the 30 page monster - leaving this here in case there comes a time when the removed parts prove useful:
In Dragon #359, the last printed issue of the magazine, “Who or What is the Lady of Pain?” was listed as one of the great unsolved mysteries of D&D. And while the truth of her identity has never been revealed, speculation on the subject has been accompanied by the questions of how you might kill her, what the ramifications of your actions might be, and who would aid you or try to stop you.
In this article, we look at all these questions and draw upon numerous ideas from various discussions that have taken place over the years, publications relating to the Great Wheel cosmology, and various ideas that we put together in preparation for this article over at Planewalker. Within these pages one will not find a surefire way to kill the Lady of Pain. Instead, we'll offer up several methods you can tailor to your campaign, as well as supporting details for you to build a campaign around.
A lot of the ideas presented here draw on adventures, campaign boxes, and varied setting books published under the Planescape banner. In order to present this information in a clear fashion, there are many spoilers within this article, not the least of which include the endings of the adventures Harbinger House and Faction War. If you are worried about spoiling some aspect of Planescape for yourself, definitely stop reading here. Otherwise, if you're ready, let's move onto the main event...
The Importance of the Lady of Pain
While we'll investigate the ramifications of killing Her Serenity in a later part of this article, it is important to realize why the Planescape setting would require such a mysterious entity that was never statted in any D&D publication.
Planescape is designed as a setting where you can travel the planes from the moment you finish creating your characters, no matter what level you start them at. Given that low-level characters can't traverse the planes on their own, the means of travel must be provided and a reason must exist that the powers don't seize it for themselves. Thus we have Sigil, a portal-filled metropolis where the gods and planar lords cannot enter and invaders and usurpers find conventional power ineffective at hurting its guardian. The safety of Sigil, as well as the reason that no major player in the Cosmic Game can lay claim to it, is dependent on the Lady of Pain.
The creation of Sigil and the identity of the Lady were never fleshed out, with the mystery of who she was and if she could be killed left to the individual DM, game designer, or author. Of course, while no definitive answers were ever given, there were a few choice bits that showed that while the Lady might possess an incredible amount of power she did in fact have exploitable weaknesses.
Going with those ideas, and staying relatively faithful to how the Lady was presented in the setting, we'll look at some creative means by which one might go about setting up a campaign that culminates in either the death of the Lady or the PCs saving Her Serenity from such a fate.
For all the cleverness required and all the obstacles one must face in pursuit of this goal, and the vast differences in scale, killing the Lady of Pain bears clear similarities to assassination attempts carried out against any high standing personage in possession of considerable personal power.
Yet when it comes to the Lady, one must realize that control of Sigil is a goal shared not only by archmages and the leaders of world spanning organizations, but pantheon heads and archfiends as well. As such, one should not expect to simply level up, get access to some high-powered items and spells, and waltz into Sigil and put the Lady in the dead book. If it were that easy, one should expect that the Lady would have been murdered long before now.
Now you may have your own stats for the Lady that you know your own players will enjoy coming up against. That's fine, this article isn't here to tell you how to run your game, but if you're going by the default canon of what Sigil is and how its existence extends back into the Primordial Ages, you should present a reason why the Lady suddenly finds herself so vulnerable to such conventional means when she never has been before. Of course, the Multiverse is a big place, so it's definitely conceivable that an artifact might enable you to negate her transcendent nature. (Or perhaps there is an artifact that needs to be destroyed, similar to how destroying the shield generator on the moon left the Death Star vulnerable to the Rebels' star fighters.)
No matter what, anyone who attempts to kill the Lady should realize it is a big deal. There will be those who seek to aid the PCs, as well as those who want to steal their method for themselves. Others, such as the Harmonium, will oppose them on principle, and this is a good time to mention they have the whole planet of Ortho from which to draw resources. No matter the outcome, once you decide to walk this path expect gods to die, hearts to break, souls to be cursed and worlds to burn.
Of course, whenever someone is planning a murder they should consider the motives and the means available to them and their allies, alongside the might of those opposing them and the ramifications of their actions.
Motives for Killing the Lady of Pain
Control Sigil and you control reality. That's been the longstanding theory on why the powers are barred from Sigil, why any genuine threat to the City eventually gets Mazed or flayed, why the City exists at what most would hail as the only arguable true Center-Of-All.
How exactly Sigil allows you to control reality has never been defined, though most people figure at the least a god or exemplar lord with access to everywhere in the Multiverse would quickly slaughter their rivals. Others believe, for various reasons, that mastering Sigil actually allows you to reshape the planes to your own desire.
The gods, exemplars, and many of the sects and factions across the Wheel have a vision for an ideal reality they'd like to replace the current one with. As such, Sigil is filled with proxies and priests, fiends and celestials, and at least one representative from every major faction and sect in the Multiverse. All of them either seeking a means to take the Lady's power, or keep anyone else from getting their hands, claws, or tentacles on whatever allows Her Serenity to rule the City of Doors.
II. Killing For Killing's Sake
For some it's riddles that just have to be solved, for others it's the mountain that has to be climbed, and for others it's the quarry that has to be captured or killed. Tell a sod like that the Lady's unkillable, that Sigil will always be Hers - you may think you're giving the body a warning, but they'll take it as an invitation. See, there's a whole lot of people out there that have no great desire for power, no ideal they're trying to champion, they just want the Lady in the dead book to show that it can be done. It's said that there's a sect of Erythnul cultists whose sole purpose in existence is to kill the Lady, that such a murder would be the greatest offering they could give to their god.
Sigil can be a Cage for many - its politics, harsh economic realities, and copious amounts of crime can entwine many a poor sod and drown them in debt and defeat. But to many graybeards, not to mention a good number of the hoi polloi, the true prisoner of the Cage is none other than Her Serenity.
Most people just appreciate the philosophical implications that the Lady who rules the the place that takes you anywhere is Herself unable to leave the confines of Sigil, but every so often someone just barmy enough gets it into their head that killing the Lady will gift Her the freedom She craves.
IV. Transcendence and Reversion
Many people don't like their lot in life, but some don't like the idea of any lot they're forced to have in the Multiverse. Groups like the Dustmen, the Godsmen, even some of the Athar believe there are higher realities that even the powers can't reach. While most of these people utilize Sigil as a means to their personal ascensions, some believe that the City and thus the Lady are actually the barriers to reaching the next step on their - or perhaps all the Wheel's - spiritual journey.
Others believe that there already was a better reality, and that Sigil and thus the Lady are keeping them from returning to this golden age. One such group are the Spellweavers, who are seeking the Codex of Reversion in order to return the Multiverse to a past when their empire oversaw the movements of the planes. While they are still seeking all the pieces of this artifact, several spellweaver sages have noted that the Lady's denial of chronomancy in Sigil will likely keep the Reversion from being enacted. As such, these masters of metaphysical semantics are now seeking the means to deal with the Lady so that their plan of taking the entire Multiverse into the past will not be hindered by the Cage pinning the Wheel to the current timestream.
There are those who think the Lady is not the prisoner of the Cage, but rather its keeper. There is something or someone trapped in the confines of the City, a being somehow diminished by the portals and the traffic that flows through them. Others suggest the being's body was utilized to make Sigil, and the Lady keeps it from fully resurrecting and recreating itself. Alienists, long since descended into madness, place more import on the word Sigil, believing that the City is a seal barring some being from either entering the Multiverse or reclaiming its power.
Many, many cultists over the eons have come to believe their particular evil would come to them if only the Lady could be killed. Even today cults of Tharizdun and various Elder Evils of the Far Realms hide among Sigil's populace, waiting for the opportunity to strike in the name of their masters. A more unusual cult of a distinct but similar breed are the Awaiters of the Luminous One, who believe the Lady prevents the arrival of their benevolent messiah who will erase all suffering, and thus all pain, from the Multiverse.
VI. Justice or Vengeance
The Lady has flayed a lot of people, and thrown even more into the Mazes and possible other realms of imprisonment, with the number of victims ever increasing. Mind you, a few years might pass without Her Serenity casting her shadow over the unfortunate, but there are enough disappearances of unruly visitors in Sigil that one can only surmise that at least a few of these miscreants were mazed by the Lady.
Of course, there have been times where such punishment might not have been wholly deserved, depending on how you look at things. The Communals, for example, were a faction that wanted every possession and power in the Multiverse to be shared. As everyone expected, they vanished when they dared to proclaim that even the Lady must divide her power among the masses. As foolish as their ideas were, one might argue that their hearts were in the right place and their fate - whatever that may have been following their disappearance - was an unnecessarily cruel one where a warning might have sufficed.
Perhaps a more outright example would be those involved in the cult of Trolan the Mad. Trolan, possibly one of the few Believers of the Source to actually reach divinity, decided to create a religion around the Lady of Pain prior to his own supposed ascension. Many of these deluded adherents decided to enter Sigil in order to praise the Lady within what they took be the divine realm of Her Serenity. While in the midst of their worship, the Lady appeared, her shadow stretching out to turn the streets thronged with her faithful into an abattoir. Many of those killed, if not all of them, were just lost or gullible people looking for an answer in a Multiverse that refuses to provide one. Were their fates truly deserved?
Of course, any inevitable or paladin thinks twice about trying, let alone executing, the Lady for her crimes. After all, it's now known that Factol Nilesia of the Mercykillers (now divided into the Sodkillers and Sons of Mercy) wished to punish the Lady for her crimes, an obsession that led to the young woman's downfall and disappearance. (Rumor has it her lover Rowan Darkwood, himself punished for attempting to usurp Her Serenity, sold her into slavery in one of the Lower Planes.) Even gods of justice and lords of order who might think of punishing the Lady have only to look to the Shattered Temple and the corpse of Aoskar as a reminder that even if they could gain entrance to the Cage, the Lady will not be easily taken.
