Bits and pieces
In the interests of full disclosure, this is obviously a work in progress, subject to numerous revisions in the near and medium future whilst I work out the kinks and build a lot of this stuff.
As it's a work in progress, I hope you can brea with me through all of that.
What else do I need to say?
This is a work by Ben of JotJotIota.com, based on the Planescape setting for the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, a product owned by Wizards of the Coast.
Whilst Wizards haven't updated that setting in some time, this product assumes at least a basic knowledge of it.
Links to those products, as well as related products and other inspiratinal materials, can be found throughout.
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As stated above, this is fan-made content and a work of love - you spot issues, you tell me, I fix it.
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Sig, City of Doors
Beyond Countless Doorways
Exploring Eberron, specifically that part dedicated to the Plane of Dreams, Dal Quor
Weird Dave's Guide to the Plane of Dreams
Weird Dave's Guide to Arborea
Ashley May's Festivals, Feasts and Fairs
Sourcebooks for plane of dreams / dreaming adventures
Sourcebooks for arborea/Sylvania, festivites and celebrations
Sourcebooks for robots, dinosaurs
Cork D&D Meetup group
Especially Mike O'Regan and Eon Coleman
The Concordant Domain of the Outlands D&D 5e Play-by-Post Discord Server
Additional Art Credits
The image of the Saurials shown on the title page was found on the Forgotten Realms wiki page for Saurials.
The Secrets of Tvashtri's Vault
Being an adventure in Sigil, City of Doors,
and the Outlands
Jot Jot Iota, 2020
For Bob, who loved Planescape
A short introduction to the setting
Planescape is probably this writer's favourite setting for Dungeons and Dragons.
It's therefore probably no surprise that the first adventure I attempt to write down for posterity begins in the city of Sigil, the centre of that setting.
First published in 1994, Planescape built upon the D&D 1e Manual of the Planes by adding rich new locations, making changes to old ones (including rebranding the Plane of Concordant Opposition as the Outlands), and placing one location at the centre of all planar travel, all planar conflict, all planar everything - Sigil, the City of Doors.
Sigil has made several appearances since the end of the 2e print run in 2000 with Die Vecna Die, though no official expanded setting has so far been forthcoming from Wizards of the Coast.
We can currently make do with the information provided in the Dungeon Master's Guide on pages 43-68, or fall back on older editions of D&D.
This adventure takes place in several locations in the Outlands mentioned in the older oublished materials -
- Sigil itself,
- the town of Sylvania, where the gate between the Outlands and the plane of Arborea can be found,
- the realm of Untamo, a Finnish deity of sleep and dreams,
- and the realm of the Tvashtri, a Hindu deity of creation and a divine artisan.
If you are unfamiliar with Planescape, Sigil or the Outlands, you can find the old books on DMsGuild - the Planescape Setting box, In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil and A Player's Primer to the Outlands would give an in-depth guide to most of the areas that the adventure takes place, though I'll be trying my best to provide you with a decent overview enough to play.
(At least one notable NPC is detailed thoroughly in Uncaged: Faces of Sigil, and I also mention ways to tie the adventure in to the Tales of the Infinite Staircase, as a method of reaching several destinations or extending the adventure. Again, these shouldnt be necessary, but are a valuable resource.)
If you'd prefer to stick to a limited budget (and who can blame you?), you can check out the excellent Planewalker.com and the equally amazing Library of Timaresh wiki for a great amount of background.
Planescape has it's own particular flavour based on an imagined version of slang spoken across the Planes but probably originating in Sigil.
The Chant gives a particular character to the way NPCs speak in the setting. Whilst some players find it annoying, unfortunately for you, the reader, this writer happened to enjoy it.
You'll notice a few words here and there that perhaps need a bit of extra explaining, so here you'll find a few of the most important words and what they mean, to hopefully get you started.
You can find plenty more going through the old books or with a quick internet search.
