Hall of Information
An adjunct to the Hall of Records, the Hall of Information may be Sigil’s most valuable resource. It provides general information about government operations, cultural affairs, and private sector services; Cagers and visitors with routine questions are directed here.
Among the services the Hall may be able to provide are:
- Locating a missing relative.
- Giving directions to a Lower Ward inn.
- Recommending a reputable pawnbroker in the
- Mediating a dispute with a merchant.
- Petitioning for government employment.
- Rectifying a mistaken tax assessment.
- Explaining the status of a civil war in Acheron.
- Arranging a meeting with a wealthy landowner.
Located midway between the Hall of Speakers and the Hall of Records, the Hall of Information’s a stately edifice of blue marble edged in onyx, its sparkling crystal windows framed in turquoise. A pair of marble ramps leading inside runs between three marble columns. The words on each column (one per capital) taken together summarize the Hall’s credo: COOPERATION, COMPLIANCE, and CONTROL. (Take care not to lean too hard on the COOPERATION column; it’s been weakened by structural flaws and is about ready to collapse. The Bureau of City Services has issued a statement that repair is imminent.)
Inside, a steward’ll arrange an appointment with the appropriate official and collect the fee, when applicable. After cutters make an appointment, they may look around a bit, so long as they speak in hushed tones, avoid disturbing any of the officers, keep their hands off the clean walls, and stay away from the chief, Bordon Mok. A force of Mercykiller guards keeps an eye out for troublemakers. In Bordon’s defense, let it be noted that hers is a difficult job, demanding a firm hand and unwavering focus. And she performs her duties well. During her three decades as chief, the Hall of Information’s been a model of efficiency.
But as a person – more precisely, as a bariaur – she’s foul-tempered and frightening. If she has affection for any living creature, she’s kept it to herself. In the rigidity of her beliefs, Bordon isn’t so different from other Takers. She contends that society’s outcasts are victims of their own laziness, that the strong’re meant to dominate the weak. But Bordon takes the philosophy of the Fated to an extreme. She believes fear breeds loyalty and compassion’s a character flaw. She intimidates her Hall officers with vicious insults – she refers to the Portal Registrar as “my little cranium rat,” his children as “ratlings” – and lashes ’em with a silver whip if they fail to bow when she walks by. (If Bordon hadn’t arranged for the Hall officers to receive handsome salaries, it’s unlikely that any’d remain in her employ for more than a few weeks.) She despises the Harmonium, and considers primes an especially repugnant species of vermin. She trusts no one, colleagues included, and is rumoured to have evidence of immoral acts conducted by several of Sigil’s most respected Cagers, which she intends to use as blackmail. Make no mistake – Bordon’s neither dishonest nor deceptive: She’s consumed by hatred. The reason? It may be a consequence of her appearance. A small pair of ram’s horns grow from her head – almost unheard of in female bariaur – making her the target of ridicule since childhood. All efforts to eradicate the horns have failed; they always grow back.
Touring the Hall
All interior walls and floors’re made of polished blue marble, illuminated by aquamarine chandeliers. Every surface is spotless. Footsteps and muttered conversations echo in the otherwise silent hallways. A faint aroma of apples hangs in the air.
In the foyer, a friendly but distant steward sits behind a high desk made of black marble. Giant silver hands rise on either side of the steward’s desk, cupping in their palms the pink incense whence comes the apple scent that fills the Hall. To discourage loitering, there’re no chairs or benches. Six Mercykiller guards roam the corridors at all times, watching for signs of violence from impatient visitors or dissatisfied clients. The guards won’t speak with anyone other than the officers, the steward, and the staff.
Three administrative aides called carriers, identifiable by red shoulder sashes, are always on duty in the Hall. Once per hour, the carriers make the office rounds, picking up messages and notes, then delivering them to other offices, the steward, or the astral streaker room (see “The Dark: Astral Streakers”). They also pick up waste bins and dispose of refuse in the incinerator. (A 6-foot-diameter oval mirror hanging on the wall of the incineration room is actually a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire. The word “incinerate” acts as a key to open the portal; carriers and guards know this key, as does Bordon Mok. The portal is used for the disposal of waste material and sensitive documents.) When they complete their rounds, the carriers retum to the lounge.