However, justice is the province of the rational and the same cannot be said for vengeance. Many people have lost loved ones to the Lady, or seen her sentences result in the dissolution of their cherished factions. Within Sigil itself, there are those who seek revenge against Her Serenity, though how they hope to achieve such a thing varies between them. The Grixxit, perhaps the last true member of the now defunct Expansionist faction, believes that by closing off portals she can weaken the Lady. Gentaka Ela, an Athar elf whose younger brother numbered among those members of Trolan's cult murdered in Her Serenity's shadow, simply prays while kneeling upon the roots of the Lost's sacred tree replanted at the base of the Spire.
VII. Preventing the Lady's Supposed Plans
That the Lady of Pain might utilize Sigil for her own ends and designs is the kind of thing that keeps even the sleeping deity Semuanya up at night, t. Should the Lady ever wish to create an empire, she would find many adherents to her cause though her slaughter of worshippers makes the probability of such designs unlikely. Those that insist that a deity's power is directly proportional to the number of her worshippers believe the Lady, should she suddenly allow it, would be a greater god strong enough to rival the heads of the major pantheons on the planes. Of course, if she wanted divinity, would she not have claimed such a mantle eons before now?
Yet the Lady must want something, for why else would she allow anyone to enter Sigil and utilize its spatially transcendent nature? If she isn't a prisoner, almost everyone agrees she must have some design she seeks to foster even if she acts under the orders of some greater force. The question is what she gains from allowing traffic through the city's portals, what benefit might arise from having visitors coming from across the Multiverse.
The fragments of one forbidden text, aptly titled the Pages of Pain given the punishment that awaits you should the Harmonium catch you with even a shred of a long worn copy, suggests the Lady seeks to spread Pain across the Multiverse. Somehow, the book tells us, the Pains ensure the Multiverse maintains its current status quo and now being arises that might threaten the way things presently are. Of course, anyone who has publicly claimed to see the Lady attaching pains to people is safely ensconced in the confines of a straight jacket in the depths of the Gate House so most people dismiss this as one one more myth attached to the Multiverse's greatest celebrity.
Others believe the Lady to be far more subtle, directing the traffic between portals so subtly as to go unnoticed by even most of the gods and planar lords. Those who see her designs, whatever they are, either act against her with equal subtlety or are powerless to stop her given their own dependence on Sigil's access to the planes.
All this leads to many heads of pantheons and archplanars having varied contingency plans, just in case the Lady ever pursues actions opposed to their own interests. And the mad have their own plans to stop whatever they think she is doing, though their plans usually get them flayed or mazed alongside anyone foolish to stand with them or unfortunate to be in the vicinity.
Means and Resources
I. Potential Weaknesses Within Sigil
A. Harbinger House, the Planarity, and The Focrux
(In the Planescape Adventure Harbinger House, the Focrux may be destroyed at the end of adventure depending on the actions of the PCs. Here we assume it to be intact or, at worst, repaired following the events of the adventure.)
Run by the Believers of the Source, the faction that sought to enter into godhood over successive lifetimes, the Harbinger House rests on the edge of the Lady's and Lower Wards. Before the Godsmen were exiled from Sigil, the Harbinger House contained those members of the faction that seemed closest to attaining divinity. The House remains much bigger on the inside than the outside but also functions as a means of traveling the planes. The portals of the House are its doorways, and the Godsmen utilized the planarity could open them.
The Planarity at rest is a deep blue stone sphere that nests easily in the palm of a human hand. However, once brought within 50 feet of a portal it floats above one's palm, a storm of multicolored energy rising intensifying in its depths even as protusions rise and retract from its surface. The planarity is a gate key capable of opening any portal in the House. It was also the only way to open the House's sealed doors, whether or not they were portals.
While the Planarity allowed one to taste a silver of the Lady's power of the portals of Sigil, the Focrux does far more than that. Believed to be the core of the House, the Focrux reflects magic that would allow anyone from harming the House or sneaking inside it without the use of the Planarity. The greatest benefit of the Focrux, however, is to prevent anyone from scrying inside it. Not even the Lady of Pain can look inside the House when the Focrux is in use, and during the course of the adventure she was unable to detect who was manipulating the portals of Sigil for their own ends.
B. Grundlethrum's Automatic Scribe
Grundlethrum is a member of the Free League who created the Automatic Scribe, a device that accepts coins and in returns prints out a message that the payee dictates to it. Given the number of illiterate couriers in the Cage, Grundlethrum's invention is a boon to the businesses and government of the Cage. However, not even Grundelthrum realizes the true value of his arcane device. The Indep planned to use an elemental to reside within his machine and type out its messages, but instead he somehow unwittingly allowed an lesser power of the Abyss to enter the City of Doors. Now, as noted in the adventure Harbinger House, the Lady can kick gods out of Sigil once she is aware of them. This is probably why, beyond cause some minor misfortune, the lesser power hasn't made its bid for power. It can probably also sense the Shattered Temple, through Aoskar met his doom.
While any deal with a power of chaos and evil isn't likely to be honored, when the task you've set for yourself is killing the Lady of Pain a god hidden in the labyrinthine streets of the cage is one the best allies you're likely to find.
C. Aoskar's Last Proxy
One last promising weakness of the Lady lies in the dabus that abandoned her to worship the god of portals Aoskar, whose defection is thought to have spurred the destruction of the Shattered Temple and the death of the god himself. For whatever reason, though the god himself was killed, Fell, his dabus worshiper, was spared. Not only that, but as noted in Faces UnCaged Fell retains his power as a proxy - a vessel imbued with a portion of divine strength - to the deceased deity.
II. Utilizing varied Sites and Beings on the Planes against the Lady of Pain
On the second layer of Pandemonium is a site known as the Harmonica, named for the cacophony that is produced when the winds of the plane whip through the tubular hollows that mark the columns within this cavernous sphere. It's said that this place might gift immortality or have any wish granted, though it's also said this place can harm you with curses, lycanthropy, disease and even the destruction of one's very soul.
Now, because gravity orients itself to the walls of this layer, one can not only enter from any of the hundreds of tunnel entrances leading to this hollowed out sphere, one can also attempt to make ones way to the center. Spiraling staircases have been carved into every column, though each step reaches up to the waist of an average sized human. Most columns never reach the center and given the darkness usually the only way to tell is climb and hope.
While the idea that this place could grant you any wish is likely screed, there's one rumor that is incredible important: That in the wind blown darkness of this spherical cavern lies the secret to planewalking without spell, device, or portal.
B. Howler's Crag
A spike of piled up, jagged rocks rises up from what some believe to be the center of Cocytus, Pandemonium's second layer. What's definite is the stone is in the center of a massive cavern, with the Crag containing a series of burrows in its base with many of the cell walls covered with strange letters, alien liturgies and mysterious psalms, and various strings of numbers. While most are indecipherable, some clearly seem related to a phoenix-god once worshipped by certain mystics.
The tip of the crag is lit with bluish faerie fire, and anything spoken from its top is guaranteed to be heard by its intended recipient, no matter where they are in the Great Wheel. Of course, given the bandits and fiends lurking around this site, reaching the top is no small matter.
C. The Demiplane of Inphirblau
For most planars, Sigil's existence is axiomatic. They cannot recall a time when it did not exist, and many presume the Cage and the Lady existed in some form since the beginning days of the Multiverse. Yet there are those who insist the Lady either built the City or was invited into it after its creation. That She, or the City's original founders, brought the dabus into the city to serve Her Serenity. All this could be dismissed as nothing but wild theories almost certain to lead nowhere if not for the existence of the phirblas.
Like dabus, phirblas are thin, tall humanoids whose feet float a few inches off the ground. In fact, they look like lighter skinned, hornless dabus, and though the dabus speak in rhebuses the phirblas speak in words floating over their heads. These words always match the language of their intended recipient. The phirblas, an ancient race by just about anyone's reckoning, live upon the demiplanar metropolis of Inphirblau.
Once you are inside the city, it seems infinite in scope, with the an minimum millions of phirblas all aware of each other. If there is any truth to the theory that all dabus were originally phirblas, this might be one of the best places from which to learn the Lady's weaknesses.
D. Sigil Replica on Dis
On the second level of Hell, rumor has it that the baatezu have been working diligently on a built-to-scale duplicate version of the City of Doors in order to understand how the Lady of Pain controls the varied aspects of the Cage. While some say the devils seek to utilize Sigil against the tanar'ri, others say the most likely reason for building such a place is to attack the City of Doors. There is also the possibility that the baatezu have already devised a means to kill the Lady, but need to make sure they can control the City of Doors in the aftermath of their crime...
E. The Phanes
Phanes are abominations, unwanted children of temporal deities, and many of them are imprisoned in distants pasts and futures where time as we understand it has little meaning. Somehow, however, a few manage to enter the timestream of the Multiverse and wreak havoc in the Present. If one could control and communicate with these escapees, one might be able to glean much information about the secret history of Sigil or the existence of a probable future in which Her Serenity no longer numbers among the living.
F. The Elders of the Multiverse
One source of information that might prove invaluable are the varied ancient beings that walk the Multiverse, including some such as the Le Shay that predate this version of reality. Others who possess knowledge of the Lady include the Baern, the ancient beings who built and then abandoned the ruins on Pelion, Io the Ninefold Dragon and according to his worshippers creator of the Multiverse, the ancient Baatorians and obyrith, the creators of the wandering Spelljammer and whatever beings exist in the frozen depths of Caina and the Paraelemental plane of Ice.
Guvners examining those frozen in Hell reported celestials battling strange, spiny creatures of unknown origin and cities entombed in glacial depths. On Arcolantha, a cavernous air pocket in the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, there are beings from across the Multiverse frozen in stasis. It's possible that some among them have been frozen long enough to hold some information about Sigil and the Lady from the early days of the Multiverse. Stretching across miles, buried in the frozen wastes of Ice, are said to lie the Sleeping Ones, creatures that according to the kuo-toa are the authors of the current Multiverse.
