The Infinate Staircase



Feb 21, 2007 22:48:16
Besides the Tales book & the Book of Chaos, where else can I find info about the Infinate Staircase?

I can't seem to find out info about how a person actually knows where to travel if you're on the stairs. If a person wants to get to a city using the stairs, how does he know what door to use? And how does he know how to find that door?

In the Tales book, it says the Lillend will tell the PC's to go to doorways such as "the Unclimbable Mountain". So they don't know the names of the city it leads to? Why not? And if the pathways on the stairs are not permanent pathways, how do you give directions & find your way if the way is different depending on if you're alone or not?


Feb 22, 2007 1:16:53
You didn't expect traveling between the planes to be easy, did you?

There's more information on the Infinite Staircase in the Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, page 110, and in For Duty & Deity, page 17. There's some more stuff on the Mimir.

The lillendi don't generally know the names of cities because they don't care about that sort of thing. They're not incapable of learning names, but they generally have better things to do than to memorize obscure places they don't intend on ever going to. They're guardians of the Staircase, not the places to which the Staircase leads.

If you don't have a guide, you navigate the Infinite Staircase by "feel" - if you're going to the Abyss, you stop at each split in the Staircase and choose the branch that feels more Abyssal than the other. If you keep doing that long enough, you'll eventually find a section that's extremely Abyssal in feel (and appearance, too), and that's where you'll find a door to the Abyss.

It's hard to get very specific that way - getting to the Abyss doesn't get you to Azzagrat, after all. You can keep going, trying to find the stairs that feel not just Abyssal but with the peculiar mix of sophistication and depravity that define Graz'zt's realm, but you'll probably going to have to ask for directions. After all, if you know that completely how Azzagrat feels, you probably know how to get there already. The Planewalker's Guild has mapped out paths to many major realms, though, and the lillendi know much about their staircase that others do not. You might also get help from fellow travelers, for a price.

This is deliberate. If it were easy to get anywhere in the multiverse without help, the Infinite Staircase would be too convenient. Traveling on the Staircase is an adventure in itself, possibly a very long and elaborate adventure. One of the hooks intended to get you playing Tales from the Infinite Staircase is that you really want to get to Graz'zt's realm (in For Duty & Deity), but the lillendi won't tell you where it is until you help them with their problem.

The paths are more or less permanent. A door that goes to a building that's been destroyed or completely change might move somewhere else in the same city, and a city that loses its artistic community might lose its connection to the Staircase altogether, at least until someone there has a creative thought again. But generally the doors remain where they are for a long time.

If you're alone, the existing paths don't change. What happens is a new path appears that wasn't there before (or maybe no one noticed it) - this path leads to your heart's true desire. The other paths remain the same.