For those asking, I'm going to skip the word 'berk'. Referring to everyone with the C-word constantly gets a lot dull a little quickly.
Basher - A neutral expression when talking to someone.
"Listen up, basher, here's the dark of it..."
Body, a - A term for the inhabitants of the Planes, since not all can be considered mortal, and plenty of them aren't alive in the traditional sense.
Bub - Alcohol.
Cage, the - Another name for Sigil.
Best not to ask why.
Cutter - Another expression when talking to someone, however cutter is a level up from basher - almost a compliment, implying some smarts.
"OK, cutter, I won't tell you how to do it, just get it done."
Dabus - The servants of the Lady of Pain (see below). They have golden skin, horns, and they float. They also speak through rebuses - symbols appear floating in the air near them and must be deciphered, though they understand spoken language.
They seem to enact the Lady's will across Sigil, whatever her will might be - destroying buildings, pruning razorvine, being an ominous presence...
Dark, the - The truth or a secret. Either can be interchangeable in Sigil, where information is its own currency.
Factions, the - The groups that think they're in control of Sigil, and get a lot of the boring stuff done.
There're fifteen before the Faction War but there used to be hundreds at one point.
Gate, a - A permanent Portal.
All Gates are Portals, but not all Portals are Gates.
Gate Town - Located roughly 1000 miles from the central Spire of the Outlands, a Gate Town is the home of the main, permanent access to an Outer Plane.
For those Planes that have levels of existence, such as Bytopia and the Abyss, this Gate goes to the first level.
Hop a Portal - To travel by Portal to a different Plane of Existence, or across the same Plane instantaneously.
Jink - Money. Not all creatures trade in coin, not all creatures can touch silver, but generally everything of value makes a clinking, jinking sort of sound.
At least, anything worth spending.
Petitioner, a - The soul of a deceased mortal will end up in the Outer Planes, generally missing most of their memories of life.
Not generally seen in Sigil, but they do appear in the Outlands.
Plane, a - A Plane of Existence.
The Prime Material Plane is home to most D&D adventures.
The Inner Planes corresponded with elemental forces - Air, Earth, Fire, Water.
The Outer Planes often correlate to an Alignment or particular world view.
Portal Key - In order to open many Portals, one must first know the key. This could be a physical objects, or it could be a phrase or feeling.
Portal Keys are strange.
Power, a - A deity, generally. Some bodies refuse to believe them as anything other than extremely powerful mortals - which makes sense, as they can be killed with only a large rock in parts of the Outlands.
Prime - Shorthand for the Prime Material Plane, or a world thereon when used as 'a Prime'.
Razorvine - A weed which grows rampantly across Sigil, it requires constant cutting as it can grow several feet in a day.
Some bodies use it to defend their dwellings.
The Lady of Pain - The absolute ruler of Sigil, she never speaks but can send a body off to a demiplane of Mazes with a thought. Covered in blades, the touch of her shadow alone can flay a body.
The first law of Sigil is do not annoy the Lady of Pain.
The Rule of Three - A peculiar quirk of the Multiverse is that everything happens in threes. The Prime Material, Inner and Outer Planes are an example of this.
You'll find a couple of extra morsels tucked away in the Appendix that might be useful to characters in the setting.
There's the Cager background, for any players who want their character to be a Sigil native, some ideas for using a Faction as a group patron, and some spells that might be a bit more necessary in Sigil and the Outlands.
The Outlands itself has a few interesting quirks to it.
Travel between any two points will take PCs 3-18 days, regardless of distance, according to the old supplements. It gets a little trickier than that if there's obvious places to stop - you can't skip around the Outlands without hitting each Gatetown in succession
All that means that getting to Tvashtri's Realm from Sylvania takes anywhere from a few days to almost two Realms tendays.
Feel free to disregard that idea, but this adventure assumes you're sticking to it for the purposes of random encounters and experience.
That all being said, appearing in Untamo's Realm has also been factored in to that travel time/experience boost before the warrens of Tvashtri's Vault.
