WINDSWEPT DEPTHS OF PANDEMONIUM
It is a place of howling, screaming winds.
It is an underground realm of stygian darkness.
It is where sanity is besieged by unending madness.
Pandemonium is a great mass of matter pierced by innumerable
tunnels carved by the howling winds of the plane. It is windy, noisy, and dark,
having no natural source of light. The wind quickly extinguishes normal fires,
and lights that last longer draw attention of wights driven insane by the constant
howling wind. Every word, scream, or shout is caught by the wind and flung through
all the layers of the plane. Conversation is accomplished by shouting, and even
then words are spirited away by the wind beyond 10 feet. The stale wind of Pandemonium
is cold, and it steals the heat from travelers unprotected from its endless
gale that buffets each inhabitant, blowing sand and dirt into eyes, snuffing
torches, and carrying away loose items. In some places, the wind can howl so
fiercely that it lifts creatures off their feet and carries them for miles before
dashing their forms to lifeless pulp against some dark, unseen cliff face. In
a few relatively sheltered places, the wind dies down to just a breeze carrying
haunting echoes from distant pans of the plane, though they are so distorted
that they sound like cries of torment. Erythnul, the Lord of Slaughter, makes
his terrible domain on Pandemonium.
Pandemonium has four layers: Pandesmos, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Agathion.
Pandemonium has the following traits.
- Objective Directional Gravity: In the cavernous tunnels of
Pandemonium, gravity is oriented toward whatever wall a creature is nearest.
Thus, there is no normal concept of floor, wall and ceiling—any surface is a
floor if you’re near enough to it. Rare narrow tunnels
exactly cancel out gravity, allowing a traveler to shoot through them at incredible
speed. The layer of Phlegethon is an exception—there the normal gravity trait
- Normal Time.
- Infinite Size: Pandemonium goes on forever, although its well-known
realms are bounded.
- Divinely Morphic: Specific powerful beings such as the deity
Erythnul can alter Pandemonium. Ordinary creatures find Pandemonium indistinguishable
from the Material Plane (the alterable morphic trait, in other words). Spells
and physical effort affect Pandemonium normally.
- No Elemental or Energy Traits.
- Mildly Chaos-Aligned: Lawful characters on the plane of Pandemonium
suffer a –2 penalty on all Charisma-based checks.
- Normal Magic.
Permanent portals exist between various planes and Pandemonium. Several tunnels
blow in from or out to the Elemental Plane of Air. Also, the headwaters of the
Styx well up from the topmost layer of Pandemonium.
Pandemonium is probably the least inhabited of all the Outer
Planes. It is arguably the least hospitable, even though there are hotter planes,
colder ones, and planes with crueler denizens. But no plane is more mindnumbingly
exhausting. The constant screeching of the
winds eventually brings low both the loftiest celestial and the foulest fiend.
Besides the occasional fiendish nest, the only other natives of note are small
rag-tag groups of mortal humans, goblinoids, giants, dwarves, drow, and other
species, collectively called the Banished. A long forgotten creature, spellcaster,
or deity sentenced their distant ancestors to this plane, and the descendants
have never found a way to leave. The Banished of various species are responsible
for the sad little cities that manage to survive in this terrible
Of course, Pandemonium has many petitioners. Most of them are
swallowed by the screaming wind immediately upon arrival. But some linger, appearing
much as they did in life, though they are bonier, and the winds somehow don’t
affect them as much. Also, most of them are completely, utterly insane. Pandemonium’s
petitioners have the following special petitioner traits:
Additional Immunities: Electricity, sonic.
Resistances: Cold 20, acid 20.
Other Special Qualities: None.
WINDSTORMS ON PANDEMONIUM
The constant winds on Pandemonium can gust with howls so maddening
and speeds so enormous that they become dangerous. Those caught without shelter
when one of Pandemonium’s windstorms blows up are in trouble; both mind and
body are in peril. A windstorm has a 10% chance per day of blowing through a
given area. Generally, a windstorm gusts through an area in 1 round.
