Hearsay:Nestled amongst the many Scrivener’s Shops, Papermakers, Inkwellers and the Bubdrawls of the Clerk's Ward is a building of white, polished marble that has sparked the interest of many a blood as of late, both sage and scrivener alike. Chant has it that the inhabitants of the Clerk's Ward aren’t the only the only ones taking an interest in the square-blocked monstrosity, either, for there have been quite a few visits by some high up fiends, (baatezu and yugoloth) as well as by some heavily scowlin' celestials. Some spout that whatever the building is for, it even has caught the Lady's eye - some Dabus were recently seen pokin' round Rowe's Planarium, and they were not just sweepin' the streets...
Description:Teusic Rowe’s Planarium is a marvel indeed. A fantastic building of what appears to be architecture similar to that of a little known Prime World city-state called Rome, it sits amongst all the modest shops of the Clerk's Ward like a jewel on the beach. Cool, classic marble cut into straight, precision-fit blocks make up the structure and the outer walls are flanked and supported with massive marble pillars. Atop the pillars sits a marvelous dome that shines with luminous, other-worldly scenes even in the foggy haze that Sigil calls peak.
It is upon both the exterior and the interior of this mammoth, curved surface that it is said that the magical device that is the Planarium maps out random worlds and planes in stunning detail. Those who view this massive half-globe notice right off that not only are the pictured worlds on the inside different from the scenes on the outside, but also, all of the scenes upon both are different from day to day. One thing is constant about both projections, however - the detail is so precise that you can even make out such fine details as the locale’s changing weather as the many scenes pan across the structure's glassy-smooth surfaces. The interior of the building is designed in an amphitheater-like style, except that the seats which line the tiered, descending surface below the dome are tipped back slightly to allow for added ease in watching the dome's darkened, panoramic surfaces. The magical device that is thought to be the heart of the entire structure sits, like the hulk of some great battering ram, in the center of the building. It’s cyclopean lens points upward where it is able to project an actual (yet very distant) image of any plane, demiplane, or prime world upon the inside of the dome.
The owner, a cutter known Sigil over by the name of Teusic Rowe was a former Guvner who gave the faction the laugh before the ‘shake-up’. Seems that even when he was with the Fraternity, he was more interested with mapping Planar Realms and Layers than knowing all of the laws that governed their creation, function, and continuation. So, one day the blood got the idea in his head to create something that would aid him in his interest, so he sold all that he had in Sigil and took out a massive loan from a Baatorian money lender and he began his dream. Finally, he completed the Planarium, which he deemed a success and coined it ‘the ultimate window to the Planes’.
The large, complex device that is the central feature of the site is a large wooden "altar-like" structure with hundreds of glowing lights, scores of positional lenses, and scads of levers and switches that is Teusic's personal invention. It is whispered in some of the Bubhouses that a blood would have to be a smart as an ultraloth just to turn the confounded contraption on or off! Whether or not that is the case, it does seem to work, and by all sources, Teusic did create the thing. So far, no doomsayers have been able to prove the device a fraud, so folks continue to be mightly impressed. The central device is rumored to be much larger than that which an attending cutter can see - canny bloods figure that it continues, stretching far down into the basement. Although only a few cutters know it for sure, the dark is that far beneath the Sigil’s streets, the device has two ‘sounding probes’, as Teusic calls them, basically two enormous enchanted crystals dipped into the permanent end of two shifting portals. One of these portals is located in the mouth of a stone barrel that seems to have been carved from the very rock that makes up the Cage. The other portal is found in a long-deserted, open doorway that leads only a few feet downward to a collapsed and destroyed passage.
The Dark:The Planarium is much more than a mere window to the Planes, as a sharp blood might take a keenin’ to. You see, a long time ago, old Teusic stumbled across an ancient text while on a Guvner-funded expedition to Gray Waste. (Seems that they were investigating some reports of some sort of Chaos device created by the Xaositechs - it turned out to be a peel, all they found was Tinker-gnomish siege engine that had been let loose upon Niflheim). The book turned out to be the real prize, and after Teusic had begun translating it, he decided to keep it for himself. It was then that he gave the Guvners the laugh and bobbed ‘em of their own book. Within the ancient tome (for it truly was ancient - written in a very archaic form of the Upper Planar Prayer tongue which had not been seen since long before the Great Upheaval), Tuesic found secrets that led to a way to possibly predict and manipulate shifting portals!
Apparently, the blood managed to do it, although it cost him nearly everything. The magical crystals alone were worth a small city on a Prime World, and the canny old Guvner had to pull more strings than he really had just to piece together the components to build the sounding probes and the central device. Teusic got the contraption working, though, for each scene projected on the domes above is actually a result of his device picturing the portal locations themselves. Why two images? Well the first attempt (the outer dome) came from his attempt to project images to the stable end of a shifting portal and the inner images came from more advanced magical knowledge that allowed him to control another shifting portal’s location. So far this effect has only worked on the second of his two portals and hasn’t been able to be applied to any others.
Recent Chant:Many fiends are frequenting the Planarium lately, it appears that word has spread over both the Upper and the Lower Planes that the marvelous device can be used to view large scale troop formations and movements in the Blood War. Chant goes that one of the infamous Lords of the Nine is making plans to bring his personal entourage and gather on Teusic’s doorstep until he is ‘given’ permission to use the device for his own scheming desires. No doubt that some other Lower Planar fiends of a more chaotic bent might be planning to gather at the Planarium and break into the lower vaults and use the device for their own subtle manipulations. Apparently, the celestials and yugoloths have taken an interest in this whole affair as they too, are sending messages in their own ‘unique’ ways. No matter who gets their hands on it, you can be sure that they will use it to shift the balance of the Blood War. Finally, it seems that all of this ‘attention’ on the Planarium is no doubt what has drawn the Lady’s attention, and that can mean only trouble...