Finally, for every hundred miles a body travels towards the Spire at the centre of the Outlands, certain effects begin to creep in.
At 1000 miles out, the Gatetowns are immune to any limits on magic or other shenanigans, but between 900 miles and the Gatetowns, 9th level spells disappear. 8th level goes between 800 and 900 miles, and so on towards the Spire.
At its base, even a Power could be pummeled to very real death with only a large stone.
This adventure assumes Untamo and Tvashtri's Realms to be around 650 to 750 miles from the Spire, so 6th level spells won't function.
Since no PCs have access to that level of spell, it all balances out though.
A short introduction to this adventure
Secrets of Tvashtri's Vault is an adventure for four to six 5th-level characters, with the intention that the party is 7th-level by the end.
Familiarity with the setting itself shouldn't be necessary - they might have just arrived in Sigil and be as Clueless as they come, or they might have done some planar adventuring already.
Note: The key NPC Warden is referred to throughout with they/them pronouns, and which kind of Saurial they are is also left entirely up to the Dungeon Master.
Background to the Adventure
Back in the deep, deep, deep past, the Spellweavers held sway over an expansive interplanar empire, but at some point they lost it in one fell swoop - some kind of experiment that would have them master the portals instead broke their empire apart, trapping many on unfamiliar worlds, but most importantly cutting off their home Prime from any and all portals.
The Saurials had something to do with this downfall, though it happened so long ago that entire civilisations have risen and fallen on their Prime since those days, and now the tales of 'the ancient enemy' are mostly legend - save for the importance of guarding of portals by the Saurial named Warden and his kin.
If the Spellweavers are able to locate the correct portal for their ritual (yes, it's the same portal Warden used to escape their Prime to Sigil, see below), they'll be able to realign an entire network of portals across the multiverse so that their home Prime is once again accessible - and so any Prime or Plane of their choosing is inaccessible!
Summary of the adventure
The PCs meet a Saurial named Warden in Sigil, who is very, very lost. The Prime that Warden calls home was being enslaved and destroyed by a huge invasion of Neogi, orchestated byt the beings the Saurials refer to as 'the ancient enemy' - Spellweavers.
As far as all the legends of Warden's people go, the only permanent portal to or from their world was the one which Warden used to arrive in Sigil - but following on from a war in the deep, deep, deep past, a map of phasing portals was entrusted to an ally somewhere in the Outlands, where it would be safe from the Spellweavers. That map is the fastest way Warden can return home, hopefully along with allies to defeat the Neogi.
That ally from the deep past grew to be Tvashtri, a Power in the Outlands with a purview of Creation, and in the lower reaches of Tvashtri's Realm is found a storehouse, of sorts, which keeps the map (and potentially other wondrous objects) safe from all intruders.
Warden will recruit the players as bodyguards whilst they attempt to retrieve this map, which means traveling from Sigil to the gatetown of Sylvania in the Outlands, and from there to Tvashtri's Laboratory - and a mysterious and long forgotten Vault beneath.
Along the way, the adventuring party will navigate the many distractions of the revellers and party lifestyle of Sylvania, encounter envoys and enemies of a sleeping god, and negotiate with the mad scientist petitioners of Tvashtri.
Then they have to descend into the vault, fight all manner of constructs, and retrieve the map.
A Note on Locations and Further Adventures
If you don't want to use many of the locations, such as Sigil or the Outlands, you'll find that some of the bonus rules affecting the landscape for parts of the adventure will need adapting, but I'll leave that in your more than capable hands.
Some ideas for variant locations can be found at the end of this section, before the adventure begins.
This adventure is made to be tied in with sequel adventures where the party accompany Warden to the Abyss and a potential way home (The Cult of Fallen Moander), and then a further Spelljamming adventure to bring allies and aid to his world (Between the Rock and Wildspace).