Making contact with many of these beings will require incredible foresight as well as a formidable level of personal power and myriad means of protection. With that in mind, if one is seeking to confirm the idea that the Lady of Pain resided in the Abyss prior to her master of the Cage one could do worse than question Dagon, the obyrith lord who dwells in the depths of a layer known as the Shadow Sea. His wisdom has been a great boon to the tanar'ri Prince of Demons Demogorgon, and it is likely that if any being would know if the Lady of Pain was born in the Misshapen Lands it would be Dagon. If one seeks to know if Io is the Lady's father, one should seek out the Ninefold Dragon's avatar. Io manifests his avatar in places where some major events involving the survival dragon kind occur. Engendering such events on a particular world, especially if they involved Deep Dragons at the core of the planet, might be significant enough to gather his attention. There is also the off chance that Io will come in a dream, granting an audience where you fly alongside the dragon god across the Astral Skies.
It should also be noted that any Mercane who finds himself in Sigil immediately seeks a way out, apparently struck by an incomprehensible need to exit the Cage as quickly as possible. What their relation to the city and its guardian is remains unclear, though it helps to explain their efforts in creating and backing the commerce of the planar metropolis of Union.
When seeking information about the secrets of the Prime and its crystal spheres, one should look for the stellar dragons. As they sustain themselves by gathering knowledge, these great draconian beings are living tomes possessing incredible knowledge about the crystal spheres and phlogiston.
G. The Demiplane of Time
One the great resources one might seek to utilize in their fight against the Lady of Pain is the Demiplane of Time. The ability to travel through time would allow one to possibly see the creation of Sigil or perhaps learn if the Lady was once mortal or at least far more vulnerable than she is now. (Some theories suggest she was a refugee abyssal lord, and others dare to claim she was simply the ruler of the gatetown of Plague Mort.)
The art of chronomancy is known only to a few, and even those individuals are often watched by the gods of time and the enigmatic Guardians, chronomancers dedicated to preserving the timestream. Even getting to fabled plane of Time is a challenge in itself, though in the realm of Selune (Planes of Chaos) there are merchants who sell sands from its shores. Getting these merchants to speak of their means of travel to the temporal realm is an undertaking in itself for as yet they have not divulged this secret to anyone.
Unfortunately, the Lady bars the use chronomancy and anyone who practices the art inevitably disappears. One might attempt to travel through time outside of Sigil, and then to enter the city or seek to learn of its construction. Of course, traveling through time on the planes is very likely to attract the attention of the gods, and deities who serve as guardians of the timestreams are known to send their avatars to capture interrogate, and oftentimes execute chronomancers for their hubris.
Even if one can manage to avoid confrontation with a god (or somehow be prepared for such divine retribution) the very nature of time might work against them. The 2e supplement Chromomancer tells us that a chronomancer's perception of time is tied to the plane from which they entered the timestream. So a chronomancer on the Outlands attempting to travel through time will only be able to perceive those timestreams related to the Outlands. Theoretically, one might be able to find a way to other timestreams but it is explicitly noted that such attempts are incredibly dangerous due to the differences in the flow of time between planes. Secrets to navigating the timestreams of the planes may be found in the Chronocorsa (Dragon 350), a chronomancer tome that shifts its form through varied written mediums including clay tablets and a sphere capable of projecting illusory symbols.
One alternative to traveling under one's own power is to enlist the aid of beings that are natural born travelers of the temporal dimension. The time dragons (359) are so powerful that they are considered to be Time incarnated into physical form, and apparently travel through the ages unimpeded by the gods. The limits of their time travel abilities are unknown, though it has been stated that the further a dragon wishes to go away from the present the more energy must be expended. Still, hitching a ride from time dragon might be a way to avoid getting lost in the time streams or facing the wrath of a time god's avatars. Though chrononauts should be wary as the gods might still come calling, suddenly turning a fact-finding mission in the past into a race against time within the timestream itself!
If Limbo is the highest expression of Chaos, and contains all possibilities, could not one find a means of killing the Lady within its morass? Could not one will such a possibility into being? While no one has accomplished such a thing, and some Guvner's have gone so far to declare the Lady's unkillable nature an Axiom of the Multiverse, many beings have wondered about the power inherent in a place that responds to the minds of those within it.
Countering this is the fact that Limbo does not allow one to simply enter its sea of chaos and begin creating artifacts or shiftings the laws probability around to their liking. Still, rumors abound that the Slaad Lords have some plan in which they will attack the Lady from the safety of their homeplane, sending their weapon of choice -a weapon that is a sum of possible manners of death - through a portal into Sigil.
Methods by which One might Kill the Lady of Pain
I. Heart's Desire
The Infinite Staircase is a transitive plane that touches areas across the Multiverse where mortals and immortals alike have put their minds toward creative endeavors. Some believe the Staircase was born at the Gates of the Moon in the realm of the primordial goddess Selune, perhaps when the first mortals began appearing on the Prime. Others say it is far older, as it is clear the Staircase is not under the goddess's direct control. While the origins of the Staircase are lost to time, what is known is that it possesses the power to take one traveling its countless steps to door behind which lies the city of their heart's desire. So if someone's true heart's desire was the death of Her Serenity the staircase should, in theory, lead them to a city that possesses the means to give them what they want. Of course, this is all taking a chance on the meaning of the phrase “city of your heart's desire”. After all, most people desire something and their wants are built around that need. Someone might crave incredible power, for example, but what their heart might really want is safety. Another might seek to destroy the entire multiverse, but the want behind that is to have no one around that could hurt or humiliate them. This is likely why the Staircase has never led anyone to a means of controlling the Multiverse, or at least not in way that the rest of us have come to know about. The other problem is the Staircase gives you once chance at finding your heart's desire, and during that one chance you have to travel on your own.
Anyone possessing such a need in their heart is advised not to enter the Staircase by the Gates of the Moon. The Gates are in Selune's realm, and it is very likely the goddess will sense the desire and either imprison you or perhaps just subtly shift the wants within your heart so that the Staircase takes you to some other door. Thankfully many alternative entrances exist – in fact there are an infinite number of them. Because it touches places of creativity and development, almost every city across the multiverse connects to it, from the clockwork engines of Mechanus to the ruins of Pelion where a few dreaming souls might still be found.
Additionally, anyone attempting to use the Infinite Staircase is likely to have to contend with its celestial guardians the lillendi. However, it is possible the lillendi might be persuaded to aid enemies of the Lady, if they could be suitably convinced of that those seeking to kill her are in pursuit of some greater good. Of course, the lillendi have no monolithic society and instead gather in secret societies called mysteries, with each mystey possessing its own kernels of wisdom and knowledge. If one could find the right mystery of lillendi and win them over, it is possible they might aid a traveler in finding their heart's desire. Yet do not expect such aid to come cheaply, nor should one expect to pay in anything material. It is stories the lillendi value, and to receive help in such a task as great and dangerous as killing the Lady of Pain one should come prepared with several tales of epic exploits performed by the oneself and one's comrades. Attempting to assassinate Her Serenity is the quest of a lifetime, and one should expect to pay for aid with a lifetimes worth of adventures.
Given the difficulties of navigating the staircase alone and keeping the flame of desire clear and bright in your heart, few have found their heart's desire even when their goal has been something far less grand than the assassination of the Lady of Pain. This however has not kept the monks of the Cerulean Garden from continuing in their attempts to dispose of Her Serenity. A collection of githzerai, the cerulean monks were content to meditate on the nature of reality within their monastery on the plane of Limbo until the day all of them had a single vision of impending disaster. The nature of this disaster, and whom it affects, has been kept secret to all outside the order. All that is known is that to avert this calamity the Lady of Pain must die. The monks, originally numbering in the hundreds, believed that their conviction coupled with their will would allow them to seek the answer to their problem in the myriad turns of the Infinite Staircase. Unfortunately none of them truly desired the death of the Lady in their innermost hearts, each of them wanted baser things such as love, joy, peace, or even a selfish enlightenment and release of the spirit. Of the hundreds who departed, only forty-nine monks were able to refuse their hearts desire and return to the monastery.
The flaw, they realized, was that they had experienced too much of the multiverse to focus their hearts on such a singular task. At first they attempted to bear and raise children dedicated to the singular goal of the Lady's demise, but even this proved to be a fruitless endeavor for even the staunchest fanantic sought such frivolities as glory, worship, or even a parent's unconditional love. After the last of the children sent a letter explaining she had found happiness and would never return to the monastery nor complete the quest she'd been birthed for, the elder githzerai decided to create the Cerulean Garden.
Located in the depths of a Ysgardian's earthberg's Underdark, the Garden is a massive heptagon pool with seventy seven levels of floors built above its placid, sapphire surface. Every floor leads to wings upon wings of art supplies, libraries, instruments, alchemist labs, mage workshops and engineer dens. Windows open out to locations across the Multiverse so that materials and inspiration, not to mention sustenance, are easily acquired. Creators of all sorts are welcomed to this place, all invited for the express purpose of ensuring the Garden forever connects to the Infinite Staircase.
The pool is accessible only to the githzerai elders, each of these monks possessing the powers of an anarch in addition to other powers of the mind not the least of which is a powerful telepathy. Using this discipline they communicate to the giant water plants grown in the great pool, where each specimen contains a gestating gith child within the head of its unbudded stalk. When a plant finally blossoms into a flower, the child is found sleeping peacefully at the center. Each child awakens, walking upon the water with all the weight of a pond skater, to the monks who equip the adolescent psion with various items for its trip onto the Staircase. Note that each child is a true child of the ancient, undifferentiated race of Gith, and for all the significance of this fact the monks still indoctrinate them with a single heart's desire and send them to what so far are their likely demises on the turns of the Infinite Staircase.
