"The hand that rattles the Cage is the hand that rules the world..."
-- Cager proverb

Copyright 1999 by Jon Winter, art by Karl Mikalsen

( Planar / male astral deva / HD 12 / LG )


Jovius is a cutter with a mission, and it's nothing less than the redemption of Good's good name. Sure, not everyone would see it like that, but then not everyone's got his foresight. See, there's this chant rattling about the Cage (and since nothing in Sigil is secret for long, the entire Upper Planes) that the celestials are helping their fiends in the Blood War!

'Course, you'd have to be a bit soft in the head to swallow something like that without asking any questions, but Jovius did his asking long ago and pretty much confirmed the rumour as the truth. Imagine that: Good helping evil to spread! What a disaster!

With the subtlety of an aasimon, Jovius tracked the merchants and cross-traders in this little scheme down to Sigil...of course, they'd seen him coming a mile off and covered their tracks fast, but not before Jovius had caught their scent proper. He's confirmed to himself the main details of what's happening:



Cage Rattlers:--
Krr'k'akar, Lagnos of the Seventh Breath,
Laurelli Tantarella, Peacock Lord.
Uncaged: Faces of Sigil:--
Cirily (p.20), Estavan (p.30), Iarmid (p.46), Koe (p.52), Rule-of-Three (p.84), Tripicus (p.102).
Hellbound: The Blood War:--
Spiral Hal'Oight is detailed in the War Games book.
Philosophers with Clubs:--
Zepherai Thunderstorms is an Anarchist Visionary detailed on the Mimir.

  • The fiends are being sold weapons, magic and supplies by a group of persons based in Sigil, and their number included creatures of the Upper Planes who ought to know better,
  • One of the dealers is possibly the asuras Koe, though only rumours from Doomguard contacts confirm this, and Jovius assumes the celestial is not working alone [he does not know the other cutters he is after are the ursinal Tripicus and the eladrin Cirily],
  • The rastipede merchant Krr'k'akar may well be involved in this trade. Again, Jovius has no firm evidence, merely the fact that Krr'k'akar is depositing vast amounts of jink left right and centre, and has almost as many fiendish clients as the Styx Oarsman!
  • Neither baatezu nor tanar'ri is being favoured -- both races are being secretly aided by the same group (in an attempt to double profits, perhaps?),
  • The fiends have learned where these weapons are coming from, and gleefully accept them, all the time pretending to be ignorant of their origin (whether the traitors of good are aware of this double-cross, Jovius is unsure).

So what's his problem? Why does this Astral Deva have to get his sticky beak into the whole sordid affair? Can't he just leave cutters to make their jink they way they want?

Well, no. See, Jovius' inquiries have led him to believe that the traitors of good are themselves being betrayed. Whilst talking to a well-known anarchist, Zepherai Thunderstorms, Jovius let the dark slip on his mission. Zepherai became very excited and rifled through her desk until she found what she was looking for. According to her sources, large numbers of munitions from the upper planes are falling into the hands of the yugoloths, who are attempting to 'reverse engineer' the magic in the items to discover weaknesses in the method that celestials use to enchant their weapons. They'll then be able to use this information to better defeat the celestials should the yugoloths ever need to fight them!

This 'evidence' steeled Jovius' resolve tenfold. He now believes it's imperative that the shipments be stopped. Once this has ceased, he thinks he may be able to prevail onto some of the other main Blood War arms dealers of whom he has learned; Estavan, an ogre-mage of the Planar Trade Consortium, and Spiral Hal'Oight, an aasimar merchant to reduce or even stop their trade altogether.

This in turn will be the first stage to calming the savage Blood War. Perhaps in the deva's long lifetime he may even be able to make some progress into stopping the devastating War which ravaged the Lower and Cordant planes so heavily. He hopes.

In this respect the deva has two main allies. The first of these is Laurelli Tantarella, a trumpet archon who's often in Sigil on business. She and her immediate archon superiors on Mount Celestia would welcome a truce or calming of the Blood War; they grow weary of the ever-growing number of new petitioners to the Heavens who were once self-righteous paladins fighting for the causes of Good and Law. The archons recognise that this is a tragic waste of life and should be stopped, and thing that soothing the Blood War might be a good way of achieving this.

Jovius' second ally is the cambion sage Rule-of-Three, though Jovius knows him only in his githzerai form. Rule-of-Three is also keen to stop the Blood War, though for very different reasons than Jovius expects. The tanar'ri really wants the Lower Planar races to unite and attack the celestials together. Once the scourge of goodness is crushed, the fiends can get down to the real job of dividing up the planes.

Jovius would doubtless be horrified if he knew he was working with a fiend, but that probably wouldn't stop him in the long run. See, he believes that for some goals the ends far outweigh the means, and if the goal is the salvation of countless innocents, working with a fiend wouldn't hurt too much.

When he's not consorting with fiends or hunting down traitors, Jovius likes to relax and enjoy himself. Being a deva, of course, much of this involves prayer and meditation. Jovius can often be found in the newly-restored Temple of Brihaspati, in the company of Lagnos of the Seventh Breath, who relays his prayers through Brihaspati's grace to the deva's home powers in Bytopia. Since he learned that Koe frequented Iarmid's massage parlour, Jovius has taken to going there as well, coincidentally at the same time as Koe each week. While he stares at the traitorous asuras, the attendants at the Other Place polish his golden skin, clean his blond hair and send the deva back out into the cage with a fresh mind and radiance that'd shame many devas who never leave the Upper Planes.

But it ain't all work and pray. Unlike many of his ilk who are strictly celibate, Jovius has had several romantic entanglements in Sigil. Perhaps that's because he's spent so much time out of Bytopia that he's beginning to lose touch with the way aasimon are supposed to conduct themselves, or perhaps he's just a little different from the rest. In any case, his latest amour is the former Peacock Lord of the Beastlands. The couple don't get to spend much time together, as Jovius is always travelling here and there through portals (and by all accounts the Peacock Lord is much too fond of the high life to want to leave the Cage and accompany Jovius), but when they're together out on the town they turn heads!

Cage Rattlers
Consult the Mimir Again