All the offices are identical. Each contains a black marble desk for the officer, three smaller desks for the staff (an officer has 1-4 staff members on duty at any given time, usually 0- or 1st-level fighters of the same race and faction as the officer), shelves stacked with reference materials, and two chairs for clients. When an officer’s got a message to deliver to another office or another building elsewhere in Sigil, he places it inside a hinged wooden box beside the door. Refuse goes into a waste bin next to the message box. Carriers in the corridor retrieve the messages and refuse by reaching through slots in the wall. A wall panel opens in the corridor, allowing a carrier to remove the waste bin. (See the map for the location of specific offices.)
Bordon Moks spacious office doubles as her living quarters. The furnishings are similar to those in the other offices – enderpine desk, reference shelves, message box, waste bin – but the room also includes a feather mattress, a clothes cabinet, a ceramic wash basin, and a crystal fish tank (filled with Automata guppies: tiny metal-finned, silver-scaled, goggle-eyed swimmers). In the comer is a barrel of mistberry wine, her favourite drink (fetched by her carriers from Benni’a Tap Room in the Hive Ward). An arched iron tunnel, about 20 feet long, leads to the doorway of a huge iron vault.
Hall of Information Directory
- Association of Heralds and Criers: Disseminates material from the Hall of Records and Hall of Speakers intended for public consumption. Processing Fee: None.
- Bureau of City Services: Explains duties of government offices, including law enforcement, tax collection, social services, construction projects, and housing. Tells where to find officials. Processing Fee: None.
- Bureau of Commerce: Oversees merchants, traders, and craftsmen. Provides information regarding availability of goods and services. Processing Fee: None.
- Bureau of Customs and Traditions: Provides information to visitors regarding Sigil customs and traditions. Processinq Fee: None.
- Bureau of Learning: Referral service for mentors, sages, and teachers. Oversees libraries. Processing Fee: 3 sp.
- Charity Commision: Responsible for registration of all charities. Monitors resource distribution. Site inspection. Investigates misconduct and mismanagement. Processing Fee: None.
- Department of Arbitration: Encourages fair trading, product safety, and quality assurance. Sets trade standards. Locates professional arbitrators to mediate between buyers and sellers. Processing Fee: 1 gp.
- Department of Employment: Registers employment agencies, interviews applicants (by arrangement with employer). Some hiring for city positions. Processing Fee: 1 sp.
- Health Commission: Maintains registry of hospices and healers. Certifies treatments. Processing Fee: None.
- Inner Planes Relations: Oversees affairs on Inner Planes pertaining to Sigil, including trade regulations, diplomatic arrangements, and treaties. Tourist information also available. Processing Fee: 8 sp.
- Land Registry: Provides names of Sigil landowners, along with lists of their properties. (Information may not be distributed without landowner’s written permission.) Processing Fee: 5 sp.
- Ministry of Public Rolls and Records: Distributes selected government records, most of a statistical nature. Provides reading rooms (1 cp/hour, limit of 8 hours/day unless reader receives special approval). Processing Fee: 1 sp.
- Ministry of War: Provides information regarding status of known conflicts in all planes. Receives inquiries of mercenaries and weapon dealers. Queries regarding Sigil defense policies also answered. Processing Fee: 5 sp.
- Nonplanar Races Commission: Registry of services for all nonplanar races (those other than bariaur, githzerai, human, half-elf, and tiefling), including such pertaining to health, housing, and food. Provides information regarding nonplanar racial organizations, societies, and social groups. Processing Fee: 1 gp.
- Outer Planar Relations: Services similar to Inner Planes Relations, as pertaining to Outer Planes. Processing Fee: 8 sp.
- Outlands Relations: Services similar to Inner Planes as pertaining to Outlands. Processing Fee: 5 sp
- Portal Registry: Distributes information regarding location and accessibility of known portals in Sigil available to general public. Limited information regarding portals outside of Sigil also available. Processing Fee: 5 gP.
- Priest’s Registry: Voluntary registry of priests, including specialties and services. Monitors current location of all registrants. Processing Fee: 5 sp.
- Prime Material Plane Relations: Services similar to Inner Planes Relations, as pertaining to Prime Material Plane. Processing Fee: 8 sp.
- Taxation Bureau: Reviews tax problems. Assesses special fees. Arbitrates taxation disputes. Processing Fee: 5 sp.
- Wizard’s Registry: Services similar to the Priest’s Registry, as pertaining to wizards. Processing Fee: 5 sp.