Factions


Athar
(Defiers, the Lost)


Believers of the Source
(Godsmen)


Bleak Cabal
(Bleakers, the Cabal,
Madmen)


Doomguard
(Sinkers)


Dustmen
(the Dead)


Fated
(Takers, Coldbloods,
the Heartless)


Fraternity of Order
(Guvners)


Free League
(Indeps)


Harmonium
(Hardheads)


Mercykillers
(Red Death)


Revolutionary League
(Anarchists)


Sign of One
(Signers)


Society of Sensation
(Sensates)


Transcendent Order
(Ciphers)


Xaositects
(Chaosmen)

Philosophers with Clubs

The average prime is likely to be a bit taken back by the enthusiasm of the factions on the Outer Planes. On the Prime Material Plane, philosophy’s just one person’s way of seeing things. Here’s the real chant, and pay attention, berk: All this attention to ideology is important because it can actually cause the borders of the planes to change! If enough folks in a town hold a belief contrary to the rest of their plane, that town’s going to drift away to another plane, slipping from the grasp of one reality to join another. To put it another way, if enough folks outside a power’s realm start subscribing to that power’s beliefs, then its realm’s going to expand to include them.

That means anywhere on the Outer Planes could conceivably become part of somewhere else.

What a sod believes in, then – law, chaos, good, and evil – has a direct influence on the multiverse. Philosophy is more than just talk; philosophy is action. Hence, the Outer Planes are the site of an end-less struggle for the hearts and minds of everyone on them.

Think about it, berk. The Blood War is more than a mindless battle of extermination between fiends. It’s a war to establish a single, united Lower Plane. To a fiend’s way of thinking, those that can’t be persuaded to its point of view must be eliminated, put in the dead-book, and so the War rages on. In the same vein, the factions in Sigil aren’t there just because it’s convenient; they’re each trying to sway the city to their point of view. If they do, the whole Cage’ll vanish off to some other plane. (That’s why the Lady of Pain isn’t just a figure – she’s Sigil’s anchor against the rest of the multiverse.)

All of this means something to every canny planewalker, too. It means their actions can sometimes change the face of the planes. By getting involved with the philosophical politics – for instance, by either thwarting or supporting a faction’s coup in a border town – they might keep that burg from the brink or give it the final push over the edge, sending it to another plane. When they choose, they make a difference a person can see and know.

So how’s this work in day-to-day life? Well, first it gives a whole new set of teeth to the old phrase, “a clash of ideas.” Good, evil, neutrality, law, and chaos are all trying to gain new lands and new adherents at the expense of all the others while trying to hang on to what they’ve got. When two factols get to debating in Sigil, one may just decide the other’s too dangerous and hit him, arrest him, publicly humiliate him, frame him, kill him, or hire spivs to get the goods on him. It’s not because the factols personally don’t like each other, it’s because ideas have real power. That’s a clash of ideas, planar-style. Like the headline says, factols are “philosophers with clubs.”

An Overview of the Factions

Below is a mountain top view of the factions. Details on each individual faction such as important members, headquarters and special membership abilities will be dealt with on the page for each faction. The following should be considered to be a “pocket book guide to the factions”.

Athar (Defiers, The Lost)

Philosophy: The gods are frauds; the unknowable truth lies beyond the veil.
Eligibility: Priests who follow a specific god or pantheon of gods cannot join.
Factol: Terrance.
Sigil HQ: Shattered Temple (Lower Ward).
Home Field: Astral.
Allies: Believers of the Source.
Enemies: None.
Role within Sigil: Depending upon who a body asks, the Lost are either loyal supporters of the Lady or vile spies. They’ve got no official position in Sigil, but they figure it’s their job to watch the doings of the various priests in the city. Anytime some yapping cleric starts to become too powerful, the Athar’ll act. Sometimes they spread rumors to bring the priest down a bit, other times they strike more directly. In an odd way, the Athar and Godsmen often work together.