TABLE 7–3: WINDSTORMS ON PANDEMONIUM
d%* Effect Saving Throw
01–10 Flying pebbles deal 1d4 Reflex DC 15 half points of damage
11–20 Pelting stones deal 2d6 Reflex DC 18 half points of damage
21–30 Howling wind causes Will DC 15 confusion for 1d4+1 rounds negates
31–40 Flying boulders deal 2d8 Reflex DC 20 half points of damage
41–50 Cacophonous wind causes Will DC 18 confusion for 2d4+1 rounds negates
51–60 Wind picks up travelers, Reflex DC 22 half dashing them against rock
wall for 2d10 points of damage
61–70 Screaming wind causes Will DC 20 confusion for 2d4+1 rounds negates
71–80 Wind picks up travelers, Reflex DC 24 half dashing them against rock
wall for 4d10 points of damage
81–90 Wind picks up travelers, Reflex DC 24 half, dashing them against rock
then Reflex DC wall for 4d10 points of 20 negates damage, then blows them into
a tributary of the River Styx
91–100 Shrieking wind causes Will DC 22 insanity negates
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Locomotion on Pandemonium feels like it does on the Material
Plane where tunnels are long and winds are strong. But when the winds gust up,
movement can be very difficult (see the Windstorms on Pandemonium sidebar).
Pandemonium Combat Combat functions normally on Pandemonium, but in most cases
takes place among strong winds. All ranged weapons suffer a –2 penalty on attacks
due to the winds, and Tiny or smaller creatures must make a Fortitude save (DC
10) each round or be knocked down.
Sometimes the winds of Pandemonium are even more powerful. For the effects of
stronger winds on combat, see Table 3–17: Wind Effects in Chapter 3 of the DUNGEON
The name Pandemonium means “uproar and commotion.” As its definition implies,
the features of Pandemonium are numerous and tumultuous. There are four layers
on Pandemonium, and the terrible windstorms can blow through anyone of them.
Vision on Pandemonium is much like any deep underground locations on the Material
Plane where there is no natural light. Hearing on Pandemonium The constant screams
of the wind make it impossible to hear anything beyond 10 feet. Likewise, spells
and effects that rely on sonic energy have their range limited to 10 feet. Travelers
are temporarily deafened after 1d10 rounds of exposure to the winds, and permanently
deafened after 24 hours of exposure. Temporarily deafened characters regain
their hearing after 1 hour spent out of the wind. Ear plugs or similar devices
negate the deafening effect. Of course, wearing ear-plugs effectively mimics
the normal effects of being deafened.
The first layer of Pandemonium has the largest caverns, with
some big enough to hold entire nations. Large or small, most caverns are desolate
and abandoned to the winds.
Several of Pandesmos’s caverns and tunnels possess a feature in common besides
the omnipresent wind. Streams of frigid water flow from cavern to cavern, some
down the center of the tunnel in midair because the objective gravity exerted
by each wall cancels out the others. Many of these streams, but not all, are
tributaries of the River Styx.
Madhouse: A group of outsiders known as the
Bleak Cabal maintains a citadel in Pandesmos that serves as a way station for
travelers. The Madhouse is a sprawling edifice of haphazardly organized buildings
divided by several circular stone walls. The citadel is so large it fills an
entire cavern, covering every surface. The place is rife with travelers, petitioners,
and natives. Available services include lodging and most other services one
might expect in i normal city. However, a respectable percentage of the Madhouse’s
populace is insane, deaf, or both.
Winter’s Hall: This region of Pandemonium is
snowy and blizzard-ridden. Visibility, even when light can be had, is only a
few feet. The snow never rests; the winds constantly whip it up so it coats
tunnels and even creatures with a uniform layer of ice. Frost giants and winter
wolves prowl the cold waste. These creatures serve a particularly cruel entity
called many names but most often venerated as the Trickster.
The tunnels of Cocytus tend to be smaller than those of Pandesmos,
which means that they funnel the winds more strongly. The resulting wails have
earned Cocytus the nickname “layer of lamentation.” Strangely, the tunnels on
this layer bear the marks of having been hand-chiseled, but such an undertaking
must have occurred so long ago that years do not suffice as a measure.