Warden, Lost Saurial
Warden is a young Saurial of a kind determined by the Dungeon Master.
When their world came under attack, they stepped through the only permanent portal on their Prime - a portal they and their family were sworn to protect from all passage - hoping that on the other side they might find aid.
Warden instead finds themself lost in Sigil with only ancient legends and the rumours, stories and flagrant lies from more recent arrivals to go on.
They're in over their head but trying their best. They want to do right by their world, though disagrees with their peoples' teachings sometimes.
Whilst seeking help remains a priority, the shame of leaving their world behind to be enslaved has left them heartbroken, so they focus on the task at hand as much as possible.
In order to return home, Warden needs to find a temporary portal, and the easiest way they know to do that is to find an ancient map that was hidden in the Outlands, given to an ally of the Saurials for safekeeping.
You can find advice for building Warden (though not a full stat block) in the appendix at the end of the adventure.
For more information on Saurials, see the NPC Dragonbait in Curse of the Azure Bonds (2e) and the Tomb of Annihilation (5e), the Complete Book of Humanoids (2e), the Forgotten Realms wiki, and various other sources available on DMsGuild.
The Saurials communicate by means of scent, though all the sources above give only a limited number of options. At the Dungeon Master's discretion, other scents can be added for further emotional nuance - though it should be noted that most communication is handled by 'shouting' scents so that non-Saurials can understand them.
The Sylvanian Revellers
When the PCs arrive in Sylvania, they find themselves in the middle of the mother of all party atmospheres.
The wild and chaotic celebration of the locals is in equal parts enticing and dangerous, as a lot of the fun gets out of control.
Some sample stat blocks for Revellers appear in the appendix at the end of the adventure.
Untamo, the Dreaming God
Tvashtri's nearest neighbour, Untamo has the power to put all in his presence to sleep if they haven't slept in the last thirteen hours - and for the purposes of this adventure 'his presence' extends to cover his entire realm in the Outlands.
Untamo has something of a problem facing his realm, and could use the PCs help - in return for passage on to Tvashtri's Vault.
Untamo will not manifest himself directly to the PCs, though he will communicate with them in their dream state in one way or another.
For more information on Untamo, consult the Forgotten Realms wiki or take a look at On Hallowed Ground and the 1e Manual of the Planes. He's given as a member of the Finnish pantheon, though in most Finish folklore that I've been able to find, he's a mortal related to the tragic hero figure Kullervo.
The Dream Hags
Untamo's Realm has been infiltrated by a coven of Dream Hags.
Whilst they are every bit as powerless to stop Untamo's power to put them to sleep whilst in his Realm, their skill with nightmares means that even when they're asleep they're a force to be reckoned with.
The PCs will have to help Untamo by confronting the Hags and their nightmare minions if they want to make it to the Vault.
Stat blocks for the Hags and their nightmares are found in the appendix at the end of the adventure.
Petitioners of Tvashtri
A ragtag assortment of craftspeople - alchemists, artificers, smiths, and tinkers (and one wearing a black turtleneck sweater obsessed with giving sending stones more functions).
They're all barmy, some more than others.
Whilst mostly harmless, Tvashtri's Realm is a place of pure creation, and all of those discarded projects have to end up somewhere...
Tvashtri, God of Creation
Tvashtri is a Hindu God of Creation, and his Realm exists in the Outlands itself, roughly a hundred miles spireward of the gate town of Sylvania (distance in the Outlands being relative).
The Realm (or Laboratory or Workshop or Library) is a complex set into the side of a mountain, inhabited by all manner of tinkerers and artificers, living and petitioner.
When manifested in his Realm, Tvashtri appears as a towering clockwork figure (or rather several towering clockwork figures) engaged in various activities.
He might be overseeing the construction of a new building or using his large but precise hands to fashion new tools or items, or he could be trying to escape some of his more eager followers who want to share their latest creations with him.
