The unusual suspects – the characters of Planescape: Torment (part 2)

Dhall

 

 “I am a scribe, a cataloger of all the shells that come to the Mortuary. Only I see the faces of those that lie upon our slabs… As long as I remain at my post, I will protect your right to search for your own truth.”

– Dhall, to the Nameless One

The ancient and sickly record-keeper of the Dustmen faction, Dhall is encountered shortly after the Nameless One awakes in the Mortuary. He is also the first to shed any light on the immortal’s condition, calling him “Restless One” for his corpse’s many visits to the Mortuary. Dhall spends his days coughing up blood and writing the names of the dead in a massive book while he awaits the True Death.

Deionarra

 “I shall wait for you in Death’s hall’s my love…”

– the ghost of Deionarra

A woman whose love for a previous incarnation of the Nameless One (the same incarnation that rescued Morte and imprisoned Vhailor) damned her spirit to wander the Negative Material Plane, though she evidently loves him still. Deionarra has the gift of prophecy, and her early encounter with the Nameless One is laden with obscure foreshadowing. She appears throughout the game, most notably in a sensory stone experience that reveals just how cruel and manipulative the Nameless One truly was in his Practical Incarnation.

Receiving her forgiveness at the game’s climax is pure and genuine catharsis.

The Lady of Pain

“The Lady of Pain, yes, yes… she is the force behind Sigil, you know. Very impressive figure, but little is known about her.”

– Able Ponder-thought, of the Guvners

A pervasive and evasive presence – her visage appears on loading screens and on the control panel, but to encounter her in person means breaking her laws and provoking her wrath: first time, she’ll Maze you; second time, she’ll flay your flesh with a mere glance. A floating giant, she wears a mask of rusty iron blades, so no one knows her identity, though it is known that she is able to keep gods from entering her city of Sigil (and she once killed the deity Aoskar), making her one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse; yet she punishes those who dare worship her. She never speaks, but everyone in Sigil knows her will.

Fell

 “Are yeh so pig-eager to dance in the Lady’s shadow yeh’ll bandy words with this one?! Let’s give this place the laugh before we get penned in the dead-book!”

Annah, speaking of Fell

Fell is a dabus, a race of floating “janitors” who speak in hovering symbols called rebuses and silently carry out the will of the Lady of Pain. Fell walks, because Fell no longer serves the Lady. He owns his own tattoo parlour in Sigil’s Hive district. His tattoos are magic, tailored to an individual’s inner nature. Fell can identify some of the Nameless One’s markings and can later scribe symbols of power from the Nameless One’s current and previous incarnations.

I read somewhere that Fell was supposed to be a joinable NPC, but that the idea was cut due to time/monetary/arbitrary restraints. It’s a pity – Fell would have fit in well with the others.

Pharod

“Pharod threw away his position, his goals, and took up a new title… And became a King of Rags! He would rule the trash, have his subjects search it all, and find that which he needed. He looks even now, even now…”

– Reekwind’s tale of Pharod

The first major quest the Nameless One must complete is finding Pharod in the Buried Village beneath Ragpicker’s Square. Pharod rules his “kingdom” of corpse collectors and thugs from a ruin he calls Illwind Court. He was once a man of influence and power in Sigil, but his many lies sealed his destiny – damnation to the Nine Hells. It was foretold to him that, “only in trash can you find that which will let you cheat your fate”. And so he became the Collector King, old and bent and bitter. When the Nameless One delivers the Bronze Sphere to Pharod in exchange for information, the collector proves less than helpful, though he does introduce his adopted daughter Annah to the party. He is soon after killed by shadows pursuing the Nameless One. The Bronze Sphere did not, in the end, help him cheat his fate.

Lothar

 “Do NOT offend this blood, boss… he’ll dead-book you faster than you can spit.”

– Morte told you so

The Master of the Bones is neither an ally nor an enemy – he abducts Morte, releases him in exchange for a greater skull, and provides the Nameless One with a very important clue: the name of Ravel Puzzlewell. Lothar collects skulls, animating them so they might share the secrets they possessed in life, whether they like it or not. He’s one of the few people in the universe who can truly kill the Nameless One, and much faster than you can spit. 

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~ by John E. Roberts on 21/05/2011.

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