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The BackHalls, as seen from above

This page is about the demiplane, for the campaign named after the Demiplane, see The BackHalls (Campaign)

The BackHalls (Real name unknown) were a mysterious and seemingly unending labyrinth of hallways and office spaces, where the only companions you'll find are the comfort of the damp carpet under your feet, and the buzz of the florescent lights above. Creatures from all manner of time and space found themselves in the BackHalls fighting for survival.

History[edit | edit source]

Prehistoric Article

This article contains information said to be from Prehistoric Times. The validity of prehistoric content is dubious at best due to poor recordkeeping in the era, and should be considered unreliable, or at best: Legend.

It was rumored that the BackHalls were created in prehistoric times by a legendary warden known as Ymbtry (the same warden which the town Ymbtrymman is named for), who had created the demiplane as part of a lost magical ritual which he called "The Blackened Hallmark".

After its creation, very few, if any, creatures ever escaped back to Quelmar from the BackHalls. As a result, its long history is compressed into a compressed time in which it seems everything is happening everywhere at once.

It was confirmed that the BackHalls (much like other planar links) were destroyed as part of the Fracturing of the Weave, and the contents of the halls at that time were dumped out across Quelmar, including whatever power was left of its Vestiges, who added to the apocalyptic vibes of the fracture.

About[edit | edit source]

Creatures (or objects, magic, plants, really anything that can be targeted by a spell) enter the BackHalls when they are subjected to imprisonment magic, but the spell was not done in the correct way -- either on purpose or due to a lack of skill. As a result, the target of the spell is teleported and imprisoned not in a typical imprisonment bubble, but to this nullified demiplane that exists tangential to reality. Since it was inescapable, it would later become a secret among mages to cast Imprisonment incorrectly if you REALLY needed to get rid of something for good, such as a piece of blackmail, or a curse, or something else that threatens the realm.

Spawning[edit | edit source]

The BackHalls has specific rooms that are "spawn rooms" where creatures will appear to be summoned out of nowhere. Typically once a spawn room has summoned a party of creatures, it will have a cooldown period before it summons more creatures. Every time a creature spawns, they will be carrying whatever they had on their person when they were originally subjected to the imprisonment, including their clothes, weapons, and any satchels/inventory they had on their person.

When someone is killed in the BackHalls, they do not die, but rather respawn in the halls in a new spawn room. However, they will not retain any memories, items, or powers from their prior life cycle. As a result, every time someone spawns into the BackHalls, they will feel like it is the first time they've ever spawned in the BackHalls.

Life in the Halls[edit | edit source]

The souls banished to the BackHalls never needed to eat, sleep, or drink. They don't get physically sleepy, but may find themselves wearing thin on abilities and power (such as magic) as they exhaust their power, requiring them to still rest for a time to regain natural strength.

Escape[edit | edit source]

At least 4 methods of escaping the BackHalls have been recorded:

  • Traveling to The City and gaining passage inside while net you access to The Tovag Baragu, a circle of planar portals that will take you somewhere else in the infinite expanse of the multiverse. Considered a last resort by most, because it's just as likely to take you back home as it is to take you to another universe where air is replaced with boiling lava.
  • Using Wild Magic to temporarily break the hold, and then plane-jumping while the hold is broken.
  • Finding a set of mysterious stairs that lead upstairs. It's never been confirmed if that takes you out of the BackHalls entirely, or just out of THIS rendition of the BackHalls. Considering none of the Vestiges, the creatures the halls were built to trap, ever took the stairs. It's possible they know something about the stairs that others don't.
  • Traveling to The Royal Court, where you can be safe and wait out eternity. At the end of 1295 PR the BackHalls are dispelled, and all creatures still alive are dumped out back into Quelmar.
Chambers in the BackHalls were always rectangular, with somewhere between 1 and 8 hallways leading out into more chambers.

Architecture[edit | edit source]

The walls of the BackHalls were said to be covered in an offensive wallpaper of beige and yellow colors, featuring vertical columns of repeating fleur-de-lis. There were no doors in the hallways, only open passages, though whether or not there were historically any doors is an open question, considering that wooden debris could be found in various places.

Shops[edit | edit source]

Every 42nd Room in the BackHalls was home to a strange shop. Shops came in all shapes, sizes, forms, and sold any number of weird things.

The economy in the BackHalls was based off of Trinkets and not money. Trinkets took the form of literally anything small and deemed valuable to someone in the halls. That could include true valuables like jewelry, as well as lesser valuables like portraits, books, weapons, parchment, hair, and all manner of strange left-behinds.

The infamous "Shop" taken over by the Cult of the Dragon, who sold trinkets for Dragon goods and intel.