II. Following in Vecna's Theoretical Footsteps
According to the events of Die Vecna Die!, the archlich enters Sigil by controlling the power of Ravenloft's Mists whose tendrils are argued to be capable of kidnapping anyone from any part of the Great Wheel. Additionally, the hotly contested adventure claims that at his moment of entry Vecna was not a god. We could assume that he was a proxy to his own burgeoning divinity, that it is only after he takes a step into the Cage does his divinity wax to its fullness within his own being.
Even if we took all of this at face value, and accepted that a group of adventurers aided the Lady of Pain in ousting the Whispered One from Sigil, the conclusion of the adventure is that the reality of the Great Wheel is rewritten and that few, if anyone, remembers the events leading up to the cataclysmic encounter that almost granted the Master of the Spider the Throne the Lady's own Throne of Blades as well as the means of controlling the entirety of the Multiverse.
So did these events in truth take place, with only those of us within the sheltered confines of Earth privy to them given our unique relationship to the Great Wheel? Did Vecna receive a unique understanding of magic through communication with a mysterious entity referred to as the Serpent? While it is only one possibility out of many, here is what at least some scholars and many Multiversal guardians believe:
Vecna retains a patchwork of memories of the now overwritten timeline, but even he is not sure if these visions possess any veracity. The Serpent, if it was ever more than a manifestation of his own thoughts and desires, no longer speaks to the Whispered One.
His confusion about the rewritten past is manifested in the Cavern of Insight, a massive underground realm hidden deep within the depths of Pluton's color leeching soil. All the eyes in cavern are turned toward its center, where a rough hewn altar supports a mummified hand holding up a single desiccated eye. The altar, itself a bound elemental, rotates, with whisper of grinding stone, returning all the gazes directed at it. The entire site radiates a malevolent divinity churning with frustration toward itself. This because the entire Cavern of Insight is an avatar of the Dark Lord of Secrets. Vecna hopes that somewhere in the recurrence of self examination the Cavern provides the truth of what happened to him might possibly be found.
Anyone seeking to follow the path that Vecna took toward defeating the Lady of Pain should attempt to wrest control or otherwise glean information from the cavern. If one can gain some knowledge of the magics Vecna utilized, along with the lich god's own past, without going insane from entering the labyrinthine self reflection of a god, one could then take steps to reenact the deity's plans with oneself in his place.
As Raistlin took the place of Fistandulus, so might an enterprising magus also utilize chronomancy to enter the past of Oerth and take over Vecna's intended destiny. (One might even steal the Bloodstone from either of these Black Robe mages, though take heed that entering Krynn's past might shunt one into a divergent timestream.) Be warned that to travel into Oerth's past is to invite the attention of the mysterious Monitors of Infinity, temporal guardians “drawn from all places in Time.” Many of Oerth's deities possess either the means of traveling through time or the knowledge of chronomancy, and it's almost certain one of those gods is Vecna himself. Attempting to spy or interfere with his past is likely to lead to a confrontation with an avatar of the Maimed God as well as the avatars of several other gods including Istus, the Balkunish goddess of Fate and Lendor, the Suel god of Time, Cyndor, the Oerik god of time, continuity, and infinity, and mad demipower Zagyg, servant to the god of magic Boccob. One artifact that may aid in escaping the attention of these deities is the Pin of Oghma, which the god of knowledge gave to a loyal follower tasked with guarding another artifact known as the Cyrishad, a book that would convert all who read it into a worshiper of Cyric the Mad. The Pin obscures its wearer from the sight of the gods, though whether an artifact designed to hide its owner from the eyes of Toril's deities would even work in past of Oerth is questionable. Even if one manages to obtain the Pin and discovers its efficacy extends to Oerth's past will still have to contend with the quarut inevitables, constructs tasked with hunting down anyone who damaging the timestream. One may be able to negotiate with them and even obtain their aid if Vecna has already been killed off, for to preserve much of Oerth's history one must exist in the archlich's place and play his role in history.
Still the risks and continual battle against the guardians of Oerth's timestream might be worth it, for if Vecna falls, perhaps his mysterious benefactor the Serpent might take on a new apprentice in his place who might succeed where the Chained God failed. For the lich's replacement, however, reliving the steps of Vecna's life would be gauntlet through history given that the varied deities of time and magic would continually seek to correct the timestream or at least eliminate the ones who corrupted it.
There exist other means of time travel whereby one might enter the past of Oerth with less interference than if one directly utilized the magic of chronomancy, though each of these possess their own dangers and mysteries. The first is Tovag Baragu, a site near the salt lake Udrukankar upon the world of Oerth. Tovag Baragu consists of five concentric circles of seemingly indestructible standing stones arranged into roughly hewn, rectangular arches. Each of these portals leads either to another point in the river of time or to another possible world. Vecna himself sought to use Tovag Baragu and establish himself as a greater power, but before he could do so he was thwarted and cast into Ravenloft, the Demiplane of Terror. Defeating him also damaged the archways, making their use even riskier than before. Attempting to navigate the gateways is a dangerous undertaking in itself, for one could easily become lost in time or left stranded in a partially formed reality. If one can find the right gate or set of gates in spite of the risks it is conceivable that one could snatch Vecna's own destiny from his grasp.
Those desperate or brave might also attempt to enter and alter time via the Nine Sisters in Greyspace, quasi-stars which radiate dead magic, exist in a place of reversed gravity, and together function as a gateway through time. Anyone attempting to usurp Vecna's place in the timestream or control the temporal powers of the Nine Sisters for any reason at all should expect considerable opposition, to the extent that entire armadas recruited from the shell's spacefaring companies might be arrayed against them.
Finally, the demenses of the quasipowers Heward and Murlynd contain doorways leading to varied points in space and time, though trying to convince them that your schemes of following in Vecna's footsteps is to their advantage might end your mission right at their doorstep. It's far more likely that you'll have to eliminate both of these deities before you can take advantage of the time traveling properties of their homes.
III. Become the Right Kind of Power while in Sigil
The two gods who have a chance to be born at the end of the Harbinger House adventure are Trolan, a lesser power of love and peace and Sougad, a lesser power of chaos and murder. Neither can prevent the Lady from kicking them out of Sigil after their apotheosis takes place. Now it might be that any god who enters Sigil is easily booted out, but perhaps a god of intermediate or greater power might stand a chance though there is little evidence of this.
Another possibility that possesses circumstantial evidence is that having a portfolio that relates to the City of Doors enables you to contest the Lady. After all, if Aoskar posed no threat to the Lady, why did she put him in the dead book? How was he able to convince a dabus of all beings to be his proxy, and how could he otherwise have made such a creature a vessel for his own divine essence? It makes sense that as a god of portals Aoskar was able to exert the power of his domain over Sigil, though whatever the extent of his control was it clearly wasn't enough to keep his corpse from floating in the argent expanses of the Astral.
So if you are going to become a god, make sure it's the god of something like portals, cities, or perhaps even pain. If you can't become a god in Sigil, attempt to learn the secret of planewalking amidst the screaming columns of the Harmonica, or find some other way to break into Sigil without using any of the Lady's portals. Most likely your corpse will also find its way to the Astral, though if you had a whole pantheon on your side, made up of your fellow adventurers, you might actually succeed where countless others across the eons have failed.
IV. Have another Power Fight the Lady for You
There is a standing tradition that anyone who goes up against the Lady of Pain, even if they are a god, ends up either dead or imprisoned. Perhaps those who seek to kill the Lady of Pain should then use a deity as distraction, a weapon turned against Her Serenity at a critical moment. Here are two likely candidates who might either be able to get the job done or at least severely wound the Lady before they are destroyed. They might also survive long enough to convince the lesser power in the Automatic Scribe to aid them in battle. Of course, should any of these deities succeed, it's unlikely the PCs will be able to wrest control of Sigil from a god unless they made some kind of preparations beforehand.
As the god of portals, Aoskar was able to convince even some dabus to worship him and Fell to become his proxy. So great was the association of the god with the portals of Sigil that some began to see the Lady as nothing more than an aspect of Aoskar. If he were to be resurrected, it's likely that belief in him would soar, perhaps exceeding his previous level of worship. Once more planars and primes across the Multiverse might believe him to be the true master of Sigil, and in a Multiverse where belief is power the god might be able to use this to his advantage.
Lynkhab is a former Abyssal Lord who attempted to become something more abstract but at the last minute cowardice struck and she refused to let go of her corporeal form. Now unkillable in the Abyss, she searches after those who might do her in and thus complete her ascension into a goddess. If one could bring her into Sigil via the Harbinger House, then perhaps hiding her near the focrux until the moment is right, the Lady killing her would make Lynkhab a goddess within the confines of Sigil. Lynkhab is a creature of seduction and desire, which begs the question if she might be the Lady of Pleasure that could successfully counter the Lady of Pain?
V. Move the Spire
If Sigil sits atop the Spire, and the Spire represents the balancing point of all the planes, then the Spire being at the center of the Outlands is what grants Sigil its power. So to rob the Lady of her strength one must rob the Spire from the Outlands and place it into another Outer Plane, preferable one where you and your kind have some control over the landscape.
Or you could find a willing dupe to take all the risks for you: Enter one Izen apt Abeir. Izen is a lunatic whose life and death would have seen him accomplish nothing more than the mutilation of farm animals and the death of his invalid aunt save that at some point during his homemade "dark rituals" he somehow caught a vision of an ancient baernoloth. Likely the venerable creator of the yugoloth race decided to amuse itself by scaring the foolish young man, but instead the revelation kicked Izen's ambitions into high gear. Already a handsome man of reputable intellect, Izen's greatest barrier had always been his lack of drive and insatiable need to cause the suffering of others. The baernoloth's mockery, whether real or imagined (though why or how a mortal on a backwater prime world could imagine a baern is itself questionable) made Izen realize his smallness.
