like, there's these things called factions, if you're into politics
| The Athar
According to these folks, the great and feared powers are
liars! Those who claim to be the "gods" of the planes are mortals
just like us. Yeah, they're unbelievably powerful, but they're not
gods. After all, they can die, they've got to keep their followers
happy, and they often feud among themselves like children. Thor, Zeus,
and the others - they're impostors.
Sure, there might be a true god, or maybe even more than one,
but such power is beyond all understanding. Such beings cannot be
seen, spoken to, or understood by mortals.
'Course, the Athar ain't stupid. "Let the powers call themselves
gods," they say. "It ain't worth the laugh, because there's no point
upsetting the powers." With all that might, an angry power'd be
a dangerous enemy. All the Athar want is to part the veil, discover
the secret behind everything, and look on the face of the unknowable.
|The Bleak Cabal|
"There's no meaning to it all," say the members of this faction,
"so just give it up, poor sod. Whoever said reality had to make sense?"
To these folks, the multiverse ain't even a cruel joke, because that
would give it all meaning. Look at all those fools in their factions,
running around, trying to discover the meaning of something that's
senseless. They'll waste their lives at it. And they call the Bleak
Cabal mad - hah!
Here's the Bleaker credo: "The multiverse doesn't make sense, and
it ain't supposed to." That's all there is to it, pure and simple.
It ain't "The mutiverse is without meaning," because that answer's
a meaning in itself.
For someone to join the Cabal, he or she (or it) has got to do
three things: quit looking for meanings, accept what happens, and
look inward. There's no meaning on the outside, so the question
is, "Is there any meaning inside?"
Believers of the Source|
To these characters, all things are godly. All things can
ascend to greater glory - if not in this life, then in the next. Patience,
that's all it takes. See, here's the chant: Everything - primes, planars,
petitioners, proxies, the whole lot - is being tested. Survive, succeed,
and ascend - that's the goal of all beings. Fail and get reincarnated
to try again. It's pretty simple and straightforward.
'Course, it ain't that easy either. First off, nobody really knows
what the tests are. Is a body supposed to be good, evil, or what?
Godsmen are trying to figure that out. Second, a fellow might go
in reverse - mess up and come back as a prime or something worse
in the next life.
So you see, the Godsmen calculate that's the whole purpose of multiverse.
The Prime Material, the Inner, and the Outer Planes - they exist
to test and purge. It's just a matter of figuring what's being tested
and how. When that happens, the Godsmen can hasten the end of the
universe and get on with some new existence.
Ever hear of entropy, berk? Take a look around: Everything's
going down the tubes, falling apart, stopping. People die, rocks erode,
stars fade, planes melt away. That's entropy, the fate of the multiverse.
A lot of folks think that's a terrible thing, but not the Doomguard.
They're pretty sure that nothing lasts forever. It's the way things
are supposed to be, they guess - the goal of everything.
Now, the sods who try to fix things - stop the decay and put everything
back together - they've got it all wrong. They're fighting the natural
goal of the multiverse, trying to do something unnatural. That ain't
Don't get this faction wrong. It's not like somebody builds a house
and they tear it down. That building's part of the whole decay:
The stonecutter chips the rock, the logger cuts the tree, and later
the termites chew the beams until the whole case comes down on its
own. There's a long view to this. The sod who can't see the grand
scheme'll go barmy trying to tear down everything that gets built.
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 - this 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.
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.
This faction says the universe belongs to those who can hold
it. Each sod makes his own fate, and there's no one else to blame
for it. Those who whine about their luck are just weaklings; if they
were meant to succeed, they could have. Here's the way the multiverse
works, according to the Takers: Everybody's got the potential to be
great, but that don't mean it's going to happen. Those that work hard
get what they deserve.
There's no point feeling sorry for the berks who didn't make good
- it was their own fault for being weak. Some soft-hearted folks
call this a cruel philosophy. Well, that's just an excuse for weakness.
Sure, there's compassion, but a body's still got to earn it.
Most folks think there's nothing to the Fated but taking, but the
Takers'll tell a berk there's a lot more than that. There's lots
of things a being has to earn - respect, for instance. That's something
the Fated believe can't be taken by force.
These folks are sure that everything's got laws. Mankind's
got laws. Sigil's got laws. Even the Lower Planes got their laws.
Now, once a body's got the laws down, he does pretty well, right?
He knows how to use them to his advantage, and how to break them without
If everything's got laws, then there are laws for the whole birdcage
- the planes and all that. And if everything's got laws, then those
laws can be learned. See where this is going? Learn the laws of
the planes and learn how to break 'em, how to use 'em to best advantage.
Get to be a real blood, a pro, and a basher'd have real power.
So let all the other berks run around, looking for the meaning
of the multiverse. It doesn't matter what it all means, because
that won't tell a body how it all works. Knowing the operation of
things - that's what's important. Who cares what it means when a
blood can make it do what he wants?
This ain't no faction and nobody tells them what to do. The
idea that any berk knows the truth and everybody else's wrong - well,
that's a chance a body shouldn't take. Who's right - the Guvners?
The Mercykillers? The Chaosmen? Since when does a smart gambler play
all his jink on a single throw?
Still, a body's got to belong to something if he wants to stay
alive. The Free League's kind of an informal group of like-thinkers.
They share news, pass around jobs, and watch each other's backs.
Hey, in a place like the planes, a body can't be too careful.
Some figure Indeps to be cowards, afraid to play a stake on the
truth, but Indeps see themselves as free thinkers, refusing to be
shackled to some blind ideology. Truth is, there are some that don't
want to make the choice, for fear of offending one power or another.
