The Hive

THE HIVE
A labyrinth of hovels. shanties, and tents fills the
I live_ This ward provides a how to the city’s destitute.
its criminals. and its ambitious up-and-comers.
So named because its residents a re packed together
like hornets in a nest, the Hive comprises existence’s
most notorious slum. Decrepit tenements jut like
broken teeth along its narrow snaking streets. la’s one
oldie worst places to live or visit. and life here can be
deadly and extremely short. A bit of honest work can
be found, but more common are the jobs best suited
to the desperate and the insane. Not everyone here
is bad or evil; the ward is also occupied by those who
are down on their luck, who have been treated badly
by life through no fault of t heir own, or who accidentally
wandered into Sigil and can’t find either a way
out or a way to make a decent living. For these, the
Hive is the only option.
Although legitimate businesses don’t take up a
lot of space in the Hive. things still get bought and
sold around the ward. Thieves and robbers use
fences to help them sell their stolen wares, and you
can find a pawnbroker or a moneylender on almost
every corner. Slave markets operate in secret in the
!live. popping up in dillerent locations so that any
authorities who care can’t easily find them and shut
them down. Entertaimnent is available in the Hive.
from taverns serving cheap drinks to gladiator pits
where the desperate are pitted against each other
and against exotic monsters for the amusement oft he
crowd.
In sharp contrast to the ward’s general squalor
and noise, the area surrounding Sigirs vast Mouth
ary is pristine and silent. The faction once known as
the Dustmen has formed the Mortuary Guild, and
‘dustman" has become a generic term for anyone
who disposes of the dead. Dustman coaches gather
the dead throughout the city. then cart the bodies to
the Mortuary for processing. Within the M ortuary.
doors to every plane are concentrated in perhaps the
greatest numbers found anywhere in the city. The
dustmen and their undead assistants send the city’s
corpses to other worlds for disposal. The doors wiihin
the Mortuary are not generally used for traveling
around the planes. As often as not. these portals lead
to great crematoriums, burial pits, necropolises. and
other places dangerous to living creatures,
The dustmen seem to have a connection to the
Shadowfell, and many revere the Raven Queen for
her role in the final disposition of the dead.
Clans ofgoblins and ores seem to be locked in a
perpetual skirmish on the Hive’s side of the Ditch.
The can leaders. Pnno of the ores and Sojah of
goblins, wage a barely contained war for control of
the area around the Ditch. Pruto uses his ferocious
sons and daughters to lead strike teams against the
goblins, while Sojah schemes and covertly hires mer.
cenaries to steadily eliminate Prom’s brood.
At the very edge of the Hive, the Gatehouse over
looks the wretched ward. This arched tower with
sprawling wings continues to serve as the place
where the mad and the lost are administered by the
people who once assembled under the faction of the
Bleak Cabal. When the factions were disbanded, the
Bleakers shrugged, threw off the trappings of their
organization, and simply went about thc busing of
caring for their disturbed and insane charges. There
are always long lines waiting to get into the Gate.
house. Many of Sign’s destitute have looked into the
planes and found madness staring hack at them, and
these individuals find their way to the Gatehouse for
care. Some come of their own accord. seeking help in
their moments oflucklity. Others must be dragged,
kicking and screaming, to the doors of the place.
The Gatehouse rings with the screams of t he mad
and the cries oldie insane, Whether the bizarre
nature of a strange corner of a distant plane has
unhinged an inmates mind, or an arcane scholar
read the wrong scroll and is now haunted by apocalyptic
visions of a distant realm that draws ever closer.
the Gatehouse caregivers take each unfortunate’s
symptoms in stride and provide what help they can.
The Gatehouse Night Market appears every evening
as the light of day gives way to the encroaching
darkness of twilight and later. For those accustomed
to shopping in the Market Ward, the Night Market
is a plunge Into the cold water of another world. It’s
dangerous, exciting, and exotic in ways that the average
citizen can only dream about—and usually only
wants to.
What can you find at the Night Market? All kinds
of goods and services that don’t appear in the stalls or
on the shelves of the markets set up by day. From poisons
and dangerous elixirs, to burglars and assassins
for hire, if it’s illicit, immoral, or profane, chances are
you can find it in the Night Market.
in the Night Market. stolen goods are bought and
sold. If you need someone to forge a document or
perform a dangerous ritual, introductions can be
made for the right price. Do you need illegal ritual
components? Cursed magic items? Banned goods?
Wander the Night Market. and you can probably find
someone willing to sell what you want. Whether that
individual actually has access to the item or service
you paid for is an entirely different matter.
A blackened expanse of ruined metal buildings.
many of them half melted, is known as the Slags. This
portion of the Ilive houses the city’s most repellent
and antisocial entities. Inhabited by aberrations and
their depraved mortal allies, it is treated as anathema
by all but the bravest adventurers. The poorest
oldie poor dwell on the streets in this vicinity, their
sleep bedeviled by the shrieks and rending noises
accompanying the near-constant combat between its
mutually hostile denizens.
It is said that the Stags are the result of a random
portal that deposited warring demons into the streets
of the Hive. The portal has long since closed, and
most of the demons have departed for other realms.
but evidence of the destructive battle remains. as
well as lingering dangers that keep the Slags In
ruins. Windblown balls of razorvine slice their way
through the streets. adding to the dangers presented
by wild worgs, dire animals, and areas of planar
instability. Earthquakes rumble through the area
on a regular basis, opening or closing cracks in the
ground, rearranging rubble, and knocking down the
few ruins still standing. The demon warriors also left
behind caches of weapons and supplies, but these are
trapped and extremely dangerous to anyone seeking
to acquire their contents. Worse, the traps reestablish
themschrs through demonic magic. which makes it
impossible to follow a foolish adventurer and simply
take the prize after he or she has been reduced to a
fine red mist.

The Hive

Sigil robertvanoorschot