Centuries later, with the extension of his life due in no small part to the rituals of the Prolongers, Izen had become a powerful ur-priest in service to the yugoloth race. The yugoloths, he has come to believe, are the right hand of his baernoloth masters. Ever one to stroke his own ego, Izen Apt Abeir has used alchemicals to permanently remove all hair form his body and brushstrokes of acid to smooth away his ears and facial features. Though he still has his eyes, he wears a slitted iron headband nailed to his skull that places two opals on the sides of his face, magic gems that grant him extraordinary senses to augment the ones he still possesses and replace those he has lost. The human is assuredly a joke, but one that Mydianchlarus has decided to play on his lessers - the yugoloths are to defer to Izen as if he were ultroloth in truth.
With the aid of the Siege Malicious, Izen has found a way to create a disease similar in effect to the Iron Shadow save that it infuses its victims with the evils of Gehenna, The Grey Wastes, and Carceri. Utilizing this alignment based illness, Izen plans to infect the rilmani and Athar around the Spire. The rilmani, he knows, will turn to salt in the presence of any force that tips the balance within their neutral-born flesh. After the rilmani are disposed of, Izen knows he must find a way to shift the alignment of the Athar as well as the neutral kamerel who long ago were driven by rilmani to hide in the worlds behind the mirrors.
To turn both groups Izen has been feeding the Athar adolescent recruits from varied humanoid races, secreting one special boy with a clockwork device powered by sickness causing stones that can shoot rays of cutting light even at the base of the Spire. When the rilmani are diminished, the boy is to use the weapon against the Bois Verdurous, the sacred tree of the Athar that they transplanted from the Shattered Temple, the tree that many of their number believe to be a gift from the Greater Unknown. Izen hopes that the the children, some of whom have been seeded with faith in various powers of Good, will all be captured and violently interrogated by the Athar. With the Bois Verdurous gone and the Spire surrounded by the varied races of the faction, the Athar and likely the kamerel will all seek to draw out the secrets of the weapon of light from the children - all of whom have been given snippets of knowledge but never enough to be useful. (Even the yugoloths aren't completely sure how it works, as the technology came from the same destroyed civilization that made the Bringer of Doom.) Izen hopes that the greed for the weapons, the urge for revenge at betrayal, and the despair caused by the destruction of the Bois Verdurous will lead the Spire to slide into one of the three lower Planes of Conflict.
If Sigil follows the Spire Mydianchlarus, the General of Gehenna, and the Baern will dispose of the Lady of Pain. If not, Izen believes the city will crash and the now weakened Lady will fall agains the power of his magic and that of the legions of yugoloths Mydianchlarus has nominally placed under the human's command.
It's a plan almost certain to fail though not before many innocent children lose their lives and a plague of evil sweeps through the rilmani. Still, the yugoloths have little to lose and if by some chance they gain control of Sigil, so much the better though their true hopes center around curtailing the power of the Rilmani. They've had their finger on the pulse of the Lower Planes (or at least so they believe) for millennia, but they know the duplicitous Rilmani have had their hand on the plummet of the Multiversal Balance for epochs upon epochs. If anyone can outfox the yugoloths and their Baern overlods, they expect it to be the golden lords of Balance and the mysterious aurumach known only as Center-of-All.
VI. The Lady is a Vestige, and can only be killed by another like Herself
"Soaked into me deeper than any lover Ipos whispers secrets in the braids of my muscle and the marrow-filling of my too brittle bones. He tells me the Lady is a vestige that has departed from their place outside the boundaries of true existence. She is a fully present spirit who has no need of a vessel to be Here, to be extant in the Now.
Sigil is Her circle She has summoned Herself into, the circumference-price for Her ability to traverse the axes of the Real.
Can She be killed? Yes, everything can die, but She can only be killed by someone who follows Her, who shadows the Road She took..."
-Praetor Noriia, Legends of the Pact Binders
Vestiges are beings who are trapped beyond life and death, existing a spiritual state quite different not only from undeath but from the rest of existence all together. Normally, vestiges are beyond the reach of the gods but also, to those with the knowledge, able to be summoned by mere mortals known as pact binders.
Summoning a vestige requires a seal, a portal through which it can step trough. In the normal course of this highly abnormal magic, vestiges can only influence reality through those pact binders who take them into their flesh for a time. Even then their ability to work their will is limited both in time and control.
But what if a vestige was summoned, or summoned itself, utilizing Sigil as a seal? A pact to itself, just as it is said that Odin hung from Yggdrasil as a sacrifice to his own divinity? Or perhaps someone else, possibly the dabus, called her here to serve as the city's eternal guardian? Could such a being remain somehow aloof from the powers of the gods but also possess, within that limited circumference, mastery of its environment? After all, their nature is held to be undefinable by the known laws of the Multiverse, and the Lady and Sigil certainly qualify on that front. Not only would it bring meaning to using the Cage to describe the city, it might explain why the city is referred to as a Sigil if it were the Lady's own pact binding seal?
Could the Lady of Pain be a vestige?
Most people, including most pact binders, find this to be nothing more than the ravings of Praetor Norila after the once great pact binder went mad attempting to wrest the secrets of creation from the vestiges she summoned obsessively. Those wishing to follow in her footsteps would have to seek answers from the vestiges, who themselves are enigmatic beings existing in place possibly farther than the nightmarish Far Realms.
Questioning vestiges requires summoning them, and pact binders must contest with these spirits for dominance in the binding. Such contests can include solving and posing riddles, other mental challenges, or some sort of contest pitting the binders psyche against that of the vestige. However, even when one has mastered a vestige its memory of its own past, let alone any secrets it had about the Multiverse, might be unclear or even long forgotten. Additionally, vestiges hunger to know the reality they were shorn from, and will pretend to possess knowledge they, in fact, do not have. Following their advice or their directions to supposed methods of killing the Lady might lead one to fates worse than death. If one could somehow compel them to recall their pasts, one would have a valuable resource given their numbers include the Accerak the Devourer, the once Lord of Nine Geryon, the dead sun god Amon, and numerous other beings of legend who once possessed incredible power.
If there are any pact binders seeking to become vestiges then return via their own wills, they are keeping it a secret and for good reason. Pact binding isn't well tolerated at the best of times, and pact binders in Sigil suspected of threatening the Lady are likely to be drawn and quartered without so much as a trial or possibly even an arrest. Anyone undertaking such a mission should realize that Ipos, perhaps the first pact binder, ended up as a vestige himself and for all the incredible power he was said to possess, not the least of which was traveling through the depth and breadth of the Multiverse, remains on the far side of all creation.
VII. Use the Book of Keeping
In the Planescape Monstrous Compendium, we learn of the Book of Keeping, a tome said to contain knowledge pertaining to the yugoloths. Only usable by those magi of the profession of conjuration and summoning, the book contains the names of several greater yugoloths. There are at least four copies in existence, though their whereabouts are unknown. Within this precious Book there is a recipe for a potion, requiring a shred of an arcanoloth's heart, that is supposed to grant success in any venture the caster undertakes. The potion's true efficacy is unknown and as far most of the Multiverse is concerned untested if not completely unfounded. Though there is always that nagging question - what if it works? And if you are guaranteed success in any venture, then nothing could stop you from killing the Lady and gaining control of Sigil.
Then again, the Book of Keeping is about the yugoloths, and when anything involves the 'loths it's best to assume there exists at least a dozen traps and a hundred lies around even the tiniest kernel of truth. Not only will you live longer, but you'll be keeping your eternal soul safer as well. The yugoloths might have written the book themselves, with lies designed to entrap the unwary and snares to lure even the most stalwart paladin over to the side of Evil. No fiend enjoys being bound by the hand of what to them is a lesser being, but the yugoloths will suffer such humiliation if it means furthering the darkness the lies within so many hearts across the planes of existence. A yugoloth will die today if it brings Everything closer to the triumph of Evil tomorrow. It is then entirely possible that the potion places the imbiber under the control of the 'loths, unto and beyond their death. After all, anyone able to find all the ingredients and complete the recipe must be a being of considerable resources and perhaps personal power, and would thus be a useful pawn on the board of the Cosmic Game.
If one seeks to use the potion to help kill the Lady of Pain, one needs to find the recipe, recover all the ingredients, and finally before imbibing the concoction make sure the potion actually works. Finding the recipe means seeking out a copy of the book, or at least the part that contains the recipe. One being who has dedicated himself to the transcription of the Book of Keeping is the shator Xideous, currently located in a cell in the Gatehouse Asylum. The gehreleth is incredibly arrogant and possibly insane to the point of having excess delusions of grandeur. He claims to have received a few pages from the Athar gnome Kesto Brighteyes and been funded by the titaness Zadara, as well as crediting Estavan of the Planar Trade Consortium with aiding him in the collection of information via transportation of gehreleths, bottled in liquid form, to and from his cell. While it seems Kesto and Zadara are knowingly aiding Xideous in the transcription of the Book of Keeping, Estevan's exact knowledge is less clear. Though the Athar have been banished from Sigil, they are still a planes spanning faction and should not be taken lightly. Similarly, those seeking to question a titaness belonging to the Merkhant sect or the head of the Planar Trade Consortium should either have a great deal of wealth or incredible force on their side. If one can gain an audience with either of these personages one should find a potentially invaluable source of information regarding their quest to do in the Lady of Pain.
As a titaness, Zadara is gifted with dominion over a certain aspect of reality and in her case it's the ability to sense the potential of a being. She's also looking for a way to gain control over Sigil herself though (which might be why she's interested in the Book of Keeping in the first place), so one should be wary about disclosing too much of their plans to her. With all the resources of the Planar Trade Consortium at his command, Estevan should prove to be in possession either the information one is seeking or capable of acquiring at least some important information about the Book of Keeping or really any plan one might wish to enact to kill the Lady of Pain. Be warned, though, that Estevan is not what he seems. He is more than an ogre magi, and his interests lie far beyond the acquisition of personal wealth. Estevan considers himself a guardian of the planes for reasons of his own, and it's quite possible that if he thought someone would harm the Lady of Pain he'd use his resources to stop them rather than aid them.