Believers of the Source (Godsmen)

Philosophy: All life springs from the same divine source, ascending and descending in form as the cosmos tests it.
Eligibility: Anyone can join.
Factol: Ambar Vergrove.
Sigil HQ: Great Foundry (Lower Ward).
Home Field: Ethereal demiplanes.
Allies: Athar, Doomguard (temporary ally).
Enemies: Bleak Cabal, Dustmen.
Role within Sigil: Like the Athar, the Godsmen don’t have authorized jobs in the government. From the Great Foundry, they take it upon themselves to be the peace keepers of Sigil. After all, everyone could become divine, and it would be a shame to put a potential power in the dead-book before it reaches its destiny. They consider their sacred duty to keep the peace between warring faiths (and they’ll use swords to do it if they must). At least until a sod proves to a Godsman that he’s no power in the making, he can expect a fair shake from the believers.

Bleak Cabal (Bleakers, The Cabal, Madmen)

Philosophy: The multiverse ain’t supposed to make sense; there’s no grand scheme, no deep meaning, no elusive order. The only truth worth finding lies within.
Eligibility: Members cannot be lawful.
Factol: Lhar.
Sigil HQ: The Gatehouse (Hive Ward).
Home Field: Pandemonium.
Allies: Doomguard, Dustmen, Revolutionary League
Enemies: Fraternity of Order, Harmonium, Mercykillers
Role within Sigil: For a group with such a miserable outlook on life, the Bleakers are the most charitable faction in Sigil. These cutters have taken it upon themselves to run an almshouse for the sick and insane. Not that it’s a great place – the Bleakers have some pretty strange ideas about treatment – but at least a sod can get a hot meal and a bed from them.

Doomguard (Sinkers)

Philosophy: Entropy is ecstasy; decay is divine. The multiverse is supposed to fall apart; we’re just here to keep leatherheads from interfering.
Eligibility: Priests who cast from the spheres of “healing” or “creation” cannot join.
Factol: Pentar.
Sigil HQ: Armoury (Lady’s Ward).
Home Field: Each of the negative quasiplanes.
Allies: Bleak Cabal, Dustmen.
Enemies: Fraternity of Order, Harmonium.
Role within Sigil: This faction controls the City Armory, and with good reason: as far as they can see, there’s no better symbol of decay than weapons of destruction and death. It makes sense, too, because by controlling the Armory they’re also keeping the tools of order out of the hands of their rivals in the Harmonium. Of course, no other faction’s going to let these bloods police the city, anyway – a gang devoted to entropy ain’t exactly going to promote law and order.

Dustmen (The Dead)

Philosophy: We’re all dead – some more so than others. So, we explore our current state with patience, purge our passion, and ascend toward the purity of True Death.
Eligibility: Anyone can join.
Factol: Skall.
Sigil HQ: Mortuary (Hive Ward).
Home Field: Negative Energy Plane.
Allies: Bleak Cabal, Doomguard.
Enemies: Society of Sensation, Sign of One.
Role within Sigil: The Dead have a job that suits them well, and one that nobody else is keen on anyway. In the Mortuary, they’re the ones who dispose of Sigil’s deceased. The Cage doesn’t have space for graveyards or crypts, so the bodies of her citizens get dispatched to other planes. These portals lead directly to mortuaries and other places of death on each plane, and those on the other side are expecting nothing but dead bodies to come through, so those cutters who somehow manage to sneak through any of these doors are in for a nasty bit when they pass through. The Dustmen handle all this work, and for the most part nobody minds. Then again, there’s always the suspicion that the faction’s keeping a few back and reviving them for its own purposes…

Fated (Takers, The Heartless)

Philosophy: The multiverse belongs to those who seize it. No one’s to blame for a poor sods fate but the sorry sod himself.
Eligibility: No lawful good members.
Factol: Duke Rowan Darkwood.
Sigil HQ: Hall of Records (Clerk’s Ward).
Home Field: Ysgard.
Allies: Free League, Mercykillers (loosely).
Enemies: Harmonium.
Role within Sigil: The Takers handle the most hated and needed task in the city: They control the Hall of Records – a vital piece of city administration. They record property deeds, births, and deaths (when some sod bothers to notify them). This isn’t what makes them hated though. They’re also the tax collectors, a job nobody thanks them for. With their “I got it, you don’t” attitude, the Takers are perfect for the job. Now, having all this jink could be trouble for the other factions, so they all keep the balance by trying to pay as little as possible. If things get too bad, any faction can always appeal to the Guvners – their control of the courts gives them the means to keep the Fated’s greed under control, and the rest paying their taxes.

