Faction Philosophy. These guys say Life’s a joke, a great trick. Nobody’s alive; in fact, there’s no such thing as Life. Sure, the petitioners are dead compared to the rest of us, but everybody else is dead, too – they just don’t know it yet. So what’s the chant? Simple: “All these worlds and all these universes are just shadows of another existence.” This multiverse – the Prime Material, the Inner, and the Outer Planes – is where beings wind up after they die.
Look, if things were truly alive, would there be such pain and misery in the multiverse? ’Course not! Life is supposed to be about celebration and positive feelings. Existence here is muted, dull, full of pain, and twisted with sorrow. What kind of celebration is that? This existence is a mockery of true life.
Fact is, everyone is dead – primes, planars, proxies, petitioners, all of them – it’s just that some are more dead than others. Primes are just started on the path, planars are a little further along, and petitioners, well, they’re almost to the end. Then there’s the walking dead. They’ve attained purity in this world – purged themselves of all passions and sense. The goal’s not to merge with the planes like the petitioners think; it’s to purify the self, to become one of the true dead.
This is important: In order to appreciate Death in proper Dustman fashion, a sod has got to explore his so-called “life” to its fullest and understand his present state of existence with all its trials before moving up the ladder of Truth. The berk who gets restless and rushes things dies a fool, and he’ll probably be forced to go through the whole thing all over again – that’s a real waste of time! Here’s the chant: Respect Death, and don’t ever treat it like a servant.
Primary Plane of Influence. The Negative Energy Plane. Through great effort, the Dustmen maintain a citadel in the inhospitable darkness of that plane. In Sigil, their headquarters is the Mortuary, the place where the bodies of all who die in the city are sent.
Allies and Enemies. The Dustmen’s views tend to provoke strong reactions. The Bleak Cabal favor their grim viewpoint, as do the Doomguard. The Fated find certain common ground in the deterministic views of most Dustmen, too. On the other side, the Dead’s fatalistic rejection of life runs counter to the teachings of the Sign of One. Of all the factions, the Society of Sensation is the most opposed to Dustman teachings. Furthermore, most primes have a great deal of difficulty dealing with Dustmen, for a Dustman’s views on life and death are too extreme.
Eligibility. All races, classes, and alignments are welcome to become members of the Dustmen. Priests of death gods are particularly common in this faction.
Benefits. The Dustmen have one of the most unique abilities of all the factions, embodied in the Dead Truce. This truce is a pact, reached in times more ancient than memory, between the Dustmen and the beings of the undead realm. The effect of the truce is that the undead’ll ignore a Dustman, so long as the Dustman does nothing to harm the undead creature. If the Dustman breaks the pact, the undead and its companions will treat the sod as they would any other living being. This pact applies only to Dustmen. If one of this faction is with other bashers, the undead will react to the rest of the group normally (attacking, for example) while ignoring the Dustman. Should the Dustman aid his companions, those undead are released from the pact. Because of this possibility, it’s more common to find Dustmen working side by side with zombies and such.
Restrictions. A Dustman’s faith in true death imposes a -2 penalty on any efforts to heal him through magical means.