Acquiring the ingredients of the potion may also prove difficult, given that beyond the shred of arcanoloth heart very few recipes claiming to be the correct one have any ingredients in common. Ingredients range from the eye of the Astral Dreadnought to a simple collection of herbs and spices. Irketa H'zazz, a bladeling assassin, believes she has managed to gather all the ingredients over the decades and now requires the last one - the piece of an arcanoloth's heart. Irketa is convinced, given some divination she received about the recipe, that the certainty of success requires not just any arcanoloth's heart but specifically that of the King of the Crosstrade herself.
Given the disparate and conflicting recipes out there, many of which are works of fiction or themselves traps or deadly practical jokes, it is not enough to possess a recipe - one must verify that is both the one written in the Book of Keeping and that it actually works. Tracking this information down might involve a trip to the Tower of the Arcanoloths in Gehenna or even an audience with the Oinoloth in Khin Oin. Attempting to enter either location is fraught with danger, and so one might wish to ask for the aid of the Mithral Lodge and its masters of disguise. It might also involve traveling through time in order to learn the true history of the book and if even its author believed that the potion would actually work. If it does work, one wonders if the creator of the potion used it to achieve Sigil for herself...
There is another source that might be consulted, though even becoming lost in time or suffering at the hands of the Oinoloth might be preferable to the fate these beings can bestow as a sentence. The Baernoloths, those mysterious and seemingly weak members of the greater yugoloth caste, have been known to possess uncanny knowledge regarding not just the Lower Planes but of many things relating to the primordial ages of the Multiverse as well. There are even those who claim that the Demented, those insane baern who meddle in the affairs of Order and Chaos and serve as advisors to the ultroloths, are far more powerful than the experiences of many noted adventurers and Blood War veterans indicates.
Finally, once one has the potion and is reasonably convinced that it works, one must ensure that imbibing it grants success in any venture as well as get some idea of the costs that might be incurred to ensure such success.. Ideally one can find someone who possesses little guile and is possessed of a modest venture such as running a tea shop or taking a dysfunctional athletic team to the final rounds of its league. One might even give it to a slave who could not possibly achieve freedom any other way or a child wishing to turn into a dragon on his fifth birthday, that way ensuring that it is the potion and not some twist of coincidences that sees the venture through.
VIII. Use the Sigil Spell
About 10,000 years from Sigil's present day, a wizard named Shekelor departed Sigil after learning of an artifact called the Labyrinth Stone. The gem was thought to contain the spirit of a wizard who the Lady of Pain defeated but could neither maze nor annihilate, thus leaving the spirit of the wizard trapped not only in the gemstone but also within a psychic maze from which he could never escape.
Learning of this, Factol Rowan Darkwood attempted to utilize the stone in an incantation known as as the Sigil Spell, a dweomer that gem entrapped wizard created that would not only turn the city of Sigil itself into an arcane sigil, but would allow the caster to reshape the Cage to his own desires...though only through intent of will and a single spoken word.
Rowan attempts to use the spell at the height of the Faction War, but is thwarted and sent back in time. See, Rowan himself is the ancient wizard who created the Sigil Spell. He also happens to be the lunatic Gifad, a fate that ties into the nature of the Lady's Mazes. See, right before the Faction War got started, Rowan had the gem but ended up thrust into a Maze. Having prepared for that, Rowan had utilized the wish spell to lead him to a portal out of the labyrinth the Lady had led him into - but instead of arriving back in the present he arrived in the Gatehouse 500 years in the past due to some connection between the asylum and the Mazes.
Using the Sigil Spell to destroy the Lady of Pain is a plan with some merit. After all, the spell does give on the power to reshape Sigil, and if it was no threat to her it's unlikely the Lady would have gone through such trouble to thrust Rowan Darkwood into a time loop from which escape is close to impossible. Still, anyone attempting to utilize the spell would either have to be hidden (perhaps by the focrux, though where the spell must finally be activated is not within the confines of Harbinger House), immune to both mazing and Her Serenity's shadow, or speak the final part of the incantation from outside of Sigil that the Lady cannot reach but which can still send the message to the City at the moment the Sigil Spell's power is activated. If one could either navigate the planar time streams to the moment right after Rowan is mazed, but no one else has activated the spell, one could utilize Howler's Crag to say the final word and theoretically take over the City of Doors or at least grant its power to an ally within the boundaries of Sigil.
Of course, one might also attempt to recreate the spell once one has the means to resist the Lady's attacks. Anyone pursuing this course of action is advised to make sure the lesser Abyssal power held within the Automatic Scribe is no longer in Sigil, for the god might now be aware of the Sigil Spell after Rowan's failure to make use of it and would likely usurp any chance one had of speaking the word that completes the dweomer.
IX. Negate Her Power or turn It Against Her
The Lady's power comes from her ability to cast her enemies into her Mazes, the power of her shadow to flay her enemies regardless of the protections they've placed upon themselves, and ultimately her resistance to almost every form of attack. In fact, one cannot simply seek her out in her lair, she appears on her terms rather than because of any specific set of circumstances. Even when the cult of Trolan was worshipping her, she waited for days before publicly slaughtering them with her shadow. When Darkwood attempted to use the Sigil Spell against her, she set up events so that the factol of the Fated ended up in an endlessly recurring destiny, forced to replay his folly out until the end of time.
However, there have been those who've hypothesized different strategies for taking down the Lady, perhaps the greatest of these being the Sigil Spell. Yet the means others have undertaken or are seeking to undertake should not be overlooked, for perhaps though destined to fail there might be enough truth within their plans to see someone stronger and wiser through to the end of the quest to kill the Lady of Pain.
A. Turn the Mazes Against Her
When discussing the history of the Lady, one point that sticks out to any seeking to depose her is that she has not always had the ability to create her mazes. The key piece of evidence used by those who believe this is the entrapment of an ancient wizard in the Labyrinth Stone. Given that those who are truly aware of the events surrounding the Faction War know that the wizard was Rowan Darkwood, and that the Lady trapped him in the gemstone so as to imprison him inside an eternal recurrence, this one piece of evidence might simply be the Lady choosing a very specific punishment for the Duke.
Yet there may be some truth to the Lady's power over the Mazes being something that can be taken from her. After all, the Duke escaped his own maze with a specially prepared wish, and yet when he returned to Sigil it was 500 years in the past and in the confines of the Gatehouse. There is some known connection between the Gatehouse, whose central area appears as a massive helm, and the Lady's ability to spin off pieces of Sigil into Mazes floating in the Ethereal. What this connection is remains a mystery, though it is known that the Gatehouse did not always belong to the Bleak Cabal.
It is also possible that one might not need a wish to escape their Maze. The githyanki Djhek'nlarr has the ability to enter the Mazes of others and map her way around them, and finally escape through the portal the Lady is always said to leave to taunt those sentenced to that specific maze. It is believed by the Harmonium that Djhek'nlarr is a hr'a'cknir, a profession among her people dedicated to harnesses the psychic currents on the Astral. It is believe she can use this power to find those who she pushes into being mazed on the Deep Ethereal, by utilizing a supposed secret portal in Sigil itself, and then follow her own psychic trail out of any maze that she's entered. Djhek'nlarr, the Hard Heads suspect, is using all her maps to better understand how Her Serenity mazes enemies so that the githyanki criminal can steal that power and perhaps make a maze for the Lady herself.
Far removed from Sigil is another being who seeks to wrest control of the mazes. Baphomet has long known of the strange relationship between minotaurs and labyrinths, but he did not plan on fighting the Lady of Pain until the planewalker Ch'osk confirmed that in an alternate reality (possibly a prior iteration of the current multiverse) minotaurs were immune from the magic of the maze spell. This led to him wonder if the connection minotaurs had to mazes could one of their number, including possibly himself, capable of mastering the power the Lady possesses that allows her to spin off Mazes from the material inside Sigil.
While he may ask Pale Night for aid when a definite plan presents itself, Baphomet seeks answers from an even older demon prince Pale Night introduced him to. This ancient demon is known as Dwiergus, the Chrysalis Prince, and it was likely due to the tutelage of this obyrith lord that the Demon Lord of Beasts has devoted so much time to breeding and designing fiends that resemble the tanar'ri himself. Now together they seek to create a fiendish minotaur that might turn the magic of the Mazes against the Lady herself.
If anyone did manage to maze the Lady, it is unclear what the effects upon Sigil would be. Many graybeards suspect that even if the Lady were trapped Sigil might still be under her control, given that every maze still has a mystic connection to the Gatehouse at least. This connection might even exist for this exact eventuality. However, with the Lady gone and her control over the mazes lost, it is entirely possible that every prisoner she entrapped over the eons would be loosed upon the Cage simultaneously.
B. Drain Sigil of its Magic
Centuries ago, inspired by the wizard trapped in the Labyrinth stone, a group of magi came together and founded a faction based on the belief that arcana magic was the true key to the Multiverse. Known as the Incantifiers, these men and women were so confident in their faith that they transformed themselves into beings that fed on magic to survive.
There was much to credit their philosophy, including their own rise to power in Sigil. From their Tower Sorcerous they gained control over much of the Cage, until the day came when, like many factions who seem poised to take over the City of Doors, they disappeared from the streets of Sigil. Most believe that they are even now wandering a maze that they cannot escape despite their considerable arcane power.
Yet one of their number, transformed after their now centuries distant defeat, has come to the Cage and seeks to drain the city itself of its magic. This tiefling, known as Alluvius Ruskin, is one of the last remaining Incantifiers. It might be that her faith in magic is strong enough for her to eat from the city's own arcana, though if she attempts this and has any knowledge of Harbinger House she'll utilize the shielding properties of the Focrux.
Once she begins her plan, one should expect the portals of Sigil to fail, either not working at all or depositing travelers in unintended locations. The dabus will also be affected, and it's possible that the very magic Alluvius (or another Incantifier) steals is that which allows them live. As such, the dabus of the Cage might sicken and die even as the Lady is unable to find the one responsible. Finally, if Sigil is drained of all its magic, there might be nothing to keep the gods out but also nothing to fight over.