One shop wound up being a Stuckey's

  • This specific shop was run by a recneck attendant named Zeke. He gave out temporary tattoos which granted powers such as Spell Slots, Action Surges, etc.
  • The Stuckey's had mounted mirrors in the corners of the room like a gas station, but unlike normal mirrors, these also seemed to show spooky demons lurking around the room

It seems to be possible to "hijack" a shop and take over the room, but in the few times it's been witnessed, the room still inevitably turns into a new type of shop. For example, it was known that the Cult of the Dragon killed and took over a shop, but in its stead, they set up tables where they began a trinket swap program, looking to trade away high value trinkets if anyone who comes by has anything remotely draconic to trade them.

Chalk could be rarely found in special shops dedicated entirely to them...for a high price.

It was also rumored that one shop sold actual digestible food. There's no point to it other than to feel alive again.

Additional Shops[edit | edit source]

The BackDoors[edit | edit source]

It was possible to enter the space between the walls using a crafted door. Attempting to magically or mechanically attach a door to any of the natural decaying mustard-yellow walls of the BackHalls will reveal an opening. Stepping inside the opening places you exactly on the other side of the wall, in an inky black abyss impossible to navigate, but literally on the other side of the walls. It's possible to quietly use this space between the walls to navigate the halls while avoiding detection, but like all good ideas, that means encountering similarly clever creatures who lurk in the darkness, either innocently sneaking by, or purposefully ready to ambush in the dark.

BackDoor Runic Chalk[edit | edit source]

Besides opening doors in the wall, another "Backdoor" way of travel was invented at some point in time. Using a special, limited availability, chalk -- one can draw a sigil on the ground that they believe only they understand. The chalk will then connect to any other identical sigils in the halls, opening a gateway. This could be used in a single "run" to create safe points or teleporation points, but it could also be used ACROSS runs to see where your past life has been. The primary users of the Runic Chalk were wizards and other spellcasters, who often times would decipher the mysteries of the halls quick enough to "re-discover" the chalk and find themselves in a cozy room they partitioned off, already full of the records and items and friends of their past lives.

Quirks & Tidbits[edit | edit source]

Many groups preferred to travel in groups of 10, called Contuberniums, due to it giving that group a sort of invincibility or invulnerability from The Allip.

Puzzles[edit | edit source]

Several Rooms have written puzzles placed on either the floor, or the ceiling, or even on a wall. The source of the puzzles is unknown, but it's been said that anyone who can solve the mysterious, anomalous puzzles will be instantly rewarded with treasure of some kind. Sometimes it's an instant refresher, sometimes it's a weapon or item, or sometimes it's exactly the answers you were looking for.

Doors[edit | edit source]

There was almost nothing as valuable as a free-standing Door in the BackHalls. Having a large door on wheels (a specialty of the Dwarven guild that lived in the halls) would allow groups to travel and close off passages behind them, or find a safe dead-end somewhere where they could close off the only passage in, providing a 100% guaranteed sanctuary.

Soundtracks[edit | edit source]

The BackHalls was full of an eerie buzz and a haunting silence, which was sometimes broken by distance screams, crunches, or other ghastly sounds of people dying. However, to remedy this, a number of shops in the BackHalls sold "Soundtracks", which could be purchased and activated to relieve the haunting silence, filling the air with all manner of music and noise. It was almost necessarily for long-time survival, as the haunting silence and constant reminders of death tended to drive others to insanity.

Some known soundtracks include:

Poetry[edit | edit source]

It was common for lost souls to eventually scribble out poems and thoughts onto the walls using whatever material they had on them, sometimes including their own blood. A sample of poems scrapped from the Backhall walls include:

"1000 Rooms

4000 Walls

2000 doors

10,000 Halls

Did I get them all?"

"Franny Cranks served

Us our last meal.

I'll never understand

How to get back

To room 420

And have another"

"Is it counting up till dawn?

Or counting down till we're all gone?

The strength to proceed, I don't got it

Won't reach the dominant or tonic"

"I saw the most peculiar clock

It counted ways I'd never thought

It didn't just count seconds up

But minutes left and hours rough

And thus when I would count the time

I would rely on chalking line

Imposing from the floor below

Just tell me clock now where to go"

"Glassbreaker Glassbreaker break me some glass

Bond me for life

To your eternal mass.

Let me seek justice and punish the foes

Who crawl in the halls alone."

"Since I don't know the way,

I'm beginning to think I've been lead astray.

I could spend all the rest of my days

Escaping from a Maze."

Encounters[edit | edit source]

This is an incomplete list of things encountered in The Backhalls (so far). This table is broken up into a 6x10 table so if you wanted to roll randomly you can roll a d6 and a d10 to generate a square.

