaign, my friend's PC briefly visited this world via a form of time travel, so lots of opportunity for fun twists there. The Known World is under threat of being dragged into Graz’zt’s Abyssal realm in three ways. First, the Wasting is consuming arable land with dangerous desert. Second, Byzantine politics lead to decadence, gladiator games, and treachery. Third, an ancient evil artifact is unearthed with a corrupting influence (?).
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Level Up!

An Advertisement