C. Turn Her into a God
If gods aren't allowed in Sigil, and the Lady became a god, then she'd have to exile herself. This is why, many claim, she forbids anyone from worshipping her. Yet the Lady's reach only extends to the boundaries of the Cage, and it is possible someone could gather followers for Her Serenity everywhere else in the Multiverse. If Trolan survived the madness that briefly seized Harbinger House, it's possible that as a deity of peace and love he might built his own faith around his love for the Lady of Pain. Others might begin cults elsewhere, and it stands to reason that at some point in time someone must have attempted to make the Lady into a god in order to exploit this apparent axiom regarding the nature of Sigil.
However, having worshipers doesn't necessarily make one a god, and lacking them doesn't always prevent one's apotheosis. The titan Zadara had worshipers on the Prime, but was unable to rise to godhood – which is when a true god sought to punish her she fled to the safety of Sigil. On the other hand the wizard Raistlin was a god in a now erased timeline, though this apparently would not have ended well for him.
If one could create worlds upon worlds of worshipers for the Lady, and somehow bring them into the extradimensional confines of Harbinger House, one may forced her into an unasked for apotheosis. Whether this means she must abandon control of Sigil is unknown.
D. Drive Her Mad
During the chaotic time that led to the possible ascension of certain Godsmen, the Lady was rather discomfited as the Focrux kept her from determining the location of those who were affecting the reality of her city. This led to the dabus to engage in various erratic behaviors, which aided adventurers in putting a stop to the nefarious plans of one particular succubus. If the contests of potential deities, mere mortals with a spark of the divine, could affect the Lady what would happen if a true god were able to work mischief from within the shelter of the Focrux's aura.
Bringing the Automatic Scribe and its resident Abyssal Power to Harbinger House might be one's best means of defeating the Lady, as the nightmarish miracles it would be free to perform would result in the Lady being driven insane.
Another plan, being worked on by a sextuplet of dream larva born from a tryst by an unknown oneiric power, is to confront the Lady with her worst fears. If they can find a way into Sigil, likely through the House, they believe that by attacking her simultaneously they will all transform into her worst fear and thus gain the ability to eliminate her once she goes mad from the terror. One of them, however, doubts the efficacy of this strategy and does not plan on going along with the rest should they find a portal to take them into the House. It is his belief that the Lady fears nothing, and that to confront would mean that a dream larva would cease to exist.
Within the forbidden Pages of Pain is a tale about Theseus, of how the Thrassian delivered an amphora to the Lady that contained memories gifted to her by Poseidon. These memories claimed that the Lady was the daughter of the Sea God, though it's possible such memories were false and meant to weaken the Lady's mental resolve. Regardless if the story in the Pages is true what is known is that Her Serenity continues to rule the City of Doors and Poseidon remains barred from its portals and streets.
E. Break Darkwood out of His Time Loop
If there is no Rowan, there is no Labyrinth Stone and possibly there are likely no Incantifiers, possibly no Faction War, and certainly no wizard who is Rowan thrown back in time to create the Sigil Spell. The very history of Sigil is called into question, and thus the history of all placed that have been touched by its portals from the time of the Labyrinth Stone to conclusion of the Faction War.
It is possible that placing Sigil in a temporal paradox would turn the myriad guardians of Time against the Lady, whose own actions have resulted in a possible snarl in the timestream - providing a valuable distraction if you are enacting another plan to take down the Lady or interfere with time for some other reason.This is assuming that changes to the past of the Multiverse don't result in the creation of divergent timestreams, though even then being able to manipulate events in this divergent Great Wheel might allow one to control the planes in that alternate timeline. It might be that several chronomancers have done just that, and are now sitting on the metaphorical Throne of Blades in these parallel wheels.
F. Utilize the Magic of the Mirrors
In ancient days, prior to the Rilmani settling around the base of the Spire, the Kamerel claimed the centermost area of the Outlands for themselves. Like the Rilmani they were creatures of neutrality, yet where the former sought to bring Balance to the Cosmos the Kamerel were concerned with only their own existences rather than any alignment or external belief. So great was their xenophobia that they isolated themselves from the rest of the Multiverse, content to exist on the Outlands away from all other races. Yet somehow, despite being so close to the Spire, they managed to learn the secrets of mirror magic. Thought it fails in the way all magic fails at the Spire's base, its efficacy outstrips the spells others might use in the Spire's proximity. Using mirror magic, the Kamerel were able to scry on others, transport themselves across their empire on the Outlands, and even create space within the reflections of their mirrors.
Yet when one of their number used the mirrors to create the Mirrored Library, which records anything written in the Multiverse intended to be seen by another's eyes, so long as it exceeds a certain number of words, the other Kamerel slew her for bringing such impurity into their homeland. Eventually, with the emergence of the Rilmani, the race of isolationists was forced to flee into the mirror worlds they'd created. But then the Kamerel returned, when a plague of stifling Order known as the Iron Shadow turned the Rilmani to salt. And then they were pushed back into the mirrors to which they had been driven.
Now there are some among the Kamerel that feel that they should reconquer the Outlands, and drive out all non-Kamerel from its infinite circumference. To do so, they realize, they need to control Sigil which in turn will hopefully give them control over the Spire and the Outlands. Having entered the Mirror Library through their other mirror worlds, they've poured over countless texts and use their ability to travel through mirrors to steal countless more from unsuspecting scholars, historians, and wizards. Having raised mirror magic to new heights, they now believe that once they drive off the Rilmani they can put their plan to control Sigil into action.
If given the chance, the Kamerel will place hundreds of thousands of mirrors around the Spire, all of them reflecting the torus of Sigil. Within their mirror worlds, the kamerel believe, they will have the power to compel the reflections of the Lady of Pain to give up her secrets and give them the means to her defeat. They will then use this knowledge to empower a mirror duplicate of her, if not a legion of them, all rising out of the mirrors and floating up toward the infinitely distant Sigil like dandelion seeds in the warm summer winds.
Even if their plan fails to work, one should consider the power of mirror duplicates against the Lady. While entering the Plane of Mirrors always has its share of risks, one might seek out the kamerel as well as the nerra, and possibly other races that might have knowledge of how to use the mirrors to reflect and possibly entrap Her Serenity.
G. Use a Piece of Her Body against Her
Among those privy to the secret history of Sigil as well as the power of Harbinger House, many wonder how the Focrux is able to block the sense of the Lady. There is also the question of how the helm of Jeremo the Natterer allows him to speak in the way of the dabus. Many wonder if these artifacts are somehow connected to the Lady, or perhaps even contain a part of her body that was now broken off in some time lost conflict. While the Helm of the Dabus may have no direct connection to the Lady, one does notice that when active the Forcux and the Planarity began to have bladelike protrusions pulsing along their surfaces.
Based on this theory, one might seek out the Knife in the River in the Ditch, a part of the blade that supposedly was torn from her scalp. If the Knife exists and is indeed a piece of Her Serenity's body, it's conceivable it might be used by a hedge witch to curse the Lady or by a conjurer seeking to bind her. Another object that might have come from the Lady's own flesh, or might otherwise have some power over her, is a mysterious staff in Thuldanin, the second layer of Acheron. A group of adventurers who aided Esteven against Lathuraz the Mad described it as being made of a bluish metal and having a protrusion of blades akin to that of the Lady's headdress. When one of them touched the staff, it shocked them with a powerful burst of electricity.
There is also a group of planar traders who say that the bloodline of the Lady could be used to control her, as because of this have set their sights on conquering the Zoronor, the City of Shadows. These Merkhants are convinced that the Lady was originally born of bladeling stock, based on some ancient tomb one of the myriad expeditions they fund that one group of hired adventurers managed to ransack. With the incredible wealth at their disposal, they are convinced they'll be able to hire an army large enough to conquer the bladelings. After this, they'll have the hundreds of alchemists in their employ experiment on the bladelings until some means of controlling the Lady of Pain is found. They way they see it, once they have Zoronor under their control they'll have generations of bladelings on which to experiment until they finally find what they're seeking.
X. Release a Being that will Destroy the Lady For You
While the thought of facing the Lady of Pain makes many quake in terror, most of Sigil's populace enjoys her protection and a few refugees are incredibly grateful for her interdiction against the gods and planar lords of the Multiverse. The Lady, after all, seems satisfied to protect her city from attack and ensure that no one person or faction is able to seize complete control over her portals or otherwise dominate the citizenry of the Cage. There are, as many graybeards will tell you, worse things out there.
Yet if one is determined to destroy Her Serenity, perhaps it is those worse things one should be seeking. Though there are many beings that have been forcefully trapped by gods and mortals, the ones that have the most likely chance of defeating the Lady are Tharizdun and the Sleeping Ones in Paraelemental Plane of Ice.
Tharizdun existed as a god of entropy and madness, a being so evil it is thought that powers from across the planes gathered together to imprison it and even then they were only partially successful. Tharizdun has many shards of itself scattered through the Multiverse, one of the greatest of them being a deity itself – the Elder Elemental Eye. Its thought that the greatest part of him exists within the Demiplane of Imprisonment in the Etheral, a crystalline cyst surrounded by an aura of dark, lunatic dreams. Not everyone agrees that the being imprisoned in that Demiplane is Tharizdun, or at least not the greatest part of him. When asked about the plane, the great sage Gygax remarked that such a plane would be too obvious and that Tharizdun's greatest portion would be imprisoned in special, isolated, section of reality. A group of beings that might be able to discern the location of its prison are the five Elemental Princes of Evil who are supposedly its children.
