The Lower Ward

THE LOWER WARD
Artisans and other skilled laborers dwell in the
sulfurous haze of the Lower Ward, where the fires
of the Elemental Chaos rise through lava-filled
pools and chasms to power smithies and forges. The
Great Foundry sits at the center of the ward, with
warehouses, mills, forges, and small workshops surrounding
it in ever-widening circles. The ward is
named for the disproportionate number of portals to
the Plane Below that can be accessed here.
People living and working in the Lower Ward tend
to be stubborn, hard-working, and a bit secretive. It’s
a rough-and-tumble place, and those who frequent
the area know that they have to be able to take care
of themselves, since there’s little in the way of law or
protection on these hot, steamy streets.
Scalding steam and stinking smoke rise from the
Great Foundry to form a layer of haze that hangs eternally
over Sigil’s rooftops. The workshops of smiths,
glassblowers, and other artisans are clustered here.
Vents from the Elemental Chaos lend them magical
heat and other forms of energy. Tools, hinges, pots,
nails, and other goods made of iron pour forth from
the workers in the Great Foundry on a regular basis.
Since the fall of the factions, a group of bladelings
(see Manual of the Planes. page 116) have taken up the
responsibility of running the Great Foundry. Much
of the city is just happy to have new goods to buy and
sell, but some wonder about what deeper agenda the
strange humanoids have put into play.
Elementals, demons, and other creatures of the
Plane Below roam the streets of the Lower Ward.
Some come to Sigil to conduct legitimate business
(though most would balk at what the demons call
legitimate), while others use the portals to handle
darker, more dangerous deeds in the City of Doors.
It isn’t unusual to see archons working the forges and
foundries, or to encounter barlguras or mariliths in
the seedier taverns, or to discover a free-roaming
elemental searching a dark alley or the ruins of an
old workshop or warehouse.
The Shattered Temple, another prominent structure
in the ward, stands as a reminder of things that
have gone away. Once the site of an imposing iron
temple, today all that remains is a zone of destruction.
Not only is the god it was once dedicated to dead
and forgotten, but the faction that held this place as
its headquarters fled the city in the aftermath of the
Faction War.
Parts of the Shattered Tempk have been repaired
so that it can be used, but only a small portion of the
structure has been made whole. The rest remains a
tumbled ruin. Many consider the place to be bad luck
and the nexus of ill omens within the city. Most steer
clear of the place and take the long way around to
avoid it whenever they can.
With the demise ofthe factions, the ruin has
become home to ghosts, specters, and other creatures
from the Shadowfell. A number of doors to this plane
are scattered about the ruins of the Shattered Temple,
and every once in a while a brave (or foolish?) band of
adventurers heads into t he ruins in search ()fa portal.
Among the things haunting the Temple is a clan of
vampires known as the &okra. The vampires are
careful not to draw too much attention to themselves.
but at least a few of the many who go missing in the
Lower Ward can be chalked up to the nighttime
activities of the Stara clan.
The cavern complex called the Bones of Night
extends beneath the streets oldie Lower Ward.
Located near the foul-smelling Ditch (the closest
thing to a river running through the ward). the
Bones of Night serves as a font of knowledge for those
willing to appeal to dark powers and things that no
longer walk anumg the living. Here. wizards. warlocks,
scholars, sages, and those of darker trades come
to learn from the dead.
The cavern complex is accessed through a gaping
hole in a fire-gutted building. A ladder made of hone
descends into the darkness below. As you step upon
the ladder, the sound of what must he hundreds of
chittering rats surrounds you, but it fades away as you
descend into the Salon of Sk tills. The grave dressings
of hundreds of wealthy dead citizens decorate the
entrance salon. Plush chairs. richly appointed tables.
and thick tapestries fill the room. and burial shrouds
hang as curtains to create private areas within. The
walls of the salon are lined with shelves. Skulls of all
shapes and sizes fill the shelves, including human,
eladrin. dwarf, tlefling. dragonborn. and more. A
hole in the floor oldie salon leads to the Catacombs,
where even more skulls (as well as additional recently
interred dead) are stored.
Lothar. the Master of Bones. consults his “library
of skulls” for a fee when supplicants arrive to seek
knowledge. Using the experiences and information
provided by the dead. Lothar makes a line living
while also learning something of the seekers by the
questions they ask. A stone golem and a pack of were
rats serve Lothar and protect the Bones of Night.

The Lower Ward

Sigil robertvanoorschot