SWAT Marines Dire Wolves A Blind balhannoth Recent writing on the walls says in wet ink: "3...2...1" An altar, written in gnomish: "The Altar of the GlassBreakers" Oil Barrels filled with assorted items.
A tree grows out of the wall, merging with the wallpaer, the tree becomes more impossible to touch the closer you get to it. A run down Intervention Buster with a dead skeleton inside. Particularly crafty or modern victims could maybe recover explosives from it. A room with a shadow demon. A group of hobos crowding around a flaming barrel Locked Chests of Good Loot Wall mounted Conversational Security Cameras with mic and speaker.
A reeking puddle of ooze A small circle of stones, a labcoat sits on one of the rocks. Untouched office with furniture from a schoolhouse A wall mounted font which liquified (soupified?) anything placed into it. Goblins Blackouts
The Kreaker Portals that let you enter the walls. Death Dogs Half Giants Hill Giants Trapped chambers which shut and fill with sand if triggered.
Spells that appear out of nowhere Puzzles written into the floor Random bursts of fire Teleporting bugs Trapped chambers which lock you in. A sleepy Yagnoloth
Sundry demons Vampires and vampire kobolds Portals to other parts of the halls Myconids fighting a Giant Various altars Chambers that make you lose all you senses.
A tribe of Git , green skinned warriors who attack with psionic magic.h A group of gorilla-looking Demons A man named "Vernon" Bullywugs who will happily host you for a friendly lunch. A merchant who sells "Backdoor" Chalk A lair of 8 lizardfolk who turned one of the rooms into a swamp
3 Major Items of Loot A group of dwarves from the mid 600s running from a group of Mind-Flayers A Leucrotta A shop which sells mechanical enhancements "The Backhall", a long massive stretch of hallway claimed by unknown powers A group of hostile drunkards who will fight to the death
A man named Earn'st Grimes and his harem of mermaids looking to rob whoever they come across. A teleportation circle drawn in chalk on the floor that leads somewhere else. A group of traveling catfolk A Korred with a serious case of Deja Vu An ancient looking man who claims that he built the halls to lock away the Masters "IPOS WAS HERE" written next to a silly little smile.
A secret corner belonging to banished members of the Cult of the Dragon A gelatinous Cube good god run RUN. RUUUUUUUNNNNN. Wild vines from the Feywild crawling over every surface turning the room into a little forest. A store selling stone statues of the dead. A gnome riding a minotaur that claims to have memorized the entire halls A hole in the wall that takes anything you put into it and generates a "soup" version of that thing.

The Vestiges[edit | edit source]

Sometimes called the Bosses or the Masters, there were a set of 10 vestiges (and one god) who were trapped in the halls. Some say that the halls were originally created to trap these unstoppable forces in the first place.

  • The Allip
  • The Eviscerator
  • The Ogre Warlord
  • The Dire Troll
  • The Crab
    • As part of his supernatural abilities, he could burrow and dig through the halls as if they were dirt, creating massive holes and tunnels and trails that criss-crossed both through the walls, and under the floors. If a large hole was ever encountered in the BackHalls, you could be sure you've nearly crossed paths with the Crabhell.
  • The Wyvern
  • The Frog
  • The Minotaur
  • The Dragon
  • The Goristro

Factions[edit | edit source]

  • GlassBreakers
    • Cursed invidividuals (primarily gnomes, but also many others)
  • Asmodeus' Rejects
    • Devils who had been cursed to the halls, who were disappointed to find out that killing themselves did NOT send them back to hell.
    • Many of them banished by Asmodeus himself.
  • MapGabbers
    • A poetic group of bards writing songs to help them memorize all the rooms and encounters they've had
  • The Bank, also known as The Mint and The Vault
    • The Dwarven guild, who have locked off several highly secure rooms and started operations to attempt to mine/hoard infinite gold off of the infinitely respawning creatures.
  • Glumpfens
    • Desperate little goblinses who want nothing but to find purpose in life by serving the needs of anyone they find. They live off of praise and head pats.
  • Camera Barbarians / Polaroid Ragers
    • A group of half giants who managed to get ahold of a Polaroid Camera, which they would utilize as a flashbomb, blinding anyone they came across and granting them the opportunity to pummel them.
    • They would keep the camera photos taken as a record of everything they've come across.
  • The Royal Court / The Kingdom
    • Said to have once run the entire BackHalls, seemingly managed to "escape" the halls by breaking out of the outermost walls and building an independent kingdom at a spatial distance from the rooms of the labyrinth.
  • Sisters of the Mystic Eye
    • A small clan of druids that populated the halls.
  • Pelorians
    • Claiming to be the only "real" church in the whole halls. Set up somewhere in the low-numbered rooms.
  • The City (including the Pistol Arrows/Pistoleros)
    • Full of children and Guidance Counselors
    • Also home to one of the few escape methods, the The Tovag Baragu
  • The Watchers
  • Circus of the Lost

Maps[edit | edit source]

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