Our adventure assumes that the lower levels of Tvashtri's Laboratory are a safe storage place for many of the projects of the local inhabitants, whether they were discarded or taken into Tvashtri's personal care for... reasons.
Not a lot of information on Tvashtri and his Realm in the Outlands exists in print, though it is mentioned in A Player's Primer to the Outlands very briefly.
For more information on Tvashtri, check out this page on Godchecker.
Defenders of the Vault
Whilst Tvashtri's Vault is a secure location, it is not uninhabited - it is guarded and patrolled by various constructs.
There are also parts of the lower vault that are home to discarded constructs and other broken things, and perhaps a cunning mind to lead them.
Stat blocks for the guardians of the Vault can be found in the Appendix at the end of the adventure.
Unusual Occurrences in Sigil and the Outlands
There's some optional extras you might choose to add to the adventure as the PCs explore the Outlands.
Someone following Warden
Maybe Warden was wrong about the portal to his world, or perhaps there's something else afoot.
The Spellweavers could have sent their agents after Warden, knowing that he could recruit allies to thwart their plans on his home Prime.
Alternatively, the greedy Neogi could have simply followed after seeing a potential slave escape them.
If you want to run with this idea, you can find some sample statblocks in the appendix at the end of the adventure.
You could also use this thread to tie the plot with the follow-up adventure The Cult of Fallen Moander.
The followers of the God Moander have an enmity with Saurials after one of their number escaped his enslavement at their hands and then helped Human bard to slay their master and steal his power.
For more information on these events, see the Forgotten Realms wiki page for Finder Wyvernspur.
If you want to run the Cult following the PCs, you can find a sample statblock in the appendix at the end of the adventure.
Ruins from Warden's world
Strange ruins appearing in the Outlands are relics from Warden's Prime that have been destroyed by the Spellweavers and Neogi as useless, since they don't contain the treasure they seek or only clues to it.
It's possible that Warden might meet deceased family members this way, or see further damage to his world.
More importantly, it's a way for the DM to start laying clues to what the Spellweavers want with Warden's Prime.
(Hint: It's really bad!)
Making Changes to the Adventure
There's always going to be a few hiccups here and there to get the adventure going, so here's some advice based on various pieces of feedback I've received.
Multiple Saurials / Saurials as PCs
There's nothing that says that one player couldn't take on the role of Warden, or that others of his family made it out to Sigil along with him, I just liked him being the lone survivor.
This changes the dynamic of the adventure, since there's a larger number of fish out of water to contend with, and a much bigger language barrier between PCs.
As designed (mostly for the purposes of the later adventures in the series), Warden has no access to magic himself, though he does have some combat manoeuvres that he can draw on.
I would advise against an all Saurial group, but it's not a situation I prepared for in the playtesting. Let me know how it goes!
PCs from Warden's World
Warden's family line have guarded the portal to Sigil for many, many generations.
During that time, it was entirely possible for some travelers to pass through, though any that did were ultimately given a choice - die quickly or never return through the portal.
It's from the descendants of these arrivals that Warden has learned of the city, so it's entirely possible that stories are distorted, or facts have changed, or lies were told.
If it's possible for other Saurials to have joined Warden, it's certainly possible that a member of this group could also join them.
This changes the very beginning of the introduction somewhat, and potentially gives an interpreter of sorts to Warden - the argument over procuring a wax tablet to communicate more easily still happens and, depending on how well informed Warden's ally is, locating a Dabus could still be a difficult task for the newcomers.
Alternate adventuring locations
The second adventure in the series, The Cult of Fallen Moander, partly takes place in the Dalelands of the Forgotten Realms.
With that in mind, if you want to move the adventure whole to a nearby part of the Realms, or to somewhere more distant there, that should be possible.
The start of the adventure should still have the PCs meet Warden in a densely populated marketplace, and the adventure should continue to a partying town like Sylvania and a mountain filled with wonders like Tvashtri's Vault.
Perhaps the whole adventure could take place in Waterdeep and Undermountain beneath it.
