Planescape: Torment logo

Black IsleBioWareTSR

Sorcerer's Guide to All Things Factional

Race and class don't make a whole person on the planes. A body's got to have a philosophy, a vision of the multiverse and what it all means. Sure, a fellow can get along without it, but how's he ever going to make sense of the whole thing and find his own "center of the multiverse"? How's he going to know his friends from his enemies in places where what he stands for can mean everything? A body's got to have a place to stand in order to see the majesty of the whole thing. On the streets of Sigil and beyond, philosophies are more than just ideas. They're groups - factions with leaders, goals, powers, and attitudes. Every faction has its own way of seeing the multiverse and has its own powers to match. Some of them get along, others don't, and some could care less about the rest of the multiverse.Click on a faction symbol to see the representative of that faction or follow the links below the description to find out how the join that faction (if possible). Here is the linked list of all factions:
1. The Athar
2. The Bleak Cabal
3. The Believers of the Source
4. The Doomguard
5. The Dustmen
6. The Fated
7. Fraternity of Order
8. The Free League
9. The Harmonium
10. The Mercykillers
11. The Revolutionary League
12. The Sign of One
13. The Society of Sensation
14. The Transcendent Order
15. The Xaositects
The Athar/Defiers/The Lost
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.

Can join - NO

The Bleak Cabal/Madmen
"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?"

Can join - NO

The Believers of the Source/Godsmen
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.

Can join - YES

The Doomguard/Sinkers
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 right.

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.

Can join - NO

The Dustmen/The Dead
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.

Can join - YES

The Fated/Takers/Heartless/Coldbloods
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 softhearted 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.

Can join - NO

Fraternity of Order/Guvners
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 getting caught.

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?

Can join - NO

The Free League/Indeps
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.

Can join - NO

The Harmonium/Hardheads
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.

Can join - NO

The Mercykillers/Red Death
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 multiverse.

'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.

Can join - NO

The Revolutionary League/Anarchists
"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 got.

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.

Can join - YES

The Sign of One/Signers
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?

Can join - NO

The Society of Sensation/Sensates
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 themselves clear.

Can join - YES

The Transcendent Order/Ciphers
These 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.

Can join - NO

The Xaositects/Chaosmen
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.

Can join - YES
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Disable all ads!