(This is a continuing series detailing my playthrough of Planescape Torment. You can check out the whole run on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
One thing I’ve always loved about the Baldur’s Gate/Planescape titles are the ambient noises that come with each map. It’s a small detail, a background detail, but it adds a lot of atmosphere to these games that were far from in-your-face graphical powerhouses. I think that the noises — the people shouting in the streets, the clanking of blacksmith hammers, animals barking — subconsciously help me get immersed into the setting and light my imagination on fire.
So my motley crew has finished up with the Lower Ward and is moving on to the Clerk Ward of Sigil. I’m starting to feel as though things are moving along, yes sirree!
Time to rub shoulders with the locals. We chat with a drunken mage who can’t seem to stop drinking. It’s kind of clear from speaking to him that an enchanted mug that he won from a game is responsible for this, but there’s no option to help him out. Another guy near the open-air tavern is a lot more talkable and provides me with the first laugh of the day:
Able is a useful fellow. He offers to do some research on both the night hag and my past incarnations, and he’s a wonderful repository of information on the Lady of Pain, Sigil’s ruler. The Lady is such an interesting character, especially considering that we haven’t met her yet but the game has built her up quite a lot. Able says that she deposed a former deity who ruled the city and decreed that no powers or teleportation was allowed in Sigil. She also hates to be worshipped, mazes anyone who threatens her or the city, doesn’t talk to anyone, and hasn’t been seen. She’s peachy.
I do a quick mission for a local snobby noble who wants me to go pick him up a costume from the tailor. While there, I find a fabulous outfit for Annah that beefs up her stats (and makes her look all razzle-dazzle).
Speaking of shopping, I head down to a curiosity shop where scads of exotic items are waiting to be purchased. I snapped up several of them, despite their vague-sounding descriptions, and used a monster jug to summon a nasty critter that gave me 14K experience upon its death.
What now? Hm. A little antsy. Might as well… go to a brothel?
Hey, don’t look at me that way. This is Planescape Torment, and a brothel is not what you think it is. This is the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts, where the mind — not the body — is satiated. In short, it’s a place where people go to be mentally stimulated via conversations, debates, riddles, and the like.
It’s also the home of an angelic being (succubus, actually) known as Fall-From-Grace, and since she’s a potential party member, I’ve got to play nice and see if I can get her to join Team Nameless One. She’s intrigued with who I am and my quest to discover myself (what, am I a college freshman reading On The Road or something?), but she wants me to chat up 10 of her co-workers before she’ll go with me. Only ten? What happened to the rule-of-three thing?
In a room near Fall-From-Grace, I encounter a (why not?) talking armoire. Its name is Luis, and I guess he was a normal guy who figured he could perve out on the brothel’s workers by transforming into a piece of furniture to hold their unmentionables and spy on them. For once I am speechless. I consider putting my spare loincloth in his drawers as punishment, however.
Exploring the rest of the brothel will have to wait until tomorrow, alas. I’m too mentally exhausted to continue.