If it makes sense that knowledge of parts of the Realms would change the difficulty of early rolls to identify Warden or communicate with him, feel free to adjudicate.
Originating in Shadowdale or a Candlekeep background lowers the initial history check for identifying a Saurial in Part 1 of the adventure to DC 17.
Changing or Extending the Outlands Adventure
There's plenty of scope to add to the end of the adventure, or change it early on.
Perhaps instead of finding the Map in Tvashtri's Vault, the room that contained it was long ago looted, but clues point to another ancient adversary of the Saurial - the Kamerel.
The Kamerel's only appearance was in the Tales of the Infinite Staircase adventure for Planescape, as the original builders of the Mirrored Library of Timaresh, a vast depository of all planar knowledge.
It would make sense for the Kamerel to have stolen the Map somehow before their own eventual fall, and when the PCs arrive at Timaresh to try and recover it, the events of the Infinite Staircase play out.
Timaresh could also entirely replace Tvashtri's Vault if you wished.
The nature of this idea means that higher level PCs would be better prepared for these option.
Biting the Hook
Other than outright heroism, it can sometimes be useful to find other motivations for the adventuring party to grab on to the plot hooks dropped on them by a Dungeon Master.
Some potential party motivations include:
1. Outiright Heroism - I know I wrote 'other than' above, but let's consider it - Warden needs help saving his world, which is a big adventure in itself, before having to cross the Outlands, or finding out about The Map.
2. Greed - Warden offers to pay, yes. But he's asking the PCs for aid in >reaching and navigating an ancient vault potentially filled with all kinds of lost magic >items and artifacts.
3. Character Backstory - Any escaped slaves among the party may identify with Warden's people's plight, as might any with prior dealings with Neogi. Artificers and Sages might be excited to visit Tvashtri's Realm also.
4. Factioneering - The Factions of Sigil, if they found out about a local cache of potentially powerful artifacts (or even The Map itself), would be all over trying to acquire access.
5. The Lady of Pain - After speaking to the Dabus, Warden will likely have the Lady's blessing in stopping the Spellweavers from taking control of any amount of portals.
Part 1: A Saurial in the Great Bazaar
Sigil, City of Doors is where the first part of the adventure takes place.
The PCs will first encounter the Saurial named Warden in the Market Ward, though they can visit the other parts of the city if they really want to. A quick description of the other parts of the city will follow in the next section.
The Market Ward can best be described as a central marketplace for much of the Multiverse - and as such, it is heaving with bodies most of the time.
Whether traders come to Sigil to sell their wares then leave again, or if they have a permanent pitch, the hawkers and stallholders and travelling salespeople and day traders and caravaneers all congregate in the Market Ward.
It's another hot day in Sigil, which is strange, for a city at the center of the Plane of Neutrality.
Chant is that there's a bunch of extra portals to the Plane of Fire and some of the hotter Hells bringing their heat all at once, and some say that one's opened up in Undersigil and is spewing a steady stream of molten rock, heating the city from below.
Can't say I know the dark of it, but the street does feel a mite warmer through my boot soles than usual.
It's unsurprising that most of the folk wandering the streets of the Cage are a little bit under the collar, but at least a body can make a bit of junk hawking paper fans or cooling cantrips.
As the party makes their way through the Market Ward, the usual sights, sounds and smells greet them, though a handful of details stick out.
The cranium rats are stealing merchandise a – they've started favouring citrus and melons with blue flesh, for some reason.
The meat pie stall belonging to barbed devil Mr Smoult is being boycotted by some folks – they've found out he's been adding extra ingredients to his mystery meat to make it stretch to more pies.
Last of all, there's an argument ongoing at one stall selling artist's supplies – the stallholder is becoming infuriated with a customer over haggling, though the customer - a strange lizardfolk or dragonborn customer - seems to be effectively mute and unable to bargain.
The argument appears to be over a wax tablet and stylus.