Fraternity of Order (The Guvners)

Philosophy: Everything has laws; most are dark. Learn the laws of the multiverse and you can rule it.
Eligibility: Members must be lawful.
Factol: Hashkar.
Sigil HQ: City Court (The Lady’s Ward).
Home Field: Mechanus.
Allies: Mercykillers, Harmonium.
Enemies: Xaositects, Revolutionary League.
Role within Sigil: The Guvners are a natural to act as judges and advocates. They believe in laws and don’t like breaking them. The Guvners run the city courts, from the small ward courts to the High Court of the city. They also make the best advocates for pleading cases, so either way their faction tends to win, which keeps it fair. Their absolute belief in Law makes them chillingly legalistic. Still, the Xaositects and Harmonium are both happy the Guvners don’t get the power to create laws, only enforce them.

Free League (Indeps)

Philosophy: This ain’t no faction, and nobody tells us what to do. Keep your options open; nobody’s got the key to the truth.
Eligibility: Anyone can join.
Factol: None.
Sigil HQ: Great Bazaar (Market Ward).
Home Field: Outlands.
Allies: Fated (sometimes).
Enemies: Harmonium.
Role within Sigil: Buying and selling is what keeps Sigil alive, and the Indeps are there to make sure there’s always good trade in the city’s markets. Their job’s not official, but these cutters still make sure that every small merchant’s getting a fair chance. They don’t like the high-up guilds fixing prices, strangling competition, peeling their partners, or hiring bashers to beat up rivals. Since they don’t have an official rank, the Indeps use criers, rumors, and “friendly advice” to keep the markets more-or-less honest. If they must, they’ll bring a case to the Guvners, but they don’t like relying on others.

Harmonium (Hardheads)

Philosophy: Peace is our goal. But if it takes a little war to get others to see things right, the Harmonium way, so be it. That’s how we’ll reach our golden harmony.
Eligibility: Members must be lawful.
Factol: Sarin.
Sigil HQ: City Barracks (The Lady’s Ward].
Home Field: Arcadia.
Allies: Guvners, Mercykillers.
Enemies: Indeps, Revolutionary League, Xaositects.
Role within Sigil: The Hardheads, always sure their’s is the only way, have muscled themselves into control of the City Barracks, which means the City Watch is theirs. Members of the faction take it upon themselves to arrest those they think are breaking the laws. Their hard-liner view of order means they’re pretty eager to crush crime, but their laws and Sigil’s laws don’t always match, so they often arrest people who aren’t really acting illegally. Fortunately, a sod arrested by the Harmonium’s tried by the Guvners, who are strict about what’s legal and what’s not. With the Doomguard controlling the Armory, the real tools to run Sigil the Hardhead way are kept out of the Harmonium’s hands. That suits everybody but them just fine.

Mercykillers (The Red Death)

Philosophy: Justice is everything. When properly applied, punishment leads to perfection.
Eligibility: Members must be lawful.. Thieves and known criminals cannot join.
Factol: Formerly Mallin, now Alisohn Nilesia.
Sigil HQ: Prison (The Lady’s Ward).
Home Field: Acheron.
Allies: Harmonium, Guvners
Enemies: Often Sensates, Signers, Revolutionary League.
Role within Sigil: The Red Death has a job which it performs with relish: punishment. Now, the Mercykillers’d much prefer to hunt down, try, and punish criminals themselves, but that’s not something the other factions are too keen on. The faction is too rigid in its views, and telling a Mercykiller to pike it is just not an option. Still, they’re well suited to the task of running the Prison and carrying out sentences. After all, what happens to a criminal who’s been arrested, tried, and sentenced is only just, and who better to administer justice than the Mercykillers?

Revolutionary League (Anarchists)

Philosophy: The status quo is built on lies and greed. Crush the factions. Break ‘em all down and rebuild with what what’s left – that’s the only way to find the real truth.
Eligibility: Members cannot be lawful.
Factol: None.
Sigil HQ: Mobile.
Home Field: Carceri.
Allies: Doomguard, Xaositects (weak tie
Enemies: Harmonium, Guvners.
Role within Sigil: The Anarchists don’t have an official role and aren’t even organized enough to have an unofficial one. Still, their belief in pulling down the system does have a twisted virtue in the works of the city: they’re a haven for those who don’t – indeed, can’t – fit into the plan. Anarchists are proud of the fact their kind can be found anywhere, lurking in the streets as harmless-seeming clerks or wand-wielding wizards lending a hand to loners in trouble. These bloods keep Sigil alive and trying, or at least that’s how they see it.