Then again, there's plenty of folks seeking to make their own truth
- maybe even start themselves a new faction.
The secret of the multiverse? That's simple, and every cutter
in the Harmonium knows what it is: "The Harmonium is always right."
Look, the goal of every enlightened being in the multiverse is to
live in perfect harmony with all others. Look around: Peace or war
- those are the only true states of the multiverse.
The Harmonium says there's only one way to have peace: their way.
War or peace - squabble among each other or join the Harmonium -
those are the only choices. The Harmonium believes that the ultimate
goal of the multiverse is universal harmony, and it's ready to spread
that belief to all those other sods out on the planes. If that takes
thumping heads to spread the truth, well, the Harmonium's ready
to thump heads.
Sure, there might not be peace right away, but every time the Harmonium
gets rid of an enemy, the multiverse is that much closer to the
universal harmony it was meant to have.
As far as this faction's concerned, justice is everything,
and there ain't no sod who can give it the laugh. Those cutters that
try'll have the Mercykillers on their tail, so the smart thing is
just don't try. It's the whole reason laws exist - to see that justice
is carried out.
Justice purges the evil in folks and makes them better, fit to
belong in the multiverse. Once everybody's been cleansed, then the
multiverse reaches perfection, and perfection's the goal of the
'Course now, other folks don't agree with Mercykiller logic. To
them, the Mercykillers ain't above the laws or even right in what
they do. The Mercykillers don't like such folk's attitudes, but
they can't hang a being for its opinions - at least not in most
places. See, the Mercykillers say they don't make the laws, they
only enforce them. All in all, they're no better than the rest,
but no worse than a few.
The Revolutionary League |
"These universes, these powers, they're all corrupt!" screams
this faction. "They're guiding people in the wrong directions, keeping
them as slaves and prisoners to the powerful. The old beliefs are
lies." These sods claim that the Guvners, Chaosmen, Mercykillers,
Athar - every last one of them - no longer care about the truth. Their
factols have all the property, bodyguards, jink, and influence. They're
not looking for the truth; they just want to hang on to what they've
Well, the Anarchists say it's time for that to change.
It's time to break free of the chains and seek the real truth. And
that's only going to happen when a body's free of the bonds of the
other factions. A being's got to be able to make his own choices,
but would any faction just let a body go? Think the Harmonium would
say, "Sure, we admit we're wrong. Go find your own way." Not a chance!
Once the factions come down, then folks can find the
real truth. Break it all and rebuild with the pieces that are left
- that's the only plan.
Sign of One|
Every person, every individual, is unique. This is the greatest
glory of the universe - that each creature living (and dead) is different
from all others. It's obvious, then, that the multiverse centers around
the self, or so this faction would have everyone believe. "It's quite
simple, addle-cove," one of these sods would say. "The world exists
because the mind imagines it. Without the self, the multiverse ceases
to be." Therefore, each Signer is the most important person in the
multiverse. Without at least one Signer to imagine it all, the rest
of the factions would cease to exist.
Better be nice to the Signers then, berk, because they just might
decide to imagine a body right out of existence. Don't think it
can be done? Maybe not, but then a basher's a fool to take the risk.
Lots of folks disappear without a trace, and more than a few are
enemies of the Signers. Makes a body think, don't it?
Society of Sensation|
According to these folks, the multiverse is known by the senses
- the only proofs of existence. Without experience, without sensation,
a thing isn't. If a sod can't taste the soup, then it ain't soup.
The only way to know anything for sure is to use the senses.
Look, it ain't that hard to understand. Which is real, a description
of the rose or the rose itself? Only a barmy'd choose the description,
which ain't real. It's got no smell, no thorns, no color. Picking
a rose, that's real, and the way a body knows is by experiencing
it. The senses are the only way to know the universe.
Given that, the multiverse has limits, and a body can try to experience
it all. A being's got to savor the intensity, explore the complexity.
Don't just guzzle the wine - find all the flavors within it. Before
a sod's all done, he'll learn the difference between Arborean and
Ysgardian wine, know them by vintage, and even by the hand of the
vinter. Only then do the secrets of the multiverse start to make
guys say that for a body to become one with the multiverse, he's got
to stop thinking and act. Action without thought is the purest form
of thought. When a cutter can know what to do without even thinking
about it, then he's become one with the multiverse.
It goes like this. Every berk's part of the multiverse, and nothing's
apart from it. So it figures that every being knows the right action
to take at just the right moment. Problem is, some folks start thinking
and mess it all up. Thinking adds hesitation and doubt. It overrules
instinct and separates a sod from the multiverse. By the time a
poor sod's thought about something, the right action for the right
moment is gone.
So what's all this get a fellow, then? Once mind and body are in
harmony, the spirit becomes in tune with the multiverse. A blood
understands the purpose of multiverse and knows just where and how
he should be.
As these sods see it, the multiverse wasn't born from Chaos
- the multiverse is Chaos. There's no order, no pattern to anything.
That's the meaning of the multiverse, the great secret everyone else
is just too dull-witted and cowardly to admit! Look around. Is there
any pattern to this existence? Any order that gives it all meaning?
None, not a one.
So why fight it, since Chaos is how things are meant to be? It
has a beauty and wonder all its own. By gazing upon Chaos, learning
to appreciate the randomness of it and understanding its sublime
intricacies, the Xaositects learn the secrets of the multiverse.
They want to play within the unshapeable Chaos, and to be a part
of its uncontrollable energies.