Howler’s Crag: A jagged spike of stone stands
in the center of Cocytus. The Crag is a jumbled pile of stones, boulders, and
worked stone, as if a giant’s palace had collapsed in on itself. The Crag’s
top is mostly a level platform about eight feet in diameter, with a low wall
surrounding it. The platform and those on it glow with an ephemeral blue radiance.
The lower reaches of the Crag are riddled with small burrows. Some are merely
dead ends, but others connect. The wall of every burrow is covered with lost
alphabets that supposedly spell out strange psalms, liturgies, and strings of
numerals or formulas. Natives of Pandemonium say that anything yelled aloud
from the top of the Crag finds the ears of the intended recipient, no matter
where that recipient is on the Great Wheel. The words of the message are borne
on a shrieking, frigid wind. Demons of various sorts have learned that visitors
constantly trickle to the crag. The visitors are usually archeologists, diviners,
and those wishing to send a message to some lost friend or enemy. Most become
the prey of the ambushing fiends.
Harmonica: Legend tells of a site in Cocytus
called Harmonica. In this place, the winds whip through a cavern with holes
and tubes chiseled into gargantuan rock columns, creating a noise worse than
anywhere else in the plane. Somewhere within this mazelike realm of tortured
cacophony lies the true secret of planewalking: the art of traveling the planes
without a portal, spell, or device of any kind. In all likelihood, this secret
is a legend with no basis in fact, but that doesn’t stop the occasional seeker
from finding, then dying among, the columns of Harmonica.
The unrelenting noise of dripping water meshes with the howling
winds of Phlegethon’s narrow, twisting runnels. The rock itself absorbs light
and heat. All light sources, natural and magic, only shine to half their normal
distance. Unlike on the other layers, normal gravity applies in Phlegethon’s
tunnels, giving rise to intricate stalagmite and stalactite formations, which
in turn are constantly weathered by the brutal wind.
Windglum: Windglum is a city of Banished in
a cavern several miles wide and long, with enormous natural columns that hold
up the cavern’s ceiling. Hundreds of ever-burning globes provide light for the
city, illuminating a disordered sprawl of individual homes. The homes in turn
surround a fortification known locally as the Citadel of Loros. Windglum is
characterized by an aura of suspicion. The locals are unlikely to trust strangers,
and many of Windglum’s citizens are mentally unstable. However, one inn in Windglum
welcomes strangers. Called the Scaly Dog, it’s a place where a planar traveler
can meet other wayfarers, hire mercenaries, gather information, or seek employment.
Citadel of Slaughter: Called “The Many,” the
intermediate deity Erythnul is lord of envy, malice, panic, ugliness, and slaughter.
Erythnul is a brutal deity who makes his home in what appears to be a tumbled
ruin of some vast citadel. In fact, its tortuous passages channel cold winds
on which can always be heard the sound of terrible battle. Battle-mad petitioners
of all races infest the passages, and they desire nothing other than to hunt
and slay each other in cold blood. At the center of the pile is Erythnul himself,
usually engaged in the slaughter of an endless stream of petitioners, as well
as the occasional mortal captive. In battle, the deity’s features change between
human, gnoll, bugbear, ogre, and troll. If ever Erythnul’s blood is spilled,
it transforms into an allied creature of whatever form Errilinul currently wears.
No one goes to the Citadel of Slaughter on purpose, unless they serve Erythnul
and seek to join in the deity’s eternal slaughter.
In the fourth layer, the narrowing tunnels finally constrict
down to nothing, leaving behind an infinite number of closed-off spaces filled
with stale air or vacuum surrounded by an infinitude of solid stone. The portals
that connect Agathion to the rest of Pandemonium open into the otherwise unreachable
bubbles, but the act of stepping through a portal always sets off a windstorm.
Unless you know where the portal is, the closed-off spaces of Agathion are almost
impossible to find. For this reason, forgotten spaces have been used by deities
(and other powerful entities that predate the current deities) as vaults where
items are hidden away. Such items may include uncontrollable artifacts, precious
mementos, lost languages, unborn cosmologies, and monsters of such cataclysmic
power that they couldn’t be slain or otherwise neutralized.