The Infinite Staircase (Planescape)

From Karriviki

One of the lesser-known methods of traveling the planes, the Infinite Staircase extends anywhere creativity can be found. Its reach is nearly as vast as that of Sigil itself, though it holds its own hazards and difficulties. The Staircase ascends up from the Gates of the Moon, the realm of the goddess Selune on the plane of Ysgard, and it is watched over by the enigmatic lillendi. Here can also be found the headquarters for the Planewalker's Guild, a once-renown guild of planar travelers that today is barely a blip on the multiverse.

Description

Contrary to what the name may suggest, the Infinite Staircase is in fact many separate flights. From the bottom of the 200-foot-wide shaft, known as the Base, indeed spirals up a single silver set of stairs, 20 feet wide. Green tendrils of ivy hang from this staircase irregularly, needing neither rain nor sun by all appearances, and lending this lower section its occasional alternate name of the Ivy. The shaft itself seems to widen as one ascends, soon fading from sight. However, nearly 1000 feet above the base, too far to see from the bottom of the shaft, rests the first landing, itself 200 feet wide, and from which rise a number of separate flights of stairs, each of different designs, materials, and constructions. The ultimate destinations of these flights cannot be seen, seeming to merely stretch into the shadowy darkness, as visibility in this realm is limited to a mere 250 feet regardless of what sort of vision a person uses. More landings can be found as one ascends, however. Some have additional single flights continuing upwards, some have many, and some end with no further stairs.

The Infinite Staircase is attracted by nothing more than creativity itself. Though rarely found in the middle of nowhere near an especially creative individual, links to it are thus most often found within the cities of the planes. Thus, portals on the Staircase always take the form of doors, strangely enough even those indeed found in the middle of nowhere. They are usually found somewhere where most will ignore its presence — often a forsaken cellar or abandoned building, but sometimes merely an out of the way spot in a person's basement. These doors are always found on one of the staircase's landings, and every landing but the first always possesses a single door, from a simple wooden construction to a large metal valve to, rarely, an open archway. Unlike portals, the area beyond the doors of the Infinite Staircase seem directly connected, as if you were merely stepping from one room to another. Though a person can look through the doorway, environmental hazards such as great heat or floods of water are held back through some mystical means. The environment around the landing is often telling of the area beyond, with darker areas of the Staircase more likely to lead to the Lower Planes, while brighter areas are more likely to lead to the Upper.

The Lillendi

Lillend.png

The Lillendi serve as the guardians, custodians and managers of The Infinite Staircase.

A tauroid species, lillendi have the upper torsos of attractive elven women (or rarely, men) but the lower bodies of snakes, their body in total usually reaching 20 feet by maturity. Broad feathered wings extend from their backs, with a wingspan of 15 to 20 feet by adulthood. Though the humanoid portions of their anatomy are fairly normal in appearance, the feathered and scaled portions are all brightly colored, with striking patterns that are unique from individual to individual. Some lillendi choose to tattoo their flesh, covering their entire body with artistic patterns, though most eschew this. Lillendi tend not to wear clothing, but usually have jewelry of some form, and those of higher status possess totem masks indicating their membership in various mysteries.