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The Lady of Pain was the enigmatic ruler of the city of Sigil.[1][2] The nature of her being was not clear, but whatever she was, she was not human.[2]

In Sigil, the Lady of Pain always knows. I hear all the lies whispered into all the tepid ears in the dark bedchambers of all the great manors. I see every hand that slips into an open pocket on every bustling street, and I feel the dagger that burns in the belly of every trusting fool who ever followed a glitter girl into a dark alley. No longer can I tell where Sigil begins and I end; no longer can I separate what I perceive from what the city is. I am Sigil.
— Lady of Pain[4]


Not much was known about the Lady of Pain; few in the city ever saw her,[1] and those who did never received a response to their statements.[1][2] Those who had seen her and lived to tell of it described her as being ensconced in sparkling blades.[5]


Thus are the four Pains spread through the multiverse—agony, anguish, misery, and despair—to ripen and burst and bring low the mighty and the meek alike.
— Lady of Pain[4]

While the Lady of Pain was by no means kind or compassionate, she was not necessarily cruel either. She seemed to care about little more than maintaining the status quo of her city.[1] She had no interest in simple squabbles among her citizens or normal crimes such as burglary or murder. She only cared for things that might upset the balance or security of the city.[6]


Lady of Pain 2e B

The Lady of Pain hovering through the streets of Sigil.

The Lady of Pain was a being of intense power. So powerful was she that she could block the gods and goddesses from entrance into her city,[1][2] and only the deities' servants could pass through Sigil's many portals.[1] The Lady could close or open these "doors" to anyone, but she usually did not bar anyone beyond the powers.[7]

The Lady of Pain could create demiplanes in the Deep Ethereal, special prisons called "mazes" for those who would oppose her.[8][1]


Despite her mysteriousness, there was never any doubt the Lady of Pain was real because she had been seen hovering over the streets of Sigil on many occasions.[1][2] Any who tried to interact with her at such times found their skin erupting in bloody wounds when she gazed upon them,[2] and many others vanished, teleported into the prisons of the hive, so it was not considered a good sign if she was heard to be about in the streets.[1][2] Eventually, she would vanish again into nothingness.[2]


According to the great wizard Mordenkainen, the Lady of Pain had some sort of connection to the Raven Queen, another enigmatic character. It was said that only the Lady of Pain knew the Raven Queen's true intentions.[9]

The Lady was served by a strange race of creatures called the dabus. Like the Lady of Pain, the dabus never spoke, but they could communicate her will by forming mystical images of word-pictures. The dabus never left Sigil and likely could not leave Sigil. They acted as workmen to maintain the infrastructure of the city and occasionally appeared in numbers to punish rioters.[6]


The Lady of Pain was not a deity, even if she was as powerful as one, for she had no temples and no worshipers, yet she still existed. In fact, she refused worship. Those who tried to worship her were found with their skin flayed off.[2]


My gray-swaddled denizens bustle by, blissfully unaware that she—no, I—that I walk among them.
Whenever my denizens brush against me, tiny white welts rise on their skin. Before my eyes, these blisters swell into thumb-shaped pods. They begin to grow more slowly, then sprout dozens of hooked spines. As the crowd mills about, the barbs catch hold of anything they touch, and the husks pass to fresh carriers.They continue to enlarge and soon latch onto someone new, then someone else after that, and it is not long before a sea of bulging pods is spreading steadily outward around me.
My denizens continue to bustle about their business. They cannot see the pods, nor feel the extra weight, nor even smell the fetid reek that clings to their bodies. Only I perceive the husks, slowly swelling and turning emerald and gold and ruby and jet; only I see them oozing yellow ichor and starting to throb like hearts.
— Lady of Pain[4]

In ancient past, it was said that an entity challenged the Lady's control over Sigil and nearly defeated her. The Lady of Pain was not able to destroy him; she could only entrap his spirit in a gem, known to history as the Labyrinth Stone, which was lost for over 10,000 years.[10]

This was not the only time that someone dared challenge the Lady of Pain's power. Sometime in the 14th century DR by the counting of years of Faerûn, Duke Rowan Darkwood, a former leader from Vaasa titled the Protector of the North and Guardian of the Great Glacier, rose to power in the city of Sigil. Over the course of a single year, he became the factol of the Fated faction,[11] and only a few years after that, he even sought to challenge the rule of the Lady of Pain herself, starting the ordeal known as the Faction War. Through years of searching, his servants eventually brought to him the Labyrinth Stone, which he hoped to use as a weapon against the Lady of Pain by releasing her ancient foe.[10]

Naturally, the Lady of Pain intervened to stop the war, sending most of the factols into her mystical mazes, including Rowan. Rowan had planned for this, and with the use of a wish spell succeeded in exiting the Lady's labyrinth. Only, she outwitted him yet again. Her magics were so powerful that he exited the maze into a time some 500 years in the past with no way to return to the future.[10]

Over the next half-millennium, his lifespan extended by magic, Rowan, now renamed Gifad, was imprisoned and driven insane, yet still with enough intelligence to await for when he might be able to meet the "younger version" of himself and attempt his plot a second time.[10]

Rumors & Legends[]


The Lady of Pain of Sigil.

The Guvners, members of the Fraternity of Order, believed that the Lady of Pain created the city of Sigil. The Ciphers, those of the Transcendent Order, suggested that the city was actually nothing but a living dream of the Lady's.[1]

Another theory about the Lady of Pain was that she had something to do with the start of the Blood War. Others hypothesized that she was a rebel fiend herself,[1] specifically, a tanar'ri lord.[1] Some citizens of the gate-town of Plague-Mort on the border of the Abyss whispered that the Lady of Pain was once one of that town's Arch-Lectresses.[12]



Some fans suspect that the title "Lady of Pain" came from the poem "Dolores: Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs" a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, which refers often to "Dolores, Our Lady of Pain". The name itself, Dolores, also means "pains" in Spanish.


The face of the Lady of Pain served as the logo for the entire Planescape Campaign Setting and thus appeared on every sourcebook or accessory. Her image in the logo was intentionally removed from the Faction War sourcebook, but it appeared in the background with a bleeding eye.



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External Links[]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.
CRwikiLogo transparent Lady of Pain article at the Critical Role Wiki.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A DM Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 47. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2004). Planar Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 141–144. ISBN 0-7869-3429-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Template:Cite book/Pages of Pain
  5. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  6. 6.0 6.1 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 63. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  7. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  8. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A Player's Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  9. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Monte Cook, Ray Vallese (November 1998). Faction War. Edited by Michele Carter. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 32–37. ISBN 0786912030.
  11. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  12. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Sigil and Beyond. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 978-1560768340.