The party should roll perception checks at DC 15 to overhear the strange lizardfolk customer, rather than relying solely on passive Perception.
Dragonborn, kobolds, lizardmen, tortles (and aarakocra and kenku, basically any non-mammalian heritage) gain advantage.
Humans, dwarves, elves, halflings, gnomes etc cannot hear anything, but are still able to tell that the strong smells in the immediate area are not coming from products in the market but from the strange customer themself.
Characters from Faerun may be able to identify that the figure is a Saurial with a successful History check, though it will be difficult - DC 20 for most.
The strange lizardfolk is speaking in an incredibly high-pitched whistling and clicking noise, incomprehensible to any who are able to hear it - though the stallholder is not one of them.
The lizardfolk is trying to ask the stallholder a question by increasingly elaborate gestures, and are in fact not haggling at all. They also appear increasingly exasperated - no Insight check needed, the gestures are repetitive and getting more urgent as time passes.
The scent of sulphur (confusion), fresh bread (anger) and baked ham (nervousness) pervade the area.
If no-one in the party reads Draconic or has comprehend languages, this next bit gets interesting...
Rather than just calling for an Insight check, you could have the players attempt to engage with the Saurial via gestures for a time, until you believe they can come to an understanding and progress the story further.
If the PCs help or the stallholder finally relents and allows the strange customer to use the wax tablet to communicate, a strong scent of lemons (joy) and eventually bitumen (victory) pervades the air.
The lizardfolk is named Warden, as far as anyone who reads Draconic can tell (the stallholder may beg for nearby assistance from the PCs here).
They have fallen through a portal and want to get back to their people. A DC12 Insight check reveals they aren't telling the whole story.
(They may be a stranger in a strange land, but some body language is multiversal.)
Despite claims not to know much about the city they have found themself in, they are trying to find the Dabus and their master, “the Great Shining One”.
When pointed to a Dabus, they should once again emit a strong sulphur/brimstone scent and scratch "Where are it's feathers?” into the wax tablet.
They will thank the party as best as they can with a small, perfect pink pearl worth 25gp.
Eagle-eyed chancers may notice they carry a large pouch at their waist that contains a great many of these pearls - DC15 Perception.
If the party continue to watch Warden's communication with the Dabus, they appear to be uncannily fluent in rebuses, and the Dabus in turn are able to understand Warden's speech perfectly, though seem very surprised to see Warden. Other Dabus will quickly come to congregate around during the conversation...
They seem to be ignoring their work!
The party can wait for Warden or go on about their business.
If the party has permanent lodgings in Sigil or not, Warden will find them once again – told where (and when) they will be found by the Dabus.
Warden will slowly and carefully explain that they require protection during a journey in the Outlands to Tvashtri's Vault – a History check at DC20 reveals no PC has heard of it, but they have heard of Tvashtri's Realm/Laboratory.
If the PCs know how to get to Sylvania, that is their first port of call, and the adventure can jump ahead to Part 2: A Wild Party in Sylvania.
If not, Warden suggests the Dabus say it is the nearest gate town to their goal, however Warden doesn't know how to get there.
Time to hit the streets!
Hopping a Portal to Sylvania
Part 2: A Wild Party in Sylvania
A Thousand Celebrations, At Once
Stepping through the portal,
the party is immediately assaulted by an attack on the senses.
The streets are bright and wild, a heaving mass of people dancing, juggling, laughing, shouting. Nearby a pair of bariaur juggle flaming sticks between two competing hawkers - one selling pickled fish and mead, the other fried potatoes and warm beer.
To say that today probably isn't a normal day in Sylvania is an understatement.
"Welcome to the Revels, bashers" yells a very inebriated elf from over a nearby open barrel before heaving loudly into it.
The smell of freshly emptied stomach washes over the party as they survey the carnage before them.
Picking the right direction to head is as easy as spotting the Spire towering above the Outlands and heading towards it.