Sign of One (Signers)

Philosophy: The multiverse exists because the mind imagines it. The Signers – it could be any Signer – create the multiverse through the power of thought.
Eligibility: Anyone can join, but lawful good and lawful neutral members are unlikely.
Factol: Darius.
Sigil HQ: Hall of Speakers (Clerk‘s Ward).
Home Field: Beastlands.
Allies: Sensates.
Enemies: Bleak Cabal (especially), Harmonium.
Role within Sigil: The Signers’ confidence that each berk’s the center of his own universe makes them probably the only folks who can actually govern Sigil….as much as the Cage can be governed. They run the Hall of Speakers, where the high-ups meet to make the laws of the city, and they settle feuds, handle treaties, and do all the other legislative things that keep Sigil running. Of course, the Signers aren’t the only ones on the Council – every faction and power bloc’s got representatives – but the Signers are the only ones who can preside over the sessions. Knowing every cutter’s the center of things, the Signers make sure that everyone gets their say, and that’s the only way to keep the sessions meeting. Other factions may not like the Signers, but they respect the faction’s ability to keep city business on the table.

Society of Sensation (Sensates)

Philosophy: To know the multiverse, experience it fully. The senses form the path to truth, for the multiverse doesn’t exist beyond what can be sensed.
Eligibility: Anyone can join.
Factol: Erin Montgomery.
Sigil HQ: Civic Festhall (Clerk’s Ward)
Home Field: Arborea.
Allies: Signers; occasionally Indeps and Guvners.
Enemies: Doomguard; often Mercykillers, Dustmen.
Role within Sigil: The Sensates don’t have an official role either, but every blood knows the city’d go mad without them. In their endless quest to experience everything, the Sensates make sure that there’s plenty entertainments and diversions flowing through Sigil. Here’s the dark that makes it important: what basher wants to be around when a lesser baatezu gets bored? Sound bad? Now multiply that disaster by tanar’ri, modron, tiefling, prime, bariaur, djinni, yugoloth, and more. Thanks to the Sensates, there should be something, somewhere in Sigil, that’ll suit every taste. Pleasure is the balm that keeps Sigil from fevered rage.

Transcendent Order (Ciphers)

Philosophy: Action without thought is the purest response. Train body and mind to act in harmony, and the become one with the multiverse.
Eligibility: Members must partly neutral.
Factol: Rhys.
Sigil HQ: Great Gymnasium (Guildhall Ward).
Home Field: Elysium.
Allies: Most factions.
Enemies: Harmonium (suspicion).
Role within Sigil: The most universally accepted of all the factions, the Ciphers are natural advisers. They want the perfect union of thought and action, and they embody the qualities that other factions lack. To the Guvners, the Ciphers are the compassion missing from the coldly legalistic courts. To the Harmonium they try to lend tolerance, to the Mercykillers they preach order, for the Xaositects they’re the voice of stability, and so on. Their advice usually gets ignored, and some basher’ll take a poke at a Cipher for his troubles, but that’s the play of things and they’re ready to deal with it.

Xaositects (Chaosmen)

Philosophy: Chaos is truth, order delusion. By embracing the randomness of-the multiverse, one learns its secrets.
Eligibility: Members must be chaotic.
Factol: Karan.
Sigil HQ: Hive (Hive Ward).
Home Field: Limbo.
Allies: Doomguard, Bleakers.
Enemies: Harmonium, Guvners.
Role within Sigil: Chaosmen have no claim, no stake in the city. Too capricious for ruling, too uncontrolled to judge others, too free to follow orders, the Xaositects, from their hole at the center of the Hive, are the voices of the dispossessed. They don’t just represent those poor sods who don’t have anything – the Chaosmen become them. Security, warmth, sustenance, none of these things matter. The Chaosmen lurk on the edges of order, eager to pull down the case that’s just been built. Along with the Anarchists, these wild addle-coves are part of what makes Sigil alive and constantly changing. Perversely, their attempts to tear everything down is part of what keeps the city constantly building.

Factions

Planescape Stix