Beyond determining where Tharizdun is located, there is the question of how to free it. Some say there are 333 gems of evil that when collected will show the means by which the Dark God can be freed, while others say that the key to Tharizdun's freedom lies in a tripartite artifact known as the Theopart. The sage Gygax tell us that to create a prison via magic, even divine magic, the laws of the arcane arts demands that one creates a key to unlock this prison. The Theopart is said to be that key, though none are sure of the location of all three pieces. Each piece is connected to one of the three alignments of evil, and various texts suggest that the wielder of a piece is granted access to considerable power. The drow Eclavdra used one part to summon an army of demons, the ancient demon Vuron used the same piece to turn back the sands of time.
Releasing Tharizdun will likely result in all the forces of Good and Neutrality coming together to once again chain him. It is likely many forces of Evil will aid them, rather than become, as the sage Gygax notes, puppets to a greater force. If these forces are defeated, it is likely that the Multiverse will come to an end. As such, only someone suffocating with hatred would dare to release the Dark God solely to extinguish the life of the Lady. Unfortunately, this is the very case with the leonal Ambis, whose lover was a solar killed by the Lady several thousand years ago. For reasons unknown even to the leonal, her lover entered Sigil and attempted to pull an arrow of slaying from his quiver that would end the life of the Lady. Driven by a mad grief and burning hatred, Ambis has lost all reason of living save that of revenge. As such, she sees no reason why the rest of the Multiverse should exist though the deepest aspects of her misanthropy may be due to the dark influence of Tharizdun itself. Realizing that she might not be able to free Tharizdun before her fellow guardinals finally catch up with her, Ambis thinks that she might be able to get the Lady to make contact with the Demiplane of Imprisonment, which enfolds any who come into contact with. How she plans to get a part of the crystalline demiplane through a portal that connects to Sigil, and then get the Lady to contact it, is unknown perhaps even to her broken and deluded mind.
A less dark, though likely no less foolhardy, plan to kill the Lady of Pain is to enlist the Sleeping Ones. The bodies of these creatures extend for miles upon miles in the Ice, and it's said any who come near them will go insane from the mind shattering awe of their dormant presences. If the kuo-toa are correct, and the Sleeping Ones created the current configuration of reality, it is true they might have the strength to defeat the Lady of Pain. Though if they created reality as the Multiverse knows it, it is also possible that the Lady is their servant, that they created her to keep the Great Wheel whole until they awaken.
XI. Use the Last Word Against the Lady
When Orcus was slain by the drow goddess Kiaransalee, his corpse was left to float in the void of the Astral. Yet, whether by accident or design, the Prince of Undead found himself transformed into the undead spectre of a god that went by the name of Tenebrous. In this form, Orcus managed to find among the ruins of Pelion, the magic known as the True Words. The word that Orcus learned, the last Word, was said by its guardians to be “the most horrible of them all.” Though it began to consume his form, the Last Word also gave Tenebrous the power to slay numerous gods and planar lords including the modron lord Primus, the illithid god Maanzecorian, and the deity Camxtli whose power over fate did not save him from his death.
While Orcus has resurrected himself, a group of greater powers found a way to oppose or nullify the power of the Last Word. As such, it's unclear if it could be used against the Lady of Pain – this company of greater deities might have changed reality so that the Word doesn't work anymore. What's more, no mortal could learn the Last Word, or any of the True Words, without being consumed. So to even hold the Last Word in one's mind one must be immortal and possess considerable power. Yet there are many beings that might be able to learn a True Word and survive, and if a god did possess the Last Word it could enter Howler's Crag and speak the Word with the Lady as its intended recipient. In fact, if Tenebrous had not been preoccupied with stabilizing his own form it's possible he might have used the Last Word in just such a manner. Those adventurers who sought to prevent his resurrection recall a vision in the Astral in which Orcus was surrounded by dead gods and the Lady of Pain was held broken and bleeding in his claws.
Though the Last Word is likely unknown to any save Orcus and those deities who negated its power, there are those who seek the means to recover it. Some chronomancers have attempted to return to the past of Pelion, before the gods who created the True Words either died or simply left the third layer of Aborea. Others have attempted to reach the site of Tenebrous's discovery before he finds the Last Word. As yet, no one from either of these groups has returned.
A little known secret of the pact binders is that though Orcus was revived, the entity that was Tenebrous also survived and continues to exist in the place of the vestiges. It's thought that some part of Orcus's divinity, which he may or not still possess, was shorn from and it is that divine energy that resulted in the separate existence of Tenebrous. As yet, attempting to learn the Last Word from this shadowy being have proven fruitless though many immortal pact binders continue to try.
Yet there may be one more place that one might learn of the Last Word. On the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, there rests the Mountain of Ultimate Winter. Said to be the coldest place in the Multiverse, its known that the cold freezes even speech in its icy heights. There is a company of gelugons hiding from the immoth and paralementals of ice, seeking to find an echo of the Last Word that might have reveberated from across the Outer Planes, into the Inner Planes, and finally ended up within the icy confines of the Mountain.
Although the Last Word might be lost, there might be other True Words in the ruins of Pelion that could conceivably defeat the Lady of Pain. Among the kind but insane souls seeking to free the Lady from the Cage is the bralani eladrin Kesawa Iren. Ever since Orcus found the Last Word in the white wastes of Pelion (see Dead Gods), the celestial has been seeking a Word of Freedom whereby he might release the Lady from her life of servitude. He is certain that separating her from her Cage will end her life, but he believes that this would be a mercy killing as her soul would finally be able to move on to what he claims is a higher reality beyond the circumference of the multiverse. Kesawa plans not only to the learn the True Word of Freedom, but to speak it at the conclusion of the Sigil Spell which he plans to recreate. Though he has neither the True Word or the Sigil Spell, the bralani is courageous and insane enough to believe that Virtue itself will see him through...
All the streets of Sigil resemble those of the Shattered Temple. Much of the city is in ruins, with massive cracks revealing the depths of Undersigil and the nothingness that lies beyond the now open Cage. Thousands are dead, and lying amongst the corpses are the sickening dabus, their last words floating above their weary heads in the form of grey and black rebuses. In your arms is your soon to be dead enemy, and it is amazing how *light* she feels in the sliced cradle of your arms. With her last bit of life force she beckons you near her. You lean in to hear what she has to whisper even as the portals of Sigil flicker with the arrival of fiends and angels and far older, more dangerous things...
It's over. Though most of your party might have died to accomplish it, the Lady of Pain is dead. What happens next? That's up to you as the GM, though you might choose to enact one of the options below.
If the Lady of Pain is what keeps the powers out of Sigil, her demise will mean that countless gods - not to mention planar lords - from across the Multiverse will attempt to enter the City of Doors either to seize control or to keep one of their enemies from doing so. Even if the gods can't enter the Cage right away, they're servants will take to the streets to slaughter their rivals. One of the reasons for Sigil's diversity is that many powers keep their followers and creations in the Cage in case any opportunity to take over the city arises.
This war won't be limited to Sigil either - pantheons will war with one another across the planes, hoping to thin the herd of powers they're competing against. Countless artifacts and monstrous horrors will be unleashed, so that even if after the dust settles there is a god who controls the City of Door it's likely that deity will preside over a shattered wasteland of a Multiverse.
While this war of deities is going on, one place that will see an influx of planars is the Prime Material Plane. Though gods migh be able to work some miracles on the Prime, their power is greatly reduced and thus it is much, much safer to be on what the planars brashly used to refer to as "backwaters".
Note that while many gods sought to overthrow Her Serenity, there were those who likely approved of the balance she fostered or believed her to be the one legitimate ruler of Sigil. Others may have been her secret lovers or friends, and in the case of Io perhaps even her sire. Once control of Sigil is decided, many of these beings will seek out the Lady's killers in order to pass sentence or have their vengeance.
II. Someone Must Always Sit Upon the Throne of Blades
It is possible that the Lady, or whoever empowered her to rule Sigil, prepared for this eventuality. In this case, there might be a series of tests one must overcome in order to gain control over the Cage. Whether everyone in the Multiverse is an eligible candidate or the contest is limited either to her killers or the citizens of Sigil is something each GM must decide for themselves. It might be the case that to undergo the quest is to be pulled to the cause of the Balance, in which case by the end the new Lord or Lady of Blades has been molded into a suitable replacement for the one that was killed.
It's also possible that control of Sigil is more akin to a punishment than a reward, with ones will largely directed by the dabus or the city itself. In this case the one who dealt the killing blow might be condemned to take the place of Her Serenity until, eons from now, they too might taste the sweet release of death.
III. The Lock is Broken, the Play is Done
Perhaps Sigil was in fact a seal, and suddenly the death of the Lady no longer allows it to act in that capacity. This might mean something horrible emerges from the Far Realms, or it might be that the Greater Unknown of the Athar is finally free to turn the Multiverse into a Paradise.
Sigil may have been called a Cage because it kept all the Multiverse from rising to the next level of existence, or it might be the case that the Lady's death reveals the existence of parallel Great Wheels that together form the Meta-Verse. Perhaps with the Lady's death Factol Skall is free to lead the Great Wheel to the True Death, or Factol Erin is able to use the seal in the Sensate headquarters, the one that resembled the now dead Lady, and turn everyone into disembodied spirits free to gather sensations from across reality without the impediment of their bodies.
IV. Little to Nothing
The moment the Lady dies, it is possible that she vanishes and reappears floating above her would be assassins. Before the shadow falls, the reward for all their world shattering efforts is a mischievous smile playing across Her Serenity's gun metal face.
If this is to be the case, make sure that the players of your campaign received plenty of hints and warnings that their efforts would prove futile. In fact, this might be an ending better saved for a one shot, even if your campaign centered around saving the Lady rather than killing her. A pointless campaign, after all, is a pointless campaign.
Conclusion (it's pure filler right now)
This article presented various parts of canon, as well as creative material from the fans at Planewalker, that might be helpful in crafting a campaign around the an assassination attempt against the Lady of Pain. The means and methods presented here are by no means the only possible ones, nor should you let anything said here keep you from playing the game that you enjoy.