The Crossroads is a settlement located in a nexus where multiple lower planes entangle with each other and the mortal realms. Here envoys from various fiendish powers try to out do each other, mortal adventurers supply before forays into some of the darkest parts of the multiverse and recuperate afterwards, and the most ruthless and callous mercenaries offer their services to the highest bidders.
N Planar metropolis
Corruption +5; Crime +4; Economy +6; Law +3; Lore +5; Society +3
Qualities magically attuned, notorious, rumormongering citizens, strategic location, tourist attraction, wards
Population Unknown, but exceeding 25,000
Curator Of The Crossroads (M construct)
The Librarian (N human expert 21)
Base Value 28,800 gp; Purchase Limit 170,000 gp; Spellcasting 10th
Minor Items *; Medium Items 4d4; Major Items 3d4
The Crossroads have many quirks and peculiarities, but the two most important are The Warding and The Interposition. The former is its detrimental nature to denizens of the outer planes, diminishing them in power and making them closer to the visiting mortals. The later is occasional event, when some of the streets of the Crossroads interpose themselves on the various roads of the mortal realms.
The Warding prevents planar powers from taking control of the Crossroads, at least overtly, and force them to use mortals, proxies, and expendable pawns instead. While it does not completely blocks outsiders from entering boundaries of the Crossroads, all outsiders with alignment or elemental subtypes are greatly weakened, suffering penalty equal to half their HD to all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, damage reduction, Spell Resistance, fast healing and regeneration values, saving throw DCs of all their abilities, and caster level of all their abilities. They also reduce all their resistances by their full HD value. Mortal beings (animals and humanoids) are granted benefits of magic circle against chaos, evil, good, and law, gaining +2 deflection bonus to AC and +2 resistance bonus to saving throws against attacks and effects of creatures with chaotic, evil, good, or lawful alignment, and suppress effects that would exert control. Planetouched races are neither hindered by the Warding nor gain its protection, along with aberrations, constructs, dragons, fey, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, oozes, plants, undead, and vermin.
The exact source of the Warding is not know, thought it is often speculated that it is projected by talismans and fetishes often embedded in the walls of building by ghenso, as those creatures are fiercely protective of the buildings of the city. Others claim it is projected and maintained by Curator, though he refuses to comment on queries to that effect.
The Interposition happens at least once a month, in series of cycles that require complex calculations and extensive planar lore to be predicted. During such event, one of the streets of the Crossroads partially overlaps with a road somewhere in the Material Plane, always around the local midnight. During the event, sapient mortals and planetouched races can pass between places or the other way around, during the narrow time window before the connection wanes. Outsiders can pass through only if they gain permission from a creature on the other side, usually via some sort of deal.
Many outsiders, especially weaker ones, risk the effects of the Warding, roaming the streets of the Crossroads with or without the knowledge of the next Interposition, hoping to get a chance to make a deal with a mortal, gain a cultist, capture a soul, or even enter the Material Plane, depending on the circumstances.
Even ignoring those two cosmic qualities, the Crossroads are a mixture of bizarre and mundane. Buildings are constructed in eclectic styles, often incorporating old shacks and external parts added by the denizens to the frames built by ghenso. Often, old buildings have additional stores added later, which might or might not get accepted by ghenso as worthy of future maintenance. Many follow the patterns drawn from the outer planes—black infernal iron can stand side by side with heavenly palace, next to a grove of living treehouses or a burrow.
Some of the denizens are mortals that wandered here accidentally, damned who fled their respective hells and found refuge here, adventurers who stuck, or mercenaries who retired, though majority are native-born descendants of those who came to the Crossroads and stayed here. Planetouched, especially tieflings, and various crossbreeds are common, as are lesser fiends—used to being on the bottom of the social (dis)order—on the run from their superiors and enemies. More powerful fiends and other outsiders are encountered less often, as those are creatures unused to weakness the Warding would bestow on them, though they do appear from time to time, hoping to take advantage of the Interposition.