My players just Brittaed my game, and I both love them and am frustrated with them for it. I could really use some advice for how to allow them to proceed with an insanely ambitious idea.
(For context on that, have this short Community clip: "Guys, we've got to do something about these gnomes!")
So my 9th level players are in Sigil, the City of Doors, a favored adventuring city of mine from the Planescape setting. However, I hadn't been in Sigil in a while, so I used the Sigil Wiki page for a refresher. A line in the wiki caught my interest – "It was also rumored that a kindness of wereravens inhabited the city's underground." I wondered why wereravens were singled out in a city famous for its diversity, so I threw them into a sidequest as the slaves of a kingdom of derro dwarves who ruled a portion of Undersigil.
When my players asked the derro why they had wereraven slaves, I handwaved it by saying that wereravens aren't allowed above Sigil, so the derro allow them to live in Undersigil as slaves. Oh, my players were not having any of that bullshit. They NEEDED to know why wereravens specifically, out of all of the races that roam Sigil, including devils, demons, and mind flayers, were the only race exiled from the surface. So I had them do a lengthy skill challenge to gather information about the wereravens since no one in Sigil seemed to know why wereravens had been exiled, only that they have been ostracized for generations, so the cycle continues (because I never intended to know why myself). As they're doing their skill checks, I'm frantically running through all of the information I can find about Sigil and wereravens and finding next to nothing.
I eventually did an ass-pull and explained that although there are numerous legends, songs, and even plays as to why wereravens alone are so looked down upon in Sigil, the most prominent feature of them all is that, millennia ago, a group of wereravens so betrayed the Lady of Pain that she forever forbade their existence on Sigil. To add some extra fluff to it, I added that some people speculate that razorvine is actually pieces of those wereravens forced to suffer in perpetuity and that their souls are the portals that allow exits from the Lady's Mazes, forever able to release others from torment, but not themselves. Like, I went really heavy-handed here.
They ate it up. They are now DETERMINED to help the wereravens in Sigil, despite, or maybe because of how entwined I made them with the Lady of Pain. They started discussing the possibility of destroying the Mazes and restoring the honor of the wereravens. I could see that they were really excited about the idea, so I threw them another small bone that I found on the Lady of Pain's wiki, that Mordenkainen noted the Lady of Pain had some sort of connection to the Raven Queen, and that "only they know each other's true intentions."
They flipped out and started speculating that maybe the Raven Queen and Lady of Pain are sisters or somehow related, and THAT'S the real reason why the Lady despises wereravens. They were so happy and excited by the possibility of freeing wereravens and meeting Mordenkainen and the Raven Queen and such that I did not have the heart to discourage them. I'll rarely tell a player that they CAN'T do something, and more often than not say that you can always try. I'm sure you all know the excited tone that I'm referencing, the one where they start making up ideas about adventures in their own mind before anything has even happened yet.
Long story short, I'm want to come up with some ideas for how the players could at least achieve a part of their intended goal of "saving the wereravens of Sigil from the Lady of Pain." The fact that there was a connection between the Raven Queen and the Lady of Pain was amazingly coincidental and fortunate because I think I can have them really tug on that thread, or maybe meet up with Mordenkainen for some extra info. I've done some big ideas before, but directly interfering with the Lady of Pain is something that I don't know how to manage. The players have all been threat warned about her before – they know she is beyond powerful.
TLDR; 9th level party wants to directly interfere with the Lady of Pain in Sigil by somehow freeing or saving the entire wereraven race, which she exiled. The players are aware of the Lady's powers and that she has connections to the Raven Queen and Mordenkainen.
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More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "The Enigma of the Wereravens of Sigil, or “How I Painted Myself Into A Corner With A Throwaway Backstory”" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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